Older blog entries for berend (starting at number 181)

8 Nov 2003 (updated 8 Nov 2003 at 06:38 UTC) »

Well, that was the week of fixing things. Decided to upgrade Postgres from 7.1.3 to 7.3.3 on our ensim box. I needed the new set returning functions. On Saturday night, tired and slightly under influence, I did a quick check If someone was using Postgres. Nobody apparently, the database appldb just looked like some example Postgres database. So I did rm -rf *. Wooha, ensim uses Postgres to store information about the virtual sites that are running on the box!!.

On Monday I had to restore the database, luckily that was possible because I could read the installation scripts they had in their rpms. I could reverse engineer how the database structure looked like and what it contained.

That meant, I was late to finish the Eiffel Struggle CGI's. And that was sort of the rest of the spare hours I had that week.

Yesterday, I saw the final part of the Matrix. This review sums up a lot of my feelings. There is also a guy who understands the meaning of this film:

Ultimately Neo, Morpheus, the rebel alliance, essentially ... In a lot of ways they're the bad guys. You see, they're fucking everything up. The come into our "Society" blow shit up.

Yes, he wrote that. And posted it.

Cause problems. Get all violent and shit. Do little hit and run missions. Neo is for his people ... basically, he's Bin Laden living in a cave somewhere...

9/11 was a "little hit and run mission," eh. Noted. Should stay out of America for a while so Neo can utterly destroy those nasty machines.

and the Machines? they're drilling to put a stop to it all. Now, the problem is the only person that can put a stop to "The War" on Terrorism are the terrorist.

Amen brother. Dead to the Machines^H^H^H^H^H^H^HAmericans!

And raph, you can still send in your entry for the Krugman Gotcha Contest! You would think that Enron would have been enough for Krugman, but alas. He's still advising the government. Luckily this time, noone listens.

And it seems even the Democrats are now voting for Bush. What has happened to the party that has produced such great men and presidents? I'm absolutely at a loss why the Angry Left has such an unduly influence in the Democratic party.

4 Nov 2003 (updated 4 Nov 2003 at 20:41 UTC) »

Also funny, Dems see God in photo.

30 Oct 2003 (updated 30 Oct 2003 at 05:40 UTC) »

The last time I've gotten a few emails with disclaimers in them. I did see them in the past, but they were never directed at me. I've gotten into the habit of replying that I cannot accept emails that forbid me to copy or store or whatever to do with the email. And am I the intended recipient? People might have misspelled an email address. A disclaimer is stupid anyway. So I urge everyone to do the same: just refuse to answer email with disclaimers, and return it to the recipient.

Did some interesting work on xplain2sql. Postgress stored procedure output is now really good. Previously getting a result set from a cursor was perhaps impossible from ODBC. It was already a pain in the command-line tool. But I found new functionality in Postgress 7.3. They call it set returning functions, and they work fine in ODBC. This improved came as I was writing the CGI programs for the jury of the Eiffel Struggle and detected that my previous approach either did not work, or was not very intuitive. Perhaps I should release a new alpha or so of xplain2sql targeted at Postgress SQL users.

Implemented an MD5 output stream for the Pipeworks stuff I ported to Gobo. Not trivial to code if you have Eiffel compilers that don't allow integer overflow or don't have unsigned bit shifts.

An update, just read this on the recent postings:

Incidentally, [econopundit] cites Krauthammer claiming that "Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.". K got it wrong. Liberals think that (so-called) conservatives are crooks, toadies, and dupes. (Mostly dupes, of course.)

That pretty much proves Krauthammer's point. If people are liberal, they are crooks and whatever. I suggest to lock them up in a labor camp, a gulag in Alaska or so. That seems to be the solution favored by the commies in history.

Ten days before my Eiffel Struggle judging applications need to be ready. Want to have a database where judges cannot delete a thing, or at least where there is an audit trail of everything.

chalst, that "hatchet job" has been done by econopundit.

haruspex wrote:

Oh, we'll get to that point, berend: it's just a matter of when. Oil is a finite resource and I don't see any downward trend in consumption, do you?

