Archive for March, 2001

Random Flights to Opposite Coasts


Long time no post.

Girlfriends and Barbeques

Flying my girlfriend in for the weekend. I managed to get on priceline at 5:00pm on a Friday, bid on a round-trip ticket for a next-day departure (Saturday), and get it… for $300.00. I saved $1903.85 on this bid. Not bad for 1/2 day’s notice.

I haven’t yet broken my promise of never paying more than $300.00 for a flight.

I’ll bet she didn’t expect me to follow through with that one. I called her at lunch and said “Hey, you want to come over for the weekend? rasmus is having a barbecue.” She said “Sure!” (thinking I was kidding). BwAHAHaHA!


Finished a new web page to slurp other Palm-formatted sites through. Took me awhile to figure out the rewriting of the links as they come across, so that relative links are converted to absolute, and all relevant HREF links are pushed back through my script, so I can re-slurp them when a user clicks on them. I’ll launch this soon. It’s all part of PODS I have to publicly thank dave0 for the help with the callback on this one. It’s still using a lot of hacky code, but it works, so I can begin tweaking more and more now.

${$response->content_ref} =~ s/Q$relE/$script?site_selection=$uris{$rel}/g;


Did some more work on PODS, and added some more links to it. This thing is going to be huge. Between this, palmliography, and the new Slurp thing I whipped up tonight, this could be quite the useful sack-o-tools for Palm users. rasmus was helping me convert the Catalog
CPAN module
code (ugly, bloated, slow, and disgusting) over to a hand-rolled php script. I’m so impressed with the speed and level of compactness of the code.


Well, a debacle of connected events once again stops me from doing what I wanted to. I missed my talk at CLIQ by missing my flight out (a flight I paid for out of pocket, I might add). My truck was completely DOA, and wouldn’t even turn over. I called the three taxi companies in town. One of them had a circuit error (fast busy signal), the second rolled into some weight-watcher’s clinic, and the third no longer covers my area. Ugh. I was stuck. I spend two weeks on slides, and even lost a bunch at the last minute (sorry dsifry).

“I need to stop these dominoes from falling” -hacker

bratsche, I hope all is well with Chris. I hope our talk the other day on irc was at least somewhat uplifting. I feel your pain (literally in some cases). Things will go well. It’s important to understand what these things are, and to make sure to seek highly qualified help. I’m saddened that I didn’t have enough money or knowledge back when I had “issues”, but now I’ve learned.

Post-It Mirror

I’ve now begun sticking Post-It notes with my tasks on them on my closet mirror doors. Hopefully this will get me a bit more aware of what’s going on in my life, and work to get them all taken down. I don’t have my dry-erase board here, so I’m a bit limited with tools. The more I take away, the more of “me” I can see again in the mirror. So far, it’s working well.

Plucker 1.1 Released

Well, we’ve finally released Plucker 1.1, and the website is holding up (yes, I’m surprised). We went from ~5k hits to >31k hits a day now. That’s not bad for a little Palm project. It’s doing well, I just wish more people would jump aboard and help us out. There’s a lot of things to be done yet, and that damn python parser needs to DIE. It’s so damn slow!!

We have a Freshmeat Plucker Entry, one on PalmGear, one on Freeware Palm

I seem to be doing good on badger‘s external advogato stats page. I don’t have as many projects as wsanchez nor do I want that many. 20? Come on… I only have 13 at the moment, not including internal projects at $JOB[0].

So much to do, so much going on. I have to find new housing, I have to help my girlfriend find a good job out here and relocate her, I have to knock all these side projects off of my plate, deal with my truck, my health, and getting back into my training.

Enough for now…

Let’s scuttle the OPN irc network

“Sometimes you have to rustle the trees to scare the birds out. -setuid”

I’m done with OPN. I have outgrown their ineptitude.

Quick-n-Dirty Plucker GUI Ideas

dirtyrat: I may have a quick-and-dirty project that I could use some of your help with. You’ve got more gtk+ under your belt than I do at the moment. Take a look at something I started, and let me know if it’s something you could help me finish (shouldn’t take more than a day or two at the most).

Plucker Desktop Buddy

gnome-pilot and pilot-link HOWTO documents

kwd, the gnome-pilot conduits work fine with your Palm, including Handspring Visor, TRG, and Palm devices themselves. They’ve matured quite a bit. Yes, there’s more things to add and fix, but it’s functional now.

