Older blog entries for kahlage (starting at number 16)

06:55 GMT+5 ==

Anyone reading this should know; I am a US citizen who lives in Texas. The recent terrorist activity has affected me quite deeply and I'm still figuring out what to feel about it. Complicating matters, I have relatives who are Iranian and people are throwing crap at his house because of his ethnicity.

I can't educate everyone about the political situation in the Middle East, simply because I'm ignorant to a large degree myself. However, down here in the Bible Belt it seems to be alright to turn on your bigotry when horrible things happen. (Or alternately, when your football team looses, or you've taken another breath, etc...) I find myself short-tempered when dealing with the public. I feel the urge to yell about their stupidity to them, or just avoid them altogether. I think the later is my best course of action, and it will be what I pursue until I sort my own emotional state out.

Now, on to other things!

Sorcerer GNU/Linux has turned out to be really cool. I wasn't getting it to boot after the installation because the creator has reservations about having his distro over-write the boot sector of the harddrive it's installed on. Whether this is a personal fetish or a serious concern of releasing a new distribution onto your hardware I haven't figured out yet... But once I understood this, it was a simple matter to edit /etc/lilo.conf and make it boot the correct way. Sorcerer has some serious features that other distros don't (including my precious Slackware), to whit:

  • automatic dependancy tracking
  • automatic dependancy recovery -- just type cast --fix
  • automatic package installation -- if you call a program that doesn't already exist on the box, it will find, download, compile, install, and run it for you. You can turn this off, if you like.
  • all software is optimized for your hardware

It's really quite pretty. It uses SysV init scripts, but that's alright. They're not too hard to tinker with. I'd recommend anyone who's had a little experience to tinker with it. It's a kicker distro that's quite powerful.

In other news, I've begun helping Michael Louka (of MacWeb3D and VRML on the Macintosh fame) with a new program. His dxf2vrml convertor is pretty cool, but my autoconf / automake scripts are leaving a little to be desired. Why does GNU Darwin and IRIX want the linker flags at the end of the commandline? I need to buy the Goat Book...

Well, I have to go to work. Robots aren't behaving and the deadlines are drawing ever nearer.

<dexter-voice intensity=100%>Stupid robots!</dexter-voice>

20:56 GMT+5 ==

Well, Suz and I aren't going to Alabama this weekend. The weather between here and there is completely horrible, so we're going to ride out my week of vacation here at home. This should be good...

I installed all the patches to make my system a linux-2.4.10-pre2 kernel with all the ReiserFS stuff supported natively. I've added a reiserfs partition, and started using it. Seems pretty cool. I've been interested in a journalling filesystem for a while, but this is the first I've tinkered with.

Sorcerer GNU/Linux still looks sexy, but it's not installed yet. It seems the Frankenstinian beast I call a computer has some strange hardware requirements. We shall persevere! I'm burning a new ISO for Sorcerer to CD-R right now. The previous version's install went well until init tried to do it's thing. Then things got funky -- I'll let you know how a fresh ISO performs. The new one is sorcerer-20010830.iso.bz2, for those who must know.

Pax Omnium Veritas--

25 Aug 2001 (updated 1 Sep 2001 at 01:57 UTC) »

15:15:26 GMT+5 ==

There's a SouthEast Texas Linux Users Group!


Mage, the wierdo, didn't deign to tell me about it, except in passing. (Okay -- he was moving his family into a new house -- his excuse holds!)

Once there, I find a growing number of people in this area doing stuff with Linux and kin. It's great. I've been interested in hearing what the members have to say about Package Managers. There might be something new to do here.

I found Sorcerer GNU/Linux, and it looks really good.


I'll be nuking my GNU Hurd disk to try it out. Hurd was pretty cool, but they're still waayyy beta yet. No 3D goodness to be had. :(

Sorcerer is a source-code based distro of Linux. *Everything* is compiled from source for your install... Is that sexy or what?

11:04am GMT+6 ==

I'm finally back from that trip for work. I've never experienced anything quite like this! Being held in one place for so long against my will... That must be what prison is like without the fast food.

gtklookat development has stabilized into a working tarball for the new openvrml library.

xmlookat faces some challenges WRT the library stuff in autoconf / automake.

I'm using GNU Emacs for *everything* nowadays. Development, news, mail, webrowsing, an alarm clock, text file conversions (viator will not be publicly released -- use Emacs!), all my crypto stuff. Bang! It rocks. As a result, I'm beginning to tinker with more LISP. Scary...

More later, I have to finish our taxes. (Wife has some complicated IRAs...)

