2003 Jun 2 (Mon), 09:33 Aliens
Small quickie relating to my last entry. I have now begun working on rewriting Sam Lantigna's Aliens SDL Demo in C#. It's 95% done (just doesn't quite play completely correct, and doesn't handle sound), and would be more done but I'm home from work today with a bad back and dont want to work on it anymore this morning. You can get my C# rewrite here. You'll also need a C# compiler/interpretor (my fav is Mono) and SDLDotNet. Again, be kind to the code. I've only been working in C# for less than a week (like, 4 days now) and this particular code was whipped up in about 30 minutes.

2003 Jun 9 (Mon), 10:11 I am gonna die

Okay, maybe not today... maybe not tomorrow... but someday. And the way I've been feeling these last few weeks, it feels like someday soon.

Let me explain: My back hurts.

My back fricking hurts.

Idunno what my deal is. I thought it was because of me getting up on the roof three weeks back and working on my AC, but I've been taking it pretty easy since then and, really, the pain should have gone away by now.

But it hasn't. I am in pain constantly. I cannot ever get comfortable (if I was a Sim, my comfort level would always be in the red, regardless of where/how/when I sit/lie/recline).

Today I noticed I also have pain elsewhere (abdominal, front right) so I started doing some research online.... Boy was that a bad idea. I found nasty things like Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Ankylosing spondylitis, and Lumbar degenerative disc disease. AAAAGGHHHH!

On other notes, my class went pretty well this weekend... in spite of the fact that I fubar'd my notes with this strange amalgam of OpenBSD and Debian instructions (it should be fixed now).

Oh, and I hope to have my main personal email (criswell at geekcomix dot com) working again this week. Still use my work addy for the time being to contact me... but shortly you will be able to reach me as normal (or, as was normal about a month and a half ago ;-)

2003 Jun 9 (Mon), 11:38 Cleaning house

I no longer use KDevelop for developing any applications. Thus, it seems kind of silly for me to still be the one maintaining my SDL/KDevelop HOWTO. If anyone out there does use KDevelop+SDL and would like to take over this HOWTO (and bring it up-to-date... maybe even get it into LDP), please contact me at my work addy (hart at physics dot arizona dot edu) or my alternate addy (criswell at tux4kids dot net).

2003 Jun 9 (Mon), 12:37 Quickies

...We can really emphasise with you for having your son electrocuted...

...Yes, I would like to simply stick my head in the sand at the first sign of trouble... None of this "let's figure out how this works so we can prevent it" crap for me! And while we're at it, let's stop teaching Nuclear Science at the University as well.....

People are morons...

2003 Jun 10 (Tue), 21:11 Normal e-mail resumes

Just a quick note saying I have restored my normal (criswell at geekcomix dot com) address. Feel free to use it again.

2003 Jun 10 (Tue), 21:18 Anti-SPAM

One more thing, as you likely know I'm pretty paranoid about spam. Well, I set up a pretty intricate anti-spam system (again) consisting of SpamAssassin, Razor, DCC, etc, etc. Right now, I have my setting for SA at 3.0 to be tagged as SPAM. If you send me something and it doesn't get through, it may be because of this. Contact me at my alternate addy (criswell at tux4kids dot net) and ask me to put you on my whitelist.

Note: I do not use RBLs. So if you get blocked, it will because of a content filter.

2003 Jun 12 (Thu), 20:19 Ergo, I suck

I have mentioned before, and it should be obvious from my archives that I have problems and tend to cycle between being a mean bastard and Mr. Nice Guy. Well, today I bit the head off of someone for no good reason, and I feel really bad about it. I honestly don't know what to do to make restitution.

I feel especially bad because I think this person may be very much like me: He has a tendancy to get angry over things and bark at people as well- plus he is rather opinionated. While I don't necessarily agree with many of his opinions, he is someone that I've always respected because I feel he is a fairly intelligent person and has his opinions because he has honestly researched them and arived at them- unlike most people who tend to just regurgitate what the media/society/etc tells them to and lack any independent thought. Independent thought is something I cherish, even if it is something I disagree with.

Anyway, he touched a nerve with something on SCO and my religion (SCO is located in a predominently LDS community, and some people speculate that the LDS church is somehow pushing this suit) and I went off on a tirade. (I do want to say that the LDS/SCO connection is flimsy, at best... let's not forget all the good LDS hackers who have contributed to Linux/Free-Software development through the years).

It was one of those situations where I didn't realize the tone or impact of my tirade until it was over (and I did it through e-mail, which is impossible to capture tone in and easy to take offense to).

