DOS Progrmming

It looks like we’re about to start a new embedded project for a customer. They have a system running on a DOS-extender and DOS-based realtime kernel. I’m going to try to talk them into replacing it with one of the embedded Linux options that are becoming more popular. If they don’t go for that, I’ll need to brush up on ancient history – it’s been a while since I’ve done any DOS programming.

I also have more Perl coding coming up. I’ll be able to release this one under GPL. I’m going to be integrating Cybercash and iTransact support into a re-write of a Perl shopping cart/ecommerce package. It’s going to be a very small, minimal program compared to minivend and the other currently available shopping carts.

APC SmartUPS and the Fate of Civilization

The replacement APC SmartUPS arrived today. They forgot the prepaid airbill for the dead one, of course, so I’ll have to call them about it tomorrow. I set up the new UPS and it seems to be working okay. I plugged a Sun Ultra 10 and monitor into it and, if nothing goes wrong with this one overnight, we’ll put it online and try to get it talking to Linux. I managed to get a nasty cut on the tip of my right index finger from a sharp edge on the UPS while lifting it – so typing is no fun at the moment.

I started reading How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill to Susan this week. Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to read books faster than I accumulate them.

One of our clients had a wav file that needed editing and I decided to find a sound editor for Linux. I found half a dozen but they were all version or somesuch and, after going to the trouble of building them, they generally consisted of a nice gui that didn’t actually do anything yet. Looks like I’ll have to use Sound Forge on the NT box for this one.

Music and Sea Disasters

Now that I’ve finally finished hacking on newslog for a while, I’m going to post my weekend update and then get some sleep. I decided not to post the freshmeat annoucement tonight as it looks like freshmeat is having some sort of problems – each post is appearing about 5 times. Probably best to wait until tomorrow.

Saturday I did a much needed software upgrade to the NCC phone system. In the evening Susan and I went to the DSO. The program consisted of Don Juan by Richard Strauss (ok if you like Strauss), Concert de Gaudi for Guitar and Orchestra by Christopher Rouse (sorry, classical Guitar is just not my kind of music – I found Adam Seymour’s guitar work at the Pretenders concert earlier this month much more to my liking), and finally Symphony No. 4 in E minor by Johannes Brahms (quite good – made the program worth going to).

Sunday we went to the Titanic artifact exhibit at Fair Park. It was really intersting and the only complaint I had about the exhibit was that the lighting was really bad. Everything was in dark rooms with black walls and only a few spot lights that seemed to have been carefully placed so that there was no way to view a display case without standing between the light and the case, thus casting a shadow over whatever you were trying to see. But there was lots of cool stuff there including a huge section of an actual hull plate, the steam-powered whistles, life-vests, and an assortment of personal items such as jewelery, money, and letters. There were a couple of models of the original ship as well as really big (about 40 feet long!) model of the front section of the hull as it exists today on the ocean floor. There was also the ever-present gift shop as you leave the exhibit: Titanic shirts, hats, mugs, shot glasses, spoons, posters, puzzles, books, you name it. There were CDs of the music heard on the Titanic, a batter-powered, inflatable Titanic, a Titanic computer game, complete sets of china with the Titanic and White Star Line logo, key chains, ash trays, cigar cases, and zillion other things I can’t even remember.

Advogato First Post

Assuming my patches to newslog and to mod_virgule work, this will be my first post to go to both my home page and to my diary simultaneously. If nothing blows up, I’ll probably post a freshmeat announcement later tonight in case anyone else wants to sync up news/diary entries on their personal home pages to their diary.

Discovering Advogato

I’ve been reading an open source news portal called Advogato fairly regularly and decided to sign up for an account. I’m usually just a spectator at these things – I don’t even have a slashdot account. But Advogato is fairly interesting in that it uses a group trust metric system to rate each member and assign privileges such as news posting. The theory is that this will make for a better signal to noise ratio and avoid slashdot-type posts about hot grits and Natalie Portman. Anyway, as a side effect, I’ve been working on a new version of newslog that will be able to post these news entries to my diary on advogato as well as here.

Dead APC SmartUPS

We received an APC SmartUPS 1400 a couple of days ago. I was going to try it out and see how well it works with Linux. We plugged the thing in and 24 hours later it appears completely dead. After a few calls to APC, they’re sending out a replacement at no charge. Looks like it will be another week before I can report on the Linux compatibility.