Older blog entries for claudio (starting at number 99)

23 Aug 2001 (updated 23 Aug 2001 at 18:50 UTC) »

A long time since I posted something here.

  • Got my Masters degree, and added the title to my user name. That's the only thing it will be good for, anyway :)
  • It seems that some misguided master certified me as master. Or someone took the M.Sc. too seriously. Either that, or the cert algorithm is severily broken.
  • Cross-platform madness: played with Sarien in Linux running in PPC, IA64 and S/390, Atari MiNT, m68k Mac with MPW, OS/2 DART and DIVE with EMX, 16-bit DOS with Turbo C++ 3.01, Nano-X on Unix and AmigaOS with DICE C. Fixed a ton of portability bugs in the process. The Make utilities used: GNU make, Borland make, MPW make and DICE make. A PalmOS port using prc-tools is on the works. Also added some interesting features to the game engine: mouse support and high-resolution mode (since the background pictures are stored in a vectorial format). See the screenshots.
  • Still in the "cross-" department, built a few RPM-packaged cross-compilers and cross-development libraries for Conectiva Linux. It seems that cross-building to S/390 is hopelessly broken with gcc 2.95.3 -- let's see if 3.01 is any better.
  • Got a new pair of thick glasses. Boy, I thought this myopia would stop a couple of years ago! Now a peripapillary atrophy has been diagnosed. Ick! OTOH, I ordered a flat panel TFT monitor to make my poor eyes happier. Set up my X server in a non-xinerama, dual screen multihead layout, and now it explodes with no apparent reason. Hmm.
  • Upgraded my slow 333 MHz K6-II to a slow (by today's standards) 500 MHz K6-II!
  • Upgraded my slow 100 MHz Pentium box to a slow 133 MHz Pentium box! Upgraded from 24 Mb of RAM to 32 Mb of RAM!
  • Played with cflow and graphviz to generate a function call graph.
  • Trying to squeeze the Conectiva distro in a 100Mb ISO, and getting rid of some bloat along the way.
  • More things I don't remember now.
28 May 2001 (updated 28 May 2001 at 15:21 UTC) »

Satuday night in weirdland. It's incredibly fun, you should try it! Set a voyage to lands unknown aboard an old battered car (and I mean it!) with your geek friends! Make sure the car is held together by pieces of wire, lacks door handles and shifts gear automatically -- when you're least expecting it. (Don't know where to find one of these? marcelo's brother can loan you this fine piece of precision machinery!) Listen to one of the geeks singing Turkish songs! Park your car in front of a restaurant, and go walking to another one. Watch as children throw sticky toys across the room until they hit the ceiling -- and stay there! Observe the people trying stupid things to retrieve them! (Don't believe it? We have photos!) Entertainment is guaranteed for all.

libtool sucks.

These PalmOS devices are incredibly wonderful toys. They even can be used as organizers! After a few years considering them useless for my needs, I ordered a IIIc unit and I'm really impressed with its simple, clean, ingenious design. Now I must find a decent way to keep track of my bugzilla tickets using it (perhaps importing them to the To-do list?), with comments as attached notes?

Yesterday was a bad hair day. Went to bed 02:00AM, woke up this morning at 6:30AM with my hair still bad, hopefully it will calm down today.

I'll move xmp to sourceforge this week. And I still can't add igor_nest to the sarien project.

In the past few weeks I'm being much more productive working at home. It seems that the noise levels and the number of spurious interrupts increased noticeably in the office, or my perception of the surroundings has been enhanced somehow. In either case, all these small annoyances and disturbances are slowing down my CPU cycles. Or it's just ADD, and in that case I should take Ritalin and listen to Phil Collins :)

Or perhaps I should get a sound card and a pair of headphones -- at home I've been working listening to things like Primus, The Residents, Kronos Quartet, Astor Piazzolla (!) and Malmsteen's Concerto for Electric Guitar. And some Greek music.

acme should post his article on software packaging. /me takes note: bug him to post the article.

Interesting findings can arise from silly mistakes. As jameson pointed out, in my previous diary entry I made a typo in the Sarien URL in Sourceforge -- and it pointed to an existing project I wasn't aware of!

Using the FreeSCI graphics subsystem in sarien could be a good idea, but before doing anything I must clean up that code. I suspect there are many bugs lurking from the dark corners of that code. BTW, does anyone know if there is any problem using glob() in BeOS? It seems that Sarien built fine except for a missing glob.h.

