Older blog entries for bytesplit (starting at number 30)

22 Jun 2002 (updated 22 Jun 2002 at 07:11 UTC) »
Growing laterally and regressing instructively?

There are two things that I have noticed about the Unix and Linux world out there, unfortunately for me they both are observations that don't often cause other unix and linux users' faces to light up with excitement. First, there are way too many open source projects in relation to the number of people working on them. This is why you see tens upon tens of editors, with only a minute number actually being of real quality. I know quality when I see it, just as any computer user does. What I define as 'quality work' may be totally different than, say for example, what Joe Schmoe thinks 'quality work' means. Since a lot of people have agreed with me on my definition of 'quality work', and because it is logical to assume that if you thought about something then so too have many other people thought about the same thing, then this must be a pretty serious issue. What the Unix and Linux open source community needs, from a standpoint of continuing to bring in new users from other operating system platforms and to continue keeping existing users, is to improve upon only a handful of products. The question I hear from many people, and mind you I am much more of a Windows user at this point than a non-Windows user, is this: Why should I move to another platform when there aren't very many great products like Office 2000 and games like Madden Football 2002 can't be played on anything other than Windows (not sure about Apple products)?

The other, perhaps more persistent, gripe I have with the Unix and Linux product world is the poorly written documentation. Now, granted I don't know a lot about those products and I don't consider myself a really good writer or one that would enjoy spending hours upon hours documenting a particular operating system or product. What I do know is the documentation I have read is outdated, not really applicable to the task at hand. Okay, okay, perhaps what I am reading could be </i>slightly</i> changed to fit the task at hand, but therein lies my point. Well written documentation is both intuitive AND accurate. Sometimes, and I think this is quite funny, I get the feeling that Unix and Linux folks get an intellectual high from reading documentation that isn't straightforward. Some would call this hacking their way around, or better put "just try different things". Well, that is a suggestion I have gotten a lot and it is a poor piece of advice. There is really no reason that documentation can't be written accurately (so, one doesn't test his program throughout the stages of development either?) and intuitively (if you expect a lot of folks to have working, stable, friendly machines). Sadly, I don't think that a lot of Unix and Linux users or developers care about this. Why is there not a piece of documentation out there that gets someone's FreeBSD machine set up as a gateway, router, server and firewall? I have looked over the documentation, and since I do know how to follow instructions and I have still not satisfied my FreeBSD goals, then I firmly believe the documentation is not well written. tk, this is why I won't rescind my opinions of FreeBSD. I could care less that the founder of FreeBSD or any other developer in FreeBSD might be hurt with my posting of the truth, what really matters is the user. Until more people in the Unix and Linux world wake up and smell the coffee (I'm short on cliches), then things will continue to be status quo, we'll just continue to see more and more products of the same genre and function come out to the public, with none of them actually maturing to any great degree. Worse, the gap between Windows popularity and non-Windows popularity won't get much smaller, if at all.

Back to the topic of translating what the Unix or Linux newbie (to the operating system or to a function of the operating system) reads to what he does to his working environment. I don't need to do any guessing, nor should I have to fiddle around with settings. Just get the user's FreeBSD machine installed and configured, then let him tinker around the next time. At least he has a working machine to begin with. That alone is enough motivation to want to learn more about Unix (since I am on the topic of Unix at the moment), and who knows? Perhaps he will want to know more about a specific function of FreeBSD like firewalls. Then, assuming that he wants to write some software, perhaps he might decide to write his own version of a firewall and then later release it to the public.

Rather than look for others to agree with me, I think it is more important to encourage others to utilize their documenting skills to produce better instructions for the end user. Let's worry less about quantity of documentation, and worry more about quality of documentation. Perhaps we might be able to use a CVS of sorts in documentation. That way, when a user gets stumped, the documentation can be checked for accuracy or deprivation of detail, and the documentation will be updated so that the user and those who later read the documentation will have an easier time at installing, configuring, using and maintaining FreeBSD, or any Unix or Linux variant for that matter.

