Monthly Archives: November 2006

gentoo packages that need lovin'

I mentioned not too long ago that I was working on getting portage details crammed into postgresql, and here is the end result.

GPNL is meant to be a QA tool for treecleaners to use, making it easier to find packages and ebuilds that … well, need some lovin.

Though it’s primarily intended for quality assurance, I’ve written the frontend to be hopefully pretty generic so anyone can browse the portage tree and just see some interesting statistics all around. There’s still a lot more to be done on the website, but I think it’s to a point right now where it’s at least ready for some public consumption.

One thing I’m excited about is setting up the advanced search page, where you’ll be able to run all kinds of funky queries. I’m going to be adding some more QA checks as well, once I get some time. Getting this much done though was quite a lot of work though, and I’m probably going to take a break and focus more on other things for a while. However, if anyone has some reasonable feature requests, I’m all ears.

Oh, also the source code for the database schema and the import scripts is available online. I’ll setup SVN access and some documentation on the db layout sometime soon, not to mention how to get it working (short howto: emerge php, pkgcore, postgresql and portage-utils).

Also, a huge shout out to marienz and ferringb who put together pkgcore and my little python scripts that made importing the data incredibly simple. Thanks, guys. :)

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Filed under Databases, Gentoo

random book of mormon chapter

Sometimes reading / studying my scriptures can get boring (a sure sign of apostasy, I’m sure … I’m doomed!), but it occurred to me the other day that while we are instructed to read our scriptures on a daily basis, nobody ever said anything about reading them in any certain order.

So, while I was tweaking the db layout of the lds_scriptures tables, I added a new table: chapters. Then I setup a view to pull out a random chapter and its verses. This works much better than me randomly flipping something open in my book, because if I do that then I usually land somewhere near the middle. This time, anything goes, baby! Anyway, I wrote a quick php script to pull them out, and put it on my server, so here you go — a random Book of Mormon chapter each time you refresh the page.

For some reason, *every* time I run it, I get a really long chapter that comes up. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something. Doh!

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Filed under Computers, Religion

wordpress in gentoo

So I pinged SuperLag the other day on IRC about the wordpress ebuilds, and somehow I came out of that conversation as being the new maintainer. Buh. I’m still not sure how that happened. :)

I’m excited, though. He didn’t mind ditching it and I didn’t mind picking it up. I like wordpress a lot, and I’m going to add wordpress multi-user to the tree as soon as I get a chance. Also, I’ve been meaning to do an audit of the PHP code myself to check for security vulns, so I guess I should get on that.

Something else I’ve been thinking of doing is maybe putting some popular themes in there as well, and maybe modules too. I use Spam Karma 2 to kill any nasty comment spam, and while it’s a cinch to install (just unzip the file and drop it in the plugins directory), I’m all about the laziness that portage caters to. :)

If anyone’s got any other ideas for wordpress stuff, just drop me a line and lemme know about it, and I’ll see what I can do.

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Filed under Gentoo

space paranoids

I’ve been holding off announcing this for a while, since I wanted it to be “done” before doing anything, but since I’m never really going to be finished, I’ll just display what I do have.

I setup a new website to act as the dumping grounds for all my development stuff across the board, including gentoo stuff, php code, lds oss stuff, etc. Pretty much everything I’m working on across the board that is intended for public release.

The new website is http://spaceparanoids.org/ and it’s running on my Dell Intel Pentium 4 desktop. I got this thing on craigslist for $45, and I couldn’t pass up that deal.

Anyway, if you really poke around there, you’ll find two big projects that I’m working on right now which I haven’t announced yet since they aren’t finished either. Please don’t crush my poor little server under the load. :)

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Filed under Computers, Gentoo

giving thanks

Something I find interesting lately, is that with the Playstation 3 coming out, I haven’t seen hardly any positive press about how this thing freely lets you run other operating systems on it. Geeks will get all up in arms about DRM and lockdowns (which is a good thing), but nobody seems to really give say too much when someone actually does open up a platform. I must be reading the wrong blogs, or something.

Well, I think it’s cool. They even have a page about how to get started hacking your playstation. I’m not much of a gamer, and certainly not a console one, but just the fact that you can freely screw around with it makes me think about getting one someday.

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Filed under Computers

ivtv-0.8.1 released

Just another quick Gentoo public service announcement. Hans released a new version of ivtv, v0.8.1, and this comes with a lot of cool updates. It’s already been bumped in portage as well, so for those of you using Hauppage PVR cards, give it a whirl. Note that you’ll have to install it with a 2.6.18 kernel because of the new MPEG2 API.

