Friday, February 29, 2008

Whistling FreeBSD 7

Hehe, as a friend requested a screen shot of when I got FreeBSD 7 up:

[click to enlarge]
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Well actually it is about an hour and a half to two hours after but I dunno how to take a screen shot of FreeBSDs system console without image magic, then again I could've always used the camera... But no one wants to stare at the command prompt but me <_<.

FreeBSD 7.0 booted incredibly fast for my exptation, even off the install CD I think it out paced PC-BSD 1.4 (which uses FreeBSD 6.3-stuff). As always I set a few of the install options before hand, low output while installing packages, debugging console on etc. Normally when I setup a FreeBSD box I do a custom installation and exact maximum control over what goes in. For this, I just chose to use the canned X-Kern-Developer installation set which is essentially FreeBSD + Kernel Sources + Xorg which is what I wanted, I'm not expecting to need any sources other then the kernels.

For the optional packages I picked out a bare minimal to get me started, zsh for my user account -> I can use any of the standard shells easy enough but I 'like' the zsh hehe. Also portupgrade to ease any installation issues and a desktop environment, I chose to go the gnome2 meta-route.

The install went very fast as usual and the whole time was basically spent installing X and associated crap. It did however bomb out on LibIDL not being found on disk 2 fragging the gnome install so it would seem and barfing at the ruby package on the disk set. I think this is rather /strange/ for having downloaded all 3 ISO's to avoid things like that... But hey, I don't mind. Usually when I install FreeBSD I only take off the CD-ROM's what I'll need to get the machine connected to the internet, usually nothing as far as whats in ports goes.

However despite the lack of a desktop and portupgrade utility I booted into an other wise fully functional system. Mounted my existing install on /mnt and merged my network config into the FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE one and copied over the xorg.conf file, volia we have working internet and X.Org ! No need to even load kernel modules, although sound didn't work because I never added the line to /boot/loader.conf for it: no problem on a test install. Whether or not sysinstall has gained the ability to handle WPA Encryption over the years I didn't bother because setting up my well supported PCMCIA card is a breeze as long as you can use a text editor.

I then set the gdm_enable variable in /etc/rc.conf then I had to change the site to fetch packages from because was still shouting about to many connected users so I set PACKAGEROOT to in roots .login file, logged in & out and proceeded to pkg_add portupgrade and gnome2.

That took about an hour !!!! A little toying with pkg_info and wc, and I would say that gnome depends on about 365+ things... Glad I got a working X.Org install off the CD-ROM... It took ****for freaking ever**** to download all of the packages for gnome but one console command and a single line added to the config file and it just /works/ out of the box after a reboot, although of course I already had the xorg.conf file hehe.

I'm a KDE user by taste not a Gnome one but I decided to install Gnome and while I don't care much for Gnome I am glad to see that aside from the long wait that installing and setting up Gnome on FreeBSD is as painless as it gets thanks to the hard work of those maintaining the port. Now, customizing Gnome to do your evil bidding is some times problematic hehe. I only like two things about Gnome, that it looks nice (usually) and that it gets well the **** out of your way.

If that is worth the horrendous inefficient user interface they have for file open/save dialogs I dunno... But KDE is the best in that regard that I've ever seen.

There was just one small problem, since the FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE install was going into a partition previously housing a linux distro I was testing a few months ago, it also took with it the GRUB configuration as was planned. So I had my GAG install CD ready before I started with FreeBSD because I knew I was going to be removing the boot loader I was using for PC-BSD (GRUB).

The problem, 2 OSes setup for booting in GAG but only the first would boot (FreeBSD 7). I even used the install disk to overwrite GAG with BSDs normal boot manager but no luck, it wouldn't boot ad0s2a ! When ever I chose to boot off the second partition in GAG it would boot off the first, FreeBSDs boot manager would just beep at the second partition.

There is always more then one way to screw with a boot procedure, man I love thinking ^_^. Loaded up my trusty never wanta leave home without it Knoppix Linux LiveCD and used QTParted to unmark ad0s1a (FreeBSD 7) as active and to make extra sure I did the same to ad0s2a (PC-BSD 1.4) and set ad0s2a active again before commiting my changes.

Reboot and reinstall of GAG, PC-BSD boots fine and so does FreeBSD !

I know you're only supposed to have one partition marked active and GOD and IBM only know what could happen if more then one ended up set active :\. I figured that either GAG had to be goofing it up or there was some thing slagged. Sure enough QTParted told me both partitions were marked active..

I ain't gonna ask how, not even if it is possible, so long as nothing explodes and my laptop works fully I am a happy spider hehe.

In my personal opinion, aside from my booting mixup I think any one able to read & understand English (I've never tried installing in another language) could get a working desktop in less then 2 hours if they sought after the suitable level of knowledge to configure there systems internet connection, for most wired users that is a cake walk during the install. And to setup an X.Org config file which is not a very hard task, when the proper values work that is lol.

PC-BSD on the other hand, 30-45 minutes time spent installing (mostly installing the files while you relax) and you have a fully functional KDE Desktop. That's why I have PC-BSD on my laptop, because other wise I would have to install KDE manually... in which case I would probably skip it and just install amarok and friends ;-)

With the increased performance in FreeBSD 7, I can't wait to see PC-BSD 2.0 when they finally switch over. It should sure as heck boot faster for them then Ubuntu on a first date ;-)

One thing I personally find weird, when I do have a problem 90% of the time if it makes sense I can figure out the problem eventually. The other 10% of the time, what makes sense doesn't work 8=) so the only solution is to 'fsck with it a bit.

What dreams come

I can't help but wonder if my dreams begin to haunt me or to comfort me..

To see the things I long so hard for come forth only to have them torn away. I look to and fro, and wonder if I be in heaven or hell. As the scene continues, oh so sweet a scene.. It seems as if life may finally be on the upward course. I see my desires fulfilled, my hopes grow at the sight of my dreams. The things that ebb away at my mind are put to a rest... My life finally has peace and a promise of prosperity to come. A stoll through the woods, in search of nothing but communication without eave dropping ears as it seems the torments of my life are set right in this era of happiness but it is only a short time before business must part me from our shared path. I must leave to attend to things but will return home shortly. Yet what unfolds is only to be replaced by horror, replaced by the monster.

Nothing left but to survive and return home... Business gone astray what ever it may have been and the terrors of the jungle standing in the way.

While I'm not built like Arnold Schwarzenegger, in life or dreams the creature is infinitely more deadly then the Predator ever could have been. While Dutch was also unarmed against the monster, he was able to build weapons and utilize camouflage... The predators naked eyes being much less accuate a judge of heat sources. No such luck in this case; the creature has no weakness that I can exploit as it pursues me, like a demon in search of prey. It is fast, impossibly strong yet ever so nimble a creature and twice as deadly. Human wit however proves more then a match for its brute force even when left weaponless in the jungle. It is only my will to drive me, the will to keep going and punch through the struggle.

Now with no harm left, I stand and realize that I am trapped here. Nothing left to harm me, nothing left to fight. Yet how do I return home?

And I awoke to the world around me... To the questions that plague my mind, will I ever succeed in reaching such a life?

To be or not to be, that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to — 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

-- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act III, Scene I

To be, that is the answer...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Practical Fusion Power, getting closer to the real world?

MIT Fights for Clean Power With Holy Grail of Fusion in Reach

This article is quite interesting for me, maybe I'm an old 'Mech head at heart but I think a practical and eventually miniaturized fusion power source is the real block on some day seeing a real 'Mech walking about. Well, that and about 20 Billion dollars a year to develop the rest of the hardware and software environment xD.

And to top it off, there research seems to be putting the concepts used in tokamaks to work. Man I ain't heard hide nor hair of one in ages..

Who knows, maybe in 70-150 years the power problem will be solved, if there's still a planet left.. Either way I probably won't live to see it but hey, a lad can dream. If a practical fusion reactor could be developed and put to propulsive uses without needing a capitol ship or any thing else huge to do it, oh baby would that open a few doors to what we could do. But what ever comes up over the next few decades, will still probably be to large to be very portable :\
Downloading FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE and hoping my internet connection doesn't fuck up on me.... freaking phones !!!