22 Jun 2002 (updated 22 Jun 2002 at 05:26 UTC) »
an online gaming project?

Well, you can't say that I don't love computer gaming. I just spent a whole freaking day trying to figure out why I can't play online with my High Heat Baseball 2003 game.

What is happening is that ultimately every game that I play online results in a lock up of both machines (me and the client, or vice versa). Here are the frequencies of where the lockups occur:

MOST: during the player introductions and the virtual panning of the baseball stadium

SOMEWHAT: the batter steps up to the plate, and guess what happens? lockup, maybe being able to get back to the desktop where with some effort I can kill the program.

RARELY: after one or two outs in the top of the first inning (I or my human opponent never make it to the bottom of the inning) the frame-rate comes to a screaching halt, eventually it looks like you are playing a high class Pentium game on a 486e computer. The end result of trying to get out of that mess is, drum roll please, a full blown lockup. Windows doesn't even need to ask me to reboot this time.

What magnifies my frustrations are this:

(a) 3DO is near or at bankruptcy at the moment, so they're not going to do squat for providing technical support. they may provide a long distance support phone number, but you won't get anything more than an assisted run down of the components on your system. More like a marketing tool than anything. And, their online support? It's useless. The questions with answers are nothing like someone having serious, mind boggling game playing troubles would experience;

(b) 3DO put out a High Heat Baseball game that should have been the patch to their last game. Looking back at the online photos they posted of their 2003 version of the game back in early spring, it turned out the photos were airbrushed, and were only photos from their 2003 version. How sad;

(c) There are so many variables that go into making an online gaming product work. You get to deal with protocols, operating platforms, DirectX versions (I think), Internet connection speeds, IP versions, Latency frequencies and intensities, on and on and on.

So, my question to myself and the rest of the open source community is this:

Is there a way to write a software product that is, to put it in a nutshell, pluggable to the games currently in existance or at least compatible with future games? You know, the software writers would just worry about the game on a single game basis, writing the game in such a way that it can take advantage of network gaming utilities?

This is something that I want to look into, hopefully the far more experienced programmers out there can offer me some pointers.

chipx86 You know, I thought we had established that out of fairness until you apologized for your actions directly and rescinded your comments about me - since you indeed were the first one to post a diary entry to www.advogato.org about the conflicts occuring elsewhere on the Internet, among other things - there is absolutely no reason for me to remove my rating of you and rescind my responses to you.

The ratings I assign are based both on how I feel someone contributes to the open source community technical-wise and personal-wise and how I feel about the person in general. Someone who strikes me as a kind person away from the open source community is one that I feel has the potential to contribute more greatly (if the technical skills are high) within the open source community.

That's really all there is to it, and I feel it is a policy that many both within and away from the open source community would adhere to. Really, I don't care to discuss this any further. I've had a pretty good week so far.</b>

got a 640x480 Argus DC2200 digital camera today

and considering the resolution the quality is really pretty good. so far the only annoying thing about the camera that i have dealt with is that the camera powers off automatically TOO soon.

i don't understand how the camera keeps in memory the photos taken, when for the moment it only has SDRAM. in computers SDRAM loses all memory when the computer is powered off. shouldn't the camera do this, too?

the next thing we're gonna' do is buy a Compact Flash Card. if this all turns out to be a lot of fun, and i can get anywhere in designing our website, then we'll upgrade to a higher resolution camera. or, maybe i can edit the photos in Photoshop to a higher resolution without any loss?

What is it like to use a digital camera?

Over on chipx86's domain, he talks about transporting pictures that he took with his digital camera onto his computer.

My fiance and I are thinking about getting a digital camera. I know that right now, it is a real pain in the butt to scan photos, rename them to something recognizable and edit them in Photoshop so that both a thumbnail image can be clicked on and a full sized photo can be viewed.

Maybe someone can write up an article on this?

Raph :: stick it where the sun doesn't shine

You remind me of that rebellious, argumentative worker I had to fire yesterday. Some people just can't resist adding broken branches to the fire, you should know something about that. If you fail to see that I have spent more time defending myself from assholes like chipx86 and tk, then there really is nothing I can do to help your sorry excuse of an ass.

