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Name: Tripp Lilley
Member since: 2000-08-24 09:22:29
Last Login: 2009-11-25 22:06:17

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Misdirection. Sometimes it's not actually a .NET problem:

If you're using Mono's System.IO.Ports.SerialPort on Linux, and you're getting the System.IO.IOException "Invalid argument", it might not actually be the class library implementation. Check your serial adapter (assuming you're using a USB-to-serial adapter...) I'm using an adapter with the MosChip 7720 chipset:

usbcore: registered new interface driver usbserial
USB Serial support registered for generic
usbcore: registered new interface driver usbserial_generic
usbserial: USB Serial Driver core
USB Serial support registered for Moschip 2 port adapter
mos7720: USB Serial Driver
moschip7720 2-1:1.0: Moschip 2 port adapter converter
usb 2-1: Moschip 2 port adapter converter now attached to
usb 2-1: Moschip 2 port adapter converter now attached to
usbcore: registered new interface driver moschip7720

When opening the serial port, System.IO.Ports.SerialPort indirectly calls SetSignal, which calls the TIOCMGET ioctl, which, as it happens, ISN'T IMPLEMENTED in the mos7720 driver! Harumph.

There's a patch, signed off by both Alan Cox and Greg Kroah-Hartman, but it doesn't seem to be in the upstream, yet.

Patch: Fix the tiocmget/mset handling on the mos7720 USB serial port.

I started at Virginia Tech in August of 1991. Except for a six months in 2005, I have lived in Blacksburg since then and been a student off and on throughout that time. I am working on my Ph.D., but am still, technically, an undergrad.

Throughout all of these years, I have told people that "I go to Virginia Tech, but I am not a 'Hokie.'" I acquainted that term with the mascot, the "Hokie Pride" phenomenon, and, generally, team sports. As with many in the geek community, I've never really been much on those concepts.

The tragedy yesterday changed all of that. Yesterday, I became a Hokie. Today, I am a Hokie. Tomorrow, I will be a Hokie. Now, I am forever a Hokie.

Google Juice:

I've written up a page describing how to deal with this compile error:

`CONFIG_X86_L1_CACHE_SHIFT' undeclared here (not in a function)
under Mandrake 9.0 or other Mandrake 9.x series distros.

I wrote the page because I spent quite a while last night searching and found lots of references to the problem, but none to the solution. When I figured it out, I thought it'd be a good idea to add the solution to the search results.


I've mentioned before how fantastic it is to stand on the shoulders of the community and reach where I mightn't have otherwise.

Tonight is another one of those moments for me. Sure, sure, it's a duct-tape moment. I've taught the Monkey how to speak WebDAV to some limited degree for a demo. With the help of mod_dav, dnotify, and some Python glue, it all does enough for our demo, and our demo will get us the contract to build the more robust system (and that will in turn get use closer to the goal of releasing the whole thing under whatever license turns out to be "possible" given the soup of pieces it uses right now).

So, once again, gherlu'meH QaQ jajvam! ("Today is a good day to code!")

But tomorrow, well, tomorrow is a good day for meetings! (the good kind, in which we put ourselves in the path of oncoming work and present as big a target as possible).


Wow. That was sorta like the "only two episodes left after tonight so let's all get it on!" episode, wasn't it?

Life / Family:

I called dad to wish him a belated happy birthday, since he was out of town on the day of. It was a really good chat... he had been away at a construction management seminar and was "all fired up". It was cool to relate to one another about the excitement that follows getting together with your colleagues and digging into the meat of the work you all share. My most recent was PyCon, but Networld+Interop will always be my first love for this (you don't just erase five years of an experience as intense as the NOC Team, and I don't know when I'll ever manage a class A again in an environment that "fluid").

Anyway, we both agreed that it's important to go do that external professional development at least once a year, preferably twice. Then again, I think we've probably agreed on more in life than we've disagreed on (though the disagreements, since they're usually political, are more, uh, "vehemently" stated).

