saturday, 2 march 2013

posted at 07:52
tags:

Everyone in the world has awesome ideas, me included. If I have time, I'm going to work on mine, not yours. I already don't have time to do all the things I want to do. Why would I drop everything and work on your thing instead?

Maybe you could convince me that your idea is better than any of mine and I should work on it. Its not unheard of. But you've got to get past the "I don't care" bit first, otherwise I'm just not listening.

There's only one way to do that. Instead of trying to tell me your great idea, show me your great idea. If you're a programmer, implement a prototype I can play with. If you're an artist, draw a series of pictures that can accurately show me how your thing works.

Around Pioneer I often say "patches welcome" or "working code wins". Its not because I hate you, or because I think your idea sucks. Its just that I have my own things that I want to do.

See also: Why Your Game Idea Sucks

thursday, 6 december 2012

posted at 22:42
tags:

First of a series of ramblings about a few things that have been on my mind lately. Applies only to me, not judging anyone else.

There seems to be an increasing tendency in the world, particularly in the scientific and engineering communities in which I move, to hold up logic over anything else. I think that's wrong.

I call myself an "intuitive" programmer. I'm not a deep analytical thinker. I'm bad at math, and I have a terrible memory. Most of my programming and sysadmin work is a kind of gut-feeling, follow-my-nose approach. I can often see a problem coming, or correctly diagnose the cause of a fault, without being able tell you why, at least initially. I'm happy with this - I'm good at what I do, even if my methods are a little unorthodox at times. It is something that my peers have difficulty with at times. I can't always provide data to support something. Fortunately it usually doesn't take long working with people for them to trust me enough to give me the chance.

The world as a whole seems to have things wrong. We hold logic, reason and intellect above emotion and intuition. People are admonished for bringing emotion into an argument, when it is this emotion that allows us to consider how our actions affect other people and come at problems from a different angle. Emotion is important.

It used to get me down that I couldn't keep up with the thinkers, those theorists that could see everything in terms of numbers and processes and systems. As I've gained experienced, I've come to understand that so much of what makes me good at what I do (programmer, sysadmin, husband, father) is that I'm able to use both my mind and my heart to approach a problem. I'm not saying I'm good at either, but I think I've found a reasonable balance that can produce useful results.

Incidentally, that's part of why believing in God and following Christ can work for me. So many people get stuck on how many aspects of God they can't reason around or make sense of. I can construct a logical argument for many facets of God that I understand, but I'm also happy to say that there are some things about God I don't understand in my head even though I know them to be true in my heart. That's not to say I don't want to understand them, but I'm fine with it if I never do.

tuesday, 24 july 2012

posted at 03:21

First day in the office today, and all is going well. I'll write more about that and post some pics later, but for now lets talk about that most mundane of tasks: grocery shopping.

the least-weird products available

For the non-Norwegian in Norway, at least two problems present themselves (I say "at least" because I created more problems of my own):

  1. Pretty much every single word on every single packet is in a language I don't understand.
  2. The prices are all in a different currency on a different scale, making comparisons quite difficults.

I went in thinking I needed to at least grab sugar (for my coffee), shampoo, and something for breakfast and dinner for the next couple of nights. I made a quick spaghetti bolognese last night and saved the leftovers, but I undercooked the spaghetti so I'm not keen on reheating it. Besides, I probably can't live off that for four weeks.

Most of this is what you'd expect, though I hated having to buy 1kg packets of salt and sugar and 1.5L of oil. Maybe I should bake a cake?

The most difficult/controversial item here is probably the butter ("Meierismør"). At home I eat spreadable butter, which is butter with a little oil mixed in to make it softer at room temperature. I don't like the taste of margarine. Most of the products on offer looked to be margarine, which I managed to infer from either the packet having "marg" on it somewhere or the ingredients list having more than a couple of things (ie butter, salt, preservative, that sort of thing). Anyway it looks like I lucked out but man, it took a lot of study to finally select this one. There was a few other things like that, but none quite this tough.

The other crazy thing is the prices. 1AUD is worth about 5-6NOK, depending who you ask. What you see here cost 373,10Kr. According to my bank I paid $59.06. That doesn't seem too outrageous considering there's meat and fish in there. So that's ok. When considering the difference between two products its really hard to suppress my normal instinct about what's cheap, what's expensive and how two prices compare. Consider the shampoo. I paid 21,90Kr, which works out to about $3.50. Prices for shampoo ranged from 15-40Kr. So my warning bells go up with "holy crap, $22 for shampoo and a range of $25? wtf?" when in practice the range is around $2.50-6.50, which is pretty much spot on.

Other things you can do to make your shopping trip harder than it needs to be:

  1. Go in having no particular idea of what it is you need (this applies in Melbourne too).
  2. Go to the supermarket at the work end of the train ride, so you have to public transport your loot all the way home.
  3. Forget that this is Europe where they make you pack your own stuff and don't just give you a bag for every two items.

I was also lucky enough to find a cashier that couldn't (or wouldn't) speak English. Fortunately buying groceries is pretty much the same wherever you go.

Now, dinner!

sunday, 22 july 2012

posted at 01:46

So here I am at Brussels Airport. Its growing on me, but only because I'm sitting up in the departure lounge. The arrivals area is a complete hole. I can't decide if that's the wrong way around - on the one hand, you want to make a good first impression (failed) but on the other you want people to leave with a fond memory (succeeded). It might be a combination of being awake for the best part of the last 24 hours and the spaghetti, chips and beer talking. Its probably not important.

Anyway, the backstory for the uninitiated is that I now work for Opera Software, working from the Melbourne office. I meant to write something about leaving Monash and starting at Opera but hadn't got around to it yet. Maybe next time. In any case, I've been there a couple of months, love it, and now its time to take the pilgrimage to the head office in Oslo, Norway. They seem to like everyone to visit overseas offices semi-frequently, and I have double reason to go in that the fine fellow that I was hired to partially replace lives and works there. It will be extremely useful to be able to get an answer in 30 seconds instead of waiting a whole day and night for an email round trip. Its a good thing!

Of course, I have to leave my dear family, a fact that none of us are particularly happy about. The timing isn't great either because everyone got sick. Francesca has some infection messing her up, so much so that she cried all the way to Coburg where we dumped her at her grandma's house and continued on to the airport. Wife tells me she's getting sick too, which is only going to make things harder for her - my children are delightful but are also about eight full time jobs to take care of. My wife is an amazing woman. I will likely write her an email telling her so very soon and I will likely have to study ancient languages to find words that going even some small way to communicate just how magnificent she is.

