Siggnal

I’ve got a new project in the works. Siggnal is a tool for putting objective numbers on your Twitter feed. Log in to mark tweets as siggnal or noise, and then visit the dashboard to see who might be bringing your quality down, or is just too much volume. (Seeing the hard numbers finally convinced me to swap newsyc50 for 150)

It is very, very, rough right now, but it’s meeting my personal needs. Freed Brooks wrote that it takes three times the effort to take something that basically works and turn it into a product. I rather think he underestimated.

Refactoring the Web Site

ComputerGeneratedDreams.com has always been an odd kind of hodge podge of old software, newer software, and development libraries. With my recent decision to try out Disk Clock in some of the new app stores, it’s getting it’s own web site at DiskClock.com Currently, this just ports over the existing content, and takes advantage of the dedicated site to spread out and make itself more at home. Removing Disk Clock actually leaves CGD somewhat barren, but that’s only the beginning.

One of the refactorings is having CGD focus more on products. With Wondible.com taking over the developer identity, it doesn’t make much sense to be mixing in prototype libraries with commercial products. The rise of social code hosting systems has pointed the way to README files as a better way to communicate with the developers who might want to use the libraries.

Since the older DOS software isn’t expected to change much, it’s likely to stay as static pages pointed to by the new blog style site.

And finally, ComputerGeneratedDreams.com has always been a mouthful, finger-full, and business-card e-mail over-full. Hereafter, the canonical web site is ComGenDre.com with ComputerGeneratedDreams.com as an “obvious name” alias.

Public Domain

A belated holiday present: I’m releasing all my old software – probably written somewhere between 1985 and 1994 – into the public domain. I’ve dredged up most of the source code, but no promises – I don’t have any of the compilers these were written on (and if even if I’ve got install disks packed away somewhere, I don’t have the operating systems in working order)

There are even a few things I hadn’t previously released before.

New for Spring

A meandering discussion of events mostly recent, some slightly old, and a small number rather far past. Including the revelation that my software label, Computer Generated Dreams, now has an independent web site, an expanded logo, business cards, and official registration with the county. Relating also the various and sundry difficulties encountered in the obtaining thereof.

New Address

http://ComputerGeneratedDreams.com went live some time Sunday night.

Or later depending on DNS propagation; I could access it Monday morning, in any case. I registered the domain almost two years ago when I was setting up JustinLove.name; the domain has been essentially parked as a pointer to my main website since.

CGD has of course existed as a subdirectory of my web site for much longer than I’ve had the domain. Until I get around to figuring out redirection, the last version will be hanging around for a while as well.

New Site

Lots of other things have have changed; I’m trying out a new web host, Pair Networks. JL.N will be following shortly; it’s currently on Godaddy, which offers basic service; I’m also looking to move the domain registration at some point; I’m okay now, but before I got the new computer I couldn’t use their domain management interface from home because it didn’t degrade gracefully. If all goes well the martial arts pages may be coming along as well; I like a lot of things about DreamHost, but they can’t send e-mail to AOL, and several of our instructors have AOL addresses.

The internal structure changed considerably also. I spent a little time looking to see if there were any good content management systems, but the weekend (holiday weekend no less, with all the rest of the errands compressed into the remaining day) didn’t permit sufficient investigation.

Disk Clock ended up with a lot more files than the previous programs. Expecting this trend to continue, I made each ‘product’ it’s own directory. There isn’t really a perfect way to organize a web site. The main disadvantage so far is that all the editing tabs show up as ‘index’ when I’m working on it ;^)

New Logo

CGD Logo, large

You’ve probably already seen the new logo, at least the small size version, from an earlier entry on Disk Clock. The CGD is really a compressed format. Originally it had the full words Computer Generated Dreams – perhaps an artifact of being invented on text mode displays – and in a small oversight, the small one wasn’t at print resolution. I finally got around to rebuilding it with the full name. It’s possible I may still do some tweaking for visibility, etc.

Originally, I picked three basic colors more or less at random: blue, yellow, red. When I started redesigning, I thought that red, green, blue would make much more sense given the ‘computer’ theme. Of course, that throws off the web site color scheme; I had to re-color links from yellow to green to maintain the concept. I’ll also have to replace the horizontal rules with something else at some point.

Actually, now that I think about it, I may switch to computer-terminal green for the text and restore links to the default blue. I’ve done some work on the main page layout, but it’s still wanting for a stylistic update all around.

New Cards

I’ve also got to see if the full-words logo works out better for the business cards. Which have been surprisingly useful so far, for my home address if nothing else. The cards have been a bit of trial all around. I probably could have done them in gLabels on my Debian machine easily, but I’m trying to wean myself off that machine since, at it’s age, it might go at any time. I ended up trying out Label Make Professional, an ‘almost-there’ piece of software. In this case, ‘almost’ means that it can’t right-justify text, or rather, right justified text wobbles around and gets cut off. I got no response to a inquiry on the matter.

New Old Name

Why all the fuss and trouble? Can I even go around claiming to be CGD? According to the Kane County Clerk, I can, and if the bank believes them, who am I argue?

Doing Business as CGD

I applied for a Doing-Business-As about a month ago. It was also a bit of trouble. For one, I ended up at the Recorder’s office the first time. They must do something similar in the way of registering business, because they told me I had to talk to the state first, which I recalled seeing nothing about when I researched the matter. So I drove home, grumbling all the way about how The Man was trying to keep small business down with needless red tape. Eventually I found the same place on the state web site where it directed interested parties to their local clerk for DBAs. After finding out ahead of time which building in the sprawling Kane Country Government center housed the clerk, I set off again. I then had to wait a few weeks for publication in the paper; it came back last week.

Yet, you may be still wondering, “Why all the fuss and trouble.” For one, I’d like to give people the option of giving me money if they like something I’ve done. It would be nice to actually have a paypal account for CGD, and no doubt PayPal wouldn’t take kindly to multiple registrations for the same bank account. I suppose you could say the whole thing exists for the express purpose fooling PayPal into letting me have both a no-charge personal account and credit-cards-but-fees merchant account; of course that kind of separation is sort of exactly why the whole system of business registration and such exists.

You might notice the rest of the software on the web page is pretty old. When I went off to collage Turbo C++ crashed and burned on my newfangled PC. I quickly got caught up in classes and the social rounds of C&G. The rebirth of CGD is picking up a torch I dropped fourteen-or-so years ago.