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Sat, Jan 26 2002

I'm watching "Rounders" again. I can't remember when I last watched the movie nor can I remember anything much about the movie except in terms of broad plot outlines - which is always good since it is no fun watching a movie while remembering all about it ... in most case :-) However, it did get me to thinking that it would be a great thing if we could take a snapshot about how we felt about a certain movie or situation at a given time so that we could take that snapshot out at a later time and compare it to how things had changed. What got me to thinking like that? Well, it's because I vaguely recall that my feelings about the movie the first time I'd watched it had been different. I had thought disparagingly about Matt Damon's character for being so addicted to playing cards but this time I was like "if he enjoys it, he should be doing it." :p Of course, my sentiments about the character played by Edward Norton has not changed - I think he's a weak low-life and that friendship stretches only so far. Matt Damon certainly shouldn't have gone out on a limb for Norton because Norton had already gone way beyond the bounds of friendship by putting Damon in debt - no matter what Norton did for Damon in the past. Of course, that's just my opinion ... <g>
posted at 10:42:50 AM  link  comment

Fri, Jan 25 2002

Didn't do much in the way of work yesterday at all - I helped a new Blog user setup the PHP comments system that I use as well and then played a lot of "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" and watched a movie. I keep on chipping away at this new project I've conceived in my mind but nothing concrete has come out of it yet and so I will not write about it - why write about something that will not see the light of day at all? But then again, there have been so many other projects of mine which haven't seen the light of day - Bandit and WebPrint to name just two. The difference is that those two apps are at least in working order and really do what they should do - I just haven't bothered to release them. Whereas this new project is just an idea I'm toying with but if it does come to be, then another un-released project - Quester - will tie into it as a plug-in. If it were to come to be, this would actually work out pretty well since I've had a lot of people ask me for a separate search functionality in Scope and I really don't think that would fit in there but providing Quester as an external app which can not only do searches for almost any site you can think of but can also provide the functionality for you to extend what engines you search and how you search them. That alone seems like enough justification for the project but before I get ahead of myself <g> I need to get it working first ... So we'll see ...
posted at 08:12:01 AM  link  comment

Thu, Jan 24 2002

The shell replacement related project I hinted at yesterday has come to naught due to ... umm ... creative differences :p It has however led me to think about starting work on a new project. I am strongly tempted to do so since I have ideas floating in my head that need an outlet in the from of code <g> I am not sure I should do so though since my other projects would suffer if I did. I've already got the project route mapped up for Blog up to 7.0 and I know there are people who are eager to see a new release of Scope as well ... So I probably would be better of putting my time and energy into those projects but still ... Ah well, I guess I'll figure it out as I go along ...

Speaking of Blog, I did do some further coding yesterday and squashed the minor bug that had been reported to me and also added a few more new features/changes. I have however decided against doing another release since neither the changes or the bug are overwhelming enough to make it worthwhile. So I'll probably go on to 6.0 and the next release will be when I have at least some (if not all ...) of the features of the 6.0 release completed. Of course, all of this will change if somebody finds a critical bug <vbg>
posted at 09:32:31 AM  link  comment

Wed, Jan 23 2002

An extremely slow day after yesterday's hectic coding, releasing and bug-fixing :p I've decided to take things easy and just sit back and relax ... I've even set aside some e-mails that needed to be responded to just because I feel so very lazy ... I'm playing "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance" at the moment and it is extremely satisfying to mindlessly trudge through a dungeon, hacking and slashing at enemies :-)

A couple of things of note. I re-discovered a web site that I used to visit often a while ago - ShellScape. Of course, one of the posters there discovered my site at the same time and so this is turning into a kind of a mutual admiration/linking thing <vbg> The whole story of how this came to be is long and I don't even know if I feel in the mood to write all about it but suffice it to say that my interest in Windows shell replacement has been rekindled lately and so I talked to somebody I knew from the olden days about it. He asked me to come on IRC and talk and that led to me meeting a lot of people from the shell replacement days - I hadn't been on IRC in a very long time either :p This led to me talking about my software and site and so, that led to my site being mentioned on ShellScape and me mentioning ShellScpae here <g> The repercussions of that meeting might not be over however but I won't say more till I know more ...

I've got a minor bug report and a few feature requests for Blog since the 5.0 release and I'm not sure whether I want to do a 5.1 release to address these issues or just jump into the 6.0 coding and roll all of that into 6.0 as well. Guess I'll decide once I actually start coding :p Speaking of coding, I had to uninstall and reinstall the Indy components about three times yesterday :-( This was because I found out that they had released a new build of the Indy 9.0 components and mistakenly thought that they'd fixed the SOCKS implementation stuff for the components which was removed after the initial 9.0 release. I didn't realize my mistake till I had installed the stuff and tried to recompile Blog. I had to re-download the original 9.0 code and install it. I hope they fix it soon though - I really would like to try out the later 9.0 code but the SOCKS stuff is important since I'm using it in both Blog and BOB.
posted at 11:06:22 AM  link  comment

Tue, Jan 22 2002

Done! The updated Blog distros are all uploaded and I have actually heard from somebody who tried it and found that it worked without a hitch ... So go on, try it and do let me know how it works out for you :-)
posted at 05:40:04 PM  link  comment

I screwed up :-( The new built-in data conversion code had a bug in it that it would try to convert Cee data files without checking to see if the user had Cee installed or not. Because of that, Blog 5.0 upgrades would have crashed on the machines of those who didn't have Cee installed :-( I've already fixed the problem, updated the documentation too while I'm at it and am getting ready to upload it all to the servers. But since I'm on a dial-up connection and all the files come in at about 5MB, you may have a bit of a wait on your hands. I'm sorry about this ... I'll post another entry when the uploads are done ...
posted at 04:22:28 PM  link  comment

