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Project List:
  • Fedora yum repos
  • New Linux Laptop
  • Wine rpms for Warcraft 3
  • CGIServlet
  • Treemaps
  • Splay Trees
  • Hacking
  • New Linux Box
  • Books
  • Web Kiosk Tools

  • What's New

    2008-02-03: Created Wine rpms for Warcraft 3 section.

    2008-01-06: Updated laptop section.

    2007-11-10: Created laptop section.

    2007-11-08: Updated Fedora Repositories page in the Fedora section.

    Fedora yum repositories info

    I had recorded some information about basic package management settings for Fedora Linux's Beta process (back when it was called Fedora Core), and decided to maintain it when Fedora was released. Now updated for the latest release (v8).

    New Linux Laptop

    In the spirit of my New Linux Box project, I hope to record my penultimate laptop purchase choice and then never update this entry again.

    No seriously. I'm looking for a laptop or two. Both have to have:

    I might want two, one as a text-only hacking/emailing console-about-the-house and another as a desktop replacement.

    Well that was a pretty short list of requirements, but hard to meet. The best one I found was the XO Laptop from OLPC. I despaired of finding a laptop with Free/Open/LinuxBIOS support (even unofficially). And I can't play games (though it does play Doom 1 :)). But it's pretty fun to play with. The keyboard is a real pain, relatively. I can almost touch type on it now, but I'll have to seriously consider a cheap/light Thinkpad in a year or so because the XO keyboard is not super-comfortable to use (perhaps an external keyboard is the answer?).

    I think that'll be it on this front for a while. Not bad for $400 - I feel like I dodged a $2-3,000 bullet :).

    Wine rpms for Warcraft 3

    Due to Wine bug 9787, Wine 0.9.46 and higher have code that breaks Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne battle.net games.

    It took me a few annoying steps to recompile wine 0.9.53 with the patch mentioned in the bug report (above), and I wanted to save anyone else the trouble.

    Here are the rpms you'll need to download:


    CGI-invoking servlet for web applications, used to execute scripts which comply to the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) specification and are named in the path-info used to invoke this servlet.

    There are some outstanding items on the CGIServlet (LIFO, right now):

    1. Address other open bugs in bugzilla (some duplicates to the below)
    2. Address Patrick Black's POST handling issue (POST image output is garbled). This is the same as Lucas Adamski's issue.
    3. Implement Wei Fu's suggestions about a) query-parameter passing on short-command-line OSes; and b) 301 (Moved Temporarily) HTTP-Header setting
    4. Implement N.R. Hira's suggestions about: a) File.separator usage vs. parameterization of path-separator; b) check error stream's "ready" state before calling a blocking read(); and c) user-definable PATH-INFO parsing behavior.
    5. Update distribution below to be the latest (currently have to get from Tomcat source)

    Features of the CGI servlet:

    • Implements Internet BCP (Best Community Practice) for Common Gateway Inteface programs.
    • Implements the current CGI specification as detailed in http://cgi-spec.golux.com, a work-in-progress & expired Internet Draft. Note no actual RFC describing the CGI specification exists.



    I've written simple treemap generator (see Ben Shneiderman's 'Treemaps for space-constrained visualization of hierarchies)' in python. It's available under the GPL..

    Splay Trees

    I've created an implementation of Splay Trees (see Sleator, Tarjan, 1985) usable as a member of the Java Collections framework. It's available under the GPL, ASL, and BSD licenses.

    The code for SplayTreeMap.java is available here.

    Hacking/tweaking info

    Prior to tweaking my ADSL connection, here were the latencies I was getting (pinging zen.co.uk):

      Before Tweaking:
      ms:              min      -      avg      -     max
      Idle:            20.301   /     23.606    /     35.564
      downloading:     20.316   /     36.255    /    268.897
      downloading:     21.484   /    187.678    /    428.413
      uploading &
      downloading:    145.973   /    747.026    /   1055.565

    As you can see, this is a bit annoying. Especially since Quake III generates plenty of outgoing traffic, and I'd like it to play nice with downloading: both not affect downloading latency (of course bandwidth is taken up), and also not affect uploading latency.

