Older blog entries for kwoo (starting at number 20)


Backed off the strict Mac OS X requirement for Blister. Indeed, I will be doing the UI in the GUI that I know best -- HTML 3.2. The benefits to making it a CGI application are arguable, but if someone really wants to run it stand-alone, there are at least two browsers I can think of (lynx and one Mozilla-derived one I can't remember the name of) that allow running CGIs without a web server present.

With that decision comes the decision to avoid dependencies on too many external things. Unfortunately, this means I can't count on folks having an Objective C compiler available, so development will be in ANSI C, using only ANSI and POSIX functionality.

Really, this means I've got a case of NIH, so I started writing CGI-handling code first. I find it somewhat amusing that although I haven't coded in straight-up C for a long while, I seem to be better at it than I was before.


My new personal diary is at http://slashdot.org/~kwoo/journal/. Say what you will about Slashdot, but they do have a nice journal interface, and I don't want to clutter the recentlog here with entries about gardening.

Badge of honour

A '1' from mglazer is a badge of honour to me. Especially since my Jewish step-family all think he's a nitwit, too. I ran the thesis of a couple of his entries by them to see what the average Jewish-Canadian household thought of his views, and they were appalled. It could be that my step-mothers best friends and their families are all Muslim. Three generations of Jews, two generations of Muslims, two generations of Christians, myself and my partner (both non-religious), and a dog gathered for a winter holiday dinner on Christmas day. I'll bet seeing that would send the poor boy's head into a tizzy.

Webspace problem solved

Thanks to rillian, my webspace problem is solved. I still had an account on one of his machines, and he was kind enough to offer the use of it. Thanks, Ralph!


I've been doing some playing around with the UI for Blister. I'm currently working to make it a little less cluttered, but I may have to bite the bullet and learn about tabbed interfaces. They may be easy as heck -- I don't know, as I've never used them before.

chalst's list'o'folks

I noticed that I am on chalst's list of folks (his 17 January entry), but I have no idea what the commonality between us all is. I'm trying not to burn too many cycles figuring it out, but I am definitely curious.

Someone mentioned a lot of GNOME-y folks there, but I don't think that's it -- I'm more of an Aqua/WindowMaker/fvwm fan and don't use GNOME for much. I also saw the suggestion that we all got '1' scores on our diaries from mglazer. That could well be. :)

What is it, chalst? Or if you only wish to give a hint, is the order of the list important?

Web space woes

Does anyone know where to get good web space without a credit card and without a huge setup fee? I'm unemployed, broke, and looking for web space I can access with scp or ftp-over-ssl. Access to CGI would be great, but not necessary. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.


Okay, I lost it and did some coding. Nothing to show off yet, but I will put a preliminary version up when I get some web space figured out. I did create an entry for it (called Blister) here, though.


If you take medication that suppresses endorphins, it becomes really hard to get to sleep if you have insomnia. Massages are a lot less pleasurable, too. If you have a choice, take the med just before you go to sleep. My advice to the world for the week.


I'm feeling the urge to switch back to Mac OS X again. It's just painful not to be able to use my larger monitor when I'm at home, and using OS X seems to add at least an extra half hour to my battery life when I'm not.


I haven't gone out of text mode for almost two weeks. I think I'm going to give it two more. We'll see.


I'm finally going to be getting a bit more sleep, and better quality, too. The best part is that I can see a way to move forward from where I'm at, and that's a tremendous relief.

A new year

Had a quiet New Year's Eve at home. Had a slightly less quiet New Year's Day at a party put on by my neighbours. Filipino food is nummy.


I have been incredibly lax on the code front lately. It just doesn't seem to be something I enjoy as much as I used to. I'm still (inactively) following Parrot and a couple of other projects, but code of my own just isn't getting done.

That being said, I deleted all of my half-done projects from last year. There were almost thirty of them. I can't say I'm sad to see them go -- they will no doubt be replaced by thirty or so half-done projects come a year from now.

Trust metric

Having read the most recent article and comments on the trust metric, I am reminded that the whole point of the certifications is lost on some people. I'm happy with the certifications I've received, as each and every one is right on target (depending on who you ask, I'm either an observer or apprentice -- certainly nothing higher at this point).

