Older blog entries for mattbradshaw (starting at number 23)

24 Oct 2000 (updated 24 Oct 2000 at 22:45 UTC) »

yesterday, i attempted to install linux on an old inherited toshiba laptop... and no luck as of yet. and i thought i'd be doing my emacs thing in the bathroom by evening. :( here's the sad story. i got all 'inspired' and planned out how to actually accomplish this hack of an installation. this being a 'hack' as the laptop doesn't have a cdrom, a working pc card thingie, network interface, ... you get the idea. so i figured i would broaden my horizons a bit and try doing a network installation using plip. but i never got that far, as i discovered (*after* purchasing a new cable, and investing time in learning plip of course) that the toshiba just ain't gonna boot linux from its floppy. curses. i think i tried about every bootdisk in existence... if anybody has any linux experience with the toshiba satellite t1950ct laptop please let me know. and yes i've checked the linux laptop pages. :) all of them. the only reason i'm holding onto hope that my hardware isn't bad is that i *can* boot m$-dos from the floppy. go figure. so does this mean that the kernel isn't jiving with the hardware? or the loader (syslinux/lilo), or is linux more keen to hardware problems and aborts... no error msgs, nothing. just thought i'd share the frustration.

time it's time to go home and play handyman. got some new, fancy kitchen furniture to put together. and after that's all done i have some major catching up to do in my studies. it will be a late night as usual.

... i am the fashion police.

(doh! i check my links to amihotornot.com and blammo, nudity. it wasn't this way just a few days ago... so just wanted to warn you - links may be 'bad'. sorry.)

slowly becoming an "expert" on the SET standard. how completely boring i've become...

i've finally found the time to set up my own wiki server for my university employer. it works superbly (sp?) for documentation as documents live dynamically, and creating/modifying is so simple. this will give me more time to play around with zope as well. much rejoicing.

it's time to finally buckle down and clean out my inbox. i think there's something like 8K messages. i hate it when i do this (which is way too often).

life will settle down, life will settle down, life will settle down...

sorry that it has been so very long since i've last written. i'll try to keep more regular in the future. :)

what's happened lately... lets see here.

as of late, i have been experiencing the tyranny of the urgent in full force with so many little stupid things to do. school especially. i'm *not* going to miss pointless classwork when i'm shortly gone. nor numerous tests covering material that i could care less about (can you say "macroeconomics"). pretty darned frustrating as i've been unable to concentrate on growing my business. it's going to be a challenge to meet some of my self imposed deadlines. but such is life i guess.

my wife and i have recently been trying to consistently go out with this other couple and do fun stuff together. this last weekend it was the guy's (david and myself) turn to dictate what-to-do. so we had lots and lots of fun with lasertag (w/ good radiohead music as the shooting soundtrack btw), go-carting (i'm unbeatable mwhahahaha), minigolfing (very beatable here), and the like. and we topped off the evening with some killer food. i don't know how to pronounce what i had but it was tremendously tasty. i'm really looking forward to doing this again soon.

i've come to the conclusion that wikis are really cool! use them. read them. saturate yourself in them. etc. i'm advocating the use of a zope product doing wikis here at (isu) work to do internal documentation. the traditional documentation cycle is tedious and i see wikis as a fun (!), new way of doing documentation here. i'm planning on setting this up before the end of the week. i want to augment our wiki a bit though - user authentication, tighter versioning, the capability to deny anonymous writes, etc. hopefully something already exists along these lines but if not i don't see why i couldn't do this all quick-like.

in other news i've learned that standards bodies are funky. very funky indeed.

while in des moines at my father in law's, i set up (and am still in the process of setting up <grrr>) a little linux based firewall protecting his internal network from the big and nasty internet coming out of his cable modem. we're using old (486ish) hardware with an isa bus so i'm a bit concerned about performance hits. i didn't get any metrics on the kind of speed he's getting out of his cable modem but i suspect it's not fast enough to be hindered by a slow firewall. if he says its slow i'll take a look at getting him some better hardware for the firewall. but anyway, this little project was completely painFULL. went thru 2 cdrom drives and both were damaged. so no easy distro install for me... :( was curious about the linux router project so i finally gave it a whirl. cool, linux w/ needed tools all on a floppy or two. no install needed. all smiles. doh. it runs 2.0.x kernel with ipfw. i want my ipchains!!! don't want to learn an obsolete tool if i don't have to. ok... found materhorn (modified lrp) with 2.2 (ipchains... ahh). its working after a lot of tweaking to get the kernel to like his older hardware. but now i find out that his @home provider changes to use dhcp (@home had static ips before???). curses! have to fit that (dhcp support) on a fregin tiny floppy too. arggghhh... to be continued.

