Older blog entries for taw (starting at number 5)

24 Aug 2001 (updated 24 Aug 2001 at 01:41 UTC) »

Been awhile folks (as if someone is reading). I've (a) been busy, (b) been a bit burned out, and (c) been lazy.


We had our big Red Hat Network release a little while ago. It went fairly smoothly. The tracebacks and feedback (in the negative) have been minimal. There was a bit of firefighting at first, but 90% of it was squashed in the first 12 hours.

Been working on this and that lately. Really. Testing, small improvements, and bugfixing. Wrote a automated report tool (cron job) to test the DB as the customer sees it (i.e syncronization issues). Worked on proxy stuff, and a bit of client work even.

Customer feedback has been very helpful, and we really do hope to improve the service.


I have *not* spent enough time with my girlfriend, Monica. Hopefully, now that the greater majority of RHN is implemented (this version) and functioning, we can slow down to normal levels of activity --- non-withstanding side projects I am always involved in.

Stephanie, my niece had her 5th birthday last weekend. Wow. How fast time flies. She'll be a teenager in the blink of an eye. Her family (my brother's) just moved from Italy to DC, so now they are only 4.5-5.5 hours away (dependent upon traffic). This is the first time in 10+ years that my whole family has been within driving distance. It's nice.


Side-projects have been diverting my attention lately.
xboids, the xscreensaver boids program has been rewritten something like 2 times. I am trying to refresh my C skills with it, whilst doing something cool. It is nearly complete in the sense I can submit it, but I want to improve it a bit more. Eventually I want to openGL the thing.

A bunch of us got together recently and discussed helping out the folks working on the K12LTSP project. From their press-release:

K12LTSP is an easy to install, Linux based terminal server package designed for schools. It comes ready to run with lots of programs for classroom use. It works with low maintenance, diskless workstations that are immune to viruses and mischievous student tampering. K12LTSP is based on RedHat 7.1 (www.redhat.com), StarOffice (tm) 5.2 from Sun Microsystems (www.sun.com/staroffice) and the Linux Terminal Server Project (www.ltsp.org).
So... being a Red Hat Network guy, I have been toying with their iso's and uploaded the headers into our network and have been testing some of our "software-to-come" with that. Looks doable. And neat.

Until next time...


Just updated my gpg/pgp public key (exp: 2010-08-18):

Userid: Todd Warner (Exp: 2010-08-18) <taw@pobox.com>
        Todd Warner <taw@redhat.com>
1024D/2C8A7691 0212 8177 4194 F27C 74EE 35A0 A03A 7167 2C8A 7691

Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: For info see http://www.gnupg.org
Comment: Expires: Wed 18 Aug 2010 04:45:57 PM EDT



Entering beta testing. Doing a lot of testing, waiting on others, etc... I'm looking forward to seeing how this product's pieces fall together.


Had a wonderful weekend with my girlfriend and niece Bryn (3.5yrs). She's still a bit shy around me, but we had a great time, regardless. In case anyone was wondering, she is named for a character from the famous fantasy novel, "The Sword of Shannara".


After spending a good deal of time just messing around, I finally got a good start on the boids program for the xscreensaver. One solid night of coding and... it works! Another night, and it works well! I figure, a bit more tweaking and it will be time to send it off in hopes of it being added to the general xscreensaver package.

I would love to keep expanding it, or split it into several projects. Maybe some interactive work, or, openGL or ...who knows --- it amuses me.


Kinda been plodding along, not accomplishing as much as I should. There is a lot that needs to be done and I have to catch up with what misa has been doing.
Fortunately, I got the preliminary reporting tools done. They software runs fairly quickly and is immediately useful.

This Past Weekend

Went to visit some friends of ours and played outside all weekend. No computer. Ok, I did read a bit of K&Rs The C Programming Language (I'm trying to brush up). But I didn't lay a single finger on a computer keyboard... no really!


Worked a bit on xboids for the xscreensaver. Damn my C skills are not what they used to be. That's ok though; they'll come back.

My brother is back in the US (he and his family have lived outside the US since 1990? while serving in the Air Force). We've been playing phone tag. Can't wait to see him again.

Monica comes back tomorrow. I missed her tremendously, of course. She is bringing our niece Bryn back with her for a week. It should be... interesting... and fun! :) Nothing like a 3.5 year old to remind you how out of shape you are no matter how often you hit the gym.

Testing RHN stuff

Testing testing testing. Fixed an errata fetching bug found in the server code. The new client seems not to be using it, but, since it is "better" than the old client code, it needed to be fixed. NOTE: I hate SQL.

Did lots more testing though one never does enough.

Fixed daemon

Fixed the way one of our daemons gets serviced. I.e., added pretty [ok]/[failure] messages upon things like server xxx restart. Added restart! And status options. Neat stuff. Never did this before... kinda a hack, but oh well. It works.

Working on shelve2.py

shelve2.py as mentioned before allows you to have nearly any object as a shelve key. Unfortunately, cPickle doesn't always store the dumps result the same way in every case with the same object. This is bad. I spent some time trying to find the answer... well... I didn't. I looked at the C code (4.5K lines) and decided to send a message to comp.lang.python. I wrote a nice pickle test that illustrates the problem. You can download it here: pickleTest.py.

pickleTest.py illustrates how dumps(<object>) and dumps(loads(dumps(<object>))) can yield differing results (with cPickle), though they shouldn't!

National Guard this past weekend

For some time now, I have been in search of a decent tank unit (I moved from Ohio in February). Not only do I need a tank unit here in NC, I need one that has an open Tank Commander spot. So far I have met with much resistance. I am the outsider that threatens established NCOs who are gearing up for promotion. *sigh* There is no way around it... I am being threatened with administrative demotion, though I think I can fight it. We'll see. Luckily my old unit is giving me plenty of time to work things out. Oh well, at least I got to play with tanks this past weekend.
15 Jul 2001 (updated 15 Jul 2001 at 08:10 UTC) »
NOTE: it is early early on the 15th as I write this. All entries applicable to the 14th.

first real entry:
We'll have to see if I can get into this public diary concept. I have kept a journal here and there before, but this is... interesting. It will probably suffice as a way to keep track of my day to day activities sans private stuff. Anyway...

Monica goes home:

Saw Monica off to Ohio early this morning. She'll be gone for 10 days... I have a bachelor pad for 10 days!

need more sleep:

I had a nasty headache and therefore slept for the most of the day. I haven't been getting enough sleep anyway. I have National Guard tomorrow though, so I need a bit of rest.

work and shelve2.py:

Wandered into work this evening. I needed to complete this report generating crap that has been overcomplicating my life recently. It is overcomplicating things at work namely due to the fact that... it's overly complicated! I should just toss out all the code and start fresh, but that would be... painful.

Wrote a Python module that wraps around shelve. It allows you to make a mini database with any serializable object as a key. Very powerful for small databases (i.e. persistent objects). Unfortunately, there appears to be some weirdness with the cPickle version of pickle, so I have to use pickle instead which is MUCH slower. The really nasty part is that I am having difficulty replicating the error as misa pointed out to me in an email. Oi!

trying to find time to...

Things on my todo list:
  • sleep more often.
  • spend more time with Monica.
  • hit the gym every day.
  • buy a new machine, network Monica's to mine Probably make her piece of junk just an X-term.
  • get high-speed connectivity already!
  • finish xboids the xscreensaver boid plug in. It has to be written in C which I really need to brush up on.
  • more hacks... trying to boost my GUI skills, and other knowledge.
  • 12 Jul 2001 (updated 13 Jul 2001 at 03:56 UTC) »

    First entry... talking to myself.

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