Theo Verelst Diary Page

Wed Feb 20 2001, 2:02 AM

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes family, christianity, and other cheats. The simple reason is that it may well be that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of my materials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as many references to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changing a iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called upon us to respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.

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Wed Feb 20 2001, 2:03 AM

Computerstuff today, which I should probably include in my CV, to hippify in the modern time, though in fact some things I did today, better put yesterday, are more in the retro idea, but fun, and at least somewhat fundamental.

I read some early diary pages, I'll see if I can fix the listing page, which brings to mind important issues.

Maybe some on last page subjects, there are more relevant magazines, and I'm considering doing a little more story making, it's weighed against a more commercially driven wish to write some proxy server prototype for general use, I did one years ago for greek lexicon entries, I'm getting into the http 1.0 (probably not 1.1 at the time) and the need for cookie support, primarily, and see if socks is needed or desirable. Primarily, I want pages from most sites to be proxied decently, such as yahoo, and preferably pages with shockwave components, too. I know java applets can use sockets, though by default securicy policy limited to the website of their containing page, which would require more than the http proxying, in principle. I got the whole range of java compiler and examples up to 1.3 up and running on a 2000 server, including examples and swing, maybe I'll take some of the time I have to go over some of the networking examples. J2ee mainly is server side stuff, though that, too, may contain client side java, which could be checked for the same reason, for which I could use the hp distribution I've got running at least.

Staroffice, starbase, 1e-6 soft office, are you experienced ?

The oldest of the three is starbase, I remember that from HP graphics mini computers and workstations from at least 15 years ago. Little before that, I had looked into basic screen handling and drawing routines on the newly available domain/appolo/dns or whatever they were exactly refered to workstations with 19' black and white monitor with for that time incredible resolution, now standard at pc's, and from their graphics libraries got my share of curved surface (nurb/spline) drawing fun, which gave me more than enough knowledge about graphics basics in practice. And mind you, I knew hermitean, tension diminishing and tensor based surfaces and their math, and was drawing real life object approximations in interaction time on those machines, with no more than some articles with the theory, C and compiler and unix knowledge, and the graphics system manuals.

And then some later starbase came in, on a special purpose graphics mini, with a probably quite up to standard advanced for the time 3d graphics rendering pipeline, mainly polygon rendering, and a C library with lots of stuff form rendering color pixels up to viewing 3d polygonal scenes with colour and lighting effects. Fun, extensive, quite complicated unless you're quite aware of 3d graphics and lets say X or core unix programming habits.

millimilli weak office we all know of, isn't it. Its expensive! Seriously, unless you're student, I hear the package would in legel channels cost about 700 dollars, which is quite more than one wants for home use. And with XP open to all kinds of big bill checking once it is on the web, and especially when sending error reports or generally entwined with msm or so, one may have to be carefull just copying freely. Even just word is pretty expensive. Say we want to spend a few tenners to be compatible, maybe $70 or so if it is any good, not a few hundred dollar equivalent.

So what can we do? The way out of here into free and lasting enough bliss at least can come from the university and business circle known sun microcomputing company, where the download section can rapidly enough lead you to their linux-famous 'star office' which contains a word processor, a spreadsheet and more, even, though I didn't try yet, a database, and a presentation tool.

So? Ha ! The wordprocessor reads and writes completely recent word files, as it seems does the spreadsheet. I could read some extensive and non-trivial enough examples without trouble, and few issues. It looks maybe better then the microsoft software, which I currently have handy, too, and works fine, for the time I've used it, and it is completely for free!

Its about 80 megabytes of download, so keep your modem greased, unless you can get a copy from someone, which is completely legal! And it runs on windows 95, windows 2000/NT, should on XP (didn't try), and in another download, the same package is available for running on linux, too, for which it is a powerfull office package. That, too, I tried myself (staroffice on, and it runs fine, and feels and looks more than decent.

