szabgab: (Default)
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 07:57 am
We are on vacation in Budapest at my mothers place and went to the Zoo yesterday. At first we were quite disappointed as several of the big animals we wanted to see were missing but somehow we got over it and headed to the animal petting corner.

At one point we bumped into a group of people, their guide was explaining that the zoo goes through a huge change so instead of having the same types of animals in one location from now on they will have areas based on the areas on Earth. So if you want to see Crocodiles they will point you at 3 different places in the Zoo where you can find crocodiles and if you want to see cockroaches then you just walk around and see them almost everywhere.

We saw a two years old Rhino boy and learned that he was born 58 kg which is, well, pretty big. As we read, this is the first Rhino ever born in captivity - can it really be the case? - which made them extra happy.

Close the the Rhinoceros we found the giraffes which was pretty amazing. One of them was leaning out and banding so you could almost touch its head. You could even buy some food for them and they would eat from your hand. My children got really excited by this.

On the way out we passed by the first place and finally saw both the white bear and the see-lions too and the children fell asleep on the way home in the car.
szabgab: (Default)
Saturday, September 26th, 2009 03:12 pm
It is not even my birthday but apparently someone has just purchased a Premium Paid Account for 6 months for me.

szabgab: (Default)
Thursday, September 17th, 2009 01:57 pm
Three weeks ago, one night I did not sleep well, that's when I arrived to the idea that I'll open a free on-line training for people to learn how to do Quality Assurance - both manually and automatically using Perl.

I teach this at companies for a living but those course are involving frontal presentation, exercises and are running for a few days only. Teaching on-line is new to me.

The idea was to let people who would have a hard time going to a frontal training (e.g. disabled, being home with children or otherwise home bound) to learn those things. I was hoping that once they learned these things they might find remote work in the field or that once they can go out to work, they will be better trained and experience to take on a new kind of job. My secret agenda was to get them involved in open source projects - so they can gain experience in the field.

Especially I was thinking about two projects PadrePadre, the Perl IDE that I started and maybe Dreamwidth where although I am a newcomer too but I see they are quite read to get some people with 0 background in Perl or programming.

I did not know what I was getting myself into. Actually I still don't know.

I did not want to make a huge noise about it as I had no idea how it will work out so I sent an e-mail to a mailing list local to the city where I live. The short statistics:

A total of 37 people sent me a reply and were interested. 28 of them actually signed up to the mailing list I created for the course. In the first two weeks 4 people un-subscribed (2 managed to do it alone while 3 asked on the list to be un-subscribed. Yes one of them first asked on the list but by the time I read it he already managed to un-subscribe).

I sent out 5 assignments in the first 2 weeks but only 16 did any of the assignments. That leaves 28-4-16 = 8 people who are on the list but have not submitted any of the assignments. Only 5 people did at least 3 assignments.

So now I am thinking how to proceed to get more people doing the assignments and how could I use the idea to attract other people to the projects

I'll write more about this later.
szabgab: (Default)
Sunday, September 13th, 2009 08:21 am
The security guy at the school entrance is smoking and would not give a shit when I point out he should not smoke next to the school building.

Another one is apparently smoking right under my window so I am just sitting in that smell now.

The build system of Padre returns an error when no DISPLAY is set (which we only check as the Fedora build system requires that) Error: Unable to initialize gtk, is DISPLAY set properly?
which means we cannot release Padre.

Apparently I submitted the same patch twice to DW. But then it probably means one of the patches is still on my hard disk I just don't know which file did I miss. Another patch was not accepted as it touched a file from miscperl/ whatever that means.

So I am really not in the mood now.
szabgab: Ronon Dex, the runner in Stargate Atlantis (runner)
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 09:58 am
A couple of months ago I started to run in the mornings. After I took the kids to school I went running, then home taking a shower and starting to work.

On the first day I ran a mighty 200 meters before I had to stop. Luckily I did not give up and ran every second day or so gradually reaching the point where I could run 3 kms including doing some stairs.

Then about 2 months with the end of the school-year I did not have a reason to go out in the morning so I stopped running. One would think that now that the school-year starts again I might start running again.

So yesterday, the first day of school I woke up at 5:30 but have not got the clue yet and sat down coding.

Today as I woke up at 5:30 again I understood that my body wants to go for a run before it gets too hot.

I was much weaker than two months ago when I stopped but still managed to run for almost 30 minutes.

We'll see tomorrow. If I wake up at 5:30 I go for another run. If I wake up at 7:00 it means I misunderstood my body and just keep coding.
szabgab: (Default)
Thursday, August 27th, 2009 09:51 am
I think yet again I am trying to do too many thing at once so not doing any of them well. Besides my e-mail box has 350 messages and my desk is a mess. Time to clean up a bit.
szabgab: (Default)
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 06:37 pm
I seem to be totally distracted from any actual work I should do. I have plenty of project I need to make progress and I think I managed to write two small scripts.

For some time I have been thinking on a game that would be built on to teach children and grownup to program. Something based on the same idea as but with a direct translation to a programming language.
Last week I started to play around with SDL_Perl ( ) and make some sample scripts but then I got stuck as suddenly I realized I'll have to implement such basic widgets as a directory browser widget. It might be a cool project but I am not sure I am ready for such an adventure. So two days ago I decided I try to see if I can draw anything using WxPerl but the documentation is lacking and I did not have an example on how to do things. With the level of distractions I have now it took me the whole day till I managed to write a sample script to drag an image around the window.

