Saturday, April 6, 2002

Advogato Entry 273

Haven't written for a while.. I've been busy trying to keep from drowning in homework and studying for exams.

Played with CodeWeavers' CrossOver Plugin package, and actually paid for a license. Seems to work pretty well, though I've only used it for QuickTime and Windows Media Player so far. WMP doesn't work right on my laptop (probably because I have a crummy AC'97 sound device), but QuickTime works fine (especially after I set it to always output at 48000Hz).

I've had some of my wishes come to fruition lately, though. I hear that Coca-Cola is looking into producing vanilla-flavored Coke, and Deep Space Nine is going to be on TV tonight. I just hope another wish or two comes true.

Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Advogato Entry 274

Finally got sick enough of getting junk mail that I installed SpamAssassin. I'd been using Vipul's Razor for a while, but it hadn't been working well enough. Of course, once I bothered to look I noticed that SpamAssassin now checks the Razor database as well, so I can kill two birds with one stone. Of course, it has tons of rules, so it's actually like killing a few hundred birds with one stone.

Anyway, I saw someone post a little bit of code for drawing a simple graph of score vs. time on messages, and decided to make one of my own. I suppose it'll be a while before my graph looks like much of anything, though..

I just wish it was as easy to attack the bandwidth over-usage in my apartment building..

I also was happy to see anti-aliased text when I pulled down a copy of Galeon 1.2.0 and Mozilla 0.9.9 from Debian unstable. I played around and even got sub-pixel rendering working on my laptop. Very nice. Too bad that the Render extension doesn't work very well on Xinerama. Mozilla/Galeon actually works great, but gdkxft and StarOffice just gunk up the screen when they are used on the second head.. I guess the Gecko engine uses the Render extension in a different way than other programs do.

Also started using Evolution as my mail client. I was happy to see that it synchronizes quite nicely with my Palm IIIx. I haven't really used that thing to it's full potential.. Hopefully integrating mail, calendar, to-do, etc., will be good for me. Evolution just doesn't seem designed for the power user, though.. Sylpheed is still better in many ways..

Oh yeah, I switched partly because of Sylpheed being somewhat buggy with regard to GPG-signed messages. Of course, it looks like Sylpheed, mutt, and Evolution all occasionally produce broken messages. Well, maybe not mutt..

Uuuhh.. just saw a really freaky bug in the Gecko engine. For a moment there, I could type text into the scrollbar.. very weird.. Oh well, I can't seem to repeat it..

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Advogato Entry 275

Seriously considering unleashing hell upon Lotus for making such a crappy e-mail client.. I work at a business school where pretty much everyone except me uses Notes. It seems amazing that mail gets delivered at all..

It definitely shows it's heritage as a `groupware' system, not designed at all to communicate over the Internet.. Hell, it doesn't even have message threading, and no messages ever have In-Reply-To (or similar) set in the headers.. Really sad..

Personally, I had thought that an XML format for e-mail might be kind of cool (if it was well thought out, and there were good mailers/interpreters both on the text console end and the GUI side of things). Looks like some of the big names got together and created one back in 1998. Of course, I don't think anyone is using it...

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Advogato Entry 276

Well, I was hoping SpamAssassin would reduce my junk mail to zero, but it's still managing an 88% hit rate. Razor was probably only getting about 1/4 to 1/3 of the junk mail coming in to my mailbox. I get a lot of spam where there's some randomly-generated string in the message body, so comparing MD5 checksums doesn't work against that..

So cool that all it takes is an `apt-get install' on Debian (testing) to get both Vipul's Razor and SpamAssassin..

My computer graphics project got pushed back a few days, which is good, but I really need to make sure I use the time, rather than waste it.

Glad to see that the CBDTPA is pretty much being criticized from every direction. Even more pleasing is that people actually wrote into their congresscritters about it! I wrote to my representatives recently, but I was criticizing the idea of reducing restrictions on how many TV/Radio stations can be owned in a market, and I also threw in a few bits on how adding copy protection capabilities to HDTV sets is bad..

I'd like to get into a habit of writing my reps both in Washington and in the Minnesota congress on a regular basis. I haven't checked if my state reps have e-mail, though..

