A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- March 31
- Tweaked the films.pl
script once again. Really, I should just can it and redo it from
- March 30
- Sigh. Well, apparently 55 years isn't quite long enough to wait
for a Grand Slam in the 6 Nations. England ran way with the game,
pretty much, and there wasn't a whole lot we could do to stop
- March 29
- Watched France running all over Wales in the 6 Nations. Also
watched Ireland beat Georgia at soccer, including an impromptu
display of knife-throwing - apparently from the
Tooled around with an old GPS toy, mainly playing with the
satellite tracking stuff as opposed to the actual GPS
- March 28
- Did a little silly hacking with a timesheet app for the
- March 27
- Gave my talk on Samba this evening. Not as big a crowd as I'd
hoped for, but it went well anyway.
- March 26
- More digging around in Windows RPC
stuff. I need a few more virtual machines to do this right, I
- March 25
- Ew. I'm writing Windows
code. Shoot me, please.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
- March 24
- One of those running around like a headless chicken days where I
really had nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
In case you're wondering, I'm spending so much time on Samba for the office at present
that the Snafooz hack and
the crap-o-cam have been untouched since I last mentioned
- March 23
- Klortho, running Red Hat 8,
locked up twice on me this evening. Once it took down X
completely, and the second time it just sat there spinning its
disk for half an hour while I watched X-Files. I am SO not impressed.
Another fun formula 1 race in Malaysia. Surprise pole position
Alonso managed to be surprise third-place finisher, too. Ferrari
had a pretty crap day but still came home second (Barichello) and,
um, sixth (Schumacher).
- March 22
- Wahey! We beat Wales at rugby. Only just, mind.
- March 21
- Went to see Tracy Chapman with Clarkey. No geekery to speak
- March 20
- The first of the Doolin talks was on tonight; Kevin Lyda did a
presentation on GPG to a crowd
of about 25 or 30. I'm up next week, talking about Samba (surprise surprise).
- March 19
- And more Samba. The LDAP schema changed, but the
new one isn't in CVS yet, so
I ended up creating the missing bits myself.
I'm modifying LDAP
schemas. Two months ago, all I knew about LDAP was what the acronym
stood for. eep!
Oh wait, it is in CVS. Dammit, I'd version-locked
one of the directories for some reason. Probably when I was
tracking a bug.
- March 18
- Samba. Samba samba samba. I
need a break!
- March 17
- Happy St. Patrick's Day
Wow. I got a pretty sizeable patch into Samba. I should put that up on my
- March 16
- Back to noodling with Snafooz. I was right about the
missing mechanics. Basically, the cubes are exercises in placing
six pieces from a set of six into a six-piece-holding frame. The
composites, on the other hand, require for example placing ten
pieces from a set of twelve. This breaks my simple placing
mechanism, but I've figured out a hack to get around
it. I also added a feature to show a wireframe outline of the
piece that's currently under construction.
Boy, that was irritating. I made a change to my FVWM config, and instead of
restarting the window manager I quit it. Duh.
Stomped off downstairs and plonked down to watch Romeo + Juliet. This
would be at least my fourth time watching it. My opinion of the
movie is unchanged; the idea is excellent, the soundtrack
terrific, and Clare Danes is very, very cute; however, both
herself and Di Caprio are lousy when it comes to the emotional
bits, resorting to loud braying in place of tears. The use of the
original dialogue is extremely clever, as is the branding around
the movie - guns branded "Sword" and the like. On the
whole, a nice waste of 2 hours. Now where did I leave my copy of
- March 15
- Met up with Johnathan Vail,
his wife Sue, and a travelling bunch of self-declared ugly
americans. Fun ensued, as did food and drink.
- March 14
- Finally finished entering all the piece data for Snafooz, and found a bug in the
placement code when I added one of the complex structures. On the
whole, though, the mechanics are complete and I need to add some
Hmm. While watching it attempt to solve one of the composite
shapes I realised the mechanics may, in fact, be missing one
- March 13
- Spent the evening tooling around with Borland (or Inprise)'s
command-line C compiler, the one they gave away for free. In the
process discovered with amazement just what a difference adding Emacs to a Windows
installation makes in terms of usability. Rediscovered,
- March 12
- Continuing fun and games with Samba.
And Snafooz now has four of
the six colours done, and I've also successfully set it up to
handle adding more puzzles (i.e. the composite puzzles that the
website shows solutions to).
- March 11
- Spent the day in Limerick playing with DSL. PC World rock.
- March 10
- Implemented a brute-force solving routine for the Snafooz toy, and added one of
the Lament textures where the actual logo should be so I can see
when pieces are flipped over or not. This led me to a bug in the
matrix for the cube. I'm not sure the solving routine is done yet
as I'm still finding problems with it and it apparently missed a
solution earlier. Still, though, it's kinda fun to watch it
working through the permutations and backtracking and so
forth. And I really like that it's using collision detection to
determine if a piece fits or not.
