Recent blog entries for MichaelCrawford

The Apple Tax

The video doesn't work on my new Mac Mini. I don't think it's the monitor or HDMI/VGA adapter as they work on my Acer notebook.

I have an appointment to take it into the Portland Apple Store Wednesday evening. I fear they will demonstrate that the video works, and I'll have to purchase a new monitor. I want one anyway but I don't want to spend the money right now.

Work is Going Well

I got a contract to write OS X drivers for a fabless semiconductor firm that previously supported only Windows and Linux. There have been a few days that I was filled with self-doubt, but in the long run I've produced good results. The client is quite happy with me.


With Kuro5hin gone, and Don't Sue Me Bro following it, I don't know what to do with myself. I had planned to spend the afternoon playing with my new Mini but then the video is out.


If you're unfamiliar with it give a listen of Radio Paradise. I've been a loyal listener for many years.
Kuro5hin is Dead; Long Live Kuro5hin

I used to blog quite a bit at Advogato but then I discovered Kuro5hin. Even so I was never really gone, returning to post the occasional paranoia manifesto.

When Kuro5hin was about to die Del Griffith set up Don't Sue Me Bro. That's not a link for a very good reason. It's gone to but there is a... uh... "placeholder".

I'm on FaceBook and Soylent News but I always project a positive message there. Where can I reveal my cynical side?

My obsession with writing seems to be gone. Perhaps it will come back when my depression lifts. Maybe it's best that I don't write anymore.

Good News

I've gotten a contract writing Mac OS X drivers for a fabless semiconductor company. Their products presently only work on Windows and Linux.

They're good people there. Really that's what matters to me the most - that I'm working for good people. The money isn't such a bid deal provided I'm paid fairly for some reasonable definition of "fair".

Bad News

I'd be at work right now but I've got a cold. It seems to help to go out each day so I came to Starbucks to have some tea. Usually I drink coffee but coffee has been hard on my stomache lately so I'm drinking tea instead.

New Toys Real Soon Now

I had to ask my client to let me use their Macs as my macbook pro died, and I haven't had the cash to replace it. I'm very pleased that they agreed.

It's been tough to advertise myself as a Mac programmer without actually owning a Mac. To some extent I could use a Hackintosh but I've had limited success.

I'd really like to purchase a new MacBook Pro but there is lots of life left in the cheap-n-nasty Aspire Aspire I bought to replace my dead MacBook Pro. Really a Mac Mini is all I require.

In December I realized that I was badly depressed, so I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe imipramine. As a very old antidepressant, it is not commonly used anymore, but my experience is that it works well for me.

I haven't been able to find work so what little money I get, I earn by singing on the street for tips. I had a setback when I got bronchitis, and could not raise the money for bus fare to get to my pharmacy. That led to my getting depressed again.

I went to the emergency room, they set me up with one dose and a bus ticket. Now I'm back on track. For quite a long time, I would get into these really foul states of mind. Now it has been two or three weeks since the last time that happened.

I can tell that I'm still somewhat depressed but in general life is a lot better. Antidepressants are always slow to take effect. One has to establish new patterns in one's life.
Is Sanity Such A Good Thing

Not long ago all of my obsessions disappeared, leaving me with nothing to do. I'm really bored.
16 Feb 2016 (updated 16 Feb 2016 at 22:34 UTC) »

In early December I realized I was getting quite depressed. I'd lost interest in everything, I was sleeping too much, I was no longer studying my shiny new guitar. I asked my psychiatrist for imipramine, which is a very old antidepressant and so not commonly used anymore, but my experience is that it works well for me.

For one thing I courted the woman I would later marry while taking imipramine. She divorced me when I was not taking it. Would antidepressants have saved our marriage?

It mostly works well, but every antidepressant takes a long time to take effect. A few days ago I took up the study of Javascript, then pulled a Conway's Life implementation right out of my ass. It felt good to be writing code again.

But today, despite knowing there are many ways I could occupy my time, I have no interest in anything. Just now I'm telling myself This Will Soon Pass.

