Older blog entries for jrf (starting at number 12)

27 Sep 2000 (updated 22 Nov 2000 at 01:53 UTC) »

It has been a long time since I made an entry. A lot has been going on that a few folks here know about. Basically I had to decide on whether or not I wanted to leave the company I worked for or take a relo and a new task. I ended up accepting the relo and task for a variety of reasons - mainly that I need to do some other things before I change careers, now is not my time. I did learn a lot in the job hunt though, working in Open Source does help, heck, even making mention of advogato perked a few people.

Now onto the meat, my last task was updating some tiny utils, with that done I moved onto wrapping up setting up a NetBSD/sparc (sparcstation 5). I ended up actually sort of porting elvis so I have volunteered to package it, which has proved to be rough because of my job stuff I have kept putting it off. I really want to do this because I am interested in learning a little diversity. I have figured out how to wrap up GNUlike packages but not NetBSD ones.

I also finally cranked out some OutRider content. Otherwise I have actually been working and studying (yes I am just as shocked as you).

I did have a brief discussion with jbowman about possible favoritism in advogato. He wanted to know why I ranked him as Journeyer since I knew some of his friends, my answer was I believe being a contributor is more than just code, there is a great deal of spirit in it, and he is a Lead Developer. So I did not see him as an apprentice.

We both agreed it might be good to add a rung or two but advogato seems to be working. We know of some people (it may be one actually) who have attempted to break the system and it has survived attack. So I guess we are just in wait and watch mode.

YAQD, relearned how to write kernel modules, had a problem with a charachter device though, have to play with it some more tomorrow. Spent the afternoon learning alg theory (joy).

Figured I would spend the late evening playing with python - the language that is.

Thinking the first system information part I write should be console based first. Get some sample information I want into some data structures then pile on the GUI later.

One thing I need to clarify is I am not making a monitor - plenty of those already exist. Just something that gets hardware information and puts into a GUI-thingy. Yes I know GNOME and KDE have this, I want to do it in python/tk so it won't matter which one a user has.

Of course, that is if I ever do it!

Ah yes and my publisher got back to me today, everything looks good to go, once I get a timeline established I will begin work.


Must code, will alleviate anxiety, Must code, will alleviate anxiety . . .

Pretty quiet day today. I took a lot of time to certify a lot of different people. I pretty much follow lilo's philosophy of bumping people who have potential and helping out with those already well in their rating or on their way to another.

No news on the publishing stuff but interestingly enough, there seems to be an industry-wide affliction. A fellow writer had a serious downturn in luck recently (waaay worse than me) and I sincerely hope all goes well for him.

Stewing on OutRider content for September. have a few ideas but have to bounce them off of some folks first.

Still planning some big home installation/reconfiguration activites this week end (see prior entries) but school has been tough, I am having difficulty concentrating due to some professional problems, this will probably affect my coding as well - actually it already has.

Things will work though - one way or the other - they have to really it is just a matter of getting from AtoB - or is it [a-b]?

Today I added a lot of styles to ye olde homepage. Nothing too fancy just basic style formatting.

Spent most of the day creating several resume formats for folks as well and had a good time conversing with jlf.

I realized diskinfo could use a couple of code cleanups and enhancements like showing the size in MB, GB or TB instead of raw bytes. I think I will back burner it until I get some work done on the py/tk sysinfo thing.

Otherwise a regular day at the job.

Well, what a vacation. I got a severe rash (an allergic reaction is what we are all guessing but who knows) that may send me to the local doctor.

Oh well, everyone else had fun which IsAGoodThing(tm).

Otherwise I have the following activities lined up for the next week:

  1. study and get a lot of schoolwork done, it is a long road to the masters!
  2. check out interrupt.pm for anything I think it might need
  3. at the end of the week install NetBSD 1.4.2 on a SPARC5
  4. install NIC on Linux system and recompile kernel to see it
  5. get NIC and SPARC a talkin'
  6. add extensions to mmw for swap - or create a swap watcher (hmm)
  7. start prototyping the python/tk sysinfo GUI thingy - my protyping to production (in C, C++ and Perl5) is usually 5 days - we shall see with python/tk!
  8. keep my eyeballs on the various lists for helping out . . . duh I already do that.
  9. write OutRider content for September - lets see if I can do it on schedule this month!

crap that is a lot of stuff - thats cool - how else would I like it? Boring - I think not!

