Archive for August, 2000


Nothing like reunion season to throw you for a loop.

Wondering what is and what might have been. Seeing all the options that others chose. Marriage, Family, Carrers, Cars, Degrees. 10 years gone, and I still recognize almost everyone in my high school class, although I may have trouble remembering what we did and why we were friends then.

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The good news is that I’ve figured out how to speed up Bladeenc.

The bad news is that it took a inkling that I should be compiling for my processor, figuring out that the default compiler installed with redhat 6.2 is too old to support optimization for k6-2’s, downloading, compiling and installing the latest gcc, hacking the config scripts for bladeenc to use the -march=k6 directive, and recompiling.

All for a 70% speed increase. Mp3’s now encode at 1.2x. Still way slower than my iMac (3.5x). Still light years behind my g4 (7x).

So the next question is: how many other things should be compiled with pentium/k6 optimization? The kernel? Apache? Php? What about X and all the other things that I’ve installed as binaries?

Talk about a time sink.

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New Computer

Got a new toy on friday, so I spent most of the weekend playing with a new computer.

It’s a low end linux box (for a new machine) AMD k6-2 500, 128 megs of memory, ATI 16 meg video card, and 20 gigs of mp3 lovin. Well, 20 gigs of drive space, only 1.5 of which are filled with mp3s yet. All legal.

The initial install of redhat was done from another machine which had a downloaded iso cd image, mounted as a virtual drive, and served by apache. I booted up the new machine with a floppy, and from then on, everything installed over the network. I gotta say, this was really cool, coming from someone used to dealing with cd’s and other more convoluted installs. This process would have even worked if the internet seperated me from the server machine.

Now it’s running redhat 6.2, with some strategic upgrades, the current kernel, Xfree86 4.0, HelixCode’s gnome stuff, apache, php, postgres, and bladeenc.

Helixcode’s Gnome bits are loads better than the default RedHat stuff. Menus behave normally, windows have sane behavior, and things work pretty well. Themes work well, and it’s reasonably snappy. The wierd thing is that there’s a menubar at the top of the screen with global pull downs (like a mac), and windows/gnome like taskbar on the bottom.

I know that bladeenc is designed for sound quality and not speed, but gawd it’s slow. My g4 at work (nominally 100 mhz slower) is 10x faster encoding mp3’s at the same quality. This machine, 0.7x, g4 7.0x. I guess that the velocity engine vector unit actually does something. Now I’m going to want one of the dual g4 500’s. Or quads when they come out in 6 months.

The only thing I need now is a good playlist organizer. Flat m3u files are sooooooo lame.

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Garden Update

Not only are the squirrels going after the lucious organic straberries in the front yard, but they are eating all of the zucchini flowers.

All of them. So they won’t get to eat the fruit later.

On the bright side, I finally got a big juicy plump red strawberry that didn’t get half eaten by a squirrel first. So all total, we’re running about 10 to 10 now, with the squirrels getting the majority of the good berries.

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