Older blog entries for baruch (starting at number 32)


The MSc interview worked out fine, I've received a research position to do my MSc in which includes a stipend which hopefully keep me and my girl above the water financially.

Another large change is that I'm getting to this friend of mine. Arranging a wedding sucks! We've signed the place, which settles the date to be 2004-06-29, now we need a Photographer and a DJ. Local good recommendations would be welcome, it's our first attempt at this wedding bussiness (hopefully the last too :-)

My then-to-be-wife will try to find a job in Ireland, hopefully she'll find something so she won't be bored to death listening to me rambling on an MSc thesis that she has no interest in.


I'm usually without energy to work on anything, I've played a bit with GnuCash hacks to easily import data from my bank account to GnuCash.

I then offered to do a lecture on GnuCash for Israelis, it is dubbed "Introduction to GnuCash" and will be done in Haifux.

I've actually been invited for an interview for the MSc studies I fancied, apparently I was able to get a recommendation, though I still need to contact others to get a few more to get a critical mass.

I now need to prepare a short lecture on some research topic of sorts and then to be able to discuss it with the Prof., I've got to be thinking hard, I'm due to go there in three weeks.

Hopefully, not having to work in a full time job will give me a bit more time to dabble in Free Software, my task there will likely be related to the Linux Kernel and since it's a University and not a scared company, I might actually be able to release the source and contribute as part of my work there.


I've switched jobs some time ago, from a Linux-centric company to a Windows-centric one, there I was a good Linux developer among many, and here I'm the only Linux-savvy developer. If it's better, worse or the same is anyone judgement.

I've improved working conditions in the new place by adding kgdb to the kernel, introducing new time-saving tools (cvsps, vim plugins and more), and hoping to improve the build process.p>

There is always a lot to do to improve stuff, but I am also supposed to get some productive work too. There is little acknowledgement here to the development environment. Oh well!


An interesting oppurtunity for studying for an MSc has came up, now I need to go dig decaying memories of former professors to get recommendations. I'm not really a peoples person so I doubt I left a lasting impression on many professors to give me a good recomendation. *sigh* I'll need to do what I fear most, and actually ask for a meeting to discuss it with some of them.

It sure would be great to return to studies and doing an MSc in Computer Science. It's also an opportunity to be in another country and live someplace else. Change is good.

Free Software

Not much in this front, minor fixes to my Debian packages, a snapshot release of websec, and an attempt to write a tool to get stock exchange data from TASE. I've decided I needed to start investing some of my money in bonds and stocks, since the interest I get from the bank is very low.


I've switched a job to something less stressful and with a higher pay. I've been spoiled in my former place with a very high technical excellency and the current place has a lot to improve until it gets to the same level, but they do seem willing to learn and improve.

I also negotiated better terms to allow me to release my code as Free Software. Not that before I was severly limited, but now I do not need permission for each specific project.

Free Software

I've got a bit more time at home this days (see above), but I still don't get to do much. There is a lot pending for websec, but I didn't yet get around to doing anything with it.

At work I started working on network device drivers and needed to decipher various constants (what does 0x1f310000 mean for CSR11 in the Tulip 21143?), so I coded up BitDecoder.

Free Software

I've finally got over my procrastination tendency and actually did something Free-Software-y.

Worked on and released version 1.5.0 of websec. That felt good.

Now I need to find that person who provided patches for ChkTeX and have him resubmit them. My computer crashed some time ago and I lost everything he sent. Including his e-mails so I can't really know where to send the inquiry. He said that he is the maintainer of ChkTeX in OpenBSD so I need to go look there.

Free Software Foundation

Some time ago I joined the FSF as a member, today I received the package, it includes the book "Free Software Free Society: selected essays of Richard M. Stallman", two LNX-BBC 2.0 CDs (small and regular), and a thank you letter.

The CDs didn't boot on my Dell Inspiron 2500, which kinda sucks. The book seems nice but it looks like it could use some polish, it is printed skewed and there is not enough spacing between lines, but oh well, I got it for "free".

At the same time I also contributed to the EFF. I'm not a student anymore, and I have a bit of change to help make changes that fit my views.

Common Lisp

I'm trying to learn new things, so I picked up the book "ANSI Common Lisp" by Paul Graham. It's nice. I'm toying with lisp and it is also interesting that at work I start to see places where I could do things better with Lisp. Except that I'm working inside the Linux kernel so Lisp is out of the question.

Work is draining me, I got to the point where I worked at least 12 hours a day, add to that an hour drive in each direction and you get a life of Sleep-Work cycles. That is, No Life. At one time I actually worked the normal 9 hours on the firewall, and then at the evening they found a critical bug on a completely unrelated project that was scheduled to release that day, so I stayed for another 9 hours working on a platform I never touched before.

The day after I didn't even bother to show up to work for obvious reasons.