I'd like to tell bellsouth where they can stick there equipment...

Currently running 334MB of 509MB (rounded) and going at 270~340KB/Sec and still going full steam a head downloading i386 Disc #1.

I'm shocked really, the main download server already popped past the max connection limit when I went to browse the files.

Seeing the situation I started looking to see which US mirror was the fastest, several seemed to be KiA when I started pinging to find the best response time. Oddly enough had the best response and by a vast majority !!!

Oh baby is this gonna be a goooooooooood release xD. I started with FreeBSDs 6.0-RELEASE and look forward to seeing the things coming out of current hehe. There's also a driver for 7.0 that I want to test out some time soon, I might have to wait awhile... I know my desktop did a kernel compile of 6.1-Release in like ~45 minutes but my laptop is not quite as powerful....

Haha, this reminds me of when my file server ran FreeBSD. Chugging away on that little 500Mhz Pentium III it used to take like 6 to 8 hours to recompile the entire operating system but always rock solid.

Even if I was sound asleep by the end <_<

Now I've dreamed everything

It's normal for me to have a string of dreams but this last one just takes the cake. I woke up around 1030R and went back to bed...

I dreamed I was a part of a U.S. Army raid on an island to destroy a weapons cache in the middle of World War II. We stormed the house with frags, going room by room. No one there...

Heading up stairs, swapping a M3 Grease Gun with another soldiers M1 Grand we started working throuhg the upstairs.

Kicking in door by door we cleared, I walked point with the M1 rifle... Maybe 30-45seconds later we had secured 5 or 6 rooms with little more man power then that. Moving so quick we didn't need modern conviences like flash bangs, we even checked the closets for any one hiding but still no one there !!!

And then some one saw out the window and remarked....

They ground up the guns and fed them to the birds, it was all sitting out on the roof :\

CCAN YOU GET CRAZIER A DREAM THEN THAT !? Who the heck grinds up weapons and feeds the seagulls with them before the enemy arrives !?

Dissatisfied I kept looking with the captains permission, moving my fire team about determined to until I spotted two troopers loading weapons on the roof... Flung open the window and opened fire with my Grand emptying a magazine but like magic nothing hit, I must be playing to much Raven Shield these days !!

As the alarms raised, was forced to retreat... when I realized I was alone, no one else left. Kept moving through the cleared rooms to find cover as the enemy closed in, only to find an officer... Dropping an apparently useless rifle I dropped to my knees with hands on my head as the Officer shot a round over my head.. To his thanks lol.

I found out every one was captured while we were clearing, winding up in the brig with the rest of the squad we started planning how to escape from our cells and carry on the mission. But I woke up before we got beyond the underground brig :\

Now I've dreamed just about everything loool.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ahh some time to rest I hope.

Bumped the chair into the roof moving it from the living room to mybedroom... woke ma up which got me sent out to cover the car, which woke up the dogs lol.

It's only 35 degrees Fahrenheit out (~1.6 Celsius) even with the wind chill so it's not to bad, just breezy. Call me strange but I'm out in a T-Shirt lol --> Born in Florida I love the cold weather xD.

With a little luck maybe I can get some rest. I know Willow is pissed that it's to cold to go outside (lucky for me). Hopefully I can catch the rest of Jumanji snd get a bit of work done before any one else wakes up...


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NPM going Beta soon !!!

I've spent the last 3 hours or so hashing out changes in NPM's sources.

I'm not totally satisfied with the look of the settings dialog, I don't think it looks professional enough for a proper release... Maybe it is just me. This is one reason I'm axious for the Qt4/KDE4 port because I'd like to get my arms around some of the changes in layout but I guess it can wait.

I still need to come up with icons for the menu to replace the text labels (ports, logging, network) but I think this is a good enough settings front end for now. I took a quick screen shot of each of the pages that show the preferences that I've setup so far:

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Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

That should take care of the basic user settings for now. I really think it is time I start to focus on the back end slots. Because as much progress as I have made in the last several commits of getting the GUI to work with the settings system I never got around to writing code to get it to make setting changes persistent through the GUI :o)

Once that OptionsInterface and related code is done and interfaced with the code in I can work on the next phases I need done before a beta release:

  1. Implement the GUI front ends for running portsnap/cvsup/csup, atm it should run but without user output and a start button lol.
  2. Write the about dialog and integrate access of the Options GUI (the above screen shots show it) into NPM_MainWindow (the main application window).
  3. Alternate NPM_MainWindow forms that can be loaded at user choice :-)
  4. Tweak code for setting ports build options more

After that, I guess Neo Ports Manager will be ready to have a Beta Release.

The handling the dialog that stands in for make config, I know sooner or later I'm going to have to resort to calculating a full scale depends list of options much like make config-recursive does because doing otherwise would screw up during any operation that tries to do a make config: the display area is read only to the user, no I/O form user to portupgrade and friends. Fixing that will come later... I also need to get my tookus back to the German translation when I've got the time to spare.

Oh what fun it will be when NPM hits a 1.1 Release, I can finally have a coffee break of sorts <_< hehe.

I would do more tonight but work is in the morning... Thus time to go to bed when you consider it's after 0330R [local morning], well at least this is the earliest I've gone to bed in awhile LOL.

FreeBSD 7 draws near!

I think the word is euphoria hehe.

FreeBSD 7.0 is nearing it's release with many many improvements, if I was in the business of having huge SMP servers doing lots of databases and network intensive stuff I'd probably have testing going on for months in advance..

Being a single spider, well I've yet to test it xD

So far FreeBSD 7 is looking like it is the best software update to hit my radar since Vim gained spell checking support in it's own 7.x release ;-)

Blessed number seven hehe !

I've already nearly blown out the walls and then my ears setting the radio ^_^ Celebration time ! Hooyah !

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hurt, Fear, and Sorrow.

I sit here trying to concentrate on getting stuff done. I can hear the mutterings of my family behind my back, in both in the idiomatic and physical sense since my back is to the wall which is in front of them. Some how I find the song that is playing in Amarok interestingly a stroke of semi-logic.

The muse to my productivity, hell 13 hours today complete the work I started the day before yesterday -- it's like being at the zoo ! Is it a wonder I may be awake till dawn to complete my endeavours?

And of issues they wish... To release me from my chains only so long as to shackle me anew to another post with stronger bindings. An effort I resist, if I'm made to suffer I will not sacrifice my entirety that others may lounge. It's of my opinion that if you fail to plan a head, you best be prepared to weep the whirlwind that shall follow...

My mother got a torn stuck in her foot that was tracked in, do I hesitate to help? No, instead I do what I can.. Including tracking down the teasers. I'm not a cruel person by the soul, although I have more then a few brutal bones... The only time I aim to hurt others with my words is when I know from [to much] trial and error that it is all they will understand, or worse all that will keep them from striking at my spirit further.

When there's trouble, I run, whether I think aid is deserved or not. But I will only go so far.. While I might pull a thorn, I'm not about to go as far as mental seppuku over her lack of planning.

I will not have my future bared from me until I am unable to pursue it further, I struggle enough to reach it now. I seek the opposite path then the one they bid me to take. The one that leads me to a chance, a chance to see my hopes realized, myself validated. To some day walk a free man among my peers with my head held high, that only GOD may choose for me and no other without my consent.

There is a poem that I came across in my web travels awhile back. I think it explains things all to well as I feel them.

Without consideration, without pity, without shame
they have built great and high walls around me.

And now I sit here and despair.
I think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind;

for I had many things to do outside.
Ah why did I not pay attention when they were building the walls.

But I never heard any noise or sound of builders.
Imperceptibly they shut me from the outside world.

--Constantine P. Cavafy (1896)

In retrospect those words should be required reading in American Schools much like a few others are already. Hmm, what was it that dear Mr Jefferson helped to pen?

"that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

About the only right I have freedom to exercise here is my right to life, my right to choose and I will not relinquish it.

My soul belongs to the LORD, to no one else.

days muzings

oy it's been a hazardous day :\

Sick of laying around, sick of jumping around!

