Sunday, June 30, 2013


FileZilla looks simple enough. I purchased one year with a host but can't find my home directory on their server. I guess that's what support is for.

Update: I'm sort of making progress. I've broken my home page on my host.

Project status: 8 of 32 menu items coming along well. Six of the remaining do not require additional forms. I still need to connect to the database on my host in order to finish those forms. I'd say I've got about 8% to 10% of the overall project done. No show stoppers in sight. Came up with a good idea about player corporation IPOs that deals with an issue I was concerned with. Just need to get the play balance right.

Update: It looks like my website magically fixed itself. I can't think of a thing I did that would have fixed it. Update: Actually my provider fixed my CamelCase. Perhaps FileZilla actually got around to doing what I told it?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Huge development

Cairo 2D vector graphics is part of all Linux distributions. The  various GTK versions are built on top of it. With grateful thanks to a member of the PureBasic community that provided some absolutely essential functions, I have now incorporated Cairo into my project meaning I don't have to worry what the distros choose to use on top of it. This is a huge hurdle I now have in my rear view mirror. I can't begin to describe how huge it is. Huge!

I am determined to finish this project in less than a year. I'm negotiating price for a database host (I was offered an $87 annual fee on a $131 package but haven't been provided with the proper link yet.) Once I have that I will purchase Navicat to manage it.

I feel good doesn't even come close to describing it. Basically I have only two hurdles left, ya know, other than the relatively trivial task of actually writing my code. I'm bypassing the step of putting PostgreSQL on my computer. I have code to connect remotely and for now that's where I will do development. This is my next hurdle.

The last hurdle will be adding payment methods which is kind of important if I intend this product to provide me with some kind of income. The code I've already written for that is as far as I'm going to go until my project is essentially finished. I'm not even going to think about it until them.

Update: I resolved a minor glitch in creating filled polygons and have added that code to my project. So I feel ready for the next step and have paid for a year of hosting so I can begin that aspect of my projects development. I've got to create an under construction page. There's nothing to see there now but my hosts info.

Update: Crash and burn. Just when I thought I could move forward, I tried creating a polygon in something other than a primary color. RGB values of 0 and 255 work. RGB values of 1 to 254 are all read as zero. Horror! You would think somebody would have mentioned this. I must get over this hurdle because it is a show stopper for me. Un-frikkin-believable. Update: ok, I'm passed my little panic attack. Another important issue along with the RGB values was also fixed (I couldn't use polygon on anything other than the main form. Now I can.) I think I'm going to take the day off from coding. The stress is getting to me.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We are being played for suckers.

Snowden is in Moscow and Putin says the equivalent of, "Ok, he can stay."

Whack a mole. Is it real, or Hollyweird?

Bogged Down

I'm having Euphoria sequence withdrawals. The Euphoria sequence data type is the greatest invention in programming since programming. No other language has it. Rebol might allow you to create something like it, but PureBasic, even with a list type is just not the same. For example:

temp = {{},{}}
for Index = 1 to 360 do
    temp[1] = append(temp[1], sin(Index*PI/180))
    temp[2] = append(temp[2], cos(Index*PI/180))
end for
constant sin_lookup = temp[1], cos_lookup = temp[2]

function Rotate(sequence shape, atom facing)
    for ndex = 1 to length(shape) do
        shape[ndex] = {
            (shape[ndex][Xord] * cos_lookup[facing])
            -(shape[ndex][Yord] * sin_lookup[facing]),
            (shape[ndex][Yord] * cos_lookup[facing])
            +(shape[ndex][Xord] * sin_lookup[facing])}
    end for
    return shape
end function

Let's take out the math so we can focus on the structure...

1)   temp = {{},{}}
          for Index = 1 to 360 do
2)           temp[1] = append(temp[1], some_real_number)
               temp[2] = append(temp[2], some_real_number)
           end for
3)        constant sin_lookup = temp[1], cos_lookup = temp[2]

        function Rotate(sequence shape, atom facing)
            for ndex = 1 to length(shape) do
4)             shape[ndex] = {new_real_x,new_real_y}
            end for
            return shape
        end function

1) Temp is an empty sequence but already with structure. Temp is not an array but does the work of an array and more.