You might want to revisit them. No HOWTO necessary, unless of course, you would like to augment my collection that I’ve been starting here:

I’d love to hear your experiences with the conduits, good or bad.

CVS Hackery

4:28AM PST

CVS Administration

I spent all night working on my cvs server, trying to get some things straightened out. I found some limitations in cvs in general, and with inetd’s limit on the number of values you can put in there for –allow-root=.. definitions

I managed to get around it by calling a script in inetd.conf which sets CVSARGS, and allows me to get more repositories out of it. Now it works well. Next I’ll have to fix this monstrosity and update it to include the other projects on the server.

CVSARGS=" --allow-root=/cvs/first       

exec ${CVS} ${CVSARGS}

The next step is to get a –allow-list option in cvs itself, so I can put the repositories in a file (or a database) and then use –allow-list to read the list in. All worked well, but I’m still not satisfied with the number of hand-edited redundant scripts I had to fix (, loginfo, commitinfo, modules, etc. for each repository). I’ll have to figure out a way around that, or… maybe it will come in handy when each repository is chrooted into an anonymous ssh jail.

Hrm. More to think about, but it gave me some more data for my CVS seminar. That thing grows day by day.

Free Software Palm Development Network

First there was the Open Palm Group which died off. I should see about picking up the domain one of these days and officially revive it.

But now I’m offering a network for the sharing of information in the Palm Development space. Yes, it’s small, only 20 or so projects at the moment, but I am hoping that it will grow fast. Am I trying to replace them? No. Not at all. I am hoping to culminate the best and brightest Palm developers in the open source and free software space to collaborate, share, and grow here.

If you have a Palm® project, no matter how big or small, and want to have others help you develop it further, or have a secure place to retain the code and development of it, email me and I’ll set you up a repository and an area to continue development.

There’s a lot in store for this, definitely going to be some fun stuff coming. Jump onboard!

$10.00 to break into your car, sir?


hoffman, bzflag and the much faster German updated
definately support an AI mode. Look into the -solo when running the client app. It will bring in as many robots as you want. You definately want to use the German version of bzflag until the new UDP code is rolled back into HEAD on SourceForge

$10.00 to break into your car, sir?: A True Story

So there I was, driving in on Friday morning, all ready to go for a very long most-of-the-day meeting. I know I wasn’t going to get a parking space anywhere near 650 Townsend for free, so I planned on parking at the lot right outside the main doors and paying for it. At least it’s close, and attended.

As anyone who has had the pleasure (pfft!) of seeing my truck knows, my entire passenger seat is generally occupied by a large boom box and a cd case full of cd’s.

I love my music. Can’t drive a mile without it.

So the routine is that you normally pull in, pull towards the little shack in the middle of the lot, and the attendant takes $10.00 from you (used to be cheaper a few months ago) and you have your pick of whatever spots are left open. I typically pick a spot right near the entrance, facing the bus stop there.

And the day goes on, meetings go well, I get a lot of work done after the meetings, everybody leaves, and it’s nice and quiet.


Time to hunker down and get some work done. I strap on the headphones and begin ranking away.

I managed to somehow blow up yet another Thinkpad hard drive, this time not even physically connected to any Thinkpad at all. So I’m reinstalling (yes, you guessed it, Windows) on the spare laptop drive to configure the Lucent wireless gateways (currently I had this particular wireless gateway locked in a ‘Closed Wireless Network’ configuration, so the only way to get to it was through a Windows-only configuration tool, and I had to have been broadcasting with my *REAL* Lucent MAC address to get to it, so VMWare was out of the question — it uses that PCNET32 interface, and a virtual MAC, so that fails.. anyway… where was I….)

So I get the laptop configured, all the drivers and goodies are loaded, and I pack up and begin to get ready to leave.

Standing back, looking at my desk as if I’m a shepard on a tall hill watching my flock, I survey the things on my desk, to see if I’m going to need any of them for the weekend.

“Ok, take this, no, leave that, and let’s not forget this…” know the routine. The mental inventory comes around once a day or more sometimes.

Slowly I sling the backpack over one shoulder, grab some books and a legal pad, and walk out of 650 Townsend, up the escalators, over to the left, past the ATM, and straight into the parking lot for my truck.

“La la la lalaaaa….”

(thinking about what I’m going to do this weekend, so I can be ahead of whatever is about to bite into me on Monday). That Windows install went just too smoothly. Yes, 475 reboots, but it didn’t break.