Anyway... I'm feeling pretty crappy about the whole thing. The state of affairs in my head doesn't help much, and I can't get over it. I've been racking my brain for a few hours now trying to get something ready for my class this weekend to no avail. I am a dork.

Here's the deal: Computer people tend to be unable to communicate with the rest of the world successfully. We tend to be rude, brusque, mean, and nasty. I would suppose that this is not exclusive to computer people, but is a plague that befalls anyone with above average intelligence (which means that not all computer people are like this). Just take a look around luminaries in Linux, geek lurkers, and project maintainers and you'll find lots of people like this. Some are unabashed with their inability to deal with people in general, others internalize and allow it to consume them. I suspect I may be in the latter camp.

Anyway, enough of this self-defeatist garbage. Ignore this post, it'll only go away and become buried in the archives.

2003 Jun 23 (Mon), 22:06 SCO TO HELL

Way to go, guys! Really wish I could've been there for it (but, alas, the Intel I worked at up there is no more). Then again, perhaps it was best that I wasn't there... because this whole thing makes me so terribly upset that I would give almost anything to rain down death and distruction on SCO and all the lawyer-lubbers up there. Seriously, if I were to meet Mr. McBride on the street, at church, in the mall, it would take every last ounce of my strength to not rip him to shreds with my bare hands until he was people puree'. Granted, I'm on medication for that... but there's only so much a person with impulse control issues and mild schizophrenea can take....

The thing that really irks me is all these comments he's been making about us users having a "free ride" all these years. Listen, dick-head, first of all, even if there is some 300 lines of code (which is the recent estimate I've heard) common to Linux and SCO's UNIX, let's not forget that there's hundreds of thousands of lines of code that doesn't match. That code is probably non-trivial, and someone had to have written it. I wouldn't exactlty call writing 200,000 lines of code sans 300 having a "free ride".

Second of all, this ain't about free-software as in "hey this software doesn't cost me anything to download", this is about Free Software as in Freedom- as in inalienable rights. Most of you know I'm an out-of-the-closet Free-Software advocate, so it really really peeves me when people make idiot, superficial, and baseless claims like these without any research whatsoever. Of course, what was I to expect.... Mr. McBride is a moron.

*Sigh*... But I digress.. What can I say that hasn't been said before gazillions of times... I guess I can say that it is my sincere hope that IBM performs the sort of acts I wish I could against SCO, except in a legal fashion. I hope they squash them and eat their livers. I hope it's so bad that Mr. McBride's relatives commit suicide or fake their deaths and change identies because they are too ashamed to be associated with him. I hope that somehow, someway, someday, Mr. McBride becomes the bitch of a big, burly truck-driver named "Stu" and has to perform fellatio on Stu's cancerous member.

See, it's a good thing I'm not any closer to the action....

Anyway, on other news (boy, I am really sick, ain't I?).... Tux4Kids.net is back up. There was apparently a power outage in the area it's located in and it never came back up until someone went out to it and fixed it. This outage axed the ClanAM game over the weekend, but so few were going to show up anyway, it wasn't as big a deal. The final day of my UNIX Security class is this weekend. They've gone pretty well so far, except that we've had a lot of absences. Granted, we are covering some pretty deep subjects that your average web-administrator ain't too interested in (tho, they should be) and I suspect those absent wont do much more with Linux/UNIX than web-maintenance. Anyway, the next class starts up mid-July (uhhh... I forget the exact date, those interested check my classnotes). This will be UNIX01 again, the first UNIX course.

Oh, and next week I will be out of town until the 9th visitting my parents in WYO. My father hasn't been doing to well this last year, not that this is terribly new (hey, the guys a fighter... an angry angry fighter like me... he'll probably out-live us all), and I would really like to visit him and my mother. If only I had more money and more time I would spend more of both with them. I'd love to fly them both down here for the winters, as the winters in Tucson are way better for their health than those in Green River. I'd love to go up and spend more time with them. But that ain't gonna happen unless some gambles pay off.

2003 Jun 25 (Wed), 10:27 More "way to go"

Way to go, RMS.

2003 Jun 26 (Thu), 12:11 Ugh

I know my actual project updates have been few and far between in this diary... But I have been increasingly busy lately and haven't had the time to devote to the things I want to. Once I wrap up my last class for my degree, things will calm down quite a bit. I know that I have oft times waxed political and/or philosophical in this diary, and that many people probably grow sick of my rantings... But oh-well... I like to rant... It makes me feel like a big man ;-)

I want to comment on this whole Zynot forking of Gentoo. Specifically, I want to comment on Zach Welch's reasons for forking as well as a general commentary on positions of Zynot.

