BLOGical Thoughts Archive

March 2003

Monday, March 31, 2003

I heard yet another Microsoft marketing phrase this morning on Morning Edition. It was so stupid as to be unforgetable, but it had something to do with 'your program requirements inspire our software'. Whatever. They should just cut to the chase:

"Microsoft: Magnificent Marketing, Mediocre Software"
   -- Michael Burton March, 2003

I have finished adding pictures to my teardrop trailer construction section. The next pictures to go into that section should be from camping trips.

I have made up an outstanding audio CD to take along and play when I'm camping. The contents are what you might call 'apropos'.

I have also made up a CD with all the pictures and web pages for the teardrop construction. I will be giving it to Hunter Outdoor Products tonight.

Friday, March 28, 2003

It never fails. If you have tried everything you can think of, and you call in help - that's the time you solve the problem.

I made an appointment with Hunter Outdoor Products to look into my problem with the trailer lights. Before I took the whole rig down there, I decided to redo a couple of the mechanical connections I had made. I tore the connections apart and soldered them back together, and viola! Full running lights, turn signals and stop lights. I'm going to cancel my appointment and go get a battery for the trailer from Les Schwab Tires, instead.

Programming languages that allow their keywords to be used as variables should die slow, painful deaths. And programmers who take advantage of that condition should follow. Example:

       if if eq then then
          then = else
          else = if;

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Well, I give up on the trailer lights. I'm going to take the truck and trailer down to Hunter and get them to fix the lights once and for all.

I worked on the HTML editor some more. In the Delphi 6 version, I got the preview to work consistently. I am working on the text insert routine now. It works differently with the new edit component (of course, what else?)

If there is anyone out there willing to beta-test this new version, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

A day of rest. I need one occasionally.

I got a chance to go into the Harbor Freight store in Spokane. That's a very dangerous place - I could spend money in there so fast it would make my checkbook spin. As it was, I got out of the store with a roll of electrical tape, a soldering gun, a 12 volt circuit tester and 2 cutting boards. Total damage was only 21 bucks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I had a couple of problems with my rewiring job on the truck. I had no trailer right turn signal or running lights. I fixed those connections, and now I don't have any lights at all. Oh well, more work to do tonight.

In the new edit component I am using for Spin-It Pro, it turns out there is a way to tell where the cursor is by line and column. It was just named something unexpected. I fixed all the places in the editor that were erroring out, and I now have a working editor in Delphi 6. I still have a lot of work to do, though, as some of the fixes were commenting out of code. Other fixes were just guesses, and now I have to go back and test all that stuff. Bottom line right now is I have an editor that highlights HTML code and that displays the page using the M$ HTML rendering engine.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Did a lot on the weekend. I worked on my teardrop trailer lights (on my truck, not the trailer). I also mounted the stove and got a bunch of necessarys for it, like pillows, a water tank and a folding chair.

I also worked on getting Spin-It Pro onto Delphi 6. I ran into a big problem on this. I am replacing the editing component with a new one, because the guy who wrote the old one is out of business. The old component had a property that you could read/write that told you what line the cursor was on. I used that capability all over the place in the editor. Well, the new component doesn't have that. I will have to figure out how to do that without the property.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Project of interest: Eclipse an IDE for Java program development. I'm not a big fan of Java, but this reminds me of Delphi and Kylix. It's written in Java, so it's portable.

Web site of interest: If you like flash, but are too lazy (or busy) to build a flash computer for yourself, check out Qli Linux Computers. They support a limited choice of motherboards, but you can get a real flash machine without all that effort.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Never underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate. You don't always get what you think you voted for.

I wonder how my nephew is doing, out there in Kuwait. He's supposed to be running computers, but with Marines, you never know.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

My mother is now in intensive care. I thought gall bladder surgery was supposed to be 'routine'. Update: the surgery turned major because they didn't just remove gallstones, they removed her gall bladder and had to mess with her intestines. She is stable, but in a lot of pain. I wish I could be there, but I am 1200 miles from there and it takes 2 days to drive down. Flying is not an option - it used to be fun, but now it's like being humiliated and then packed into a flying cattle pen. And being treated like cattle would be.

I like my teardrop trailer. Only problem is I have no running lights at all right now. I will have them fix that, for sure. More pictures to come.

My fellow citizens, how does it feel to be members of Amerika - the world's first Colonial Super-Power? And on the possible edge of a third world war?

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The trailer is finished. I am picking it up today. I can hardly wait.

My mother goes in for gall bladder surgery today. I'm a bit worried, as her health hasn't been the greatest over the past few years. I'm glad my Dad is there to support her.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Trailer construction is proceeding. They are skinning the sides and doors, and are installing the door hinges.

I am working on Spin-It Pro again, cleaning up the components in preparation to moving to a newer version of the Delphi compiler, as well as to Kylix. I will also be working on the documentation for the program.

My work habits aren't being aided by the fact that the Children of Dune miniseries started last night on the SciFi network, and continues on through at least tonight. I just hate March sweeps... Riverworld starts next weekend. I read the Riverworld novels and they got more booring as I got further into the story. I'm not sure how well they will translate to TV.

