Older blog entries for davidw (starting at number 176)

24 May 2003 (updated 24 May 2003 at 19:58 UTC) »

Interesting article in The Economist about Sun's Linux strategy Microsoft, and the SCO lawsuit, amongst other things:


Worked on the Apache Tcl web pages (still not updated). Wish I were better with graphic design type stuff. Wish more people would help out.

Thinking about adding an ncgi compatibility layer to Rivet.

The European Tcl/TK User Meeting is just a week away! I think I am going to try and go, but it's going to be a last-minute decision.

The "Linux - is it read for the Enterprise?" meeting in Vicenza went well. I was there to represent the 'community'. It was very interesting hearing the various people from Oracle, IBM (and also Redhat and Suse) make their case. I got a laugh out of the crowd when I mentioned that 5 years ago, we wouldn't have dreamed of a room full of people with suits and ties so intent on learning more about free software. It really is impressive how far "we" have come. There were a bunch of important (in the sense that they control a lot of money) people there - the CTO of Benetton, plus several from important banks in the area.

The question is no longer "should we run Linux?", but "can we run our most important, mission critical systems on Linux?". And the answer is, depending on the circumstances, beginning to be "yes".

I watched the taped stage of the Giro yesterday! Brilliant! Simoni won alone, but didn't take as much time as expected out of his rivals. Pantani took 5th place, after fighting the whole way up the mountain... it's great to see him back in form.

In the past few years, drug scandals aside, the Giro has been head and shoulders above the Tour. It has more interesting stages from start to finish. Where the Tour starts out with dead flat sprinter stages for the first week, where nothing happens, the Giro already throws some small hills at the riders to get things warmed up and generate interest. The stages like Faenza (there was one last year too, IIRC) are also really fun to watch, because the mountains are just big enough to break things up if the riders try hard, but not like the high mountain stages where only the strongest survive. Think Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Also, the race for the Maglia Rosa is much more interesting than at the Tour, with more lead changes, and a seemingly more open playing field. Anyone remember the stage last year where Cadel Evans was in pink, and completely fell apart up the last climb, projecting, of all people, Savoldelli into the lead?

Tying it back in, I think that cycling is a great sport for geeks - plenty of gadgets to fiddle with, but it also is a good contrast from sitting around indoors behind a screen. It's great to get outside under whatever the weather brings.

19 May 2003 (updated 19 May 2003 at 16:11 UTC) »

I'll be going to an 'Enterprise Linux' round table on Thursday. Anyone have any particularly good 'ammo' links? I already have a couple of things lined up that I'd like to say, but fresh reading might inspire more. Emailing me directly would be appreciated.

Committed 'multiplexer' to tcllib. Surprisingly enough, it does one-to-many comunication over sockets...

Legs are starting to feel a bit better, but good form will be a long time coming. Watching the Giro just about every day while I work on the laptop:-)

Simply incredible... The Tour de France organizers have chosen not to invite Mario Cipollini's team this year, again, in favor of some lame second-tier French team. This is a man who is the reigning world champion, has won 42 stages, as of his victory today, at the Giro d'Italia (a record!), the Milano-San Remo classic, Gand Wevelgem (apologies for my spelling) and numerous other races. Two thumbs down for Jean Marie LeBlanc.

The new tcllib is out. I'm proud to have a few chunks of code of my own in there:-)

Picked up Rivet again. I did a neat trick for sessions - in the server init script, I launch a tcl daemon that acts as an IPC system, which seems to work quite well.

I'm having a nasty problem though, and I have a feeling that it won't have an easy answer. When Rivet - linked against a threaded Tcl 8.4 - is loaded, I am not able to CTRL-C out of apache -X (i.e. non daemon mode). I'm pretty sure it's got something to do with threads and signals interacting badly, but it's proving difficult to even narrow the problem down. I managed to repeatedly crash gdb yesterday (I sent in a bug report).

12 May 2003 (updated 12 May 2003 at 07:13 UTC) »

It's poppy season in Italy. They usually grown in corn fields, when the corn is just coming up. The visual effect of the bright red flowers amongst the blue-green corn is stunningly beautiful, and is something I love about this season. Google has some good images: http://images.google.com/images?q=papaveri&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search

I am uploading tkcon to Debian today. tclreadline could use some work, but I just don't think I should go chasing after another project. As a consequence, it will probably rot:-(

Went to webb.it Friday and Saturday. It was fun to see old acquaintances. On the other hand, Debian's stand was more of a collection of people with laptops rather than anything organized to present itself to the public at large, which was unfortunate. In any case, I had a good time.

The Giro d'Italia has started! It's so cool to watch it on TV. I hope to start training more seriously myself soon. I have a lot of weight to lose:-/

6 May 2003 (updated 6 May 2003 at 17:38 UTC) »

Finally getting my 'feet on the ground' so to speak. I fixed some serious bugs in tclreadline, although it looks as if the maintainer is MIA, so I have to think about trying to take the project over or forking it, neither of which I want to do.

The dollar is doing very badly against the Euro, which is bad news for me, living in Italy, until I start getting some revenue coming in in Euro.

Just so everyone knows, we did indeed arrive in one piece in Italy, with all our luggage. That was a relief, because after Air France lost all my luggage (it was stolen, I'm sure, in Paris, as that's the last anyone saw of it), it makes me pretty nervous. I still haven't replace a bunch of things I lost.

Anyhow, I'm really happy to be back in Italy, although finding an appartment is proving to be a bit of a trial. We should have something soon in any case.

7 Apr 2003 (updated 7 Apr 2003 at 01:24 UTC) »

So... I leave for Italy in a few days. Not sure how much longer I'll have a net connection or time to use it, so I'll take a moment to say "goodbye USA" here. It was nice to be back, enjoy some tasty mexican food, and see some beautiful places in California with Ilenia. I'm sure we'll be back - living in Europe, we'll hopefully have a month long vacation that will give us time to spend here and see more...

I have some free software related consulting work lined up in Italy, but I'm still a bit nervous. I guess I could do consulting for a while yet, but working on my own is not where I want to end up.

30 Mar 2003 (updated 30 Mar 2003 at 07:45 UTC) »


This article talks about how Rumsfeld has put US and British troops in danger by insisting on sending a smaller force than what the military experts thought was necessary. I saw some interesting commentary by several former military types on PBS. They were not at all the stupid, bloodthirsty warmongers that some paint them as. In fact, they had very telling things to say about what a mess Bush may have on his hands if things turn ugly in Baghdad.

In any case, I've managed to resume hacking this week. Did some more fun stuff with my eCos toy that I'm developing for a magazine article. I also updated some of my Debian packages.

I hope that Martin, newly elected Debian Project Leader, can do something about making things work better. Bdale is an extremely competent guy who I have a great deal of respect for, but his style seemed to be more 'behind the scenes'. I kind of miss the days when Bruce actually led by doing things. That, and lots of competent hackers over the years, are what made Debian great. Not beaurocrats devising complex ways to sort out people who want to get involved. Ah well... we'll see where this leads.

I really wish I were as able as many people seem to be here to concentrate on their day-to-day lives, despite the war, and other various goings on in the world. Maybe it's also the fact that I'm going to be headed back to Italy, and all the stress that that will entail.

In any case, I got in a good long hack session on Rivet this evening.

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