Recent blog entries for will

OK, ok.. long enough has passed since my last diary entry. Lots has happened since then. My finals came and went. They were okay I guess. Then I packed up everything I had at Purdue and made the 6-hour trek home.. for the first time in two full years with everything. I must say that it only brings tears to one's eyes when one returns to one's roots. I spent two hours helping my mom do the barn chores like mucking a stall and bringing some of our horses in to feed and let them out and moved a few heavy things around. Funny part was, it seemed natural to me and I didn't even mind the horse shit. I guess that's what you get for being a farm hand for the first 15 or so years of your life.

I spent about an hour to an hour and a half eating lunch and discussing FreeBSD issues (and related fodder) with Michael Lucas and Frank Laszlo yesterday. We were discussing things like reviving the SEMIBUG, a group that Michael and I helped found in 2000 before I left for Purdue. One large problem was that we needed one place to meet that met our meeting requirements (like having a whiteboard or chalkboard and being a central-ish location). We had a previous arrangement which mostly relies on me being in the area and in particular going to the meetings.. but since I'm gone for fall and spring there's no chance to keep that. So what we figured is that finding a classroom after-hours at Oakland University or some other local college. It would be easier if there was a student organization in the area that does this sort of thing though.

KDE 3.0.1 is coming soon. I recently received the tagged tarballs for this upcoming release which I believe is scheduled for next Wednesday or Thursday. I am going to try to work overtime to get these packages built (maybe even for 5.0-CURRENT if my luck holds) and hopefully a full set sent out to testers on the KDE/FreeBSD team by Sunday evening, and possibly a final set on Tuesday.

I called Sun again early this week. The customer rep was apparently telling me the same thing so I gave it a shot and tried to explain my predicament regarding people calling me (as opposed to the other way around). I guess she took pity and transferred me straight to an engineer, and we talked about the problem for about 10 or 15 minutes and then he decided to have a brand new IDPROM overnighted to me. Sure enough, the part showed up on my doorstep the next day and I managed to successfully install the part, despite its rather strange appearance, as documented here. I got slightly confused by the greenish cover on the IDPROM but figured out that it's just that -- a cover. You just pull it up and you discover it's nothing more than an IC in a ZIF/LIF or similar. So out that went and in the new one, booted, etc.. and yay, I've got a working ethernet interface on my Blade 100 again. Props to the Sun engineer who got this taken care of so quickly. =)

Hmph. I gotta say that being on an ethernet interface to the internet can really spoil you. At my home, the best we can get with a regular analog modem is 28800 bps, regardless of your modem. The reason is simple: the phone network in my neighborhood hasn't been upgraded in 20 years. You can't get dual-channel ISDN, only single-channel, and even that is prohibitively expensive. So I looked at the two-way satellite Internet access offerings. The main one seems to be StarBand. But they are not friendly to home networks or Unix-based machines, as made obvious by their StarBand Facts page. And so neither of these limitations appeals to my family or me. So I guess I am stuck on 28800/26400bps dialup for the summer. Oh well. I've spent the last week or two trying to pace myself. It's really hard to deal with the fact that when you cvsup your source tree or repo or download an ISO, you get a 10-second lag on IRC or similar trying to read your mail on a remote shell. But I'm pacing myself so I can get some work done and be more careful about what I'm doing online and when.

My family's house has a wireless network in it now. But my Cisco Aironet 350 802.11b NIC barely reaches to the opposite side of the house from my room to where the AP (and gateway to the Internet) is. So we bought 1000 feet of Category 5E cable, a crimper, and 50 connectors. And I think this Sat or Sun I'll do the hard work wiring the cable from here to there. Then I can setup a new access point using my SMC 2632W NIC on FreeBSD with Thomas Skibo's HostAP code. This should significantly increase the wireless coverage in my family's house. :)

The last few nights have been really strange sleep wise. For whatever reason, my body decided not to wake me up until 2:30pm on Thursday even though I'd gone to bed an hour earlier the previous night (2:30am Thursday). Those 12 hours of sleep were the most I'd had in a long while. Then Friday I couldn't sleep. I didn't finally manage to fall asleep until 5am. I was in for a rough surprise. My dad woke me at 7:30am. I was angry for not having gotten an hour or two more sleep and grateful at the same time because it made sure I would be able to have lunch with my friends. And thanks to fatigue, I passed out around 10pm Friday.. but for some reason my body woke me up at 2am. And here I am typing away a diary on advogato at 4:30am... I think I'm gonna pass out again around 5am and get some more sleep.

