Older blog entries for nymia (starting at number 1374)

23 Mar 2005 (updated 23 Mar 2005 at 19:42 UTC) »

Turns out the 3 Gig drive conked out of its misery and died right after setting up the partition. So, it's not Kubuntu but the drive.

Went to the garage and pulled out another old drive. Plugged it to one of the test box and got Kubuntu booting off of the drive.


SmallTalk Tech

Impressed with the tech behind Smalltalk, decided to use some of the cool features over to our current project. It may take several months before anything useful come out from it, though.

Squeak - Croquet Tutorials

One blogger posted a link to an interesting tutorial. Did some light reading on the site and that's pretty much it.

titus asked the rationale behind Croquet. Good question, though. Don't know exactly what it is used for, but it looks cool.

Card Counting 101

After some discussion on the merits of Card Counting, the only way we could get money out from the house was to (1)Learn the technique, (2)Use it once to win THE MONEY, then (3)Never go back and play again.
22 Mar 2005 (updated 22 Mar 2005 at 21:36 UTC) »

Did a test install on a 3 Gig drive using Kubuntu. The install went up to the base install before going into a spin wait ad infinitum. It looks like 3 Gig drives will not work, though.
21 Mar 2005 (updated 21 Mar 2005 at 18:59 UTC) »
We are not so special

Ralf made interesting comments on programmers ability to code which is quite unique. The distinction has a remarkable effect.

At the end, Ralf seems to topple the arguments he stacked up with one sweep that programmers are not much different from others.

MS Evangelist Blogs About Mac Mini

Here is the blog.

Croquet on Making It Stick

A certain blogger on Making It Stick posted a screenshot of Croquet.


Started working on setting up the piers of the 10x10 deck. Went to the local lumber yesterday and got some 2x4x10 planks and six pier blocks.


Played around with Fedora after installing all packages. Turns out the fast PC I knew ran a little slower. Also noticed the new desktop layout, ala-Mac. File system browser has a new behavior similar to BeOS, was it called spatial? Anyway, the latest Fedora is better than the previous one, though.


I had to let the Mac go as I didn't have any reason for using that beautiful machine. It turns out that all that GUI glitter didn't have any effect on me. Maybe because it was the old G4? It would be nice to get the G5 and run some number crunchers, see how fast that beauty runs.

Learning Method: Lancaster-Montessori

The results of the experiment turned out pretty good. I was surprised to see how the system did the job of making the kids(?) perform well. I think I've found a way of improving the 'pedagogy' that were practiced at the turn of the century. The experiment is still running and will conclude after 7 to 10 years.

There is now a methodology after years of trial and error. It is able to monitor progress by tracking quizzes, assignments and other tests.

The goal is to save money. College money. I think it is doable.
18 Mar 2005 (updated 18 Mar 2005 at 19:21 UTC) »

Finally got the Anime Eye sample implemented using Inkscape. It looks like Inkscape is pretty usable already as I can do a lot of ops using the toolbox and menus. Though some Illustrator artiste will find some of the ops quite different, like the boolean ops, for example.

What is probably needed to get more users using Inkscape is to write more tutorials targetting Illustrator users. A tutorial that maps all Illustrator ops to Inkscape ops will probably get users moving over to Inkscape. Now, why did I say that? Well, it might turn out most Inkscape users will be coming from commercial ones.

The best move is to re-do the UI and simply copy the competitor's UI. That would be the easiest way to get more users. But then, how can third party make money out of Inkscape selling tutorials? Hmmm.

It might be good to play around with Inkscape and see if I can write a couple of tutorials. Then test the hypothesis if more users actually moved over.
17 Mar 2005 (updated 18 Mar 2005 at 01:18 UTC) »

Spent a few hours setting up the devel environment needed to compile the latest-and-greatest. Ruby compiled nicely on the win32 box, but squeak somehow needed a little massage. Turns out I ran out of time to set it up, so I decided to focus on playing around with Ruby code instead.

Also got the opportunity to walk the Squeak VM code. Found the interpreter interesting to read as it was implemented with good grace. Whoever wrote that code definitely knows what maintenance probably means.

Walking the Ruby code wasn't hard either. At the end of the walk, I did find some ways of figuring in a repository for classes, but somehow failed to identify where objects, or AST can be persisted. Ruby behaves similarly like Smalltalk but it doesn't walk like Smalltalk. The author probably did not see any value in adding a class/object repo beside the VM as it would require an image to be loaded during init() or probably later with a reference to a Global Cache.

[1] Kay, et al,. The Story of Squeak, A Practical Smalltalk Written in Itself, x, x.

Paid To Blog

Just couldn't believe my officemate is probably the person who will most likely blog all the time. The thing is, blogging is part of her job description. Geez, what is going there? Isn't blogging considered improper anymore?

I can see this happening sometime in the near future:

  Wanted: Programmer/Developer/Analyst
 BS in Computer Science or Computer Engineering
 At least 1-2 years experience developing object-oriented software applications on an embedded device.
 At least 3 months experience developing software applications on a Symbian handheld device platform (UIQ preferred, Series60, or Series90).
 Working knowledge of software configuration management tools (ClearCase)
 Working knowledge of emulation and debugging tools (Microsoft VC++, Metrowerks CodeWarrior)
 Good coding and documentation practices
 2 Years BLOGGING experience


Alan commented on the Anime Eye entry posted, which made me interested in checking out Inkscape. I'll check it out this weekend and see how Inkscape stacks up, though.