Finally finished my effort to convert the new RoE SOP to LaTeX. The main reason is that I can generate us a crap load of formats out of it and keep the source easy enough for most people to update even without my skillset. I packed it up in a ZIP and sent it to En4cer. I think after adding my sig to the SOP it is supposed to be official going by the finalized En4cer sent but until I hear about it. I'm keeping the files under my hat as far as those outside the SNCO project are concerned.

I must admit I am some what disappointed with the SOP Rewrites, don't get me wrong its great material. It's just the issue of workload balancing and time, sheesh man this stuff should've been done before I was even a Cpl... Let along sitting on my desk when I was made RSM.

LaTeX is a really good format, it's pretty easy for every one to edit with a minimal understanding of it. And for some one like me it can become a very valuable tool. I've long since gave up on word processors, it's like the worst idea in typesetting history if you ask me. I think half the bloody books I've read were probably passed through TeX / PostScript sooner or later in printing any way.

With my great dissatisfaction with word processing at the WYSIWYG level because it is such false advertising when you share files ^_^ and the crappy selection of portable formats. I eventually took to using XHTML/CSS for documents to be printed.. I'm fluent in XHTML but still it adds overhead to editing. LaTeX on the other hand, the learning curve is there for the sake of learning how to do XYZ when it pops up but it makes editing documents much easier.

Using Microsoft Word was harder then LaTeX haha and tables in LaTeX feel a little less pesky then they have always felt to me in XHTML. I think though one of my fundamental problems is that I'm linguistically diverse by nature.

I'm also some one that likes to work with data in comfort without having to worry about layout on other peoples system. That is one reason I tend to include a PDF version of all of my documents, at least that one will look proper lol.

Dancing the crazy monkey

Flooded with IM's, full of paper work, dashing up and bout servicing requests, birds screaming, dogs yammering for a walk. Shopping [grocery] expeditions to be dragged out on. It's like I'm dancing back and forth like a crazed monkey,


I could get more work done sleeping :o)

Only one thing I know,

Well you know those times
When you feel like there's a sign there on your back
Says I don't mind if ya kick me
Seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You'd think they can't get worse than that
And then they do

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don't know where you are
Use the needle of your compass
To sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie
In a bottle of Jim Beam
And she lies to you
That's when you learn the truth

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Well I been deep down in that darkness
I been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons
Breathing fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled
I'd fall right into the trap that they were laying, yeah

But the good news
Is there's angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one's that you've been dragginig for so long
You're on your knees
You maight as well be praying
Guess what I'm saying

If your going through hell
Keep on going, don't slow down
If you're scared don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, don't slow down
If you're scared don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there
Yeah, you might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there.

-- Rodney Atkins, If You're Going Through Hell

That and I need a vacation xD

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Here I sit, the darkness is on the brink

the business of the day gone by

my emotions come to intrude even upon the solace of my coding

I reach out for the things I desire

yet the seem to far off to go

will I ever reach the destination?

Will it even be the destination I seek...

Oh how I long...

the memories of the past haunt me

dreams of the future wound me

yet what else is there for me?

But my memories and my dreams

Of the things lost

of the things sought

the road is narrow as I stumble

all there is here is pain

till I reach the end of the journey

yet I can not tell how long it shall be

only that it be long and hard

what will await at the end?

to truth or to sorrow

to passion or to torment

I reach towards the future yet my arm is blocked, tied, constrained

bound by the past, of wounds still fresh

I can't help but wonder, what will the future bring...

Be it madness, be it happiness, as long as it comes to a success.

what is life but a tail of joys and sorrows.

the deeds of ones hands and thy toil.

Of loves lost, of loves to be found...

Tis to an end my dear,

for I can bear it no more.

the mind must learn to forget,

as a new day looms.

To a new horizon I set sail

and of the warm waters I dream

in search of that island paradise

once more, forever more.

-- The driftings of a spider


Brushing up with Java

It's been quite an interest of mine to brush up with Java and Perl for awhile now but time has never really allowed me to do so.

Java for me is a language to which a lot of knowledge is stored away in the ol'brain but little wisdom so to speak. Java was maybe my 3rd language but I've also done a pretty good job of writing almost no Java code over the years hehe. I'm used to the syntax though. One day the Library had a sale of old books and one was the Java Sourcebook by Ed Anuff.

This was maybe 2006 and the book was so old that some where in the interface I think it said that JDK 1.0 Beta would be released by the time people were buying the book. Until more recent aspects involving Python and C++ with Qt3 / Qt4 its introduction (unwritten) to Javas Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) was the closest I ever got to GUI work.

It is a very good book IMHO but of course very dated, I don't know how much java.lang.applet and whatnot has changed over the years, I never really cared much for Java applets! But I am pretty sure that a lot is different with AWT and the newer Swing toolkit. One thing that I actually find interesting, the Java Sourcebook is maybe the only book I've seen that uses the same brace style I tend to use in C. Hmm, maybe it was an influence on my ways of doing things :\

Not to long ago I checked out a nice O'Reilly book on Java because I wanted to see how much the language had changed in the past ten years or so. Java indeed changed quite a lot, it is way more fatter then I remember but it is still just as sweet.

One thing I like about C, the syntax is small enough to cram in ones head easy and follow it up with a reference of the standard library for stuff you don't use often. Java OTOH is probably a few orders of magnitude larger then that for most people. With the things I noted, inner classes, generics, etc I was a little suprised that they were there but the language seems to have grown naturally. As I read though parts of the book I was constantly like "Oh, that works just like I expected" when comparing the detailed explanations of how things work along side the code listings.

C++ was my first language aye but I think I'm more comfortable with Java. Because in the fields where C++ differs from C, I tend to get a little more lost, while with Java most of it is already there.

Perl, my second language but probably the weakest in my skill set. I quickly got board and skipped a lot which gradually filtered through over the years. I respect Perl for its power and flexibility but I think it has gotten a little to big for its own good IMHO, although I wait to see what Perl 6 will bring us.

I remember in the Java Sourcebook there were several examples, such as an implementation for Lamp and LightBulb classes that interacted and various cat related ones that used a speak() method to examine how overloading methods and inheritance worked.

This is a reworking of it from memory, same basic idea though:

Jeez now that I think of it, those examples remind me of stuff from an UnrealScript tutorial I looked at a couple years back too. Who knows with how much UnrealScript feels like a customized Java they probably read the same book hehe.

 *, abstract representation of felines
abstract class Feline {
    abstract void speak();

 *, implements a feline that meows
class HouseCat extends Feline {
    HouseCat() {
    HouseCat(String call) {
    speak() {
    private void
    speak(String call) {
    public static void
    main(String[] args) {
        HouseCat theCat,newCat;
        theCat = new HouseCat();    /* use default constructor */
        newCat = new HouseCat("I am a cat!");


The HouseCat class implements a Feline (abstract meaning you can subclass it but you can't create it directly). There is a simple constructor made to behave like a default constructor and one that invokes a private version of the speak() method using a supplied string.

I have the Java Development Kit and Run Time Environment installed from the packages on the FreeBSD Foundation website. Compiles fine with javac and gcj42, that is the GNU Compiler for Java ;-).

What I do like about Java, its fairly portable between systems running the same implementation (e.g. Suns JRE) as far as language features go. It also follows a largely logical behavior for many things from what I have seen.

And to top it all off, GCJ can compile to native machine code rather then Java Bytecode -- for me a huge plus. I do have Qt4 bindings for Java installed on my desktop so I am interested to see where that goes, as far as my laptop is concerned I would probably need to use Suns compiler for AWT/Swing apps though. Not sure if Qt Jambi is in FreeBSD ports yet either.

As much as I love C, there are just some things that I don't really want to have to implement in it. And as productive as I am in Python and Ruby I really need to cuddle up with some thing a bit closer to C's end of the spectrum. I don't really care a lot for C++, I can use it fine but don't see much point for it over C besides templates and exceptions. Java lacks pointers in the same light as C/C++ uses but the references should be fine enough for my general needs.

C++ is multiple inheritance and Java is single, I'm not really partial to either concept as long as nether takes to biting me often. I have long enjoyed the design of Java's classes and interfaces though, I love the interface thing in Java.

