Archive for March 2006

April Fools Day, the official holiday of the Internet

31 March 2006 | 0

Geeks love pranking. It’s true.

And since the Internet is lorded over by a bunch of geeks, it’s no surprise that the holiday of pranks and humor is embraced the world over by the Internet. On April 1st (and, this year, today), many a great and wonderous thing happens:

Let’s see what more this year will bring…


31 March 2006 | 0

I want one (cause, you never know when you’ll need that extra life).

1up Mushroom Kit


31 March 2006 | 0

Look what came today!

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to pray.

Things I’ve learned this week

25 March 2006 | 2
  • When you realize that you really are in over your head, keep only the things that are crucial.
  • Chefs are artists and consider themselves as such. For as much as I like food, I should have realized that long ago.
  • Don’t put too many hopes into the asides that people make. And, on that note, don’t assume anything. Ever.
  • I either need to learn to enjoy the bar atmosphere, or start getting more sleep. Only one of these gives me a better chance of becoming more outgoing.
  • Ice can be a very, very bad thing. Especially when you have a baby in your arms, and it’s black and near-invisible. (I didn’t fall — but had I, it would have been very not pleasant.)
  • The jury is still out on whether it’s safe for me to have crushes on everyone.
  • I want someone to have a crush on me for a change. (Amen, Big Poppa E!)
  • The Internet never ceases to amaze me.
  • The world would be an exponentially better place if more people figured out a way to barter services with one another. Money means that we can live our lives being anti-social. Bartering brings us together and forces us to forge relationships with people we might not otherwise have met.
  • Chinese is a really damn fun language. Or maybe I just like the process of learning and the socializing part of it. Or all of the above.
  • Trust your instincts. Regardless of what the “safety-net” in your mind says.


23 March 2006 | 0

Introducing MinneBar


MinnēBar is based on BarCamp and is an ad-hoc open-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. All attendees must either give a demo, host a discussion, actively participate in a session, or help with one.

We were in dire need of a good, geek-oriented technology conference here — I am all over this. Congrats and good work to Ben Edwards at AltText for getting the ball rolling on this.

I hope to see many of you Saturday, May 6th!

The IT Crowd

19 March 2006 | 0

IT Crowd
Hilarious. Watch it!

Installing GNUstep on Debian (mostly)

19 March 2006 | 4

I’m supposedly involved in Etoile and GNUstep. But — don’t tell anyone — I never really learned how to install GNUstep on Linux. Shhhhh!!! I know, I know. I’ve been faking it this whole time. You get Ubuntu installed, do a little sudo apt-get install gnustep, fight with dependencies, and try to make your way. When you realize you can’t get a single thing to work, you blast your install away and start from scratch.

Today, I had had enough. So I started Adium, found Nicolas, and tricked him into helping me do a proper install.

I grabbed the latest netinst of Debian, installed it, and proceeded to harass Nicolas, pinging him everytime I had no idea what to do. Here’s what it comes down to.

First, log in as root.

Then, get sudo.

     # apt-get install sudo

Then add yourself to the sudoers list:

     # vi /etc/sudoers

When that comes up, arrow down to the bottom line, the last character, then type i, then hit the right arrow once, then hit enter, then enter your username, a space, and ALL=(ALL) ALL. So, if you were me, you’d see something like:

root    ALL=(ALL) ALL
jross   ALL=(ALL) ALL

Since you’re using vi, things are a bit weird, but what you do next is hit the Esc key, then type:


After that, you’ll have exited vi. Next, you’ll want to upgrade your repositories, since with the netinst you’ll have only stable. You’re gonna want testing and unstable, so do this (via Debian Reference):

     # cd /etc/apt
     # cp -f sources.list sources.list.old
     # :>sources.list  
     # apt-setup noprobe
     # cd /etc/apt
     # grep -e "^deb " sources.list >srcs
     # :>sources.list  
     # cp -f srcs sources.list
     # sed -e "s/stable/testing/" srcs >>sources.list
     # sed -e "s/stable/unstable/" srcs >>sources.list
     # apt-get update
     # apt-get install apt apt-utils

After you’ve done that, then you can type exit, and log in as yourself.