2) We can lengthen just part of a sequence. It just happens we need to lengthen both legs by the same amount.

3) We create two immutable sequences from part of another and assign values and structure all in one operation. Under the covers it's just a pointer to an allocated block of memory but Euphoria does all allocation and deallocation for you without straining a single programmer brain cell.

4) Didn't you see those five lines were actually just one?

Translating this to PureBasic starts with:

Structure some_point // range from -128 to 127. Enough for my sprites //

Structure real_point // for rotation values (both factors and results) //

Procedure GetRotationFactors(facing)
    rotation_factors.real_point/X = sin(rads)
    rotation_factors.real_point/Y = cos(rads)
    ProcedureReturn rotation_factors

NewList temp()
Index = 1
While (Index <= 360)
    AddElement temp()
    temp() = GetRotationFactors(Index)
    Index += 1

...and so on...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Primitive tools

I bought a compiler today. I have been using the PureBasic 5.11 demo for a few days now. It's missing a lot of things I take for granted from using Visual Basic 6 since the 1990s. That was Windows and now I'm using Linux Mint 15rc. It's the simple things that confound you. The terminology is almost completely different. What I used to call a textbox, PureBasic calls a StringGadget. A simple matter of right justifying numbers isn't available. I will have to kluge (in this case pad with leading blanks if I can find an appropriate event that doesn't make things strange.)

I don't have decades to make things work against a moving target. I am going to have a product so I can have some kind of income and I am going to do it in less than a year. I'm getting too old and feeble to do anything else.

Some of the programming concepts that we still can't get right were figured out in the middle of the last century. Some of the things Microsoft did right with VB even Microsoft can't get right anymore.

I just spent the whole day working on just one form. This should not have taken me more than 20 minutes and would not have if I'd done it in VB. It's done as far as look, but I had to compromise on that as well. No grid gadget. No grid? I mean, no grid? With VB, if you didn't have what you need, some enterprising programmer would build it and sell it to ya. So I'm going to fake that too.

At this rate it will take me about two months just to build all the forms I need. [Update: I blew through half of them today... who needs a forms design tool?! It's time to find some nice splash screen art. That's when it starts to become real.] That's not counting the logic underneath which I used to do faster than I could do the look of the forms. Not now as nothing is hooked up automatically, everything is done manually. [That's happening faster now as well. I'm getting used to working past the quirks of this tool.]

Even though I'm breaking things down into dozens of files, logically it's all one big file without the scoping rules I'm used to. Blank stares all around when I try to explain to 'programmers' why this is important. [...and I've run into this issue already because I used the same name in two different places making a button not work that was working fine before. It only took a few seconds to fix.]

This first project is so I have some income starting next year. Project two will be to make tools so I don't have to go through this again. I'm going to be real cranky for the next year. [Bipolar might be the better term?]

UPDATE: In another coding discussion someone brought up the point that direct access to a SQL database is a problem because data is being sent unencrypted. In particular, the connection string would give anyone that read and understood it complete access to my database (both data and structure.) Not sure what to do about that (and don't really want to think about it yet.) The thing is, I expect to be able to mix encrypted and unencrypted data. People do financial transactions all the time. I need to be able to do financial transactions as well. I'll figure it out and if the institutions that do such things wants my business (not me particularly but business in general) they'll help.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

If they didn't cheat...

...they couldn't win.

More of the same.

Join the Klingon Empire

Support ARKYD.

Advancing at a crawl

Support is generally the greatest cost for software. You always have to look at your product through your customers eyes to make it as simple and intuitive as possible. Years ago, the tax season I worked for Intuit in Tucson (and the best Christmas party I've ever experienced working for any company; I was too late for the years when they used to roll kegs of beer through the support department about the time Microsoft wanted to buy them and the Justice department said no) they talked about turning support into a profit center, but never quite got there (at least that year.) While I was answering the phones to answer questions about Quickbooks it always amused me that the owner or their accountant wanted to know things like 'what' rather than 'how' to set up their chart of accounts for example. I was being paid to tell them how. Their accountant was suppose to be telling them what.

