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19/01/2004 - With Fedora People being launched, the first thing I setup today morning was WordPress. Oh oh, I have a real blog now. So I learn PHP, and mysql all in one day. Fun!

Sitting in my open Firebird window since last week, read Novell's Unique Legal Rights - its a bunch of documents that Novell exchanged with SCO, and vice versa.

OK, the blog is running now. And I have a new G4 iBook sitting here, with the 14" screen and an Airport Extreme card. Its fully spec-ed out, so it rocks.


18/01/2004 - Tried out Real Player for LinuxPPC. Disappointing. It installs, it opens up my file, but 2s later, it crashes. It's an error for a call to memcpy(). Grr. Chris Toshok seems to have had a similar ordeal, but with the FBI instead.

Did some trivial patches to the uFAQ. Talked to cph to get it merged into user-faq, it will happen soon as I get some cvs access. I want to move towards more development and shy away from user help, I think.

Siong's last day in Melbourne, so headed out for natural fun with him; well it was just shopping and some cake with Jason and Wanz. Charms came over for some dinner too.


17/01/2004 - Havoc gave the keynote at 10am today, and he was surprisingly awake :) And so were all of us it seemed. Great stuff about the Linux desktop, and it stretched till the very end. Marc Merlin showed us how Google works with apt-get, both on Debian and Red Hat Linux - now that's cool since there's no distro biases.

Lunch was some BBQ - which was really just sausages and bread since we didn't have any other meat. Then it was time to dunk Linus - even slashdot picked up on it *grin* Thinking about Linus in speedos, and seeing him in speedos are totally different ;)

A few others got dunked before it got boring. Saw the gStreamer talk since it was voted as one of the best talks. It was interesting! I got to try a few of the funky things as was being spoken on my laptop so that was super cool. Closing came not long after, and I won a WiFi card from HP - this is for the FixIt for Linux based handhelds organised yesterday. Rock on!

Went to meet Sorraya straight away, and to her super-large housemansion. Came back, a couple of hours later, and Cef said there was no Internet access. Shock! Horror!

Ended up meeting more of the GNOME hackers, and more - Stewart, DanielS, Havoc, KeithP. Had dinner, had plenty of drinks, hopped to The Archer Hotel, and trotted home for the early morning flight. (And the Net was working damnit!)


16/01/2004 - Interesting things to note: Linus runs Fedora on his laptop, and maddog runs SuSe. Bdale's keynote, afterwhich it was nice to see maddog talk about an accredited college (university) curriculum using open source tools. Controlling your home lights and stuff with C-BUS might be fun, but its surely bloody costly - ~AUD$5000.

Perl 6 was something I wanted to go for but Jeff Waugh had a more interesting GNOME one, so I went for that, and Andrew Tridgell showed us his junkcode directory. Nice to know, since I've always had ~/code/ or even ~/tmp/code.

FIXIT time came, and though I wandered over to the dotGNU folk, the more interesting one came later about Linux Handhelds. Bdale and Keith Packard were there, trying to be a "bridge" for the handhelds.org guys.

Straight to the Penguin dinner, hosted by IBM. There was s t-shirt signed by all speakers, and it went for an amount of about $3500. For this bid, the winner gets to have GNOME 2.6's non-existent release name named after him, the kernel will also be named after him, debootstrap/ifupdown as well. Crazy.

Dunking Linus was what the other bid went for. If the bid hit $2500, Linus would be in Speedos. Rusty's bid stayed at $1501, and it was joint with the OzLabs people, so if it didn't go up higher, Rusty would've been in a g-string. Turns out that we had some collaboration: we all donated either $20 or $50 each, and we arrived at the nasty sum of $2525. For 3 balls, to dunk Linus. All money to charity.

Everyone (well, us!) visited another joint for ice-cream, and some beers, before we had pizza at 2am. Thanks to Bdale for the kind pizza offerings. Photos of the interesting night are at linux.conf.au 2004 & "GNOME after-party". My first use of gThumb. Damn, that web thing doesn't honour lower-case or uppercase (but at 3.30am, I really wasn't looking hard enough).


15/01/2004 - FNU #2 gets released at 3.09am. I now have a "link" to the current stuff, as well as a index page. Jef 'name of shit' Spaleta and Seth Vidal helped heaps; and no, you won't get the 'name of shit' bit anywhere else unless you were on IRC then :)

Hey, I knew I was on the answer gang, but I never before saw this. Well, I missed breakfast as a consequence of doing stuff till nearly 4am. Bleh. Saw Havoc's talk on the D-BUS Messaging system, and was pleased to know that D-BUS was working so well on my iPaq now. Right before his talk however, he put the fedora on my head; like he was knighting me; so my fedora is here!