I've just uploaded the installer version of Blog 5.0 :-) Now, don't go rushing along without reading the documentation if you are an existing Blog user even though there is an Upgrade option on the installer :p I forgot to do a few things and since I'm on a dial-up connection and the installer is a hefty 2.5MB (blame the ZIP compression used by the NullSoft Installer <g> I use RAR myself and it manages to squeeze in just a bit more ...) I will not be uploading it again - especially since I have to upload to 3 different sites :-( What did I forget? I forgot to change the instructions on how to upgrade on the Blog.txt file! Although from Blog 5.0 onwards all database upgrades are supposed to happen transparent to the user, I had to use the Database Conversion Utility one final time since there is a little problem there that cannot be fixed any other way. Both the Blog 5.0 installer (if you use the Upgrade option) and the separate Upgrade package (not yet uploaded by me ...) will have the Database Conversion Utility (DCU) included with them. Simply run the DCU first and select the "4.0+ -> New Format" option from the Convert menu (after backing up your Blog data first, of course <g>) and then run Blog 5.0 and you should be set ... Just don't forget, OK? Have fun with the latest Blog and let me know what you think ... (and yes, I'll upload the Upgrade package as soon as I can but even that's around 1.4MB ...)
posted at 10:46:31 AM  link  comment

Some of you might have noticed that I released BOB 1.2 yesterday (it's linked to from the sidebar and is also listed on the Download page). I didn't however release Blog 5.0 :-( There were two main reasons for not doing so: a) I remembered a few features I hadn't added and came up with a new feature that would be useful b) I got side-tracked by some C code out of a sense of nostalgia :p Yeah, I don't know why but C code always entices me and I am drawn to it but I then discover that I have to work hard to code in C (or even C++) and then I come back to Delphi <vbg> The features I missed? Some of the Blog users wanted more options in the Hyperlink entry dialog such as the ability to specify whether to add http:// to the entry or not and whether to open the link in a new page or not ... The new feature? I had already added full-text searching for Blog but I realized that text searching by itself does nothing much. Why would you normally search for something in Blog? Probably because you want to link to that entry. As things stand currently, you'll have to search, memorize the date and then invoke the Entry Linking dialog. Instead, what if I provided a button which said "Link" on the dialog which lists the search results? That seems much more user-friendly to me. So I'm gonna get cracking on all that and hopefully, I'll keep away from "Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance" on the PS2 to complete the code and get a release out today :p
posted at 07:55:06 AM  link  comment

Mon, Jan 21 2002

Yeah, I know ... I was supposed to do some software releases ... What can I say? I got busy with various things over the weekend - movies, TV, games ... that sorta thing :p - and really didn't have any time for coding or for doing the docs. Actually, documentation and packaging is all that remains and I will hopefully get at least one app out today, though it might not be Blog since I've decided to release BOB 1.2 as well and since it was done first, I probably should release it first - plus, there's less work involved in the BOB release since there isn't any data conversion to worry about (it is built-in whereas there is a slight problem with Blog's built-in data conversion ...) or having to do two distros (full and upgrade). Anyway, I hope to get to all of that sometime today ...

I'm in a really lazy mood today plus I'm in another one of my moods at the sheer stupidity and orneriness of people :p There is another brouhaha going on in a project I used to be involved with where a guy wants to take (or is it borrow? <vbg>) some of the code from the project (with the consent of those involved of course ...) and then release his work under a different open license than the GPL, under which the original code was released. This has brought forward so many arm-chair lawyers and nay sayers who seem to think this is a sacrilege! The guy is breaking the GPL!! Oh come on people, grow up! There are so many people out there who take GPL'ed code, use it in their apps and release it as closed source. Some even make money out of it! Does anybody care? Of course not because nobody knows about these instances! But let a guy come forward honestly, say that he's using some code and will release that same code under a different open license due to certain limitations in the GPL and everybody jumps on his back! Where the heck is the logic in that? Of course, I know I'll get the people saying that laws are meant to be followed and that if everybody took my stance there would be no open source movement. But remember also that laws are made by humans and as humans we can also decide (in concensus of course - not individually ...) when it might be sensible to make exceptions instead of being tight-assed and saying "It's the law!" If somebody wants to take open sourced code and release it again as open source, why cry about it? Do we have to be such a nitpicking, small-minded bunch of idiots? Guess we do ... ah, when will humanity change?
posted at 09:34:13 AM  link  comment

Sun, Jan 20 2002

I watched "Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers" last night on the Sci Fi Channel. I have never been an avid fan of Babylon 5 before - I've watched some of the episodes on and on but had never been engrossed enough (or cared enough about the characters) to want to watch it on a regular basis. In fact, my brother back home in Sri Lanka probably knows more about the series than I do because he used to watch it regularly :-) That all changed last night because I simply loved "The Legend of the Rangers" (which coincidentally has the acronym LOTR - for those of you living under a rock, that's the acronym for "Lord of the Rings" as well :p). The show was funny, had characters that I liked and had a feel of history to it with references to Sheridan being President and G'Kar that it somehow had an aura of credibility in my eyes :p It may sound paradoxical but while I don't have much faith in humanity, I believe in the human race and "The Legend of the Rangers" presented the kind of humans that I hope for - people who will stand by their convictions and because who they are, inspire such devotion in their comrades that they'll stand together come what may. It was great!!

I was also amused by G'Kar. I had always perceived him in a villainous (or at least, negative) role in the original Babylon 5 - though he may have changed towards the end but I didn't watch much of the later episodes. Here he was actually one of the good guys and I really liked his character. One of the scenes that really tickled me was G'Kar saying "Love to stay but can't! Kiss, kiss, love, love" <g> to an assembly of ambassadors. That was really funny :p
posted at 09:34:01 AM  link  comment

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