Pin the Tail on the gPointer

Wow, these past few days have been quite hectic. I started my internship last Friday, but the real work didn’t start until Monday. For some odd reason, we’re using BeyondFTP and its scripting language is pretty horrid. Not VBScript horrid, but horrid nonetheless. I’ve spent the last 2 days learning this scripting language so I we can move from 2.5 to 3.0. Oh well, it’ll pay the bills.

Follow Up
An update on my virtual desktop dillema on Windows: I tried out a bunch of different software solutions out there (thanks for all the help from the people that replied with suggestions), but I finally settled on LiteStep. Not only do I have multiple desktops, but Windows no longer feels as much like Windows.
Also, visitors to my site will notice I now have a spiffy new icon for my blog. I’d like to thank Ed Mack for drawing that for me. It’s cute ;).

I worked some more on erasing CD’s in Coaster this weekend. I gave up on Daniel’s idea, and decided to do what regexxer does while it runs its searches: do an iteration of Glib::MainContext in the while loop. I hacked that up and it worked! Coaster now blanks CD’s and has a dialog with a pulsing progress bar. I just uploaded those changes to Coaster’s arch repo, so you can check it out, try it, and tell me if it works for you (I know it works for me). Now, it’s time for the Cosby Show and then bed.

P.S. Riff, thanks for the entry title.


If you visit my blog (rather than read it on the Planet ), you’ll see that I’m using the GNOME logo for my website icon. I’m not really sure about the legality of using it, but I’d like to change it anyway. If anyone can come up with a unique icon for my blog, I’d really appreciate it. I’m not very creative (when I made the icons for Coaster, I just pieced them together with stock bits from gtk+), so this would be a great help to me. If I really wanted to, I could make it a contest where the prize would be… umm… respect. And maybe a tarball of Coaster emailed to you before anyone else gets it ;). Let me know if you have any interest.

By the way, anyone who wants to come up with a better icon for Coaster is more than welcome to do that as well.

Virtual Desktops

So, I’m at my desktop at my internship and I forgot how crappy it was to actually work on a windows machine. I found the setting to turn on anti-aliased fonts (although, it isn’t as good as GNOME’s AA support), but I still miss virtual desktops. My mind works better when my work is abstracted into neat little piles of cruft. If anyone has any suggestions for software that will do this for windows, I’d really appreciate it.

Functionality and stupidity

I start my internship today. As a result of this, I woke up early and dressed in uncomfortable clothes so I can look “respectable”. I don’t see how wearing pants that feel like they’re restricting your movement and shoes that have horrid support makes you respectable, but I don’t make the rules. If anyone has some suggestions for comfortable dress pants (business casual) and shoes, please let me know. I normally wear JNCO jeans and they’re comfortable. They settle a little below your waist (unlike the pants I’m wearing, which feel like they’re at my chest) and give me room to move. If there’s anything out there like that in a dressier style, I’d love to know.

While waiting for my internship to start, I figured I’d put some functionality into Coaster. I’ve uploaded a new erase dialog which checks for all the burners on the system and populates a combo box with them; when you select one, it checks if the disc is eraseable and makes the OK button sensitive depending on the result it gets back.
I also tried to get erasing working. This was much harder and I pulled many hairs out working on it. The first thing I did was just call the code to erase a disc from the “OK clicked” routine. This worked except that while the disc was erasing, the GUI would hang. Not acceptable. So, on the advice of Daniel Elstner of regexxer fame, I called the status update routine in a timeout. Result: Coaster blew up. This is my first experiment with threading, so I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, but if anyone wants to help me out here, feel free to download the code and help me figure this out.

I have never met a more horrid language. I was trying to parse a string today and found out the hard way that strings are indexed from 1 to the length of the string. What the crap? There is no consistancy in this language (arrays are indexed from 0 to length – 1) other than it consistantly sucks. I can’t wait until this class is over.

