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     Reinstallation
    Filed under: — David @ 1:49 pm

    I’m taking advantage of the holiday to finally make some progress in restoring some of the things that were clobbered when I installed 10.4. Namely, MediaWiki on my PowerBook and CVS on my Power Mac.

    The first step for MediaWiki is to install MySQL, which has gone well so far. I just had to update Fink (which to my surprise hadn’t gotten clobbered) and use it to do the installation. That’s as far as I’ve gotten at the moment.

    For CVS, I decided to finally make the jump to Subversion. Again I had to deal with Fink, and the only trick there was to use tcsh instead of bash. Other than that it went pretty much as documented. The tricky part was converting my CVS repository. The official cvs2svn tool requires more stuff that 10.4 doesn’t have, and this time Fink doesn’t help. Fortunately and unsurprisingly, I’m not the first to tackle this, and I found this post which got me through it. The key thing there was that I had already downloaded bsddb3, but I had version 4.2.4, which didn’t work. Once I got version 4.3.0 things proceeded like they were supposed to.

    There’s still more to be done to make sure this is all working, but I needed to take a little break. To be honest, I’m not Unix-savvy enough that I can type stuff like “sudo make install” without getting just a little nervous.

     Keeping it real
    Filed under: — David @ 7:52 pm

    So I went and saw Revenge of the Sith last night. It was pretty good… but I’ll refrain from commenting on the story and such since you’ve surely read enough on that, and I’ll focus on the thing that actually bothered me the most: too much CG.

    It’s not unique to the recent Star Wars movies, but they’re a good example. While there have been a few pretty convincing computer-generated movie characters, the majority of them make me wince and wish for the days when everybody had to use puppets and/or stop motion. It just looked more real. A lot of the scenes in the Star Wars prequels lack a sense of depth and realism, while a shot using real objects doesn’t have that problem. The Lord of the Rings movies were much better in this respect. Almost all of the major locations in those films were models and sets, and the level of detail you get from that really makes a difference.

    I think CG characters bother me more than sets, though, especially humanoid characters. Episode 3 had several shots where a clone trooper took off his helmet, and I could tell it was an actor’s head on a CG body. Usually it was because there was something odd about the way they moved, but one shot in particular had really bad alignment between head and body. I kind of wonder if any actual physical clone trooper suits were used in the film at all. At least the Wookies seemed real for the most part.

    But worst of all… were the CG babies.

    Edit - On the DVD they kind of brag about the fact that no clone soldier uniforms were actually made for the movie; they were all CG.

     The reset button
    Filed under: — David @ 8:28 am

    A few weeks ago my G5 started popping awake again whenever I told it to sleep. I tried unplugging all the USB cords, but that didn’t help. So I just left it on. Last night, though, I finally got fed up and made a more serious effort to fix the problem.

    I searched the Apple support discussion boards. There were posts about Bluetooth problems, but I don’t have Bluetooth on this machine. Another post recommended deleting the power management preferences files in /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration, but that didn’t seem to help. Finally I hit on a hardware solution: hit the PMU reset button. I was about to go to bed when I decided to do this, so I opened up the computer, hit the button, and waited until this morning before testing it. It worked. I feel better now.

    Of course, it’s also possible I needed to restart after deleting those preference files.

    Edit: Um… nevermind. It spontaneously woke up again after a couple of minutes, and then it was back to its old tricks. It’s possible I didn’t press the button right. There were scary warnings about pressing it more than once, so I was trying to be extra careful.

     SpamCop and Tiger
    Filed under: — David @ 9:04 am

    After I installed the 10.4.1 update, Mail suddenly decided that both add-ons I had installed - one for SpamCop and the other for Growl - were no longer compatible. I wonder how it decided that, since I had been using the SpamCop one without problems since installing Tiger (not to mention for a long time before). I was even more disappointed to learn that the SpamCop bundle is no longer being maintained. Searching the net hasn’t turned up any good replacements, but I’m hoping someone will step in and fill this new void.

     Write permission
    Filed under: — David @ 10:16 pm

    One more bug I want to fix before releasing Icon Machine 3.2: saving to file servers. It’s a weird thing. It successfully creates the file, but then it gets a permissions error when it tries to write to it. Why I can do one but not the other doesn’t seem to make sense. It seems like such a simple thing.

    There are of course lots of other improvements I want to make, and I’m still deciding how gradual or dramatic the transition will be from version 3 to version 4. I’ve thought about throwing in support for 256x256 images, but since not even the Finder uses them yet I think I might as well wait.

     BR4 1.0 released
    Filed under: — David @ 6:47 pm

    Now that CTF4 has finally been updated, I am able to release BR4 1.0.

    If this is a new concept for you, I’ll explain: BR4 is Bombing Run with four teams. Well, actually, it’s Bombing Spree with four teams, since maps can have more than one ball: up to 8 if you really want to go crazy.

    Speaking of maps, we still need more, so if you’re interested let me know and check out the wiki page on BR4 mapping.

     Balanced corruption?
    Filed under: — David @ 10:31 am

    I was thinking the other day about one of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes… I don’t have the exact wording, but essentially he said that good and evil are not simply equal yet opposite forces. Rather, evil is good corrupted. There must, after all, be something about good that makes it inherently better than evil.

    Most stories I’ve seen or read about the Forces of Good versus the Forces of Evil (I think Charmed is the most recent example I’ve seen) claim that there must be a balance maintained between the two, or else things degenerate into chaos or something like that. But that doesn’t really make sense. It’s like saying the bread you eat should have a balance between the moldy parts and the fresh parts. If I were given a piece of bread like that, I’d more likely throw the whole thing away. The real goal is to have no corruption (mold) at all.

    And don’t go bringing up penicillin. Every analogy breaks down at some point.

     A few link warnings don’t hurt
    Filed under: — David @ 9:11 am

    It finally occurred to me after writing the previous entry that I could change CodeWarrior’s “OS X Volume” path to the 10.3.9 SDK. I get some link warnings about needing to re-run prebindings, but I think that’s probably safe to ignore. If nothing else, it’s working well enough to squash some more bugs.


    This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

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