March 24th, 2005

Stuffness.

So Squidgy (the temporary cat, which we are not keeping because five cats is beyond the Cat Event Horizon) has started acting like Dragon did a couple months back. Hiding on the closet, coming out to sneak food, staring at me intently (I sleep on the downstairs couch because books have taken over my room to the point where I can't easily get to the bed anymore; need to get bookshelves deployed) and running back into the closet whenever I look directly at her.

It's taken her less than a week to go from paralyzed doorstop, through totally lame attempts at hiding that would make an ostrich wince, all the way up to to quite effective hiding coupled with actual running away, as in rapid response to any stimulus with disproportional amounts of terrified movement.

This is progress. Plus she's eating, drinking, and using the cat box.

Give her another week and she might work her way up to sniffing us while we're asleep. (Which I should be right now, it's 3 am, but I'm relaxing enough to start to shift to my normal night schedule again, dragging Ye Olde Laptop to Metro. On the bright side, I'm getting my Firmware Linux project unblocked and hopefully ready for a release in a week or so....

Oh, and it turns out Dell does have more people than just Matt Domsch who know their way around Linux. I was in a meeting today where other members of Matt Domsch's team were there, talking about Linux quite intelligently and fully grasping the issues at hand. We apparently just don't get to see them very often, since they're over off of Parmer, while most of Dell's employees are in Round Rock. (I've been in Round Rock building #5 all this time, which is a big Y-shaped three story thing full of people who don't really know that much about Linux, and largely treat it as a neusance.) Unfortunately, Matt's team definitely isn't growing, since my friend Kandy applied for a transfer there, and was told that their Linux testing has moved to India. (Me, I never looked into it. I don't want to work for Dell anymore, period.)

My friend Ozzie got back in touch with me via email a few weeks ago: I knew him back when I worked for IBM in Florida. When IBM moved out, he stayed and started his own company. A couple days ago, he floated the idea of me doing telecommuting work for his company, migrating a customer off of an ASP based website to a complete rewrite done on IBM websphere. (Linux+Apache, possibly Java or possibly something else. Last time I did an E-commerce site I did it in Python. Worked pretty well, but it depends on what the customer wants. I'm not a fan of Java anymore, but I know it pretty well and I've been meaning to look into Eclipse anyway...)

So that's two "cold call" job leads (not offers yet, just leads, but hey) from people who didn't know I was looking at the time, plus two other recruiters who have asked for an up to date copy of my resume (both of which I believe have now gotten them). And I haven't even started looking for a new job yet. At this point, I may not have to, which suits me fine. (It's never fun.)

So at this point, I'm hoping to get Firmware Linux released (and a mailing list set up for it), and Linucon 2 launched before my time gets eaten up again. Oh, and migrating my website to the server in my closet, actually using my cable modem's static IP for something other than bandwidth to hook the wireless linksys access point to. (I.E. installing Firmware Linux on it, and doing the whole eat your own dogfood thing.)

UML continues to be fun. I've got a patch to resolve the permissions problems with hostfs now, meaning you can now run UML ala:

./linux rootfstype=hostfs rw init=/bin/sh

And it just works. (Fun extra arguments are "quiet", "mem=128M" (defaults to "mem=32M"), and "rootflags=/path/to/chroot/dir" (defaults to "rootflags=/"). I'm told the patch should make it into 2.6.12, at which point testing out UML with hostfs becomes really easy.

I should write up a UML quickstart howto. Specifically, the easy way to build and run it your first time, using the stock kernel.org linux sources. I wrote down the basic instructions here:

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=11196617

In terms of webcomics, I've now made it through the archives of "order of the stick", and am working my way through "the devil's panties". I was catching up on Scary-Go-Round (after a year or so away: I used to follow Bobbins), but around January of this year it went into a long pointless tangent about green goblin-things that doesn't have any of the regular characters in it, and after about a month worth of extremely boring comics I just stopped trying...

I now have more webcomics I follow than I can easily keep track of: sluggy freelance, herdthinners, dilbert, gpf-comics, ozyandmillie, pibgorn, mindmistress, nukees, wapsi square, megatokyo, el goonish shive, something positive, schlock mercenary, casey and andy, melonpool, reallifecomics, poisoned minds, pvponline, striptease, and probably some others I've forgotten. And now two more...

Konqueror doesn't have an "open this set of bookmarks in background pages all at once". That would be cool. Fade uses a browser called "Avant" that does. Possibly Firefox or something has it too. I should upgrade to the new konqueror and see what's changed...

I should also get some sleep. Two more days at Dell. I have to be at work in five hours...

Also, in my sleep deprived state of the past few days (night owling while still doing the day job thing), I seem to have totally lost the ability to construct coherent sentences. Just saying...

Rob
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