richieb is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Richard Bielak
Member since: 2000-01-13 19:15:57
Last Login: 2011-11-27 12:40:50

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Homepage: http://www.netlabs.net/~richieb

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I like to program in Eiffel and Python. Currently I'm working in Java.

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14 Mar 2002 (updated 14 Mar 2002 at 05:24 UTC) »

It's little after midnight on Thursday. I posted my first story to Kuro5hin today. It was a brilliant (!!) idea on how Napster can make money. The story lasted for about 10 minutes in the input queue, before it got -20 and dropped off. My brilliance wasn't appreciated (grin).

I'm working late today (from home though). With a fast Internet connection and a dast laptop it's just as good as being in the office - just less distractions. I'm staying home today, to take care of my sick wife (bad cold), so it doesn't matter how late I stay up.

I am tired though...

Tonight I'm listening to Duke Ellington's record The Money Jungle. This was one of my first jazz albums I ever bought. It's Duke playing with Max Roach and Charles Mingus. I remember that Miles Davis in a "Downbeat" interview hated this record.

3 Feb 2002 (updated 3 Feb 2002 at 02:52 UTC) »

Today's Saturday. The previous week was kind of fun. On Wednesday I took my son (he's 14) to Linux Expo in NYC. We wandered around the exhibit hall, picking up free things, and at the end of the day we attended the "Golden Penguin Bowl". It was a fun afternoon.

In one issue of "Linux Journal" that was given out at the Expo, there is an article on how to set up a wireless router using a Linux machine. The idea is obvious: set up a machine with two network cards, one normal and one wireless, configure it to route and you're done.

The author suggested to use an old laptop for this sort of thing. As it turns out I have a couple of old laptops collecting dust under my desk (one is a 486 based, the other P90) and they would be perfect for this job.

So today I'm fiddling with this laptop. I had installed Debian on it while ago, and now I started to play more with dpkg and apt-get. I can see how this packaging system can be addictive. It's less fancy, just command line, but it sure makes it easy to add or remove packages. The ability to get the stuff over the net. Real cool. I did update my whole distribution to come up to more recent code, although this is still "potato".

I was able to add one network card, configure networking, and then get up on the net. Now I'm building emacs. Mind you this machine has only 16M of memory and 512M disk.

Next I need to figure out what wireless cards to get and finish setting it up as a router.

MP3 CD for today is Miles Davis...

Hmmm. I haven't written a diary entry for a while. Here are some new geeky things I've done lately. First of all I finally gor around to setting up Samba on my music server in the basement (it's an old P120 running Linux). So now I can see the music partitions on my Windows machine. Since I use Windows mainly for burning CDs, this makes it easy to create nice playlists directly from the music server.

So far I have about 1000 mp3 files there. I'm slowly ripping my entire CD collection.

I've been making a lot of theme CDs. Tonight it's Jazz Vocals - mostly Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and bunch od Billy Holliday. I got a new MP3/CD player for Xmas (the Rio Volt 250) so I can carry a lot of music with me on the train when I commute to work.

Other than that I've been looking for new apps for my PDA. One cool one I found is flight planning software, that also can be used with a database of airports. So now I can use the PDA to plan my flights, rather than just "winging it" (pun intended).

I don't really fly far enough to do detailed flight plans - I just like following the map - but with the PDA plans are painless.

On programming front I'd like to create a better test suite for the Abra library, as we keep changing it quite a bit and without a good test suite it hard to say whether it still works properly (especially, since I want to make sure it works with Postgres).

I finally broke down and bougth a PDA. I picked a low end Visor (Visor Deluxe), just to see if I'll use it. So far I entered most of my addresses into it, then I signed up for AvantGo, so I can read some Web pages off line. I also added several games to the little machine.

Then it hit me! This thing is a computer, so it can be programmed!! Poking around I found a Palm based Scheme interpreter called LispMe and I started to play with it.

As I know that Santa is bringing me Scheme book, I'll be able to read the book on the train and then try out some programs right away. Cool!

Today was my daughter's Tenth birthday party. She had several girls over for a while. While they played, I got to fiddle with my computers and stuff.

I got back to a small web project I started during the summer. It's called "DotStar" and it is a web app that will be a discussion board sort of like Advogato or Slashdot.

The reason I started "DotStar" was so that I could play with the Struts servlet and tags library and so that I can use our Abra library for database interfacing.

Today, I installed PostgreSql on my db server (he, he, it's a Pentium 120, with 48M of memory and 6G drive). Then I set up my development directories on my laptop, created some build files (using Ant of course) and created a data/object model for the persistent objects and generated the code with Abra.

The idea of "DotStar" is to have one place where I can place articles that I often send to many friends with a note "read this", and have a place where they can post their comments.

As I'm typing this in, it occured to me that when comments are added in "DotStar" I'll have to worry about mark-up, but I'll probably use WikiWiki style, simple markup, rather than HTML.

All the code will of course be freely available. Right now there is not enough stuff there to constitue a project.

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