Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Time for a game of Good Idea, Bad Idea

Good Idea:
Finding some code that depends on a specific type of machine and rewriting it to work on any type of machine.

Bad Idea:
Changing code that works on any machine so that it works only on one kind of machine.

Very Bad Idea:
And that kind of machine is one that we don't ship software on.

Extremely Bad Idea:
Doing this to Dave's code.

Yep... someone did this to my code over the past week and checked those changes back into the main tree everyone uses. Now, instead of doing useful work, I'm stuck trying to clean up their mess.
My LiveJournal Trick-or-Treat Haul
dacut goes trick-or-treating, dressed up as a rodent of unusual size.
aki gives you 13 yellow lemon-flavoured gummy bats.
cappadocius gives you 10 yellow orange-flavoured gumdrops.
carn_carby gives you 5 light orange spearmint-flavoured miniature candy bars.
chanilye gives you 7 mauve cherry-flavoured pieces of bubblegum.
hokie gives you 12 dark blue grape-flavoured wafers.
jennay138 tricks you! You get a block of wood.
jessi16 gives you 5 light orange peach-flavoured gummy bats.
kalamar gives you 8 blue chocolate-flavoured gummy bats.
particleman gives you 18 mauve strawberry-flavoured pieces of chewing gum.
polarbee tricks you! You lose 33 pieces of candy!
dacut ends up with 45 pieces of candy, and a block of wood.
Go trick-or-treating! Username:
Another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern.

Saw Blue Man Group's concert tour last night with Tam (it was our anniversary-ish date). Was quite excellent and different from the show in Boston. I would, however, like to kill the people around us for talking (loudly and obnoxiously) through both opening groups (Tracy Bonham and Venus Hum, who were also in the BMG show itself).

My family is being threatened by the fires in San Diego and has told to stand by to evacuate, but the order hasn't come yet. They're already hosting one friend who had to evacuate. From what I can tell, the entire county is on fire. You know things are bad when most of the weather forecasts state "smoke." My mom got excited on Sunday when she heard rain falling on the roof; when she went outside, it turned out to be raining embers, and she was far less excited about that.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

This is a portable post

I'm starting to get very pissed off by the number of "build systems to end all build systems" that exist.

My latest beef is with Jam. "jam" makes "make" look pretty.

Make isn't very portable, but at least it comes with every system. And you can install GNU's make tool, which a lot of tools seem to have converged upon.

Jam is supposed to be a portable replacement for make. If it's so damn portable, why do (at least) three different, incompatible versions exist? There's Perforce Jam, from which everything else is derived. But to build FreeType, I need FTJam. Today, I needed to build Boost, which wanted its own version, BJam.

Ok, ok, well, if it can detect my platform's oddities, I can live with that. Oops. It can't.

Nevermind that I have Python in my path. bjam insists on looking for it in /usr/local, unless I set an environment variable documented in some back alley of the Boost manual.

Ok, set PYTHON_ROOT and PYTHON_VERSION. Run bjam again. Hmm... ok, it's going... oops. Those look like errors, and bjam isn't bothering to stop. Nope, just going ahead, scrolling the errors away so I can't see what the problem is.

Dig though manual. Oh, gee, despite all this configuration hoopla, it doesn't support Python 2.3. Ok, find older python... reset PYTHON_ROOT and PYTHON_VERSION... rerun bjam... wait... halt... reset variable... rerun...

Friday, October 17, 2003

I hit a bunch of people with a truck during lunch.

And I got prizes.


Thursday, October 16, 2003

I was told today by Glen (engineering director) that Jim (our HR/CFO/IT manager) had denied my timecard from last month when I took two days off for my uncle's funeral. I had marked those days as "absent" rather than "vacation," but apparently Jim has decided that the death of an uncle is not significant enough to warrant paid-time-off.

Instead, he is going to deduct two vacation days (I have a negative balance at this point). Glen, however, told me to take two random days off and mark them as here. Uh, ok, sure...

I'm sure there's a moral to this story. Maybe it's, "Stay in school, kids, because working for The Man is not fun."

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Many of you have heard about the "Damn Fan" incident at Wrigley Field last night (for those who didn't: a fan nabbed a foul ball before Alou could catch it, possibly robbing the Cubs of an out; the rest of the inning went down hill from there, with the Marlins scoring eight runs).

A few AP and Knight Ridder articles (e.g., this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article) quote some rabid fan named Jim Cuthbert, of Lombard, Ill., who was "escorted shouting from the area" and ejected from the stadium.

Nope. No coincidence. That's my uncle.

Apparently, he's going to be on Inside Edition tonight. Fox Sports is sending a limo over to take him and my aunt Judi to the game tonight.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time he's been involved in an incident of this type to be televised. He was also ejected from a Hawks game and was shown on local Chicago news being escorted away by Chicago police.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Sittin' on a street corner, waiting for my compiles to finish, discovering the odd stuff you can buy through CafePress...


Friday, October 3, 2003

How can you bring your company's main Solaris server in 60 seconds or less?

Two words: ioctl SIOCGIFARP

Uh, yeah. So I managed to bring what little productivity we have here to a complete halt from noon until 3:30 today. That's only 150 man-hours lost. And, yeah, 3.5 hours is how long it takes for that machine to boot up. (Actually, we were surprised it came back that quickly...)

Of course, it's Sun's fault for having a bug like that allow any given user to take down an entire machine. But it's not like they're going to fix it or anything...

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Every so often, I go and see what bugs our customers are filing. This reminds me why I actively hate our customers, and why a good chunk of them should be taken out to pasture and shot.

My loathing of our field applications engineers runs a close second.

It disappoints me that companies run by people like this manage to stay in business.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Back from vacation. Well, in body at least. Mind to arrive by parcel post in a few weeks. Maybe.