“La la laaaa…”

(opens passenger side truck door to drop backpack and books onto the only space that can hold them, the passenger footwell area).

Hrm, this doesn’t look right. My entire bench seat is… empty. It looks like the same long, empty expanse you see when looking down a set of railroad tracks. I stand back and think..

“Hrm, did I bring my radio today? Or did I take it to my apartment to listen to some tunes?”

“No, I definately took the radio with me..”

(mentally plays back getting in the truck that morning)

My eyes slowly pan around the truck’s interior in the darkness.

“Hrm, every thing looks…”

(cold, icy feeling comes over me as I see the driver’s windows smashed, and all the glass in the darkness on the driver’s carpet, none on the seat.)

My radio is gone, because someone decided they needed it more than I did, and smashed my truck windows to get into the truck to get it.

They had to open the door (this radio is *VERY* large by the way, and always covered, it’s the one on the right in this picture) to get it out.

My glovebox wasn’t rifled through. My visors were not overturned. I even have a 120-volt to 12-volt invertor that plugs into the cigarette lighter to power the radio, and they UNPLUGGED THE RADIO from the invertor and took only the radio. I also have some pendants/necklaces and a “War Helmet” hanging from the rear-view mirror. Those were also left alone. I had a Jabra cell headset on the seat. They pulled the earcup off of it, and tossed them both on the seat. Gas tank wasn’t syphoned. Tires weren’t slashed. Nothing but a missing boom box.

They only took the radio.

Now I was left with a 12-mile drive home, in the dark, with absolutely nothing for sound but the whistling of the air going through the smashed remains of my driver’s side windows at 65 miles-per-hour.

“I love my music. Can’t drive a mile without it…”

I’ve lived my whole life in CT, growing up in Hartford, Willimantic, Norwich, and briefly in Brooklyn. I’ve never had any car that I’ve ever owned broken into (and some of them were quite worthy of it). Now that I live here, and drive a 13-year-old truck, my vehicle has been vandalized a total of 4 times in the past year alone.

I guess what bothers me the most, besides the inconvenience of being out of transportation for the next week or more, is that the truck was no more than 50′ from the front door of 650 Townsend, in an attended parking lot, and nobody saw this assailant smash my windows (3/8’s inch 4×4-package tempered glass, not easy to just smash with an elbow or even a rock), take out a nearly 3′ long, 14″ diameter radio, and walk away?

Not happy. Not happy at all.

“$10.00 to break into your car, sir?”

pilot-link “Mandatory” upgrade


johnm, you know I don’t want to bicker about things like this, especially here. I don’t have the time, patience, or resolve to argue with you about the issues regarding pilot-link. In short, the reason I said it’s a mandatory upgrade is that the sync code that was in 0.9.3 is “questionable” and was removed because of potential GPL concerns.

It was completely rewritten from the ground up by jpr, and those concerns have been alleviated. We’ve talked about this on the list already.

Also, 0.9.3 will not work with most of the supporting applications that might continue to use it, such as Evolution,
gnome-pilot, and possibly others such as PilotManager, JPilot, etc. If people want to continue to use 0.9.3, and ignore some of the licensing issues, and an occasional corrupted record here or there, that’s fine. I’m not forcing anyone to upgrade, just that compatibility will break if they choose to use 0.9.3 with some of the newer GUI-based apps.

Maybe “mandatory” was bad phrasing. Let’s call it “necessary”, or “critical” or something else then.

As for the layout at tool launch time, that silly splash, reminder: It does say -pre5 on it, no? Any code can be added removed for a final release. It’s my intention to move all of the argument parsing out (probably using popt or getopt() in a proper lib), and make it uniform between binaries. Until I do, some will act different than others.

Speaking of patches… the only message I’ve received from you directly or on the list regarding pilot-link referencing patches (not general webpage or SourceForge banter) was on Thu, 19 Oct 2000 15:31:55 -0700 (PDT), referencing the PILOT_LINK_PATCH stuff. I’ve already fixed that (and screwed up the branch, which jpr had to resurrect).

If there are other patches I haven’t received, if you could email them to me, I will include them. Other than that, I haven’t seen anything, and you already know that I’ve been / including / patches, so you’re not being ignored.

I await your patches and suggestions to improve the package.

Bad Behavior has blocked 102 access attempts in the last 7 days.