Older blog entries for Lolindrath (starting at number 18)


This is my last day. I'm clearing up some loose ends and cleaning out my cube. There tearing down the building I'm in therefore it's a good idea to pack. I'll be back for Thanksgiving, we should be moved by Christmas.


I have tonight and all tomorrow to pack to go back to school. I'm going to leave bring and early on Saturday and hopefully get there by noon. I'm taking alot fewer books this time. Before I brought pretty much my whole collection of computer science books but I can pretty much whittle it down to Perl: the complete reference, Java 2: the complete reference, the c++ programming language and maybe the second volume of knuth's life work.


I saw Cake, Flaming Lips, De La Soul, Modest Mouse and the Hacknsaw bros. last night. It was a very cool concert, standing the whole time wasn't too good on the ol' feet but they have time to rest before I have to walk all over campus.

Real Work

I'm getting some really simple projects to do now that time is winding down. Two and a half days of work to do. Then I'm back to college.

Fun Work

I got a project from The Software Dev. Center of IUP(www.sdc.iup.edu) to create a system to keep track of all the talks the departments in natural sciences and mathmatics are having. I have only a week to implement it and only about five hours at nights to work on it, it'll be a crunch but most of the features will be in on time. It's in Perl which makes it pretty fun. I'm templating the whole thing so someone else can play with the HTML. Each department can upload their own template also.


Life isn't too bad. I'm going to see Cake in concert in Cleveland on Wednesday. I move back to college on Saturday and I start classes Monday. My last day of work will be Thursday. I got a Soundblaster Live! card so now my computer is fully functional in both WinXP and Redhat 7.3.

High Level/Functional Design

It doesn't work for me, especially when I'm at home. The TV always ends up getting turned on or more doodles start appearing than words. I've been reading alot of JoelOnSoftware.com lately and I wanted to write some specs. I'm working on a Perl program to keep track of all the talks scheduled for my University so people can view them on a webpage or a department can include the listing in their page or a user could sign up for an email list. I gave up, I figure getting more code out is more important than a document. I did outline the tasks rather nicely. I'm the only person working on the project so it isn't a big deal.


Perl is very different from COBOL, which is what I do during the day. COBOL only has a handful of verbs. It's been around long enough that all bugs have been flushed out of the system so nothing unexpected happens. It has mature tools, good editors(once you get used to them), good debugging packages and good analysis of crashes even if it's not in the debugger. But all of the programs I write are the same, you can't do anything progressive with it. Object Oriented COBOL is out but I doubt many people use it in production. COBOL code is only being maintained, the bare minimum new programs are being written. Everyone is working on their J2EE web interfaces to the legacy systems sitting underneath it. I think it's a good idea, it's alot cheaper and it pleases the users if the interface is designed well enough.


Back to college in 8 days.

6 Aug 2002 (updated 6 Aug 2002 at 12:38 UTC) »


I have two audio cards I'm trying to get working under Red hat Linux 7.3, kernel 2.4.18-5. One is integrated into my motherboard(Dell Dimension 4500), it's an Analog Devices ADI1981A. Redhat detects it as an i810 intel integrated audio but it keeps saying that no device was found and the primary codec isn't ready. The other is an SIIG Soundwave Pro PCI with an Avance ALS4000 Chipset. Redhat didn't like this one initally. I got the development version of ALSA, configured, compiled, installed, rebooted Redhat. Kudzu came up and said it wanted to remove the integrated card since I had disabled it in the bios and then wanted to install the snd-als4000 module. I said ok. Dependency problems so I ran depmod -ae, then it loaded but said no device. I tried a good ol' mpg123 white stripes - fell in love with a girl.mp3 and I got a nice little kernel panic. Hard reboot(ext3 is so nice), no luck resolving the no device found thing. Under Windows XP the integrated ship shows up as a SoundMAX on IRQ 17, linux shows it on IRQ 3. XP show's some SM Bus device on IRQ3(I think it's something to do with my bios). Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated(lolindrath at hotmail dot com). My last dell just worked, this one is making me work my butt off.


I don't think we have any business in Iraq whatsoever. I think it's just Bush making sure his investments in the oil business don't go bust. The USA doesn't produce enough oil to support itself so if the Middle East cut off our oil supply everyone would start riding bikes because the price of gas would be astronomical.


Women, Ugh. My dad and I put four new windows in our house and resided the dormer. We put a new window in it that had more glass area but less frame so the old siding was too short. I got my tv-out to work under win xp and redhat. My onboard audio won't work under linux and neither will the spare sound card I had sitting around(SIIG Soundwave PCI Pro ALS4000 chipset). I checked out The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture project. I compiled the modules but I can't seem to get them to actually work. I've never been much of a kernel tinkerer, I really don't even like compiling my own modules.


