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gbarr (68)

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Journal of gbarr (68)

Monday October 07, 2002
02:56 AM

Switching back ?

Well unfortunately some of us don't have a choice. For the past couple of months I have had an iBook on loan from Apple, for which I am very grateful. It has been a great experience, but it will not be long before I must learn to live without it.

For many years I have used either KDE or Gnome as my desktop environment, but when I have had to use a windows box, it has not bothered me much. By that I mean that the change in UI has not bothered me much, having to use Windows has always bothered me :)

My work habits cause me to work from a laptop for several hours of the day, so recently I have been using the iBook instead of my win2k laptop.

The other day I had to power up my win2k laptop for the first time since I got the iBook. My first response was "Argh, this is painful!!". I just found the UI difficult.

In fact now that I think of it, since I have had the iBook I have been getting a little frustrated with KDE and Gnome at times, but they have been only minor frustrations and often overcome by the fact that I can configure them to do things how I want. Windows is not so forgiving.

Anyway, I guess my point is that although I did not take to the Apple desktop at first, it has grown on me very quickly in a very short time. There are many things about the iBook I just thought I would never get used to, like only one mouse button, but I did. I still have some frustrations with it, but as the iBook I have is a loaner, it is running Mac OS X 10.1 and I have been told many issues I have with it are resolved in 10.2.

So soon I have to send the iBook back, and yes I will miss it. Right now I am in the middle of moving house, so I don't have any spare finances. But you can be sure once I have moved and sorted my finances, I will be buying a Mac

Monday September 16, 2002
11:52 AM


I left the US in 1999 thinking, yay no more dealings with the IRS

How wrong could I have been. I just got a notice that my 2000 return is overdue. But I left in 1999 and did not work in the US in 2000. So I called the IRS.

Apparently as I still hold some stock and earned $27 in 2000, I still have to file, even though I have to declare that earning to the UK taxman.

But when I sell the stocks I will not pay US taxes anyway due to US/UK agreements I will pay the taxes in the UK. So the IRS are just wasting thier own money.

As I cannot be bothered to remember to file my US tax return, and the IRS know eveything anyway. I will just wait for the overdure notice each year and file a return with the figures they tell me they know about.

So to all those tax paying US citizens, this is how your tax dollars are spent

Friday August 30, 2002
05:16 PM

If only I knew what I was doing ....

In the state I am in I probably should not be writing code, who knows what I will write.

I am already high from the fumes of several days painting and there is a lot more todo. At least it should all be done by Monday when we have someone coming to value the house.

Friday August 23, 2002
12:35 PM

BT Loses battle

Sometimes the courts do get some things right

Whatever made them think they could win, I have no idea.

Wednesday August 21, 2002
11:46 AM

Bad timing

Today my wife noticed we had a water mark on our ceiling. Upon inspection I discovered that we have a leak on a pipe that is very hard to get to.

We have insurance to cover this kind of thing, so we are waiting for someone to come and fix it.

All this just as we decide it is time to move house. Talk about timing....

Monday August 19, 2002
02:38 PM upgrade

I continue to improve the site as feedback comes in. The lastest change means that when converting POD to HTML, it attempts to locate URLs in the text and make them into links. Also if the author of the POD forgot the L<> around a module name in the SEE ALSO section, it adds it for them.

Thursday August 15, 2002
12:53 PM

Loan extended

Two days ago I got notice from the loan company that supplied my iBook that I had to return it. I thought it was odd as I had only had it 2 weeks and the loan was for 2 months.

Well today it all got sorted out by Apple. Not only was it sorted out, but the loan was extended to be 2 months from today. So I got an extra 2 weeks, yay!

Monday August 12, 2002
05:50 PM

Some people


I guess I should have expected it. But I just cannot belive some people.

Some seem to expect that it is thier right that things not be changed unless they agree with them.

Well to all those who think the new search site is "useless", sorry not my problem go somewhere else. But if you have useful input for improvement, I am listening


01:26 PM

Switching to Mac OS X

There are probably many developers out there that find themselves in a similar position to myself. Besides the open source development I do, which I will write about another time, I have a real job. After all we all have to eat.

The system I develop as part of my day job is an Apache/mod_perl system that, in production, runs on FreeBSD and Solaris servers. Because of this it is easiest to develop in an environment close to the environment where the code will be used. So I have FreeBSD, Solaris and Linux machines where I do my development.

But there is another side to my day job. I also have to communicate with people who work in the main office. As like many other companies these people exclusively use Microsoft. So I need to be able to read and write MS file formats.

Many Open Source advocates will probably respond with "There are plenty Open Source tools that can do that" and they would be right. However, although they can import and export the MS file formats there are still some issues. There are times when a document may be exchanged back and forth many times, making changes each time. This is where the Open Source tools fall down for me as they are not able to preserve everything during the import/edit/export process.

To overcome this problem I have a laptop which runs Windows 2000. But that makes for a difficult environment to work in as I have to keep switching between machines. Also when I travel, I am restricted what I can do while traveling as I don't have the laptop setup as dual boot, nor do I want to.

Using an iBook with Mac OS X, this problem is solved. As Mac OS X is UNIX based, I have been able to reproduce the development environment that I have on my other machines, as it comes with Perl and Apache/mod_perl already installed. Mac OS X also runs MS applications, which allows me to communicate with the people I work with with much more ease. And now when I travel I can be much more productive as I can test any code that I may write.

For me an iBook running Mac OS X really has turned out to be the best of both worlds, so I can have my cake and eat it. But I feel I have only scratched the surface of using Mac OS X and that there are many more things for me to discover.

Tuesday August 06, 2002
02:09 PM

MacOSX IE fun

My first impressions of IE in MacOSX are not good. I just tried to add a new user to PAUSE, but because thr SSL certificate for pause does not say it just pops up "Invalid security".

I know this is really a problem with PAUSE, but other platforms give the option to accept it anyway, but I cannot find a way to do so in MacOSX.

So I wont be adding any new CPAN users fro now :-(