August 20, 2007

  • meta: It has been a long time since I’ve written anything. Being a father has taken its toll on my free time, and I got out of the habit of writing. As has happened every time I have hit a dry spell in the past, I count on the same thing to get me started up again. I change software! This time to the WordPress instance at The old, elisp-based version I borrowed from Federico wasn’t working out for me anymore. We will see if this one does any better. I’m counting on gnome-blog to help keep it updated too. Many thanks to jdub for helping me get the old entries imported.

    I have tried to keep the visual style of the old page — namely that of a ChangeLog entry. Nevertheless, I have made concessions to the modern web. ChangeLog entries should probably do the same. (-:

  • birthdays (GNOME): GNOME is now 10! Amazing. It has definitely been a long and strange trip. Dave’s recollection of Project Bob is a good memory. I’ll add my own:

    The first time I met most of the people working on GNOME (at that time) was in Linux Expo in 1998. gnome-0.20 was just about to be released. This version featured a newly written Wanda the fish applet to play with. There was a demo machine there with someone showing off the coolest feature in in GNOME at that time, namely embeddable drawers. People were dragging them into the panel, and creating crazy shapes and figures. Naturally, it was buggy like crazy. Sopwith was sitting on the machine next to it and had logged in remotely, surreptitiously hacking on the panel, trying to fix the bugs people were hitting. When the panel (or an application) would crash, he would quickly restart them, making it seem more stable than it was.

    Looking back on it, we had know idea of what we were getting ourselves into. I am sure if we knew back then what we know now, there is no way anyone would have started writing a desktop. It sure was a lot of fun though!

  • life (Eleanor): Eleanor has grown! She is sixteen months old, and is now spending her days running around the house, terrorizing the dog. She gets into a lot of mischief, but is very, very sweet. Zana and I don’t see her changing day by day, but just this weekend we had to put another box of clothes into the attic that she had outgrown. Her hair length is stuck somewhere in the middle of her back. It gets longer as she gets taller, but never quite seems to grow.
    Eleanor and Uncle Ed
    Eleanor and Uncle Ed

Thu 20 Apr 2006

April 20, 2006

  • meta: Again, a long time between updates. This time, it’s because I moved blogging software again. Instead of my own, crufty, home-grown software, I decided to use Federico‘s home-grown, crufty software. But Federico’s uses emacs, which gives it pretty good style points.

Mon 19 Jan 2004

January 19, 2004

  • Meta: It’s been a while since I’ve updated this. The hard drive in my laptop is on its way to the great hardware dustbin in the sky, and thus was unable to use it at all over Christmas. I made a valiant attempt to revive it when I got home, to no luck. So I’ve moved over my ChangeLog onto another computer for the short term.

  • Mystery Hunt: This weekend was the annual MIT mystery hunt, and the first that I’ve been able to attend in person since moving to North Carolina. It’s also the first time I haven’t been on the Random Hall team, but instead formed a team with a couple of other alums.

    I had forgotten just how much fun this could be in person. We weren’t a particularly competitive team given our small size, but we did alright solving some puzzles. I got tired, went home, and slept for fifteen hours, which is a clear sign that I am not going to be competitive with undergraduates anymore. It lasted through early this morning.

    More information on past mystery hunts can be found at:

  • Football: The Patriots are headed back to the Superbowl!!! This should salve the wounds of the local Red Sox fanatics a little bit.

  • Football (commentators): Joe Buck is a pretty good commentator and generally improves the quality of the Fox broadcasts. However, his “nothing says hard-nosed, smash-mouth football like the music of James Taylor” comment last night left me scratching my head.

  • Plumbing: During the recent cold weather snap, we had a pipe freeze in the downstairs bathroom ceiling. The plumber had to put a large hole in that ceiling to fix it. The water ruined the kitchen ceiling as well. The insurance will cover some of it, but this is still a big pain.