I’ve been crazy busy lately, but I installed mine and managed to record and watch about 15 seconds of TV just fine with MPlayer’s new PVR functionality, so it seems like it’s okay. I’ve been rebuilding my server all weekend, and hopefully I’ll get around to finishing up with mythtv and testing it out again. With luck, my squelchy audio issues will go away too. :)

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Filed under Gentoo, IVTV

lds-scriptures postgresql update snapshot

I have not worked on my LDS Scriptures project in a very long time.  In fact, annual realeases are becoming an embarrassing reality.  However, I’ve been itching to update the project for a while now, since I’ve been learning quite a lot more about databases since my last release.

I had an interesting idea for doing some custom RSS feeds of pulling down scriptures (which I’ll get into at a later time), but I quickly realized the current db schema wasn’t quite up to par.  I started poking around the postgres one, and it was much easier than I imagined to fix it up quite a bit.  I dropped all the tables and recreated them, this time with primary and foreign keys, and I got rid of some columns that were completely unnecessary.  I renamed some too, along with the other general cleanup.

I tarballed the snapshot once I was finished.  This isn’t what I’m going to release as the final 3.0 version, since I still need to add things like views and more indexes, but this is the direction I’m going to be heading.  You can download the snapshot tarball here.  Feedback is welcome, as always. :)

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Filed under Computers, Religion

icewind dale

I’ve been re-repping all my music CDs (again), this time to MP3s because I want to be able to listen to them in my car. I’ve got all the love in the world for Ogg Vorbis, but let’s face it, nothing supports it, and music is my life. I’m always listening to music. I’m rewriting a little frontend of mine that I’ve been using for years to access my music too. I used to kludge the MP3 metadata into tags and sort my music that way, but now I’m just going to tag it in a database or something and pull them out that way.

Anyway, the cool thing going through all my CDs (and my crap, there are a lot of them) is that I get to handle all the ones I haven’t listened to in a long time, and as a result sort of forget that I have. The soundtrack to Icewind Dale is one of them.

Now, first of all, it’s a real shame there are not more soundtracks to computer games out there. The concept slowly seems to be becoming more popular though. This one is well worth it if you are into celtic, ambient, new age or instrumental music. Most of the tracks are pretty short, but still amazingly good. “Kuldahar’s Theme” is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever heard across my entire collection. The entire score is very high quality.

If you are interested in getting your own, just buy a copy of the Icewind Dale Ultimate Edition package. It will come with a copy of the CD.

The game itself is incredibly fun. I’ve played (and solved) the first one, along with the expansion pack, Heart of Winter. I really wish there were a lot more games out there based on the Baldur’s Gate game engine. Hopefully they will open source it someday so development can continue. I haven’t solved Icewind Dale II yet, or played it in a while … I kind of remember it as being a little bit harder.

The crazy thing I found out while doing my research about the soundtrack again was that there was one released for Neverwinter Nights … perhaps my most favorite game evah! And I don’t even have a copy! Not only that, but Neverwinter Nights 2 came out last month. Man, I am really not on the ball. Unfortunately, I’m too poor to rush out and buy one off the shelf right now (car payments and all), but I certainly can’t wait. I tell you what.

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Filed under Entertainment

death to sql server (part 4)

I’ve written about this before, but to rehash … the date functions inside SQL server suck. What’s really weird is that there’s an undocumented way to retrieve out certain datetime formats, and even that is inconsistent in its numbering scheme.

The way to pull them out is by running “SELECT CONVERT(VARCHAR, GETDATE(), @x);” where @x is a positive integer. If you can find the right integer, you can save time and pull out something directly like ’11-10-2006′ as your variable.

One of the problems you’ll run into though is that you can’t just do 1 through $integer. Only some of them return something, and the ones that don’t just throw an SQL error, so you get to hunt down which integers return something.

Well, digging for them manually once is something I don’t want to repeat, so I wrote a query statement to pull out some of them. This could be a handy reference inside your database somewhere.

DECLARE @x int;
SET @x = 1;
WHILE @x 0 AND (@x 20 AND @x <25) OR (@x > 99 AND @x < 115) OR @x IN(126,130,131)) BEGIN
SELECT @x, CONVERT(VARCHAR, GETDATE(), @x);
END
SELECT @x = (@x +1);

END

Here's another online reference you can use.

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Filed under Databases

english feeds

Announcing experimental English-only feeds:

http://www.planetlarry.org/en/

Enjoy.

And for the record, we’ve got bloggers from 26 countries now. :)

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Filed under Planet Larry