I also told him about the bipolar diagnosis, and that the meds seemed to be making a big difference. I'm not sure what kind of response I expected from him, and I'm not sure whether or not I got the response I expected (since, well, I didn't know what I was expecting). What I do know is that his response was exactly what I needed to hear, and exactly the kind of response I hope to give our kids whenever we get around to having them, and whenever they get around to dealing with anything difficult in their lives.

All he really said was "You sound good" and "I'm glad the treatment is helping you", which are summaries of the things he's always said to me that I can remember: "I want you to be happy" and "How can I help?". So many people seem to miss those simple essentials when dealing with the people they love. Sometimes I guess I do, too. Fortunately I have people around that pretty continuously remind me of how to do it.

3 May 2003 (updated 3 May 2003 at 06:25 UTC) »
Chemical Epiphany:

For a great many years, I've banged my head against a wall within, wondering why I could always seem to see great things, but never to do them.

After too long vigorously rejecting any classification outright, and being fundamentally ambivalent toward any chemical solution, I gave up. I stopped fighting long enough to hear a therapist ask me "have you ever considered that you might be bipolar?"

It was a moment of perfect, obvious insight for me. She said those words, and all of a sudden, years of watching myself and my behaviour "made sense". I wasn't oblivious to how much my world resembled that of a manic depressive... I just didn't want to call myself that. I can't explain why. Maybe it was that Humanities course where we dissected the DSM (see links above).

So now, with the help of people I'm coming to trust, and people I've always loved, I'm finding a place from which I tap the years of ideas and make wonderful things happen. Sure, I don't wake up every day now and produce masterpieces, but I wake up every day and most of those days I produce something. Over time, that's going to add up.

I've found great comfort in reading some of Advogato's own Michael Crawford's writings on his personal journey with schizoaffective disorder, which apparently shares some common traits with manic depression. In particular, tonight while looking for links, I found these paragraphs:

The problem with manic creativity is that there is usually little substance to it. It is brilliant but it lacks a solid foundation. A great deal more work is required to implement an idea than to conceive of it, and it is hard to stay focused when I am manic. Projects are started and soon abandoned for new projects, or I start something very ambitious and then come crashing down into depression and abandon it. Very little of what I have accomplished was accomplished when I was manic.

It is also hard to work when I am depressed. I get bored with what I am doing, and find it difficult to overcome frustrating obstacles. Computer programming can be terribly frustrating work - bugs occur all the time in software, and they are usually not cooperative towards efforts to find and fix them. The single most important skill I had to learn to become a programmer was to overcome frustration, but this is very difficult when I am depressed. The slightest obstacle fills me with despair.

Yes, manic depressive people are creative, but the real creativity does not come when we are manic or depressed. It comes in the in-between times when we are feeling alright but not high.

Oh, yeah. I paid someone to finish the bathroom, and they did, and now everyone's happy.

Postscript: (added 2003-05-02 06:17 UTC)

MichaelCrawford: From my own experience, I can suggest that you delegate, or find some "tricks" to manage yourself through the blocks. If you choose delegation, you can either delegate the work of small stumbling blocks, like the progress bar, or you can delegate the work of managing you. Either can achieve the same goal.

If you delegate the work of managing you, then you need to make sure that you've actually empowered that person to keep you on track. In other words, they have to understand the work you're doing, and help you say "no" to the distractions that are going to try to seduce you.

As for tricks, there's the classic "divide and conquer" (break the blocking task up into sub-tasks), but sometimes all you need is a nudge to say "just sit down and work on this for like thirty real minutes, and if it's not going well, get up and take a break." Repeat that enough times in a day, or a week, or what have you, and you'll have chipped away the block.

I used the tricks above this week to wade my way through a server migration that was killing me through many small wounds. Instead of setting myself a "hard deadline" for the migration, I decided to focus only on the next small thing. "Install a JVM". Okay, done. "Install Apache 1.3". Okay, done. "Get SSI working on the Apache 1.3 install". For each of those tasks, though, I employed the "just sit down and do a little something on it." In each case, by forcing myself to switch to a terminal on that machine and do something, I built up enough momentum to finish the task, and most of the time, to go ahead and finish another one or two of the tasks that were next.

There's also a very good book called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen that has a lot more concrete advice on attacking the things we put off.

Good luck!

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