Archive for November, 2005

HackFest 1110

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Hardware hacks, info-viz, interactive systems, maps, dynamic Java, economics, politics… it all depends on who shows up.

Hackfest 1101 Postmortem

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

–  Since Last Hackfest
    –  Luke
        –  Lost his /usr partition
            –  interesting experience for  scripting a debian
                  install using apt
            –  had been using unison (linux, windows, etc,
         for backup
        –  did some bluetooth exploration/debugging
    –  Graham
        –  Made emacs scripts to tally time spent on each sentence
            –  also did some mockups of the idea
        –  masters project things
    –  Vinny
        –  fixed commotion problems
        –  hacked javascript for work
            –  integrated the Rhino javascript parser into our new
–  Today’s Plans
    –  Luke
        –  messing with Palm memory map
            –  new method: allocate memory in different
                  applications, then see where that is in physical
        –  going to Germany tomorrow
    –  Graham
        –  installing iTunes
        –  make the clocks invisible the right way
        –  support editing of existing sentences
        –  properly creating a mode instead of modifying all of
    –  Vinny
        –  either: executing scheme code for calculated properties
        –  or: automated population of the schools database
–  Today’s Reality
    –  Group
        –  60 minute discussion of economics of variable pricing on
    –  Graham
        –  Worked on making clocks invisible – not done yet … ∞
        –  Luke’s going to provide some info for minor modes
    –  Luke
        –  found some memory possibly below the OS boundary
    –  Vinny
        –  told Graham everything would be fantastic with XSLT
        –  looked at Grant’s latest spoontease

Punctuating Clocks

Monday, November 14th, 2005

In Laurie Anderson’s performance piece The End of the Moon she suggests that instead of ending sentences with periods, we might end them with clocks, signaling how long was spent on each.

I thought, "Emacs!", with the idea of making a gimmicky blog toy. Luke convinced me we might work to make it more generic, so it could be used as a program analysis tool as well.

The first version is rough, inserts directly into the text, and doesn’t account for edits.

Future versions will have the following characteristics:
1. Instead of using keystrokes, will take advantage of emacs’ structure of generic coding-text systems. It already knows where the statements begin and end.
2. Represent the time-stamps in some hidden form in the text, perhaps like glyphs or text properties. This would imply a separate render command. Luke points out that we’ll need accompanying files with these annotations for the source code case.
3. Come up with more clever renderings.
4. Can turn the system off.

The first draft is at

atlhack flickr tag

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

I tagged all of my flickr photos with the tag "atlhack".  No one else is currently using this tag, as you probably guessed.  If you upload atlHack related photos, please tag them!  This will make them all show up at

About: Why

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

This is probably the most important question in your tour…

Why Did You Start atlHack?
There are a lot of good reasons for starting atlHack, but there are two really big, glaring ones that need to be tackled here:

  1. There is no reason for computing to be a solo activity.  People are social; computing should be social.  To this end, we (make sure to shower,) meet up every week to talk to others face to face, drink coffee (Octane is now selling beer as well), and write about what we do.  These are normal, everyday things that are surprisingly uncommon at GeorgiaTech, especially in the CoC.  Come, normalize yourself – you’ll be a happier person.
  2. Computer Science, especially in the States, has an overwhelming monoculture.  What I mean is, most people could pick a "computer person" out of crowd of people.  Why is this?  Everyone uses computers!  And, why are there so few girls in computing?  I think that the strange culture of computing is holding us all back.  So, I would like to "Open Source" the computing culture of Atlanta – put it all (well, all thats appropriate) on the web, and invite everyone to join in.

Why Did I Not Start atlHack?

Ok, there’s two sides to every coin… what will make me not want to continue atlHack?

  1. Becoming a free computer repair shop.  I’m sorry if you are having computer problems.  If we’re feeling nice, we might show you the Yellow Pages.  You wouldn’t expect someone to fix your car for free, please don’t ask us to solve your problems.  There are companies like Geek Squad and Retrotechs that can help you out.  Fixing computer problems is work, and work is not exciting.  If there are people who are interested in volunteering, they will let you know.
  2. Becoming everyone’s soapbox.  Yes, we sometimes talk about religion, politics, and Mac vs Windows vs Linux.  No, I don’t want to talk about this every week – that’s boring.  You’ll notice that I often say atlHack is whatever you want it to be.  Well, its actually going to be whatever *I* want it to be, and a weekly yak fest is not high on my list.  I’m listening for other people’s ideas, but I’ll put my own goals first.  My goals are to encourage creativity, innovation, productivity, and diversity.  If you are just wasting people’s time, we’re not interested.

