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Saturday, 14 February 2004
times a-changin'
home sweet linux

i've finally nuked my freebsd partition and replaced it with fedora core 1! yessireebob, its back to linux for me!

i'm currently running up2date even as i post this. the updates will probably take a while, several hours maybe, since this is a fresh install.

goodbye tripod, hello livejournal

i'm also shifting blogs to livejournal. no more annoying popups, no more posting via the web, no more sloooowwww site!


i've also created a kuro5hin account. haven't posted there though, but i think i'll put my tech tutorials there, probably starting with gSOAP. but then again again, I'll Write It When I Write It (tm).


Posted by lone_geek at 12:35 AM WST
Wednesday, 11 February 2004
decisions, decisions, decisions....
now that my softswitch is done for now, i'm free to think other things through...

back to the linux?

i'm still mulling over whether to go back to linux or not. running tomcat on freebsd isn't as straightforward as on linux. you have to have apache, plus a connector, and then tomcat... and i havent got the time to muck around in non-programming tasks! being a master of server configuration is fine and all, but, pardon my french, system administration is NOT programming!

of course, there's also that newbie-factor... everything is so... so new! i always get sidetracked as i start discovering all the bells and whistles that freebsd has to offer! but then again, sysad != programmer && power_user != programmer!

come saturday i just might revert back to linux at home. i'll probably stay on linux until june at least... after my thesis is done, THEN i can waste entire weekends mucking around freebsd!

to livejournal or not to livejournal?

i'm also seriously thinking of moving to livejournal. but not because of that kuro5hin article mr. andico posted to plug! the HELL if i care what he or anybody else thinks! (actually i mostly agree with the article, it just DOESNT have anything to do with me going to livejournal) its just: 1) tripod has annoying popups, 2) tripod is soooo slow sometimes, and 3) you have to open a browser to post to tripod, whereas with livejournal, you only need logjam.

i'm going to miss this blog's clean design though... i'd be hard pressed to customize livejournal so that it looks as clean as this one...

at any rate i've already leeched (w/ wget) all my old blogs so i guess i'm ready to change blogs anytime now...

Posted by lone_geek at 7:00 PM WST
Updated: Wednesday, 11 February 2004 7:01 PM WST
Wednesday, 4 February 2004
gSOAP lives!
alrighty then! i got gSOAP to work on FreeBSD! in the Makefile under gsoap-2.5/soapcpp2/wsdl i found the
($SOAP_CPP_SRC) target only looked like this:


and i just substituted '$(SOAPHEADER)' in place of the '$<' and the compile went on successfully.

i wonder if i could make Apache Axis work too? i could probably do my thesis as an all-C++ thing, but it WOULD be neat to see if i can write my services in C++ and do some clients in Java/Axis, to see just how well SOAP as a protocol delivers on its promise of interoperability. not to mention i can add an additional linux box into the mix and try different combos of platform/OS+programming language and see how interoperable they all are.

i wonder if anybody would be interested if i wrote an article on gSOAP? i mean, all the hype is on Java web services these days, nobody seems to think that maybe if you needed your program to access a platform-dependent resource -- whatever THAT might be, could be legacy native code, could be hardware-specific info, could be your home electrical system, or your proverbial "neighborhood nuclear reactor" -- you would need go closer to the machine than Java can let you, and go down to a lower level language like C or C++. anyway, if i'm ever going to write a true-blue tech article about it, I'll Write It When I Write It (tm) ;-)

Posted by lone_geek at 9:35 PM WST
Updated: Thursday, 5 February 2004 5:26 AM WST
FEEL THE PRESSURE (sung to the tune of Prodigy)
softswitch development is in full swing! i'm going along at a pretty good clip now. man, hedwig's SIP abstraction is really good! it isn't as hard to use as the H323 stuff i deal with in our old softswitch. i estimate i should be finished with the basic functionality by... tomorrow? no, not likely. probably middle of next week. and besides, michael asked to have our testing tomorrow at 7:30am!


geez, what am i gonna do, sleep here overnight? maybe if i had hedwig's salary i could just get a condo unit in this building, so all i would need to do is get up from bed, hop an elevator, and walk to the office. *sigh*...

linux-bsd conundrum

ok, maybe i've watched one episode too many of Seven Days...

anyway, i ran into a snag with compiling gSOAP on freeBSD this morning. w/c means, if i don't figure it out soon (i.e., over the weekend), i'll have to switch back to linux so i can move on with my thesis. of course i could just do the triple-boot thing, just like richard did with his office pc, but chances are i'll just keep one and only one UNIX-like OS to dual-boot w/ windows. its not really a matter of disk space, but practicality only.

and now...
... back to your regularly scheduled office work...