Pax Omnium Veritas--

9:21am GMT+6 ==

  • gtklookat: updated and tarball rolled.
  • xmlookat: updated, but the autoconf/m4 macros to detect Lesstif don't seem to wash. Downloaded Goat Book and am reading...
  • viator: texinfo is powerful! I had no idea.

Packing for the next trip out. Erie, PA here I come. I'm hoping there'll be a dialup I can squeeze 19200 baud out of. Mail is piling up.

4:24pm GMT+6 ==

OpenVRML: finally getting to apply tflynn's patch and get xmlookat working. Quite cool...

The new laptop is great. I had to install Lesstif to get xmlookat working. This is only a concern because its HDD is getting full.

Leaving Sunday morning (01/14) for Erie, PA US. It's going to be f**king COLD compared to where I'm currently at in meatspace... Wish me luck.

viator: Got automake to build a Makefile and binary. Now to learn texinfo for the info page... Needs a man page, too. I hate man pages. ^g-

4:32pm GMT+5 ==

Work has kept me from posting in a while. Sorry about that... Now that I've got some time to tinker with Free Software, let's look at the projects:

  • OpenVRML -- The libvrml97 library has changed it's name to libopenvrml, and the applications I help to maintain need tweaking to compensate. tflynn has graciously provided a patch for gtklookat, and I'll probably crib much smarts from his contribution for xmlookat.
  • viator -- I've almost finished with the testing and I'll release it into the wild over the weekend. I'm looking forward to finishing development on this one so I can move on.
  • scribe -- in working on viator, I've had an epiphany WRT how scribe can be made cooler. There's also the "scribe write me a Makefile" option I want to add...
  • tome -- a different help system.
  • some sort of front-end for the Project Gutenberg.
  • glboids -- I've got some mutations to put the boids artificial life system through. Should prove slick.

I'll be writing another entry over the weekend. Best regards to everyone, and if someone would like to help me test viator on a Macintosh system, please let me know...

Thanks for your time and attention--

8:20am GMT+7 ==

I've been working since the US Thanksgiving holiday without a day off. 10-12 hours per day. I have no time currently for Free Software, but I hope to change that soon.

I think that viator is finished, and will be releasing it when I can type
localhost:~$ tar -c viator | gzip -9 > viator.tar.gz without being interrupted at home. I suspect that will be sometime late next week...

9:17am GMT+7 ==

Wow! I was a nobody, then over the holiday (yeah, I'm in the US...) I land a "Journeyer" standing. I wonder what happened?

Work is moving forward. This set of machines will be working happily assuming our mechanics and electricians don't break something else before the customer shows up to see them. Our team realised that the two seperate gantries were designed so that the X axes (long axis) move in opposite directions. I almost lost my mind. Ken kept me from being commited by suggesting the solution: write a quick and dirty function to handle this.

double morph_xval(double victim); -- this hack negates the 'victim' value if it's on the other gantry. Nasty! This is only used for offsets to a base position, because base positions were taught by dragging the end effector over the target and teaching the coordinate. Fun.

My lovely wife's brother is in town for the holiday. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama. We live in Beaumont, Texas. He's a cool guy. Jessica, his SO, is a sweety. I wish them well.

I haven't been able to touch viator since the bughunt earlier this week. If it passes my tests, I'll package it up and release it into the wilds of the Internet. Anyone out there dual-booting a PowerPC or Macintosh between MacOS and Linux? I need someone other than me to confirm this program works... All help appreciated. Mail me here if you're willing to let a program loose on your harddrive that I wrote in a fit of sleep deprevation and caffiene overload. (I can't wait to see who responds to this!)

srl and skud:
One of the cooler things my boss does with MSProject is the assignment of tasks to individuals within our department. While peobably a common thing for Project Management software to do, I just wanted to air it out so it didn't get forgotten in the rush.

Thanks again to whomever pushed me over the top to Journeyer. It's kinda cool to think I can now put topics up on the main page... Scary! More after I figure out how LISP works. C-ya.

5:26am GMT+7 ==

srl: I agree 110%, but as someone once said "That's what we got..." I've had minimal exposure to Microsoft's Project (the management tool). Seems alright, but my frame of reference is a little off. I don't use project management software enough to have an informed opinion about their functionality.

It wouldn't suck to have something cool for the Free Unixes to attract the Administratively-minded.

Unfortunately, I have to finish alpha-testing some automation code right now. In the meantime, what would the people reading this list like to see in a project management tool? Any specific features?

Not that I'm volunteering or anything; I'm just interested in hearing the opinions. Don't let the bastards wear you down--

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