2002 Mar 5 (Tue), 21:29 carbuncular pontoon
Okay, so my sites had some DNS troubles for the last several days (nearly a week). I'm not 100% sure where the snafu was, but I can say that (for whatever reason) NetSol did not give up my domain name when I requested it be transfered to another registrar. Thus, my domain name expired quietly. I'm not sure, but I suspect it may have something to do with this, and I'm very leary of continuing to use NetSol... But anyway....

Never solved my procmail+razor issues, so I'm just switching to simple procmail recipes (blah... didn't want to do that... I'm too lazy to upkeep that sort of thing). I will begin the nasty-long process of replying to my mail tomorrow.

Erm... I've also finally gotten some stuff up for Noink2 , you can see it here (check in the CVS "noink2" module for new code). As soon as I can get more done, I'll update the Noink2 site.

Also, if you are reading my diary on my site instead of one of the mirrors, then you may notice some subtle differences in the way the page renders. Basically, I'm trying to wipe out the doctyping on my pages, since MSIE & Mozilla don't seem to be rendering them the way I want them to (could be my fault... but I'd never admit it if it was).

Also, also, my subject line is a GoogleWhack.... or it was until my page gets indexed and adds a second result for it.... Yes, that's right, I'm trying to ruin the GoogleWhacks project ;-)

2002 Mar 8 (Fri), 20:31 I am the Disco Doctor

Man... busy week at work. What have I learned this week? Never, EVER trust Microsoft's Windows Update! I actually should have learned it two years ago when I was at Intel and my boss lost his encrypted partition due to a MS update that wiped his encryption keys... However I learned it hardcore this last week when an updated video driver on MS WinUpdate took down a laptop and resulted in two hours of horrid work trying to convince a broken Win2k to downgrade to an "older" video driver.

Anyway, finaly got my postfix+procmail+razor problems sorted out. Turns out I had Postfix configured wrong (wrong lib path) and it would work to collect and deliver my mail... it just wouldn't call Procmail (or anything) after collection. So I am now back online and ready for all the e-mail/spam you can throw at me ;-)

Spent this evening updating Tux4Kids and Tux Typing's websites. Basically, they had grown quite ugly (Tux Typing was the first, and when I later merged it with [the now defunct] Digital Monkey I did it haphazardly resulting in some crufty HTML. Then, when I later on started Tux4kids.org and swicthed Tux Typing to it, I expanded that cruft by just dumping the HTML through a few dinky scripts I whipped up to convert my site.) I think if you browse around them now you'll find they work MUCH better. You can even browse Tux4Kids in Netscape without worrying about hangs! (Though, no such luck with Tux Typing... still don't know the problem there.) You can really see the difference by comparing this cache of Tux Typing (from Google) with the current page.

More later....

2002 Mar 11 (Mon), 21:54 koala abdominoplasty

Kay... been busy today. Mostly work, but I did spend some more time cleaning up the Tux4Kids main site (primarily removing the "non-profit" stuff. I still would like it to go the non-profit route, but there's not a chance in heck of us raising the appropriate funds to be able to do that anytime soon. We'd need around $2500 for filing, legal, etc. fees. I just can't do that on my own, and the other core Tux4Kids guys have already donated plenty by way of their time and efforts. I removed the non-profit stuff so that I don't give anyone the wrong impression. We want to be non-profit, but we can't do it now. Honestly, it's much cheaper just to do it "for-profit", i.e. be a business... But that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth...)

At work I spent much of the day rebuilding the undergraduate Windows lab. See, I have this fancy-schmancy system involving bootable clone CDs that can reclone one of these machines in less than 15 minutes (which, considering that three years ago it would take nearly two hours per machine using ZIP disks, that's quite the improvement!) But the thing that blows me away is how much the users we have in that lab have changed since I first worked there.

I know I've made comments in the past about certain crappy users... but these were harmless... and we always had gamers abusing the room. Today, however, I found packet sniffers, BackOrrifice, and other cracking tools strewn across machines. We've had several attacks on other machines around the dept. launched from computers in this room, and it seems like the room has become a wretched hive of scum and villainy. What's wrong with people today? Here we have a fairly open, non-restrictive, computer lab for students of the Physics Dept., and certain elements force us to take harsh steps (like install Win2k with a full compliment of limitations this upcoming summer) which will undoubtedly make life miserable for those users of the lab that do nothing wrong.

Anyhoo... I guess I'll unofficially, officially announce in my diary that I am looking for a new maintainer for Tux Typing. I'm sick of it, and recognize I need to step down. I already have some people in mind, but if they turn it down, in a day or so I'll start looking outside the project. Have a patch or two from Cal I need to apply (from a good month or so ago.. I know, I suck), but that may very well be the last thing I do as maintainer (I'd still like to submit the occassional patch or two, tho).

Until next time... good night space fans... where-ever you are....

2002 Mar 16 (Sat), 18:25 Vipul's Razor Rules

Not a proper update (I'll do that later tonight) but I just wanted to say how much I love Vipul's Razor! Today, I would have woken to 43 new SPAMs in my e-mail. But, thanks to Vipul's Razor, I only had to deal with 5 of them! (The rest it filtered! ;-) Plus, all I did was send the 5 to my SPAM trap (razor-report rules as well) and I will never see them again!

