I love the fish://

Been playing with the K Desktop Environment version 3.1 for the last couple of days, and have to say I’m quite impressed. Once I figured out how to change some of the silly shortcuts (ie: non-ctrl+r for reloading a webpage) and got some other stuff going, I’m pretty impressed. I’m still a terminal guy though. When it came time to get work done I ended up exactly as I normally do, with a cat lying across my shoulders, and a bunch of terminal windows (also known as dos windows, or “those little black box windows”) open with my favorite editor, a log window, and a couple of others.

One of the things that has been integrated into KDE 3.1 is kio_fish. This allows you to:

…lets you view and manipulate your remote files using just a simple shell account and some standard unix commands on the remote machine. You get full filesystem access without setting up a server – no NFS, Samba, … needed.

This means that I open up my file browser, and in the location bar type “fish://user@someremotehost.com” and get something like this. Pretty funky huh? All operations that you can do are done on the remote files, image/file previews work, copy/paste, everything. I was editing several files in the Kate editor, one on my local machine, one at a fish:// location in Vancouver, and one at a fish:// location in California, all transparently. Nautilus (the GNOME file manager) is getting there with things like this, but it’s just not there yet it seems, or at least it doesn’t “feel” as slick.

The next few days are going to be busy, even though it’s the weekend. Friday there is a meeting regarding the ASP project, which will involve a bunch of work to fix up all the niggly bits over the weekend. Add onto that that I haven’t been able to work for the web designers new stuff, as old stuff has had to have been fixed up (ie: stuff that I thought was working but apparently wasn’t). I’ve got that all done, so now it’s just one or two more chunks of functionality (the big stuff of course) and that’ll be done. Take into account that I’m almost a month into the gig at Chilliwack, which means that on monday I start coming in 5 days a week instead of the three. This correspondes nicely (for varying definitions of “nicely”) with the start of a push to get stuff done to keep on track for deadlines.

As several have pointed out, I shouldn’t bitch (I’m not, I’m “mentioning in a whiny way”) as these things are famine and flood, I went for almost a year with no work or sketchy work, now I’m flooded. In another 6 months it could be back to no work, so I’m not going to say no to anything right now. It’s been a while since I’ve been really pushed and stretched, and aside from the missed sleep and living like a hermit, I’m looking forward to it (kinda :)

With lots of work comes lots of money, and I can have a setup like this!

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Der Flood

I’m not sure what it is about karma coming back to bite or kiss you in the posterior area, but it seems to be flooding back my way nicely. Not only do I have 3 days a week work, plus two other projects on the side, but today I got a call from one of the people that I called for my initial market research for the Self Employement Program. She said that she had forgotten why she kept my phone number, but there must have been a good reason. Long story short, the possibility of a big contract to do a site, perl and databases, my favorite. I’ll know more about it on Friday. There will be of course a lot of checking into the exact specs that the client wants, as not to get my butt in a sling with “but I wanted you to do this….” type situations. Course, the big danger here is that over-work will kill me, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. This will also mark the first job that I’ve gotten “cold” so to speak, without influence or help from friends or ex-workmates. Very cool.

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Lets Go Bowling Results

Well, bowling was a great time. We grabbed our shoes, and grabbed our balls, and went on down to the bowling lane. Lets just say that geeks really shouldn’t dance or bowl :) It was great fun though, I broke 200 on the last game, but I’m pretty sure no one there broke any records. We did come to the conclusion that bowling is even less of a sport than golf, if only that you don’t have any chance of getting wet (but you don’t get to drive little carts).

Shaggy and Spenz (with artistic help) provided shirts for the IT team, named “Geeks and Freaks”, and gave me the name of “Da-Coder”. Very cool shirt. Pizza and pop was there in force. We had three bowls (innings? periods?) and then retired downstairs for a beer and to watch the Vancouver Canucks tie it two all with Minnesota.

In honor of this, I submit to you this MP3 by the Arrogant Worms, entitled Lets go Bowling.

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Lets go Bowling

In a couple of hours I am going to be participating in a “Bowl for Kids” with the IT team from my Chilliwack contract work. This is very similar to the big brothers and sisters bowl that we did at Merilus for a couple of years. Basically a bunch of folks go and have fun bowling, and raise/write a check for $30 a person for the kids. Very good cause.

In celebration I have donned my Team Canada hockey jersey, purchased after we crushed the states in the Winter Olympics last year. As long as the extra long sleeves don’t get in the way of my 31337 b0wlin’ skillz, I’ll be fine.

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Weekend Wrap Up

Just in the middle of some mod_perl programming for my design contacts. One of the contracts I did work for them a while back has come back with some changes and enhancements, so I am doing that for them, of course :) It’s nice to be back to this project, my code is mostly readable, and easy to get back into. There are some design changes I’d like to make, but until I have a bit of a lull, and the pure love of mankind to do it all for free, when there is other billable work waiting in the wings, it’ll have to wait.

This weekend was not too bad. Went to a LAN party at Feyd’s place with Cat5, Derf, and a bunch of other folks I didn’t know. Kicked ass I have to say, I am glad I haven’t lost the twitch game touch. A day of pop, chips, pizza, movies, and tons of Quake3 action can’t be beat. I’ll be having one of those at my place soon, say, mid-feb?

With the help of Wim‘s PostgreSQL notes, the discovery that techdocs.postgresql.org has the complete text of Practical PostgreSQL online, and a bit of experimentation I finally got the security of PostgreSQL on ufies properly done, or at least, done so that everything works and I don’t annoying emails every day with “error: no password given” messages.