I have given some thought as to the matter of certification aging, and I think that certs should degrade with age. If I write a couple thousand lines of code that is used all over the open source world but proceed to do nothing for the next two years, am I a one-hit master, or am I an observer who did that cool hack? My thinking is that the latter is more correct.

In terms of keeping the general public informed about what one is/has been up to, that is the responsibility of the individual. If I don't want to claim credit for something, I don't have to -- but I certainly can't expect the community to acknowledge me for whatever I won't acknowledge myself.

I'm rapidly forgetting my point, so I'll just leave it for now...


Randomly hacking about in Squeak. I'm spending most of my time trying to see how things are implemented behind the scenes, and all in all, it's rather impressive. The more I look at it, the more I like it.

That being said, being in Squeak seems to drain the battery on my laptop an an absolutely astonishing rate. I'm going to see if developing in GNU Smalltalk and porting the result to Squeak (at least for non-interactive code) might be feasible, especially if I'm going to be on the Skytrain (Vancouver's LRT) a lot.


Discovered a few nifty solitaire games for the Cybiko. They will come in handy for when Squeak drains my laptop battery. :)

Solaris woes

Why is it that one has to install almost the entire GNU toolkit to get anything done with Solaris? Their 'tar' sucks, as do their default shells. 'make' is almost unusable, and I find it perverse to ship a Unix system without at least a C compiler. Thank the gods for ftp.sunfreeware.com.

The job

I didn't get it. No word on why not, but there are two possible reasons. The first is that the sample code I sent in sucked. Try writing code just for the sake of writing code someday -- it's quite a challenge. The second possible reason is that they found someone with a skill level more in line with the job they were offering, as it seemed to me that they might have been looking on the low end of the salary scale.

Whichever reason, it still sucks, but that's life.

Debian weirdness

I downloaded a netinst ISO for Debian today (can't remember which one -- the first on the list) to install on a x86 IBM eSeries server with a ServeRAID card. I tried everything to make it work, and it wouldn't -- not with the compact kernel, not with the regular, and not with bf24. Oddly enough, it worked with the vanilla kernel. Strange.


More playing with Squeak, installing stuff from SqueakMap. Unfortunately, the Atoms game is rather addictive.

On the plus side, I see that crypto stuff is being worked on, so I don't have to start from scratch. Methinks I'll go have a look at that...


I'm back to hacking about in Squeak. Partly hacking ST, and partly playing with Swiki and Comanche.

Swiki and Comanche are great, and I think that my earlier-mentioned pfft project would simply be a slightly modified Swiki, so if I decide to go in that direction, I will likely use Swiki as a base. I expected the Wiki markup to be more involved, but now that I see what Swiki expects, I don't see much of a need for templates, which would have been the single largest difference between a Wiki and pfft.

I'm beating my head against the wall over a couple of odd ST details, but I want to give it a bit more time before begging publically for a solution. If I don't figure it out, I'll likely check the tutorials, then ask here if I can't make heads or tails. I know that checking the tutorials would likely solve the problem, but I find I learn better if I hack something out the hard way.


I'm going to remove my "helper" status on Parrot. I really haven't done a lot, and my motivation is sucking.


A little bit of progress today -- starting on the framework for stock photograph management. I had been feeling unmotivated and whatnot, and finally realized that I did have something in mind to work on. I had simply forgotten it, as it has been sitting on the back burner for aeons.


Downloaded Bluefish (gtk+-2 port) and started brushing up on my HTML and CSS. The last time I looked at this was a bit after HTML 4.01 Transitional was proposed, so I'm surprised that I got a fair amount done. Eventually my website will be valid XHTML and CSS2, but it will take a bit more practice and stylesheet generation.


I had a peek through the "official" apps for the Cybiko Classic, and I'm fairly impressed. It's nice to see that some people can still write tight code. Something also tells me that the space overhead for an application archive is quite small, but a simple text editor in a little under 3KB is good for any system.

In short, I'm pretty happy with it, though I really do need to get to work writing some apps of my own for it.

I did also finally get around the problems transferring files to the Cybiko -- I used the computer I gave my girlfriend, which runs MacOS. If anyone has any insight as to making cyucon work under Linux (x86 or PPC) or FreeBSD (x86), please let me know.

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