Older blog entries for duncanm (starting at number 17)

29 Nov 2000 (updated 29 Nov 2000 at 00:34 UTC) »

I just got back from Montreal from Thanksgiving.

Living is pretty busy right now, so I don't have as much time as I used to have to do computer related stuff.

I forgot to add that I'm using voltron's ithought to post this. The posting dialog is pretty sweet. This has lots of potential.

15 Nov 2000 (updated 15 Nov 2000 at 14:07 UTC) »

i have been quiet.

Bought the sigur ros CD last weekend. as iain said, it's very pretty. I made a copy of it to Minidisc immediately after I bought it and it's been in my MD player since last saturday. As I was browsing thru sigur ros' website, I was pleasently surprised to see Chinese reviews from hong kong... that's pretty nifty, i say.

Things have been quiet on the computer front. tried nautilus PR2 when it came out and liked it a lot. the vault is a particularly cool feature.

AP Computer Science class is getting a little more interesting lately, since we stopped just C++ language learning and started to talk about algorithms and analyse how efficient they are. we got thru 4 sorting algorithms by now: the selection, bubble, merge and insertion sorts. today we worked out how to use Euclid's method to find GCDs and also ended the lecture with an brief intro topointers and references that would continue tomorrow. it'll be fun and nice to finally pin down my understanding of how pointers work, i'm looking forward to it.

while reading lilo's diary entries... hmm, maybe i should start writing python again. it's all depends on how much time i have.

leaving for Montreal in a week for thanksgiving break. hopefully i'll get to see Quebec city too... also need to contact dria, or phil; maybe I can get a tour of the ZKS facilities... ;-)

oh, i plan on buying stephen northcutt's book on intrusion detection to read during my Montreal trip. Dan Farmer and Wieste venema has been putting out an excellent series of articles on that topic on Dr.Dobb's.

listening to sigur ros' sevfn-g-englar... sleeping angels....


went into the city today (again) with voltron.

we met george france from the Compaq Cambridge Research Lab. We stayed there for around 2/3 hours in the afternoon, mucking around with crazy hardware and just having lots of fun hanging out in a research lab.
Interesting sights:

  • George's 48 nodes Beowulf cluster for iPAQ development (kernel compile time: about 4 seconds)
  • The 5 iPAQs in george's briefcase.
  • Brilliant iPAQ screenage in daylight.
  • dragging windows on an iPAQ in opaque mode.
  • Beautiful view of the Charles River waterfront from the office.
  • Big computers, more big computers, and then some more.
  • Talking to George about school.
  • And something else too.
Thanks George!


things i bought:

  • bought the new radiohead CD, _Kid A_.
  • bought _Tigermilk_, by Belle and Sebastian.
  • magazines (3 in total).
  • Alexander Besher sci-fi book, _Mir_, from the MIT bookstore. (Cheap, only $3 bucks. it's hardcover too)
things i wanted to buy, but didn't:
  • more gap long-sleeve stretchy t-shirts.
btw, george is easily one of the coolest hacker i've met. hi george!
1 Oct 2000 (updated 1 Oct 2000 at 17:15 UTC) »

went out into the city today, hung out with voltron in cambridge.

bought the new Channel Zero book (the whole thing, #1-#5) and also the new bjork CD.

Pad Thai is good, esp when crispy.

* * *

I lugged around the Edward Tufte book i checked out from the library today, it's heavy.

The new kids in school are pretty stupid these days, it's weird to be old.

mozilla is getting to be really nice.

  • Talked to mathieu today on the phone. It was great. Great to learn more about bonobo, also great to hear a frenchman speak english ;) I must work hard on my french, so that one day mathieu is willing to speak french to me ;)

  • lurked around on irc, still can't get cvs nautilus to compile due to some OAF errors. Need to clean up my build system and/or update more code.

  • Spoke to some younger kid at school (woohoo, i'm a senior now), some of them seem to have some computer knowledge and are interested in learning how to use linux... maybe the lab would work out afterall. That gave me hope.
aaronl: I acknowledge that I don't understand Bonobo too well, but I have to say, even I think you argument doesn't make any sense.

You said that by using components, you end up using a big mega-app for launching everything. While it is true that this can be done, it does not need to be done. Therefore, the only answer to "Doesn't this defeat the purpose of having a multitasking operating system?" is simply, no, it doesn't.

The purpose of component-based design is to split frontend interfaces from backend functionality. Features in a gnapster bonobo component that iain mentioned in his entry can only be worked out if an extensive component system is in place. Using components won't lose any functionality, it would just increase flexibility.

