July 24, 2005
Last week I spent some quality time driving to Madison, Wisconsin to spend some quality time with some IT guys talking about a job. I haven't heard the final verdict yet. It was nice to drive back through some familiar territory, though. We drove through Watertown and stopped by NPH in Milwaukee before taking the long drive back through Chicago.
Meantime, the next day I did hear that I'm getting a 2% raise for the year. Unfortunately that doesn't quite make up for the 10% pay cut I got last month, or the lack of raise last year.
Slax: cooler than ever.
A while back I wrote about the goodness that is Slax, a live-CD Slackware distribution which fits on a cool 210MB mini-CD. Last night I spent some time on the site and am impressed with the pace of Slax development. Slax now gives you a boot option which permits you to store your Slax configuration on the Slax servers, giving you some real portability. I look forward to the day when Slax also permits you to store your configuration on your own servers.
Slax now also supports the ability to load the entire OS into RAM (256MB required), freeing a CD or DVD drive for other uses. I'm running Slax from RAM right now, and it is really snappy.
I've always been a fan of portable bootable Linux systems (Cramdisk, tomsrtbt, Knoppix, etc) but this is the best one I've ever used. I'm really interested in putting together my own version with a lightweight window manager and crammed full of programming tools. It'd make a great portable system to take along...well, anywhere.
Since most of the traffic to this page comes from Google searches for "Lispworks crack", let me point out that you're not going to find any "Lispworks crack" here. The only "Lispworks crack" you'll find is the phrase "Lispworks crack". If you're looking for a Lispworks crack, try this: crack open your own wallet and pay for Lispworks yourself, thieving slime.
While we're at it, let's give the same message to those looking for an "Allegro Common Lisp crack" or a "Corman Lisp crack". These Lisp environments have free trials available. Here's an idea: use the trial to invent some really cool must-have software, pay for the Lisp environment and then sell your software to recoup your costs. Spend your time learning the language instead of spending your time trying to steal it. Professional quality Lisp environments are not cheap or easy to make, so support those who develop them.
I know, the thieves have already moved on.
July 15, 2005
Finished: Dance of Death
The new book, Dance of Death, is the sequel to last summer's cliffhanger Brimstone and really is a much better book. It's hard to say much about it without ruining the surprises. Did Pendergast escape the brick tomb in Italy? Who is Diogenes Pendergast? You'll find out the answers in Dance of Death. What else can I say? Not much: it's always fun to see the characters from previous books. And as usual, there are plenty of Easter eggs for those who have read previous Preston & Child books. If you haven't read any of them, start with The Relic. If you've read their other books, be prepared for the usual wild ride and late nights until you're finished with this one.
July 06, 2005
Crossed the 500 mark
Last year when I started learning Japanese, I used James Heisig's Remembering the Kana to learn hiragana and katakana both in a single weekend. With results like that, it was only natural to buy his Remembering the Kanji to start learning kanji. The book covers just over 2000 kanji. This last weekend I passed the 500 mark. I still have a long way to go (finish learning 1500 kanji from book 1, then learn all the readings for those kanji in book 2, then learn another 1000 in book 3) but it's been a fun ride so far and I'm looking forward to continuing.