Posted by lone_geek at 4:27 PM WST
Tuesday, 3 February 2004
caffeine deficiency syndrome = random rants
i only have 5 hrs or less worth of sleep behind me, so forgive me if i start spouting gibberish... or at least start spouting more than the usual gibberish!

the heisenberg uncertainty principle

let me start off with the heisenberg uncertainty principle. its a quantum physics thing. it basically states that "The more precisely the POSITION is determined, the less precisely the MOMENTUM is known." what this means is that, when you observe a subatomic particle such as an electron, for example, the very act of measuring that electron's position means that you've already changed its momentum, and therefore, you won't be able to know precisely the value of its momentum at that precise moment. conversely, if you are able to measure the electron's momentum, necessarily, you've already changed the electron's position and you won't be able to know its position at that precise moment. follow me so far? so what is this all about you ask? its this: THE HEISENBERG UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE ALSO HOLDS TRUE FOR BLOGS!

couple days ago, there was this discussion in PLUG about putting up a blog aggregator on their site. they started asking for people's blogs that they can aggregate, and i (somewhat excitedly) posted this url to the list. this had an unforeseen effect -- now that this blog has a very real possiblity of actually having an audience, my subsequent posts here have been somewhat self-conscious. i mean, when i post i can't help but be keenly aware that other people might be reading this. this fact has undoubtedly crept into my mind and onto my posts. what i'm saying is, i might be posting stuff that i normally wouldnt be doing had i been blissfully ignorant of any potential readers to my blog.

freebsd at home update

well my home beastie is still humming along nicely. i just discovered that it can poweroff from the PC power button. cool, eh? i know linux can probably do this too, but fedora doesn't do it out of the box, and i really havent had the time or desire to figure it out.

i'm still adjusting to the cli though. its very similar to linux, certainly, but there are subtle differences. not really a problem though; i'm sure i'll get used to it as i go along.

then there's also the matter of my shared FAT32 partition... since i wasn't sure how things would work out, when i installed freebsd, i nuked my shared partition to simplify things. now that i have it up and running, i'm more confident that i can set up a shared FAT32 partition. the thing is, i'll definitely have to reinstall freeBSD to do it.

red bull immunity

i think i'm beginning to develop an immunity to red bull. it doesn't give that much of a kick anymore and right now i only felt a mild perk-up this morning. ANIMAX + FREEBSD = INSOMNIA!

livejournal option

i'm also looking at the possiblity of starting a blog at livejournal instead... i like using the logjam client so i don't need to browse to a website to post. plus when i use logjam it only looks like i'm writing email; its more inconspicuous.

NOW michael emails me

wouldn't you know it, just when i'm about to start on my new softswitch, michael finally emails me and says that their radius server is ready for our tests! talk about 100% programmer CPU utilization! when it rains it pours...

Posted by lone_geek at 10:39 AM WST
Updated: Tuesday, 3 February 2004 11:03 AM WST
Monday, 2 February 2004
false alarm, no pressure -- yet
well actually that's not entirely true... i may not feel much pressure now, but the feeling of IMPENDING DOOM is there... uh, ok so its not *really* impending doom... hedwig's still working out some kinks with his framework, so i still can't start work on the softswitch. but once he's done, the ball will be in my court and THEN the pressure will be on! i spent the better part of the day going over his new-as-of-last-friday code, however, and i now have a pretty good idea what to do once he's finished.

Posted by lone_geek at 7:00 PM WST
Feel the Pressure!
just got back from our weekly meeting. it seems that that Russian Guy has been setting us -- our company -- up to take the blame for whatever delays our project with him have been having. man, hedwig is sure pissed! i would be too, considering the Russian still hasn't given us the complete picture of the system we're supposed to be doing for him, and its already two years -- TWO EFFIN' YEARS! -- into the project! sheesh!

anyway, hedwig's just about set to lay the softswitch specs on me today, together with his bucket framework. i'll still proceed as usual, as per his instructions, and just be ready for fallout from the Russian Guy's save-my-ass schemes. Da Big Bossman and hedwig are going to straighten out things with the Russian Guy's american boss in the meantime.

at least our *other* customer, the one i'm supposed to be testing our SS against their radius server with, still hasn't replied, giving me a chance to put all my time on the Russian Guy's project.

what is it with short, bearded Russians anyway?

Posted by lone_geek at 3:05 PM WST
Sunday, 1 February 2004
FreeBSD migration
alright, i couldn't help it any longer -- my curiosity got the better of me -- i installed FreeBSD on my PC! ok so richard did it first on his PC at the office, alright, maybe that had something to do with it. but its just that i helped him find useful articles on FreeBSD and besides helping him out, i kind of found myself liking the design philosophy of FreeBSD myself!

i'm not going to go into all the gory details of my installation. suffice to say i have it running at home, and i'm getting the hang of this "ports" thing. i've managed to get gnome up and running, i've got mozilla, i've got xmms, i've even got the java JDK compiling right now! naturally this thing already has gcc in it, so i've practically got everything i need in a workstation! and once the jdk's compiled, i'll be able to install OpenOffice as well! sweet!

