: Let's drink a toast to Crazy Legs!

: I restrung the electric. It sounds a lot better now.

: I changed robotfindskitten to use ncurses 5. It also comes with a binary now. It's still in devel.

: I refurbish verbed the noun. It posesses some new quality now.

: The date format is kinda icky at the moment. Today's date looks like 20000101. That's five zeroes in a row. Eew. Cooties.

: Hey, I have a bit part in the new ZZT/Megazeux saga. And it's a singing part! And it's one more cavern in the canyon.

Here is the fortune I got just now:

The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and
not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could
have materialized -- and never knowing.
                -- David Viscott

I think I will die without learning this lesson. So many lessons I will die without having learned. Like "don't die".

: Susanna's friend's nephew has a wooden duck which "goes waddling across the floor making 'realistic duck noises'" and which, bizarrely, is named after me. "They were deciding what to name it and Clark shouted out the first name that popped into his head, and you are the only leonard he knows, or knows of at least.", says Susanna.

: Huzzah! My Be Dope story made Best of Be Dope!

: eCow is back online. We apologize for the convenience.

: Hrmph. Scott ripped off the intentional-Y2K-breakage code I wrote for Segfault, and put it on his own {platters,site}. The joke is gone from Segfault, but it will remain on netsplit until time immemorial, if I may mix my metaphors, probably.

: Oh yeah, the new Mentos commercials are pale shadows of the old Mentos commercials. I'm afraid Mentos may no longer be The Freshmaker. The question is, if so, what is The Freshmaker now? (There must be a Freshmaker, by the Law of Conservation of The Freshmaker)

: Scott claims that he didn't rip off my fake Y2K breakage code (which is good, as the code was terrible), he just ripped off the idea. I stand by my previous statement of "Hrmph."

: Wired News has the story:

VA Linux Systems Inc., a developer of systems and services tailored to the alternative Linux operating system, said Tuesday that it will create a hosting service for so-called open source software projects.

Why don't they take care of the real open source projects before going on to the so-called open source projects?

: Behold Marvin Minsky's page! With all the third-person biography you can stomach, and fun articles besides.

We all know the legend of the great mathematician who [was] warned that his proof would lead to a paradox if he took one more step. He replied "Ah, but I shall not take that step."

: First, there was Extreme Pizza Eating! Now, there's Extreme Programming! The geek population may never recover!

: I feel really, really bad that I couldn't think of anything funnier than "Extreme Pizza Eating" to put in the previous entry. That entry deserved better.

: I don't feel that bad. I feel a lot worse for other reasons. But I wish I could have thought up something funnier.

: Is it fair to publish something like this? I think it is. But why are they only picking on 4 or 5 guys?

: I don't understand the Amazon boycott thing. They take a loss on every purchase you make, right? So the way to hit them where it hurts is to buy a whole lot of stuff from them. The worst thing you could possibly do is boycott them.

: Excellent. I was going to start writing Mahjongg Carnage and never finish it, but someone else has written xmahjongg, so I don't have to.

At one point Dan and I had a big argument over whether or not the solitaire version of Mahjongg was a "bastardized American version" (his exact words) of Mahjongg. I held that it was actually a different game that just happened to be played with the same materials, like Shisen-Sho, and that if you wanted a bastardized American version of Mahjongg you would have to look into the rule changes introduced upon the game's importation in the 1920s. Dan insisted on calling solitaire Mahjongg a bastardized American version of real Mahjongg, despite the fact that by the same logic, Klondike is a bastardized American version of Blackjack.

: Wait, never mind, xmahjongg is just another version of the solitaire game, albeit one the authors of which are aware of the original game.

: All you trendy people who are getting pointed to Hyperdiscordia's Jusanotoron calendar by your trendy web sites, be sure to also read the rebuttal to it I wrote and Hyperdiscordia published, way back in 1996.

: I bought this little bag of legumes for 79 cents at Trader Joes, wanting to make soup with it. The rest of the stuff you need for the soup (vegetables, tomato sauce) cost about $5. I didn't even get the celery.

: Guess what? I ruined the soup.

: I have class in 2 hours. Bleah.

: I think this guy might be the coolest person with an AOL homepage, so cool that if you didn't know he had an AOL homepage and someone told you, you'd say "No way!". Even more astounding, he actually has two AOL homepages, each of which contains one of the things I'm going to mention, and nothing else. On one is his essay on the "bowling noir" art form, which is from his book on The Big Lebowski. Just that ratchets him ten notches above every other AOL page I've ever seen. But then he goes off into this great rant:

By the time you finish this slim but magnificent volume, you'll have everything you need to know in order to make your very own Coen brothers film!

You heard us right! Who needs those two skinny Minnesotan oddballs? After you've read this paginated treasure trove of Coenana, you'll be able to create your very own offbeat, inaccessible, yet exquisitely crafted cinema that will leave audiences everywhere stupefied with delight! ...Right, boys?

Magnificent. I may or may not have to have that book.

: Whoops, I don't have class til 10. My EE discussion is tomorrow. Conveniently, both my discussions conflict with my lab so I don't have to feel bad about not going.

: Inspired by Leonardonics, Scott James Remnant has posted Scottish. The page gives the impression that Scott's life is a continuous sitcom in which strangers on the street proposition Scott for sex, to which propositions Scott reacts with comic astonishment.

: My life is a hollow lie!

At the moment, anyway.

Dan's not helping.

: Apparantly the guy from whom my mother bought my Stop The Cascadia Megathrust Subduction Event T-shirt (see /pix/1999/misc/) was predicting the Cascadia Megathrust Subduction Event for the end of last year. He wrote a letter to the Sequim Gazette (forwarded to my mother by my great-aunt, forwarded to me by my mother) explaining why no Cascadia Megathrust Subduction event had occured. Surprisingly, the explanation was not that we had successfully Stopped it. The explanation is that high atmospheric pressure had temporarily deterred the Cascadia Megathrust Subduction Event, but that it was still coming, mark you.

If I were this guy I would cut my losses and move onto something else, like model ships, but I don't have the emotional investment in the subject that he does. If I were to devise and implement a plan to actually Stop the Cascadia Megathrust Subduction Event once and for all, he'd probably punch me in the face.

: I'm working on getting the Totally MAD CD (which my mother gave me, thanks Mom) to work under Linux. The first CD, which I assume to be a model for the others, has a huge 500M file containing large numbers of JPEGs. There is also a 25M file which appears to contain an index. Unfortunately I can't view the JPEGs because they're some weird nonstandard kind of JPEGs. I sent one to Mike and he's going to get the graphics format guru at Be to poke it with a stick. In the meantime, I'm going into the CSUA lounge and installing in on the games machine, and seeing what sort of temp files it leaves on the hard drive.

: I thought that Scott's quotes file only had Terry Pratchett quotes in it, but just now I found one from me in there. So, me and Terry Pretchett, pretty much. Living it up in Scott's quotes file. Quotes database I should say.

Scott also put up the pictures of himself, myself, Garrett, and sometimes Illiad, so I can link those again from my never-to-be-finished (seriously) LWE travelogue.

: Blargh. My best current guess is that the JPGs are in some undocumented format proponented (that's not a word) by a company called Pegasus, which company is helpfully mentioned on the box the CDs come in. Dan from Be says that the data might be encrypted somehow. That'd be all I'd need.

I think that there are two factions within Be locked in a low-grade sort of mortal combat; one consisting of people with dull American names like Mike and Dan; and the other consisting of people with European names like Jean-Louis and Benoît, and that this internal struggle is what gives the BeOS its distinctive flavor. One day one side will triumph over the other, everyone on the losing side will change their name, and the BeOS will be altered forever.

: That last entry was not intended to offend anyone at Be. The people at Be can take it, I know, so I guess this entry is to stave off anyone who thinks they need to be offended for the people at Be.

: LUGFest LUGFest. LUGFest eighty-niiiine. LUGFest LUGFest.

: OK, the mystery is solved. One byte of the JPEG was obfuscated; adding 16 to it fixed the whole file. Only problem is, the files on the CD are encoded using arithmetic coding, a Super-Huffman-Coding technique which is patented by IBM. According to the data compression FAQ, this technique offers 5%-10% greater compression than the normal Huffman coding technique. Well, I (or my mother) may have been bilked out of $70, but at least I learned a lot about the JPEG file format.

: OK, this is good news. I've plugged for Steve Ballmer in this space in the past, and I'm doing it again. Steve Ballmer is perfect to head up Microsoft. He's evil, he knows he's evil, and he's got a sense of humor about it. He's like the ultimate Bond villan. Gates was just some dork who tried to pretend he was a regular guy. You felt bad ridiculing him, just because it was so easy. Ballmer knows where he stands and he can take it as well as he dishes it out. Ballmer knows the score.

: I have a strange tendency toward beginning entries with "OK," or "Hey,". I think it's because when I write one of these entries I feel like I'm sitting down at a table where you are already seated and bringing you up to speed.

: Mike writes to say "btw, congrats on your 'Beanie' nomination". I can't find any references to this so-called nomination on Slashdot, and I even logged in on my account and everything. I await something less vague from Mike.

: OK, the nomination is for me personally, "Best Deserving of a $2000 Award". at this looooong URL which I had to type in because GPM isn't working on kuato. Vote for me, even though I won't win, and even though I couldn't tell you how to go about voting for me if my life depended on it.

: Hey, that link doesn't work anymore!

I gotta go to the LUG meeting now.

: I'm going to stubbornly ignore the fact that the images on the MAD CDs are encoded with arithmetic coding, and get to work on cracking the index. Eventually, the patent will expire or I will move to Korea, and when that happens I want a program that will work.

: Why does Scott always refer to me as "people", and say I'm complaining when I'm not?

Certain people have complained that I always refer to them as "people" and that I say they complain when they're not complaining. These same people have swiped the style of the smarmy response to these pseudo-complaints so I can't do it. Bastards!

: I'm reading this article about water on Europa. And it occurs to me that it would really suck if there was water on Europa but no life. Because let's not fool ourselves, the only reason we care about water on Europa is because that might mean life. Until we start strip-mining moons like in Fiasco, anyway.

: I have to go print my resume (which hopefully I can get to fit on one page) for the job fair today. And at 6, Dr. Rittel from Sun will be speaking on "What I Wished [sic?] I Had Learned In Engineering School". I guess that's not [sic], since he knows it now, and therefore no longer wishes he had learned it in engineering school.

My left shoelace for some reason became all ragged, so I had to cut it up and restring my left shoe. Lousy shoelace!

: One of the things Dan keeps going on about is how bad the movie High School High is. He goes on about this to the extent that he will not believe that Jon Lovitz is actually pretty funny, just because Jon Lovitz was in that movie. (I ask you, is it fair to judge someone's entire comedic career based on one failure? No! Because if that were the case, nobody would be funny.) So last night, to silence these murmurings, I sat him down and we watched Manos: The Hands Of Fate. After the movie: "I submit to you that that movie was worse than High School High." Dan: "It was bad in a different way." AAAAARGH!!!

: Guess who added this to kuato's motd:

Motd is archaic and unnecessarily restrictive. Text is so 70s!

My resume fits on one page, and I'm fairly sure the address is right. Now, to make copies!

: There's an actual game of Make Dan Complain going on in kuato's motd now. I told Dan to work on bringing MDC to you, the Web public. My idea is that he keeps a list of past complaints and people can query them or request a new complaint.

I love this keyboard. It has great tactile and audible feedback. It says it's an MCL Micronorth. They don't make them anymore. I can say this with confidence because this keyboard does not have those damn Windows keys.

: Woohoo! I'm graduating in June! I just have to submit a petition for my philosophy class, and declare my degree candidacy on URSA Telephone, which I'm doing right now.

There, it's done. The candidacy part, I mean. I still have to submit that petition.

: Woops! My graduation evaluation report prints the year as 1900!

: The question is... what are the other nine algorithms of the century? Seems like a list of the top ten algorithms of the century would be very similar to a list of the top ten algorithms ever.

Which reminds me, there is a talk being given by the Graduate Outreach group of the math department on "The Partial Differential Equation of the Century", "in the style of TIME Magazine". I'm not going to go because I hate differential equations, but I thought the flyer for the event was funny.

: Leonardonics: Demon Dog, That was a good x. I'm not too happy about the copy for those entries, although the Aerosmith part is great (but it's a great bit, and I've been kicking it around my head for a while).

: I'm low-key looking at the web sites that have numbers as .com domain names. It's sort of a function mapping the natural numbers onto the set of web pages. As you might have expected, this function is neither one-to-one nor onto.

Domain names consisting of numbers are good to deal with because 1) they're easy to enumerate (the smallest untaken number I can find is 2151.com), and 2) they tend to be owned by people who think or hope that owning a domain name is the key to riches. Look at the sales pitch of the person who owns 500.com.

: See! The frustration of this guy who wrote a Linux development environment for the Playstation and has to put "This is not a game and this is not a Sony product and it's not Linux for the PlayStation." in the Freshmeat entry!

: I have nothing to say, and I am saying it.

: I added a section about dealing with questionable complaints in Make Dan Complain. I'm thinking about maybe making the penalty for questionable complaints greater than it is now, to add some balance to the game.

: I got mail from Andy. The reason Andy is so hard to get a hold of is that he's in England (or will be soon). Wowsers! He's doing a research-type deal. "It all came sort of like a mandate," says Andy. Andy's the only person I know who could say "It all came sort of like a mandate."

I want to make a trailer for a movie called "How's It Goin', Andy?" I don't want to make the movie, just the trailer. I don't know what the trailer would involve, but it would definitely have lots of people saying "How's it goin', Andy?". I love that phrase. I want to have the following conversation with Andy:

Leonard: How's it goin', Andy?
Andy: It all came sort of like a mandate.

: YESterday I was talking with Josh about Space Ghost. And about Brak. Yes, Brak! It all started because I have a Space Ghost quote in my sig. Brak! Josh revealed that he has huge amounts of Brak quotes and skits in MP3 format. Here is the FTP site: Brak Attack! It has some other comedy stuff too, but who needs comedy when you've got Brak? Brak!

: The LUG is having a Nethack tournament on xorn (kuato's replacement, donated by VA). Nobody is particularily good, but I'm way ahead of everybody else. Dan's going to beat me when his character finally dies, though. He's been working on one character since yesterday afternoon.

: All my clothes are clean. And the sky is grey. My part of the room has been invaded by ants so I bought things that you set out which contain food such that the ants take the food home to their queen and it kills her. Presumably all the other ants die when the queen dies, or there'd be no point in engaging in this bit of political intruigue.

Last night Josh invited me over to watch Space Ghost. It was tasty.

: I forgot to mention that Josh is in awe of my mighty Space Ghost impression. My best line is "Ya like the Zorak, do ya?"

: The theology of Nethack is somewhat confused. I'd elaborate, but it's almost time for "My Word!".

: Shoot, I gotta pay the rent.

: My favorite Daily Bruin headline yet: "Greed for knowledge grips campus". That one's a keeper.

: I got a 96th percentile on the CollegeHire UNIX administration test and 76th percentile on the HTML test (damn frames questions tripped me up). Hire me!

I still have to take the Java test.

: Mike snuck in another link to Crummy in this BeDope article.

: Aaaaaah! Godzilla 2000 is attacking the city!

I love that site because THEY PICK VITAL STATISTICS FOR GODZILLA AND STICK WITH THEM!!! Something that the Americans never figured out how to do.

Great blurbs from the producer and directors on that site as well, such as: "I want people to leave the theater totally mystified and overwhelmed by Godzilla's invincibility." But the very best thing is that it looks like this Godzilla story brings back the Gamera thing where Godzilla destroys everything but it's somehow okay and he's our friend. I can't get enough of that.

When can I see this movie, you ask? Not until summer, unless you live in Japan. (I got that from IMDB, it's not on the Godzilla site that I could see)

I gotta see what else is on this site.

: Actually, there's nothing else on the English site other than a list of the Godzilla movies.

: As long as I was at the IMDB, I checked something that had been in the back of my mind. In Unforgiven, the 1992 Clint Eastwood western, one of the characters is a fat sheriff's deputy with a horribly ugly beard, who gets shot in an outhouse near the end of the movie. In Laserblast, of MST3K fame, one of the characters is a fat sheriff's deputy with a horribly ugly beard, who... gets shot in an outhouse near the end of the movie. Now, Laserblast is a 1978 film, so it's obviously not the same actor. But I just wanted to make sure, because if it were, talk about typecasting!

Other things I learned from IMDB today: Laserblast had a 1985 sequel, Laserblast II, about which nothing is known other than who wrote it (some guy). It was remade in 1989 as Deadly Weapon. Apparantly, by the late 80s all the bad movie scripts had already been made into bad movies and it was neccessary to remake bad movies of the 70s. Also, Pod People was originally a Spanish (as in Spain) film.

: One more IMDB thing: Get to a movie's IMDB entry and change the number in the URL around to get movies at semi-random (it's ordered by year and then alphabetically).

: I just took a look at the Godzilla 2000 trailer. The movie looks really nice. What's even better is the fact that the people who made the trailer worked so hard to make it an intense and exciting movie trailer so that people in the theater would clap when Godzilla came on the screen, etc.; and then some jerk narrator comes on after the trailer and tries to sell you cheap plastic Godzilla toys, complete with a cheezy sound effect that mocks the trademark Godzilla roar (in the commercial soundtrack, I mean; I don't think the toys could actually make any sound more complicated than a squeak), and you can just hear the people who did the trailer start to cry. I don't know if that is standard procedure in Japan or what, but I thought it was funny because I didn't expect it at all, and isn't that what funny is? I'm outa here.

: And look what else I found (also not yet avaliable in the US): Gamera 2: Advent of Legion and Gamera 3: Gamera Vs. Irys (That link has a funny Gamera caricature as well). Review of Gamera 2 at Stomp Tokyo gives it 4 lava lamps. "Ten thousand cases of beer wasted? How horrible!"

: Daniel Hsu sent me a link to GDancer, a plug-in for XMMS. XMMS is evidently an MP3 player of some kind. What GDancer does is it makes Space Ghost dance to music. I've never heard of XMMS, but strangely enough I had it on sal despite having recently gone through and trashing every package I'd never used. I had to upgrade the package anyway, and install xmms-devel to compile the plugin.

And what do I get for all this trouble? I'll tell you what. Like The Young Ones, Space Ghost does not dance to music. He just stands there like Napolean and occasionally lunges at the table as though he is about to vomit.

Experimentation shows that it totally depends on the song. The program has four pixmaps of Space Ghost and shows one of them depending on what range of frequencies is most prevalent at a given sample point. The only MP3s I have that made Space Ghost do much of anything were some of Kris'. Even then, it wasn't really dancing.

I don't know how you'd go about actually making a thing that made Space Ghost dance (Space Ghost Ghost Dance), but I'm afraid this technique (and it would have to be something like this technique) doesn't work. I can't recommend GDancer.

: I want to make a trailer for an action film called "Otherwise Engaged". It may or may not star Wil Smith and Sean Connery, but either way the trailer narrator will say, "Wil Smith is... Otherwise Engaged! Sean Connery is... Otherwise Engaged!"

: Some people, such as my mother, are confused by my CollegeHire entry down there. CollegeHire is a recruiting front-end for about 30 tech companies. You give them a resume and take some tests on their Web site, they interview you; that works as a first-round interview for all 30 companies. The ones that are interested in you subject you to a second interview, then make an offer or don't. The end.

: I got this joke as a fortune and I'm not sure whether I don't get the joke or whether I get it but it's not a good joke. Here is the joke rum:

Q:     What does a WASP Mom make for dinner?
A:      A crisp salad, a hearty soup, a lovely entree, followed by
        a delicious dessert.

Send me your interpretations of the joke. It's a joke interpretation circus! Festival. Contest. Colloquium.

: Jake sez: extra extra. duchamp rocks like a sly fox. Mom, Steven Jay Gould co-wrote these articles.

: I was adressing that last sentence to my mother. My mother did not write those articles with Steven Jay Gould.

: In the lounge today, we were generalizing Mr. T. From "I pity the foo!" we get "There exists an x such that I pity the x!" That's basically the joke. There were a couple other jokes but they all reduce to that one.

Speaking of jokes, I've recieved three interpretations of the WASP joke. Mike's is probably the right interpretation, although it means that putting the joke into written form can only confuse. We're still manning the phones to take your joke interpretations.

: Gdancer got updated. It's a lot smoother now. I can now recommend it. Get it. It still depends on the song, though.

I think the reason there are so many MP3 players is that there is a contest among programmers to come up with the worst conceivable graphical user interface, and MP3 players are the field of battle.

: Dan says that the same thing that goes for MP3 players goes for window manager themes. So it looks like the graphic designers are in on this contest as well.

: I made a graphic for Mike on Mike's suggestion that Be CEO Jean-Louis Gassé wear a T-shirt bearing the "forward-looking statements" disclaimer Gassé must place after every utterance (lest he run afoul of the SEC). Mike turned the suggestion into a story and used my graphic, despite the fact that the lines of text on the graphic don't line up, because I'm a lazy bum. The T-shirt comes from copyleft's picture of a Segfault T-shirt.

: I am grooving on Kris' latest single, No Alternative. It's a great song, even though it inevitably recalls the compilation disk of the same name (circa 1993) which had a decent Pavement song (I think it was Pavement) and the hard-rockin' Verse Chorus Verse and everything else on it sucked.

: The joke interpretation colloquium is over now. We will surely miss you. If you want to see us again, just turn on your TV to... Channel 2!

Mike Popovic presented a breathtakingly transgressive and hermeneutic interpretation of the joke. For those of you who weren't here yesterday, the joke is:

Q:     What does a WASP Mom make for dinner?
A:      A crisp salad, a hearty soup, a lovely entree, followed by
        a delicious dessert.

Mike's analysis:

obviously a big joke in entomolgy circles, the jokester counts on his victim not thinking outside his field when he hears the word "wasp". thus, hilarity ensues as the other meaning dawns upon the listeners upon hearing the punchline.

I think this is the correct interpretation. The fatal error of the joke manufacturer was to write down the joke, thus showing his or her hand too early.

Many were confused by the acronymic expansion of WASP. WASP is an acronym for a simpler time, expanding to White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. There used to be a time at which the ethnicity "white" was considered to have sub-ethnicities, "Anglo-Saxon" being one of them. This view of things stopped being feasible around 1975, so the term "WASP" is something of a verbal coelacanth.

: I just realized that I've been misspelling "Jean-Louis Gassée".

I have to go take a midterm now. It should be easy.

: Ancient Chinese secret! Fred extracted that file for me. You drink it yourself! I've had enough!

I rearranged misc just for the occasion.

: The fourth anniversiary issue of the Apache Week newsletter consists of an article talking about the fact that it is the fourth anniversiary issue. It reminds me of the tenth issue of the BWAH! newsletter, in which the publication of the tenth issue of BWAH! was commemorated.

: Can you get any kind of comprehension out of reading a large piece of text at the rate of one a sentence a day? Francisco Roque, author of FoSaT, thinks you can. I like that idea (on the paragraph level) but I honestly don't think it would work.

: My mother, who would know, responds on the reading comprehension issue:

The answer is an emphatic NO. Research has indicated that the #1 factor in comprehension is reading speed.

: I've spent the last 2.5 hours in the lab, redoing the Adam/John/Leonard digital design project. Most of the stuff I could just copy, but I wanted to have a clean version because the old version was horribly messy and disorganized. I'm not sure if it was worth it. I don't know if it works yet. It should work, since I didn't make any actual design changes, but there's always one or two things that you screw up. Right now I'm waiting for Adam to call me. I don't know whether he's going to come in and help me or if he just wanted to know when I was working on it.

: Adam is going to come over and help me. He's also bringing me food. Fryyyyyy, you're my frieeeend.

: Stories on LinuxToday: 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks, 1 talkback, 6 talkbacks, 55 talkbacks, 0 talkbacks... gee, I wonder what that article was about?

: Leonardonics: x (not x). Mainly there for completeness. There's nothing incredibly funny about the entry.

: Waiting for a CD from Jake; Peter is keen on learning Python so he ordered Learning Python for himself and Programming Python for me. Looks like a week of packages.

: "It's becoming increasingly evident that Linux caught most analysts completely by surprise," reveals APCNews. You know, there's not a single thing that happens but catches most analysts completely by surprise. I'm not even sure how analysts make a living, with their miserable track record.

Sun Rises; Analysts Stunned

: I actually turned Sun Rises; Analysts Stunned into a decent Segfault story. It'll have to wait for a day with a visible sunrise, though.

: Barbecue potato chips. Whose sick idea was that?

: Here's my challenge. Will you take the Mr. Sparkle Challenge?

Put up a site on mp3.com. Record 250 songs and put them up on your site. The songs are subject to the following conditions:

  1. Each song must have as a name the name of one of MP3.com's genres. All song names must be distinct (one, and only one, song name for each genre).
  2. The genre of the song must not be related to the name of the song. Your song "Contemporary Urban" must not be of genre Urban/R&B or any Urban/R&B subgenre (including, obviously, Contemporary Urban). This is just to keep things interesting (and to make you use at least two genres).
  3. The songs need not be incredibly good, but they should be at least servicable.
  4. Each song must be at least thirty seconds long. A minute long would be better.
  5. All songs must be written originally for the challenge. Fleshing them out later into other songs is fine.

First person to get to 250 songs (or however many if they add more genres to MP3.com) wins. Anybody who actually accomplishes this... well, I don't have words for it. So a scoring thing would probably be better, something like:

Ideas? Rule changes? Anyone actually want to try this? Is this challenge not as stupid as it sounds, or is it in fact stupider? Or is it exactly as stupid as it sounds? I'm not sure. It may be just another sign of my impending insanity, but I think this actually sounds like an interesting project (obviously, it would take a long, long, long time, but an interesting project it would be nonetheless).

: I got a hit today from a webcrawler called Crawl of the Dead. It made me laugh. Good job, h139-142-200-234.cg.fiberone.net.

: Vital STATS tastes good, like a (click, click) statistics newsletter should. Who asked you?

: Nice try, Daniel.

: Is it just me, or is it disconcertening to hear Leonard Kleinrock consistently referred to as "Mr. Kleinrock" throughout an article as long as this one? Maybe that's the way they do things over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

: Island of Bali is not actually magical.

: According to some bogus study or other, Linux has 4% of desktop market share compared to Mac OS' 5%. I can't wait for Linux to pull ahead, not because I hate the Mac OS (although I do), but so I can say "Ah yes, the non-desktop OS that's on more desktops than the Mac."

: I asked Peter in our weekly write session how the world would be different today had the Library of Alexandria not been burned. Because of our write conventions and his lowercasosity, his answer looked a lot like a free-verse poem:

not too different;
the world was not ready for all that truth
by which i mean, all that enlightenment
the barbarians left little when they were finished
sacking rome;
europe was a dark place;
byzantium wasn't too much better, especially once the
muslims took over;
we got just about the right doses of antiquity into europe as it is;
but about the database you suggested;;

: I forgot to mention that they tore down the Sherman Oaks Galleria, beloved of Moon Unit Zappa's character in Valley Girl and absolutely no one else.[0] This ended my tradition of singing the "Sher-man-Oaks-Gal-le-ri-a" line from Bull + Swamp = Cow whenever I was in a car that drove past it. I am now reduced to singing that line whenever I'm in a car that drives past where it used to be, confusing the heck out of the other people in the car, who see no Sherman Oaks Galleria in sight.

I remember the first reference I ever saw to TCP/IP. I was 14 or 15. It sounded really mysterious and scary.

[0] I've been in some bad malls in my time, but none as bad as the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

: I made a bad pun to Dan on Wednesday. I mentioned the pun to Jake on Thursday. On Friday, Jake wrote a poem expounding on the bad pun. Monday's child is fair of face. Here's the poem (doggerel, Jake calls it. It is doggerel. It's a doggerel beer.):

in a very special sort
of suit the waiter served a torte
that poisoned was and so with poise
he passed it on to his employs
but later found and malice proved
the coppers followed suit and sued
and from the bistro to the court
they served a special kind of tort
and when it looked like he was beat
the waiter did retort the heat
the waiter did reheat the torte
and ate it then and there, in court.

he never broke a single plate
cussed or drank or came in late
in court he threw his only fit:
"you cannot fire me- i quit."

This site is turning into a poetry corner or something.

: Jake's latest album, Ordem e Progresso, is out. I still haven't gotten the CD, but you and me both can get the MP3s at Jake's MP3.com page. Also downloadable from there: Many MP3s from Jake's previous effort Robot Moped Dehumidifier. Ordem e Progresso contains something resembling a cover of my own Liquid Crystal. Also includes Pterodactyl Attack and Susanna's Webpage. If this trend continues, Jake's next album will have 5 tracks on it that are covers of my songs or otherwise related to me, and eight albums down the line I won't even have to do my own albums because Jake will do them for me.

Kris' album is also out, although a couple of the tracks are mysteriously missing from his MP3.com page. Oh, "four tracks unavaliable anywhere else" if you buy the CD. I see how it is. I see. Also not on the album (not on mp3.com either for copyright reasons (I don't see any copyright reasons, but Kris does)) is Kris' fab cover of Asia Carrera, which I plugged in this space a while ago and which I can now link to.

leonardr's picks: For Kris, Solid State, Shot Down Again, Border, No Alternative. For Jake, There's A Mirror On My Grave ("Your shoestring budget will be the death of you!" YES!!!), Hot Stuff, Susanna's Webpage, My Pal Foot Foot, and I Sing Because I Live With Satan. For the man who has everything, I recommend more of everything.

