Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another Wacky way to Authenticate Users

Instead of a password, analyze how they type. This is about as cool, and as scary as the programs that can figure out your passwords by listening to the clicks on the board...


I love fonts, and this site seems to have a lot of them. Yeah, it's dorky, but what do you expect when my handwriting is so bad.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More ruby fun

Interleaving arrays together to form a super array. Kind of in reverse of what I need, but the yield comments made me thing about the idea that I could do something like

class Array
def couple()
(length-1).times { |n| yield(at(n), at(n+1)) }

Which *seems* to work, albeit throwing complaints all the way. And it does the a,b;b,c;c,d sort of thing with a list...

Working in Ruby

So I'm working in ruby and I'd like to get the following from one list:

lines = %w{a b c d e f}

irb(main):211:0> colors = lines.clone
=> ["a", "b", "c", "d", "e", "f"]
irb(main):212:0> (1..colors.length/2).map {|z| [ colors.shift ] + [ colors.shift ] }
=> [["a", "b"], ["c", "d"], ["e", "f"]]

so either [a,b], [c,d],[e,f] as a list (which I l hate how the above destroys colors inside the loop
a,b ; b,c ; c,d ; d,e ; e,f as a list.

I did use the following for the second part:


Any hints,tips suggestions would be appreciated.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Watch bookmarks as they are sent to here. Very cool, and lets you pounce on the neat ideas right away.

Finally, a filing method I can get behind

Sure it's a japanese way of doing things, and it requires A4 envelopes, but it makes sense.

The basic premise is that if you keep shifting things you read/access all the time to the left after you use them things will start shifting to the right. As such you get this lovely effect of those files that are super important, but never read, or files that you never read will move to the right where they can be picked up and sent into a more permanent storage.

Very wicked cool. And think of this, books that you refer all the time you could do the same thing. Every time you read a reference, take it and put it all the way to the left. Then those books you read all the time will become always the leftmost book (and it'll be easier for you to see that).

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Lifehacker - Geek to Live - 10 Bookmarklets

Via Digg, here are 10 bookmarklets that you can use. For example, no longer do you have to ask what does AFAIK means. The article is kind of neat.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Gimp 2.4 Preview

Down here at Newsforge, where they've done a review of Gimp 2.4. It's going to be a tre sweet piece of software, with neat things like foreground extraction, which I've always had to do with things like bit masks or magic wands. This is much, much cooler. When it comes out, seriously, go get it. And the 2.4 version for Windows shouldn't be that far behind, for which I am eternally grateful.

How to open your home, with a Cell phone

Cue the Evil Mad-Genius music:

Open your Home, with your Cell Phone

It'll take some electronic skills and I'm sure a soldering iron, after all what sort of a tech geek are you if you can't solder something together with your eyes closed?

(FYI, I can't/haven't soldered a thing in my life.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Web Development Bookmarklets

Which can be found here.
And did I mention that these are really handy. All of them work in
Firefox/mozilla and really help a person get a handle on various
things like what the page would look like if you were to change the
<body> attributes of the css.

Monday, October 03, 2005

For those Java Junkies

Try coding in HECL. Granted, if you are going scripting language, it might behoove you to learn something like perl, but to each their own.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Caffeine Overview

For those of you that are into caffeine and want to know what is the best drink to get, these guys have done a study, and detail flavour, composition, density of caffeine per ounce as well as how much total caffeine there is in the drink (for those of us too lazy to take oz * caffeine/oz).

Interesting, stuff, like penguin mints have 7mg of caffeine per mint and 3 of them is equal to one 12 oz soda (like coke). The thing to remember is that the LD50 of caffeine and it's chemical info is detailed here.

What's LD50? It's the Dosage of caffeine someone can take and die only 50% of the time. And for caffeine in rats, it's around 179 to 200mg per kg. So if you are a beefy boy, and weigh around 180kg you'd have to drink around (at LD50 200mg/kg) 200 16oz cups of starbucks brewed coffee.... Yeah it's gott 200mg per 16oz cup. Which is about 25 GALLONS.

Oh and this is a neat site about coffee, the Coffee Faq. It may not be CoffeeGeek but it's a start.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Google Tweaks

This is the javascript that adds things like a remembered searches.... - Universal Repository for Dynamic Scripts

This is a collection of all things javascript/greasemonkey like. It's sweet. And there are tons of various things that are available for greasemonkey et al.