I'm expecting a Mac OS X driver contract soon; it was to have already started but there have been some delays while their windows people do some manner of workaround, which workaround it is expected I will use. It would be good to be back to work.

It's not about the money, it would be about having some purpose other than to make it to meals at the soup kitchens on time.

Never Say Die

After some scouting around I assigned myself a Haiku ticket. I'm just going to silence some warnings, but there are lots of programs that need that. This will be a good way to get back into Haiku development.

I've only contributed in very modest ways so far but I'd like to do a lot more.

Haiku is mostly written in C++. C++ has a bad reputation, but it's my favorite language. It's just that you need to write C++ the way C++ wants to be written. If you follow the naive advice to use it as "A Better C" you will never get the bugs out.
From The Same Train Wreck That Brought You "Living with Schizoaffective Disorder" and "My Deepest Fear"

Just the intro so far of a very rough draft:

Child Pornography on the Internet
"The darkest parts of Hell are reserved for those who preserved their neutrality during times of moral crisis."
- Durante degli Alighieri - "Dante"

Living with Schizoaffective Disorder was - and, twelve years later - still is such a huge hit in large part due to the kind assistance of ladies germs such as yourselves. Please mail your comments, criticism, rants and Molotov Cocktails to

My days are numbered, so please don't delay.
I Had a Better Day Today

It's not normal for me to be stuck in such a rut as I have been. All I could think of to do all day long was repeatedly reload a few websites looking for something new to read. I mean like checking google news dozens of times per day.

The following passage from Timothy Miller's How to Want What You Have came to mind:

A sincere and scholarly religious seeker occasionally experimented with mescaline. While spending an evening in his study amid his books, music, and works of art, rapturously intoxicated, he suddenly figured out the secret of happiness. After recovering from his initial exhiliration, he realized he could not trust himself to remember the secret, so he wrote it on a slip of paper where he would be sure to find it later. Sure enough, he felt groggy the following morning, recalling only dimly that he had discovered something momentous. When he eventually came across the slip of paper, he recalled that he had written the secret of happiness on it, and that he had felt quite certain of its power and correctness at the time he had written it. Hands trembling with anticipation, he unfolded the scrap of paper. He had written, "Think in different patterns".

It is quite common for me to get depressed when I come down from a manic episode, but it is not necessarily so. I was determined to have a better day today and I did.

I met a man on Portland's light rail today, who had just successfully popped the question to his lady. That was nice to meet such a happy man.

I Am Stuck In A Rut

Help me Advogato, you're my only hope!

I have four tabs open in Firefox. All day long I repeatedly reload them looking for new material to show up, but it doesn't a whole lot.

I recently came down from quite a severe manic episode. It is quite common for me to become quite severely depressed during these times. I want to find some way to make that stop happening.

I have the idea that getting involved in an Open Source or Free Software project would be a good way to distract myself from this oncoming depression. I'm good at debugging. Could you use my help?

My own iOS App Warp Life I have decided to place under the Affero GPLv3 once its finished. I have not yet released the source as I am very picky about the quality of my work however I find myself vexed by a really stupid bug.

It's not the bug that stymieing me, it's that I am having trouble focussing on the work.
15 Mar 2014 (updated 8 Feb 2015 at 13:49 UTC) »

"I am very sorry, I owe you apology. I've been talking at you now for two solid hours.

"I have work to do, you have work to do, and I'm busting a piss."

"The problem I've got is that if I don't get enough sleep I don't shut up."

I once went on for a solid hour to a Clark County, Washington "Designated Mental Health Professional" about how the reason I was talking so much and so fast was that I had not slept for a couple days.

He then - QUITE ANGRILY! in gross violation of his professional ethics - asserted that I was Manic and held me involuntarily in a locked inpatient psychiatric unit for the next three days.

Sloth is Bad, M'Kay?

It's not so much that Bipolar Mania has many other symptoms than pressured speech, but that the laws governing psychiatric hospitalization everywhere I've ever lived are quite specific. Bipolar Mania all by itself, even if profoundly severe, is not cause for involuntary admission.

