planet larry: maintenance cleanup

I’m still getting overdue stuff taking care of, this time in Planet Larry. I’ve finally cleaned up the scripts and the configs to make it much, much simpler to debug and run the update process. Not only that, now it runs about 15 times faster (under one minute, actually).

Something interesting I realized the other day is that Universe gets about 5% of the traffic that Planet does. As a result, I changed it from updating twice an hour to once every 2 hours. Planet, on the other hand, I changed it from twice an hour to every fifteen minutes, and I might make it update even more frequently than that.

Anyway, all that’s changed is a bunch of boring backend stuff, which was some much needed cleanup that I’ve been putting off for a very, very long time. The fact that planet has been a maintenance nightmare is what has mostly kept me from dragging my feet on getting anything done, but now that that headache is gone, I feel hugely relieved.

There’s still more stuff to do, but I think I’m over the worst of it. What I’d like most is to work on next is getting the actual frontend cleaned up, and get a new design. That’s not really my thing, so if someone can help out, that’d be much appreciated. site cleanup

Continuing in the vein of finishing up long started projects instead of jumping into new ones, I’ve cleaned up the website for the LDS Scriptures exports site.

The design itself hasn’t changed, I just reorganized everything, and it seems much simpler to navigate now.

I should hopefully have that new release ready real soon now.  The problem I run into is that I’m so particular about details, that it never gets done.  It is, of course, much more important to get it out there, even with all my human flaws, then to keep it all to myself, but I just can’t stand doing version bumps.  I like to have things done the first time.

Anyway, I’m glad this is finally cleaned up.  I like the layout much better.

skating in the park

I took this last night with my cell phone while I was at Liberty Park skating. I was getting tired so decided to walk for a bit, and the shadow was just really cool looking. My crappy camera phone doesn’t do it much justice.

I ended up going out today as well for about four hours, two in the morning when I got up, and just got back home right now from another jaunt. Fun times. I’m slowly getting better, but not nearly as fast as I’d like. My body just isn’t used to doing any kind of sports, so it’s really slow progress. I need to find someone to get some lessons from.

what i'm working on

Just another update on what I’ve been poking at lately.

I’ve mostly been cleaning up really small stuff, small bugfixes that have been annoying me for a while.

GPNL / Packages

For the packages website, I finally fixed it so that you can search by just package name again. It’s still messed up where it searches way too much stuff by default, but that’ll be fixed soon. It was originally searching by atom and description, so stuff like package$ would break.

I did, however, put the basic search I want to add to the packages website into GPNL: search by atom, package, category, description or all. I need to add changelog to that list. It’s not much, I know, but it’s a start on the long road to getting an advanced search going. I also cleaned up the front page a bit, and added a link to the nightly database dumps.

I also cleaned up the bash script to import the data. It actually has the beginnings of some error checking now, so you shouldn’t be seeing blank pages anymore. And the database is vacuumed correctly, and on a regularly basis, so things should be slightly snappier. I’m also importing the entire portage tree 3x daily now instead of twice. The import script is actually a nice cleanup for me, because if something breaks, I can run parts of it partially, instead of having to manually fix it. It’s much nicer.

My next big thing is getting RDEPEND searchable.  In the database, it’s combined with the DEPEND variable, so I have to separate the two out.  Once that’s done, we can finally dynamically query the tree to see where ebuilds need to be fixed for binary packages.

MPlayer / Transcode

Looking better, closed like eight bugs the other day for mplayer. Finally fixed some asinine bugs of mine for transcode, have one more to go.

Took out the masked libdvdnav because it will conflict and break libdvdread. I already wrote about how I put it in my overlay so if someone wants to use it, they can.

Sword ebuilds

I finally got pretty much all the main ones in the tree that I wanted to get in. There’s still two LDS ones that I have to make myself. Shouldn’t be too hard. I hope. In all, there are 150 sword ebuilds in the tree. Freak. That reminds me of something else I fixed on the packages website: it lists the number of results. That’s something else that’s been annoying me for a while.