Oh, if only I could find the one that saved virtual folders for gmail, that was a sweet user script.

Ajax applications

Ajax is a neat new emerging technology that lets people do things on webpages without having to refresh the page (amongst other things). Slashdot has an article where they detail various applications that are already out there that could be made into an office suite. Myself, I've seen things like scriptaculous, and I've got to say that Ajax is a neat design paradigm. Where else could you get a webpage where if you like items on the page you drag them to the shopping cart and the page doesn't need to refresh and you don't need to stop shopping. This would be really great for impulse buys and pages set up more like stores. Imagine, shopping for items where you never really refresh the page or have to go any where except when you go to "Check Out" and even that would be an asthetic reason, not because checkouts aren't possible....

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Restore your Ipod

Or anything with plastic scratches... at least that is what this guy purports you can do with only a can of brasso and a microfiber cloth. Granted I don't have any cloth, but still might be an interesting thought experiment. . .

Linux Cryptography

So this site covers some of the basics about linux crypto (including the crypt a file and how to make encrypted partitions). How is this important? Well lets just say that just because you have nothing to hide doesn't mean that you have to publish that fact. Crypto is good for you and good for your mental privacy. Remember if someone finds your new patentable idea and you can't prove that you were the first one that thought it, it's going to cost you money. And it will cost more money anyway with the court battles.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

20 Things for you to know in CSS

Shameless crosslinking. This is a site that discusses such neat tricks as making rounded corners as well as how to make them without using pictures, all in CSS. Very neat stuff. Oh and my "Zen of CSS Design" came in today, so I'm an especially happy monkey.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Intro Chapter to Practical Lisp Programming

Introduction: Why Lisp? Here's some anectodatal evidence. Oh and later on in the book they cover how to make an MP3 streaming server using only lisp....

Why Lisp?

Why not? C'mon, lisp is cool. And hey, it's a new paradigm for programming and there is always a need for programmers to learn new paradigms....

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hungry Girl: Muffin Doings

Sadness, the costco muffins are like 690 calories.... ouch.

Polishing Ruby: Zero to Rails in 2 minutes

Feel the Ruby Love, seriously. You want Rails. You want it now. Couple it with some css, ajax, and xhtml and you'll be thankful how easy it is to create new webapps that can live on any os, any browser.


Want something kick ass?


Get This.

What it lets you do is have various widgets on your desktop that tell you things like the temperature and forecast for outside. And if you make them be "Below" widgets they embed onto your desktop so you can have icons around it.

Oh, and you can program new widgets for it. SOme say it is really really easy to do. Oh and for your stock fiends, it comes with a stock ticker....

Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7

Upgrade now!.

On an aside, I love Leo Laporte was commenting on a lot of blogs are a waste of time.

Granted, this is a news site/tech feed. But it's cunning disguised as a blog.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Opera's Now Free

Yes you heard it here, opera is free as in beer. Yipee! Now there is no reason why anyone has to stay with IE and it's crap standards.

And I really mean crap standards. C'mon, who really wants to have to do tricks to get PNG translucency to work? I'm just glad they support a subset of CSS.

Granted Opera and Firefox support most everything in the CSS.

Much excitement.

Monday, September 19, 2005


This a neat site. People that are on the tech trail giving television interviews that you can then download and watch. It's like iptv but sponsered by PBS and like some iptv, only available via the internet.

How's this done, bandwidth-wise? Well through the bandwidth sharing, peer to peer client BitTorrent. It's really neat. And the speeds you can get to download things is much faster than some of the speeds the respective servers could handle normally. IE PBS might not have a pipe that can handle hundreds of 1MB connections all at once, but with the miracle of BitTorrent, they don't have to. Cool stuff.

Friday, September 16, 2005


From this awesome site's copy:

What's Digg? Digg is a technology news website
that combines social bookmarking, blogging, RSS, and non-hierarchical
editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but
rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the
homepage, the users do.

It's very Cool. And via digg, I found the following link to firefox wallpapers here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Trailers @ apple

Oh if you want to spend some time seeing what's going to come out in the theatres, why don't you head on over to The Apple Trailer section. Most of the big name movies are there and it's always nice to see them in the privacy of your own home.

