Older blog entries for mrcsparker (starting at number 76)

4 Feb 2004 (updated 4 Feb 2004 at 01:40 UTC) »

It seems like everything that I want working on my T40 is working - with a bit of work on my part:
ACPI - Suspend works with gentoo-dev-sources (2.6.1). There are some problems with the e1000 module when it comes back up - sometimes I lose my connection. cpufreqd is a cool program.
Sound works well with alsa and - unlike my T23 - there are no problems after I come up from suspend. Not sure if this is because I was using APM with the T23.
The wireless card works with the ndiswrapper driver (wrapper around Intel's proprietary Windows Centrino driver). I hate this, by the way. It works well, and the guys and girls who wrote the wrapper should be commended, but Intel really sucks for the Centrino driver mess - not worth going in to.
Graphics driver works well. Well enough to play cube. I am using the kernel driver, not ATI's proprietary mess.
Laptops still have quite a way when it comes to free operating systems. I am not blaming the developers - the companies that make the hardware are still so protective over their proprietary bits.

In other news, I played with LTSP a bit today for work. K12 is great. Clusterknoppix is great. I am so lucky to have all of this cool shit to play with. Though, I can't help but think with a bit of polish these projects could all come together and make a really kick-ass terminal server solution. Automatic clustering, terminal server, simple gui tools...

- Got a new IBM T40 yesterday. Very sweet.
- Might be purchasing 300+ linux boxes for work. Novell is really pushing this, and I think that it is great. I can stop doing HP-UX programming and move over to Linux. Yea.

Got up feeling really tired, not sure why. Getting hot all day - maybe it is menopause or something.

Wrote a bit of a tiny, tiny xml-rpc server for work. We need a notification system here for our thousands of servers laid out accross the US and xml-rpc seems like the best route to go for alot of what want to do. The company is going to let me GPL it so when it is done I am going to set up a mailing list and put the code somewhere for people to view.

Originally we planned on using another project we found on SourceForge but the developer was not accepting any major patches, and in order for it to work for us it would need some major changes. Oh well, the system I am putting together right now, thought the core is written in C, should allow applications written in muliple languages to communicate with eachother.

No Caffeine

None, for about two weeks. Okay, this might not be a big deal to any of you, but it is to me. I was a serious coffee drinker - multiple POTS a day. Yes, multiple.

If you are tring to get off of caffeine, here is some advice:

1. Stop on a weekend, or a really slow holiday. I stopped on a Friday before a long weekend.

2. Sleep. Let yourself sleep in. If you drank as much caffeine as I did, you will be pretty useless - and you don't feel the pain when you are not awake.

3. Water is your friend, and drink lots of it. You will be fiending you liquid, and it is not the perfect solution but it fills at least some of your need. Plus, water is good for you and will help clean you out. I was drinking about a gallon and a half a day.

4. Non-caffeinated teas are almost like coffee and have some flavor. Great.

5. Multivitamin and extra B multivitamin. Okay, not sure if this really helps, but it couldn't hurt to get some extra vitamins in your body.

That is all I could think of. I had hardly a headache the whole time - every other time I tried to quit I went back because I could not take the insane pounding in my head. This time was much easier. Hope this helps someone.

New Box for Work

Just got off the phone with HP and it looks like we are ordering an RX2600 loaded with Red Hat Linux AS 3.0. This is a pretty big deal for a pretty much HP-UX-only shop like the one I work at. It was HP-UX or GNU/Leenucks and Linux offered extra flexability that we couldn't get with the HP-UX box. It's a smaller system, but it is a start. Finally, a system that will come installed with the tools that I use.

Mark Finlay

We exchanged a couple of emails, and he seemed like a really cool guy. I was supposed to work on a project with him once that got sidetracked by work and school, but I kept it in the back of my mind to get with the guy and start hacking it out. Pity I will never get the chance.

Four days and no caffeine. Four days and no caffeine.

Okay, if you are going to do this be warned: you will ache. Drink A LOT of water, take your multivitamin, and (you will do this anyways) sleep.

I am so damn tired. I thought that giving up caffeine would just give me a blistering headache, but I have already fallen asleep one today at work. Yea, mild headache when I got up to heat up my lunch in the cafeteria upstairs. Also, my mind is really muddled - I had a tiny meeting with someone about a problem he was having and it took all of my effort to just follow along.