Chris Yeoh, the IBM OzLabs guy talked about LSB compliancy; at least here I found out that RPM4.x isn't a standard that SuSe and the like follow. It will be interesting to make applications LSB compliant, it just costs way too much at the moment - this may be better soon. Lunch was again at the David Jones food court.

Thinking of going either to the GStreamer talk or the other one by Con Zymaris, I went instead to see Peter Chubb talk about writing user-level device drivers for Linux. Shortly after, I saw Martin Pool presenting about using distcc. This is most interesting stuff, and I'll be sure to make use of it soon (with ccache of course).

The Works-In-Progress session was interesting, but nothing good came out of it; during the keysigning I left and talked to BenH, and he promised to send me a program that will make my iBook work a lot better (well, drive the external display at least). The Linux Australia AGM happened, and went horribly past time; congratulations to Stewart for being re-elected as the vice-president.

It's 8.30pm now, and we rush to the Left Side Cafe, since there's supposed to be an OSBN-SA and OSV joint-meeting. It turns out that there were so many others that showed up, so this didn't make it all that fun. And I got my beef lasagne at 10.20pm. I was hungry as hell. The waitress however did get a $5 tip (she said its the higest she's been tipped before by a single person before!), because she had to tolerate like fifty people, and I guess I felt her pain after what Crystal told me sometime last year.


14/01/2004 - I set the alarm to be up at 4am (since I crashed at ~10pm?), but consequently only rolled out at 8am. I woke up, lazed in bed, slept again, and woke up "late". How weird.

Tutorial day today. Keith Packard's talk on cairo was what caught my fancy. Actually, Russell Coker's talk on SELinux would have been nice to attend, but that didn't work out well since it clashed. Keith made it really fun, I'd reckon he'd get super-high ratings for it.

Lunch was with Jonathon. I'm "working", I think. Talked to Linus about Broadcom and the Apple G4 iBook's wireless issue. He did say you could start fiddling with raw I/O stuff, or get playing with the ndiswrapper. Either way, benh is around and maybe he'd have a solution.

The GNOME Platform Libraries was the tutorial after lunch, by Malcolm Tredinnick, who's on the GNOME Foundation now. Keeping in mind I saw the accessibility-related talk a few days ago. Went for the PHP Tips 'n Tricks talk by Rasmus and found out that PHP5 seems like a cool language. Might not be secure, he still refuses to make it thread safe, but Yahoo! are using it (soon enough) and the features rock.

Dinner with more folk at some Italian restaurant...which didn't have wireless access! Believe that, Adelaide, the wired (well, wireless) city, and one corner with no access. I was shocked. I've uploaded some pictures: Linus and me and Havoc Pennington, Keith Packard and Linus Torvalds.


13/01/2004 - No, don't fall in love - it really does screw your life up. Erm, did a dist-upgrade with regards to hermione, got like 200MB+ of packages, and consequently I rebooted as well. Grr.

Today, the miniconf's were quite interesting. I saw Joice Kafer give a talk about the GNURIAS - thats the GNU girls in Brazil that do interesting things with open source for Brazillians. Stuff for universities, women's shelters, and they're interested in teaching young adults about OpenOffice.org. At this stage, I volunteered my open source notes, and I've been approached by several to get it finished ASAP and upload it to several other sites as well. Coolness!

Ran over to see Havoc Pennington give his talk at the gnome.conf.au miniconf. Followed on by Glynn Foster giving a talk about how we can build GNOME - either with jhbuild or garnome. Sweet, I'm thinking of moving towards jhbuild as it has a GUI and it gets stuff out of CVS as well. James Henstridge talked about Python and GNOME - time to sharpen my Python skills I guess. Lunch with Havoc, Keith Packard (from xwindow fame), and Linus! That was a nice surprise as Stewart and me wanted lunch, and Linus showed up too; coolness.

Dan Shearer then spoke at the Debian miniconf about "The Top 5 Technologies Missing from Debian". I like what the suggestion of having debugging symbols being available (in another separate package), and Dan's own suggestion of getting a workable Java. Ran over to the OSS in Government miniconf to see Con Zymaris speak about overcoming issues with regards to OSS usage to the government folk; didn't learn many things, but the most interesting bit was to get people to think about including migration costs in their procurement costs.

Back to the educationLinux miniconf to see Dan Shearer speak about OSS in education; disappointing actually. He wasn't sure what he was talking about half the time, and worse, he dared say that OpenOffice.org was not a useful product (in not so many words). On a day when I wore my OpenOffice.org t-shirt! Most fun was that he started OOo and was proven wrong (not by me, but by attendees themselves). Put a smile on my face.

Dinner with some of the LUV people, before coming home and hitting the sack. Something is making me rather tired here. Long days?


