Older blog entries for cmacd (starting at number 46)


Waaah, Mommy its over!

Actually, I have been building a few thoughts after OLS, and I think that their may be a bit of insight that comes from some of the things that I saw and observered over the last week.

zeevon I was amused to see from one of your entries that you actually attended the same group of talks that I was at on that day, and yet I have no idea concerning what you look like. Thinking of that had me come to a general conclusion, that was reenforeced by other entries that I saw while at OLS.

For example dyork says: One of the developers, who had been at the office all day says, "Hey, Dan, I heard your talk went great." I ask how he had heard that. He says, "Oh, I was chatting on IRC with people in the audience while you were speaking!" Sheesh... welcome to the world of the wireless LAN! :-)

I got thinking about one of ottawaDave's entries from last week. - He says that The people who make this sub-culture are people that really like communicating, reading and writing, with the written word.

I looked around while I was using the telephone just outside room C at OLS and I saw a large room filed with folks all sitting down with laptop computers all connected to the wireless LAN, all busily typing away. The major sound in the room was in fact the clattering of keyboards, rather than the hubbub of conversation.

When I mentioned that observation to my wife, she was at first taken aback, because one of the traditional meanings of a conference is as a gathering where folks can interact face to face and share ideas. At OLS I was seeing a virtual conference, that happened to have a large number of people gathered in one room.

Walking by the couches in the room, one could catch a glimpse of laptop screen, which generaly had 4 white on black text windows, with at least one of them scrolling franticaly. Beween my respect for privacy and the fact that my eyes are not as good as they used to be, I did not determine the contents of those screens, but the image came back to me at Teds Keynote talk.

Ted did a history of Linux, and explained how close we are, and yet how far from the goal of "World Domination". His talk featured many places where our systems have ugly edges that we have overlooked in our quest to fix the major bugs. His sugestion to the audiance was to work with non-techies to reach a point where you could unleash your applications on your grandparents, and expect them to be able to figure out how to use them.

Of course when he said that, the image of all those laptops with the DOS style text windows flashed back to my mind, I would not be happy working that way, many of the folks I know would consider that sort of interface "Quaint" to say the least.

My summary of the symposium is that we are very close to having a product that can take on the world, Much closer than we were last year. On the other hand last year we were not in the guns of M$, this year we have a lot of technological cannons, starting with HailStorm aiming at us.

20 Jul 2001 (updated 20 Jul 2001 at 14:42 UTC) »

dyork: Speaking of the coverage of technical issues in The Citizen - did you see this muddled article about security issues.

The only good thing that I see is that it might be a chance for some security consultants to have a talk to them.

An example:One of the most dangerous worms on the Web today is called Back Orifice, which has been wreaking havoc on personal computer systems for more than a year now.

AFAIK Back Orifice is not a worm!

and equally priceless: People who are using popular Internet services such as Napster and ICQ, which promote the sharing of files among an online community, are the easiest targets..... "If you lie down with dogs you are going to get up with fleas,"

With all the wrong busswords used, one wonders if this is some FUD sent in to discourage them from finaly covering the OLS this year.

They managed to only write one rather bizzare article about alan after the first one, and almost no coverage after the second one.

Speaking about OLS, I have put in my leave slip, and I am looking forward to spending a few days with some bright people (at least brighter than some that I work with) for a change. I am somewhat tempted to try to see if I can get an affordable (ie P133) laptop to take with me, although I am not likly to be satified with any that I can afford.

A little Knowledge

Phoon: Your hint was all that was needed to figure out that a change was posible. Hopefully, the group is adult enough that folks won't muddy the playground. It kind of reminds me of the old alt.hack newsgroup where you had to know how to fake a moderated posting in order to post an article. I will say that there are a few projects I would like to list myself as "user".

avi: ishamael is correct, from what I have seen. There are 4 hard coded masters including alan and raph - The nearer you are to someone certified by them, the better chance you will reach a higher level. If alan for example were to come and certify one person, all the folks that person certifed would likely come up.

In other news, OLS is real soon now, I can hardly wait.

Ottawa Folks:

I live in Stittsville, but that is now part of the MegaCity of Ottawa these days also. Too bad I have not been able do any real software work.

speaking of Ottawa...

