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My homepage here on MeatBall. Feel free to add comments at will, this is wiki after all.

Email: cja987@gmail.com (Write me if you like. I won't let spammers win by obfuscating my address)

Blog: http://scrytch.blogspot.com/ (yes, you'll see some duplicated material here)


Younger brother of CliffordAdams, who probably needs no introduction here. Sort of parallel interests as well. Currently residing in SanFrancisco (hey, let's WikiWord city names so we can search for people by place!) with his significant other (who shall remain nameless until she decides to do wiki herself).

Ever since I became interested in computers, I got into technology in order to help bring people together socially. It's the closest thing to a consistent vocational vision (or any philosophy really) I've ever had, even if I've usually been lousy at achieving it, and focusing on the neato technology involved such as MUDs, MOOs, and Wikis instead. I've become far more jaded now, one might even say outright cynical, but the kernel of the vision remains.

Welcome to MeatballWiki, Chuck! -- ScottMoonen

Status stuff

Currently playing with: Common Lisp and Scheme (can't decide between the two)

Bloggie type thingie (most recent on top)

15 Aug 2005: Vexations to the Spirit

Exchanged words briefly on the blog of someone who I rather looked up to, a rather intelligent fellow that I saw as ranting like a crank, increasingly on topics he wasn't knowledgeable on, and undermining that respect I had. His words were to the effect of "Why are you here then? I write for myself, not random morons", to which I replied "Why indeed?" and left. There closes another door in my rather narrowing circle of online friends, or at least potentials. Then again, who needs to be around nasty people? Too much stress.

Criticising someone on their own blog is, I suppose rather rude, and my civility was a pretty false front, so I can't say I didn't deserve it. Still, I'm tired of reading bitter hateful screeds from fellow nerds as their mode of expression. In fact, I'm not sure it's good to be a nerd anymore ... or at least to identify as one.

Maybe it's from quitting slashdot. I feel smarter already. But also a little lonelier.

We have a marginally offensive page called ExGeek you may be interested in ranting into. -- SunirShah

Well, I rather want to get away from ranting in general, but I'll check it out. I also have to amend, that this fellow's reply was still acerbic but not as insulting as I thought, as the insults weren't really directed at me. (I know, "vague much?" Sorry, I just don't think it would help to move the flames to another site). --ChuckAdams

10 Aug 2005: Slashnot

My patience with SlashDot is at an end. I quit once before, but after a few months rejoined with a different nick. But since then I was simmering with disgust at the editorial standards there, namely the complete lack of any pride in their work. From fact-checking to spelling and grammar to outright relevance, slashdot has lacked it all. I'd skip reading any comments on entire articles simply because I could predict what the crowd of SlashBot? kiddies would spew out -- then my inevitable morbid curiosity would confirm my suspicious. My beef really isn't with the culture though, since the tools were adequate to raise one's reading above most of the noise floor, but with the editors. What rankled me the most was that the editors actually draw a paycheck to do ... basically nothing. Not spell check, not fact-check, nothing, just click "approve" on at most a half-dozen articles a day.

And boy does what they click on stink. They can't even do that right. This is the straw that broke the camel's back, one of what seemed to be an ''endless' series of game-related articles. I'll post it verbatim (allowing for wiki's reformatting)

Games Should Be Like Female Orgasms

Posted by Zonk on Wednesday August 10, @01:24PM

from the y-chromosome-is-a-joke dept.

Gamers with Jobs has an excellent look at the pacing of games, and their resemblance to sexual response cycles. From the article: "The female sexual response cycle appears as a gradual (sometimes maddeningly so) upward slope from excitement to orgasm, with several 'false peaks' in the plateau region. Anyone who's ever performed cunnilingus while kneeling on a hardwood floor can attest to the validity of this representation. The male cycle differs radically. The transition from excitement to plateau in men is rather rapid, represented by a near-vertical line. The plateau stage is then almost horizontal for varying amounts of time (see: premature ejaculation) followed by another extremely rapid ascent into orgasm. Playing video games often reminds me of the above."

