Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Left Unfinished

A long time ago, in a land far, far, away, I wrote a data binding system for Java and XML. Sadly now, the demo programs fail on recent JVMs and Java Webstart, but that would seem an inherent risk of (ab)using the ability to access the javac compiler via private APIs to compile java source code. Incidentally, compiling java and then using the reflection API in java on the output classes, generating more java code, to compile, load and use, seemed like a nice demonstration of the power of programs that write (efficient) programs or (boring / error prone) parts of programs.

This program is apparently valued highly; The methodology behind this generated figure of $
226,531 and 4 man years of effort for code alone is dubious in the extreme, since it was written by me, and not for that long nor that much.

This also leads to the question of how long will the project be hosted? Given its inactive status and lack of activity over 5 years, I guess it is not costing more than a few cents? per year to host, so it may well survive indefinitely.

While I am linking to old, abandoned, and semi-abandoned stuff I have written, here is another little toy N-body visualiser.

Its the age old story - if I had used the hosting services for my MacOS X screensavers, I would still have the source code for them after someone stole my computers...

On a side note, the JQuery
JS library is quite interesting.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Creeping Death

The cyberduck program seems to transfer files faster via scp than sftp... This can be selected in the preferences.

The Disc Inventory X program can be used to report on the space usage of types of file, down to the level of individual files.

O'Reilly have a guide for writing books for them.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Securitron (Police State 2000)

Who knew that some sort of inscrutable blacklist of forbidden websites is maintained, and used, to restrict internet access in the UK? And that it'd be used to ban the image of a heavy metal album cover?

And that there is a news spin off of Wikipedia?

Friday, 5 December 2008

Dirty Magic

Move .c files into .cpp files, with the same name prefix

for i in *.c; do mv $i ${i%".c"}".cpp"; done

Who would have known bash can manipulate strings?

Double buffering; A nice article.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Zero Signal

The wireless network is now working on Fedora 10 on Cell Linux. Lets start with the PS3 Wireless howto - now out of date, but sufficient to configure wpa_supplicant. Once connected, fire up dhclient, and we are online. This is glossing over the faff to get the connection brought up on boot, see the forums and random other pages for that.
I also had to remove the -u option in the /etc/sysconfig/wpa_supplicant file in order to get the service to start on boot. Hmm.

I should write a decent guide on setup, but its late, I'm tired, and quite sure it would be obsolete in a little time anyway.

The elinks browser is sufficient to read the BBC, albeit in a horrendous default colour scheme.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Be Quick or Be Dead

Cell Linux - now I remember why I haven't bothered to administer or install Linux for years. Some documentation on the (many) steps needed for the particular version I have to install is here. Got to love any system this decade that fails to support WiFi. Once the obsolete and buggy packages get dumped on disk, apply ~1.0GB of patches and updates as detailed in the yum FAQ on updating and upgrading. The admin docs are a work in progress.

Its fun to try and seperate generic Linux config tweaks from distribution and architecture specific ones. Its like going back to Slackware vs Redhat in 1996....

On an aside, the IP address of this particular router is for now.

The by now familiar refrain for Linux is that it all works better in a more recent version. This may be true. Got to love a website that is simply the directory layout of the FTP server over HTTP.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Here to Stay

The annoyance of the automated windows updater can be dealt with, via equally obscure command line or GUI means; this was detailed on the coding horror blog. To make it go away until the next reboot, use

net stop "automatic updates"

A random link of interest is We Tell Stories. Pretty computations can be found here on the GPU for rendering 3d Julia fractals and here on Cell for real time ray tracing. A book on Cell programming, with example source code.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Next in Line

So, next in the line of things found while researching how to drive bits of software. First up, network theory have online (and printed) manuals for free software, most relevantly GCC with its monstrous collection of options. Redhat have some more docs on options and warnings.

On the realms of useful tools there is paint.net and 7zip for mucking around with test images, screen shots, and (un)archiving on Windows.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Stranger in a Strange Land

This blog will accumulate links to things I find to be of interest, and wish to find again. Entry titles will be chosen on whim from a music collection dominated by heavy metal; people reading this blog (who?) should know this follows on from a web page detailing random experiences of linux usage, now available from archive.org here and here. This title is brought to you by Iron Maiden and emigration to Sweden...

Stack Overflow is an interesting experiment in collaborative question and answering for programming topics, which may in time become a useful repository of knowledge related to programming. 

It is intended to replace the traditional collection of physical books of programming knowledge - but freely accessible online books seem likely to be a more focussed, comprehensive source for certain programming topics - the GNU project links to 3rd party online books with liberal licenses, including some of the O'Reilly open book online books.

While its early days yet, I note there is far more content, somewhat better organised, in the book on GNU make than in the corresponding collection of questions tagged 'make' on Stack Overflow.