Hopefully Saturday will be a good day.

Exams suck. They really really suck.

Anyway, I've removed all of the Qt1-based ports from the FreeBSD tree today in preparation to accept the 66 or so new ports that will be required to support the core set of Qt/KDE v3 ports. Unfortunately, since that will require repository copies which can only be performed by cvs@FreeBSD.org, I'll probably have to wait until tomorrow to commit the new v3 ports. Oh well.

Ok, and now, breaking my usual trend, I'm going to bed before midnight. 8)

Well, today was quite hot outside. It was 71-75F until 2pm, then around 3-4 temperatures hit 81-82F. Certain body parts hated me all day while I subjected them to punishment walking in that weather with khaki pants on. =)

Ok, seriously... I've successfully ported the tabbed Konqueror code by hanley@kde.org to KDE 3.0 for the FreeBSD packages. In fact the patch I generated based on his commit applied flawlessly... that was really easy. Unfortunately, KDE won't be releasing a version with this new feature until 3.1 (which is about 3 months away, correct me if I'm mistaken ;).. and that was my justification for doing this. It's easy, it's a great feature, so why not? :)

Since I've already let 2 weeks pass... I've decided to commit the Qt/KDE 3 ports to the FreeBSD tree tomorrow night around 8:35pm, after my last exam before finals. Then FreeBSD will see its Qt/KDE v1 ports and everything related to them disappear. I for one won't be missing them, especially given the Qt/KDE 3 goodies. :-)

I received a letter in the mail from Verisign. "Gee, I wonder what this is about", I said. "They do domains and SSL certs, but I have neither business with them." So I opened the letter and discovered that my domain name, firepipe.net, is up for renewal. "Wow, how nice of them to spend 34c to tell me!" Next to the notice, I see "Reply by: May 15, 2002" and below that I see "Renewal Rate: $29 annually per domain name". WTF?? First of all, my registrar is NOT Verisign! Second of all, May 15 is 4 full months before my domain actually expires! Third, there are more domain name providers who can lease my domain at less than half this price! *grumble* *crumple*crumple* *throw* *thud* Stupid marketing crap.

Joe Karthauser sent me mail telling me he'd gotten closer to fixing the DSB650TX problem. He'd found a place in if_aue.c where some of the information relating to the interface was passed even if it hadn't been filled in. This change went in with whitespace changes... oops. But apparently it's still not fixed yet. :-\

I'll probably call Sun tomorrow and demand that they ship my new IDPROM same-day. Grrr. ;*{

15 Apr 2002 (updated 15 Apr 2002 at 01:52 UTC) »

Ok another update for today. I've finished the second generation of KDE 3.0 packages for FreeBSD. Please see the KDE/FreeBSD homepage for more information about that. There's a few bugs fixed and a KOffice package. :-)

Additionally, for those of you with Sony Vaio laptops, I have merged the driver for the Sony Programmable I/O Controller (spic(4)) driver, which supports the Jogdial, to FreeBSD 4.5-STABLE. Also, moused(8) supports reading from this device. The device will be released with 4.6-RELEASE. I've also MFC'd the little bits of code to the USB stack which support some additional USB ethernet devices, including my 2nd generation D-Link DSB650TX NIC, which is now happily operating on my laptop router. Whee.

I also submitted the WDM Xinerama patch I did for the FreeBSD WDM port to Debian, after testing a slight modification which basically adds --with-xinerama support. Eric Gillespie did that part. Check out the bug report that I submitted.

Sun hasn't gotten back to me yet. Grrrr. ;<

Ok, it's been almost a week since my last diary entry. Allow me to summarize that week. First, I had a big EE 201: Linear Circuit Analysis exam on Thursday. I spent a large portion of my week studying for that exam. And at some point I also called Sun and managed to get a case number for my IDPROM problem. Thing is, they still haven't gotten back to me to sort out this issue. :\

The laptop router.. after a few days, I gave up trying to debug the USB ethernet problem. I realized on Thursday night I could install FreeBSD -stable on my formerly-Windows partition and use that to do the routing, as a stopgap for my machines' lack of internet. So I did that last night and the laptop router is happily humming away... Now I can get back to work. :-) I took the opportunity after a long hard week to play Counterstrike again. That's such a great way to get rid of stress.