Proof of Idiocy

I’ve spent the last 40 minutes hacking out (if you can even call it that) VBScript for a class I’m taking. I am thoroughly convinced that M$ is completely retarded now (not that I didn’t have my doubts before). I had to do some work with arrays and the declaration of arrays is one of the most horrid implementations I’ve ever seen. The first thing I noticed was that dim myArray(9) declares an array of 10 elements. It goes downhill from there and I won’t hurt anyone by subjecting them to that nonsense.

A strange, high-pitched whine has been coming from the backend of my truck ever since I drove home from Council Bluffs on Sunday so I woke up early this morning, hoping that if I got into the shop early enough, they would be able to loan me a car while they fixed my truck. I forgot that I needed to make an appointment for things of this nature (oil changes, tire rotations, and such don’t need appointments… it’s quite convenient). A mechanic and I took the truck for a spin and he told me it’s probably a rear diff or axle bearing that’s out. That sounds to me like it’ll be a lot of money in labor; something I don’t need with a wedding coming up. I drove the truck to school since they couldn’t get it in and hopefully they can fix it this afternoon. If not, I’ll need a loaner.

Can you believe it? It’s freaking halfway through June! This summer is going too fast (maybe that means I’m getting old…) and the wedding is approaching even faster. The only good thing about June going fast is that my birthday is at the end of the month (the 26th, I’ll be 22). Presents are welcome ;).

I think I’m getting closer to the initial release of the GUI of Coaster. The GUI doesn’t do much functionally (like burn CD’s), but I think I need to make a release to get feedback on the layout and HIG’ness of the interface. I’d also like to get some people working on translations. The next step (I think) is to get libburn behind the GUI. I’m going back and forth with myself (which produces interesting conversations at times…) whether or not to make a wrapper for libburn or if I should just throw the C behind my GUI. I’ve never written a wrapper for a non-GNOME project, so I don’t want to screw it up royally.

Yesterday I went in for an interview at Iowa Health System and got an internship. Hopefully, it works out that they hire me but if they don’t, at least I’ll have some experience under my belt. The only downfall is that they code in Java; maybe I can get them to change ;). Doubtful…

Blocked Ports

Hey all! This week, I’m taking a break from Coaster development and I’m at an arts conference at Willow Creek in Chicago. So far, it’s been fun… plus, they have wireless access all over the church. The only problem with that is that they have the IRC ports blocked. I can access all websites and my email and such, but no IRC’ing while at the conference. If you see me online, it’s late at night at the hotel and I’m using OSX.

Speaking of OSX, I’d like to thank Mikael Hallendal for his list of OSX programs he uses. I hadn’t heard of some of them, and I’m glad he pointed them out. I’m now using Desktop Manager, QuickSilver (from a comment on that entry), and Colloquy (which is quite a slick irc program). It’s nice to have multiple desktops in OSX, and QuickSilver is a nice alternative to having all your frequently used programs in the dock. Why don’t we have something like that for GNOME?

Anyway, I’ll get back to hacking this weekend, but for now, I’m having fun hanging out with 5,000 other artists.

A week of experimentation

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog entry, but it’s been less time than it has been for Daniel Elstner. By the way, he’s back and helping with gtkmm again. It’s really nice to have a resident C++ guru helping with the design issues I’ve been having. Plus, he’s a really cool guy.

Coaster has been going through changes since my last blog entry. One huge thing that I really wanted to get done was an ellipsizing cell renderer. I used the routines from Rhythmbox’s ellipsizing label and inherited from Gtk::CellRendererText. I’ve also taken out the icon caching code because it was causing me headaches (it was slow and I didn’t want to put in idle calls or have to worry about context iterations). I’ve also redone some of the icons to match the default GNOME icon theme.

School sucks. I’m taking summer classes from my College and it’s not too fun. The only redeeming value to these classes is that they are only 6 weeks long, so I don’t have to sit through these classes for a whole semester.

John Fleck: have you ever heard of RAGBRAI? I know you’re into bike racing and all things bike, so I figured you might have heard of RAGBRAI. It’s the big bike thing here in Iowa.

The wedding is fast approaching. We’re now deciding on DJ’s, menus for the reception, and other little details like where we’re going to live after the Big Day. I’ve also been looking for an internship so my fiancée and I can buy food and pay for an apartment when we fianally get hitched.