I'd haul the State of Washington into Federal Court over this happening to me several times, but I've got a lot on my plate the last while.

The problem I commenced to notice the other day is that I am working so very very hard to solve a certain widespread problem, is that I'm not making a whole lot of actual progress at my proposed solution because everywhere I go, all manner of complete strangers are quite excited about my proposed solution, and so quite enthusiastic when I go on for hours as to what the problem is, why it's a problem, how I stumbled across a "Particular Solution" seventeen years ago, and how I have by now not slept a damn bit for a solid month as I derive my General Solution.

(Certain kinds of differential equations may be solved by first coming up with a Particular Solution, then from that deriving it's general solution.)


Local Jobs, Local Candidates:

The Global Computer Employer Index

My own particular problem was until quite recently, having been unemployed for three solid years and as a result, homeless for two.

I don't want anyone, anywhere to ever again have to endure what I had to endure just to get into a position where I could launder all of my clothes all it the same time in hot water at I myself scrubbed off in a hot shower.

Body Lice, you see.

In the industrialized world, they only occur among the homeless.

This isn't something I can really automate. While I have conceived of several automated ways to assist my research, they are all rather Ad-Hoc Hacks. The very best I can hope for are tools that would do most of the heavy lifting, but I do not forsee that my employer index could ever be purely machine generated.

I have so far twenty-seven OpenOffice spreadsheet, one for each of the nations I've researched so far. The leftmost tab in each spreadsheet is named "T", for telecommute jobs whose employer or client is headquartered in that particular country. The next table is named after that country - US, UK, Poland &c. - then I have as many other tabs as required for individual cities, states or provinces that are heaving into software or electrical engineering.

For example my Ukraine spreadsheet just has "T", "Ukraine" and "Kiev". There is just one entry in Kiev, none at all in the Ukraine or Telecommute tabs.

There will be I know very well that the Ukrainians are heavily into coding however they are hard to find from the Salmon Creek Starbucks. :-/

Even when I know the names of the companies as well as their locations, quite commonly I am unable to figure out their homepage URL. Just now I was chatting up the night manager at Salmon Creek's Fred Meyer's grocery store:

"Your store's website is just - that's what you really want."

"Now suppose I were trying to find a job as a Deli Clerk in the Clark County area, but I was searching over the Internet from Texas."

"Now suppose your website wasn't at, rather it was"


I am completely unable to guess the domains of perhaps one-third of the employers I intend to list. From time to time I can't even find them on Google, but I know they're out there somewhere because I walk by their damn office every day!

The very worst example I am aware of is the H2O pay-as-you-go mobile phone provider. My actual carrier is AT&T but if I buy minutes from H2O, of all the batshit crazy things I pay H2O one-quarter of what I once paid AT&T for the exact same service!

I defy you to so much as find H2O's website.

G-d Damn I could have prevented that problem ever since that Spring 1963 night of passion when the best part of me dripped down my mother's leg.

So I presently have 150 Seattle area employers (King's County - including Microsoft in Redmond, Google, Amazon friends), however I have actually linked only thirty because it is so Mother Fucking time consuming to hunt down all their cock-sucking websites.

Fred Meyers is about to close so I'll post this then continue tomorrow afternoon.

This is What I Have so Far:

For all the cities where I've posted actual content, all put together, I have only posted a quarter of the companies I already know about.

I have a whole bunch of tabs for US States and Cities, for example New York City is heavily into C++ financial code so I have lots of names like Bloomberg and Solomon page yet I do not even have any other than an empty placeholder page.

My hope is that by the time I issue my press release this coming Monday morning, I will have posted links to all the employers that I already know about, in all twenty-seven national spreadsheets that I already have.

My present index page has 57 different nations. The Earth as a whole has roughly 150 so I have my work cut out for me.

Fred Meyers just closed. Gotta Run!

Ciao, Bella!