Congrats go out to ajh and sad and crew. According to the curent netcraft uptime survey, Achilles is number 15 in average uptime, with 134 Linux sites active, averaging 213 days uptime. Just beating out that small japanese company, Hitachi, Ltd.

criswell: The legal system is a very slow grind. Your local Government, or disaster orgainization will probably be help you with the fallen trees after they help those who have had a branch go through their roof.

Getting down can feed on itself, work at something you enjoy, and take advantage of the break from being required to do what someone else wants. You are probaly getting lame excuses from potental employers because it is easier for them to be vauge. Think about what it is you would Really like to work on, and propose it to whoever is making it happen. Telework is effective, so you potentally have a whole world of employers to offer your services to.

Zaitcev: The long title is a result of a LONG URL in an article about halfway down.


Between relatives visiting and having my car in the shop to have its rocker panels and rusty doors rebuilt I have been incresing my sleep debit. The fellow who is fixing my car let me use an old 5 speed pickup truck to get into work, and I am developing my biceps trying to steer it. Fortunatly next week is my holidays, so I will be able to have my dear sweet wife take me around to see all the sights we normally ignore living in the shadow of a capital city. We will be using her mini-van so we can take my former spitfire pilot father in law around. A minivan is Considerably simpler to get in and out of than a sedan.


According to Linux Today this morning Bill Gates has among other things prohibited the use of Perl with one of the new MS SDKs. I wonder where the next round will take us, prohibiting the use of DOS programs that can be used to remove unwanted windows instalations in preparation to moving a computer to use other software?

Useless info

I have just posted a new static web page on Electronic Tubes.

Perhaps I have gone over the edge

Humor me at this address and tell me if it is usefull to anyone.

The economy must be down

I was driving in to work today, listening to the Local radio and noticed that instead of the normal ads trying to hire ASIC designers, there was instead someone saying that you don't need to put up with depresion and anixety, and their concerned folks were waiting at 1-800-ANIXETY who would be glad to send you a free tape about someone's miracle program.

Esso gives folks gas pains

Long weekend coming, so gas is sudenly up to 78 cents CDN a litre. ($1.85US a US Gallon) it had gone back down to 68 cents 2 weeks ago.


I notice that Corel CEO Derik Burney now has a BMW in his laneway to go along with his big Ford SUV. I bet he would get back some creativity if he went back to driving his 73 Javelin. Perhaps when the salt gets washed off the roads.

Has anyone noticed that the new Corel Logo looks like a penguin when you hold it upside down?

Good Regulation

Looks like there will be a ban on smoking in Bars and such in the mega city. Perhaps I will be able to attend LUCK meetings again, the discusion was interesting, but the smoke in the bar where the meeting is held was too much for my system.

Regulation that might not work

The new city is going to start requiring that RAVES have a permit, security, and stop admiting folks under 16.

I can understand the concern, but wonder if that will be enough to push them even more underground than they have been, perhaps with unintended results.

I am an old f**t

I have bought myself an old CONAR tube tester. I get nostalgic sometimes for the times when Radio and TV was exciting technology. Back in the 1930's RCA was so much like Microsoft is now it is a fascinating comparison. (Employment of patents and licening to ensure that only RCA approved/compatible equipment was producted). Sure enough the new (made in the 1970's) unit does have settings for some of the old "computer triodes" and it looks like my two "Remington Rand" computer tubes are still good. (even if they probaly won't fit anything that is outside a collection.)

Strange Security advice

Seems that Alcatel makes a DSL modem with a security bug. Someone on the internet can change your settings remotely. Advice in the media is to put it behind a firewall. How does one put a firewall between a DSL line and a DSL modem? Am I missing something? Has a firewall become a magic token that solves all problems? Is this trying to tell me to stick with my old RACAL 28.8 modem?


Had my car in for service. Brakes now work for the first time in a year. (they used to stop the car but with great effort, now they take a feather touch). Last shop to fix it must have put in real cheep parts. Shocked when the guy tells me that I had a bad motor mount, Car is now MUCH less noisy. Even let them do an oil change, first time I years I did'nt do it myself.