Meanwhile, I've got mandrake linux running for some weeks, attached to two intranets, a small and a big, with two network cards active on a compaq 350 MHz deskpro machine. Samba and nfs are starting to get mastered enough, I've file shared pretty much everything to everywhere on windows 95, windows 2000, another (suse) linux machine, back and forth, which is fun enough, also over the network boundarie, that is accessing machines on the other of the two networks, which is getting to the point where things seem steerable enough.

So one may have the linux staroffice files stored on a windows 2000 server, shared to samba on the mandrake linux machine for direct running on an Xwindow, driven by a bash shell on linux, no problem. Alternatively, one may start Xopen86 on the 2000 server, adjust the DISPLAY environment variable (actually shell and environment variables are distinguished in the default bash shell, and mind you have to 'export' instead of 'set', and not 'printenv' put e.g. 'set | grep DISPLAY', whose playing with language here, hm?), and get staroffice running on linux visible on the 2000 server window, ready to go. Fun enough, and functional, at least the Xwindow thing runs reliable enough, and is well tested over the years, more than terminal servers are, and this is all for free, and completely adjustable.

Development on various platforms and machines

As I wrote before, I've for some years already used the cygwin/cygnus unix-like development environment, recently on 2000, which is quite extensive and good, and includes a library which allows unix-type programming of for instance file and network access on a windows machine.

That environment is big, it contains many unix tools and goodies, and of course I've added the X window support I mentioned, which is also pretty big, so I though it would be good to run the thing from a shared disc. Just like that, that won't work well, read practically not at all. I'd made it easier by having a 2000 disc share drive letter on the secondary machine which is the same as the partition letter on the lets say file server machine, and basically hoped my bash login scripts and everything would either not matter too much or be mostly the same. Not minding obvious hostname and environment variables depending on ip address or disc names and structures. That didn't realy work because in the end as it seems there are some variables to mind, and mainly, there is a registry entry which sets and as it seems overrides or is only source of the virtual root place of the cygnus bash shell into the cygwin file tree. Having fixed that by making a 2000 and 95 compatible registry update file with hand-edited equivalent of my registry search and edit work, and making an alternative cygwin bash startup dos shell script with not that many changes (not adding its own piff, who needs that), the not damn thing runs on the other 2000 machine just the same, with remote file access, which performs fine enough on my small enough 4 machine subnet. Sorry, its a what is it forrest or something, same non qdn but decent dnsdomainname root, with different first qualifier, which should be more or less recognized by the existing intranet's domain name servers and trust relations and certificates and such sort of bladibla (he doesn't realy understand, is it.. nah, its just not so lets say fundamentally founded as I'd like, and indeed, I'm not comfortable installing the thing in no time to all my likings, granted, though most stuf gets around or works fine).

In fact I even tried a windows 95 on the other net, and I forgot how I did that, but got it talking to the same disc machine of the other net, and that gave me the same bash shell on the 95 machine, file shared over the 2 nets, and working.

And you guessed it, I had to try the X thing, too, and in fact that was a bit harder than just bash alone, but that, too works fine enough in the end.

On thing, don't be so freaking optimistic to add internet sharing on a 2000 machine with Xfree running and a decent local ip address set up. The wonderfull new immedeately core dumps every little bash based process, including the X programs, looks real impressive all those register dumps, but your x session is completely lost. Allowable sensitivety, but annoying.

I've let the 2000 and even the 95 machines run X windows from the linux machines, both the recent mandrake (kernel version 2.4) and Suse, simply by xhost plussing and setting the DISPLAY variables to direct xterminal and application windows to a windows machine running Xfree. Fun enough, and developmentwise quite usefull and pleasant. And in fact having samba and nfs for linux share files from anywhere to anywhere, and using the same X version and even bash shell anywhere, a quite good distributed heterogeneous system results, which seems to work fine thus far, and takes up not that much resources, and zero money, except download time. Should fit on a CD easily enough, even in uncompress file tree form, minus the linux stuff.