I found a wierd bug involving the back button not keeping the correct history when in frames. I got the nightly build and the problem still persists. I'm going to search Bugzilla on my lunch break and figure out if it's been addressed yet. If not I'll make up some example pages to submit.


At first COBOL's restriction of certain types of statments having to be in certain columns was a pain. It's second nature now and it does insure that people will at least indent a paragraph.


My girlfriend was up for three days before she went to Newfoundland for a geology field camp. My new computer came Friday and I spent from Saturday around noon until last night around midnight fighting with it. First I found out that my 80 gig western digital didn't like being a slave so it had to go first. Then I found out that dell hadn't loaded Windows XP on the hard drive that came in the machine. There were a bunch of wierd sized partitions left from their testing, I had to use linux fdisk to delete them. I got XP installed, fought with Grub for a bit to get it to boot. It was working nicely. Then I fought with the network card for a bit under linux, got it working. I got the linux kernel module for my Nvidia card working and then got a bunch of updates from redhat. The module doesn't work under the newest kernel from redhat for 7.3 so if I want to use the newest kernel I'll have to recompile it. Guess I have a fun night tonight. First I have to pack up all the boxes and get them into the basement.

My best friends mom's computer also crapped out over the weekend. She spent fifty bucks getting another year warranty so she could talk to the tech support people. They said her windows installation was bad, I think it's conflicting hardware. They recently got a cable modem which means they had a network card installed. They had no previous problems until now. I'd say blame it on the cable company and get a new computer out of the deal. I'm going over there tonight to work on it.


Work is killing my coding performance at home. After I code all day I have no desire to code all night. It was better when I was bored out of my mind doing online training classes and then I'd have to go home and play with Java or something to keep myself from going crazy.


Ordering a new computer tonight. My parent's is beyond hope. I've ruled out everything, the only thing left is that the CPU is dead. Therefore I'll get a new computer and my parents can have mine. My parent's was giving me all kinds of wierd windows protection errors and about every blue screen it could generate. When it did work for five minutes explorer would crash with a a different DLL causing everytime.

Last week I helped my old boss out, he had a 133mhz laptop he was fixing up for a lady he knows and he couldn't get it to recognize the CD -ROM drive, it was a PCMCIA external drive. I remembered working on them before. It was just a matter of putting the right drivers in autoexec.bat and config.sys.

Also last week my friend thought his hard drive crapped out so he got a new one. When he put it in it didn't work either. I stopped over and one of the two plugs for IDE drives as working so I figured he could get a new IDE controller that would plug into an expansion slot. He got that and I went over Saturday and put it in. I then went into the BIOS to disable the IDE controller on the mother board and the primary IDE plug was already disabled. I thought this was rather wierd so I plugged it back into the motherboard and let it go and it worked perfectly. Seems wierd that something could change at random like that.

Not a good week for computers I'd say.


I have nothing to do until I meet with the users this afternoon to get them to clarify exactly what it is they want. Until then I'm polishing my VB program up a little. I ran a quick unscientific benchmark. I let my VB program run against a Microsoft Access 2000 database and a MySQL Server for 60 seconds each. Access managed to handle 14,491 inserts in the minute it had averaging 241.52 inserts per second. MySQL blew Access out of the water(big surprise) doing 29,483 inserts in a minute and averaging a whopping 491.38 inserts per second.


Works going ok, I'm still working on creating the data extract files on the mainframe. I can't get clear specs out of the users therefore I can't move on. Pretty much just tweeking code right now.


I have a meeting tonight with my Lore team. They're my two good friends Alajondro and Scrullenplast. There doing everything creative, I'm just hacking at some code. I'm almost done with Stage 1, I'm going to hopefully finish it tonight. I have to add the Command class and then loading the commands at startup into a map and then test the heck out of it. Stage 2 will be even more fun. The world will be read in using XML and player files will be read and written in XML. I have to add in more commands like navigation between rooms too. Also in Stage 2 will come passwords for MUDders and creating a new character. I need to find an open source encryption package to use. I'd use the standard crypt() command but it's not as portable as I'd like it to be. Then comes some basic security for players so people can't waltz in and type shutdown whenever they want.


All is well, self confidence is up 20%, productivity up by at least 40%. Last Sunday I did 17 miles on my bike, Monday was 18 miles with a 7mph head wind. Last night I helped out my old boss install Windows on an ancient laptop. He was having trouble getting the cdrom(PCMCIA external) to work under DOS. I also got lots of tips on investment from him, he's a cool guy.

I discovered Robocode for the first time, I gotta play with that tonight. It's hard not to try it at work but I need to stay on task...

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