Archive for December, 2000

Holy Hackery

Random Hackery

  • Talked to lewing about it. Seems there’s some issues with test11 kernels. I upgraded to test13-pre3-ac3 and all seems well. Even my previous VMWare problems were solved. I managed to get the latest gnome-pilot up and running. It heavily depends on my releases of pilot-link.

  • The conduits seem to work, now to deal with the USB code, and work on getting Category support inherited into Contact records. jpr and I have to figure out how to do appointments which span beyond midnight in the Datebook conduit (multi-day appointments). Palm© itself doesn’t even support this behavior (yet?).


  • I talked to several high-level application designers about the code in pilot-link, and we all agree. Much of it has to go south. Nuking globals. Nuking redundant replicated functions, cleaning up argument parsing. Generally rewriting it from the inside out. I can’t abruptly break binary or source compatibility, but things have to change to “move forward”. Lots of good changes going into this one. Tracking towards a 1.0 release. That TODO list continues to grow.


  • Work is… well… work. Lots to do, not enough time to do it, and with insufficient resources. Have to keep my head above water.

These things are not my fault.


  • I may end up getting my butt over to the Ottowa Linux Symposium. Have to find some people to talk to, and get my paper in, and get it approved by “The Company(tm)”. It would be worthwhile to present some information there about what I do in the community.


  • Looks like I’ll be speaking at Linux World Expo this year in New York on the Bootable Business Card (otherwise known as the BBC). I have to figure out some slides and bits to chatter about.

The Past

” Don’t just dream dreams, live them.”

  • I’ve been spending a large percent of my free thinking time dealing with my past (what little I remember of it, thanks to that nice accident incident in 1992). Choices I made have made me who I am. Introspection. What if I chose differently? Would I be alive? It’s finally time for me to concede that I’m done being transitory. I have to be stable, because she needs me. I need her. Life is about change. Sometimes we agree with the change, sometimes it’s inevitable.

“All things must change to something new, to something strange.” -Longfellow

The Truck

  • The saga continues. Now I have a very strong gasoline smell in the cabin of the truck and around it when I park. Could be a carbeurator thing. The windshield now has a crack from bottom to top, right in the center of the glass. Loud rapping noises from the engine. I wish I lived closer to work or BART, so I didn’t have to drive. It’s going to die soon, leaving me stranded.

Sleep is for mortals

  • It seems my sleep schedule has now flipped, due to exhaustion and diet changes. I’m now fully awake from about 8:00pm one night through midnight until 5:00pm the next day. Lay down for 3 hours, lather, rinse, repeat. I am much more productive from the hours of midnight until 5-6:00am it seems. Have to tinker with this a bit more.

Goals (unordered)

  • Workity, workity, work.
  • Get Lisp under my hat-o-skills
  • Replace/nuke/bury the truck.
  • Health (MRI, headaches, bloody noses)
  • Logistics of moving Erika here.
  • Remaining taxes from CT.
  • Relocation closer to SF. Loft living?
  • Plucker Perl Spider
  • pilot-link 0.9.5 release
  • and anything else I forgot.


Can’t get my head out of the mud

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  • Well, another weekend gone and passed. This one was rife with boredom projects. I have pretty much given up on driving now. I hate my truck. It hates me. Normally driving is great “thinking time”, but not with the fear of the local LEO‘s and my CT plates still on my truck.


  • Been hooked on bzflag lately. If you haven’t played it, go. Use the server at #bzflag at openprojects

No, I’m not hungry…

  • I’ve been doing an experiment on my body over the past 7 days or so. I’ve been starving myself, to try to verify what I think is true. Basically under extreme hunger (and I mean hours upon hours of stomach growling), my mind becomes more… focused.

    It’s hard to explain, but it’s very apparent. I seem to have much more motivation to get things done and answers seem to come faster to more complex problems. It’s very hard on me mentally, to fight the biological urge to eat, and the mental need not to.

    Definitely need to find out more on this. I guess it’s called Caloric Restriction, and there’s a lot of studies on it’s affects on aging and memory retention.

    “I wish I could dream a life that was real”

Jiggle the Cable

  • My 21″ Hitachi monitor died last week. That was a $1400.00 investment. Not good. It was only a year old. I have to get the warantee information out of storage in Fremont, 31 miles away. I wonder if there’s a local Hitachi repair center.

Palm Programming

  • I started hacking on a quick program to do advogato diaries from the Palm©. Tentatively called palmvogato. Initial cut of the code will just allow you to compose the diary with the html shorcuts being buttonized. I suppose the second build should include a sync of the diaries back down, so you could read them, but you can already do that with Plucker. The desktop conduit will execute the POST.

    Gotta kick myself in the butt and get pilot-link.0.9.5 out. At least I managed to fix the SourceForge mess and clean up the pilot-link page there.

    Spent some time this weekend working on POSE around the NetLibSend and NetLibRecv guts in Platform_NetLib_Sck.cpp.

    Managed to get a patch out of it, but now there’s a weird NetLibClose() problem I can’t seem to nail down. I was working with the author of PalmIRC on irc #palmchat (openprojects).

    We managed to patch it through (30a7 and 30a8), but there’s lingering bugs.

    At least I got a fully registered copy of his application for helping him. I’m going to use it for screenshots in my PPP + Palm HOWTO. We managed to get some more feature ideas added into his code.

