Happenings in Python and Portland

In Python

Definitely been enjoying my mostly pure Python hacking recently. It feels so…empowering. Like I can just sit down and bend the computer to my will, instead of fighting details.
Some updates from that front:

  • Put up the code for the guest-account project for Fedora, based on a quick discussion/design session with Bryan about how we can improve account creation and login process. The current code is functional but could use a bit of polish. I had to drop back into C-land to make GDM able to execute my little PyGTK program, but it works. Hoping to squish some of the details in that patch and get it into GDM, then the guest-account programs polished, probably into GNOME SVN, and packaged for Fedora.
  • On the bigboard front, Owen landed a patch for integrating his really cool data model stuff so we get efficient updates from the server. When I get back, going to take a look at using this to help fix temporarily-disconnected operation and caching issues
  • While stuck at the Chicago airport yesterday (and I do mean basically all of yesterday, thanks United), spent a bit of time getting a new release of Hotwire out the door. Nothing earth-shattering, but some important bugs have been fixed, and I’m getting ready to add a dependency on Twisted so Hotwire can start doing some cool things over ssh.

In Portland

Some quick facts about Portland I have discovered in my first day here:

No sales tax

Seeing an item listed at $2.95, walking up to the register, and actually paying $2.95 (instead of $3.1x and therefore receiving a big pile of change) is something I could get used to. Really fast.

Punk lives

Portland has quite a lot of punk. If I still had my early-college ear piercings I’d probably fit in better. I first realized Portland was punk when a 50s-ish woman with dyed blue hair, black leather jacket, and this T-shirt (unrelated photo found via Google image search) walked by while I was eating lunch.
Unfortunately on this trip, I managed to forget my camera. Now if you saw my earlier attempts at photography, you may not consider my inability to take high-resolution photos a great loss to the Internet. However – I had to bust out my phone to get this picture while I was wandering downtown:

Punk guy with Siamese cat perched on shoulder

The cat seemed…well practiced at staying in that position. I have to admit, witnessing punk-guy-with-siamese-cat-on-shoulder was a new experience for me.

Portland is not flat

This one kind of messed up my plan to use my Hypno skates as my primary means of transportation. Because multiple people independently recommended it (and it was close to my hotel), I went to check out the Portland Japanese Garden. Which was very cool, albeit deceptively small. However, my plan to skate there didn’t exactly work out:

Slightly hilly
I had two choices for speed, embodied by the above photo: Thigh-exhaustingly slow, or pedestrian-creaming no-hope-of-stopping fast. I spent most of the time with my blades detached, walking.

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