Older blog entries for claudio (starting at number 71)

Tonight I'll reinstall my box at Hell Labs. I was supposed to do it last weekend, but well, I didn't, because I'm so lame.

Roxen is nice. Creating a thumbnailed photo gallery with fancy captions et al is quite simple:

<define tag="thumb">
        <a href="&_.img;_t.jpg">
        <gtext bevel="4" nfont="violation" scale="0.8"
                background="&_.img;_t.jpg"
                textbelow="white">&_.title;</gtext></a>
        &nbsp; &nbsp;
</define>

<thumb img="blah" title="Blargh"/> <thumb img="bleh" title="Irght"/>

crudman: regarding the GL problem, I'll investigate -- I'll have access to the TNT2 box again this afternoon. This may be a hint: Gimp produces black screenshots of GL windows, and xv takes screenshots correctly.

The morons at the local power company are fscking incompetents who should have their heads torn off and their children buried alive in an ant hill!

Shopping list:

  • Big UPS.
  • Backup unit.
  • Flashlight.
  • Candles and matches.
  • Swiss Army knife.
8 Sep 2000 (updated 8 Sep 2000 at 14:45 UTC) »
cpw: The big advantage I see with focus-follows-mouse is the ability to work on a window that's not in the top of the stack. This is especially good for debugging, or to do small maintenance tasks in a terminal while using another application that requires a large window. But I strongly dislike the auto-raise feature, it's annoying. I also like to switch desktops moving the mouse over the screen edge, with no resistance. Most people seem to hate it.

crudman: Any idea on how to make glReadPixels to work using an NVIDIA card? I can only get black pixels when I try to build an mpeg movie with my robot simulation frames.

mettw: I strongly agree. Also I've been noticing the increasing number of supporters (and it seems to be happening quickier among Raymondists, even among people that are supposed to have good education) of the notion that anything that requires learning is useless and anything that is slightly complicated is not well designed and should be scraped. Perl is the work of devil. Linear Algebra should be scraped. Calculus is badly designed. Rigid Body Mechanics is complicated, and should not be used. Bloat is acceptable, non-scientific behaviour is encouraged.

avi: the new player is now playing a lot better. Travolta's mods are still not very good, mostly because CIA timing is implemented at mixer level and Hipolito is working on it (I'm using a quick hack to produce sound while the real mixer isn't merged). But indeed it's a very cool tune! I wish I could watch State of Art and 9Fingers in a real Amiga :( The last time I played with a real Amiga was in a meeting many years ago, when we kicked Mad Elks' Technological Death and then chomakeyed it with Koyaanisqatsi scenes. Wow, the result was great.

bruder: hey! I thought the apt-get thing was a rumour!

7 Sep 2000 (updated 7 Sep 2000 at 14:00 UTC) »

Oh. The new xmp plays "Condom Corruption" from Spaceballs' State of Art demo like a crazy-sounding crippled bossa. I guess something is still wrong :\

The stock fvwm2 configuration file is awfully ugly. Debian's default is much nicer. Conectiva should adopt it! BTW, the main package list in woody is getting too large. I don't want to download a megabyte-sized Blob O'Wonders each time I want to upgrade! (yeah, still no DSL!)

From Eric's sermon (Cartman, not Raymond):

Today -- I received a phone call from beyond the grave-a! And it described what hell looks like! In hell-a -- the smell is awful. In hell-a -- everyone speaks Spanish! In hell-a -- there's water, but if you drink it, you'll be bleeding out of your ass for several hours! And the worst part of all: In hell you'll find dozens and dozens of little trinket stores! But all of them have the same trinkets inside-a!
Or something like that.

Software I like:

  • nvi
  • pdksh
  • perl (pike is nice too!)
  • gkrellm
  • fvwm
  • roxen httpd
  • cdtool
  • cfs
  • exim
  • debian MBR
  • xdm3d_xpm, or the standard xdm in XFree 4
  • tleds
  • x48
  • xjewel
5 Sep 2000 (updated 5 Sep 2000 at 15:30 UTC) »

My bank is stupid.

They send you a new card, but it is blocked so bad guys won't be able to use them. Clever. To unblock it, you go to an ATM and enter your password, presto!, card is unblocked. Now think again. You're a bad guy and you steal my card that's delivered completely unblocked. What would you do with it? How could you use it? You'd probably go to an ATM, type the password and you get all my money! Conclusion: blocking the card is completely useless.

They send you the card, and if you don't unblock within a few days, they start to hurry you to unblock it. Where do you unblock it? In the ATM. Where do you actually use it? In the ATM! So you can simply unblock it the first time you use it! Conclusion: bugging the client to unblock the card in completely useless!