The prosecution rests. I am not a prude -- in fact, the article would even be clever in its prurience if it weren't so laughably juvenile. But it just goes straight to the socially stunted judgment of the editors to run it. I have little more derision I could possibly add here that can't be derived by most any reader from this article. I quit: scrambled my password, my email, and aliased out slashdot.org in my /etc/hosts file. I'm fairly glad I never made many strong links to my professional or personal identity from my slashdot nick, because I'm ashamed to admit I was ever part of the culture there.

29 Jul 2005: That was then, this is WikiNow

Three days. This whole debacle, which I'll cryptically call "The CWM Affair" erupted over the course of three days. Angry words were exchanged, bans were put up, a member left. But if you just read the pages as they are now, you would never know why. It's a history of redactions, of finding the page where the exchange took place, and reading this flamewar in all its ugliness, only in changes, because the pages in question went through so many revisions, leaving only a sort of burnt out wreckage in the end, testament to nothing but the vestiges of ill will. You don't get context without viewing the revision history, which just isn't designed for viewing the threads. Thankfully in this case, it actually tended to hilight the threads, the green and yellow diff-output hilighting everything said. Until you remember, that yellow is a redaction.

Sometimes, I really dislike the WikiNow. I like having a timeline. I don't even check the wiki every three days. So here I went and proposed that the flashpoint page be deleted before I really even got all the context ... I stand by that though, especially after reading what both sides had to say. I've learned the lessons of other online communities, and I don't think we need every bit of dirty laundry archived. In that sense, perhaps the WikiNow is more merciful. We don't need to archive everything, and perhaps there should be a technological mechanism behind the "Forget" part of ForgiveAndForget. Our purpose is now, not keeping the past indefinitely for the future. We're not TheJarts after all (I just have to wikiword that, I want to come back to it sometime. Feel free to beat me to it though).

Still, it's weird to see the written word play out like the spoken. All part of the WikiNow I guess.

Sunir, can I have my shiny robe now?

15 Jul 2005: How to know when your project is doomed

Supply the script with the appropriate options. I haven't written documentation, but I believe the perl module can generate it if you give it a --help option. No doubt there are a few more criteria I can come up with.

 use Getopt::Long;
 my ($project_title, $project_version);

 sub doomed() {
   return 1 if $project_title =~ /.* Forge$/;
   return 1 if $project_title =~ /^The .* Project$/;
   return 1 if $project_version =~ /^0*\.0{2,}/;

 Getoptions('title=s' => \$project_title,
            'version=s' => \$project_version);

 print "Your project is doomed.\n" if doomed;

06 Jul 2005: QOTD

Random quote I thought worth keeping:

I've come to realize hanging around enough people in the public eye that if there isn't some mentally deranged person yelling at you from the streets, you aren't really accomplishing anything in the world. --SunirShah

29 Jun 2005: kswapd, or how I learned to loathe linux

I've been hit with kswapd bogging down the CPU on three different machines running three different distributions with three different kernel versions to each (some of them 2.4, some 2.6). I see it's been "fixed" in nearly every point release of the kernel since some time in 2002, and it was just recently "fixed" again in 2.6.11. A little research on google shows complaints about kswapd going berzerk that go back to 1998. How much do you want to bet that it's still going to be a problem? When is Linux going to admit that their VM subsystem is broken by design?

Feel the hate. I simply cannot recommend Linux for critical systems, because no one seems concerned about the VM system falling over under load, with this showstopper problem celebrating a seven-year anniversary.

If the Oracle client ran on FreeBSD, I'd switch to it in a New York minute.

Come to think of it, it probably does run. Switching server platforms is not up to me, however, and if I have to fight to get fedora installed because it's "not the corporate standard linux", I have no hope when it comes to BSD.