: Funny Nethack bug: If you hit a shopkeeper with a cockatrice corpse and then reanimate him with Stone To Flesh, he loses his name. So when you talk to him it says " complains that business is bad." He also no longer recognizes his shop, so you can't buy anything from him (but you can just walk out with everything in his shop).

: Oh, and another funny message: if you kill a monster inside a shop and it leaves a corpse, the shopkeeper gains ownership of the corpse. So when you pick up the corpse, he says, "You be careful with my corpse!"

: Why is sound called "multimedia"? It's one, count 'em, one medium.

: I heartily endorse The GNU Virtual Fridge. Beware of imitations! Only the GNU Virtual Fridge will let you access /fridge/freezer/icetray/cube1!

: Maybe we should have a going-away party for the oceans.

: Ever notice how you never see Clark Kent and Superwoman in the same place at the same time?

: I did not know that there was actually a cereal called Fruit Brute. I thought it was a pun on "Froot Loops".

: Corrections to my music recommendations: Quantum Mechanic by Kris is very good, although I wish he'd redone the first part with a more apropos physics book quote after he had the idea. Jake's Vivo Sonhando is better than Hot Stuff. I didn't like Jake's Vivo Sonhando voice, but now I realize that's the only way to do that song.

: I have my rights! I have my rights! It was David O'Callaghan, he did this to me! He forced me to add another entry to The Best Of Dada Pokey!

: Be in my video, darlin', every night. Everyone in cable-land will say you're outa sight. You can show your legs while you're getting in the car. And I will look repulsive while I mangle my guitar. Reen toon teen toon teen toon tee-noo-nee-noo-nee.

: I'm aware that Daily Pokey is not being dailified. The command I have in my cron file, when run manually, works correctly. So for some reason my cronjob is not executing. I'm working on it.

: I gotta say, I must be just about the funniest guy in the world. Just look at all these people who have ripped off my "open sores" joke:

I know I'm overly protective about this. It just makes me think that I'm doing things the hard way thinking up my own jokes.

: Joe Mahoney reminds me that the low-tech version of Slashdot in the pre-Y2K After Y2K! comics was called The Open Sores Newsletter.

Note: I'm not mad at these people. It's just weird and disturbing to make up a joke and then over the next two years see the joke percolate up to appearing in newspaper comic strips like Foxtrot.

I'm fairly sure no one made up the joke before me. I first used it a year before I saw anyone else use it.

: I should link to Joe's page. Here it is. Joe is from New Zealand. This uniquely qualifies him to write about life in New Zealand.

: YES!!! fscktris!! Of course, this only got thought of just before everyone moves to a journaling filesystem.

: You know how when a piece of research confirms or purports to explain some piece of common knowledge, it gets reported as "Hey look, the eggheads finally discovered that aspirin relieves pain!" or "Professor Newton's learned theory demonstrates to the unwashed masses that, should one drop a coin or a ball, it will unfailingly strike the ground without undue delay." Boy, that steams my toast. That's not really the point of this entry. The point of this entry is that if research really worked the way it gets reported, we'd see papers like my new Segfault story, What If Linus Torvalds Gets Hit By A Bus? -- An Empirical Study.

: Mike says that the "open sores" joke has probably been developed independantly of me. That's probably true. I just like to complain. For instance:

I used Graphtool to do the graph for the Segfault story. Graphtool is what people who don't like free software wish all free software was like. It crashes for no reason, it's hard to use, and it's oriented towards the same type of math graphs that gnuplot is oriented towards, which means no {hamburgers, pie charts or real bar graphs}. And it depends on gtk+extras, a GTK library that I'd never heard of which I had to find and compile (but which is pretty cool).

Hoom, there is a new version of Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice. I mean edition. I wish I had money.

: I just realized that I forgot to put units on that graph. Oh well.

: This is an approximation of the phone call I just got:

Lady: I'm from GTE [local phone monopoly] and I'd like to talk to you about caller ID caller ID has many fabulous features and costs just x amount and comes with feature 1 and feature 2 so let's get you set up with caller ID right away, okay?

leonardr: Quite frankly, I couldn't have less use for that.

Lady: I'd like to tell you about our fabulous call waiting service call waiting has many wonderful features such as feature 1 and feature 2 and if you sign up now you get feature 3 so let's sign you up for call waiting right now, okay?

leonardr: Look, I know you're just doing your job, but I have no use for any of that.

Lady: I'm calling to tell you about our wonderful system where--

leonardr: Are you a person or a recording?

Lady: No sir.

leonardr: Because I don't need anything. I'm fine.

Lady: Are there any services I can help you with?

leonardr: No, I'm fine.

It took about twenty seconds after that point to convince her that I didn't need any of GTE's services except the ones I'm already paying for. I don't even need the ones I'm paying for, but Dan needs a phone.

I've gotten telemarketing phone calls before, but never one where the person just went into another sales pitch after one was rejected. She really did sound like a recording. I wasn't asking to be rude.

: Segfault link and nice little mention (with the inevitable Onion comparison) on Salon last week.

: Today's Zippy is very good. That link will only work til Monday because the Zippy strips get reset every Monday. I really wish the Gate had an archive.

: Breakfast of Pathogens! I love this T-shirt.

: Me to Mike: how science reporting should be done.

I think that news reporting of research results should be done as though every trivial result shattered prevailing theories and had been the subject of bizarre cover-ups from the government and the scientific establishment.


: You know that old song, "A woman is a woman but a man ain't nothing but a man"? I don't know who wrote it, but I believe Jimi Hendrix covered it at one point. Well, today, Adam and I discovered that you could sing that Fig Newtons slogan to the tune of the song: "A cookie is a cookie but a Newton is figs and cake."

: There is an article in Newsweek about increased rates of interracial marriage among Asian men, and generally how Asian men are "movin' on up", as it were. Mike was showing it to everyone on his laptop, which is how I read it. There was this big section on stereotypes about Asian men, which Mike basically summed up as "Asian men are like Mike.". Mike said I should write a Segfault story on the subject. Me: "Yeah, I'm gonna look real good writing a story with a bunch of Asian stereotypes in it."

I was also shocked to find out that Jackie Chan is not considered to be a sex symbol. C'mon. He should be. Ladies, write him in on your ballot.

: Geez, too many people named Mike. The Mike in the Asian stereotypes entry is Mike Chan of the LUG. The Mike in the science reporting entry is Mike Popovic of Be Dope. Am I going to have to go back off a first-name basis with Mike Popovic?

: I had a really good Nethack wizard, but a rock troll kept clobbering me. I'd kill the troll, start to eat it, and the troll would come back to life and clobber me some more. So I'd kill it again etc. It got pretty ridiculous. I've got another wizard I'm working on now that's pretty good, though.

: The brash exuberance of yesterday's "Breakfast of Pathogens!" T-shirt gives way to the congenial lame-duck satire of today's "University of Canada" T-shirt.

: I found that Newsweek article, if you care. Even if you don't care, I found it.

: Celeste wrote me an explanation as to why Jackie Chan is not a sex symbol. Apparantly the sociologist in the Newsweek article was right about him. Who'da thunk it?

: I squashed various bugs in the Daily Pokey lister which was limiting you to viewing Pokeys for the first year (1999). Not that it matters, since there are no Daily Pokeys for 2000 to speak of due to the cronjob weirdness.

: My URSA enrollment appointment (My last one! I hope.) starts on the 28th. Don't let me forget!

: Daily Pokey works again now. I also retroactively added all the Daily Pokeys from December 1999 to the present.

: I finally beat Dan's nethack score. His score: 264237. My score: 726876. Cause of death: impatience, as always. I had four wishes I hadn't used when I died.

: Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is awesome; a galaxy viewed edge-on.

: People in Britain (possibly the Commonwealth at large): pick the thing you understand least about Americans. This is your analogue for me. It eludes all attempts at my describing it. I know it's done tongue in cheek, but that doesn't make it any less weird. I can't even pick a good quote from it.

: Oh, that same group is the group that published the excellent Passport to the Pub. (I didn't recognize the site because I read PttP in Lynx)

: Daniel Hsu has an editthispage site. I like editthispage because it encourages people to do the kind of site I like to read (ie. sites like this one).

: You know, the scandal of American slavery really pales before the scandal of Thomas Jefferson fathering children by one of his slaves.

: Before I forget: I got an 85th percentile (90% absolute) on CollegeHire's Java test.

: I have an account on SourceForge (for the SLIIME project), so I guess I'm an Official Open Source DeveloperTM now. SLIME is the Segfault-Like Interface Made Easy. The name has been around for about a year, the code for about a week (but it's about the 5th incarnation of the code, so it works out). Scott has put me on the database abstraction layer. I'll do it after finals.

: Rather than broadcast crap with dubbed-in canned laughter, why don't they broadcast whatever it is they used to create the canned laughter in the first place?

: Sourceforge looks really nice. I have to learn how to use CVS now.

: Josh on his Australian heritage: "I come from good convict stock."

: Hi. I'm trooper Leonard Richardson. You know, I've seen it all--stared into the gapin' maw of death--and I'm here to tell you of the horror that lurks everywhere. No, don't get up.

: As the guy from Zelda 2 once said,

... ...

: Take that, you lousy mysterious Etruscans!

: Look what I found!

: Dan made an astute observation: Dan Gillmor is what Jon Katz should be.

: I really like advogato, but I always spell it "advagato". A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

: Is there a book or Web site dealing with inconsistencies in Ulysses? There should be, just to annoy the sort of people whom that would annoy.

: ElfStone Attic Treasures. What a great concept. A CD of old, obscure Linux stuff. The Linux counterpart of the Da Warren CD Dave and I are working on, I suppose. And it's got this great marketing on that page, which I will translate for you:

: Yesterday I was in Hollywood and I passed a store called Gay Mart USA ("America's Favorite Gay Superstore"). What does one buy in a gay superstore? Gay power tools? Big tubs of gay laundry detergent? No, just the usual boring gay clothes. If there was another gay superstore on the market, Gay Mart USA would no longer be America's favorite, I'll tell ya that for free.

: For some reason I'm really in the mood today to make fun of marketingspeak. It must be spring! Yes! Spring is here again!

: My mother says it is my glorious duty to write the book on inconsistencies in Ulysses. I think I'll save that for some English major who has nothing better to do than nitpick Ulysses anyway.

: A starts-amusing-and-degenerates article the original title of which (as seen on Newshub) was "Reptile diverts royal". I had to look at the article because I had forgotten about the use of "royal" as a noun so I thought "diverts" was being used as a noun and it was like "This reptile's diverts are just plain excessive!". Whatever diverts are.

: Here's an idea: the Drinking Game Drinking Game. [Andy Rooney]D'jever notice how drinking games are all kinda the same?[/Andy Rooney] What if you could abstract the various mean-spirited tropes found in drinking games into a set of rules that was itself a drinking game? eg. "Take one drink every time you drink because someone exhibited some mannerism of speech or annoying quirk." If a drinking game was going too slowly, this would be a perfect way to up the ante, as it were.

: I'm using square brackets instead of angle brackets because the notebook program doesn't deal with editing lts and gts correctly, and I'm too lazy to fix it.

: The Mozilla people cleverly do not actually say the words "Open Sores", for they fear my string-searching wrath. But all in vain, for the mighty Scott is upon them like a whirlwind.

: I need to get my links page up so I don't have to link to people's pages whenever I mention their names.

: What do these five articles have to do with each other? I have no idea. The first three set something up and the next two knock it down. And there's no email adress for that guy, so I can't contact him to ask why he brought them together under the rubric of "economics".

: Industrial automation has gone too far! They've fired Mike Popovic and replaced him with a big glass of water!

Hey Mike, can I link to your webcam?

: jwz's Webcollage is being used by people who are not jwz, and two separate people using it hit the same one of my sketchbook cartoons within the span of a few hours, making causing two Altavista image queries from Webcollage to appear in my access log and causing me to think there was some connection between the two hits when there wasn't. A coincidence worthy of Lem.

: It may not be jwz's webcollage, since I can't find the source for that on jwz's page. It may be one of the zillions of other programs called "webcollage".

: Coming soon (this afternoon) to Da Da Warren Memorial Memorial: Ace reporter Dave Griffith has the chilling story of...the Theobrominator!

: I live in mortal fear that I'm going to be walking past some short girl and she's going to put my eye out with her umbrella.

: The webcam of Mike.

: I had two emails waiting for me when I woke up. One is from Scott. The other is from Fred. Both are 2,108 bytes long.

You: That was an amazing story.

Me: I know.

: For years, science has mocked at the venerable notion that the moon is made of green cheese, preferring their ridiculous "rock theory". Now, those hoity-toity eggheads must eat their words, as the latest evidence shows that the poles of Mars resemble different kinds of cheese! Vindication for green cheese selenology! It's time to take our classrooms back from rock theory and its Communist proponents!

: Dave says he has to think about my putting his Theobrominator story up on the Memorial. Take your time, Dave. Jeepers.

: Yesterday I was setting Mark up with a copy of NOWB, and I decided that the fact that he needed the author of the program to set it up for him was not a good sign. So I need documentation. And the reason I have been holding off on writing documentation is that the notebook program is a mess. It's written in two different languages and it has a lot of legacy stuff from when I tried to generalize it in the wrong direction. So I'm thinking of taking an afternoon and rewriting it all in Python, and then doing proper documentation, and then Mark can set it up himself.

Mark made mention (alliteration!) of some feature (I don't remember what) that many weblog scripts have. I dismissed it by saying "Well, when I wrote this there were no weblogs," but now that I'm rewriting NOWB and there are weblogs now, I might as well listen to feature requests. One thing I'm definitely going to do is put in anchors for each entry, eg "20000302-3" for this one, so that you can point to, chop up, etc. particular entries. One thing I'm definitely not going to do is bring a database into the fray. {Cuba, XML}, maybe. {Castro, Database}, no.

: They showed this uncensored on FOX and it had the sun in it.

: The moon entry I published yesterday reminds me of a Winnie The Pooh apologetic in which the strange tilt of the planet Neptune was forseen by Pooh and Co.'s expedition in search of the East Pole.

Such an apologetic does not exist. Nonetheless, "reminds" is an appropriate word in this situation.

: The Humnet backbone is having problems since yesterday afternoon, so mail sent to me yesterday I probably didn't get. Please send it again since I don't know when the Humnet problem will be fixed.

: Susanna is writing in her notebook again; unfortunately, the news is not good.

: What is the common tie between the latest Segfault story and Liza Dei, my latest recording? The world will know eventually. It's a lame connection, but there is one, and I thought it was interesting that I'd get that kind of article submitted when I was working on a song from Revenge Of Porcelain Puppy.

Problems with Liza Dei: Couple weird vocal artifacts near the end, song gets cut off instead of fading out (3dSound doesn't {do fades, know Susie} the way I {want it to do fades, know Susie}), vocals a little too soft near the beginning. Other than that, it's a nice little tune.

: The new version of the notebook program (now called Newsbruiser) is coming along okay. I have the design in place and now I just have to roll up my sleeves and finish the implementation.

: The humnet backbone is back up. I have your email. Do not panic.

: Dan went out to watch Mission To Mars. I can't afford such luxuries, so I must stay inside. I wonder whether Mission To Mars is the pseudo-realistic Mars movie or the 1950s-style Mars movie.

: Dan just came back. Me: "Man, you got ripped off." No, the theater was sold out.

: I got new sunglasses yesterday. Let's see how long before I lose them.

: More Newsbruiser work. The only big chunk that still remains undone is the chunk that actually changes the files around. Now I have to take a shower and go work in the lab with Adam.

: Me glasses are broken. This has got to be some kind of record.

I did not mistreat my glasses in any way. They just broke.

Adam says Mission to Mars was more ridiculous than Armageddon.

: Is there an XML DTD for notebook entries? I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I don't know where to go to find DTDs.

: I recorded a great theme and fantasia on "Popeye The Sailor Man", but BeOS won't boot, so I can't put it together. Grr.

: Opus, the sad truth is that Lo Wang from Shadow Warrior is Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly on his days off.

: I have Newsbruiser writing entries to files. Once I do the editing frontend, editing will magically work as well.

I did not spend all day doing this. Just so you know.

: I like the phrase 'The thinking {man's, person's} x". It lets you say 'This is like x except it's good', kind of clearing the room of the foul presence of x by taking the moral high ground and acknowledging its similarilty to whatever you've got.

: Words to live by: (from this fab article):

As early as 2011, NASA hopes to launch what may be the most ambitious telescope ever conceived: the Terrestrial Planet Finder. Scientists hope it can be used to answer the question of whether life exists on planets beyond our solar system. "When you're asking the greatest question ever, you need a great telescope," says Charles Beichman, project scientist for the telescope.

This is my new "It's a beer." Whenever anyone attempts to prevent me from getting x, I will say "When you're asking the greatest question ever, you need x." It worked for this guy. Only he is asking the greatest question ever. But still. I'm too cool for silica clouds, baby.

: Even the Slashdot people love Brak!

: leonardr sez: check Susanna's homepage every day for Susannalicious goodness. Jake endorses it as well: "it's bad she altered her perfect little page, but other than that..."

: Great Planetfall quote: "I see nothing special about the mobile man-eating plant."

: I am King Online The First! Demand for me is overwhelming! Thank you, my subjects!

: You may or may not be interested in hearing about VA's latest acquisitions.

: See what I mean? Ballmer: he's evil, but he's a good sport.

: I'm sick of people complaining about free software taking away programmers' jobs. One, it hasn't happened, and two, the free market does not exist to serve the every whim of programmers. It exists to serve consumers. That's the whole reason we have a free market. If there was some magic way of making food for nothing and farmers and agribusiness started protesting that this would drive them out of business, wouldn't you be pretty pissed off? It's not the best analogy, I know, but it's servicable.

I have three Netscape sessions open and in each of them I have a large TEXTAREA into which I am supposed to enter a message which will be displayed on a Web page. All the TEXTAREAs are the same size, too.

: Another call from GTE. I now know to ask to be put on the no call list. Thus should end the era of the annoying calls from GTE.

: My job offer letter was sent Fed Ex, so of course it wasn't delivered properly. They're sending it again regular mail, I think.

: Regardless of what you may have been led to believe, I'm not Chris Duarte.

: Those ancient snake species unfortunate enough to redevelop rudimentary hind limbs were often mocked by their peers.

: Who's marking up Mars? And why aren't they using Mars Markup Language?

: I have Mike to thank for the earthquake map. "What happens when I click on an earthquake?" DON'T!!!

: I bought a jar of marionberry preserves at Trader Joes. It's made with real crack. Just kidding. About the crack. It really is called marionberry.

: I accidentally rm -rfed my head of hair. That's okay. It'll grow back. And it only cost me $6, unlike the more conventional crew cuts which cost $12.

: Marionberry jelly is very good on peanut butter sandwiches. No seeds, mildly tart, excellent all around.

: Gaaah! I look like the guy from The Onion!

: Newsbruiser plods closer to completion. I really have to resolve that notebook DTD thing now.

: Actually, I can just kludge together a file format. Which I did. Why is the generation of XML documents treated as a second-class activity? Python's XML parser comes with the system, but there's only a half-assed XML generator which comes separately. Am I wrong in thinking that I should be able to give a DTD and a data structure to an object and have it spit out an XML document? Doesn't that seem reasonable? Is there some module that I'm overlooking that does it?

: Today I wrote UCLA the last tuition check I will ever write them. Of course, I don't have enough money in my bank account to cover it, but let's keep that our little secret.

: Mail from Andy on the harsh conditions he finds in the UK. As always, Andy knows exactly which bits of information will interest me the most.

: Dan and I were discussing how dull the game Missile Command is. One of the few games that actually makes doing homework seem fun in comparison. The question is, what are the worst games ever made? Arcade classics, CGA clunkers, right up to the state of the art. The worst. Let me hear what you think.

: Gotta finish my philosophy paper and final tonight. Tomorrow morning I'm flying to Austin for a job interview. Gonna hang out with Joe Barr, check out the used bookstores. Jake, you need to get back to me pronto on the hep places to go in Austin as I don't know if I'll have email when I'm there.

You know how you'll be writing a paper and you'll get the feeling like "I have no case with this argument, the prof is going to see right through me."? That's how I feel with this paper. I've had that feeling before, though, and so far it's yet to mean less than a B on the paper.

: The final is done, and I just have to fix the intension of the truth predicate. I mean fix the bibliography of my paper.

: Oh boy, time to act like a frikkin' loon.

: I'm done. Before I go to sleep, let me point you to this funny article (part 1 of 2) on corporate food mascots. Fitting, as the 1996 Andy/Leonard skit "Interview with the Doughboy" has been a topic of discussion between me and various people as of late.

I almost forgot to credit Mike for bringing that link to me in a basket.

Must sleep now. After pie.

: No one's biting on the "worst games ever" thing. Odd. I would have thought that would have sparked a Katzian outpouring of email.

: I'm at pcOrder now demonstrating my notebook program.

: I gotta say, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome has the most inappropriate soundtrack I've ever heard.

: Mike, who apparantly goes to Salon every day and reads the articles, sends me part 2 of the advertising mascot shenanigans. I quote the thing Mike quoted:

General Mills has already taken steps to ensure that the enigmatic confectioner isn't perceived as a "ridiculous bumbler," Delahanty adds. "One thing we've done is we've reestablished that the marshmallows are a creation of Lucky. Although they have magical qualities, they never take on a personality of their own. They are inanimate objects. That's an area where in the past, there's been a little zigging and zagging. But we've refocused after our most recent equity study. Now, we've reestablished that Lucky is totally in control."

This is how we beat the Soviets, kids. Be proud.

: Photographic memories of Jake are now avaliable.

: TreeDoc could finally put an end to the annoying practice of clicking through subchapters of HOWTOs and the like.

: I feel that I must speak out about the movie The Truth About Cats and Dogs. It has the most ridiculous premise of any movie I've ever seen, viz., that Uma Thurman is prettier than Janeane Garofalo. What kind of twisted parallel universe spawned this film? One in which giant insects wear sinister moustaches and bark orders to coal-mining humans, no doubt.

: I forgot to mention that the inhabitants of Austin are obsessed with Andre the Giant Has a Posse.

: A in EE103! A+ in CS152B! Whee!

I just got a nice letter from Bill Softky of Treedoc fame. In formulating a meaningful response I'm... able to get through to the server to review the project. There goes that complaint.

: I'm finally going through and reading all the old BOFHs. So good. There should be a BOFH movie. I'm thinking something shot in long real-time scenes, with the dull walking-down-hallways scenes livened up by impromptu user interaction. During the course of two hours, the threads of twenty or thirty simultaneous BOFH/PFY plots (in both senses of the word) would intertwine, and they'd all come together to form a huge crisis which would be solved by a particularily masterful application of bastardness.

: I still had nothing to do with it, although I can endorse it this time.

: I never thought about this before. As with any series of objects ordered in time, there must be a first picture taken by humans from space. And here it is. That's entertainment!

: That picture was not taken by humans, but rather under the direction of humans. But if you're going to get technical about it, no picture has ever been taken by humans because humans don't have the hardware.

: I'm going to Frisco in about an hour (I call it Frisco precisely to piss you Frisco people off) for another job interview. I'm being flown back to LA immediately so there's no time to hang out with Mike or Mae Ling (who is across the country anyway) or anyone. Oh well.

: Think I'll spin a little Devo.

: I'm at myzack showing off the notebook program.

: I'm back. Dan's back. We're all back. For ice back.

: I'm experimenting with putting links to other people's sites at the bar at the top of the page. The links are links to sites that a) belong to particular people, whom I know; and b) are updated on a fairly regular basis.

I don't know why I didn't realize this before. Supernova's song Daredevil has the same melody as Devo's It's Not Right.

: I picked up Hazel's second (and last) album, Are You Going To Eat That? for cheap in Austin last week, so I'm going through that right now. Jody (see NYCB 19990531) got just a little too butch for me between the first and second albums, but she still has the sexiest singing voice.

: Bill Softky and I are low-key delving into the crazy world of Javascript. (I'm low-key, I don't know the height of Bill's key) Who wants to point us to a decent Javascript tutorial? How about for Microsoft's version of Javascript?

: Did I mention that the notebook program is in beta? Beta meaning "Mark has it".

: Now that Jake has pictures avaliable I can do the graphic for the Jake Berendes West Covina story. In fact, I just did. The story will make no sense to anyone but me--just the way I like it.

: Leonardonics: I win!

: Celeste has given me permission to link to her webpage, which features many entertaining pictures of her. I find them entertaining, anyhow. And bless her heart, she actually said the phrase "so serious", allowing me to do a The Guy Who Thinks He's Jeff Lynne.

: Whimsical rendered DNA graphics.

: Before Babe Winkelman, there was Tux on the Run. I found that at freearcade, which is interesting in its own right.

: Guppy Races is probably the best game on FreeArcade; it's cute.

: Joe Barr sent me the picture he surrepetiously took of Mae Ling and myself at LWE last August. It probably won't be the last image to go into /pix/1999/misc.

: I miss Geek Site of the Day.

: Duh. Maybe I should link to foaf's essay on a horrible game after I put it up.

: While doing research for a page I'm working on, I came across a wargame (eg. Axis and Allies) type game called A Mighty Fortress (scroll down that page to see reviews). That's gotta be the most original wargame (if the term applies) ever. Like the Bunnies and Burrows of wargames.

[NB: Bunnies and Burrows is/was a role-playing game based on Watership Down. From Andy's latest dispatch, I think we now know who was responsible for that game.]

: Before landing a job at the Free Software Foundation, he hawked cereal for Kelloggs.

: I long to taste the taco that is impro, but my speakers aren't hooked up.

: Someone should write an ncurses version of that Matrix screen saver using ASCII characters.

: Michael Yount comes out of hiding to point me to CMatrix. AFAIK, CMatrix doesn't use ASCII characters. CMatrix was what inspired me to call out for a program that did use ASCII characters.

: I have been informed that CMatrix does in fact do what I want it to do. The description I read made it sound like it did something annoyingly close but not quite. News You Can Bruise regrets the error.

: It would appear that GTE uses its no call list as a "deluge with junk mail" list. I guess the thinking is that I tell them not to call me because I want to hear about their great offers in some other medium.

: What a great URL. It's the only CGI I've ever seen that has a "court=xth" GET variable.

: The microwave in my apartment is down, so every time I want to heat something up I have to take it to school or to work. It's pretty sad.

: Oh, did I link to this 6th Circuit Court decision? I meant to link to this 6th Circuit Court decision.

: Another dispatch from Andy, to which was attached the promised Watership Down comic. Prince Valliant it ain't.

Adam has graduated and is working at drdrew.com. His girlfriend Kim is working at hollywood.com. They're a [dehlorwy]*\.com couple!

: Not only does this guy have, among other programs, a program that automatically breaks the highly popular and oh-so-secure XOR-encryption, but some of those other programs are 'script-kiddie safe', requiring a fix to the code before they'll work. I think this should be a new buzzword.

: This is the sort of headline we need: The lunar eclipse: What you didn't see

If there were a Marine Biology Picture of the Day to go along with Astronomy Picture of the Day, I would be a happy camper.

: I'm looking around the Web site for Westminster College, where Andy is. Not only are there a lot of missing pages, but at the bottom of the pages that are there it says "This page is periodically monitored for updates." Why are they just monitoring for updates when they should be actually doing the updates?

The whole thing looks a little shady. Look at this: it's right out of a spam.

The Diplomatic Academy of London (DAL) has enacted this mission as the longest established British institution that pioneered integrated training programmes in Diplomatic Studies and International Relations (MA, MPhil & PhD Degrees ) IN THE HEART OF LONDON and PARIS!

: Fred tried to think of a good domain name for a porn site yesterday, but all the ones he thought of were taken.

: I should link to CMatrix since I mentioned it.

: Kris on the porn site naming issue: butttown.com isn't taken, but buttown.com is. "That leads me to believe they misspelled the domain name when they were registering it."

: My customary twice-yearly sickness has set in, and I am deliriously doing odd things. When I left to go to class, I put on my backpack and reached back to yank my ponytail out from between my backpack and my back. I haven't had a ponytail for well over a year.

: foaf on The Pirates of Silicon Valley:

They way Ballmer was portrayed made it seem like he's only using evil as a means to an end, that end being chicks and beer money.

Exactly. This is why you gotta love Ballmer.

: B in CS181. A- in philosophy! That's incredible! (The A-, not the B). I believe this means I make the Dean's List again.

: Folks, this is a full-fledged bonanza. Via an exclusive deal I make avaliable for you, the listening public, not only TWO albums from well-known attic band crupper scupper supper upper and the flupperdupper maleatora ("The best thing they ever did was break up." -- Variety), but also FIVE FULL FREAKING ALBUMS from well-known person and former crup bassist Jeremy Bruce from his solo act Off Gabbt ("We wish Off Gabbt would break up so we could say something mean about them." -- Variety). This is over TWO HUNDRED SONGS in MP3 format, over 350 megs of stuff all told. I'll be working with Jer and Jake to put up track lists for the albums that don't have them, but in the meantime you can start your downloading engines by going to /music/hosted/crup/ and /music/hosted/jbruce/. Enjoy, sucka.

: The listener's guide to the temporal ordering of those albums: On the crup side, the albums go My Dinner With Andre Nguyen -> What Do You Call Those [sic] Pork Things. For jbruce, I believe it goes I'm not playing with you or you ever again till next friday -> Smally Creative -> Off Gabbt -> Largely Creative -> it smells really bad in here.

