Author Archives: Charles Severance

A Simple New Post in WordPress

This is a pretty simple new post – the first one in WordPress.

I wonder how paragraph spacing works.  It seems as though my paragraphs turned into br tags on my older posts.

Ah well – at least I got them converted and old urls are all working.

Here is some Python code:

print "Hello world!"
print "The end"

And I have comments so folks can better disagree with me!

Here I am in SchipolI

Here I am in Schipol

I flew on a 777 for the first time. The personal video stuff is very cool – ruined my sleep and my productivity – but it made a trip to Europe feel like a trip to the west coast. I sat next to some servicemen going back to Kuwait after a Christmas leave.
They have wireless for 10.00 EUR per day. Tres cool.
I need to sleep – but unlimited free coffee and convenient wireless beckons.

Mac OS 9 after a

Mac OS 9 after a clean install of OS / X
I learned of a really cool thing – PSYNC for Mac OS from my buddy Nestor and borrowed a firewire drive from my buddy Paul with the intent to move from my beat up Mac G3 portable to a shiny G3 with a working PCMCIA slot (to test the Aircard of course).
So I am cruising along with the psync – cool enough after fixing a bug in the Perl file libraries… I seem to be cursed…
I had my backup made and was about to blast the new destination computer when I saw that it had the MAC OS/9 stuff on it. I have searched and searched how to add Mac OS/9 to a system after the OS/X was installed with an extended partition and NO ONE knew how to do it.
No one knows because apparently I am the only idiot who like to completely format their disk when putting a new OS on. Once the partition is extended OS/9 install cannot write to is – fooey.
But I saw two folders on the new computer the OS/9 Applications and System Folder – I figured – what would happen if I just copied those two folders to my nice firewire drive and moved them to my old PC. Viola Mac OS/9 worked.
So word up – it works OK.

Experiences with Aircard 750I really

Experiences with Aircard 750

I really tried very hard to make the Aircard 750/Tmobile work with my macintosh over the last few hours.
There is a free driver at and a pay driver at
Both released new versions in December which hang in an infinite loop when you dial with them. Cheeze.
So I went through the code and recompiled a bunch of variants, making tiny changes to the code for about 3 hours and the result was always the same – some changes made it so the card could not be found and other changes allowed the card to be found but it hung instantly once it was used.
So close and so far. The Aircard goes back to T-Mobile. Fooey. It looked so cool.

Back home

Back home

Well this week was very busy. How busy you ask – well here is a little story.
I got 4 hours of sleep on Tuesday night, 2 hours Wednesday night and was scheduled for 4 hours Thursday night. But at 3AM someone pulled a fire alarm and the alarm went off – of course they cannot just turn it off – the firedudes must come and turn it off. So I joined my other hotel guests in the lobby watching the firemen go and re-check for the fire that was not there for about 45 minutes before turning off the alarm. So I got back to sleep about 4:30.
I got my 7AM wakeup call and closed my eyes and it was 7:45 – so I rushed to take a shower and threw on my suit and got to my 8:00 meeting 10 minutes late. Meeting went smoothly – then after that meeting there were three non-stop meetings at different locations 9-10, 10-12, and then I took some people to the airport just in time to use my cell to join a 1:00 meeting in progress that I had planned to attend while driving home.
Happily involved in the meeting I began the drive home (pretty clever huh??). The meeting went well and took about an hour – all the while the Illinois country side was slipping by at 70 mph.
I hung up the phone at the end of the meeting and quickly went to my next mental list of people to call and things to think about for the rest of the trip home. Within about 30 seconds I realized that I had never packed or checked out of the hotel. I leave tomorrow for South Africa.
What to do. Simple. Turn around and drive 70 more miles back to the hotel to pack and check out. Then turn around again for the 325 mile trip home.
Ah well. The business end of the meetings went well – so I guess that was cool.

Don’t get me started about

Don’t get me started about Certificate support on Mac OS/X
It is 3AM and I just killed myself trying to figure out where to get various browsers/JVM’s to trust a simple certificate. Here are some notes.
Mac OS/X does JVM 1.4 but has 1.3 installed as well. There are three places that you need to get certs trusted:
/System/Library/Keychains/X509Anchors is where much of the mainstream tools look for certs – there is a tool called certtool – just Google X590Anchors to see how to do it. Follow the einstructions exactly – the X509Anchors file must be in ~/Library/Keychains/X509Anchors or the certtool won’t work.
The JVMs have their own little places to trust certificates:
Here are some commands that I found useful:
keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias NCSA -file /tmp/4a6cd8b1.0 -keystore cacerts
keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias cee-nees -file /tmp/hostcert.der -keystore cacerts
The password is changeit
Here is a useful command (with variants)
openssl x509 -in histcert.pem -inform pem -out hostcert.der -outform der
This allows you to convert certs.

Hanging out at NCSAThis week

Hanging out at NCSA
This week I will be hanging out at UIUC (Illionis) getting ready for the NEES site visit on Thursday and Friday.
But since it is the first of the year there are a lot of other things that need to be done on Sakai etc etc etc.
Here we go for 2004 – it will be a crazy ride.

BUG in NWA.COMI was trying

I was trying to look at fares on January 30, 2004 throuth February 7, 2004 and the insisted that January 30, 2004 was in the past.
I assume the problem was that I was running the code on January 1, 2004 at 1:54 AM Eastern time and so we have a situation where it is not clear exactly what year it is. The code in NWA was probably in a later time zone and thought it was still 2003. That is very very cool.