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…

Sat 21 Jun 2003

June 21, 2003

  • Life (Passings): On a somber note, Steven Taylor has left this world after fatal complications from a sugery. He was one of my co-workers at Red Hat and I didn’t know him very well. I talked to him only occasionally, passing by him in the halls every few days. When things like this happen, I’m always left feeling like I should have made a larger effort to know that person, and wish I’d been a better person myself. There is no doubt that he died much, much too soon. He was a very energetic and courageous man and will leave a hole in many people’s lives.

    On a much happier note, Miguel got engaged! Congratulations Miguel.

  • GU4DEC: What a blast! It was an amazing conference this year. The biggest problem I had was getting everything possible out if it. There was always something interesting going on and I regretfully had to sleep occasionally. During almost every track there were two or more conferences I wanted to see. There was so much gossip to share, and news to relate! There were two monster board meetings, the each of which lasted seven or eight hours. It’s a really good thing we all get along pretty well.

    I met Noah Levitt, Ross Burton (briefly) and Arvind Samptur in person for the first time. It’s always really fascinating to see what people you talk to only on irc look like. Noah surprised me, as the only other person named Noah that I’ve ever known was really short. For some reason, I was expecting this Noah to be similarly sized. He apparently was in the same High School class as Shane Battier, so perhaps that rubbed off on him a little.

    I also met up with Christophe Fergeau to discuss the gnome-vfs mime stuff a bit more. I’m not sure I’m being as helpful as I could be but unfortunately we both have a good idea of where we want to go and are having trouble going there. It’s a messy, messy problem.

    One of the biggest bummers for me about GU4DEC was that Kristian wasn’t able to make it. I owe that guy a lot of beers, and need to start paying him back at some point. It would be great to have met him. Hopefully he can go next year.

  • GUADEC (continued): I also got to hang out with the Swedes again, which is always a lot of fun. I made great plans with Anders that we need to follow through with some day. I even managed to get a tiny bit of hacking done. I moved DrWright into the control-center in advance of the impending feature freeze. Hopefully Richard Hult won’t do the same thing before I can check in my code. I also did some more EggGConfWidget hacking, and somehow managed to avoid talking with Jody about the huge backlog of control-center bugs that we have.

    I also gave a talk on the control-center. It went fairly well for me, as I’m not normally a good speaker. It wasn’t a very technical talk and was more along the lines of a story. I went into a lot of detail (too much according to George) on its history and all the mistakes we made. I know I don’t do a great job maintaining this code, and could always use more help. However, I do have a good deal of faith in the shared vision we have for the future of GNOME, and hope I can keep moving the control-center in this direction. It’s always interesting, if nothing else.

    Zana was wonderful as always, putting up with all the GNOME-ness going on. She and Luis’s girlfriend, Krissa, went all over Dublin for a three days. Zana also managed to go to some Museums and Churches with Federico and Oralia, of which I’m pretty jealous.

  • Vacation: Zana and I decided to take three days off after GU4DEC and drive through Ireland. It’s not a big country, but there’s whole, heckuvalot to see. We are currently staying in a converted castle in the middle of the country. We had a pretty relaxing day driving through the country side, and it didn’t even rain much. I had a lovely dinner of Salmon, Duck, and Profiteroles. The bed is very comfortable too — much better than that awful hostel room I shared with the rest of the GNOME people.

    There was a wedding on the Castle lawn out front, and the festivities have been going on all day. Weddings are so much fun even when you don’t know the people getting married. We’ve been watching people have a blast all night. Hopefully Miguel will invite all of GNOME to his wedding.

    Tomorrow, we’re hoping to make it all the way to the Dingle peninsula and back half-way to Cork. Unfortunately a concert Killarny has thrown a kink in our plans by making all the Bed and Breakfasts in the area full.

  • Vacation (reading): The castle has a pretty cool bar set in a library. I was enjoying reading through the titles of the books. Most of them were published pre-1935, and a good chunk were even 19th century books. After browsing for half an hour, I found a book titled “The Life of Father Thomas Burke (Volume 1)” Since I knew nothing about the good man, I thought I’d borrow it to read. It’s very well written and quite entertaining. Unfortunately, I really don’t know who the man is and it’s told in a style where it’s expected that most of the readers either knew him, or at least what his works were. It would be like reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln in chronological order without knowing how that particular story would finish.

    I don’t know if Father Burke is an important Irish figure or just another 19th century priest, and I won’t know until I get internet access again. My Californian education certainly didn’t cover him. However, I do know that no matter how his life plays out, his biographer has done a good job of making me want to read about it more. I’m going to have to go looking for that book when I get back to the United States.

  • toilets: Why does it seem like I need to flush every toilet in this country two or three times in order for it to work? There’s some cultural design issue going on here.

  • Name commentary: Between Havoc Pennington and Stormy Peters, GNOME has the coolest sounding advisory board around.

  • Musical commentary: Here are is a small subset of the songs heard in the dining room and from the wedding party outside: “Living La Vida Loca”, “Survive”, “New York, New York”, “YMCA”, “Beautiful”, “In the Mood”, “I’ll Be Loving You Forever”, “Eternal Flame”, “It’s Not Unusual”, “Wake Me Up, Before You Go-Go”, “Dancing Queen”, “Uptown Girl”, “Material Girl”, “I Feel Like A Woman”, “La Bamba”, “Can’t Get You Outta My Head”, “Red, Red Wine”, “Cecilia”, and of course, “Brown Eyed Girl”.

    I think I was expecting more Irish jigs. Or at least a dancing leprechaun or two.

  • Jealousy: Gosh, I really like Alex’s digital camera.

Tue 10 Apr 2001

April 10, 2001

  • guadec: It’s over now. It ended up being one gigantic blur of hackers, meetings, discussions, and other such goings on. There’s a lot of cool stuff going on in GNOME right now — we just need to finish it all and get a release out.

  • location (copenhagen): Spent a lot of time wandering around the city (and certainly have the blisters to prove it. Saw the danish national museum, with gleblanc, Yu Yu (from mandrake) and the other labs guys this morning. Lots of Viking paraphernalia. I’ll try to write up a more detailed account (with photos!) of Copenhagen when I get back.

  • sas: No room to type in these seats. Playing 102 dalmations doesn’t improve my mood at all.

  • nautilus: It’s actually pretty darn cool (when it works) for viewing files. I took a lot of photos with the digital camera and used this to play with them afterwards.

Fri 06 Apr 2001

April 6, 2001

  • guadec: Really busy day. Helped give a GTK+-2.0 this morning by confusing everyone on how the new tree widget works. Hopefully every one will figure out how to use it as well as how cool it is. Saw a talk on . Missed Rob Gringle’s talk while eating lunch, and trying to get the networking working. Still haven’t read my mail. Saw a sobering talk on usability by a Sun engineer. Watched Michael Meeks talk on bonobo with Owen later. Had a pretty fun talk with Jody, who showed me what is happening in gnumeric. Finally, working group with everyone on GNOME and Havoc describing the Foundations discussions.

  • GNOME: There’s a lot of cool stuff going on!

  • food: Danish food is pretty interesting, but not great. We had a nice Danish lunch yesterday with pickled cabbage pickled herring, some sort of white potatoes, and gravy. Lunch was interesting. I put what I thought was cheese on my sandwich, only to find it was shredded horseraddish. There was some mayonnaise-like substance that wasn’t mayonnaise (I never figured out what it was.)

  • location (copenhagen): Sort of dreary and depressing. It’s also fairly compact. Very bike accessible. I like that.