Older blog entries for pulp (starting at number 4)

Desperate itch to code something interesting.

Been taking Graphics at WPI; enjoying the hell out of it, and having a really good time coding for the first time in a long while.

I just might get around to hacking together a 3D openGL interface for Nethack. No Diablo-esque graphics or anything; I'm thinking more of a beautifully lit, rotatable and zoomable matrix of extruded fixed-width text characters. Seems more in the spirit of the game than a collection of crude models, and it'll be an easy starting point. Future ideas (that is, post-future future) include doing nice simple animated models for much of the architecture, handling elevation (pits, levitation, water), perhaps some basic models for armor and weapon types, maybe even dog and cat models.

Don't know if Nethack fans on average would consider this horrifying or wonderful. Kinda hoping for both.

Work:

(Background: first real coding job, doing perl stuff for a dot com; no prior practical experience jumping into someone else's large pile of code, and its been intimidating as hell for a while. I've been here a month now and until this last week I haven't even really been hacking on the Big Project I was ostensibly hired to help with. Weird politics, etc; spent the last several weeks getting to know the various systems (pile of Linux boxes with a couple NT machines running the Tango drek that our site still relies on (to top which off, Tango is being sold by Pervasive, the company responsible for it, which means we're just that much more fucked)) and coding up a couple varyingly convoluted newsfeed parser/poster perl scripts to stock our database with a less-reliable version of information that folks who care will go to the original site for anyway. So, daunting or not, it's rather a relief to be diving into this big old project.)

So I've been squashing bugs this week. In the process, I seem to have cracked through the ethereal layer of grok that was erstwhile making me feel like I didn't know anything about Perl or programming or logic. Big relief.

So now, if things are as the seem, our users will (a) actually get visual notification if their messages' mail headers claim them to be, respectively, "Highest" priority. Does anyone use this? At all? I grew up on the Net relatively ignorant to header contents (just learned the nitty-gritty on USENET headers last week on a whim; x-no-archive makes a lot of sense), so maybe I just never thought about it, but I don't think I've ever gotten a "priority" mail in my life.

Also, when a user deletes a folder, they will no longer have all of their mail in their main inbox deleted from the server.

That last issue is, as far as I understand it, *still* an issue in the original product on which we're hacking. Need to check this out, let them know.

I suppose that when/if this product ever gets around to not sucking, I might post the URL or something. But dammit, it's utterly commercial and blah, so maybe not. Kinda hard to be too proud of something that you manage to convert from bloated, inconsistently written pile of crap that doesn't work to s/n't//.

Commute:

Hell on earth. I go from Worcester (MA) to Providence (RI) and back, 3 days a week (telecommuting teus and thurs to save my sanity). Shouldn't be a problem, it's only a 45 minute drive, an hour with traffice, right?

But, well, I don't have a car. I'm dead broke and trying to pay for my senior year of college, starting in about three weeks, so buying one is out. Satan hasn't been returning my calls, so that angle won't work either.

But hey, no car? No problem. Public transit is the answer. Take a bus/train/vanpool to and from work, it's that simple, right?

But, well, there aren't any direct public tranportation solutions between Worcester and Providence, at least not that I've found in a month of looking (someone, please prove me wrong...).

So what do I do? I get up in the morning (5:30), walk a brisk mile to the train station, catch the 6:12 MBTA train to South Station in Boston, get on a 7:30 Bonanza Bus to Providence (no MBTA trains go into Providence from Boston between 7:00 and noon), catch a RIPTA bus to workplace, get to work about 9:00.

Going home is about the same, except no Bonanza because there is a 5:55 MBTA from Providence to South Station. Leave work at 5:30, get home about 9:00.

Whole thing (monthly MBTA zone 9 pass, 2 Bonanza 10-Passes, Providence RIPTA bus fare) costs me close to $300 a month, too. Gas would be less, and we've got parking at work so I wouldn't be paying for that. Gar. Of course, work in insurance (21, male, no drivers ed) and I'm probably breaking out ahead as is.

I think it's 45 miles between Worcester and Providence. In three hours, that's 15 miles an hour. If I was in good shape, I could bike that. Arg.

Hacking:

I wish. Any suggestions?

Other:

Don't have time/energy for other right now. Gar.

Relief. I think I'll hush up for a while now.

Addendum: ambivalence persists.

Contemplating my own memetic role in the possible (and in the case of success, wholly unfortunate) dilution of Advogato's signal-to-noise ratio. Not really expecting to contribute immediately to the good stuff this site contains and discusses, but there is always hope.

New Advogato Features

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.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!