Monday, March 31, 2003

Fun With Rendezvous

so someone pointed hydra out to me today, and i must say i'm pretty impressed. it looks like one of the coolest uses of apple's rendezvous technology i've seen yet. now i just need to find some more people with powerbooks so we can take advantage of it...

Thursday, March 27, 2003


wow, this really sucks. it's horrible to see really cool companies (and from every interaction i've
had with them, it seems that in addition to producing damn good books, o'reilly is filled with really cool people) going through tough times.

on the bright side, they seem to have managed to avoid laying off people in the areas i'm most interested in seeing books from, but still, it sucks.

there isn't much more to say.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Recommended Reading

so someone asked me to recommend a book on unix programming a little while back... as a result, here we have my 'recommended reading for computer geeks' list.

anyway, i'm sure a ton more will pop into my head as soon as i post this, but that's a good start...

Tuesday, March 25, 2003


so the second part of my subversion client api article is off to the editor, much later than i'd expected it to be, but hey, these things happen. now i get to hear how much less interesting this one is than the first one, and it's somewhat true, as the information i covered just isn't quite as cool. it's all necessary though, if you want to write a client, so i'm confident people will find it useful.

now to start on that review of the subversion book...

Sunday, March 23, 2003


so it's been like a decade since i last owned a game boy (i had one of the original game boys back in the day, at least until my sister stole it to play tetris), but today i gave in to temptation and got one of the new game boy advance sp's.

it is a fantastically cool device. it's tiny, but functional. it's perfectly sized, about as small as you can get without it being ridiculous to try to actually play it, and the screen is just beautifully bright. i would have liked to have a headphone jack (just like everyone else apparently, if you read the reviews of the system it's the common thread), but overall i don't think it's that much of a sacrifice, given that for like 5 bucks you get the adapter that lets you use one.

it's a little annoying that you have to carry that adapter, but i understand that they're optimizing for size, and this lets them use one plug for both audio and connecting it to the game cube. this seems like a reasonable trade off, since you probably don't care about the headphones if you're using it with a game cube.

the nice thing about waiting this long to get one is that i get to look over all the existing games and only pick the ones that don't suck. i decided on metroid fusion and mario kart super circuit, and both are just fantasically cool.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Close To Home

up till this afternoon, the war in iraq really felt like a bad movie one would see on tv. i mean the tv networks really are making the entire thing seem too surreal to be true. then i got an email from a friend, telling me (and a bunch of other friends of mine) that one of our fraternity brothers, who is a naval fighter pilot, is stationed aboard the uss abraham lincoln, which oddly enough i had just been reading about on

now, it feels real. and i really wish it would go back to just being a bad movie. hell, i like bad movies, but this just sucks.

It's Hard To Complain

it's hard to complain about the fact that my oscon proposal got turned down, now that i know that greg stein is doing one that looks pretty close to what i proposed, but more interesting. i'm sure he'll do a better job anyway.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


so i think kasia has the right idea.

Fun With Languages

so a few people have started work on translating the subversion book into japanese and chinese.

this is exactly why it's insanely cool that o'reilly is letting ben, mike, and fitz do the book as an open source project. with a sufficiently interesting project (and subversion definately qualifies), people just come out of the woodwork and start working on it. as a result people who speak japanese and chinese (well, traditional chinese anyway, for now) will be able to read the book and use the software. plus, if o'reilly ever decides to publish a version of the book in japanese or chinese, they've got a good head start on the work of translating it. everyone benefits.

now we just have to figure out how to keep them interested enough to keep their translations up to date, so it doesn't go the way of the french translation of the original subversion handbook (before the docbook conversion and expansion of it into a real book)...

Monday, March 17, 2003


o'reilly finally got back to me about my proposal for an oscon talk.

as i expected from the lack of an earlier response, they said no, which kind of sucks, but i'll get over it. i'm putting a bunch of the matterial i was going to talk about into the article i'm writing for o'reillynet, so the info will still be out there, and hopefully i'll still end up going to the conference and hang out with all the svn guys who are planning to be there.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes...

so i finally got a chance to see rent today.

it was really good.

so see it if you have a chance, it's worth it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Fun With People's Futures

so i just got back from several hours spent at a local IHOP, going through about a hundred resumes and narrowing them down to 13 that we want to interview for internship positions.

i was really surprised by the contents of many of the resumes. we had a large number of people looking for full time jobs, when we were only interviewing for internships, a number of people with little or even no software experience (it's one thing to be a CS major with no work experience, but a civil engineer with no programming experience just isn't going to cut it at a software company), and one lovely cut and paste problem where the objective stated that the person wanted a job at GM.

