# News You Can Bruise for 2000 June

: 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:
1049
Enter b:
203
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!!!!!

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

: 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".

: 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!)).

: 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.

: 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!

: 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?

: 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.

# News You Can Bruise for 2000 June

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