Friday, January 12, 2001

Advogato Entry 43

Bleh. It's been a while since I've written. Which is okay, since I haven't done any programming in that time (well, I did finish up a really annoying group project for one of my annoying CSci classes. I'm so glad I passed that damn annoying class. Can you tell I'm annoyed?)

I went to the bowl in the University of Minnesota Marching Band. Got a nice t-shirt. Stayed in a nice hotel. Got $78 for food (whee! steak!). Watched 4 hours of an utterly boring game where we lost after leading in the first quarter by something like 24 points...

To be expected...

It was really interesting when we traveled to Florida and back, since our original charter plane had been grounded for some reason or another. We ended up packetizing the band by taking 3 planes down (plus a few people on a 4th plane) and 3 planes back.


Finally got DRI working like it's supposed to.. Who knew that you actually had to add that `Mode 0666' line in the DRI section of XF86Config -- I thought that was only a suggestion... I also discovered that DRI doesn't work very well when your resolution is weird. I like to run my display at 1320x992, since it produces square pixels on the screen while keeping the same amount of desktop space as 1280x1024. When you run at 1280, things get squeezed and pulled by about 5%, so they don't look quite right anymore.

I had fun installing Debian on an old SparcServer 20 at work earlier this week. It's pretty slow, but it's not terrible, since it has two processors. I set it up to run X windows and share the keyboard and mouse with my P133 Linux box with x2x (I understand you can do the same thing with a Windows box and a Unix box with x2vnc). It's really nice to have smooth mouse movement on a Sun for once ;-)

Other than that, not much happening here, except people are slowly trickling back onto campus. A female friend of mine responded to a note I sent her a while back. There seems to be a strange tone to it, though I guess the note I sent her had a strange tone to it too. She was (probably jokingly) lamenting her love life.

It's probably best to cut off that train of thought...

I'm thinking of going to see Antitrust tonight. I just hope I can hit the buses right. Not having a car sucks. Then again, parking at the U of MN is impossible, so it all evens out..

Saturday, January 13, 2001

Advogato Entry 44

Well, I did go see Antitrust. I don't highly recommend it. Definitely a rental, unless you want to see the (usually very quick) screen shots in their full resolution.. If you want that, go see a matinee or watch it at a second-run theater.

I think the baseline story was good, it's just that the writer and director didn't quite know how to piece it together. I went and read a number of reviews, and I think many agree that there were some very good bits in it. A lot of them understood what the movie was supposed to be, and that the packaging just turned out to be pretty bad (although it looked good). Okay, the packaging was really, really bad. Ryan Phillippe? Why, God, why? A bunch of the sideline characters would have played the starring roles far better. There was one guy that helped introduce Phillippe's character (Milo) to the office that I thought really should have been played out much more. He had one of the best lines in the movie: ``You have a girlfriend? Like a real three-dimensional girlfriend? That's really rare around here, man.''

Also, the techie bits were pretty good. It looked like the f/x people actually listened to John Hall. It was kind of funny though, since some of the screenshots were based around Gnome, others appeared to be from CDE or something (the good guys used Gtk/Gnome, the evil guys appeared to use Motif).

In the end, the movie feels like it was an alpha release. I think it was spliced together pretty badly. It could be improved quite a bit by rearranging the scenes, making some cuts longer or shorter, etc. That would probably bring it up from one or one and a half star to two stars (of four). If they ditched most of the leading roles (Phillippe, Forlani, Cook) and replaced them with the supporting stars, it could have easily reached 3 out of 4.

I heard over the grapevine that Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman (along with a bunch of people from Ximian/HelixCode) went to see the movie. Apparently, Nat was very loudly making Miguel's presence known to the theater crowd, and Miguel wasn't terribly happy about that. But, like I said, that's over the grapevine..

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Advogato Entry 45

Blah. The registration system at the University has been computerized and re-computerized. It still sucks. Well, it may not actually be that bad, but the CSci department is overbooked or something, so I can't get into (m)any classes. I did register for a History of Science/Computer Science class that discusses the history of computers, and the intro lecture seemed really interesting. Unfortunately, that's my only class so far.. Are people coming across overbooked CSci or technology departments elsewhere too, or is the U of MN just weird?

Of course, it is partly my fault for waiting a little to register for my classes. I hate registering, which doesn't exactly make me jump for joy whenever I have to do it.

Anyway, I've got at least another few days of headaches before I know if I'll end up working the entire semester or not.. Work is supposed to be the side thing, but I guess school might end up like that.. Oh well.

Maybe I can do some programming if I end up with gobs of extra time. My roommate has a program on his Journada that keeps track of his checks and other accounting information. It'd be nice if I could do something similar for the Palm. Not that I'd necessarily ever use it (I'm terrible about bookkeeping..)

Other than that, I thought I might wander around QuestionExchange a bit (if that place is still around). Maybe I can actually pick up some cash ;-)