That was until I figured that no matter how much work I will put in, the product ship date is slipping and so are the standards that we will hold it to. I reduced my work time to 8-9 hours, and started coming earlier, 10am instead of 2pm. After all my co-worker of whom I'm in charge needs me, and I need to be able to get back home in a "normal" hour.

It still doesn't give me enough time to play with Free Software. I need to find a way to make days of 28 hours long or so.

I still have pending patches for websec and ChkTeX, my Debian packages need an update and various private interests need to be nurtured.

I did advance in implementing a Bookmarks utility, inspired by a co-worker. The idea is to have bookmarks not in an hierarchical system as the browser keeps them, but indexed by keywords. Coupled with a simple search on that database makes it easier to find the bookmarks I want.

It's still an early version, but it's working nicely.


Got a second set of patches for ChkTeX from the OpenBSD maintainer, he's really doing some serious work on it and it's good to see that giving it a home let some improvements happen for the benefit of all users.

Formerly I had some patches in the Debian package, opening a project for it in a central place makes sure that these changes will be available for all users and that others will be able to contribute too.

Now I need to go over the patches, review and commit them. And then I can go on to release 1.6.2

Gnome2 hit Debian unstable, and got loaded into my laptop. It's nice, the upgrade fscked the desktop and I dumped all my customizations. I've had so little customizations that I now consider using ion instead of the Gnome.

Converted all my mail folders to IMAP using Courier-IMAPd, it's now easier to to use multiple mailers (mutt & Evolution), while evaluating sylpheed.

Sylpheed and mutt do not handle an ampersand in a folder name, Filed a bug report for each, mutt to the upstream authors and sylpheed on Debian BTS.

At work I became master of the firewall, we develop the OS for Cable and ADSL modems and as part of a package we provide a firewall. The former keeper of the firewall left for a long vacation in India and I was made the new keeper.

As if before that I had any time, now I have even less. The guy who was supposed to work with me left for a reserve army training session of one month and left me alone to drown under the work. Another person was assigned some of the bugs, but I'm still involved in every work and all questions on the firewall flow to me.

Time juggling is an art I REALLY HAVE TO MASTER, Quick!

In addition I'm the security guy of the company, routing security notifications from various mailing lists to the BTS and doing computer security handling, such as Firewall setup, VPN issues and reviewing the logs. A busy man indeed.

Open-Source, contributed a bit to bogofilter which I started to use. Also considering to create library to handle TCP sessions emulation. It's something I need at work and I don't have the time to implement. I suggested at work that I'll create it at home under a Free-Software license (GPL), "It's under consideration".

Bram: It helps when you describe a signature scheme to say how one signs but also how one verifies the signature. Or at least provide a link to the relevant information.


Nothing accomplished Open-Source-wise, at work I was offered Team Leader job, and declined. I'm not feeling ready for the task. I'm a good coder and debugger, and possibly designer (pretty sure on the first two, the third should be judged by others), but I'm not sure about my managing skills.

Got a new computer, a Dell Inspiron 2500. It replaces my aging Desktop and is moveable from home to work to parents place when I visit.

The machine came with WinXP Hebrew preinstalled, but had an install CD of a French WinXP, installing windows in French is fun, but not my kind of fun. I asked to be sent an Hebrew or English version. Nothing yet (for a week now).

It now has WinXP and Debian GNU/Linux (sid), the Lucent modem worked easily and compiles directly to a Debian package, nice touch! X is working but I need to install the synaptics touchpad.

Working with a laptop forces me to work more with the keyboard, which is a good thing. I now have the urge to add a Shift-Arrow switching between tabs in every application. Specifically Galeon needs it. It already works in Multi-Gnome-Terminal.

Switched back from Evolution to mutt, and using bogofilter to hide the spam, stole the procmail macros from Debian to detect various types of spam (Korean, viruses and such)

Did a lot of playing, but no coding (except at work).

Debian maintainership is taking all of my Free-Software time. Due to long work hours my free time is low as it is, SO time takes most of my free time and the little I have left is ued for Debian packaging, and I'm not even up to speed on that.

I've resurrected ChkTeX, It's a nice program to check for typographical errors in LaTeX documents, it also has better errors for syntax errors. I'm the Debian maintainter for the package and fixed some bugs in it that came in as bug-reports in Debian.

The upstream author is MIA and hasn't been heard of since 1996 (or so it seems). So I set it up at Savannah, The CVS repository is supposed to be uploaded soon, or I'll redo the commits on the CVS there. I initially worked on a local CVS and asked for it to be uploaded, but it's taking time.

I've also listed it now at FreshMeat and here on Advogato.

I've also run it through valgrind and found a memory access error that caused it to crash when running on it's own manual! (Now I join the crowd: Valgrind Rules!)

Once I'll finish some extra touches such as updating the Readme, Changelog and such, I'll post the new version to CTAN

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