anyway, we cut the pile down to the point where the people who go out to cornell will have a reasonable schedule to work from, so that's good, and it was amusing, in a sick sort of way, to see what people actually write on these things. in the future though, i think i'll leave the filtering to someone else, and just do the second round interviews, as the whole process was a bit

Tuesday, March 11, 2003


so today should have been a good day at work.

i actually accomplished a fair amount. i got some really cool stuff working, things i'd wanted to do for quite some time and had finally been given the chance to work on.

but instead i spent most of the day either frustrated because i was waiting for someone else to do something, or scrambling around fighting fires because i'm on call this week, and everything decided to break today.

i'm straining to find some kind of interesting and thought provoking thing to say about this, but i just can't find anything interesting to say.

Let's See...

i think i've just hacked my blagg install to post the full text of the entry to livejournal, instead of just a link.

let's see if it actually worked...

Monday, March 10, 2003

Welcome to Livejournal

so there's an aggregator companion to blosxom called blagg, and there's a plugin for blagg that mirrors the contents of a blog into a livejournal account.

i have a livejournal account because a bunch of my friends do, and i like to comment on their entries. i always thought it would be nice to mirror my blog there, but never got around to it...

until just now.

this is a test post to see if the cron entry i put in place is running everything correctly...

Sunday, March 9, 2003


so a bunch of my friends from school decided it was time to "party like it's 1996" (for those playing along at home, 1996 was my freshman year of college).

we all drove up to troy yesterday and took over our fraternity house, which was pretty empty of undergraduates since this weekend is the first weekend of spring break.

we bought the same cheap alcohol we drank freshman year, and wore the same kind clothes (a lot of old "rush psiu" tee-shirts were seen), and listened to the same music we played back then. it was an interesting experience. i mean honestly, the friends i made at psiu are still my best friends, and the time i spent there was different from anything before or after it.

to any of the undergrads who were there who were offended by the alumni taking the house back in time for a night, don't take it the wrong way, we all just needed a chance to unwind and have fun with old friends we haven't seen in a long time. it's not that we have anything against the way the house is now, it's just that it isn't the house we joined (it never is, you'll see in two or three years when you look around and wonder what happened), and for once we wanted to try an experience the house we all remember, with emily drawing smily faces on the eggs, farley and jj sitting behind the bar DJing, and all the other 1996isms you saw last night.

in any event, it was a great time, and any of you reading this who were there, thanks, i needed that.

Who Is This Guy Anyway?

it seems i forgot to copy over my 'about' page from my old MT based blog, so here's a reasonable recreation of it.

my name's garrett rooney. i'm a programmer, currently employed working on real time news feeds for a company that makes software for wall street. i live in stamford CT, and before this i went to school at RPI in beautiful troy new york. at RPI i spent three years as a mechanical engineering major, before i saw the light and changed my major to computer science. i figured since i was spending so much of my time playing with my computer anyway, i might as well try to get a job that would pay me to do it.

in my spare time i've hacked on a variety of open source projects, from mono, an open source reimplementation of the CLR, to freebsd, my unix operating system of choice, and darwinports, a package management system for mac os x.

most of my recreational hacking lately has been focused on the subversion version control system, which any day now will be replacing CVS as the version control system of choice for open source projects everywhere. well, it will as soon as we finish it anyway, stay tuned ;-)

this weblog is maintained via blosxom, a really cool weblog tool written by rael dornfest. i recomend you check it out if you're looking at setting up your own weblog, but if you find it doesn't meet your needs, you might want to try movable type, which i used previously, and was quite pleased with.

i serve these pages off a virtual freebsd server i got from johncompanies, who despite having a
reasonably lame name for their company, are exceptionally cool people. they even give a discount to open source developers, and even if you don't qualify their prices are quite reasonable, so if you're looking for an easy way to host a website, want full control (root access), and don't want to bother putting an actual machine into colocation somewhere, check them out.

all the content i post on this weblog is under a creative commons attribution required license. basically, you can do what you want with it, as long as you give me credit.

No More Complaints

rael has removed my last reason to complain about a feature of MT that i miss by releasing his

so now i have comments again, feel free to let me know what you think of the new log and whatnot. i'm probably done messing with things for at least a little while, unless i find some new blosxom plugin i absolutely must try out ;-).

