Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

People are still having X

...all the denouncements had absolutely no effect.
Apple and MS, constantly scorned them,
But people are still having X
and nothing seems to stop them.

Since I have 30 copies of a DVD to burn today, taking 16 minutes apiece (the media I bought on clearance at Office Despot a while back turned out to be 1X,) I finally got off my ass and got X running on b5 again. 'Twas foolish of me not to have done it sooner, and the only real reason it probably didn't happen in the first place was that the day I did the reinstall (a year ago) it was late when I finished, and I was happy just to have web and mail services running again, so I went to bed.


Copying clauses out of my old XF86Config file got things started. FVWM, I simply copied from the old encap directory. I needed to update the pixmaps directory though, as the common FVWM icons weren't there. I also needed buttons for xterms ssh'ed to my Macintoshes, so here's the XTerm icon with the appropriate logo branded onto it. I took the opportunity to clear out a lot of cruft from my .fvwmrc. There were whole menus for labs at UIUC and for my machines at Qualcomm.

Does anyone have an X11 livejournal client they like? I'm compiling logjam as we speak, but I'm not familiar with my other choices. Things that depend on GTK+ or Qt are okay, things that depend on particular window managers (like GNOME or KDE) are not, as I have no interest in switching WMs.

Whee... the Cubs took three of four games from the Padres, which I didn't expect. I figured one out of four, the bullpen would piss away the rest. (The Padres have been playing great baseball lately.) I had to play too early yesterday to be out late on Saturday, so I stayed home to watch Maddux throw his game on TV. I saw Thursday's game live with Steve and Val, sitting near the far end of the third-base line. There was a couple of Cub fans in the front row of the upper deck behind us heckling Padres left fielder Ryan Klesko during the game. I had to laugh and cringe when they sang, "Ay yi yi yi! Klesko's a pussy!" It's clever, but I like Ryan, so I'm not dissing him like that, even if I am pulling for the other team that night. But I will file that away in my head for someone else deserving. It's a pity nobody thought of that during our Illini Hockey heckling days. :-)

Friday I ran up to Santa Ana for a seminar on Atmel's microcontroller offerings. It wasn't as technically detailed as I would've hoped--I'd hoped they would've talked about the comparative strengths of their different offerings (in AVR, ARM, and 8051) but they gave a nice roadmap of what's coming over the next couple of years. Unfortunately, I didn't win any of the raffle prizes. Afterwards I raced back down here to collect Steve from the end of his conference. The Gipper battle group had come in that day, so he saw the carrier and a couple of frigates sail into the bay while he waited for me. That fit, since we'd toured some of the Midway on Wednesday. We got in a round at Ultrazone, though it coincided with a birthday party full of 8-year olds. (Not very bright, but easy targets.) They've upgraded hardware again--the green team packs have been replaced with blue LEDs, which contrast much better with the yellows. Unfortunately, I'm told they eliminated the advanced-feature role player memberships. You can't buy extra features anymore, they're just handed out randomly to four packs each game. I havent ben down there in ages... I used to be a regular at Friday- and Saturday-night Late Night (reduced price after midnight) games when I lived in Mira Mesa. Nowadays, I'm usually busy on Fridays and too tired by that late hour. And I live further away.

Our baseball team lost badly yesterday. I don't think we played as badly as Nate thinks we did, but we couldn't hit, we made a few fielding errors. Blair tried to make up for his two at 2B by stretching a single into a double, taking advantage of lazy opposing outfielders, but they got him at second. Then, as Nate struck out to end the game, he threw his helmet in frustration (more at his perception of everyone else's attiude than his own at-bat) and nailed Blair in the knee.

Then the kids got killed 14-3 by a bad, bad team. Our pitchers couldn't throw strikes. At all. Until we brought Kevin in at the end, who was absolutely cold--he hasn't pitched since he last played with us in December, he wasn't used on the mound at all by the Poway frosh coaches. Nate got thrown out... there was only one umpire, and he missed a foul ball call--Jake swung at a pitch that skipped off his bat, the ground, and then his left shin. I'll grant the guy that he can't make that call if he can't see it, but he was totally unprofessional about the disagreement. He copped an attitude with Nate, including a quip for Nate to worry about coaching and not his job, and eventually threw Nate out. Not long afterwards, there's a passed ball. This asshole throws another ball out to Kevin on the mound, and misses. He has the nerve to yell at our second baseman to hurry up and retrieve it. Fuck you pal, remember what you said about us taking care of our own coaching? I held my tongue at the time, but if he yelled at another one of my players, I was going to light into him for it. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

Talked to the folks, they went to see Revenge of the Sith, they thought the same as I did. Fun and profoundly sad. I'm still trying to figure out when I can go home, but this late, I might not be able to get a good fare for this month, I might just delay it 'till whenever they have Holly's graduation party, maybe the weekend before Labor Day. That may not clash with football--I might miss a scrimmage, but I should be here for equipment issue, the Kickoff Classic against Brawley (we're hosting,) and the first game, which are all critical. In the meantime, I have the school's sports awards night, the baseball banquet, commencement, and a school board meeting I have to attend scattered about June. And Eric's and my birthdays.

And apparently the bad news is out. Apple is indeed migrating to x86. The Intel rumors have been flying for months, and I'd hoped it meant Intel was going to fabricate PPCs under license for Apple. I expect that x86-based Macintoshes will not be terribly similar to stock PC hardware. Apple will exercise its usual tight control over its hardware architecture, so this isn't going to be a fall into the compatibility nightmare that is the Wintel (and by extension, the x86 Linux) world. I expect they'll take steps to ensure their OS will not run on stock PCs, and there will be a cat-and-mouse game with the community to get around that. It's not a surprise that fat binaries will return--single applications that contain code for both architectures. (The NeXT-derived .app package used by OS X facilitates this.) The "Rosetta" emulation environment for running older PPC binaries on x86 systems is IMO a crock of shit. The old Blue Box emulation of 68K binaries we had back in the days of the PPC transition worked well because native 68K performance was so far behind state of the art, and there were a lot of similarity in how those architectures behaved. PPC and x86 are vastly different--PPC is big-endian, and x86 is little-endian, just to start with. Neither architecture emulates the other very well. (VirtualPC is damned slow these days. Functional if you need it, but for everyday stuff, you're better off just buying a cheap Wintel box and a USB KVM.) I understand why Apple's making the change--IBM has not been able to develop the G5 at the rate Apple needs. Steve even acknowledged it today--the 3 GHz Macs he promised are not here, and are not even in sight. They had to do something.

Personally, I hope to see a renaissance in PPC development in the future. Microsoft's demand for high-performance PPCs for the XBox 360 has diminished IBM's attention to Apple, but it might generate processor evolution that Apple might benefit from later on.

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