Older blog entries for ztf (starting at number 29)

25 Jun 2003 (updated 28 Feb 2005 at 14:45 UTC) »

A year and a half with no Advogato entries? How pathetic. In the meantime, I've experimented with running my own blog, Eclectic Amateur, although that's gone mostly fallow. Amazing how Real Lifeā„¢ just keeps getting in the way. (Also amazing: the search strings that bring people to a blog with "amateur" in it's title.)

I had the pleasure of meeting MichaelCrawford in person while he was in the area for MacHack. It was a more than fair trade; I grilled steak for Mike and got to pick his brain about all things hacking and consulting-related. And he was most gracious about the entropy zone that is our house with four small children.

Job changes continue. I am now out of data-mangling for websites and am back into embedded systems. This time, they're automotive and aerospace instead of telecom.


I've done squat with GtkGlArea; happily I've abdicated that responsibility.

Spent some time learning (and trying to write about) gcov and gprof. Good tools, but severely lacking in the fit-and-polish department compared to what I'm used to from proprietary equivalents. My theory is that the folks who understand gcov/gprof enough to improve them have so thoroughly imprinted on their existing use/limitation that there's no "itch" to make them better.

On the positive side, I found a bug in the glib test execution via coverage analysis and even got a minor credit on the latest glib release!

I've also become a local (behind the firewall) GForge administrator. I like GForge, but I'm finding there's a bit of a learning curve on using it effectively and customizing it for local use. But I'm still happy with its potential for good use.


Do not hate hard work nor despise farming, for the Most High has established them.
-- Sirach 7:15


It figures. I'm starting to grow my hair pointy enough at work that I don't get to do much code anymore. But hey, there's always free software, right?

So I (foolishly) let jlof know that I'll take over maintainership of GtkGlArea for him, figuring that this will get me to dig into OpenGL and Gtk2 code getting it ported to the new Gtk+.

In reality, I end up doing administrative work while someone else goes ahead and does the port anyway. :^/

I guess I'm doomed for management. jfleck is right, once you start taking leadership roles it's hard to actually do the work yourself anymore.


Is busy.


It continues. It's busy. :)


It begins again. :) I have gotten the Linux box running again, so there's some hope. OpenCASCADE 4.0 is out, and I finally bought a book on OpenGL and tried my first demos. Wahoo!

Not that AutoDesk has anything to be worried about yet ...

But at least I'm trying to not let all programming skills atrophy.


Reducing my Win32 GTK+ work to the status of "useless, redundant, and irrellevant," someone has created a whiz-bang, no-brainer compile script whilst I was banging my head against a wall trying to figure out the steps. Some days, it just doesn't pay. At least I got the learning experience out of it (and a working MinGW).


School must start, soon! :)

More Hacking:

Wahoo! I figured that as soon as I wrote my gripes about GTK+ Win32 compilation down, I'd get it solved.

Here's what worked:

  • Install Mingw.
  • Install Cygwin (REQUIRED, even though we'll be using the Mingw compiler). There is a bash script that is required to create the .DLL.
  • Make sure that Cygwin is after Mingw in PATH.
  • Make sure the current build directory is in PATH (required so that the generated glib-1.3.dll can be found for later build steps).
  • make -f makefile.mingw
  • Copy the results to a more useful place when done.

Now, hopefully I can repeat these steps ...


Sheesh. I thought that compiling the latest and greatest GTK+ on Windows was a solved problem, accomplishable with little pain and suffering.

Apparantly, this is simple for Hans Breuer and tml, but they are using VC++. I was hoping to do this with MinGW, but either it's not quite baked or I'm still doing something brain-dead with my setup, even after reading all the README's I can find.

So here's what I've got so far:

  • Compiling glib-1.3.6 with MinGW didn't work.
  • Cross-compiling glib-1.3.6 under Cygwin didn't work.
  • Compiling glib-1.3.6 as a native Cygwin module didn't work
  • Getting latest from CVS and trying to build under Cygwin doesn't work, because autogen.sh wants a newer automake and because Cygwin doesn't ship with libtool.
  • At least the latest automake build cleanly for Cygwin.
  • However, libtool-1.4 fails all build checks, and some searching on the Cygwin lists yields the observation that libtool is Just Broken(tm) right now on Windows. But maybe in a couple of months it will be OK. :(
  • Some days, it just doesn't pay to not go to bed. :)

Oh well. Time to go back to the plain MinGW compile and try again ...


