Name: Austin Brower
Member since: 2000-03-18 15:05:57
Last Login: N/A



I am a Debian GNU/Linux user working for an Internet Provider providing end-user tech. support to Win95, Mac, and Linux users.
I'm also programming a web based user administration system for my employer, using PHP as the front end and a Perl daemon.

Recent blog entries by bobman

Set up Tomcat on my project box to try to get Mir working, as Active is in a very messy, un-set-up-able state. Servlets work, yay, but Mir does not, yet.
Received an e-mail today about the accessability of some of the sites I'm involved with. Very good suggestions about using Bobby to examine all the faults in the designs. Will have to follow up on this and make things better for all the screen-readers out there.
Upgraded to kernel 2.4.13 from 2.2.19, hopefully this will solve my XawTV-locking-box-hard problem.
Investigating wxWindows and wxPython for an upcoming project. May be using those to build a client app for some hairy legal database. Whee!!!
Wow, first entry since 24JL2000... Sad.

In a fit of boredom, I hacked together a worklog/journal/comment system for work. PHP just fits so well with MySQL, it makes it fun.
I then tried to resurrect some of my (very) old Perl programming skills (or lack thereof) and make a script that crammed formatted input into the database if I e-mailed it.... Couldn't get DBD/DBI working, though. I guess that bears some work.

This driving while sleepy thing doesn't go well with the danger of moose and deer jumping in front of my car. I'll leave work earlier next time.

Yellow Dog Linux is now residing on a happy Strawberry iMacDV at school. I did some very basic, non realistic benchmarking on it to compare with the G4 Server (MacOS X Server).
Compiled Apache+PHP4.0 with the same configuration on both. iMacDV (G3/64MB) compiled PHP4.0 in 3m21.908s and Apache 1.3.12 in 43.391s. The G4 Server (256MB + UW-SCSI HD) compiled PHP4 in 3m40.756s and Apache in 1m0.226s. I was shocked. Is there an explanation for this? Is it just the difference in how Mach/BSD and Linux multitask... Perhaps some "real" benchmarking is in order.

I'm now using the Helix GNOME Debian packages. Very nice, even though it has slowed my laptop down. Found a slight oopsie in the task-helix-gnome package, it didn't require gnome-control-center, causing a puzzled look on my face until I tailed .gnome-errors . Thanks Peter of Helix Code.
Radagast, excellent job on the GNOME website! The only thing missing, IMHO, is the ability to search the GNOME Software Map.

Lunch now.

Time seems to elapse faster as I get closer and closer to graduation... Wheee.. Please stop the earth, I want to get off. (misquote)

I seem to be in a C++ loving stage. Last year I was crazy about PHP3, doing all kinds of nice database access and building websites. Now I'm content to create nice simple programs for Computer Science class using C++. Hey, at least I'm not bored or giving up on school.

The school I go to has a new IP subnet. 253 IP addresses to play with, yay! Of course, DHCP makes it easy to move over, but there are some lingering problems with our BESS Proxy Filtering (censorship) server. It doesn't recognize the new IPs as allowed computers. Too bad I can't fix it, it's out of my hands.

I think I've come to a decision about college: I'm deferring for a year. I'll be going to WPI then, so $500 will be on the way there soon. From all I've heard, from friends and family, it is probably best to take this year off and work. Hopefully it'll be good for whatever capability I still have for learning stuff in classrooms.

Things are much better now.

I finally realized, after much struggling with Apache 1.3.12 and PHP3 3.0.15 on Friday 31MR2000 that MacOS X Server probably doesn't like DSO. When I compiled with DSO support, I got duplicate symbol errors when starting Apache. I worked three hours on trying different techniques of compilation, but not using the nice way of just compiling PHP3 and all modules into the Apache binary.... So, I went home in disgust.

Later that night, I was sshed in and was in the middle of typing a command in bash when my connection seemed to freeze. "Huh," I thought. I tried sshing again, no luck, no login prompt, but there was a connection established. Hmmm..... I tried telnet, I tried ftp.... I tried getting a web page. The socket seemed to connect, but no data came back from it.... Ahhhhggghhh!

I got annoyed and called my (hopefully future co-network administrator) guru friend, jjk. He suggested:

  • The server ran out of memory.... (First asking whether there was swap configured.) I thought this was a little far fetched. The beast has 256Mb RAM and increases the swap file (on /private/var/vm - currently 16Mb) dynamically.
  • On the topic of Apache: Don't compile for DSO. Use the old fashioned (i.e. "On-the-fly added additional/private module") way using ./configure --activate-module=src/modules/php3/libphp3.a after using ./configure --with-apache=../apache_1.3.X --with-xml --with-mysql=/usr/local/mysql, make, make instal in the php_3.0.15 dir.

Well, after restarting the server the next day (since I had to wait for custodians to show up at the school), Apache compiled like a dream with PHP support.

Today, then, the rooted one let me install the new Apache and turn it on. Seems to work fine! I tried some of our MySQL dependant pages and they get data fine... Life is good.

Accepted at Colby, the one school I applied to just because they sent me an application. Expected financial contribution of family: $8,000 ish. Colby = Expensive School with Money to Spend. ($32,000/year) I don't think I can go there... Liberal Arts college with a seemingly cursory Computer Science program.

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