braden is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Braden McDaniel
Member since: 2000-11-19 23:45:17
Last Login: 2010-10-13 16:38:57

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I'm the maintainer of OpenVRML, an LGPL library for rendering VRML. I am a software engineer at SAIC where I work on TENA. C++ is my language of choice; though I have not been able to avoid learning Java reasonably well. I'm trying to improve my handle on a few scripting languages (Perl, Python, Tcl).



Recent blog entries by braden

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I have been rebuilding my home server machine (using Fedora 16) after having to replace the drive. Enough has changed in the packages I’m using (and enough was inadequate or just poorly understood about my previous configuration) that I opted to start more-or-less from scratch.

Kerberos + OpenLDAP + NFS. I want shared home directories (that just might be capable of roaming) and a shared address book. I am surprised that this remains so complicated and poorly documented. Well, calling it “poorly documented” isn’t entirely fair. The packages involved have ample documentation. But that documentation seems generally to be targeted at someone who has some interest in becoming an expert. I do not want to be an expert at this. There are some “how-to”-style guides written by some generous souls on the net; but most of them are out of date and/or cover slightly different scenarios and/or different Linux distributions (which can have nontrivially different default configurations of some packages).

In the face of this, I dipped my toe in FreeIPA. FreeIPA is a project that’s supposed to simplify a lot of this. But it’s not for me. My biggest problem with it is that it targets the enterprise use case and, as such, does a lot of things that I really don’t care about. I also didn’t care for the fact that, for management, it depends on a Web application that I couldn’t get to work anywhere but Firefox.

So, in spite of my frustration with OpenLDAP, I have opted to press forward with it. And my thick-headedness is finally bearing fruit. I have managed to get Kerberos and OpenLDAP playing nicely together, with Kerberos using LDAP for its database. I’ve even found an LDAP browser that doesn’t suck.

Write-ups on how to string this stuff together on modern Fedora will be forthcoming.

Syndicated 2012-04-10 09:03:21 from endoframe :: log

5 Jul 2010 (updated 4 Mar 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »


I use a Kinesis ergonomic keyboard. I use a mouse as well; but I like having a touchpad handy. They’re especially convenient for scrolling without going to the mouse.

Considering how widespread touchpads are on laptops, they’re rather scarce as desktop accessories. Aside from Cirque’s Smart Cat line (also rebranded by Adesso), there’s really not much out there.

I tried perching a Smart Cat in the (rather abundant) space between the Kinesis keyboards key wells. I had to replace the rubber feet with thicker ones to raise it up a tad; this surface of the keyboard where it sits is slightly convex. But it was never as convenient to use as I’d hoped. I thought this was because, between the rubber feet and the thickness of the device, it just wound up being raised up too much.

I came across a few months back. This site looks like it could have been adapted from a television infomercial; so someone capable of firing a synapse will naturally feel somewhat embarassed while looking at it. What they’re selling is simply a touchpad with the same characteristics as the Cirque GlidePoint (i.e., tap-click, secondary tap-click in the upper right corner, vertical scroll on the right) with no bezel or housing to speak of—just a velcro backing. Two sizes are available. The larger one fits comfortably in the same spot where I had the Smart Cat; and I figured it would resolve the height issue I had with the Smart Cat.

And I suppose it did. But rather than be easy to use, it just pointed out that the device height wasn’t really the problem. The problem was that I still had to pick my hand up off the keyboard to use it. And if I was going to do that, I might as well use the mouse.

So now I’ve got the little one positioned between the thumb keys on the keyboard. This works pretty well. I can just slight my right hand over a bit to work the scroll area; and if I pivot my hand, I can work the touchpad with my index finger.

Kinesis keyboard with touchpad

Kinesis keyboard with touchpad

Syndicated 2010-07-05 06:52:33 (Updated 2011-03-04 21:04:32) from endoframe :: log

Linux HD HTPC: Forget it?

So I’ve been pondering the prospect of building a Linux HTPC using MythTV. Unfortunately, the HD picture looks…bleak.

From what I’ve been able to find out from browsing the MythTV wiki, you can get Linux-supported cards that can read an unencrypted HD signal; but service providers encrypt everything but your local channels. So what’s the fucking point?

It appears that one’s options are to either get a Windows PC equipped with a CableCARD, or TiVo.

Well, I’m not setting up a Windows PC for this. No way.

I’d been idly wondering how TiVo manages to stay in business these days; but now that I look at what they’re offering, it’s not a bad deal. They charge for the box less than it would cost me to build an HTPC that I’d be satisified with. Their box is probably smaller, too. And I see it has an eSATA port; so hopefully that means that it can record to an external drive. Their service fee is a bit less than what Verizon wants to charge me for their DVR. Now, Verizon has waived their DVR equipment fee for the first year; but after that year, TiVo’s deal will look even more attractive.

Syndicated 2010-07-03 04:42:43 (Updated 2010-07-03 05:09:48) from endoframe :: log

3.0th time’s the charm?

I’ve upgraded to WordPress 3.0. I’d like to think that the security holes that have accommodated previous defacements of this site have been fixed; but I’m really not terribly optimistic. We’ll see.

Syndicated 2010-06-21 07:09:15 (Updated 2010-06-21 07:10:40) from endoframe :: log

New autoconf-gl-macros release

Wow, it’s been more than a year since a release of this package. Not bad.

Today’s release just fixes a problem on some Windows configurations (64-bit MinGW, at least), where <windows.h> must be included in order for autoconf to detect <GL/gl.h> as usable.

In order to streamline GtkGLExt’s (and to provide decent support for the coming Quartz backend), I started using the macros there. So that’s a bit more exposure and exercise they’re getting.

Syndicated 2010-01-25 21:11:36 from endoframe :: log

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