vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
Losing nerd cred a bit lately: I've started visiting a local soccer team's matches. It's quite exciting! We have some world class players on this team (Women's Soccer - Seattle Reign FC), and it's breathtaking to see top-line playing. Some of the moves are just /wow/. I could never do that when I played soccer as a kid, or even dream of it.

I feel slightly less nerdy perhaps now, but I am enjoying myself, so pfah. Plus, m'lady likes it too.

N.b., soccer really is a lot more engaging than football IMO. Football is closer to turn based gaming and soccer, real time gaming.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I spent some time last night looking at desktops with large amounts of RAM (health issues strongly indicate NOT doing serious work with a laptop, EVER AGAIN).

I can get a refurb Xeon quad-core machine with 24GB of RAM from Dell for something like $600-$700. That seems to blow laptop equivalent compute costs out of the water. Since I like virtual machines, this seems.... awesome!

*And* I already have the monitor & other accessories. This is very intriguing!
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I am making a virtual pet game. It has these concepts:

* isn't brain-dead stupid

* doesn't require nannying... much

* will have CUTE PICTURES OF MY CAT as the first virtual pet.

* will be something that geeky people would like playing for a long time.

* Targeted at FirefoxOS

* HAS CUTE CAT PICTURES OF CUTENESS.

My deadline (self-set) is Septemberish.

I want to give away some tester accounts for this game.

Full disclosure. The initial business model is: after we're generally happy, I'll launch and then people can buy "base game" for $0.99, which gets you bugfixes and minor upgrades "forever" (i.e., until the server stops and or the business looks permanently cash-flow negative). I won't shut it down without notice. Testers will keep their free accounts.

I'm going to try to figure out how to get a month-to-month cash flow going, but that's not going to be for the basic game. Ads aren't going to happen unless the advertiser can present a compelling case that my users really really want to see their ads in their game, messing their UX up.

The name of the game is BEAST. The possibilities: only cute.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I can confidently say that I have developed a pathological dislike of Microsoft & its technologies. This is not even going into the libre software issue.

.NET is obscurely and weirdly extensible at run time and compile time, depending on what references are brought in. I have never used a language system with such spooky action at a distance. I spent part of the morning adding references to my project and iterating until all the references were added. This is SO what I had thought I'd avoid with a static language. I think that the way things are done in MS is that libraries modify existing types without inheritance, protocols, etc. I express extreme violence at this foolishness.

IIS: Now instead of quickly editing a file, saving, and bouncing apache, I have to point and click through the config. I thought MS pro tools were better than this.


I'm not even going into the idiotic inability to SSH into remote Windows servers, the confusing and overengineered webdev libraries... AND MORE.

I loathe this system I do not understand how anyone would voluntarily choose it in 2013. Anything seems better than this horrid entanglement of GUIs, bad library design, bad ecosystem design, etc. Yes, I am missing Python, something I thought I'd never say.

Perhaps down the road, I can carve out a "Weirdo" niche in the company where I do weird stuff with weird languages and weird technologies.

I also think I will be brushing up on Java next time I look for work down the road (quite some time from now).
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
Considerations on the problem of data management.

(0) The cloud is for data that will leak. Account information is being lost constantly. The best secure service out there that I have heard of is tarsnap, which is not a friendly service.

(1) My data needs to be content-searchable, as well as filename searchable. Much of this information can be extracted.

(1.1) My data includes email, pictures, music, video, source code, and in short, the generalized document idea.

(2) Therefore, a search tool needs to be created. Spotlight is a reasonable solution, but afaik, closed source. It can be substantially improved, I expect.

(3) My data needs to be globally versioned. This will incur at least a doubling of the space occupied by it. Git/hg/etc are designed for source code.

(4) My data needs to be migratable. This implies that the archives need to be (1) copyable or (2) distributed in nature.

(5) The archive needs to be reasonably transparent to existing management systems. HG, for instance, treats .hg directories as special. So HG can't be used to version .hg systems (which is what is going to logically happen).

(6) A desktop-only solution is fine. The web has problems that I am not interested in solving. A local-only database for the search index is fine, as is possibly storing all the archive information in (cue horrible stories from people who have done distributed databases).

(7) As a core principle set:

(7a) There is no reason that data should be to a computer user who has access to multiple computers and does not suffer destruction of all computer simultaneously.

(7b) There is no reason that textual data should be unsearchable.

(7c) The software that performs these services would be able to access any information on the system and thus ought to be auditable and, ideally, open source.


I'm contemplating what it would take to produce these two things:

- Desktop search service

- Data management/versioning system

I am figuring that the desktop search properly will involve three components: a reasonably aggressive parser hacking apart the data files, a database, and a client interface. The parser will of course have to support a number of different formats.

The data management & versioning system could likely be built on top of git's primitives. The reason I say that is that git is relatively simple under the hood, exposes a lot of its capability to the Linux user, and has a very fast communication protocol. Around this could be wrapped a tarball, the indexer, and a gpg call to bowtie it all off.

Is anyone to work on this sort of thing with me? This is a reasonably serious project that I anticipate would span two or three years before maturity. Things to consider:

- I would insist on A/GPL3 licencing

- I would not drop this project without a reasonable and viable alternative being available. This is sort of a big deal to me.

- I have worked on software both academically, commercialy, and have interacted with open source for years. I can crank code when I am on the roll.

- I am open to using your pet language & tech stack (I'm personally interested in learning Clojure right now), and would learn it if I didn't already know it.

- If we pulled this off, this be of a scope to go on your resume.

- I offer virtual cupcakes. :: cupcake ::

vlion@dreamwidth.org routes to my email address, if you don't want to comment on this post
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
(1) Highly recommend reading this http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/16/opinion/schneier-internet-surveillance/

(2) Also highly recommend Collusion (browser plugin).


(3) Weep



n.b., I run a freenet node from my laptop. because.

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