Computers: January 2002 Archives

LWCE Day One

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I took a train from Providence to NYC, which was quite pleasant. I should travel that way more often. I think I will do so.

So it took me about a half hour to find the spaker's registration room, lugging around my, erm, luggage, because it was 11 a.m. and check-in wasn't until 3 p.m. But I found it, then went over to the OSDN meeting room (free massages available) and checked email and talked to Messrs. Lenzo and DiBona and Bates. All much fun. I then saw Messrs. Adler and Hand and Starsinic, and was invited to a NYC Wireless meeting later that night. I tucked that away, and went to check-in.

The room was quite nice. I promptly hooked up my older PowerBook to the data port on the phone and to the audio in on the VCR/DVD unit, so it could play MP3s through the TV and provide wireless three feet away to my newer PowerBook. Mmmmm, technology abuse, call the cops!

I returned to the conference and saw fellow Slash programmer Brian Aker while waiting for a cab, so we went over and brielfy toured the event before heading on over to the Penguin Bowl (hosted by DiBona, with Lenzo as a contestant, and Mr. Malda as a judge) and then left that to go to the Perl BOF.

The Perl BOF had about 20 people (maybe a few more, as some left and more came later) and most of the discussion centered around the futures of perl 5 and perl 6. It's nice that there's a lot of interest in these topics, though unfortunate that this is almost all anyone wants to talk about. :-)

Today I have no real plans. I'll go to some sessions and wander around and take more pictures (there are a few there, but nothing too interesting).

Good morning, son.
I am a bird
Wearing a brown polyester shirt
You want a coke?
Maybe some fries?
The roast beef combo's only $9.95
It's okay, you don't have to pay
I've got all the change

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

--Ben Folds, Still Fighting It


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Tomorrow I am going to be leading the Perl BOF at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. I think you only need an Exhibits Only pass to get in, so if you're in the area, come join us.

I'll be taking Amtrak tomorrow ... maybe it won't be the best travel experience in my life, but it is far better than taking a plane. Yow! I have 4.2GB of MP3s and the new Tron DVDs, plus The Two Towers, so I won't fall short of entertainment for myself. I'll take two PowerBooks; one to play DVDs and MP3s on and act as the wireless base station for the other laptop (and any other laptops near my hotel room that might want to plug in and share my modem connection :). I wish I had cheap net access for the laptops on the train, so I could get some certain work done ...

Honest News

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Heard on CNN this morning: "Coming up next, all the news you need to know; also, the latest on Mariah Carey." OK, I am sure it is not all the news I need to know, though perhaps it is arguable that I do need to know some or most of it, for some values of "need." But I thank them for not pretending I need to know a damn thing about Mariah Carey.

Perhaps the NYT motto could be "All the news that's fit to print, plus some extra crap to fill space."

Sending Email

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For the second year in a row, I've sent less email than the previous year. I hit a high mark in 1999 with 9849 emails sent, then 6332 in 2000, and 6148 in 2001. Part of that is surely that the last two years I've communicated with coworkers primarily in IRC ...

Mac:: modules Revisited

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A lot more people are wanting Mac:: toolbox modules on Mac OS X. I hope to get this going soon, because though I don't have a lot of time, maybe I can at least help move things forward for now. Maybe start up a mailing list, CVS, and all that, and just start pushing in the right direction.

IP, UP, ...

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My ISP changed my IP address. I don't have a static address for my cable modem, but I also haven't had a changed IP address for over a year. Bah. So now mail relays stop working, I can't get to certain web services ... bah!, I say!


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I bought Monopoly for Mac OS this week, and it is pretty cool, if you like that sort of thing. You can play over the network, and create your own boards. So I took my camera and made a Monopoly board of our house today (I knew that camera would be good for something ...). Maybe next: a Perl Monopoly board? A few web sites could be the railroads, and various modules could be the properties?


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I am changing Mac::Glue, Mac::AppleEvents::Simple, and File::Sort from Artistic License to "under the same terms as Perl itself," which means Artistic License + GNU General Public License, so that I may reasonably include them in the MacPerl distribution.

