Older blog entries for walters (starting at number 17)

So, today I tried rdiff-backup, and I'm completely blown away. It is the coolest backup utility I've ever used. Backing up my home directory to a remote machine is as easy as:

rdiff-backup /home/walters
That's it. Please excuse the extranenous newline I can't figure out how to get rid of in this crappy Galeon input box which insists on filling my text for me. Gah.

In another small victory, the Debian boot-floppies build on PowerPC again. Now all we need to do is get Linux 2.4.18 in the archive, and I think we'll be good to go.

One thing that I love about university life is the wide variety of things that can happen on campus. Today I went with SyntaxPolice and others to a cultural food festival, where for only US$3 I was able to try food from the Phillipines, Hong Kong, and Iran. There were lots of other representative countries there, too. My favorite was this fried bananna sort of thing (I forget what it was called) from the Phillipines table. Mmmmm.

Tonight I think my means of procrastinating on school work will be adding an option to Evolution to prefer plaintext over HTML in multipart/alternative mails. And probably another option to not render HTML at all.

Woo, it's very exciting that Debian might actually be releasing woody by next month. I've realized that I've allowed myself to become somewhat complacent, thinking woody was still far off.

I am continuing on my project to learn Dylan. It's a very cool language, and quite ahead of its time. Think of the raw speed and ability to interface with C of C++, the flexibility of Common Lisp, a nice clean syntax, compilation to native code and to top it off, an object system that totally kicks ass.

Ok, time to get off my butt and upload my Debian packages of the XML Resume Library, and try harder to convince the Cabal to let me deploy Debian CORBA.

Today I am actively trying to beat the drums of war against BitKeeper, a propretary revision control system that is attempting to spread through our community. If you care about freedom, petition the Linux kernel maintainers to not advocate using BitKeeper! Other, free choices include CVS, Arch, and Subversion.

I noticed the other Colin in Debian certified me; thanks Colin!

Whee. Long time no diary entry. I've been pretty busy lately working on Debian. Having a four week break from school is great!

In other news, my school's Open Source Club is getting some new members, and a lot of people are interested and working on projects. It's neat to have the feeling that one is creating something that will last for years after one has left.

And finally, if you're a roller blader, and you haven't been to Central Park in Manhattan, you have to go. By far the best skating I've ever had. Lots of interesting things going on, plenty of beautiful girls, and there are hills and such to get going very fast on. Highly recommended.

Well, despite the fact that finals are over, and I should be feeling relieved, I can't keep up with the projects that I'm working on. I hate the thought that some of them have to suffer. Unfortunately, none of them are in a state where I could hand them off to someone else. Sigh. Maybe I'll instead spend my waking hours figuring out how to remove my need for sleep...

6 Jun 2001 (updated 6 Jun 2001 at 04:33 UTC) »

I'm often hacking on my TiBook at coffee shops and whatnot, and realize that hey, I need foo, where foo is some Debian package. So, I wrote this little bash alias to let you say apt-get remember foo, and it will ask you if you want to install foo next time you do an install or upgrade.

function apt-get()
    case $1 in
 remember) if [ $# == 1 ]; then test -f 
~/.apt-remember && cat ~/.apt-remember; else \
     shift; echo $@ >> ~/.apt-remember; fi ;;
 install|upgrade|dist-upgrade) \
 { if [ -s ~/.apt-remember ]; then \
  echo "You have the following packages 
remembered for installation:"; \
  cat ~/.apt-remember; \
  echo -n "Install them now? [y/n/e] "; \
  read answer; \
  case $answer in 
      y*|Y*) command apt-get install `cat 
~/.apt-remember` && mv ~/.apt-remember 
      e|erase) rm -f ~/.apt-remember ;;
      *) ;; 
  esac; \
  fi; \
  command apt-get $@ ; } ;;
 *) command apt-get $@ ;;
In case the above is messed up for some reason, the canonical version is here. (update: And I notice that Mozilla has conveniently wrapped my input, completely destroying the shell script. Snarf it the link.)

And in other news, the deity package in unstable rocks. I love the ability to play tetris while packages download!

1 Jun 2001 (updated 1 Jun 2001 at 20:18 UTC) »

Sweet! I got my TiBook (space-ghost) back from Apple repairs! Those bastards reinstalled MacOS, but no big deal. It will shortly be re-erased and replaced with the universal operating system. One thing I did notice is that they must have had to replace the whole motherboard, because I have a different MAC address now. Anyways, now that I have my mobile GNOME/PostgreSQL/ORBit development machine back, and with no screen flicker, I'm a happy camper.

Hm, maybe I'll try to use XFS as / this time. It's been really sweet on my ia32 box.

If you haven't seen the 404 handlers on www.sgi.com or www.penguinppc.org, they're highly recommended viewing.

Today featured far too much statistics studying for my taste. Computing the summed squares of 25 sample values is not my cup of tea. I will be very, very glad when this quarter is over. Strangely enough, it is over for one of my friends, who just graduated. He got his B.S. in Math in 4 years...I'm still chugging along on my B.S. in Computer Science. It seems really difficult to finish college in four years, these days...

Jordi: I know what you mean about doing other things when exams come around; Autumn quarter, duing exam week, I wrote a useless GNOME applet rather than study :)

pjones: Yeah, my friend and I are following debian-sparc, where bcollins just posted that davem just got X running locally. I'm really impressed how fast people can write these drivers...

Well, last night I helped one of my friends install the universal operating system on his new Sun Blade 100. .After unsuccessfully trying to convince OpenFirmware to boot from the floppy, we netbooted it from the woody tftpboot.img, which worked flawlessly. Unfortunately, X didn't want to run. Regardless, at $1100 US for machine + 17in monitor + shipping, they seem like quite a deal. Having a real 64 bit machine would be nice.

During the installation, we played Armagetron. If you're looking for a cool, Free game to play, definitely check this one out. It's even networkable!

My Tae Kwon Do instructor gave me a green belt, which was very gratifying. I hope to work hard over the summer to earn my black belt back. It is kind of fustrating to remember all the stuff that one could do before, but to have to relearn it all. Still, it's quite a satisfying feeling at the end of those two hours of class, knowing that I'm making progress.

Advogato is pretty cool. I've got to convince more of my local friends to join.

jacob: Well, what's the point of having all these cool GNU features if we can't use them? After all, many projects nowadays implicitly depend on GNU make. I see depending on GCC as merely an extension of that. When was the last time you tried to build your projects with BSD make and ash? :)

So, after buying new bearings and wheels for my speed skates, I decided to spend even more money resuscitating my old Hypnoskates. When I first got these things, people on campus totally stared at me as I skated up to a building door at high speed, removed my blades in about two seconds, and walked in. Then I lost one of the axles, and found out that they use a non-standard (7mm) axel size. It took a year to find a new 7mm axel, but the guy at my local skate shop finally managed to locate axels I could use. Now I'm back in business. Hehehe. Pedestrians, fear.

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