Older blog entries for criswell (starting at number 92)

Feeling better...
Okay... I'm feeling a bit better than my last post... thanks to those who contacted me and helped cheer me up ;-) So, I'm going to be doing a proper post.

First off, let me say that I've been busy this weekend (NOT doing the homework I should be doing... for those who may not know, now that I'm back working in the U of A Physics Dept., I'm taking more classes [reduced tuition].... the only problem is that I haven't studied Physics is a couple of years now... and I seem to have forgotten EVERYTHING I learned.... So doing homework is obscenely difficult). We have a fancy server that's been donated to us (from a large corporation, but I can't say which yet until we officially announce it). So I spent much of this weekend installing everything we need for it (CVS, Mailman, ViewCVS, Bugzilla, etc.) It will greatly help Tux4Kids, and help me delegate better.

Speaking of Tux4Kids... I may or may not be having a crisis with respect to it in the next week. The tux4kids.org site is hosted through 2unet and it's next bill is due on April 2nd 2002. What's the problem? We'll, I've been the one paying for this hosting service... but in light of my father's illness, I may not be able to afford this next 2unet bill (since I may be spending either a large sum on flying up to visit my ill father, or I may be spending a large sum fixing my car so I can drive up to visit him). In other words, Tux4Kids.org may very well be within a week or two of dissappearing for a while until I can get funds for it! I need to go back through our previous donations (including those from PayPal) with our treasurer and see if we can afford the hosting bill from them... but it has been like 6 months since our last sizable monentary donation, so I'm doubtful there will be enough there.

Basically, what we need is $162 for another 6 months, or something like $30 to float us through to the next month (yes, that's right, I'm so poor I can't even afford the $30 and still be able to visit my father... I'm pathetic, I know, but blame my incompetent lawyers and the trucking baffoons that ruined my life).

Anyway, anyone who would be willing to donate to Tux4Kids and keep the site up a while longer until either I can afford it, or we find some other solution, feel free to contact me at criswell@geekcomix.com . Any tiny help is always appreciated (note that it wont be tax-deductable... because we also couldn't afford to file Tux4Kids non-profit forms!) Note to the Tux4Kids developers, I'm not asking you guys because I feel you already help out so much.

But I digress.... Pretty soon (with our donated dev server) we will be able to start hosting educational projects (though, we may not be able to get them web access if that expires ;-) and get around SourceForge's draconian and useless mailing list policy... So I'm kind-of excited for that.
R Kelly Videotape (another Googlebomb)
I may become less than responsive for a bit. If you've read my diary lately (or, if you are reading this on one of the mirrors) you probably know my dad isn't doing well. He has congestive heart failure, and over the last week his pumping power has gone from 25% to 10%. They are placing him on Coreg on a trial basis for 6 weeks to see if things can get better. But, all this means is that I may or may not need to up and leave to go visit him, or visit my family, and that I may all of a sudden stop responding for a week or two. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up.
Another "Not-Quite-An-Update" Update
So I didn't actually come back to do an update... so sue me ;-)

We had a good discussion on #tux4kids channel at irc.openprojects.net today about internationalization and Tux Typing. You can read the summary here. Basically, I feel that Tux Typing will be in very good hands when I relinquish control in April.

Of course, I need to make a dev branch for it, and I'm not sure how I want to do it. Should I use CVS's branch feature or just make a second, developmental module? Anyone with any thoughts on the subject, please let me know (criswell_@_geekcomix_.com , remove underscores). Does CVS's branch feature make dev and stable branch work too hard? Or if I choose the module route, will it come back to bite us in the ass later on?

I worked more on my homepage (Sam Hart- take that Google ;-) yesterday. Specifically, I worked on my Linux Page. I also added this lovely image of my wife to my mugs page.

I've also been busy on Noink2, though you have to look through its CVS to see what's been done. Basically, I'm almost finished with the core, and will start making the apps (like noRel & noContact, which we need so much in Tux4Kids).
<small>My contributing GoogleBomb: R Kelly Videotape</small>
Vipul's Razor Rules
Not a proper update (I'll do that later tonight) but I just wanted to say how much I love Vipul's Razor! Today, I would have woken to 43 new SPAMs in my e-mail. But, thanks to Vipul's Razor, I only had to deal with 5 of them! (The rest it filtered! ;-) Plus, all I did was send the 5 to my SPAM trap (razor-report rules as well) and I will never see them again!