Only drawback is that you'll need Quicktime which, while bundled with iTunes, doesn't mean each and every person has it.

Oh, and if you want a good browser, and you don't want firefox, for some reason, you could always get Opera. I'm using it right now to write this entry (and it's fast).

This site has an interesting premise. Print on demand books people want. So instead of doing pre-determined runs of books, as someone wants a book it's printed out. And, from what I hear, the printing doesn't suck.

And they have several Mac OSX type books (including one book on Applescript).

Neat neat stuff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Searching Blogs

Ever wanted to search blogs for some information? Well look no further Google now has this service. Vanity google yourself, or just see what other people have said about tech on occasion. It's handy, and has RSS feeds for the searches. So you can pick a topic and see what all people post about it.

CSS and IE6

Did you know that IE6/5 does *not* handle transparent png's for backgrounds correctly? Nope, you have to play tricks with them. Supposedly they will have png support in IE7, but still how can you really force readers of your website to go to IE7?

Oh, and here is the link to the IE7 blog (or at least yet another one).

Oh and here's my favorite quotes from the mezzoblue article:

Lack of support for min-width and max-width

Again comparing to all other browsers on the market, IE is the only one that doesn’t support the CSS2 properties min-width and max-width (which have been a standard since 1997, incidentally). These are incredibly useful for controlling larger areas of type, particularly when setting line length limits to aid in readability.

The trick to getting around min-width in IE is actually pretty easy. IE treats width as if it were min-width. By exploiting the fact that IE doesn’t support child selectors either (more on this later) we can create a simple bit of code that doesn’t allow a browser windows....

To edit the Style of the Sheet II

Go and use the "edit styles" bookmarklet they offer. You can find it here and it's the best thing since sliced bread. It has literally cut down on my css development cycle by leaps and bounds.

Now all I do is start it up on a page that I want to manipulate the css and then once I get it the way I want it, I take my changes and retype them into the static css....

2 Thumbs up, er something.

To edit the Style of the Sheet

(And this was borrowed from one of my bookmarks, so please feel free to search for developer tools)

<lots of pain and evil javascript code that blogger then attempted to render>

Oops, guess I'll just post the link for posterity.


Did you know that Blogger won't take < or > in their code if not dereferened into ampersand-gt-semicolon?

Odeo, it's not just yodelling

So this is a neat site that does
podcasting software. It's definitely something for those of you that
don't want to do iTunes or some other podcasting software. And they
offer all sorts of podcasts on their site already. There is software for
mac and windows and it looks dead easy to get and install.

Join the podcasting bandwagon. What with the free music and tons of news
from various viewpoints it's definitely something that everyone needs
to go out and get.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Downloads for WoW

Man I started this download about an hour ago, and it's still going (42%). Wow, I really think that we need to to figure out a way to host this to another network sharing protocol. I know the bandwidth alone is driving people to their knees at the WoW camp.

Any suggestions? Other than don't play wow...

Monday, September 12, 2005


After just having recovered from another power outage, I cannot recommend highly enough, the wonderful extension to firefox, known as SessionSaver. With that and CacheFixer (or by it's lonesome) it saves sessions between crashes. And the best part is that it's fire and forget. Install it, tweak a few options if you like, and then from then on if you have a crash, your pages will be back.

I've been using it on all my machines as of late, so that I can more easily pick up where I left off. Oh and I did mention that I had the ability to undo a close of a tab or even a window? How can you not love that?

Ooh, and you thought you knew caffeine?

Klah Recipe, lots of caffeine, and other xanthines!

Lots of pain! Can't wait to try it out.

TWiT - the podcast

In this day and age of podcasting, someone who wants to speak about tech are about a dime a dozen. However, this half dozen talk all about it. Sure sometimes what they talk about is too low level for some, I think everyone can figure out what they are saying after a few more sentences.

Remember Podcast Alley is one of the places that you can find all sorts of podcasts. Oh, and Pod safe network is an ok source for music that won't have you worrying if someone going to bust into your house with automatic weapons.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Education/Technology - Tim Lauer: Archives

"Creating Custom Podcast Feeds Using" is a neat article writing about how some people are using the power of to create podcasts.

The basic idea is to mark mp3's that you are interested in and then since can make rss you can then use the url that this particular tag makes to form a url you can then feed iTunes or some other podcast enabled program.