Tonight I also worked on getting the various patches reported by KDE/FreeBSD 3.0 packages users. I merged a fix for kdeprint's configure.in, a fix for KDM, and a fix for the missing emptydir stuff. In a few hours we should know if these bugs are fixed for sure.

Time for sleep...

Well I just spent a weekend trying to get my nice new hardware working. Thanks to a FreeBSD user, I received a 40GB ATA100 Maxtor drive which I am using in my new Sun Blade 100, which also got an infusion of 512MB additional ECC PC133 SDRAM for a total of 640MB. But after all that trouble I went to, I discover some time later that the IDPROM contents became invalid. Great. So I scampered all over the net looking for how to rewrite the ether & hostid info into the IDPROM. Doesn't seem like there's any way, even though the machine is brand spanking new directly from Sun. So it seems I'll have to call them tomorrow and get a new IDPROM shipped to me, probably. Ethernet device *seems* ok, as I config'd the ethernet address in solaris and was able to get pinging and stuff.

Then the laptop router I'm trying to setup. I got the USB ethernet device (D-Link DSB-650TX which works with FreeBSD's aue(4) driver) last Tuesday. I'd been putting off trying to actually get it working due to lack of time. Finally, on Friday I go to try it, and what do I find out? The kernel panics if I try to ifconfig it, with the March 31 -current. So I updated to the latest kernel only to find out that it panics as soon as aue0 tries to attach.. before the kernel can even call init(8). So I talk to Joe Karthauser, the guy who's been doing the recent merges from NetBSD and OpenBSD and find out the scoop. Seems neither of us atm can figure out how to get useful dumps when this happens. I guess I'll have to leave this for later.

Due to all that, I think it will be at least a few more days before I commit the KDE 3.0 ports for FreeBSD. I'm not really getting very much useful feedback on those anyway. It would be nice if more people tested the packages. Sigh. Oh well. Time to get lunch now...

5 Apr 2002 (updated 5 Apr 2002 at 12:18 UTC) »

Ok from initial field reports, it seems the I18N packages I produced on April 3 are good to go. I'm currently uploading them to master.kde.org for international testing. 49 languages.. with Svensk being the largest of them all. I think that we can thank KrazyKiwi for that. ;-)

Oh by the way, I will NOT commit ports for these packages until at least the weekend.. I need to fix some issues with them before I let the rest of the world try to build them and send me bogus build problems. Thanks for your understanding.

I keep forgetting to say this, but: most of the certifications made below are about 2 years old... I've learned a lot in that time, needless to say.

KrazyKiwi and frerich pointed out to me that the KDE I18N packages really oughta be done too. So I'm doing them now. My build system seems to have finished 26 of the 49 that we're gonna ship for FreeBSD for KDE 3.0, with more on the way... I also intend to get KOffice 1.1.1 (KDE3 API port) done this weekend sometime. Then maybe commit the ports, but I might save that for next week or weekend... need to avoid compile problems.. :)

Waldo Bastian also told me to feel free to update the master copy of the FreeBSD packages on master.kde.org myself, so I'll probably use that route and keep the packages there up-to-date. Good thing too.. they'll probably have a slew of bugfixes after a week or two...

Whee, KDE 3.0 looks to rock the world. Too bad the packages I'm currently uploading to master.kde.org aren't totally awesome... mainly my fault since I never could find enough time to work on them. So umm, they're kinda rushed. Of course, now that they'll be in the release announcement I'll be able to fix the bugs in them faster. At this time, though, the release hasn't been announced by KDE yet.

I wonder when imp is gonna have HostAP code ready for FreeBSD, 'cause I'm dying to test it on my laptop router. :)

Hmm.. it's almost 1am and I have an 8:30am class.. better get some sleep now. 'Night.

Oh yeah, and one more thing.. NO MORE APRIL FOOL'S DAY PLEASE!! :(

The Slashdot stories are so obvious it's taken the fun out of the day, at least for me. ;\

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