Also, if anyone reading this is in Tucson, AZ, then you really should try Maxim Lu's Mongolian BBQ on Broadway and Kolb (where the horrid Gordo's used to be). Maxim is great! For $5 per person you can get all you can eat cheese filled muscles, stir fried green beans, and a billion (okay, maybe 25) other delicious dishes. Go there quick before they can no longer afford such high quality food and turn into another "Buffet King" (for non-Tucsonians... The Buffet King is wretched... The last time my wife and I ate their, her Wonton had an 8 inch long black hair in it).
koala abdominoplasty
Kay... been busy today. Mostly work, but I did spend some more time cleaning up the Tux4Kids main site (primarily removing the "non-profit" stuff. I still would like it to go the non-profit route, but there's not a chance in heck of us raising the appropriate funds to be able to do that anytime soon. We'd need around $2500 for filing, legal, etc. fees. I just can't do that on my own, and the other core Tux4Kids guys have already donated plenty by way of their time and efforts. I removed the non-profit stuff so that I don't give anyone the wrong impression. We want to be non-profit, but we can't do it now. Honestly, it's much cheaper just to do it "for-profit", i.e. be a business... But that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth...)

At work I spent much of the day rebuilding the undergraduate Windows lab. See, I have this fancy-schmancy system involving bootable clone CDs that can reclone one of these machines in less than 15 minutes (which, considering that three years ago it would take nearly two hours per machine using ZIP disks, that's quite the improvement!) But the thing that blows me away is how much the users we have in that lab have changed since I first worked there.

I know I've made comments in the past about certain crappy users... but these were harmless... and we always had gamers abusing the room. Today, however, I found packet sniffers, BackOrrifice, and other cracking tools strewn across machines. We've had several attacks on other machines around the dept. launched from computers in this room, and it seems like the room has become a wretched hive of scum and villainy. What's wrong with people today? Here we have a fairly open, non-restrictive, computer lab for students of the Physics Dept., and certain elements force us to take harsh steps (like install Win2k with a full compliment of limitations this upcoming summer) which will undoubtedly make life miserable for those users of the lab that do nothing wrong.

Anyhoo... I guess I'll unofficially, officially announce in my diary that I am looking for a new maintainer for Tux Typing. I'm sick of it, and recognize I need to step down. I already have some people in mind, but if they turn it down, in a day or so I'll start looking outside the project. Have a patch or two from Cal I need to apply (from a good month or so ago.. I know, I suck), but that may very well be the last thing I do as maintainer (I'd still like to submit the occassional patch or two, tho).

Until next time... good night space fans... where-ever you are....
carbuncular pontoon
Okay, so my sites had some DNS troubles for the last several days (nearly a week). I'm not 100% sure where the snafu was, but I can say that (for whatever reason) NetSol did not give up my domain name when I requested it be transfered to another registrar. Thus, my domain name expired quietly. I'm not sure, but I suspect it may have something to do with this, and I'm very leary of continuing to use NetSol... But anyway....

Never solved my procmail+razor issues, so I'm just switching to simple procmail recipes (blah... didn't want to do that... I'm too lazy to upkeep that sort of thing). I will begin the nasty-long process of replying to my mail tomorrow.

Erm... I've also finally gotten some stuff up for Noink2 , you can see it here (check in the CVS "noink2" module for new code). As soon as I can get more done, I'll update the Noink2 site.

Also, if you are reading my diary on my site instead of one of the mirrors, then you may notice some subtle differences in the way the page renders. Basically, I'm trying to wipe out the doctyping on my pages, since MSIE & Mozilla don't seem to be rendering them the way I want them to (could be my fault... but I'd never admit it if it was).

Also, also, my subject line is a GoogleWhack.... or it was until my page gets indexed and adds a second result for it.... Yes, that's right, I'm trying to ruin the GoogleWhacks project ;-)
Okay, as many have pointed out, my sites (Geekcomix.com and Tux4Kids.org) are down. This is due to a freakin' snafu with my DNS registrar and how they never seemed to have completed the transfer from my old registrar, so now Geekcomix.com has expired (even tho I've already paid to renew it) and BOTH sites are down (since tux4kids.org really just points to the other).

Anyway, I'm working to repair it, but I ain't getting much help.

