Thursday, June 24, 2004

Dear Senator Leahy...

You remember what Dick Cheney said to you today? Well, you pretty much deserved it.

Do Ya Like Blogs?

Or do ya want to find out more about them. Read this article: "Meet Joe Blog" from Time Magazine.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Internet Chess Club Launches New Site

If you're a chess player, check out their newly redesigned site here: ICC. ICC is the chess server I use to play online and enjoy it. Their Windows client Blitzen is getting a bit long in the tooth, but it works well. The new site includes a relaunch of Internet Chess Radio, which, if you're a geek, is WAY COOL! Looks like there is also a new section with free chess videos available for viewing.

Cool Site of the Hour:

There are a number of open source software documentation projects out there, including Doxygen and Docbook. But if you happen to be an aficionado of the computer typesetting software LaTeX and/or TeX (I am this type of person), then you may have heard of WEB, including CWEB, Noweb, FWEB, etc. WEB was devised by Don Knuth to help him write TeX and he now uses CWEB for his other programming. Like Doxygen and DocBook, WEB is a documentation system in which both the code and the documentation reside in the same file. This is a tremendous boon to the process of coding. Text formatting and diagramming can be accomodated and are obtained by processing the same "filename.cweb" input file differently. My own (admittedly limited) experience has been with CWEB in which an input file "filename.cweb" is processed by "ctangle" and "cweave". ctangle produces a compilable filename.c file from the filename.cweb input file, and cweave produces a LaTeX input file filename.tex. An executable is produced in the usual way, "gcc filename.c" and (beautiful) printed documentation is produced using "latex filename.tex".

After this long-winded introduction, I have happened across a very good web site, which has been put together by an individual over the past several years. He has collected links, documentation, software, and has produced Microsoft Windows verions of much of that software from code that was originally written for a Unix system.

Highly recommended. You heard it here first.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"John Kerry's 'Religion Outreach' Director is a Gem"

Oh. My. God. Take a look at what the Catholic League has found about John Kerry's 'Religion Outreach' Director. You can't hold political candidates responsible for the nut jobs that support them, but when they HIRE them ... this HAS to be publicized. I promised myself I wouldn't post blatantly political stuff that is best handled on Free Republic or, but this is too much.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Catholic Art at the National Gallery of Art

Enthroned Madonna and Child, 13th Century, National Gallery of Art Posted by Hello

I've been to the National Gallery of Art in Washington a couple of times recently to see the exhibit of Catholic art in Italy in the 13th through the 16th centuries. You can see a web presentation of the exhibit at here. I must admit to knowing little about art but it is heartening to me, as a life-long Catholic, to periodically witness reminders of the incredible history of the Church. Two thousand years of philosophy, theology, art, and science is impressive, significant, transcendant. This can be useful in these times of scandal and disbelief at the spectacle of the awful dereliction of duty by Catholic leadership in the United States ... "This too shall pass."

Wireless LAN on a Fedora Linux Box

Okay, I've set a new goal for myself. I am running Fedora Core 2 Linux (2.6 kernel) on my desktop box (Athlon 2600+ CPU, 1 GB RAM, 125 GB hard drive, assembled it myself last year) and currently access the net through the onboard Broadcom chipset-based NIC on the Asus A7V8X mainboard. But I want to connect using a wireless networking card I bought some time ago so that I can set up anywhere in the house without having to string CAT5 cable. At the moment, my cable modem is in the basement, so that is where my desktop is. But I've been having such wonderful use out of my Sony Centrino laptop, running WinXP, that I want to duplicate the experience with Linux.

Here are the particulars: After doing an /sbin/lspci, I see that my WLAN card (D-Link AirPlus XtremeG DWL-G520) is sporting an Atheros chipset, specifically the AR5212. Now to go to googling...