: Not the sort of site I ever expected to link to anything on my site.

: I don't have lilypond, so I can't use impro. A look at the source reveals that it isn't as intelligent as I was hoping an improvisation program to be, anyway. Oh well.

: Pluto and Charon: giant alien disco balls?

: Deitel, Deitel, Deitel. I made him out of clay. Deitel, Deitel, Deitel. It's Deitel I shall play.

: My scanner will now remove comments from source code. To celebrate, I give you The Theobrominator!

: The scanner is just about done. C++ is not nearly as horrible as I remember it. Since C++ has not changed in the past 3 years, I must be a better programmer than I was then. This is not hard to believe.

: As far as I can tell, the scanner is done. Of course, the spec will probably change on me, since we're not technically supposed to have even started on the scanner yet.

: Geez, I gotta recommend particular tracks so that people (such as daniel) will download them. Uh... there's some controversy as to whether the crup albums should actually be released as MP3 (So far it's me and Jer versus Jake) or left to die a slow, agonizing death on tapes, and besides all they have are track numbers so I'm not sure which tracks are which songs. So let's do some recommendations for Jer's albums.

I'm not really into instrumentals, but Cerve Basil is very good. A lot of the songs on it smells really bad in here are excellent, like Lady in Red, I want to marry a tall man, you know what? It's really annoying to make all these immensely long links so I'm just going to mention albums and track names and you can go to /music/hosted/jbruce and figure it out for yourself.

Who's the Grey Man, Got Kicked in the Balls and Cooking up the Tofu are also good. My knowledge of the other albums is limited because Jake once sent me a tape with a bunch of songs from them and no track list, but here are the ones I can associate: From i'm not playing with you..., for vintage jbruce get Cheese Fondue, Heath Bar (Crunch), Bennetts [a crup cover]. From Off Gabbt: Amy, Dave Moore, Ted Lin [one of the best jbruce songs IMO], Mara. i'm not playing..., off gabbt, and smally creative have HTML files in their directories that talk about the songs, so you can look at those and d/l whatever strikes your fancy. Other than that, you know as much as I do.

Oops, I forgot to mention the best jbruce song of all: Karl Malone. Get that, if nothing else.

: I'm giving an introductory talk on Python this evening at the UCLALUG meeting. Be there or be somewhere else. I know I will.

: Martin Sheen is Frank Zappa! Emilio Estevez is Frank Zappa!

: My Python presentation went pretty well. Notes and pictures soon.

: Jake on the crup MP3s:

re: crup songs. let's make a selection. not all the songs. only some. i will make a list, as i am the one who will be embarrassed. and i will be embarrassed.

I don't want to suggest anything, but... no, I said I didn't want to suggest anything. So I won't.

: Microsoft and Ralph Reed - two great tastes that go better together!

: Jake's new sig (the quote is from the last email I sent him):

www.nindy.com     "It's finite... like a precious jewel.
That said, the chord progression is C F C5 G5+7. Sorta."
                                     -Leonard Richardson

: Mike [Chan] is being polled by Microsoft right now (for "Microsoft" equals "somebody paid by Microsoft to conduct a poll that shows popular support for Microsoft").

: Jake says Sausages is the best jbruce song. And it's an easy download!

: It was a long time ago (like, over a year ago). Kris said something about sportsmanship that I thought was very profound. It's been going in and out of my head ever since, but I never thought to write it down. That's why I wrote this song. No, that's why I'm writing it down now (paraphrased, obviously):

The difference between sportsmanship in wrestling and sportsmanship in other sports is this: If you see an interview of someone who lost at a real sport, they're like "Well, I guess the best man won, uh, I've just gotta push myself a little more and work on my defense and, you know, go out and try harder next time." But if you see an interview of someone who just lost a wrestling match, they're like "YOU ARE SCUM, MIGHTY MIKE MUELLER! YOU ARE BOOTLICKING SCUM! I AM GOING TO HUNT YOU DOWN AND SLASH YOUR TIRES AND KILL YOU!!!"

: I have been reduced to installing Quake on my computer, because Dan refuses to play any other networked game with me.

: Quake wouldn't install. A box upon it.

Boy, the things you miss when you use Lynx. The Register's BOFH columns have cool cartoon pictures of the BOFH. And they've got an even cooler BOFH/PFY cartoon squirreled away which they've never used.

: I hadn't been to Joel Hodgson's site in a long time, but I went there this morning when Peter Hodgson asked me if there was such a person as Joel Hodgson. There is, and now you can download the coloring book.

: Dammit! eCost backordered my digital camera! The only reason I bought from them was that they said they had it in stock!

: Also, the TA changed the format of the language just to break my scanner. In particular, things like "123abc" are valid now (two tokens, "123" and "abc"). Whitespace, folks. It's your friend.

: Another game in the famous Leonard and Dan Carnage Signiature Series: City Destroy Carnage. The computer haplessly attempts to defend its cities from your endless barrage of nuclear missiles by firing intercept missiles.

I think this is the only way a Missile Command-type game could be made fun.

From the ever stallwart ACM
To the bold IEEE
We're the folks on whom you can depend
To keep our country strong and free

: There's a Captain Planet fan site that links to The Deficient Advantures of Captain Planet. TDAoCP is so good. It still makes me laugh out loud.

: I was just putting up the 50th Best of Dada Pokey, when I realized that we have over a year of Daily Pokey: it started on April 9, 1999. Huzzah!

: I haven't gotten email from Celeste since last night. I hope she's okay and she's not mad at me.

: Celeste was mad at me but she's not anymore. :)

: The new improved lexer is done. I just have to put it in the framework that the TA wants it in. This is made difficult by the fact that the campus backbone is undergoing planned downtime so I can't get the documentation I need. I can't get email, either.

For some reason the TA wants to make sure we don't use malloc or new in the lexer. Why? If we were allowed to use malloc or new, would the lexer suddenly become incredibly easy? I don't think so.

You probably already know this, but a lot of Hannah-Barbara cartoons are just homomorphisms of Scooby Doo.

: Four [score and seven] years ago, I wrote a C++ program to answer the burning question: what are the odds of winning at craps? Today, the legend continues on the Web with Fast Jack's Floating Hall of Craps. In the spirit of corporate megamergers, FJFHoC has joined forces with the venerable Monty Hall's Hall of Doors to form Crummy.com's Hall of Halls.

: I have been given a catalog from eLinux.com (I don't know if they have a web site). In it is a bit that might possibly win the "evading the question" award:

Why do we sell hardware with Windows pre-installed?

Linux users are helping drive the Linux movement by taking popular systems from well-known manufacturers and installing Linux on them. We know that buying the hardware to "test" Linux compatability can be expensive, thus we want to make products avaliable to you at extremely low prices! We'll also give you the resources to get Linux working for you!

Get this IBM 240 ThinkPad at $1,069! We'll tell you how users got SuSE up and running on it and were even able to use the winmodem.

We'll also give you a copy of SuSE.

: Looking through the list of python modules I saw "math" and thought "Hmm, must be some kind of authentication module". I need a more ergonomic chair.

: Arrrgh! My camera won't be shipped until the 28th! I'm going to look elsewhere.

: This is a placeholder entry.

: Here is an innovation which, if you are looking for something useful to do, you may use: There are about ten "x Weekly News" or "x-URL" newsletters which give the status of various free software projects. The innovation consists of a site which gives a brief summary of them as they come out and perhaps provides the most interesting link from each.

It should be obvious to regular NYCB readers that a great many of my so-called "innovations" come about just because I like modifying nouns with themselves (in this case, "Weekly News Weekly News"). What can I say? At least I don't buy up other people's ideas and call it innovation.

: For some reason, my story about Linus Torvalds going back to work on Minix is very big in French-speaking countries like Canada and, well, France. I don't know why, but there are about five French-speaking sites that have linked to it. The French for "operating system" appears to be "systéme d'exploitation". This was the sort of thing I never learned in high school French class.

Hm... one of the sites specifically states that it's a hoax ("canular"). Maybe some French dude is circulating email reports to the effect that it is real. Maybe Minix, like Jerry Lewis, is just bigger in France, so people there are more likely to think my story is funny.

: Lemme link to that site I was talking about so you can see for yourself.

: And so I says to the guy, I says, "Oh, you wanted a character pointer! I thought you wanted a string!"

: Okay, FINALLY the parser has been put into the weird magical yacc framework and it does the right things to the symbol table and the string table and everything. So I'm done. And the project isn't due til midnight!

: In case you haven't already seen it, let me also point you to the fabulous Matzillah Segfault story, which is better than my Minix story to the extent that I feel guilty about linking to my story and not linking to it.

: This has been annoying me for a while, and I think it's a bug. When I type "lynx newshub.com/tech/", lynx responds as though I had typed "lynx news://newshub.com/tech/". Seems like it should look for the :// before rashly assuming it's a netnews resource. "lynx mailtohub.com" and "lynx gopherhub.com" work as you would expect, so I think it's a bug. Maybe I should try to fix it instead of just complaining about it on my webpage.

: It definitely appears to be a feature. There's a function that specifically does it (LYUtils.c's LYAddSchemeForURL). I was wrong about other URLs beginning with schemes working correctly; the URLs I tried before don't really exist so lynx crapped out before prefixing a scheme onto them. I'm not happy about this. How am I supposed to be lazy when lynx stands in my way?

: I you like The Hunger Site and you like generalizations, you'll like the generalization of The Hunger Site, FreeDonation.com.

: I thought Peter only had The Name of the Rose in Italian, but just today I found a paperback translation to English! Woohoo! Now I can {drink, read it}!

: The Linus-goes-back-to-Minix meme infected enough people that Linux Weekly News felt the need, the need for speed! I mean the need to publish a pointer to my story so that its satiric content would be obvious.

: Going home to Bakersfield tomorrow. As those of you who follow Susanna's journal know, Susanna is also going home (in fact, she's probably home already). Between the two of us, there will be no food in my mother's house when we leave. Not that there will be any when we get there.

: Register writer hates life, film at 11.

: I now have an account on Advogato, although I'm not sure what benefits I obtain from such. I don't feel comfortable certifying people as one thing or another, and I already have an online journal.

: I guess certification isn't so bad so long as you stick to certifying people you actually know.

: Scott explains the Lynx feature that allegedly lets people other than me be lazy.

Newshub doesn't work anymore anyway.

: I'm getting a ride with Josh up to Bakersfield. Woo!

: Now in Bakersfield. Going back (again with Josh) today. Before that happens I will see all of my Richardson relatives. Except for Rachel, who is unaccountably in Paris. I was told about Rachel's impending trip to Nebraska but not about her current trip to Paris. Where are the priority snows of yesteryear?

: I've never even been to Nebraska.

: Something seriously needs to be done about the "news and satire" classification of Segfault stories. Every time a story is published under its rubric, either some idiot reads it on our site and thinks the events described in the story really happened, or it gets forwarded and forwarded and our credit for it gets stripped until it reaches someone who doesn't know the source.

I don't know which, and it may be one or the other on a case-by-case basis, but whatever happens the inevitable result is that someone slaps the text of our story onto a real news site and it wreaks havoc. I'm worried because this does not bode well for online journalism and also because it gives the impression that segfault.org are a bunch of hoaxters.

Well, we are a bunch of hoaxsters, but our hoaxes are planned well in advance and we don't put them on our front page as news articles. That's the difference, you see.

So I'm seriously considering dropping the "news and" from the category title and just making it "satire". I think this is what should have been done in the first place, but we were distracted by that nifty "news" icon that Garrett drew. I didn't design the type system, though, so I don't know how much rewiring that will take. I'm consulting with Scott on this.

: I rearranged Susanna's journal, under her direction. I just now put up a little HTML help thing for her as well.

: I finished Name of the Rose yesterday morning; great book! Read it! Foucault's Pendulum was better, though.

Yesterday Susanna and I went to the Goodwill and I got two really nice surfer dude type shirts (those are my new favorite kind of shirt). I also replaced my copy of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (lost in the huge book disaster of 1996) and got the O'Reilly HTML reference (which I will likely never refer to as it only covers HTML 3.2, which I understand completely). Both books were $.35, so I got the O'Reilly book for about 1/80th its cover price.

Then on to the used bookstore, where I got Pebble in the Sky (continuing my tradition of reading Asimov's Robots->Empire->Foundation series completely out of order), The Colour of Magic (Hi, Scott!), and Across A Billion Years (which I'd never heard of before and which wasn't very good). TCoM, which I got only because I figured I should know something about Terry Pratchett, turned out to be the best of that lot. All of those I read yesterday afternoon.

: There's a halfhearted but decent interview up with Eric Hovland of the SCLUG. I'm mainly linking to it to promote the SCLUG, who do a lot of cool things.

: Josh tells me that everyone in this quarter's CS111 (Operating Systems) class has been given a free copy of Windows 2000 Professional by Microsoft. I honestly think Microsoft has just missed the point here. Even if their operating system were great, it couldn't be used in that class.

: It's time for vision and leadership!

Okay, it's no longer time for vision and leadership.

: Jared Diamond is giving a talk at 5:30 but I'm not going to go see it because I'm lazy.

: Back on the air, kinda.

: The new version of NewsBruiser is sufficiently operational for action. I converted 2000, 1999, and part of 1998 to the new format. I'll link to the viewer once I set up the infrastructure for it on this webspace.

: Some testing entries will likely clutter up this space in the near future. I really need to stop working on this and start working on my 132 project, though.

: Quick links for those who want to see the new interface: view add edit. I love the edit interface (inspired by "Edit This Page", of course). The navigation bar at the top of view is killer too; I want to add search to that and to give edit a navbar as well, but both those changes will require more API changing than I have time for right now.

: Spent all afternoon rewriting the notebook interface. Now I can devote my energies to making the edit screen look nicer. Here's a cool trick that works now: Daily View, Daily Edit. Except the header and footer still think it's monthly. One more thing I have to fix.

: Susanna's notebook is up and on the new system. Jake, I'll get the gang's notebook on the new system probably Tuesday. I really need to get ready for my collab.net interview tomorrow. The main reason I spent most of today wrestling with NewsBruiser was so I'd have a decent-sized OO project to show them.

You can download a tar.gz of NewsBruiser here.

: I've always liked House of Fun by Madness, and now I know the lyrics. "This is a chemist, not a joke shop!" is a good nonsense rebuttal for when you want your nonsense rebuttals to have a bit of British flair to them.

: William S. Burroughs, programmer:

The pleasure of morphine is in the viscera... But C is electricity through the brain, and the C yen is of the brain alone, a need without body and without feeling. The C-charged brain is a berserk pinball machine, flashing blue and pink lights in electric orgasm. C pleasure could be felt by a thinking machine, the first stirrings of hideous insect life.

: There are lots of movies about the filming of a movie, and lots of plays about the staging of a play. But are there any operas about the staging of an opera?

: Gotta get ready to fly up for my collab interview.

: At collab.net now. The plane flight up was outstanding; we flew along the coast all the way up. Whee!

It Failed Miserably!: Hey, this is Leonard. My real site (crummy.com or crummy.segfault.org) is down right now due to circumstances beyond my control, so I thought I'd step over to the world of editthispage to see how the other half (that which does not write its own webpage management software) lives. I've been thinking of making my news management system interoperable with all the nifty syndication features and whatnot of Manila, so now's as good a time as any to get my test site up and running.

News Items You Can Bruise:

This is a news item. Apparantly this feature just came on the scene yesterday; until then, all entries on the front page for a day were stuck together in a big blob of HTML. I'm incredibly disillusioned about this. I thought the whole point of this software was to organize one's Web writing. The format of scripting.com and editthispage sites has been a big influence on my own website management software, and now I discover that said format was much less structured than I believed it to be.

That said, now that the feature's here on editthispage, I suggest that everyone use it because it really is much nicer to have each distinct thing you write as a separate entry than to mantain a whole HTML page. It makes it a lot easier to quickly add an entry, for one (although there's the annoying process of having to approve a story before it's posted, which is fine for a site like Segfault but which doesn't make much sense in a context where one person is doing all the entries).

Until late 1998, all the news sections for my sites were done by the add-to-HTML-page method. On September 11 of that year, I flipped the switch, started using Notebook Of Web-Basedness (now NewsBruiser), that "nitro-burning remote publishing mobile", and never looked back. I initially thought I'd still be adding entries the old way as well, but I never did. It really is a better way, folks.

(Perhaps I am missing something because my impression is that editthispage has a very sophisticated syndication system, and it doesn't make sense to syndicate entire days of material; it makes sense to syndicate individual entries. Right? So maybe there's something else that does entries?)

Is anyone else plagued with broken pipe errors?

It's another tequila news item: Must every entry have a URL? Why can't a woman be more like a man?

Good, I got rid of the URL. Now, to get the time on here like I'm used to.

Smile!: My digital camera has (finally!) been shipped. Stand by for an avalanche of photos. I love taking photos and I love being in photos taken by others.

Let each urchin whet his spine for we breach the thermocline: And at dawn we make our conquest of the land. Gotta get a Scantron for the marine biology midterm tomorrow. Also a reminder to myself that I have to lead the discussion on the 23rd.

It's what you've got!: I'm obsessed with the Devo album Freedom of Choice. I'm listening to it over and over again.

I attempted to explain Devo to Josh, but was unable to. I ended up saying "They're the 80s, only more so.", which is technically correct but doesn't really explain anything about Devo per se. Help me out.

Some of Devo's lyrics make me wince (eg. the part about the dog in the title song), but on the whole they're excellent. And Devo rocks. Even if they had nothing interesting to say, Devo would rock.

Caption This and That:

Mike wants me to write a CGI that lets one submit captions for pictures a la MST3K's Caption This!. I may do it over the weekend. I tell you, this guy is bleeding me dry.

Also: I forgot what I was going to put here. Oh yeah. Not only is Mark a NewsBruiser beta tester, but he's also using COPOUT. In fact, he's ripping off one of my old polls. How's that for gratitude? Mark, I will hunt you down and steal your RealHamster doll!

Hi, I'm Terry Chow: I just found Terry Chow's homepage, and, as a consequence, this picture of him doing "The Terry Chow Look" which I've never seen anyone else do. It's his look of pride or surprise. It says "Hi, I'm Terry Chow.". It's fabulous. He looks a lot different in person, though, for some reason.

If you click on the picture you will get a larger version in which you can see that Terry is a KDE user, like me.

omne animale triste: "dinosaur" means "terrible lizard". So "dinoflagellate" must mean "terrible flagellate".

I directly apprehend that this sucks!: Done with my philosophy paper, an hour before it's due. As usual, I hate it. As usual, it will probably get a B. I'm so glad I'm not a philosophy major like Dan is. I couldn't stand that.

Photo, photo, photo mania: My camera finally came in, and in accordance with prophecy I am madly taking photos of everything. The fruits of my labors, including a tour of the Leonard/Dan apartment and a picture of my fabulous Elvis votive, are avaliable in pictures

%left BLEAH: My parser works, kinda. I can't get the operator precedence declarators to do anything, though, so I've got 26 shift-reduce conflicts. I know it's ignoring the precedence declarators because I can, eg., make + nonassociative and it'll still parse 1+1+1. Nonetheless, it parses all the example programs, although it's still probably got bugs (I thought my lexer was perfect, but the writing of the parser uncovered four new bugs in it). It's due at noon.

When copywriters make technical decisions: My camera's three settings of picture quality: "Best", "Better", and "Good". Stop it! For one thing, I don't need to be reassured that even though I'm taking pictures on the lowest quality setting, the quality is still acceptable. For another, "Better" is not an identifier. "Better" is a function. Knock it off, marketing people!

In other news, I now have only 4 shift-reduce conflicts.

Uh-oh...: Not good. The SEAS network is inaccessible from outside. My parser is due at 12. This basically means I'm turning it in as-is. But how? I can go on-campus now and do it and then waste a whole lot of time until my class at 2. I can wait til 11 and then go and fight for a place in the lab. I suppose I'd better go now. This class is very strict about deadlines and I don't think "The SEAS network was down" will be accepted as an excuse.

I hate thinking up titles for everything: I'm in the lab now. I finally figured out how to do {chicken, precedence} right, so I am rid of all the conflicts. I've submitted my project now. I don't know if it works 100%, but it should at least pass all the tests. This is all I need, since I won't be using my own syntax to do the rest of the projects. At noon, we'll get a standard syntax which we are all to use so that it will be easier to grade the other projects.

I like the way our projects are graded in this class. The TA writes a bunch of test programs (which we don't get to see) and then tries to clobber our lexer/parser/compiler/bytecode generator with them. Your grade is based on how well your program avoids clobberation. It's very objective, in contrast to the lower-division classes in which you had to turn in your source code in a manilla folder and the TA would go through it and dock you points if you didn't have enough comments (I once got docked for having too many comments!).

Sissy email worms must go!: Enough with these sissy email worms! I'll tell you how to write an email worm, dammit. Don't just look in the victim's address book. Look in their mail archive. Use the mail archive to a) find more emails to send the worm to, and b) create a plausible subject line for each address. If you can't find a plausible subject line (if there's no recent thread for that address), generate one at random. Use a CFG that can do a couple million different subject lines of twenty different major types.

Don't make someone run an application to do all this for you; hijack Outlook and do it yourself. Melissa had the right idea.

Scan for interesting keywords and send messages that match to a randomly selected set of 1-3 email addresses (out of of 10,000) 100 of those email addresses are controlled by you, throwaway accounts and whatnot. The other 9900 belong to random people. You now get lots of juicy email and implicate lots of innocent bystanders.

Encrypt all these lists of email addresses, fragments of subject lines, etc. Use real encryption and not pansy XOR encryption so that it will take a couple days instead of a couple minutes to get your plaintext.

Is this so difficult? I can figure out how to do a good email worm and I'm not even particularily evil. What's up with these evil people who foist lame email worms upon the Windows world?

I'm not only the server... I'm also a client!: I'm very excited, because... well, I shouldn't say until it actually goes through. Suffice to say that I am excited. I'm struggling to keep quiet because there are many associated stories that I want to tell and I'm afraid I'll forgot them.

To change the subject: as great as editthispage is, I miss NewsBruiser. It takes less time and fewer actions to publish an item with NewsBruiser than with editthispage. The disparity is multiplied when I'm using lynx, as I usually am. Editing an entry is easier with editthispage (I should certainly hope so!), unless you want to edit an old entry, in which case it's a toss-up.

I dis not editthispage. It is good, especially if you don't have an account on a server.

I'm working on the caption script for Mike. Not as fun as I thought it would be. Oh well. I have to study for my compiler midterm as well. Celeste is coming over this afternoon to help me study for 130.

The Loan Arranger strikes again: I got a packet of stuff from Sallie Mae (a loan company, not a southern belle) about the loan I got from them in 1998. I have to start paying the loan back on the first of next year. I can conveniently make my monthly payments electronically, or I can go for a longer-term payment schedule, and I'll get 2% off the interest rate if I make my first 48 months of payments on time and blah and blah. The funny thing is that all of this is completely irrelevant since by next year I'll be able to pay the loan in one lump sum. It's only a $1500 loan.

make woooorld!: I just realized something. In addition to "make" and "make install", the makefile generated by autoconf should have "make rpm" and "make deb". "I mantain packages for program x" should not be something worthy of being put on your list of contributions to free software. "What's to mantain?" That should be what people ask Dan. But it ain't.

I don't know an incredible amount about package creation, but it seems that if you can automate "make install", you can automate "make rpm". I want to say that this would be revolutionary, except it wouldn't. But it would be damn nice. Any piece of software that uses autoconf: you can build into an RPM, build it into a DEB, package it as a source RPM. No more waiting for RPMs to come out. No more programmer-hours wasted in mantaining packaged versions of software.

Remember the Programmer's Creed: Any sufficiently boring task can and should be automated. Package management is boring. Let's automate it.

Hey, it could happen.

It's Time For Spiritual Buffy: KatzDot is still hilarious. Experience it!

Jezebel, Malkuth, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes!: That's me, sick as a dog. I communicate with Dan via email, even though he's just across the room, because it hurts too much to talk. Bleah. And I have a midterm tomorrow. I sincerely hope I will only be asked about regular expressions, DFAs, and emperical questions like "write a yacc grammar for language x". The portion of the exam in which I will be asked to trace the actions of ye Parser will be failed miserably by me.

I can't concentrate on my compiler book but I can work on Foucault's Pendulum. I'm over halfway done. It's good that I read it immediately after reading Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions, as I now recognize many of the historical personages (Cagliostro, Dr. Dee, &c.). In general, I'm understanding much more of what's going on (eg. I caught the Name of the Rose reference(s? are there more than one?)) than I did when I read it a year ago. A few things still puzzle me, though.

It's a shame that there's no bibliography for Foucault's Pendulum. I know that works of fiction don't generally have bibliographies. But Foucault's Pendulum definitely deserves one.

Oh, minor question. I reread Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, and I finally understand everything in the book, except for one little detail: how did what they did actually save the human race? I don't see how the effects of Dirk's actions at the end prevented what originally happened from happening again. I know what happened, but I don't completely understand how it helped. I can't go into too much detail because I don't want to give the ending away.

I am in fact a stunt goldfish: Mike and I figured out why the stuff at the end of Dirk Gently was what needed to happen, so there's no need to write in.

When midterms attack!: The CS132 midterm met my father in an arbitrary number of nested steel cages. I think some of my early calculus midterms may have been worse than that midterm, but apart from that... Oh, the pain. There was one question on regular expressions/DFAs and all the rest were on recreating the jovial antics of the parser.

On the bright side, I'm feeling a lot better. Disease-wise, I mean. Also, the midterm was only 25% of the grade, and the final is noncumulative, so if I start going to class I'll do okay.

There was something I wanted to put here, but I forgot. I'll put it in here when I remember what it was.

And who's this Crick fellow?: James D. Watson is coming on campus today to talk about his new book. I was staring at the promotional flyer thinking "Hmm, that name sounds familiar." Duh.

So close, and yet...: The machine that hosts segfault and crummy, project.linux.com, has been moved. Unfortunately, getting segfault back on the air requires the cooperation of two of the most sluggish forces on earth: Network Solutions and Scott James Remnant. I have to contact Scott (I'm probably going to have to call him) and then he has to change the IP and DNS info for segfault.

Crummy also requires the cooperation of two of the most sluggish forces on earth: Network Solutions and me. Fortunately, I'm on the ball and have already sent my form in to NSI so that they can tell me they can't accept it.

Network Solutions: Because someone's got to employ all those ex-Soviet bureaucrat refugees.

Automation frees the workers!: Hm, looks like all the bureaucrats have been put out of a job. I actually changed my nameserver information correctly. Of course, it'll be a while til it {heals,propagates}.

It's been great to live on editthispage for a while, but it will be better to live on NewsBruiser. Whee!

What law says we can't?: Finished my rereading of Catch-22 yesterday. I've never seen a book be going so well and then go downhill so suddenly. That book plays out Joseph Heller's writing career in miniature. In high school I read Catch-22 and was captivated. Then I read We Bombed in New Haven and Closing Time and they sucked. He's written other stuff and, although I can't say for certain, I'm fairly sure that all his other stuff sucks as well. Except for the screenplay for Casino Royale, which he isn't credited for so I doubt he did a whole lot of work on it.

Now it can be told!: OK, here's the big thing. I've accepted a position at collab.net, the O'Reilly software spinoff that's a funky sex machine for all the chicks.[0] My boss is Apache lead developer Brian Behlendorf. I'll be working on the tigris.org set of tools for distributed software development. Everything I write will be released as free software.

I stand to do a lot of good work and make a lot of money. I'm very happy about this. The downside is that, not only will I still be in California[1], I'll be in San Francisco. Bleah! Even this has an upside in that I'll be able to hang out with cool folk like Mike Popovic and all my rowdy friends who also come up to the Bay Area after they graduate.

[0] I heard innuendo that in the new Shaft movie, there is no "Shut yo' mouth!" in the theme song, with the predictable result. What's up with that? Shaft is about the 70s and "Shut yo' mouth!", and the new movie has neither. Not the way to do a Shaft remake, my man.

[1] I love California. It's great. But I've lived in California all my life and I'd like to try living somewhere else for a while.

: Okay, this is super weird. Please send me email (leonardr@ucla.edu) if you can see this.

Pack up my troubles in my old kit bag: crummy.com is back up. Go there for updates.

: Disregard the request in the previous entry

Leonardonics: Ancient Chinese secret!

An explanation of the horrible things that have been going on will be forthcoming. To catch up on what's been going on in the absence of crummy.com, check out Crummy: The Backup Site. All further updates will take place here.

: This might go into Leonardonics eventually, but it's a little too new to do it right away: Josh and I came up with a new acronym: AEM, Ass Extraction Method. It's how you come up with bogus constants like the constants for the COCOMO equation: "We'll obtain that data through AEM." Why simply "pull something out of [your] ass" when you can "utilize AEM"? A message from the AEM Council.

: Yesterday, the guys in the CSUA lounge were drooling over photos of the booth babes at E3. I'm ambivalent about the whole booth babe thing. Well, "ambivalent" is not the right word. I feel uncomfortable about it in two different ways. First is the standard way. Second is the way in which they remind me of the refrigerator booth babes of the 1950s and 1960s. "Miss Betty Firnesse and the new Westinghouse!" and all that. Refrigerators, cars, computer games: what happened here?

