Older blog entries for claudio (starting at number 56)

Ohmygod, the guys/gals at Brasil Telecom are hopeless idiots who deserve to burn in hell for the eternity. They delayed the deployment of the Cisco ADSL routers (overpriced, but the only alternative to the 3Com PCI cards) for one more month, with no apparent reason. My ADSL line is enabled and they already have the routers, they just want to make sure they'll piss everyone off, users and ISPs.

There's only one company authorized to install the ANTs. You're not allowed to install the equipment yourself, because you're a stupid luser and may damage the delicate equipment. I can bet my right arm that when they finally deploy the Ciscos the geniuses at the installation company will set the router to operate in bridge only mode, or better yet, they'll have it already configured to operate as a bridge, put it on your desk, plug it in the wall, say how stupid you are, collect the money and that's all folks. No way. I'll want them to set up IPv6, exotic NAT configurations, virtual WANs and will bug them with I stupid questions to death.

I should have the right to install my own equipment. I'm already paying too much for it, and I hate when they delay the deployment just because they don't know how to install and operate it. Timmy would learn how to do it in a few minutes reading the manual (available on-line from Cisco). Blah.

Ok, so I got the flu again. I thought it wouldn't happen twice in the same winter but anyway.

This Saturday I coded a small mod player to add sound support to XRally, an X11 clone of the classic arcade Rally X. Wow, it's amazing how easy it was, my first attempt to write a mod player a few years ago took me a few weeks and it wasn't half as good as this new version. Yay!

Also played a bit with the Gimp (dodging the frequent crashes of the unstable version) to create a parody of the Conectiva Linux 5.0 box. The original box cover has a b&w photo of kids playing, a quite unusual design for a software product. I'll probably do something similar for the latest release, Conectiva 5.1 :)

Finally added some more code to the star wars Xscreensaver hack. Wow. I think this week I'll finally have time to work on some postponed tasks in xmp, sarien and all the rest.

A long time ago I watched a really bad movie called Armaggedon. It was so bad I puked in disgust for several weeks, so it's easy to understand why I was so reluctant to watch Deep Impact. Oh boy, this movie is great! No, in fact it's just average, but it's the best movie ever made if compared to Armaggedon. Even with stupid characters like Leo Biederman or the fact that nobody noticed that huge comet after the astronomer got killed.

Also rechristened my test machine at home "mrhankey", because it's a piece of crap. Also replaced a lot of system daemons -- let's try with smail, proftpd and roxen.

The guys at Brasil Telecom are not bright. Call them stupid would be an offense to the stupid people. They offer ADSL and you can choose between a crap^H^H^H^Haffordable 3Com PCI modem or an expensive, overpriced Cisco router (677, I guess). The router price is so obscene they thought nobody would want one. The company that installs the modems charge absurd setup fees, and sells external 3Com HomeConnect ADSL bridges for almost the price of the Cisco router. Blah.

Someone buy linus an UP box, otherwise he'll keep releasing SMP-only kernels. Perhaps I should donate mrhankey.

Sent the Colour Quickcam mmap patch to lklm. Next week we'll have a BW Quickcam to play with. Sweet.

Watched Disney's Dinosaur. Wow. I'm impressed. It makes Jurassic Park look like stop motion. I thought the talking dinos would look silly but the result is very very good. I think I'll see it again next week.

Added a real configure script and some chrome to aacam, even received a patch. I think I'll announce it in freshmeat :)

South Park's Timmy rocks. I watched a few season 4 episodes, and the female voices seem perfect. They did a great job finding a substitute for Mary Kay Bergman.

SCENE1: interior, night. The green light of an old monochrome monitor fills the room, and the distant buzz of a dot-matrix printer is heard in the background. Waving his hands, CLAUDIO stands in front of the monitor, wearing a dark cloak. His eyes glow with excitment. His assistant tries to understand what's happening, but he obviously fails.
    CLAUDIO (emphatically): Listen to my words, Igor! aacam is back, bigger, better and meaner than ever! (No, in fact still sucks, but he believes it's really an achievement.) Due to the huge public receptivity of this marvelous piece of software -- almost _two_ downloads of the first version -- I tried it with a Colour Quickcam. It didn't work, of course, because aacam mmaps the video device and the Quickcam driver didn't support mmap. What a great opportunity to add mmap to the Quickcam driver! And did I do it? Did I?

    IGOR (curious): I don't know, my master...

    CLAUDIO (upset): Of course I did! I've been enlightnened by the glory of these small symbols the people downhill call "ASCII"! And with the virtual framebuffer X server, I would be able to run X on a character-based console! And with MAME it would be possible...

CLAUDIO continues to speak but IGOR notices some noises outside. He glances through the only window in the room and sees a row of small lightspots moving in the road to the castle.
    IGOR: Master! Master!

    CLAUDIO (very upset): Igor! How many times did I tell you to not interrupt me when I'm hacking?

    IGOR (scared): But, Master, _they_'re coming again! The villagers! With torches!

CLAUDIO is worried. He looks around, not knowing what to do. He decides to destroy his creation to save his life... but he takes a last screenshot before leaving his laboratory.

