Recent blog entries for trow

Thank You Alan Lomax
"We now have cultural machines so powerful that one singer can reach everybody in the world, and make all the other singers feel inferior because they're not like him. Once that gets started, he gets backed by so much cash and so much power that he becomes a monstrous invader from outer space, crushing the life out of all the other human possibilities. My life has been devoted to opposing that tendency."
IANATA - I Am Not A Travel Agent

I booked my flight and hotel for GUADEC last night. And despite the talk about lodgings being hard to find, I was able to reserve a room at the first hotel I called.

If anyone is flying from the US and still hasn't bought their ticket yet, here is a suggestion: go directly to the Iberia website. I originally tried Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. and the flights were all significantly more expensive and much more circuitous. No thank you, I'd rather not fly Chicago to Detroit to Newark to Madrid.

I Trust These People With My Money?

I just tried to sign up for my bank's on-line bill payment system, but the system complained about not being able to verify my information, and referred me to a customer service 800 number.

So I call. And I find out that they don't have any record of my ATM card in their system (the ATM card number and PIN number was one of the things they used for authentication). And the customer service rep didn't seem to believe me when I told him that yes, this ATM card works just fine.

So in order for me to sign up, they need to send me a new ATM card -- even though I already have a perfectly good one. Who designs these systems? How can these big organizations be so clueless?

Next week I'm heading out to Boston for some time 'in residence' at Ximian.

And speaking of work, I just noticed that today is the first anniversary of my joining Ximian. Where does the time go?

Muahahahaha! Finally, trowbridge.org is mine!

Another Step Towards World Domination

I gently introduced my wife to Linux & GNOME by giving her one of my old desktop machines to play with, and within a few days she was bugging me to put Linux on her laptop for her. So as I type this, the RH7.2 installer is cranking away.

And we are now officially a Windows-free household.

Distros

I probably have not installed Red Hat since 4.x, and I'm amazed at how far things have come. The installer that comes with 7.2 is really nice. I can't help but remember the first install I ever did, which was Slackware (IIRC) back in 1993. Or maybe 1994? Anyway, it was a long time ago, and it involved a big pile of floppy disks that I had painstakingly downloaded.

I've been using Debian for the last several years, but I think RH has won me back. I was a fairly loyal Red Hat user back in the day, but then (ironically) Havoc Pennington convinced me of Debian's overall superiority. Isn't life peculiar?

I'm probably way behind the curve on this one, but I just noticed that Mapquest has post-9/11 aerial photos of Lower Manhattan.

Search on zip code 10048, which was the WTC's zip code.

Tim, Owen, JRB and Havoc are my Heroes

I built GNOME2 out of CVS for the first time the other day. I haven't played much with the gnome-core bits (in particular, the 2.0 panel kept crashing), but I've started looking at the part I really care about -- the development environment.

Mostly I've played with glib/gtk+, and the new versions are so much nicer than the old ones. I've always been fond of gtk+, but there always were some huge annoyances that made programming with it much more painful than was really necessary. I'm happy to report that the situation is now vastly improved... the APIs clean-ups are fabulous, and I'm loving the new tree and text widgets. Everything seems well-thought-out, which is about the highest compliment I can think of.

I love GObject. I didn't really realize how badly I needed interfaces -- now that I have them, I can think of a dozen places where they can really make a difference in my code.

I was worried that Pango was going to make things more complicated, but now I see how it makes everything so much easier, at least from the developers point-of-view. The fact that we haven't been able to do things as simple as mixing bold, italic and 'normal' text is totally idiotic. Now it is trivial, as it should be.

Now we just need to do something about the signal emission overhead...

We really have a great bunch of candidates for the GNOME Foundation board. Picking just eleven to vote for was not easy.

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