    Since I route all my traffic through a linux box, I took a look at the Linux Advanced Routing & Traffic Control (LARTC) website and its WonderShaper. Here's what I achieved:

      After Tweaking:
      ms:              min      -      avg      -     max
      Idle:            20.346   /     26.433    /     60.247
      downloading:     21.005   /     25.515    /     47.355
      downloading:     21.233   /     30.307    /     68.369
      uploading &
      downloading:     20.613   /     29.351    /    115.383

    Needless to say, the results are great thanks to the good work by the LARTC people. It took me a little bit of time to test the right queue settings so that the local traffic control policy (that's what it's all about -- read the info at the above links) could take effect. For Zen Internet, the parameters are:

      Zen ADSL wshaper parameters (512/256 advertised ADSL, London BT DSLAM):
      from /etc/init.d/wshaper
      #these (650/275) seem to work best with Zen 512/256 -- MTD 3 May 2003 22:22 BST

    New Linux Box

    Besides tuning your car, upgrading your computer is EveryHacker's goal. The offspring of tomshardware.com and Cheap Linux Box is the impractical mess that could be a computer:

    • Motherboard: FIC AD11 Socket A -- USD 150
    • Motherboard: Biostar M7MIA Socket A -- USD 150
    • CPU: AMD Athlon 1.3 GHZ -- USD 200
    • Memory: Micron/Crucial's PC2100 CL 2.5 DDR-SDRAM -- 256 MB USD 130
    • Hard Disk: IBM DTLA-307030, UltraATA/100, 30GB, 7200RPM -- USD 149.00
    • CD/DVD: Toshiba SD-M1402, 10/40X ATAPI -- USD 85.00

    2001-05-12: a trip to the local computer fair in London turned up some interesting finds (see below). Next week's NYC trip will compare.

    • AMD Duron 800: GBP 49 (USD 70)
    • AMD Duron 900: GBP 89 (USD 126)
    • AMD T-Bird 850: GBP 99 (USD 140)
    • AMD T-Bird 1.3: GBP 169 (USD 240)
    • Gigabyte Socket A GA-7DX (AMD 761): GBP 149 (USD 210)
    • Asus Socket A A7A-266 (DDR): GBP 139 (USD 196)
    • Abit KT7 A 266: GBP 109 (USD 154)
    • Jetway Socket A 266 FSB UDMA 100: GBP 89 (USD 126)
    • 128 MB PC2100: GBP 85 (USD 120)
    • 128 MB PC133: GBP 31 (USD 44))
      DVD/CD ROM
    • AOpen DVD-1040 Slot loading 10x40x: GBP 53 (USD 75)
    • Samsung SM-308 8x4x32x8 IDE CDRW/DVD: GBP 140 (USD 198)
      Hard Drives
    • Western Digital 30GB / 7200 RPM: GBP 100 (USD 141)
    • Generic ATX: GBP 50 (USD 71)

    So far, a Duron/800 system, Abit board + 256 MB ram, 30 GB HD, and AOpen DVD/CD with case would be GBP 423 (49 + 109 + 62 + 100 + 53 + 50), USD 600.

    Step up to a T-Bird 1.3GHz, Gigabyte AMD761 chipset board + 256 MB PC2100 ram, 30 GB HD, Samsung CD-RW & DVD-R with case would be GBP 778 (169 + 149 + 170 + 100 + 140 + 50) USD 1097.

    are interesting.

    Books read 2002-08-11 to 2002-08-23:

    1. Selected Dialogues of Plato, Benjamin Jowett translation revised by Haynde Pelliccia: Collection of five pieces from Plato's writings, all concerning Socrates (including his Apology, where he defended himself at the trial that ended in his death sentence). Readable in lucid moments, the grammar is above your average seventh-grade reading level so be prepared for a literary workout. Some interesting insights hidden amongst a lot of revolutionary-at-the-time speculations. Favorite quote: "All the great arts require uninhibited discussion and lofty speculation about the rules of nature; for it is from these that come loftiness of thought and completeness of execution."
    2. Others; this list needs to be completed.