Why Can’t You Decide How to Capitalize ATLhack?

Well, it should probably be ATLhack, since ATL is an airport code, and airport codes are uppercase, but I think that it looks a lot nicer in camelCase, and I like things that look nice.  Sometimes I write ATLhack to emphasize where it referrs to, but most of the time I will use atlHack.  If you see atlhack, its probably a domain name or a typo.

How Do You Say "atlHack"?

Think "paddle", without the "p".  Why?  I don’t know why, it just sounds better than "A, T, L, hack". 

About atlHack

Sunday, November 13th, 2005
a short introduction to atlHack…
who what
how when
and then, on with the show

Hackfest 1100 Mortem

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Nov 10 2005 Hackfest 1100

Since last week:
Slept a lot and watched a lot of TV. Profs give no love.

Learning about ARM processor – current issue with booting kernel is with finding and setting the page table.

Diagnosed server for rootkit, removed unnecessary services. Suggested I try debugging writeWithSpeedup with constant width segments. Got rails running with fastCGI – spawns server and maintains state.

Did 2 class projects, worked on debugging writeWithSpeedup.

Was in China for ICCV. Tsing Hua university – GaTech of Beijing. Presented on parts-based tracking of bees.

Plan for this week:
Focus more on watching the same show and stringing together episodes on different networks. Worked out bugs, want to figure out another way to autograde, as opposed to using reflection to check for methods. How can you autograde data structures?

Trying to find the page table ptr. The ptr isn’t addressable from the palm.

Broke commotion, so he’s going to fix it. With rails up, set up scrapers to dump to database.

Debugging writeWithSpeedup, reading SWIMM code.

Evolutionary war next iteration. Roadtesting spoontease utilities (procedurally generated media).
He let me play his video game, evolutionary war.

Studying up on sysadmin/tcpip/programming stuff for an interview.

Tonight’s reality-
Fixed a bug – took out unnecessary stuff in the framework.

Segments seem to be 1MB in size – learning more about memory system.

Debugging commotion – broke out properties were contained in nodes, but abstraction broke deserialization.

Combining stereo channels is bad. This is probably the bug.

Confirmed that his powerbook can compile and run networkable Evowar.

Hackfest 1100

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Come hack with us at Octane!

Hackfest 1011 Mortem

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Nov 3, 2005 – Hackfest 1011

Notes: Next hackfest Octane is serving beer.

Main Entry: whole·some
Pronunciation: 'hOl-s&m
Function: adjective
1 : promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit
2 : promoting health of body
3 a : sound in body, mind, or morals b : having the simple health or vigor of normal domesticity
4 a : based on well-grounded fear : PRUDENT <a wholesome respect for the law> b : SAFE <it wouldn’t be wholesome for you to go down there — Mark Twain>

Since last week:

Fixed the Settings bean. Fixed other minor bugs, but Yannis made him cry, bitter tears.

Worked on fixing glitches in output, not done. Worked on making Runtime.exec calls in SWIMM.
They don’t seem to be returning.

Helped Graham debug. Hosted parents. Mouse mvt and performance stats on OGRE + Commotion – 80 fps.
Fixed nasty XCode plugin bug – subclass responsibility error.

Fixed his website – rss feeds went to blog posts. Kernel framebuffer debugging.

Titus (remote)-
I finished the PIC article this week.

Plan for Today:

Get Intellisense working, capability built into NetBeans.

Work on cleaning up website more, plam programming.

Continue to debug writeWithSpeedup. Fix Runtime.exec calls. Luke suggests quiet option.

Working on Google Maps application.

Working on a filter for Wikitext –> Markdown. Basically, because I’m trying to convert my blog to WordPress.
I’m using the Text_Wiki PEAR class, and modifying it with a ‘markdown’ target.
by modifying this:

Today’s Reality:

Discussed religion.

Discussed religion, configured kernel. MythTV is awesome.

Rails is very slow on the server.

Successfully debugged Runtime.exec, Vinny helped with glitches.

Hackfest 1011

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Come hack with us at Octane!