Older blog entries for cactus (starting at number 20)

Spring's coming and I won't be able to see it

The above quote is the punch line of an old story about the power of art: an old blind beggar begs for money from an artist, and instead of some change, he writes him something on a paper and says it will bring him more money. Some months pass by, and they meet again, and the beggar asks him what he's written on that paper since his income has tripled since he keeps showing it, and the artist tells him all he's written on it, is "Spring is coming, and I won't be able to see it".

I have no idea why I decided to begin with that.

It's official: I'm smarter than my computer. Netscape crashed on me the last time I was writing my diary entry and had to start over, so this time I'm typing this to an Emacs buffer and copying it over to the browser.

  • Spent yesterday quite easy: we (me and András) basically just had a good time in the city, and I bought Broken Sword, a couple-years old adventure game for a low-low-low price. The weather was really splendid, so we spent some hours in a park (I learned some basics of photography).

  • Broken Sword crashes on me with an out-of-memory error always at the same spot (obviously, it's at the beginning of the game), if someone might be able to help, I can be more specific.

  • The gdk_pixbuf API transition of gnome-libs went quite smooth, all the issues remaining are with gnome-animator (can I safely write to the frames/pixbufs returned by accessor functions, or are they read-only?) and the PixBuf canvas item (I haven't figured out yet how to do libart affine transformations on a GdkPixbuf -- I guess you should somehow make an ArtPixBuf from a GdkPixbuf)

  • Began testing of the person managment/diary entries part of Solidus.

  • I restarted Blade Runner, and already found alternative ways. Maybe this "replay value" stuff turns out not to be bullshit after all.

  • I should begin learning tomorrow. But don't bet on it

  • Disturbing open source power play I shouldn't be talking about. Can ruin your whole day. 'nuff said.

Spring Break!

Finally, the winter has ended! Just like I predicted, I managed to fail the neuroanatomy pre-exam. Just like the other 80% of all students, so it's not as bad as it may sound. On another note, the weather has turned great (the radio says it's going to be 27 degress Celsius tomorrow) and we have the whole week off, so I spent a lot of time reading by the Danube.

I spotted Blade Runner at a bargain computer games store and decided to give it a try. Short summary: WOW! It's also a lot of fun as it brings back memories of green^H^H^H^H^Hthe time I first got the Blade Runner fever. I also began re-reading the sequel.

  • Movies of the Week: I watched Toy Story 2 and was delighted to see some jokes not targeted at children. I liked its trailer very much, so I also watched Life is but a whistle, but I was a bit disappointed: it seems like the director is very good at building suspense and complicated situations with exciting characters, but doesn't quite know what to do with the intense settings.

  • Place to frequent: András showed me a great non-stop pencake house that's not even far either. Somehow, I liked the place instantly, and their pencake's not bad either. Gotta burn some money there.

  • Back to nature: About ten of us from the university organized a trip to a well-known Hungarian hiking place, the Rám canyon, which is great because it has that Indiana Jones-feeling: you have to jump from rock to rock and climb on iron chains above the river, and since the rain felt the day before, we got very mucky from head to toe. So, it was a lot of fun. However, it was kinda sad seeing nearly everyone bringing his/her girlfriend/boyfriend and me being the only lonely one among them.

  • GNOME stuff: Right now, I'm fixing libgnomeui HEAD to work with the latest gdk_pixbuf. I should finish it tomorrow, since it's already 1 AM here and I'd like to go shopping tomorrow (oh man, how I hate buying clothes)
    • Movie of the Week: This Friday, I watched Buena Vista Social Club. I was quite worried I'd get bored to death since I don't know anything about either the music or Ry Cooding (who is this guy, anyway?). However, after about two minutes, I knew I'll enjoy it: the music is just great (must... get... soundtrack...) and the people protrayed are simply fabilous.
    • Party stuff: Just the usual let's-do-nothing-but-feel-good kind of stuff. Watched Scream from video (no movie is scary after 4AM and lots of drinks). The downside was getting home at 9am and having to learn neuroanatomy in the afternoon... I think I'm gonna fail on the pre-exam on Tuesday. Which gets me to the
    • University stuff: there's a Biophysics competition on which you can win not having to pass the exams. It was very easy compared to what I tought it would be like. I have every chance to have made it.
    • Solidus update: It's both coming along nicely and becoming horrible. It's really improving since I have written the first module for it now (user managment) and some nice utility functions like removing forbidden HTML tags and closing open ones in user-submitted content (thanks to our beloved Cat for the idea). However, to get it do something so I can marvel at it, I had to do some ugly shortcuts in the code, thus some site-specific stuff got into the backend classes. Oh well, guess it'll be ready in 1-2 weeks and finished in 1-2 months :)

    I think when I have nothing important to tell the world, I should be allowed to write about things probably noone cares about: what has happened to this Spring? It's April, yet it's been raining for three days, the traffic in Budapest has simply broken down (because of the river's water level rising because of more rain...). When I add up, I have spent more than 3.5 hours in the car today. This is so very not funny. Besides, it makes me sleepy when it's dark all day long. Not to mention that I should be learning now. Life definitely shows its sucky side these days.

