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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

June 2010

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Over the long holiday weekend, I will be looking into what needs to be done on my gdvdslides program. I would like to remove its dependence on the dvd-slideshow script, so I will probably end up analyzing that program. I would also like to get the interface and button icons more in line with those in the Gnome desktop. I'm sure that other changes will occur to me as I go through the analysis.

In a recent blog post, Jeff Duntemann mentions the Free Pascal/Lazarus list of applications written with those tools. gdvdslides has been on that list for quite a while. BTW, I hope Jeff is still working on his Lazarus book, because the only book in existence on that subject is written in French and I don't speak French.


 

I am taking the rest of the week off, so there will be no more posts here until Tuesday. I hope everyone enjoys our conunty's Independence Day holiday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

I picked up a DVD over the weekend. It's a mini-series called "Tin Man" and it's a retelling of the Wizard of Oz. All the familiar characters are in the story but in very different ways. The main character is DG (Dorothy Gail) played by Zooey Deschanel. There is also Glitch (Scarecrow), Raw (Cowardly Lion), Tutor (Toto) and the Tin Man. The connections between this series and the movie are subtle and, if you know the first movie, obvious. They really hit you with it in the third part of the DVD, though. All the actors do a very good job and the story is engaging enough that you don't notice that you've been sitting through it for 4 hours and 25 minutes.

If at the end of a movie I have watched, I continue to think about the movie and it's plot and characters, then that's a good movie. For mini-series, I did this kind of thing for Tin Man, Dinotopia and the second Dune. Of the three, I think I might rank Tin Man at the top of those three.


 

Speaking of movies, I have updated my movie list. I now have more movies than I have places to put them, so I plan to do a little selective weeding when I get a chance.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Monday, 28 June 2010

We had our Dutch oven workshop in Post Falls on Saturday, and it went pretty well. I suppose you could say that about any weekend where it wasn't raining, though.

We cooked up six or eight dishes, from breakfast lasagna to sourdough biscuits to cherry chocolate cake. They were all attacked with ferocity when we finished cooking, so we must have done well. My Dutch oven potatoes were mostly all consumed, but that always happens.

The next Dutch oven event is in the middle of July, but I think I will go dig garnets at Emerald Creek, instead. I haven't had a weekend to do something like that since the end of April.


 

I got some of my chores done over the weekend, but not all of them. I did get up early on Sunday to do my grocery shopping and get back home before they started the Coeur d'Alene Ironman triathlon. If I had not done that, I would have had a hell of a time getting back to the house, as the bike route for the race manages to occupy every single route I could take to get home from the supermarket. So it was a good thing I got back home at 7:30am and the race started at 8:00am.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Friday, 25 June 2010

I have a lot of work to do this weekend, so I better stay away from the computer. Most of those will be outside or in the garage, which will be a refreshing change for me. I am usually stuck in front of this workstation on the weekends.

I am going to start a pile of stuff that I want to get rid of. Once it is large enough, I will take it over to the auction center in Post Falls and let them auction it off. I have old working phones, a Wi-Fi repeater, a microwave oven and much more that needs to go to a new home. I hope they can sell most of it for me. Otherwise, I will have to recycled it.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Thursday, 24 June 2010

I processed and posted pictures I took at the Kelson Kampout at Roslyn, WA. I kind of like the fact that there were only about a dozen teardrop trailers there. Having 100 people around you all weekend is very tiring, so this was a refreshing change. The locale helped a lot, too. The town still retains its rustic look, and all the familiar locations seen in Northern Exposure are still there.

It was also nice that there was no potluck or other homemade mass-organized dinner. My next trip will probably involve at least two potlucks and a lot of organized activities.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

There is another Dutch oven workshop this weekend, and I have volunteered to mentor there. The workshop will be held at Q'Emiln City Park by the Spokane River on Saturday June 26, 2010, beginning at 11:am. I'm not sure if this is in conjunction with another event or is standalone, but I urge those interested in learning to cook with a camp Dutch oven to attend.


 

I always thought that Chinese food was full of nasty carbohydrates that would convert to sugar and keep your blood sugar atmospheric. But every time I have Chinese for dinner, the next morning my blood sugar is always the lowest it ever gets. This morning it was 99! I wish I could figure out what ingredient it was in Chinese food that does that. Then I could eliminate all the other carbs from my diet and just consume that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Plymouth is at the restorers, and he has a list of things that need fixing. It was a fairly short list and I'm sure there is more that needs to be done. One of the things I requested was a 4-core radiator instead of the normal 2-core. I don't want the car to overheat when I am pulling a teardrop trailer with it.

Two things he will do immediately are to pull out the gas tank and repair it, and rewire the car. That sounds like a huge task, but one thing you can easily get nowadays is a wiring harness. So it isn't as scary as it sounds.

When I pulled the car out of the garage Sunday night, it was nice. But Monday morning it was raining cats and dogs, and I noticed that the car leaks. So another thing he will be doing is to re-seal all the windows, as I am sure that's how water gets in and how the headliner disintegrated.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Monday, 21 June 2010

I spent the weekend at a teardrop trailer gathering in Roslyn, WA. This was a very small gathering with about a dozen trailers. There was also a vintage trailer gathering going on in the park about a block from us, and Roslyn was having a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Northern Exposure TV show, which was filmed there. I took all kinds of pictures, and will try to make them available in the next few days.

