EVE now open source

I reported that my house was burgled a few days ago, a USB hard drive stolen, so a huge archive repository lost. I also just realised this morning that another smaller USB 40GB drive is gone -- that had a lot of my T2 work.

I have also been in the process of cleaning up my place, and have thrown out a lot of old archive CDs and floppy disks.

I really do need to upload some of the old stuff, before it is lost forever. I have tackled EVE, a freeform diagram creator that I wrote back around 2001 - 2003. This program is still very popular.
I was alarmed that the old PC that I used to do my EVE work on, seems to have disappeared, but fortunately I had backed up the last version of EVE to a CD.

So, EVE is now open source:


Posted on 24 May 2011, 11:34 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02303">Edit - Delete

That's life...

I was away from home last night, picked someone up from the airport. Long way to go just to pick someone up at the airport and drive them to their house, but I was looking after some of her stuff while she was overseas, had to bring it back.

Anyway, drove back home early this morning and arrived home to find my place has been burgled.
Someone must have noticed the absence of my car last night.

The stuff that was taken does not inconvenience me too much, except my 1.5TB USB hard drive has gone -- which I used for archiving stuff. Oh well.

They took my aircompressor, which I kept inside, a big thing on four wheels -- they somehow managed to get that out through a window. And, ha ha ha, they took my wind turbine, that I had never got around to installing.

I have house contents insurance, so it's ok.

The police came promptly, they even found some fingerprints on a window. They found tyre tracks and reckon it was a 4wd with a trailer.

Posted on 22 May 2011, 16:42 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02300">Edit - Delete

Wave power

Last week I watched "New Inventors" on TV, with three alternative energy initiatives. One of them was a new idea to improve the efficiency of thin-film photovoltaic cells, hence lower cost. Another was a wave-power project at Port Kembla (Australia).

The Port Kembla project suffered a mishap recently:

But the company is going ahead with a bigger project that they say will withstand severe storms. See their site:

However, New Inventors did not mention another wave-power project that is much more storm-resistant, as it operates totally underwater, with dampening when wave swells get beyond a certain point. The CETO technology is described here:

What is a shame though, is how little support they have received from our Federal Govt -- they recently applied for $100 million funding but it was rejected. This is a story that I have heard before, politicians giving lip service to renewable energy. Fortunately, our WA State Govt has provided $12.5 million for a pilot commercial project.

The amount of energy in waves is incredible, and I reckon our governments should be going all-out to support such initiatives.

I was going to add some comments about our Federal Labour Party Govt (kind of like your Democrats in the US), but have restrained myself.

Posted on 7 May 2011, 9:24 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02266">Edit - Delete

Can anyone recommend a herbal tea?

Or any healthy drink for that matter.

Several months ago I went "cold turkey" on coffee drinking. I was an addict, if I missed my regular coffee, or even if it was a bit late, I got a headache. Not good.

I do like a nice hot drink early in the morning, and I have been drinking black tea, green tea and chamomile, and briefly experimented with hot chocolate. None of them have really appealed to me. The hot chocolate is nice, but when I read the ingredients list on the container, I'm not so sure that I want to be drinking it every day.

Then it occurred to me, some of you Puppy guys are very discriminating when it comes to diet, and you might have a hot drink that you reckon is really great, and healthy. Any suggestions welcome, only thing is, I don't want any diary product in the drink.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 16:43 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02252">Edit - Delete

My First Vegemite

Vegemite is a yeast extract, a spread on sandwiches, an Australian icon, however it is owned by the US Kraft Company. I grew up eating Vegemite sandwiches for lunch, as did most (?) Aussie kids.

A criticism of Vegemite is the high salt content, about 3.5%. It is rich in some B-group vitamins but has no B12. For that reason I have been eating a competitor product, Marmite, made by Sanitarium, which has added B12, but the same level of salt.

In response to parent lobby-groups that want kids to eat less salt, Kraft have now introduced "My First Vegemite":

At first I was excited about this, as it has 50% less salt and added B12. I bought a jar, it tastes ok, and still surprisingly salty.

Here is a taste test:

After reading a bit about it, I learned that it has a lot more sugar, and also has glycerine, which adds to the sweetness and gives it a glossy apearance. Glycerine? -- I didn't know that you can eat that! Apparently, you can, it is of "low toxicity" (whatever that means):

Anyway, my enthusiasm has subsided. I can't help but see it as a cynical marketing exercise, rather than a genuine desire to create something healthier for kids.

For the record, another competitor sold in Australia is Promite, also owned by a US company:

This is sold in Australia, the UK and New Zealand, the UK version has different formulation:

This has only 1% salt, and is available in Australia. I have tried it, tastes like burnt car tyres (a weird taste that you would probably get used to):

There are also similar products made in Germany (Vitam-R) and Switzerland (Cenovis).