Then I worked for about a decade writing software for a mom and pop outfit. When they moved their company from California to Washington state they lost most of their programmers in the move, but I went (on the promise of a huge raise they reneged on after I made the move.) They used to call my code bulletproof. But even then we had a lot of support issues regarding a desire for new features all the time. I'd sometimes talk to customers when the support people were at capacity. In talking with customers, I'd almost always come up with new features that the salespeople would then use as a lead in getting more sales. You learn a lot from talking with customers and being a customer yourself. Experience counts.

During those years I was very productive because my tools were of a professional level. They faded into the background. I didn't have to concentrate on the tools, just on the job I was doing with them. Which made my productivity very high. Statistics from our source control software indicated I was doing more work than four other programmers we had one year.

I also helped friends literally become millionaires in their software businesses and this poor boy would like to do some of that for himself. So I need tools. Surely they've improved in the last decade right? Here's how one compiler describes itself:

- Huge set of internal commands (1100+)
- No external DLLs, runtime interpreter or anything else required when creating executables
- Procedure support for structured programming with local and global variables
- Access to full OS API for advanced programmers
- Optimal use of the available hardware by using highly optimized (assembly) commands
- Source code is portable: Windows, MacOS X and Linux
- Dedicated editor and development environment
- Powerful integrated debugger and profiler to easily trace and analyze code

For some reason they don't include weird and buggy. Probably just an oversight. A compiler doesn't need 1100+ commands if they choose the right ones. This is not a plus in my mind. I don't know about their structured programming claim. I expect they didn't get scope rules right given what I've discovered about other products. If you have access to memory (and how could you not?) you have access to assembly language, but I choose a language so I won't be coding in assembly. A profiler is nice, but I hardly ever use one because coding you should be able to tell when you've screwed up optimization. Visual Basic had a great debugger, but it's another thing I could live without.

Weird is a form designer that writes code for you but doesn't let you change it in any way. You have to copy the code into your own file to modify it. Buggy is having the thing crash when you scroll too fast down a list. But I don't care about any of that if I can end up with the results I want and it appears I will be able to. So I'm going to buy the damned compiler next month. From two guys in Europe that could be hit by a truck any given time. My first software boss in NYC used to always gleefully ask me, "but what if you get hit by a truck." I kind of miss that pain in the ass, Hank. I wonder if he's still alive?

The result I want is an executable with no dependencies. I'm going to release my first client software for Linux. This is likely to have much greater support issues than windows but for a much smaller customer base. I'm giving it away for free so that should help some. My income will come from an option of buying virtual money in the game. Yes, it's a game and a fairly simple one at that. My goal is several thousand players per server. Hosting on a server is dirt cheap. I can do testing on a shared server for as little as $5 a month. Then move up to a dedicated server for about $150 per month. Even in my worst scenario (80% to 90% choosing to always play for free) I should make more than I currently do. Gotta take a shot, right?

I know it will be fun to play since I've already put something out similar to it as a test that people seem to like. I've already written some code that allows a non artist like myself to have fun building components that are part of the game. I have 36 parts of the game to write and then I will be done. I should be able to finish that in less than a year. I've got nothing but time. It's not my only plan.

Update: One down, 35 to go. Everything else requires SQL which I'm thinking $60 a year to include support doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. Gotta start getting serious about finding a host.

Can you believe there's no provision for modal forms in the compiler I'm buying? I guess I'll just have to make do. I told ya, weird. My job is to use this weird tool and produce a product that isn't weird. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Orion Service Module Overweight

Problem. Solution: Sundancer.

The. Very. Last. Straw.

All small business will have a choice of going out of business or being tax cheats.

Elevator trains?

It seems the problem with elevators is the cables.

So why not just get rid of the cables? Let them travel on magnetic tracks. Further, have an up shaft and a down shaft and put multiple cars in each. Then switch tracks at the top and bottom. With enough cars, some could bypass stops to account for predominately up or down travel during different parts of the day. You would also need less shafts. Two shafts could do the same work as dozens.

