Older blog entries for jooon (starting at number 9)

Karlsruhe, Germany

Have been here for three weeks now. My German is slowly coming back to me. I've studied German for seven years (from age 13 to 20), but have also had three years of forgetting. My brain has begun to think in German, which makes it really hard for me to write this diary entry, because I had to reboot into English mode. :) No problem with my Swedish though. I've also met three Swedes down here, two girls that works in a pub nearby, and one male student, but I've heard there are some more.

I have been searching for a place to stay so I haven't followed the news much lately, neither computer news or normal. But I somehow heard of this Anthrax disease in Florida, and wondered what the band's statement was, and today I found it.

Anthrax vs. Anthrax

Before the tragedy of September 11th the only thing scary about Anthrax was our bad hair in the 80's and the "Fistful Of Metal" album cover. Most people associated the name Anthrax with the band, not the germ. Now in the wake of those events, our name symbolizes fear, paranoia and death. Suddenly our name is not so cool.
Money

Now I have to go to the bank and pay a bill. I bought a wireless network card, Dell TrueMobile 1150, and an antenna, Elsa Airlancer Extender. Works great under Linux. It's actually just a Orinoco card in disguise. It was pretty cheap, 279DM (+ 179DM for the antenna), but the rent is high as hell. I shouldn't complain though. I live exactly by the university, in fact, looking out of the window where I am sitting right now, I see the main building with the sign "Technische Hochschule". And as I live so close to the university, I have access to the wireless network.

I wonder how much this year is going to cost. It's going to be scary for sure. But by next year, the currency changes, so everything will cost half as much, but in Euro. :)

5 Sep 2001 (updated 5 Sep 2001 at 17:12 UTC) »
The Slashdot effect

It's almost unbelievable how many people there are that read that site. The Shakespeare Programming Language that I and my friend Kalle wrote as an assignment in a syntactical analysis course got slashdotted. The student web server, where we had our homepage, died in perhaps 10 minutes after the article appeared on slashdot's front page. We redirected the traffic to another web server and just put up a temporary web page. In under 24 hours we had gotten 300 000 unique visitors according to the access log. Pretty cool. I tried to describe to my father that I just had some fifteen minutes of geek fame. He didn't understand why, but thought it was funny that his son was an Internet celebrity for fifteen minutes. Now I have put the web page on sourceforge. Just in case something like this happens again, at least our student web server won't die. :)

We also received a perl script that translates brainfuck to SPL. It doesn't work quite right though, but when it does, we can have all those nice brainfuck programs, like DeCSS, in SPL.

Trust metric

Just had a peek at Badger's advogato stats. Before the the change:

Master 378 persons, Journeyer 753 persons, Apprentice 332 persons.
After:
Master 392 persons, Journeyer 1251 persons, Apprentice 649 persons.
30 Aug 2001 (updated 30 Aug 2001 at 23:27 UTC) »

Dear Diary, it has been long since I wrote something, but you know... Life, stuff and everything. No hard feelings, right? OK, good! I've had some terrible months and some good months. And there has been nothing in between. April was a bad one, I had too much to do but no time to do it. School and work occupied most of time. May was good. We finished our strategy game Gecco. June good as well. I met a girl from Italy AND a girl from Gothenburg. Confused but happy. July bad, the girl from Italy went home, to Italy, and I lost connection with Gothenburg girl. August good. I and Kalle finished our Shakespeare Programming Language.

Gecco

During the winter and spring I had a course called Program Development Project (translated roughly). We were to create a general strategy game which would be used by the decision support group at Nada. I don't know exactly for what they were going to use it, but the Swedish defence research department (FOI) were also interested. We had some great ideas, but had a hard time coding the thing, and although we put more effort into our project than many other groups, and even won the project competition, it still felt a bit unstable and unfinished when we left it. Nada hired my friend Kalle (who was also in the project group) to work on it during the summer though and FOI is also working on it now so it is probably going to be used for real. The one best thing about the whole project though, was that we convinced them to have it licensed under GPL. We had received some concern from FOI, but once we explained the benefits to having it open with GPL, they were ok with it. As we retain the copyrights we told them that we could change the license for them if it was absolutely necessary, but they accepted GPL. I was really surprised at first, because when we visited them for a grand tour of their equipment on which the thing eventually would run on, everything was very hush hush secret secret. As the project changed from a student project to a research project it now has a new official homepage

The Shakespeare Programming Language

It's finally finished. I and Kalle have spent way too much time on this assignment but it was worth it. The meaning of the exercise was to show that we could handle both syntactical and lexical analysis of some sort. Make a pretty printer syntax highlighting for Java code or similiar. We decided to make our own language instead, after having seen some very funny esoteric languages out there. (Chef, Sorted, etc.)

