Older blog entries for cla (starting at number 10)

Open Source

Still no useful code coming outta this parsec.

On the other hand, I could tell the author of a short Python program what it was doing and why. This is impressive only because I hadn't ever seen any Python code before and don't do object-oriented code. The nice thing is that I could finally see a reason for bothering with o-o design.

BTW, python looks cool and I can now see why there is a Make-Perl-Like-Python debate. Though I'm still not on the for side.

Canberra - The Windy City

Canberra is more beautiful than I had remembered. Perhaps it was the company :-)

Did the tourist thing - walked up Mt Ainslie. I'm so glad we did that before I'd seen the hill in profile - it wasn't nearly as strenuous as it later looked from the roof of Parliament House! The view from Mt Ainslie is gorgeous - and there's so much greenery in Canberra! It's a very pretty place.

Obviously, we also visited the new Parliament House, which is full of wonderful paintings. I had always wanted to see the Tom Roberts painting of Federation and now I have done! It's as dark as it looked in reproductions. As another tourist was saying - they didn't have any artificial light in 1901 and that's probably why the painting (set in the interior of a hall somewhere) is so dark.

Went to a couple of cafes and started to wonder if all Canberra waiters are on the effeminate side... it was almost like being in a Newtown cafe!

I was introduced to a number of books during my stay and have decided that I need to join a library and start on an extended reading list. I'll do this after I get back from Brisbane next week. One good thing about not having a life-partner is that I can get caught up in my own interests without feeling guilty.


One of the books I was introduced to links depression with pessimism. An interesting point is to assume that pessimism - the feeling or assumption that one can't - is the basis of (learned) helplessness and that this may be a causal factor of depression.

It's also interesting to read a philosophy PhD disagreeing vehemently with Freud's methods and conclusions...

lilo: The Corporation As Adolescent
I agree with lilo's insight that a corporate entity is effectively a legal "person" which can display fear, hope and the need for instant gratification. In my recent experience, government departments can be described the same way. With bonus schitzophrenia for added fun.

ajv: Playing The Numbers Game
Unless you've got some proven, medical reason for getting to a particular weight, don't express your body-image in numbers. Expression of weight or self-image in terms of numbers (dress size, kgs, cms, BMI) is listed by Dolly as a cause for eating disorders in young women. I do understand you're neither female nor a teen, but that doesn't make you immune. YHBW!

Speaking of Newtown...

Canberra reminded me of a snippet of a Whitlams song, which isn't quite appropriate:

In love with this girl
And with her town as well
Walking 'round the rainy city
What a pity there's things to do at home...

If you haven't heard it - pick up the MP3 from their web site.

11 Oct 2000 (updated 11 Oct 2000 at 23:43 UTC) »
Wanted to let deekayen know that ppl do read his diary (at least - this people does! ;-) but there's no email addr on his person page and none on his website either. Hmmm... if you want feedback boyo, you'll have to leave a forwarding address!!!! I'm hoping he'll be feeling better soon....

Got a call at 8:45am from R to see how I'm going. Made the whole day brighter. If you know my situation, you'll know this is a bit sick. I figured I'd never hear from R again & was worried she was dead but she isn't. Not well (if I can still diagnose from voice and tone) but not dead.

Going to Canberra on Friday night for the weekend. The excuse is that my car hasn't had a long trip since May but really I want to catch up with someone.... If the weather holds, it's going to be a lovely weekend - but like I said last night, even if it rains, it should be a lovely weekend ;-)

I'm also looking forward to the drive. It's going to be great to be on the open road alone - I haven't done that in years. Planning to stick to daylight hours because it'd be embarrassing to die in a car crash.

Speaking of catching up with people, I'll be seeing old friends from high school the following weekend before catching the Livid Festival in Brisbane. Livid is an annual music festival and this year's lineup includes The Cure, Green Day, No Doubt (all in one day!!!) and Aussie bands like Regurgitator and Grinspoon. Over 70 bands will be playing throughout the day - so I won't see everything but I'll hear as much as I can!!!!

