would you put your brain in a robot body?

Wade: No, I don't have a robot answering my email. My robots are busy preparing for the ... I mean, uh, what robots? I don't have any robots.

I do have three totally awesome computers now, though (not including my work laptop). The first one is my Mac mini, which rules, but it's not the focus of this entry.

Over the past week or so, I'd run into some really odd stability issues with my AMD64 box. I decided to go to CompUSA and pick up a new motherboard, since the last issue I had with an AMD64 machine was also the mobo. Bring the new mobo back home. Remove the old one, move parts over to new one, hook up power connectors, flip the switch, and ... nothing.

The damned thing didn't even POST.

Somewhat frustrated, I decided to work on assembling my other new system. I've had a spare CPU, some extra RAM, and a slew of video cards laying around for a while now, so the only thing I really needed to pick up was a new case and a motherboard for this box. It's an "old" AthlonXP 1700+ - I figure it's probably worth me keeping a system around that can do AGP and run fast enough to prevent me from throwing it out the window.

The assembly on my new system went pretty well, until the part where I attempted to attach the power cable. The power supply I was using was a 24-pin, designed for the power requirements of the newer AMD64 systems. Normally, it wouldn't be too hard to plug in a 24-pin cable into the 20-pin socket on the motherboard, except that the mobo I picked up happens to have the IDE pins right next to the ATX pins.

And there was much frustration.

I was about to give up, but for some reason I decided to read the manual for the power supply in the new case that showed up, and if you look at page 3 in the manual, you should see the picture that made my night.

The other power supply can break off the extra four pins so that I can use it on the motherboard.

I returned to CompUSA and got a replacement for the busted motherboard, and brought it home and set it up, and this one actually works, so now I've got both systems up and running beautifully.

My only issue now is that I need a DVI/USB KVM.

thanks, Antonio

Everybody else has been saying this on mailing-lists and whatnot, but I figured that it deserved saying on the Planet, too.

Antonio, aKademy 2005 rocked hardcore thanks to you and the LiMa guys. You guys kick ass. I didn't think it'd be possible to top Kastle, but you guys did it.

To next year! Helio, you ready for aKademy in Brazil? ;)

pronunciation is important

I finally got to meet a few people I hadn't met before, including aseigo. He's taller than I expected, at least. According to him, I don't look anything like what he thought I'd look like, but I sound exactly the way he thought I would. Along with Thomas Zander and Rainer Endres (and someone else whose name I can't remember) we left at around 1AM to go find a bar. We asked a couple of locals where a good place to get a drink would be, and they gave us some directions and told us to look for the 'Marabu' or something similar. After about thirty seconds of walking, aseigo was already calling it the 'caribou' and I had to correct him. Once we arrived in the area that they said it would be at, there was a building with with a bright neon pink heart sign that said 'Maribé.'

At this point, before entering, we had a couple of theories. One that we figured was likely was that the locals had sent us to a gay bar, which would have amused us. Rainer didn't want to go in, but I ventured in with aseigo and Thomas and the kid whose name I can't remember; I saw a bar with alcohol behind it and a bartender, so I went back to the door and motioned to Rainer that it was ok, it was just a bar, and everything looked fine.

Rainer took a step in and then decided that he was going to go to the restaurant next door instead; I hadn't eaten or had anything to drink since much earlier, so I decided to join Rainer instead of staying with the other guys. Rainer ordered a beer, and I got a soda. About fifteen minutes later, aseigo and crew came out to join us and they were laughing pretty hard.

Apparently, the Maribé is actually a brothel.

I think that even funnier than finding that out (which was pretty funny) was the fact that aseigo even saw the sign by the stairs that said 'Services' with a man and a woman on it, and he didn't get it until the woman told him that the price was 20 EUR.

Update: It's worth noting that the Marabu was actually right next door to the restaurant that Rainer and I decided to go to; aseigo just couldn't resist the pink neon heart sign.


Spain is pretty damned cool.

Well, ok, more accurately, Spanish women are pretty damned cool. I'm pretty sure I've seen more cleavage since I landed in Madrid than I have since I moved to Boston.

The trip has been exciting so far. There were two legs on the flight over - the stopover in Frankfurt was pretty uneventful. I was surprised by the fact that Lufthansa provided metal utensils for the in-flight meals; it impressed me, but at the same time, I had a realization. I shouldn't be impressed by metal silverware; I should be disappointed by plastic silverware. And on the flight from Frankfurt to Madrid, I was depressed - I guess the metal silverware is only for the cross-Atlantic flights. Anyway, once I landed, I wasn't too worried about navigating the Frankfurt airport; I've been there before (the last time I came to a KDE conference, actually) and in general, I find airports to be reasonably simple to navigate, even if you don't speak the language.

