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I really have no idea, Dave. I've been stone-cold drunk since about 8 this morning.

Oops. The last rant should have been under the "technical" category.

Mary had a great response:

If a manager doesn't spawn, it would be shot. At the very least, its demons should be exorcized. Get thee to a rectory.

A few weeks ago, I found the Andromeda software package for streaming MP3s from a web server. It was much slicker than the thingy that I was using, so I installed it (trivial install -- just a single .php file). It works nicely. It only lacks one feature -- the ability to enqueue arbitrary directory trees (something I only recently added to my thingy, but quite handy).

I pinged the author with my thoughts, not expecting much (per most freeware development, IME). He actually responded, and we had a good chat (via e-mail, of course).

He contacted me a few days ago with a beta for the next release of Andromeda. The big new feature is playlists. We found a few issues, and he fixed them. We also discovered that there's an inherent limitation of cookies that at least I wasn't aware of. Cookies have a maximum length on Apache servers -- about 8k. That is, the sum total length of all cookies given to a given server must be <= ~8k (remember that all cookies are given on one HTTP request line). Apparently, IIS allows a bit longer than this.

This is a big bummer, since Andromeda was storing playlists in cookies. Either way, there's a finite limit for the playlist. Bonk!

We pondered over this for quite some time, actually. There's just no better way to do this than without some form of server-side storage (files, a database, sessions, whatever). And to do that properly without allows a DoS, you have to have both a login and some kind of finite bound on the playlists anyway.

Urgh. :-( (one of the wonderful points about Andromeda is that it's a single .php file with no extra storage required). Adding this complexity is not attractive.

Indeed, I think there is a real missing chunk of software that allows client/server stuff without a database -- flat files only. Such packages would be extremely useful when you are running your software on some ISP's web servers, and database usage costs extra. Flat files would be a bit more bookkeeping, and probably less efficient, but if you need a non-high-performance web package, what would it matter?

Indeed, I have found that I am using the word "indeed" a lot lately.

I blame Arun.

Epiphany continues to have problems with Outlook Express. Bobbe in particular is having a horrid time. OE is doing random things. Sometimes it freezes on the splash screen. Sigh.

I think her machine has just degraded to the point of being non-function. It's a Windoze 95 box, several years old. I think that 'doze itself has just degraded enough to the point of non-determitiveness (is that a word? Probably not). It probably wasn't helped by the fact that I got all the latest "updates" from Microsoft. Ugh.

I really don't want to reinstall the whole machine. Particularly since that machine has all the databases and whatnot that have all the parish records, etc. Ugh.

So my solution is to loan them one of my old machines so that Bobbe has something to use for e-mail. At the same time, their fiscal year starts in July, and they'll be replacing that machine. So this stopgap is good enough for now.

At the same time, they got some donation money to get a new machine to replace one of their other machines -- a P100 with 8MB of RAM, IIRC. You have no idea how painful it is to use the machine (it's on the desktop of one of the church staff members). They gave
$1500 to get a new computer.

They're Gateway folk, so I perused the GW web pages, and noticed that they were running P4 specials. Since we had to use all the money, we ended up getting a 1.3GHz P4 with 128MB of RAM. Way more than necessary. But then again, perhaps it just means that this machine will last 4 years instead of 2.

I've been reading "Exceptional C++ : 47 engineering puzzles...".

I think Kevin, Jeremy F., Arun, and Brian and I will use this book as the basis for an e-mail version of C++ Friday Lunch. Perhaps doing one puzzle a week or so. I created a GNU mailman list for this on my DSL router, but had to reconfigure DNS to make this happen. It'll take 2 days to propagate around the rest of the world before we can really start.

I'm heading to to ND next week. It'll be Arun's last LAM meeting, and graduation is that weekend. My specific purpose is to attend the graduate awards dinner to receive the SGI HPCC award (and prize check
-- whoo hoo!!).

They listed me on the ND HPCC web page. Yay.

Lots of discussion on the OSCAR lists this week. Summary of decisions:

  • Move OSCAR development to sourceforge
  • Have 4 lists: oscar-announce, oscar, oscar-dev, oscar-core. The first three are typical open source lists, the last is "members only" for administrative kinds of things.
  • Interesting discussion occurring about how to have multiple MPI implementations on the cluster. I had a really long proposal which I thought was elegant, but then someone pointed out that it was functionally the same as modules. Duh. But modules are good things, so if we put modules in OSCAR, by associativity, that will be a good thing.

You know that you have a large uptime when the average history in your command windows is around 4500 commands.

Excellent! The Lone Gunmen tonight used a song off one of the Fatboy Slim CDs that I just bought -- Weapon of Choice. That song is cool. Seeing it on the Long Gunmen was double extra chocco latte cool.

There are 456 copies of xmms running, out of 530 total processes (86%).

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