After several months we finally have an implementation of the language. The main purpose of it is to have its source code resemble a Shakespeare play. Not a real play, but more how it's built. Character declaration at the top, acts, scenes, people entering and exiting, and saying stuff to other people. We also added some stacks to have infinite memory space, which makes it Turing complete, although we haven't made real proof yet. Although Hello World is quite big, it was very easy using the stacks to write a program which reads from stdin and outputs it backwards on stdout.

Germany

I am going to study a year at Karlsruhe University in Germany. I am leaving Sweden the last week of September and I am very excited but also very nervous. I still haven't found any place to stay. I received an e-mail from a guy that said he wanted to rent me a room but I haven't heard from him in one week so perhaps he has bailed out. I guess there is no chance that someone reading this, is from Karlsruhe, who can help me with accomodation. If there are, you can have a Swedish computer geek as a room mate. What about that!? :)

other random stuff

Cool WikiFeature gary. This will give all those Wiki diaries out there a nicer interface :)

I haven't used my Amiga in ages. Is this goodbye? Yes, probably. But I'll buy the AmigaDE and try it out some time.

After using it for some months, I've become addicted to Ion. It's a window manager who takes care of the windows for you. It clashes with some programs because of different views of concept, but still, it's not hard to use for example Gimp, even though it follows the manymanymany small windows everywhere shadowing each other concept

Wow, it's mirwin length on this one :)

I have been reading the article 'Best Practices' for Open Source ?. All things pointed out are good to think about, but sometimes you can't hear yourself think when everyone is preaching about their software methodology. All these top down ideas are good and all, especially when it comes to handling big projects, but even the biggest project is built up with small parts and if you don't know how to build them, you are screwed. I am feeling very uncomfortable when I start a project knowing all the ideas and concepts by heart but have no experience in how to implement them. The first implementation usually sucks and if I redo it, it will without doubt be better than the first. The problem is that I don't always have the time, and when I do, I am usually too lazy to care about a reimplementation. I am always in a hurry to get stuck in a new problem, even if I have not managed to get out of the last one.

I think I have a solution to my problems. Watch less tv, read more books. :) This weekend I watched Dune - the miniseries. 3 episodes which lasted 4 and a half hours, spanning through the first book from Frank Herbert's Dune saga. I enjoyed every minute of it, but a friend of mine, almost fell asleep during the first episode so he left. Perhaps it was the lack of action. Although this is the future, they have cool weapons and everyone wants to kill eachother, the miniseries is as slow as the book. I was a little bit put off by the CGI, it could have been done nicer, especially since some of it doesn't even match the effects of the last Dune film, made 1984. You start to realize that it always takes great artists, no matter how powerful computers you have, to make something look good. All in all, a nice distraction from reality.

Since I don't like vaporware I have nothing more to write. :)

19 Jan 2001 (updated 19 Jan 2001 at 01:21 UTC) »
Editing Advogato diary

Aaaah, the preview of your diary entry really should be saved so that you can access it later if your browser somehow dies or if you reflow-paragraph-with-meta-q-oh-shit-I-am-using-Netscape it to death, like I just did. Well anyway...

Gran Marnier

Ok, yesterday I finally dared to possibly set the kitchen on fire by making flambéed crêpes. I invited my best friend Kalle to join me for an evening meal at ten, or actually counted on him to come because he had the Gran Marnier. He made the pancakes and I lit them on fire. The alcohol of the orange liqueur had a very blue flame and was a nice colour change in my other so dull kitchen which I share with eleven other people. The one's who entered to make a sandwich or something like that also thought that it was cool, but definately overkill. We didn't agree. It was well worth the effort. The nicest and most fun meal I've had in a long time. We stayed up late, drank Glögg and I showed Kalle this site and some programming tricks and other stuff I've learnt by spending so many hours in front of the computer instead of sleeping. When he left, I fell asleep instantly. :)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Had a really nice evening today too, with Lykke. Both I and she liked the film. There were many beautiful details, not just beautiful fighting/flying. I especially like the scene where Jen not just pointed but literally shot an arrow through Lo's heart. The ignition of love. How can you not love someone who has just touched your heart (and previously struck your head with a big rock). :-)