I don't exactly care much for Suns compiler though but hey, if it works (y).

R&R The Training Way

Having been successfully stress-increased for the day I hit RvS Custom Mission mode for a little time to cool off. I set it to MP Peaks and took a Walter WA-2000 sniper rifle loaded with .30 Magnum FMJ and a MK23 SOCOM .45ACP with JHP ammo for self defense. 3 Flash bangs and 3 Smoke grenades, meaning 5 magazines of 6 rounds + 1 in the pipe for my Walter and another set of 4 12 round magazines for the sidearm plus one chambered.

The first round I maanged to have a turkey shoot, they kept coming to see where I was hiding only to be gunned down. The volume of the Magnum cartridge drawing more X-Rays to there doom... then I got overrun and flanked trying to retreat under fire to the nearest dead ground. I made a quick run but still got shot in the ass as the enemy ignored the smoke screen.

The second round, I got compromised just moving into position and ended up with about 4 or 5 X-Rays on the hill line itching for hairs.

Within about 1-2 minutes I had expanded as good as 3 magazines from my Walther and I was starting to worry about X-Rays coming around from behind. I worked up the hill and started picking off the enemy, working slowly to the winter lodge.

With about 3 rounds left and maybe one full mag left between me I took fire on the way. I knew with a group of X-Rays aware of me and an active shooter after me with a sniper rifle; you stand, you die.

So I decided again to redeploy but this time I did it the *right way*. I downed the nearest threat, pulled back and puffed a smoke between me and the incoming column.

Then ran like hell for the hills behind me, turned around and drew a bead on the incoming X-Rays. A few more down and off running further back to the bridge and another smoke grenade to screen my retreat. One tango gimped me but I managed to leap from cover to cover: taking position, suppressing, smoking, and running like hell to do it all over again until I limped myself back to the dead ground the bridge passes over.

At least two X-Rays close, one bought it from my current magazines last rounds as he tried fragging along with his teammate. Slung the rifle and slide out flash bang for shock value. The .45 sidearm coming out to finish the job... No point running when you're already at the most secure place in town eh?

Took down the last threat, reloaded my Walther and moved on with the last 2 or 3 rounds loaded. Moved back to the lodge on one leg finding only one enemy left. who took shelter inside unaware of me.

Closing in with rifle ready, threw a bang into the lodge and went in with my MK23, 2 X-Rays down and the lodge was secured shortly. Back outside I checked the corner to see a shooter dashing close.

Slapped back into cover and went ready with the last of my sniper ammo, one miss and two hits as he lobbed a frag and readied to shoot me before it even blew up !

Good thing I was behind the wall and a pile of logs hehe.

A proper way of retreat though, puff the smoke to screen it. Move away, get some ground, fire back, rinse and repeat until contacts broken or you get a spot to fend them off from. With a proper 2 or 4 man Element it would actually work better. Because you could have a fire group suppress the enemy while a maneuver group jogs it to cover; switch positions with the fire group leaping next as they reload. While the maneuver group lays down the cover fire.

This video shows the concept very well in my humble opinion.

I'm used to doing it in pairs... not solo. Because it was impossible to run full out and fire at an enemy to my rear the smoke was really an essential part of trying to break contact alone.

Now having some one next to me with a nice SAW would have been a good combo with it though ;-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Creating Firefox searchplugins for any site - including Qt !

You know, Firefox and friends have a nice search system but there are so many websites that just don't have a canned search plugin you can install like the Wikipedia and Google ones. Because I use Qt and Python for most work on Neo Ports Manager I tend to RTFM a lot and one of the things I truly love about using KDE's Konqueror webbrowser is I can go to the address bar and

qt3: someclass

and it will take me there, in fact I have it setup in Flock at the moment to use qt3, qt4 e.t.c as keywords to take me to the index. The thing is, I would like to search, after all there is a bloody search bar !

I tried looking online on how to make one but didn't find any thing helpful, I think the stuff was written for Firefox 1.x so to heck with it. I opened profile and looked for where the search scripts were located. My laptop and desktop use Flock as the default web browser but the only difference this should make here is that my profile is stored in ~/.flock instead of ~/.mozila/*

The searchplugins are in your user profile, for me with flock it is:


On Windows the profile goes in your %UserProfile%\Application Data\ in a folder such as mozilla\firefox\profile-name or flock\browser\profilename depending on the browser you are using. Don't have a Mac so dunno where it goes on there but thats why there is a FAQ online ;-)

In here are several XML files,

Terry@dixie$ ls                                                            7:25
dictcc.xml         gmail.xml          qt3.xml            youtube.xml
dictionarycom.xml  photobucket.xml    weathercom.xml
Terry@dixie$                                                               7:26

Each one is a search plugin in the search bar in the top right of my browser, qt3.xml is a file of my own creation.

If you are like me, when you are surfing the fine web you occasionally look at the URL's of the web pages you visit, since I spend alot of time looking around at the Qt documentation I know that the documentation for each class is stored as ClassName.html in a specific folder on trolltechs web servers. This means if you can find out how your favorite website stores it's files you can create a search plugin for nearly any website on the world wide web !!!!

I opened the dictcc.xml file to see how it is done, so simple it is easy as pie. And unlike Operas easy way of doing it in the GUI, we can set an ICON to use in the search bar :-)

Qt class docs are in so we want the text we type in the search bar to be replace the classname part of the URL with out search text, we do that with a little string interpolation.

        Qt Toolkit
        Qt3 - Search all classes


I saw that icons were encoded in Base64 much like with E-Mail attachments by looking at the dictcc.xml file so I wanted to include an icon for my qt3.xml search plug.

So I went to trolltechs website, downloaded their logo, opened it in kolourpaint and resize/scale'ed it down to 16x16. I then searched for a base64 encoder/decoder that could handle more then plain text, because opening an image file in a text editor to copy/paste is a pain in the neck. I consider this fair-use of the logo, if Trolltech doesn't they can write me a search plugin ^_^.

I copy and pasted the encoded form of the icon into the file as you can see above and volia we have a search plugin muhauahauha ! Then saved the file, restarted flock, wrote "QLineEdit" in the search bar without qoutes and clicked the 'Qt Toolkit' entry and flock opened a new tab with the QLineEdit class documentation for Qt3.3 ;-).

In a few minutes I will make a Qt4 one and change the ShortNames accordingly. With a little attention to detail this means a search plugin can be created by most any user for most any website. In fact with a little work I could probably set it up so I could search the [SAS] or PC-BSD forums this way, either through the search functions ability to look for topics posted or by thread #'s to go straight to a thread (which would not be fun to have to search by!).

I wonder if with a little poking around at the Open Search and XML specifications if I could have the searchTerms passed on to a perl script to do a a few tricks and pass it back in... I should look at that option some day hehe.

I love it when people make it so you can plug into an application without having to compile crap !

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

so fscking tired...

I've spent most of the day hoping and jumping about doing things, a good headache is here to show for it too.

I've also got work very early tomorrow for which I've been reminded about 5 times in the past half hour and many more over the past 2 or 3 days -- my thinking on the matter

If I could get /work/ done during the day rather then running ragged or worse. I wouldn't be up till 5 in the F'ing morning !!!!

Dynamic Coffee Break

A little test of XFire's Video BETA feature. The original is about 2.49GB of AVI file but the image quality is equal to my game. This ones been converted to a 43MB VCD compliant MPEG file and uploaded to my photobucket profile (uses flv/flash)

My dynamic coffee break on the MP Presidio map. I think this is a good enough example of pace -- Dynamic is as fast as is safe, if you're not safe you are going to fast. If you can go faster without losing safety, you're to darn slow. The video is however not an example for others, it's a demo of what can be made from the video capture in xfire ;-)

A pretty typical kit for me, Eddie Price (UK; SAS) character, H&K MP5A4 9x19mm FMJ; Sig Sauer P228 9x19mm JHP; 6 Flashbangs; Light Green BDU. All weapons without attachments and the crosshairs off.