: Remember Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing? The lady on the box (presumably Mavis Beacon) was a very dark black lady. I'm looking at an ad for the latest version and the lady on the box has much lighter skin and looks more Hispanic. Mavis Beacon is obviously a shapeshifter, or maybe a fictional character of some kind.

One of the non-bands I fronted in high school was called "Jerry Mavis and His Amazing Trained Seals". My stage name was a mix of Jerry Mathers and Mavis Beacon.

: I found a reference to the Canned Whole Chicken that once inhabited the pantry of Andy's house, so I am happy.

: Celeste brought up the subject of flower-eating today. She says she {read it in a magazee-ee-ee-eene, saw it on an "extreme cooking" show}. I don't think that an "extreme cooking" show is the proper venue for discussing the consumption of flowers. I'm picturing some big burly guy with tatoos and a Karl Marx-style beard jumping into the camera's field of view, slamming two ham-sized fists together, and growling "AND NOW WE'RE GOING TO EAT SOME FLOWERS! THE FIRST FLOWER WE'LL BE EATING IS THE GERANIUM!" It doesn't work that way. It doesn't work, period.

: I'm going to have to write all the abstract syntax tree code and symbol table code and symbol table stack (actually a linked list) code before I even get started on the semantic checking. You're supposed to use the sample code, but the sample code is poorly designed, and the TA says:

If you feel there is an error or inadequacy in skeleton, it is not a problem of skeleton itself, it is your challenge! Fix it or elaborate it.

Fortunately, only one other person has started on the project (as of yesterday's meeting, anyway), so it's not like everyone is further along than I am already.

I'll be {crushing your house, designing the AST and symbol table} today and hopefully implementing it tonight and tomorrow.

: My first short story since 1996's critically inflamed Grunion Time is complete and ready for reading. Behold the best-seller of the future, Jake Berendes West Covina! There's an accompanying song (the song inspired the story, not the other way around) which I hope to record soon.

The story looks a lot better in lynx, except for the fact that you can't see the graphic. I wonder what can be done about that (making it look better in non-lynx browsers).

: Segfault is back up at the proper IP address. If only crummy were so lucky.

: I love the latest Segfault story because it plays on your preconcieved notions of what a Segfault story is like.

: B&N Sharpens Elbows For Same Day Delivery. "Sharpens Elbows"???

: Mike, former New York native, explains the obscure practice of elbow sharpening.

: I made Jake Berendes West Covina look nicer in non-Lynx browsers. Let me know if it looks weird in your browser.

: Why does my neck hurt so much?

: Seriously, what did I do to bring on this terrible neck and back pain? I didn't sleep upside down or suck my own toes or anything.

: I've decided that it's not a good idea to brag about how incredibly long your Linux system has been up. You're just announcing to the world, "Hey, look at me! I have such-and-such kernel vulnerabilities!" I think there's a patch to replace the kernel's RAM image without rebooting, so soon the world may once again be safe for those who like to gloat.

: It took me forever, but I finally found a decently sized version of the map of the known universe mentioned in this BBC article. The large version is actually somewhat of a disappointment, as the BBC added shading to their tiny version of the graphic to make the map look a lot nicer than it does.

: Ancient alien technology! I would be interested in that game but I'm not interested in playing games with people I don't know personally.

: For the past week I've been trying to get a working symbol table and abstract syntax tree. I'm almost there, but I'm also very worried that I've wasted a week getting a pretty symbol table and syntax tree and that by the time I get it working, I won't have time to do any semantic analysis.

: The symbol table works now. I have now succeeded in getting rid of a whole bunch of crap associated with the table presented in the sample code, including the fact that it had to know about the AST and the fact that two of the classes were not done as classes but as typedefed structs with associated functions. So, with six days to go on the project, I have a very nice symbol table which is 10% of the grade. Did I mention that I have a philosophy paper due in a week?

: The abstract syntax tree construction code is about to start working, I think. Programming in C or C++ is like building a watch with a million little gears. You build all these components and then you try to get all the gears to mesh together. I get sick of this very quickly. I'd much rather be building things with Legos. Metaphorical Legos, I mean. Or real Legos, for that matter.

I keep moving responsibility for the symbol table between the scanner and the parser. It was in the scanner, then I moved it to the parser, then I decided I could do it in the scanner after all, then I decided that I couldn't. I'm still fairly sure that I couldn't, because the parser doesn't know whether an identifier is part of, eg., a declaration (in which case it goes in the symbol table) or a statement (in which case it's an error if it's not already in the symbol table).

: I currently have 2218 errors in my code. This is a record. The 2218 errors were caused by the fact that I thought C had an "until" construct like Perl, and I put such a construct into my yacc file.

: I'm now ready to begin filling in my Check functions. This is (almost) where everyone else is. Good job, me.

: Dan is posting comments on Slashdot. I do not endorse this practice.

: Inscrutable: "not readily investigated, interpreted, or understood". I love this word (cf. Jake Berendes West Covina).

: A lot of semantic checking code has been written but it doesn't work yet. Same old story. Bleah.

The semantics of the language are defined primarily through test cases. Right now there are 33 test cases. The TA has a bounty on new test cases but no one is biting because a new test case means more semantics and therefore more work for everybody. Some of the test cases are really easy to make work and some of them are going to be nightmares.

The various array assignment cases (where you have to make sure that two arrays have the same dimensions, or that an array has a certain number of elements) and the function call case (enforcing the requirement that the number and types of arguments to a function correspond to the formal arguments to the function) look like the toughest ones.

: Past the impasse that stymied me last night. I just fixed yet another bug in my scanner. It didn't recognize the modulus operator. How did I get this far with that kind of bug? That probably cost me 5% off the last project.

: I realize that my struggles with the semantic checker do not make for thrilling reading. But such is my life.

: There is someone in the building across from my building who has two techno albums. They've been playing both of these albums every day since the start of school. The intervening distance and walls cut out most of the treble and midrange, making the songs sound even more like each other than your average techno song sounds like your average other techno song. I think that sometimes they repeat a track they really like, but I'm not sure. It might be a different song.

I swiped Dan's headphones (he's asleep) and put on the Mass in B Minor, but I can still hear that annoying techno drum machine. I curse the guy who invented the drum machine (forgot his name). It doesn't take much skill to play the drums (I speak from experience), but even the modicum of talent required to do so would be enough of a barrier to entry to prevent much techno music from being produced. Jumping frogs? I must avoid this technology!

Jake is going to come to the defense of the drum machine in an impassioned plea, I just know it. Celeste too, probably.

: On reflection, I have decided that cursing the drum machine is not the answer. The answer is cursing people who play loud music without headphones, especially when they keep playing the same two albums for months on end.

: Also, the phone always rings at around this time, it's always someone different, it's always for Dan, and Dan is always asleep when it happens. I don't understand it (I do understand Dan being asleep, since he goes to sleep at 6 AM).

: You don't even want to know what I spent all day doing. Oh man, it was painful. I was a nervous wreck by the time it was done. However, I FINALLY have the infrastructure needed to do all the semantic checking, and I have a good chunk of that code written from last time.

: That entry makes it sound like I spent yesterday as an unwilling contract killer or something. I spent yesterday tearing apart my abstract syntax tree and symbol table code and putting it back together again.

This compiler has more pointers than anything else I've ever written. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks to Celeste for calling me last night when I was a nervous wreck and talking me down.

: The phone rang at the appointed time today. Amazingly, it was for me.


The Condensed Story of the Third Secret of Fatima


Pope John XXIII: In 1917, three Portuguese shepherd children were visited by the Virgin Mary and given three secrets. The first and second, which predicted World War II and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, were made known to the Vatican in 1943. It's now 1960, and time to reveal the third secret. The envelope, please.

[Pope John XXIII opens the envelope and reads the secret.]

Pope John XXIII: Whoa, better let that one sit for a while.

[Pope John XXIII reseals the envelope.]

Panicked Masses: Rhubarb rhubarb, end of the world rhubarb, sex scandal rhubarb, too horrible to mention rhubarb.


Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano: It's now 2000, and time to finally reveal the third secret of Fatima. The envelope, please.

[Cardinal Sodano opens the envelope and reads the secret.]

Cardinal Sodano: Ah! The secret speaks of the 1981 attempt on the life of his holiness John Paul II. Specifically, it speaks of 'a bishop clothed in white' who 'falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.'

Awe-struck Masses: Rhubarb rhubarb, power of prophecy rhubarb.

I think there's a lesson here for all of us.

: My timestamp is an hour early. Wonder what can be done about that.

How did I grow up calling Susanna silly names and never think of Soaky Susie?

: I hear that Battlefield Earth isn't very good.

: On the silly names for Susanna thread, a bit of prehistoric Leonardonics: the original names I called Susanna were "Moby", "Yummy Moby", and "Mo" (rare). They all came from a riddle in a book of dumb jokes given me to pass the time on a car trip. The question was something along the lines of "What's large, yellow, and stabbed at from Hell's heart by Captain Ahab, spat at for hate's sake with his last breath?" Obviously that wasn't the original question, but there may have been reference to Melville's masterwork. The answer was "Moby Banana". Susanna had a nickname (not a name-calling name) "Susanna Banana", so I started calling her Moby.

I have no idea where the "Yummy" in "Yummy Moby" came from; my only justification is that I said "yummy" a lot when I was a kid, probably more than I should have. I blame those motivational children's song tapes. Oh boy, I've got joy.

: It's finally working! It works on 12 of the 35 test cases! Woohoo!

: This is so good. It took me forever to do this design, but now that I have it, adding semantic checks is a piece of cake. Even something complicated like "in a function, all return statements must return a value that can be coerced into the return value type of the function", which requires you to scan every single statement in a function, only takes a few minutes to write.

: Also, I just discovered that my philosophy paper isn't due until Friday!

: My semantic analyzer now works on 21 of the test cases. I believe the TA has chosen 25 of the 35 which he will use, so probably 15 of those cases will be ones that I can handle, which gives me an estimated grade of 60%.

Reminder to myself to work on cases 14, 18, 13, 17, and 11 tomorrow. If I can get these working, my estimated grade will go up to 74%, which I'm fairly sure will be above average.

: Test case 14 (Love potion #14) had a syntax error in it (a comma instead of a semicolon). I fixed it and my checker caught the semantic error right away. Woohoo!

: All those test cases work now. 31 and 32 also work. If I have time I can do #12 and #22. Right now I should work on my paper, since my expected grade on the semantic analyzer right now is 83%.

: Segfault: If you had feelings about US Considered A-Bomb on Moon, it's likely that US Bombs Moon; Soviets Not Affected will also invoke feelings.

: I have one successful submission of my semantic analyzer. If I decide to work on it some more I can do another one. From scuttlebutt and general attitude around the class, I'm pretty sure that very few people have even been able to start on the semantic analysis portion of the project. So even though it took me an insanely long amount of time to get a design that worked, it took less time (and was probably less frustrating) than it would have to have gone with the original horrible design.

: I should point out that "Yummy Moby", "Moby", etc. are impersonal nouns, not titles. So Susanna was not Yummy Moby, she was the Yummy Moby.

: Another night of wackiness at Leonard and Dan's house:

Leonard: Angband is the only open source project I know of that has fragmented to the extent that people who want open source projects to fragment want open source projects to fragment.

[Long pause.]

Leonard: Can you think of another?

Dan: I'd have to parse what you just said first.

: Why do people think they can send arbitrary press releases to editor@segfault.org? What do they think is going to happen? Weren't they paying attention when I mocked them?

: I want to know about a diet I can live with and what is in the news message at news://news.jpl.nasa.gov/8gg0mv%243aq%241%40nntp1.jpl.nasa.gov. We got 5 hits on Segfault from it today, but it's not a public newsserver so I don't know what the article says. Does anyone read this who has access to JPL's news server and can copy me on this message?

: Segfault got 24,999 pageviews yesterday. That's a record for as long as I've been keeping track. But come on, 24,999? The impersonal forces of the universe mock me.

: Wow, the people with the two techno albums are really loud today. I can almost hear the vocals. Fortunately, I'm just about to leave.

: Is it unreasonable for me to avoid the geek news site kuro5hin because the 7331sp33k (a bad idea in and of itself) makes it look like "kuro five hin" (which is actually a better name for a geek news site than "corrosion")? I understand it's a really good site, but the name makes me want to stay far, far away from it. And vomit. Lots of wanting to vomit.

: Spamming tip: When spamming someone, imply that they signed up for your service and agreed to let you spam them. Many people will figure they must have done so, even if they don't remember.

: It's not often that you see Richard Stallman actually being sarcastic, but here it is. "Surely it took a real clever guy to think of this?" Ouch.

: Why Cats Hate Mice: Alternative Theories.

: I found this great golem picture. That's one pissed-off golem.

: I think even in air shows, the planes stay higher above the ground than 200 feet.

: NTK isn't responding, so 1) I can't read the new NTK, and 2) I can't see their link to the "Perl is finished" Segfault story (I'm assuming it's that one as that's the only one that's gotten linked from anywhere this past week).

: There's a point at which you come to realize that it's not all part of your rock and roll fantasy.

: Are we really supposed to believe that a film called "Changes" is about surfing and only about surfing?

: Thanks to Scott for emailing me the NTK in the UK. At least they referred to us as Segfault and not SEGFAULT.

: Following the traditional redesign (it only took an hour this time), I have successfully turned a program in the made-up language into Java bytecode. The program in question assigns five to a variable.

: NTK Link (it works now).

: When we last left our hero[0], "Hello world" worked, as did "Hello 5", but "Hello 0.4" did not, since the JVM handles floats in a weird way which I have yet to take into account. I don't have time to work on it this morning, since I have to read my stupid news clippings for my stupid Oceans discussion. I can say that because I'm fairly sure that no one connected with my Oceans class will ever read this. Man, I hate that discussion. It's not because of the people. The professor and the TA are both excellent. I just hate talking about news clippings.

[0] "our hero" being Conan the Barbarian, of course.

: I found an essay on the ethical motivation behind BSD-type licensing. Good timing, as many of the collab.net people like that kind of license. I don't care one way or the other. If someone's going to pay me to write non-copylefted free software, I'll do it. In actual fact, someone is going to pay me. Therefore, I'll do it.

My collab.net interview was my only interview which consisted in part of debating the merits of BSD-type vs. GPL licenses.

That essay also has a lucid explanation of what the GPL actually requires: "that software authors should be required to make their source code available to the same extent that they make the object code available."

Interviewer: I'm talking with the Ralph Nader of the film industry, Ray (not Art) Carney. A real consumer advocate! Tell me, Ray, what did you think about movies like Forrest Gump, Schindler's List, and Pulp Fiction?

Ray Carney: Those movies were crap.

Interviewer: But a lot of people liked those movies a lot.

Ray Carney: They were still crap. What people need is movies like John Cassavetes' Faces.

Interviewer: But a lot of people walk out of Cassavetes' movies because they're so depressing.

Ray Carney: It doesn't matter. That's what people need, and if people had any sense they'd realize it.

At times I don't think the term "consumer advocate" is appropriate for Mr. Carney, and at other times I think that it's perfectly appropriate.

: I can't believe I {ate the whole thing, got an A- on that philosophy paper}. For four years now I've been writing terrible college papers, and, with only one left to go, I've yet to get less than a B- on a paper. Some people might say that this empirically demonstrates that my papers are not terrible. I scoff at such people.

In high school and junior high I wrote great papers, but my standards were much lower. I wrote great poetry then, too.

: I can now assign to variables and print them out. I'm making good money in my spare time!

: What is your name?
Jake Berendes
Hello, Jake Berendes.

The crazy thing is, that's easier to do in Smokey than in C or C++ (because Smokey has a built-in string data type).

Here's the code for that:

    var a: "What is your name?\n";
    var b: string;
    write a;
    read b;
    write "Hello, ", b, ".\n";
end hello

: All the arithmetic operations work now. String multiplication (as per Perl (M-M-Ma-M-Max Headroom)) and modulus were the toughest since I had to implement them in Java assembler (there's no operation or provided function for either), and I suck at writing assembler. String multiplication takes 19 instructions and modulus takes 12. They could be done in fewer... this assembler syntax must have an unconditional jump! Unconditional jumps? I must have this assembler syntax!

So this works now:

Modulus program: calculates a%b
Enter a:
Enter b:
1049 % 203 = 34

: In Oceans today I learned that it takes 8 tons of water to raise 8 tons of beef (yes, this was relevant to the lecture). I also learned that it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce one hamburger's worth of meat. Unless I made a conversion error, this means that the average hamburger patty weighs 20,781 pounds. No wonder Americans are so fat!

Confused? You won't be, after this episode of Soap.

: The Towers of Hanoi example program compiles and runs now. This means that conditionals and subroutine calls work. I still have to do some work on conditional expressions, and then work arrays into the picture, and then I'll be done.

: I'm a koala, I'm a small marsupial, I eat eucalyptus and I'm REALLY INTERESTED IN THE FATE OF YOUR ORGANIC COCOA!!!!!


Madonna's Agent: One of Madonna's singles was leaked out onto the Net yesterday. Madonna is extremely peeved about this!

The Record Company Madonna Works For: That's right, Madonna is very pissed off!

Reporters: "Madonna livid" rhubarb rhubarb...

: To do: array creation, array element emit, operations on whole arrays, a > b > c crap.

: Oh yeah, I also have to do comparisons on strings. Bleah.

: Oh yeah again, Jasmin has an "unconditional jump" instruction. Surprisingly, it's called "goto".

: All right men, let's compress video!

: I just spent the last 14 hours working on our nonexistant (as of 14 hours ago) CS130 project. It now exists in large measure, and it's now mainly a matter of hooking the pieces together, which Josh, Namson, and I will do after this two-hour break.

My main task was writing the database API so that the other people could hook the static pages up to it without having to write SQL. Thomas: "When did you learn ASP?" Me: "This morning."

: I need to go buy some more food (watch them go buy some more food). The only things I ate yesterday were a Baja Fresh burrito that Josh brought in, and a chocolate soy bar. I have cereal but no milk. I am making a pathetic attempt to bake a pizza in the oven (no previous attempt to bake anything in the oven has resulted in actual baking). The pizza almost fits in the toaster oven but not quite; I'm hoping that a sojourn in the oven will make it bendy and flexible so that it will fit in the toaster oven. It's a square pizza, and I distrust square pizza in general, but I am starving.

: Jimmy was a cricket, a cricket was he. Pollywog, corn dog, pudding in the mix.

: I don't know about you, but I'm going to attend Euro-BLECH 2000.

: The CS130 application is done. In the spirit of last year's CS111 webcam wackiness, there are some pictures up of us writing the app. Josh has a few more pictures; send them my way, Josh, if you please. I don't have any descriptions for those pictures, but I will soon. I'm not in many of the pictures because I was generally the one taking the pictures. Sorry, Celeste. Josh has more pictures of me.

I gotta say, CS130 was the most useless CS class I ever took at UCLA. I was hoping to learn about UML and stuff. All I learned was how to waste a whole lot of time generating paperwork and then at the last minute rush to put together a system that bears a passable resemblance to the system described by the paperwork. That may be how things work in the real world (my experience is otherwise), but I could have easily learned that on the job.

: The thing I love about Livejournal comment trees is that they so often look like Forum 2000 comment trees.

: Collab.net has obtained funding from Sun, but the news is not on collab.net's front page. I don't know why. Maybe they only link to their own press releases.

: It's not just Sun; it's (among others) Dell, HP, Intel, Novell, Oracle, and Turbolinux, and this is the actual second round of financing. This is good news, although as I understand it, it would have been better news had I gotten my options before this happened.

: I discovered this morning that Jasmin has modulus instructions baked right in. Oh well. (We present) My modulus works fine.

: Why does it {hurt when I pee, take me so long to derive the mapping of an element of an n-dimensional array to an element of a one-dimensional array}? It's not difficult, yet I must needs fill up a whole page with poorly drawn diagrams and equations to figure it out.

BTW, if i1...in are the indices of the array element, and sk is the size of dimension k in the array, than the mapping is:

a[i1, i2, ... in] = b[i1 + E{j=2..n}(ij * T{k=1..j-1}(sk))]

The E and T are symbolic of summation and multiplication summation (I forgot the term, but it's the pi summation as opposed to the sigma summation), respectively. Damn these non-MathML-supporting browsers.

Now I need to use this to make my ArrayElementNodes capable of figuring out where in the actual (one-dimensional) array they reference. Then, they will become self-aware and take over the world! AH HA HA HA HA!

Or maybe they will just help me get my compiler done.

: I don't think I've ever had richer chocolate than the chocolate in this chocolate pudding. It reminds me of those coffees (cappucinos maybe?) that Adam drank last quarter in our digital design lab. They smelled nice at first, but by the end of the quarter, every time he bought one it was like he was loading up a syringe with caramel, sticking it up my nose, and pulling the plunger.

: Dammit, UCLA, I am not going to give you any more money! Stop trying to sell me alumni crap I don't need! I've already paid you upwards of $20,000! I've taken your classes and gotten good grades, so give me my diploma and stop trying to get more money out of me!

: Thanks to Josh, I am Shark Boy! "Too much time coding can make you crazy," says Josh. News to me.

: I made up and used the throwaway phrase "attack of deadly onions from planet deadly onion" a few days ago in an entry in Jake's notebook, and I can't get it out of my head. I love the redundancy. I love the lack of any articles in the sentence. I love the implication that someone named a planet "planet deadly onion". I love all phrases of the form "Attack of the x from Planet y" (especially "Attack of the Good Ol' Boys from Planet Honky-Tonk").

I'm not too crazy about the actual deadly onions; too much like killer tomatoes. But even that makes the whole thing seem like a goofy, poorly-translated video game in which you are a fighter pilot commanded to "defend attack of deadly onions from planet deadly onion!" and when you beat the game you are told "attack of deadly onions is repelled! but this is not the end of your quest!" and then it makes you do the whole thing again, only with cabbages or something.

: It looks like the only things my compiler has to do now are a < b < c and string comparisons. The big complicated test program compiles and runs fine (except for the a < b < c expression in it). This is good, as it will give me time to study for the final (which is on Friday (It's Friday!)).

: All about lut[e]fisk!

: I put up (a slightly edited version of) an email from foaf regarding how software development works in the real world.

I know I shouldn't be awake right now, but I am.

: My latest KatzDot: Open Source Sex - It's About Time

: Jake on lutefisk. Jake, it might be better for you if you don't read about the preparation of the lutefisk.

Eating lutefisk for Christmas seems to me like eating unleavened bread for Passover, except that unleavened bread can be made appetizing.

: a < b < c works. It was actually pretty easy, because what I did was sneak in before outputting the assembler code and change a < b < c to a < b && b < c, which the compiler already knows how to output as assembler. Still to do: operations on whole arrays and string comparisons.

: Cyborg lampreys! In what other field are new developments described as "laudably perverse"?

: My grade on the semantic analyzer: 84. Average grade: 36.4. I kick ass! I don't quite understand the syntax of my grade email, though. I get five points off for "infinite loop" (when?) and after the list of test cases my analyzer failed on it says EXITS 09. Why, Spock, why?

: Get out of Mordor free! Fred was talking about a site that compared lembas to Twinkies, and I found it: Tolkien Sarcasm. Also includes such gems as misleading summaries of Tolkien's works and 10 Rejected Lord of the Rings Plot Twists: "Balin emerges from the depths of Moria, claiming he 'fell asleep in the tub'."

: Strangely enough, string comparison seems to already work. I'm not complaining.

: Roger Ebert thinks he's Dave Barry.

: Test cases that fail: 8 (integer division is done as real), 9 (similar cause), 10 (weird constant thing), 11-13 (division again!!) 15-17 (operations on whole arrays), 19 (integer division gives same results as real division (bleah!!!)), 20 (nonexistant label). That's not good (there are 22 test cases, which means I correctly compile only half of them). I really have to fix the division. The weird thing is that the TA says we don't have to implement division, yet it's used in 9 of the sample test cases. If I fix the division I suppose I can call it quits.

: 8, 9, and 11 work now. I have to go to class.

: I'm not going to fix #19 because I object to its semantics (also, it's too hard). I fixed the conversion problem, but I'm not going to make the type of a division expression depend on what type the result is being assigned to rather than on what type is being divided by what type. I mean, come on.

#10 also looks hopeless because jasmin doesn't seem to want to accept negative values for its constants.

I'm working on the whole-array operations now. Then I'm going to quit.

: I have a compiler submission in. I spent all this time getting array operations and printing out of whole arrays to work, and only one of the three test cases that uses that now works correctly (the other two have subtle things wrong with them). Bleah. I've been up since midnight. Double bleah. I have 16/22 right now, which isn't bad. I just realized that the lecture I'm going to go to right now is my last lecture ever. Yay!

: I don't know what the people in the other building are doing, but I'm fairly certain that they could do it at about 3% of their current shouting level. Unless, of course, what they're doing is shouting.

: 17 works now. 15 still doesn't work and isn't going to work because it assumes that arrays are stored in column major order and I store them in row major order. Therefore, the test cases that have stymied my compiler are 10, 12, 13, 15, and 20. I'm working on fixing 10, but it will be ugly.

: The great thing about having two techno albums is the variety! One techno album might get monotonous after a while, but when you have two, one or the other is always appropriate!

The compiler takes forever to make. I blame the Internet. Specifically, I blame HTTP v1.1.

: I fixed the problem with 10 but it shamelessly manifested another problem, so I give up. 17 out of 22 isn't bad. I'm testing the compiler for turnin now.

: For some reason, editor@segfault.org gets an incredible amount of Japanese spam.

: UCLA is operating under the dual misimpression that:

  1. My mother lives with me in my apartment.
  2. My mother has a lot of money which she is just aching to spend on class rings for me and various foundations.

At some point I'll tell you about the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (couldn't they have changed the name after I graduated?) letter they sent to my mother at my address.

Oh, and look at this hilarious non sequitur from the class ring propaganda booklet:

After all, tradition isn't just about what each student receives from UCLA - it's about what they leave behind. As upcoming graduates take a particular joy in putting on the enduring symbol of a revered university, this university finds an equal joy in the caliber of those people who will be wearing a UCLA ring for many years to come.

I'm sure that made more sense in the original Russian.

: "Jackson's findings suggest, however, that not every moment of Microsoft history should be viewed with pride." Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

: For the life of me I cannot obtain a follow set by using the algorithm. Fortunately, I figured out a rule of thumb that should work so long as the grammars given on the final don't have a lot of rules or a lot of terminals (which they probably won't, since the professor has to grade the exams).

: I just now noticed that the Tolkien Sarcasm page has a serialized parody of Lord of the Rings which, among other things, explains why they're called "High Elves".

: UCLA's student health center doesn't accept any insurance other than the student insurance they try to sell you every quarter. I think I've bitched about this before. They can't stand the thought of ripping off an insurance company instead of you directly. So when I went to see a doctor about my horrible sore throat (the actual visit is paid for by my registration fees, thank goodness), I got a prescription for antibiotics, took it to the drugstore downtown, and was told it would take over an hour. I really don't think it takes them an hour to get a bottle and put it in a bag. The big time consumer is probably paperwork. I'm at home right now waiting for them to call me.

It's probably strep throat. I have a fever of 101.3 (power FM) and I don't even feel it. That's how sick I am. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Oh yeah, the CS132 final was easy.

: There's some problem with the insurance (it took them 2 hours to discover this, so the question re-arrises, what exactly is taking all this time?). They can't find out what the problem is because the insurance company is closed. I may have to actually buy the damn medicine with my own money tomorrow. At least UCLA won't be getting it.

I hear tell that there are so-called "emergency" medical situations where if you don't get help to someone they die. I hope I never end up in one of those.

: I'm complaining because I can complain. Apart from my being sicker than a dog and not being able to get any medicine, everything in my life is great.

: I feel a lot better today. I may not need to get that medicine at all. I'm certainly not going to get it if I have to pay $70 for it. OTOH, I keep getting sick, recovering, and then immediately getting sick again, and antibiotics might stop this pattern. OTOOH, the doctor said this was because I'm in a situation (UCLA) where I come into close contact with hundreds of people every day. Since that won't be happening anymore, I should be fine.

I can't wait til I start my job at collab and I get real insurance. I'll finally be able to get glasses and braces.

: My insurance card is a medical card only. Obviously, prescriptions do not fall under the rubric of "medical", so they can't be billed to a medical card. I'll just have to get better on my own.

: Here's my schedule for next week: On Monday at 8 I have my Oceans final, which should be laughably easy as it's a lower-division class. My CS130 final has to be turned in between 3 and 6 on Wednesday. The CS130 final looks pretty tough, mainly because it requires that I read through all the crap paperwork we produced. I have to turn in my paper on Wittgenstein (who was, indeed, a beery swine) by noon on Friday. Then I'm done. Yay!

: I finally got my insurance to go through. The punchline: the co-pay on the insurance is $78, which is $6 more than the student health center wanted for the medicine (without insurance) in the first place. Is there even a point to having insurance?

: I finally got my rip-off medication (it's Mendocino County &tc.). I have to take it with food, so I got a pizza too. The pizza is my first real food in 2 days, and I think I ate it too quickly because I feel sick. Well, I feel sick anyway but you know what I mean.

: My mother explains how health insurance works. I love the way my mother writes, although I never really saw her write like that while I was living at home.

: I'm completely full of pizza but I couldn't stop eating because food is so good. I had to take the box down to the fridge so I'd stop eating and bloating myself with food.

: Dan is reading Snow Crash. First posting Slashdot comments and now Snow Crash. Tsk tsk tsk.