Ask Willy Wonka for plans.
I can't seem to be able to post here. This is what I had to say...

This is proof that we've suffered a quiet coup (silent 'p' Mr. Obama.) What are we going to do about it?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

We haven't forgotten

Guys like these are potential martians.

The bad news

Not likely to change soon.

Is the iron hot?

Ending the IRS.

Lois Lerner is not alone

"Trust us!"

Domestic paramilitary forces

If we need any, we certainly don't need more than one. This would require any agency needing them to first justify using them. Otherwise all checks and balances are off.
...paramilitarized bureaucracy is uniquely American.
Well, we are the land of the free, aren't we?

Unrelated stories

Other than behind the black being my source.

Plastic better than aluminum in blocking radiation.

How government uses data collected. Update: Will Glenn get raided for this?

I relate them by saying, more reason to colonize mars.

He only bent it a little

To give $1.3b to our enemies. Lunatic Biden weighs in.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Exoplanet upgrade

Citizens to do what Kepler has done. This could be exciting.

Meanwhile, this is cute:
Scientists generally accept that asteroids are left-over remnants of material used in the creation of the universe. There are probably tens of thousands, if not more, present in the universe.
Let's not go too far out on a limb, shall we. ;-)

How about two steel rings with matching bolt holes?

Then you weld them together, or for two million dollars.

Building to last.

Combine simplicity with this brilliant Lego concept. A standard four port docking collar would allow for massive construction... just bolted together. Six combined with six habitat modules would create a ring (and twelve extra ports for more additions.)

Update: The ISS cost $150 billion and has a volume of 837 m3. It has two incompatible docking ports. Six BA330, each with a four port docking collar, would cost $1.25 billion to orbit providing 12 docking ports to which standard docking modules could be attached. This station would be a ring with 1980 m3 of volume 2.3 times the volume of the I.S.S. for less than 1% the cost. Almost forgot, it would have life support for 36 where the I.S.S. only has life support for six.

The hole in the center of the ring? That's the starbase's starship construction hub!

Programmers: How to tell the professionals from the amateurs

If something doesn't work or worse, crashes, it probably will never sell. Odd how that works. /sarc

One simple problem has a fix that usually works regarding dependencies.

On a working programmers computer, over time they fill it with a lot of files other things depend on and never give it much thought. But there is one thing they should always do before giving their product out to others: install and run it on a clean box. Leaving out that step is a sign of amateurism.

Fixing dependency problems is not a new issue. It's existed forever. Every time I run into it, it pisses me off. Especially when solutions are offered that are not solutions. How hard is this to get right? I'd be ashamed to release some of the things people seem to have no problem releasing.

Shame. What a long forgotten concept?

Update: related... I once worked with a team where a leader saw me coding something and said, "don't do that, I've already written that." It was a simple utility that I would have finished in about an hour, but nooooo.... instead...

He gave me his code which was not encapsulated. It had dependencies. Megabytes of dependencies. An entire other project of dependencies. He said, "no problem..." then sat watching over my shoulder as he 'helped me' remove these dependencies. For six hours... Never fixing it...

After thanking him for his 'help' I spent an hour the next day finishing what I had started.

I would often be asked for some routine I'd written that others wanted to include in their code. Not once did I hand them something that was not fully encapsulated. Not once. Not in decades.

Update: How to write bulletproof code. Don't assume, test. That includes error trapping in your code. If a folder/directory/file doesn't exist, this should not be something the user has to fix. It is the programmers responsibility. Responsibility and shame are two very useful things for programmers.

Gambas does not allow me to write standalone executables. That's a deal breaker. I've not been able to get any other alternatives I've tried to work (Lazarus, RealBasic, PureBasic, even Rebol... a true sign of desperation.)  C is just too verbose for writing windows type programs; I'd rather work in some assembly language which would eliminate many of the syntactical problems.