Roslyn is a colorful place. The locations shown in the TV show are all still there - Joel's office, The Brick, etc. I had dinner Saturday night at The Brick. It was a very good hamburger and fries. We were blessed with fairly good weather for the weekend. It only rained hard once.

On Saturday, we went garage-saleing in Cle Elum. I didn't see anything of interest to me, but some of the others bought stuff. All in all, it was a relaxing weekend, until I got back here. I then tried to get as many chores done as I could, of the chores that I usually do on the weekend.

One of the chores was to get some gas and put a couple of gallons in the 1952 Plymouth and try to start it. I needed to do that to move it out of the garage, so we could tow it to Hauser Lake to the auto restorer today. It started after a little coaxing and I have it positioned so the tow truck can pick it right up.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Thursday, 17 June 2010

I spent all day yesterday working. I got home in time for a light supper and bed, so no interesting revelations here today.


 

I am taking tomorrow off, so there will be no post for that day.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

I went looking for books on Lazarus and Free Pascal yesterday. I found exactly one, and it was written in French. I hope that Jeff Duntemann is still working on his book, but he hasn't mentioned it on his blog in quite a while.

While I was searching for that book, I found a couple of general Linux programming references on BookMooch. I mooched them, and one has already been mailed to me. I haven't heard from the other person yet.


 

I have so many things to do this week, I had to make a list. I will be sending my 1952 Plymouth off to an auto restorer on Monday, so I have to get ready to do that. The car hasn't been started in a long time and I have to ensure it still runs. Then I have to get it out of the garage so I can get it towed to Hauser Lake. It's too bad it isn't ready for the Car d'Lane Car Show this weekend, but there is quite a bit of work to do on it.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

I spent last night processing the photos I took at the North Idaho Mineral Club's Gem, Mineral, Rock and Jewelry show. It is a labor-intensive process, as I need to shrink each photo twice: once for the browser and once for a thumbnail. I then uploaded the 136 images to the web site and updated all the pages on the site (I really need to put that site on a CMS).

You can see the results of my labor at http://www.northidahomineralclub.com/nimc_show_2010.html


 

I ordered some new clearance lights for my teardrop trailer, and they showed up last night. These lights each have two LEDs, so they consume much less power than the incandescent ones I have. Now I have to find time to install them...


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Monday, 14 June 2010

I think my talk at the North Idaho Users Group about how to rapidly create applications in Linux went over pretty well. During the talk, I developed a bare-basics text editor. The members were pretty impressed, and one of them turned around and installed Lazarus on his Debian laptop computer.

I should work a bit on the length of the presentation but other than that, I think it is pretty much ready for next year's Linuxfest Northwest. I hope it will be as well-received at the conference as it was at the user group.


 

I found enough time on Sunday to process and post the pictures I took at the 12th Northwest Spring Fling. It rained 3 out of the 4 days we were there, and I took most of the pictures on the day it was not raining.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Friday, 11 June 2010

At work, I am finishing up the last bug in the SQL translator code. It works, but it sometimes creates a SQL statement that is much larger than it should be. I will be doing some analysis today to see if I can eliminate the extra parts of the WHERE clause.

The work I have been doing is my first direct coding for our manager since I started work there almost three years ago. Until now, I have been kept on the peripherals, doing coding for log file readers, the report program, the SQL Server monitor, etc. Now that I have demonstrated that I can do programming directly in the manager without catastrophic damage, I expect to see more of that coming my way. I hope so, as it was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.


 

The next meeting of the North Idaho Linux Users Group is tomorrow. I will be giving a talk on how to rapidly create applications for Linux using Lazarus. If anyone who reads this web log is interested, I hope you can attend.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Thursday, 10 June 2010

I reformatted my USB drive last night. It took over 3 hours. I used a Linux utility called mkfs.ntfs to do it, and that tool does a complete format, unlike some from Microsoft that just write sector headers. So it took 3 hours instead of about 1 one hour (the drive is 320GB). I started by copying the files on the drive to another drive, and ended copying them back.

This morning I hooked the USB drive up to my DVR and started copying the files I wanted to back up. There are 13 files and they total 75GB. It's going to take at least three hours to do that, so I will leave the DVR running when I go to work.


 

At work, I am still cleaning up the code I wrote to translate data requests into SQL statements. I have taken care of two special cases and I have one more to take care of. That final case is the most difficult of them all, so it will take at least a couple of days for me to finish it.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

I am trying to move some huge files off of my DVR and in to storage, but I am having trouble with that. The Mythbuntu version of Ubuntu 9.04 doesn't seem to recognize the network, and I can't plug in USB devices and get them to be recognized, either. I have at least 12 of these files and most of them are over 4GB in size.