Boy I must have been super tired when I made the previous entry. I have not heard back yet on the side effects of the publishing situation, but I know someone close to it and it looks like they are just plain busy, plus I told them I will be on vacation which really starts today. This will be the last entry for awhile so i guess I will push onto project stuff real quick:

OutRider seems to have gotten some new life breathed into it, subscriptions have gone through the roof, I must believe it has something to do with my involvement here. Which is an unexpected benefit.

mmw seems good to go, the enhancements I mentioned earlier will probably be tacked on in a few weeks.

I am still in the thinking phase of the python/tk sysinfo idea. I won't even begin coding this for another week or so.

I also saw some people I worked with on the 21st had done some great things with my contribs (one even made a perl module) - that was cool.

Well that is all folks, I am heading to mother ocean for surf, sun and family time - no computers - just my board, clan and brew.

I do believe this will actually go down as something I own but I want to share the phrase with everyone.

The phrase is today was a good day - but - in a very robust manner. Most popular with Nordic cultures, a saying of I have done much, perhaps my part.

Today I contrib'd some code to a brother in arms (real actual code) and helped in the shaping of their future release. Not only that, I helped another brother in arms grapple with dist CDs for NetBSD plus if XFCE needs a documentor I have volunteered and been accepted (although someone else volunteered for this already but it has_been_awhile).

On an end note, I think I have found my place here. I wil continue to code and look for those system level utils that make our jobs easier, but, in the end my contributions as a whole are what make a difference. So, screw my other problems. Getting my_next_job as a great sysadmin (and hey - I am good at it) or a device developer or *whatever* is second in the long run - what I am doing to help out is what is important. I know I can score a good job, that is not a problem. What matters is hat I give back in my spare time - code, install-help or writing - or - ALL --- that is what will set me apart.

The reality of the publisher situation is this; I purposefully sabatoged my monetary means therein to ensure a clean moral slate. The side effect is other side projects (which i believe are imortant but have commercial ties) may be affected. I am querying now and I really hope not.

I will sleep good tonite because my freinds have told me - today - was a good day for me.

Okay I see I do not neccessarily have to certify myself. Then I will not do so, that does not make any sense to me.

I had a systems userland/programming article get posted at slashdot.org/bsd - I almost fell out of my chair laughing. I wrote the article as a reference (mainly using a system library) and decided to share it, I can't believe anyone thought it was slashable material, oh well, stranger things have happened.

I am starting to feel better about my mistake with a publisher. I don't think I have really learned the implications of the hard lesson as it were, but I do not feel so terribly awful now. Perhaps after my vacation I will get my head screwed on straight.

Yesterday I actually downloaded, installed and setup a database with MySQL. What ever possessed me to do such a thing I have no idea, I have never really been interested in databases but for some reason I got an itch and just had to know what everyone was talking about. I have used PL/SQL a little (okay - I so I was forced to) but I was seriously surprised at how easy mysql was to set up. I have done about 10 Oracle installs and can heartily say - I hated them. Maybe mysql will get me over that prejudice?

The tweaks to mmw are done and uploaded. I made the dumbest mistake in the field width specification in previous releases and had to fix that. For fun I am thinking of adding a swap watch option too, might as well cover all the bases right?

My Next Big Thing(tm) is deciding what I want to do next (when I grwo up). I have gotten really good at systems administration and hence once I get good at something, obviously I need to change! I have been thinking for the longest time I want to write device drivers (being a hardware geek and all) but without access (or mulah really) to new hardware I don't really know if I will get the practical experience.

Perhaps this is another issue I need to think about while surfing (the ocean - not the web) during vacation?

Oh, BTW all, my wife is a practicing anthropologist/archaologist who just got back from a dig (although she was a surveyor) in Turkey. The Gordian site - I have no_idea_why but everywhere I turn these days in the community at large, everyone else knows someone else in a similar field - so - here is her site:

at geocities and yes I know, I have tried to get her to move onto the Diverge.Org server but I think she fears losing traffic or something (or just doesn't want to put up with a gestapo administrator like myself).

Well I have made a huge mistake, one that I cannot go into details about here, suffice to say I need to learn to hold my tongue and patience (it seems that having a personality just the opposite of that is great way to screw your life up). I have managed to get myself booted from what was a really great side job all because of my own stupidity and arrogance.

Over time perhaps things can be remedied, for now it looks like I have managed to pretty much trash what could have been a good alternative career. I also fear ripple effects out into other things I am doing, but the two have not been directly connected before (I see no reason for that now).

That is all for today.

3 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!