Strain at work is getting to me. On Wendsday morning rembered about my Tuesday night swim lesson. Guess its too late to go! I have got to get a job where I can work with/on software or documentation. My curent position is becoming more emotionaly draining, and I don't get satifaction from my work. I don't want to head for burnout. Weekends have been only a time for rest, not for projects in a while now.


Perhaps one reson for folks only sending the .PNG/.JPG is that bitmaps are much larger than the compiled format, and the PNG or JPG is a portable format, while the source may be an internal format of some sort of rendering program.

Perhaps it is just that the creator never thought of making the raw version avalable, or in fact may have purged the raw format to save disk space.

rupert's Song (Holding Out For An Inode)

That one is good.


I have been including a form on my various web pages for a service called Mind IT The idea is that a user can fill in their e-mail and get a note when the page changes.

Over the weekend, I get a note that they are "transitioning" to a fee-for-service model, and so they are only going to service sites that have signed up and paid a yearly fee of 800 bucks US.

Now ajh and sad's company charges me something like 175 bucks US a year for both 75 hours a month dial-up access and my web pages, although I think I still get a early customer discount. I am not making any money from my web presence, in fact the two skating - pages help keep commercial traffic off of rec.skate . (I personaly have not been on skates for three years since I sold the skates that were hurting my feet.)

Anyway, I now have to remove the form, and explain WHY I have removed it, as well as warning anyone who is using it that it will croak on April fools day.

Does anyone have or know of a (free) notification service that I can use. Because of the low price I pay to have my pages up, I am not allowed any dynamic stuff on the site itself. It strikes me that the bigest part of the overhead of the service that netmind has is they insist on using their button from their server, presumably to track who is looking at the page. I would prefer to not have any unneeded graphics. I would guess that the service would take about half a day for a scriptwizard to write, with far less resource use than a maillist. (assuming that the sites are spidered once a day at the most.)


My wife has returned from her mom's furneral.

It is snowing again, another 10 cm. My 45 minute commute extended itself to near 2 hours. I GOTTA find a job in Kanata... I Hate Working Downtown.

There was a picture of a cute little dog that is up for adoption in the print edition of the Signal on the weekend. A five year old Border Collie mix with an unusual white tail. If we did not have our own border collie mix, I would be planning a trip to the pound - I am afraid that our dog would never understand having to share us with another dog.

jdybnis Might is suggest looking on your schools web site, and sending this fool a copy of the policy on Sharing work.

I am sure that your prof would like to know about this, I would sugest having an informal talk about it. The other person would likely get expelled at most schools if they actually submitted some elses work as their own, and you don't want to be seen as contributing to such an offence.

I am not sure what section you are in at UCLA, but I am sure that this section is typical:

Unless specifically authorized by a class instructor, all of the following uses of a computer are violations of the University's guidelines for academic honesty and are punishable as acts of plagiarism:

  • copying a computer file that contains another student's assignment and submitting it as your own work
  • copying a computer file that contains another student's assignment and using it as a model for your own assignment
  • working together on an assignment, sharing computer files and programs involved, and subsequently submitting individual copies of the assignment as your own work
  • knowingly allowing another student to copy or use one of your computer files and to submit that file, or a modification, as his or her individual work

I found that at http://www.seas.ucla.edu/userguide/chapter1/1.2.html


My mom in law passed away last week, and so my wife is out helping her father. Our poor dog is very confused as to why she only has me to take care of her.

It is amazing how much a sleep debit can start creeping up on you.

Bless alan Cox. According to the Register, he is making some noise Opposing the manufacture of copy-protected Disk Drives.

alan is also the one (by means of a brag in his current sig file) who managed to presuade me to check out Brain Bench. Unfortunatly, I managed to make a very high score in the field that I am very anxious to get out of.

All is not lost in that I did OK in the Tech Writing appitude test, as that is one place that I see I could posibly slip into. (Resume is at home.achilles.net/~cmacd/resume.html for any of you Ottawa/Kanata area high-tech types who would like to have a greybeard around.)

It is the time of the Yule, when surprisingly all the winter celibrations seem to have fallen almost at the same time this year. Hopefully that in itself will help reduce the amount of conflict in the world.

In any case, We have reached the wonderous time of the year when the days will now start to expand, and may you all enjoy the return of the light. I hope everyone here has a moment to pause and enjoy their family.

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