Older blog entries for julian (starting at number 350)

Woo! Productive day, finally. We were supposed to have a meeting about Gabber2 development, but temas ended up having a really long meeting of some other kind to attend. However, in preparation for the meeting, I wrote up a little analysis of some of the usability things that I feel we should learn from iChat, Apple's AIM client -- it's intended mainly for those without the fortune of using iChat. I think it turned out quite well. Hopefully Jabber client authors will take note.

Tomorrow I'm going to return to Gabber2 hackage... and overclock my 800 MHz Duron. When 1.2 GHz Durons (the max my motherboard supports) cost only $40, I figure there isn't too much harm in messing with the processor I have now. If it turns out to work well, I'll overclock the 1.2 GHz Duron I buy at the upcoming computer show.

12 Sep 2002 (updated 12 Sep 2002 at 04:55 UTC) »

How can it be so cold outside and still so hot and humid in my dorm room here? Argh... I've lost so much sleep just due to the damn heat.

I can't seem to be able to find a comfortable place/position to do my homework... or else I'm just too bored/pissed at my homework. I dunno. I just don't feel comfortable.

Temas and James have been doing a lot more work on gabber2 lately than I have been. Hopefully soon I'll be able to catch up and start working away at it.

11 Sep 2002 (updated 11 Sep 2002 at 04:55 UTC) »

In my Interpretation & Argument (English) class, we were asked to write our thoughts about 11 Sept. -- we didn't have to hand them in or discuss them in class, though we are free to do so. I decided I'll just type them in here. If you feel the need to argue with me, just don't read this. I don't want to argue this topic more. I'm probably blatantly wrong somewhere in here.

I do not disagree that what happened on 11 Sept. was a great tragedy. It was terrible. I cannot believe that there are groups of people in the world who spend years planning to kill mostly innocent civilians. Humanity should be much more advanced than that by now.

Unfortunately, I must say mostly innocent. I empathize with those that lost their family members and friends, and do not feel that anyone deserves such an act be done against them. No one deserves to die. I do not believe in the death penalty. However, we should not kid ourselves. The people who were killed were probably not perfect (thanks Leonard). The United States is not an innocent bystander.

I'm sure most people are aware of the involvement the United States has had in the Middle East, and the fact that my "beloved" country trained many of the people who were later involved in this act. Why? It comes down to oil. Most Americans seem to be oblivious pigs when it comes to things like oil. When I start living on my own, one of my goals will be to minimize the amount of oil I use. I will spend an extra bit of money for a hybrid car. I will get an electric stove. I will recycle. We need to detach ourselves from these nonrenewable resources... for the short term we need to stop depending on the politics of the Middle East to get us oil. It's not healthy for anyone. From what I understand, the involvement of the United States in the Middle East has never helped anything. Therefore, our involvement should be kept to a minimum. The price of oil from that area should not have a great effect on our economy, it should not change the daily lives of the population. We have become dependent on them, and we are paying for it.

I read that in the early days of the gasoline automobile engine, there was some development on electric engines, but Ford and others did everything they could to make sure that such development ceased or was stunted. A century of development later, the electric engine is behind. I wonder why? The only way to make electric engines affordable is to demand more electric engines with better performance. I will be a part of that.

But where are we getting that electricity? Coal. Oil. Ugh. There are designs for nuclear power plants which can run off of the same supply of water they are initially given... no need to eat through massive amounts of water from a river at all times. There are designs for nuclear power plants which are for the most part failsafe -- they can successfully be shut down based on mere physics -- no extra power input required. There are designs for nuclear power plants which produce much less waste. But really, more focus on "alternative" energy sources is needed. (My dad, who used to work for nuclear power plants, told me of these designs. I will certainly look for some sources, but my point really is that we should go back to trying things other than coal and oil, and that nuclear power has matured more since the 1980's.)

I'm sorry for all of the survivors of 11 Sept. who lost loved ones. I hope the United States can clean up its international relations. I hope that humans learn that killing is not the answer. It's a shame.

It's still so hard to believe that the twin towers are gone along with so many lives. They were such an incredible symbol, and now they are a symbol of an incredible tragedy.

6 Sep 2002 (updated 6 Sep 2002 at 06:26 UTC) »

So I received the 32 mm -> 37 mm adapter for my Kodak DX4900 digicam, along with some compact flash memory and a polarizing filter (37mm). When I was purchasing the compact flash I knew I wanted a lot more than I had (32 megs), and was going to get 128 megs. But then I decided that I'd rather get something which would last me longer, and grabbed a 256 meg card. I put it into my camera and realized that I had definitely gone a little overboard. 205 pictures is what my camera told me. Wow. I realized that it was 256 megs and all, but it didn't hit me until I stuck it in my camera that it was definitely more than enough. Now I know that I won't have to worry about deleting pictures or going back to my laptop and transferring for quite some time. I just wish I had something picture-worthy around here. I really should've gotten the polarizing filter before my trip to Maine... that could've made for some much nicer pictures.

Libtool is refusing to play nicely for me on Mac OS 10.2 + fink-source-cvs... I have libtool 1.4 with fink, but OS X has 1.3.x installed globally, and they seem to get confused between the prefixes very easily. It really should be easier than this. Blah. fink really is not 10.2-ready at all. Gabber is still producing odd symbol errors when compiled under 10.2 as well.

I almost forgot to mention... I was elected into the 2002-2003 Jabber Council. I'm hoping I can help push Jabber forward and figure out this whole IETF business ;)

I feel so insignificant here.