12/01/2004 - Woke up a little later than planned, had a tiny breakfast and headed out to LCA2004 with Stewart. We went our separate ways, I to the EducationaLinux mini-conf. After a couple of talks, it was time for lunch (I'll post talk summaries soon); zipped off to Hungry Jacks, and got back quickly to get some of the WiFi access Apple was providing.

Met Havoc and even Jonathon Coombes. Went for some of the government talks, for some health care stuff, as well as a presentation on the Gnome Accessibility Project. Good thing there was no demo there, since festival sucks. Evolution crashed, taking some metadata with it for the f-d-l right when I was trying to get the summaries for this week done. Grr. I knew something was weird the moment I changed themes and the disks started working overtime.

Had more education talk, then went with David Lloyd to some pub for drinks. $5 for the pizza pool, and the beer was free from the tap, on the tab. Impressive. Coke was free too. Trotted back at about 9.45pm, its time for a "long" day tomorrow as well. Much fun. Saw Linus earlier too - he carries his laptop in a travel bag. Weird.


11/01/2004 - My flight's at 8.15am; it's 6.45am; I've got to be at the airport 0.5 hours before the flight (7.45am). Not funny, since public transport sucks (the take a cab to Spencer St., and take a shuttle is not going to work). Call a cab direct, and end up paying $72. Expected.

After some sleep, I get up at five to two, and call Stewart, and subsequently meet him with Daniel. We walk to meet up with some of the Debian and GNOME hackers at a pub, have some lunch (lamb kebabs with rice), and sit there till about 5pm. Then we go to a hotel (The Arch??? something) for some dinner. Nice, but expensive food - I go for the clam risotto, and some chocolate mousse for dessert. Get home at about 11.15pm!

Talks range from managing people, to if Arch is better than CVS or Subversion. LCA2004 is already going to be a fun thing, I can tell. Oh, got a mention at DesktopLinux with regards to FNU.

I don't particularly blog about the recent GNOME related deaths (Chema, then Ettore), but Mark Finlay (sisob) was someone really interesting; he will be missed dearly. For those that don't know him, he was a good person for UI related stuff, had heaps of comments on how the desktop UI needed to be improved, and he contributed much to Rhythmbox.


10/01/2004 - Flight is at 9.50am. I get some sleep on-board, keeping in mind that I'm now wondering which is worse: screaming children or just noisy, annoying children, whom might also kick your chair? Damn it parents, control your off-spring.

Got the Skybus to Spencer St., and took a cab back. Unpacked, re-packed, and its now 3.20am...


09/01/2004 - Day 2 of OpenOffice.org training. We're on track, so all's well, and by day's end, we finish, with a successful demo of OOo's database features at about 5pm.

Faced with interesting OOo questions, noticed differences in the XP builds of OOo (from Linux), and faced with Chinese input issues. Read Chinese Language Processing & Chinese Computing; now to find Windows solutions too.

Dinner with the family, and bits of a sad parting. Packing. I leave tomorrow, so I'll be spending most of tomorrow in airports, planes, duty free shops and the like.


08/01/2004 - Didn't want to get up for the OpenOffice.org training today, and rolled out at 7.20am. Its a sign. FUD on Micorosft's website? Well, when you see your competition notice you like this, you know they're in trouble.

Rick Moen's then bsd-linux comparison might be handy for a talk I was going to give (ages ago). And just recently, Jon Johansen cleared for DVD deCSS stuff, now has broken iTunes with the VideoLan client.

Taught from about 9.05am (silly cab's are hard to get) right up to 5.30pm. Class was semi-receptive. Talked a little more to Mugunth, the Tamil native-lang team, before the OOo public talk. Had about 45 folk at 7pm, and the talk went on well; ended up doing an impromptu talk on Fedora Linux as well, and all this ended at about 9.10pm.

Talking for 12 hours does funny things to your throat. Met up with Julian, had some dinner, and went to Cafe Flam (for love and more) with Wanz, her cousin, Kenneth & Ee Ling. Home at 2.40am.


07/01/2004 - Well, since I didn't make the uFAQ for Fedora (like I did OOo), I've released Fedora News Updates #1. Mentioned it on IRC, and Seth Vidal and Jef Spaleta were wonderful accepting it. E-mailed lwn also.

Spent some time committing changes as well. Warren Togami sent a bit in, and Telsa Gwynne also had some good words. Guess the FNU thing is ok, just got to make sure all's updated and stuff. It's on the IRC channels as well on the topic. Whee!

Dinner at Pandan Indah and more at Cheras. Nice to see Aaron, Ruben, Seng Kiat, and Wing Hol for just about the last time for a while. It's featured at LWN: Fedora News Updates #1. Not bad I say, not bad at all. And Alan Cox too; the man I respect the most in the Linux community!


