The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, June 05, 2000

Meet Nova Dandyplanet

My Glam Name is apparently “Nova Dandyplanet.”

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

I checked snail mail today and I received a package from my Dad in the mail. Various articles about making money on the Internet (“Are you a millionaire yet?” he keeps asking) along with a brochure: “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.

Dad, you see, lives in Califorina.

I wonder if he's trying to tell me something …

My Dad, the Golfer

Dad also called me today, wanting to know how I was doing (he does not, nor does he want to, own a computer) and what he's been up to.

It looks like this year he's trying out for the PGA Senior Tour. He said there are two qualifications to try out: You're over 50 (which he is) and you have a handycap of less than 3.5 (or something like that, which he does—he's a very good golfer). So if things work out, I'll get to see Dad on the TV, playing golf (which has to be the most boring thing in the world. But that's okay, because Dad considers this computer stuff the most boring thing in the world).

Freaky FreeBSD, now with LSD …

So I'm still working on this project for a client. I have the program done, I just need to recompile it for their platform, FreeBSD. No big deal, it's UNIX, right?

So I move over the two parts of the program, a library I wrote, and the main program. The library compiles fine. No problem. I then go to compile the program.

$ make
gcc -I ../lib/src -DUNIX -DFREEBSD -g -c -o obj/calclog.o src/calclog.c
gcc: src/calclog.c: No such file or directory
gcc: No input files specified
*** Error code 1


Odd, I think. What's going on?

$ ls -l src/calclog.c
-rw-r--r--  1 admin  admin  3620 Jun  5 15:39 src/calclog.c

It's there. Let me try it by hand …

$ gcc -I ../lib/src -DUNIX -DFREEBSD -g -c -o obj/calclog.o src/calclog.c
$ ls -l obj/calclog.o
-rw-r--r--  1 admin  admin  3364 Jun  5 21:37 calclog.o

Okay, now I'm stumped.

Gurgle gurgle, II

My roommate Rob answered the door. An older gentleman there asks if we've been having any plumbing problems. Upon hearing this, I head towards the front door.

“Yes,” I said. “This past Saturday.”

“Okay, there's a problem with the sewer system here and we can't repair it until tomarrow, so until then if you can keep the water usage to a miminum that would help,” he says.

“Okay, will do,” I said.

Ah, so that explains the odd behavior I saw on Saturday.

make errors, not programs

Well, I found the problem with FreeBSD. It seems that make acts very oddly when a subdirectory called obj exists and it changes into that directory before doing any compilations. And since my makefile uses relative directories of course they're going to fail since the directories are relative to the parent directory, not to the one named obj.

Funny, I never encountered this problem before using make.

Then again, I never used a directory named obj before either, but I didn't think that would matter.

While the man page for make(1) under FreeBSD makes mention of obj it doesn't exactly describe this behavior. Sigh.

“I use Google … ”

Wow, lots happened today.

Anyway, I amble over to my roommate Rob's room to ask him something and see he's using GeoFind, a meta search engine I had worked on. We had the following exchange:

Oh good, [GeoFind]'s working.
Why are you using [GeoFind]?
Why not? I always use it for my searches as it usually finds what I'm looking for. Why? Don't you use it?
No, I use Google.
[Both start laughing at the situation]

I suppose it's a bad sign when even I don't use something I wrote anymore, but that's because there's no real insentive for me to work on GeoFind. I don't own the code (so I can't release it) and the company that currently owns it isn't doing anything with it right now and the search engines have changed how they work (for the most part) so it pretty much fell into disuse.

Besides, when I first started writing the program there weren't that many metasearch engines around (this was in 1996) but now … there are dozens if not hundreds.

They're not hard to write.

Being John Malkovich's Production Assistant

“Come to think of it, this whole PA thing is going to get in the way of my upcoming Mexico pharmaceutical foraging adventure. Why, I've been stretching my anal cavity for weeks! What a waste.”

So, I guess that's what it's like being John Malkovich's Production Assistant.

Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.