It's so sad that I'm paying more money than I'm going to earn over the next decade to be unable to sleep because of lack of air conditioning, live in the shittiest place I've ever lived, eat the crappiest food I've ever eaten, and be bored by a dorky professor who thinks it's cool that some people don't accept my definition of a chair. All because our society doesn't accept that I can know things without going through this.

Of course, some of my professors are pretty cool, and some of the stuff is pretty interesting, and it most likely will (and better) get better... right now, though... ugh. I can't wait until I get these prereqs over with.

So, my first week of classes went pretty well. I really enjoy the professors for a few of them, and seem to be able to tolerate the rest so far. I'm looking forward to getting all these prereqs over with, though.

My parents came for a visit yesterday and we went shopping for general goods along with mikeszcz. Was a lot of fun. I think I've reached the point, though, where I feel pretty independent of my parents. I miss them and miss home and all, but it's certainly not like two summers ago when I was homesick and really wanted to go back. I want to continue on with my life... I may hate where I am now, but I want to go forward, not back. I do realize that some of my friends feel quite homesick right now, and I remember what that was like, but I just don't feel it anymore.

Looking back, I can't believe that I'm actually here at Carnegie Mellon now. It seemed so hard and so far away...

Now I need to start making real choices. I need to decide which jobs to persue, which to let go. I need to figure out who I want to be associating with and when. It's definitely a different game now.

I really want to get started working on gabber2 some more, but getting stuff running under Jaguar is harder than it should be. Fink still isn't completely updated for it, and I really don't know what the problems are to be able to fix them. I still don't have Gabber working under OS X either... sigh.

I was interviewed as the developer of the month for jabber.org. Cool. Funny that this was probably my least productive Jabber month ever ;)

25 Aug 2002 (updated 25 Aug 2002 at 19:26 UTC) »

So I left Boston, visited Bar Harbor, Maine, where I relaxed with my family a bit and took some photos, some of which turned out very well. After arriving home I received my TiBook, which I absolutely love, then left for Pittsburgh.

The first thing I'm torn about is Gabber. Now that I have extensively played with Mac OS X, I really like it. A lot. It almost hurts to return to Linux on the desktop when I can just run most of my programs fine under OS X. So that kind of takes the umpf away from working on Gabber, even Gabber for gtk2. Especially when I can't compile either on either of my computers right now due to the state of the red hat 8 beta and the fact that fink isn't quite ready for Jaguar.

The second thing I'm torn about is school-related. I am fairly certain that I do not want to do raw Computer Science. I really don't enjoy programming so much that I want it to be my career. However, the School of Computer Science here is very elitist, and it makes me jealous because I know I could be doing it... yet I didn't make it in and have chosen not to attempt to transfer. A part of me wants to do SCS just to prove that I can, but really I know I don't want to be in just SCS. So I continue with Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction as my majors.

All-in-all, I really like Carnegie Mellon and most of the people I've met so far. Classes start tomorrow... we'll see how that goes.

And in the end it all works out anyway!

I'm working on some (in my opinion) very cool stuff for Gabber2. I don't want to disclose exactly what it is just yet, but I'm getting to work with a technology which I'm pretty excited about. The technology itself isn't particularly complicated or difficult. It's simple, elegant, and the end result for the user is that they barely even know they're using it. That's exactly what I love about it.

I managed to get Gtk::TreeView and TreeModel to partially submit to my will, but it still seems that they were designed for displaying a mass amount of data, not necessarily for what I'm doing with them. I'll continue to hack away until I get something decent and clean. Dave Smith's original RosterView for Gabber based on GtkCTree kicked ass, so I have a lot to live up to.

temas and ns have sort of started working on their message routing framework for Gabber2. What they describe sounds somewhat overly-complicated to me, but they promise that the end result will be pretty powerful and work well (and they'll be able to get it done in a decent amount of time). I trust they know what they're doing.

Overall, I think Gabber2 may take a bit of time to get started, but once we have this new framework in place, it will take off much faster than Gabber ever did. Once it's usable, I want to push the limits of Jabber -- pubs and discos, baby.

5 Aug 2002 (updated 5 Aug 2002 at 07:18 UTC) »

Sometimes I just know from the start that things are meant to be... and everything keeps telling me it's not meant to happen the way I want it to, but I continue ignoring it because I think I can get around it. Of course, in the end, I have to face reality. Ugh. It does tend to work out for the better overall, when I look back on things. But I'm not at that point yet.

On a different note, The American Analog Set's music is cool. They played at a club on Saturday, very cool. I've been thinking of getting a fake ID, though, just so I don't have to be branded KIDDIE with thick black X's, or worse, get kicked out of places even though all I wanted to do was order food and hang out with friends. Ugh.

30 Jul 2002 (updated 30 Jul 2002 at 03:30 UTC) »

I'll break the news since he hasn't said anything yet. mikeszcz just got a Sony R505 laptop. He told me he'd try it out and give me all the juicy details before I make my laptop decision (school's starting soon enough and I want to be comfortable with my laptop by the time it starts). Of course, I haven't seen him online at all tonight. He's probably messing with getting linux on it or something like that.

Work on gabber2 is slowly progressing. GtkTextView and GtkTreeView are quite a bit more complex than their gtk1 predecessors. I wouldn't mind, as they clearly seem to be powerful for whoever their target audience is, except I don't appear to be in the target audience. I just want to do a few things with them, and the few things I want to do seem to involve a lot more work on my end than it used to. At least both widgets seem a lot more willing to take however much data I want to throw at them. That's definitely a major improvement (especially over GtkText). This may take even longer than I orginally anticipated...

(update: grammar. pfft.)

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