Beth cried at the airport and wouldn't let me go. I'm told that Penny looked after her as well as a three-year-old can - touching her a lot and telling her "don't be sad, its ok". I love my family so much! I'm fairly fried right now but I think once I've slept in a bed and had a moment to think I'll really start to miss them.

So the flights. I left Melbourne at around 10pm for a 14 hours flight to Abu Dhabi. Etihad is a fantastic airline - the seats were comfortable, the food was very good and they couldn't do enough to look after you. I got myself signed up for the "Etihad Guest" program which among other things gets me a 5kg increase in my baggage allowance. So between that and freeing up another 5kg by not having to carry engine parts with me on the return flight (help a friend out: buy an oil cooler in Australia, chuck it in your bag and take it to Norway for him), I should have no excuse to bring heavy presents back with me.

I slept fitfully for a few hours which appears to have been enough to keep me alive. Either that or I'm just used to functioning on very little sleep. Most of the rest of the time was spent reading and hacking. Same old story with me.

Abu Dhabi is bizarre. The sun was up at perhaps 5am. We landed at about 6.30am and already it was over 30 C and humid. The airport is fully airconditioned of course but it never quite felt comfortable. You could tell that it was overworked. And the land is brown, so brown. It really is the middle of a desert. Seems a very strange place to attempt to eke out an existence, let alone build a throbbing metropolis, but I guess if its your home then you know what you're doing.

The terminal was large and modern, with free internet that everyone used and as such I couldn't get near. And people everywhere, so many people. And surprisingly good coffee! And everyone spoke excellent English, so really it wasn't so hard to tell that I wasn't in Mebourne. Only a very short stop though, so I didn't really have much time to see anything.

The flight to Brussels was more of the same, I'd gotten used to it now. More book (finished it), more hacking (taking apart Pioneer's starsystem generator, making great progress there). Not really a whole lot to add except to say that I glanced up every know and again at the movie "Deep Impact", and it looks to be equal parts terrible and awesome. I really am tired.

So now I'm in Brussels. As noted, its pretty crap. I'm reliably informed that this extends to the city and probably the country as a whole, so I guess I should give them points for consistency. Got myself a good grilling by the immigration official (because the airport is so retarded that you have to go through customs twice even if you're just transferring), then had to talk to a bored Brussels Airlines representative to a) figure out how to get a boarding pass and b) figure out where my luggage went. After twenty minutes and a good amount of "merci", "pardon" and "je ne comprends pas" because they didn't seem keen on speaking English but that's about the extent of my French, I managed to get it all sorted out.

Anyway I've managed to find my way up to the departure lounge, which is actually quite nice. Quiet, stolen power available, internet paid for (when you haven't had contact with the outside world for a while 20EUR does not seem a lot of money for four hours). Another ~20EUR got me a reasonable spaghetti bolognaise, a beer (Leffe Blond, passable) and a little can of Pringles (ahh globalisation, good wherever you go). Its not terrible, but even if it was I think my standards at this point are too low to notice.

Just had half a chat with my lady via Skype. I say half because we had no sound in either direction and only my video seemed to work, so the actual conversation was conducted via Google Talk. But that was nice just to check in. We'll have to get the technology fixed prooperly before we try it again.

So I'm a couple of hours away from my flight, which should get in to Oslo just after 10pm local. From there I collect my things and catch the train to the Oslo S. I'm hoping to find an English-speaking human there that can a) sell me a map and b) direct me to my apartment. The office there is closed but I'm told the nearby 7-11 has been informed of my arrival and is holding the key for me. And after that it should be as simple as shower and bed. And then I get to spend the remainder of Sunday (after I wake) figuring out where the hell I am and how to get to work so that I can be there spritely and on-time on Monday morning.

While I'm sure visiting another part of the world is great, getting there is a complete pain in the arse. Someone hurry up and invent a transporter. Please.

saturday, 13 november 2010

posted at 23:10
tags:

Anyone who has spent any time around me knows that I'm something of a dreamer. I think big, and if I get an idea I tend to overthink it to the point where even the thought of starting is completely demotivating. As a result, something I've been thinking about and working on for over ten years has perhaps a thousand lines of code over several rewrites to show for it.

Two articles I've read this week have both challenged me and inspired me to produce something. The first is a blog post by Tom Critchlow describing how he built booklist sharing site 7bks.com in four weeks with no prior programming experience. This is a hugely impressive feat and shows just how much the web has changed in the last few years. It used to be that sites like Geocities existed to make it easy for newcomers to build a website. Now with web frameworks Django and Ruby on Rails and easy-to-use infrastructure like App Engine its easy for newcomers to build a webb application. I've been following Pamela Fox's efforts to bring the Girl Develop It program to Australia. Although its goals are different (bring more women into IT) its recent success reinforces the point: its now easy for people with no prior experience to get into web application development.

The second article is from is from the ever-insightful Rands in Repose on how the recently-released Instagram is so awesome because of everything it doesn't do. I'm not entirely sure of the timespan involved, but the story goes that they've built an amazing mobile photo sharing application and it only took them eight weeks. They did this by remaining completely focused on the core feature set and not allowing any distractions in. Conceptually what they're doing has been done several times before, but by remaining focused they've collected huge amounts of users and standa good chance of beating out the competition.

I found both these stories rather inspiring. I've have my great idea, and I have more experience than many of the people doing these amazing things. It should be easy for me to do all manner of amazing and interesting things, but get mired in details. However I'm now resolved. I've spent much of the day distilling all my plans and dreams and thoughts into one very simple concept and I'm going to have a crack at building something soon. I'm making a huge effort to not overthink it - of course I have some ideas for where it could go, but I'm keeping these as high-level next steps, and not thinking too much about the details.

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to have much time in the next few weeks to do much, but I'll be taking a proper holiday for four weeks after Christmas and I'd really like to have something to show for it after that.

And no, I'm not telling you the idea yet. Its probably not that amazing or exciting to most people, but its been mine for years and years and not willing to share it until I have something to show for it :)

friday, 20 august 2010

posted at 22:26
beth-green

So Australia goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new Federal Parliament for the next few years. My primary vote this year will go to the Australian Greens. A few people have asked me why, so I thought I'd write a little bit about my thinking. This isn't particularly coherent, just a series of random thoughts that point roughly in the same direction.

