Older blog entries for bneely (starting at number 45)

This may only be of interest to a small subset of readers, but a dvd of pc demos has been produced and is available for purchase. If you know about groups like orange, pulse, future crew, haujobb, complex, nooon, and others, check this out. The group that produced this dvd worked very hard to achieve high quality audio and video captures, and to obtain permission from the content authors for inclusion on the dvd.

Before I got involved in the software industry, I spent a lot of time watching demos, collecting and producing mods, and talking to and meeting people from around the world that were involved with the scene. Having a chunk of my history on a dvd makes it more accessible to my friends and family. It also preserves classic works of art at risk of obsolescence due to hardware requirements from many earlier generations of pc hardware.

hacker said:

in the US, there is no state that allows you to exceed 65mph that I'm aware of, and yet domestic cars are sold with the ability to go 120mph plus. Sure, you can jam your foot on the pedal and go as fast as you want.. but you're breaking the law. I wonder how many unnecessary injuries and deaths could be prevented if cars simply could not exceed the maximum speed limit

There are some portions of freeways in California (i believe highways 5 and 40) with posted speed limits of 70-75. But that's a minor point. Evasive action is sometimes necessary by a (hopefully responsible) driver, and being able to crank a vehicle up faster than the speed limit for brief durations offers additional maneuverability. I do this once in a while. I realize you're mostly referring to people that drive higher than these speeds continuously.

Also, what to do on a three-lane highway when all three lanes are going 65 mph, and there are three cars running parallel across the three lanes, and an ambulance pulls up behind the vehicle on the left? The automobile driver would actually have to slow down to let the ambulance pass. As the ambulance continued along the highway and encountered additional parallel cars like this, choosing to stay in the left "passing" lane would actually force the ambulance to slow down below 65 so that the vehicle in the left lane (the one responsible for providing right-of-way) can slow down and get behind the car to his right with which he was previously parallel. You often can't count on the drivers in the other lanes to slow down and let the ambulance-blocking driver pass in front.

Let's say all personal vehicles were manufactured with a top speed of 80 mph. How would the speed of the vehicle be limited? A car and its engine with a maximum speed of 120 mph might offer a smooth, comfortable, and fuel-efficient ride around 70 mph, but when accelerated beyond that, the car will start to vibrate, and the efficiency of the engine will decline. I fear that designing cars with top speeds of some arbitrary speed limit, plus a few extra mph for cushion, could hinder the driving experience. In another scenario, fuel consumption could be limited on existing vehicle designs to support a maximum speed and nothing more. But would that work correctly on hills, in snow, or in mud?

My Saturn's speedometer shows a top speed of 130 mph, although I have never reached that speed. But my tires, I believe, are only rated for sustained speeds of 84 mph.

Work has been going better recently. The stuff I'm working on is eons away from being shippable, but that should lead to some thoroughly enjoyable chaos in the upcoming months. I think I wasted too many weekends in the office last year, so I won't make the same mistake again this year. Weekends will still be worked, but they will also be played.

For the past few weeks I've been working a lot with Cocoa. I like Cocoa and objective-c. I like single inheritance, reference counting, and general object-y goodness. I *hate* Interface Builder. There are too many things about Interface Builder that aren't intuitive enough for first-time users. Nearly everything in IB is designed around the "after you do it once, you know how to do it" idea. Project Builder is a useful tool that is easy to figure out, given that you have at least some idea of what should be happening. But PB has a very busy user interface, and it can be annoying to get enough screen space for an edit window because of the need to move all the split panes out of the way. I've also been using gdb quite a lot (because the shit I churn out is unreliable enough :).

I think my biggest problem with working at Apple is that there's not enough insubordination. :D

My mp3 stream has been receiving a lot of my attention recently. I found new music for the playlist, and I'm building my own playlist randomizer. My playlist script (written in perl) parses the master playlist, splits the songs out into a hash of arrays (with artist names as the hash key, and the artist's songs stored in the array), then does some intelligencia to schedule the next song. It's currently a playlist-spitter-outer, although I'm intending it to operate dynamically (probably to be called through the perl module interface in IceS). I'm done with the very basic functionality and the design of features I want to add, but I haven't had much time and/or motivation to work on it recently. Anyway, I'm trying to solve the problem where the playlist randomizer in IceS will play the same artist twice in a row, or three times within 10 songs. Barf.

Has anyone ever seen venture capitalists evaluate the quality of the work being done by a fund-seeking company's employees?

14 Mar 2001 (updated 18 Mar 2001 at 12:31 UTC) »

Well, that was fun. I wonder what to do next ...


I worked on Nautilus testing through the weekend, despite the amazing weather we had. So dammit, I'm taking back my weekends!

I went to dinner with a friend on Sunday and had a great time. It's unfortunate I don't do these things more often.

I have achieved a zen-like state of detachment, which should carry me through the weekend. The weather will be nice on Saturday and I'm very tempted to take a road trip, but I'll probably spend the weekend testing software. After next week it will be much easier to relax and goof off...right? I have been procrastinating doing the cooker update on the Mandrake half of my work machine. There's really only one or two packages that need to be updated for Nautilus (actually for Mozilla 0.8), but I tried to do it all at once, which was a mistake. I'll rsync the packages from home tonight, if things go well, and deal with this tomorrow.

20 Feb 2001 (updated 20 Feb 2001 at 09:22 UTC) »

I attended one frantic meeting too many last week, but overall it was a very productive week. Unfortunately, many of my todo's slid, which means this week could be a slow one. I want to take a look at the GNOME 1.4 betas, and I think I could generate some useful feedback, if I can find the time. On another note, welcome to advogato, Dunc (aka Duncan MacKinnon). On yet another note, did my taxes tonight in about an hour with Turbotax. Painless!

Busily decoding mbp's latest diary entry.

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