My computer, now tested in the realm of doing actual work, is performing nicely. There are only a couple of strange things wrong with it.

  • Shutting down normally doesn’t mark the superblock on the raid5 array clean, so when I boot up I get to sit for an hour and a half while 160G of raid5 parity is rebuilt. Shutting down the array with raidstop /dev/md1 works properly though.
  • For some reason galeon won’t let me backspace in text area fields. I’m writing this now in opera because it’s a real pain in the ass to use the arrow keys or ^b,^f,^k etc to edit typos.
  • I can’t for the life of me figure out what app acme controls for the next/prev/play/stop buttons on my keyboard. Not xmms or rhythmbox that’s for sure.

While I have been evangelizing DBIx::Recordset lately, and using it, I have elected not to use it on my current project. Since all the pages are drawn dynamically, I can’t afford the cost of speed. However, in the future (note above about love of mankind) I will probably convert the utility functions, admin pages, etc, to use it, instead of having to rewrite the number of “?”‘s in my SQL.

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They Have an “Image” to Uphold

“When moronic lame stupid TV shows attack” would have been just as good a name for Fox’s new series “Man Vs Beast”. I caught about 5 minutes in total, in which I watched a tiny little japanese guy (granted, the world eating champion) square off against a bear to see who can eat 50 6″ hotdogs first. This spectacle was complete with judges and commentary guys, and was introduced by a guy in a tux who looked like he was probably a has-been or minor (and I do mean minor) celebrity or sports guy.

When they brought out a chimp to have a tug or war with a sumo wrestler I went back to the far more rewarding activity of bashing my head against the wall.

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Database Dreams

Not sure if I wrote it down, but after the FVLUG meeting a couple of weeks back I was so entranced by the PostgreSQL database that I had dreams about it, or at least kept on waking up saying to myself “so that’s how I solve my strange authentication problem!”

We are using PostgreSQL here at work and I discoverd that the entire text of “Practical PostgreSQL” is available online. Very nifty, I’m very happy when companies do things like that.

Leftovers for lunch, but it was “The Sauce” so it was awsome, even reheated.

Oh well, back to trying to figure out how to dynamically add rows to a table with Javascript and DOM.

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The Drunken Sailor

I think I have finally made a breakthrough tonight! Not cured, but possibly “better”. Normally when I get an email that I want to respond to right away, and that needs attention and deep though (but non work stuff) I tend to do the knee-jerk of sending a reply right away, usually prefixed with something like “just a quick note” or “I probably should think this over more but..”. I would then blather on, saying things that shouldn’t be said more often than not, and regret it as soon as I hit “send”. Then I’d follow up with more emails because I had to re-state, or re-write, or tell them to ignore what I said in my first mail.

No More!

I have killed off this curse and tonight did not reply to an email that I wanted to (well, aside from writing here of course), but instead will wait until it’s not 1am and I am more concious to reply “properly”. The email that I got had the note that it was in fact just a quick one and a more detailed one would be following. Heck, I may even not reply at all, and wait for the promised more detailed email.

But I digress :)

In case you folks don’t read ufies (still up!) Shawn from UCFV sent me this very funny text entitled “Back in my day”.

Had a busy day today, after work headed out and did some work for Cat5 on samba, the Linux SMB (windows sharing) protocol server. Simple stuff, add a user, remove a user, etc. Also tried to get an APC USB UPS to go, but no luck. I tried to load the USB subsystem module and I got “failed to load” errors. The motherboard isn’t that old, and the USB system on it should be supported, but it’s almost like it’s not there at all. I should have thought to get a USB mouse or something to make sure that the plugin was actually active (ie: you could see the lights go on the keyboard or mouse indicating that power was running through it).

I managed to bring the UPS back here and will take some time to get it going and figure out what is wrong on my system, which I can easily take apart or reboot without worrying about users. It’s also a controlled system, I know what is on it, have the manuals, and so on.

After that it was shopping for the first time in a month. Even had a reasonable bill at the end of it all, for the amount we got. Then home, tea for A, a beer for me (found some that had been left in the fridge by various people, and who can say no to a tall can of Kokanee (33% more!)?

Around the time that I was finishing that all up the manager of the ASP project came online after being hit with the norwalk virus, so we got to catch up and figure out what is happening next with the project.

Oh, and the design company I work with had a deal go through so my evenings are going to be more busy creating some stuff for them.

Hmm… after 1am, and a 7am alarm clock.

Can’t forget to wish the best of luck to my friend Tig in his current jobless-for-no-reason situation.

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Things Done During the Day

Things I accomplished today:

  • Cleaned my desk off of cat hair, papers, gunk and grime
  • Ditto for my shelf
  • Cleaned out my wallet of old receipts, using space cleared by above cleaning
  • Got my business accounting up to date, with the appropriate forms printed out for my meeting with the SEP accounting mentor tomorrow
  • Got work done on the ASP site
  • Watched KDE 3.1rc6 compile (been doing so since about 11pm last night)
  • Started re-acquiring my music collection
  • Started organizing said collection on my massive drive
  • Cleaned the litter box out, discovering that sometimes cats say “thankyou” by taking a big smelly dump in the newly cleaned box, and then kicking litter all over the newly swept floor
  • Finished off leftovers for lunch
  • Worked on getting rid of the chocolate from Christmas (it’s a hard job but someone has to do it)
  • Answered a phone survey for some random church, theorized that bad press might be a reason for people not to go to church
  • Clipped fingernails
  • Moved my meeting with work around as to let me stay here and get the above done

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