You know, I know already I am in for a world of pain but I know that it will be worth it. I didn't plan on quitting right now, but that article on /. really pushed me forward. I figure if so many other people can kick coffee, then I can.

Slow day at least.

Great Amazon.com Reviews

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Read this on Lou Reeds Book Pass the Fire:

Read this to your kids? You've gotta be kidding me.
Reviewer: Dan DeBonis from Washington, DC USA

(excerpt...) Read this to your children? Are you kidding me? Do you want them to grow up to be self-hating, smack-shooting "street poets," or worse -- pretentious hipster narcissists? They'll hate you for it someday.

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Though the best review ever has to be on that ego-driven piece of crap A New Kind of Science:

A New Kind of Review by "a reader"

I can only imagine how fortunate you must feel to be reading my review. This review is the product of my lifetime of experience in meeting important people and thinking deep thoughts. This is a new kind of review, and will no doubt influence the way you think about the world around you and the way you think of yourself.

Bigger than infinity Although my review deserves thousands of pages to articulate, I am limiting many of my deeper thoughts to only single characters. I encourage readers of my review to dedicate the many years required to fully absorb the significance of what I am writing here. Fortunately, we live in exactly the time when my review can be widely disseminated by "internet" technology and stored on "digital media", allowing current and future scholars to delve more deeply into my original and insightful use of commas, numbers, and letters.

My place in history My review allows, for the first time, a complete and total understanding not only of this but *every single* book ever written. I call this "the principle of book equivalence." Future generations will decide the relative merits of this review compared with, for example, the works of Shakespeare. This effort will open new realms of scholarship.

More about me I first began writing reviews as a small child, where my talent was clearly apparent to those around me, including my mother. She preserved my early writings which, although simpler in structure, portend elements of my current style. I include one of them below (which I call review 30) to indicate the scholarly pedigree of the document now in your hands or on your screen or committed to your memory:

"The guy who wrote the book is also the publisher of the book. I guess he's the only person smart enough to understand what's in it. When I'm older I too will use a vanity press. Then I can write all the pages I want."...

It is staggering to contemplate that all the great works of literature can be derived from the letters I use in writing this review. I am pleased to have shared them with you, and hereby grant you the liberty to use up to twenty (20) of them consecutively without attribution. Any use of additional characters in print must acknowledge this review as source material since it contains, implicitly or explicitly, all future written documents.

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But, I bought the book when it came out, so how smart does that make me? Wolfram has my money and I have a book full of pretty Mathematica pictures.

yea!!!

qt
When I got a Zaurus, I took some time out and learned qt. Great library, warts and all. Okay, so I did not like the moc systen very much, but it was a blessing compared to my win32 days of programming for one major reason - the documentation kicked serious ass. Trolltech - being that the library was GPL - could not hide anything for me. I could explore the language warts and all. Now, you current and ex win32 programmers I know can understand this - win32 is a huge pain in the ass for ANYTHING out of the ordinary. You want to do anything that is not documented you are up shit creek - browsing forums, looking on groups.google.com, doing searches on that impossible documentation hole called microsoft.com. I have spent waaay too many nights searching for answers to problems all over the internet just to find that my solution is either a work-around for a bug or some undocumented trick.
I really hope that this year qt and gtk can learn to live together - maybe even become friends.
GNOME Cron Frontend
I am calling it gnome-system-cron but I am up for name changes. Got pretty far on it - it parses the output from crontab -l (or /etc/crontab if you have the right permissions). I am also making it spit out some legible output - things like "Run command every Sunday at 7:00" rather than 10,15 * * *... ls -l. Anyways, I will be releasing this, not sure when though. I have not gotten to the "Edit Task" dialog yet, and I am up for suggestions - please if anyone has pointers to a clean looking interface let me know. The current cron frontends look too busy to me.

I love cigarettes, The way they taste, the way they smell - the way that they make me feel after I take that first, second, third drag. I am not a smoker but if cigarettes were better for me I would smoke ALL OF THE TIME.

I don't understand people that say they hate cigarettes - or at least hate the way cigarettes make a person feel. Long day full of frustrating crap and that drage makes all of those problems go away - like sex but not as much of a public taboo.

So, there are a whole lot of smart people around here - invent something that gives me what I want in a cigarette without all of the nasty side effects. Come on, you will make millions of bucks and have a life-long friend.

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