: Leonardonics: Oh, I said that already

: Here's Adam's bio on drdrew.com. Confirms everyone's worst suspicions: yes, Adam is originally not from California, not from Texas, but from Joisey.

: Dimi Shahbaz, who is on the LUG list but whom I've never met, says my site is "addictive". "You would imagine that some guys log of his life (mostly complaints about stuff) would be pretty boring, and no one would read it, but damned if I don't enjoy it," he goes on to say. He closes by saying "A lot of your jokes I don't get but I pretend to anyway." Nobody gets my jokes, Dimi. That's why they're so good. I don't know why I quoted huge chunks of that mail rather than putting it in /mail.

: Aha. My 132 final is the final I had today from 8 to 11. My Oceans final isn't until 11:30. I'm wondering if I should stay here or go home and come back.

Fred: I have learned how to parse XML!
Leonard: Isn't that the parser's job?
Fred: I have learned how to use the parser!

: The first time I've ever seen "NBC is a partner in MSNBC".

I met Dimi today.

: My cousin Allison, justification for the trip that brought us the the Texas travelogue, had her first baby yesterday afternoon. His name is Atticus. Atticus! Atticus!

: There was a time when Americans designed and manufactured good, reliable helicopters. Helicopters which did not explode when shot at. Personally, I think it's a shame that those days are now behind us. But professionally, I must admit it does make my job a good deal easier.

: Yesterday, my mother was having problems connecting her new scanner to her Windows machine. So of course she decided to call me for help. I begged her not to torment me in this fashion. "It's like you're asking me to fix your Macintosh. It's like you're asking me to repair your car. I can't do it." Fortunately, it was just a case of a missing DLL, so I managed to fix it over the phone in a mere hour.

: Disclaimer: My mother does not own a Macintosh.

I'm almost done with my 130 final. Now I can start rereading Anscomb for my paper. Wittgenstein's assertion is that you can hold a false belief without having made a mistake. I don't see what the problem is or how this implies any kind of idealism. You can speak falsely without lying, but the fact that you weren't lying doesn't make whatever you said true. But I can't make that last 6 pages.

: I just realized something interesting. When I write text for my CS classes (not a common occurance), I assign hypothetical people the ambiguous gender of "him or her". When I write text for philosophy classes (a common occurance), I assume that all hypothetical people are female. I think that this reflects the practices of my CS professors vs. my philosophy professors.

I prefer to assume that all hypothetical people are of a particular gender. I don't care which. It just makes the grammar easier to deal with. If there are multiple hypothetical people I'd like to give them names and refer to them by name, which I could do in CS (there being a precedent in the zany antics of Alice and Bob) but not in philosophy. Fortunately, in philosophy, the hypothetical people generally hail from different camps of philosophy so I can refer to them by the position they are advocating.

: The CS130 final says I have to either hand-write it or use my favorite word processor. I wrote it in Emacs, but is it cheating to put it into Word format to print it out?

: Only one man now stands between me and graduation... Ludwig Wittgenstein!

: "This suite is far more than it appears to be. And that's a good thing, because it appears to be quite lame."

: I tried peas with Pasta Roni once and didn't like it.

: I just realized that the Liar's Paradox could be embodied in a software license. You'd have a license that met all the open source guidelines but which said "This is not an open source license." (That's an Empirical Liar, by the way) Dan says that this isn't a Liar Paradox, it's just lying. Maybe. But what would be the legal status of such a license?

I guess it would only be a Liar's Paradox if the open source guidelines said that an open source license could contain no false statements.

: You know you've been using Lynx too long when you forget that Slashdot has a poll.

: ZDNet: "Somehow, the Linux doldrums seem to have little impact on IBM's Linux commitment." Yeah, IBM's usually so reactionary.

: Demon Dog almost makes an appearance in Today's After Y2K!.

: As long as I'm linking to articles that contain quotes I think are funny, I should link to Mike's latest:

"These actual-dog/sock puppet-dog relationships rarely go beyond the fling stage, and are in fact illegal in thirty-seven states."

: This kicks a large amount of ass per unit time. A guy (Carey Bunks, I assume, since he's the contact for the site) made an annotatable, searchable index of NASA, NOAA, and FWS graphics. Somebody should give this guy a million tons of bandwidth for his site and pay him to find new sources of copyright-free images.

: 24 hours to go!

: I've been going through On Certainty all morning looking for quotes so that I can piece together Wittgenstein's definition of "mistake" and paint him as an idealist. Here's the fabulous section 430:

I meet someone from Mars and he asks me "How many toes have human beings got?"--I say "Ten, I'll shew you", and take my shoes off. Suppose he was surprised that I knew with such certainty, although I hadn't looked at my toes--ought I to say "We humans know how many toes we have whether can see them or not"?

: I was going to have this horrible equivocation at the end of my paper, but then I realized that if I changed it around a little it would a) be a suggestion rather than an equivocation, b) be a good twist to end the paper, and c) bring Wittgenstein in line with my own philosophical preconceptions. Woohoo! I have to write a couple hundred words more near the beginning of the paper, nailing down a definition of "mistake". Then I'll probably have 1600 words, which is five pages. Any more I can add while tightening everything up will spill onto the sixth page, making my paper meet the length requirement (especially since my previous two papers were also too short).

: YES!!! Linux And Open Source Software Is Mentioned In Cynical Attention Ploy. Their only problem: they used an extraneous non-extraneous word ("is"). Technology reporters like words to be missing from press release headlines so that when they print the press release as news, they can put the missing words back in the headlines and get the feeling that they've done something.

: I'm pretty good at spotting terms that have been translated from Japanese or Korean, and thanks to Wittgenstein I'm getting good at spotting terms that were obviously originally in German. Case in point: "language-game". German words remind me of those big strings of sausages that dogs pick up in their mouths and run away with.

I'm obviously not as good at recognizing these terms as a native speaker would be. I wonder how much of a language I would have to know before I could recognize terms in it that are translations of English terms.

: I just found out that the guy who played Murdock on The A-Team was Dwight Schultz, who also played Barclay on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

: Paper's almost done. I've got about 1750 words. I just have to actually hammer out a good definition of "mistake". I have a lot of quotes I can use (which I got this morning) but I don't want to overrun this part of the paper with quotes, but I do need to get a lot of support from Wittgenstein on this because he never gives a definition of "mistake". Why not? He says he can't be done, the concept is too vague. Well looky here, pal:

mistake (n): A misapplication of the rules of one's current language-game.

That's my working definition.

: The paper's done. I just have to whip up a bibliography for it and print it out. Word count: 2038. (What the?!) Wow. First time in a long time that my paper has not been shorter than the recommended minimum length.

I'm actually pretty happy about the way this paper turned out. That can't be a good sign. I probably degraded into all sorts of sophistry in the paper. But I'll pass the class regardless of what happens (I have an A- average on the midterms, which counts for 60% of the class, so even if I get a C on the final I'll get a B in the class).

Woohoo! I'm done!

Tip to students: How can I be so confident that I'll get at least a C on this paper, even if the arguments are terrible?

  1. I answered the question. My paper has the following form: "The question is this. I answer it thusly. Here is my reasoning. All that reasoning was to justify my {positive,negative,whatever} answer to the question." All your papers should have this form. The thing foremost in the professor's (or the grader's, if it's a lower division course) is "Does this paper answer the question?" If they think "no", you're screwed. If they think "yes", there are enough "no" people that coming out on top of them means getting a pretty decent grade.
  2. I put in some arguments and suggestions bringing in stuff we didn't talk about in class at all. Professors like this because it relieves the boredom of grading papers by giving them new stuff to think about, and since we didn't cover it in class they're more lenient about whatever flaws in your logic there might be. Maybe.
  3. I write well.

I make no guarantees. All I can say is that this has worked for me consistently through four years of college, nine paper-writing classes, and about 25 papers.

Let me reiterate: Woohoo! I'm done!

: The home pages of unsung heroes Jerry T. Bonnel and Robert J. Neimroff of Astronomy Picture of the Day.

From the APOD FAQ, the best statement I've ever seen of this non-question: "What if I used to be a millionaire but then I believed something I read on APOD and now I own only a single dented bucket?"

Neimroff recently co-wrote a paper called Accuracy of Press Reports in Astronomy, because that's the kind of guy he is.

: The code to program my remote for my TV is 026.

: All done!

: Dan is leaving today or tomorrow. I'm not leaving til Wednesday. By convention, this means I have to clean the room. Argh.

: Cool! The Satyricon of Petronius has an English translation online! (Here it is in Latin.)

The text claims to be "erotica". Maybe it was, in 1930. The ban on Ulysses wasn't lifted until three years later. Actually the Satyricon is sort of the Roman version of Ulysses.

Me #2: No, The Aneid is the Roman version of Ulysses.

Me #1: No, The Aneid is the Roman version of The Odyssey.

Me #2: The Odyssey of whom?

Me #1: Nobody.

Me #2: D'oh! That joke was old when Homer made it.

Me #1: So was that one.

Me #2: That wasn't a joke, it was a reference.

Me #1: This split personality bit is over.

: This charming report on RMS has the interesting headline "Computer Guru Advises Against Hacking". "Charming" may not be the right word.

: Dr. Wernher von Braun seems quite happy surrendering to the Allied forces in 1945. "A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience", indeed. It was us or the Soviets, I suppose.

: I need to do something with the phrase "Attack of Myself". It's stuck in my head and I've found that the best way to get a phrase out of my head is to use it in something.

My "Attack of Myself" obsession is of course merely a subobsession of my "Attack of x" obsession previously mentioned.

: Dan went and took away the phone and the DSL box, so I have no way of communicating with the outside world. I'll try to come on campus and check my email once a day or so. Bleah.

: I want to use gphoto to obtain pictures from my digital camera, but it's horribly designed, over 50 megabytes in size, requires an 8 meg helper app to talk to my particular model of camera, makes me agree to an onerous licensing agreement, and puts me through the trouble of making up fake personal information so that the authors of gphoto won't be secretly sent my real personal information and my personalized gphoto serial number the next time I connect the laptop to the Internet.

Did I say gphoto? Sorry, I meant Adobe Photodeluxe. gphoto has an 800-kilobyte RPM, is GPLed, and talks to over 100 models of camera.

All kidding aside, why should I have to install 60 megs of software to download pictures from a digital camera onto a Windows machine? I'm feeling generous, so I'll throw the GIMP onto the Linux side, even though it provides about an order of magnitude more image manipulation functionality than does Adobe Photodeluxe. That's still under 20 megs. How do people live this way? My conclusion: gphoto was developed by people who were pissed off at Adobe Photodeluxe.

If you'll excuse me, I now have to save each of my 40 pictures individually, convincing the program each time that I want to save it in JPEG format (the way they're stored in the camera) instead of the proprietary Adobe Photodeluxe format.

: It gets better (worse). Adobe Photodeluxe doesn't even have an option to save a picture in JPEG format. Apparantly I don't need that. I can choose between version 3.0 of the Adobe Photodeluxe proprietary file format, and the original recipe, version 1.0 of the Adobe Photodeluxe proprietary file format.

I can only even get 12 of my pictures out of the camera before the "scratch disk" (Everyone knows you have a separate hard drive just for swap) fills up. These images were 45K apiece when they were in the camera; I saved a PPD file just to look at and it's 900K.

Foster Brereton, I love you like a brother, but the company you intern for makes shitty software.

Windows people: How do you live?

: The saga continues. I can save a picture in JPEG format (they quaintly call it "exporting", but I have to save it in the crap format first and then export it to JPEG. The online help recommends that if I want to send my picture in a format that people on a Mac or UNIX machine can read, I should export it into PDF format. Yes, PDF, the recognized cross-platform standard for digital photographs.

I think I can say with confidence that if they didn't have to say "With Adobe Photodeluxe, you can export your photos right to the Web!", there would be no way to get my photo into JPEG format.

It's at this point that I leave to set up my real computer and get my photos with gphoto, the way God intended.

(If you're wondering why I have a Windows laptop and why I never mentioned it before, it's because I didn't have it before, and it's not technically mine. I have it on loan from MAP, where I no longer work. The people there want me to be able to fix the software I wrote for them if something goes wrong, so I was given an old laptop on which to fix it. I will also be given money on a per-incident basis, and now that I am a professional with a real job I will probably command a higher rate.)

: Ah, sweet Linux booze. I had to copy all the files over to my mom's computer to get them onto the Net, but it was so much easier than wrestling with Adobe Photodeluxe, which now symbolizes to me all that is wrong with proprietary software.

No descriptions for the pictures yet, to be added as usual in my copious free time.

I miss you, Celeste.

: Those pictures weren't transferred as binary. I could probably blame this on Windows' stupid FTP program, but I'm sick of blaming things on things. I'll get pscp and redo them now.

: The pictures are up now. They are pictures from yesterday when my great-uncle Justin Call took Celeste and me sailing. There are also some pictures of my mother and her cousins.

I was explaining what I'll be doing at collab.net to one of my mother's cousins and I was flailing around to try and explain the concept of open source development, and she suddenly says "So it's a lot like the way Linux is developed.", and I was so relieved that she knew what I was talking about after all, that I immediately agreed wholeheartedly with her, and she then started thinking that I was working on some competitor to Linux and the whole thing started over again. Hopefully this interview with Brian Behlendorf will clear things up for those who are curious.

Steve from the UK wrote a song inspired by Segfault. I haven't listened to it (it's a 4 meg download), so I can't recommend it or not, but you can listen to it at his mp3.com site and let me know what you think. He wants me to mention it on the site, which I probably will do.

: I am not in a good mood. I spent yesterday and all of today trying to get a car. The guy my mother put in charge of selling me a car, a man with whom she has dealt with in the past, is completely incompetent. At several points I thought he was trying to cheat me, but he is just incompetent. My mother says she "feel[s] sorry for him". If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that you do not enter into large-scale business transactions with people because you feel sorry for them. There's probably a reason why you feel sorry for them. I am amazed that my mother has not learned this lesson.

There's a lady who's in charge of the paperwork who stayed at her desk and with whom I got more done in five minutes than I had in hours of talking to the other guy and waiting for him to run around talking to his superiors seeing if this or that was okay. This lady should be selling the cars.

I do have insurance now, at least, so I should be able to get my car by Monday. It's a gold Saturn. I don't like cars, but I need to get one.

: Many armchair remedy-makers in the Microsoft antitrust case would have liked to see Windows released as free software. But as this screenshot shows, that's not a workable solution.

I always wanted to be the originator of one of those things that gets forwarded around; maybe this will make it happen (with the Cap'n).

Apparantly, in the Windows world, the term is not "screenshot" but "screen capture". This is weird because the term was "screenshot" in the early 90s when I was using DOS and Windows. Who changed it?

: "Installing GnomeHack is about as simple as you can get. Currently, there are no binaries available or packages, so you'll need a C compiler." Did I miss something here?

: Susanna cut my hair with her haircut kit. It actually looks pretty good. It's the crew cut, not the buzz cut. I don't know if Celeste objects to the crew cut, but I know she objects to the buzz cut. I object to the buzz cut, in fact. It's ugly. But I really like the crew cut. A lot of the collab.net people (including Brian, I think) are where I was in 1998, haircut-wise. Think Penn Jillette.

I must remember to write a Segfault story about the Commission of Advertisers for the Responsible Regulation of Online Trade (CARROT) reforming as the Society for Tormenting and Incapacitating Consumers (STIC), following the failure of the incentive method for convincing people to give up their personal information to marketers. That's the sort of thing that would normally go in my personal notebook, but I like those acronyms so much that I feel the need to show them off even though I don't have an actual story yet.

Tra la, tra la, the tiger. He told a terrible tale. The turkey tipped over the teapot, and toppled away with the snail, the snail. And toppled away with the snail.

: ACTUALLY, I think some of my Segfault stories have been forwarded around. But I meant graphical forwarded around things. purple has gotten the forwarding madness going.

Note: I'm not asking you to forward it. It may be too technical a joke to forward around. It may be not graphical enough to forward around. I just thought it was a good DOS counterpart to those silly UNIX commands like %blow and ^did you switch the^regular coffee with Folgers?.

: I found a program on TUCOWS called MediaCenter which, while it has the usual crop of useless features I don't need, is about 70 megs smaller than the Adobe program, and recognizes that the preferred format for graphics file transfer is JPG. It puts the JPGs in a stupid place and is not very elegant because the actual transfer is done in the helper app for my particular model of camera, but it's good enough that it won't pain me excessively to use it once a day during the trip.

Why is it so hard to find Windows programs that do what you want them to do and nothing more? I mean, organize my photo album. I'd love to do that. Write another program to do that. Don't put it in the video camera capture program.

You could argue that the whole idea of "program that does what you want it to do and nothing more" is a UNIX idea, but I don't buy that. I remember plenty of utilities in the DOS and Windows 3.1 days that were like that.

Then I thought that maybe Windows software authors are enamored of the shareware idea, so they put in lots of stuff so people would register (not that people ever do). But although that's probably a part of it, many of the good old utilities I just mentioned were shareware. Even modern shareware doesn't neccessarily manifest this problem a lot; I haven't used WinZip much, but it's shareware and it doesn't get in my face with features I don't need.

Then I thought that the sort of person who wrote that kind of utility probably doesn't write for Windows anymore, having moved in general to the free UNIX platforms. I think that's the most reasonable explanation, although I'm sure there are others. This is kind of a shame, because if people have to put up with Windows they shouldn't also have to put up with lousy application software.

If I wanted to be sarcastic and Microsoft-bashing I'd say that the authors of Windows software are trying to emulate Microsoft by smushing programs that should be separate into one big blob. But I won't. Even though I just said it by implication, I don't believe that's what it is.

: Susanna has a login name for some website or other of "perfect insomniac". This is close enough to Joyce's "ideal reader suffering from an ideal insomnia" to arouse suspicion, but she claims never to have heard of that phrase. Hmm.

: I'm downloading the Windows version of Python so that I can write real scripts for the laptop. If there are any useful Windows tools you use, let me know of them.

: Bleah. Rose mulch bleach.

: My mother wanted me to watch Harold and Maude, but I cannot endorse it. It reminded me of the comedy version of The House of Yes (which I also cannot endorse). All I can say good for it is that it accurately reflects for me the mood of the early 70s, and that it wasn't one of those pseudo-comedies where the characters can do a wacky thing but then they have to deal with the consequences of their actions for ten minutes. The wacky thing gets done, the scene ends, and that's all we hear of it. The only problem was that I wanted them to have to deal with the consequences of their actions because I didn't like the characters very much.

: Despite the car salesman's best efforts at dissuading me, I now have a car. I am also $16,000 in debt. When collab.net goes public be sure to buy lots of stock to drive up the value of my options so I can pay off my car.

It's probably illegal for me to say that. I was kidding! Let the record show I was kidding!

Some new pictures in misc; one of Mrs. Irby (whose Dylan bootlegs I returned today, after having had them for over 2 years), and one of me doing the jigsaw puzzle as per Celestial request. Susanna also has a pictures section now.

Mrs. Irby's picture is sideways. Woop, not anymore! Thank goodness for Chef convert 0626-001.jpg -rotate 270 0626-irby.jpg!

: I have As in software engineering and philosophy, and a B+ in compiler construction (I didn't get an A because of my miserable showing on the midterm). No Oceans grade yet, but it will probably also be a B+ since I skipped discussion a lot and it's the sort of class where you get points for going to discussion. So I'm pretty sure I'll get my final GPA above 3.3. Woohoo!

: But sir, have you considered the many advantages of the non-legit lifestyle?

: Wow, I went to foaf's page and he also had a reference to Dynamite Hack's Boyz in the Hood, albeit a more conventional reference. I only know of that song because when we were working on the 130 project, Josh was constantly serving it from the laptop to the computer with the speakers, forcing us to listen to it.

B in Oceans. Bleah. Shoulda gone to discussion. My total GPA looks to be 3.288. Oh well.

: I'm leaving tomorrow.

President Clinton: I'm pleased to announce the completion of the human genome map.

Jon Katz: My God! What a setback for troubled teens!

Suggestion for a Segfault article: a story about the human genome map headlined "Security Through Obscurity Loses Again". The rest is at your discretion. No one will do it, of course, and I won't be able to.

: Hey everybody! I'm Dr. Nick Riviera! I have to move all my stuff back into the truck and into my car. Then I have to drive up to Frisco (nyeah) and unload it (bleah). Then we keep going north, I think, although we might stay the night at my uncle's house and go north tomorrow.

So this is really, seriously, the end of Internet access for me for quite a while. Will I survive? Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat station! Wait, I've been handed an update... it will in fact be a different bat station!


Get out of jail free.*

* Certain restrictions apply to claim.**

** Certain restrictions apply to previous disclaimer.

My mother got a cooking equipment catalog with a little cover cover (another cover on top of the real cover) which had a disclaimer disclaimer of that form. It said "FREE DELIVERY" but it had to qualify "FREE DELIVERY" to such an extent that the disclaimer itself was misleading, and another disclaimer had to be written adding more qualifications to the disclaimer.

In case you haven't noticed, I love disclaimers. I also love modifying nouns with themselves. Pizza pizza.

: You'd think that a story called The Ecology of the Xorn would be the greatest story ever written, but it's... not.

: Continuing my Google search for "xorn" brings me this "Vade-Mecum" for Rogue, which reads like a standards document and from which you could write a clone of Rogue version 3, 4 or 5. Also offers the official justification for why you can't go up stairs in Rogue until you get the Amulet: the stairways are not stairways but holes in the floor, "the elevators have been out of order for centuries", and the Amulet lets you levitate (but not in the way that the potion of levitation lets you levitate) so you can go up the holes. Yeah, right.

I should also point you to the wondrous Rogomatic, predecessor to Angband's Borg.

: I'm off, but not to see the wizard. We represent the Screen Actors Guild.

: I'm at my great-aunt's house, setting up Putty so I can check my email.

: The San Fransisco Giants portal has the same sort of appeal to me that I imagine your average portal having to someone who is new to the Internet.

The collab.net office (until it moves in August) is right down the street from Pac Bell Park. It's a really nice ballpark.

My time has been largely divided between driving the car and sitting in the car taking pictures out the windows while someone else drove. The resulting travelogue will therefore probably have a lot of poorly-shot pictures of things I think are funny and lots of paragraphs that just go "I drove from x place to y place."

"Why do you take so many pictures of signs?", asks Susanna. Because signs are funny. When you're driving down the freeway and someone wants to sell you something you don't need or convert you to their religion, they use a sign. And since you're driving past the sign at a fair clip, the copy on the sign needs to be snappy. And since it's so difficult to come up with snappy copy, signs are a gold mine of unintentional hilarity.

I-5 in Washington goes through some Indian reservations, and the inhabitants of the reservations set up these Quartzite-style booths on the side of the road and sell fireworks from them. They have names like "Ill Eagle Fireworks". I got some great pictures of that and of other things today, including a bizarre billboard near the Washington border that had a big Uncle Sam on the right and a plastic-letter "DO DEMOCRATS HATE MICROSOFT?" attached to the left. Do Democrats hate Microsoft? Well, it's pretty universal outside of Washington.

: Oh yeah, I turn 21 a week from today.

: Among the stuff that my great-aunt is getting rid of is a thing that came with a piece of software written to help you learn how to beat blackjack. (Blackjack, apparantly, can be consistently beaten; that is, there are strategies that result long-term in you gaining money and the house losing money.) The thing is basically a lookup table which maps the current state of the game to the action you should take. I guess you're supposed to memorize the table and then go to a casino and get kicked out because they can see you're playing according to the system.

It gave me an idea for a genetic programming type program which evolves a winning blackjack strategy by selecting for good lookup tables. The only problem is that some of the entries on the lookup table want you to calculate some function of the game state, a "count", and take one action if the count is positive and another if it's negative. I don't know how to calculate this function of the game state.

I've tried searching the Web but all I get is people wanting to sell me books on how to calculate this function; I don't get any actual explanation of the actual function. Is it such a complicated function? If I knew anything about genetic programming I'd evolve the count function as well as the lookup table, but I don't. Does anyone reading this have one of those books that they bought at some point and can explicate the function to me?

Also, I remember seeing a Python module containing deck-of-cards logic, but I can't find it. Anyone know where it is? Nevermind, I found it: cards.py.

: What better way to celebrate Independance Day than to go to Canada? That's what we did. We spent as much time on the ferry to Victoria as we did in Victoria, but apart from that it wasn't bad.

: As a preview of the travelogue I am sure to write, I put up about 30 pictures taken over the past five days. Enjoy.

: Everything in Washington and Canada seems designed for someone several inches shorter than myself. This is very strange, as I am not particularily tall.

: Pinball games suffer from incredible point inflation, such that even someone who is terrible at pinball, such as myself (I'm not a pinball wizard, nor must there be a twist) can score 17 million points over the course of a typical game.

In the car, Susanna read out loud a joke she was reading in Our Dumb Century, But I was sitting in the front seat, away from her, and when she said "cannibalism", I heard "catapults", which ruined the joke. The thing was, it not only ruined the joke but it also made the joke about ten times funnier, and I started laughing hysterically. After Susanna discovered that I was laughing at a misinterpretation of the joke, she grew sullen. "I tried to share my humor, and they laughed at me!", she said.

: I just put up 4 new pictures taken today.

: We're supposed to leave in an hour. My mother was going to wake everyone up. I'd better go wake her up.

: My mother was awake, but not out of bed. Just so I don't get accused of slandering my own mother.

I'm at collab.net now. Three... why did I type "three"? I don't know. I have a computer with a huge monitor. Lynx looks so good in it. I'm going to go publish some Segfault stories while I wait for Brian to get here.

: Ahh... now I can drink!

: The "Applets" icon for Helix-Gnome looks like Sputnik. Is it Sputnik? I assume it's not since that makes absolutely no sense. But what is it?

: Correction: Terry Chow does not use KDE.

: Wohoo! My cumulative UCLA GPA is 3.303!

: The boom box here is playing a reggae version of "Autobahn". It has stunned me into submission, like a large frog smacked on the head by a two-by-four.

: Too many portable MP3 players, not enough potable MP3 players!

: My current task is reading O'Reilly's Java Servlet Programming. The guy who wrote the book is sitting at the desk across from mine. This is weird.

: Got my birthday present from Jake: three CDs.

  1. Jake's own Ordem e Progresso
  2. Cat and Bird Hospital (Jake and Greg, who I do not know) Get Well Soon, which would be a lot better if the vocals were done in normal voices instead of sore-throat voices.
  3. The Interview with a Frankenstein audio issue, which I have not heard but which covers (?) my 68 Dead Ones, which slightly distresses me as Jake said he was going to cover Liza Dei.

: Whoops, it's not a cover, it's the original tape recording of 68 Dead Ones I sent to Jake years ago, with some samples dubbed on top of it. How emberraske (for me).

: What if I kept track of every single URL I came across in print and post them at the end of the day in a big list? Answer: there would be something seriously wrong with me.

: Microsoft's .NET not bid to control Internet - CEO See? Even the CEO says so!

: I forgot to mention that Celeste sent me a bunch of cool shirts and two very sweet cards for my birthday. Thank you so much, honey.

I was reminded of Celeste by the song Sara on One Hand, the Drug Store on the Other on the IwaF audio issue. It's the best song on that CD. It's so beautiful, it moves me to tears. The only problem with it is the inclusion of a sample after the song is over.

: "LinuxWorld Conference & Expo has moved the registration deadline to July 21 to accommodate the new software rage." Huh?

: MP3 of Sara on One Hand, the Drug Store on the Other. It's exactly the sort of song I would never, ever write (lyrics-wise, I mean; the music sounds very me-ish), but I wish I had written it, which makes me feel very weird, and may be why I love it so much.

Jake in his notebook: "everyone agrees- i should've removed the last "late afternoon" form the sara jon & the drugstore song. %#@$!"

: I find this very funny, although I probably shouldn't (from The Washington Post):

No nation provides so clear an illustration of the dangers of irony as France: You sit in a cafe long enough, wearing black and muttering ironic observations on the passing scene, and one day the passing scene is the German army, again. Isn't that ironic?

: Added Mark Fasheh, Michael Yount, and foaf's new weblog (One weblog, okay, but two???) to my outside-link bar.

: On the way back from the Bryant office, I saw a big red double-decker bus belonging to the same tour company that owned the big red double-decker bus we took sightseeing in Victoria. It must be a chain, or that bus is seriously lost.

: As long as I'm ripping people's songs off the IwaF compilation, I should rip my own 68 Dead Ones, which was not a premonition of the exploded whale, but which could have been.

: I finally got my laptop. It's {Mendocino County &tc., a Thinkpad}. It's faster than my desktop at home, which should make for some wild times.



How'd we pack so much FLAVOR and CRUNCH into something so MINI? One bite and your family will know this BIG TASTE is something DIFFERENT. QUAKER CRISPY MINI'S [sic] are OVEN-BAKED for a LIGHT, CRISPY texture you'll love to MUNCH. It's the SNACK that's a TREAT to EAT. At a party or simply watching TV, it's the only MINI that's BIG where it counts.

Wanna add some CRUNCH to the taste of CARAMEL? You've grabbed the right bag. CARAMEL CRISPY MINI'S [sic] bring to mind swirls of thick, rich caramel. And, better still, they've got CRUNCH! Now you can really satisfy your family's sweet tooth. So c'mon! Crunch into CARAMEL QUAKER CRISPY MINI'S! [sic]

This opens up so many questions. Like, why the unhealthy obsession with my family? Why the Pokeyfication? Why the apostrophe errors? Whose idea was it to write the copy as though "flavor" and "crunch" were cancer preventatives?