Click To View

This is far from a perfect run, I see at least 9 or 10 things that are just obvious fowl ups on my part. Lucky for me being an RSM does not mean you play like a God... lol. I wanted to take a video to see if I could use XFires video system for training purposes without having to 'get' a camera man to video for me.

Technically this was just fooling around but some of the obvious errors every one can see are:

/* note: timer is from counting up from 0, as in WMP. */

  1. reloaded in the nude, missed the door button
  2. overly exposed while deploying flash bangs (box room 1min in)
  3. Forgot to slice the corner at top of the stairs (I was being flanked and in a hurry)
  4. Again I greatly exposed myself while deploying the bang against the enemy on the stairs / foot of stairs.
  5. missed bang upstairs (1:49) and demonstrated poor aim. Throwing grenades accurately without the reticle enabled is sadly one of my big failing points during my own trainings...
  6. I didn't check the corner before entering crevice on top of the back stairs (2min in) -- I could've been shot in the back of the head.
  7. 3min in, didn't know what I was doing before I got to my point of entry (double door, bang diversion + rush other). You can see the moment of hesitation as realization hits me
  8. The back ally (3:50), I took the most exposed route to improve my accuracy for fear a side-sweep would let one of them get behind me. In the end the next group of X-Rays basically had me pinned down in a very bad position (4:20).
  9. Very poor accuracy overall for an [SAS] Member -- 50% or 54/108 (rounds on target / fired)

Most times I reloaded I was a bit 'lite' on ammo. I've used the MP5A4 long
enough in RvS that I can 'feel' my shot groupings out so I know when I'm
reaching a dangerous level of remaining rounds. The bean counter is helpful for statistical purposes lol. Although ideally one would want to reload around 14~16 rounds instead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Codes before Pillows

Sat down and started working on NPM again, this is my first commit in a few weeks... Mainly because the last few weeks have been a living pain in the ass rather then a codeathon.

Terry@dixie$ svn log -r HEAD                                               8:55
r53 | sas_spidey01 | 2008-02-20 08:54:55 +0000 (Wed, 20 Feb 2008) | 23 lines added

        A thin wrapper around a dictionary of options (to be kept private)
        that exposes a getter and setter method for each key:value pair.
        For which is intended to be used as a slot from the GUI or a call back
        of sorts from a slot in the GUI to the options interface.

        A simple 'flush' method is provided to update saved config (not
        finished). NPM_OptionsInterface is to be integrated with NPM_Options
        in some suitable manor that removes as much as possible of the system 
        from the 'middle' of code that needs to get / set options values.

        The question of using Qt's settings subsystem or the existing one
        remains to be decided. modified, gaining an extra slot for NPM_SpinBox -> man I wish Python had Cs Preprocessor some times. -> checkboxes, spinboxes, and the override server prompt connected to the NPM_OptionsInterface provided.

More to be changed in the future design wise (for the better).. When I've got more sleep to think about it.

Terry@dixie$                                                               8:5

If I didn't have work in the next city tomorrow I'd be working on this for another two hours nut alas it's already approaching 0400R / 0900Z rapidly... And I'm to tired to comment much more.

I do know this, I want to be able to get / set options as necessary through slots. Without having to have any understanding of how the config file is handled else wheres. At the moment I've basically started a switch from NPM_Options::config to NPM_OptionsInterface::config for storing the options in memory. The difference being at the moment NPM_Options is only able to read the configuration files using Pythons INI parsing classes for our needs. And it exposes a dictionary of option=settings. The difference between obj.config['optionKey'] = value and obj.getOptionKey(value) is negiable for me.

The thing of it is, what if we need to do more then just assign a value to keep things in order ? At least with a set of methods around the problem the rest of the program can be insulated from any major changes in that part of the system. I also know that I have very little interest in extending pythons dictionary class just for the occasion lol.

Some how I knew today was going to be a living hell before I even went to sleep :\

I think the best description of today would be emotionally bleeding out... I think if I was any one else I know except me. That I would've spent most of today stone cold, stark raving drunk.

Being myself however I'm sober as a cod fish.


I love my family... Even if it is hard some times.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beware of Pythons

One sad side effect of using Python so much the past few months..

I actually had to invoke GDB's 'help' command when debugging some C code tonight :\

I know several languages but I tend to do things in "the language of the moment", if I'm working on some thing in C, most of what I do on the side will usually end up in C. Like wise if its a project in Ruby, ruby scripts start filling up lol.

Maybe my brain could use an extra 256K of memory?

Writer's Block: It's Hard to Describe

What is one thing you struggle to describe?
Live Journals Writer's Block

The internal functioning of the human mind and its processing of information.

I know how my head generally works so I've got a base of whats to be described

but to actually put it into words... I generally find the only way I can express it is through computer code. The way I talk of how I think is closer to how one might describe issues of implementing a memory manager unit (MMU) and a scheduler. Because for what little I know of them at the conceptual level is a lot more then I know about psycho-babel for describing thinking ^_^

I think the internal workings of computers are also a fair analogy to the human mind. GOD created our minds in his own assembly language, so why not describe it in our own terminology?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

thoughtful darkness, uncertain light.

My dreams haunt me, the memories of the past chase me... hopes of the future torment me.

Am I sane or insane? Does it matter...

My soul longs, the spirit is strong but the flesh is unable to endure.

My pain surrounds me, like a wall of razors

Each to an end, each to a beginning.

I grow so tired of the runners stress.

Yet peaceful shores lay so far off.

Is there nothing to comfort me?

I see again that face in my minds eye

that which haunts me

of the love lost

what future could have been?

oh is there no end to it.

The heavy weights come crushing down

my bones creak and fray

but refuse to shatter

the struggle never ending

the escape is null

while the path lay shrouded in darkness

the road back bleak as the distraught.

this eternal business no longer serves its purpose

my feelings overcome me

my mind trashed, heart rended loose.

fear, uncertainty, doubt are but trifles.

of anger and sorrow

nothing else to give, nor to take

only one thing remains

I stand alone against the onslaught

but not truly alone

yet my strength is week,

I have little more to resist with

the temptation is strong

the mind cracks and buckles

and the body flows

but only an empty sorrow prolongs

tis to which end?

And what fate shall lay before

to one road lays death

to the other, does my heart reside?

only time will tell

as I try not to fail

I crumble ever so

but unyieldingly remain

to struggle on to an uncertain end.

hope is like a sword with two edges

it lends the power to survive the terror

yet it cuts as deep as the bone

surrender is not a ranger word

though I be not one, my vocabulary is the same.

the ability to give up is not mine

to the true path I seek

to stay the course and fail no more

until that fateful day comes

when I become one again

no longer spread to the winds

but to a bright future bound.

-- the ravings of a lune.

TODO: Make Packages

build on test machine, transfer to laptop:



PyQt4 ?

probably inkscape


kolourpaint doesn't go far and krita is not a program I'm formfotable with

I'd like access to Qt4.3.3 on my laptop rather then just my desktop -- compiling under windows is not fun compared to a unix box that includes a compiler, debugger, editor, make, and most every thing else to start with :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Some times it pays to be single

Well usually my Grandfather sends me a check for my Birthday and a check to split between me and my Mother every Christmas. It didn't come for Christmas so of course my mom took him off her card list, yeah you could say she's like that 8=).

When he noticed that the checks was never cashed he had my Aunt call and resend them so... $400 arrived today. Normally I split things 50/50 with my Mom and the Christmas check usually is sent for both of us. I'm not going to say what I usually do with my share of the Christmas money less any one start thinking I'm a nice guy :\

According to my estimates we spent it at a rate of about $130 an hour LOL.

I figured I could get the memory card I've had on my brain and stop buy and ogle the Digital Cameras and Printers at Best Buy. I didn't find the 1GB Kingston card I was looking for but there was a 2GB SanDisk one for the same price plus a cheaper 1GB one from PNY (makers of my nVidia GPU).

When Ma saw there was actually a few cameras for $99.99 she was interested in (finally) getting one. Because the family camera, uhh predates digital cameras by 2 or 3 generations of de facto standard film? I wasn't very set on buying one initially but, why not when there's finally a chance to afford it lol. So I got myself the 2GB SanDisk card and went back for the 1GB PNY so there would be one SD Memory Card for transferring my files and one for using in the Camera.