I think a solid third choice party is extremely important for a healthy democracy in this country. Without it the two major parties squabble like spoiled children. We need someone to step in and calm things down a bit. There's nothing particularly special about the Greens for this purpose; the Democrats used to fill the gap fairly well before they imploded. I'm also not under any delusions that the Greens wouldn't act the same way if they were one of the major parties. You want someone big enough that their voice and vote can make a difference, but small enough that they can't do anything useful by themselves.

This is even more important in the Senate. If there were only two parties then we'd be faced with either a friendly Senate where the government can do whatever they want without question, or a hostile Senate where the Opposition parade about and flex their muscles and prevent any work getting done. Neither are healthy. Its imperative that there be a solid third party in the Senate to force discussion and compromise to happen.

On the Greens as a party I don't agree with everything they stand for, but I'm not self-important enough to believe that a party concerned with the needs and wants of an entire country should cater to my every whim and fancy. For the most part though their vibe seems to be "look after the planet and each other", and thats something I can support. To their credit they have details of what they stand for on their website all the time, as opposed to the other parties who appear to change their tune depending on what the flavour of the momth is.

I've also thoroughly enjoyed listening to a couple of Greens members speak over the course of the campaign. Scott Ludlam was involved in the recent Communications Forum and I found him to be articulate and engaging while Conroy and Smith resorted to name-calling more than once. Bob Brown I've heard speak numerous times, and he was the same as always - engaging, interested and passionate.

The passion is contagious too. One of the problems with the big parties is they spend too much time looking for power instead of worrying about the right thing. The smaller parties tend to be far more passionate about their interests because you don't join a small party looking to gain power; you join because you care.

I've mostly talked about the Senate here. I live in the relatively safe seat of Menzies in Victoria. Its one of those seats that a few parties run a candidate in but no campaigning actually happens. I think its pretty sad really, because I'd love to vote for a local candidate that actually seemed interested. I had no hesitation in voting for the Labor candidate (Andrew Campbell) in 2007 because went doorknocking in our street during the campaign and was happy to come inside and have a coffee and chat with us. Like I said above, I don't need you to give me everything I want, but make me feel like you care and I'll happily follow you.

This time around there's nothing like that, so I'm left to other means to figure out where my vote is going. For me its more a case of working out who I'm not voting for. The reigning champion is the delightful Kevin Andrews, a man that I frankly find sickening. He has a long history of controversy during his tenure, and I can't in any good consciense give him my support. It doesn't help his cause that he's the only candidate that has sent out any kind of information during this campaign and its all been negative. Of course, I'd still rate him higher than the Family First candidate. I'm not even going to go into why I consider them to be complete nutbags; lets just say that if you're reading this and you disagree then you're probably not in my target audience :)

So I have a Labor and a Green candidate left over. Since I don't know anything about them I'm left to choosing by party. Voting Green first effectively results in a Labor two-party-preferred vote, but with the important point that the Greens get a primary vote data point. While that kind of statistic does not affect the outcome of the election, it does inform party strategists when gauging the opinions of the populace. I want my vote to register the fact that although I'm notionally voting Labor, Green issues are important to me.

So that's my vote. A few other points:

  • If its not already clear, my general preference is towards Labor over Liberal. Tony Abbott strikes me as being a very nice fellow and I'd love to buy him a beer and have a chat with him, but he seems a bit random and kneejerky for a leader. But not just that, some of his crew seem worringly incomptent. I'm looking in particular at Andrew Robb and Tony Smith. At least Joe Hockey gives me a chuckle. But generally, the Liberals feel tired and old. Another term or two in opposition might give them a bit of a chance to regroup.
  • On the Labor side I'm less interested in the personalities and more about what they've done in the last term. They don't seem to have made any particularly huge mistakes, despite all the carry on about the insulation programme and the school halls. Yeah, it wasn't perfect, but nothing ever is. For the most part the approach has seemed right. As for them dropping Kevin Rudd at the first sign of trouble, I don't particularly agree with it but I also know enough about the Labor Party to know that its not going to do much to change policy. As I read back over this I think that I might not be being hard enough on them, but really I just don't see anything of note, good or bad.
  • I'm really confused by Steven Conroy. In the aforementioned Communications Forum I thought he did a pretty good job arguing the merits of the National Broadband Network, but then fell apart completely when talking about the filter. He's been trotting out the same tired arguments for two years now and is borders on foaming at the mouth when confronted with the quite rational arguments to the contrary. I just don't understand how he can be insightful and confident on one issue and a blubbering idiot on another one. He's either unstable or he's in someone's pocket, both of which I consider dangerous. For this reason I'm dropping him way down the list on my Senate ballot.
  • I loathe the Liberals focus on "stopping the boats". Its both a non-issue in the larger debate about immigration as well as just going against my "be excellent to each other" vibe. Australia is a good place to live. For many of the people looking for a way in, their country sucks. We've got an insane amount of room and a crazy amount of spare food. You're no threat to my way of life. Come on in, enjoy the country and add whatever you're good at to make it even more awesome. And yes, there's lots of people who will make a big song and dance about a fat pile of related issues but at the end of the day these are people who need a hand, and we're in a position to help. Why shouldn't we? So anyway yeah, that loses the Libs a few points.

I'm kinda getting tired of typing now, so I'll stop. Ultimately your choice is your own, and I'd never try to tell you that you're making the wrong choice. All I ask is that you make an informed choice, consideringly carefully what you personally stand for and how the people and the parties involved will align with that. Don't fall for the sound bites, they don't tell you anything.

And if you still don't know, or think your vote won't count, then here's a nice tidbit from The Conscience Vote:

And when you go to the polls tomorrow, don't - don't, I beg you - cast an informal vote. If you can't stand either of the major parties, put your vote where your heart is - and don’t let anyone tell you that it won't count. Because you can bet that when the figures finally come in from the Electoral Commission, strategists and analysts from both sides will be going over the fine detail. Every vote that bleeds to the Greens or a minor party is a signal of discontent with the status quo.

And you're not "sending a message", regardless of what Mark Latham tells you. You're just lumped in with every ballot paper that was incorrectly filled in, illegible or just plain doodled on. If you want to send a message, do it with a valid vote.

Every single vote matters.

And remember to watch the ABC coverage of the count tomorrow night. There's graphs and stuff - its geeky and cool :)

friday, 18 september 2009

posted at 22:25
tags:

Ooh, it has been a while, and a lot has happened. If I wrote properly about everything, I'd be here all day, so here's my usual long list of stuff I've been up to. Much of it is interrelated in strange ways, so this is not necessarily chronological. You'll get over it.

