Funny how the wheel turns. I started "blogging" on Advogato long before "blog" had entered the public vernacular, but drifted away as the pressures of work and my personal life started to take a toll. But now I find myself wanting to get back into the (hobby? practice? avocation?) of writing about computers and software. I don't want to start up a regular blog for a number of reasons, the primary one being that I don't have much to say about politics these days -- I'm frankly sick to death of the whole topic.
Also, I have found that my interest in computer science has been re-fired lately -- I will be forty years old soon, and this presents me with a good excuse to perform a tour d'horizon of the field where I have spent the bulk of my life so far. I don't delude myself that my thoughts are in any way profound or even original; it's just that I find it cathartic to sit down and get some ideas down "on paper" rather than just float around and eventually dissipate. I'm often glad that I write about things that years later I think are silly or badly-considered: it helps me to understand how I've changed.
What I won't do here (or at least will try not to do) is go on long political rants, or chronicle my personal life. I intend this to be a technically-oriented space, a scratch- pad for my thoughts and ideas on computers, software, and other technology. I'm sure that philosophy, religion, and esthetics will intrude -- writing software is a human activity, after all -- but I will try to keep things centered.
Wow. I can't believe this blog is still active after four years!
I still have some programmer-ish thoughts to convey, so I'll stick them here....
Here's a good definition of the word irritating: someone who hears a slightly-risque (and only kind-of-funny) joke, and then has to go and repeat that joke to everyone he meets. And I mean everyone -- strangers, family, waitresses, bank tellers, and store clerks. It's a ribald joke that might be well-received in a bar after a few beers when one is among friends. Told to a complete stranger (especially a female), it could lead to charges of sexual harassment.
How can someone be so socially tone-deaf?
There oughtta be a law, I tells ya.
Snow. Mucho snow. But then, I live in Minnesota -- that's to be expected, I suppose. We've had a very mild fall so far, so I can't complain too much.
Wow, I feel bad for not posting an update here sooner. But the end of the deathmarch left me with almost no energy for anything computer-related, and I resolved to stay away from computers on my vacation. (I cheated a bit, but I was pretty good about it in general.)
In other news, I've decided to try Mac OS X out. I bought a new iBook (14", 933MHz G4 CPU) complete with 640MB RAM and an Airport card. I pondered getting a PowerBook instead, but really an iBook is fine since I just want to tool around with Mac OS X a bit. I haven't followed the Mac world too closely since I parted ways with my old Performa a few years back, but Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) looks like it could be the Perfect Unix: a great Unix back-end (based on FreeBSD 5) combined with a great UI. Plus, Xcode looks like a pretty nifty IDE.
The deathmarch didn't exactly end so much as it just petered out. In celebration, I scheduled a two-week vacation around Thanksgiving. I desperately need the time off to rest my brain.
The deathmarch may be nearing its end. Thank $DEITY.
Still on the death-march. Still working my way through Quicksilver (great book so far!).
I scrubbed C++BuilderX off my hard drive. It's not bad, but it's a far cry from being useful. I can't believe that Borland released the product in this state -- whatever the short-term gain in revenue, it will be more than offset by the increased technical-support and post-release bugfix costs, not to mention the loss of developer goodwill (which is something Borland desperately needs right now).
I miss the Borland of the Turbo Pascal and Turbo C++ days. Maybe they should bring Philippe Kahn back!
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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