Older blog entries for Wheat (starting at number 107)


I used my "Yahoo! Wallet" to purchase CodeWeavers wine plug-in. I installed it without too much trouble, and now I can play QuickTime movies on my computer. Nice. Except the sounds is all messed up. Sounds like this, "phbhpbpbpbpbpptbtbbtbt". So I go to their FAQ support page, and it says, "search for via82cxxx_audio in the output of lsmod". Which means my onboard sound chip is crap/and or poorly supported. I need to get a decent sound card.

The terrorist attack

What a horror show! It's on like, every channel, and even Slashdot was covering only the event. Seinfeld reruns were pre-empted yesterday and then halfway through today's Seinfeld episode they switched to more of that damned news. They didn't even have anything new to say. Just pre-empted my reruns for no good reason. And all those pictures! Keep surfing pic collections of the event, photos of business men in suits bleeding and covered in ash. Photos at night, with the wreckage that makes New York look like some post-nuclear wasteland. And reading all the comments. Everyone has comments. So much commentry.

Jerry Pournelle has published some fairly extremist stuff on his mail page. Lot's of talk about war. I don't understand why there are so many Americans who love war so much. Comments like the following are fairly typical: "We know there are several terrorist groups who wish to do this to us. We know which countries harbor and support them. We are at war with those countries. Let us begin with Libya, Sudan and Afghanistan, and go on from there." Probably somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 people were killed. On an average day, over 40,000 people die from world hunger. 20% of the world's people consume 80% of the earth's resources. Folks clamoring to go to war to "protect" this way of life. Some more rhetoric: "A simple solution would be as follows: all natural resources, world-wide, should be taken over by the civilized nations."

The attack was fueled by hatred for the USA. Bringing the terrorists to justice, and retalition on the terrorists, fair enough. But all this talk about war, and "making an example of the country that harboured such criminals". I don't get this. I don't understand this. "An eye for an eye" is just "That was so bad, we should do it to. Only more, coz we're Americans and we are bigger and badder and more powerful!" When innocent people are killed in acts of revenge, this is only going to fuel more anti-American hatred.

I don't know. People are pretty wired right now, and understandably so, I suppose. Just look at the crazy noise that ESR is spewing. Totally wired and all fight.


Sunday. Spent the day reading comments on different linux web sites. First Slashdot, the Linux.com, and then finally MaximumLinux.org. "Linux rulez. Down with the evil OS empire." Well, it's something to do on a sunday i guess. I also packed up my stuff for the forthcoming move and did some cleaning. Then I thought, wow, I haven't posted to advogato in a long time, so i should go there and write about how i did some cleaning and i like, surfed the web n' shit.

I've been struggling with "relational" databases at work. MySQL doesn't have a UNION statement, so you need to create a temporary table to achieve the same effect. Hrm.

Z SQL Methods have their own cache settings seperate from the RAM Cache Manager. Which is no fun. I submitted a feature request for that. My contribution to open source for the week, "give us more features!"

Oh yeah, I also tried out EasyTag, a really cool ID3 tag editor. This way when I pull down albums from audio galaxy, I can go to a site like discogs.com and get the track data and add it. Then all my songs are easily sortable in iTunes. Except EasyTag seems to have trouble writting tags to certain mp3s. Maybe it has something to do with ID3 v2?


so, like, well. long time no visit eh? first my net was like, uh, my browser was all ... so then i come back and it's all like code red! well, uh so yeah ...

i moving somewhere. gave notice. going looking for places tomorrow with john. we're trying to find a house. the rental market isn't so great, but we find something anyways. got to live somewhere.

also, zope is cool.


This evening my stomach is churning from cookies and apple juice and too much coffee.

By random draw, I was selected to do the developer talk this Friday. I just did a Zope talk the week before, so now I got to talk about something else. Python I guess. The more I program in Python, the more I like it. It's a good language. Good clean code.

It's the 11th today. I think I am going to give notice on the 15th. Move somewhere cheaper. Got to get cheaper rent so I can work in a Union and not go bankrupt. Either that or take up stealing ...

Nut bars and sickos

Ordered Jagged Alliance 2 from Tribsoft the other day, after I finally got my Linux box set-up for gaming and played a few hours of good old Myth 2 on it. Must game! Must game!

At work and at home I switched from a handful of Jed terminals to Xemacs. Apparently, there's two version of emacs out there: xemacs and emacs. Which everyone I talk to seems to know already. The Xemacs is a little better feature-wise. You can share with RMS but you can't co-operate with him.

Emacs is great with Zope. FTP into your database, and edit away! I've installed a dtml-mode and a wiki-mode too. Spent some time looking at emacs-lisp. All those parens! Spent many work hours trying to tweak the editor. Staring at those (()()()). The GUI for emacs still drives me crazy. It's like cut-n-paste on linux. It just doesn't work right. But the customizability is damn nice, if you go a few days (weeks, years?) to kill to learn the ropes.

I miss BBEdit with it's bookmarks for regexes and FTP sites and it's oh-so-sweet GUI for the multi-file search and replace tool.

More CMF fun

The CMF gets more fun to hack on every day. The Python really grows on you, it's fun, fun to code in. Played with the workflow stuff today. Tried out the DCWorkflow system. I just wanted to have objects on the intranet get a published status automatically, but this entailed learning the basics of a whole system, which turned a simple 15 minute job into a whole afternoon task. But the workflow stuff will come in handy if/when we implement more publishing on the public site.


