inessential by Brent Simmons


Breaking News! I finally got my environment all set up, and am working on Linux Frontier, and now I'm able finally to get function names from WINE. This page on that Kip DeGraaf pointed me to was the key.

So, it appears that what makes outlines crash Frontier on Linux is font stuff. Here's an excerpt from a backtrace:


1 0x004c8ca9 (_get_windows_font_object+0x159)


This is just preliminary results, the first crash with symbols generated. I'm sure we'll find plenty more ways to crash.


CNN: McCain wins New Hampshire Republican primary. I'm not a Republican, but I actually like McCain a little tiny bit -- and can't stand George Bush. So this is great news!

CNNSI: Reds' Bowden denies reports of imminent Griffey trade. No news is... no news.

***Dave, Davos

I talked to Dave on the phone around 1 p.m. Pacific time. Davos is finished, and Dave had a great time. He wanted you to know he probably won't be updating Scripting News for a few days.

Dave told me that, at Davos, the chairman of Merck announced testing of an AIDS vaccine. I'm continuing to look for more information about this. I don't know the full story. If you know where I can read more, please send email to or reply to this message in the discussion group.

A Reuters report on ABCNews.Com: Researchers find new possible HIV target. "Researchers at Merck Research Laboratories said Thursday they found a possible new way to attack the AIDS virus and said they hope to develop drugs that take advantage of the novel target."

According to the World Economic Forum website, Merck chairman Raymond V. Gilmartin "noted that Merck is making exciting advances on the creation of an AIDS vaccine." See Vaccination campaign for all world's children launched at World Economic Forum.

More from that page: "The start-up of the vaccination campaign, called 'The Children's Challenge' has been financed by a US$ 750 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

Update 2:30 p.m.: My take: Merck is developing a new approach that has shown some success in the lab, but has not been tested outside carefully controlled situations. (Not tested on animals, for instance.) The approach, if successful, could lead to a vaccine trial -- years down the road. But it may be a blind alley. In either case, Merck appears committed to developing an AIDS vaccine, which is good news itself.

Bear in mind I'm not a scientist or a professional journalist, and I haven't found much information on this.

Update 5:15 p.m.: David Theige posts a bunch more links about this story. David writes, on carpe diem: "Bottom line: the research is exciting, but we're probably years away from having an approved, effective, and safe vaccine for human use."

***Other news

News.Com: Dell sells laptops with Linux. Do I want one? Yep.

O'Reilly's Linux portal is open for business.

Qube Quorner: What's Wrong with Domino?. "Why don't I like Domino? In brief, because it sucks hard, pretty hard."

Daniel Berlinger asks, "What is it about cables that makes them the hardest part of an installation these days?"

MasterDevelopers.Com. Interviews with web developers.

I started reading Eric Idle's The Road to Mars. I'm only about 30 pages into it, but so far it's utterly marvelous. It reminds me of Sirens of Titan, which is high praise.

Speaking of Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut is in critical condition after a fire in his home. Please get well, Mr. Vonnegut.

CNN: Hope lessens for Alaska Airlines crash survivors. This city's been hit hard by this. Lots of Seattle-ites were on that flight. I myself always fly Alaska Airlines to and from San Francisco: I've taken flight 261 numerous times. Not surprisingly, for being so local it's all the worse.