Regarding FreeSCI, I must check how is the sound subsystem going. I've worked with /dev/sequencer and an Adlib card emulator in xmp.

9 Apr 2001 (updated 10 Apr 2001 at 20:44 UTC) »

(Update: fixed the sourceforge project url. Interesting that by mistake I pointed to another project I didn't know, an AGI interpreter in Java.)

Brought Sarien back from the dead, and put the source tree under revision control in Sourceforge. There's a lot of dust & rust to be cleaned up in those lines of code in order to make it maintenable -- several layers of dirty hacks must be straightened out, and old kludges to be correctly addressed. It's also interesting to see how your coding skills have evolved in a couple of years, and how your code standards have changed.

Inspired by jameson's FreeSCI documentation, I've converted the currently existing AGI docs to DocBook and put it in the Sarien package. Lance Ewing's AGI utilities are in the bundle as well. Currently the SGML file is half-converted and under a revision process. A few sections have been removed and will be put back after the rest gets organized.

The QNX Photon driver for Sarien is already in CVS, and must be properly integrated to the config system to be built out of the box, as well as the win32 port via cygwin cross-compiler. I'm also tempted to port Sarien to PalmOS :) The Palm 160x160 screen is almost the correct size for the AGI 160x168 image resolution, I just wonder if the IIIc's CPU will be fast enough to run it (the Visor Edge is faster, but we'll need a colour display). Hmm, another reason to buy a PDA ;)

5 Apr 2001 (updated 5 Apr 2001 at 18:47 UTC) »

Finished my M.Sc. thesis, presented it. MagicPoint did a great job allowing me to embed the dynamics simulation window directly into the slide. The algorithms performed quite well, and I'll probably use them in a hack for jwz's xscreensaver. When I get time, that is.

My advisor was quite pleased to know that I had everything ready for presentation a several weeks before the deadline, and that I praticed it until it was perfect and all. Well. Actually I prepared the slides the night before the presentation :) That's the way it works, if you know what you're talking about.

Lots of things in my todo list. First of all, I'm resuming my work with USB in the linux kernel. I've been away from the usb-devel list for some time, and now I'm trying to get in sync with the current state of the project. Previously I did some work on Mark McClelland's OV511 camera driver, and hacked the parallel quickcam driver a little bit.

In the apt front, it seems that the byte vs. kbyte bug in the progress indicator is there again. It doesn't affect apt-get too much (except for the wrong values reported), but aptitude gets very unhappy with this problem. I believe this will be very easy to fix.

A very nice parallel service manager was written by epx, and I'm tweaking it to ensure full compatibility with traditional SysV initialization and at the same time get advantage from threading. People who think their systems take too much to initialize probably will like it.

Some technical papers and articles are patiently sitting on my filesystem, waiting for completion.

I also think it's time for me to buy a handheld such as a Palm or Visor. I used to make notes in pieces of paper, post-its, old tickets and the like. The Visor Edge looks like a nice unit, with its 33Mhz DragonBall and thin design. Too bad it's not for sale in Brazil :( Also in my wishlist is a digital camera -- perhaps a Sony Cybershot? Well, I'll try to find a Visor or Palm first. My primary target is a fast BW handheld, but a color unit would be a nice platform to port the Sierra AGI interpreter to! :)

Also must talk to my MSc advisor to buy his old P133 mobo and processor, to replace my P100-based DSL firewall. Not a big deal in the CPU itself, but I certainly will see the difference between my current 20Mb of RAM to 64Mb.

And, just to finish this entry with my favourite phrase, Brasil Telecom employees are idiots :)

Ah! Finally finished that robot dynamics thesis. I'm back to life! No more Recursive Newton-Euler and Composite Rigid-Body Method! Bwahahaha!

Erm.. wait. I still have to present it and stuff. Blah.

You are on the way to destruction!!

Notes regarding the past few days:

  • Got a new machine at Conectiva and installed a fresh 6.0 (the old machine collapsed , disk AND mobo). GRUB is a bit strange at first but I'll get used to it (or so I hope). I installed only the essential packages and got the rest using APT. The new machine has an OHCI controller, so I'll finally be able to play with the OHCI drivers.
  • Writing the dissertation. Found an error in the previous data sets, so I ran all the experiments once again.
  • Tried FreeSCI and XRally on the PowerPC machine.
  • Updating Conectiva's aptitude RPM to
  • DSL kicks ass. It's not exactly fast, affordable or reliable, but it's way better than dial-up! :)
  • The dissertation deadline approaches. Don't panic. Don't panic.

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