Very awesome. And apparently, the parent blog entry has that poster doing things like putting in auto-generated audio that can preface the mp3's. Wow! Linkroll

You'll notice on the sidebar now that I have linkrolls enabled. Now you too can see what the old norseman is doing on the web and linking to.

I first read about this neat feature from the blog which describes some of the neat new features that they are putting into the blog and sometimes how to use them.

Why did I wait to put it in? Well honestly, it was momentum. I hadn't thought that people were going to use this, and then I started to see that there were other people using it on their blogs. When I saw this I knew that this would be a feature that wouldn't go away sometime soon.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Ok, so now that I've become a bit more savy, I've come to realize that the RSS on the side of this blog isn't really RSS, it's Atom. Whoops. So accourding to this help article I can go to feedburner and set up a rss feed (I think it's 2.0). Anyways, this is the service that and Uncle Willy use so I think I might go ahead and pick it up. Offer the two and see what happens. Comments?

Time between posts

You know what I need to do, is trim down on these times between posts. Sorry folks.

Anyways have you been to Reddit? If you haven't, you should. It's a place where people can put up links to anything (generally news stories) and then each person can mod the stories up or down. It's really a neat idea and works quite well. And, of all the handiness wasn't enough, it's also written in lisp. Can't beat that with a stick.

Ahi Tuna

Ahi Tuna, or yellowfin tuna is delicious. Internal heat of 125 degrees or cook them on medium high for 4-5 minutes per side per inch. Very tasty, and kind of expensive in the frozen north where there is no sea.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Word Verification

Oh so this is a neat feature. Word verification. Sure it's another step that people have to overcome, but still it tends to cut down on scoms. Oh, not that I would know overmuch. Sometimes I feel like it's more a Lion Trap.

Oh the other neat thing of note? Apparently part of the blogger action is done in dynamic python. I wonder how they keep the server load low enough. I had always thought that python uncompiled-ly was going to take a performance hit until it was byte code.

Granted, I don't program python anymore. I tend to write ruby.

Other Neat RIP features

* It uses Xpath
* It can use regular expressions (more or less) to filter out sets of pages on a site
* It can filter simular items on a page

So what does this buy you? Well the first two points are more hard core than some people think about. They are presented in an easy form to you but they are really quite powerful and let the browser do all sorts of neat tricks. And the last one? Well remember that most of the ads on a site are all of one size or another. So when you get rid of an element and say all simular elements, they are all gone.

Oh and it has a "Undo last RIP" feature. So that if you go ahead and rip the entire page away, it'll let you get it all back.

So, do I advocate ditching all the ads, the very lifeblood of the internet today, the thing that lets us use all these services for free?

Not really. Esp when they are Google text ads. Quick to download, wordy ads that let me know what the business does or purports to. I click a heck of a lot more google-y ads than I do any of the other "Shoot the Monkey" Ads. In fact I've never shot the monkey.

Friday, August 26, 2005


So apparently splogs are spam-blogs. At least accourding to some authors. Whoops. I guess the spam-comments on my site should be called scoms. Or maybe spomments or spom.

Lazy for Programmers, sure but Dumb?

This is in reply for this article.

Ok it's kind of compelling the reasons to keep things easy. Don't overthink items. Never assume. But the poster keeps using the words "stupid" and "dumb" to convey this attitude.

I disagree, and would suggest a different set of words: rustic and simple.

Being rustic isn't a bad thing. It's keeping things simple and taking the straightest path to the solution. Don't worry about fixing the barn doors when the barn's on fire. Simplicity is the act and art of not trying to show-off that you're greater than anyone else and how cool you can make things.

Look at quaker furniture. It's not sought after because it's got so many new-fangled features. It's simple, solidly made work. It does what it does and can't be also used as a cappucino machine. Sure they are put cleverly together, but people easily overlook that (kind of like how cleverly the start page is put together).

The rest of article makes sense. Go for the low hanging fruit and when there aren't anymore, maybe you shouldn't start straining for the higher ones. But I imagine people trying to get "dumber" in programming and I just don't feel it can be a good thing when people really should trying to solve something simply and cleverly.

Monday, August 22, 2005

RIP - addenda

Oh, looking at boingboing, I think it's interpreting on the fly as the page loads. SO there were various items that hadn't loaded yet that just got dropped before the end of the page. So it's kind of like some of the other adblockers where it stops the spam before it gets to you.

