2002 Apr 2 (Tue), 12:34 fetishized armadillo
Been over a week since my last update so I thought I'd do a QND one.

I actually have not heard from my parents since my last post... But I'm assuming everything is still okay (no news is good news ;-) I am assuming my father is responding well to the medication and there's been no side-effects, but I don't know for sure.

Apparently my car has a safety recall on it. We rec'd word over the weekend about it. I guess it could all of a sudden burst into flames due to some wires overheating. The problem is, GM wont fix it until June 2002! Wonderfull.

Many many thanks to those who helped Tux4Kids.org stay up. I wound up only having to supply $32 of my own money to keep it going for another 6 months! To those who donated through PayPal, be warned that I am having trouble with them (I know, everyone is). Anyone have any other alternatives that we could use instead? I haven't done much research into it (haven't had the time).

Still working on the many backdated patches for Tux Typing. I actually have a new patch (not new, but resubmitted ;-) from Cal that VASTLY improves performance in the main menu! I think it will definately go into the dev branch, but I am torn whether or not to add it to the stable branch. On the one hand it's a significant improvement in performance. On the other, it's a significant and largely untested rewrite. (I guess I see why other projects do -rc's ;-)

Actually, pretty soon I wont be worrying about these decisions for Tux Typing anymore. Most of you probably already know that I'm stepping down as maintainer, and that we have a new person who'll be in charge of it. Today I plan on announcing who that is (I'll do it on the mailing list first). I wont disappear from the project... I'll still lurk around hacking on patches. But I wont be making the vast majority of leadership decisions. I think I'll make this last patch from Cal my last decision as project manager for Tux Typing.

Speaking of new maintainers, I'm thrilled that IceWM is going to live on. Gazillions of thanks to Mathias Hasselmann for the wonderful job he did as the project admin. Many of you know that IceWM is my current favorite Window Manager.

Lastly, I posted a new screenshot over the weekend. I was sitting there Friday night, staring at the copy of Unreal I purchased for $4 from Bookman's, wishing I had Windows installed to play it on (a wish I rarely have). When I realized I hadn't checked out Wine in a very long time. I remember how impressive the new Crossover products are, and I decided to give Wine a shot. I'm using the version in Debian testing, and it worked without a hitch! I didn't even have to do anything other than run the Wine config dialog and then run the Unreal game! So this screenshot shows both Unreal (running in Wine) and Unreal Tourney (native Linux binary) running on the same desktop! It's a screenshot that harkens back to my first Linux screenshot where I ran a bunch of games at the same time. Fun stuff ;-)

2002 Apr 7 (Sun), 23:27 Tucson Dustbowl... Sam's an Idiot... and Thanks

Okay, three items:
  • Tucson Dustbowl: Yesterday sucked in Tucson, AZ. The temp never got too high (which was nice), but we did have a lot of wind (and I mean a lot). Combine this with the fact that it's been a very dry year so far and that Tucson is in the Desert (mid to high desert, but desert none-the-less) and you get large amounts of dust and particulates in the air. My sinuses acted up so severely that I couldn't hardly do anything yesterday. Man I need to get some sort of air filtration system in my home (not that I could afford such a thing... but it's almost a necessity with my new-found alergies).
  • Sam's and Idiot: Okay, I screwed up the configuration on a new box that has been donated to Tux4Kids. This donation has yet to be officially announced, so I wont give much detail except to say much thanks to Chris Dunbar for helping me fix the DNS nightmare I caused ;-) Hey, I'm a developer and end-user sysadmin... what can I say?
  • Thanks: Thanks to all those who were patient during the repairs of this server, and to those who helped out with some of the problems I was having setting key features up. Very special thanks to Calvin Ardnt, Jacob Greig, and Bill Kendrick for spending many hours with me in the #tux4kids channel on irc.openprojects.net today helping troubleshoot, test, and giving moral support ;-)

Oh, and you may or may not have heard (it was lost in the configuration shuffle), but I have handed over maintainership of Tux Typing to Jesse Andrews. Here's the official announcement.