: This is incredible. I'm actually remembering peoples' names.

: Embedded Linux tsunami hits Tokyo, thousands drown

: Josh Lucas, who started at collab.net the same day I did, has a web page which meets my criteria for top-of-the-front-page placement, so I put it there. What a long, convoluted sentence.

: Nathan (a Segfault fan from way back) got my printing and my sound card working on the laptop. Woohoo!

: It may interest you to know that in the Nethack source there is an extensive routine for pluralizing English nouns.

That's just one of those things that comes to my mind once in a while and which I have to post here so that I'll stop thinking about it.

: For the first time in my life, I have a huge box of business cards with my name on them. I have a feeling that this is like handing me a machine gun that shoots candy.

: If you thought the tsunami of embedded Linux in Tokyo last week was devestating, wait until you read about the European outbreak of Linux devices. This stuff is dangerous, folks.

: perl.com Is Not www.perl.com.

: The fruit and nut trail mix here has chunks of dried mango in it. My, this is a yummy dried mango!

There is so much food here. Never before have I had so much food at my disposal.

This book looks very interesting, but somehow I came away from the review without feeling as though I had read a review of a book. Weird.

: Salon article about Advogato: Even Better Than Slashdot? There are certain assumptions implicit in that headline.

: I'll be at The O'Reilly Open Source Convention tomorrow. Their motto, "Innovate - Collaborate - Discover", is obviously a rip-off of mine.

I met Cameron Barrett today. He wants me to go to Webzine2000 on Friday. I normally forgo events which promote themselves via cartoons of girls holding cans of spray paint, but I may make an exception in this instance.

: Gnutella is very cool, but I don't really want anything.

: What comes to mind when you see the headline South African Attacked By Great White? That's probably why they appended "Shark" to the headline.

: I have a bottle of green hair dye from my first year at UCLA. I work at a place that doesn't care what color my hair is (Ed Korthof, one of my co-passengers on the trip to Monterey tomorrow, has blue hair), and my hair is now short enough (its darkness in color is directly proportional to its length) that the green would probably actually show up. So, the question is, should I try the green hair again?

: I think this is the funniest thing Scott (JR, not H) has ever written: (from his journal)

I mean, its not as if the Queen Mother is destructible anyway. If you blew her up, she'd reassamble and walk out of the flames Terminator style.

Happy birthday, Scott!

: The open source conference was great. I have pictures which I can't seem to get onto my laptop, including many pictures of Larry Wall making a fool of himself. Larry Wall has many of the mannerisms of Weird Al Yankovic, and he also had the Weird Al glasses and Hawaiian shirt (and old-school mustache). Also Brian, Tim O'Reilly, Richard Gabriel (me: "Is that the Richard Gabriel?" Jon: "Yeah, although I'm not sure what he's known for."), Andy Hertzfeld, and other greats. Actually, I think that's it as far as the greats go. But I also have lots of pictures of my friends.

: I got a paycheck yesterday. This is not good, as my money was supposed to be directly deposited into my UCU account. This means I have to go over to the BofA and open an account there so that I can make my car payment.

: RIAA:Napster::MPAA:Scour.

(I have an interest in Scour because I went to UCLA with the people who founded it.)

: Today's Zippy (which will only last until Monday) has a nice touch: the building in the cartoon is the Griffith Observatory in L.A.

: Does anyone know the original source of the fake news story "Metallica's New Album Is Napster-Proof"? I thought it was from modernhumorist.com, but it's not. Someone tried to submit it as a Segfault story. The story posits a Metallica album with one, really long, really crappy song.

: Thanks to Celeste for tracking down the Metallica article.

In other news, my CARROT/STIC Segfault story was profiled on Tasty Bits from the Technology Front. Woohoo!

: Segfault: DVD Zone Encoding Has Gone Too Far! I actually wrote that story a long time ago (on paper, waiting for the plane back to LA after my Zack interview), but it still works.

: Recipient of tiny heart pump goes home after transplant. Do they run a story every time anyone goes home after a transplant? Are they going to run a story about me when I go home?

: This organization is one of the SourceXchange sponsors: Future Captains of Capitalism. When I was a kid, it was Future Farmers of America.

: Wow, Mike cut his hair.

: I'm going through the DSL shenannigans again. Hopefully I'll have it within a week and I can start working from home.

: New features include...nuclear fallout

: Even before the merger [of Visio and Microsoft], [Visio CEO Ted] Johnson was an outspoken defender of Microsoft in its fight against the Department of Justice. He [sic] opinion hasn't changed.

I'm not sure what the expectation is. Do the CEOs of most companies acquired by Microsoft suddenly start supporting the antitrust action?

: Town Searches For Monster Snake. A truly monstrous snake would not require much searching for.

: Just spoke to Cameron Barrett again, at somewhat greater length than last time. He seems like a really great guy.

: It's gotten to the unfortunate point that every time I see news of a natural disaster, I think of it in terms of embedded Linux. I guess you ridicule what you don't understand, and I understand neither natural disasters nor embedded Linux. When San Francisco is destroyed by earthquake, my thoughts as I fly across the room will be "Oh no, an embedded Linux earthquake!"

: Since I moved here, I've been wondering why the fog clears up in the afternoon only during the week. The weekends are inevitably shrouded in perpetual fog. The only reasonable explanation is that the fog clears up in the afternoon in the downtown area, where I am during the week, but not in the hills, where I live and where I stay during the weekend.

: Hey hey. Taking BART knocks 20 minutes off my commute. And it's much more comfortable than the bus (but a lot more walking).

: Vivendi Chief Says He'll Crush Pirates. These poor people. They're banging their shoes on the table and threatening to crush their customers.

: Pictures from the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. Jon has a couple pictures of me. I'll add those when I get them.

I'm so behind on writing pages for all my sets of pictures. Now I know how my mother feels with all her scrapbooks. Except I don't clutter up my pages with stickers. If I did, it would take even longer for me to find all the appropriate clip art.

: Woohoo! Segfault has been declared a federal disaster relief area USA Today Hot Site! I took the opportunity to put up that old Linux Magazine Top 100 Linux Web Sites award, as well.

: Linux To Remain The Same Sized Threat To Microsoft, Study Says. Dang it! I mocked their headline and then they went and changed it! That's not the way it's supposed to work!

: Where does that bear bile you love so much come from? It comes from bear bile farms! Shame on you!

: Joe found some Linux games which I wish I'd known about earlier so I could have played them with Dan: Emperor Penguin (a clone of the fabulous old-school Empire) and Craft.

: Excellent. My copies of Peopleware and Open Source Development with CVS have come in. OSDwC has a starburst on the cover that says "Portions Of This Book Available Under The GPL". Yes, nothing sells books like the licensing of a portion under the GPL.


Rick: You put that back! That's my intellectual property!
Neil: You just said all property is theft, Rick.
Rick: Well, yes, it is.
Vyvyan: So I'm nicking it.

: Collab.net is getting lots of press coverage due to the Sun openoffice.org and Oracle developer exchange annoucnements, and I (along with everyone else) am getting lots of forwarded news articles. Here's a gem from the Wall Street Journal which demonstrates a form of understatement I find distinctly American (as opposed to the traditional British understatement):

Sun's StarOffice open initiative is a way to attack the ubiquity of proprietary desktop software such as Microsoft Corp.'s popular Office product, which wasn't developed using open-source models.

Not to be jingoistic about forms of understatement, not to wave the red, white, and blue of understatement, not to wear the big belt buckle and drive the gas-guzzling SUV of understatement, but this kind of innocent understatement is a nice compliment to the traditional dry, worldly British brand.

: What does it say? More importantly, why is "datanerd" not a word in English?

The banner ad for that page when I went there had epilepsy-fit-inducing camels flittering around it, so of course I had to click.

: Another great George Speight quote: "At least we're not killing people like in other coups." Why is he so sensitive about other people's coups?

: More lovely understatement: "They [the dinosaurs] dominated this planet for 140 million years yet never developed a technological civilization."

: I asked on IRC if "R2-D2" had a hyphen or not, and Jon pointed me to R2-D2's official character page, which reads like R2's resume. "As Skywalker's trusty companion, R2-D2 continues to play an important and ongoing role in helping the Rebels thwart Imperial forces, specializing in GTK development with C++."

: The reason I asked was that a guy submitted a Segfault story involving R2. As long as I'm linking to Segfault stories, don't miss the hilarious RFC 31337.

: Why is the History of UNIX spread out over twenty bazillion pages? The normal rationale for this behavior is to sell lots of banner ads, but there are no banner ads on that site. Maybe they've been paying too much attention to Jakob Nielsen.

: I thought I would be free of techno music when I moved out of LA, but no such luck. They play it even at work here! Argh. It's not as annoying as the stuff I was subjected to in LA, but still. Argh.

: I'm fleeing to mp3.com for music to listen to to drown out the techno. There are a lot of silly children's songs.

: Wonderful "Eclectic Science Rock" from Mike T. and the Trilobites. My only concern is that it seems that people who actually know how evolution works can't translate that consistently into a song.

I screwed up on that at one point (Liquid Crystal used to have a line that implied that evolution was goal-directed), and I just rewrote the song. Is it so difficult?

Sorry. Go there and listen to that music. It's good.

: My second Be Dope story in as many years. (here's the other one)

: I bet I forgot my sandwiches. Nope.

: An interview with my hero (in a Penelope Pitstop sort of way), Scott Fritzinger of gPhoto. If you like Garrett LeSage's Segfault icons, he's also the guy who does all the graphics for linux.com. Even if you don't like them, that's what he does. He's not going to stop just because you don't like what he did for Segfault.

: I love you too, Celeste.

: Crud. I really gotta write up descriptions for the O'Reilly pictures, as Cam has linked to them.

: People visiting from Camworld: you probably want me to pontificate about industry trends, so here goes.

The big push now, apparantly, is P2P. Pseudo-acronym for "person-to-person" (with Edward R. Murrow). This is by analogy with the previous big pushes, B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer). Note that Cs must share a 2-bond with a B, or they become Ps. It's like chemistry.

People are floating business plans for P2P schemes, which is interesting as P2P has no B in it, just Ps. So why the business plans, rather than just a standards document that Ps agree to follow? The answer is probably that the actual business plans are for C2B2C schemes, which are pointless because there's little or no value in them (versus a comparable P2P) for anyone outside the B.

Napster is a good example of a C2B2C business. Gnutella is a much better implementation of the idea (although it doesn't have as many users), and the reason is that it's P2P instead of C2B2C. This saves everyone a lot of trouble because it lets the Ps get on with their 2-binding without having to become Cs beholden to a B for their 2.

The one good thing that has come out of this silliness is a sort of taxonomy of business plans. Expect in the future to see P2C2B2C plays, C2B2C2B2C partnerships, and B2C2C2P2P2C2B2C supply chains.

: The problem with Carnivore is its name. If you're ZDNet, it's easy to take "Carnivore" and run with it in headlines. It would be much more difficult to expose the evil of Carnivore if it were called something like "LTOW".

: While at lunch I received 10 copies of the same spam mail.

: Some pictures of Brian and other dev people at collab, taken yesterday.

: And 4 more copies. I think this guy's spam-bot might not check for duplicates.

: Another 5 copies end the spam, at least for now. Mike says he got 6 copies.

: Time for some old-school understatement, from LWN:

Exactly two years ago, two new distributions were turned loose. One was "maXimum CDE/OS" put out by Xi Graphics - it integrated the AccelleratedX server and Motif/CDE, was aimed at corporate clients, and was expensive. The other announcement was for a thing called Linux-Mandrake - then a version of Red Hat 5.1 with KDE integrated. Two years later, one of those distributions is doing rather better than the other...

What's with the ellipsis? Why do people think their understatements need ellipses? Am I even spelling that right?

: The BART has a system where you put your ticket into a slot and then retrieve it to get in and out of the station. Every single ticket-taker has a handwritten sign on it that says "NO WET TICKETS". The inability of the ticket-takers to handle wet tickets has been independantly discovered at every station, and someone dispatched to put signs on the ticket-takers. It's not a warning label that came printed on the ticket-takers.

Whenever I see NO WET TICKETS on a BART ticket-taker I am reminded of the mythical (in that I've never seen an actual instance) T-shirt that says NO FAT CHICKS. Which is really a weird T-shirt because it implies that the wearer is constantly being propositioned by fat chicks. It says, "Fat chicks dig me to such an extent that I must take special measures to defer them."

: Java Modeling! In Color! Tonight's guest: UML!

: var'aq: the warrior's programming language!

: Wow. After a lifetime of accomplishments, you get a lousy obituary like this.

: If people want to say that I look like Howie Long, I won't stop them.

: Now that I've graduated, I was going to be mellow and lenient towards UCLA's wacky attempts to cheat me out of my money. But they're going after my mother as well, so tally ho! Behold the UCLA Santa!

I'd say there are probably 30 versions of those custom football Santas, each with its own customized form letter from the Dansbury Mint. Santa is spreading himself awfully thin, but then what else is new?

: Segfault Editor Makes Fool of Self

: The CSS Anarchist's Cookbook is corrupting our children!

: My site is now the all-powerful clearinghouse for O'Reilly Open Source Convention pictures. Here are Cam's pictures. (I should probably link to camworld on the top navbar; since I know him now, he meets the criteria.

: It is very hot here. And humid. Bleah. Manoj and I are united in our preference for cold, foggy weather. I think he's the only other person I've ever met who had such a preference.

: Technocrat (unintentionally) spins the news:

Naval-strength submarine-finding SONAR may be able to damage or destroy a whale's inner ear, causing it to become disoriented.

: Mike said: "not a segv story, but it could be". I agree wholeheartedly. I also endorse the breaded clams.

Go to the Linux Today discussion page for that story to see people use it as an excuse to write the same stuff they always write.

: What's there to live for? Who needs the Geekcorps?

: EMonks is like Project Gutenberg (in fact, it has all the Project Gutenberg texts), but without that old-fashioned insistence upon only transcribing public domain works.

: There is a business model by which a company puts up an e-commerce site which takes your orders and throws them away. Then you call their 800 number to complain and they ask you for all the information that their Web server tossed into the bit bucket the first time you gave it to them, and you perform the actual business transaction on the phone. I'm not sure where exactly the value to the consumer is in this, but it's a very popular business model, so there must be money in it.

: There is a bug in IE 5 which I curse, even though I've never used IE 5 in my life. This bug sends the page you were on as the referrer to the page you go to, even if you typed in a new URL or selected a bookmark rather than clicking a link on the old page. This means that my tidy referrer logs are cluttered up by IE 5 users who go to my site or to Segfault and tell me what page they were on before, even if that page has no links to my site or to Segfault. It annoys me.

I'm pretty sure this only happens with IE 5 users, which is why I pin the blame on IE 5.

: Mike and I are trying to think up the ultimate slanderous headline. A slanderous headline is one designed (as is its child article) to bring in page views from angry zealots who flame the author and increase the site's hit count. ZDNet columnists do this a lot, more due to a natural flair for showmanship than any edict from above, I believe. Anyway, my working slanderous headline is "Mac Zealots: Mozilla-Loving Dupes of Napster Linux Communists". Mike praises it as "concise and highly inflammatory."

It's sort of the anti-Katzdot, I guess.

: I was expecting to get set up with DSL sometime within the next two weeks. Ed informs me that if I wanted that, I should have ordered my DSL in April.

: foaf on browsers:

I can't tell you what my default browser will be on any given day. Both netscape and IE fight for ownership of my browsing experience and I have decided to go with the flow rather than choosing between the two. When either asks to be my default I just say "Sure, why not".

: Leonardonics: Singing animal naming convention, Then you endorse the breaded clams?.

: Science and Technology Daily and Arts and Letters Daily are not above writing eye-catching summaries of the articles they link to, summaries which have only a passing resemblance to the content of the articles.

So when I saw "Licking your wounds may soon take on a whole new meaning. It could even be a pleasant and tasty experience!" on Sci Tech Daily, I thought "There is no way the actual article says anything like that." Think again, Leonard. That is a verbatim quote of the actual article, which discusses potential uses of honey as an antibacterial agent. This usage of honey has the blessing of Aristotle, who as we know is always on the cutting edge of medical science.

Be that as it may, I don't think that licking one's honey-covered wounds would be either tasty or medically advisable.

: Mark has a cameo in this summary of the VA Linux Printing Summit, where agreement was reached between the superpowers to halt construction of orbital laser printers.

: It's not difficult to infer the licensing terms of software packages from their name and their Freshmeat description.

: With the sales department sitting behind me, I am privy to all sorts of industry dirt.

: You know what cracks me up? If you go to a map site and get a map, there will be options to show on the map locations of, eg. Dennys restaurants or Honda dealerships. "Yes, I'm planning a trip from Pittsburgh to Chicago and I want to know the location of every Honda dealership along the way." I don't get it. Companies pay to make this an option for users of the map service. Why?

: In my attempts to get Susanna a laptop, I have discovered another popular business model, where you set up an e-commerce site which falsely implies that the item your customer wants is in stock and/or that you will actually be able to sell the items in your catalog when someone orders them. The idea is to prevent your customers from buying what they want to buy, and to annoy them so that they wouldn't buy from you even if you had what they wanted.

Again, I'm not sure where the money is in this model, but the people who run these businesses must be pretty happy with it.

: Between the BART station and the office there is a large marble building which a glorious stone-cut mural on the front lets on to be the Marine Firemen's [sic?] Union. I don't know what to make of this building, because I can't see there being so many marine firemen in San Francisco that they need this big union hall. I think they subcontract the building out so that other unions can use it as well, because there is a banner in one window which says "PACBELL HONOR OUR CONTRACT", and I can't imagine why Pacific Bell would be dealing with the Marine Firemen's union.

: I know that this is funny, but I don't know how or why.

: This site claims that American washing mashines are inferior to their European counterparts. [Goofus designs heavy cars to meet weight quotas more easily.] I was disturbed (but not particularily surprised) by this, so I took pictures of the washing machine I use in my uncle's house so that, in the interests of international cooperation, its design could be critiqued by the readers of this site. I also took pictures of the dryer and the refrigerator, for good measure.

(All of those appliances are really old, but (and this is why I wasn't surprised) it doesn't matter, since the new models look pretty much the same.)

: Pictures from San Francisco: what passes for "gardens", dawn.

: Katzdot: Can Sex Stop American Lurkers?

: Things You Wouldn't Expect to Find on an AOL Homepage, part 430: Design Reverse-Engineering and Automated Design Pattern Detection in Smalltalk.

: Hey hey. Mike invited me to a book burning beach bonfire tomorrow. I'm there. I will be, anyway. Mike lives in my ZIP code (Is that a big deal in SF? It would be in LA.), just a few miles away.

: Protect us from the laws of supply and demand! Bring back the days of socialized electricity!

: Hacker crackdown, or cracker hackdown?

: I have to know: Who are Liam and Patsy?

: On the way to the bonfire I saw a Korean (?) church which advertised itself as "The Home of Christ" the way a restaurant would advertise itself as "Home of the Big Bacon Burger". I took a picture of it, but, unlike my other pictures, it didn't come out.

On the way home from the bonfire, I got lost and somehow ended up on the 280 (yes, the 280, myeh) and had to turn around. I know I'm going to get flak for complaining about the street layout of San Francisco, so I will acknowledge that there are parts of LA where the streets curve and split off and do weird things. And, by the same token, there are parts of San Francisco where you can drive for nearly two miles without running into a three-way stoplight or some other unholy freak of traffic control.

: I forgot to mention that on the way to Mike's house, I saw the famous dog with chef's hat statue from Zippy the Pinhead. I would have taken a picture, but there was nowhere to park.

: Consecutive Slashdot headlines: Linux In A Box, Linux on a Wrist Watch?. I predict Linux on a Wrist Watch In A Box? next.

: Windows: Wave of the Future or Sack of Bile? is not the follow-up to my Linux: Windows Avenger or Worm-Ridden OS of Filth?, but it could be.

: Wow, now that I've graduated, SEASNet offers Solaris. Which reminds me, I'd better move my Smokey compiler off the SEASNet machine before they shut my account down.

: I just committed my first line of code to an open source project. (There was a method added to another class at my request, but I didn't write the method, I just called it.)

: Wow, where did the day go? It went on the rails, of course. It couldn't have gone...anywhere else.

: After many false starts, Susanna now has a computer. Huzzah!

: Anachronisms in my history of Rome book:

[Republican] Rome had also become the Mecca of fortune hunters from every corner of the Mediterranean world.

Oh yeah, I have a history of Rome. I got it in Washington. I'm reading it on the BART, which moves me through at the rate of about 10 pages a day. I really should read it while not on the BART, but I don't want to, on principle. I shouldn't even read it on the BART, cause it's a big book and it takes up a lot of space in my backpack. I should find a smaller book to read on the BART.

The book was published in 1939 (I {met him, got it} in {a candy, an antique} store), and is filled with underlinings and marginal notes that date to late 1944. So much of the text is underlined that I really have to question the value of the underlining, and most of the margin notes take parts of the text and put it into list form.

There's one margin note that made me laugh out loud when I saw it. The relevant passage (it's circled) is:

Except for the Jews, then victors over Antiochus in Palestine, the Carthaginians were the last great representatives of the Semites until the rise of the Arabs under Mohammed in the seventh century A.D.

This passage has a big note off in the right margin saying "Jew". Why?

I think the reason it made me laugh out loud is that it reminded me of an old Dr. Katz (is that still running?) where the guy on the couch is talking about a stand-up audition he did. "So I go up there and I'm doing my act, and the guy says 'don't be schticky.' 'Don't be schticky.' You know what that means to me? We hate the Jews. 'Don't be schticky, Jew.'"

: These guys moved in a few weeks ago two floors below us.

: wmNetscapeKiller: a new web browser? No, it literally kills your Netscape session. It's a sure sign of a problem with your software when third-party applications spring up to compensate for and recover from its shortcomings.

Norton Utilities.

: Manoj's DJ name is "DJ Big Indian". Everyone should have a DJ name, and everyone's DJ name should be some obscure geeky reference.

: Pictures from San Francisco: The only bar I've ever seen with a mission statement.

: I got an honorable mention in the Be Dope Haiku Contest.

: Joshua Uziel (of uzi fame) has coined (?) the term "booth unbabe" to refer to Mark in his role as VA rep at Linux World Expo, and, more generally, to anyone who both works a trade show booth and is knowledgeable about the product he or she is representing.

: Jon finally sent me his pictures from the O'Reilly conference.

: I saw this in the Segfault referer log, and soon realized that the writing style was oddly familiar. Yes, Kris wrote it. Hi, Kris.

: Life imitates Segfault.

: And more Segfault, this time from me: Industry Unites Around Vague, Poorly-Defined Vision

: Co-Worker Josh wrote:

Sometimes, what seem to be little decisions can drastically effect an employee's performance and attitude... in this case, it was in a good way

Just for the record, I was affected in the same way as Josh. Although I would have said it a little differently. I would have said "Sometimes, decisions which seem to be little ones...", because grammatically that looks better.

Uh, the sentiment still stands, though.

: I'm worried about artificial intelligences that share the prejudices of their creators. I'm worried about plaid clothing and Espedrils. Do you know me? I'm professional Jack Gale. Your shoestring budget will be the death of you.

: Here is Twain's wonderful Fennimore Cooper's Literary Offenses

: This morning I was smelling a really nasty smell which I only remember smelling in Peter's office while I was sick. It's gone now, though.

: Wow, I got a whole lot of mail from real people (as opposed to mail from mailing lists I'm on) yesterday evening after I'd gone home. That doesn't usually happen.

Mark says Nick Moffit says I'm a genius. If only he [Nick Moffit] knew.

Mark also was unable to give me a definite answer to my question, so I pose it here (although I doubt there is anyone who reads this more qualified to answer it than is Mark). On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, did they ever deal with the fact that gold-pressed latinum and all the other goodies for which the Ferengi sweat and cheat and lie can simply be obtained from a replicator for the trouble of asking for it?

: This is quite the bizarre banner ad, but it appeals to me. There's something about a fish swimming into a thought bubble that I find hilarious.

: Why are there no Amazonian women in fur bikinis in this picture?

: That blasted smell is back. It's got to be psychosomatic.

: -1 on the rocks! -1 on the rocks!

: Consensus (from Daniel Hsu and Sumana Harihareswara) is that gold-pressed latinum can't be replicated because its structure is too complicated. Sumana says you just end up with regular latinum. I find this highly unconvincing. There are not many things simpler than gold. In fact, there are exactly 78 things simpler than gold. But that's the semi-official explanation (Sumana got it from a Trek novel).

: The gold-pressed latinum issue is finally resolved, as the mysterious Steven points me to a page which exists for the sole purpose of answering peoples' snarky replicator questions.

Note however that I said "gold pressed latinum and all the other goodies...", but I'm tired of talking about this, so never mind. {NTK, NYCB} regrets that this correspondence is now closed.

: Report on Microsoft confuses. So does headline.

: The same person who wrote that headline probably also wrote Linux Desktops set.

: Joke forwarded from my mother:

A Brit, a Frenchman and a Russian are viewing a painting of Adam and
Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden. "Look at their reserve, their
calm," muses the Brit. "They must be British."

 "Nonsense," the Frenchman disagrees.
 "They're naked, and so beautiful. 
Clearly, they are French."

 "No clothes, no shelter," the Russian points out, 
"they have only an apple to eat, 
and they're being TOLD this is paradise.
Clearly, they are Russian."

Weird spacing, but it fits the joke.

: Gamera: Huge monster who destroys everything we hold dear, but it's somehow okay and he's our friend.

: Is it too difficult for Linux Today to put a conditional into their code so that it says "1 comment" instead of "1 comments"?

Also, is "1.00 foos" correct, or "1.00 foo"?

: Bruce Schneier plugs my Segfault story 13-Year-Old 'r00ts' Popular Polynomial, in his latest Crypto-Gram, probably because I'm the only person on record to have spelled his name correctly.

: I almost had to go to Windows to use Visio for my E-R diagram, but I was saved at the last minute by Dia. Plus, it's hosted on the lysator server, host of the beloved FTP site of my high school days.

: Segfault: IEEE Releases Floating Log Standard. Bryan Douglas (who didn't write that story but who did write Symantec Announces Genome Defrag) is writing Segfault stories faster than I can publish them. I may have to declare a Bryan Douglas day or something.

: Funny headline watch: Omaha Steaks Puts Meat on the Online Bone. It's the sort of story you'd have seen in 1997.

I, too, want to put meat on the online bone.

: Forum 2000 vs. Forum 2000... there can be only one!

: Here I am at the VA email garden with Mark and Nick Moffitt. "Mark is a k00l rad d00d," says Mark.

: Speaking of k00l rad d00ds, does anyone else remember that old "Geek Wars" ANSI animation? I think it was called "Geek Wars".

: I thank the nonexistant gods for having sent me two of the funniest emails I have ever read. First, Earn $50,000 in 90 days!! BY FAITH!!, which is your standard pyramid-scam pitch but which just goes on, and on, and on. It's like ten different spams all strung together. It comes to an end and then just starts up again. And again. And again. Someone read through this before sending it out to everyone on earth and said to him or herself, "You know, this is a consistent narrative. It really holds together well!"

Continuing the "faith" theme, Scott forwarded me "Life imitates Scott's mad ideas", Holy Qur'an in our DNA! Absolute Proof Islam is True!, all aspects of which were unfortunately made up out of whole cloth by this fellow, rather than being accreted over time so that no one person has responsibility for it.

: I'm going to write a Java applet which lets you put meat on the online bone. I announced my intention at LinuxWorld Expo, where the idea was hailed by the Linux community (well, by Mark).

: Leonard's LinuxWorld Expo 2000 Mini-Travelogue of Doom!

: I'd forgotten all about Saucer Smear until I saw a link to it today. Lots of fun stuff. I'll have to catch up on the back issues when I have more time. In the meantime, here's my favorite Smear cartoon:

: Funny Headline Watch: Security gates held open for "Love" virus, mutants.

: I don't know how this ended up in my referrer logs, but I'm glad it did. I guess that IE 5 bug can be a force for good as well as for evil.

: My two goals for today are to reach consensus with Jason and Ryan on the new Helm/Tigris database schema, and to use the phrase "Shall he/she/I dance for your amusement?" in a sentence.

: I have a confession to make. I don't like osOpinion. I can't read an OS Opinion piece all the way through. Just the fact that an article was published on osOpinion means, to me, that it is no good.

I've always felt sort of bad about this, since OS Opinion has the same reader-submitted article system that Segfault does. I like this system a lot, and I want to support it. But I don't need to read about other people's wild speculations. It's the equivalent of stretching Slashdot comments into full-length articles.

That said, there's an osOpinion piece published today which starts out with a very good line: "In the realm of computers, history will record the names of four significant men: Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Bjarne Stroustrup, and James Gosling." I would have used words other than "realm" and "significant", but that's a really good opening line which is unfortunately left stranded at the beginning by the rest of the article.

Hey Dan, what do you think about osOpinion?

: Sci Tech Daily gleans from an article the question, Could your next ski holiday be on Titan? My sources say no.

: Oh, that's how the Atari docs got into my referrer log. They were posted on Slashdot beforehand. Damn that infernal IE bug!

: FHW: Scientists Advance on Tiny Computers. They're wily, those tiny computers.