My Dances With Wolves name should be "Needs More Sleep."


Well, at least the House passed the good cloning bill, even though my congrescritter seems to have not been persuaded by my letter. :^/

Keeping And Arming Bears

bcully, I think the argument for The Right To Keep and Bear Arms(TRTKBA) is a bit more subtle than "we might need to overthrow the government again" (not that the founders shied away from that, having been successful revolutionaries themselves).

As I understand it, the reason that TRTKBA is enshrined in the Constitution is that it offends the dignity of a free people to be kept disarmed. In other words, it's a matter of liberty. Free men and women should be free to publish, worship, and be armed as they will. If people can't be trusted with force themselves, how in the world will they be able to elect those to government who can use force wisely?

As for nukes, a good explaination that I've seen is that the intent behind the "keep and bear" shows a practical limit. Citizens have a right to personal arms, something that an individual person in their private live might reasonably expect to wield and maintain. Handguns, rifles, and katanas obviously pass this test. M1A1 Abrams tanks, F-16 fighter jets, and tactical or stragetic nukes obviously fail this test. And of course we can find gray areas somewhere in between...

So cheer up. There's absolutely no way that the Constitution protects large evil corporations from becoming nuclear powers.</a>

More Thoughts

Why am I bothering arguing about TRTKBA when we have more urgent issues? I finally stopped procrastinating and wrote a dead trees letter to my congresscritter about the current crop of human cloning bills about to hit the floor of the House. Bottom line: I do not wish to live in a Brave New World. It is even more of an affront to human dignity and freedom to make persons into an industrial byproduct than to deny them TRTKBA. I'm urging Rep. Rivers to vote for the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (H.R. 2505, the Weldon bill) and to defeat the Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (H.R. 2608, the Greenwood bill). H.R. 2505 actually prohibits human cloning. H.R. 2608 allows the creation of cloned human embryos, but forbids allowing them to develop to term. In other words, "it's OK to clone people as long as you kill the clones before they get cute." It even goes to the trouble of forbidding states to pass alternative legislation, so that it would also mandate that all 50 states permit human embryo cloning. This is monstrous, and I hope that you all contact your congresscritters as well. This week. Even if you don't agree about banning human cloning entirely, at least urge them to defeat the Greenwood "clone-and-kill" bill.


Telsa, there's something you need to understand about the American experiment: the founders intended to trust common people with dangerous things. This includes presses, property, and yes, deadly weapons. While this is (ahem) not entirely problem-free, I don't really see that trusting the gov't. to have a monopoly on the use of deadly force is problem-free either.

While it's not as common as it used to be, I remember growing up in a rural area where it was assumed that every household had at least one gun. Surprise: we didn't run around shooting each other.

But I expect that's hard to understand if you haven't seen it close up (which you wouldn't have on your side of the Pond).

If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns.
-- Edward Abbey


Andrew James Frey is here! (And there was much rejoicing ...)


Perl is fun. :^)


Still nonexistant, although hopefuly this will pick up now that I get my cable ISP hookup today and now that Andrew is here.

The death of Eazel is very sad.


New baby almost here!

New job is going well. It looks like I'm going to have to become a Perl Guru sometime soon, though.

And I really need to get an ISP hookup to the new house.

I REALLY REALLY need to sell the old house. Make me an offer, it's nice.


Nonexistant. See above. :^(


Depressed by a recent newspaper series about travel packages to Cancun, other spots, targeted at high school kids. Packages include huge alcohol allowances and inducements to parties far wilder than I remember from college. Somehow, I just can't see encouraging binge drinking and irresponsible sexuality in 17 and 18 year olds as a good thing, and Nancy and I wonder where the situation will be at this progression in ten years when Josh gets close to that age. Very worrying as a parent; I hope we haven't quite reached the "bread, circuses, and orgies" stage of society by that time.

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