November 29, 2002

Fini?

Sometimes trying to help people and trying to be nice just doesn’t seem to be good enough. Certain things have come up in my life which might mean that I give up on all of this – the journals, the development work everything. At the moment, I am not sure where things stand but by tomorrow I might decide to delete this site and a few other journals online as well as take down my software related sites as well. At the moment, I just feel so sad and bereft of all support … I am really wondering if it is all an illusion and the people around me are as nice as I’d thought all of them to be. Oh well, this is just to warn those who might read this page – since I don’t want to suddenly stop writing or take the site down completely and leave you all wondering. It’s been fun knowing you all and in some cases it has been a real privilege. Thank you for the good times and the bad times were probably my own fault… See ya on the flip side!

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Posted by Fahim at 4:13 pm  |  5 Comments

November 28, 2002

Nothing much at all in the way of coding I’m afraid. I wanted to do some further checking on the proxy problems with BlogMan yesterday with a different proxy server but all the free proxy servers out there seem to require the editing of a configuration file with a text editor whereas I’d rather tinker with a GUI – hmm, I guess Windows *has* spoilt me :p So I keep on looking around for other proxy servers to download and that’s about all I do. Plus, yesterday was a fairly busy day since I had quite a few other things going on so not much time to code :-(

In other news however, I have set up another support forum since Jen was kind enough to let me have it at her domain :-) Why another forum you may ask? Because I have received complaints about the ezBoard forums being almost impossible to access/login to at certain times of the day. I would like it if people can test out the new forums and let me know if the access speeds are acceptable. I’m afraid that certain features like the poll forums and the chatting will not be available with the PHPBB forums but I think reliability and ease of access is the key thing and then if the other stuff is needed I might be able to add it in somehow. So go check out both the ezBoard forums and the forums at Jen’s domain and let me know what you think :-)

I should also mention that I asked for somebody to host the forums for me and Collin was kind enough to step forward and offer to host them on his server. Thanks Collin!

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Posted by Fahim at 5:33 am  |  11 Comments

November 27, 2002

Of friends and the past ..

All the testing on BlogMan yesterday meant that I made no post here at all but to find out all the techy junk, you’ll have to read the other blog :p I have found a new friend who is one of those select few who enter my "inner circle" :p I make friends easily but I don’t let most people know about the weird stuff that goes through my head – OK, you may beg to differ since I write about a lot of things here that are totally weird (or maybe not – depending on how you look at it <g>) but then again I don’t write about *everything* here. There are things I leave out – personal stuff, the weirdest theories I have about the world and reality etc.

I feel a bit of a duality here and also feel me going off at a tangent (and not talking about what I originally intended to talk about – but let me save that for another day and follow this thread of thought …) Now most of the time, I say my life is an open book and everybody is free to know anything about me. Heck, I write about almost everything in my life on this journal … but that’s not quite true because for the longest time I never spoke about my former marriage, my ex-wife or my son. The reason I carefully left those things out has nothing to do with how I feel about privacy at all but rather to do with Sri Lanka and how things are perceived here … basically it was to save my parents from heartache and embarrassment (though I can never understand why *they( should be embarrassed about something that I did) in case somebody from Sri Lanka or our family read this journal. I’ve decided to totally let go recently though and so am willing to talk about even the stuff that I didn’t talk about earlier.

Again, my comments need a little bit of explanation – at least about the Sri Lankan society bit. Here in Sri Lanka, everything is stratified and compartmentalized – you marry from your own class, own race, own religion and anybody who strays outside is an embarrassment and usually ostracized by their family. I have never cared for this kind of behaviour or this kind of society and didn’t really worry about how others felt when I got married but then it became evident that this was a source of great mental agony to my parents and to spare them any further anguish and embarrassment when dealing with our relatives, I refrained from talking about my marriage and later divorce on my journal. Then I came back to Sri Lanka and my parents wanted me to get married again and that made it an issue again because a person who has been married is sort of "devalued" in the marriage market. I have always had problems with the fact that my former marriage was not mentioned when my parents wanted to find a bride for me and I always intended to let the girl know before everything was finalized if it ever came to that because I wouldn’t have felt at all comfortable in getting married to a girl under false pretenses. However, that never came to be fortunately since I told my parents that I wasn’t interested in marriage at the moment :p

OK, I see I have really strayed now … But I guess what I was trying to get at was that these pages are an open window into my life and I talk about everything in my life (at least now) here but that does not mean that this is the sum total of my thoughts and experiences. There are still areas that I will not talk about here just because it involves other people and that’s the issue I really wanted to write about today but since I’ve already written at length, let me save that for tomorrow :-)