We got a Nikon Coolpix L11 Digital Camera. It's a compact 6 Mega pixel one with an LCD on the rear. I think I like it, first time I've ever used a digital camera really. I find it a little hard to aim using the LCD Monitor on the back because I'm used to the old family 110 film using camera for which my own is a similar model I got as a kid. It had the view port in the centre of the rear lined up with the lense and the flash to one side of it. So even if you couldn't see crap you at least knew what you were aiming at ^_^

I'm no Peter Parker when it comes to photography but I think I'd like to learn more about the science involved in taking decent pictures. Thumbed through the user manual but I've yet to play with the new Nikons feature set. I know it can do Wav audio and Mov video and stuff but as always. Either RTFM or play as you go hehe. On this one the flash is centered and the lens is offset towards one side. It's very nice that you can see what your about to capture on the screen. When I read the manual about how it dealt with pushing the shutter release half way for the AF/blah blah and all the way for taking the shot I was some what worried it would be to easy to by pass the half-push but it works really well.

It's got the USB Cable and an Audio/Video cable with it. So using regular umass or PTP it should be able to transfer files easy; my Desktop has a 9-in-1 card reader but Ma's only has USB. This also makes me happy that my Flat Screen TV has a set of A/V ports in back and in front, i.e. DVD and PS2 ;-).

It is technically the "Family Camera" now but I think I'm probably going to be the only moron who knows how to do more then take a snap shot with it without jogging peoples memories (I'm the RTFM guy) lool.

Sadly I was unable to find any reasonable Laser Printers that were not also all in ones. Found three inkjet based Hewlett Packard models, one regular printer and two all in ones. The regular printer was makreed as working perfectly on as was the two all in ones but the scanners were not listed as supported by SANE :\

I could probably have gotten things going with the one all in one over a Wifi connection but I didn't want to spend $120 for the sale price for parts I was not going to need (Ma has an all in one). So I took the cheap regular one. It's just a HP Deskjet D1455 printer but it should work great with HPIJS.

The thing is compact which is great because there is almost no space to put it !!! The paper tray is a good enough capacity because where it's likely to be put -- reloading it will be unpopular for me. I also liked a lot how the Ink Cartridges come in two packs, if they gotta charge ya $30 or so they outa give you a fair deal for it after all. But not only can that you can also get two colour or two B/W cartridges instead of one of each in a package. I don't do a lot of printing myself so most of the time it is just hard copy. Ma wanted me to get an extra cartridge so I got a pack of 2 blacks.

Me and printers generally don't mix well, hey I use hard drives for a reason !!!! Namely that I don't own a filing cabinet lol. I also like the idea because if my mothers printer goes down or needs fresh ink she could always use this one and I do intend to hook it up to my OpenBSD Box for network printing.

Tomorrow I'll need to fsck with it. To be honest, I wouldn't mind putting it on my desk here just for the extra space but that is still at a high premium :\ I don't really need a printer so much as I wanted one. I also like the idea because ma could use this one for work rather then going nuts buying cartridges for hers if it goes down. She does a lot of B/W printing and her all in one gets very pissy about doing any printing if you don't keep all colours full which can be bloody expensive in the middle of the month !!!!!!

With the memory cards, I had an interesting problem. Trying to write to the 2GB card made FreeBSD reboot. I used Vi as root to create a new file on it with a test string. The file got created empty as the machine rebooted... After I stuck it in the new family camera and took a random snap shot of my desk. Plugged it back into the box, mounted it and used FreeBSD to view and delete the files - worked perfect, even made another test. Funky but hey, as long as it works lol.

The only problem is while FreeBSD detects my desktops internal USB 9-in-1 card reader it doesn't seem to find my laptops 4-in-1 :-( So that is gonna take a little mucking around.

While walking around I also saw some thing by chance, nab'd a Trace Adkins CD which just happens to have my favorite song on it :-). This is like the first time I've bought myself a Music CD in 5 or 6 years or so loool. While we were there my mom grabbed a few collections of Johnny Cash so hopefully I'll get to rip those later xD.

I used my laptop to rip my CD, worked quite well and I've got a nice battery of oggs. Konqueror can also do inflight ripping. Just open the CD in the file manager, choose the format (wav/ogg/mp3/etc) and copy the files to your hard drive and it will automatically rip them for you ! I tested it but found it a little slower then I cared for but I've got to admit. That is some pretty damn good desktop integration of music cd's !!!!!

I fed the CD through kaudiocreator and ripped them. I chose ogg because I generally only rip to MP3 when I use Windows Media Player for the deed. I think I might let Amarok finally organize my music collection, it's small, under two gigabytes but that's because I almost never buy (or can afford to buy) music. If I had the money to spare and parts of the music industry wasn't such jerks I think I would probably get most of the songs I listen to on the Radio, on Audio CD. But hey, in this world of DRM and $$$ crazed people I'd rather listen to the radio and skip the on-demand freedom of ripping the CD to my hard drive when it sends more ca$h their way.

I just hope I can get the card reader on my laptop going because I don't have enough cash left for an external USB one... And that's the main reason I spent the $20 for a 2GB one. If I dumped ~/Music and ~/Video's to my file server and maybe my wall papers collection I could fit my entire home directory on this Secure Digital memory card.

For me, it's just a pest to have to use my file server as the man in the middle if I want to work on files from one system or another. So often projects started on my desktop get done there and ones on my laptop Dixie get done there. Which is probably why the master version of my "home directory" and all personal files are on my laptop along with lots of source code and documentation lol

I remember one time I had money to spend.. I set aside $100 to donate for [SAS]. I've always wanted to be able to donate but my personal income is not connected to how much work I do :\. It was a good idea... Until my family bled me dry before it could be done.

You could say my family can smell money... lol.

It's kind of odd that I'm the only one that doesn't place much value on it. It's just paper, you can trade it for stuff but not good for much else unless you're short of toilet paper.

I was able to set aside like $70 dollars or so by ***NOT*** spending the gift money I'd received for several holidays but that got drained to.. I never ask for repayment and with the exception of the $100 I set aside last year... Usually give when there's a need. My replacement graphics card was bought with the money my mom would have used to repay me for the money I gave her from my schooling. I thought about setting aside some of this money today in hopes of donating some to [SAS] but I knew if I tried that some one would find a way of spending it.. *sighs*.

If I had a steady personal income I could donate weekly.. and without others finding ways to spend it for me :\

You know, I think I am glad to be single at the moment.. Not currently involved so no fund fundellation spent that'a way. Because I know what I would do with that kinda cash to spend on that special some one today, ok I can be a bit of a romantic at heart, so sue me :-P. Got to admit, pretty good timing as things happen to be... hehe.

My family would still have some thing to say through 8=). I could always be a bastard and say no.. but I'm not greedy, selfish maybe but not greedy. And my family usually finds a way of being needy whenever I have the ability to be of assistance... I'm not complaining but I'd still enjoy a little more freedom.

I figured, it was about time I spend money on myself for a change (y). I'm $400 lighter but it was well spent and not all of it on me either.

out of $400,

Private expenses:

Printer - $70
Extra ink - $30 (Ma's idea)
HP Paper - $8
Memory card - $20, $15
1 Music CD - $14

Family expenses:

Camera - $100
3-4 Music CD's - ?
Dinner - ?

Remainder used as a gift and empty pockets for me again hehe.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Windows will make you bald

Today I had to set my Sister (in-law) with an e-mail account and access to it via my moms Desktop. So of course the obvious question is either she needs her own user account (in windows) plus the e-mail account or ma's outlook would have to be setup to deal with the multi-login.

So I created the new user account for her, gave her an icon for outlook express next to the recycle bin and internet explorer (v6.x) on the desktop, set a wall paper and user pic (she loves Betty Boop).

Trying to find the docs on Bellsouth/AT&T's website for creating a new e-mail account was not exactly as quick as I hoped but still easy as pie. I used my PC for that and RvS crashed in the process lol.

