I've had a code base that has evolved over the last seven years. Its been ported to a variety of platforms: Solaris, Linux, Windows, Mac 0S 9, Mac OSX, HP UX and others. For the most part, porting is a breeze.
On the mac I've always used gcc. However, sometimes the standards weenies feel the need to arbitrarily break things that already work. Recently I moved from OSX 10.3 to 10.4 (Tiger). This requires XCode to move to 2.2. This requires gcc 4.0 (for G5 64 bits). This requires fixing stupid, standards committee errors:
The error: 'warning: `typename std::iterator_traits<_Iterator>::value_type' is implicitly a typename'
You can read coherent discriptions here and here.
The reason I bring this up is that my code base supports a language which has maintained full backward compatibility for the last seven years. This is because my customers pay me to use code - standards folks don't have to worry about customers, and, in particular, don't care at all about your customers.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
I believe I have discovered a new law.
"The density of cowboys per square kilometer increases linearly as the distance increases from the center of a blue (as in "Blue States/Red States") urban center."
1. You have to view the Red State/Blue State data on a "county" level to see the full effect.
2. This is a linear law, unlike the NASCAR fans per square kilometer law, where the increase is exponential.
Posted by John Gault at 1:12 PM
Monday, September 19, 2005
If there is only one book to read with regard to understanding (at least western) humanity, it's "The Sneeches" by Dr. Suess. Why is this story so important? Because it explains why some people succeed at having lots of money while others do not.
In the story, the "Sneeches" represent the "sheepeople" or great unwashed masses - and "Sylvester McMonkey McBean" represents "Big Business", the "Military Industrial Complex", "George Bush (43)", etc. If you haven't read the story, please do. The text appears to be easily "googled" (for example) - though the pictures are really necessary for the full effect.
In the last two or three decades society has come to believe that "having lots of money" or "having lots of things" equals "succeeding". I myself believe that the definition of "success" is something that, like religion, must be decided for one's self.
Posted by John Gault at 5:14 PM
Friday, September 02, 2005
Symbolicly, metaphorically, and actually this is me, doing what I always do. Bobbing along in the vastness of the ocean. While I'm doing that I'm also helping someone else learn enough to move onto the next level. While I'm doing that I'm keeping my hat on so my balding head doesn't get sun burned. While I'm doing that I'm keeping my feet up off the bottom so I don't step on sharks. While I'm doing that I'm looking out to sea for the next big wave to unexpectedly come crashing down. While I'm doing that I'm watching those that weren't careful get thrashed by the waves on their way in to shore. You get the idea.
My wife would say that I was doing the typical "man thing" - solving the current problems, not thinking far enough ahead, not worrying about the right things, making the same mistakes over & over, etc. She would probably be right.
From the (Venus and ) Mars perspective I think I (and we) did okay. We raised four kids over thirty years, one graduating from Penn State, and we are not technically bankrupt (assets - debts > 0)! In fact, we still have assets! We're also still alive. Still in reasonably good health. We'll be have the time to generate enough money for our retirement. We'll have time to enjoy our grand children (four at last count).
I've started close to a dozen companies over the last fifteen years and made my living on my own from about 1991. I have no formal training in anything, dropped out of college my second year (to get a job and take care of my wife), and still managed to do okay (sorry Dad & Mom). Most of my life I have written software to do things like make bullets hit their targets, airplanes fly, and marketing messages reach their intended audience (you'd be surprised at the similarities).
I have acquired vast knowledge of PDF (Portable Document Format). I can use PDF to create variable data printing (part of what I do now) as fast or faster than anyone in the world. I sell products all over the world. Have traveled all over the US and parts of Europe.
I have acquired mailing, printing, warehousing, truck driving, HR, and accounting skills. I can take my wife camping and keep her comfortable. I can hunt and fish. I can shoot accurately and keep my guns clean. I can do electrical wiring and plumbing. I can build walls, rooms and porches. I can fix hydraulic lines, run a loader, do body work and plow fields. I can kayak class IV rapids, repel, and run 14 miles a week (when younger I could run a 0:40:00 10K). I can build analog and digital hardware.
Presently, I own several business, maintain (badly) our farm, practice guitar 7 hours a week, and still have time to take my wife out at least three nights a week and have famiily over on Sunday. (I think I've moved up from "not romatic" to somewhere in the "adequate" range - but to move up further I need to learn more about country line dancing and dancing in general...)
The plain and simple truth: I have too much knowledge, not enough time, and way to much wisdom.
Posted by John Gault at 5:09 PM
So who are we? This is my beautiful wife. I've kept this picture of her since I took it several years ago because I think it reveals her spirit, particularly in her face. She and I have been together exclusively for the last thirty (yes '30') years or so.
During that time together we have survived cancer, dealt with the death of parents, dealt with four children including drug problems and divorce, paid for college, lived in three states including NYC, dealt with out-of-control parental medaling with our children's lives, made and lost fortunes, built and lost businesses, survived depression and post traumatic stress, and survived sexual and mental abuse by parents and relatives.
Though there are more things a couple might do in life than what we have done so far, I (at least), am not interested in finding out about them until its their time.
For now I am comfortable with just "coasting along." The two of us have time together to spend doing the things we chose and we each have time to indulge our personal interests.
Posted by John Gault at 4:37 PM
My wife and I have just permanently driven the last 21+ child (of four) from our home - its time for us to enjoy our lives again. Both of us have many interests outside of raising children; interests which have taken a back seat through all manner of nonsense. This blog is for us to talk about what we like to do, how we feel, and so forth...
Posted by John Gault at 3:57 PM