    Since I need some clever CGI applications for my secret project, I decided to try my luck at writing a somewhat-general, somewhat-specific system in C++ (it will be aimed heavily towards doing as much off-line as it can, since the machine I intend to run it on has very limited resources). Of course first I looked at mod_virgue (the backend of some unheard noname site, Avocado or what...), but decided that learning it's system enough to do the custom changes I'd need wouldn't take fewer time than writing my own lame system. So expect to see Solidus popping up somewhere in a couple of weeks.

    Nothing much else happened the last week... Maybe deleting my Secret Project note after someone noticing it and asking me about it on a Hungarian Linux mailing list wasn't such a good idea after all.

    • TypeSpeed is one hell of a fun game! Unfortunately, the code is rather ugly, I'm afraid I'll have to rewrite large portions of it to even do simple things like word catalogs not having to reside in /usr/share/games/typespeed (I hate having to put custom files to system-wide directories)
    • I find it rather amusing how after using Advogato for some time, you begin to feel the urge to post more and more personal stuff. No, I'm not posting personal stuff yet, but I'm beginning to feel the urge:)
    • I wonder how my life would improve if I changed my name to e-Cactus (or maybe iCactus)
    • Watched the Oscar party yesterday (I had to tape it because of the timezone differences): it was a good excuse not to learn one single minute. And today, I fell asleep at 3 PM... Neuroanatomy is not looking any good...
    • The stats on the GNOME I18N page is very bogus I think: the percentage of translation is computed from the number of translation entries in the .po files, but what if some strings are deliberately not translated? I noticed this when doing EOG and not translating things like "1:1" etc

    Netscape crashed on me when hitting Preview, so I'm writing this for the second time now...

    I'm quite dizzy now, since a friend of mine had a party yesterday from 8 PM to 8 AM (approximately). We got rather drunk quite fast, and decided to watch a half-art half-humourous Hungarian movie on video (why you'd want to watch an art flick in such a state is beyond me now). Someone found a cheap-with-lots-of-gore-and-freak zombie video, Braindead: it was the first zombie B-movie I've ever seen. It was a lot of fun (you can't help laughing when the protagonist begins to slash 'em zombies with a lawn-mower, not to mention the kung-fu fighting priest...)

    Got up at 2 PM, needless to say, my entire day is ruined. And I tought I'd finally get to learn some neuroanatomy this weekend..

    Decided to fight total uselessness and made the Hungarian translation for Eye of GNOME.

    Well, I've been lazy^H^H^H^Hlearning the past weeks (we have these weird and useless pre-exams this time of the year), so very little actual coding was done.

    I went to a lot of movies: I saw `American Beauty' and `Being John Malkovich'. While the first is a really wonderful movie, the second one simply blew my mind away. It's very funny, but at the same time very dark: most of the time you're laughing really hard, but feel ashamed at the same time because an analogous real-life situation would be so painful. Oh, and I also went to see two Hungarian short movies, since the Hungarian Movie Festival was about a month ago.

    I've posted some Nautilus screenshots, you might find them useful if you need to showcase Nautilus somewhere quickly.

    Compiled the WiaW MDI sample from libgnomeui. Man, I knew it would suck, but had no idea how much! However, I think writing to the gnome-dev list would be useless (there's already a thread about it with about 100 messages and very little actual content). In case you don't have gnome-libs HEAD but are curious, there's a screenshot here (note how the WM decoration of the toplevel window varies from the MDI children...)

    The guys at #linux.hu decided to have a weekly real-life meeting every Friday, and yesterday was the 4th. I was ambiguous about it, since most of the #linux.hu residents are cluebies and lamers who've never contributed a single line of code to anything. However, it turned out to be a lot of fun, so I stayed until about 4am (feeling a bit dizzy today...)</a>

    This entry is only here to let you know that in case you're interested in Bonobo, you can find my struggling efforts to eventually produce something nice and working as a sample for a speech I'll probably have about Bonobo on a Hungarian Linux conference here. The version number will not be bumped, so keep an eye on the file modification date.

    Here's a short summary of what I did the last few days: I've committed my gnome-terminal patch to CVS (it's in the for-zvt-2 branch, since it uses zvt from gnome-libs HEAD), it includes logging functionality, but not UI support. NotZed showed me an experimental code snippet adding libglade support to Gnome-Terminal, I should integrate it with the real thing when I have the time.

    I've made GnomeAbout use gtkrc to set the colors; this may mean your GnomeAbout suddenly looking lame. Maybe I should commit a gtkrc patch as well.

    Since Miguel's not available for the Hungarian Linux Conference this Spring (so he told me), I've evaluated the possibility of doing a presentation about Bonobo. So I decided to write some Hello Worlds with Bonobo, I'll put the results here. I think I'm already in love with Bonobo!

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