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Fri, Oct 05 2001

Ok this is my final (not "final" final :p) post till about Monday (or rather Tuesday here in the US depending on whether it's Monday morning or afternoon) when I should have Net access back again. I'll let you all know how the trip went and whether I got thrown off any flights for behaving in a suspicious manner <vbg> I am hoping that I might even get some work done on some of my apps during the flight if they do have power outlets on the airplane for my notebook. Guess we'll see ... talk to you all soon ... hopefully :-)
posted at 02:53:23 PM  link  comment

Thu, Oct 04 2001

I do have a rant about racial profiling since they had a pretty interesting segment yesterday on "20/20" about it where they interviewed many Americans and almost all of them seemed to be for targeting people of probable Middle Eastern descent as possible terrorists. What was even more interesting was that a majority of the African Americans were for this kind of profiling but when they were next asked how they felt about the police targeting African Americans on the highways because majority of the crime in the US is committed by black youths, they said that wasn't right because that was racism. I fail to see the difference between the two cases but that must be just me because the majority of the people in the "land of the free" feels it's all right to target a specific demographic - especially of course if they aren't American. Ah well ... why talk about it? I'll probably have more to say about it after I fly tomorrow since I have a distinctly Arabic name :p

Speaking of flying, I'll be in Amsterdam airport on the 6th from about 11:30am till around 2:30pm on my way to Sri Lanka - anybody wanna visit me? :p I'm kinda looking forward to the trip since I haven't been home to Sri Lanka in about four years and it will be good to see my parents and brother and sister. Plus, with the way things are here in the US, I am actually considering going back for good because the whole American attitude at the moment is kinda souring me on America. To be fair, none of my personal friends or most of the people I know of personally on the Net who are American have expressed these negative attitudes but when you hear the same thing from so many different sources about Americans, you feel hemmed in. I know I'm being unfair to the one's who aren't like that but all the same it feels very uncomfortable. Plus, if it did happen to me, I'd probably make a big fuss and end up in jail anyway :p

As far as coding goes, I did get very far along with Bandit and KuhnDog seems to be very happy with it :-) But I won't have the time to do any more work on any of my apps till I get back from Sri Lanka (or decide to stay there for good <vbg>) I wish I'd got the time to release Blog 5.0 Beta 2 before I left or even done some work on the next release of Scope but I guess it's best not to rush these things. So bear with me :-) I'll probably update my journal even while I'm over there (if I do get there that is :p) but probably not as frequently since I'll be moving around a lot visiting relatives, kissing babies etc. :p But keep watching this space and I'll let you know all that's going on ...
posted at 09:18:22 AM  link  comment

Tue, Oct 02 2001

Been pretty busy with work related stuff and I've also been working on a couple of coding projects. The first one was to get Mozilla 0.9.4 to compile on my machine so that I can get back to work on Scope. They are really making things complicated for Mozilla - now you need the Mozilla tools, Cygwin, Perl and Info-Zip to simply get Mozilla to compile. Even then, you can't do a full build if you don't have the MFC libraries and headers (like me) on your machine. I did get the client built yesterday but haven't had time to look into it any further because of the second project.

This actually started as a quick and dirty app (as they all do <vbg>) for KuhnDog since he wanted a way to take a screenshot of his desktop and upload it to an FTP server while creating a thumbnail image of the file as well. I started work on a new app called Bandit which I hoped to complete in no time at all. In fact, I had a prototype ready last week for KuhnDog but since I had no Net access over the weekend, I didn't see KuhnDog's reaction to the app till I got back to work yesterday. Turns out that Bandit wouldn't run on his machine due some problems with the image manipulation components that I'd used :-( Since I am planning to go on vacation on Friday, I promised KuhnDog that I'd get the app done before that and so I've been working on that whenever I have the time and today I was finally able to get Bandit working the way I wanted to. It has evolved a bit beyond what it was initially supposed to be but it is also lacking a few of the original features :p Basically, it's still a work in progress but hopefully it won't be something I will work on for too long since I don't need another app to eat into my time <vbg>

In non-coding related news, I was able to test out the ATI all-in-wonder card yesterday as a PVR and was able to record around two hours of "The Fly" at fairly good quality with no problems at all! I'm pretty satisfied with the card and it's performance and am now thinking of getting a big hard disk - I mean a really big one :-) Since I just saw a Maxtor 60GB for around $145, that might not be a bad idea since then I could have over 20 hours of recording time as opposed to the five hours I get now :p Ah well, some day ....
posted at 12:58:06 PM  link  comment

Mon, Oct 01 2001

I hate ISP's that can't provide good enough service to see that their customers have uninterrupted Internet access! When it happens to be a "major" ISP - that's worse!! I have Prodigy access (it's one of those three year deals so that I could buy a computer and get $400 off ...) and recently they've been very consistent in their service outages. It happened a few weeks back when there was a long weekend and there was no access for the whole week and then it happened again on Friday. I am sick and tired of not having Net access for the whole weekend and wondering who might be trying to contact me and wanting to do research on something or other and then remembering that I don't have any Net access. Guess I should talk to Prodigy customer service today and see whether I can get out of their stupid contract since I see no point to having Net access with no actual access.

Since I had no Net access over the weekend, I kind of stayed completely away from the computer :p I did spend some time Friday evening working with the new ATI all-in-wonder Radeon card that I got since I just got rid of my satellite connection from Dish Network and instead wanted to set up a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) on my desktop. I removed the 17MB hard disk that's inside the DishPlayer 500 that I got from Dish Network as part of the promo I signed up for and put it on my desktop and then set up the ATI card. Things actually seem to be working pretty well and I can get about 5 hours of good quality recording on the 17MB drive :-) Of course, I'm still having problems setting up the recording stuff but that seems to be mostly due to the settings I choose and I haven't made a serious effort to look into the recording aspect since I was too busy watching TV :p

Speaking of TV, I watched two new shows yesterday that I found very interesting and engrossing. Both seem to be taking a leaf out of the world of movies and trying to make TV shows look like mini-movies and while they might not have succeeded all the way, the shows were still interesting enough for me to want to know how things progress. The first show was on ABC yesterday and it was called "Alias". It's about this girl who believes that she's working undercover for the CIA only to find out that she is actually working for the "enemy" and that her Dad (whom she'd believed all her life to be a guy who sold aircraft parts) is part of the same group. The episode ended with her going over to the CIA and agreeing to work as a double-agent only to discover that her Dad is a double-agent for the CIA as well :-) Interesting stuff ..

The other show comes on right after "Alias" but is on NBC. It's called "UC: Undercover" and is about the life of undercover agents. This show actually said that they wanted each episode to be a mini-movie and the previews seemed to show that there were plenty of action-packed sequences but I missed the opening since "Alias" ran on for an extra 10 minutes but the rest of the show had only one action sequence a la John Woo but it was interesting enough (and they left a cliff-hanger at the end ...) for me to want to know what happens next week. Unfortunately, I'll be flying home to Sri Lanka (at least I hope to ...) on Friday and I'm gonna miss the next episodes of both shows unless my PVR works :p
posted at 08:37:52 AM  link  comment

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