los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens

How to compile glibc

I decided it would be fun to learn how glibc works. My ultimate goal will be to write a "hello world" program in C, for Linux, which does not use glibc.

Anyway, I just succeeded in compiling glibc on Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit. The comments in this shell script explain how I did it:

# Script for building glibc in Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit
# Based on: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=867674

# Prerequisites:
# Create a directory named glibc (or whatever you want).
# Put this script in that directory.
# Put the source of gcc in to a subdirectory named src by running:
#   git clone git://sourceware.org/git/glibc.git src
# Run this script.
# Run:
#   cd build && make
# This will take about an hour and in the end will produce
# a file named libc.so in the build directory.

cd `dirname $0`
rm -Rf build
mkdir build
cd build

cat > configparams <<-EOF
	CFLAGS = -pipe -O2 -fstrict-aliasing -g -mno-tls-direct-seg-refs -fno-stack-protector
	BASH := /bin/bash
	KSH := /bin/bash
	LIBGD = no
	bindir = /usr/bin
	datadir = /usr/share
	localedir = /usr/lib/locale
	sysconfdir = /etc
	libexecdir = /usr/lib
	rootsbindir = /sbin
	includedir = /usr/include
	docdir = /usr/share/doc
	mandir = /usr/share/man
	sbindir = /usr/sbin

CC="gcc -fno-stack-protector -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE" CXX="g++ -fno-stack-protector -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE" AUTOCONF=false ../src/configure \
	--host=x86_64-linux-gnu \
	--build=x86_64-linux-gnu \
	--prefix=$PREFIX \
	--without-cvs \
	--enable-add-ons \
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los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens

Window Smashers

This three minute video is a great civics lesson and will teach you everything you need to know about any government:

(see Anderson's full story here)

As you can see, the purpose of government is use force. If you disobey them in any way, whether it's because you want to hang on to your freedom and security, whether it's because you have different opinions on foods or drugs, whether it's because you don't fancy their health-care take-over... then they will SMASH YOUR WINDOWS and BEAT YOU!

Basically the government is a $3 trillion window smashing operation. When you vote this November, please remember that you are not upholding some noble ideal: you are only helping to decide which windows will get smashed.

And the owner of the car can hold a grudge.
los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens


I've been having a good debate with some friends about my alternative to universal healthcare. Two of them have raised broader philosophical questions. Rather than respond to them in that thread, which was supposed to be a debate about one specific proposal, I've chosen to respond to them in this new thread.

Here are the interesting comments leading up to the philosophical questions:

arthurdenture made a statement about values:
I value the right for sick people not to die from treatable illnesses due to unemployment more than I value your or my right to abstain from a particular government service.

I kindly told him he was wrong:
In this case, your current values are wrong. I'm hoping that I can convince you of that because you're my friend and if you have better values then you'll have a better life :)

athena328 asked why:
David, could you please explain what your values and morals are that lead you to think that Jacob's are wrong? Personally, I find my morals and values to be more in line with Jacob's (the right for people with treatable illnesses not to die because they can't pay rather than my right to abstain from government services), but maybe I don't understand your values that support your conclusions. Besides, most of Jacob's arguments seem pragmatic rather than value based.

My top values are freedom, my life, and the lives of my friends and family.

To me, freedom means being able to act without being influenced by the threat of force from other humans. Freedom is about being liberated from oppressive human forces; freedom is not about being liberated from the realities of what is needed to live on Earth.

Freedom is important because it allows us to live as humans. We're not fast, we don't have fangs, we don't have protective fur coats. The only way for a human to live is by thinking with his mind. When you restrict freedom, you restrict the mind because you limit the options available to it. You restrict the mind's abilities to find the best ways to live. When you go further and enslave a man, you shut down his mind entirely and reduce him to a tool of muscular labor.

I don't want to go in the direction of slavery and service to the government. I want to go in the direction of freedom and unrestricted intellect.

My value of freedom does not conflict with the other two values I listed: my life, and the lives of my friends and family. Freedom is the best way to achieve a good life, and a life as a slave is barely worth living.
los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens

My alternative to universal healthcare

I propose that everyone who wants universal healthcare band together and create their own, supplementary, opt-in government to provide it. This new government would be entirely funded by people who opt in to it. In other words, people can choose whether to participate or not. The U.S. government should repeal any laws that make it difficult for this new government to exist.