My project is a simple one, but I can't find working tools to produce it. It is extremely frustrating since it would provide me with a desperately needed income. I am considering writing my own compiler and RAD/IDE in assembler. I would still be dependent on GTK but I can live with that. This would take time but after completion would allow me to be infinitely more productive.

Amerika 2.0

You can't even see the tipping point in your rear view mirror. Via Rand.




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wired contact lenses

Computer contacts reminds me of this movie.

You might never know what's real and what's an overlay (so don't get hacked.)

Quote of the day

If your excuse is that you are incapable of discerning what ‘any type of data at all’ means, you are no longer allowed to have a job title that has the word ‘intelligence’ in it.
If only we had some teeth to back up such a statement.

Update: Of course he lied.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mars One mission could go horribly wrong

It's worth the risk is if goes horribly right.

Update: Mars One points to other plans.

Marsdrive doesn't suggest what funding they might come up with. Someone should tell them to fix the link to this page from there projects page.

The Mars Society seems focused on research, design and human testing. They will not get us to mars, but provide valuable data for moving forward (much of it hard to find from their home page.)

Mars Homesteaders are the 'planning group' and perhaps the opposite of the Mars Society 'doing group.'

The Mars Initiative could be thought of as the 'funding group' with a goal of a minimum of $1m/mo. in funding. Assuming $1m/wk is required for each colonist, they would add one quarter colonist to mars.

Mars One can be thought of as the 'funding, planning and doing' group. If they stick with it, they may not hold to their timeline, but they could certainly continue to make progress. One thing about their funding is, if it is not enough, that would possibly raise their funding levels as more people tune in to see a car/train/[insert your own analogy] wreck.

It's not our government

It's our culture that is corrupt. That we aren't demanding heads is the problem. Our silence is the problem. We can't really blame the media on this one. The corruption is not hidden. We need a top to bottom review of all agencies from IRS to EPA. Every agency needs a new head and Obama is not the guy to appoint them. Each agency head should be looking to off some heads. This is actually pretty easy to fix if people had character. This is fixed with an axe and an organization chart.

The government fix is always to add more levels of corruption. Smaller government is part of the solution, but only if that smaller government is less corrupt (otherwise it just inflates itself again.)

Without moral outrage this does not get fixed.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Radiation scare mitigated by reality

None dead. None sick.

The article says 1000 mSv single dosage that causes radiation sickness. So 432 mSv in a year is not so scary from that perspective. Safer to say 400 mSv in a single shot begins to be a risk and in a year is four times higher than the no risk level of 100 mSv.

Don't let them scare you. Radiation is not keeping us from going to and living on mars.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Are we part of the [Tr]human show?

Everybody else goes with the matrix. I'm just being contrary.

Perhaps not, but our government is spying on all of us indiscriminately. You think it's only Verizon? A bit more.

Obama blows dog whistle.

ARKYD funded.

Kickstarter currently says the goal is a million dollars but other are reporting $750k which they have reached. Regardless, they will go forward with a space telescope the public will get to control.

mySQL continued...

I was having all sorts of permission problems with mySQL so I decided to give mariaDB a try.

Last night I was about half way through the mariaDB install when I had to stop because of a missing .SQL file. That shouldn't create any problem, right? To my surprise it does not have seemed to. I'm waiting and expecting the two by four to the side of my head at just the critical moment.

Anyway, I created a new database which I was not able to do with mySQL 5.5 because I could not seem to be able to get around those permissions issues regardless of what I tried. All it let me do was see the test db but not do anything with it. Now I'm playing with both test databases, test and the one I created.

It's been a million years since I've done any SQL and I've forgotten everything. I feel a bit like Scotty in that save the whales Trek movie with regard to using a command line for SQL manipulation... "How quaint."

It's not just forgetting SQL. I'm also a Linux newbie, but for every frustration a good nights sleep seems to resolve it. I come from a time when you did things in DOS because there was no Win.

I haven't attempted to connect a Gambas program to a SQL database yet. I'm just not emotionally ready to try that hurdle. I may even run through the streets naked yelling 'Eureka' when I get that working. In the mean time I've produced a few forms that don't immediately required db access to be displayed and have added them to my project.

