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Current distractions


Last week I bought Nirvana's Live at Reading live CD+DVD concert. This is an extraordinary show and also for the first time mixed in 5.1 surround sound. Highly recommended! Tracklisting:

 1. Breed                      14. On a Plain
 2. Drain You                  15. Negative Creep
 3. Aneurysm                   16. Been a Son
 4. School                     17. All Apologies
 5. Sliver                     18. Blew
 6. In Bloom                   19. Dumb
 7. Come As You Are            20. Stay Away
 8. Lithium                    21. Spank Thru
 9. About a Girl               22. Love Buzz
10. Tourette's                 23. The Money Will Roll Right In
11. Polly                      24. D-7
12. Lounge Act                 25. Territorial Pissings
13. Smells Like Teen Spirit

Another concert is Porcupine Tree's Arriving Somewhere, their first live performance DVD from 2005. Tracklisting:

 1. Revenant
 2. Open Car
 3. Blackest Eyes
 4. Lazarus
 5. Hatesong
 6. Don't Hate Me
 7. Mother and Child Divided
 8. Buying New Soul
 9. So-Called Friend
10. Arriving Somewhere but Not Here
11. Heartattack in a Layby
12. The Start of Something Beautiful
13. Halo
14. The Sound of Muzak
15. Even Less
16. Trains

In regard to my previous post. I spend many hours in front of a computer every day. In fact, I know precisely that I spent 2268 hours in 2003 (I know this thanks to my LCD monitor counter back then). So it was an average 6 hours per day. But since 2004, due to my full-time programming job, that time has increased even more. The computers are now my everyday tool, so I don't limit myself only to the programming activities, but I also do Web surfing, instant communication and watching movies and TV shows regularly. It's now quite common to spend even more than 12 hours a day.

So, let me assume that my average time in front of a computer was 9 hours per day in the last 15 years. This means that I spent a total of 49275 hours, which gives the continuous 5.6 years so far...

15 Years of Programming

This month I am celebrating a 15 year anniversary of my programming activities. I remember January 1995, when I, then being 12, fiddled with a source code in AMOS BASIC. Looking further back in time, it was the year before, when I tried to fire up my first project - some set of examples from the technical encyclopedia, but back then I would not go beyond AmigaDOS scripts. Since 1995 I began discovering programming in a procedural language, BASIC. During 3 years that followed I wrote several programs, among them a full-fledged Ezine implementation and some never-actually-finished strategic games. One of most interesting examples was an implementation of a classic Pong game, which I wrote sometime in 1996. I was very proud of what I had managed to create, because the program featured three game modes: player 1 vs. player 2, player 1 vs. player 1, and player vs. computer! At the bottom of the screen there was an additional attraction - a drawing of a human face, (inspired by the game Doom) whose expression reflected the game level you were in. The higher you went, the more perplexed the face looked :).

I managed to dig out two samples of my code from those times, although I'm not sure they are complete:

The more I tried, the more I wanted to go further expanding my knowledge, so that in 1998 I began studying C. I was greatly helped by excellent, albeit strongly oriented on that particular operating system, articles of Kamil Iskra in the Amiga Magazine as well as by the book "The C Programming Language", which I read from title-page to colophon.

In the years that followed I was discovering new programming languages, improving programming techniques, and writing thousands of lines of code in each successive month. I must have written quite a number of them in these 15 years, although I probably would never know the exact number. According to, which keeps track of a selected subset of my projects in public repositories, the number of lines I wrote or changed goes beyond 100 thousand. Taking in the account the fact that each line is often a result of 5 rewriting attempts, and adding thereto several other (not at all small) projects, test programs written while studying new languages and a bunch of code written in my work as a professional programmer (full-time job since 2004), I may estimate the total amount to be some 2 millions of lines. And, since I am by no means tired, I am going to write more still. There are lots of programs ahead of me!

Google Reader Tracks Everything

Most people may not know, but Google Reader tracks every single entry you have ever read and there is no way to clear that list even if you remove all your subscriptions. Check out this link:

For me, this page shows some very old entries from the subscriptions I removed a very long time ago and there is now way to wipe it out! For this reason I wouldn't use Google Reader. (FYI, I use Cheetah News, which is a far better reader anyway, at least for me.)


As some people already know, I recently launched my own lifestream (or Stream for short). In effect, my weblog will be updated even less often. My new stream is powered by the gLifestream platform.

gLifestream is a free lifestream platform and social activity reader. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 3.

gLifestream joins several external and/or internal streams into a single one. External streams may be represented by RSS/Atom channels or popular services such as Twitter or FriendFeed. The user decides which of them are publicly visible and which are not. Public streams are visible for anybody. The rest of streams are visible only for logged in users.