in sysadmin work, i've been trying to figure out how to put some of the high availability stuff i learned a while back to use in other services such as our print servers, etc. sometimes i feel that its all academic for us as we'll hardly ever need it. at least its decently fun to do.

been working on getting some good (good == somebody besides me making them) logos. i finally think i've come across the winner. and that's good as the website needs to go live SOON (before nov 1).

speaking of websites, at (isu) work we just hired a pretty cool web person. seems like a very nice and knowledgable lady. we really needed to refill that position. this should take some stress off of our backs.

btw, thanks lilo for the information on file delta stuff that you threw up in your recent diary entry. very good stuff that i wouldn't have come across easily otherwise. thanks again.

been reading david kahn's the codebreakers. its a fun read. also in the history side of things, i just now noticed that i got the history channel on cable. this very good veg-on-the-couch-when-i'm-too-tired-to-think material. better than, say, oprah. ;)

i'm sure there's been a lot more that went on but i forgot it all.

happy birthday to me!

harrisj has answered the factoring proofability question i had. thank you so very much! it's very nice to be part of a community that helps eachother out so beautifully.

btw, i fregin can't spell. i give up at trying - going to use that time for fun stuff like playing the guitar or something. please don't laugh too hard when you read my stuff <that means YOU christina>. :)

wow, i'm blue... probably (ok, definitely) not deserving of it yet though. but its so nice to see it because i want so badly to be a heavy contributor to this community of free software. but as of right now i haven't even revealed what i've been working on... which is dumb on my part btw. i think that i just didn't want to say anything until i had something to point to with pride. and i don't want to raise expectations in case i fail in my project. might as well stop now at being dumb: i'm working on getting an standard (i hope) and open implementation of interopable micropayments. the design is pretty much done, just lots of coding and technical writing left ahead. i guess if anyone else wants to lend a helping hand, shoot me off an email and we'll get it working rsn. but i want to reiterate... i'm not a journeyer by raphs definition. thank you eskimoses for your faith in future possibilities through some discussion we've had, but you should/can lower my certs until i get some more stuff on the table. but then again, this whole cert stuff is crazy (and meaningless really). so why am i beating it over the head. don't want to end up like ncm... just kidding. i'll stop now. :)

eskimoses has it right when praising the mentoring process. it's truly remarkable in its successes. keep on mentoring, its changing the world! that sounded like one of those motivating commercials or something.

and something to close off the entry on a sad note <drum roll>... i can't fregin read anymore. i think i'm going crazy. i have like 17 books open and i read about a sentence in all of them.... and its so jumbled in my mind. i think the web has destroyed my ability to read like i used to be able to. i'm always jumping from thing a to thing b and can't read straight text anymore. anyone else experience this or am i a freak of nature in this regard???

13 Sep 2000 (updated 13 Sep 2000 at 23:22 UTC) »

man i've been slow today.

i figure its about time to check out others to certify. and not just recertify the 'known' free software hackers here, want to catch some of the new stars. speaking of certs... thanks for everybody who cert'd me! i view certs as a very nice compliment to individuals that have contributed to free software which is important to us here. there's lots of people here who really deserve lots of thanks... time to certify.