On Ma's PC while logged in as the new user account for set up. I got a pop up from the windows security center just to tell me info I already knew. The Dell Support Center came up too, which we haven't seen come up in many a year now ! Internet Explorer came up 404 on the pre-set home page (dellnet or some thing) and outlook express gave an error about the computer having no internet connection. Told it to go fsck itself and moved on and arranged for a pop-up less user log in.

Either AOL must have/had an in with Microsoft or a nice hackling plugin because outlook was set to launch AOL Instant Messenger on start up! And a general option for it too, like what the heck man. Now M$N or some thing from Microsoft I could understand but not AIM rofl. Although that PC's got the good AOL client for AIM, the install is like 3 years old so it's a version before AOL bloated the thing out. Which is really why I took to using all in one messengers like Kopete.

So I had to get that disabled, change the user picks, change the user names to match blah blah. Norton 360's added toolbar in IE6 is not exactly welcome by my family -- note to self, under no condition allow users to use IE as a default browser if I'm ever tasked with admining windows machines. And ban all Nortan and Mccfee products on machines with less then 768MB of Memory. In point of fact, make sure they pay extra for the psychiatrist bill for working with Windows.

So kicking about with Windows XP, Dell, Outlook Express, and AOL it was no problem to set up. But oh boy oh boy will you never find me using Windows for more then "Gaming" and similar reasons while Microsoft and other companies still are in power.

I'm a Unix man by nature and have a militaristic mind set. I value clear concise no shit assessments and not being nagged by pointless and flashy programs popping up taking several seconds to display only to tell me what I already know or worse try to sell me some thing 8=)

Windows, wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot long cattle prod if I had a choice... Still it's the only decent platform for playing *real* video games on. Experience has shown the consoles are, uhh I'll zip my trap before some googler flames me <_< hehe.

This reminds me of why I do not want to buy Microsoft VISA, why my laptop and file server run Open Source unix based operating systems, and why I use few programs that are known to "annoy" me. I want to get work done, I know how to read the fine manual, and software that bitches at the user should be fed through a hex editor, operating systems included :-)

FreeBSD, now that is a sensible design... it won't nag you ever ten minutes or so.

With similar hardware specs between my laptop and ma's desktop, the only other principal difference being I have a Sempron Mobile (AMD budget model laptop CPU) and hae has an early Pentium 4 (when 2Ghz was new and costly). My laptop running FreeBSD runs faster then her Desktop running Windows XP SP2 + NAV and now Norton 360 - even while running KDE on the laptop. Programs like Norton remind me why I've heard jokes about system admins automatically having a users quota reduced for trying to run heavy programs on time sharing systems hehe.

A hostage and a hard case

It was a round of Island Estate on Hostage Rescue and unfortunately I was the last man. I had used up my 3 Flash bangs, one getting to the second floor from the stairs in the lobby, one in securing the room/balcony/bathroom area up top. And another in securing the upper hostage in the bathroom overlooking the pool.

Extracting the hostage I went back and checked the room joining the piano room and courtyard together and figured, "crap no bangs" so I jogged back upstairs. I figured if I would have to storm the lower hostage without tactical aids, that end would be the best.. Worst case bursting in and shielding the hostage if one of the tangos would flee rather then shoot...

Crossing the pool room I heard a tango, drew my second kit and realized I took frags instead of gas. Usually I'll carry 3 Bangs, 3 CS/Tear Gas in Raven Shield or 6 Bangs but for some reason I had 3 Frags. So I said what the hell, lobbed one in the pool room and took it down.

Moved on to the bottom of the stairs right next to the courtyard hostage... MP5 locked cocked and ready to rocket. I figured to have the best chance of success I was going to have to use a frag. It might kill the hostage or injure him but it would at least give me a fair chance of getting inside alive.

I rolled the door open, careful not to flag my muzzle around the door jam as I got the grenade ready (pin out, spoon thing on). I knew there was a partition in the middle of the room and Raven Shield sadly always places the hostage behind it with the tangos walking around the room. I bounced the frag carefully off the wall so that it would land just far enough to hopefully be far enough behind that partition that it wouldn't kill the hostage, RvS is that way lol. Realistically I would've expected shrapnel to go through the partition and injure the hostage at a minimal.

I stormed in after the frag, MP5 up taking down the tangos. There was two behind the hostage, using him as a shield as it happened. blew the one away with a stream of deadly taps and kept the last burst going until the final suspect was down for the count. Circled around (I was still in front of the hostage) and kicked in to the side bedroom with the hostage trailing me and gunned down the last threat. With like 2 rounds left in my MP5, I drew my Sig P228 and ran like my pants were on fire with that hostage all the way to the LZ before any threats could pursue us from the courtyard. I was not going to press my luck poking my head out !!!

The room looks like this, the X was where I put the Frag, the H is the hostage, and the T's are where I found tangos.

|           me     [stairs] |
|               |           |
|              H        T   |
|               |         T |
|        -------|----[door]-|
|         X     |           |
|               [door]      |
| T             |           |
|               | T         |

I was standing right next to the kneeling hostage when engaging the two tangos in the one room. So I guess you could say I used the human shield against them lol. The tango in the other side room I took care of by flanking around the partition and in through the door from the side where I placed the frag (X).

Some of us older troopers in [SAS] have thought about using frags to clear the room like that, but from the opposite side of the room. I've even done it once but this time I was really shit out of luck, I contemplated restarting the round for a moment but decided it was not my way, and kept going till the end.

To be honest, I don't want to have to EVER DO THAT AGAIN !!! Clearing hostage rooms with frags is crazy. But hey, when you're between a rock and a hard case why not go down with a bang? Uhh frag lol.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Broken hearts, broken glass


There are a few family heirlooms that are mine, most of which belonged to my father and have been given to my by my mother over the years. Tonight as part of the operations to rearrange my room into a suitable working environment I've lost the one I love the most.

I put my fathers candy dish on my new "desk" along with the sacred heart statue (one of my mothers most treasured from her collection) and a small one of Matthew the Apostle (a gift because of my middle name). I figured, safest spot there is available while I work and my laptop was like a half a foot away, although with a major pile of stuff on it lol.

There's a simple cloths hanging thing, basically two polls on rollers with a crossbar to hang shirts from, the darn thing is well known for falling apart and in fact has been leaning for months :\

Trying to move it to get to my bookshelf, for which I plan to throw out the remainder of as my old friends stand is now there... The rack came apart, the one poll narrowly missing the sacred heart statue and the crossbar impaling the lid of the candy dish :'(

I would rather it have hit me in the heart then strike that dish.

There's at least 6 or 7 large pieces of the lid and tens or hundreds of smaller shards. The glass was mostly just on the floor in one area and on the side of the desk. Both sets of my spare sheets were also close enough to catch glass as they were right next to it. So I can't even change my bedding tonight. I vacuumed the area and most of the room as well as blocking it off so the dog can't get there. With luck maybe my mother can glue the bigger pieces of the lid together... That's what she did with Babies top. A very small oil lamp, I think my Grandmother busted it (her mom) and she glued the pieces back together.

The actual dish (bottom) is fine and the contents are too aside from the shards of glass. But the top is fragged. My father used to keep his keys and things in it. And so have I for about the last 10 years (that I've had house keys lol) along with some of my more personal items. Of all of the things that I have, I've always loved this heirloom.. I've always tried to protect it from damage, it had one lone chip in the lid and until now I've been able to keep it safe. I think it was my great grandmothers, I know it was from the farm and like over a hundred years old.. In fact I've only ever seen another one like it in my life.

My mothers not killed me yet, maybe she knows I'd do it myself if I thought it would help :\ but I know my Aunt (Dads sister) would fracture me if she was here and he'd probably break my ass with a belt if he was alive, although in that case it would've happened in the first place...

The most important items I have in this world, that dish, the radio, and the gramophone... all of which are much older then me and have been in the family for generations... Heirlooms even before they were passed onto my Dad I would reckon. It's long been my hope that some day I would have the means to restore that radio to working condition. I doubt that workable vacuum tubes and replacement parts would be around by then even if I knew how to do it but hey, a man can dream can't he?