Yeah, you go ahead and design the "trust metric", you can't even design your website to handle more than three or so client requests at a time. Um, yeah, sure it is somebody continuously pinging your site. You're incompetent.

Go f*ck yourself.


gotta' wonder about this one. let's just say there is good reason that BSPIE has a low cert. i don't care what mine is. it isn't important what my cert is :)

you just never know

when sickness can hit your beloved pet. i took Daisy to the vet tonight, and she has a very large fatty tumor inside her back left leg. funny how i never noticed it before, but if you turn her over onto her back, there is the gigantic lump. the vet says the tumor it needs to be removed before it causes problems with urination, damages the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of her leg, or just becomes so bad that she has to have her leg amputated. now, i don't know how many other pet owners would put their dog through the pain, suffering and partial loss of independance that comes from the amputation of a limb, but i would never do that to Daisy. i hate to play God, but i prefer to remember her as "my little girl". sure changes the perspective of things, considering the idiocy from this minor nuisance off the Internet. The nuisance isn't really worth talking about. I'll let you decide :)

man, is this fun or what?

it gets more interesting by the minute. i could have sworn that SOME of us actually do have things to do in terms of contributing to open source (refer to the thread that i started on the main page as my own way of encouraging the open source movement), but lately i guess that the ones that continue to add fuel to this whole saga between me and one other person, just don't have anything further to contribute. looking at the accounts of those unsung heroes of the "feed the brushfire gang", that just about sums it up.

anyway, i don't look at all this as a way of people having fun with bytesplit's name, i look at it as just a select group of idiots who can't help but to show that THEY don't know what they are talking about. dobey, please explain to the rest of us what you mean by "...starts making a complete mockery of everything that he knows nothing about...". either you're short on morals or just can't see the truth even if it has dropshadowing and the color red added to it. wow, a wacky sense of humor, eh? i trust that you can gather that.

Ishamael , a valuable lesson for ya: perhaps you might want to look at a dictionary or directory of slang terms to learn what 'nosh' means. wait, you are 12 years old, right? you seem like it, anyway. I mean, Ishamael, if you can't provide the rest of us with some contribution to the open source community << OR >> the full truth to what you say (and that is with the assumption that you did your homework), then save us the bandwidth. m'kay? refer to the front page for a thread that i started, and the fact that i actually participated in the conversation...even if my knowledge on the particular subject at hand was meek at best. then again, that is why i started the thread, to get that knowledge. what have you done? no, no, no, i don't hate you Ishamael. i don't hate anyone. unlike you, i wouldn't dream of trying to destroy someone and start brushfires because i don't like them. i try to reason with people that i don't understand. unfortunately, all too often, it turns out that some can't be reasoned with on a an adult level. now, i'm speaking in generality here, you'll have to decide if that applies to you, Ishamael. you will know that better than i. take care.

on to ... Perrier!!! yo, man, wuz'zup? glad to see that you are an expert writer :) keep up the good work. but, seriously, that isn't why you are here, is it?

Hmm, do I see someone talking about himself in the third person?

No, tk, you see someone who originally came to advogato.org to respond to someone else's childish games of slander. in the midst of protecting one's own name (that would be me), some other childish fellows ("tk" is the first example i can think of) saw it fit to try and polish his own tarnished name by adding his own fuel to the fire. i won't argue with you any further on this, tk, i expect you to react similarly.

Ishamael, YOU nosh the hell off

before you go ranting about me telling newcomers not to listen to certain folks, how about taking it upon yourself to do some investigating first?

if you want to believe the illogic and unbelievable, then you are most certainly not better than i am. perhaps i can help you out a bit here by referring you to tk site where he first put up a something, telling others to ignore me.

i am known as a very fair person, by both people on this site and off. who they are is not important to you, their opinion is. and, i like to keep it that way. you treat me like shit, you'll get it right back!

some people on this site seem more interested in starting brushfires than contributing to the open source community. that is all that i will say about it. unless, of course, someone else wishes to act like a baby, too. then, i will point out that person, too.

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