I've made things even a bit more fun by letting the Xfree running on a 2000 machine lose its twm window manager, and let the visually pleasing Suse kdf windows manager remotely manage its windows, which funny enough can be done on the fly, just kill the twm or wm or whatever runs, and set up de kdm or so to run from a shell with the DISPLAY variable to the Xfree machine, of course possible from ssh on a cygnus bash shell on 2000, though the year or so old suse doesn't do ssh (yet). Result: the nice kde or otherwise managed window borders, desktop icons, and 4 screen task bar happily appears on the windows machine, without it being bothered with more than X serving, not windows management or windows or shells or applications. Running staroffice, or lets say 'gimp' the free, quite powerfull, photoshop like drawing and image processing package on the other linux machine, makes at least for an interesting screen: 2000 taskbar below, linux taskbar straight above it (assuming Xfree root window adjusted to screen size), and the even another slik and straight taskbar of staroffice. Ha. Who needs three taskbars? We need bigger screens!

Flipping between linux screens? Sub-second flipping time, no problem, with standard 10base-T etherhub.

More obligate stuff happened today, too, sort of like deciding again that 'automatic topping' of X windows isn't preferable, while focus switch by mouse movement is, and that that can not be adjusted per application, but only for the whole screen at the same time, unfortunately. A recent addition, though it may have been hidden in the ton of Xconfig parameter options earlier, seems to be the auto topping with holdoff time delay. Well well, installations can't be decently tuned without this stuff, isn't it?

By the way, Lotus notes can have its email headings changed by some menu on the right side, that sort of stuff. Who needs that? Kde or netscape mail or free and realy quite neat, look smoother than the lotus stuff, and I got the mail between the linuxes running fine enough it seems.

Routing and internet are not where I want then, maybe I'll just to piss everything indecent off make a bwise visual program covering some of the tp , ipmc and maybe even tcp connection basics, and see how far I get hand setting some linux routing, while keeping exact enough track of what I do. The auto installers don't seem to suit me, I would want to route for instance a port 80 stream from domain1.a.b.c to domain2.a.b.c with possibly ip translation or to start with just plain switch or even hub (layer 2 is it) like behaviour for limited address or port set for all I care, which thus far was too fuzzy both on 2000 server 'routing and remote access' and on the mandrake 2 network card (and waiting isdn card) machine, though that should be basic enough.

Let see we need IP and possible name advertisements, DNS lookup table, icmp traffic control parameters set decent enough, maybe some translation tables, timeout variables all depending a bit on the formal place in the routing/switching/hubbing/repeating hierarchy ballgame. Heh, I did my electrical engineering university courses without licking into circuits, I know my osi and other basic enough, when combined with decades of computer programming experience, mind you including very serious network stuff. The virtual connection-name-space idea I've programmed into a server and client library socket-stub years ago on profu unix machines was not child play and very reliable and dealt with some of the main issues in programs at the level of loaded X program based machines, which not so sorry to say is not so comparable with windows networking and programming. Realy. Check out your select calls and ask Microsoft for the process hierarchy and switching times and their file descriptor based responses. What, they don't give them, and won't let you recompile their sources, too? And they even ask money for their service packs? Oh no, they are for free...

Oh, did I mention, the WHOLE of staroffice is available in SOURCE form, gmpf, isn't that something?!! And for those not so fashionably informed (little behind the hand laughing) this top product is claimed to be compilable under the infamous windows primarily under the, you guessed it, cygnus compiler! Didn't try, if I continue to have my resources I might go ahead, though currently it isn't my main target, it seems to take a day or so for a complete compile/make...

Imagine that, its like having a product like word available in source form, not even under licencing!

Britney and the Godfather?

No since reading a little in the latest observer, probably that role is for her mother, but I was wondering what would happen if we bring her in the picture with al and the fonz, isn't it.

