Tonight was the much anticipated U2 concert. As expected from previous
experience, it was a spiritual experience. The way the group interacts with
the audience makes it so. Just seeing every one of the 18000 seats of the
Corel Centre occupied is enough to set the atmosphere. Seeing a fantastic
performance drives everyone wild. Except for the drummer, all of the members
were completely mobile, with wireless instrument transmitters and mics. The
things this allows for with an oval stage makes the performance unique. The
lighting was even more revolutionary than during the Elevation Tour. Words
cannot quite describe this experience.
After the concert I went to the Honest Lawyer to celebrate Ring Day with
the current batch of recipients. It was good to see everyone again and catch
I'm still hacking on Celestia's GTK front-end. It's nearing completion.
Last night I ripped out the old menu system and replaced it with more modern
GtkActions. The job is only half-done, but after that is completed and a few
more bugs are closed, things are cleaned up, it will be good for release.
There is no doubt that it is cleaner and easier to maintain now.
At work I'm flying through things with remarkable success. The company is
growing. For the moment, things are positive.
] | posted @ 08:12 | link
I need one of these "morning-after" pills. Yesterday was the most productive
day I've had in months. At work, it was productivity straight through the
day, and as soon as I got home, more of the same. I eventually pried myself
away from the computer at 3. This morning, I feel like crap.
The evening was spent refactoring Celestia code from a monolithic file of
many KLOCs to smaller, more manageable files. The way a multi-source-file
program is usually structured is largely lost on GTK Celestia, because it's
written in ways most GTK programmers are taught to avoid. Splitting it up
has definitely highlighted these areas, so I'll be fixing them in due time.
For now, they are just worked around. I also learned a lot about how static
functions work in a multi-file program: they don't. In the end, the code was
compiling, but didn't link since all of these files were put into a new
"gtk" subdirectory. The Makefile will have to be modified to be able to
resolve all of the symbols from other subdirectories.
] | posted @ 14:03 | link
Typical Shipment from Sun?
Going back to work on Tuesday, after being very sick, I was greeted by a
large shipment. I was expecting a 1U SunFire X2100, but not a delivery on a
This machine was terribly over-packaged. The large white box on the top
that could easily fit three of my laptops had but one laptop-style CD drive
in it. The slightly smaller box on top of it had a single power cord. Every
additional component came with a disposable static strap.
Additionally, the package was covered in YOW, and further browsing of the
papers shows that it was air-shipped from Markham. Bizarre for such a short
distance. I wonder if it would have been air-shipped to Toronto?
The real surprise came when I first pressed the power button. I
immediately jumped back as the loudest sound I've ever heard from a computer
came from this one. It would put a typical shop vacuum to shame. It was many
times louder than my favourite "Tyan Sever." It eventually eased the fans
back a little, and a setting in the BIOS setup allowed for them to be
quieted further. But at every reboot it still blasts those fans like there's
Nonetheless, the machine is well-built. The chassis design is good. The
SATA drive trays are very nice, as the drives plug directly into the chassis
rather than through an intermediate tray connector. There is no crazy purple
sculpture on the front. It is a nice 1U unit.
If this is the future of Sun, cheaper and more utilitarian-looking, I'm
all for it.
] | posted @ 18:00 | link
Things were going so well. I was getting so much done. And then, out of the
blue, I became violently ill last Thursday. Nothing specifically wrong,
except I have spent the last five days coughing uncontrollably for no
reason. It's very exhaustive. It broke my voice. It made me have bloodshot
eyes yesterday. Made my right eye swell itself shut.
The only nice thing about being sick is that I managed to watch every
episode of firefly there is. I'm amazed I didn't know about this show
when it was on. Totally cowboys-in-space, very fun. It also set the record
straight: these guys did Steadicam, zoom, and "handheld CG cam" before the
new Battlestar Galactica existed. Too bad it got canceled.
Before I got sick, I did my presentation at OCLUG about Xbox Linux. It
was well received. Once again I thought I might have too much time, and once
again I went over my prediction by about a half-hour.
] | posted @ 03:36 | link
Yesterday I attended one day of the UbuntuBelowZero conference in Montreal:
"Ubuntu Love Day."
Canonical employees work from home, and they meet up for one or (in this
case) two weeks in a different location around the world twice per year. The
first day was the most community-oriented, and the attendance was well over
100 people. It was packed.
Installer: In the next version they will supercede the Debian
installer. The liveCD will boot as it normally boots into the desktop, and
there will be an "Install" icon on the desktop, with a graphical wizard. It
will allow for a much simpler interface than the current Debian Installer,
including something that works like gParted.
kubuntu: The KDE-based Ubuntu is headed up by Jonathan Riddell. He
makes it a point to backport latest patches to keep their KDE fresh. Their
main difference to other KDE distros is that they build the GStreamer
backend into the multimedia applications as the default.
edubuntu: A really neat implementation of the Linux Terminal
Server Project. I witnessed very, very fast booting on the thin clients.
Translations and LaunchPad: With their big "LaunchPad" project,
the Ubuntu guys are trying to revolutionize how translations are done.
Basically, when all of their default packages are built, all of the .po
files are moved to a few big "core translations" packages. The LaunchPad
already lets people translate strings online, and the translations package
can be updated frequently without bumping binary packages. Another big goal
of Launchpad is that it will aggregate all of the various Bugzillas out
there so that bugs can be found quickly, duplicates thrown out, and patches
not left unnoticed.
Obligatory Funny Quote: Jeff Waugh: "Ubuntu: ancient african word
that means 'I'm sick of compiling Gentoo.'"
] | posted @ 04:58 | link
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