Archive for April, 2001


Gardening is more fun if you don’t have to do it.

I feel the pressing need to attack an infestation of fake morning glory vines, so that they don’t take over one side of my yard again this year. Last year, they managed to kill off a couple of bushes. This year, I’ve been pulling out vines by the trashcan full. 2 cans this week, a couple last week, and one or two earlier in the year.

From the experience in my garden last year, I may need to dig up the soil to about a foot and a half deep, and make sure that there are no pieces of vine root in that volume. I’m hoping that it’s not going to take that, since there’s a tree on that side of the house that I kind of like. (The rest of the bushes, St John’s Wort, and odd lily I don’t really care about.)

But on the bright side, it hasn’t jumped the sidewalk to my strawberry patch, and it’s mostly eradicated from the area around my garden. Now if those strawberries would just produce. (but I know that I have another couple of months to go)

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Guest Pictures

Some pictures that I found in my camera after my sister borrowed it. A couple of the fields of colors up near Mt. Vernon, in the Skagit River Valley. For 2 or 3 weeks in the spring, color is just a little more vivid up there. The wind is just a little more perfumed. Someone turned the flowers up too bright.

tulips - from sarah
daffodils - from sarah

And some of her trip up Mt Si, a popular local day hike.

mt si - from sarah
mt si 2- from sarah

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New Year for Racing

Cleaned up the road bike and went out for my first race of the season last night. All in all, I’m pleased.

It was a nice ride, a beautiful evening, and a reasonable performance. I got dropped by the pack about a third of the way into the race, and got lapped right at the bell.

I was expecting to go around the course a few times, then expire. Mainly because the course is basically one climb, one sharp turn, sprint out of the corner, then go downhill in one long sweeping curve till the climb again. Once you’re far enough the back to not contact the bunching leading into the sharp turn you’re really off the back. It’s just so much easier for the pack to coast downhill at 35 than for you to coast alone at 30.

Track season starts in a month.

That’s going to be fun, especially if I’m in shape.

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All your …

(in my best Jack Nicholson voice…)

All your freakin base are freakin belong to freakin us.


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Another Analog Weekend

Decompression is important. So I’m trying to get out into the big blue room for a couple of days a week to maintain sanity.

Of course, depending on what I’m doing, a computer may make more sense. Saturday night was a beach burn at Golden Gardens, with an assembled crowd of fremont style artists and pyros. The cirque d’ flambe people were there in force, with all sorts of things that burned. Fire Eating. Dancers with finger flames. Dancers with flames in the palm of their hands. Flaming swords. Some form of flammible powder that burned in 30 foot flames when thrown in the air with a flaming shovel. There was a drum circle with tuba, and topless dancers (male and female) with cellphones. Don’t ask me why I noticed that.

There was cool energy, but no pics, since I was out of battery power. Oh well.

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More pictures

More pictures, from the arboretum this last weekend. The cherries are just past their peak, in the next week or so, there should be some wonderful snowfalls of petals. As always, click to enlarge.

A cherry and pond

A Very Nice Camellia

Cherry tree, hazy atmosphere

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Successful Software Development

  • Make your CEO use product on a daily basis. If not your CEO, then the person doing the resource allocation in the company. If that person doesn’t know where the product doesn’t make sense to the user, you will be adding features where you should be streamlining the interface.
  • Make the lead developer use the ‘Nearly Raw’ (one step above the raw check-in feed) version of the software on a daily basis. Especially if the software has expanded so that it sends and recieves email. Bugs get fixed faster this way. Features also get written at midnight on weekends when the itch hits.
  • Make the developer write the first draft of the documentation. Have the best example of your target user in the company translate that document to English.
  • Get your mother/little sister/non technical relation to use the software. You need feedback from people who aren’t bitheads who will still love you when you tell them that they don’t appreciate your baby^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H the software.
  • Whiteboards. Lots of whiteboards.
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Lines beside me

Side Roof

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Free Lunch

Thanks Dave. I guess there is such a thing as a free lunch. My boss and co-worker took me to Cafe Flora for quite an enjoyable lunch. Next week: buy a programmer a TiBook day.

Dramatic lighting at golden gardens

These pics are from ditching early yesterday to get out and be in the outdoors for a while, since computers seem to be taking over my life lately.

Cherry Tree

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Os X impressions

I installed it 5 days ago, and I’m a little dissapointed. ( I’ve also used the public beta and the developer preview; these are impressions from the boxed version.) But I’m probably a 1% outlier of the mac user base, so these are probably just the rants of a frustrated geek, and not the reflections of the general user community.

***The Good

It’s pretty. The Os is stable. Classic applications run well.

***The Bad.

It’s slow. Both the interface and the command line. the interface is helped by going to thousands of colors and renicing the window server to a higher priority. Menus take forever to pop down. Subjectively, the speed feels like a Duo 2300 running system 7. And that’s on a blueberry iMac. I’d put it on my G4 at work, but I’m not willing to take the productivity hit yet.

Preemptive multitasking doesn’t necessarily help. What people don’t realize was that parts of the old Mac OS were preemptive, and parts were cooperative. Parts of the UI were preemptive, which is what allowed user interaction to take control at some times.

Apps are terribly unstable. (MSIE won’t run at the same time as classic)

*** The Ugly

Bits are missing. The php libraries are installed, but I can’t get them to work. The openssl headers are missing, so I can’t build OpenSSH. I can’t find out how to get nfs working. Appleshare won’t connect to my linux appleshare server.

The interface feels like it’s taking monitors and making them smaller again. 1024×768 feels like 800×600, in terms of what information is availiable on screen.

*** The Fine Print.

I use linux and the mac on a daily basis. My desktop macs are relatively stable, enough so that I don’t immediately need the unix core. What I was hoping for was something that would consolidate my machines so that I only need one to do everything.

Unfortunately, my impression of the system is that it’s a ‘bad’ linux. There aren’t packages for my linux apps yet, and the file layout messes up most of the build systems. It’s a new gui, better than some, worse than others.

Ultimately, there’s nothing here that I can’t get right now with classic MacOs and an ssh window. And in a lot of cases, the old way is faster/better/cheaper.

And to top it off, it was hitting swap a lot so I bought a 256 meg stick for it. So now it doesn’t boot at all. I hate hardware.

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