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Posted by Fahim at 7:59 am  |  No Comments

Some of you who only visit www.farook.org or fahim.razorsys.com might have been surprised to find no new updates yesterday or to suddenly find a post for both today and yesterday when there was nothing yesterday :p What happened was that I did my e-mails and created my post for the day as usual before I left for work and then discovered that the RazorSys server was down and so I couldn’t update my blog nor retrieve/send my e-mail. So I updated the Nortiq mirror with my post but not RazorSys. Of course, I later revised the entry in the evening because I had forgotten to add something but that’s another story … Anyway, I updated in the evening when I got back from work and everything should be OK – unless, I can’t post again today :p

Most of yesterday’s coding time was spent struggling with BlogMan – as I mentioned yesterday, Greg found the solution to the proxy problem and I happily put it into effect thinking that I’d have a new build out within the hour but so much for the plans of mice and men :p The code revision would not work at all with my proxy server! The Indy HTTP component has a BasicAuthentication value in both the proxy parameters property and the request header property. I had thought (and so the documentation also seemed to imply) that the BasicAuthentication value on the request header referred to the actual server end of the transaction – whether to use authentication to process the request and not to verify whether to authentication on the proxy. But on my side of things at least, the proxy authentication would work only if I set the BasicAuthentication to true for the request property as well. This worked fine for a GET request, but a POST request was another matter …

I found that a POST request wouldn’t go through the proxy (the one I was using at least) with even the BasicAuthentication on the request property set. So then I set the user name and password for the request property to the proxy authentication user name and password and this got me through the proxy but the POST request failed at the server. This kind of confirms my fears because I had thought that the user name and password for the request property was again to be used only for authentication at the server end and not the proxy itself. So I’m left with three possibilities: 1) the proxy server that I use is buggy – which is possible since it’s a freeware one without much documentation or support 2) the Indy component has a bug – not quite so possible since it did seem to work for Greg 3) I don’t know what the heck I am doing and am botching a perfectly simple thing – which is absolutely possible :p Anyway, I am trying to find another free proxy server which supports authentication and is easy to use and configure so that I can test the BlogMan code again with it. I’ll keep you updated as to what happens …

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Posted by Fahim at 5:28 am  |  No Comments

November 26, 2002

First of all, here is the link to Ampersand’s blog called Alas, A Blog (sorry if I mangled the name, Ampersand :p) This was the cartoonist’s blog I was talking about yesterday but didn’t know the link to. I still haven’t e-mailed myself the link from work but Ampersand wrote to me today since I wrote to him yesterday in response to a comment about how he found it amusing that I used MT for my personal blog instead of Blog :p Now, I couldn’t let that pass, could I? <vbg>

Of course, that brings us to the reason for me using MT for Solipsistic Meanderings, BlogMan. I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out the reason why proxy support was not working in BlogMan. I installed FreeProxy (sorry forget the link), which is an excellent free proxy server, on my machine and tried to publish an entry to SM (which incidentally has still not been published) about the troubles that Jen’s been having recently but no go. The proxy server would refuse to authenticate BlogMan and it looked as if BlogMan was not sending the correct login name for the proxy. Since I am using a freeware XMLRPC client library, I took a look at the source and discovered that it was using the Indy HTTP component as I had suspected. I realized that the component automatically set the authentication to non-basic and so assumed (which is always a bad thing :p) that basic authentication did not take login/password and so spent most of the day trying to get digest authentication (another authentication scheme which Indy supports) working but had no luck.

While I had been engaged in my wild goose chase <g>, Greg had also downloaded a demo copy of Delphi 7.0 and had been checking out the Indy proxy authentication stuff. He wrote to me today (at least, I received the e-mail today) and said that when he set the HTTP component to use basic authentication and set a login and password, it connected fine! So there you have it :p That was the solution and it was right in front of me – color me chagrined :p Anyway, thanks to Greg (who has gone to lengths above and beyond those of a beta tester – thanks a bunch Greg!) I should be able to put out a new build of BlogMan today which actually works with proxies. So, onwards and upwards! :-)