I still need to remove the old sword-modules ebuild and add a new virtual-type one that will pull in all of the ones based on which language they are written in. Not hard to do, just slightly tedious. Should be done soon.

lds-scriptures 3.0

Believe it or not, I’m actually planning on getting this finished this week. The actual data has been finished for a very, very long time… it’s writing the documentation that I am extremely particular about because I plan on this being the final release.

That’s about it for now, that I can remember.

crazy week

This week has been insane.

I bought a Playstation 3 on Saturday.  I mostly got it because I wanted to cave into getting a Blu-Ray player, but holy cow, this thing is a freaking world of fun.

I’m going to see Indy tomorrow.  I don’t think it’s gonna be that great.

Haven’t slept well the past few days.  I’m pooped.

That’s all.

the cost of eating healthy

Ever since my third bout in the hospital about a month ago for stomach problems, I’ve been even more strictly watching what I’ve been eating.  In that time, I’ve been noticing an interesting trend.   The cost to buy better food is marginally small compared to the healthy benefits that come with it.

I’m no economics master (nor do I have any interest in becoming one), but one thing seems pretty obvious to me.  If you’re going to pay $3 for a piece of crap lunch, chances are if you spend a little bit more, you can get something on a magnitude of 2 or 3 times better for you.

Here’s one specific example I’ll use.  At work, there’s a grocery store in the same area.  There’s a Subway a little bit down towards the end of the strip mall.  If I went there, I could get a crappy sandwich with nasty cheese and disgusting bread for about $5 after tax.  It’s not glamorous or great, but it’s cheap, right?  Well, if I go to the grocery store and order a custom made deli sandwich with really fresh meat and really good cheese, it cost’s me an extra $1.50.  Sure, it’s more money, but I’m not going to have to worry about having stomach problems.  And $1.50 extra is nothing in comparison to a $500 trip to the emergency room.

My take on the whole economics of it is, you’re already going to spend X amount of dollars for food.  Why not increase your budget by about 25% and get something *really* good for you.  Ever since I’ve started doing that, I have been feeling so much better.  Lots more energy, less tired, and just healthier in general.

A few other quick examples.  My sister who is a food guru, convinced me to switch from margarine and instead just buy real butter.  I was always, of course, put off by the higher food prices.  But then one day I looked at the ingredients of the margarine I was buying, which was basically nothing more than whipped plastic.  Looking at the one for the butter, it had one ingredient: whipped milk / cream.  That was pretty surprising, so I checked it out, and I loved it, and of course it’s nice to know that I’m eating less garbage.

Another thing little sis has warned me against is checking the ingredients for food where the first item listed is high fructose corn syrup.  Well, I’m a big fan of juice and everytime I go to the store I buy some weird combination of juice to try out, like Apple Cranberry (which is always my favorite).  I just barely looked at the ingredient list the other day and sure enough, the syrup of death was the first item on the list.  Ick.  So, I switched to buying 100% pure grape juice and apple cider instead of my regular stuff.  Again, it costs about 30% more than the old stuff, but I feel a lot better overall.  It’s been great.

Anyway, nothing major so far, but I’m making progress.  It’s pretty interesting how just quickly checking the ingredient list will turn you off of buying something.  I’m getting in the habit of spending slightly more for food, but I’m feeling better all the time.  And I’ve had a lot less stomach problems, too.  I tell you what.

blu-ray dvd drives

An interesting post came up the other day on the Gentoo forums about how to rip Blu-Ray discs on Linux. Short summary: I have no idea if it’s possible, and the original poster is still investigating. It has gotten me thinking though. The Blu-Ray player that I want to get it is $600, and it looks like it’s being phased out of production anyway, so why not get a disc drive instead and rip the movies? It’d save me some money, and I’d eventually buy one anyway.

Well, the questions that come to mind are, will the software actually work, will the drive firmware let me do that, and am I going to have to use Windows?

I haven’t done any research at all, mostly because I can’t afford to buy a DVD drive right now, but the whole thing does have me curious. I always assumed there was no way to rip the stuff under Linux, but I haven’t gone looking for possible solutions either. The only thing I am sure about though, is that once ripped, you can play the content just fine. At least, I think so. I’m not positive about the HD audio codecs, pretty sure about the video ones though.

