Older blog entries for mishan (starting at number 106)

17 Feb 2004 (updated 17 Feb 2004 at 00:19 UTC) »
Santa Cruz has been really great so far. I took an accelerated introductory computer science course last quarter to test the proverbial waters and get into the frame of mind of university CS classes. This quarter I am taking "Introduction to Computer Organization" which covers computer architectures and involves MIPS and HC11 assembly programming. The class is not too difficult, but the labs take many hours to complete.

thinksynth is going really well. We have it using ALSA MIDI now and one can actually hook up MIDI devices such as keyboards, as well as software MIDI sequenceres, to it and get it to play notes. The synthesizer portion has been split into a library and current efforts are concentrated on fixing current bugs and optimization.

Someone finally offered to take over GtkHx, so I handed off admin access on the Sourceforge site.

So I graduated high school almost two months ago and turned 18 less than a month ago. I've been really busy lately working for this startup as a summer job. This fall I will begin my education at UC Santa Cruz.

I haven't really been working much on thinksynth lately, with all the coding I have to do at work. We have the synthesizer parsing its language and making cool sounds, but the current plan is to make it into a library so that frontends will be convenient to write.

I've been playing a lot of NetHack lately; it's such an addictive game.

Boy I haven't written in ages.

Computer Science
I finished the AI course at my school. Scheme was our primary language of programming and we had an Othello tournament in which our Othello AIs competed in. I'm currently taking a class in Computational Geometry and it is quite interesting. I've decided to take a break from Scheme and code in C++. I've written a lot of stuff in Scheme lately.. Functional programming is quite interesting.

A lot of work done on the software synthesizer my friend and I are writing. We had it working and producing some music (no graphical frontend though) at one point, but we decided to rewrite the engine completely in C++ so that it would be a lot easier to design and maintain in the future. The current engine in C++, although much cleaner, isn't working yet. I've also completely halted development on GtkHx as Hotline is a dead-end and I no longer wish to spend my time working on this dead-end project. Although I've received an offer for it to be taken over, no one has stepped up to the plate yet.

Well I haven't updated this diary in ages.

Life has been really great lately; I'm no longer depressed, I've got a lot more friends, and I'm happy. School is still stressful as usual, but I'm managing. I'm hoping to have an internship this summer, but so far I haven't had any job opportunities. I should start actively looking for a job. I still have a job at Euclid Computers, but they don't really have me do much, so as a result I'm not really getting paid. They're going to have me set up a new server soon, though, so that will be cool.

Computer Science
I took compiler design last semester at school. We were writing a Pascal compiler in C, but I never finished, since it was merely a one semester course. I already had it generating parse trees using my own parser/tokenizer, and it was just a matter of code generation .. Right now I'm taking programming language design, which is a pretty interesting course. We've studied all sorts of languages, language principles, and different programming paradigms. I'm currently learning functional programming with Scheme.

I made a really cool new friend at Linux10 and he and I basically meet every weekend now. We were working on a language for this synth we were writing using my compiler/language design knowledge, but then we stopped and were working on a "War on Afghanistan" game which is still unfinished. (I'll post screenshots later.) Last weekend, we resumed work on the synth, but with greater ambitions. The synth is going to be part of a music sequencer we're writing . We're probably going to have it use SDL and GTK+. GtkHx is still going, but with less committment. I have threaded news completely done and I'm mainly working on some minor feature requests/bug stomping right now.

Well, I haven't written in a long time..My last entry talks about AP Computer Science (APCS) final project. Well asusual we didn't quite finish it. We worked on it seriously the day before it wasdue and decided that we were out of time and dropped the SDL frontend. We had it working where 8 people could connect and move snakes around and decided to stop there. It was late and we were sleep deprived so we decided not to implement game functionality. I also had the AP test for Comp Sci, it was quite easy..I just got the results back recently and I got a 5 (the highest grade) =)

So school is out now..Having quite a boring summer as usual. I have a job working at Euclid Computers, I'm writing Perl stuff for them like graphing orders/clicks and fun stuff like that ... My grandfather passed away yesterday.. I didn't know him too well; he came to the US when I was 5 and lived with us for a short while until he started living alone and his health was continously degrading. Last I saw him, he was a complete vegetable ..

Well, I finally got through the Debian NM process and I'm a Debian developer now. Yay..

I visited Europe a few weeks ago. We took a plane to Paris and immediately rented a car and took off to Waterloo, Belgium. We stayed there a night and visited nearby Brussels. We then went to Brugge, Belgium and stayed there a couple of nights. Afterwards, we stayed in Delft, Netherlands for a night and then we stayed in Amsterdam for three nights. Then we travelled to Koln, Germany and stayed a night there. After that, we went to Frankfurt and stayed there two nights. We then went to Munich and rested a night there. Then we stopped in Bazel, Switzerland for a night. Afterwards, we drove to an airport (forgot which) by Paris and stayed in a hotel there for a night and then we flew back to San Jose, CA. It was a pretty cool vacation..

