Thursday, May 30, 2002

Strange Friends

Apparently Louis is getting a new chair.

Now is it just me, or is that the weirdest chair you've ever seen?

Ah well, no time to write more, I'm off to move more stuff into the new apartment. Damn moving sucks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Stuff To Read

Paul Graham seems to have a lot to say.

Go read it.

I'm not much of a lisp/scheme person, but everything he says seems to hit home, and as a result of reading his essays, I'm really looking forward to checking out Arc when it's ready for public consumption.

It's interesting to look at the differences between what He's doing with Arc, and what the Perl people are doing with Perl6. One is very much the cathedral style of design and implementation, while the other has everything, from the design of the language to the implementation of it's low level VM out in the open. I wonder which will take off?

Personally, I'm hoping for both, since there's more than enough room in the world for many languages, and both seem to have a lot of good ideas that are worth exploring.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

What the Hell Were They Thinking?

So since I'm a super geek who has loved fantasy and sci fi for years, I went and shelled out my twenty bucks for a copy of the Harry Potter DVD, which just came out today.

It's decent enough. The movie itself is just as cool as it was when I saw it in the theater. The problem is when you try to watch the extras, all the deleted scenes that one is supposed to get as the benefit of shelling out the money for a DVD.

They're hidden behind a maze of little games you play to find clues, and once you get enough clues, you can watch the scenes. Fortunately, you can just go here to get the inside scoop on how to find them, but really, come on! Why should I have to click through one puzzle after another just to watch the deleted scenes that I payed for? And it's not like I only have to do this once, a DVD player can't save these sort of things, so I have to do it each and every time I want to watch them.

Damn that sucks.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Long Weekend

Let me explain.

No, is too much, let me sum up.

Went to Maine for my sister's graduation. The 5 hour drive turned into 8 hours, since they closed 95 north due to an overturned tractor trailer truck filled with batteries. Apparently the highway was covered in battery acid.

Did the whole graduation thing and then helped my sister move out of her apartment.

Then, I drove back to MA, picked up some stuff from my parent's house, and started moving stuff into my new apartment.

Since I'm going from living with a roomate to living alone, I've had to go out and buy all the things that my roomate brought to our apartment. Today, I got the microwave, the toaster oven, and the TV. Unfortunately, I can't do much with the new big screen TV, since cable doesn't get hooked up until next monday. Tried it out with the game cube though, and it's really nice.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Not Cool

My 4:00 meeting today went longer than it should have, so even though I really didn't have to be there, and we didn't actually accomplish much, I still missed the train into NYC that would have got me there in time for the showing of Episode 2 I had a ticket for.

Oh well, I'll just have to catch it on a digital screen some other time.


I just got my license key from the MT people, so I feel compelled to write a new entry and see if it shows up on their page.

The bug I've been fighting with lately seems to have been corrected. I hate saying that, because I know I'm just tempting fate, but it looks good...

Going to see Episode 2 again tonight with people from work, this time in a nice digital theater. It should be cool.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me

I really hate not being able to fall asleep.

What can I write about to waste time?

Good Buffy season finale tonight. I was reasonably impressed. Evil Willow is cool.

Submitted a few Gnome related FreeBSD ports. Gnome 2 is looking quite nice. Perhaps I'll even keep using it longer than a week or so like usually happens with me and desktop environments.

Great, now I can't sleep and I can't come up with anything interesting to write about. This sucks.

Monday, May 20, 2002

One Of Those Days

So friday afternoon, Derek came by my cube and asked me how the problems with news searching were going. I replied: "what problems with news searching?"

Of course, despite the fact that the product goes live in TWO WEEKS, nobody had bothered to mention any problems with news searching to me, even though I WROTE the news server...

And today, once I finally got people to give me the information I needed to debug the problems, I've hit a brick wall, because as far as I can tell, there is no difference between the code I wrote, which doesn't work, and the code we're using in production now, which does not.

Of course, spending an hour and a half on a conference call with the San Mateo guys explaining what the problem was, and hearing them try to offload their problems onto me just added to the fun. Really.

[later] Ok, it has been pointed out to me that the last sentence of that second to last paragraph doesn't make much sense. A more gramatically correct way of saying what I meant would be: "and the code we're using in production now, which does". I swear, that made more sense when I wrote it the first time.

Sunday, May 19, 2002


So I was just thinking how odd it is that weblogs in general have taken off.

I remember back in my freshman year at school when I first ran across James Peret's online diary. He just put random thoughts about absolutely everything in his life up on a web page served off his PC in his dorm room. Reading it was a great way to figure out what was going on in his life, although honestly, we probably would have been better off just talking ;-).

Later, when I had my own problems (or so I thought) to vent about, I put them up on my own diary. I guess I didn't really think anyone would read what I wrote there. Honestly, I'm not sure if anyone did, other than Rochelle, who sent me this long email about how I should have been doing something about my problems instead of just writing about them where random strangers could read it. She was right of course, not that it changed anything.

I suppose r0b also read them, although I can't think of any concrete proof of that. For a while there, we had a tendency to find out random things about our lives by reading them on each other's web pages. I suppose that was probably a bad thing, but hey, that's us.

And now, you can go to any number of different web sites and download tools for doing just what we used to do with just a text editor and some flat html pages. What was once the province of the geeks of the world has begun the process of moving into the realm of normal people.

It's kind of odd, and there's a temptation to be a little annoyed by it, just like it's easy to be annoyed by the way the web has moved into mainstream popular culture, but really, it's not good, or bad, it just is.

