log  ->  quadium.net

Sun 2000-04-02 - 23:01

Cool. I finally got everything moved over to fit the templates and style sheets of my new site. Then I tested it in Netscape, IE, and AOL at 640x480x8bpp. And Lynx. It's good I did, because IE and Netscape have different table quirks. Nothing that major, but it would have made my title bar look really screwy under IE.

It seems like almost all of the sites out there tend to work on only one particular browser, and then only some of the time. Plus a lot of them are ugly. Mine used to be just plain HTML with nothing more complicated than <em>. With my domain, I feel that I have a responsibility to make it a little classier, but I still managed to write good HTML that works in any browser I could find. Would that everyone took the trouble.

Mon 2000-04-03 - 13:29

I'm home sick today with some random stomach flu thing that's going around. I just know at least one teacher is gonna whine about me being absent. They can just deal with it.

Mon 2000-04-03 - 15:59

I just bit my cheek twice in five minutes. Now it's going to take forever to heal, and since by definition the injury is right next to the teeth, it's going to hurt to talk or chew. I hate that.

Mon 2000-04-03 - 18:35

So apparently I'm going to learn Perl. I'm wanting to hack something together to ftp into a Web server, grab the latest compressed logfile, and scan through the stream as it arrives. I was gonna do it in Java, but I can't find any decent classes to do FTP stuff. I'd like to do it in Lisp, but I suspect it has the same problem, and it's even harder to find Lisp stuff. I did a Google search for perl "ftp client" module, and got over 500 results. So Perl it is.

Tue 2000-04-04 - 00:38

Wow. Perl is the programming equivalent of crack. The theorist in me is horrified by it, and the hacker in me is thrilled by the raw power.

Tue 2000-04-04 - 13:19

Ever have that happen where you're kinda interested in a girl, and you're talking to her, and then she casually mentions her boyfriend? That's pretty annoying.

Tue 2000-04-04 - 16:44

So Peter's been bugging me to learn Perl, and I finally admitted to him that I had. Five minutes later, I was actually using it to generate a report of Web access logs by domain, giving him a great opportunity to gloat. I have to admit, its ability to handle streams and regexps is great, but I remain unconvinced of its superiority in handling huge non-stream related programs.

Now I need to convince Peter to learn Lisp. Quid pro quo, or something.

Tue 2000-04-04 - 18:54

Okay, so it appears they found Microsoft guilty of antitrust etc. I should be jumping around and drinking fizzy non-alcoholic beverages, but I'm honestly not that excited about the whole thing anymore. I guess it started to seem kind of inevitable; after all, the public now "knows" that Linux is Hot and Microsoft is Buggy.

Of course, they still have no idea why Microsoft is bad, what free software is, or that there are many other free packages and OSes besides Linux. I forsee many idiots running as root, a deluge of low-quality binary-only drivers, and media bigwigs talking about how "Linux is past its prime". Nitwits.

Tue 2000-04-04 - 23:10

My ISP won't email me access logs for quadium.net unless I shell out $50/month for a "business dialup" account, which I do not want to do. So I hacked together a Perl script to automatically stream and filter the latest log file they've rotated out. Saves bandwidth and disk space! Look in code.

Thu 2000-04-06 - 14:47

So I have some Java code I'd like to release on quadium.net under the GPL. Problem is, I wrote it at work, for company use, which means I need disclaimers from the good folks in Sun's legal department. I poke around the legal site, hitting 404s and "Under Construction" signs right and left, until I finally hit upon "Aliases/Intellectual Property". Hopefully they'll let it out; there's nothing really exciting or secret in there.

Meantime, I'm finally getting to do something in Lisp. Nothing fancy, just a graphical splash screen app. But Lisp is the best tool for the job, and I'm not bogged down with 50 other projects. Hooray!

Fri 2000-04-07 - 21:41

Well, I got a message from one of the corporate attorneys about my little Java network connectivity suite. He redirected me to another lawyer, and went on to warn me in appropriately ominous tones:

It's important to remember that anything created as part of your employment at Sun is Sun proprietary and generally speaking Sun will not allow unfettered release or disclosure. Anything not released to the public and not known to the public is presumptively a trade secret or at least confidential.

It is not a normal policy of Sun to release code under GNU licenses. Sun tends to be quite protective of its intellectual property.

As if I didn't know that. Sigh... I can't fault them for doing their job, and they can't be expected to tell at a glance how trivial the algorithm is, but the red tape is still depressing. We'll see what happens.