  • pyro, my trusty laptop, suffered a massive hard drive crash about a month ago after a bungled gparted session. I have backups of all the really critical stuff, so it wasn't a complete tragedy, but there's plenty of stuff that I may have lost. I say "may", because via the magic of e2extract I seem to have determined that while the directory structure is completely destroyed, most of the data is intact. I currently have a 120GB filesystem image sitting on an external hard drive waiting for me to get around to sifting through it for data.
  • as a result, I haven't really touched any AROS code since then. Unless I can save my git pack files, I actually have lost quite a few of my private development branches (anything not saved to repo.or.cz. The hosted rewrite is still there at least, should I ever decide to get back to.
  • so, laptop rebuild. Its actually much better put together now, I think. The Linux side has less warts than it did before, and most of the hardware seems to be working just fine. On the Windows side I installed Windows 7, and I'm actually quite impressed with it (and I've never been impressed with Windows in the past). It seems to perform much better than XP ever did (I never tried Vista).
  • I bought my wife a new laptop, and installed 7 there too, and she's very happy with it too.
  • not one to make the same mistake twice, the very next day after the crash I went out and bought a 1TB external drive and bolted it to our home server and setup automatic backup regimes for both our laptops. This is particularly good for the wife, who has several gigabytes of photos from the last five years of our life (since the kids have been around).
  • without much motiviation to salvage my code, and with work proving rather taxing on my brain, I started spending my evenings loading up Windows and playing Left 4 Dead. A lot. They recently released support for third-party maps and stuff, so my brothers and I have been trying some really great new campaigns and having a lot of fun with it.
  • then the really interesting bit happened. I was approached by another area within my division and was asked if I was interested in coming across to work on an extremely interesting new project. I can't go into details yet (the whole thing is still tied up in legals), but essentially I'm getting paid the same to cut code and design systems, with no management responsibility of any kind. This is something close to my dream job and something I never thought I'd be able to get at Monash, so after a token amount of consideration I left my job of nine years and took the plunge. Today is my fifth day and so far I'm loving it - the work is interesting, the enviroment is comfortable and the mood among my coworkers is very happy and light, which makes a huge difference from the doom and gloom that permeated my former life. I do miss my team though - I've worked with some of them so long that they've become like family to me. At least they're only a short walk away, so I can still get a coffee with them from time to time.
  • for various reasons I'm not allowed to keep my laptop, which belongs to my old department (though they're kindly letting me continue to use it for a little while), so my nice new job have bought me a nice new laptop. Christened junai, it arrived yesterday and I should be able to bring it home and switch to using it full-time today. Cloning a Debian system is trivial, by the way.
  • the new job is all Perl, which I unfortunately haven't had much time for lately, so as well as enjoying the day I'm finding I'm getting home and wanting to work on that too. Since it fits in with work doing it on my own time is actually just more of the same rather than being yet another thing I have to try and fit into my life. As such, I'm thinking I might spend some of my spare time getting a pile of unreleased code into shape and onto the CPAN, and maybe, just maybe, getting along to the occassional Melbourne.pm meeting.

I think that's everything. The other thing I'm going to try and do is blog a little more often, probably by lowering my standards a little and not writing an epic tome each time :)

sunday, 19 april 2009

posted at 17:21
tags:

I've booked a hard rubbish collection with the local council for next week, so I've spent the last few days piling stuff on the nature strip. Its been very purging, and the garage is looking great. As usual a few things have been "stolen" from the pile, which is fine with me - better someone gets some use out of it. What has me curious is why people have chosen the things they have. For example:

  • I put out the six pieces of a plastic kids cubby (four walls and two roof pieces) that broke in a storm. Someone has taken two walls and two roof pieces, but left the other two walls.
  • I put out a laser printer which as far as I know works fine except for needing toner. Fair enough to nab it, except that whoever took it left the paper tray.
  • I put out two computers. One was an old Pentium II in perfect working order (even has a disk and memory in it), but the case was in terrible condition. The other was an ancient HP Vectra that I gutted for parts such that all I threw is the box and motherbord. The first is still there, the second is gone.
  • I put out a box containing three broken CD drives, four broken floppy drives and a bunch of random cables. It got taken within half an hour of going out.
  • I put out a fully working G3 iMac (one of the original blue ones). It got taken, and in its place was a fully working G3 PowerMac (again, the blue one). That one I grabbed myself for contemplation and hacking.

So I'm not quite sure what people are thinking. I suppose if you can find a use for my junk then more power to you.

friday, 10 april 2009

posted at 00:18
tags:

She's here!

Penelope (Penny) Norris arrived just before 2pm Thursday by caesarian section. Compared to her sisters she's tiny at 3.4kg (7.5lbs), but she's still got the patented Norris large head. I've already poked fun at her with things like "orange on a toothpick" and "sputnik", but I encourage you to join in too.

Her head is cute actually. Its almost spherical with a squished old-man face right in the middle. She frowns a lot too so she really does look like a grumpy old man.

We're still trying to work out who she looks like. At first she appeared to be a clone of Beth (her 18-month-old sister), but having spent the day with her she really seems to be taking on a bit of a look of her own. So far I think she might look a bit like my eldest younger brother.

Anyway its late and I'm tired, so off to bed. Tomorrow I take Francesca in to meet her. Thats going to be insane.

thursday, 9 april 2009

posted at 06:41
tags:

If all goes according to plan then in just a few short hours I'll be the father of three girls. I'm actually rather nervous which seems strange considering I've done this twice before. If its the kind of thing you go in for then please send up a prayer for Gub, bub, the girls and the army of family looking after them for the next few days. I'll be online tonight with photos and the like.

tuesday, 31 march 2009

posted at 22:16
  • mood: positive
  • music: regurgitator

Oh boy, long time. Probably about to get longer given that in just nine days, assuming all goes to plan, I'll be the proud father of three girls, up from the two I have today. So with that in mind I though it best to do the big dump list of everything that's been happening lately so I don't have it swimming around in my head too long.

Homewise:

  • As mentioned, I have a new kid arriving next week. I'm spending a great deal of time getting stuff done around the house in preparation for that and generally supporting my wife, who remains in good spirits despite spending being exhausted all day long and still somehow managing to take care of the other two, both very demanding in their own way.
  • The upcoming larger family has required upgrades, so we now have a larger car, larger couch and larger tv.
  • The family won't be getting any larger after this, courtesy of Dr. Walters. I can't recommend him enough for this type of thing; he was fast, non-threatening and completely transparent. The only downside of the whole experience is that I didn't get to be number 13000 - I had to settle for 12980. Ok, the only other downside is that I don't have access to the totally insanely awesome sleep drugs he uses. I was out chasing space shuttles and I liked it that way!
  • I've been seeing a psychologist to help with my brain problems. She's been awesome, though I'm not very good at doing my homework which I think may be annoying her a bit.

