Dec 302005

I’ve been a fan of Spirit ever since it was first released. But trying to use it in any sort of nonobvious way always makes me feel not quite smart enough. The documentation is what I’d call a Good Start; maybe it’s even 70% of the way there. It is well-written; but it is written for someone as smart as its author or nearly so. I for one could use a little more exposition and a lot more examples.

But slowly, I think I am Getting It. After rereading documentation several times and searching the mailing list archives, I think I have attained my goal of making the semantic actions for my URI parser pluggable as a template parameter.

I wrote the URI parser for OpenVRML. But it is an implementation detail there, which makes it a bit difficult to test in that context. So I have broken it out into its own package to facilitate testing. That was really prompted by this claim that the URI parser leaks memory.

 Posted by at 12:09 am
Dec 172005

A couple of years ago we purchased a Canon PowerShot A70. At some point in the last year, we’ve managed to lose track of it. I still suspect it might turn up; but in the mean time, we really need a camera. So I’ve now got a PowerShot A620. Conveniently, it takes the same rechargeable AA batteries we got for the A70 but rarely managed to bring along with us (the consequence of which is that I know exactly where the batteries are).

 Posted by at 4:55 am
Dec 152005

I have a Sony G420 monitor that I purchased not too long after moving the the D.C. area. This is possibly the finest 19″ CRT ever made. I had problems with an NEC FP950 being too bright; the G420 is truly easy on the eyes. I guess I’ve been using it for more than 4 years now; and it still delivers a razor-sharp picture.

A coworker recently upgraded to a LCD flat panel and was looking to unload a Sony G410. I took it off his hands, figuring that it would be pretty similar to the G420 and thus make a good second monitor. My NVIDIA Quadro FX 540 can support dual CRTs, so I’d just have to plug it in.

And it does a pretty good job. The two monitors just barely fit side-by-side in front of me on my Anthro corner cart. Except for somewhat different sets of controls and ports, the housings are identical. So getting the images at the same height is pretty easy. The picture quality on the G410 is good; but it isn’t quite up to the G420. The colors on the G410 are significantly different and have taken quite a bit of twiddling to get reasonaby close to the G410’s “default” 9300 K setting.

All things considered, I’m pretty happy with the set up. Having the second monitor really is nice. But it also means that there’s absolutely no way I’m upgrading to LCD until nice roomy 1920×1200 displays are reasonably affordable.

 Posted by at 9:10 pm
Dec 152005

So, it’s been more than a month since I set up WordPress and made my first few token entries.

Between work, the various obligations of the holiday season, and a raft of patches for OpenVRML, I’ve not had time for much. But there’s really a much lamer reason: I didn’t want to bother posting much more until I’d gotten Andy Wingo’s Advogato plug-in set up. Well, after much procrastination and fumbling about attaining the most rudimentary understanding of XMLRPC, I seem to have it working.

Last week I got e-mail from an old friend from high school who I’d lost touch with. Apparently he came across my comments on the NetBeans 5.0 beta. Of all the things. I probably wouldn’t even have written that if I hadn’t set up WordPress and been looking for an excuse to use it. It was really good reconnecting with him.

 Posted by at 4:50 am