- March 9
- Wahey. Snafooz now has
working collision detection, and it's using a linked list instead
of an array. I need to do a few more things before I'm happy with
it, though, including putting some colour in.
Also, a surprise finish to the first F1 race of the season;
neither Ferrari driver on the podium. First time in 54 races,
- March 8
- x0rfbserver is
just a world of wackiness. Or maybe it's just my network: laptop
downstairs, wireless link to upstairs, ethernet link to another
laptop, on which I'm running a VMware-hosted NT4
- March 7
- Got the collision detection almost working for the Snafooz toy, after spending at
least two hours staring at a completely obvious bug and not seeing
it. Anyway, I seem to have the essence of it worked out, and I
just need to go back and convert some very lazy coding into some
proper code and that should fix the remaining bugs. Then I have to
work on texturing and colour.
- March 6
- Phoned IT Direct and Peats
today to ask about DSL stuff. Neither could give me what I'd call
a "competent phone experience". The IT Direct guy
sounded irritated that I was asking questions, and the Peats guy was just clueless - I
got more information from their website than I got out of him,
holding the product I was asking about in his hand.
- March 5
- Integrated the Snafooz
code with XScreenSaver,
which has currently disabled all the interactive stuff, so I've
replaced it with code which randomly picks pieces and puts them
into place. Of course, since I've still not done the collision
detection it's not able to assemble the puzzle correctly
integration took me about an hour and resulted in far smoother
animation than I'd been working with, which is neat.
- March 4
- WAH. GA100 stopped working. Back to Expansys post haste,
dammit. It appears that its cheap price - about 25 quid - reflects
the amount of care and precision with which it's assembled;
basically the contact pins are no longer making contact because
the Palm is too loose a fit in the sled. Anyway, Expansys have a 14-day return
policy, and a quick Google
has revealed that others have encountered the same problem only to
have it solved with a replacement, so fingers
Found what looks to be a bug in Samba's rpcclient, in the
printing section. Yay me!
- March 3
- More tooling with Samba. Windows'
printing subsystem is the same mix of "wow, neat!" and
Expansys delivered some
goodies for my Palm V:
a USB power/sync cable (not a serial/USB; an actual USB-only
cable), a car charger (USB cable plugs into it, which is neat) and
a GA100 "GSM phone sled" i.e. a clip-on cellphone. I
spent an hour playing around with the latter before going back to
more mundane things like trying to get all my data transferred
from the old Palm
without causing the serial port to be upset. No,
- March 2
- More Snafooz modelling. I
also found out who makes them and emailed asking for permission to
not get sued if I drop the code on my website cos, you know, it's
the wildly successful product they founded their company
on. Anyway, the code now allows you to interactively select pieces
to make a cube; it doesn't check if you've done it right,
though. It also rotates the pieces you haven't yet used at the
bottom of the screen. However, I'm now trying to figure out how to
rotate the bits you've assembled as a single entity rather than as
individual pieces rotating about their own axes. I'm sure I can do
something with the Projection Matrix, but I can't seem to figure
it out at the moment, so I'm reading doco.
Dad phoned looking for some help with the computer which he'd been
poking at for Mom. The computer pretty much sorted itself out,
though. As I said before, I do not
understand PC hardware.
Bolted a rather silly function onto cddb-mode.el to
transfer a marked chunk of text from the current TTITLE line to
the corresponding EXTT line. This is so I can more easily fix up
CDDB entries where the
"featuring" stuff is part of the track title instead of
the extended data.
Finally. I seem to have gotten all the Snafooz bits working, although
I'm pretty certain I'm doing something wrong. I just worked
through the entire yellow cube, and it appears to be
functional. The only thing I'm currently unsure about is whether
flipping a piece over (some pieces have to go in back-to-front,
basically) actually works, since I've got no textures on the
shapes to distinguish them and I'm guessing I can't get working
colours with glColor() while I'm using a lighting
model. Next thing to do is implement collision detection of some
sort so that I can have the computer tell me the pieces don't fit
together, rather than trying to eyeball it. Currently I'm running
just short of 500 lines (including comments and whitespace),
Had another go at making the crap-o-cam work with the laptop, this
time by switching the laptop's parallel port to Bidirectional -
the driver doesn't support EPP, and neither does VMWare for that matter - but
still no luck.
- March 1
- About A Boy is
brilliant. I'm sure I'd have laughed as much even if I
hadn't been gargling Rosemount Estate
Chardonnay. The kid who plays Marcus is an absolute treat to
watch; probably the best actor in the entire movie.
Donal phoned me up
asking questions about rebooting a Windows box
remotely; as a result I punted two machines somewhere in Boston
from the comfort of my Geek
Room. Go Samba!
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