I tend to buy hardware first and figure out how to get it working second, but because the DRM is so finicky in this case, I really don’t want to take that approach and be out a couple hundred bucks.  In the meantime, I really wish I could at least demo the stuff at home.  That would be cool.  The only 1080p content I’ve seen so far is the movie trailers I’ve downloaded from Apple’s website.  I gotta say that stuff looks pretty good.

planet, packages: small bugfixes

I took a few minutes today and cleaned up a few small bugs on Planet Larry and friends.

One thing I get asked for every now and then is if I have archives of past posts. Well, I do now. I just copy the HTML file of the last post to $date one each run. A simple and unelegant solution. I’ll be doing the same thing for Planet Gentoo soon.

Also, fixed the FeedBurner link on the main page — I didn’t even realize it was broken. While I was at it, I created one for Universe as well.

On the packages website, I finally fixed it so you can search against just packages again. That’s been annoying me for a while. By default the search is way too wide, I think. It will search the full atom, the package description and the package name. I have to do the package name twice because of regular expressions (starting with, ending with, exact matches, etc.). And there’s still no simple way to search for packages containing multiple words, which is also an annoying little bug. Advanced searches for GPNL and Packages has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but have been putting off since I started the projects. Sheesh. Every time I sit down and start to poke at it, though, I realize just how big a beast it is, based on what I’d like to accomplish. I really need something for the interim, though.

Anyway, I better quit before this post gets any more boring. One last thing — we can use more users who are Gentoo users and have a blog on Planet Larry. Just drop me an e-mail and I’ll get you setup.

cartoon covers: batman, the animated series, season two

I’ve been watching some Batman recently, and just barely ripped season two on my myth box. I made snapshots of the title screens of every one, and put them in the cartoon gallery.

I absolutely love all the artwork on all the original Batman cartoons. There’s actually a book dedicated to the artwork of the series, called Batman Animated. I’d love to get a copy someday.

I keep resizing these images to 360×270, which is 50% the original size, and of course is more than large enough for my TV, but on the website, it sure seems a bit lacking sometimes. Next time I think I’ll leave them at the original dimensions. I also think I should probably get a flickr account and put them up there, so that they just don’t sit on my obscure little website for people to randomly find.

Great stuff.

more stomach problems

I went to the doctor again a few days ago, this time just to a clinic, because I’d been having problems with my stomach since the past week. The whole scenario strikes me as really odd, since none of the symptoms that would cause problems have been present, which are usually stress and me eating crappy food. Ever since I was in the hospital three weeks ago for throwing up for four hours straight, I’ve been keeping a closer eye than ever on my intake. This just kind of came out of the blue, though, with some acid reflux showing up all of a sudden for a few days.

The only thing that I have any idea that might be causing it is that since it’s finally started to get warm over here, I’ve started up my nightly regimen of going skating every night that I can, usually for somewhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours. I imagine that the stress on my stomach muscles was probably unexpected and just kind of threw it for a loop.

It didn’t help much that the doctor at the clinic was pretty impatient, and I didn’t feel like he was really giving me proper attention. He gave me a prescription for Prilosec, which also kind of annoyed me since I could have gotten that myself. I tried it out and it made me really dizzy, so I’m not going with that one again.

I’m trying to setup an appointment with a specialist to figure out what the story is once and for all. I know that a few years ago I was diagnosed with *starting* to get a peptic ulcer, and in times of extreme stress and anxiety the same area in my stomach will start to flare up again and cause some general discomfort … or I’ll start throwing up. I haven’t had any major stress though, not since the hospital incident, but there is just some minor nagging down there. For now, I’ve just come to the conclusion that I have a sensitive stomach.

I’ve started looking at diets for people with acid reflux, and so far the lists seem kind of arbitrary of what you can and can’t eat, in the sense that none of them seem related. The idea of a restrictive diet always seemed normal to me, but I always assumed it would just be to stay away from anything strong or spicy. Not something random like mashed potatoes, butter cookies and ice cream. But, whatever. Hopefully I’ll get this thing figured out soon.