man, nobody has tackled my (probably grade school) question regarding provability of public key cryptosystems based on the prime factors problem. poop. i might actually have to crack open some books or something and dig. i'll probably remember and appreciate it better that way though. but if you have an answer, please send it my way still! :)

eskimoses has finally convinced me to (really) check out wikis. i'm sure that there will be lots of fun stuff to discuss in the next few days. i just don't know if i buy into the viability of allowing anybody to do anything. sure, anarchism has its features but people aren't all that trustworthy are they? i would prefer to set up protections for content. but maybe (actually most likely) i don't know what i'm talking about. :)

i have to set up an answering machine on my linux box sometime this week. and i'm dreading it after reading some commentary on the state of mgetty/vgetty coming from jwz. i think he discussed some of the shortcomings in his caller id perl script he wrote (it *should* still be on his website). what i'm looking to do is something extremely simple (== no mailboxes or that kinda junk). greeting -> record message -> encode to mp3 or oggvorbis (for space consideration) -> *maybe* email it me as an attachment or at least a notification. that's it. it would be nice if their was a turnkey app for this. because i foresee a valuable week of work gone. but it'll probably be a learning experience, a little bit fun, and it'll make christina happy. i'll let you in on the progress later. expect more on this weekend after a camping trip. btw, jwz's caller id prog is pretty darned cool, it's integrated with his bbdb (his address book basically) and filters the ringing (on his computer) and volume accordingly. that's a pretty *cool* hack. hope to get it work on my box. kinda reluctant to do the bbdb though.

i need to get new hardware :( well actually s/need/want ... actually s/want/REALLY-WANT-BAD... time to look into the bank account.

gotta take my daughter to her first day of gymnastics (sp?). hope she enjoys it as much as i think she might.


i guess i'm not as behind in my classes as i thought. yeah! i have a little break until test time strikes again. time to do some fun stuff. like code and finish some software artistry. ahhh. this makes makes me very happy. that and the fact that my family is wonderful. thank you God!

i find that God/Satan thingie on advogato to be pretty darned funny. not that i think the real God minds at all. :) i wish they'd update their diaries though. i also wish to solve the mystery to who it *really* is... it had to be an early adopter of advogato. my bets fall to... ok everybody start sniffing your network and find out where God and Satan are logging in from. i'll give you .25$ when i'm finished with my micropayments implementation. :) whatever.

so, well, um. yeah.

i just want to emphasize that i really think i am going to be done with some of my projects real soon now. i've been kind of a complete moron about not telling anybody what i'm really working on though. looking back, i probably shouldn't have done that just because it isn't 'nice' or 'smart' or the 'open source way'. but i can make mistakes. it's all about the fun anyways.

ok, here's this question that i know i should be posting somewhere else but what the heck.

why is strength of the difficulty of the prime factoring problem unprovable - or make that 'why is it hard to prove'.
please pardon my gross ignorance. and don't yell at me to rtfm cuz i already asked jeeves (tm) lots. i've always wanted to know this. thanks in advance, smart diary.
anonmity ramblings

i was looking through some earlier entries (horror!) and found myself often not really to be saying what i was truly thinking. and sounding pretty dumb, which is ok i guess as i shouldn't be trying to *impress* anybody. i think this diary thing is for me not really the public anyway... nonetheless, i think i might need to start taking a little bit more time in writing these things as to not be carelessly flinging out gross miscommunications for those interested in accurate information to digest. for instance, i stated that anonymity was the most important right that we have !?! wth? s/anonymity/freespeech. just wanted to clarify that in case anybody thought i was that wacked out and needed professional help. however, privacy is still an important right that i believe to be implicity granted to us in our constitution... end rambling on that subject, onto another