Read more about GLS at

[image] GDB 7.0 released

GDB 7.0, the GNU Debugger, is now available for download. There are many interesting improvements and bugfixes, but I find two new features worth a special mention. Those are "reverse debugging" and "Python scripting" support.

The first one allows to run programs backwards, written in any language supported by GDB. Of course this isn't a trivial task, since rewinding a program requires a lot of extra work on tracing variables, registers and other stuff and not every target environment can support that. GDB provides several new commands for reverse execution. Most are just counterparts of the original commands, but prefixed with the "reverse" keyword, e.g. reverse-continue, reverse-step, reverse-next, etc.

The latter feature allows for Python scripting with GDB by providing the gdb module in the Python code. This heavily extends GDB possibilities, from a simple pretty-printers, through custom GDB commands, to any Python code you can possibly imagine using GDB API. Someone even recently scripted a "gdb over irc" :-).

Last week I accidentally heard a song from Amy Macdonald's "This is the Life" and the next day I decided to buy the album blindly. And I am happy about that. I found a nice music and voice. Tracklisting:

 1. Mr. Rock and Roll
 2. This Is the Life
 3. Poison Prince
 4. Youth of Today
 5. Run
 6. Let's Start a Band
 7. Barrowland Ballroom
 8. L.A.
 9. A Wish for Something More
10. Footballer's Wife

Star Wars Asciimation

Check out this excellent website: or just telnet to watch A New Hope online :-)

               __            /~~\              __
              /__\          |<><>|            /__\
             |<><>|         /_/\_\           |<><>|
             (_/\_)         /\___/\          (_/\_)
            /      \       // [ ]|\\        /      \
            ||/(===o      //| [_]| \\       ||/(===o
            | /  \ |      \\|    | //       | /  \||
            \/][][\/       \#====|#/        \/][][\/
             |\  /|        /|\  /I\          |\  /|
             |_||_|       / | || I \         |_||_|
             [ ][ ]      /  | || |  \        [ ][ ]
             | || |     /   | || |   \       | || |
             | || |    /    | || |    \      | || |

The Javascript Trap by Richard M. Stallman

In the free software community, the idea that non-free programs mistreat their users is familiar. Some of us refuse entirely to install proprietary software, and many others consider non-freedom a strike against the program. Many users are aware that this issue applies to the plug-ins that browsers offer to install, since they can be free or non-free.

But browsers run other non-free programs which they don't ask you about or even tell you about—programs that web pages contain or link to. These programs are most often written in Javascript, though other languages are also used.

Continue reading the article...

Make your own book with Blurb is a company which provides a print on demand publishing service for the general public. It allows you to make and sell your own books online. The selling model is very similar to This isn't a new service -- even Time Magazine named Blurb one of 2006's "50 Coolest Web Sites", but I somehow didn't notice it earlier.

[image] GNU Anubis 4.1.1 is out!

Here is the official annoucement, and following is the list of user-visible changes in this release:

  • Automatic correction of MAIL and RCPT SMTP commands.
  • Fix loop-detection code.
  • New configuration keywords sasl-realm, sasl-hostname and sasl-service.
  • Minor improvements and bugfixes.
  • New Danish, Indonesian, Italian, and Swedish message translations.

Guns N' Roses released today their sixth studio album, entitled Chinese Democracy. I bought it and like it very much after listening to it several times already. And I really don't care whether this is "true" GNR or not (featuring only Axl Rose from the original line-up) as long as the music is good. Especially good as on this album. Tracklisting:

 1. Chinese Democracy
 2. Shackler's Revenge
 3. Better
 4. Street of Dreams
 5. If the World
 6. There Was a Time
 7. Catcher in the Rye
 8. Scraped
 9. Riad n' the Bedouins
10. Sorry
11. I.R.S.
12. Madagascar
13. This I Love
14. Prostitute

Richard Wright: 1943 - 2008

Sad news today. Richard Wright, a musician and a founder member of Pink Floyd, has died at the age of 65 after battling cancer.


Richard Wright smiling into my camera -- this is a photo I personally took two years ago in Gdańsk.

Freedom Fry - "Happy birthday to GNU"

The GNU operating system is turning 25 this year!

"Happy Birthday to GNU" is a short film featuring the English humorist, actor and novelist Stephen Fry.

I was especially surprised with the GNU contributors list at the end of this film. Both Sergey and I are listed there :D