My telco is very very stupid. Now 3Com is getting a bit less stupid and is allowing me to buy an external DSL modem for US$380. Still expensive, but better than no modem at all.

Update: I've been told that baretta was "soldering out his soul", whatever that means.

Umm. It seems that Mesa is very, very broken. My OpenGL robot simulator works fine with the TNT2 Debian box at school, but forgets to render some quads and quadrics in a software-rendering Debian box. In the Conectiva Linux box it gets all confused with the quad face normals but renders the quadrics.

Still in the TNT2 box (where the robot is correctly rendered) glReadPixels() doesn't work -- so I can't generate MPEGs. Half of the points of a starfield are not plotted. And it crashes sometimes. Yuck.

Tried to order a Timmy! t-shirt, but I won't pay $35 S&H for a $18 product! Blah.

RAPT works nicely! Now I want services stopped, started and configured automatically like in Debian.

Rivas are crap. I want an SGI box!

Blah. My name servers suffered a DOS attack and stayed down the weekend. If you tried to send me email you may have gotten an invalid domain error. This sucks.

More issues sorted out in the new xmp design: multiple file archives, individual component parameters, multi-depacker shortcut, and more.

Work on the PUMA 560 simulator is going well. Triangle-shaped trajectory tonight.

As a kind of manic-depressive, I'm in manic phase again, and it makes me very productive. I've been producing a lot at work, at school and at home. My new test box is almost up with several new niceties, the robot simulator is working, and the new xmp has better and better format support, through Pro-Wizard for UNIX and shd's UADE. Wow. UADE is really great! I wonder why the binary is so huge.

With one year delay, the South Park movie finally is in the local theatres. Satan was in the movie, and God let The Mole die! I watched it yesterday with chaos, Mrs. Chaos and Andreas. The Windows 98 scene was hilarious, and quite unexpected. Really really good. And we stayed in the room until the end of the credits (after everyone else left) so we could see Ike's grand finale with the mouse. Now I'd like to have a Timmy! t-shirt, but it's expensive! Hmm.

Woohoo. The serial chain dynamics simulator successfully followed a straight line in the space, at constant speed, using the kinematic and dynamic model of a PUMA 560 manipulator and a computed torque controller using Recursive Newton-Euler inverse dynamics computation. The forward dynamics can be computed using the Composite Rigid-Body Method (CRBM), or Walker-Orin method, and Roy Featherstone's Articulated Body Method. In the CRBM case we get the accelerations using a Cholesky decomposition followed by a second-order Runge-Kutta-Nyström integration. See the screenshots!

In both screenshots the path is marked by the yellow line (they're more visible in the full size images: 1 2). Ok, they're not perfectly straight, but that's caused by dynamic effects. At the end of the trajectory, for example, the robot can't stop immediately -- instead, it goes ahead for a few centimeters before stopping. Having the simulator working is so great. My advisor doesn't want to kill me anymore.

By the way: new pokey strip released. New characters. Lots of action. Don't miss it!

I want a lava lamp. And SMAC.

Following a holy war thread in a local linux mailing list, I realized that the religious issues about operating systems are quite complex:

Orthodox unixers follow the tradition, sync three times before rebooting, and use green or amber xterms running Korn or C shell. Ultra-orthodox believe that any software written in the last ten years is worthless, the mouse is an abomination and run Bourne shell in serial consoles. All good software comes in tar.Z packages. To Reformist unixers, any design more than a couple of years old is obsolete. They run bash2 in the latest fancy terminal emulator with the latest fancy window manager. All good software come in RPM packages.

The Libertarians won't allow any piece of non-free software in their disks, including Netscape, pine and mpg123. The radical faction won't allow anything that isn't GPLd. Earn money with software is a deadly sin. Mercantilists see free software as low-quality, bug-infested ugly crocks with no value at all, including Netscape, pine and mpg123.

The Obscurantists want the OS to be as cryptic and hard to use as possible. Anything that is easy to use is, of course, worthless. They don't trust anything they can actually understand. Documentation is evil, anyone who needs documentation is an idiot. And the Pragmatists want everything to be done at a click of the mouse, and end users who don't remember their own names should be able to get everything the system can offer. Documentation is evil, anything that actually needs documentation is non-intuitive and ill-designed.

The "real programmer" stereotype is an Ultra-Orthodox Obscurantist, while the clueless luser is a Reformist Pragmatist. Plotting these three scales in a 3D graph and normalizing them to a cubic space, any point near the faces are dangerous. Edges are even more dangerous, and is advisable to stay away from the vertexes.

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