Productive in the Real World
Life this summer has been very active offline. I'm getting married this coming spring, and I've been quite busy with work and then spending time with Sarah. My workload has been crushing, but has finally been streamlined into regular activities. That means TimeWarp dot Org is being updated again, ClickWiki is back under development with a NittanyWiki release date of August 31st (just in time for the Undergrads to flood campus), and my office is strictly devoted to work... and my Rocky collection. That means no light through the window (or I need to get some UV film), but I have a neat red, black and natural wood feel to the mental space I work in now.
So, I'm trying to get the various wikis finished by the end of the month. Nittany Wiki is now up and online, although signups are locked right now. I need to get about ten hours of good coding done and a couple days of data entry (I have a box of menus and fliers to enter).
Time: if only I could fit more into the day.
KDE Help Trivia
Just tossing this out to be indexed by the big G for anybody who is having the same problem. Konqueror stopped updating directory changes unless I did a refresh. Logging out and logging back in did not fix it. The solution was dirt simple... even though gamin (specifically gam_server) was running, it wasn't working. A quick "killall gam_server" run as a normal user resolves the problem (since gamin automatically restarts). If, of course, somebody reading this does not have gam_server running, that's your problem right there.
Rebooting probably works as well, but when you have all your nice screen sessions going, who wants to reboot?
Clicking into Place
Well, the software might not quite be done, but the ease of updating all my sites has exploded. I converted about half my sites to ClickWiki, and now they are a breeze to update -- I've done more in the past week than in the past six months.
Diff code sucks
ClickWiki isn't going to be done this weekend like I had hoped. The darn diff function is really difficult. I've already given up on a slick AJAXy really nifty system, but the end effect will be the same to the user.
Hopefully there are plenty of really novel and useful things in the system that make it well worthwhile to have built it from scratch. The data query system is powerful, but I do have to admit that I wonder how many people will use it.
Major updates to ClickWiki lately... I should release in February. That also means that several sites will go public. Yay.
Basket has released a new cutting edge version, the third release of 0.6.0 Alpha1. So I added a kubuntu deb package for it. As always, I don't bother to figure out dependencies, so if you have problems, check if there's a library it's asking for by running it at the commandline, but it should be okay.
Blogs versus Books
I was working away at some text, and it occurred to me that there are a good number of people who are learning a handicapped form of writing. They write quite a bit on their blogs and believe themselves authors, but one of the key aspects of being an author is the rewrite and ability to throw away crap (even when it hurts).
For instance, this little post flows right from my fingertips. I'll read it through once, maybe change a sentence or two and then hit "Save Entry". Done. If it were a page in a publishable work, I'd be a tenth or fifth of the way done, with loads of rewriting left to do coupled with a decent chance that I'd toss it.
The speed of blogs gives a powerful advantage to them. But then I sit amongst a pile of good books and realize that a good blogger and a good author have very different skillsets.
On a similar topic, earlier today I figured out the best way to discuss Wiki philosophy: Type up your thoughts, look them over, rewrite it into a concise and focused point, and then hit the "Cancel" button and go do some real editing.
Well, obviously there have been several changes here at the site. I spent a couple hours and whipped up a blog script, complete with RSS feed and management system. This is either a credit to PHP or a result of my having built several content systems since 1998 in PHP. It's actually just an excuse to play with sqlite, although the system is nice and properly abstracted so I can plug in three new functions to the blog class (put, get and init), and the system could attach to anything.
SQLite is neat... I like how it accepts proper SQL and silently ignores what it doesn't understand and just provides as much functionality as possible. A great database for trivial applications like a low volume blog.
So, I love the Inspiron 9300, it is a fantastically great machine, especially when combined with kubuntu. The one problem is that the touchpad is so sensitive that I can be typing on the keyboard and the mouse pointer starts moving or even clicking. I normally don't use it (right now I'm using a Logitech notebook cordless mouse, but I'm planning on getting a diNovo Logitech bluetooth desktop), so I wanted something to turn it off.
Turning it off is easy -- just don't load psmouse. But then you have the occasional time you want to open it up and hit imdb during a movie or Google something when you're talking to friends. touchpad is a little script that uses modprobe to load and unload the driver. Works great -- the touchpad just stops working in xorg (but the external mouse works fine), and when you turn it on, it just starts working.
I'd imagine it will work with other laptops, but YMMV.
Just created a kubuntu package for wlassistant, a really kickass KDE Wireless Manager. It was nice and easy and the process may well prompt me to finally get all the ch utilities up and online.
If you run kubuntu, check it out. It should be run via kdesu, but I wanted to keep this first package simple and in sync with the original tarball. The original author used sudo, and that's what this package uses. Not bad, but you have to configure system files, which is what kdesu is designed to avoid. Right now I'm split on making the package modify sudoers or modify it to use kdesu instead of sudo.
At any rate, I just run it from konsole as "sudo wlassistant", and it works fine.
