Wednesday, 27th October 1999
Working lunch with one of my business partners, celebrating
escape from the successful completion of our work for
Tuesday, 26th October 1999
Other than a trip to the doctor, to get any injuries documented, just
a quiet day, mainly spent on my guitar.
Too sore for T'ai Chi :( I did a light warm-up and routine,
just because I feel it stops me stiffening up too much. All I can
say is that it's a good job there's no T'ai Chi lesson this week (it's
Monday, 25th October 1999
Car insurance company. And the approved repair centre.
Actually, I must say that I'm very very happy with how things have been
handled so far ... nothing worse than believing you're the victim of an
accident only to feel a victim of your insurer.
Oh, and the final part I need for the second SPARC workstation
arrived this morning. However, wiring it into the office can wait
until I'm not feeling so sore. And until I decide to go into the
Sunday, 24th October 1999
I was at the front of a 3 car pileup on the M4 this afternoon
:( No-one was seriously injured, fortunately, but I'm a bit shaken
up and will be taking a few days off GNQS to deal with it.
Saturday, 23rd October 1999
Spent the day taking pipeclient apart ... I'm trying to track down
the cause of jobs sticking in both the routing and arrival states (a
problem I never see myself, which is why I'm having trouble fixing
it). Plan is to make sure I really understand how pipeclient was
intended to work, improve the debugging code, and see if we can track
down where things are going wrong.
Thursday, 21st October 1999
Spent the evening setting up Perforce, only to realise that what I'd
done was not going to work :( The idea of the two master and two
submit trees is fine, but I may need to put them into two separate
depots to achieve separate changelists. Back to the drawing board.
Wednesday, 20th October 1999
Okay - can't reproduce the SPARC compiler problem. :( Nor can I
reproduce the SPARC resource limit problem. Both aspects of GNQS
work absolutely fine here.
This is so frustrating. We pursued donation of kit to
help investigation of reported problems, and now we have the kit, we
can't actually reproduce the problem :(
Tuesday, 19th October 1999
Good news today, on two fronts!
First off, the license file for the SPARC compiler has arrived
;-) Once I've figured out how to install it, I can build some
binary SPARC releases, and also investigate the compilation
problems reported on Solaris.
Secondly, the license file for Perforce has arrived. This means
that, tomorrow evening, I can get the new GNQS source trees up and
running on www.gnqs.org ;-)
Saturday, 16th October 1999
Today is definitely not a GNQS day.
I've got to sort out the fretboard on one of my guitars, get both
guitars restrung (get some more strings first!) and scrounge a Marshall
Valvestate guitar amp to see whether I want to get one or not.
Friday, 15th October 1999
Well, it turned out that the problem with the Sun adaptor was an
incompatibility between my venerable (and venerated!) Viglen keyboard
and the Sun adaptor itself. This is a bit of a dilemma; I've grown
very fond of that keyboard over the last eight years. Sigh.
Time to go shopping for a replacement.
Had an ... erm ... interesting time getting the SPARC
workstation networked. Specifically, I didn't know how to set the
default gateway for the workstation to point at the local router.
I couldn't find this in the supplied paper documentation, nor the
manpages. Tried the online documentation at sun.com (via a PC) to
find that their web pages won't render in Microsoft's IE 5 :(
Ended up having to install Answerbook2 off the documentation CD (a CD
which didn't originally ship with the workstation, I might add) just to
I'm beginning to understand why Alan looks unimpressed when I
complain about RedHat ;-)
I guess one of the key differences between many Linux distributions,
and the commercial UNIX alternatives, is that the people behind the
Linux distributions are used to, and influenced by, the more
consumer-orientated world of PCs.
Looks like last night's GNQS v3.50.6 will be quickly followed by GNQS
v3.50.7. I missed out the Linux loaddaemon fix from Roman (most
profuse apologies there) and also the GPort.sh fix for sensible people
who don't have . in their root account's PATH (they're not that
sensible, if they're compiling as root!).
So, enter stage left - Perforce [more].
I've installed it locally for now, and if my application for a free
software license is successful, I'll make it available from gnqs.org as
soon as possible.
I'm also now waiting for a license for the SPARC compiler ...
Thursday, 14th October 1999
The adaptor kit for the SPARC workstations arrived this
morning! Well, one of the adaptors arrived anyway; I'm
promised the other RSN.