The airport in Madrid was also pretty easy; figuring out how to get on the metro was not too hard, but it took a bit more walking than I expected it would. Once I was on the subway, I figured out pretty quickly that 'proxima' is Spanish for 'next' and I was set. The route that I had planned out actually worked exactly as I hoped it would. I got off the metro at the right stop for the train station and almost bought a ticket for the right train on the wrong day. Once I made it to the train, I figured I was pretty close to safe.

The train arrived exactly when expected, and there were lots of taxis outside of the train station waiting for us, which was good. The taxi driver I rode with didn't speak much English and had no idea where the place I wanted to go happened to be; he got directions from the central office, though, and somehow I managed to find the student residence where most of us are staying.

That's the last of this entry - there's more to follow, I promise.

akademy 2005

Tomorrow is going to be interesting, I think.

I'm landing in an airport I've never been to, in a country where I don't speak the native language, and I have to make it from the airport to the train station (which is not attached to the airport, but is at least two subway stops away). Once the train arrives at the destination, I still have to make it from the train station to the place I'm actually staying, which is of course not exactly close by.

Since I'll be in Spain and my phone won't work there, the best way to contact me is either IM or email; I won't be getting any voicemails until September 3 at the earliest.

you exactly told me it was a magical goodies creator

Adam: I have a tax-free holiday every day of the week; it's called "Living in New Hampshire."

(There's no sales tax in this state, for the readers out there who are confused.)

Work on the tdfx EXA support is still ongoing; I have the framebuffer addresses properly set up now, but my blit and solid fill routines are completely hosed. At least I have an idea of how things are *supposed* to work now.

way to go, sparks, you broke the monitor and you're dead

Lots of things going on lately.

First off, most recently, I started hacking on EXA support for the tdfx driver - it doesn't do much yet, except for display things wrong and crash, but hopefully I'm not too far from it working properly.

Second, I finally coerced a graphic designer friend of mine into coming up with a new layout for my site. It's not live yet, because I'm not quite happy with it, but it's pretty close to ready (I think) - take a look and let me know what you think. (Yeah, I know, it's slow. It's using multiple layers of translucent PNGs, some of which are position: fixed. I prefer to think of it as "an opportunity for KHTML optimization.")

Third, I have been hacking on the Qt4 BitTorrent client from Andreas, and it's really cool. There's a very small, slow memory leak in it, though, which I have to find and destroy.

Other than that, not too much going on. I'm excited about aKademy - only a couple of weeks away!

yes, carl

Stroking is hard. So hard.

Every time I hear the word 'stroke' from now on, I'm going to hear keithp purr. That disturbs me to no end.

In other news, the DDC at OLS has been a lot of fun. I'm going to have to disagree with chouimat about a few things - namely, I think that Xgl is extremely sexy, and has a hell of a future, and while it's true that the vast majority of the talks here are GNOME-related or have a GNOME bias... it's because we are vastly outnumbered on this side of the pond, and you can count the number of KDE developers at this conference on one hand.

George Staikos was here for a couple of hours, I've been here for the DDC but not OLS, chouimat was here (but let's face it, you haven't been active in KDE lately, chouimat, and neither have I), and Alexander Dymo is here and gave a talk about KDevelop. We're not exactly taking over here. We need more of a presence at these shows, people. It's important.

more cowbell

I may be abusing my 'tech/KDE' category with this entry, but so be it.

A new tagging application called 'cowbell' is out and it looks pretty boring. Reading through it I was mostly uninterested until I hit this part:

> It requires the Mono runtime, Gtk\#, and TagLib to install and run.

Holy crap! GTK/GNOME apps using evil KDE technology! THE SKIES THEY ARE FALLING I TELL YOU.

Seriously though, good on them. TagLib is good stuff, and I'm glad to see that they're not reinventing the wheel. More projects need to use it.

kill all humans

Some asshole thought it would be a good idea to string up yellow "CAUTION" tape and block one of the one-way roads leading to my apartment building inside of the complex.

I was not amused.

I stopped my car, pulled up the handbrake, flipped on the emergency lights, got out, and walked to one side of the tape. I ripped it off, and some guy screamed out "HEY!!!" I turned to his general direction and flipped him off, and walked across the street to the other side, where I pulled down the rest of the tape and tossed it into my car.

Got back into my car and parked in my parking lot without incident, throwing out the tape on my way in to my apartment.

God dammit, I hate people sometimes.