November 19th, 2004

Updateyness.

Let's see, what's been going on in my life recently.

I still haven't updated my resume (which is over two years old) because, well, my life doesn't summarize that neatly anymore. (And some of the consulting stuff I've done is still under NDA until it ships, which could be a while.) However, I've started on a Curriculum Vitae style thingy. A sort of "what I did since my resume". A couple of selected highlights, anyway. Doesn't even mention Penguicon...

My new laptop now has knoppix installed on it. In case I didn't mention it, I bought another of Mr. Notebook's used Thinkpad iSeries laptops: 700 mhz processor, 10 gig hard drive, 128 megs of ram, 1024x768 display, built in 802.11b and cd-rom, usb, sound, parallel port, and over 2 hours of battery life. Not bad for $450. (It's annoying to spend that money right now, but I can't afford not to have a laptop either.) And it can use the three previous power supplies I have for the old laptop two, which means I now have four of the suckers. Currently, that's the only part to move over from my old laptop so far. I already tried upgrading the memory with the 128 meg stick from my previous thinkpad (they both came with 64 megs built in and a replaceable 64 meg dimm), but this one would recognize the other laptop's dimm. Darn it. The old one had a 20 gig hard drive, but if I want to upgrade I might as well buy an 80 gig at Fry's. (But that I really _can't_ afford just now.) And although the previous one had a cd-rom burner rather than just a reader, it was making grinding noises and not working reliably, so I'm in no hurry to fiddle with it before this one gets that full of dust, fluff, and cathair.

By "installed" I mean I copied the kernel, initrd, and cloop files off the CD and made it all boot with tweezers, duct tape, a copy of my linux from scratch system capable of running lilo, a little editing of the initrd image's initrc script, and a second stage init script I run by hand (after it boots into runlevel 2) to bring up the desktop how I want it. (Needing to running that last script by hand would be easy to fix if I could reconstitute the cloop image, but I haven't played with that.) But Zawinski's Law has been satisfied (it can read and send email), plus web surfing, a working C compiler, and even openoffice. So I can limp along with it quite happily for some time. (I haven't installed a normal distro on this thing because I want an incentive to get my own compiled from source system up to the point where it too can boot X, read email, and websurf. Right now, the read-only nature of the cloop root partition, which I haven't looked up how to rebuilt yet, sucks just enough to encourage me to keep going with a replacement.)

Speaking of which, I'm working on my little linux distro again. (No, the web page for it hasn't been updated yet.) Just updated it to the new dropbear with an ssh client, and the actual busybox 1.00 release instead of an old patched cvs snapshot from the -pre3 era. Now I'm trying to build using busybox's awk instead of gawk to see what the bugs are. (There's a busybox awk maintainer, willing to accept and fix reproducible bug reports. This is good.) Then I dust off my sort rewrite and finish that up, and my bzip2 port, and fix gzip and gunzip, do a comm implementation, and so on... Plus update all the other packages to more recent versions, starting with the compiler and binutils.

I also need to try out uclibc++ so I can get it to compile c++ code and not just c. (The thing I REALLY miss about not having c++ is python. Python needs c++ to compile. Blah.) I'm also going to get the sucker to actually run X11 this time (I already downloaded the most recent version from x.org: it's _50 megabytes_ of source. Ick. The entire rest of the distro is about 100 megs of source code, and a good chunk of that I'm not actually using but just compiling to test out my development environment. Gotta look at the broken up versions, but they just say things like part 7, which isn't useful. Oh well. x.org is maturing nicely, time helps there...

I also want to try out tcc, now that Fabrice got it to compile the linux kernel. Of course, that doesn't do c++ either... Sigh. And again, time helps there since the current linux kernel tcc can compile has to be patched to remove some constructs tcc doesn't understand yet. (Compiling an unmodified linux kernel has been the main goal of the 1.0 release of tcc for a while now. Once they can do that, they release 1.0.) Right now my new linux distro's development environment doesn't do C++, so a switch to tcc is an option instead of uclibc++. (But then there's Python. Perhaps somebody could dust off the original c++ preprocessor to front-end tcc with? Dunno...) Using tcc would replace yet more of the FSF code, although there's still make, yacc, lexx, and rather a lot of other stuff. (I have a dream: someday, I'll have a Linux distro with no GNU packages in it, just so I can ask Stallman "is this still GNU/Linux"? Of course Stallman basically stopped being relevant two or three years ago, and some of the GNU utilities like tar haven't been updated in around five years (and the ones that have forked: gcc is actually egcs from Cygnus, which is Red Hat; the binutils 2.14.90 series is a fork maintained by Red Hat; glibc 2.0 was another egcs-style fork off of glibc 1.0 way back when, Ulrich Drepper (of Red Hat) maintains that and doesn't seem to like Stallman much at all. The packages the FSF still maintains are pathetic, the last official release of gnu tar is so old it doesn't support the -j option for .bz2 format. Really...)

And according to my notes I've got three pending bugs to fix in busybox sed. Okay, two of them I'm probably the only person on the planet to know about (nobody seems to actually _use_ \t), and the other one was a simple problem I already presented a patch for, but which actually has some corner cases my patch didn't cover and would require rather a lot of rewriting to fix properly, but the guy who submitted the bug didn't care that deeply in the first place and was quite happy with my original half-fix patch. But what the hey, I wanna do it RIGHT. I should try to get to that this weekend, as long as I've got my busybox based develpment environment back up and running on a functional laptop again. (And then I should actually audit the thing for SuSv3 compliance. Well I should.)

As for the situation with uclibc stuck on version 0.9.26... I'm working on the header auditing thing from the to-do list, but mostly I'm planning to hold 0.9.26 some kind of birthday party on the one year anniversary of its release.

Let's see, non-computer stuff. I've been packing up Reese's stuff and putting it in the back of my car. She left all sorts of weird things: boots, books, boxes, dried flowers. And of course the 8 gazillion hospital bills that have come to my address, I need to drop those off at her place too. (All this will free up the spare bedroom before Eric comes back to visit at the end of the month.)

My friend Heather from Abilene is bringing down Smokey this weekend. (We used to be roommates a few years back, and she wound up with one of the cats.) Heather's heading off to visit relatives for the holidays, so I'll be babysitting Smokey for a couple weeks. He's an only cat. So is George. This is likely to be interesting, by possibly healty for both of them. (George is _bored_. Another cat around the place could... um... well, as long as there are no permanent injuries or serious property damage, anyway.)

Tomorrow (now tonight) I'm taking Fade to see another Zombie movie: Polar Express. (Well Shaun of the Dead went over so well, why not?) The Imax theatre in the Bob Bollocks history museum is showing a 3D print of it, apparently. Creepy thanksgiving fun...

I need to get my car inspection redone before the end of the month. I wonder if they can do anything about the rust? (Heck, I could take some steel wool to it and spraypaint it to stop it from rusting so fast, but BOY would that be ugly. Wasn't an immediate problem until all this rain. It only started rusting in the first place due to michigan road salt from Penguicon...)

My livejournal mood icons would appear to be koala bears. I suppose I must have selected this at some point...

Stuff.

Rob
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