PalmOS

Although I am in a state of happiness, I am bound to be miserable any time soon. I have neglecting programming although I have much to do. I feel my life at the moment is turning into a simple non-deterministic automata without accepting states.

|
crêpes and movies 
|
(q0, Good) -- school and work  --> (q1, Bad)
|
'-- school and work --> (q2, Good)

With previous jobs I've had a time limit. Do as much as you can, write good code, leave the source to us and we will do the rest! As I dive through my friends' troubles with their employers I am coming to the conclusion that I've been lucky. The work I am doing now, this is how work really is. Although I know how to write nice PalmOS code, I've never done anything this big before. Too bad it's very unfree software. I am wading through NDA's. Well, enough ranting. Now it's time for Lexx

9 Jan 2001 (updated 9 Jan 2001 at 00:58 UTC) »
Garbage collecting pancake exception

Why do things you throw come back to you? I really had to clean my apartment today. I actually still have to. :-) I roamed my little room and found useless paper, more useless paper, some plastic things I've been chewing on, more plastic things from nowhere, recipe for Crepes Suzette. Ooh, great. I have to make these some day otherwise I wouldn't have saved it. Why should I save it? If I really want to do crepes some day I'd rather ask my dad or search on the Internet for the recipe than search for this little note. So I tossed it into the bin. Didn't even write the recipe down on my Palm. After a full hour of cleaning I got so bored that I had to sit down and relax, and one of the most relaxing things I know is to start my web browser and read something, like diary entries on Advogato. I personally like reading hacker's entries. He's way more busy than me, but somehow find the time to complete his tasks and write nice and long diary entries. Today I found myself into WikiWikiWeb through one of Nutella's entries. I actually didn't read it but I saw the wiki link. I am always confused in wikispace but after some clicking I found myself to a page describing Richard Stallman and his relationship with James Gosling. Twenty seconds later I was on Sun's domains and noticed that James is big fan of cooking AND THERE IT WAS, the recipe for Crepes Suzette that I just minutes ago had thrown away. Ok, so I am not a guy that can't take a hint: I will make Crepes Suzette some day. If you smell something burning in Stockholm in the next couple of days you know what it is.

13 Dec 2000 (updated 13 Dec 2000 at 03:38 UTC) »

Photons

After christmas I will help a friend on his photon tracer. I am already looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be something that can be realeased, although now it's just a test project to learn about photon tracing. I think the goal is to be able to render a grainy sphere by the end of January

Lucia

Today it's Lucia, (Big Swedish tradition, looks like this, sounds like this). Lucia is surrounded by photons, with all her candles in her hair. She would be a good model for the tracer. :) I hope I will see a Lucia train just by accident today, because I don't have time for anything but school. </blockquote>

code

I have not written a single line of code for my own projects in weeks. It's really annoying, because up until now I've had lots of free time to spend. Somehow I always end up in front of the TV. I must have been infected with a lazy-tv-viewing-virus. Help someone! Is there a easy cure?

The coins
  • Pick three coins in each hand. If it's equally heavy you have in your hands a set of six true coins. Otherwise it's those you didn't weigh.
  • Weigh three true coins against three unknown. Whatever the outcome you now have a set of nine true coins, right?
  • Now take one true coin in each hand and one unknown coin in each hand. eeehh, why would you want to do that? aahh forget it. :-)

Found some nice comments on the The Meta: Abused Trust? article. I am an apprentice here on Advogato, but as ZachGarner points out, there is no real apprentiship on Advogato. I guess it wasn't raph's intentions to provide one in the first place, but it would be nice to see one. The idea of subcommunitys with group discussions, information sharing with the compulsary links collection on Advogato also sounds nice, although a good mailing list just might do the trick. The real trick is however to find your way into such a "subcommunity". The bulletproof way is revealed by ncm further down

"Showing code" is all it takes to vault straight to the top.

Perhaps it takes a little more effort than that, but it will give you a good jump start. A proof to people will get them interested. Then they might be willing to guide you all the way to the top. And when you are finally there. Look down and pick up some more people.

But anyway, who am I to tell. I haven't revealed anything yet. Hello! Can you see me down here, I'm the little green thing running around in circles? ;-)

So, will I use this? Perhaps. I really like it. It lays some good thinking behind it. The trust system is very nice, already certified some people I know of, but I guess I will be inactive until I have something <cough type="ehrm..">important</cough> to write. Until then so long....

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