Does that sound good?

This proposal is my alternative to the universal (e.g. government-provided) healthcare. Whenever someone says they are in favor of universal healthcare, I am going to tell them my alternative proposal and ask them which of the two they would prefer. In this light, I think that any argument they use in favor of universal healthcare will reveal something wrong with their personal morality, ethics, or values.

Don't take it too personally if you fall in to that category: lots of people have incorrect moralities. Morality is not something you are born with, it's something you have to learn. You usually learn it wrong the first time, but we can learn it properly by engaging in discussions like this.
los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens

Christmas Day 2009 in Detroit Metropolitan Airport

I was in Detroit Metropolitan Airport from 2:16pm to 3:50pm on Christmas Day, just hours after the attempting bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. I was flying on Northwest, the same airline as Abdulmutallab, so I probably walked by the gate where that plane was parked (if it ever got to the gate). But I was oblivious to this breaking news because all the televisions in the airport were tuned to a documentary on the life of Jesus (on CNBC I think). I even tweeted from the airport, oblivious.

Don't all those televisions in airports usually show CNN? I think that the people running the Detroit Metro Airport probably changed the channel when the story broke so that the passengers wouldn't get unnecessarily anxious and distracted.

Here were my flight plans on 2009-12-25:
LAS 07:15 -> DTW 14:16 Northwest Flight 2399
DTW 15:50 -> CMI 16:54 Northwest Flight 3224
los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens

Open Letter to JennyLooHoo

JennyLooHoo wrote:
> David, you need to update me on your life. I haven't heard anything from you in awhile.

Thanks for the concern, Jen!

My life changed dramatically on June 9th. That's when I left my home town of Urbana, Illinois permanently. My friend Ryan (who you've probably met at swing) and I drove across the country for three days to get to the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas is the home of Pololu Robotics & Electronics. I am working here now, but Ryan was just coming to visit. When he flew home on June 22nd, that marked the end of my college experience.

Pololu was started about 7 years ago at MIT by my brother Paul Grayson and his friend Jan. They got their start by making robot parts. We now have expanded in to many other areas such as laser cutting, prototype stencils, and complete robots such as the 3pi—our latest and most fun products. We recently got an injection molding machine and have begun to make some of our own plastic parts, such as plastic wheels and gearmotor brackets. We now have an office/factory/warehouse in Las Vegas and a number of employees.

I am part of the core team at Pololu. We are all working very hard to make Pololu better. My main contributions are in computer programming—both for the website and our internal systems—but I also got a chance to do some video-making when produced our Introducing the 3pi Robot video. My biggest contribution so far is our automated quoting system for prototype SMT stencils.

My friends at Pololu are all pretty active. We like to juggle, play soccer, play football, play basketball, and we especially like to do indoor rock climbing. Unfortunately, due to pregnancies and a messed up ankle, we don't do many group sports these days, but hopefully it will get better. I still go climbing several times per week.

I'm living with my brother and his wife temporarily. Actually, I'm going to be an uncle soon!

I'm still Swing Dancing but these days I'm taking it much more seriously than I used to. I invested in some good pants, and I always make sure to show up on time and stay a while. And I'm getting involved and helping out.

Speaking of that, we have a Las Vegas Lindy Exchange coming up in early October. You could come, Jen! It's a great excuse to visit Vegas, and it would be nice to see you. It's at the Aruba Hotel, which is on the northern end of the Strip, so you're just a short walk from the main entertainment center of Vegas.

In college I was involved in a lot of different things, but none of them were terribly important to me. Now, I'm involved in a lot fewer things but they are important. It's the difference between a diverse life and simple life. I miss my good friends from Urbana, and I miss the ease of living in a small, bikable town, but overall I think this new life is better and more meaningful.

I've been accepted to Caltech for Physics graduate school and plan on going there in Fall 2009.

What are you doing Jen? Where are you working, where are you living, and what are you wanting to go to grad school for?
los angeles, california, bamboo, huntington gardens

Full Width Unicode Characters

I found these characters in Brawl Stage files:

Safety Boxes
Boxes that save!

The letters above are the unicode "full width" versions of our beloved ascii characters. They live in the 0xFF__ region. I convert them to ascii by taking the second byte and adding 0x20.

There is also an "ideographic space" (0x3000) in between the words above.

So if you ever get spam from Asia with these weird characters in them now you know what they are.

--David Grayson