I spent quite a lot of time in jails, courthouses and psychiatric institutions as a result, because of such phenomena as research a post on the effects of software on aviation safety for The Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems via the free WiFi in the Grover Beach, California 24-Hour McDonalds, but because I'd walked - WALKED NOW! - most of the way from Santa Cruz to Oceano Dunes State Beach, I was looking just like Aqualung.


"But sir, I'm not done with my supper. I'm a paying customer!"

Really I was.

But I didn't want to wear out my welcome so I set into bookmarking some vast quantities of tabs in a couple dozen windows. Admittedly that wasn't the bright idea, to hang out on Google all night long, discovering potential citations then leaving them all open in tabs without even bookmarking them, saving them to my filesystem nor bookmarking them.

So I stashed my remaining Big Mac Meal in my handbag then set about my bookmarking.

This because my old MacBook Pro's battery was totally shot. While a quality battery it was by then six years old.

So one of Grover Beach's Finest turns up, quite sternly demands I leave "RIGHT NOW!"

I regard my greatest fault as a writer that while my work is quite popular I am from time to time able to totally lose my reader.

That happens in Meatspace as well, when I'm just making conversation:

"Please sir! If I am not permitted to save the results of my research into aviation safety, an airplane will fall out of the sky!"

I figured he would understand that I was endeavoring to prevent such mayhem as that Malaysian jet wandering off course then crash landing into the Lagoon at Gilligan's island.

But no, it was not to be:

"You are under arrest. You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say..."

"I'm not sure I follow your argument. I've been performing online literature research into engineering reliability. Care to elucidate?"

"I'm arresting you for making terrorist threats."

In the State of California as well as everywhere else where the law enforcement authorities choose to Eat The Brown Acid, so much as threatening anyone with anything at all, even in jest is a felony.

So this joker claims that my simple request to save my work so I don't lose it all, and so have to repeat all that research from the Burger King just across the street, was in reality my stating an intention to hijack a passenger jet!

This resulted in six months in the Slammer, three of which I spent in the somewhat - but JUST somewhat - more luxorious Atascadero State Hospital - really a prison hospital, for the criminally insane - because I pointed out to the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge that I would act Pro Per, that is, as my own counsel without the aid or advice of anyone at all.

(The more common Pro Se has the advice of someone else, possibly but not always an attorney.)

The judge is down with that but he wants to be certain I'm clued in to criminal defense, so he has me chat privately with this useless bint who introduces herself as a defense attorney.

"Oh that's great. I'm pleased to meet you. Actually I am dead certain that I have a far, far deeper insight in the law than you do..."

Yes, really, I'll explain in my next diary, but tl;dr; I'm heavily into history, literature, mythology and poetry.

"... but you, having passed the Bar, know all the details. So I will have some questions for you."

By "details", I meant that she would know for example what a "Readiness Hearing" was. That's not something one learns just by reading all The Federalist Papers, one has to a junior lawyer at a law firm to learn about that stuff.

"Do you receive GA-X?" County General Assistance.

"What does that have to do with anything?" I'm glaring at her now.

"Are you on Section 8?" US Federally-Subsidized Housing.

"No. Why should I be? I couldn't possibly qualify I am a Process Architect!"

"Do you have MedicAid?" US Federal funded, State administered medical insurance for the desperately poor.

"No. When I need to see a doctor, I just pay cash. I have so many preexisting conditions that I cannot purchase private coverage."

"How do you pay for your medicine?"

I expect the SLO jail's medical staff had informed her I was mentally ill, a gross violation of the Federal HIPAA, California state medical and mental health law as well as profesional ethics.

"I get a written prescription from my private psychiatrist after I pop two hundred bucks to chat with him for an hour. I present that prescription to my pharmacy then pay cash for my meds."

"I obtain that cash by consulting for my clients."

"Can you tell me what you were last admitted to a psychiatric hospital."