Gold K shaving cream

They're all wrong. All those attempts to explain how superman shaves miss the mark.

To discover the true solution you must think of dust. Why? Because dead skin is one source of dust. Superman grows older (he came to earth as a young child, right?) His super skin grows as well, meaning that some cells die naturally and flake off. These dead cells no longer retain any super power.

Superman gets his power from the radiation coming from our yellow sun. Gold kryptonite destroys the ability of Kryptonian cells to process solar energy. Superman's shaving foam contains minute quantities of gold kryptonite allowing a regular steel razor blade to cut his beard and also acts as an exfoliant to give superman a youthful glowing skin.

The idea that superman uses a grinder on his beard is just silly.

Update: Also used for hair cuts and clipping fingernails. Superman is truth, justice and groomed.

Screw the permits

They have no reason to refuse them. So go ahead with plans as if you had them. The fallout will be on those that refused them. Alternatively put in a permit application as if for a group they would not refuse. Playing fair in a rigged game guarantees you lose.

You're not marching on Washington. You just all happened to share the day of your vacation trip will millions of others. Don't carry signs. Wear T-Shirts.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Interesting stat.

Commercial revenues from [private] space ... totaled $225.87 billion in 2012. That’s almost three times the amount that governments ... spent [expense] on space last year.
Profit = Income (revenue) - Expense (cost.) __PIE__

Apples and oranges, but that's ok. Usually the two are close to one another. We can assume a profit since things don't continue without it. I wonder how much was spent by private industry to get that?
Air traffic control is largely satellite dependent.
Not twenty years ago. It was ground radio based VORTACS and I'm sure it still is. When safety is involved changes are S..L..O..W..
...the scope of our federal budget deficit is matched only by the scope of the nothing Congress and the White House are doing about it.
Isn't this our fault for letting them rule? I'm estimating thunder dome in less than a decade which means the chaos starts sooner.

Dishonesty from the high court

Ace is on it.

July 8th deadline

A reminder for those interested from Jonathan Goff.

Three easy steps?

This article makes very little sense to me.
...problem[s] can be avoided by keeping mission duration below about 18 months.
Ok, but one way eliminates many more problems and costs, but this isn't my issue with the article.

In the section that starts, "Chemical propulsion is really amazingly cheap..." the claim that propellants make excellent radiation shields seems to ignore that fact that most of the fuel is used up in the first few minutes of the voyage. Also, even free fuel should cost about 80% or more of the mission to get it to LEO. If not, that's a really expensive ship they intend to fly. But I do agree that "exotic propulsion technologies" are not required. Hall thrusters to return an empty crew vehicle to earth are not exotic for example.
By not landing on Mars, one avoids the need for high-thrust rockets.
This is very misleading. You need high thrust to deal with gravity, earth or mars. You don't need anything more than medium thrust in space regardless of landing on mars. It's the lander that requires the high thrust.
If launched ... at just the right time...
Is also misleading. You can launch at any time you have sufficient delta V. The timing is a matter of cost. So now we get into his proposed three steps...
  1. An unmanned slingshot
  2. The Inspiration Mars mission.
  3. A Phobos-Deimos mission.
The unmanned slingshot is proposed because the author doesn't believe the Inspiration Mars mission can make its 2018 launch date, but what's the point of this first mission? None. Then he wants to delay and defocus the Inspiration Mars mission making it less likely to happen at all.

Really, mission 3 is the whole point of his propaganda. This is really the whole objective of the article. Three easy steps is just a smoke screen. The proposed crew demonstrates why this mission would be a bust... medical person, one computer specialist, and two geologists with experience in mineralogy and chemistry to operate the laboratory.
He describes that as five people. Let's assume chemist is the fifth. You don't need a dedicated medical person. All members should have the required first aid training. If they need anything more serious than that they would need more than just a doctor. If they need a computer specialist they are in real trouble. The software they are going to use should be completely tested long before they go on a mission. You don't need one programmer. You are likely to need dozens if not hundreds. They all stay on earth where they belong. Geologists makes sense. On site they can find the best samples. Chemist, not quite so much. That can be done when you get your samples back to earth.

