Name: Michael Janssen
Member since: 2002-12-18 06:34:40
Last Login: 2010-08-22 14:22:36



I'm a open-source user, and a free-time developer. I use Debian Linux as my main operating system. I think commercial software has suffered under all the bad things about software engineering and none of the good things about it.

The most work I do on an open-source project right now is BitTorrent. I also package some stuff for Debian.

I'm currently working to get a Ph.D in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota.

I'm an avid anime watcher.

Recent blog entries by jamuraa


I found out last week friday that I passed the big test, which means that the next thing to do is figure out exactly what I want to research for a long period of time. Got a little bit of guidance from my advisor - going to look into it a little this week, but I may be working alot with Player/Stage in the future.

Definitely on a regular schedule with the classes and other stuff right now. Math logic isn't turning out to be as bad as it could be, although I haven't been working on the homework for that for a couple days so mabye I'm fooling myself. Got a perfect score on the first homework, finished up the second homework to the best of my ability. I'm not getting as many of the notes typed in as I would like to, but I can do that later, if at all. Didn't solve the "big problem", but I may have gotten close working with someone else.

Internet Programming assignment is due today. The proxy doesn't have as many whiz-bang features as I'd hoped, but it does work. The cache was my reposnsibility, coded it up on sunday, debugged it yesterday. Still has some bugs, but they're related to not failing nicely when a client disconnects before it's done, when you hit the back button halfway through loading a page for example. Next up is probably a Perl or Java Servlet assignment, since that is all we've been talking about in class. It occurs to me that Java Servlets aren't as elegant as something like PHP at generating HTML, but the persistence makes them very enticing. In that same vein, I looked a bit at Prevayler earlier this week.


Still workin, kinda. I've discovered that dieting is very hard to do when you have no food in your house. It's far too easy in this day to just order out for food. Haven't gotten any work in on the new EatWatch software I've been thinking about for a while.

Other Stuff

BitTorrent released 3.3, which is a major improvement. I'm not sure I like the introduction of the nagware component though. A guy has to make a living, but I think that you're more likely to just make people mad at you when you pop up a browser asking for cash when they want to download something for free anyway. Then again, it is open source, so it's really not too hard to rip the nag-code out.

That's all for now. Time to go to lunch.

School is getting to be regular around now. Logic is turning out to be a class that I'm warming up to, but only when I actually get the problems done. Every semester I tell myself that I am going to take notes on paper, and then retype them in LaTeX for posterity on my website somewhere, but I never do it. Here's hoping that this semester is different somehow. I seem to get all of the logic assignments done, which is an accomplishment. There's these "bonus" problems that the professor puts into the assignments, which garner you some kind of reward. Apparently the first one hasn't been solved in 7 years, which doesn't give me high hopes for it. Worse, I think I'll probably spend far too much time trying to solve the problem and fail.

Internet Programming is the other course that I'm taking this semester, and it looks like it will be my ideal course. The first assignment: program a full-featured web proxy+cache in java. I thought that the programming assignments were going to be far less challenging, to the point of being something I wouldn't even consider doing on my own time. This assignment is actually interesting! I'm working with two other people on it, so the assignment is fairly small after all. This could be the perfect difficulty for a first assignment in a graduate course.

Dieting and Exercise

Dieting has been going ok, I guess. I've lost a few pounds since the beginning of this month, which I think is a good thing of course. I've been trying to keep my caloric intake to something around 1500 a day, but sometimes I go over. That's fine, because every metabolic rate calculator I can find tells me that I burn around 2700 calories by just being alive every day. That's a 1200 calorie deficit that I'm trying to keep up -- I'm surprised I'm not hungry all the time. Unfortunately I haven't had time to do anything but pen-and-paper mockups for the new "eat watch" program thing for linux. I'm really surprised that it hasn't been done already. I keep track of my weight daily on a piece of paper I keep next to the scale. Looking at the paper doesn't tell me much about how I'm losing weight, but when I put the numbers in at the end of the month, the graph is always a nice source of positive reinforcement. The excercise program is doing fine as well, but I'm not plaanning on graphinc my progress -- how exciting is a graph that steadily goes up by one every monday anyway?

