Older blog entries for starshine (starting at number 4)

Well, it's been a while since I posted. You're going to laugh when you read why. Was it was because I was very busy? Well, yes, at one level of indirection. What really happened was that I was busy enough in that first week or two after signing in, that I didn't sign in often enough to really burn my poor l'il new password into my brain. Then, I was busy enough for a few days in a row, that I just plumb forgot the beastie.

This would of course turn out to be right around the time a bouncing baby entered the scene; I could not hold anything against Raph for not getting around to postmaster mail very quickly. Heh. That kid's cute. But anyway, he and I made contact, I have the silly password back, and I think I probably won't forget it this time!


I've gotten some packages at long last from the Glorantha Trading Association. My early sponsorship of their efforts to revive the heroic mythos of Glorantha has me acknowledged as a Rune Master. Two books, one with my real name, one with the name I actually requested. Not sure if that first is a bug or not; at any rate I'm keeping the book anyway, it's signed by Greg Stafford and ought to be a fun read. Okay, not everyone would find pretend mythology fun (some would say, isn't all mythology pretend? I dunno)


Actually, I'll admit, code is fun too. Linux Gazette will be seeing an expansion to the Answer Gang in the next few months. I've been approaching successful in my hacking on Tom's Root Boot (my result now behaves during boot, now I have to finish whacking the scripts to make my expansions out of any given tomsrtbt). With that, I expect to have some more serious fun coding this weekend.


Some movies are fun, some not. Shanghai Noon was lots of fun, as I could expect from Jackie Chan. Toss up whether I liked the bell or tomahawk scene better. Gladiator is also excellent.

Glanced at other people's diary entries. Glad that lilo is now properly a Master, But I suppose I have to agree with you ROb, to some people, dumb as it sounds, "social" is a charged term.

I hope we see nothing wrong with Community tho.

Speaking of community I'd better find out where Jim got himself hidden, so we can go running off to this party in Menlo Park.

And I have allergies acting up, it's driving me nuts. Even after I've taken one of the monster Allegra pills, my right sinuses ache a bit. Talk about something I'd edit out if I had my own source code. Hmph.


Bulletproofing a wrapper for sfdisk is sneaky stuff.


Pool party tonight. A lot of the local unix types will be there. Maybe I will get to play with some infrared or USB toys. We had an active WaveLAN last time.

more advo

I find it distressing that lilo isn't willing to consider himself a master of linux socially. He is just the example I was thinking of in my post to the Meta thread. I don't think poor l'il Journeyer me is going to knock him too far upwards though.

It takes a lot more than code to make a project work. It's possible to get a damn good project rolling with scraps of crummy code and an excellently documented dream that others can join. The real power of our stuff is when complete strangers without your basic assumptions can use it to ends that you would never have tried either, so getting the word out on What's Cool is important too.

So, I'll repeat here the important scrap from my post to Meta, laid out a little better now that I've napped on it. I think there ought to be more than one "track" to rate people in:

  • Coding (new features and core functions)
  • Documentation
  • QA (both bug reporting and fixing)
  • Social Action

Stretch that by

  • Observer: what is this stuff. Don't expect me to rate anyone. [greyish brown. could stand to be lighter.]
  • Newbie: Just getting into it. Have a mentor or maybe I'm seeking one, but I'm just not with it yet. I'm a Master of confused enthusiasm, collecting clues. [green. everyone knows newbies are Greenhorns.]
  • Apprentice: really starting to get going here but I'm really lost in surprising facets of it. Guess I need to work on it more :) [cheerful yellow]
  • Adept: Able to use comfortably, probably pass some help to others, and deal with it day to day. But I really am not very steeped in it. (The average Power User) [red as in "well read'?]
  • Initiate: I contribute to this stuff and make it happen. I'm not deific, not a lot of people are going to remember me or get burned really bad when I blow it, but look for me, I'm in there somewhere making things click. [Blue is good]
  • DeepMagician: If you haven't heard of me it's because you are looking at other things that interest you a lot more. If I were hit by a bus my small corner of the world would be looking for a replacement, ASAP. [Purple like a wizards cap]
With something like this lilo can be rated comfortably wimpy on things that aren't his forte. Me too. On the bullets above, I'll take Adept Coder, Initiate Documenter, Apprentice QA'er, Adept Socialite. Averaged this plants me pretty solidly in the Adept range... sounds good to me.

So whaddaya think?

Giving the advogato model a shot

Okay, I went through and certified everyone who I know that's already signed on ... that I believe would recognize me back. I'm not sure if it's pleasing or disturbing what high ranks many of these have. Guess I'd better get used to it :)

It seems to me that the statistics will be badly skewed by two things:

  • the site is young yet, only people who have heard of it are here
  • there are a lot of people I know via either Linux or USENIX conferences, but by face more than name. As I don't really have my email aliases file memorized either (isn't that what computers are for?) and even if I did there's nothing that insists people must use the same username here... I am crippled in my ability to recognize people and I suspect many others are as well.

I think that the projects should have another relation type, power user which indicates that one is knowledgeable enough to help other people with using... whatever that project provides. Projects with lots of power users can contribute to one's level of Mastery if you're a sufficient contributor/developer type on it. Just a thought.

Oh yeah, also in the 'disconcerting' category, if the project is a Documentation related project, Documentor = Contributor = Developer? Fod the Gazette Jim said the second and I said the last, since he writes the stuff and I make perl beat up on the resulting mbox. But it's still likely to confuse.

Much more interesting

Two days ago I applied both the USB backport and Alan Cox' 15pre17 patch to pristine sources from kernel.org. They didn't seem to interfere with each other in the slightest. Now I get to decide what model of USB toy to buy myself to test it...

I haven't caused it great destruction and 'aiee' noises like the other two kernels I cut this week, so there you go; a statistic of one, but what the heck.

For the exceptionally curious, the Debian 2.2.14 source kit did not accept Alan's patch. 4 rejects.

It seems like everyone on the planet has their very own installer, but I guess it's just my luck that nothing seems to already do what I want. So, (like everybody else?) I get to reinvent the axle.

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