Older blog entries for valen (starting at number 4)

Just looking at

The books for the ILUG AGM (see below) arrived today. Whoohoo!

Looks like the ILUG AGM should be fun. David Owens, with RedHat Ireland (mainly sales/finance part outfit of RedHat, no techies), has said he'll likely give a talk. Got more freebies to give away too - O'Reilly Associates sent me four t-shirts. No books, but it's not a bad start

I'm glad I'm not a hardware engineer. With software, if it doesn't work, you can recompile it. Hardware....well, I bought me a Vellmann Kit - a Metronome to be exact. Painting by numbers, only you get resistors, little pots, a transistor etc. And it's supposed to all make a variable rate/tone/speed metronome. I spent ages putting it together (never good at soldering), and stuck a battery in it. What happened ? Nothing. No tone, no lighting LED, no Magic Blue Smoke. Nada. Mutter. I keep telling myself "Ah, the battery is dead", but I'm not confident enough to go buy a new battery for it...

Busy babysitting consultants in to make up a proper oracle on HP installation for us. OK, it'll be nice and fault tolerant, but it's a lot more hassle than a MySQL installation. Speaking of, the MySQL database supporting my webmail system has corrupted a table, messing things up no end. I thought this free software lark was supposed to be "Bug free (tm)" ?

Anyway, we are getting some clothes made up for the geeks expected at the ILUG AGM. Seeing as they need toys too, we are trying to get a dose of BBC CDs burned in time - little 50 MB "repair tool" CDs, in a business card form factor. Checkout the linux care site for info on what they have on them (linuxcare made the distro).

Checkout a really cool review of OSes at Neal Stephenson's site. If you haven't read any of his books, buy Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash. They rock.

First entry to this thing.

I've a few small projects underway. Xenocide is a Netrek style game, hopefully with a lot more functionality. Alas, though I've started it, I'm trying to do so much other stuff, that it's just not getting there. The server has some cool stuff;

  • Clients use a text-based network protocol, which is actually a stream of TCL commands
  • When a client connects, the server creates a thread for just it, and a TCL interpreter for each thread
  • You can then run TCL commands directly. These can be anything from variable setting/recieving (which is what a network protocol should do) to SQL select statments from the database that stores client config info
  • All clients get a "prefs" command, so that the client program can save session data, or preferences into a database. So, no storing prefs locally anymore! (it's not ACAP, but not bad

The other big thing is that I'm trying to setup a company of my own, "Magic Blue Smoke". Once it's all worked out, we should be a proper co-op, starting with seven people. More on co-op's, once I learn what they are supposed to be. We will be providing pretty much any service to (mostly) Irish business people that want to use free software, starting with some software development, writing commerical apps that run on free software, and changes to existing free software apps, for cash. It'd be nice to be able to fund development of things like Kronolith, by installing IMP for people.

The nice people in Aladdin have sent me their SDK for their eToken, a cool little EEPROM on a USB socket. The idea is that they store digital certs and keys, so you can use them as part of authentication. I've a module initialising it, and printing stuff to the messages file....but until I get more info from them, that's as far as it goes. Kinda strange that it took me less time to get a linux driver that far, than it did to get the Windows SDK installed (Windows 2000 still doesn't detect my USB bus).

There is a really nice project starting up - Wannabees. They are trying to get people to share how they made a career/life/profit/fun from free software. It always staggered me how people could devote so much time to the movement.

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