    Collaboration like this makes me happy. Complete somehow.

    Have to remember to diff POSE 30a8 into my cvs with the previous releases.

    I wonder how hard it would be to write an app for the Palm© to do the equivalent of Pocket Mapblast. Perhaps PalmBlast? I use it enough, I should approach them with the idea.


  • I have no idea what I’m doing for Christmas or New Years this year. All of my friends are back in CT, and I know nobody here. For the past 6 or 7 years, I’ve spent New Years in NYC, never missing a year, but it looks like I’m not doing that this year. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Erika wants to do something. Now we try to figure out who flies to see whom. I really wish we could just solve this distance problem.

The Prison I Call Home

  • This penitentiary I call my apartment has reached it’s last bit of usefulness. I’m dying here in this place. I have to get out. I can’t grow here. Need to get a bigger, cheaper place closer to the city. Maybe a place that allows cats. I miss my cat.


  • Lots of projects on my plate. Began the conversion of the Plucker site into phpNUKE format. I have to tighten up MySQL on the box first. Can’t open a hole that wasn’t there before. Sek-yoor-a-tee.


Painted Man

  • I sit every day looking at this arm. Before Mike kills himself on his bike, I want us to get this thing colored, and finished up. Probably another 20-30 hours of work. Flying back and forth from CA to CT for it is going to suck.


  • Are we drifting apart? Did I do something wrong? I’m so wrapped up in survival, I don’t see sometimes how other people are spiraling down in my vortex. I’m sorry.

    Building this diary, and reading those of others somehow motivates me further to continue to top previous days events. That’ll die off soon, I’m sure.

All in all, a pretty laid-back weekend. Lots to do when I get back to work tomorrow. I hope I can focus, without interruptions.

Palm, Palmsource, and cross-country relocations

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robk, you may want to take a look at OpenFlock and gctp. We’ve been working on it as much as we can “Find Time(tm)”, and I’m going to be responsible for the Palm-resident port of the OpenFlock code. You can see a screenshot here and my attempt at a group meeting icon here.

rasmus, I’ve tamed the J-Pilot exploit. Pretty easy fix. We’re talking about applying an interesting model to network and group sync’s now in the linux space. Much more to come. You know how I feel about security anyway…

johnm put on a good talk about GCC on the final day of PalmSource 2000. My only wish was that tools like par and the interoperability between the m68k gdb and gcc were touched on. Good stuff though.

On the last day of PalmSource 2000, I was able to meet some more interesting people. I met Dan Royea who is helping bring out the third edition of PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide from O’Reilly. I met Keith Rollin, author and present maintainer of POSE at his incredibly informative talk on the Emulator. I managed to meet Steve S., who makes Datastick.

I passed him some of my references at Perkin Elmer to help him productize this device. I may want to talk to him about some residuals on it for those valuable references. He’s had some trouble with getting to the right person, and thanks to my previous employer, I’ve actually sat down with the “Top 5” at that company for dinner. If it works out for Steve, I might want some “credit”. Looks like a great use of the Palm© device in any case. I was able to rant some more about AvantGo and some issues. Apparently he’s worked for them over the summer. Great. Maybe they’ll get
the word.

The weirdest thing is that we’d be talking in a circle in the hall or something, and people would walk by and see your name badge, then walk over and say “Hey, it’s glad to finally meet you!”, and I have no idea who these people introducing themselves to me were. Oddly surreal. I guess when you bury yourself into so many mailing lists over the years, people learn to remember your name.

What is with these women. It started Friday AM at PalmSource 2000 with one of the “door checkers” talking tattoos and piercings with me, then about college, then… Friday PM it’s the Pizzaria Uno waitress. AAHHH! I hope this isn’t going to be a point of conflict in the near future.

So now I’m working on cleaning up the Plucker homepage. I tried to get a shorter url going, since and friends was already registered. I may end up doing it in static html to prepare for a heavy test of the Slashdot Effect as we announce it on Freshmeat and PalmGear. I’ve been toying around the idea of a banner too, and doing some t-shirt sales from the website, so we can finally get some compensation to these developers who’ve worked so hard on this over the years. Once that onslaught is over, and we get some more bandwidth, the page will be converted over to phpNUKE. I like the ability to theme and layout the content separate from presentation. Nice.

More to do…


  • Plucker Web Engine
  • Plucker Desktop Buddy
  • The email gateway is 90% complete. That’s going to be the coolest thing.
  • The perl spider has to be finished. I really wish others could jump on and help me with this. My perl is quite limited where it concerns parsing web content and dealing with pack() with binary data formats.
  • Once these things are done, I can get back to actually putting code back into the application space itself. Too long away from it.


  • 0.9.5 release
  • Redocumentation, man pages, autoconfiscate it
  • Work on the 1.0 roadmap
  • Merge that ugly code base, and decrease the number of required binaries.
  • Lay out a conduit SDK for pilot-link development
  • Anyone that can help me bite into the TODO list, please do.

Home Life

  • Move her over here. No more wondering.
  • Relocate closer to the city. This apartment is killing me.
  • Legal matters resolved re: relocation from CT to CA.


  • Enthusiasm. Have to… stay… focused… I can’t keep taking it personally when people quit and leave. This is not my fault, and I will not pick up their lingering work. I can’t kill myself for this.

Enough for now. I have to get back to hackery.

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