Thursday, January 04, 2007

Volcano and C programs

We just returned from the Boston Symphony Orchestra concert and it was a good one. Violin Concerto No.1 (Bruch), The Planets (Holst), and a new piece Ceres: Asteroid for Orchestra (Turnage) in its American Premiere. Luckily, my head cold has finally turned the corner and I wasn't sniffling and sneezing the entire time. With seats in the eighth row, I would have been embarrassed to be making all that racket!
On the way in to the concert I talked to Sandy about all the things I've not finished. I'm not worried (yet), but I do need to have a productive weekend. The big item is probably the online log processing software that is only half finished. I need to walk through the code I have, add more comments, and really test it. Here are some details for you programming geeks: I wrote this system in C and it has four and five dimension arrays, linked lists, and does the equivalent of macro expansion by inserting the data into templates for each of the operators. (If none of that made sense to you, don't worry.) The bottom line is: there is plenty of places where I could have goofed up. I want to find those places now; I don't want to find them when I'm on Montserrat.
The other piece of software written recently, QSLpro, had its last piece fall into place today. The Apple developer web site has a facility where you can register a unique code for your application. I didn't want to release this program without this code being registered. Unfortunately, the registration page for this stuff had been down for the last week. It was finally available again today so I registered my creator code and can now publish the application. Don Argo of Dog Park Software has graciously offered to host this application download page. I'll see if I can get that set up in the next week or so.
Finally, there is some news from Montserrat. Here's one excerpt from the Associated Press:

OLVESTON, Montserrat (AP) -- Hundreds of people living at the base of Montserrat's Soufriere Hills volcano evacuated as a lava dome grew to dangerous levels in the British Caribbean island.
Scientists say that the dome could crumble and send blistering gas and volcanic debris down the slopes of the volcano, potentially destroying homes in the low-lying Belham Valley.
"Residents in these areas are advised not to panic and to start preparations for moving to safe area," Chief Minister Lowell Lewis said after the first siren sounded Wednesday.
The volcanic dome had been building rapidly and has topped the highest part of the 3,000-foot volcano, which coughs up ash and bursts its lava cap every few months.
Scientists at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory said some pyroclastic flows already have been observed but that they are at a safe distance. However, the observatory warned that the pyroclastic flows could escalate significantly.

We are obviously watching this situation carefully!


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