Robin Lee Powell's Hobbies Page
I am currently studying Lojban, a beautiful, elegant
constructed spoken language (i.e. a language to be
spoken by people, and not one for programming). It's based on
predicate logic, although it's not nearly as cold as that makes
it sound. I'm enjoying it so much that I'm really starting to
I am the official web admin for lojban.org, as well as the
person who hosts the site.
I have a page of lojbanic stuff I've
I maintain, or have created, a variety of pieces
of software, mostly freely available in one sense or another.
I have a method of personal data
backup that seems to be fairly novel, in that it has all
of the following properties: I back up multiple OSes on
multiple machines, I synchronize it offsite, the offsite
backup is encrypted, I don't have to synch everything every
time I backup (which is daily, by the way) and it's free
(except for the accounts).
I've written a document on something that has been specifically declared impossible
(look for "Can I `apt-get arch-upgrade` from an already
installed i386 debian?"), which is always fun. I've written
up how to upgrade a Debian system from i386 to amd64.
This is very much not for the faint of heart.
I used to hate RedHat a whole big bunch, but then someone
showed me how to install apt
on RedHat (apt, or dpkg or whatever, is Debian's package
management system), and now I hate it less.
Other Computer Related
I wrote a page on threading
in Windows mail clients because I found myself explaining
that stuff to people a lot. Currently, by far the best
threading Windows mail client is GMail, a web-based
e-mail service run by Google.
I program computers as a hobby. I am currently on a quest to
become a generalist in the field of programming language design.
I may or may not eventually design one myself (I'm thinking
about designing one based on lojban), but regardless I want
to become highly knowledgeable about the underlying issues. To
that end, here's a diatribe on
programming language design features, which explains in some
detail what I like and dislike about various features that
various programming languages use. It's amazingly
incomplete. And horribly out of date; I'm not even sure how
much I agree with anymore.
I am a crypto
geek. I enjoy encrypted e-mail, but since no-one has ever
sent me any, I no longer know the passphrases to my PGP keys.
I keep telling myself I'm going to get a wearable
computer. I'm still waiting for a display that does
more than 800x600 at this point.
I do quite a variety of gaming, and I've made myself a wiki for writing up
I've also made a
wiki for more general stuff, currently mostly sysadminning
I was the President of the Waterloo Science
Fiction Club, whose mandate is to promote interest in and
information about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Gaming.
I was the Sysadmin for the University of Waterloo
Computer Science Club, where this page is hosted.
I used to do a talk on Privacy and
Anonymity in E-Mail about every eight months when I went to
Waterloo (I now live in California :). Ah, memories.
To my great surprise, there's still a
CSC page about that talk. Gives me warm fuzzies.
I was, long ago, in the process of creating a new MOO/MUD
server called MOZ, which is
written in the Oz
language, a very elegant multi-paradigmatic language.
MOZ is designed to have all the good features of CoolMUD and
LambdaMOO that I can reasonably implement, with the addition of
support for multiple command languages (currently English and
Lojban), the feature of being written in the language it
implements, capability security, and more.
I am the official maintainer for
CoolMUD (Current Version: 2.3 Beta), a very nice mud server
with a lot of unique features such as the ability to link two
servers together seemlessly. Or, at least, they were unique
features at the time. I don't actually use it, though.