Friday, March 14, 2003

I have started the journal that details the construction of my teardrop trailer. You'll probably be able to tell I am really enthusiastic about the project, because I have provided way too much detail. Just because I'm having someone else build the thing, doesn't mean I can't be excited about it, though.

Suse has announced version 8.1 of their Linux distribution. It looks like I'll be doing a couple of system upgrades soon. I hope they've fixed the ftp client - it's tough trying to do ftp without using 'dir' or 'ls'. It would be fantastic if the new distro also had Mozilla 1.3, but that's probably too much to ask for.

I really like the Suse distribution. It is missing a few items I would like to have, but all in all it suits me. Using Linux and KDE, M$ Win2k Pro fades into just a bad memory.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

I gave my pen drive a preliminary try on my Linux box. The O/S recognizes there is a device out there, but I could not mount it. More research is necessary. Even though I love Linux, there are some things that the other (evil) Operating System does easier.

I took more construction pictures of my teardrop trailer, which I will put up on this site RSN. They were getting ready to skin the sides with aluminum when I left.

Coleman makes a thermoelectric cooler that I would like to put in the trailer's galley. Trouble is, I have a 21.5 " high by 24" wide by 17" deep space to work with. The cooler is 23.75" high by 17" wide by 18.5" deep. It will in both upright and laid-down mode, so I could use it laying down. But those dimensions are just a bit too close for comfort. The trailer is 24" wide after you get around the 3/4" reinforcement at the galley's edge. So I'm wondering if I could actually make it fit. Guess I'll just have to try it. BTW, the cooler costs a whole bunch less at the store I love to hate - WalMart.

Here's another of my pearls of profundity:

Contrary to the intents of our Founding Fathers, the purpose of Government is not to govern. Its purpose is to guarantee the further existence and expansion of government, at the expense of the 'governed'.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

I guess I was in kind of a bad mood yesterday. It happens. But, hey - if you can't spout off on your blog, where canya?

Hunter Outdoor Products is working on my teardrop trailer. I will be taking pictures of the construction as it happens. I will post them here, along with text about the trailer and its development history. I am really jazzed about this thing.

I ordered a 128 meg pen drive and it just got here. It works as advertised with Windows 2000 - just plug it in and it looks like a 128 mb disk drive. I haven't tried it with Linux yet. That should be interesting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Listen up, President George (Herbert Hoover) W. Bush: IT'S THE ECONOMY, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!

I stopped by a Jack in The Box this morning to grab a little breakfast. Imagine my unsurprise when I noticed that the place was closed and boarded up. Rush Limbaugh says we aren't in a recession, so George isn't responsible for it. We aren't - thanks to George, we are well on the way to a Depression.

Here's a little ditty I've been working on to describe my reaction to the kneejerk reaction of our government regarding the despicable events of 9/11:

Ode to the Current Day

   - Michael Burton, March, 2003

Monday, March 10, 2003

I finished the changes to Spin-It Pro. Now I need to document the program. Then turn it loose on the ravening hordes.

I moved the Beaudry Motorsports web site to a new ISP. The DNS has not been changed yet, though. The new ISP will give them a lot more room, so they can add even more graphics to their site.

Friday, March 7, 2003

I just finished an interesting article by Doc Searls and David Weinberger. It's more like a manifesto on the Internet. It's entitled "What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else." Members of the MPAA and RIAA should read this, but they probably still won't "get it".

Thursday, March 6, 2003

The combination of our Linux User Group and the Lunar Group worked out ok for a single occurrence deal, but I wouldn't want it to happen every month. Too much schmoozing going on. Not enough Linux. ;-)

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

In Spin-It Pro, my HTML editor, I decided to completely redo the menu editing, which I had almost finished. I took a less sophisticated and more sensible approach, and finished the the new code in one evening. The editor will be out Real Soon Now. In the meantime, this is a screenshot in editing and preview modes.

For the month of March only, our local Linux User Group is meeting tomorrow night at 6pm in downtown Coeur d'Alene at Radsoft. This month we are combining our meeting with the one for the Lunar Group. Should be fun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

I just read an article about technology trends. It has a lot to say about trends in general and Microsoft in specific. Most of the things detailed in the article have been announced, so they will become reality if those projects are completed.

When the article makes statements such as "The PC software industry is in the final days of being destroyed by Microsoft", it does so in the context of overall industry health. It is not just bashing Microsoft. All in all, this is a very interesting forecast.

Monday, March 3, 2003

I have decided to take this blog completely into tech, science, web, book, etc. reporting. I will be eliminating details of personal projects, unless the projects are really news. I will also move the site over to a blog engine sometime in the next few weeks.

Unitl I get a chance to do that, though, you will have to suffer through Spin-It Pro HTML editor status reports. Of which, this is one. I have almost finished adding menu editing capabilities into the editor. A couple more evening sessions should do it. Then I can work on the documentation.