Older blog entries for pate (starting at number 11)

3 Jun 2002 (updated 3 Jun 2002 at 22:53 UTC) »

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. Since my last entry: I've changed jobs a couple of times; moved cross country; finished my book; taken on an official role with a free software project; watched my kids grow stronger, faster, and smarter; spent time with my wife; and generally tried to be a good person. Hopefully I've succeeded.

I guess I'll start trying to keep this diary up. We'll see how it goes.

I finally got up the inertia to put together a game I've been thinking about for a while (I made a couple of stabs at it earlier, but didn't get too far with it). I'd be interested in getting some feedback on it if anyone is willing to help an apprentice out ;)

word-dig is available from sourceforge. Don't expect too much tho' , it's little more than a commandline word game/puzzle.


Okay, so I've put together a ciphersaber based system for having an encrypted password in gotmail. Alas, gotmail is developed in .au and i'm in .us ... does anyone have any clue as to how exportable a ciphersaber is?
other stuff

it looks like i'm going to be teaching a intro/intermediate perl course here at work (14 people, 2 classes). scary. I'm just glad netizen put skud's nice perl classes up under the OPL ...

lilo, the thinkpad 240 is a pretty nice box if you're looking to run linux on it. RedHat and Debian both installed flawlessly on it, and X is crisp and clear (albeit a bit small). It's hard to beat the price too. The only knock I've heard is that they're approaching End of Life.

I did in fact get some stuff done.

  • A contract is signed with New Riders, including publishing a portion of the book (networking and Linux) under the OPL.
  • No progess has been made on freeing HAstat, and the opposite is true. It seems that the 2nd level manager who was starting to make positive noises has now resigned from the company to take a position elsewhere.
  • I wrote a ciphersaber. Given the amount of help that is available, it was pretty easy.
  • I found a new hotmail mail sucking script. Since I'm stuck using hotmail from my current workplace, this is good. I've start bundling up patches to make the script better.

in other news, my 10 year old daughter has decided that Disney is evil. She's been reading my copy of 'Bullfinch's Mythology'. When she compared that to 'Hercules', she started wondering how badly Disney did at telling other stories ...

mdorman I've taken to calling my useless factoids esoterica ... I don't know if anyone else would ever deign to use the term, but I like it.

Wow, it's a new month ... maybe today I'll get something done.


more progress being made on freeing HAstat (the Veritas First Watch watcher (qui custodiet ipsos custodes) i mentioned before). My 2nd level manager is talking to his peer in the development organization who promised to ask esr about potential liability (esr was speaking here yesterday). i shall keep my fingers crossed.


i neglected to put in an entry yesterday ... i did recieve my new laptop. In the expected show of bad timing, i did not recieve the redhat 6.2 copy (cheapbytes) i'd ordered. today this morning will be spent fetching and burning the iso image.

Found that i'd whacked some links from my homepage during a re-org ... i hate it when that happens.


After ranting about my travails in freeing some of the stuff i'm working on here, I stumbled across a notice that esr is coming here to speak tomorrow (and i won't be able to attend, grrr).

In any case, I decided that this presented another opportunity to badger my manager about the issue, and this time there was actually some action. Who knows, maybe I'll get this kicked out the door after all.


In the past i've been successful in evangalizing free software because i've been in small companies where a voice could be heard and reasoned argument pondered. Alas, i'm now in a big company and keep running into brick walls.

i've put together a set of scripts for watching HA systems (Veritas First Watch) for anomolies and reporting it's findings. Every time i bring up freeing it (to let other groups help improve/port it, to expose it to wider use (stress testing), or just to improve the ability to recruit people ('hey, look at us, we work on free software')) i run into blank stares and replies like 'Well, I really don't know who we'd even talk to about doing that.' . . . There has to be a way, I just can't find it.

i'm also working on a ticketing/to-do system. It's in production use here, but could really stand having other groups pick it up and tweak, abuse, and play with it.

If anyone has ideas about how to break through the organizational stasis field, I'd love to hear them.

All of the above are done with MySQL and Perl and provide an HTML interface for the user, just in case anyone cares.

today was consumed by taxes, errands, and general running arround. in fact, i am only making this entry while i should be printing additional tax forms ...

  • Took my wife to her physical therapy appointment (dislocated knee) ... good news is that she is mostly walking without crutches, bad news is PT will continue for a while.
  • spent some time sorting food for the local food assistance pantry ... quality time with my daughter and her girl scout troop.
  • spent some time looking at laptops ... any one have experience with the thinkpad 240 as a linux platform? let me know.
  • printed way too many forms and pubs ... taxes suck
  • topped the day off by attending the baptism of a girl in my wife's Sunday School class.

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