: A plea: when talking about software, please don't say "commercial" when you mean "proprietary". A lot of people do this. A lot of free software people do this. Hell, people from CollabNet do this. Commercial/non-commercial and proprietary/free are axes of a plane, not ends of a continuum. 

I'm not trying to pull some ideological stunt here. I'm just trying to clear up the terminology. I ran a BBS for three years, and offered for download hundreds of packages of non-commercial but proprietary software. Nowadays, I get paid to write software which is both commercial and free. If I can't express these facts, there's a problem with the terminology.

: Good Segfault article from foaf: VAX Retirement Bodes Ill for Windows 2000. He snuck in a plug for Unuseless, and I let it stand, even though a link to the relevant Infoworld story would have been more appropriate.

: Debian-Advantages HOWTO. Is this really a HOWTO?

: I got that spam again. It's not as funny the second time. They should at least have varied it a little. Someone who was bored could implement that spam in the Dada Engine.

: I love you, Celeste.

: Manoj and I finally bothered to decode the Segfault background graphic (I don't know where we got it; I've got a message to Scott in the pipe about it). I recommend you try it.

: I might have dreamed this in one of my bizarre dreams last night, but I think there are people whose conception of vegetarianism (or, more likely, veganism) precludes the consumption of yogurt. I am eating yogurt right now, and I gotta say, it's pretty good. But wouldn't you want to stop eating plants before you moved on to not eating bacteria?

: CollabNet in shock acquisition!

: Boca Burgers are good. I endorse the breaded clams of the species Boca Burger.

: My Vision story was mentioned in Network World Fusion (that link will break in a week), but is it the print version or just online? Probably the latter. Still, good job, McCloud.

: Jake reminds me that yogurt is a dairy product. A "Duh" is in order for this, but it turns out to not be relevant, since the thing I remember is people not eating soy yogurt either. (Soy yogurt includes "starter culture", which, like "beef", is simply a code word to get us to not think about the organisms we are massacring. So yes, it is real yogurt.)

: Some folks at work got Aeron chairs from eBay, which arrived today. Every startup that purchases Aeron chairs for its employees is doomed to failure, so they had to get the chairs with their own money. I hope that the mere presence of the chairs is not what dooms the startups.

: I hope I never become the sort of person who goes to Burning Man.

: FHW: The next piracy panic: software. Software piracy?!?! Who would have thought?

: I should mention that the Aerons in this office come from a startup that folded, so perhaps the curse has run its course.

: It's not often that a news story includes the phrase "This reporter actually felt his esophagus constricting under the crush of an unseen Force."

: You may have noticed that the main page now gives you a Katzdot headline underneath the random quote. This is to better serve you, the Katz-craving consumer. I heard your cry, "Why do I have to click down into features and then go to another site to view Katzdot headlines, when you could just install Katzdot on your machine and give me a Katzdot headline on the front page?" Well, that seemed pretty convincing, so I went ahead and did it.

By the way, I spoke with Dan and he said he's going to do a Katzdot update in the near future. He's also working at LinuxCare for the summer.

: Michael Salmon just started work here yesterday, and he's already pointed out that what I thought was a CD player on my Thinkpad is actually a DVD player. If only I had some movies on DVD, I too could violate the DCMA by watching them on my laptop. But that would require buying some movies.

: Tim O'Reilly has a weblog which runs off of some Slashdot-style software, in that entries have a MAD Magazine-esque "department" field (which is different from the story type, the thing you run searches on). The thing is that every single story Tim O'Reilly publishes to his weblog is from the "worth thinking about" department. I think what he really wants to do is just turn that feature off.

Yes, I'm only linking to Tim O'Reilly's weblog because he came up with a kludge for the "department" feature rather than turning it off.

: Porno spam is funny. Japanese spam is, if not amusing, at least incomprehensible. Japanese porno spam is completely uncalled for.

: I forgot to mention that Scott did the Segfault graphic his own bad self.

: Tim also has a "something i just wrote" department. It turns out that Manilla departments are not like Slashdot departments; they're like Slashdot news types and Tim's site shows them like Slashdot departments. Damn, now I can't engage in petty semantic nitpicking. Or, more precisely, I have to find something else about which to engage in petty semantic nitpicking.

: Squeak Tragedy, with the obligatory bashing of my terminology. Okay, I know nothing about Squeak! I admit it! I should have used Python instead!

: Miniperl: because a bad pun is its own reward.

: Another sentence you don't often see in a news article, but which is always welcome: "Profanity has been restored and the style modernized."

: How is it that I keep hurting her? I try so hard not to.

: I have only good things to say about the people at Scour, but at the same time, I'm glad I don't work there.

: Segfault: Security Vulnerability Ignored: Name Too Boring. My heart wasn't in it, unfortunately.

: Here's the jumbo version of my favorite banner ad.

: These genetically altered superbees will be the downfall of the human race!

: Linux Weekly News takes a stand on a controversial issue: Let's move towards easier software installations.

: Today is Segfault's 2-year anniversiary! Huzzah!

: The June issue of Linux Magazine is finally on the web, and Segfault gets a whole paragraph devoted to it. The Onion comparison reminds me that I should get working on that story...

: I got Mike to draw up an info-graphic for Segfault that brings you up to date on a vital conflict of our time.

: This osOpinion piece is actually pretty good, mainly beacuse it has very little to do with anyone's OS opinion.

: I love the way the BBC publishes three stories on the same theme at once, viz: Pokemon virus contained, Economics lessons the Pokémon way, and Scientists Probe Cartoon Seizures.

: I have a bizarre interest in embedded Linux, apart from the variety of natural disasters associated with it. I say "bizarre" because I have very little interest in Linux per se. I'm not really interested in operating system-level stuff. I also have no interest in soldering wires and molding plastic casings and doing the other things that usually result in embedded Linux devices.

I also have little interest in what I've seen of embedded Linux devices. I don't really want an MP3 player for my car or anything like that. I think the stuff we're doing with Indrema is really cool, but I'm not into gaming qua "gaming", so I don't need a game console.

So why am I so fascinated by embedded Linux? I don't know. I know why I'm fascinated by Lego Mindstorms, and it's for a related but different reason than the one I can't articulate. I think that my subconscious has a really cool idea for an embedded Linux application, but before revealing it to my conscious mind, it needs a lot of information, thus causing in me a desire to read a lot about embedded Linux.

: "This has had a devastating effect on the credibility of music generally: it is no longer a socially unnacceptable art form." I don't know if that's a mistake or not.

: Celeste ordered me lunch from kozmo.com. She's so sweet.

Bleah: crummy.com is down due to some weirdness or other with my transfer of the domain away from Network Solutions. So here I am again, hopefully not for long.

ph33r by induction: My Segfault script kiddie polynomial story leads off the latest RISKS Digest. R0x0r!

Not much meat on a nematode, but them's good eatin'!: Underground, Meat-Eating Plant Found in Florida. The underground was good...and the meat-eating was the icing on the cake!

Another one for my scrapbook: Celeste and I have a brief mention in This LinuxWorld story.

The reason I don't update this as often as I do NYCB is that I'm lazy. I designed NYCB to accomadate my laziness, and Manila cannot match it. I have to click about 5 times and type in a bunch of fields to add an entry on crummy.editthispage.com; NYCB lets me do it in one click (I have a patent on this), and, although it makes me type a password, the password (unlike the title I have to supply to Manilla) is the same every time.

: Hey hey. Crummy is back. Thanks, Dan [Cox].

: Bizarre Press Release Watch: Shuffle Master Receives GLI Approval For Press Your Luck(TM) and Operating System. Look closely, kids. Someday you will tell your grandchildren of the days in which people who wrote press releases thought "proprietary" was a good word to use when describing their own products.

: We had a 401(k) meeting today. As of October I can sock away pre-tax income in an equity index fund, which The Motley Fool says is the best bet. I am inordinately excited about this. I am finding myself becoming excited about very strange things (strange things for me to get excited about, that is). I'm starting to worry about what my subconscious has planned. Something that brings together embedded Linux, bizarre press releases, and my 401(k).

: Whenever people find out that I like Python, they always ask me the same question: "Is that your real hair?" No, wait, that's not the question. The question is "Don't the whitespace restrictions cramp your style?" THE ANSWER IS NO. It's something which you get used to. Every language has such things, and at least Python's whitespace restrictions serve a useful purpose. By the way, you know what bugs me about Perl? The damn brace restrictions! Every time you want to do any kind of conditional, you have to type a curly brace. Then you have to match it up when the conditional is done. C and Java have this problem too.

Follow me to Wal Drug: Crummy is back up. Until next time, go to the real site.

: Ego roundup for the time crummy was down: Celeste and I were briefly mentioned in a LinuxWorld story, and my polynomial Segfault story follows up its mention in Crypto-Gram with a featured appearance in RISKS Digest. Plus, I just got confirmation that it's been reprinted on Usenet in the rec.humor Canonical List of Math Jokes. I have no way of verifying this, unfortunately, as I never use Usenet and Deja doesn't show the post.

: This is probably not the best venue for this thing, but I don't really have anything else. Mike: I sent you the new version of the top-secret app this morning, but then got a "could not be delivered for last 4 hours". Tell me if you got it; otherwise give me a number I can call you at tomorrow so we can arrange a pickup.

Other people: you never saw this entry. I'm not allowed to talk about this program. Only Mike and JoeM and Celeste can know about it.

: My greatest polynomial triumph yet: a reprint on J. Orlin Grabbe's home page! Truly, that article has something for everyone.

Hi. I'm working today.

: Thieves make off with rare snake. A more catchy headline would be "Thieves make out with rare snake".

: I like the mental image I get of Richard Stallman saying "Go get 'em, gnomes!" This is not a good day, and a funny mental image like that cheers me up some.

: The Free Software Pattern is brilliant! I'm glad I get to publish stuff of this caliber.

: Last month I said that I wouldn't want to work at Scour. Now, it turns out that I couldn't if I wanted to. Wow.

: I got a fabulous fan mail about my Texas travelogue from Jim Dunn, who lives in Wichita Falls and, somewhat strangely, identifies himself using his eBay username. This mail really cheered me up, partially because he wrote another "Ribeyes of Texas" song!

The Ribeyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day
The Ribeyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
You know you cannot escape them,
Rise up so early in the morrrrrrrrnnnnn,
The Ribeyes of Texas are upon you
Til Gabriel blows his horn.....Tah dah dummm...

Send me your "Ribeyes of Texas" songs and I'll do a Ribeyes of Texas charity album. Yippee! (See The appropriate section of the Texas travelogue for more information about the Ribeyes of Texas)

: My car was vandalized on Monday. Someone stabbed two of my tires with an icepick or something. After many trials and tribulations, my tires have been replaced.

: Manoj wanted this story, so here it is: RSA Move Sets Happy Precedent: Corporations Pledge To Monopolize Vital Technologies For Only 16 Years, 50 Weeks

: On the flap of the box of microwave shepherd's pie I bought:

After the birth of our daughter Amy in 1987 we found there was little time to prepare the wholesome nutritious food we normally ate. Realizing there were others like ourselfves we set up Amy's Kitchen to produce delivious, nourishing frozen meals for health conscious people too busy to cook.

Yes, they didn't have time to cook for themselves, but they had time to set up a company that does the cooking for a whole bunch of other people.

: Also, there's a bus ad for the Volkswagen bug that says "One more gear and it's a time machine." For heaven's sake, put in that extra gear and sell it as a time machine! I don't want to tell them how to do their jobs, but man.

: Everyone is in shorts because it's been so hot lately. We have the radio on and Madness is playing. I'm setting up Helm on our pre-production machine so I can test my new servlet. Life is good.

: The Moral Minority linked to my Segfault story. That looks like a site with some promise.

: An article by Terry Jones on... uh, not much, but it's a fun read.

: From my 401(k) booklet: "But if you're like most people, you may be in a lower tax bracket during retirement." Putting two hedges in the same sentence pretty much makes that sentence meaningless.

: Foaf on travel:

I definitely recommend seeing your own country - although it is a hell of a lot easier when your country is roughly the same size as one of the smaller American states.

: I bought some gummy bears (not Gummi Bears) yesterday. On the bag it says:

Reg. $1.75

Yes, they printed the "regular" price on the package underneath the "discounted" price. I've decided to assume that the designer of the package was really stupid and thought people would fall for that, since that's more parsimonous than the assumption that everyone in the world is really stupid and would actually fall for that.

I remember a furniture place in LA that, when I was a kid, had a "CLOSE OUT SALE!" banner hanging permanently on the side of the building. This banner was not intended for years and years of constant use, and I remember it being old and tattered. It's probably still up there, although between then and now it may have been replaced by a similar sign in Korean.

It occurs to me that the gummy bear package might be intended to fool little kids. I can't see little kids buying these huge packages of gummy bears, though.

: Kevin Maples sums up our current problems with a Futurama quote:

I had this awful nightmare - there were all these ones and zeros all over the place ... I think there was even a two.

: It's odd to see praise of LyX on a page as poorly-laid out, stuck in the newspaper metaphor, as this one is.

: Has anyone ever purchased and eaten a sopapilla within the state of California? If so, tell me where. I find it very strange that I've been unable to find sopapillas anywhere in California, but that you can go five miles into Oregon and every Mexican restaurant has them (they're terrible, but they have them).

: Every weekend I use my newfound wealth (still my interpretation of a regular salary) to buy books. This week I got more David Brin (Brightness Reach, I think--second Uplift trilogy, first book), Ringworld, Interesting Times, and the literary equivalent of one of the things in the "1000 Things You Never Knew Existed" catalog, Umberto Eco's The Island of the Day Before. I had no idea he'd written another novel.

I'm going to get some books at the used bookstore in Bakersfield when I go there next week, and then I'm going to hold off until I finish all these books.

: Listen up. I'm only going to say this once. Nature is not your friend. Nature wants to see you dead. The best you can hope for from nature is total indifference.

That's all for now.

: I like the rhetorical device at the end of this article. I don't think I've ever seen it before:

And when members of Congress recognize the constitutional flaws in a bill like the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 but vote for it anyway--in the expectation that the Supreme Court will clean up their mess...

: Slightly updated Jake Berendes West Covina, adding a footnote and changing a URL. "That's him, officer! He's the one who sold me tasty New England confections at an unbeatable price!"

JBWC is #1 on a Google search for "jake berendes". SUCCESS!!

: I know this isn't as funny as it sounds to Americans, but I laugh anyway.

"As Australians we've got a proud tradition of taking the piss to uphold."

: Andrew Leonard was at the CollabNet office (I'm assuming he didn't just look at pictures of the kitchen) and I didn't meet him? That sucks.

: Mike points out that that Salon article and the distributive law allow me to put "'[Leonard Richardson is] almost too cool' - Andrew Leonard" in my .sig.

: Don't Trust Everything You Read, Even on the Internet. What's this "even" business?

: Two processes enter! One process leaves!

: Senate blasts 'culture of carnage'. Looks like a job for Dan!

: This is probably the meanest Segfault story I've ever written: _descramble_.mp3 "Inappropriate"; pissing_in_the_ladies__sin.mp3 "Okey-Dokey"

: Joe is leaving for Christchurch to catch a plane to San Francisco. I'm picking him up at the airport Saturday morning and then driving him down to Bakersfield so he won't get a bad impression of America during his time here.

Our time in Bakersfield corresponds to the timeframe of a project in which people with weblogs (whose numbers I have de facto joined by Cam's inclusion of Crummy on his list of weblogs) take pictures of their boring, worthless lives. [0]

It costs me no effort to join this project, since I'll be taking lots of pictures during that timeframe and putting them on the web anyway. The problem is that the site refers to this activity as a "shoot" and the resulting product as a "virtual gallery"; not exactly actions I want to encourage.

So, I've made it into a poll; vote on whether I should take part. Or take all, for that matter. The deadline for entering is the 17th, so the poll will probably run until tomorrow evening.

(By the way, the name of the weblog is "News You Can Bruise", not "Crummy", which is the name of the whole site. But I won't complain because "Crummy.com" is closer to the top of Cam's list of weblogs than "News You Can Bruise" would be.)

[0] Lives may not actually be boring and worthless.

: FHW: Odor sickens 33 in Texas

: As the guy who gets mail addressed to editor@segfault.org, I have to be understanding. I get Japanese porno spam, stupid press releases, offers to make Segfault part of some extremely minor new media conglomerate, offers to give other sites free advertising, and the occasional letter pertaining to something published on Segfault. But sometimes I get a message that was addressed to a parallel universe version of me and was somehow misdelivered to this version of me. I got such a message today, from an AOL account:

Nowadays everyone are profiteering pigs. The only site that i knew of that had any good downloads and info was shut down. Do you know any sites that you don't have to vote 25 times to download something. any assistance would be helpful. thank you

Our AOL friend comes from a parallel universe dominated by proprietary Unices, in which segfault.org is an underground newspaper for those who illicitly copy and configure software. I don't understand the voting 25 times thing. Since I don't know anything about the URL namespace of his universe (except that segfault.org and aol.com exist), I can't really help him. Perhaps freshmeat.net and happypenguin.org correspond to underground download sites in his universe. If you're from that universe and you're reading this, please help this guy.

: By unanimous popular demand, I have signed up for the BTC project. Now I have to think of a different poll.

: Kris did a thing for Adam's birthday that cracks me up. It's like a live-action Pokey the Penguin starring Adam! YES!! Happy birthday, Adam! And thank you for being on appendectomy drugs, Kris.

: Susanna (my sister, for those not in the know) suggested the new poll. I should put in a disclaimer that the poll is for entertainment value only.

: I'm now on the list of participating BTC weblogs.

I guess I've been in weblog denial. I don't like being in groups of people that Jon Katz writes articles about. Being a geek is okay, because I'm not the teenage Quake-playing goth from Nebraska that is the Jon Katz archetypal geek. But I've been in denial both about my running a weblog and about my presumed unpopularity in high school. I honestly don't think I was unpopular in high school. I was very depressed all the time, but not unpopular. Of course this just goes to show how deep my unpopularity denial is.

: Call me dense, but I just realized this. Thom Wood, whom we hired to work on CVS and Subversion (the best software project name ever), wears tie-dye to work every day. Every day. I thought he just wore it a lot, but he wears it every day.

The astounding thing is not that Thom Wood wears tie-dye to work every day, but that it took me three weeks to realize this.

: Okay, I'm off. The next entry will be from Bakersfield with neon Joe in tow. Probably tomorrow evening.

: This entry exists only so that Joe can take a picture of me typing it for the BTC project.

: Dropped Joe off at the airport today. My windshield was really dirty and the thing that's supposed to spray water on the windshield so you can run your wipers apparantly didn't work. So I drove there and back with terrible dirt glare.

Spam I got today: "Your internet shopping can help us elect Republicans to the White House!" Reaction #1: Oh no! Reaction #2: I didn't know the White House had multiple vacancies this year.

In Bakersfield I bought 8 MST3K tapes. So many episodes I haven't seen for years, and three (The Atomic Brain, Catalina Caper, and The Unearthly) I hadn't seen at all. The only Comedy Central MST3K episodes I haven't seen are The Human Duplicators and The Painted Hills. Does anyone want to trade?

Sorry, Dave, that I didn't get to meet up with you while I was in Bakersfield.

: In my mini-AIR today I was pointed to an incomparable comparative review of the Institute for Creation Research's "Bomby the Bombadier Beetle" and the Harry Potter books. "Bomby has to learn everything from older male family members through oral history, and appears to have no instinctively hard-wired behaviors (definitely a higher vertebrate trait)."

: Breaking news from PC World: THIS IS A TEST STORY--PLEASE DELETE ME.

: My page has been linked from the BTC site. The actual pictures are linked on the little buttons to the left of people's names. The real pictures site is at /articles/travelogues/2000/foaf/, but I had to do a symlink to /btc2000/ because the real URL wouldn't fit in the little box I was given. And I can never take that symlink down. Bleah.

: A very useful article: Variable Mangling in Bash With String Operators.

: FHW: Deadly Hot Springs. I say, it's deadly hot!

: I finally got around to rotating the graphics properly in the BTC gallery.

: This unrepentant monopolist abused its power. This unrepentant monopolist stayed home. This unrepentant monopolist had roast beef. This unrepentant monopolist had none. This unrepentant monopolist cried "Wee-wee-wee!" all the way home.

: "The truth is that nowhere in any published D&D material ever has there been a rule that states you must kill yourself if your character dies." I'm glad we've cleared that up.

Has anyone tried the AD&D third edition yet? I still have all the first edition books... uh, somewhere.

: My latest Segfault story, DOJ Cracking Down on Freedom to Innovate, is rated a 2. Ouch.

: Tomorrow, the project that has taken up all of my free time for the past two months will be done. Just in time for me to have no free time whatsoever.

The fruit of my efforts will be publically avaliable on the 2nd. Which is Monday. I had to look that up.

: This site is weird. My eyes just seem to skid off it. It's like there's a force field around the page.

You're going to go there xpecting something really cool, but it's not particularily cool. It's just weird.

: Jupiter: America's dairyland!

: Grr. I wrote this entry and lost it and now I have to write it again and now there's gum in my hair. This yogurt is so runny I can drink it. In fact, that's what I'm doing. Anyway.

For the past few months I've been working on an Inform game for entry into the 2000 Interactive Fiction Contest. Right now you can see my game on the list of games, but that's about it. The games will be downloadable tonight, so I encourage you to play and vote on them all.

This week's cheese is Fontina. Last week's was Gorgonzola, which was an unmitigated cheese disaster. I think I might have had Fontina already, but no matter.

: A terrifying vision of the future. A slightly less terrifying vision of the future. A terrifying vision of the past. From the ever-wonderful APOD.

: FHW: It's "2001 Mars Odyssey" For Nasa's Next Trip To The Red Planet. I like it because it sounds like a promo for next week's episode of a TV show. "It's '2001 Mars Odyssey' as Nasa plans a trip the the Red Planet! But when Sharon shows up, it's a space battle of the sexes! Men are from Mars... on the next Nasa in the City!"

When Joe was here, he bought a TV Guide and a copy of USA Today. I think he's just trying to make Americans look bad.

: It is as I feared. My DOJ/innovation story was not written correctly. It was supposed to be a reductio ad absurdum of Microsoft's "DOJ vs. the Freedom to InnovateTM" rhetoric, but it was widely interpreted as a pro-Microsoft satire. As evidence, I offer the fact that it was mentioned in the editorial section of a Libertarian online rag. It's only a matter of time now before it shows up on moraldefense.com.

: I may or may not have mentioned this before, but David Brin's two Uplift trilogies are excellent. The traeki/Jophur are the coolest alien species I've ever encountered in any medium.

: The competition games are out. Get them, play them, and vote on them. Woohoo!

Correction: this week's cheese is Havarti. I have had Fontina before, but that was a few weeks ago.

: Celeste tells me that I made the Dean's honor list for Spring 2000! Huzzah!

: Wow! And I just discovered the reason why I made the dean's honor list! My grade in my compiler class was changed to an A! That gave me three As and a B for my final quarter, my best ever. Now I really wish I'd gone to those Oceans discussions. :)

: How many Space Shuttle flights have there been? Would you believe 99? The shuttle program is marginally younger than I am; I find this hard to believe. I don't remember a time with no Space Shutle. Interesting double negative there. I didn't steal no bike, neither!

: "People are getting rehired faster than they're getting laid off." And how exactly does that work?

: Susanna mentions that I got here a Piglet pillow for Christmas, but what she doesn't mention is that I stuffed Piglet into a big plastic zip-lock bag and wrapped the bag, so that it looked like a normally shaped pillow. Then when she unwrapped it, the zipper of the bag split open and this huge Piglet crawled out. It was really cool. I think that was the most successful gift I've ever given.

Speaking of gifts, I have been remiss in not mentioning the generosity of my friends (by which generosity I get by). Actually, I may have mentioned this before, but I dunno. My mind is goind, Dave. I can feel it. Jake sent me a CD of the 30-minute magnum opus PI Jake's Birthday Party which I sent him a couple years ago and then lost my copy of it. Also a stylish Fujichia T-shirt (which I'm wearing now) and another CD which is Dickens Hotcackes live (which I can't make heads or tails of) and unreleased crup. Hooray for unreleased crup!

And I need to mention the Footrot Flats book that Joe sent me so long ago, which I have not yet gotten around to reviewing.


: It's time to Guess The Verb! Inform source now avaliable!

: Brits take the biscuit. That was my biscuit, damn you!

That story is a year old; but they're re-running it like it's new, presumably because they don't have anything on this year's Ig Nobels yet.

: Mike sent me a link to a wonderful comic: Diesel Sweeties.

: "So? Write your Congressman!"
"I am my Congressman!"

: I have to work this weekend. Bleah.

: My mother sent two pictures that her aunt Lejeune took of me when we were in Sequim. They go into the black pit that is the Sequim travelogue directory, which will eventually (I promise!) have all the Sequim pictures I took, and an actual travelogue to describe them.

Lejeune was in the army during WWII. She achieved a rank which seemed to me considerable for a woman in the army during WWII; corporal, maybe. She has a wonderful house in Washington with a jaccuzi and a deck that looks out over light forest from the top of a hill which you can see here. I wish I'd been paying more attention when she was telling war stories.

: It is as I suspected: Neal Stephenson is a much better writer when his imagination is constrained by historical fact. I started reading Cryptonomicon today and have yet to be gripped by the urge to put the book away in disgust.

Also, I like that Vitamin B6 is actually another name for pyridoxine hydrochloride. This could be the foundation of a great hoax of the "dihydrogen monoxide" form. "Stop! Don't you realize that that banana contains pyridoxine hydrochloride?"

: Another tale of the DOJ's never-ending crusade against innovation.

: FHW: Red Hat Responds to Quality Allegations. Damn those persistent rumors of quality!

: Giant Trilobite Passes Horrible Prehistoric Judgement Upon Puny Humans. Uh, I mean, Giant Trilobite Discovered.

: I'll show you the life of the mind! I'll show you the life of the mind! Look upon me!

I remember Adam saying that the way John Goodman says it at the end of Barton Fink. It's probably my favorite memory of Adam.

: Mike wants me to make Guess the Verb! T-shirts. He even pointed me to cafepress.com (which I think Kris uses, and which is really cool) to tempt me. I personally think he's just a little too excited about Guess the Verb!. T-shirts would be cool, though.

: I forgot to mention: this week's cheese is Gruyere. It's of the Swiss family, but not as good as Jarlsberg and probably not even as good as Swiss. It doesn't melt very well. It's not bad, though.

: I'm on page 118 of Cryptonomicon and it's still good. At page 118 of Snow Crash, reading it was a chore borne of my idealistic... idea that if you started reading a book you should finish it (see NYCB 1999-05... I never finished it). Of course, Cryptonomicon is twice as long as Snow Crash, so in terms of comparison I'm really on page 59 of Snow Crash, but even at page 59 I knew I was in for a long, hard slog. Also see NYCB 2000-06. I really need to get a search thing going. It would be so easy to do, too.

: Sometimes you get a headline which, due to word compression, verbed nouns, etc., can be read in nearly x! ways, x being the number of words in the headline. Here are two such headlines: U.S. sex partner tallies excluded professionals, Call to jail bird persecutors.

: (Intentionally) FHW: Tiny Pin Scrubs Shuttle Launch. That tiny pin is nuts! He doesn't play by anybody's rules! But he gets results! Next week: Ordinary Table Salt Scrubs Shuttle Launch.

: I meant to mention this, but never did. Whenever anyone whom I don't want to talk to asks me what my name is, I tell them that my name is Jake Berendes (but not that they call me Jakey B). Whether they want me to sign a petition, give them money, or match me with my sandwich order, it makes no difference. My name is Jacob, Jacob.

But Jake Berendes is not one to take this lying down. The Jake empire struck back with a brilliant coup in which he obtained a student ID in my name with his picture, the better to commit heinous acts in my name. Just yesterday, for instance, he attended a musical event, and sent me this dispatch:

Subject: you like party music
yesterday's blackalicious concert was free to clark
students, and any worcester college student. but if
you don't go to clark, you had to sign in. so as far
as the records go, _you_ enjoyed the show, and vouched
for greg nixon, your fellow student who forgot his id.
also you're not very confident in writing your name
and you almost spelled it wrong.

I still have to fix Jake's MP3 upload thing.

: I'm working day and night. Cam's job is to make my life miserable. But it's okay. Because I'm doing cool stuff.

: I'm off the Mountain Dew wagon. Jason offered me one and I accepted. Soon I'll be knocking over convenience stores to get Mountain Dew money.

: I registered a domain yesterday, which inspired me to do another project along with Mike. I won't tell you which domain it is, but I'm sure you can find out with the right tools.

: Ouch!

: Celeste and I are having lunch today. I should probably get off the Internet so she can call me.

: Cryptonomicon is history. I'm now trying to decide what in my huge stack of books I should read next. I don't feel ready to tackle Heaven's Reach yet. Possibly Annals of the Former World.

: Is Marriage to Unix the Answer to Enterprise Linux? You don't ask that kind of question unless you already have an answer handy.

: Moeh.

: The standard model: Gotta catch 'em all!

: Does anyone know of a hosting service which would sell me a disk allotment of x megabytes, and allow me to host arbitrarily many domains within that quota? I forsee a future in which I have a million tiny domains, and I don't want to have an account for each domain.

: He's an intriguing bow-shock. She's a poorly understood gas cloud. Can they get along in the suburbs?

