Things you find googling yourself

In no particular order.

  • The Hotline File Transfer Protocol v1.1.1.  I presume I was interested in, or actively doing, a third party Hotline client.  I did tend to make lots of data transfer clients back then (e.g. HTTP, FTP, even POP3 & SMTP).
  • My little gallery of childhood toys & memorabilia.  I hadn’t forgotten about this per se, but it’d certainly been a long time since I’d look at it.  In hindsight I’m really glad I took the time to take these photos – most of this stuff is long gone now, so the photos are all the remains to pique my nostalgia.
  • Apparently I discovered some ‘fix’ for Apple breaking dial-up modems in a Mac OS X Jaguar (10.2.4) update.  I vaguely recall that, though I’m pretty sure that’s not the only time I’ve had to fix stupid regressions in Mac OS X by reinstalling frameworks, kexts, etc from a prior OS build.  Sigh.
  • I’m listed in the National Park Foundation’s 2015 donor list.  I’m also in the 2016 one too, though it doesn’t show up in a web search [yet], and expect to be in the 2017 one as well.
  • Steven Troughton-Smith gives a call out to me (among others) in his little SceneKit demo program and his pretty impressive “OpenWorldTest” (i.e. Minecraft tech demo clone).  I don’t recall have any specific contribution, but way back when Steven & I did chat a bunch about SceneKit, and other topics.
    • It tickles me now, though I haven’t talked to Steven much in years, that his name appears increasingly often in pretty high profile places (e.g. the ATP podcast mentions him almost every episode lately).  He’s certainly made a name for himself.
    • Someone called “Taka Taka” has also run with OpenWorldTest a bit, to add VR support among other things.  Nothing to do with me any more than Steven’s original version – I mention it just because it’s cool.
  • I’m cited in the USF Maritime Law Journal (alas a broken link as I write).  Yep, I’m a big mover & shaker in the legal circle… which is to say, Marisa had an article published there and thanked me for supporting her as she wrote it. 😉
  • In reference to my hacking on CoreGraphicsServices, Nat! (no other name given, as far as I can see) wrote a journal entry about how some people in the Apple community can be, well, wet towels.
  • A bajillion years ago I wrote the Keychain Framework, a relatively clean ‘Cocoa’ (Objective-C & Foundation) framework that wrapped Apple’s C-based libraries for keychain access & basic security functionality (which is in turn an implementation & based on the CDSA ‘standard’ that nobody but Apple appears to have ever actually implemented).  Anyway, apparently it’s used in SQLEditor.  I’m pretty stoked – I sunk a spectacular amount of time into that framework, for very dubious benefit in hindsight. 😕
  • And another old pet project that shows up is my Mailcash plug-in for Apple Mail.  This was an implementation of Hashcash, which I still think is a neat idea for reducing email spam, by making senders ‘pay’ for every email like a virtual stamp.  I have no idea if anyone ever really adopted it, nor if my Apple Mail plug-in still works at all.  Presumably not – I recall Apple Mail breaking plug-ins repeatedly over the last ten years or so, since I wrote Mailcash.
    • Oh how easy it is to date an open-source project when it’s still hosted on Sourceforge.  Poor, sad, lost-its-way Sourceforge.

Curiously, there’s several other open-source projects of mine on Sourceforge that don’t show up in a web search for my name:

  • Build Installer, a template for software installers that build the software from source on the user’s machine – assuming they’ve installed Apple’s developer tools, that is.  From memory this was inspired by the tedious and error-prone nature of various open-source projects, w.r.t. how they distributed & installed their software on Mac OS X.  Sadly, nothing much has changed – there’s now brew & such package managers, but in my experience they make just as a big a mess as doing it manually & ad-hoc did.
  • DePC, a tool for stripping files of those nasty DOS-based file extensions, and instead setting the files’ type & creator codes correctly.  Sigh… I lost that battle.  To this day I still think that was a bad choice, that Apple made, to cave in to file extensions.  They’re still ugly and error-prone.
  • Mission to the ISS, the horrible group project I did with various folks in university, for the CSE32PRO (3rd-year Computer Science Project) class.  Back in 2004, I’d guess, based on the open-source release being in January 2005.  That was a fun project in many ways, though the end result was a bit embarrassing – we ran out of time, during the class, to actually finish it properly, so for example the underlying algorithms that control the simulation are fundamentally step-based, but are stepped every time the user provides any input, so high user interaction makes the simulation run faster than intended, with silly and sometimes outright broken results.  Sad panda.

Rotated Windows

I’d forgotten about this until I stumbled across a reference to it again recently.

This was a little hack I worked on back in 2004, with Mac OS X Tiger (10.4).  Yes, kids, macOS was called Mac OS X back in ye Olden Times.

Rotated Windows example screenshot

Wow, Slashdot looked even uglier than I remember, back then.  Though amusingly my daily reading list hasn’t changed substantially – it still features Slashdot and MacSurfer’s Headline News.

Also… 1024 x 768.  That’s just over 5% of the resolution of my current display (27″ Retina iMac).  It’s nearly as big as my iPhone 6s’s screen.

Man, do I not miss those shitty old monitors.

I don’t recall what the exact impetus was for the project.  I do recall that I was spurred on by Claus Atzenbeck, who was doing some kind of academic work into graphical user interfaces and, IIRC, wanted a way to explore window rotation and general manipulation in a real OS.

Claus’s personal website still exists, all these years later, though alas the link to his relevant research is now broken.

What reminded me of this was finding an attribution to me in a header file that was associated with the project – CoreGraphicsServices.h.  This was something I generated (presumably with the help of class-dump or similar) from the CoreGraphicsServices framework, and then partially reverse-engineered (in the sense of figuring out parameter types, function prerequisites, etc).  It’s what was necessary to find & use the private APIs for doing window geometry manipulation.

And the only reason my name is on it is because I splatted a 3-clause BSD license into the header file I made, which in hindsight seems highly dubious since the APIs themselves are owned by Apple (insofar as one can ‘own’ APIs, I guess…).

A quick web search reveals a few more mentions:

The source & other paraphernalia were originally posted on my La Trobe University student web hosting account, though of course that’s long gone.  Here’s the original StuffIt archive, if you’re interested.  I don’t actually know if it’s the very latest version – I do still have the project in full – but it’s the latest version I ever published, AFAIR.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader on how to decompress StuffIt files in this day and age. 🙂