Tim Hatch

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Time Master 22 Jun, 2007

The most fun part about the Research Park is coming in early or staying late and having to use the Time Master. Basically we have to plug in the number of hours (and tenths of hours) that we're going to be occupying different zones (which bear no correlation to room numbers, mind you) and it'll allow the lights to come on for that amount of time.

Of course, there’s no amount of security — the Time Master is out in the hall and we’re in the rooms working. There was a period last year when I had a night class and the lights would just turn out because someone walking by was nice enough to “zero set” the Time Master near them because they couldn’t see anyone using a room. I still don’t know who kept doing that.

My favorite part is that it’s made by Analog Data Systems yet has a digital display.

Summer NT Daily 08 Jun, 2007

I spent yesterday evening at the offices of the NT Daily as a copy intern for them. Lots of fun. I'm keeping a weblog of my experiences at /ntdaily so it doesn't clutter up my main writings. Check it out, go add the feed, and I'll update each week when we publish.

Developing the hgbook 02 Jun, 2007

I finally had a few spare minutes to start reading more about alternate version control systems and was impressed to discover there's a hgbook in progress (in the same spirit as the svnbook).

Here are some notes that may be helpful to others starting work:

  • First, some prereqs. You'll need tex4ht which will pull in tetex as a dependency. This is where epstopdf comes from. You'll need inkscape which has lots of deps. /usr/bin/merge appears to be part of rcs.
  • If you don't have a font called 'courier' any svg files will end up with monospaced text all jumbled together. Add this to your ~/.fonts.conf file:
        <match target="pattern">
            <test qual="any" name="family">
            <edit name="family" mode="assign">
  • Apparently inkscape tries to pop up some window even when running from a terminal. Make sure to unset $DISPLAY if you're operating remotely.
  • If you're just starting out with hg, make sure you set your username in ~/.hgrc like
    username = Bob Smith <mail@example.com>
  • If you have a slowish computer, the examples/bisect script will run too slowly and be killed. If this happens, increase the second timeout value in examples/run-example, make clean and try again. It leaves a bad file around when the example fails, so you must run make clean.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to run the examples where they are, even though they look like shell scripts. They will mess up your repository. A lot.

Research Assistant 01 Jun, 2007

Yesterday was my last day working for the College of Business at UNT. It's been a fun five years, outlasting two supervisors, but it's time to move on. Starting tomorrow I'll be a research assistant for the Computer Systems Research Lab in the department of Computer Science.

Here's where I was in COBA:
My desk in COBA, May 2007
...and where I moved to in CSCI:
Computer Science Rm. F232
Here's my little 20 square feet of the world:
My desk in Computer Science, June 2007