Also, if anyone reading this is in Tucson, AZ, then you really should try Maxim Lu's Mongolian BBQ on Broadway and Kolb (where the horrid Gordo's used to be). Maxim is great! For $5 per person you can get all you can eat cheese filled muscles, stir fried green beans, and a billion (okay, maybe 25) other delicious dishes. Go there quick before they can no longer afford such high quality food and turn into another "Buffet King" (for non-Tucsonians... The Buffet King is wretched... The last time my wife and I ate their, her Wonton had an 8 inch long black hair in it).

2002 Mar 17 (Sun), 18:31 Another "Not-Quite-An-Update" Update

So I didn't actually come back to do an update... so sue me ;-)

We had a good discussion on #tux4kids channel at irc.openprojects.net today about internationalization and Tux Typing. You can read the summary here. Basically, I feel that Tux Typing will be in very good hands when I relinquish control in April.

Of course, I need to make a dev branch for it, and I'm not sure how I want to do it. Should I use CVS's branch feature or just make a second, developmental module? Anyone with any thoughts on the subject, please let me know (criswell_@_geekcomix_.com , remove underscores). Does CVS's branch feature make dev and stable branch work too hard? Or if I choose the module route, will it come back to bite us in the ass later on?

I worked more on my homepage (Sam Hart- take that Google ;-) yesterday. Specifically, I worked on my Linux Page. I also added this lovely image of my wife to my mugs page.

I've also been busy on Noink2, though you have to look through its CVS to see what's been done. Basically, I'm almost finished with the core, and will start making the apps (like noRel & noContact, which we need so much in Tux4Kids).
My contributing GoogleBomb: R Kelly Videotape

2002 Mar 24 (Sun), 17:24 Update

I may become less than responsive for a bit. If you've read my diary lately (or, if you are reading this on one of the mirrors) you probably know my dad isn't doing well. He has congestive heart failure, and over the last week his pumping power has gone from 25% to 10%. They are placing him on Coreg on a trial basis for 6 weeks to see if things can get better. But, all this means is that I may or may not need to up and leave to go visit him, or visit my family, and that I may all of a sudden stop responding for a week or two. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up.

2002 Mar 24 (Sun), 20:57 Feeling better...

Okay... I'm feeling a bit better than my last post... thanks to those who contacted me and helped cheer me up ;-) So, I'm going to be doing a proper post.

First off, let me say that I've been busy this weekend (NOT doing the homework I should be doing... for those who may not know, now that I'm back working in the U of A Physics Dept., I'm taking more classes [reduced tuition].... the only problem is that I haven't studied Physics is a couple of years now... and I seem to have forgotten EVERYTHING I learned.... So doing homework is obscenely difficult). We have a fancy server that's been donated to us (from a large corporation, but I can't say which yet until we officially announce it). So I spent much of this weekend installing everything we need for it (CVS, Mailman, ViewCVS, Bugzilla, etc.) It will greatly help Tux4Kids, and help me delegate better.

Speaking of Tux4Kids... I may or may not be having a crisis with respect to it in the next week. The tux4kids.org site is hosted through 2unet and it's next bill is due on April 2nd 2002. What's the problem? We'll, I've been the one paying for this hosting service... but in light of my father's illness, I may not be able to afford this next 2unet bill (since I may be spending either a large sum on flying up to visit my ill father, or I may be spending a large sum fixing my car so I can drive up to visit him). In other words, Tux4Kids.org may very well be within a week or two of dissappearing for a while until I can get funds for it! I need to go back through our previous donations (including those from PayPal) with our treasurer and see if we can afford the hosting bill from them... but it has been like 6 months since our last sizable monentary donation, so I'm doubtful there will be enough there.

Basically, what we need is $162 for another 6 months, or something like $30 to float us through to the next month (yes, that's right, I'm so poor I can't even afford the $30 and still be able to visit my father... I'm pathetic, I know, but blame my incompetent lawyers and the trucking baffoons that ruined my life).

Anyway, anyone who would be willing to donate to Tux4Kids and keep the site up a while longer until either I can afford it, or we find some other solution, feel free to contact me at criswell@geekcomix.com . Any tiny help is always appreciated (note that it wont be tax-deductable... because we also couldn't afford to file Tux4Kids non-profit forms!) Note to the Tux4Kids developers, I'm not asking you guys because I feel you already help out so much.

But I digress.... Pretty soon (with our donated dev server) we will be able to start hosting educational projects (though, we may not be able to get them web access if that expires ;-) and get around SourceForge's draconian and useless mailing list policy... So I'm kind-of excited for that.
R Kelly Videotape (another Googlebomb)

2002 Mar 25 (Mon), 21:06 Best day of my life?

Today they started my father on the Coreg medication... and he has already shown marked signs of improvement! So far, he's responding well to the medication and hasn't had any side-effects!

In other words, it may not be as pressing for me to go visit him (I can probably wait until mid April and float the 2unet bill over to the next month ;-) Thanks for everyone's support!

Hmmm... wish I had something else to report. Didn't work on any of my projects.

Oh, wait, I do have something else to report: HP's OfficeJet 600 sucks. I have one. It hasn't always sucked, but it hasn't aged well at all. After only three years, it's practically useless! Paper gets jammed every five seconds; when the paper isn't jammed, it wont feed properly; Linux support has improved thanks to the HPOJ drivers, but that's useless now that it no longer works. Spent two hours tonight trying to get the stupid thing to print a report my wife wrote, and ultimately gave up.