|art.draisey.ca| |Matt's Blog|

MEJD Programming Projects

This is just a place to display my ongoing and/or ossified programming projects.

What and Why?

These are just a few projects on which I have had some fun. All were written on and for my previous home computer, a small Dell.

--- 600 MHz Celeron, Intel motherboard with onboard video, 192MB RAM, 9GB 5400 IDE harddrive, external 56K modem, $20 sound card --- I have since added a $20 ethernet card from Radio Shack and have replaced the modem with DSL --- I didn't research the card at all just bought the cheapest I could find --- It actually came with linux drivers which I compiled and used for a while before replacing them with drivers from the standard kernel source ---

It was the lowest end model when new, and remarkably inexpensive, yet despite its relative pokeyness, it works suprising well as a small development machine. I never intended to use this machine for anything other than my own amusement. Apparently I have succeeded.

When new, the machine came with Microsoft Windows ME preinstalled. I have never used a Microsoft product that I could live with, and this proved to be no exception. Within days the Windows partition had shrunk by 3GB and a bright shiny new Debian Slink had a new home. It took another three or four weeks of custom kernel compilations before X worked on the onboard video. The contrast between the two operating systems couldn't have been greater. The Linux OS was hard to set up, ugly and awkward. The Windows OS was ready to use, easy on the eyes and easy to configure. However, Windows ME turned out to be the least functional computing environment I have ever used in my life. Its fate was sealed.

Only a freebie AOL account kept Windows alive. I liked AOL, but dual-booting was a pain. Over time the Windows partition shrunk, and the Linux partitions grew until they took over the entire drive. I used a very nice bootloader / partitioning utility called System Commander (from the now defunct v-com.com) to juggle these partitions. It was an unusual programme, in that it ran without an OS, using only the bios --- I had bought a boxed version well before I owned a computer that could use it. It cool enough to pay for at the time (together with a bundled version of TurboLinux and StarOffice) but free software has completely superceded it.

The computer is starting to get a bit long in the tooth [it is now in a cupboard]. Nearly eight years old as I write [wrote] this. It is still my main machine [no longer] but I am tempted to buy a new dell Ubuntu machine. They aren't any cheaper than the Windows machines, which is a nuisance. I think with some of the deals they push they might even be pricier! [yup --- I bought a machine with Vista installed on it but never run] The computer still runs [hardly ever!] well but newer web sites do push it rather badly. I'm glad I purged the flash player years ago. More RAM would undoubtedly help but I'm not willing to upgrade such an old machine.

The new machine is a dell Vostro 220 named thoron. The old machine was unimaginitvely named della. Also knocking around the house are bohrium, tfd and dreamlink (the router has a name too).

Git and the Gitweb interface

I had become enamoured of Linus Torvalds' git and Kay Sievers' gitweb cgi interface. As a result, I started to display even worse code than what I had previously posted, namely my ongoing programming hacks. mirabile visu. Or perhaps not. These were basically just snapshots of my hardrive. Just because I use git doesn't mean I understand software development.

Hey, I just got an email from Linus Torvalds. Cool. My geek quotient just went up 10 points. Of course, it was in response to my posting to the git mailing list, and mostly said "but why would you want to do that". I may submit a one-character patch! Whoopee!

The Old Project Pages

None of these projects were remotely distributable. They were just various snapshots of whatever interested me at the time. All of the code works, but whether they actually accomplish anything is debatable. I programme computers as a hobby, and have no other pressing need for these toys, so it has become natural to use Linux exclusively. While these aren't peculiarly Linux projects, none of the code has ever been tested on a non-Linux machine. In general, portability is nonexistent.


Don't expect timely updates on this page. Indeed it is better considered as an archeological site.

A Blog?

I am thinking of starting (have started and largely abandoned) a blog. I already have drupal 4.7 software up and running, and am looking for an excuse to try out the 5.0 version that is due to mature soon. (Up to 7 now) If so I may phase out this static content completely. I have an audience that equals zero almost everywhere, so any changes I make will disrupt no-one.