    Books read 2001-08-03 to 2001-08-19:

    1. Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card [Sci-Fi]: Reprise of time from Card's hit novel Ender's Game, this time from a different character's point of view -- Bean, Ender's eventual second-in-command. Follows Bean's childhood through Battle School (as in Ender's Game), but without other major (sub-)plots as in Ender's Game (where Ender shared half the narrator's spotlight with his brother and sister, Peter and Violet). Faithful to the style of Ender's Game, without the prolific ruminations and worldview treatments of Card's other two Ender books. Very readable, if at times a sense of the Ender's Game plot formularized and applied, in a higher degree, to a different character.
    2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by XXXX [Literature]: Interesting characterization and character development novel about the psychological forces at work in/upon Tomas, a Czech doctor 1920s - 1940s. Easy to read with in-situ author's commentary, though I thought it necessitated some meta-analysis (which I have not had time for). Undoubtably parallels exist between the protagonist, an inveterate womanizer, and contemporary social or political entities (XXX? native Czechoslovakia?). He both grows through, and is stunted by, his lapse into married life. His recovery from monogamy does not destory his marriage, though stresses of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia take their toll. Sub-plots abound, following Tomas' wife, mistresses and lovers of mistresses. Certainly readable and self-conscious.
    3. Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukov [Spirituality]: by the author of acclaimed The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Zukov advocates a "multi-sensory" lifestyle and details the reasoning, motivation, and benefit thereof. Zukov lays out, in stages which appear coherent but not rigidly organized, a world view and roadmap for personal mental health through better interpersonals kills and compassion. He draws on Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, and Muslim examples enough to establish a friendly rapport with world religions, without explictly going up against them. Though Zukov's scientific knowledge and articulative skills are occaisionally in evidence, don't go expecting a Dancing Wu Li Masters Part 2, as I did -- you will be disappointed. Though only halfway through the book so far, it smacks of a scientific, educated, non-narrative refraction of some Celestine Prophecy ideals. I expect it will resonate with academic/scientific minds searching (if unconsciously) for a world view. Cycnically, one could see Freud's "higher being" need satisfaction complex, coated and colored to satisfy those who think themselves above that need. For those of us with a worldview, it is unlikely to cause dramatic change, as no necessary principles, prophet/teacher models, or other worldview/organized religion staples are put forward.
    4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison [Literature]: Nobel Prize-winning author's first major work, originally published in 1974 but gained critical recognition in early '90s. Morrison's afterword is a useful addendum to this 1993 edition, expressing the work's context, purposes, and notable strengths/weaknesses. Designed to coerce the reader into confronting racial inferiority complexes (either as effecting or affected class), the narrative starts with a summer setting and a chapter of characterization and storyline framing. Establishing Cxxxxx as the ostensible narrator and (arguably) Pecola as the protagonist, each subsequent chapter traces the history of persons contributing to Pecola's self-loathing. Pecola's character development leads back to her mother's devlopment, leading to her father's, and so forth. We observe and analyse the seeds of Pecola's wish for blue eyes and all that implies. Finally flipping back to a contemporary character's past, we oversee a not-quite-overt treatise onthat central thesis in summation. Excellently executed, Morrison achieves her goal and demonstrates her literary talent simultaneously. I have yet to uncover the levels of expression and significance present in Beloved, though as Morrison's afterword finds two pages of stylistic significance in the novel's opening phrase, they may yet be more to find.
    5. Slack, by Tom DeMarco [Business]: Management treatise on the perils of efficiency optimization in a dynamic business environment. Pragmatic and topical.
    6. The Crossing, by XXX [Literature/Western]: Coming-of-age novel, western style, tracking a boy's pre-WWII journey between New Mexico and Old Mexico.

    Web Kiosk Tools
    for use when browsing the web from a public internet station.

    JFtp client for FTP, SFTP, NFS and SMB browsing.

    (c) Copyright 2000-2008 Martin T Dengler. All rights reserved.
    $Id: projects.html,v 1.30 2008/01/06 14:12:22 martin Exp martin $

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