Saturday, April 02, 2005

Coming up for air

Boy, it has been a busy few months. I've been completely buried in work, so no time to blog. Not sure that I'm any less busy now, but I think I need to resurrect this blog anyway. Nuin presses on, the current CVS head has improved RDF and web-service integration, and I've re-written the interpreter to improve backtracking behaviour. Plus I've added a whole new section on storing goals and strategies, encoded in RDF. No documentation yet, sorry. Soon - promise.

What else? There's a new release of Jena coming very shortly, so that's keeping me busy too. Plus we have a new boss, though it's fair to say that all of the drama in the HP boardroom hasn't directly affected our group much - we just keep working on.

Other 'what else?' changes include migrating my development environment over to Fedora Core 3. I've been using RedHat/Fedora on and off for about three years now, but I've always used Windows as my main coding platform. No more. Windows has got less stable for me, and Fedora 3 is just the business compared to earlier incarnations of RH Linux. Of course, FireFox helps ... I never did get on with plain Mozilla, or Galeon. Since I work from home a lot, I also wanted to upgrade my home office computer. Since I don't have a huge budget for indulging in new technology, price/performance was important. I ended up ordering a custom build from the fine folks at Phoenix PC's in Jarrow. Graeme at Phoenix PC's was great at helping me select a configuration, and did a good job on the build. My new Pentium IV beast is humming along just fine, though it took a surprisingly long time to re-create my user environment. It's perhaps just a little bit too easy to drop in new RPM's and not quite remember where they came from! Words of praise are due to the good people of jpackage.org for all their efforts in providing a consistent set of yum-able Java library RPM's, and to NVidia for their graphics drivers for Linux. My new machine has a GeForce FX5200; before I installed the NVidia drivers I was getting around 330 frames per second on glxgears, and Tux Racer was just unusable. After installing, which was a breeze, btw, I'm getting 760 fps in glxgears, and Tux is sliding his little penguin tummy into icy oblivion in impressive style. Much to the amusement of my kids.

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