Sun 2000-04-09 - 21:55

So this morning I'm helping set up stuff for the Sunday School classes before church. Tables, chairs, signs, that kind of stuff. There's a sign in front of every classroom that says, "Your child will be learning about: _______________". I wrote "motorcycles" on one of those, but the teacher took it down first thing. Some people are just no fun.

On a side note, I have slept literally all afternoon and evening. So I get to do all my homework now, including the makeup stuff from last week. Fun.

Mon 2000-04-10 - 23:43

This is hilarious. Some guy got one of those junk checks saying "you may already have won"--and he cashed it. Heh. I suspect I'll be snickering about this for days.

Wed 2000-04-12 - 18:50

An article on 32BitsOnline is reporting that "Govt Response to Cyberattacks Slowed by Spoofing". Duh.

Wed 2000-04-12 - 19:34

Mildly funny... I just got a bounce message from the linux-usb list, where I'm lurking. I read through the headers and find that my ISP has rejected it due to a "Header error". I then read further and discover that the message was spam that someone kindly sent to the list. So I missed it the first time, but it bounced back to me eventually. There's a moral in this.

Thu 2000-04-13 - 00:53

I took a five-minute break from homework and nailed down a problem I've been having with the OpenSSH daemon not working. It turns out it wasn't grokking blank shell fields in /etc/passwd, so I patched it and sent it on to the developers. I'm so proud of myself.

Thu 2000-04-13 - 20:10

Garth Thornton just pointed the INTP list to the most incredible Java toy ever made. Must...stop...playing...

Sat 2000-04-15 - 17:30

Wow. I just saw an excellent movie, "With Honors". It's brilliant and thoughtful. Go rent it.

Sat 2000-04-15 - 19:03

On a whim, I followed what looked like a standard glossary link from a Slashdot story on the whole "Netscape engineers are weenies" thing, and I discovered Everything. It's weird but cool.

BTW, that whole flap over the "back door"? First, it apparently wasn't a real hole at all, and secondly, people are whining waaaay too much. Programmers have been sticking little personal touches in their code forever, and they always will. Microsoft will most likely never find out who put the string in there, and they shouldn't have to, except that now "the public is concerned". It's a joke. Laugh.

Sun 2000-04-16 - 16:28

It's always funny when frames-infested sites set the TARGET attribute in links wrong...

Mon 2000-04-17 - 20:03

One of the most annoying things about The WB has got to be their inane montage of happy smiling people hugging or laying back and looking at the camera, while sappy self-promoting music plays in the background. Come to think of it, that's pretty much all they do on that network. Roswell's halfway decent, though.

Tue 2000-04-18 - 19:54

Just posted a photo of my various boxen, including glimmer, which I finally got around to ordering the supplies for. It's gonna run FreeBSD, since I'm tired of this being just a Linux shop. I actually started my UNIX journey with FreeBSD years ago, but since it wasn't compatible with the 14.4 modem I had scrounged, I had to dual-boot to Windows to download stuff. Ahh, memories...

Happy news! I finally got those weird display artifacts on piro to abate enough for real work to be a possibility. I think there was a heat-related problem with its Voodoo3 board, combined with a slightly buggy X server. So I removed the TV board in the slot next to it to give it airflow and installed 3dfx's 4.0 server. Seems to be working okay now.

Wed 2000-04-19 - 15:54

I was walking downstairs at school today when I saw three girls standing around a blue iBook, singing to it. I didn't ask.

Sat 2000-04-22 - 00:07

A machine at work crashed today. I was logged in at the time, running a user-space program as myself, not root. The machine died. Completely. Back to the boot prompt. Our lab manager decided it was my fault, since I was logged in at the time. I explained that it was either a random event, which would be the OS's fault, or a crash triggered by a random set of instructions, which would also be the OS's fault. He then insisted I prevent these random crashes from happening. Argh.

And then the manager of the project I was helping with decides that the crash was caused by my shell script. A shell script which was not running at the time. So she proceeds to "audit" my script. I didn't know she knew Bourne shell syntax. I just kinda left the room and played with window managers.

In other news, my i-opener stuff came, and FreeBSD is now on the new hard drive. I cracked open the case this evening. Yikes. I thought my mini-tower case was difficult to work in. It's gonna be tricky, but I am still firmly against just getting the kit. I am doing this all myself. Hopefully I can get a low-profile fan tomorrow, so I can put everything neatly inside the case.