Stayed up late, late last night, reading, reading. Martin Amis's memoir, Experience.

I was a bit of a wreck at work. In the afternoon I couldn't stop yawning. It was the physical presence of pizza and pop in the afternoon that did. IRC was hilarious fun, going on like geeks, trying to kill a monday afternoon:

Hugo: MMMMMMMM  markers!!

Jellybean: Because kibosh is a fat bastard.

kibosh: damn straight.

WheatGSC: Damn straigt!

kibosh: heheh


WheatGSC: Hugo is a flaco bastard.

* kibosh smacks hugo

Doviende: what's so great about chiliware?

kibosh: whap!

WheatGSC: Flaco!

Hugo: better yet....CHILIWARE BABES!

kibosh: Hugo is drunk.

Don't know what to do about this "Dublin Core" in the CMF. I like it, but I want objects to have keywords and a category. So I have to try and figure out if I'm supposed to extend the DC or if I should just tack that attribute onto the objects that need a category.

Mmmm, CVS CMF Wiki. The wiki is nice, I'm using it with Emacs, which I quite like. Writting views for the home page, like most recently modified document object - that's going to be cool.


I am using the Content Mangement Framework (CMF) for Zope extend and build the GSC intranet. It's mostly coming along nicely. The CMF has lots of workable parts now - sections are still developing and changing, but there are many parts of it that work. Except calling Python code that calls DTML Methods. This doesn't work. I spent all Friday figuring on it, but I'm still not sure if I just need to pass the namespace in explicitly or if there is a bug in the code. Perhaps I should have left standard_html_header and footer written in DTML, but Python code is fun, much cleaner and readable for logic. But large chunks of HTML aren't nice in Python, so I left them as DTML. Which is where the tricky bit with the namespaces reared it's ugly head.

On the bud.ca front, I've totally broken the site. I rm -rf'ed the Products that are used to do Membership authentication, and now I can't seem to get authorization to access any of the objects in the bud folder. Hoo-boy! I had planned on migrating to CMF anyways, so for now I am installing a fresh CVS copy and hacking and tinkering with that.


It is summer. This realization happens on the weekends, when you can go outside during the day, instead of working. It's very sunny. Not too warm yet though, nice weather for lounging in the yard on a lawn chair and reading Martin Amis's memoir, "Experience", which is quite good.

Friday night was exciting and exhausting. The pool hall, then the strip club and then The Blarney Stone. Art telling Justin and I about the russian game called stoneface (or stonewall?). Wisely, the drinking was limited to just beer. The Blarney Stone was smelled strongly of many flavours of perfume. Quite a different smell from last weeks humid and green-smoked Sonar. Two weekends in a row where I was asked for id, and I showed them my work photo ID, explaining, "it's all I got on me." Look It's got my picture on it! I'm 28, dammit. Next time I'll try not to forget my drivers licence at home so I don't have to repeat the ridiculous charade yet again at the door.

Script (Perl)

Finished up 1.0b6 of Script (Perl), because TTW is more fun. Spent the evening playing with actual Perl code in Zope. Integration between Perl and Zope still has rough edges. Why doesn't %REQUEST = %{$self->{'REQUEST'}} work for instance? There's no bindings for Perl Scripts either. Harumph. The external Perl Methods work good though. Hopefully we can get some good use out of those at work. Maybe I can figure out this code enough that I can get the scripts working better. Maybe I should just code more in Python. It's mostly a better language anyways ... not as ugly. Sometimes ugly is good.

"It's all good."

Spent the morning playing with my Eterms. Put in some tinting and shading and nice backgrounds. Got a couple Eterms that are full screen now - I can Ctrl-P between terms and it's just like changing the desktop background. Kind of fun.

VA Linux and flowers: this makes a nice Eterm background.

Friday Night

I'm not even going to go into detail about Friday night. It was just too much. The less said about Friday night, the better. It was fun though. I want my Saturday back.


And then I prepared to install a Python/MySQL interface. And it didn't work. And I tried and tried to get it to work and the damn thing just wouldn't work. Something funny going on with the character sets.

Work continues at the GSC. I can't say enough good things about it. It's good work, honest work, hard work. Enjoyable and challenging. I have finished my first project. A web summary of recent "runs" done by the seven sequencing machines in the lab. It's all very similar technology to what I'm used to, but everything is different too: perl instead of python, mysql instead of postgres, red hat instead of debian.

The atmosphere is co-operative. There are few hard deadlines, yet we all work very hard to accompish as much as quality work as quickly as possible. They could bring in CEO's of software companies and charge them $4,000 a day. Teach them how to run their development teams more efficiently.


So the launch party didn't go so well. But Lindsay and Jay have launched, and visitors are starting to come in. Slowly, as word of mouth builds at first, hopefullly in greater number as the site gains momentum. Good luck guys!


13 May 2001 (updated 5 Jun 2001 at 04:17 UTC) »

I battled with the network, but it won Connections got lost, messages got scrambled and the operating systems had bugs.

I will keep working on it and one day ...


I have started work at the Genome Sequence Centre, which falls under the auspices of the BC Cancer Agency. We've got a computer lab, populated largely by computation biologists. Then there's a regular biology lab with sequencers and other machines and test tubes and I haven't really looked around it that much but I suspect that they have bunzen burners.

Work looks like it should be quite enjoyable. The databases are complex and there is a massive flow of data and problems. I have started work on the sequence database front end - it generates reports and historgrams based on the performance of the sequencing machines.

Mehrdad works there - I'm going to kill him :)

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