Wed 27 Apr 2005

April 27, 2005

  • life: I finally naturalized.

    As of two weeks ago, I’m an American citizen. It has been long overdue, and was a hectic process. It culminated in a six hour ceremony — or at least, four and a half hours of waiting followed by a thirty minute swearing-in process. All-in-all, it was a small price to pay for three years of waiting, filling out forms and dealing with the INS.

    I’m very excited about the whole thing. On one hand, I’ve always felt like an American, as my British Citizenship was primarily an accident of birth. On the other hand, I have wanted to vote for a long time, and I finally will get that opportunity.

    After the ceremony, Zana and I went walking through Boston. We stopped by the Boston Public Library and looked inside Trinity Church. I acquired a BPL card, and we hung out in the records room for a while, browsing through strange books. We also went (unsuccessfully) shopping for tea pots.

  • basement: As spring is finally here, Zana and I spent the weekend cleaning up the basement. There’s a lot more work to be done, but it’s much more open than before. Zana also bought a dart board cabinet and two sets of flights as a naturalization present. I hung them up in the basement and we played a few rounds of Cricket. The flights were a Union Jack and American Flag themed, and somewhat ominously, I threw much better with the Union Jack flights.

  • evince: As Bryan mentioned earlier, I finally landed the continuous and dual scrolling modes for evince. We’re getting a lot of really nice patches from other contributors now, and it’s hard to keep up with them. Selection is still broken, but we’re working through a lot of the kinks that the scrolling introduced. When we’re back to feature parity, we are going to make a pretty awesome release. I’m looking forward to working on a presentation mode next. That is going to be fun to write.

  • GUADEC: I bought my tickets to GUADEC this week. Unfortunately, the Red Hat summit overlaps with the end of GUADEC meaning that I’ll have to leave a little bit earlier than I’d like. I’m especially sad that I’m going to miss Dan Kuznetsky’s talk — I imagine that he’d have a lot of interesting things to say.

  • yarrr: arrr…

Mon 04 Apr 2005

April 4, 2005

  • evince: I spent a couple evenings last week trying to finish up the threading changes to evince. I got it complete enough that I added two new features this weekend. The first was completion in the entry (see the screenshot at #172453). The second was to add continuous scrolling. Unfortunately, the first requires a bugfix in GTK+ HEAD to be truly useful, and the second is too immature to land. However, the continuous scrolling seemed to perform really well, which makes me feel much better about all the dramatic changes we made to the core.

    After the release this week, I’m going to try to get these in a usable mode and commit them.

  • cars: Zana, Soeren, Seth and I went to the MFA last weekend to see the “Speed, Style and Beauty, the cars of Ralph Lauren” last weekend. It was pretty sweet. I’m not a giant car afficianado, but it was hard not to be appreciative of these cars. I have a new favorite car too — the 1954 Mercedes gullwing SL (with matching luggage.) It was a gorgeous, gorgeous car, and more affordable than the rest. I found one on EBay for only $400K USD, as opposed to the several million the other cars went for. Something to save my pennies for…

    We went to the North End for dinner afterward, and had Cannoli’s for dessert.

  • games: After we got back to Nashua, I tried out Seth’s copy of “Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat”. It was surprisingly fun, though I hit the Bongo’s too hard and my hands hurt after 20 minutes. It was quite gimmicky (I doubt other genres will benefit from a pair of bongos), but this one hit the spot. Crazy, crazy game.

  • basketball: After being demolished in the brackets by Rosanna’s magic nickel, I’m finally looking respectable after Arizona choked. If she’d pulled off both Arizona and Louisville, I’d never be able to live it down.

  • housekeeping (spring): Zana and I went to Raffi’s Daylight’s Savings party last night. We saw a bunch of old friends who we hadn’t seen in a while, and made plans for the upcoming months. Winter is finally over up here, and we’re crawling out of our bunker. It’s looking to be a pretty eventful spring.

Thu 17 Feb 2005

February 17, 2005

  • Road Warrior: I’ve been out of town for over three weeks. I went to Hawaii for the FSG Accessibility conference, and then flew to Hong Kong to visit Zana’s family for a week. We followed that up with a weeklong vacation in Japan. It was a huge blast, and I visited a lot of great places and tried a lot of really tasty food. I won’t bore people with a giant travelogue; at least not today. But I had an awesome time and would love to go back again in the future.

  • Network Warrior: During this trip, I flew nine different legs, visited nine different airports, and stayed in four hotels. Through out the travel, NetworkManager worked like a champ. I have spent too much of my life fiddling with networks on Linux, it was refreshing to not worry about getting my laptop working. I was always able to find an access point and select it, or to plug in a cable to get a network. Many kudos to Dan for making NetworkManager so useful.

  • LWE: I went to LWE yesterday. I hadn’t been to one in over a year, and it was pretty much like the all the other ones I’d seen. It was pretty exciting to see such vibrant booths for both GNOME and Fedora, and was good to see old and new faces. Luis’s live CD was really popular and was a great idea! We are definitely going to have to have these ready at future events and at release time.

    One thing I’m reminded of everytime I go to one of these things is how hard it is to name a new company and product. There were a lot of mediocre names with booths at the show. I’m positive that I wouldn’t be able to do much better than most of the efforts there (AisleRiot anyone?) but some names were really awful sounding.

  • evince: On the fourteen hour flight from Tokyo to DC, I added support to evince to make best-fit “sticky”. It’s a little slow but it really improves the feel of the application. It also shows that we need to move to use a threaded rendering system sooner rather than later. Once that’s done though, we can add the continuous scrolling support we need so badly.

Thu 23 Dec 2004

December 23, 2004

  • evince: Given that half the Red Hat desktop team had left for vacation, we decided to have a mini-hackfest at work this week. After scrounging around for ideas, we came up with adding some features to gpdf. It turns out that the gpdf team were getting frustrated with the limitations of the current code base, and had planned to rewrite anyway. Marco committed his initial code and we all piled on.

    After two days of hacking, we have something that actually almost works. It certainly isn’t good enough to replace ggv or gpdf yet, but it’s pretty awesome for such a quick project. It has search, printing, and a sidebar, as well as pdf, postscript, and image support. Anders also contributed initial thumbnailing support. Although the features are still raw, it’s a really promising application for future GNOME releases!

  • Math: I bought a new car this week.

    As part of the purchase of the car, I took out an auto loan from the local credit union. The loan computer there only listed the current ‘base’ rate, with a field for the discount to apply to that rate. The car dealer had offered me a better rate than they had, and the credit union agreed to match it.

    This meant that the bank manager had to figure out the difference between the base rate and the target rate and enter that into the computer (eg, subtract one number from another). She got it wrong three times, despite writing all the digits out on a piece of paper, and my encouragements to go back and try again. The fact that a bank manager could get hired who was unable to do basic math is just incredible. I really hope she was just having a bad day, but it didn’t look very good.

  • yelp: Yelp is really nice nowadays as a generic docbook viewer. It’s so much better than the old days of trying to get jade to behave. Shaun even added reload support to it for me. Thanks Shaun!