Pat's Log
Sun, 29 Feb 2004

What a Week.
20040228 What a busy week. Got lots of things working around school, including the office workstation and sendmail SMTP-AUTH via TLS. Got lots of schoolwork out of the way too, including a computer architecture midterm, which was practically identical to the copy I have of last year's; I expect I did well on this one!

At work, walking by the server room, I noticed this NetWinder RM unit in the rack. I hadn't seen a production version before, only the empty preproduction cases while they were being designed. Apparently, NetWinder.Org owns this box, and it is being used to compile ARM Debian GNU/Linux. Interesting to me, since my (not rackmount) NetWinder runs Debian, and runs it well.

I was hoping to get Celestia GConf working by now, but, as usual, autoconf proved to be a hassle that set me back a week. Now that GConf is included in the build process and does not break KDE, hopefully I can get something done on this front.

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week, when Robert Love is coming to town. I hope to find his speech enlightening and motivating in terms of both work and hobby programming.

[] | posted @ 03:20 | link
Mon, 23 Feb 2004

All Good Things...
All good things come to an end, and that includes a week of break time amidst a semester of hectic studies.

In summary, I didn't get quite as far in Celestia as I had hoped, the settings saving code remains to be written. I got some school work done (today). A hectic week approaches.

Updated to the latest kernel today. ACPI has been broken since 2.6.2, with the battery reading dying after a few hours of use. The bug report is here.

[] | posted @ 04:59 | link
Fri, 20 Feb 2004

"G" Card.
20040219 Went shopping today. Bought six wireless-G access points for school, and a DLink DWL-G520 for myself. This is an Atheros-based MiniPCI card slapped onto a PCI card. After removing the daughtercard, the "some assembly required" scheme involved adding at least one antenna jack (pictured). The larger version of the photo shows the contacts for the auxiliary antenna jack, which will be added shortly. The black cable that plugs into it is currently tucked away. The card is cheap and works very well.

In other news, yesterday's skiing was fun, the aching is slowly subsiding. I should be starting schoolwork about now, hopefully I will be getting to it any time now...

[] | posted @ 02:14 | link
Wed, 18 Feb 2004

Gnome Prereleaseness
[20040217] It took me half of the night and all morning, but I managed to apply James Willcox's patches for the Gnome wireless applet. This was not an easy feat. Much of how this thing works right now is very Fedora-specific. Running under Gentoo, I can scan for stations, but I cannot switch them or otherwise make use of the applet. Nothing overly serious, with time the bits and pieces will be ironed out, and this patch will become very popular. For now it is a step in the right direction. And running Gnome 2.5 unstable series is fun. Much of the trouble was caused by the Orinoco driver being unable to enter scan mode, patch available here.

Spent the other half of the day trying to figure out GConf. It's a lot more complicated than I thought, with schemas and all. Celestia cannot have schemas, because the autoconf macros it requires will break for the KDE guys, I believe. But I should be able to get around using just key-value pairs and building a little more intelligence into the program. It will be tricky, since I don't want to break plain GTK compatibility, but hopefully doable.

Other business: the puppy's second tooth fell out today, only a couple left until the sharp ones come out. Going skiing tomorrow at Mont Ste-Marie.

[] | posted @ 03:48 | link
Tue, 17 Feb 2004

Beware the Eye of the Blog
20040216 Lord of the Rings? Try Eye of the Blog instead.

I've spent a good portion of the day learning how use plugins and flavours for Blosxom. I finally settled on a look, heavily modified from one of the sample flavours provided. Changed some colours, the font, the inefficient use of tables.

However, I realized that the thing needed some icon, mascot... an eye! I figured my eye was impressionable enough. Took a photo. Laughed my ass off. It's amazing how a decent lens can distort when used at close range; it stayed sharp, but that picture is funny... my nose is so big!

[] | posted @ 01:46 | link
Mon, 16 Feb 2004

Reading Week
Reading Week is upon me. Excellent. Yes, reading...

Friday night was great. Went out to Barrymore's with Markus and his girlfriend and three other amazing women in this web of friends. Had a great night, everyone had fun. I am really glad Markus came all the way from the GTA to visit me, saves me a big trip. :)

Added the planned context menu to Celestia. Only a few things remain before I am caught up with the Windows version and we can make a release. I am always amazed by how much code I reuse directly from winmain.cpp in gtkmain.cpp: change a few HMENU's to gtk_menu* and voila... a callback is a callback, after all. Celestia is great.

Finally found decent MIDI and Roland-derived MP3 versions of Asteroid Dance, Part I from my favourite game, Tyrian. Best game score ever.

This was on a piece of packaging I opened yesterday...

You don't say?

To finish off the weekend, the puppy lost her first baby tooth. Hopefully those sharp ones she keeps biting me with are next.

[] | posted @ 04:05 | link
Mon, 09 Feb 2004

Wasted Weekend
My entire weekend was wasted on one class: Communication Theory. I spent Thursday evening studying, took the day off Friday to continue studying, wrote a midterm on Saturday (what a terrible day for midterms!), then spent all of Sunday writing up a lab report for this class.

Interesting contrast: the midterm was very crappy (I think I answered a third of the questions...), but the lab report went more smoothly than any report this year; I'll be in bed before midnight!

[] | posted @ 03:44 | link
Fri, 06 Feb 2004

Peer Pressure.
My little brother bought an Xbox today. That was a very stupid thing to do. Maybe I can put Linux on it?

[] | posted @ 04:05 | link
Tue, 03 Feb 2004

Gnome Nautilus "Spatial"
This spatial Nautilus thing is a neat idea conceptually. It is meant to make Nautilus more user friendly in much the same way the classic Macintosh Finder was a pleasure to use. This involved some interesting changes, whereby the toolbar and sidebar have disappeared. Moreover, the navigation method has gone back to a multiple-window mode. Here is my interesting quote from #gnome-hackers:

"I use $HOME as desktop, and so all my folders are easily accessible from the desktop, so I don't need multiple windows cluttering my workspace, since I can't use multiple workspaces because I get confused because not all the windows are easily accessible, which is a good rationale for having fewer windows with Nautilus (aka not spatial)."

My Grade 5 teacher (Mr. Kennedy) would call this a diarrhea sentence.

[] | posted @ 04:51 | link

The Awesomeness of Allegro
Being bored (not really) and wanting to try something new, I decided I would try to compile the project Markus and I wrote for OAC computers class under Linux. It's interesting, because my interests at the time were exclusively 3D Studio Max, and so I did the graphics, and little else. I did know that Markus had used mingw and Allegro to build this thing. I figured it must be buildable under Linux and pure g++, so I emerged allegro and tried compiling. Fifteen minutes later, I was playing!


[] | posted @ 03:27 | link

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