Motivation, Or Lack Thereof

AKA: How to get absolutely nothing done over an entire weekend.

I've been in one of those funks lately, where I seem to have a lot to do, and yet I still seem to get very little done.

At work I spend a lot of time running around to various meetings or fighting fires because something that was working all of a sudden stopped working, and even when I do find time to work on something, I still don't actually seem to make any progress. A quick look at my TODO list seems to show about the same number of things as it had in the beginning of the week. Sure, I've got some things done, but new problems seem to be piling up just as fast as the old ones are resolved, if not faster.

At home, I just seem to end up sitting around watching TV and surfing the web, when I could be spending that time doing something productive. It's not like I don't have other things to do, since I've got a pile of books I want to get to reading, and about a million things to do to get ready for moving, and probably a ton of other stuff I could be doing that I'm forgetting...

It's ironic, I've been talking to one of my ex-girlfriends lately, and we've been trying to get together to do things, and she always seems to be busy. This is the person who I broke up with (among other reasons) because too much of her life was centered around 'us', and not enough around 'her', to the point where I would feel guilty if I went out and did anything without her. Now, she's the one who's got a million things going on, and I'm sitting at home bored.

I'm thinking of taking up aikido, since I really need to get into the habit of exercising more, and a bunch of people I know from school do it and seem to enjoy it a lot. Perhaps I'll get motivated and sign up for lessons once I finish the whole apartment-change thing.

I'm sure I'll snap out of this funk soon, since I've been in them before and they never last too long, but damn they're irritating when you're in them.

Friday, May 17, 2002

Yoda Rocks!

So I was too tired to write this last night (well, early this morning technically) when I got back from seeing Attack of the Clones, but damn, that movie kicked ass.

Especially Yoda. He's just too damn cool. Most of the rest of it was also great, but the scenes with Yoda at the end were the best.

Imported the regular expression libs for C++ into perforce at work today. They just got them on the VMS side, so I figured the Unix people should have equal opportunity to play. My first impression is that it's fantastic. It is so nice to be able to use regexps in C++ without having to fall back to using the old, C style regex.h interfaces.

I need to go see Star Wars again. It was so damn cool. I wonder what time it's playing tonight...

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Goodbye Helen

It's been announced now, so I can talk about it.

Helen, the woman who ran the software engineering recruiting and training program at $COMPANY, is resigning, effective July 5th. Incidently, she's the person who hired me, and what she said in my interview was a motivating factor for my joining the company.

Ironically, what she told me was that she missed coding (she had been an engineer for 7 years before she started working on training and recruiting). I had asked her what she didn't like about her job, which is one of the things I always ask in an interview. And now, she's leaving, and that's part of the reason.

It sucks, because I both understand why she's leaving, and I REALLY don't want her to leave, because work just isn't going to be the same without her. I got involved in recruiting and training at work because I thought the way she ran them was a great thing, and now she's leaving, and I'm left wondering how much things will change as a result.

Will we be just another company, with HR people doing most of the recruiting? Will our trainging program, another of the things that made me work here, change for the worse?

Too many questions. Not enough answers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Deny By Default

AKA: How To Make Me Not Want To Help With Your Project.

So a while back, I helped out a bit with the mono project. I was bored when I first started my job, and I figured I'd make good use of the windows machine work had given me by learning some C# and help a deserving open source project at the same time. I wrote a few low level classes, got cvs commit access, and maintained them for a while until I got busy and then, when I had more free time, I found other, more interesting projects to spend it on.

Tonight, I got motivated for some reason, and decided to download mono again and try compiling it on FreeBSD, just for the hell of it. I mean since most of the people who work on it are "all the world's a linux box" weenies, I figured it wouldn't work, but hey, what the hell.

First, my old cvs account appears to no longer function. OK, no biggie, I did tell Miguel I wasn't going to have time to work on it, so shutting off access was probably a prudent idea. you never know when someone's ssh key will get compromised or something.

Then, after I get it downloaded from anonymous cvs (hey, look at that, they finally got their acts together and set up anonymous cvs servers, will wonder's never cease), and hacked on it a bit until it compiled, I put together a patch for one problem I'd found, and explained another, and sent them off in an email to the dev list.

And low and behold, it turns out they're blocking mail from non subscribers by default, so I get to wait until someone gets around to reviewing the message before anyone can see it. Damn that's irritating. I'm all for preventing spam, but there are better ways to handle it then just blocking by default. If you're trying to get people to help you out on a project (and if you are an open source project, i sure as hell hope that's what you're doing), then putting any barrier at all between the motivated developer and you is just the WRONG thing to do.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Well, today I managed to (after some debugging) get one of the things I wanted to do this week done, which was a nice change, since I've been accomplishing less and less lately, for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, one of the things this required to be useful did not work, and I still have no idea why.

And worse yet, I got some bad news, which I can't even tell people about because it's not public info yet, and it's killing me.

At least voicestream managed to fix their DNS.

It took them two days to fix it though, so they're still Losers.

Monday, May 13, 2002

Voicestream Sucks!

Stuff broke at work today, and I should have got paged for it, but I didn't.

When I finally found out, and fixed it, I started investigating why I didn't get the page, and it turns out that had completely fallen off the net.

It just wasn't in DNS anymore.

How FUCKING hard is it to just keep the domain name that ALL your email based paging goes through on the net?


Is This Thing On?

So I've tried to start a weblog once or twice, and I always end up getting bored with writing my own (I've never been much of an HTML weenie), or irritated with whatever blogging software I was trying.

Movable Type seems pretty cool though, so hopefully I'll actually keep using this one.

We'll see.