Posted on 23 Apr 2011, 17:58 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02229">Edit - Delete

Telstra 3G account running low

I posted about a Telstra Pre-Paid Mobile Wi-Fi awhile back:

I bought it on 2nd of February and it came with 5GB transfer for 3 months. Not even 2 months gone by and I have 890MB left ...and I tried to go very easy on downloads. Avoided watching any videos.

So, I am going to Perth soon, and I will buy 10GB with expiry after 365 days, costing AU $150. Based on my current rate of usage, I will be lucky if that lasts me for 3 months!

Note that I have canceled my satellite account. It is better price-wise, however the performance of Telstra's 3G wireless is so superior that I am prepared to pay the premium price. (for those that don't know, Telstra is my only wireless option in my rural location)

I was thinking that I will want to run the latest T2 soon, which will mean a massive download of source packages. I might do it next time I am in Perth -- I could go into McDonalds early morning for a cup of coffee and start the download. A friend of mine uses their free Internet on a regular basis and says that it is very fast.

Posted on 24 Mar 2011, 17:57 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02194">Edit - Delete

"Baby Linux"

Ha ha, I'm having fun! I have created a uClibc-based "baby linux", so far only have Xorg running with xterm. Not even a window manager or GTK (they come next).

I have an interest in creating something really tiny, yet quite usable. Xorg has 'vesa' driver only, no openGL nor Mesa. I am building this from scratch, aiming for extreme small size and speed.

The startup/shutdown scripts are a total new rewrite, only small code snippets taken out of Puppy scripts. Only designed for full install in a HD (so far). So, this is not a puplet. This baby needs her own name -- so why not Baby Linux

I don't know how far I will get with this, for now I'm just having fun.

Note that as Baby uses uClibc, existing compiled-from-C binary applications for Puppy, Ubuntu, Slackware, etc., will not work. Everything has to be compiled especially for Baby, and many apps might not be happy with uClibc.

Posted on 22 Mar 2011, 15:11 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02191">Edit - Delete

uClibc Buildroot

Taking a break from Puppy development for a little while ...just to let everyone know, as I might not be responsive to bug reports etc. for awhile.

I am having some fun with uClibc Buildroot:

This started because I want to create a new uClib ext2 root filesystem, for whenever I need to compile an application statically.

Years ago I did experiment with building Puppy with uClibc, but there were too many packages that would not compile.

There is at least one Linux distro that uses uClibc, uClinux, see http://www.ucdot.org/, that targets embedded systems. The Gentoo people also played with the idea awhile back.

But now I am tempted, what kind of desktop system can I compile with uClibc and Buildroot? ...that's what I want to play with for awhile. It doesn't mean that we are going to end up with a revolutionary new "tinyPup"

Posted on 17 Mar 2011, 16:50 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02188">Edit - Delete

Going slow

I haven't been very active in the last week, regarding Puppy/Wary/Woof development.

We have had a heat wave, every day about 38 degrees C. My house gets hot, my airconditioner hardly makes a dent in it, and I don't feel like sitting at the computer while dripping sweat.

The last three days, in the afternoon there has been a little storm, the first two were just little things that made the humidity worse, but yesterday it was much stronger and the power went out about 4pm, came back at 3pm the next day (today). So last night I ate a can of cold minestrone soup for the evening meal and sat in the dark.

Tomorrow I have other stuff to do, but I'll get back onto Puppy stuff sometime.

Apparently this run of hot weather is setting some kind of record for February. I saw on the TV News, the hottest Feb. in Perth for 30 years.

Posted on 1 Mar 2011, 19:15 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02161">Edit - Delete

GM contamination injustice in WA

Western Australia was free of genetically modified crops, until fairly recently. We had the bulwark of a vast arid inland to prevent accidental contamination from farms where GM crops are grown (on the east side of Australia). We also have a strong market for GM-free crops, so have a big incentive to retain our GM-free status.

Despite this, the lobbying by big seed companies such as Monsanto and the gradual corruption of key players (academics, politicians and farm lobby groups), has resulted in some GM crops being allowed in WA.

We have already seen elsewhere, such as Canada, that individual farmers cannot prevent contamination of their farms with GM seed. I recall there was a case in Canada a couple of years ago where a farmer was growing non-GM crops (his own seed), but there was some GM contamination from neighboring farms -- and he was forced not only to sell his crop as GM but also to pay the seed company for growing their GM seed. Quite disgusting.

Big Business has won out in Canada and the US. But, we have an interesting show-down here in Western Australia. Is it possible that the little guy can win this time?


However, I am very pessimistic, based on track records here and overseas. Justice will not be done. But, you never know.

The Organic Assoc. of Australia is backing Steve:

...however a major national farmers organisation is backing the other side.

Posted on 21 Feb 2011, 23:46 - Category: General - Comments - href="?edit=02151">Edit - Delete

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