I also had another great adventure with Duane yesterday :p Remember the Blog comments problem that Duane had yesterday, well we set to try and discover the cause yesterday and after a flurry of e-mails back and forth it turns out that the problem appears only on Duane’s browser and mine is fine! I was dumbfounded at first because I had thought a browser faithfully reproduced the contents of an HTML file and did not do any insertions, additions of it’s own but in Duane’s case, it seemed to be doing so. He and I were both using IE 6.0 but he had SP1 installed whereas I didn’t. So it looks as if IE 6.0 SP1 might be the culprit but I’ve already heard a few stories about problems with SP1 and am wary of installing SP1 to see if it is indeed the culprit. If anybody is interested, you can go here and if you hover your mouse pointer over the comments link, the e-mail address to send the post to should appear as ABC<[email protected]> but if you have the problem that Duane is experiencing, it would look like AB><[email protected]> I don’t even know if that made any sense :p

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Posted by Fahim at 6:07 am  |  3 Comments

November 25, 2002

When it rains …

(I wrote this entry yesterday – and to confuse things more, it will appear under the right date too – but couldn’t post it due to problems with BlogMan testing)
Jen’s having a real tough time at the moment, first she and Hunter were sick, then her tire had to be replaced, then Hunter got the croup and now her car has been vandalized and her CD player stolen. You sometimes begin to wonder why so many bad things should happen to the same person. It would make sense if it was a bad person but when it happens to somebody who believes in helping others and goes out of their way to do so, you really begin to wonder whether there is any justice in the world.

I will not even get into the whole justice thing because that’s another rant altogether :p But what do you do when you somebody you love for and care for has problems and you are too far away to do anything except pray for them and hope that things turn out right? I am the kind of person who wants to be on hand to help when somebody has problems – especially someone I love – and I feel so helpless when I can’t do anything at all! This is one of the reasons I returned to Sri Lanka – because my parents were over here and I knew I could never be on hand to help them or support them if they had a problem. (Of course, I feel completely useless now that I am here but that’s a different story :p) And now, I feel the same way as regards Jen – I want to be there at least to hug her and to tell her that it’ll be OK but I can’t because I am here. It’s frustrating … Of course, in the meantime, none of this is going to help Jen any …

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Posted by Fahim at 2:15 pm  |  No Comments

It must have been the alignment of the planets, the position of the moon in the sky, the conjugation of the stars or something like that but yesterday was a really bad day for Blog :p People were having trouble all over the place and I had no idea what was causing these problems – OK, maybe I exaggerate … a bit :p There were only three people (that I know of) who had problems but each of their problems is weird and (so far) unexplainable. There was Jen who tried to publish and had Blog stop halfway and just stop responding each time she tried, there was Duane who had the built-in Blog comments link mysteriously drop a character on the subject filter but only when he published to an FTP site – local publishes were fine. And then there is Edward’s wife Trish (the newest member of the Blog family – welcome Trish!) who had unexplainable crashes with Blog under Windows XP whereas Blog has been rock solid for me under XP – and I’m still using 7.0 Beta 5 … hmm.. maybe that’s the problem? :p

In Jen’s case, deleting a couple of files off her FTP site seemed to fix the problems but I still have to find a solution for Duane’s problem – I even got him to send me his blog template and published from here but it works fine at this end. I am stumped. And in Trish’s case, unexplainable crashes are the worst since you really have no idea where to being to look for a cause. Edward and Trish are working on that though and have told me that they’ll get screenshots and detailed error messages the next time it happens. Maybe this is a sign that Blog has reached a certain stage in development and should not be bloated any further? :p I don’t know … but I am going to look into stability very hard now since I’d hate Blog to suddenly degrade into a feature-rich yet unstable product. I’d rather go back to Blog 6.0 if that were the case. However, I still suspect the snippets to be the cause because that code is rather unwieldy and probably buggy due to the convoluted way in which Borland has implemented action bars. I might have to go back and redo that bit and then find that everything works fine. We’ll see …

Speaking of new members to the Blog family, there is another new member that I actually wanted to highlight today since I enjoyed his site very much – but unfortunately, I didn’t e-mail myself his site link from work and so am left without a link. However, do not despair :p He has given the link to his site on the new RookSoft forums under the Blog section – so if you are interested, go there and take a look. He’s a cartoonist and his site is full of the funniest/cutest cartoons – I assume done by him. Plus, there is a hilarious (and yet true) cartoon about the ten best reasons that the US should attack Iraq – OK, let me not get into the politics of it here :p But go take a look … it’s an interesting site.

