In the last two days, I've found two things at Digital Ops that I'd thought long lost: my favorite fountain pen, an Ohto Tasche with Noodler's Nightshade ink, and my camera. While I've missed photographing most of this gorgeous October, I intend to make up for that starting tonight. Ann Arbor's October is the best month anywhere. Here is my soundtrack.
I've managed to spend a lot of my time this autumn outside, and as the light dies, I'm staying out of the hackerspace more to savor its last golden dregs. We've been hashing out bylaws for the organization, and figuring out where we want to head for the future. In the meantime, I'm learning to program IRC bots in Python.
This deeper exploration of IRC, or chatrooms-plus, is my latest attempt at getting presence logging up for the 'space. I tried with QR codes, but my hilariously convoluted scheme was thwarted when I couldn't find free webhosting that still lets you just type HTML in a box and have done with it. Things have come a long way since 9th grade, I guess; everybody has fancy templates and drag-and-drop GUI-based widget tomfoolery.
I've been learning Python from Nate, and stealing bot code from Nima and Noam. My current setup includes:
• My old iBook, plugged in at home - a moody server full of caprice, which at random begins holding down the comma, m, or space key. It's great to be able to use this computer for something, as it's taken a couple of flying leaps and now has to be opened with a shoehorn.
• Traumbot - my first functional bot, built from Nima's Prozacbot. When it's active in your channel, it appears as another user. If you type "!present", it will note that you are present at AHA!, appending your username, the date, and the time to a tab-delimited text file stored in my Dropbox. I can open up this file in Excel and see columns "user", "daet", and "tiem" with the relevant information. My next task is to rewrite Traumbot to make it sleeker and more extensible. Traumbot can also record people's fetishes (work-safe).
Traumbot is really "Traumbot ibn ibnGruem"... for a while, I named all the test bots according to the one they branched off of - hence, Merlinbot ibn Prozac, Grumbot ibn Merlin, [Presencebot] ibn Gruem, then this one. If you'd like to drop in and watch the testing, check out #merlinpanic on irc.freenode.net (a popular IRC server network).