Workwise:

  • Work has been crazy, the same project I've bene working on for the last two years continuing to kill me.
  • But, there's been a big change in the last two weeks. In the hopes of making the project go faster, the entire project team has been whisked out from under me and reassigned to a new manager they've imported for just this purpose. At the time I had some pretty serious reservations about it all, but as me and my boss work through all the transition and handover stuff with them we're increasingly finding ourselves with plenty of time with which to contemplate all the work that we've wanted to do in the last couple of years but couldn't ever get priority for. Work is suddenly relaxing again, and in a little while might even be fun! Imagine that!

Techwise:

  • I've been hacking on OpenTTD a lot in the last couple of weeks, finding my way around the codebase by implementing a new kind of depot. Great fun, highly motivating.
  • Gub bought me a new DS to replace the one I destroyed, and I've been liking the new GTA game, so much so that I may actually buy it soon (yarr).
  • Given the aforementioned new tv, I've been looking for ways to hook up my older game consoles to it via something other than composite, which while not bad from the Gamecube is a complete disaster from the N64 with a tv that can see every flaw in the produced image. Whatever I do is going to end up being a big job but in the course of my searching for details I've found the magnificent GameSX.com and their RGB+Video forums. I'm slowly working my way through just about everything here, but its becoming increasingly obvious that I require a XRGB-3, but $600 is a bit out of my price range. Lots of study required to figure out what I can do myself, though I suspect I'll run into the same problem I always have with hardware hacking in that I don't have the equipment required to make it happen. Its fun to think about it at least!

So yeah, thats where I'm at. I guess you won't hear from me for a while again, except next week to post some pics. Lucky you!

tuesday, 20 january 2009

posted at 07:36
tags:

I haven't written any code for ages and ages. I'm having a lot of troubled getting motivated, and although I've had a few idea I haven't really come across anything sufficiently challenging or world-changing to really get excited about it. Some ideas I've had that haven't got anywhere, in no particular order:

  • A group chat client (IRC, Jabber MUC, etc) that allows images, videos, etc from the web to be embedded directly in it so that when we share links I don't have to click everything. I started prototyping this in Perl using WebKitGtk, but it doesn't have API that allows a page to be added to incrementally, and I don't really want to get back into hacking on WebKit right now.

  • A version of Settlers of Catan with a really sweet AJAX/DHTML/Web 2.0/buzzwordish interface. Currently the options for playing Settlers on a computer appear to on your local machine with Pioneers or on the web through Java applets. I got as far as thinking about the AI and poking at the Pioneers code a bit before realising that the only interesting bit is too hard for me which means borrowing the AI code and then writing the web interface, which is totally boring.

  • A browser-based sprite engine. THe idea is you'd throw in a bunch of images, specify coordinates and any filters/transformations you might want, and it takes care of their display. Again though, its hacking browser stuff which I'm pretty much over at this point in my career.

  • A web-based forum that doesn't suck. I'm quite over every bit of web software requiring a database and having insanely complicated interfaces. I had a thought of some kind of cross between Digg, the Joel On Software forums (design notes) and an image board. Basically no mad hierarchy of forums and posts, no threads, no userpic/sig/meta clutter on every post, and no login requirement. Internally its very much like blosxom, just a simple one-file script that you can drop into your cgi-bin and it just goes, and that you can extend in any way you like with plugins. The whole thing would be backed by git and just be sweetness. I made a good bit of progress on this but at the end of the day its basically a repeat of the code I've just written to get this blog updated, and its for web forums which I hate and avoid as much as I can anyway.

  • A database diff tool for Lotus Notes databases. This is kind of interesting, and it would help a lot at work and dodge the need for us to buy any more stupidly expensive licenses for a commercial product, but the Notes API really really sucks and I haven't been able to get a working development environment working on Debian yet, which means I'm going to have to use a Redhat VM if I want to make this work. That amount of effort for what is really part of my job in my spare time is just too much.

So there you go. A few reasonably good ideas, but no motivation. As a result I've been killing time playing games, but that's starting to wear a bit thin. I'm not sure what to do right now, because I really feel like I want to write something. Motivation came easily when I was working on jabberd2 - we were changing the world! It was easy for AROS because I'd never worked on an so many different facets of an operating system before and everywhere I turned there was something new to be done. None of the above so far fit into one of those categories. Every existing project I've considered so far doesn't seem to be either groundbreaking enough or have enough for me to learn to make it worth the effort. I'm not sure what to do now.

Its likely I'm growing old and curmudgeonly. I hope I can get interested soon, if for no other reason than my bus trips are getting boring.

sunday, 11 january 2009

posted at 10:50
tags:

I just spammed Planet Linux Australia and probably anyone else who subscribes to my feed with all the posts I just brought back to life. I'm sorry :(

wednesday, 31 december 2008

posted at 10:32
tags:

I've had a nice week. Christmas things were awesome, lots of fun and I scored very well - my own copy of Settlers of Catan and the Cities and Knights expansion, some tshirts, IT Crowd and Frontline DVDs and some DS accessories. People are learning my tastes well, it seems :)

Sadly I've managed to break my DS. I put some screen protectors on it a while ago but they've got pretty scratched, so I decided to replace them. When I lifted the one off the bottom screen I managed to bring the touch lens with it, so even though I've put it back on the touch screen doesn't work. I can still play most games and I wasn't playing it much at the moment anyway, so getting it fixed isn't desperately urgent, but its a bit annoying. I'm still looking into repairs. I can get a brand new LCD+touch screen element for about $70, but I'd have to install it myself and I don't know if I really need all that since the LCD works. I'd need to get special screwdrivers too. I'd rather just get someone to fix it for me but since i can get a new one for $190 I'm not sure how much effort it is. I'll probably leave it until it starts to become a problem.

Sunday was game time, mostly Left 4 Dead, Counterstrike and Day of Defeat. We also played Ricochet which is really quite cool if a little simple. All good fun, as usual. Tonight is more games, this time of the board game variety. In reality it'll just be Settlers since everyone knows how to play already.

I watched all of the Boxing Day Test, which was an excellent game even if we did lose. I predicted at the end of day two that we'd lose even though we were in a position where a loss was close to impossible, and so it came to pass. Go seer. Apparently on day two South Africa were at $13 to win; shame I didn't get some of that action.