Now this is a real sore point with me: if I've got some really good work going on, or any manner of really good idea for my code my articles or my essays, or if I'm heavily into my music, or I'm just hanging with good friends, I quite commonly go several days without sleep then get tossed into the nuthouse for being Manic, despite Bipolar Mania NOT being cause for involuntary admission, as well as my just being tired and not actually Manic.

So I started shouting at this Indigent Defense Attorney about how G-d Damn Pissed Off I was at cock-suckers like her, all she wants to do is get me thrown in the mother fucking nuthouse because I didn't bring a razor with me on my walk from Cruz and so by then I had a long, quite unkempt beard.

Look man: I had a far, far worse beard when I was getting published in the G-d Damn Astrophysical Journal at Caltech!

Just then four happy, smiling deputies burst into the room, howling with laughter, and hauled me back off to the holding cell in the courthouse basement.

For no reason I can fathom, the Judge as a result ordered me to Atascadero, without my being present at the hearing where he wrote that order. Neither was I evaluated by any mental health professional.

Upon my return to court, I wasn't permitted to defend myself. I was not ruled incompetent, I wasn't told why, the Public Defender just forced herself upon me.

Which Public Defender?

That very same Herpes-Encrusted Lawyer of the Evening who kept asking me about my alleged GA-X, Section 8 &c.

Long Time No See.

My apologies, I got sucked into that Cesspool in a Long-Forgotten Corner of The Series of Tubes known as Kuro5hin - Technology and Culture, from the Trenches for the last few Millennia.

I've been meaning to update my Advogato Profile for well over SIX YEARS!

Heh. Time Is Fun When You're Flying!

I only just now did so update it.

My previous draft had me just arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, having left my then-wife but now ex-wife Bonita Hatcher behind in Truro, Nova Scotia in hopes of making a better life for both of us.

What I got out of it was a divorce as well as some peace of mind. Bonita is a wonderful woman in so very many ways, but the two of us fought like wildcats on a Damn near continuous basis.

After I left Atimi, I moved back to California, this time to Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, then later San Jose, Salmon Creek, Washington, Redmond, Washington for a very brief contract with The Borg Collective I have no doubt whatsoever the very worst job I have known in all of my fifty years, then back to Salmon Creek, then to Santa Cruz, California, then to Portland, Oregon and now back in Salmon Creek.

I just three weeks ago scored quite a good remote C++ Linux Debugging consulting gig, so Real Soon Now I'll be moving out of my mother's basement when I rent my own place somewhere close to, but not actually directly within Portland's Pearl District, where most of my potential consulting clients now lay.


While I have yet to regress it, my 4 GB Kingston USB stick works just dandy on my Mom's 32-Bit PowerPC G4 Mac OS X 10.4.11 iMac (the one that Bonita referred to as "The Space Probe), however it works very poorly on my almost-but-not-quite-brand-spankin'-new Mountain Lion Retina Display MacBook Pro.

I do not get any actual I/O errors. My Kingston reads, writes and dismounts quickly on Mom's iMac, but is phenomenally slow to do so on my MacBook Pro.

From time to time my Mac pops up an alert to inform me that it cannot eject my stick because the Finder is using it.

This because the Finder is attempting, yet strictly speaking failing to dismount it!

I own a whole bunch of other sticks from a wide variety of vendors, it's just that my sister has them all just now, and I do not yet have the cash to go purchase any new.

I've decided to report the bug anyway but also to state that I have not yet regressed it but do intend to do so.

I also have a Fedora 11 Xeon box with a SuperMicro motherboard. My stick works great with that.

I have not yet tried booting Linux on my MacBook Pro but will do so if I can find a distro that can use UEFI Out-of-the-Box rather than requiring BootCamp's Legacy 16-Bit BIOS.

I used BootCamp on my first-generation, early 2006 MacBook Pro. It worked fine for XP SP3 as well as for Ubuntu, however if I created more than four partitions, nothing would boot.

That drove me totally round the bend, I thought _I_ was doing something wrong until I realized that Apple only ever tested just a single windows install for a total of three primary partitions. (There is one EFI partition that I understand the UEFI spec requires but I don't think Macs actually use.)

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