Friday, April 12, 2002

Advogato Entry 277

Not really understanding the relationship between hotplug, cardmgr (PCMCIA), and usbmgr. Apparently, I can't use both cardmgr and hotplug at the same time. Okay, I can, but the kernel event daemon (keventd) and cardmgr will both start the networking scripts when I insert my wireless Ethernet card.

I haven't been able to get hotplug alone to work with my ethernet card, so I apparently have to run at least cardmgr. I guess this means that if I want to do USB stuff, I need to run usbmgr, which obviously doesn't try to start the networking scripts.. I guess it's good I don't have FireWire on my laptop, otherwise I'd have to see if there was a firemgr or similar program...

I suppose I probably just didn't properly set up hotplug..

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Advogato Entry 278

Had a hell of a day yesterday.. I was trying to figure out texture mapping for my computer graphics course, but it just didn't happen. I just wasn't able to figure out how to get the appropriate (u, v) coordinates of a texture from a pixel on the screen. I think I just have a fundamental non-understanding of the math involved at the moment..

The annoying thing is that I was avoiding the course for most of college, knowing that it involved math that I didn't like. Finally, I was trying to figure out my schedule for this semester, and it looked like a good choice at the time.. Maybe I should have gone for that real-time systems course, but that might have been even worse...

The next assignment is a ray-tracer, which I'll have to work on every free minute I have, I think..

I'm so disappointed with myself today..

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Advogato Entry 279

Phone rings
Me: Hello?
Female voice: Is Dan there?</em>
Me: No. (as I start walking to the whiteboard) Can I take a message?
Female voice: This is Sara (I pick up the marker) from Hillel (I put down the marker). We're having an event tomorrow for Israeli Independence Day. (The image of a riot comes to my head -- of course, there was one just the other week when we won a hockey game..) If he's interested, have him call me at 555-1234.
Me:(Pretending to take the message) ...1234. Okay, I'll pass that along..

Dan's actually an atheist (though he was raised a Jew), but someone got him on Hillel's mailing list. I've been instructed to throw out mailings from them, etc..

My mental imagery is probably out of line, but there has been a lot of chatter between the Israeli and palestinian/Arab communities on campus (as I'm sure has been the case all over the world lately).

It's just weird how the people in these communities interpret the words from those on the other side. Seems like they can't even agree on simple facts. Of course, the conversations are flooded with hearsay. It seems like you'd have to tear down everything -- all of the supposed `knowledge' that people have -- and go back through with independent historians to clear up all of the misconceptions.

We can have peace in the region.. It'll just take a hundred years or so of research...

Anyway..

I've been sleep-deprived along with others.. It gets to be really bad when I have homework that I've procrastinated on, and then I have to stay up really late working on it.. I don't think this would be a problem if I had a regular job and could leave work at work.. Of course, I'm also a person that requires more sleep than the average (well, that's been my experience, at least).

Not sure why, but I tend to need 9-10 hours, but maybe I have other problems that contribute to that. For instance, factor into that the fact that it usually takes me 30 minutes or more to fall asleep. I'm also a fairly light sleeper, so the diesel trucks and buses running by on University Ave. don't really make life any easier..

I tend to sleep really well when I go home. In my childhood, I'd only be awakened by the garbage trucks that came by once a week, weather, and people clanging around in the kitchen.. Now I have to deal with planes and trucks all of the time, plus roommates and neighbors that turn up the volume too much..

I guess it's good that I have to move -- I just hope I can find a place in a quieter neighborhood..

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Advogato Entry 280

Hmm.. It's April. XFree86 4.2.0 was posted back in January, IIRC. Still no Debian package for it.. I know, I know, the dude's busy. However, I've been living with the VESA driver on my laptop for quite a while now.. It's usually not too bad, but occasionally I want to run an OpenGL app or watch a DVD or something, and I can't at the moment.. Moving big windows around is also pretty painful..

Anyway, I think it might be a weekend project

Friday, April 19, 2002

Advogato Entry 281

Is it just me, or is there something wrong with this picture?

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Advogato Entry 282

Did you know that "In God We Trust" is the national motto of the USA? I thought it was just something we put on our currency.