First things first: I am not a Gentoo developer. I subscribe to a few Gentoo lists because I use Gentoo occassionally (it runs my laptop) and I really think it's dev system is pretty keen. I don't know drobbins, zach, or any of the players involved. I know of Gentoo Games, and I think it's a pretty stupid idea, and is proof that everyone has an off day with respect to decision making. I am a marginal fan of Gentoo in that I really do like it for very specific uses.

Second: I have heard that drobbins can be a dink. My counter to that is that any creative person will likely be a dink at least once in their lives. I've preached this before in my diary, but creative-types generally don't fit in with regular society very well. I know that I'm personally a dink: I've vetoed Tux4Kids ideas because of closed-mindedness, and many ideas I've vetoed actually became quite successful; I'll readily admit I haven't contributed anything to Tux4Kids aside from system administration and some unused images in quite some time and that makes me a big dink. If we eliminated everyone who was a dink, we'd have no Free-Software or Open-Source developers.

Third: I'll admit that the idea of a quasi-private mailing list leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but oft times it is necessary. We have one at Tux4Kids, t4k-admin, simply because we do need to discuss administrative things among project managers that aren't necessarily relevant to general development. Just because there is a gentoo-core, debian-core, xfree86-core, does not imply there is some cabal with a hidden agenda directing things behind the scenes (and directing an open-source project behind the scenes would be a tricky thing to do anyway).

So, is it appropriate for the fork of Gentoo? Do Zach's issues with Gentoo make a fork "both necessary and inevitable"? IMHO, no.

In reading Zach's reasons for the fork, I am struck by a general misunderstanding on Zach's part of what Free-Software and Open-Source development is (this misunderstanding could also be on drobbins part, it is a common misunderstanding to have). Contributing to an Open-Source or Free-Software project is just that, contributing. You are donating your time, effort, and skills to a project for the project. You may get financial gain stemming from your work, you may improve your way of life, you may increase your skills making yourself more marketable, but the actual work you are doing for the project is contributed to that project. You are free (as is anyone else working on, or not-working on the project) to profit from the project (either as a whole or in part), but it is not a requirement that you will.

drobbins was right in telling zach that the people working on Gentoo are volunteers. Zach was a volunteer, and did not deserve any special treatment above and beyond what the other volunteers contributing in non-trivial ways deserved (I am not saying that he deserved nothing, but to imply that you deserve to be financially compensated for your work as a volunteer is ludacris.)

Did drobbins screw zach with respect to the whole gentooembedded.{org|net|com} thing? Damn straight he did. It wasn't the most ethical thing to do, and I would think he probably owes zach a big apology there, at least for keeping zach out of the loop when he had contributed so much to Gentoo Embedded. However, who owns the name "Gentoo"? I would wager "Gentoo Technologies" does. Thus, I severely doubt the legality of zach trying to register those domain names out from underneath drobbins. I mean, I couldn't go out and register "redhatembedded.com" and make my business around using Red Hat in the embedded arena. Thus, while it was unethical, it's not necessarily an unprofessional thing to do.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have with respect to Zynot is in the openning paragraph of it's homepage:
The Zynot Foundation is a 501.c.3 non-profit organization that has been established to hold the source code, trademarks, and any other intellectual property developed by and for its community.
Hold it's intellectual property? This zach guy really doesn't understand the Free-Software/Open-Source communities. He should really read things like this.

So what does this all boil down to? IMHO, it's someone who has contributed to a project in a non-trivial way thinking that, because of their work, they deserve extra-special treatment and, when not given that treatment, forking the project into one which they can control better. This is all about powerplay, and it really isn't something becoming an open-source project. The persons with the real power in an open-source project are the persons using and developing it. If there is one thing I've learned about running Tux4Kids its that I dont run Tux4Kids. The users and developers contributing to Tux4Kids do. I am just a ring-master that attempts some semblance of direction for the project, but really ultimately leaves the details to the developers.


2003 Jun 27 (Fri), 11:37 Whore-bag

That just about sums it up.... This week, my wife and I went to our local EB Game World (which I'm sure I have mentioned many times before) to pick me up a new GB Advance game for my trip (hey, I'll be stuck in WYO for a week and a half, I'm sure I'll get bored). Well, we are the same consumer whores mentionned in the above strip because we went in expecting to pick up a $15-19 used GBA or GBC game, and left with $50 worth of purchases and three games (Metroid Fusion, Zelda: Links Awakening DX, and Crazy Taxi for the GBA... hey, it was a pretty good deal, bucko!). I am ashamed... for all my criticism of people for being so easily brainwashed by the general media, I am just as bad with respect to video games...

Granted, I do have my morals there too.... But I am an addict regardless...

Anyway, this will likely be my last post before my trip... so I'll see you all in two weeks!