Older blog entries for neale (starting at number 18)

I ran into the other PHPix2 developer today at the sandwich shop downstairs. Turns out he works in the building next to me. What a riot. We talked about various problems he was having with trying to get a multi-user upload capability into PHPix2, definitely got some creative juices flowing. He suggested we sit down and plan things out sometime. The package might be getting a lot more attention now that we each have a face associated with it :-)

29 Mar 2001 (updated 29 Mar 2001 at 17:47 UTC) »

If someone were to ask me what person active on Advogato has the most expertise with mod_virgule, I'd have to say it was lkcl. Which is why it's supremely funny that he got censored on badvogato. In a way, that's sort of like someone launching a DoS attack against transmeta from a Linux 0.99pre16 box.

Anyway. Work, life, yadda yadda. I have pixy stix. Yum.

Randakar, while it isn't a part of the language, there's no reason you couldn't implement a trust metric system in ColdC. It also provides all the networking stuff you'd need to have a distributed object system (although it might be necessary to hack the core language a bit for nicer integration). Think of ColdC as a general-purpose byte-compiled language with a built-in persistant object store.

After over six months doing self-directed research at my job, yesterday I finally got something to do with a definite deadline. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders, as I finally had some incentive to get my arse in gear. I guess I work better under pressure.

randakar, mobius: also check out The Cold Project. It's more or less MOO-ish, but with a more general-purpose language. For example, db objects are just like in any other OO-language, whereas in MOO all objects have certain "physical" properties (location, description, visibility). This part of MOO leads to weird things like web servers being located in the "nowhere" room. That may be desirable for certain situations, though.

I'm supposed to write a web-based wedding registry pretty soon here. The ones I found on SourceForge didn't impress me much. I suppose I'll do it in PHP, and create a new project out of it. I don't know that there's much to salvage in the two non-functioning registry programs. Really, guys, if you have a list of 500 items, there's no need to require MySQL. How many wedding guests are you inviting, anyway? The entire state of New Hampshire? ;-)

Three quarters of starting up a new project is figuring out what approach you're going to take toward solving the problem at hand. I am in the habit of hemming and hawing about the problem for longer than I'd like, but when I finally tire of procrastinating, I tend to kick into high gear.

I don't enjoy the time spent procrastinating before the actual designing and coding, which is why I liked my high-pressure job at freei so much. But I think that somehow, I end up with better designs this way. It's strange to try to justify to myself why I put things off. I'm fortunate in that I've never had to do it to anyone else.

Of the people here who own their own domains, I'm one of the very few that has no links to my vanity page on the front page. There are many here whose vanity page is the front page.

I think I figured out why my productivity at work is so low. I'd fallen into the habit of working around 14 hours a day, and only getting serious work done in the later 6 hours. Now that I have a reason to go home, I'm only working 8-9 hours per day, which means I hardly get any real work done.

The sun is out again. Yum.

Wow! I just got my first O'Caml program working with the equeue stuff. It listens on a socket and prints "arf" to anyone who connects. No big deal. But what's really cool is that it worked the first time. Granted, I had a few syntax problems I had to work out, but the bugger worked pretty much right after I typed it in.

This is similar to the experience I had with Python, except that in the case of O'Caml, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. :^)

Anyway, that made an otherwise lame day pretty exciting :-)

I have an inkling that someone is using thunk as part of a personal vendetta, and that really pisses me off. It seems, now, that this thing is still at the level of IRC, including mindless banter and little wars. I may take it away soon, there's enough noise on the Internet without me contributing to it.

Four-day weekend skiing in Montana, and the sun is shining in Seattle when we get home. Life is good.

I'm trying to figure out how to convince co-workers to use O'Caml, or at least, how to convince them to let me use it. It may be a very hard sell.

I can see myself heading toward another major life change, in which I abandon something that I'm currently doing and leap headfirst into unknown territory. These sorts of paradigm shifts have mostly been positive. I think I need these periodically to keep myself awake.

The last release of PHPix2 was a mess, and I'm not particularly motivated to do anything about it right now. I'm thinking about abandoning it, it's just not capturing my attention like I keep hoping it will. Anyone want a small yet successful GPLed project?

15 Mar 2001 (updated 15 Mar 2001 at 18:55 UTC) »

Last night we discovered that I'd left the car door open when we parked the car. I parked the car on Sunday, four days earlier. So I pushed the car back and forth on the 30 feet of flat pavement we had in the parking garage while Amy tried to pop the clutch and get it running. Unfortunately, I'd decided to park at the very bottom, so it was a uphill on one end, and a wall on the other. Finally, a dude in a jeep showed up and gave me a jump start. Today I'm sore.

After pushing the car around for a while, we went back to UW. I went to Bill's room and checked out this system he's got rigged up to measure gas flow with some kind of Data Acquisition board he's got hooked up to the parallel port of an old laptop. They're doing it in DOS, and I talked to the guy writing the code about writing an interrupt handler for the timer interrupt to do hard realtime sampling of this port (you have to poll it, which makes me wonder why they didn't just go straight into the parallel port). It brought back fond memories of writing 8086 assembly code when I explaied to the dude what AH and AL were, and how they were the same as AX. He was a junior CS student and didn't know what a union was. C++ is evil.

A guy on thunk was bugging me to add "last article posted on..." text to the article overview functionailty of mod_virgule, so I did, and sent the diff in to raph. Does that mean I get to register myself as a Helper on mod_virgule? There's no option for "know the code fairly well, sent in a diff, feel free to ask me questions" :-)

When she requested last week I put Linux on her computer, I asked Amy if she felt like she knew it well enough to use it as her primary OS. Her response was, "what exactly is it I'm supposed to learn how to do?" I think that speaks well of where things have come. I guess most people need an email client, web browser, mp3 player, and word processor, in that order. KDE gives her all of that in a nice package.

Waldo: don't just drop your idea, dude, it's cool. I already volunteered my company, I'm sure other people are excited. Flesh it out and start a project on sourceforge. We don't care if you don't know how to do it technically, just be glue and provide architectural oversight.

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