I'm sorry pa...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Writer's Block: Last Night's Dreams

What did you dream about last night?
Live Journals Writer's Block

Oddly enough a subject on my mind lol, dreams :\

At first, the pilot of a 'Mech on some sort of commando run. Like a cross between the RX-78-2 Gundam and a VF-1 Valkyrie. I remember I ended up walking into an ambush, knocked out half of the enemies flight pods but trying to retreat back to cover. Resulted in a pair of Gundam Sandrock like 'Mechs piloted by famous magicians trying to make minced metal of my 'Mech, each with dual heat-sickle swords in hand.

Closed in and took them down point blank with Hyper Bazkooka, Shield, and Beam Sabre.. What an odd way to deal with the threat lol. Get close and get "in your face" with a bigger weapon <_<

After that it changed to a DOOM like setting in FPS mode. I remember coming to the end of a corridor over looking an area with several small structures with zombies, deamons, and imps in infantry formations on guard. I remember jumping and doing the walking in/out of sight trick to pick off enemies using the Super Shotgun (double barreled), the trusty chain gun and plasma rifle.

Strangely I find myself often dreaming about games. Especially stuff in the light of SOCOM, Syphon Filter, and Raven Shield / GRAW / SWAT. The Doom, Quake II/IV, Aliens, and various others of course making the rounds too.

I must admit though, I find the issue of programming and the graphical work involved (code wise) for such games quite fascinating. But sadly to complex and time intensive for me to study on my own :\

reminder: 3d card specs

very good link, thanks mage

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A classic

Just watched Red Dawn on TV tonight, first time I've ever seen it actually.

Needless to say, you don't fuck with the Americans: We'll put a cap in your ass.

The movie lays out a real nightmare scenario, a political shift in Germany pushing NATO into collapse, Russia in a massive enconmic disaster and the USA a land ripe for the plucking so they thought... The "Wolverines" proved for then an annoyance to the occupation forces. Supposedly as World War III kicked off most of Europe sat our their duffs watching the Russians and the Americans slug it out. While the British remain the only loyal friend on the US side.. much to the comment "they won't last long", I'm sure some one thought that during world war II hehe. And that China ended up getting involved on the American side, based on the drop from a Billion to 600 million or so "screaming Chinamen" mentioned it's probable that the the tactical nukes were't limited to the invasion :\

The beginning of the movie is down right unnearving. The kids sit in class listing to a lecture about Atilia the Hun as Soviet paratroopers land outside. Shooting the (unarmed) teacher as he approaches and firing RPG's into the school.. War is one thhing but slaughter is another.

A small band high schoolers flee into the hills and resist. When townspeople are executed in retaliation for the Wolverines actions they launch a counter attack killing the a group of executioners and wreaking havoc on the enemies rear lines. Going so far as to dar to bomb an HQ under the noise of the guards.. The passing of coded messages over the radio, one heard in the Longest Day in point of fact does suggest they were not the only ones giving them a run for their invasion money.

An interesting tid bit from the IMDb's trivia section:

"The film's replica Russian T-72 tank was so precise that when it was transported to the studio, two CIA agents followed and wanted to know where it had come from."

Hahahaha !!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Restructure and Refeeding

Well, got some work done.

Completed the change over (mostly) from a single hard-coded dialog for handling the output of processes to being a subclass of a display builder like parent class. Python doesn't support abstract classes as far as I know or even private members for that matter (but has a nifty name mangling like thing for a making a naming __convention).

The original reason I wanted to do this is I figured that A.) The class was cluttered with code common to any ol'dialog window and B.) The rest of it was just specialized for the task of running a process and nabbing it's output.

So I moved the common code into the NPM_AbstractDisplayDialog class and wrote a NPM_ProcessDisplayDialog subclass of it to replace the original NPM_DisplayDialog which also will allow me to use a similar dialog for other tasks without having to duplicate the code they would share if I was to implement another like-wise class in parallel. Because for example the NPM_DisplayDialog class was setup to ensure the process was neutralized before completing it's termination I setup NPM_AbstractDisplayDialog::aboutToDie() as a signal to connect a slot from my subclass(es) to be called to do clean up, basically an advisory destructor you could say. And I connected it to the button to call QWidget::close() to this slot so aboutToDie() is sent when the dialog is about ready to be terminated.

I also found a fixed a small error in the pkg_info parsing, things like that is some thing that most concerns me.. lol.

Now the remaining problem is I'm starving and it's 0746 Zulu (that's 0246 local morning)... Must find food, then I guess I should get some sleep :\

Days coding

The current stage of things for the settings menu. As can be seen I still have a few things to do with the layouts, I think a grid would be better personally. At the moment it also doesn't actually set the settings it front ends for yet. I still need to test out the QSettings class first to see if I want to replace the custom system I've done with Pythons build in INI parser or not. I also need to cook up some icons and finish the portsnap entry. Right now it is purely a Qt3 program but if PC-BSD has finally fixed the 'ugly' theme settings for root under KDE I might consider a conversion to KDE modules before Qt4/KDE4. At least since what ever version I used to install on my Laptop the default Qt3 themes for Root are even worse...

Another thing I want to do is look at Pythons ability to handle manipulation of UID, it would be kind of nice to prompt for roots password and only elevate permissions when necessary. I aim for things to be the best they can be but paranoia never hurt in programming... hehe. Some day I would also like to expand this beyond explicitly using portupgrade/pkg_*/portsnap/csup/cvsup/psearch in the background but I don't have time right now. I could get more done if I had a peaceful working environment.... any way here are some screen shots

click to enlarge images

ports settings
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logging settings
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network settings
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I think this is pretty good considering I rewrite most of what I already had today and most of this was done in about 6 hours of work, between chores, dog walking, lunch, interruptions, and phone answering ! Plus another hour or so of minor changes and additions so far tonight. I wish my strength could hold out for another 5 hours worth of work so I could get done some of the other things on my list for the night.... Hopefully I can get at least some of the other work done before I pass out. because I do need to get some shuteye if I'm ever going to make it to work in the tomorrow on time.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

thinking ? crazy : sane;

The one thing my room lacks, a comfortable working area..

Problem list

  1. furniture is expensive !
  2. my room is "used" for storage... with and without my permission
  3. no raw materials
  4. raw materials are costly too

Now on the other hand, I do have an old book shelf that has been a pain in the neck for years.. I don't think I could make a worse desk of it then it already is as a miserable book shelf !(^_^)!

A simple pedestal desk like design comes to mind but without the drawers, to complicated and time consuming to build without either spending $$$ I don't have or finding some thing else to cannibalize for parts. I figure, cut the main vertical boards in half'ish from the book shelf.. Mount them side by side on top of a set of boards (legs/pedestals). And use one of those old project board things from school as a backing to lend stability to it. Much the same trick used by whoever designed the computer desk that I bought lol.

The question of it being free standing or making a bottom board for it to rest on the desk with is a variable factor. It would be simple enough to duplicate the top piece, in effect making the desk usable upside down if necessary haha! But for the primitive building knowledge I have which is basically common sense. And the limited resources, namely what ever I have "inherited" which hopefully still includes one of my Dads saws!

I'm not exactly a handy man but one could always hope for a little Genetic potential... My father was quite skilled and so was my mothers father. My logical ability however out weights my operational experience, needless to say common sense + few resources = all I got if I try it. If I actually had enough money to buy material (or newer tools) I could probably afford to buy a bloody desk and assemble it myself <_<.

Because what I'd be dealing with here is using a bookshelf for wood and mostly being limited to a hammer, nails, and sandpaper for putting it together lol. Crude by most peoples standards of the job but effective when you've got nothing better to work with I must admit. Hmm, I wonder if I could actually pull it off... The only real problem is where to put the darn crap from the shelf, since other people have already filled my last free space.

It really would be nice if I could get away with it and a big plus, I could cut it to just the right height to sit at it and use my laptop ;-)

Friday, February 1, 2008


I think if I thought it would do any better then either breaking my knuckles or cracking the air vents I'd give my PC a reverse punch...

Oh how fun it would be to exact some revenge from this GeForce 8400GS.... worthless piece of micro-shit !!!!!