Tao of the Machine

Programming, Python, my projects, card games, books, music, Zoids, bettas, manga, cool stuff, and whatever comes to mind.

Another Kaacolyte

Wai wai! I just (re?)discovered this weblog, that is powered by Kaa. The latest version in fact. (So it actually works! ;-)

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-08-07 22:44:25   {link}
Categories: Kaa

Astrologically incorrect

is the title of a little book I got yesterday. Yeah, it's another sun sign book, but this one looks like it might be worth reading. It's humorous, while the things it says are often *very* correct.

Some quotes about one particular sign:

Lesson: Tell Aquarius he's crazy. He'll get off on it.

Lesson: Aquarian tolerance hits a meltdown around control freaks.

Lesson: What looks like chaos to you is business as usual to Aquarius.

Get it. It's good.

In other news, I got a UPS yesterday. It works really well; the power already went off several times, but my computer survived. No more lost files, dysfunctional DSL, or broken spambayes databases. ^_^ (We also got more RAM, but that was less of a success...)

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-08-07 12:18:01   {link}
Categories: esoterica


  • Alltel really sucks. I wrote about this before: whenever the power goes off, so does DSL, and it doesn't come back on. It went off yesterday, and I still don't have my DSL back (so I'm using Earthlink, dialup, right now.) I am considering cancelling it... what's the point of having DSL for work if it's this unreliable? I now have to pay $50 for DSL and $22 for dialup, as a backup for when DSL doesn't work. emoticon:frown

  • I really need more memory. Or a new computer, if I could afford it (answer: no). 900 MHz, 128 Mb internal isn't exactly state of the art. OK, so it isn't extremely bad either, but try running Delphi 7, Phoenix, Python, SQL Server 2000, Yahoo Messenger, WinCVS and Pegasus Mail all simultaneously. Yah, I suppose I could close some of those apps whenever I don't need them anymore, and start them again later. Not very efficient though. *frown*

  • Maybe it's time to release Firedrop. I'll see if I have time to write some documentation, so people can start using it. It's not a great, polished user-friendly product yet, and maybe never will be... but it works. :-)

  • It's a small world. One of the people on the Python bloggers list is from around here too. Can you guess who it is? :-) I would expect this if I lived in New York or so, but not in ole 'Lachuay with its 6000 inhabitants.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-08-05 12:49:36   {link}
Categories: general, programming, Python, Firedrop

Chillin' in rural Florida

I don't know... are people around here just rude, or is the economic situation so bad that businesses can afford to alienate possible future employees?

Here's the scenario. Some company puts an ad in the paper, they're looking for a software developer. I reply. They don't reply back. Repeat for multiple companies.

What's up with that? That they don't want to hire me is one thing... although I wonder where they find better programmers in beautiful downtown Alachua, where probably no more than 5 computers can be found. I don't see what the problem is. Is it because I'm Dutch? (Ooo, the Netherlands, drugs, he must be a pothead. Let's not hire him y'all, he prolly don't speak our language very well.) Is it because I already have a job? 1) (Some companies would rather hire somebody who desperately needs employment, because they can pay him less.) Is it because I don't have a degree in computer science? If so, then the businesses here are in a pretty sorry state, valuing a (potentially meaningless 2)) title over actual experience.

But OK, I'm not the greatest programmer in the world outside of my own mind emoticon:smile, so let's assume that they do find somebody better or cheaper. The real problem is, why don't these businesses have the common courtesy of replying? If writing a letter is too much work, how about spending a minute on sending me an email? I don't care what it says -- "we already filled the position", "you're not qualified for position X", whatever, as long as I know that they've seen it. Without a reply, I keep wondering if my mail is broken, or that my letter was somehow so inappropriate or ridiculous that they didn't even bother with it.

I'm telling you man, I chose the wrong career. I should sit my on ass all day, smoking, drinking, doing drugs, refusing to work. I can then hold out my hand because the government will pay me. If I need something, I'll just steal it, the police doesn't care. As a plus, I get the hottest chicks, because such a lifestyle is considered really cool here. emoticon:frusty

Update (2003.08.11). To be fair, one of these companies replied. Of course, it took them a few weeks, but still.

1) One might wonder why I am looking for a job when I already have one. This is a telecommuting job, where the availability of work varies from week to week. While it pays well (especially by Floridian standards, apparently), there's currently room for more work... at a company around here, over the Net, or a freelance project, anything.

2) Can you say 'MCSE'? ;-)

Posted by Hans "will hack for food" Nowak on 2003-08-03 14:05:05   {link}
Categories: general

Shake the cards *

Two years ago I developed a (not-really-collectible) card game called Nova. It's a bit like Magic, but only a bit... it's definitely not just another MtG clone. I don't want to go into too much detail right now, because I might try to sell the game.

Anyway, I have always wanted to have the cards printed and have "real" (cardboard) cards. (Currently I just print sheets, cut out the cards, and stick them in card protectors. It works for playtesting, but that's about it.) For a number of reasons I didn't get to it though, laziness my busy life being one, and not knowing much about PDF generation being another.

ReportLab to the rescue. The user guide [PDF] describes everything I want, and more. It's really easy. It only took me a coupla hours to find out everything I need. So, I can now generate the card sheets with a simple Python script. All hail ReportLab. emoticon:worship0

If marketing the game turns out to be too costly, and/or if nobody here wants it, then I might turn Nova into an "open" game and put everything on the Net, including PDF sheets people can use to print their own cards. That could be interesting too... people could add their own cards, or submit ideas, etc. We'll see.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-08-02 22:02:49   {link}
Categories: CCGs, Python

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