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Posted by Fahim at 5:50 am  |  1 Comment

November 24, 2002

What is love part deux :p

Hmm … looks as if the timing of yesterday’s post was kind of unfortunate – though I had planned to write that since the day before and it was basically meant to be about what *I* thought about love and what *I* thought it had to be. There are no rules of conduct in this world – each one of us does as our conscience (or whimsy) dictates. As somebody pointed out to me in the GrooupHug mailing list when I said something to the effect "that I always have tried to do what I thought was right", that I would do what *I* think is *right*. Of course, that is basically what I said but I think the other person meant that what I think is right might not be thought of as right by others. I see his point in certain instances but I also know that there are specific things which are thought to be right by everybody in general. Anyway, I digress – as usual :p
Something I had had in mind to mention when I started the whole "What is love" entry was Haddaway and the significance/memories that the song has for me.

Unfortunately, I got caught up in the entry itself and it got a bit emotional for me to actually think about the lighter side of the entry : So here goes the rest of it today … I know that it wasn’t that memorable a movie and that some people said at the time it was released that it should have remained an SNL skit and never made into a movie at all but I still remember that particular scene and the song though I don’t remember much else about the movie at all :p Of course, there are other songs like that that I associate with a movies – for instance there is Gloria Gaynor’s "I will survive" which will always remind me of Keanu and his team of "scabs" mincing around on the football field :p There are other songs like that that I associate with either a movie or a certain situation or moment in my life but I can’t recall all of them or write about all of them here – I’m too busy listening to "What is love?" :p

To me Haddaway’s song will always bring up visions of Will Ferrell and Chris Katan doing there manic dance in front of the bar in "Night at the Roxbury" :p

The new forums are open for business :p Of course, since I have used ezBoard to set it up, some of you may not like it <g> but it was the best customizable and free solution around and so I signed up and set it up. I am on a one month trial Gold membership – I have no idea what Gold membership gives you extra to what free members get but they forced the Gold membership on me and so there I am :p I set up separate discussion groups for all the apps that are available for download, a separate area for general discussions and a poll which is meant especially for DeViLbOi – you’ll see what I mean when you get there … How’s that for a teaser/hook? :p A link is still there on the sidebar to the old forums so that you can still refer to the old questions and answers and maybe find the solution to a problem you may have but I’d appreciate it if you use the new forums from now on for support questions since they provide a lot more functionality and are organized better to provide help for all of you. Plus, they are searchable and so you can find your answers faster – or at least, so I hope :p

I still need to work on BlogMan – I’m sorry Greg, just didn’t find the time yet and there probably is a pretty amateur mistake on the proxy support from what Greg tells me. I just need to sit down and take a look at it – and oh yeah, maybe install a proxy server so that I can see how the communication goes right on my machine :p Edward sat down with BlogMan, just clicked buttons (his words, not mine :p) and found a ton of bugs – I need to fix those too. Of course, I should apologize to everybody at this stage for the general shabbiness of the BlogMan release <g> The UI still is not finalized, there is no switching of certain blog utility specific values off when you are using a different utility and it is not completely tested. I think I did a Microsoft-style beta rather than the normal beta’s I release :p My only excuse is that I really liked to have the functionality and so hurried to complete it and then got busy with other stuff and so decided to release it as it was – which I shouldn’t have. Oh well, no use crying over spilt milk – or should that be split milk? :p

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Posted by Fahim at 5:38 am  |  1 Comment

November 23, 2002

What is love?

Haddaway seems kinda appropriate at the moment … Ah well … I am being sad, dejected, introspective again – it’s all in those cycles I talk about. I often wonder what the word love means to people because it doesn’t seem to mean the same to everybody. When I say love, I mean an emotion which is wonderful and glorious, sometimes warm, sometimes exciting, sometimes tender. When I feel love for somebody, I want to do everything in my power to see them happy, to do whatever I can to make their life easier, to be there to offer a helping hand, to share their joys but also their sorrows. To me love is unselfish – putting your loved ones before yourself sometimes even at some personal inconvenience to yourself – just because you love them.

But I get the feeling that at lest to a part of the world, love seems to be just an excuse to have sex or to get to know somebody and to be with them and get them to do whatever you want them to do. It seems to be just take, take and take, no give. There is no concern for the other person, no eagerness to see them to, to talk to them or to just get a glimpse of them because your heart longs for the one you love. It seems to be all about what can they do for me rather than how can I make them happy or at the least, how can we be happy together? Why is it always me, me, me? Or am I just expecting too much in this day and age? Isn’t romantic love – the pure kind of love which just wants the best for your love there anymore? That can’t be the case since I know of people who do share that kind of love but maybe it’s not as prevalent as we are led to believe … Who knows indeed since I am just one person and you can never know how it looks from the other side …

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Posted by Fahim at 9:50 am  |  2 Comments

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