In between all this I've done the gardening, got hold of a really awesome wooden cubby that I'll put together for the girls in the next couple of days, done a pile of chores, read lots and generally had a nice relaxing time. Gotta go back to work on Monday but I think I'll be pretty flaked by then which is exactly what I needed.

wednesday, 24 december 2008

posted at 15:30
tags:

For the first time in a few years I'm actually excited about Christmas, for several reasons:

  • The girls (Francesca in particular) are finally old enough to really get into the day and I love watching them,
  • I've had the money and the motivation to find what I think are some really awesome and quite thoughtful gifts for my lady
  • I've heard I'm getting some awesome stuff and I'm excited to find out what
  • In the last year I've had many opportunities to get to know my family again and I love spending time with them and will get to do so tomorrow
  • The food I've seen prepared so far is looking damn nice

Hope you have a good day too. On, and if for whatever reason you don't do Christmas, have a good day anyway :)

sunday, 18 may 2008

posted at 22:59

Lately:

  • Played a lot of Morrowind. Maybe too much, enough to cause the people not interested in it to not even talk to me anymore, while the people who are interested almost come to blows while debating minutiae of the details that drive the thing. Got down and dirty with the construction kit, making a fancy unlimited storage mod. Its all fun.
  • Got interested again in the details of RPGs, MUDs, etc. Still just idle pondering at the moment.
  • Thinking about Javascript again, idly considering resurrecting amber (the Javascript host environment that I started a few years ago).
  • After some Debian upgrade issues, switched from XFCE to awesome as my window manager. Still getting used to it, but I know its where I want to be given that I was a long time Ion user before tuomov went insane.
  • Read Chuck Norris' autobiography. The subject matter is interesting, though the writing isn't really anything fantastic. Its an entertaining enough read but doesn't come highly recommended, do what you will that. I am vaguely inspired to trace my family tree a bit after looking at one of the photos in the book and noticing that Chuck in his early years bears some striking similarities to my dad.
  • Messed with getting Debian on the OLPC. So far I have a minimal Debian system booting from a USB stick. As I write this post I'm working to get it onto the internal flash, and we'll go from there. From poking around the internets it looks like nobody has done exactly what I'm trying to do, which is to remove all traces of the default OS. All the instructions I can find for putting alternate systems on the machine is done either having the alternative on a USB stick or SD card, or using the "alternate OS" feature of the default system. Bugger that - if I want the original stuff back at any time, I can easily grab an image and reflash it. My aim is to have the OS proper on the internal flash with /home on a SD card. Once I get it all working I want to try putting MAME on it, using the game buttons with the LCD folded back to produce a kind of portable arcade gaming pad. Its something different at least.
  • Trying to figure out how to be a good boss to the nine thousand new staff we seem to have picked up in the last few months, not to mention the looking after the old guard too. Its really hard.
  • Been looking at ikiwiki and thinking about moving this whole site over to it. I still want the blog, but I miss having the wiki. Rolling it all in together, backed by git, sounds like a pretty sweet ride.

There's probably some other stuff too, but I think thats all the major stuff. See, making great use of all my spare time :)

tuesday, 15 april 2008

posted at 23:17
tags:

Late last year I wandered into my local optometrist to have him check out the weird dots I could see sometimes in bright light. He told me that it was entirely normal and nothing to worry about, but in the course of testing it turns out that my eyesight is not quite right, though not so terrible that I would have known.

But I saw the crisp edges on the text used for the tests, and that memory has haunted me since. Every time I've read a road sign, book, whatever, I've been acutely aware of how blurry the edges are. So a couple of weeks ago I chose some frames that I liked and handed over the cash needed to turn them into proper spectacles.

I picked them up today, and I'm having a little trouble getting used to them, but I'm stunned at just how crisp the text on my screen is right now. It had never occurred to me that antialiased fonts might not have to look blurry around the edges. Everything just looks so unbelievably crispy. While playing Morrowind tonight, I could see the seams where polygons of different texture quality joined. Its amazing.

I'll try and them out at work tomorrow, of course. I'm really interested to see if they help me feel less tired by the end of the day.

sunday, 13 april 2008

posted at 22:34

You've probably noticed that I've been fairly quiet for the last couple of weeks. Its partly related to what I wrote about last time, but not entirely. I've actually been doing quite a bit of hacking on a new project that I'm quite excited about, but I'm putting on hold for a little while so I can get back to Traveller. I'll write more about that one when I get back to it.

Other reasons are that work has been absolutely insane, so I haven't been able to send mail or IRC much during that time, and when I get home I'm tired enough that if I do want to sit at the computer I'm either playing a game or just not interested in talking to anyone.

Fortunately a big part of the last couple of weeks at work has been getting some new staff acquainted with the place and offloading some work, so next week should be much more relaxed. I still may not blog much, and I probably won't be on IRC, but I'm responding to email again at least.

My head seems to be in better shape, though I'm not taking anything for granted. Generally I found that I wasn't even having to try to enjoy myself, but on the other hand I had a couple of days like yesterday where my daughter was probably not aware just how close to death she came. So I'm hardly cured, but at least I've been reminded of what it can be like. I had a good chat with my minister who had some good advice, and I'll see my doctor this week, and I'm feeling pretty positive about the whole mess, so its good!

Thanks to everyone for your support and advice after my last post. Lots of people have told me their stories which I've really appreciated hearing. If you've sent me email and I haven't got back to you, please be patient - I will get there.

So starting tomorrow, on my bus trip, I'll be back working on the new shared object loader. I'm really going to push hard to get motivated and have something to show by the end of the week, because this bit is rather starting to hang over me. I really want to get back to the eyecandy :)

sunday, 30 march 2008

posted at 20:57
tags:

Hi, I'm back.

It would appear that there's a problem with the old grey matter. This is not news to me, I've suspected as much for a while now. Its only just now got to the point where I've been able to admit that whatever is up is not something I can fix on my own, and so the time has come to enlist some help and to make a few changes so I don't completely explode.

"Depression" would probably be the proper term to use here, except that there's about as many varieties of depression as there are sufferers, and since I haven't actually seen a medical professional yet it probably wouldn't be prudent to add labels just yet. Besides which, I don't really care what you want to call it. I'm more interested in fixing it.

Since Beth was born (six months ago) I've found the various pressures on me increasingly difficult to cope with. There's the obvious work involved with a new baby, wanting to make sure that she has everything she needs all the time and also making sure that her mother, my wife, have all the time and space they need to concentrate on the job at hand.