I tried to boot into the live version of Ubuntu 9.04 and copy them onto a USB hard drive, but the live version of the Nautilus file manager can only handle files up to 4GB in size. I am trying other options, as I need to back these files up so I can install a later version of MythTV.

It turns out this is not Linux's fault. I was copying the files from my DVR's ext4 partition to the USB drive, which uses a Windows fat32 partition. Fat32 cannot receive a file larger than 4GB. Thanks very much, Microsoft, you %*^&@ piece of crap. I may have to reformat the USB drive to NTFS in order to do this.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

I got side-tracked last night from projects I should be doing to ones I wanted to do. I installed a new LED light inside my teardrop trailer to replace the one I had built and installed several years ago. The new light puts out an incredible amount of light compared to the one I built. The difference is that the LEDs available now put out more light than the ones available then, and their power consumption is about the same. I am also looking for LED clearance lights and stop lights.

I also cut some rocks last night. One of them is mahogancy obsidian and the other is some Biggs picture jasper I picked up many years ago. I will be making some oval cabochons from the slabs.


 

One of my co-workers wrote this nifty page that allows you to see what a particular color looks like for your web pages. Good idea, Dave.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Monday, 7 June 2010

I spent the weekend at the North Idaho Fairgrounds, working at the North Idaho Mineral Club Gem, Mineral, Rock and Jewelry Show. I sold tickets for the grand prize raffle and I took pictures of the show for the web site. I also bought some equipment, which means I will have to leave my checkbook at home the next time I go to a show.

There were two grand prizes at the show. One was a very nice peacock marble vase, which came from Yunnan Province in China and was valued at $120. The other was a 25 carat star garnet, which was found, polished and donated by the club president. It was appraised at $600, so that was a pretty nice raffle prize.

The whole weekend went pretty well, except it left no time at all for me to do my normal weekend errands. I will catch up, though. I have a talk on Lazarus and Free Pascal coming up next Saturday and I have to be ready for that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Friday, 4 June 2010

I completely removed Lazarus and Free Pascal from my workstation last night. I also removed the hidden .Lazarus directory from my home directory. I then re-installed Lazarus and Free Pascal that from the Ubuntu repositories.

The original version that I installed was 0.9.26-0. The version that I installed last night is 0.9.26-4, and there are some big differences between the two. I haven't had a chance to look closely at the new program, but one thing about it that is already really annoying is the menus. Normally, when you click a menu item, the pull down menu does just that - pulls itself down. Not so in Lazarus - these menus POP. More like explode. That isn't the worst of it - the tool tips do the same thing. Who in their right mind would want their program to do that? I guess someone in love with the current 3-D craze might want to do that, but give us a break: us normal people don't want a development program to POP; we just want it to work.

I suppose I should mention that the re-installation of Lazarus cured my problem with the extraneous unit being loaded. I suppose I could have fixed that some other way, but re-installation almost always works for stuff like that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Thursday, 3 June 2010

I am once again down to making lists of things to do. If I don't do that, I will forget some of the things that should be done. Even stuff like updating the old web pages on this web site to be part of the overall theme is on the list. It's just quite a ways down on it. I have already checked off one item, so the list must be working.


 

I started to flesh out my talk about writing programs in Linux, and ran across a problem. I can't compile, as the compiler is including a unit I know nothing about and there is an error in it. I guess since I haven't done so in a long time, I will uninstall Lazarus, wipe out all the configuration files and then re-install it. That should help quite a bit, and it will give me a baseline system to run the example against.

This will also help me when I get back to making changes to gdvdslides. I hope to include the entire dvd-slideshow script in the program, so it will no longer be dependent on that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

I will be giving a talk at the next North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting on how you can rapidly write programs for Linux. This will be an introduction to the Lazarus rapid application development environment. As I am sure most of you know, Lazarus uses object-oriented Pascal as its language and is basically a clone of an earlier version of Borland's Delphi. Lazarus has since gone its own way, so it probably bears little resemblance to the current Delphi.

The talk will cover the basics of working with Lazarus and its components. At the end we will have created a limited-capability text editor, to which many capabilities can be easily added. I hope to do all this in 45 minutes. If that is possible, I will present the same talk at next years' LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham.


 

I have lots of small chores to do and several big ones, too. I can't do them this weekend, as I will be working at the North Idaho Mineral Club's Gem and Mineral show. So I guess I had better get them done in the evening. And I have promised myself not to spend a bunch of money at the show. We will see how well I keep my self-made promises.


 

Silly sign of the day:

Ain't Windows wonderful?


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I spent the weekend at the 12th Northwest Spring Fling, a teardrop trailer gathering. Except for the fact there were almost as many regular (old) trailers as there were teardrops, the gathering was...wet. It rained all day Friday and Sunday. Saturday was clear, though. Monday I came back, and after I got over White Pass, there was no rain until I got in to Spokane. Then the skies opened up and we got a dump you usually only see on the East Coast.

Despite the weather, I had a pretty good time. The people have a lot to do with that, though. All the teardrop folks are very friendly and helpful. It was a very relaxing weekend.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

"It's Mine, and You Have to Pay (and Pay and Pay) For It"

 

Local and Other News