Older blog entries for mfleming (starting at number 9)

What a mad week.

Everyone knows that Eazel is a dream, and perhaps a little bit of a far-out-there dream. Sure, we all should have bee prepared for the worst. Still, when the dream gets kicked in the groin and then people piss on its still-breathing body, it's a little hard to take.

Ok, I was going to post more here but its too depressing.

Ok, I'm continuing my pattern of going months between diary entries. Oh well.

Beautiful day here in San Francisco. Sunny, clear, and in the mid-70's. Pretty amazing for February, even here.

Hopped on my bike and went up to Sausalito and rented a kayak. I hadn't paddled since I left Seattle, I think. Sausalito, it turns out, is a beautiful place for a light-duty paddle. The little bay has harbour seals, quirky houseboats, a little shipwreak, and an incredible view of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge to the south. Oh yeah, and lots of pleasure boat traffic. Oh well.

People were passing me on my bike today. Clearly I am out of shape.

I caught the flu, probably from robey, a week and a half ago and I still have a lingering cough. The cough ended up thrashing my voice late last week, and the whole thing, combined with other events, has put me in an incredibly bad mood recently. Ugh. It'll be over soon.

Went to Japan Town today with sergent to buy Happy Hacking keyboards. Actually, Jonathan wanted to buy the keyboard and I ended up copy-catting him. We found the keyboard at a cute shop called User's Side which I'm convinced is one of the cutest (in the engrish sense) names for a computer store ever. I'm not sure that I'll be happy hacking with this keyboard, tho, since I actually do use arrow keys.

SF Japan Town is cool. Most of the shops are in indoor malls, but it certainly seems to represent the culture well and doesn't give me an MSG headache like China Town does.

Speaking of hacking, I spent some of the last week trying to improve the Nautilus/Gnome-VFS http performance problem. Ali/Rak gave me some hints that ended up being incorrect but led me to take measurements, which is the most important thing when trying to improve performance (as Pavel has taught me:). I've got a few tricks up my sleave that hopefully I'll get in next week.

I'd hoped that the time after PR2 would be relaxing and that I would have enough time to work on some of my own projects. It really hasn't been that way though. I think I end up doing almost as much work at the beginning of a milestone as I do at the end and then end up slumping off somewhere in the middle of the cycle. I'm less imbalanced these days then I once was, I think

So I was telling old-school hacker geek tales today. Like BBSs and red boxes and programming the Apple II and listening to Information Society. Man, those were the days. Maybe I'll collect some of my better tales in my diary here. I'll try to romanticize the random journeys of sex-starved geeky suburban teenagers in the late eighties as much as I can.

Eazel Vault best-of:


    My, that's naughty.


    They get away with this in France?


    Pictures of (almost) all of us ugly eazel people.

Agony...pain...frustration. The deathmarch to a release is the worst part of software engineering. The second worst part is the boredom that comes in the days immediately after, when you can't check new code in because the release hasn't been finished yet. But at least its a relaxing kind of boredom. And you can go do all the things you hadn't done in the weeks prior, like pay your bills, shave, and go mountain biking.

Well, it certainly is nice to have contributed major pieces to a release at last. Previously, my checkins had barely been a footnote to the development activity.

Geez, it's been a long time since I've made an entry.


    I did run into rak in Egypt. It was cool. I also got really sick upon my return, but that's OK.

    Stateside, the summer's been wasting. I've been spending more time than anticipated on some code that's only really useful for Eazel. I've logged less miles on my bicycle than planned, but did get some good riding in with Seth a few weeks ago.

    Last weekend was mjs and Eskil's house-warming party, which was really cool.

    Yesterday was my 25th birthday. Jeez, I'm getting old.

    I'm trying to move out of my place in Santa Cruz. Ideally I'd move to SF, but realistically that's too much of a pain. Meanwhile, my former Seattle roommates moved out of the beautiful, if haunted, abode that we had been renting. It's impossible to duplicate down in California.

    It's been LWE Nautilus demo bug-fix mode at Eazel, which has been great since its allowed me to get into the Nautilus core where I rarely have chance to poke around. I've been having a blast.

    GNOME wish list

    • App Wrappers
    • A Real clipboard subsystem
    • A Lotus Improv clone
    I want to fly and run until it hurts

    Sleep for a while and speak no words

    In Australia....in Australia...

    --Manic Street Preachers
    It's Memorial Day weekend here in the States, which doesn't mean much for me I suppose. Technically, we have Monday off but realistically I'm going to geek out anyway.

