May 12th, 2008

geocaching

Back!

Somewhere this weekend, I cured myself of this bastard flu.

Sunday, we visited grandma. It was nice to see everyone again, but because everyone was talking at once, I'm not so sure grandma could hear everything. She wanted to take us to the pier to eat, but with the nice weather and the holiday, we were quite sure that it would be quite packed there... We have a week off the week after next, and we'll visit her then and take her to the pier when it's a bit quieter.

Today, we had a lovely caching day. We went back to a multi where we couldn't find the third waypoint, but with a little help from the maker we did manage to find it today -- even after not too much searching either! From then on it was quite smooth sailing, and we visited many small pieces of nature that are strung throughout the countryside there.
Earlier, Den Bosch laid in a swamp, and these natural defenses made it impossible to take. Until someone really determined came along. He built dykes around the city, and used mills to get the water out of there -- or at least low enough so his troops could attack! And so Den Bosch was taken...
But these dykes are still recognisable in the landscape, and most of them are now wooded paths that are open to the public, smack-dab in the middle of otherwise agricultural land. Our routes today led through a few of those dykes, which is really nice and unique of that place.
Unfortunately, the cache itself was guarded by mutant mosquitos that stung even through klik's jeans, so we didn't spend a lot of time there, writing in the logbook.

Then we did another multi through the same area, but a shorter one. We found all waypoints, but the cache location was a bit hazy, and the hint ('underneath a fallen [tree]') could have been any of the five hundred trees that had been felled there... At least the walk was gorgeous, and we didn't have to compete with the cyclists for space too much. I swear, everyone and their brother was out today, and it took quite a bit of attention to navigate the street safely!

Tomorrow, it is back into the grind once again! I start of quite nicely with a visit to a client too. At least I don't have to leave at the crack of dawn, and someone else is driving. :)
ADM3A

Transitioning...

I'm busy with rewriting my FitOnCD application.

The original version is programmed in VB6, and calculates the optimal filling of CDs with fansubs, according to various heuristics -- I added a DVD setting later. It can use Nero to burn the episodes to a DVD+R, and then records the series & episodes in the CDIndex database for later retrieval.
Obviously, it only works under Windows -- so if I want to burn off a bunch of fansubs these days, I gotta boot back into WinXP to do it. Clearly, that won't do, as I remarked earlier. CDIndex has been (partly) rewritten as a series of PHP pages, and so it was time to tackle FitOnCD. As it needs extensive access to the filesystem, this had to be a proper application, and not some web-based progsel.

And so I dusted off my Python book, and dove back into Python and PyGTK.

The new FitOnCD already does a lot of stuff. It traverses the disc, looking for fansubs. It parses file names for episode numbers. It can rename a single file or automatically rename all episodes into a uniform pattern. It calculates an optimal filling for a disc. It can write that filling into a Brasero project file (which, sadly, seems to be lacking the capabilities to set a volume label).
Now I'm busy with writing the episode information into the CDIndex database. And then I find that low-level control over some things is fine and dandy, but it's a lot of hassle to get slightly non-standard things done. For instance, to run a modal dialog, I have to subclass GtkDialog, and add my own events in, chant the right magic runes, and only then will it work. In VB, I could simply create a new form, add my controls and code to it, and call it with something like 'MyForm.Show 1' to have it shown modal.

I'm sure it's architecturally so much better to do it the hard way, but I'm not in the business of making architecture. I'm trying to make a quick and easy application to solve one of my problems. So far the experience has been mixed: some things are easier, other things a lot harder. If there was a VB equivalent, I'd go (back) to it in an instant.