Then there's the existing kid, who at three is fiercely independent and doesn't know when to shut the hell up. Don't get me wrong, she is funny, kind, generous and compassionate, and I know her determination will serve her wonderfully well in the future and so I wouldn't change a single thing about her. But some days its all I can do to not lock her up under the house.

Then there's work. We've spent the last two years working on replacing everything that I've spent the previous six years building, and although I understand (and generally agree) with the rationale, its hard to let go. After so long its hard to find motivation to continue working on it. More recently, I've accepted a promotion to a team leader position, so I've moved away from the metal a little and am now responsible for the general well being of a group of people. This is unfamiliar territory for me and I'm eager to learn and do a good job, but that of course means additional pressure.

Next up is my personal time, those precious two-three hours of bus travel plus another hour or so in the evening. That time has been spent on AROS for just over a year. I've written at length about my increasing frustrations with the project, which has greatly reduced my interest and motivation, yet at the same time I'm still committed to a major project within it. So I have a lot of pressure and not a lot of fulfillment coming from that quarter.

I do all of this stuff without a great deal of support or guidance. I have friends, of course, and my wife is the most awesome person of all, whom I could not function without, but what I really need is an older bloke who has already done the family/work/personal life juggling dance and come out the other side. Ideally this would be my father, but for various reasons that I'm not willing to talk about right now he's unavailable, so I'm feeling a little stranded. My walk with God is in a pretty sorry state as well, so there's not a lot of help coming from there either.

I thought I could fix this myself. All I needed was more sleep, or to better manage my time, or to reduce the number of tasks I'd taken on, or to spend my time at home with my kids doing meaningful activities, etc. These are all things I've tried to change, with varying degrees of success, but it hasn't been enough. Not least of the problems is that in many cases they conflict with each other.

In the lead up to Easter I carried a dark cloud around with me, until on Sunday that I finally broke down. I hadn't slept much overnight as Beth had a difficult time, so I was tired. I screamed at Francesca a couple of times, both of which were very much overreactions. Once the girls were in bed at lunchtime I ended up talking to Gub in tears, telling her this whole story. Of course she knew, having had some experience with this sort of thing herself, as well as having lived with me. We talked about it more while on holiday and I finally started to get a little hope as we figured out a plan.

Thursday will be a big day for me. I'm going to take the day off and visit my doctor, looking for one or more of drugs or a recommendation of a counsellor who can help me talk some of this stuff through. Next after that is a visit to my minister for a chat. I want to talk to him about finding someone who would be willing to act in some sort of mentoring role for me, someone outside of my life who will take an interest in it and be available if I'm in an explosive mood. I also want to discuss practical ways to get my ailing faith back on track. All these things are intertwined.

I have to refocus my home life and remember what it is that I like about it. The last week away has been good. Being on holiday with nothing that has to be done gave me the opportunity to play with my daughters without feeling guilty about all the other ways I could be spending my time. This weekend back at home has been interesting, as I've tried to continue that without feeling the pressure from various chores around the house. I'm doing all right so far.

Finally on the personal time, some stuff just has to move. I talked about whether or not I'd fork AROS after WebKit is done, or just leave entirely. I think the answer is pretty clear. Trying to lead a major project at this point in time would be a very bad thing for my own sanity. I've learnt enough about operating systems while working on AROS to make it not particularly interesting anymore. I will get Traveller out because I've made a committment and such things are important to me, but after that my time with AROS will be over. I'll have more to say about plans for Traveller this week, and probably more to say about leaving AROS as the time approaches.

I have a vision for what I want my life to look like. I want to enjoy every part of it, and not feel like some parts are more important than others, but simply be happy with and accept the balance I've made because I know I've done it right. I don't want to be wishing that everything and everyone would just disappear so that I could sleep and not have to think about them. This is my life. I made the choices that I have got me here. I'm sure I made some mistakes, but the big things, the things that form my identity - husband, father, programmer, child of God - are there because I deliberately chose them. I want to want to be those things.

I don't know if I'll write any more here about this as I progress. I thought I should write something for anyone wondering about my standoffish attitude and general flakiness in the last couple of months. Don't feel like you have to tread lightly around this, I'm still the same person. If you don't care or aren't comfortable with it, then say nothing. If you're interested or curious about everything, ask away.

monday, 17 march 2008

posted at 19:20
tags:

I was working on the loader and thinking about blogging about it, and realised I needed some diagrams to adequately describe what I was doing. I've used various diagram software in the past, and it all sucks. I'm good at doing ASCII diagrams, but they look crap. So I spent a few days working on a diagram parser with a view to making it drive a cairo-based renderer of some sort.

That was fun and interesting project for a while until it started to need some actual theory behind it. Daniel and I discussed it a bit and came up with some interesting ideas about how it might be made to work, but it suddenly became an effort so I decided I couldn't be bothered with it for the moment.

This morning I decided to have a bit more of a go at the loader, but found I really couldn't get into it. It was much more fulfilling to continue messing with Morrowind, a game that I've been trying out this week (mostly because my laptop doesn't have the grunt to run Oblivion).

With a holiday coming up next week over Easter, I think I know what's happened. My brain is tired, and it sees a break coming, and has shut down. So I'm not going to push it. I'm going to spend this week playing my game, next week holidaying without a laptop at all (though I may take the DS), and generally taking a break.

If I do it right, I should come back refreshed and ready to work on actual things again :)

wednesday, 30 january 2008

posted at 17:24
tags:

I just got given a OLPC XO-1 on the proviso that I use it for "something cool", otherwise hand it on to someone who will do something cool with it.

I'll take the night to consider what I might like to do with it and decide whether to keep it or pass it on tomorrow. AROS would be cool, of course, but I don't think thats quite what they have in mind. I'll talk a bit to some folks at the conference dinner tonight; maybe they'll know what to do.

monday, 8 october 2007

posted at 18:15
tags:
  • mood: dad

Elizabeth (Beth) Norris was born at 9.45 this morning at Box Hill Hospital. She's just a touch under four kilograms (8 pounds 13 ounces for you dirty imperialists). Both her and her mother are doing just great. Dad is rather chuffed about the whole thing :)

Francesca hasn't met her yet, that will happen tomorrow morning when we're all fresh. We're really interested to see how she goes and if Beth meets her expectations after months of hype. I expect it will be just fine and she'll love her little sister.

Obligatory happy snaps:

monday, 27 august 2007

posted at 14:10
  • mood: distracted

Another week of not much. The weather is glorious at the moment; yesterday I spent a couple of hours outside mowing the grass, which is a pretty huge undertaking. It looks fantastic and has got me motivated to tidy the rest of the garden and finally get the garage sorted out, which I'll probably try to do a bit in the evenings this week, particularly if it stays warm(er) after the sun goes down.