Fedora DVD

Just got the Fedora .iso burned to DVD+R. Will test it tonight.

Company Blog

Just finished playing around with multi-user WordPress. Next step is evaluate Planet and see if can be installed on our Linux server.
16 Mar 2005 (updated 16 Mar 2005 at 23:38 UTC) »
Anime Eyes

Part of the work I'm currently doing is creating a character for guiding new users along a certain process. Hoping that this move will increase usability.

Anyway, I just got the eyes done and will move to the next step.

Research: Ruby Environment

Did some research about setting up a Smalltalk-like environment in Ruby. Basically a system browser/repository for classes and objects. Moreover, the repo should be able to persist objects across sessions. Making it possible for users to query a class/object within the repo.
15 Mar 2005 (updated 15 Mar 2005 at 19:17 UTC) »
Petty Comparative

It looks like I've got one observation to write down, after reading through events that transpired. I'm writing about a comparative of team dynamics within Gnome and Sports teams like the ones I belong to. One of the glaring point I noticed was the way how the dynamics unveiled. It seems to me that in the Gnome case, conflicts end miserably as compared to team dynamics I belonged. The absence of a quick recovery from a down cycle to an up cycle was missing.

To analyse further, the cause for this absence may be due to the medium of communication that were used. Email for instance can greatly misrepresent a person. Moreover, web forums and published articles also has the potential to mislead readers of the actual intention. These are just two of the items of a probable cause.

On the other hand, in the case of a sports team. Individuals in a team tend to support one another no matter what petty quarrels arise. During a play in which one player misses an important step or move can cause other players to make an unfavorable comment. But other players are there to call the play and say "forget it, let's move on to the next play." Things like these where mistakes of a player are forced to the dustbin in a matter of seconds had a good effect on the overall team spirit.

To conclude the comparative. It looks like one should be careful in dealing with people when using Email and Forums as they don't necessarily convey the entire story. Another point to consider is the personal background of the person. If said person has no team experience, chances are high that this person does not know how to recover quickly from down to up cycle. Also note the correlation between the first and second concluding statement is zero.

Ahh, the coffee and donut tasted very good.

[1] peasantries., You owe me bigtime, buddy. . LiveJournal, 2005
[2] Eugenia., Editorial: OSS Software, Deaf Developers & Unsatisfied Users , OS News, 2005
[3] Thom H., The Riddle Of The Sphinx , Expert Zone, 2005
14 Mar 2005 (updated 14 Mar 2005 at 19:47 UTC) »
E Pluribus Unum

Not sure how it would be written down, but I guess the sequence of events should start right after the last game ended. The reason why I approached the team captains who were there yesterday was to suggest a couple of ideas.

The first one was the establishment of a team captains club, a very exclusive club only for team captains. This club is autonomous with the authority to setup a league or tournament.

The second one was to move to the next level of practice. As of the moment, practice is basically limited to open gyms and on tournament day. Some players just get their stuff while playing. To get more playing time, team captains will setup a practice game against another team. Time, location and number of teams will be figured in. In a certain way, practice games will provide teams with the needed time to tune-up their players. A cheaper alternative to playing in the same intensity of competition found in tournaments.

Well, it turns out all the team captains agreed to the idea. They are interested in setting up an informal network. Every one of them agreed with no minor objections. This is cool, though. I would imagine a lot of good things will come out when team captains are unified under one club or even organization.
14 Mar 2005 (updated 14 Mar 2005 at 17:18 UTC) »
Sharing The Burden

Called up a quick meeting after the first game ended. Mentioned there are so many roles that need to be delegated. I listed the roles that can be taken up by each player, like each one must perform a duty in setting up the payments. On is set for sending out emails. Another is the phone brigade, while another is recruitment. In short, I'm throwing the work to my mates, letting them know the burden must be shared among members.

New Member

Mike came in early, seeing him enter the gym, he got introduced to the team. During the game he blended easily with others. He just played in there like he played with them many moons ago. At the end of the game, they were impressed with the firepower Mike brought to the table. Turns out the new recruit did his job pretty well.
11 Mar 2005 (updated 11 Mar 2005 at 18:50 UTC) »
Social Experiment

It looks like I got my hypothesis down to a point where it is stated properly. The next step is to carry out the experiment which will take 24 to 48 months. During that time, I will be posting actively in newsgroups trying to solicit feedback from the population. With the hope of gathering statistical information needed to produce a set of charts. Well, you ask what the social experiment is? I'll write about the details later as I move along the programmed path.

Another interesting task is to go to where tech heads (wireless/mobile) gather and socialize with them. The objective is to gather information as much as possible.

Volleyball Team

Decided to add one more player who I think will do a lot of damage. His ordnance looked pretty good, hitting at a high point with a steep angle. Pretty impressive, definitely a good player that can deliver the payload. It's going to be really interesting to see him play this coming Sunday.


One team organizer emailed me asking if he can merge with the team. They recently disbanded after having some misunderstandings. Quite common for volunteer based groups who vote with their feet. He is proposing a new team be formed to play in the Portland League which will start in April.

Bad Medicine

I was surprised to read the poorly structured polemic against Gnome. Reminding me of the saying when dark clouds hang above: Bad Medicine [2]. It gave me the impression that something is wrong in the volunteer based group. Internal strife is an indication of the coming dissolution, though. Not very good for the group/club as volunteers normally vote with their code and feet. Perhaps it is now time to use the broom? Kick some booties if you may?

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