Toby, that prediction goes right into my bin with the predictions that if the number of people with telephones grew at the then current rate, everyone would be employed at the phone switchboards. Or that the streets of Paris would be full of horse shit if the number of horses and people kept on growing. Of course we got computers to do the switching and Paris got automobiles. Or the prediction in the sixties that by 2000 twenty million would die of starvation in the United States. Of course, 30 million died of starvation, in China, in the sixties. If there's no oil, there's always hydrogen.

From personal experience I can add the prediction, in the 80s, made in The Netherlands that in ten years 4/5 of all trees there would be dead or seriously sick. Sorry, but hasn't happened. And the green loonies lost another disillusioned member.

I suggest you read "The Sceptical Environmentalist". But I have to warn you, this book can have a significant impact. This guy originally set out to proof a sceptic wrong: that all those figures released by Green Peace, Earth First, and you know it, were right indeed. But after researching the facts and figures, he turned around:

We are not running out of energy or natural resources. There will be more and more food per head of the world's population. Fewer and fewer people are starving. In 1900 we lived for an average of 30 years; today we live for 67. According to the UN we have reduced poverty more in the last 50 years than we did in the preceding 500, and it has been reduced in practically every country.

This is not a book with "all is well". Things are better than they were: there is less hunger, poverty, and so on than 50 years ago. But things are not necessarily good.

Keep in mind that all those doom and gloom predictions is a big industry. Green Peace is doing 120 million US a year, with a market capitalization of around 360 million. Their directors earn 300,000 US a year. That is serious money.

On another front: I went to the ACT party conference in Auckland. Great to see all the MPs personally and shake their hands. Good speeches. Now the task to get the message accross the nation: ACT isn't about taking things away, but letting anyone rise to their full potential. Nanny state doesn't know best. For me personally, ACT is the closest to a conservative party in NZ. National is just Labour, the differences are small.

16 Oct 2003 (updated 16 Oct 2003 at 00:26 UTC) »

Weather is fantastic right now. Spring has truly arrived!

Raph might want to read something else than Paul Krugman:

A threat to the nation is being vastly exaggerated. The president, it is claimed, must take draconian countermeasures against the deadly enemy immediately -- an enemy that a powerful ideological faction has had in its crosshairs for years. To build public support for action, intelligence reports are being "sexed-up" to make the enemy seem stronger. Yes, there are seeming disclaimers that the threat is not "imminent" -- yet the message is crystal clear: the republic is in grave danger, and we must act before it becomes too late to act.

Am I talking about Paul Krugman's version of the Bush administration's build-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq? No, I'm referring to Paul Krugman's own campaign of lies, exaggerations, and sexed-up intelligence designed to fool the American people into thinking that America's federal budget deficit is a deadly threat.

I don't like deficits, but I don't like Krugman either. If every prediction spewed forth by greenist and leftists were true we would have no oil and 50 billion people on the planet or so.

OK, a data dump. What I would like is that advogato does not lump all entries for a date together. Especially as there is only one correct date, probably Berkeley or so. Rather I would have a date+time.

I released eposix 1.9.4, the first beta for the 2.0 release. Still want to have a separate manual with the flat-short form of the classes. And the Unicode string to C zero-terminated pointer should work fine. That should be it.

Nice that Slashdot was really quick to place my dead-line approaching for the Eiffel Struggle 2003 article. Need to get finish my application to process the entries. And perhaps we need more judges? We had a lot of publicity for this struggle. Even DDJ reported about it.