Got the flu, stayed at bed this weekend. I feel like a herd of elephants ran over me.

Watched bb, the aalib demo. It would be really great to have it playing through /dev/sequencer. Hmm. <evil grin>

Sent my vic patches to Marcus, finally.

Update: wrote aacam, a v4l client using aalib. I have too much free time in my hands! Be warned: it's huge, I recommend some kind of permanent link, cable or ADSL to download it.

Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see
That suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please
The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
So this is all I have to say.
So I lost again :) She went away, and I don't care. Somehow it was not frustrating at all -- and, it's funny to say, I feel great. It wasn't a Stan-Marsh-puking-at-Wendy-Testaburger kind of scene at all.

The Articulated Body Method works! Yay! The formulae generated by Mathematica was so incredibly confuse I was doubting it could even compile. It did, and better yet, It seems to perform better than the unoptimized Composite Rigid-Body Method for a six-link manipulator. It's supposed to really shine with 15+ links, so I'm building a 20 link pendulum to simulate with both algorithms. Wish me luck.

Did a massive warning wiping in the vic source code. A handful of horrible bugs have been exterminated in the process, and useless code eliminated. Strangely enough, my email to Marcus returned with a funky error message. I'll send him my patches this week. Also got the full set of vic's companion applications. (I hope their code isn't as messy as vic's.)

Installed cfs. It's great. It's cool. It's slow.

Decided that potato is already too old and boring, so I started to get woody. Getting woody over a dial-up link is a pain. I wish I had my ADSL link working, so I could get woody faster! Umm. So no drivers for the internal modem, and no external modem available! The local telco is sooo cool.

I'll work on xmp and sarien tomorrow after a few weeks gap. If Murphy's Law permits, that is.

duffy is spitting out too many hda: lost interrupt messages lately. Yuck.

Blah. I think she's agoraphobic. Or she really enjoys staying at home watching TV. BTW, received an SMS message from an advogato reader advising me not to invite her to watch Fantasia 2000! :D

Watched Pulp Phantom. It's great! Don't miss the disco scene with Maul and Amidala!

Met a bunch of friends I didn't see for a long time! Luciana was using a sort of Liza Minelli hairdo. We ate icecream, had some interesting discussions on the aesthetic value of stockings & garterbelts, reviewed some South Park episodes, listened to Japanese punk rock bands and a 20,000 voice choir and strolled around in a VW Golf. 7 people inside a VW Golf. Wow. So I didn't work on the 864 framebuffer device.

marcus sent me a very interesting patch for vic. I'll not be able to use it until tomorrow because I left my OV511 camera at Conectiva.

Almost bought an old Roland Sound Canvas, but ruda was faster than me and took it. Anyway, I must save money for my ADSL router and SMAC.

ADSL blues. The local telco is deploying 3Com PCI modems that won't work in Linux, and their tech staff know less than me about ADSL (they can't even tell me if they're using G.dmt or G.lite). I'm almost ordering a Cisco 677 ADSL router, I only didn't do that yet because the telco doesn't have it available. In a country with obscenely priced metered calls ADSL is a must have.

The OV511 camera now works semi-decently with vic, the video conferencing tool. YUV422P mode has been implemented, in a step towards the userpace data format conversion in V4L. YUV411P and RAW would be very easy to implement.

My 20 gig Quantum HD started to make funny noises a few days ago and scared me. It seems to be back to normality now. Ugh. I don't trust Quantum HDs since an old Empire model died with all my precious data inside.

Noticed that the linux framebuffer device is kinda cool, and my old S3 864-based Diamond Stealth card is not supported. Richard Ferraro's book has the info I need to implement a framebuffer driver for this card.

Got her cell phone number. Should I invite her to watch Fantasia 2000?

Finally I can trash Navigator 4.7 for good. Mozilla M16 is comparable in speed and stability to its predecessor, and runs smoother (interestingly enough, it seems to run much smoother in my Conectiva Linux system running in a crappy machine than in my potato box built with semi-decent parts).

I must allocate some time to hack up a framebuffer device driver for my old S3 864 based card, which doesn't seem to be VESA 2.0 compatible.

Called the folks at 3Com this morning, to see where I can buy a HomeConnect ADSL modem. Wow, I thought to myself, I guess I'm finally living in a civilized place! I have SMS, soon I'll be using ADSL! A few facts dragged me down to Earth:

  • Asked about my email address, I happily replied claudio at helllabs . org. I had to repeat it several times until I realized she didn't know what "at" is. It's the little "a" in a circle, in your "2" key, I said. Oh, she replied, probably registering in their system that I don't have an email address. *sigh*
  • They pointed me to three stores, none of them in my city. I called them. They didn't know what ADSL is.
  • A cheap ADSL modem from Taiwan costs almost the same as the expensive 3Com modem.
  • The local telco offers two ADSL modems: the PCI 3Com, unsupported by Linux, and a Cisco router with ethernet port and obscene price.
Unable to see a solution for this problem I'm back to USB camera hacking. Uhm. Contact me if you want to sell/loan/lend/donate me an ADSL modem.

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