News from 1999

Web Site Announcement

Occurred January 01, 1999 (Permalink)

Yes, there were news items from before this. But they were deleted because I...didn't save them. Oh well.


Occurred January 08, 1999 (Permalink)

This is the strangest program to come from me in a long, long time. It takes a seed file, an input file and a magic number. Next, Babelizer reads the lines from the input file, and then randomly writes lines to an output file! Babelizer is based upon a similar program found in Foucault's Pendulum, but you can read about the program and download it here.

Gaussian-Elimination Matrix Solver

Occurred January 28, 1999 (Permalink)

The Gaussian Matrix Solver uses a modified version of Gauss's method to solve systems of linear equations. Really, it's not a very complex program (compared to JPeriod99 or WebServ), but it is a major time saver! If you ever wanted an easy way out of Chapter 8...

Scribble Pad

Occurred February 01, 1999 (Permalink)

Next up: Scribble Pad! My next program will be even more ambitious than my current efforts. Eventually (if lazy me ever gets around to doing this...) I will create a whiteboard / chat collaboration program that will let people run discussions over the internet using Java's RMI technology. Needless to say, this isn't even on the drawing board, and, given that I'm a second-semester junior, this program probably won't see the light of day for a while! So no, this isn't a product; it isn't even vaporware yet.

Hex Calculator

Occurred February 01, 1999 (Permalink)

A simple hexadecimal calculator (broken) . It does the usual stuff that any calculator does, plus it converts between hex, decimal and binary! It also has bitwise operators (shift, and, or, xor, etc). It also has a memory function. Built in Swiss-army knife, just as seen on TV. Ok, I'm kidding.


Occurred February 10, 1999 (Permalink)

I am seventeen. Hoo-ray.

JPeriod '99 Updates

Occurred February 11, 1999 (Permalink)

For those of you with 32-bit Windows, you can now use a native program to invoke JPeriod99--but only if you're running it as an application. I also added a big, funny-looking splash screen graphic and a progress bar to show you how far the program's loaded. Access the new Periodic Table here.

Proxy Server

Occurred February 18, 1999 (Permalink)

Over February break, I wrote a pseudo-proxy server in Java. It fetches pages from one server and sends them to a client. You can look at the program itself here. No demonstrations are running, because as it turns out, the proxy'd sites have become free... (and now, post-boom, they're not free anymore! (2003-11-30))

jSearch Enhancements

Occurred February 21, 1999 (Permalink)

This month, I added the Caltech Library and the Britannica dictionary to the list of search engines. I also rewrote jSearch so that it can be easily embedded in any page on the web while also remaining up-to-date. For a faster jSearch, go (link deleted).

Internet Utilities

Occurred March 16, 1999 (Permalink)

This is my latest release of Internet Utilities. It also happens to be the first release. Right now it will only do DNS lookup, send HTTP requests to servers (it also shows you the headers!) and scan IP addresses for web servers. Read here.


Occurred March 16, 1999 (Permalink)

My network has a firewall. Sure, it prevents attacks on computers inside the firewall, and I appreciate that. But, what if you want to send print jobs to run when you're away? You can't...from outside. However BackTalk does this. Install it on a computer (you'll need a task scheduler of some sort to automatically run this program) and it will read a job script over HTTP, and then execute commands you specify. Read about BackTalk Script Parser. The best part about this program is that it leaves the firewall intact! You must have access to an inside computer for it to work at also must have a server somewhere to serve HTTP pages.

Web Server

Occurred April 01, 1999 (Permalink)

With this new version, we've packed all the secret stuff into a Virtual File System embedded within the server itself. No more port 49152 monkey business! I also implemented a thread cache, optimized the server to make it quite a bit faster. Maybe it's running (link deleted) or, better yet, (link deleted) to see the new (an internal Menlo thing, you realize... ).

IPPrint and ADD

Occurred April 12, 1999 (Permalink)

After thibs' power supply blew out and kept us in the dark for a week, I have new utilities posted! ipprint sends files to a specified IP address and port-- useful for printing to any recent-model HP LaserJets. "add" is NOT a calculator --it is a miniature web server used to defeat advertisements on the Internet. Simply reroute the offending ad agencies' servers to in the HOSTS file, start the server (in the background, I hope) and away go the ads! Read about Internet Printer or Advertisement Defeater.

File Listings!

Occurred May 16, 1999 (Permalink)

I added a cool new file listing script to my web site! Now you can get full directory information from the browser--try it here (broken) . (Apparently, this was considered newsworthy in 1999...)

Random Sentence Generation

Occurred May 20, 1999 (Permalink)

Check out my (ahem) adaptation of Woodley's Random Sentence Generator here.

