Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!


It just started snowing here in Dublin! Weee! Snow is one of the things that I miss from the winters in New York. Sure, snow is a pain, but when it's so cold (and it's been very cold here in the past few weeks, snow provides a nice change of scenery and the cold suddenly has a purpose: to blanket everything with a soft cover of white.

Too bad it's dark already and the snowfall just started (so no accumulation yet), or I'd take a picture.

A minute later (literally): No more snow. Oh well. Not even rain in fact. That's Dublin climate for you. Weather moves too fast.

Fifteen minutes later: Cloud cover dissipating. You can see the night sky now. Few clouds remain. LOL.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 3, 2003 at 7:50 PM

the seven-day workweek-- or seven-day weekend

Don comments on Mark's entry about working at home. Don says:

I know how bad working at home all the time can be. One minute you think you have it all, commuting to work just a matter of walking from your bedroom to the office downstairs. Next minute, you feel like a squirrel running inside a turning wheel. Still, you can't beat the hours. Your nights and weekends aren't gone. They are just uprooted so you can have them any time you want.
Exactly. I work at home as much as I work at my office at the university, in large part on a schedule of my own choosing. Sometimes the deep of night is the best time to code. :-) Sometimes it can take over my life, but eventually the balance comes back. Still, the week becomes a uniform landscape of sunrises and sunsets, rather than an arbitrarily divided sequence ruled by numbers on a piece of paper in the wall. This might seem bad, but it releases the "pressure of the calendar" (As in: "Oh, it's saturday, we better do something). Like Kurt Cobain says in Lithium: "Sunday morning's/every that for all I care/and I'm not scared". :-)

Probably the weirdest result of all this is not internal but external, ie., in my interaction with others who might be working more "regular" hours/days. That's probably the trickiest thing to balance. Sometimes it's a bit of extra effort. But it's worth it.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 3, 2003 at 4:25 PM

hunter S. thompson

Salon has an interview with Hunter S. Thompson that is excellent. Fear and Loathing! :-)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on February 3, 2003 at 12:12 PM

the C++ FAQ

For the past few months I've been delving deeper into Win32/C++ as part of my thesis work (since the service I'm working on runs on a wireless ad hoc platform based on WinCE). One resource that I keep coming back to when dealing with obscure C++ "features" is the C++ FAQ. What's online is the "lite" version, and it's excellent, but buying the book is a much better option, as it contains a lot more material. A must-have when working with C++ in any environment.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 3, 2003 at 12:07 PM

golf and the environment

A really interesting (if disquieting) article by Jake Tapper on Salon about the golf industry, its growing power and how massive its effect on the environment is compared to the few people that practice the sport.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on February 3, 2003 at 12:13 AM

java2d problems on ATI cards

Through some link-sequence I can't remember I ended up here, which contains a link to this entry on a Java2D bug on ATI cards. Here is the link from JavaSoft's "bugparade." The problem is essentially that on some platforms with some ATI cards Java2D works badly or simply hangs up the machine completely. A workaround that seems to work on some JDKs is:

Use -Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true
This prevents our use of DirectX for rendering and apparently (according to the submitter) avoids whatever the freeze problem is.

The flag


is also worth trying (and a better, less constraining flag to use), but the
user has not yet been able to verify whether this avoids the bug since the
publicly release build is currently b14, which does not yet fully implement
the d3d=false functionality.
Now this is ugly.

This problem has been reported in relation to spaces a couple of times. At least JavaSoft has fixed it for JDK 1.4.1_02 (which should be released soon I assume). Something else that works as well in my experience is reducing the hardware acceleration settings on the card's video driver. The JavaSoft page contains links to other related bugs. This relates to what I was mentioning the other day about consistency within platforms being one of the few (if not the only) major problem remaining in Java. These things take time to resolve. Good to see we're getting there. Now if we could only have a decent configuration system that would work uniformly to set startup properties (including video settings, incremental garbage collection, JVM memory settings, etc) for applications, applets and JavaWebstart installations...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 3, 2003 at 12:10 AM

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