Incomplete Blogs

I wanted to write more here, but it's time for class. Mabye I'll try the edit function later.
Window Managers

I've been thinking I'm not well suited to GUI design, which I plan to do more often in the near future, because I use ion as my window manager. I feel that I don't have a common usage and that in order to make my experience more "normal", I need to have resizable things. The only thing really keeping me from switching back to fluxbox is getting everything to start. Session management is a really nice thing when you get used to it. While ion doesn't have session management, it's close enough - I make all of my gaim windows appear in a common spot, for instance, which comes in handy because they're not popping up all over the place. I wish I had this feature in fluxbox. I'll probably end up switching to fluxbox sometime tonight or tomorrow.


Lately at work I've been struggling trying to get a Gravis Stinger working with an iPaq running familiar linux, and failing miserably. I'm not sure I'm doing it right at all, so tomorrow I resort to seeing if the controller works on a normal PC. If that works, I'm going to have to make sure my serial connection isn't completely bogus. Mabye I'm using the wrong adapter or something. I wish I had an iPaq to play with at home, it would be a bit of a help.


I find myself wanting to use vi commands in web textarea boxes, well, this one, since it's the only textarea box I write large things in.

This is my first diary entry. I find it interesting that most diaries on advogato have migrated to one of two formats: the one I'm using (or attempting to use) now, and the plain, just typing format. I wonder wether this is because of evolutionary reasons or social reasons. I want to post diary entries on my website as well, because I spent some amount of time making it look nice. I also want to contribute to discussion here. I am faced with the decision of how to split my thoughts or mirror them appropriately. I should look for previous examples.


Since I took a large test earlier this month, I have been thinking off-hand about how to represent the BitTorrent system as a resource or task allocation problem, with the intent of proving some nice properties about the BitTorrent system.

Dieting and Excercise

While I've been on the Hacker's Diet for a few months now, I just recently started the excercise program described within. The words in the book are true -- the program takes minimal time, no pain, and is improving my welfare, or at least I believe so. I do the excercises as soon as I wake in the morning. I wonder while excercising wether it bothers the people who live under me. When I'm doing running and jumping I find it hard to not make a lot of noice. I started thinking of supplementing it with some other excercise, in addition to the 40-60 minutes of walking I get every day for walking to school and back. I've also found that I'm actually making and enjoying salads with my lunches and dinners. I find this strange because I never enjoyed salads before. The dieting part seems to be working fine, which makes me happy and lighter.

I was surprised to find precious few applications for linux that help you do the things in the hacker's diet, which makes me want to write something. My first idea was some sort of program to guide people through the excercise program. Simple instructions for each excercise, with perhaps some diagrams, would help me. It's become a weekly activity to look up the new excercise amounts I need to do, which is annoying. A little GUI application would let me just hit the spacebar and get my count for the current excercise, I think that would be nice.

Useful Karma

I have been renting a bunch of movies from Greencine lately. I've begun to think of ways that I can increase the amount of DVDs that I get out in a month without paying more. Mostly I've been thinking of a Karma system. The downside of using Greencine is that as someone who doesn't live on the west coast, I have 3-4 day delivery times. People who live closer to the source get more value out of the system. A karma system could be developed where I tell Greencine when I put things in the mailbox, and if they get it within a reasonable amount of time from my indication, I get a karma point. If the DVD doesn't arrive in that amount of time, I get a karma point taken away. People with reasonably high karma would qualify for simultaneous delivery, where Greencine sends out the next DVDs when you tell them you send on your end. This would benefit all customers, not just the ones that are far away via USPS. The system would be limited so you would never have more than your current out limit of simultaneous deliveries happening at the same time.

Leisure Work

It's harder and harder to get myself to do leisure work like working on free software projects. I find myself doing too much other stuff.


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