Italy Trip

Occurred May 25, 1999 (Permalink)

Hey! I'm going to Italy this summer with the local Menlo classics teachers and a bunch of my friends! I'm really looking forward to this trip--we leave Monday, June 14th and come back Tuesday, July 6th. Factor in a day to recover from jet lag, and I'll be up and running sometime around Thursday, July 8th. There are 15 days, 10 hours, 24 minutes, 55 seconds until we leave!

Page Fixes

Occurred May 25, 1999 (Permalink)

New site enhancements! I have finally fixed the bugs that cause problems in Netscape 3.x! Furthermore, I modified this site so that you can access the menus without having to have layers (for Netscape 3.x users); instead of upgrading to Netscape 4.x, all you have to do is just click on a menu title and you get a page with the menu's content on it.

Finals are Over!

Occurred May 28, 1999 (Permalink)


Not My Graduation

Occurred June 04, 1999 (Permalink)

No more Spanish! At last final brain shutdown comes! Alas, the seniors are gone. The last of them graduated at 11:07 this morning, the fourth day of June of 1999. Now I step up to the bat, becoming a senior, and get to think about the road ahead, stress about college applications and other stuff. But wait! We have to choose our history and English classes again! Ugh. Oh, well. Farewell to seniors. Well, all is not lost yet--a few are going to Italy with me, and a bunch of us are going to the beach(?) next week.

Old Music on 78RPM Records

Occurred June 09, 1999 (Permalink)

I finally finished converting my old 78rpm LPs onto tape. Old scratchy things; here's a list of songs.

Silicon Valley Teens are Programming

Occurred July 18, 1999 (Permalink)

A month ago, Martha Mendoza, a reporter for the Associated Press, interviewed me about how my spending my summer working for a computer company, rather than loafing on the beach or flipping burgers at an In-N-Out. Read the article.

Prototype Web Site

Occurred August 17, 1999 (Permalink)

View my prototype web site here (link removed). I've fixed all the problems with resizing Netscape windows, improved Netscape 3 useability, and introduced CSS to take care of all the display parameters...although the HTML 3 presentation tags (FONT, B, I, etc.) remain. Also note the new jSearch. (The menu links don't work, for the most part, because I don't have the upload bandwidth to do a full publish (maybe 8/25/99?)

Occurred September 29, 1999 (Permalink)

Announcing the arrival of yet another Linux box on campus! Two, actually. The first one is LinuxPPC (offsite) running on a 7600/120 (that's a 604, for all those interested). With a paltry 48MB of RAM and ~600MB of free disk space, it's nothing compared to the other box...except that this computer doesn't get hard reset! <smirk> To get at this computer via AppleShare, open the Chooser and select "ThibsFloppy" in "High School Faculty". If you want shell access, connect to "" (INSIDE Menlo, thank you very much) and log in as user "kubiak" password "kubiak". Please don't do anything strange to the box or security might actually get enforced (i.e. no more shell access for guests!) Yes, the box is inside the firewall. No SSH tunnels and no sending xterms please. If you want further instructions as to using this machine, AND you're inside Menlo, click here (link deleted). Otherwise, you can view the same (well, almost the same) page here (link deleted) on thibs.

Occurred October 01, 1999 (Permalink)

Later...Woodley (offsite) assimilated an iMac in the Writing Center with LinuxPPC. It's a 333MHz iMac with 64MB of RAM and a 3.3GB hard disk. Woodley politely asks people to log in on the console as user "macos" (no password) to get to MacOS rather than pushing the power button. No SSH tunnels and no sending xterms please. The machine is at IP address, incidentally. That's INSIDE the firewall.

Bug Fixes, Future Plans

Occurred October 08, 1999 (Permalink)

The Internet Printer and the BackTalk Script Parser have been updated to reflect Menlo's recent printer changes. I've fixed a few bugs in JPeriod; development of the XML-ized reconfigurable version continues. Eventually, I hope to make it so that users can add more information to the atom database and then add custom property viewers to the program WITHOUT a recompilation of the program.

Web Site Improvements

Occurred October 08, 1999 (Permalink)

Fixed some bugs, stuff that accidentally didn't get updated, added a few links. Reconfigured Apache to send custom-formatted error pages (i.e. error pages with headers and footers) and also to give directory listings that are consistent with the site's overall look and feel. Menlo also updated its main web site today; give it a look (link deleted). Don't expect a whole lot of new content between now and...Thanksgiving; I am very busy with college apps.

Yes! We Have No Bananas!

Occurred October 12, 1999 (Permalink)

For all of you that remember that strange song that Kubiak was always ranting and raving about while we were reading The Great Gatsby, I posted the lyrics to (most) of the verses in that song, as well as a MIDI version and some history of the song and its vaudeville beginnings. Read about it here. I'm also going to Boston this weekend (and Matthew and Alice and Tyler and Lesley will be there too...)

Copyright ©1996-2023, Darrick Wong. All Rights Reserved. Send feedback.