Warning: I obsessed on how to get direct rendering going under Fedora Linux for my ATI Radeon 9500 Pro card for quite a while before finally solving the problem. My friends at work can tell you how tiresome it got, listening to me blather on about it. It was easy under Gentoo Linux but I've since switched to Fedora (nee Red Hat). In other words, this could take a while. You heard it here first.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

President Reagan Has Died at Age 93

President Reagan died yesterday, apparently of pneumonia and other complications of his ten-year losing battle against Alzheimer's disease. Those who know me well know the very high regard with which I hold him. My enthusiasm for his political leadership and goals began during the 1976 campaign for the Republican nomination against Gerald Ford. I was only fifteen years old at the time and I heard a snippet of a speech he made about the Panama Canal Treaty which Carter had signed with Omar Torrijos, then the strongman running Panama. He (Reagan) pointed out that he was opposed to "giving the American canal in Panama to a tin-horned dictator." Probably not a practical expression of American foreign policy, given what that dictator would have done had we not agreed to transfer the canal to his control. But that simple expression of what everybody deep down knew to be the truth made me sit up and take notice. By the time of the Republican convention, which was, back in those days actually broadcast on network television I was hooked. The first presidential election for which I was old enough to vote was 1980 and it was a triumph.

His passing is in a way the closing of a chapter in U.S. history. Certainly it is the closing of a chapter in my own life. But there are many more chapters to come because it really was "morning in America". May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Roger Ailes Eviscerates LA Times Editor

Check out Drudge in which he quotes about half of a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Roger Ailes. I was able to read the entire article but we get news feeds at work and unfortunately, reading the WSJ online requires a fee. Drudge gets most of the flavor but it was delicious to read Ailes fire back with both barrels at the Los Angeles Times editor who, out of nowhere, said some really harsh things about Fox News Channel, the viewers of Fox News, and, by implication, pretty much everyone who WOULD watch Fox News. There's something awe-inspiring about watching a master cutting a bombastic pompous ass off at the knees. I don't have any love for O'Reilly (for essentially the same reasons) but you gotta be careful when you fool with someone like Roger Ailes. Ailes was a Reaganaut from the 1984 election, in which he helped disembowel, figuratively speaking, Walter Mondale at the polls. He is a very sharp guy and taking him on for no reason was NOT smart!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

17-Year Cicadas in the Eastern U.S.

The cicada "skins" or "shells" or whatever you want to call them. These remnants are all over the place and they stink a little bit. Posted by Hello

Every seventeen years, the cicadas apparently come out for a few weeks in the eastern United States. I wish the videos I took were small enough to email, but at 30 MB, they're obviously not. But they could give you some sense of the terrific howling sound they are making during the day.

They seem to be mostly in the trees, as I'm not getting swarms on the side of the house the way some other people are describing at work. But here you can see their shells that they apparently molt out of before going on about their business. Gives a sense of just how many there are.

NY Times: For Some, the Blogging Never Stops

Here is an interesting article in the New York Times about blogging and how it seems to take over the lives of some people. It's by Katie Hafner, author of Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet and Cyberpunk: Outlaws and hackers on the Computer Frontier. It describes the vast majority of blogs as "abandonware" with a few being compulsively added to by people who seem, well, compulsive. I suspect I will fall in the middle, a person who periodically adds more content, but who forgets about it a lot of the time. However my New Year's resolution (displaced by only five months) is to try to do more than that with my blog.

Remember, you read it here first...

Writing this from Fedora Linux!

I'm posting this entry from my new Fedora Linux Core 2 installation. If you've ever been tempted to check Linux out, you've got a couple of first-class - and free - solutions available to you right now: Fedora Linux Core 2 and Mandrake Linux 10. Both are free for the downloading and both have the latest and fastest Linux software. If you're going to download, I recommend using BitTorrent and if you'd just like to skip that and buy these inexpensively, take a look at In the case of Mandrake, once you decide you like it and are going to use it, it's probably best to buy it in the stores or go to their website and join their club. Mandrake just emerged from the French-equivalent of Chapter 11 and need the boost.