This has finally prompted the retirement of my venerable 17"
monitor. It's been with the GNQS project since the beginning (when
I managed to convince my boss at the time that the SPARC workstation
just had to go ;-) Unfortunately, it's recently been playing up
anyway (everything kept going yellow), and it can't handle the
resolution of the SPARC workstations Sun kindly donated to the
project. Interestingly enough, the Sun workstations don't seem to
work above 1024x768 with PCs running Windows 98 either ...
GNQS got a mention in Linux Weekly News ;-) [more]
Unfortunately, Slashdot didn't bother. That's a shame. GNQS
may not have been GPL'd as long as the Linux kernel, but as a source
tree I think (could be wrong) it's older than everything but
Stallman's Emacs. And it's certainly been successful.
The plan for this afternoon is to get at least one of the SPARC
workstations up and running, and get SPARCworks installed so that I can
investigate the Solaris installation problem before v3.50.6 production
goes out tonight.
Ho hum. No luck with getting the adaptor for the Sun
workstation working. Well, I can't wait any longer - time to clear
enough room to set the workstation up on a spare desk in the
office. Tomorrow. Which means that GNQS v3.50.6 doesn't have
the fix for problems running SETUP on Solaris.
Okay - v3.50.6 has gone out the door. I ended up having to diff
the code to work out what changes have actually gone in. Mental
note - this is poor practice on my part. I should keep a proper
list - I used to after all!
And after this week's T'ai Chi course, I'm hurting far more than last
week's. Rob (our kindly instructor/teacher/whatever) did work us
hard, but I think I'm actually in worse shape than I realised ;(
Wednesday, 13th October 1999
Generally speaking, this was a non-NQS day.
Tuesday, 12th October 1999
Slow day today. Must be because it's gray outside. Can't
figure out why it's gray outside - the sky is lovely and clear. Oh
Spent today working on more code for the web-based bug-reporting
system. There's nothing to show at all yet; I'm still putting the
infrastructure into place. This is going to be my priority between
now and Christmas.
I've also got some bad news for GNQS users. One night a week is
now taken up with a night class; I'm thinking of taking up another night
class. Can't decide between photography, or finally learning to
read music (I've been playing for 10 years now, and have never bothered
to learn). Either way, it'll mean not just another evening when
I'm not available, but less time on other evenings too due to daily
However, at the moment I'm not working for anyone, so I'm available
during the day to do more work on GNQS.
Monday, 11th October 1999
Well, Thursday will mark exactly 5 years since my first release of
what was then Monsanto NQS, back in 1994. I've recently posted
stories on this to both Slashdot
and Linux Weekly News; maybe they'll
even get posted.
GNQS v3.50.6 production will come out on Thursday.
Friday, 8th October 1999
So much for catching up with email yesterday. Got back from
T'ai Chi last night and just crashed out.
However, I did manage to pick up a Destroyer Droid to
add to the many weird and wonderful things scattered around my
office. For some unknown reason, he seems to lean to the left a
lot, so Kristi has named him Lurch ;-)
Today's emphasis is on looking into adding online bug-reporting and
source control to the GNQS.org web site. I'll be catching up with
email in the evening.
Thursday, 7th October 1999
Time daemons. Specifically NTP. Yet another thing RedHat
Linux doesn't seem to ship with (sigh). However, once up and
running, it did show up an interesting bug in Gnome's clock applet.
I'll catch up with my GNQS email this evening.
Wednesday, 6th October 1999
Spent the day in London. Actually, it feels like I spent the
day traveling to and from London :(
I was looking mainly for balanced audio cables fitted with 6.5mm
jacks. Unfortunately, most of the shop assistants didn't
understand what I'd asked for, and none of the guitar shops (or
pro-audio shops for that matter) actually had any. Foyles and
the Virgin Megastore both did better out of me ... ;-)
The Linux Expo show at Olympia was more interesting than
expected. The highlights for me were the Cobalt RaQ people and
Perforce. It's possible I'll be hosting a Cobalt RaQ over in the
States soon. And Perforce might just be the solution we need for
source control management for GNQS.
Tuesday 5th October 1999
My apologies to everyone that I've been ignoring my email for the
last couple of days. Yesterday was Kristi's birthday, so I've
been busy organising a day out for her (and spending today
Tomorrow is Linux Expo UK day. I'm not exhibiting - just
going to see what it's like. Also an excuse to have lunch with
an old friend.
On the CD front, I've been listening to the latest Nine Inch
Nails release - a double release called The Fragile.
Not bad ;-) But, if you like folk and aren't stuffy about it,
check out Snakefarm's release Songs From My Funeral.
Different, but very good.
And my copy of The Matrix finally arrived this
morning. The commentary sound track isn't one of the best, but
hey - who cares? ;-)