Sun 2000-04-23 - 17:43

I made the HDD bracket for glimmer yesterday. I'll be ready to go as soon as I can get some mounting screws and the IDE cables. BTW, my dad and I discovered a store called RadioShack.com. We almost didn't even go inside, because of the incredible stupidity of the name, plus the association with Radio Shack. It turns out they're incredible--the closest thing to Fry's Electronics you can get out here. Surprisingly, they didn't even ask for the standard name, address, and phone number. They only have 3 physical locations nationwide, but they're expanding.

I find it strange that everyone always gripes about Fry's. Yeah, their salesdroids weren't always the brightest or most helpful, but I found it very nice to say "I need this" and just be able to get it. I miss that quite a bit out here, although I'll see how RadioShack.com works out. They've got the same random selection of incredibly useless geek toys that I simply must get. =) Only problem is, they're like 30 miles away from my house. Ah well. Sacrifices, right?

I've decided to get a Palm organizer. More specifically, the Handspring Visor. I was going to get the Palm VII, but I heard bad things about how scratchable the screen is. Since my pager can send email, the Internet access isn't that big a deal, and the expansion slot in the Visor makes me drool. I'll make the final decision at CompUSA (ick) tomorrow. And why, oh why, did CompUSA have to buy out Computer City? They were cool, and at most 2 miles away.

Sun 2000-04-23 - 20:22

I just watched "The Miracle Maker" on ABC. It was surprisingly good--very true to the Biblical story. The claymation was an interesting touch that turned out well, as did the way they used pencil animations for dream sequences and flashbacks. I heard it's coming out on video, and I can definitely recommend it.

I did find it amusing that ABC showed the ad with the menorah and wished everyone a happy Passover right in the middle of a movie about Easter. Their desire to be sensitive and all-encompassing is admirable, but their timing does seem a little...odd.

Mon 2000-04-24 - 23:05

I got my Visor today. I was gonna get one of the colored ones, but it turns out they're clear, not shiny, and I saw absolutely no need to carry a tiny iMac wannabe everywhere. So I got the black one. Black is cool. I wish they'd make these kinds of devices in a sleek, shiny, deadly kind of black though.

Anyway, this thing is incredible. I got it at lunch, and within several hours I had come across several essay ideas I'd like to write for quadium.net and jotted my notes down. You may see them here at some point. I'm hoping the to-do list will let me keep my homework assignments organized long enough to finish the year alive. =) Did I mention I'm quitting high school at the end of the year? Yeah.

Fri 2000-04-28 - 17:53

glimmer is up and running now, except for Ethernet support. The interface just isn't appearing, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my particular USB-Ethernet connecter isn't supported. Not surprising, considering that the only documentation that came with it is a one-page pamphlet, half of which describes how to install a printer.

I also patched the pilot-mail program for better handling of MH mail folders. It was nice to be able to use malloc()/free() and pointer arithmetic. I miss that in Java. I also got an email from someone asking what the Visor is, so I'll point any and all to VisorCentral.

Sat 2000-04-29 - 01:13

Yes! glimmer is now completely up and running. I've got it in X (right now, twm only) playing an MP3. Many thanks to Braxton Burrsaddle on comp.unix.bsd.freebsd for helping me to get the USB Ethernet working. Apparently the kernel needed patching. Heh. Silly me had to recompile several times, as I didn't realize that usbdevs.h is not automatically remade, and then I found I had mistyped the ID as 0x000 instead of 0x0008. But it's working now.

Now I need to start installing maybe a better window manager and stuff. And I need to find out why the Ethernet dies if other machines have an MTU of 1500. But that is for tomorrow.

Sat 2000-04-29 - 23:30

I'm finding that the MTU has (almost) nothing to do with it. If I set it so only Internet packets are going through piro, and not local stuff as well, it seems to keep glimmer's problems down. I still get a message about a 'watchdog failure on kue0' though, and I have to unplug and reconnect the adapter. I should find out about that.

I got tired of editing 5 or 6 hosts files all the time, so piro is now running BIND. Strangely, piro locked up or rebooted twice after that, so I wonder if it's buggy or being exploited by someone. It stopped after I set named to run as a nonpriveleged user.

Other logs

school work code mind log


vsync@quadium.net
AIM: TimHowe
ICQ: 18784951
Yahoo, Slashdot: vsync64

Last modified: Sat May 6 19:22:32 MDT 2000