Worked last Friday night til 4am Saturday in the city (someone had overwritten a data tape that I can only replace out of hours... grrrr) and got picked up to go to Albury at 8:45. So I was still asleep when Lily and Karl arrived (oops!) and slept in the car too... Met up with six other friends around lunchtime (two more joined us later in the afternoon) and had a great weekend! We wandered round wineries on Sunday but Saturday was hugely busy with touristing, swimming, hot tub, spas (one in my room, so I used it 3 or 4 times - I've never had a bath I could lie down completely flat in before!!!!)

Open Source
Got perl installed on my Windows box (yeah, yeah, I know I should have linux installed but you've just read how I spent my weekend) and thought I'd installed a programming environment but it turns out to be a debugging environment, so I'm happy enough. Not finished anything yet - had something in mind but it looks like the lead developer will have it all done before I've submitted anything.

Had a look at jennv's code day-before-yesterday. It's nice and clean, good comments. I'm glad she's started coding again...

I'd be writing more often but don't have enough ob-OS to say.

5 Oct 2000 (updated 5 Oct 2000 at 23:19 UTC) »

Decided to post only when I've got something to say about technical stuff because I figured I was helping make the signal:noise bung.

Skud's FormMagick idea looked like something I've coded before so I figured I'd put something together, show her, see if my code is any good (eek) and then (possibly) feel a little bit useful.

So the first step was getting Perl for windows (yep, still no Linux on the box... don't ask) - which took 3 days to get because I have a slow link which drops out for no apparent reason after a random period of time.

I feel like I'm living in the stone ages and trying to speak with people who travel the stars.

And I still have nothing to offer in terms of code...arg.

A funny thing happened to me at ...
... one of my client sites yesterday. We have a box we've been trying to get going for waaay too long. It was finally at a point yesterday where I could restore the data to it from an IDR backup tape and voila! So I'm talking to the install guy who's very proud of what he's done, including taking a test backup of the newly installed OS.

"To what????"

He replies: "The _new_ machine".
Calmly (as panic rises in my heart) "Yes, I know what you backed up _from_ - what media did you back it up _to_ ???"
"Oh, the tape that was next to the drive".


That would be my clearly marked recovery tape! Marked on the tape, on the box and the data itself is labelled. He had to "ok" the overwrite which (if the Alerts list is to be believed) _also_ clearly labelled what was on the bloody tape.

Neither the fellow in question nor anyone else at my client's site could see that he'd done anything wrong.

I now have to do boring backup things (again, with no media... for those of you who've been following this saga rt) outside business hours before I can get back to the point that we should have been at yesterday morning. And (so far) they don't want to pay for it either.


Stumbled on ajv's diary entry regarding my (neighbour's) cat. And suddenly realised people are actually reading my diary. eeek. wow. I'd better start posting non-drivel, hadn't I? ;-)

Thanks for the paintbrush suggestion, Jenn (jennv), which has great merit given that our cats are aesthetically similar....

Read all replies to Skud's (old) article on coding and having a (sex) life... which I enjoyed. Interesting to see the same names come up over and over in areas that I find interesting. And in the social side of stuff.

Speaking of stuff, we had a number of ex-Netizen folk as guests at our TechMeet last night... We did a bit of an introduce-around because Cybersource now has a lot of new folks and the old folks wanted to know who-and- what --- and most ppl introduced themselves as "I do php stuff" or "I do perl stuff" or (horrors!) "I do stuff" which was something less than helpful.

And back to the coding vs MOTAS discussion from Skud's article: I've seldom had trouble finding a sex life in a geek world. Does that make me not really a geek? I've tried both the geek-partner and notgeek-partner methods and have to say that if I want to keep my hand in (so to speak) that it's best to have a geekfriend.

After all, it keeps the time spent on your other interests to an acceptable minimum, freeing up lots of time for coding and research - right?

It's a Small, Small World Dept.
Just discovered someone on Wiki who was a lecturer at my Alma Mater, having just graduated (PhD) from the Uni where I had my first job (the following year) and who knows mbp, who I know from the choir of the same Uni. Wow. Small world. Or maybe that's just Queensland. Glad I live in Melbourne now, 'cos it's not like everyone knows everyone here, right?!! (see PissTake)

Woke my cat (oops - my neighbour's cat - I'm not allowed one on my lease) accidentally by restarting a CD - Skunkhour's FEED. Brilliant - why aren't Australian bands like this anymore? (political, poetical and memorable). Now the cat is trying to get out through the (closed) window. arg. Sometimes I wish the neighbours hadn't stopped feeding their cat...