Perhaps I'll use this as an opportunity to change geekcomix.com to something else in an attempt to wipe-clean my spam palette (no joking ;-)
In light of my diary entry yesterday (both on my site and on my Advogato I've rec'd some very kind messages about my father and his situation. Thanks everyone.

I do want to say that my father could easily live another 10 years or so. My parents got a second opinion, and that doctor said he's seen people in my father's condition live much longer. However, the big problem is that my dad almost seems to have given up, which is the part that's the hardest for me because he's always been a fighter: someone who's never given up. It's always inspired me (in spite of the fact I've never had that sort of strength, and usually wind up wallowing in self-pity [just look through my diary archives if you doubt me ;-) And now that he's just consigned himself to his demise, it's really affected me.

I mean, I understand that for someone with his sort of spirit and vitality it is hard to suddenly be tethered to a machine everywhere he goes (when at home, he is hooked to a massive machine all the time, and when he goes out, he has to carry either a duffle-bag or a backpack with an oxygen tank in it- and can only be gone for 3-5 hours at a shot)... and I can understand why he may feel defeated... Still, it's hard.....

But I am feeling better today.... thanks to everyone who's written with their support.

Anyway, I'm still having procmail+razor problems. I think if I can't get it to work by tonight I'll just start using my geekcomix.com mail again and deal with spam like I always have. Which is rough, since I get sooo much spam. Noink2 has a module that will *hopefully* help prevent spam on my site (and on Tux4Kids, which I have massively neglected, and I'm sorry). As soon as I get my mail back up, I'll post the Noink2 code I have on Noink's site and place it in CVS so others can use it as well.

Oh, I also failed to mention that my wife is out of town this weekend. She's in Chicago visiting her brother who's the lead in a major production of "Guys and Dolls" (he's always been minor characters like "Harry the Horse" in other productions of this play, so it was great that he finally got the starring role ;-)
Brown Krusties
Okay, okay, so I'm still not responding to my main e-mail... Reason? I can't get my damned Vipul's Razor and Procmail to work with Postfix on my main desktop. Actually, my mail shows up, it just isnt filtered for spam (since I get some 100-200 messages a day, with 40-60% spam, I really need this to work!) So bear with me (anyone wanting to lend a hand, please e-mail me at my work address: hart(at)physics[dot]arizona(dot)edu ;-)

Oh, and yet another depressing thing happenned... My father is on oxygen (permanently). He's in his 80s, and has had three open-heart surgeries and something like four heart attacks, so some would argue it was a matter of time.... However, he's always been such a fighter. He's always been one of these people who looks and acts much younger than they really are. He's always been so... (corniness alert)... alive.... So it's hard to hear that he's like this.

Plus, I can't go to visit him. He's up in WYO, and I'm down in AZ. From what my mother says he's acting like he's just given up.

Anyway.... sorry to wax depressing.... It's just gotten me down.

As soon as I get procmail + razor going, I'll be back on my e-mail.... And as soon as I get off my a$$ I'll post my code I've done online ;-)
Standby... fsck'ing....
Okay, I have no real excuse for my inactivity. I've been busy at work, busy at school (yes, I finally am back and have worked out all the problems with residency, registration, and the bastard bureaucracy at the U of A)... my back problems turned out to be more serious than expected (apparently, my pelvis has been twisted like a Rubic's cube ;-)... my wife has been having a very hard time at work (class sizes are very small in TUSD, and my wife's principal is railroading her out of the school with baseless accusations because of district pressure, and because he lacks the backbone to be honest and tell her that he wont be able to re-hire after her contract comes due in July because of reduced funds)..... etc. and so forth.

These are all very good excuses... but so what? You always hear some sob-story from an Open-Source/Free-Software developer who's been inactive for a few months. It usually centers around many of the same topics I'm claiming here as excuses (work, school, family, health, blah, blah, blah).

But the simple fact of the matter is that when I've been coming home, rather than sitting at my computer (or even dragging my laptop to the living room!) I've been flopping in front of the idiot-box, whining about how life sucks, and then moaning how I don't have time to work on my projects anymore!

So screw it... no more vegging.

Let me get my dev-life back in order (need to set up my e-mail again, since I loathe Mozilla/Netscape Mail, but they seem to be the only clients which are working with my f*cked up server setup), and post what little code I've done online. Then expect another update in a few days.

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