Older blog entries for Milambar (starting at number 10)

  • I sat there, last night, quietly despairing. My Palm m105 had crashed in grand style. I had to leave the batteries out for a while to clear the memory. No problem, I thought. The data is backed up onto my PC. I can just hotsynch it and restore the data. Cool...

    How wrong I was. I hit the hotsynch button, it bleeped, and... Nothing was restored. Okay... I checked my settings in jpilot. They looked ok, so I tried again. I got a message to "kill 2196 or press hotsynch"..


    Well to cut a long story short.. Somehow, somewhen, gnome-pilotd had been started, and was holding onto /dev/ttS0 with a vengence, refusing to let jpilot work properly. So gnome-pilotd was performing the synchs, but it didnt have the data I needed restoring.

    Blar! I discovered this AFTER I had deleted the contents of ~/.jpilot in despiration. All I needed to do was su root, kill gnome-pilotd, and jpilot would have worked fine. The net result is... I lost all my data anyway. Blar!
  • Well... SorceryNet has now got a MySQL backend to the website, although currently, the only page using it is the servers page. Its been fun putting it together, actually. Ive learned a fair bit. The hardest thing for me was the concept of table joins. Theres nothing that I like better than learning new ideas.

    I have to.. Think of a way to implement a "login" session for the admins so they can update their own server information. The problem is.. I can see inherent problems with all the methods Ive considered. Cookies.. People disable cookies.. Sessions.. Well, one of the admins had serious misgivings regarding sessions. I think I just need to think about it long and hard for a while.
  • I got a new girlfriend, and.. Heh... I'm so happy, its incredible!
22 Sep 2002 (updated 22 Sep 2002 at 01:41 UTC) »
  • I recently decided to move the website for www.sorcery.net over to a database driven website for ease of maintainence. Of course, I now need to learn MySQL to a greater depth than before. Before anyone yells PostgreSQL at me, I happen to like MySQL. I don't like PostgreSQL at all. Ankh keeps telling me to aim for the 3rd normal form, for the database... Err... The what now? Time to study the MySQL tutorials I think *g*.
  • My car bit me yesterday. That is... I was fitting a new incar CD player/autochanger, when I shorted out two wires, and took a shock. Oh boy, it sure packed a wallop.

I bought a little digital camera recently. l'espion by Digital Dreams. I even managed to get it set up to act as a webcam in Mandrake Linux. This one feat boosted my self confidence, as I didn't need to bother my usual guru.

Sadly, due to time constraints, I have ended my phpdomain project. xml/xslt is still on the backburner. However, I managed to complete the new website for www.sorcery.net

On a more personal note, I got a new bike :-)

Ok, its been a while since I updated this diary.. Things have been a little busy.

Progress Reports:

  • phpdomain - No progress. This sadly went onto the backburner, as more important things happened.
  • xml/xslt - This too went onto the backburner, sadly.
  • html - In my spare time, I pruned sorcery.net's webtree down severely. It was 16odd megabytes in size.. Its now 3.8Mb, with no broken links. All I did was prune out a couple of disused directories, and removed all the backup files. Backups arent really needed, as the entire site is kept in cvs anyway. Yes, I'm finally getting used to cvs.:-)

Personal Life:

Things are looking up. I started some martial arts classes, Kempo JuJitsu, to be specific. Anyway... Thats all for now folks.

A tirade on GIMP

I recently needed to make a nice little banner image for a webpage I was working on. No problem, I'll just use the GIMP. Hmmm...

  • Crop to selection... Doesnt exist...
    Tools->Transform->Crop and Resize.. This looks like it!... Nope, did nothing... Basically the only way I found to crop an image to the selection, is to copy the selection to a new image. A bit fiddly.
  • Layer->Add stroke...Doesnt exist...
Lets end here... The GIMP in my opinion, sucks. It has no tools that work. It takes... 5 minutes for my Linux install to power down cleanly, another 2 for windows to boot up. 1 minute to get the effect I want in Adobe Photoshop (that was seemingly impossible in GIMP), followed by 1 minute to shut down windows, and 10 to reboot Linux.

Right now, I am very disillusioned with Linux, as I seem to be wasting a lot of time switching between the two operating systems, to use tools that Linux SHOULD HAVE.

What did I want to do? Simple... Make a graphic of a word.. Drop a black 2px border round it.. Crop the image so there is no wasted space, and save it as a .gif. Such a simple thing... There doesnt seem to be an easy way to do so in GIMP.

  • Mood - Sad

Well, hasn't today been fun!

  • My Printer - A friend gave me a second hand Lexmark 4039 10R laser printer.

    Windows has the drivers for it built in. Linux does too... Only.. they refused to work unless I put a ^D into the files I wanted to print.

    I downloaded the Linux drivers from Lexmark themselves, and still it didn't work properly. So, I tried a couple of other drivers intended for other printers. One of the IBM drivers worked. Not well, but at least I don't need to keep inserting a ^D.

  • My Graphics Card - Hercules Prophet 4000XT (Kyro Chipset).

    This never worked under Linux, and was only partially stable under windows. Until now. With Ankh's kind advice, I downloaded the beta linux drivers for the card. Installed them, and suspenseful music edited XF86Config-4. Much to my jawdropping amazement... My card works, and is finally running a resolution better than that naff 800x600. I'm happy :-)

I noticed something today! If the network connection is down at all, then Gnome 2 boots really slowly. Still, no network connection meant no IRC which meant more work got done.
  • xml/xslt - This is my personal project. The conversion of SorceryNet's services documentation, which are stored as flat-files, into xml. I finally got rid of the bug in the xslt that generates the html files.
  • phpdomain - I altered it slightly to use an external config file. Which I hope will make it easier for people wantint to use the script.

I really am liking gnome 2 despite its... quirks. For instance.. vim, at least as I have it configured, seems to be inserting ^M's, a-la windows style. Now thats probably just a configuration setting. However, Im perservering, as I am finding kde2 to be... dated.

  • Favourte sawfish theme - DAE
  • Favourte other theme - Default (Im strange, I know)

Ok, back to work. I think I need to do some kind of documentation for phpdomain......

Okay, after a long session in a root shell, and with the kind help of Ankh, I have got Gnome 2 installed and running. So far its been nice and stable too. Xchat only dumped out once. Nothing else has dumped out on me.

I even managed to get some xslt and xml files updated and cvs'd. My personal services.xml project is progressing well.

I seem to have the rest of the day free. Time to go for a cycle ride, me thinks.

Oooo... I notice Ive had 4 downloads of my phpdomain script from sourceforge. Perhaps I ought to look at improving it. Hmmmm.

What is it?

Well, I used to be webmaster for a company. I was asked to implement a domain name availiablity lookup function. I searched high and low for one, and nowhere could I find a free one. So... I wrote my own.

At the moment, its little more than a www interface with the unix whois command.. I do want to expand it though.

Feel free to download and take a look at it. Its been released under the Public Domain licence. The project name on sourceforge is phpdomain.

Ok, I gotta get busy.

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