: Dave forced me to read Gold Key. By "forced" I mean "wrote me an email with subject line 'key dada' and said that he remembered seeing something like it on Da Warren". I think Dave is mentally smushing up a couple things that were on Da Warren, which is basically what the authors of Gold Key did.

: Boy, if ever an article cried out for screenshots! You die Joe!

: I've gotten many email raves for Guess The Verb!. Of course, why would you email someone to say "Your game sucks"? Only a month to go before the results are released and the true metier of Guess The Verb! is lade bear. I may not have used "metier" correctly in that sentence.

: Dave wrote a Segfault article which is very useful: Laundry Hampers Considered Inefficient.

: Metier, noun. 1: vocation, trade. 2: an area of activity in which one excels. I did not use it correctly.

: I'm wondering if that entry violates rule 5 of the comp rules. I don't think it does, since this is not a public Internet forum, newsgroup, or bulletin board, and since I wasn't really discussing the merits of the game--just saying that some crazy people had sent me email about it. If someone complains, I'll block it out until after the voting period.

: Segfault was honored by a Dork of the Day award today. The thing is, the award links to one particular article, so is the award going to Segfault or to the author of the story?

: Who thought up these Pentel mechanical pencil designs? With the little eraser cap and the annoying tiny eraser that you constantly have to adjust? It is, in the schoolyard parlance, weak.

: The previous entry refers only to the Pentel P205 model. I just got a Pentel AL15 from the supply cupboard, which is a much better pencil design.

It's not a question of price. That stupid metal cap costs money.

: It's alive! ALIVE!!!

: I found an an essay Andy wrote about his trip abroad, where, among other things, he met William H. Macy (the Leonard/Andy film actor idol). I have an email in the pipe to him, but who knows whether he'll ever answer it.

: FHW: Anti-genetic coalition says U.S. breaks protection laws. Down with genetics!

: And more FHW: Web site to sell books of black interest. It's called "Amazon", you may have heard of it.

: Brian reminds me of Andy. He has the Andy hair color and high school vintage hairstyle, and he turns the same shade of red when he's blushing or laughing. The trained Andy spotter will notice, however, that Andy, unlike Brian, has curly hair; and that Brian, unlike Andy, is a core Apache developer.

: I fixed a bunch of bugs in Guess The Verb!, but I'm not going to do a new release until I fix the big bug, which causes the wheel to behave strangely. One thing that is not a bug is my use of the word "haft". It is a word, and it means "the handle of a weapon or tool". It's not "shaft" and it's not etymologically related to "shaft". So there, I guess.

: Jake, I can't send to your email address. Your account is over quota. Go ahead and use Interesting Places To Die.

: The Dinosaur Hunters... this fall on NBC! I want this book. I will buy it when the stack of books I have yet to read is depleted some more.

: I'm about halfway through The Mote in God's Eye, which is sort of a less frustrating (for the characters and for the reader) Fiasco. Fiasco is a great book, but sometimes you'd like some actual communication to go on between the aliens and the humans. Anyway, I checked this book out of the library when I was maybe 10, and there are about three passages from the book which I remember but I don't remember anything outside those passages. I never finished the book and I think I'm further along this time than I was last time, so I don't think I'm going to remember any more stuff.

: Good morning.

: I almost bought this biography of Franklin yesterday, but it costs $35 and I already had $50 worth of books. Perhaps later. There was a biography of Orwell which looked good as well.

I don't think I understand the genre of the book review. I thought the point was to talk about the book, but inevitably that seems peripheral to the real point of the review, which I'm not sure what it is.

: Happy birthday, Celeste!

: Segfault: Tech Journalists Begin Work on Incompatible Linux Kernel

: This week's cheese is Dry Monterey Jack, which is almost Gouda-like and much better than last week's inedible selection, Mizithra. Curent book: Pigs Have Wings by P.G. Wodehouse. How did Wodehouse escape my grasp for so long?

: I need database help and I'm also holding my own severed head.

: New version of Guess The Verb!. Actually the new version dates from Monday but I didn't put it up until today.

: Hey hey. Monty Hall's Hall of Doors is linked to by the web page for a statistics class.

: I finished Pigs Have Wings yesterday and have embarked on The Road To Mars. Reading Pigs Have Wings was like watching a complex data structure, possibly a graph, being constructed and then dismantled.

: I forgot to mention that yesterday I got a package from Celeste containing the ultra-cool Transformers T-shirt she had a picture of on her page earlier. And some socks. And a very sweet card. Huzzah!

: Woohoo!

: CollabNet is moving out of its San Francisco offices into a big office in scenic Brisbane (Brisbane, California, not Brisbane, Australia). All my stuff is packed (not that I have a whole lot of stuff) and on Monday it will be in the new office. Anything that means I spend less time in San Francisco is fine by me, although I don't understand how the BART shuttle there and back is supposed to work.

: Hey, not bad. Segfault is on top of Yahoo's "most popular sites" in the Entertainment/Humor/Computers_and_Internet category, and just under The Onion in the Entertainment/Humor/Parody/News category.

: I'm gonna leave pretty soon, since the machine I do development on has been taken down for the move and there's not much for me to do here. Stay well, do good work, and don't melt.

: Fabulous! Rick Miller wrote a great story for Segfault called Hackers Strike Again, Tap Linux Secrets Too! And since Rick works at Transmeta, he was able to get a picture of Linus hamming it up to go along with the story. As previously stipulated, fabulous!

: My mother indicated to me the second half of this music column from the Bakersfield Californian. Yes, just when you thought it was safe to be Christian. The band Korn is from Bakersfield, by the way. There are probably people in Bakersfield who are proud of this fact.

: Can somebody with an account on the Wall Street Journal Online tell me what's behind this link? Segfault is getting a lot of hits from it. I spoke with WSJ columnist John Dodge a while back, but I had my doubts as to whether anything would come of it. Apparantly it has. Tenative woohoo!

: Aha. Dodge managed to get the info he needed on mslinux.org and went ahead with that article. But he tossed in a link to Segfault, so that's fine.

: Last night I recorded a song for Jake's birthday tape (which is currently about 3/4 full of songs and spoken word pieces and which I should be able to send off soon, a mere few months late) called Jake's Answering Machine Message, which is supposed to be sung all in one breath but there's no possible way anyone could do so. It goes:

good morning this is jake berendes i am not here at the moment i am at the chinese bakery i am at the outdoor market i am at the ymca i am at the barbeque and i am playing in the park and at the worcester petting zoo i am not here to take your call please accept my apology i am here at the museum of science and technology i have a lot to do today and several places i should be so if you'll leave a message i will pass it right along to me i need to fix my bicycle i need to build a robot which will destroy all my enemies if i will only flip a switch i need to find a postcard of a record of a movie of a novel that i heard of while i was drunk at a party when i have completed all these tasks i will hijack a limousine and take it to a place in pennsylvania that i've never seen i'll hitchhike home and push a button which will play the words that you should whisper to your telephone regarding what you called me for beep
I'm quite proud of it [the song].

: Several people have emailed me saying that they managed to sing Jake's Answering Machine Message in one breath. To avoid further damage to peoples' lungs, I am obliged to state that it is indeed possible if you speed up the tempo a lot. Which I may end up doing.

: If the plot points in 50s B-movies were covered by the BBC, you'd get headlines like Double-Headed Creature Revealed.

: I'm going to write an arcade emulator. Existing emulators emulate specific games, but only my emulator will emulate the entire arcade. It will be very loud and cost a lot of money and all of the good games and pinball machines will have been replaced by dumb fighting games.

: Pictures from Brisbane are up.

: You too can Guess the Right Verb!

: In foosball, is it legal to rotate and move your opponent's shish kebabs of players? Best to settle this before it comes up, methinks.

: I keep wanting to unsubscribe from the NewsTrolls newsfeed, but they, like the Tourbus Internet-for-newbies newsletter, come through with enough good stuff to keep me on there. Like this usability study of Magritte's The Betrayal of Images: In Color!, complete with preachy disclaimers.

I unsubscribed from the Freshmeat newsletter because it was just too much information. I have no idea what new software has been released in the past five months.

: A while ago, Google turned up Microsoft on a search for More evil than Satan himself. Be Dope did a story on this, and correspondingly Mike informs me that Be Dope now turns up tops on a search for More evil than Satan himself. Behold how the barbs of the ungodly turn and strike those who launched them! Or words to that effect.

: I read a post-mortem from the Diablo 2 dev team on a game site, and it looks like a really cool roguelike game. I like roguelikes like Zangband and ADOM that give you a bunch of interesting places to die, and Diablo 2 looks like it fits that bill. So I'd like to try it; the only problem is it's a Windows game, and the only Windows machine I have avaliable is the clunky old laptop I got from MAP, which is currently upstairs providing Leonard's dial-up Internet access. So it looks like it'll be a while until I try Diablo 2.

: The subject matter of the previous entry but one has been immortalized in a Be Dope story.

: Segfault: A Vote For Nader Is .36 Of A Vote For Bush.

: A fun toy I found linked to on Technocrat: Spam Mimic stegonagraphically encodes short messages in spam mail.

: I've been able to laugh along with everyone else at the way George W. Bush puts sentences together, but it wasn't until today that the realization hit me. He uses the same algorithms used by the early versions of KatzDot, when it was Dan's goal to have it generate first paragraphs of Jon Katz articles as well as headlines. All it did was smush orthogonal sentence fragments together to give sentences like "Unapproachable information is over-reaction," so Dan gave up, but I think Dan (a known Nader supporter) has since gained control of some mind-control technology and is using it to influence the outcome of the election.

: From CollabNet IRC:

<leonardr> the electoral college makes me think of the knapsack problem
<leonardr> in fact it is the knapsack problem
<susank_h> Knapsack the band?
<leonardr> no, "the knapsack problem" like "the p=np problem" or "the halting problem"

: I found a great site with lots of Chinese propaganda posters; very cool, as I had previously seen only American and Soviet propaganda posters. My favorites are the ones featuring guys who create hazardous workplace conditions due to their penchant for showing off their copies of Chairman Mao's Quotations at inappropriate times.

: I'm staying home this morning waiting for someone from Covad to come and set up my DSL. So I'll be working late tonight. Like I wouldn't be anyway.

: More IRC fun:

<susank_h> I have to go EXTREMELY soon
<leonardr> susank_h: can you hold it til the next rest area?
<susank_h> no
<leonardr> pull over, dlr
<dlr> hehehe
<susank_h> not quick enough!
* dlr offers susank_h an empty milk carton
<susank_h> the back seat is drenched!
<leonardr> geez, susank_h
<susank_h> sorry!

: I have DSL working, at least on the Linux machine. Total size of Linux PPPoE RPM: 60k. Total size of Windows PPPoE setup software: 4.25 megabytes. I decided it would be faster to set up PPPoE on the Linux machine, download the Windows software, split it up, and move it over on floppy to the laptop. But I haven't done that yet.

I'm hoping to get some work done on the Sequim travelogue today. I've put up the first three days' worth of photos. Includes many photos not previously released, so act now for great savings. I'm going to make breakfast now.

Oh yeah, the Roaring Penguin PPPoE client has a nice set of default ipchains firewalling rules. Pretty nice. I can't get it to let SSH traffic through, though.

: I've been real busy today, too busy to write in here, but I should mention that Daniel Rall did a big merge yesterday, with the effect that we're now doing Helm development on the public tree at tigris.org instead of the internal Sourcecast tree. This means that I am now a big-shot* open source developer, with thousands of lines of contributed code to my name.

*Size of shot may vary.

: Enterprise headline-writing solutions with KatzDot technologies: Comdex to confirm rise of open-source Linux

: The UK's Home Secretary is named Jack Straw. For the longest time I thought this was not the name of a real person, but rather a name given to a personification, like Johnny Reb or Uncle Sam. Reading all the Register stories blasting his policies, it seemed too ominous and stereotypically English to be someone's real name.

: I figured out the problem. I was denying all TCP packets to privileged ports, so I needed to give ssh the -P option to have it run on an unprivileged port. So woohoo! I'm going to try working from home today.

: Today's bonus for insane people with lots of bandwidth (a very profitable demographic): You can now download a 33-megabyte MP3 of my 1998 magnum opus Jake's Birthday Party. Notlame makes it easy! (To encode huge MP3s, not to download or listen to them.)

: "For 30$ USD [sic], you get a nice big blanket that's warm." I should hope so.

: A headline I've had for years but have never been able to turn into a Segfault story: Katz to Rampage, Destroy All in Path.

Tomorrow the results of the IF competition. Since everyone will win a prize (due to a surplus of prizes rather than to any touchy-feely views on competition), it's only a matter of who gets the best prizes. I've got my eye on The Age of Wire and String, or the cold hard cash.

: Woohoo! Guess The Verb! got 11th place! I almost beat Andrew Plotkin's entry!

: I don't want to be the sort of person who makes notebook entries consisting of quotes from IRC, but here... is a quote from IRC.

<Manoj> if someone stole my desktop box's IP address, I will murder someone
<ms> will you murder the person who stole the ip, or just some arbitrary sucker?

: I put up a brag paragraph on the GTV page... I guess "11th place" doesn't really sound like a good thing to brag about (you can't say "in the top 10"), but I think it is when there are 53 entrants.

: robotfindskitten, like Dada Pokey before it, has been featured in a little tiny blurb on Pigdog Journal, the editor of which I am a couple degrees of separation from via three completely unrelated routes (Mark Fasheh, Mae Ling Mak, and Pete Peterson II). I don't know exactly how many degrees it is because I don't know who everyone knows directly, and even if I knew I'd probably get an off-by-one error expressing it (am I zero degrees of separation from everyone I know, or only from myself?)

: YES!!! Kris has started doing Checkerboard Nightmare cartoons again!

: Argh! Please, please, no more Segfault submissions of political satire on the Presidential election! I published a couple because it was a special occasion, and that opened up the floodgates. No one seems interested in writing anything else. No one even seems interested in tackling the debacle from a technical point of view.

: Pete Collins said in an email to appsdev "Improvise and respond directly to feedback." It was sort of tangential to the topic of discussion, but words to live by nonetheless.

: Here is a picture my mother sent me of someone who is some relation to me but I'm not sure of the terminology. His name is Sydney and he is very small. He looks even smaller because he's being held by my cousin Brian Richardson, who is his father and who is a big guy. To Sydney's left stand Tina, Brian's wife, and John, the pastor.

: My mother informs me that Sydney is a girl. Who names a girl Sydney? My cousin, that's who.

: Today Cam described me as "The five-time reigning champion dungeonmaster, world-renowned flamethrower and sword-swallower, Leonard Richardson, creator of the award-winning crummy.com and segfault.org, master of all, god of none." This makes me laugh almost as hard as does Paul O'Brian's review of Guess The Verb!, and for the same lack of any reason.

: Today's classic quote: "Do you mean 'a lot' as in a million or 'a lot' as in two?"

: True to his word, foaf has sent me a copy of Monty Python Sings, the follow-up to the critical flop Monty Python Does Not Sing. Unfortunately, it's region-coded to the UK, so I can't listen to it. I'm kidding, of course (but for how long?). I'm going to listen to it on my way to Fresno today. The reason foaf sent me this lovely gift was so I could listen to the Oliver Cromwell song, which is apparantly an Alan Sherman-style sing-along to a classical piece.

It's one of those things Wittgenstein was concerned about, things you know are true even though you've never thought about them. For me it was "It takes a lot longer to get several people going for a road trip than it does to get one person going for a road trip." Here I am, in my pajamas, It's 6:20, I want to leave by 7 and I know I can do it. That would be impossible if I was taking three other people along. This could be Brook's law in action.

I was soooo looking forward to seeing Celeste tomorrow, but it looks like that won't happen. :( :( :( But never fear, I have a devious plan... heh heh heh. Or nyeh heh heh, to laugh the Steve Buscemi way. Learn from the great Buscemi and let him guide your patch.

You know, I made a bunch of pop culture references in that entry, but they were all sort of erudite and highbrow. Not like Moesha or Blair Witch references, anyway. Hmm, maybe not. YOU MAKE THE CALL! Okay, that ruined it.

: Before listening to the Oliver Cromwell song, I questioned foaf's sanity in sending me a CD just so I could listen to one song. However, now I must admit that it is quite a song. I recommend it. The CD also has all the great Monty Python songs, as well as all the terrible ones which, like The Road To Mars, never should have been done.

: The hard drive on my home machine is going downhill. Yesterday it wouldn't boot. I was quite disturbed because that hard drive has my post-Guess The Verb! IF game on it, and it's the only game in the world that cannot, even in theory, be recreated from scratch if the most recent version is destroyed. Fortunately, the fabulous bootable business card from LinuxCare took care of things.

I need to get a new computer, but I think the current prices might be artificially high, and that I should, like Pitch, lay low until after the holidays. What do the people who actually know about buying hardware think?

: Welcome to December 2000. Before this month is out, we will put a man on the moon, and bring him safely back to earth.

: 'Fossil fish' in dramatic sighting. Fossil fish performs live to sold out crowd!

: Celeste is on her way to Washington. I'm thinking of her as I enter my 12th hour of hellish debugging.

: It is my considered opinion that the Angband games are not for playing. They are for hacking on and for writing intelligent agents to conquer. This strikes me as a more reliable source of fun than playing them.

: Research for my game brings me to the coolest hostname ever devised by man: properties.copper.org.

: In honor of our code freeze, I will sing:

A golden build is a soaring soul
As free as a mountain bird
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word!

: Celeste's interview is ongoing as of about ten minutes ago. I hope it goes well.

: You... underfed... monkey! From a clip art site Mike pointed me to.

: I heartily endorse the breaded clams that is Tales of the Lambda Expressway.


Registered at the Post Office as  
"a personal page of...stuff?"

: Try some of my delicious culture jam!

: FHW: Microsoft forges acquisition of Xbox developer. With all their billions, you'd think they could acquire the Xbox developer for real.

: Yes! Celeste got a great job offer! And now another company wants to try and match the offer! Celeste rocks!

: If you are afraid that you might not get enough sarcasm today, this article should do you for a while.

: This is the first news article I've seen that mentions Zack Networks. Zack is the company I was going to work for before CollabNet made me an offer. Joshua Barratt works for Zack, or did as of mid-1999. I also had an offer from Tallan, which I would have preferred to the Zack one, but they put a really tight time limit on my accepting the offer, so I decided to take a risk and hope I got the CollabNet offer. And it paid off. Whee!

Celeste's job search has caused me to reminisce about my own, as you can tell.

: Oh, it's that old "Good Pope, bad Pope" routine.

: Man arrested for threatening Zappa. You're a dead man, Zappa! No, actually it was Moon Unit Zappa.

: A link Mike sent me a long time ago that I never got because of mail forwarding problems: Secret Nazi Relic to be Destroyed. Mike:

are they not aware that once they cut down the offending trees, they will have a swastika of black (empty space) on green visible year round, instead of the yellow that is only visible a few weeks a year when the leaves change color? unless they are going to take out some pines as well, or plant new pines, which i doubt they have planned...

: Mike also points out that the headline about the Xbox developer has been changed.

: A monster beyond my control: robotfindskitten.org.

For those late to the party, here is the canonical rfk page and the sourceforge project.

: New release of Guess The Verb!, this one the official Release 2. Now includes hints! Cf. my first Usenet posting ever. I could probably have posted the announcement from some UNIX account or other so as not to have looked like the Usenet equivalent of an AOL user, but what the hell.

: Grr. I had to update Guess The Verb! again because of a mis-statement about the Second Incompleteness Theorem. The version on gmd.de will make me look like a spaz.

: The most complicated part of my next game is now implemented. Only one other part is anywhere near as complicated.

I'm hoping to start a January beta-test of this game, and release it in February. But now, I sleep.

: Celeste's queuing theory final is today. Actually it's in less than 2 hours. I answered her questions this weekend but I had to punt on a lot of them because I don't remember things as basic as how to calculate second moment. I wish I could have done more to help her. All I can do at this point is wish her luck.

: Today's poll is in honor of our gonzo buildmaster, Josh Lucas.

Someone from la.inreach.net has been stuffing the polls. I don't know which is worse; that someone feels the need to rig these useless polls, or that I care.

Oops, I accidentally overwrote the last poll with this poll. Oh well, it wasn't a very good poll anyway.

: This is a rather amusing article. Biotech patents are "making a mockery of the world patent system", not because said system deserves to be made a mockery, not because biotech patents are generally evil... because biotech patents are really long and use a lot of paper! Yes, you read it here first. Actually, you probably read it at Sci Tech Daily first.

: This long article on Bach would be worthwhile even if the only thing it supplied to me were this previously missing detail:

The great Mass in B Minor could not be played at all during Bach's lifetime: a Latin mass was not possible in a Protestant church, and at that time a performance with an orchestra was banned in Catholic churches.


: The definition of "good press": An article headlined "All hail [your company's product]".

: The queueing theory final is nearly over. Celeste said she'd call me afterwards. I am waiting with bated breath for the call.

: Kevin Maples showed me a cool slot machine which he wrote in C.

That's all for now.

: There was an alarm which was set off earlier, and which produced an inscrutable alarm message. We evacuated and the fire department came. They futzed around inside the building for a while and then left. I have no idea what they did. All I know is that I lost over an hour of my afternoon. Kevin and I walked down to the marina, though, so it wasn't a total waste.

: I feel terrible, so I'm filling myself up with junk food, even though I know this will only make me feel worse. Not only in a self-esteem sense; it will make me feel physically worse. So why do I do it?

: I feel much better today.

The link going around CollabNet is this graph of OpenOffice compile dependencies. I think it would make a good technology graph for FreeCiv, although you'd have to get rid of that big bottleneck. Every sentence in this paragraph containes at least one BiCapitalized word.

: American McGee's Alice: It's like Alice in Wonderland, but it's really twisted! Coming soon, American McGee's Juliet: It's like Romeo and Juliet, but they both die in the end!

No, the thing that really pisses me off about that game is the characters. The Snark and the Boojum are two completely different creatures with completely different habitats. Hello?


<susank> fancy icons miss the point
<susank> except for dangergirl ones

: I believe that this is the first time I have seen the phrase "a senior executive played electronic music he had written" in a news article.

: I'm starting to think I should have actually attended the CollabNet holiday party; there are a million press articles about it; here's the latest.

I even got to bond with the dashing engineer Manoj, who confessed that he would rather not code for users, or clients, or even for hardware. "Actually, I think I should just be pure energy," he proclaimed grandly.

: Hunt me! Kill me! Turn my hyde into a faux leather handbag! As usual, that link will work until Monday.

: The preachiest Segfault story I've ever written: Genetically Modified Teosinte on the Loose. Yes, even preachier than last year's heat death story.

: Celeste's last final is ongoing now. Then she's done with school! My final act as a UCLA student was to drop a paper on Wittgenstein into Professor Hsu's mailbox, and I liked having there be one defining moment, which wouldn't have happened if I'd been taking a final (and which I could take a picture of).

: Plausibly deniable spam from Amazon: "Since we haven't heard from you recently (at this e-mail address), we're passing along our solutions to common eleventh-hour holiday headaches." Well, that certainly makes... huh?

: The site was down for a while but now it's back. I have not yet heard from VA-Dan about the cause of the downage. Celeste wanted me to post something, so here it is. Hi, Celeste!

: A link for my mother: Steven Jay Gould's final essay for Natural History.

: I have an essay-like thought bubbling in my mind, but I haven't yet had the opportunity to write anything down.

: Whenever I hear Jon Katz talk about young people, I fear for the future. But then I remember that I was easily as obsessed with video games as anyone he's talking about, and I turned out fine. And I realize that, once again, Jon Katz is full of it, and everything is as it should be.

Hey, wait a minute... I am one of the people he's talking about. Argh! I know that Konami cheat code as well as anyone. When will my similarities to the Katz-kissing-up demographic end? I'm an adult! I have a bloody college degree! This isn't right!

: Kevin's SSH woes:

<kmaples> see what I have to deal with?:
<kmaples> Warning: Server lies about size of server host key: actual size is 1023 bits vs. announced 1024.
<kmaples> where's my bit!

: Just a couple more days until I get to see Celeste... even less time until I get to see my mother and sisters again. Huzzah!

: I know IRC humor is wrong, but I can't resist. Here's Manoj's latest:

I think for Christmas, we should buy Ed a Ford Expedition with a built-in TV tuned to QVC, with "Partnership for a Drug-Free America" and "Bush/Cheney 2000" bumper stickers. Oh, and we'd take him to SoCal to pick it up.

: I'm all packed to leave tomorrow but I have yet to get my camera to work with my Thinkpad. So I guess I'll be limited to 60 or however many pictures this coming 5 days. Oh darn.

: I had such a wonderful time with Celeste yesterday. :) I can't wait until I see her again.

: Segfault silliness: String, Boolean Passed to Function.

: Oh, I forgot to mention that I saw Celeste *twice*! I saw her on Saturday too! Her dad took here up here and dropped her off, and we took her back home that night. It was so wonderful getting to see her again. We surprised her with a Christmas stocking my mom made for her. It has the cute little onion guy from her homepage on it.

: O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coens' latest, is out! I'm trying very hard not to read that review because I already know too much about it for my taste. I went into The Big Lebowski knowing nothing about it except the lines that Adam, Kris and LJ continually quoted out of context, and it was fabulous. Let's retain that innocence. For the laughter, for the music. For the boy.

: I'm glad this is online because I was going to type it up the way I did The Late Benjamin Franklin, and now I don't have to: Mark Twain's The Awful German Language. Don't miss the gut-wrenching Tale of the Fishwife and its sad Fate.

I cleaned up as regards Christmas gifts, by the way. I got a Clango T-shirt from Celeste! Yay!!! And lots of other stuff--I have pictures which will go up. But I think the Clango T-shirt was the best, even though it wasn't technically a Christmas gift.

: As my free gift to you, I have scanned an old magic catalog I got at an antique store on Saturday. Within the next few years it will become nice-looking and have a paging system with narration, but you can see the raw scanned images here. Fun for the whole family! Except for you.

As my free gift to Jake Berendes, I finally finished the album I was supposed to give him for his birthday. I hope to mail it to him eventually. To make up for its lateness, the album has no less than five titles: A Credit to His Demographic (the main title), Things I Broke on the Way Out, A Harvest of Death, A Vote For Me is a Vote For Food Reform, and special bonus title I Jake Berendized West Covina and All I Got Was This Lousy Tape. I made four track lists for it; you can see one of them. Jake, beware that some of the track names are fake names so that you won't know about songs you've already heard of until they're on top of you, metaphorically speaking.

I'm all packed up to leave tomorrow. I'm taking tomorrow off and will be in work on Wednesday. Back to the daily grind.

: More picture dumps from Thanksgiving and Christmas.

: The programming for my next IF game is pretty much done. All that remains before beta testing is for me to write a veritable encyclopedia of reference material for the game world. Bleah. Oh yeah, I also have to program all the interaction for all the NPCs. But they don't do a whole lot, so I'm not terribly unhappy about that task.

For Guess the Verb! I was fortunate enough to have Mike around to help me write all the descriptions and whatnot. But for this game I'm writing everything myself, and it's haaahd. Tedious, more like. Maybe it's because everything I write in this game has to be written in a particular style which is very different (though not as different as you might think) from my regular style.

Yes, I like teasing you by talking about my new game but not actually saying anything about it.

: Finally, more email from Andy. He's applying to graduate schools and whatnot. Andy is the ideal victim for my next plan but he might not have time for the irregular goings-on it entails.

: It's been a nightmare at work today. Our provider had an intermittent problem with one of their routers (or something) which led to hosts being accessible basically at random. I didn't get to commit any of the code I wrote today, and I didn't get to say something on here that I really wanted to say, which is...

Congratulations, Celeste!

She has officially passed all her classes and graduated! Yay!

: Today's quote: "I laugh in the face of hubris!". Kevin also had a great quote today but I don't remember it. Help me out, Kevin.

Kevin is the owner of the spiceweasels.com domain name, where you can see horrifying pictures of the Turducken. When I say "horrifying" I am not kidding. View at your own risk. In particular, view this picture at your own risk. That is of Kevin's friend Fred, who masterminded the Turducken.

Kevin is also the boss of lfino.com, which could be a weblog (which I could then link to on the navbar) if he tried a little harder.

: I finished Terror of Mechagodzilla this morning. It was pretty good, except they never got to the terror. It had the likable Andy Kaufman-like guy from Godzilla vs. Megalon in it. Katsuhiko Sasaki, that's the one.

: There is a cool thing about to be started at CollabNet which I get to be in charge of, sort of. Woohoo! I'm already sort of in charge of Helm (although I haven't embarked upon the modernification of the web page and writing of tech documents that I need to embark upon). I've discovered that I like being in charge of things a lot more when it's part of my job to be in charge of them.

: Behold the extent of my geekiness. Last night Celeste was telling me about the menanggalan, a member of the Filipino undead which takes the form of a woman whose head and internal organs separate from the host body and fly around at night. Instead of being frightened by this gruesome depiction, I was elated to have discovered the source of one of the weirder monsters in the 1st edition AD&D Fiend Folio. They call it a penanggalan there, but it's the same thing. You can read a conversion of the monster to 3rd Edition AD&D here, or read about the folklore and cinematic appearances of the [mp]enanggalan in an article here. Plus, I now know how to pronounce the name! ([mp]en-a-nang-ga-lan) Jake, take note.

: My game is ready for Mike to beta-test, but not for an open beta-test. I need to calibrate it on Mike first.



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