Thu 14 Aug 2003

August 14, 2003

  • meta (ChangeLog): With some help from James Henstridge, I changed the way I generate the html for this site. He wrote a nifty python iterator that reads a ChangeLog file and yields its constituent parts. This made it much easier (and cleaner) to create the html. Also, as it’s the trendy thing to do, I now have an rss feed at

  • meta ( I could not get DSL at my new house, so am stuck connecting to the Internet over a cable modem. I’m not really happy with this and miss Speakeasy. The cable modem has terrible upload bandwidth, though download seems to be faster than my old connection ever was. The biggest downside thus far, is that I can’t host content reliably on my server anymore. I’ve had to move a lot of the services at to We’ll see how that works out over the long run.

Mon 17 Jun 2002

June 17, 2002

  • Meta: Another diary entry — good chance I’m in an airport. I’m currently sitting in LAX, flying back to RDU. I came to Los Angeles for the weekend to see my brother graduate.

Thu 14 Feb 2002

February 14, 2002

  • Meta: Long time no diary again.

Sun 04 Nov 2001

November 4, 2001

  • Meta: Missed all of October. I went to another wedding in Chicago during that time. Zana and I got cell phones. I worked a lot on the GtkTreeView; it’s getting close to finished now. So much happened, so little was detailed. I suppose I should write it down so I can remember, if nothing else.

  • Design: The OXO Good Grips people continue to impress me. After a string of Mediocre products recently (I did not like their can opener) I was floored by their new Tea Kettle. Wow! I bet all Tea Kettles in the future work like that.

  • Location: I seem to be writing entries primarily in airports, nowadays. (-:

Sun 02 Sep 2001

September 2, 2001

  • Meta: Finally moved my ChangeLog over from my laptop. Should have done it much earlier.

Sat 30 Jun 2001

June 30, 2001

  • meta: Apparently getting a Wavelan card has totally shot my ChangeLog habit. I find that it never occurs to me to update it when I’m not at my old computer. With a little effort I can hopefully start it up again. I wonder if cross posting this on Advogato would make me try to keep it up more, or just make me look lame.

  • life: A lot seems to have happened in the last month. GTK+ 2.0 API freeze is coming up RSN, and I spent all day working on it. I’ll probably spend most of the day tomorrow too working. My parents came to town for the day, on their way to the coast for a week. Zana and I will join them next weekend — it’ll be good to get a small break.

  • yakk: Yakk mentioned that everyone says what they do, and not what they feel on their weblogs. I know I have a separate, non-public ChangeLog for that. I suspect that many others do as well.

  • music: I’m really enjoying Amnesiac. Only have to wait a few more years before Radio Head’s next album comes out… (-:

  • gegl: A few weeks ago, my stuffed GEGL arrived. It is very cool. Bex is a goddess.

  • Free Software: I have a s3kr3t pl4n! No one can know about it, but it’s going to be very cool!

Sun 01 Apr 2001

April 1, 2001

  • paintball: Paintball this morning with the Red Hat Dev team. It was somewhat frustrating — my gun kept jamming and my goggles kept fogging up. Left a little early with Zana.

  • shopping: After paintball, we went to Walmart and Barnes and Noble. Walmart is still one of my least favorite shops of all time, but they did have tall (72″) bookshelves on sale for $29.99. We bought a pair, and I attached them end to end, as we have run out of wall space. Zana and I then moved books around using my cool Monk shaped bookends. At Barnes and Noble, I bought a travel book on Copenhagen, as well as “The Travel Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide”. Bought Zana a copy of “The Genesis of Justice” by Alan Dershowitz, as it looked interesting. I may borrow it someday. Loaded up on a unleaded mocha latte on the way out.

  • car: Windshield wiper is dying. My attempts to fix it broke off a protective cap. Whoops… )-:

  • grout: Removed more grout. Dremmel, good. Knife, bad.

  • hacking (GTK+-HEAD): Committed some work to GtkTreeStore to make it sort. Chased it down with some fixes to make it compile. Bad Nathan!

  • meta: Chris Gabriel pointed out that I have a diary in a similar format to his. It was completely accidental! Hopefully he doesn’t have any patents on his look and feel. Anyway, mine has more legible HTML, so that’s something in my favor… (-:

  • movie: Zana’s watching sneakers. I’ve seen this movie five times or so. Still, its pretty fun (despite the incredible disappearing guards at the end…)