Why everything should become a component rather than a chuck of code in a library that the application using it calls directly.

Rather than forking gnapster, why don't you try to do what iain suggested to do with bonobolizing gnapster by just "using its calls directly"?

And when there are no pros, the answer is usually very simple to arive at: the flexibility of this particular thing has no purpose, and therefore sucks.

Wow, you need to get some clue, dude.


I just saw Fight Club on DVD with an iMAC DV in a friends room. kick ass movie.

Began building parts of Nautilus to help out on the testing work.

Talked to voltron for a bit in the afternoon. Gotta visit him sometimes.

Talked to jdub for a bit about his project with intl developer information, could be a really fun project to work on.

it's time to post another diary after the whole summer and stuff.

So i went back to hong kong for the summer and found a job mid/late July at Linux Center in Hong Kong. They are a pretty cool Linux startup in hong kong and i'll have to say it's one of the best place in Hong Kong.

Got hired as a cluster engineer and worked on building an LVS cluster for demos at LW Expo Hong Kong. Went pretty well, got to meet some important people in the Asia-Pacific Linux community, spread the world of open source to a lot of Hong Kong business managers and had a pretty good time.

Then I worked on doing some Chinese GNOME stuff for a week or so... it's a work in progress.

Now i'm back in Boston and going to thru the final year of High school now. College making things a bit hectic and school work is also a bit crazy... the Student Linux Lab is stalled right now, so i'm a bit bummed off, but it's good to rethink the entire stretegy for the Lab.

Mozilla nightly for Linux kicks ass, btw.

Been very busy recently. Lots of school work and other personal problems. Hopefully they will all be resolved soon.

Started learning how to use emacs. html-mode feels kinda funny, but I'm trying to get used to it.

Hacked a bit of NS 4.7 Xdefaults stuff, found a nice set of bindings. Also filed my first mozilla bug, Bug #36401. Bugzilla (and other mozilla web tools) is really cool and the mozilla community a really cool bunch of hackers. (Heya, akk!)

Talked with adrian and shaver for a bit on #gnome about how i should start getting the lab here up and going. Adrian convinced me to start simple: single NFS host and scp /etc/passwd file. I think this is a good idea. Trying to learn more about LDAP, cuz both adrian and shaver think it is really cool and it does sound like it's a really powerful infrastructure. Hopefully I'll find more time next year to work on a more permenant solution.

I really wish there's a way to export diary entries. I keep my own activity-log on sacrilege.org and other people (ie. miguel and ettore ) also keep off-site diaries. Wouldn't it be nice if Advogato can read and track my diary on my own site and mirror them here? That way, i can write full HTML with emacs instead of a wacky browser textbox widget. Talked to Wereyak about this, maybe DiaryWatcher can expand to do this. Hmm, this sounds like a good coding project to start my coding career. ;)

Now that the dimwit catagory disappeared, my connectivity in advogato's trust metric dropped signifigantly. So this is what happened:

When I saw Sopwith signing on with his spiffy yellow dimwit rating, I got really psyched. I tried to find as many people in the #gnome channel who certified me before and get'em to certify me as a dimwit, just so that I can get the spiffy yellow too...

Now that this rating is gone, all the people who certified me as a dimwit (and an apprentice before), their certification to me disappeared.

This makes me a bit unhappy. Oh well.

On the other hand, I started my first sysadmin job! I'm working at my high school (3rd year student, working part-time) and getting paid hourly. This is really cool. We have a cluster of 6 machines and I've RedHat 6.1 running on all of them with Helixcode GNOME. RedHat 6.1 is not so good, though, so we're gonna be burning a Zoot, 6.2 CD tomorrow, along with LinuxPPC-2000 and BeOS 5 PE.

  • Adrian : Thanks for helping me with the Kerberos stuff.
  • Now that Zoot should have built-in Kerberos support, I might use Kerberos as my authentication method/service.
  • Any sysadmins here care to recommand a newbie sysadmin on what's the best authentication service to run on a small scale lab/cluster of 6 machines? NIS? Kerb+LDAP? SMB? (about SMB.. I figured that I have ORA's SAMBA book and if i have it all figured out, printing, file sharing and authentication would be all handled by one single package)
  • Does all this make sense? I plan on having a mail system or at least an internal one (within cluster only) if I can't get the go-ahead from the tech. department...

[Shameless plug for Helixcode GNOME]

It's great. If you run a distro that is supported, you really should try it.

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