06/01/2004 - Another consecutive day of no hacking. Seng Kiat and Rema at KLCC during lunch (or was it tea?), Julian later for dinner at Chinoz. Went out, met up with Wanz and a couple of her friends later at Murni. Caught up with lots of e-mail and making more progress towards Fedora News Updates #1.
05/01/2004 - Up, hair cut, met up with Seng Kiat and Imran at KLCC. Chillis for drinks, SFC later for a bit. Julian in the evening for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King at 1Utama, after which we had dinner and had a little drive around. Huge mail spool over dialup is no fun :(

Of worthy mention is that a Knoppix review exists, it covers a lot from the installing knoppix to a hard disk guide, and is a user-rated review. Dialup died on me (no dialtone? grr) and that makes me rather angry.


04/01/2004 - I woke up to seeing: Out of Memory: Killed process 23349 (piecewise).; makes me wonder what the process was, and prompts me to upgrade to a newer kernel (as it was removed in 2.4.23). Seng Kiat's back! What a surprise, I've got to meet up with him tomorrow. I've started to use Mozilla Composer as it seems like a rather polished HTML editor; no, I'm not giving up on vim.

Dinner for Flora's birthday. And I'm without broadband now, which sucks big time, so its back to dialup. Downloaded most of Evolution 1.5 RPMs for Fedora, except for Evolution itself (shock!). I hope for better times ahead. Worthy to note that I've started adding bits of text into the todo list on the iPaq; I've got to backup ~/.gpe for posterity.

No joy, had to reboot the iBook (6d8h uptime, suspended from 2003!). The modem was in a DW state - thats uninterruptable sleep due to paging the I/O, and its now in sleep. How much time do we waste fixing computing issues? Marshall Brain used up 11h20m in one month!


03/01/2004 - And Planet Debian exists. At some stage, Planet Fedora better exist too :) As most will know, I'm involved with GNOME quite a bit (I think its getting there!), but XPde seems to be cool - its great for those XP defectors which makes me want to take a closer look at it (and maybe develop for it).

I joined a whole bunch of mailing lists today: gnome-list, familiar, familar-dev, gpe. That's more e-mail for me it seems (at least its not lkml). Some interesting tutorials by Philip Van Hoof with regards to FC1, GNOME 2.5 on FC1, and some CVS introduction stuff. A Fedora-based LiveCD has been released in all its beta-ness. Werner's Staroffice Pages are most interesting showing a useful support structure back in those days.

The Programmers Stone is courseware, but looks like interesting reading. Loading that to the iPaq, and to read stuff in Dillo I've got to use file:/home/byte/. Weirdness. Out for dinner and it ended late. I've started working on Fedora News Updates, so expect some content real soon. Also, for once, I'm glad to be running GAIM rather than MSN messenger - a worm spreads!


02/01/2004 - GPE is now running on the iPaq. I also got a whole slew of junk from Dave: a CF sleeve, a dual-PCMCIA sleeve with a built-in battery, a Pretec 56K modem (CF, with the PCMCIA adapter), a D-Link DCF-650W 802.11b Wifi card, and a Nokia RPM-1 GSM phone card - all for the iPaq! And picked up for a *very* reasonable price. Thanks Dave.

Sitting on irc, it's confirmed Robert Love rocks - his produce from learning Glade. Coolness. On other notes, some of Louis' comments on the Israel win for OOo come in nicely. Sat on a meeting for the amisnext folk.

I'm not a big fan of KDE, but what they've done to OOo and Evolution can either be described as plain evil or just plain beautiful. You thought Ximianized icons were "different"? KDE icons are erm...worse.


01/01/2004 - Its a new year. Wow. Some Perl magic to get my dates sorted: perl -pie 's/© 1996-2003/© 1996-2004/g' *.html solved most of my problems. Considering I crashed at 3.30am in the morning, I was up just in time to head out for lunch, and then was at PJ for a while before I landed back in Klang for some food and just plain R&R.

My photo archive has moved - its now at http://yoyo.its.monash.edu.au/~byte/photos/. Well, that's where the 2003 shots are now, and photos here will contain 2004 shots. Well, December 2003 onwards :P Notice that this site has also sort of been re-structured; I'm making use of directory structures and have customised my boring 404 message.

Worth mentioning that Imran's team has released a beta version of OpenOffice.org 1.1 in Malay. And they did this yesterday, a day before the New Year! OK, I'll be e-mailing them a "patch" with regards to the English usage...

Want to know how to crash screen? Simple. Run vim, and attempt to paste 32K of text that's in the cut buffer. 100% CPU usage, and the only way out is to kill screen it seems.


Back to November 2003 - December 2003

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Colin Charles <byte@aeon.com.my>, © 1996-2004