    Going up to Sacramento to with Andrew & Holly to join JR & Carol and pick cherries. And what will we do with the cherries? Ugh...eat too many of them more than likely. And make cherry wine.

    I went to "Portable Potables," a local brew supply and vacuum cleaner shop today. The shop is owned by a charming-if-opinionated old grandmother named Elly. She had me laughing my butt off before I left. "I bought this business six months before it was legal," she says. (Apparently, home-brew beer was only legalized in California in the early 80's.) Elly at Portable Potables and Vacuum is another reason why I love Santa Cruz.

    I'm going to meet up with rak while I'm in Cairo next month. That's pretty cool.

    The fortune cookie reads: "You make great progress, but now the goal look further away..."

    Programming GTK in C is not good for the wrists.

    There'll be no more pain

    from broken hearts

    And no more lovers to be torn apart

    Before you throw me

    in your dungeon dark

    Your honour, they'll be putting statues up

    In every park!

    -- XTC "The Man who Murdered Love"
    spent much of the afternoon argueing with sergent about a new idea on IRC. Finally convinced him. It could change the world. We'll see. But after I was done, I walked to downtown Santa Cruz to get some sushi. I picked up some CD's at Streetlight and then walked to the wharf and got some ice cream. Then I walked along the beach back towards home as the sun set behind me. I love Santa Cruz.

    Yesterday, Dan Bodony and I went riding in Marin. We ended up doing more trail-riding (mostly in the Marin headlands) than I had expected. Should have brought nobbies. Sold my spare tube to some waylaid Germans in the Marin Headlands. I haven't gotten a flat in three years, but I probably will now.

    I didn't realize that I hadn't told my parents yet that I'm joining Tim & Louise in Egypt for a week in June. "oops." They know now.

    I guess I have a 'new' IRC nick now, thanks to sergent. The nick would be "meshguy," the explanation would be not forthcoming.

    The last nick I used (only briefly) was "SNomad," which was derived from a DDIAL handle I once used.

    I am still in flow, but am writing more specs than code. This is dangerous.

    tiger lily girl

    standin' cross-eyed in the corner

    tiger lily girl

    standin' toungue tied in the corner

    --Luna, "Tiger Lily Girl"
    sergent labeled my first diary entry as "corny". I can certainly see how that adjective might apply but I'm not going to sanitize it.

    Wow, this is pretty wild. Someone else here at Advogato recognizes Jupiter Systems! I had wondered where all the Apple IIgs modem community went...

    I've been pounding mjs with questions about OAF that I'm running into while trying to build a top-level Eazel Services Nautilus view. I haven't stopped being impressed at the design of GNOME and GTK yet. Which is good, because it serves to balance against some of the frustration that results from working with a system-in-development....

    Saw "The The" Tuesday at the Fillmore with eskil. I almost got killed on the way home (at 1:00AM); someone was driving north in the leftmost southbound lane on CA85! And they were hauling ass! California is druggy.

    Hoping to get some cycling in this weekend. I've sluffed off on my exercise program since coming off my three-month "intersticial" period.

(an introduction)

    I remember desperately holding out against buying a PC. In the late 80's and early 90's, it was the Apple IIgs computer that held my fancy. I wrote shareware programs and demos with a few other friends in the Chicago area. We called ourselves "Jupiter Systems." To me, buying a PC meant being able to play Wolfenstien 3D, but it also meant being doomed to run DOS. It seemed such a complete step backwards.

    In the summer of 93, I gave in and bought a 486/66 I had purpose-built to run NeXTstep/486 that had just been released. I remember installing the SLS distribution of Linux on a partition and being thoroughly unimpressed ("What is this X-Windows crap!?"). I spent 93-97 studying Electrical Engineering at Purdue University. While at Purdue, I remember thinking back at my high school days and feeling so lucky that I had been involved in the tail end of the Apple II hacker/demo/warez scene. "There will never be another time like that" I thought. The rest of the world was running Windows now; the home computer era that had inspired creativity and individual potential was clearly at its end. And I was the last of its generation.

    Forlorn, I graduated from Purdue in 97 (I was still running NeXTstep, although the OS was well on its way to the grave by that point) and went to work for the PC establishment. The hacker generation was gone; all I could do was romanticize those days to the few who would listen.

    But I had forgotten all about Linux. The little PC UNIX clone that I had snubbed my nose at years ago popped back up on my radar screen. I bought a new machine to replace my aging 486 and Mac laptop and started running it again. Then I could see that the hacker generation had not died at all -- Linux had kept the tradition alive! Renewed and invigorated, my mind full off Possibility, I left the PC establishment in January, 2000 to re-join the hacker community.

    And that's where I come from.

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