So we save tons of cash by reducing the five to two. This then becomes the asteroid sample mission that Obama has directed be done. Now the final prejudice...
humans operating on the planet's surface are extremely limited in what they can do
In a pig's eye. They can build a permanent presence allowing precisely the opposite of limited. The real limit is the duration of a mars moons mission.

mySQL 5.5

I got it working yesterday. I'm lost, but I'll figure it out.

Gambas is further annoying. The message boxes have "link to .gambas" in the title and the only way I'm going to get rid of that, I think, is to replace them with my own forms. The call only allows you to change the button text but not the title text. I'd be happy to include a "powered by Gambas" logo somewhere, but I want my product to have my brand, not the compilers.

The examples of using a database are poorly coded, but at least they've got examples.

The scope rules continue to annoy me as well. You actually have to specify the file to use any of it's public functions. Since the IDE has no drill down to definitions that I can find (relying on a search feature which is not the same thing) this actually helps in locating definitions... but it is so annoying.

I can make it work, but my second project is going to be using this compiler to bootstrap writing my own IDE and language. We've been computing for almost a century. How hard is it to get these things right? Once done my productivity will increase ten fold if not more. I will be stripping away all the non essential crap from both the IDE and the language. It will be easy to learn as well. Just type a period and all options will be listed. Each listed option with also have the option of documentation including both explanations and examples. Clicking a letter will not just bring you to the first item, it will filter the list to only those items. Highlight any function (or just put the cursor on it) and two clicks (or one key press) gets you to it's definition.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Gambas is amazing, but with some weirdness.

The cursor isn't where it's supposed to be making editing corrections difficult.

Menu click events are public subs. If you make them private, clicking does nothing.

It uses a runtime, like VB, but the program requires the extention .gambas or it doesn't work. That includes any symbolic link which took me by surprise. It does make nice installation packages for a variety of Linux distributions. I need to get a second test pc to check on those.

I've finished the menu (38 items, 5 top level, nothing more than three deep) for the program that is going to bring me fame and fortune but can't go forward because every single one of those items requires that I first get whatever SQL DBMS I can, working. So that's my todo list...
  1. Get any SQL DBMS working.
  2. Get any SQL DBMS working.
  3. Get any SQL DBMS working.
I'll be happy to have any one of those three items accomplished.

I've got the mySQL and mariaDB packages but can't figure out how to get them properly installed. Neither seems to include any install instructions. I'm going to check on postgreSQL now. I would like to see if SQLite will work for me also. This is a showstopper if I can't figure it out. Working with raw data files just isn't something I'm willing to do. Plus, I'm sure it would not be able to keep up with the load I expect and hope for. Only the server will have full access to the master database. All the clients will have a local database with copies of data to reduce the network traffic.

If I had a second test PC I could try different Linux flavors to see if their packages include what I need, but I'm not going to mess with my one and only working PC for now. Poverty really sucks.

Lunar Grasshopper

Some musings.

My wild speculations from now on will include a 30mt lunar SSTO capable of a round trip from lunar surface to orbit carrying a full 10mt payload each way. To get a lunar base started we just need a fuel depot in lunar orbit.

Does Golden Spike know about this?

With heartfelt thanks to Trent for doing the heavy lifting.

More musings... So a FH puts this thing in orbit with 20mt of fuel. More than enough to get to a LEO fuel depot. 360mt of refueling later it could take itself to a lunar orbiting fuel depot. From there it takes 10mt of building materials to the lunar surface to start a base before returning to lunar orbit. All we need to do then is keep the lunar depot full of fuel and supplies for the lunar base.

Update: I see the Merlin 1D is only able to throttle down to 70% which would probably be too much g force on less than a half tank of fuel. Does anybody have a suggestion for an alternate? Considering we have plenty of margin, the vehicle could have the Merlin as it's main engine and supplemental engines for when the fuel tanks are less filled. Super dracos might be a middle ground, but you really need something that burns the same fuel as the Merlin.