I've finished reading the AVR book, and have most of the design for the graphics driver done in my head. I'm pretty much settled on the ATmega162 for starting out, as it should have everything I need - too much program memory, plenty of internal RAM, a JTAG mode and enough pins to hook up an external SRAM. Jaycar have them for $20, so I have a cheap supply without having to do crappy mail-order stuff. I still have to sit down and write down the whole design to produce a parts list, but once thats done I can go shopping. The plan is to do that on Saturday morning, taking the girl to Ringwood on the train. She's been begging for a train ride for a while now, so that should take care of both.

Gub recently our services to MOPS Australia (of which she is the coordinator of group at our church) to bring their website out of 1996. To this end I've installed Joomla! and am trying to learn a bit about what makes it tick. PHP is horrible, and the community is weird, but it looks like I'm not going to have to write too much code, which is good - this really has to be off the ground before the baby arrives.

I got my AROS tree up to date and building this morning, as I really need to write some code again soon, my brain is ready for it I think. At the moment I'm just fiddling, getting a feel for the code again and seeing if there's anything that I really feel like playing with. I'm not committing to anything yet, nor am I soliciting suggestions, gentle reader ;)

Back to work. We're on a tight deadline. Don't ask.

thursday, 26 july 2007

posted at 09:11
tags:
  • mood: toys
  • music: katie melua - piece by piece

Gub got a nice tax return a few days ago (love family tax benefits) and insisted that I spent some of it on myself. So I looked around and found the RAM upgrade for my laptop that I priced at $169 a couple of months ago was now down to $99. I'm not passing that up, so as of yesterday at lunchtime my laptop has a nice new 1GB stick in it, taking me up to 1.5GB (ish, you know how inaccurate all these numbers are). Its noticably faster.

The spending spree isn't over yet - I've also been instructed to buy a DS game. Advance Wars: Dual Strike looks like it will be the winner. I'll go looking for a pre-owned version from EB tonight. If I can get it cheaper, then I'll have a little bit over to buy a C64 DTV, which I notice Target had squillions of at $25 a pop.

New toys make us powerful and happy :)

sunday, 15 july 2007

posted at 21:51
tags:

Friday night I went to my brother's place along with a few other guys to play some games and have some fun. I had a ball, stayed up all night and much of the morning playing various games - Halo, Unreal Tournament (& UT2004), Half-Life 2 and Counterstrike Source. After that, I caught an hour sleep on the couch, and maybe another hour in the car on the way home (I wasn't driving). Understandably, I felt rather groggy through the afternoon and Gub finally put me to bed at about 5.30. I woke up an hour later and was completely useless - it was like my body was still fast asleep and no matter what I did I couldn't convince it to move. At seven Gub sent me to bed and I slept right through until nine this morning. I've felt tired most of the day, dozed through church (oops), and now its 10 and I'm preparing to head to bed ready for my 6am start.

So in short, I had an awesome time playing games, but lost the entire weekend in recovery. The obvious answer would have been to play all night and then sleep all day, but then I'm afraid of not being able to sleep at normal time on Saturday night. Am I just too old (27 by age, though with five years of marriage and a kid and another on the way, perhaps my bones are older)? Is there some optimal combination of play and sleep that will let me be normal on Saturday evening and Sunday?

saturday, 23 june 2007

posted at 16:37
tags:

(Slight exaggeration in title? Possibly.)

I took Francesca bowling today, which we've never done before. In many ways, we still haven't. I bowled my first frame and then it was her turn. She picked up her pink ball from the rack, held in both hands because she's still small, and then tripped on the step. Her hands hit the ground, and the ball on top of them. She screamed of course, and shortly after we had blood everywhere.

We went to the nearest local doctor, who took one look at it and sent us to emergency at the hospital. Being a kid she got fast-tracked, so we were in and out in under four hours. She had to have X-rays, and it turns out that she fractured the tip of her left pinky finger. She has a horrible jagged gash on the tip that goes right down the bone, and she's ruined the nailbed, so she'll lose the nail. Being so little they just dressed it and sent her home. Young bodies heal quickly.

Francesca was amazing through the whole thing. She was her usual cheerful self through the entire ordeal, happily playing and laughing with me while we waited. She never complained even when it was difficult to do something with only one hand; she just found a way to compensate. The only time she cried was near the end when they were doing the final dressing, and those cries were mostly her saying "I'm tired and I want to go home." Fair enough - by that time she was two hours past her nap time and hadn't eaten for four. We shared some banana and some chocolate just after they let us go, which was nice.

I asked her about bowling on the way home. She's not exactly bubbling with excitement at the prospect of doing it again, but neither is she averse to the idea. Its not often that you're left in awe of your children, and its really nice when it happens :)

saturday, 26 may 2007

posted at 09:16
tags:

My laptop has an Atheros wireless chipset, so that meant using the MadWifi driver under Linux. It never quite worked properly, often dropping out and some times having trouble associating with my access point, but it was always good enough that I couldn't be bothered doing anything in it.

In the last week I've updated my kernel to 2.6.21.1 and Debian installed the lastest MadWifi too, and now things have got really bad. My connection to the access point will only last about 30 minutes before dropping, and it won't reassociate without a reboot. I tried backing it out but I obviously wasn't paying enough attention to what changed because it still wouldn't work. Obviously all this sucks so I started looking around for a fix.

I couldn't find anything about the exact problem, but I did find NDISwrapper, which is a shim to allow Windows network drivers to be used inside Linux. I gave this a try, not really expecting much, and to my amazement it works. I was connected for a few hours last night, and when I drop the connection and restart it it just works. Amazing.

I do like being online :P

tuesday, 10 april 2007

posted at 10:33
tags:

Got back from our camping trip yesterday so I've just been flaking out and doing a few chores and stuff since. The trip was great - very relaxing, and got some four-wheel-driving in as well. I've never been before. Its very challenging - I consider myself a pretty good driver, but much of it is actually counterintuitive, like the need to accelerate down a wet slope because the wheels must stay in motion, otherwise you slide. It was a hell of a lot of fun.

I've got some web work to do for a client over the next couple of days, then it will be straight back into fat.handler. Three days of work this week, and then two weeks off - hurrah!

monday, 5 february 2007

posted at 22:28
tags:

Last night a faint pink line was the bearer of wonderful news.

I'm going to be a dad again :)