Okay, now, the dependencies part.

GNUstep depends on a lot of things, but luckily you can use apt-get to install them. So, type in all of the following, and, with each one, you’ll likely get a prompt saying that there are other things that need to be installed. Just hit enter when you see something that looks like [Y|n]

     # sudo apt-get install libtiff4-dev
     # sudo apt-get install libpng12-dev
     # sudo apt-get install gobjc
     # sudo apt-get install make
     # sudo apt-get install subversion
     # sudo apt-get install bzip2
     # sudo apt-get install libart-2.0-dev
     # sudo apt-get install libfreetype6-dev
     # sudo apt-get install xlibs-dev
     # sudo apt-get install libffcall1-dev
     # sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev
     # sudo apt-get install libssl-dev
     # sudo apt-get install xserver-common
     # sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg
     # sudo apt-get install xbase-clients

You’ll have a bunch of strange questions thrown at you when you install the xserver stuff… If you know what kind of video card you have, then you’re in the clear. If you don’t, then you’re SOL. I can’t help you there. That is what ultimately caused my downfall (see below).

If you get through the above list okay, then type:

     # cd ~

That will bring you to your home directory. Now, you’ll need to checkout GNUstep from its Subversion repository:

     # svn co

This part takes a long time. Go grab something to eat, then come back. After you’ve gotten everything, you should have a folder called modules. You can type ls to confirm.

If you see the folder, then do the following:

     # cd modules/core/make
     # ./configure
     # make

At this point, it’s good to make a new terminal session. So, hit Alt-F2, and you’ll have a new terminal session. You can go back to the first one by typing Alt-F1. You can basically make a new terminal session for each of your function keys. In this new session, log in as yourself, then type:

     # sudo bash

Change directories to the modules folder in your home folder, then go to core/make

Now, you can source GNUstep and install:

     # . /usr/GNUstep/System/Library/Makefiles/
     # make install

Now, you’re gonna want to compile each of the major sections of GNUstep: base, gui and back. Here is the process:

Switch to terminal session 1 using Alt-F1.


     # . /usr/GNUstep/System/Library/Makefiles/
     # cd ../base
     # ./configure
     # make

Switch to terminal session 2 using Alt-F2.


     # cd ../base
     # make install

Switch to terminal session 1 using Alt-F1.


     # cd ../gui
     # ./configure
     # make

Switch to terminal session 2 using Alt-F2.


     # cd ../gui
     # make install

Switch to terminal session 1 using Alt-F1.


     # cd ../back
     # ./configure --enable-graphics=art
     # make

Switch to terminal session 2 using Alt-F2.


     # cd ../back
     # make install

Apparently, after you’ve done all this, you should be able to switch back to terminal session 1, type startx, then do something to check the GUI by going into modules/tests/examples/gui/

That was as far as I got before my screen went black. Maybe you’ll have better luck… As for me, I’m back to square one, installing Ubuntu… I think my install disc didn’t get burned properly.

Open source… argh.

Well, almost everything.

19 March 2006 | 1

Sometimes, everything in your day goes wrong.

Except for that one thing, but it happens in such a way that everything that comes after it sucks. And then you forget about that one good thing until you start writing a journal entry. But you are still bitter, so you still act pissed off and continue with the entry. Then you get distracted, and in your distraction you become even more pissed off, and when you come back from your distraction, you continue writing. Cause you’re pissed. And everyone should know about it.

Honestly, what the hell is wrong now?

I design banners? Pshaw!

13 March 2006 | 0

I have no idea what it says, but these are the kind of banners I want to be designing:

Snow Day

13 March 2006 | 0

We got snow today. A lot of snow. Over 10 inches, I hear. So, naturally, we decided to take advantage of this and take Ali out in it. What a glorious time :) She’s a little snow bunny, and it’s so rewarding to watch her having so much fun.

Okay — I’ve fulfilled my duty as a Minnesotan father. Winter can be done now.