Friday, March 7, 2003

Yeah, Like It's A Real Surprise

so i switched over to blosxom...

unlike some people though, i've taken some care to ensure that the old url for my rss feed will continue to work. if it doesn't, please tell me.

i will miss having comments, but i suppose that'll give me a little bit of motivation to get trackback working. and hey, if you've got something to say you can always email me or something...

and just for the record, my love-hate relationship with httpd.conf continues.

i thought i had it all figured out in my test install of blosxom, but then i switched it over to my blog's normal url, and everything just went strait to hell. the trick seems to be that the ScriptAlias directive that points the root of the virtualhost to the blosxom cgi needs to have a slash at the end, otherwise none of the archive or category links would work. i don't think i have the guts to see if doing so actually broke the ability to access other files in the DocumentRoot, cause if it did, i don't think i've got the energy to figure out what else i can do to make this work...

Fun With Plugins!

one feature of MT that i absolutely cannot lose is the ability to have my index page sort from latest to earliest, but for archive pages to have their entries in chronological order. as with most blosxom things, there is no built in functionality for that, but with one of the 2.0 beta's, you can write a plugin that replaces the built in sort.

i suspect someone out there has written one that's nicer, but here's mine.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

# Blosxom Plugin: reverse
# Author(s): Garrett Rooney
# Version: 0.0
# Blosxom Home/Docs/Licensing:

package reverse;

sub start {

sub sort {
return sub {
my($files_ref) = @_;

if ($blosxom::path_info_yr eq ""
&& $blosxom::path_info_mn eq ""
&& $blosxom::path_info_dy eq "") {
return sort { $files_ref->{$b} <=> $files_ref->{$a} } keys %$files_ref;
} else {
return sort { $files_ref->{$a} <=> $files_ref->{$b} } keys %$files_ref;


Thursday, March 6, 2003


so tamara motivated me to go play around with blosxom.

so far, i think i like it, although i'm not sure if i like it enough to switch from movable type. you can check out my test blog here. i've been playing with a few plugins, which are really neat, much easier than MT plugins from what i can see. i've now got a calendar, archives, and a blogroll that's automatically generated from the output of netnewswire.

what i really need now is a script to dump my MT entries into text files for blosxom. then i can really see if i like it or not. there has to be one out there somewhere...

[later] so yeah, i found a script and modified it to my tastes, so now i've got all my MT entries into blosxom. i'm not sure if i'll put this blog live or not, but i'm thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

What's Up?

ok, so what's going on in my life...

had my first photography class yesterday. the instructor is amusing, but he seems like a lousy teacher. oh well, at least having the class will force me to get out and take pictures, which is a good thing.

i got frustrated with my inability to get xwindows to work on freebsd, so on a whim i installed redhat. overall, i'm pleased. everything i've tried has 'just worked', which is cool. a far cry from what it was like the last time i set foot in linux land.

still haven't heard from oreilly about my proposal for an oscon talk. at this point, i'd just like to know one way or another, so i can either forget about it in general, or i can start stressing about coming up with the actual presentation.

i really need to get back to work on cancellation support for subversion, and on the second half of my article for oreillynet, and on like a million other things...

but instead, i think i'll just watch tv.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Damn It!

it's days like this when i really have to be careful, or i'll just snap and start working on reimplementing all the proprietary third party software i have to work with from scratch. it'd be a collosal pain in the ass, and we'd probably have the same kind of issues with an in-house rewrite as we have with the third party stuff now, but at least then when shit breaks i'd be able to try to debug it, rather than just having to sit back and say "yep, it sure doesn't seem to be working".

Sunday, March 2, 2003

What A Great Show

so the toad the wet sprocket show at avalon last night ruled. there's just no other way to describe it. the first opening band could have been better, but the second one was cool, and toad was just perfect. it was one fantastic song of theirs after another, plus a little of their newer 'post-toad' stuff, and the requisite witty banter ("now you see why we broke up, you're an asshole^H^H^Hcreative differences! creative differences!").

and of course, as usual, visiting boston has come scarily close to convincing me to drop everything and move back up here, cause it's so much cooler than stamford.


Saturday, March 1, 2003

Writing Ability, Or The Lack Thereof

you know, i used to be pretty decent at writing (the non-code type of writing that is). but now, i'm not so sure anymore. i spent a few hours last night having larry go over the draft for my article, and he pointed out so many small problems with it... i've gotten really sloppy. my AP english teacher from high school would be so disappointed in me.

oh well, i suppose the only way to get better at it is to write more, so that's what i plan to do.

anyway, thanks for the help larry!