I feel like such a sellout.

OK, only a little bit.


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Today I could be elected as a delegate to the Massachusetts Republican Convention. Says waltman: "i wasn't aware Massachusetts even HAD a Republican party." Yes, but barely, as the web site evidences.

There are no representatives or senators from Massachusetts in Washington, and of our state senators and reps, I think three reps are Republican. No other official in the state is Republican, except for the governor herself, which is kinda odd.

I say "could be" because I won't be in attendance, as the convention takes place around when my daughter's birthday is supposed to be.

Mac:: modules on Mac OS X

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Che_Fox on #perl asked about controlling Mac OS X apps with Apple events from perl. As much as I would like to have the Mac::AppleEvents and companion modules ported to Mac OS X, it's not done. There needs to be some work done, and it needs some thought and organization, and I don't have time to do it. I hope someone else decides to. If not, someday I will. Maybe this year.

Anyway, you can control Mac OS X apps from MacPerl.

First, you launch Classic. Then, install the latest MacPerl, 5.6.1b3. Run two droplets in the Droplets folder, gluedialect and gluescriptadds. Then drop the Mac OS *9* version of the app, if possible, on gluemac. gluemac creates a vocabulary file, a glue file, for MacPerl to use to control the app; but it doesn't yet understand most Mac OS X apps.

So you do that, and then you can run things like:

    use Mac::Glue ':all';
    my $itunes = new Mac::Glue 'iTunes';
    my $track = $itunes->get( $itunes->obj(tracks => gAll, playlist => 'Tom Petty') );

Controlling iTunes in Mac OS X from (Mac)Perl. Neat!

MacPerl 5.6.1b3

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Another release. I feel really good about this one. There's only a handful of known significant bugs remaining. Shuck is revamped by Thomas Wegner. Matthias got a new GUSI out, fixing a few more bugs (although there is still a problem with inttypes.h and Universal Headers 3.4 and Metrowerks compilers, but that should be taken care of in the next version, or we'll find a way to fix it on MacPerl's end).

So thanks to everyone who has worked on it and helped, we're getting close.

Next Release Forthcoming

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MacPerl 5.6.1b3 is slated for a release early next week, should nothing bad happen between now and then ... I am hoping that there is at most one more beta after this one, and then onto a release!

Universal Headers

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I updated my Universal Headers from 3.3.x to 3.4.1. It was a real pain in the rear, but now I have Shuck and MacPerl running off them. I only hope the few changes I made won't render it unbuildable for people with the old headers ...

TiVo Twilight Zone

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I recorded many Twilight Zones with my DirecTiVo box this week, more than 30, and I noticed that the TiVo was acting very peculiar. Selecting one of the episodes in Now Playing would cause it to kinda freeze up for several seconds. So selecting one would cause a delay, then hitting channel up (to go to another) would cause a delay, and so on, so it was very time-consuming to see which saved episodes were which. However, when I got to some other show saved in Now Playing, like The Brak Show, it came right up.

My guess is that TiVo first looks at "The Twilight Zone" in its database, then scans to find a particular episode and get its data, and when there are more than 80 episodes for a particular show in the database, as in this case, it gets to be quite slow.

End of Holiday

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Holiday is over. It was very nice. I worked a bit on my Slash::Gallery for putting pictures online. Aside from that, I did very little work. I hung out a bit on use Perl, but that's mostly all.

My wife and I played some games, hung out with the dogs, took some walks, watched some movies and TV and sports. Relaxed. It was very nice indeed.

I am still watching the Twilight Zone marathon. I have over 30 episodes on the TiVo, with about 10 already watched. I only watch it once a year, on the New Year's marathon on SciFi. It used to be on KOFY in the Bay Area every year, but then SciFi got the rights to it.

Today I resume work on Slash. I am doing a 2.2.2 release, and fixing bugs, and resuming work on more of the messaging system.

Tonight I resume work on MacPerl. Thomas Wegner sent me Shuck 1.6.0, and Matthias has fixed some GUSI bugs (a new GUSI is due soon, I reckon).
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Computers category from January 2002.

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