Anyway, it is done now and I am heading home.
szabgab: (Default)
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 10:56 am
I just read about a few days ago. After finding out that the Nvidia driver was not configured well on my son's computer I managed to make it work. It is really cool. First time he can play such a game. Pure child had a huge disadvantage as his father only runs Linux on the computers so no stolen Windows games at home.

Luckily the game does not work on my notebook - is is not strong enough - so I cannot waste my time on playing.

I need to find other ways.
szabgab: (Default)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 07:46 am
In the last few years I hardly read anything besides computer books. At least compared to my family I am an analphabet. The three of them have 4 book slots in the library and sometimes we need to change books on a daily base.

A couple of months ago I read Beginnings: The Story of Origins - of Mankind, Life, the Earth, the Universe (for some reason it was edited out from wikipedia when I tried to add it) and now I finished Prelude to Foundation that I got from my brother-in-law.I have the other 2 books that take place after the trilogy but not the trilogy itself. I had that when I was a child.

So I'll check if the Foundation Trilogy can be found in the library and then I'll hijack one of the bookslots and take it for myself.
szabgab: (Default)
Friday, August 21st, 2009 02:02 pm
Hmm, I guess I am reading too much about motherhood and stuff as I started to remember that once I was very interested in the topic of multilingual children. I subscribed to a mailing list where people discussed difficulties and how they manage it. I even bought a book or two about the subject.

I think this helped a lot and my son now has both a Hebrew mother-tongue and a partial Hungarian father-tongue, so to speak. Unfortunately my daughter quite refuses to speak in Hungarian. She does not even want me to tell her stories in Hungarian.

Anyway I searched for multilingual and surprisingly only found one other person listing it as an interest.
szabgab: (Default)
Friday, August 21st, 2009 07:16 am
It is not a new topic for me either but since I read the
Standing out in the crowd: OSCON keynote of [personal profile] damned_colonial about the lack of women in the open source world I tried to do some little things. Primarily I tried to talk to a few women about it.

I probably grossly misunderstood everyone, so let me just write down what did I understand:

Last week I had a chat with Su-Shee whom I guess I can describe as a geek woman that started off on how to attract more women to the Padre project. The main point I got from that conversation was that women are less interested in the technology behind the thing (e.g. they don't care much if it is written in Perl, Python or Java) and are more interested in how can a tool help them to get their job done.

This was more or less confirmed by my wife who is a super anti-geek.

On the other hand in the last 7 days or so I looked around DreamWidth in an attempt to locate interesting posts and people. Most of the people I found seem to be women - based on either their self description in their profile or on some of the comments they make. They are involved in conversations which are interesting but none of which seem to have any connection to getting things done.

That just seems sooo contradicting to me.

Based on this sample I can easily generalize to the rest of the 3+ billion women and say that I still have no clue what would interest (or allow) more women to join open source projects in general and Padre in specific and what could I do to help that.

Maybe most importantly what can I do to make the life of my daughter easier?

So for now back reading about Geekfeminism.
szabgab: (Default)
Thursday, August 20th, 2009 07:21 am
I am following the suggestions several people gave me on how to get involved in DW. I am checking out people linked from the comments to that post and some other posts I made. Reading some of their entries commenting on those entries I find some interesting and marking them as being in my circle. Then I follow some more links from their posts and do the whole thing again recursively.

But I feel uneasy commenting on blogs of total strangers and marking people quite randomly. Why them and not some others from the other 6 billion out there?
I don't know them personally. I don't even know them online. Maybe I read a few lines they wrote, but then what?
That does not really give me any right to just push my unwanted words on them.

I have my own blog elsewhere where I have been writing for 3 years or so but that was strictly professional. I was commenting on other peoples blogs but those were professional entries as well.

I guess I am uneasy with getting too personal with total strangers.
szabgab: (Default)
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 06:33 am
I guess, I have not yet figured out how to use DW.

I know how to post to my account, how to join a community and how to post to that community but I don't know why?

I mean I don't see a point in writing - especially asking questions - if there is no one reading it. So how can I get people read my entries? I tried to look for some ideas, maybe a dw_community that deals with this question but I could not find one. I found the list of official DreamWidth communities but the closest I found to what I am looking for was
[site community profile] dw_community_promo and maybe [site community profile] dw_nifty but neither is really what I want.

Maybe the problem is that I don't know anyone here. Well I know [personal profile] csjewell who invited me
here and I exchanged 2 e-mails with [personal profile] damned_colonial but I don't think I know anyone else here.

So how do I get knowing others here?
szabgab: (Default)
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 05:47 am
A few weeks ago my son attended a summer day-camp where they played with various kinds of robots. If I understood him the most interesting was the LEGO Mindstorms and of course he wants me to buy one for him. The problem is that it is very expensive (280 USD in the US + shipping)
or I might be able to buy in a local store but then I am sure it will be around 400-500 USD.

Besides the programming environment runs only on Windows and on Mac and we run Linux at home and only have Windows in a VirtualBox.

So I was wondering if there are cheaper alternatives, at least till I see that he is serious in playing with those robots.
szabgab: (Default)
Thursday, August 13th, 2009 12:40 pm
Once I tried to start writing on LiveJournal but have not managed to post the second note. I maintain a web site of my own at with a blog there that I am using.

So the reason I am trying to write here too is that I am trying to build a diverse community around Padre, the Perl IDE and I was told this might be one of the best places
to learn from.