I'm not sure what will happen, and I didn't see her film, or in fact hear more than a few songs from her latest album, which quite frankly I probably don't weigh as the greatest amiss in my musical experience of the last time, I don't think she's irrelevant, but what her producers made her perform in does not I think measure up to very high musical standards, maybe that risky, but 20 millions Moysettes is a over average but very far from commodore top level actual band with good directions being given, and some little band feel, but britneys tracks in 20 million fold has to be about more than the music I've heard. 100 thousand, fine, but 20 million is like beatle stuff or so, and alison can try that sort of charisma, and I guess in certain ways britney could, too, but the former's music contains that a few times in music mastery form, clearly witheld often, while it to me doesn't sound like britneys talent in music sense is all to challenged. Ha. I've put someone down, now I can collect my points. Hello, me tax collector.

Years ago, I guess over a decade, in the time of leasure suit larry, you had a game in the just emerging PC world where one raced through a inhabited area, and could even collect bonus points by running down pedestrians. It came to mind playing 'midtown madness' which I happened to have access to on an apt and recent XP beast with the video card to prove it, which is major fun, I sometimes can almost feel the gears shift, and seriously, the audi TT I earned (mean, though I'd like a heavy 100 to try instead), or the ford mustang 4 liter or so doing 140 Mph through sanfran is major fun, except the game exchanges fair racing for point based skill judging which sucks bad. Sliding across a corner with handbrake aid is decent ralleying, but not with virtual tram tracks with a few timing bases options only. Cars aren't trams.

"Well, dad, I don't know, I just don't know, it all sort of happened naturally, you see. Hmm dad ?"

Dad was lets say a quarter tone lower, and more slowly pronounced, with clear d's in there. Like 'bud' by the little girl in the cosbey show, but not as exagerated, and more witheld effective. She was not yet pissed, but planning on going to be, surely.

She clearly was making him more inclined to listen to hear plea, logically not pushing, because we all know italians, temper gets them around, but badly used is not going to get what we want.

Slow fairly short of irritation: 'Well, son, what do your friends tell you? hm?'

Fonz getting pissed on purpose but on short fuse, not liking the uncertainty

'EEEHHH, what did I do, what is it, that I must ask my "friends" ? Do you see my "friends" around, do I politely ask my best buddy to take a leak or something, eehhh! My personal opinion is as always: you're pushing it as always. a little brotherly advice: stay clear! He clearly not interested enough, you'll do better. Stay cool!'

I was lower, too, 'friends' clearly over the edge of heavily condencending or contempt.

'Well ?'

'Gee I don't know dad, I just don't know. Its all so complicated...'

'What is the matter with you, hummm? You got you're lovely family, minus your mother, god have her soul, are you still seeing that guy, what's his name..'

'No dad you know that I told you, he's one of those.'

'yeah yeah, and so was the other and the next..'

'No, I'm over that'


That was sort of loud and purposely rude

Fonz didn't like her, he always tells those kinds hanging around, realy, he's pretty nice in that area, but she shouldn't push.

'Don't do that, you know I don't like that'

(childish exagerated voice): 'don't do that, don't do that, you know I don't like that. What are you, my muther?

Back in the centre of the world again, no fights, no real argument, just a void, and frankly, they were over it more than enough, and got on quite well enough. Still, they were pissed, and had to take it out on something.

Britney: 'If it wouldn't be for that one time, just that one time, I wouldn't be so pissed at that one. Realy just that one time realy did it. Otherwise we'd get along'

Al: 'They're agents...'

The contempt was too much for her.

'Don't do that to me all the time, they were realy nice, and it is realy just that one time, they were always nice, I like them enough, just that one time'

'They're agents...'

Don't expect emotion or 'hon' from this one, she knows.

'We could make a family business. Could be fun. You and dad do all the work, I collect the fees, manage things, arrange the places, be overviewer, that fits me.'

'They're agents, you're making them into friends'

'I like them!'

'I like them. I like them. Geez. I like my boots. No reason to marry them. I like me, no need to get so uptight about me. Then date them, tell them you like them. Don't tell us'

'You don't understand, just once that happened, otherwise I'd still like him. Just once. That shouldn't happen!'

Soft voice: 'You're getting to their headman'

'What ?'

Still soft voice

'They all make the sacrifice. They can't trust. It's they're weak point'

'So I'd better give it up.'