Older blog entries for trow (starting at number 33)

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.


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.


As Evolution finally makes the 1.0 mark, I've been recovering from the final mad dash with a just-for-fun weekend hacking project that I dropped into Gnome CVS a few minutes ago: GnomeChart (CVS module 'gnome-chart') is a little app that grabs stock data from Yahoo! and displays it chart form using libguppi. Give it a try! (Warning: I'll probably make another Guppi release soon, but until then GnomeChart requires guppi3 CVS.)

I'm off to Boston tomorrow for a few weeks "in residence" at Ximian.

Idiocy Abounds

Well, I finally met a person who believes that the WTC attack was a conspiracy by the Mossad to create a pretense for war against Islamic countries. I knew these people existed, but I hadn't encountered any of them in the flesh until this weekend.

Interestingly enough, the conspiracy theorist in question was not a Muslim; he is a young Eastern European Catholic who has lived in this country for a few years. His "reasoning" was rather interesting: he asserted that crashing the planes into the towers was an act of aeronautical skill that only "a few top pilots in the world" could accomplish. "Who has those kinds of pilots? The Mossad!"

I saw no point in getting into an argument with him (who I'm somewhat acquainted with, and who is otherwise a perfectly nice and seemingly rational fellow), so I just smiled and nodded. He comes from a rural area in one of those countries that may not have liked being overrun by the Germans, but which enthusastically participated in the liquidation of their Jews... so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he soaked up a certain amount of Zionist-Bankers-Rule-The-Worldism that may still be sloshing around in the culture there.

But that doesn't make it any less depressing.

Guppi & Gnumeric Play Nice

We've got primitive graphing working in gnumeric now. Yes, we had primitive graphing working in gnumeric a long time ago, but now for the first time we can also:

  • Load and save graphs in .gnumeric files.
  • Import some graphs from XL (or so Jody tells me).
It isn't much, but it is a beginning. There will probably be a dual Guppi/Gnumeric release within days.

I just noticed that DSL backwards is LSD. Makes you think, doesn't it...

My DSL went away on Monday, due to bankruptcy of whoevers wires my data was travelling on. Today my new DSL came to life, and is three times faster than it was before. Five days of dial-up was enough for me.

This Diary Entry is 100% Taliban-Free

I've been having some problems with my main development machine, so I'm upgrading to a 2.4 kernel to see if that will solve some of my problems. Here is the proof that I'm getting old and crotchety: I used to enjoy fiddling with system, but now it just seems like a drain on my time.

Still, I'm eager to see the extent to which SMP performance is better. And for the first time I've got DRI working; now all I need are some OpenGL apps...

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