22 June 2005: WikiCult?

DefendAgainstPassion, TheCollective, AngryCloud, references to "if one really loves BarnRaising", BarnRaising references all over the place that are more and more abstract ... I have neither time at the moment nor collected enough thoughts to really produce a cogent position, let alone a deconstructive analysis, but I just wanted to say, this really scares me. Well, it would scare me if my friends spoke this way, but I guess it just turns me off. I'd like to think of people here as my friends, but cheap wry references to kool-aid are popping up in my ever-sarcastic mind, and the shine of community is really starting to wear off, revealing a disturbing monoculture of right-thinking ideologies.

I really don't like this trend toward terminology in general. If you're at all turned off by it, think before you WikiWord a term, because a clever neologism one day may become a shibboleth the next.

You're just jealous since you haven't got a shiny robe yet. -- SunirShah.

30 March 2005: obligatory blog metadiscourse

I don't much care for diary blogs that chronicle all the minutae of one's life. Perhaps it's that my life even lacks interesting minutae, but also that I'm a rather private person. So I would rather blog things that I hope will get replies. Questions, ponderers, stuff like that. This being wiki, just edit away.

30 March 2005: me and modelling

No I haven't become a Barbizon model, I finally decided to start learning 3d graphics. Mostly for game engines, as I don't really see myself doing the sort of tedious work of rendered still art. I'm not so much into "shooter" games like UT, but I'd love to make models for RPGs or sims type of games and maybe give them out for some existing game projects. Or maybe I'll just doodle, or maybe I'll give it up in frustration or boredom like so many of my other hobbies ... time will tell I guess.

Still, the thought of me as an artist is possibly more laughable than me as a model (you may need to find a new top of the derision scale however). I can hardly draw a straight line. I certainly can't draw people -- preschoolers would laugh at my stick figures. Perspective and shading, yes I understand, I don't need to learn about the goddamn vanishing point yet again in yet another useless "how to draw" book, but what I see and imagine doesn't translate into my hand even as a rough sketch. It's not really like I've tried though, I'll admit that much. Most artists I know have started rough, but always felt compelled to draw (or drawn to it, har har) all the time, sketching, doodling, and so on, until they were creating graphic novel style art, with notebooks full of their sketches. Not me, I would get frustrated one minute in and come out with nothing but doodles.

Well, I think I've established that I'm no artist. Yet I've decided to just learn 3d graphics all the same. I know code, even though I don't hack much anymore, and if I disciplined myself, I could probably write some sort of really complex non-realtime game (discipline is certainly not my strong suit, but that's another story). I don't actually care so much about the code part of 3d graphics anymore, so I don't really want to know about quaternions and transformational geometry and all that just yet. I might pick up interest in the future. Right now, I want to just create simple things, do something I've never done before, stop hunting for the perfect programming language, stop writing yet another CRUD screen app in java/python/ruby/etc, and learn something really new, but something that still meshes at least a little with what I'm already good at. So, computer graphics it is.

I picked up Blender and started with the WikiBooks tutorial on creating a stick man. It's such a crude little figure, but I was actually gleeful learning just this much. Now I'm looking beyond, for some direction I can take.

Pointers though ... Inspiration, guidance, someone who can mentor or at least provide some encouragement. Pointers to good tutorials. Good tools to use, especially ones that won't cost me several grand, tools to stay away from. I don't work well alone, and if I don't find some source of external encouragement, I fear that this hobby will meet the same fate as the others I tried. Such a negative note to end on, I know, but we all need a little validation. I suppose I could try IRC channels ...

Musing idly too much now ... back to work. Looking forward to the next set of tutorials when I get home.

Hi, I see on RandyKramer that you're interested in a WikiEngine with a distributed SCM backend. I'm interested in this too. I've made a few notes on [WikiFeatures:RevisionControlBackend], if you're interested -- BayleShanks



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