Ob-Technical Stuff
Apologies to purists who'd like to see something technical in each diary entry. Anyone got a good way to keep cat- hair out of the keyboard?
25 Sep 2000 (updated 25 Sep 2000 at 16:32 UTC) »

Just noticed I've been certified by two other people. Thanks guys. Does this mean I have 3 ppl willing to act as mentor now? 0;-)

Got into Wiki (for the first time) in a big way last night. Suddenly had a huuuge urge to find all hanging references and defineDEFINEDEFINE!!!!

But then I got over it.

Found another mob that need doc done for existing code. As I said earlier (or meant to) - I can do this. Will write if/when I have actually _done_ this (life continues APACE!)

Thanks mbp for not hating me for not returning calls and to jennv and dancer for not hating me for never being round when two weeks ago I was _always_ over.... My big news is that I've (re)started climbing, have been reviving old friendships and generally trying to get work done in and around all that. So you were both right - there is definitely a SilverLining.

I'm hoping to see you again soon.

Is it ok to mention names here??? Skud and bekj do, so I figured it'd be fine.... Pls let me know if it isn't!

The other purpose of this diary entry was to create and refer to a wiki entry. And I could and it was molto easy. Which you all knew already, right? Well, I gotta start somewhere and I'm as rusty as a-very-rusty-thing. Hmmmm... that's got me thinking of other wiki lookups to do. TinMan for instance... Someone _has_ to have done that already - I mean, I'm not the only FriendOfDorothy (FriendsOfDorothy ?) here!

Just looked them up and no, they don't exist. I'm not sure if this is because there is a lack-of-humour or if it's a very regional term, so I'm not adding it. Not until I've added something that's actually useful, anyway. I think I could become a WikiAddict. Which is also not defined but should be!

24 Sep 2000 (updated 24 Sep 2000 at 04:00 UTC) »

As Pseudonym mentioned in the articles section, I did stuff up my wording:

Yep, I did mean a masters-only community when I said "a wizards-only community".

I am very aware that there are wizards amongst the Observers, Apprentices and Journeyers who class themselves (or are classed by others) that way because they are not prolific contributors to the open source community. Hmmm... that's one of the reasons I was expecting to stay an Observer longer than I did.

Social Creature Stuff...

Had a lovely birthday yesterday and a great party the night before. People turned up from half-an-hour-early-eeeeek!!! to after 1am (doors-close was 1:30). Geeks and kinksters got along fine. No one freaked out, no brains imploded (that I could tell) and everyone seemed to have a good time. The party finally wound up at about 5am with a geek zonked out on one couch and me on the other because an overly-inebriated kinkster had been sent to bed and there's only one bed at the moment :(
Saturday night's Spring Carnival party thingy was also great. Details may scare geeks but feel free to ask if you're interested...
Going climbing today with friends at a local indoor-climbing gym. Geeks should climb more... it uses just about every muscle and works out that "I'm gonna die!" feeling - excellent for maintaining perspective!!!

More proposals for work today. Wrote my first reply in the articles section. Wondering if the world will notice. Having my birthday party tonight. Absolutely no open source news so wondering if this post should be cancelled (like all others since 17 Sept!).

Played with a Debian distro today which had been put together by a friend. Has been a weekend for phone tag...

Got "auctioned" at a party tonight - two hours of my company fetched over $3,000 play money - I don't think I've ever been valued that highly before! Nor did I expect to be the most expensive offered (by over $1k :)

I've duplicated my working environment at home so I can work til odd hours (6am 0:) and not have to drive in to the office to reformat proposals/reports at the office.

Open Source
The new PC is now in use and is being populated by "useful stuff" as I go along. I've had a couple of ideas for new tools but haven't actually started coding any of them yet.
Realised that I'd forgotten to buy Office and think I'll stick to StarOffice under Solaris on my old box.

I'm now wondering if I'll be downgraded for having so much non- open-source, personal information in my diary. Should have RTF-FAQ-ed, shouldn't I?!!?

If nothing else, this diary is going to make me start coding simply to avoid the embarrassment of "haven't-done-any-code-yet" entries!!!

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