i'm actually quite surprised at the huge amount of interest that people have shown in projects (like freent) that are primarly devoted to the purpose of anonymity. do we really have all that much to hide??? i think that i'm that all for anonymity from the information consumers side of things. companies do *not* have the intrinsic right to know everything about me and the end of this road has mostly bad endings like advertising maniuplation, blackmail, etc... but 'm not so sold on the idea of the information producers right to anonymity. turn off the lights and its amazing what happens when people like us all (== unfortunetly evil quite a bit imo) are involved. i'm very familiar with the arguments of ian clarke et al. stating simply that "sticks and stones can break my bones but information will never hurt me/us". hmmm. i have to really think about this. because information isn't traditional information anymore. we're not in kansas anymore. we're no longer speaking of a supposed heretic idea that everyone should have the right to use their god given brain to evaluate. we're not talking about knowledge. we're talking about fregin anything that can be represented symbolically. images/video of rape, child pornography, and other things that thrive in the dark and that sickenly often appeal to our (as a bent society) darkest corners. anonymity for producers of information would foster (not expose as the the idealists arguments go) in-the-dark behavior that hurts everyone. its just that mechanisms already exist to provide anonymity on a small scale which is all that is really needed maybe. but freenet provides a vast opportunity for vast 'badness' as its one to many not one to one. i'm not so worried about abuses to intellectual property as business models sans ip do exist to finance the creation of digital works. its just a change. but i can't overemphasize my fear that freenet will provide opportunity for lots of damage to our society. hope that i am now fully 'in' the stereotype of "fundamental christian, religious right censorship bigot". whatever. i don't want to 'judge' what is wrong and right. i'm not the absolute authority. but i don't want to tolerate crap that will hurt my 5 year old daughter. i don't want our society to drenched in sexual deviance increasing the risk of my daughter and your daughters stumbling across dangerous individual that needs another sexual thrill. let me know if my concern is misplaced. i don't think it is. :)

the issue of anonymity provides us tough issues that have no easy answer imo. i'm not going to follow the herd here and make the snap judgement of western world "compartmentilization". its way too hazy for that.

however, i don't think that freenet et al can be stopped. it should be pretty easy to provide freenet services in stealth even. but as i stated early on, i'm not yet sure if this is a good or bad thing. :)

i probably should have posted to the article a few weeks back discussing the pros/cons of freent. oh well. i remember some of the points made though... graydon (whose words of wisdom in computing i deeply respect btw) stated that information in freenet is equivalent to bathroom stall writings == of little/no importance. i disagree of his assessment of the 'non importance' of freenet information:

  • there is the issue of pseudo anonymity, in which someone guarantees their identity mathmatically w/ a digital signature or something along those lines and the validity of their (notice its not anonymous, just disassoicated from the real world author) information can be based on track record or something like that.
  • this doesn't address the dangers of drastically increasing production/consumption of objects such as child pornography, etc that damage our society greatly - all the dismissals of freenet information doesn't really address untraditional "information" which i see as dominating the freenet network

maybe someone will read this (only if they have lots of time i'm sure) and email me or something. because i want some closure to this issue. i want to know what i think and i need more information to come to anything resembling a conclusion. :)

well that rant was fun. :)

c = m^e mod n

first week of classes at the university - done. :) wasn't as crazy as i had expected and thats good. i'm hoping to have a little bit more time to spend on family things and personal projects this semester. last semester was a nightmare for me. my fault, yes, but still a nightmare so "feel sorry for me". hopefully, i'll care a little more about grades and doing things well this time around. ;)

let me tell you something... i've got a great wife and i'm so glad! its pretty amazing really how someone like me (peasant) could hook up with someone like her (godess). miracle more like it.

my diaries suck! ouch. i was just looking back through them and its a sad state of affairs. time to take a look at my life and get things together. i apologize *very* much to anyone who read any of the prev. diaries. i'll try to fill new ones with stuff that actually matters. == tech stuff for those who are looking for it and == good social stuff who are interested in people.

i've just recently given ogg vorbis a whirl and i have to say that i'm a bit disappointed in the decoding - i was expecting the decoding to be a little less cpu expensive after reading that it was comparable to mp3. more like 2x mp3 in my experience. i know its still beta but on slow, overburdened machines vorbis just isn't lean enough. but it *is* the right tool for the job in many cases. infrastructure formats and protocols have many benefits to all if they are royalty free. i'm seriously expecting to see *lots* of artists offering their art in this format in the very near future. i even want to help them escape musicianhellalwayspayingtheman. small time bands that i've been a part of cannot afford this kind of damage. can you imagine a web designer shelling out that kind of $$$ ($15K minimum with royalties after that) for using the jpeg format. its the same deal here folks - data compression. if bandwidth increases anything like it has been lately, though, a simple generic gzip or bzip on uncompressed raw audio will suffice. because you know they've (btw, who are "they"???) been saying that network bandwidth capacity is increasing much faster than cpu speeds.

must end the novel now...

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