14 Aug 2012 ncm   » (Master)

Emacs24 vs. GDB fail

I upgraded to Emacs 24, and interaction with GDB 7.4 (in "gud" mode) failed. It seems to be fixed after I enter "set interactive-mode on" in gdb. (It took an unusually long time to find that.) There doesn't seem to be a command-line flag for it. I don't see an obvious way to get emacs to feed it that command line, without hacking. I suppose I could put it in a gdb startup script, conditional on "mi" mode, but I'd rather they just fix it.

Isn't Btrfs ("butterfish") supposed to be close to ready for serious use? I had to drop it because I was getting kernel oopses for very workaday disk writes.

I have been buying used Thinkpads on craigslist.net. Experiences have been mixed, but thinkpads are very fixable. A friend has a service collecting scrap metal and hates to melt down equipment that people need the way it is -- big electric motors, stainless-steel fixtures, collectible rarities, but he hasn't had any way for those people who need the stuff to tell him so. I got a laptop and set it up for him so he can put the stuff on craigslist and, eventually, ebay, and quadruple his income. I've been pleasantly surprised at how well a Wheezy install handles his bluetooth phone/camera, and wifi, and a Sony camera via USB. It's funny, though, how a six-year-old ATI radeon "gallium" X1300 is only just getting 3D acceleration support in the 3.4 kernel.

As part of a new wave of setting up laptops for newbies, I have been exposed to Gnome 3. Thank <deity> for Mate and Cinnamon. (Sorry, Xfce, I tried hard to like you.) The Gnome crew could have avoided all the unpleasantness by forking, themselves, and handing off Gnome 2 to a responsible party. On the other hand, if they had the good sense to do that, they might have had the good sense not to ruin Gnome in the first place, and then the fork might not have been needed at all.

I saw that "liberal vs. conservative software engineering" rant. It's BS. We use loose languages for small, short-lived, ill-specified, performance-insensitive, non-critical and/or one-maintainer projects -- i.e., nearly all projects. We use strict languages and processes for "the rest", the 1% that demand serious engineering, and as much attention as the rest combined. An engineer moves freely between those spheres, using a loose language where it suffices. What that guy calls "liberal programmers" are just people who gravitate to the former, and like to imagine that it constitutes all projects. Maintaining a project that should have been seriously engineered because it ranks among "the rest", but wasn't, is a special hell that I almost wish on that guy.

I got Minecraft working on my son's Debian setup. It was annoyingly but very familiarly niggly, like all Java programs: I had to use Oracle's own JRE, none other would do. I might get some "mods" working, one of these weeks.

The Seagate in my two-year-old laptop began making terrifying cries and grinding noises this weekend. Luckily, it settled down long enough to image.

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