Also, can I just say that I am really looking forward to this game? I sure hope it turns out as cool as it seems like it might ;-)

2002 Apr 8 (Mon), 23:19 Physics sucks

....that's it... I hate my degree.... I was finished with physics homework two years ago and I am doubly finished with it now...

...stupid... lowsy... driven, damped, harmonic oscillators...

2002 Apr 10 (Wed), 23:08 Fighting the good fight

Well, after having only been linked from another site for a few days (linking from another site is the only way to get your site "on" the WWW), our new donated dev-box has already been hit by spam. According to our logs, the bot went through this morning.

So, I hurredly went through definining a UCE Policy for our dev-box. I set up Vipul's Razor in conjunction with some procmail recipes from Concordia University. I also set up a spam-trollbox here. (For you spam-bots out there, that address is uce_trap@tux4kids.carrolltoncityschools.net. Don't send anything there unless you want it automatically tagged as SPAM... you have been warned).

I have been using Vipul's Razor on my home box for a while now, and have had nothing but success. I'd estimate that it catches 70-90% of my spam (depending on the day). Hopefully, by combining it with the procmail recipes we wont get any more SPAM abuses in the lists.

Anyhoo..... Been busy doing lots of stuff... but this is the only thing I feel like reporting now....

BTW, don't ever ever support these bastards... They are the ones that spammed our list today. The first ones...

2002 Apr 15 (Mon), 16:57 Snork

Just a small bit of info for anyone who cares. I've gotten sick over the last few days (dunno what... flu maybe?) so I'm going to be delaying my last stable release for Tux Typing as its project manager. I just asked on the ml if Cal or Jesse would prep a test release (an rc) for it and post it online somewhere for people to test it out and see if it's ready for release.

Interested parties should check here or here to see where and when a test release becomes avail. Please send all input back to the ml here (note that the old SF.net mailing list is now used only as a mirror, do not post there!)

troll-box: do not post here.

2002 Apr 25 (Thu), 13:27 Where to start.....

Okay, so I've been less than active doing things lately. So shoot me. Been busy in school/work/yadda/yadda. Basically, I haven't checked my personal account in over a week now, so, if you've sent me anything that's really pressing, please resubmit to my work address hart(at)physics(dot)arizona(dot)edu. Anyway, here's a small update:

Firstly, I want to say I may continue to be less than active for another week. As you may or may not know, I've returned to school, and this next week I have a big, massive, final project due in the one class I'm taking. This project is worth something like 30% of my grade (or something abhorent like that) so I'm going to be placing it as my top priority. After it's done (at the latest, next friday) I'll return to normal.

Nextly, I will be on the #tux4kids irc channel at OpenProjects Network (irc.openprojects.net) in about an hour or so from right now (1pm MST), if anyone catches this message and wants to join in. Basically, I will be working on some misc dev server items (such as move TuxMath over there so Bill can control the site a bit easier. Hopefully, we can get this project moving again (it was so active before Sept. 11th). If anyone reading this would like to help us resurrect this great project, please contact either Bill or myself! I will also be working on some bugtracking items for Jake (he'll be Tux4Kids' bug tracking manager, in case you don't know. Basically, he's a gruff and grumbly guy who's anal^D^D^D^Da stickler, so he'll be perfect for the job ;-)

Lastly, Working Designs has finally brought out their Arc the Lad Collection. This was to be a Christmas present to my wife last year... but the game has been delayed so much she didn't get it until last weekend. Anyway, I started playing the first game (Arc I) on Sunday night, and it's one awesome game! Any RPG fan or gaming collector really should own this one (and, basically, all of Working Designs stuff ;-) I've been a fan since Cadash for the TG16 for WD, and they have always brought out top notch games (BTW, you can still buy Cosmic Fantasy 2 for the TGCD from them, if you haven't already!). Arc the Lad collection comes with this kick ass pocketwatch (actually, I think you had to have pre-ordered it to get it). I wish I would have had enough money to get two Arc the Lad's just so I could have a pocketwatch to use and one to keep protected! (I'm a huge geek, I know ;-)