GtkHx is now up to version 0.8.13 and a kind person has redesigned the GtkHx website. I haven't worked on it recently but I've got some cool ideas for it. Just need to overcome my unwillingness to work..

My workstation recently started randomly locking up in X. I thought that my GeForce II MX finally decided to start dying on me so I bought a Radeon VE to replace it but it didn't fix the problem. When I was upgrading packages, my machine just restarted and it would restart everytime I ran apt-get dist-upgrade, each time damaging files. Someone on #debian-devel pointed out that the files might be damaged because I was using ReiserFS with kernel 2.4.4. Sure enough, that was the problem. I upgraded my kernel by sticking the drive into the server and building it there and then installing it on my machine. But X still locked up randomly with either card. I thought that perhaps my RAM was bad again (I've had experience where my RAM decided to stop functioning.) I bought replacement RAM, but it didn't solve the problem. So then, I thought it must either be my motherboard or CPU. Now my workstation has a Slot A AMD Athlon. Fry's no longer carries any Slot A boards/CPUs, so I had to get myself a completely new motherboard and CPU (1GHz AMD Thunderbird =) ) and now everything works well.

I also recently upgraded my server's 400MHz PII to a 550MHz PIII. The motherboard in the server was built before PIIIs even existed, but it seems to work fine.

Some more work done on our AP Comp Sci final project. aaronl and I have split up the jobs so that he does server game logic (the game is handled on the server-side, of course), AI client, and portability issues, while I will do socket and I/O multiplexing stuff, curses client, and SDL client. I've started exploring SDL today and I find it extremely cool especially since it supports MacOS, Win32, and BeOS in addition to Linux. We have a basic server that handles all connections and a working event loop for it and curses/SDL clients with working event loops but we haven't really started on actual gameplay but this is pretty good progress.

I haven't posted anything here for quite a while. GtkHx development is progressing very well and I'll probably release GtkHx 0.8.10 sometime soon...aaronl and I are still working on the WordTris game and have made great progress but it is not quite ready for release yet...Currently we're working on a multiplayer networked snake game for AP Computer Science final project. I just took the exam for AP Computer Science recently and found it extremely easy; I just hope my score will be good...Life's been really turbulent and messy lately, but I don't have much to say about it here. At the moment, my server is down because Pacific Bell sucks, although they haven't given me trouble for like a year now.

Haven't posted a diary entry in a while...I'm working on a WordTris game with aaronl right now. I finally made a release of Tiger and I am discussing future cooperation with the author of TiLP (formerly GtkTiLink) and GtkTiEmu. I've also done some work on GtkHx and adding support for some stuff that Hotline 1.5+ servers support, such as threaded news. I added IPv6 support to hx/hxd, but I still need to make the tracker work with it as it stores server address in 4 bytes -- for IPv6 it will have to be 16 bytes. I still have to add IPv6 support to GtkHx <-- it isbeing a bit weird...Currently, I am reorganizing the code. Life is pretty good now.

So I got my cat back (read previous entry for information) and I'm very glad. He's changed quite a bit in the couple of months he has been missing. He's a bit more fat (someone seems to have fed him quite well) and his fur grew longer. Also, he is not as afraid of strangers now (I guess he learned not to be as he has to depend on strangers to help him.) I'm quite relieved that I got him back.

I haven't posted a diary entry in a while. Life has been very busy. I got an IBM ThinkPad 570E for...New Year's I guess since I don't celebrate Christmas or Hannukah or any such religious holiday. I got it for a few reasons -- my organization problem mostly. I hate paper and I can't organize paper. I can now take notes in emacs heh. Second, after school I can accomplish a lot of programming work but I can't do it using a lame Java SSH client on Windoze and my school has a nice wireless network. Third, I need a laptop next year anyway =P Anyway, I put up a screenshot of my laptop in action here. I just had finals last week -- I did okay on all of them except for Chemistry, which I totally bombed on. Chemistry doesn't make much sense to me, at this point in time.

Yesterday, I was contacted regarding my cat. Apparently, someone found him 10 days ago and just gained his trust a couple of days ago and they found the report I filed a couple of months ago and brought him to the shelter and contacted me. He has been wandering around the same area he ran away for a couple of months now -- the person who brought in my cat said that he asked neighbors about the cat first and they said they have been aware of it wandering around for a while now. The description of the cat fits that of my cat's perfectly, it appeared in that area around the same time mine got lost, and they found him in an area right by the apartment complex he ran away from, so I am pretty sure that this is my cat. I will go to the animal shelter as soon as I get out of school to check if it is really my cat, and if it is, I will take him home.

I have done a lot of work on GtkHx recently. I put all functions using blocking connect() into other threads so that they wouldn't lock up my main thread while trying to connect. I am also working on implementing the new threaded news protocol. I've made quite a few other change too. I predict that I will be able to make a full 1.0 release in a 2-3 months, if all goes well and I fight my laziness.

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