Saw Nemisis. Should have seen it in the cinema. The best Next Generation by far in my honest opinion. All the real things that make Star Trek great were present. Unfortunately it contained a scene between Riker and Troi that will make it unsuitable for my children. I should check if there is a plugin for xmms that allows me to play a DVD while skipping certain sections. Children imitate everything they see, that's how they learn. Daddy doesn't want to explain yet what's happening in that scene. I've less problems with the violence. I don't find blowing up a starship very problematic. That kind of violence is far removed from daily reality. Things like Rambo are much closer to reality: feal threatened? Blow it up. That's not exactly the approach and example I want to give. So no toy guns in the house. Shooting people isn't fun. Although it might sometimes be necessary. But it's not something kids should feel comfortable with.

I also decided to see Terminator a while ago. You can guess why. Hadn't seen it before. Indeed a powerful movie. Can imagine why it became a cult hit.

And Raph, voters are not dumb and have not lost their mind. I get friggin' irritated when the left accuse voters of being to stupid to vote. Yeah right. We need only Ein Partei after all. And a single Fuhrer. Protect the 90% Americans more stupid than the enlightened left against themselves by abolishing democracy! If people cannot distinguish between a score on a contrived test versus wisdom, give me those stupid voters please. They raise their kids, pay their taxes, and don't spend all their time blocking roads, burning flags, or writing self-lefteous posts.

I am delighted with the response of nu.nl. I reacted to an article where they accussed Sharon of war crimes and of initiating the Intifada. I quoted to them an article from Honest Reporting:

... it is now common knowledge that Arafat planned his new war prior to Sharon's visit, as Al-Ayyam, the Palestinian Authority daily newspaper reported (December 6, 2000):

"Speaking at a symposium in Gaza, Palestinian Minister of Communications Imad el-Falouji confirmed that the Palestinian Authority had began preparations for the outbreak of the current intifada from the moment the Camp David talks concluded, this in accordance with instructions given by Chairman Arafat himself."

They said to me that their goal was to give facts, not interpretations. And removed ten paragraphs of crap from the article.

MSNBC also seems to have seen the light:

Well, I for one have had enough of it. And if you want to see misleadingly negative stories about Iraq, turn the channel, because we are going to be giving you the ?Real Deal? on Iraq every night. You are going to learn about the schools being built, about the hospitals being open, about how Iraqis really feel about Americans, and the positive poll numbers that other networks are hiding.

I especially love this part:

This thing, to put it in perspective, has gone like grease lightning compared to all those other wars. You have a plan in four months, instead of four years, like the Marshall Plan. You got the schools open. You have a provisional government in here. They are going to write a constitution in the next six months. We are not telling a Pollyannaish story.

But of course, good news from Iraq, we can't let that happen! Blow up the reporters who dare to bring that news. And let's concentrate on the real enemy, Bush (Howard Dean). Speaking on that, just search for "real enemy" on Google and you will temporarily forget who blew up 3000 Americans in the greatest terrorist attack in human history. If I was Osama, I would take a rest. The Americans will blow each other to pieces real soon now. Just listen to the sane voice of amars: rich, white, illiterate, drug-addicted, warmonger, it goes on and on. Bought his way into the White House. Yeah, democracy is dead in America, let's grab the guns!

mrorganic, Eiffel is my favorite language. And what major package isn't written in C? What reality do you live in? Most software is still written in Cobol or Visual Basic. You might not encounter a lot of other software on your Linux machine, but it rarely has to do with suitability. Many choose C over C++ for example, because C is easier to bind/use in other languages as Python or Perl.

Given up on porting FireBird 1.0.3 to FreeBSD. What a mess. The 1.5 release seems to be near, but can't find a source code release. Let's just wait.

Finished and uploaded a proof of concept NT service in Eiffel. Nice trick. Now the library that will make it easy for everyone.

Perforce now has a Visual Client. That's great stuff. I still used the Windows client a lot, because certain things are just easier with a GUI. Moving all files in a directory to a different changelist is easier with the command-line, but just moving that single file is easier with the GUI. And now I've a visual client on Unix as well. Works good, but seems a fair lot slower than the Windows client.

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