I can just start to trace the arc of these new seasons that I have moved to. When I first moved here in early summer there were a galaxy of fireflies sketching their short tracers across the landscape each evening. Their loss was not so alien; to me they were an imposition upon the night and their disappearance was the removal of something that had seemed out of place. After they passed into whatever side room seasonal creatures occupy out of season, Pennsylvania became familiar. The green was familiar and the mountains slowly became a comforting backdrop.
Today was different for a few reasons. The temperature did not break 70 degrees, something that would have jarred me deeply not long ago. Jessica was my sounding board for my initial shock over cold weather; I think I amused her. I certainly was amused. That was four years ago, however, and the intervening winters, mild as Northern California might be, have made me comfortable with Pennsylvania... autumns.
I had opened up all the windows and was enjoying the muted sounds of the neighborhood when a scent crossed the threshold of both my home and my awareness. I struggled for a bit, and then I realized what it was. It was a serious fireplace. Not a mild aged wood, but rather the sharp and fruity tang of a wood designed not for aesthetics but instead harvested strictly for warmth. It drew me across a decade and a half to eastern North Carolina, usually not too different than Northern California in winter, but with an occasional harsh season that necessitates a more practical perspective on fireplaces.
What if dog was spelled C A T ?
According to Google, I am the first person to use the term "ouroborovian". It was on DavisWiki as a comment to an edit: "Removed ouroborovian comment pair".
Yay onomatogenesis via derivational affixation!!!
In the News Today...
Google announced that a janitor kicked around the idea of buying Taco Bell. Google stock rose $47 and Yum! Brands, owner of Taco Bell, had their stock go up $132.
Meanwhile eBay announced that they had struck a deal to buy Microsoft, WalMart and a US Mint. "We can now literally print our own money, plus we will have a near monopoly in both software and tangible retail goods", said eBay President Meg Whitman. Leery of the announcement, eBay's stock price dropped to only four cents per share. "I ain't gonna trust no dot com blip blip stock", said noted day trader Erwin Lapsey. "I lost my shirt on them, and they are all evil".
Microsoft President Steve Ballmer had only three words to say about the deal: "Developers! Developers! Developers!". The sweat running down his broad manly chest then shorted out the microphones, abruptly ending the press conferences. Meanwhile, deep inside Mum-Ra's lair, the lich formerly known as Sam Walton and current President-in-Secret wheezed his single word comment about the proposed merger: "...braaains...".
Sick. Nasty sick. Sitting under a blanket watching Star Trek and running to the bathroom sick. Ick.
Pox and Tonka
Just replied to someone with perfectly good reasons against Chicken Pox vaccines (they are pro-vaccine, but the Chicken Pox one is not reliable and questionably necessary):
The classic form of chicken pox vaccination is with live viruses. And I don't mean the doctor and needle kind; even more classic than that. When one kid catches it, all the parents send their kids to play with the kid, and then have the brothers and sisters hang out together. One nice block of everybody getting it, calamine lotion and writing sick notes to the school. Of course, we couldn't figure out if my Dad had ever had it, so he made himself scarce for awhile.
At least that's how I was raised. Maybe people are more paranoid about disease and health nowadays... I also grew up with rusty and pointy Tonka trucks in a mudpit as part of my play area. I think that would get child protective services involved now. Especially if they saw the fort we built between two trees on an empty lot. But then, I can use a miter box and know how to measure for the saw blade width as a result.
Just set up a cronjob to play the current time every hour from 8am to 8pm. I used the online Festival TTS interface. Nice stuff. It's also interesting that Festival is still the best out there, better than Microsoft, ATT or Lucent.
Now I just need to either move it to riff or remember to keep the side volume turned up on betty. Damn you, Amarok - you are too nice to give up! Next version of Kubuntu likely will go onto riff; that will allow me to use the latest Amarok remotely. I'll probably rework my mp3 collection at that time as well.
And a minor point... Hello net
Linked my private home blog to CheshireHall.org. Figured it was sitting there, I update this, but never LJ. Next project: make LJ update automagically when I update this. Estimated delivery date: June 11th, 2021.
Rather than doing too much work, I just added a Publish attribute to each entry and will tack a "ch" into each one I want to make public. That gives me room for an "lj" tag or whatever becomes popular in the future.
PPD files and minor blips
Just got the SuperScript 870 up and running to print off some 3x5 cards for the Moleskine. Stuff like call agendas and project worksheets. I discovered that the 870 could only do 300dpi, which looked like crap. A bit of poking around, I found out that it could do 600dpi and that there was already some documented modifications to the PPD. So I modified it, changed the ID and stuck it up on the new CheshireHall.org. I really need to pop up my really nifty utilities like cleanname, but my next to be documented and packaged will likely be my rec tools; Neal asked about them.
Faith at Dennys
There's a cook here at Denny's talking loudly to one of the waitresses about how he believes in God and Satan, and he keeps saying "I believe". To him, his faith is as important as someone else's belief in art or truth. There are people who don't believe art or truth are important, and see no reason why they should be. In the end, his belief in God is as important to him, and equally as unsupportable, as anyone else's belief in art or in truth.