impressions thus far: GNOME runs so much better than it does on linux, for one! its so... so... crisp! and snappy! faster and a lot more responsive than in my previous fedora installation! i guess this might be due to the fact that everything's compiled from source and so the executable binary is tailor-made for my specific system...

i also don't get that much of a performance hit when i'm compiling really large sources. when i compile a fairly large project, like our softswitch, the act of compiling takes so much resources that everything very visibly slows down. if you need to do any actual work that requires tapping on your keyboard, then you're basically screwed; about the only thing you can do is point and click and wait patiently for the web page to be displayed. on FreeBSD though, while compiling i'm also posting to this blog, and i'm also listening to MP3s! and nothing's choppy!

so, then... i'm very happy with my new Beastie-infested PC! does this mean i'm letting go of Linux? its too early to tell. i'll probably post about it all as i go along....

Posted by lone_geek at 5:25 PM WST
Updated: Monday, 2 February 2004 12:20 PM WST
Friday, 30 January 2004
idle time, kdevelop, and richard's schizo triple-boot pc
Still no word from our customer. which basically means i've been idle the whole week! hedwig already gave me CVS access to his new openh323, SIP user agent, and toolkit stuff, but i still have yet to get that bucket thing we're all supposed to use. i also have yet to get any softswitch specs!

five days of idle browsing, chatting, and occasional book reading... at least its given me time to do version 2 of my handy-dandy [booming echo voice] TIMECARD COMPUTING UTILITY![/booming echo voice] my first version of the utility was a purely quick C hack, which i wrote a week or two ago. this new one i wrote yesterday, as an exercise to familiarize myself with KDevelop. this time i made it OO and i used C++ to do it (as opposed to just C). ok so it sounds kinda lame, but at least it was better than doing a 'hello world' thing just to orient myself with KDevelop!

Turns out, KDevelop is pretty cool. i tried it some years back but back then i got turned off by the way it kind of forces you to think in terms of KDE -- at least thats how i remember it! newbie as i was, i could have been wrong! anyway, now KDevelop lets you write programs from scratch and doesn't obligate you to use QT/KDE libraries. so, just to get acquainted, i rewrote my timecard utility into object-oriented C++ -- and what can i say? KDevelop rocks! it doesnt get in your way! of course it still obligates you to create a 'kde project' but beyond that, whatever kind of program you want to do, it wont get in the way.

the reason i'm familiarizing myself with KDevelop is, my boss hedwig is using it and he recommends i use it too. we need to 'standardize' on our IDEs because, sometimes when he needs to point out something, and it turns out i'm using Anjuta at the time, he gets lost and has a hard time guiding me through his code and we wind up going to his desk instead.

meanwhile, after failing miserably since yesterday up to the afteroon today, richard finally was able to make FreeBSD work in a triple-boot orgy with RH9 and Win2K on his PC. no easy task, of course, but if i were him, i'd stick to just one of the two -- either linux or freebsd -- i can't quite see the advantage of having the two side-by-side. now windows i understand -- even a pro-linux zealot needs to frag ppl in counterstrike once in a while. but if you can do the same stuff -- browse, chat, use openoffice, program (especially in java) -- on either of them, i don't see why you'd need both a linux partition and a freebsd partition. ah well, to each his own i guess...

Posted by lone_geek at 6:50 PM WST
Updated: Friday, 30 January 2004 11:46 PM WST
Wednesday, 28 January 2004
yatu: Yet Another Thesis Update
i met with ma'm mida, my IS2 prof, yesterday evening.turns out we were supposed to have our proposal defense! which i wasn't prepared to do! i was under the impression that i was supposed to make an appointment with sir mimick only for consultation at a later date... good thing sir mimick called in sick and i only had a chat with ma'm mida!

anyway, my proposal was, in ma'm mida's own words after she had gone over it, "perfect". so, in the end, i'm in with the first batch to defend next week! w/c means i won't miss enrollment next term afterall! W00T!

i also ran into an old classmate, paul, who is only now submitting his proposal just like me. he works in globe, so we work at the same place -- he at the company globe, i at a tennant of globe. cool, eh? he's still in touch with our other classmate, wealthie, it seems.ack wealthie! the uber rich chinese guy who doesnt really need to work but works anyway! although he's a microsoft guy, he knows networks, and at some technical level we get along well enough.

oh, and i learned that there are only 3 people whose independent studies have to do with web services -- myself, my old classmate dawn, and another classmate cristina, that database/SQL wiz. although, as far as i can tell, i'm the only one mucking around in C++; the others all just use java. yessireebob, i'm the more geekier of the lot!

as you might surmise from the length of my post this morning, i still have nothing to do at the moment. that's because that guy michael, our customer, still hasn't responded to my emails. *sigh*

i wonder when hedwig will finish his new softswitch framework? i'm itchin' to have a go at it already!

Posted by lone_geek at 10:56 AM WST
Updated: Friday, 30 January 2004 5:45 PM WST

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