RIP - Remove Items Permanently

Go here. Get this. Seriously, install it and go to town.

I hadn't realized that there was something out there that could internally be so powerful but still let people do things like "right-click an item and say RemovePermanently".

It's holy hot-damn sweet. Anything that lets you do things like remove banners based on their size is just the ticket for the sites you go to.

The only drawback is that it's a after-the-fact removal. Meaning that there are times that you'll load a page and then items will disappear. But still that's not a big issue when you really think about it.

Oh and it lets you do things like export the various things you've "ripped" and save them on a disk or hand to a friend so they don't ever have to put up with some of the ads that we all have had to for a long time.

Yahoo Mail vs Gmail

Ok, the only real thing I can think to easily compare is the total space they give out for free.

* Gmail: 2.5GB
* Yahoo: 1.0GB

While I'll never approach either in the near future, it's definitely something that I wonder about for both companies. Given the current state of technology and the funds that are going into both, is it really the case that every single user could have the full quota? Or is this like the time I was in Computer Science as a student and they gave all of us something like 120% of the total, so when 90% of the people almost hit quota no one could spawn files or make new entries into existing files.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

CSS changing

So, I *might* be changing bits and pieces of the css that makes up the layout of this blog. Why, you may ask, when it has been so easy to read and so pretty to look at.

Well I like it too. The only problems I have is that it doesn't take up a lot of the screen (just the middle) and as such it tends to make it so that people have to scroll down a lot just to get a little bit of the article I've posted read. Which, frankly, reduces reader count. I like reader count.

Any suggestions on good CSS sites/templates will always be appreciated.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Blog Spam

Ok, that's just funny. Sad, but funny. I post to the blog, and voila I get a comment saying "Geez you've done such a good job setting up your blog, come see this Payday Loan site". What sort of wretch goes about writing software to post to blogs. Can't they at least do something like "If there are words about a heart attack don't post"?

Granted I could see consumer targetted splogs based on what was written in the blog and in the comments that go before them. But then again that would take effort, and intelligence, and I'm starting to think all they want is a cheap buck.


So, I had a family member's heart stop beating and stop breathing while in surgery. Now that was scary. If I'm a bit frazzled, that's the main reason why. Amazing how fragile the human body is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nice quote

"The only difference between a dripping faucet and a Japanese water garden is perspective".
--Kevin Kling

Ruby on Windows

If you are looking for a Ruby for Windows, click here. It's got an IDE and an Fox installation so you can do gui progs.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Could this be true? Browser based peer to peer? That would make it so much handier I can't begin to tell you. Granted I'll have to peak into how they are doing this. It's almost "too easy"...

Ruby Links links for ruby. Now seriously, go out and get ruby. It's got tons of libraries and a decent community.

Start Here

And any language that spawns comparisons of it's internals to mayonnaise can't be all that bad.

Lisp links

Norseman's Lisp Links off Oh yeah. Feel the love.

Perl Jobs from Monster or Why Some people shouldn't write Job placement Copy

Ok, I have a bot on monster that searches for jobs. The two categories that I search for:

1. Perl
2. Ruby

If I could I'd say something like "Please Jesus, no jobs as a sysadmin for windows boxes or sysadmin in general" but sadly this option just isn't there.

However I got this email today with the following "job". My favourite line from this "Perl Job":

"Mid-level to Sr. Level JAVA (3+ years) development professionals need only apply."

Ok, seriously, on what planet did Java experience get equated with Perl experience? Oh I see:
"Professional working knowledge of internet protocols and techniques (Perl, HTML,

Perl is not an internet protocol or technique. It's a language. This copy doesn't induce me to apply, it makes me want to avoid the business both as a candidate and a customer. How technical can a business be if the people they are looking for wouldn't know what Perl is? The incredible irony is that it's a Tech Job Placement company.

Podcast & Spam

Wow, I posted about podcasts and *bam* I get comment spam. By anonymous folks. Shoot, that was amazing. I hadn't really thought that I would have had something like that come up on my blog but you know, I might have hit the main page for just long enough to be hit by the bots.

Wow, the price of fame. I just have to say thanks for why for the comment. I am so going to incorporate that into my daily routime. Always good to hear from ruby folks and especially those that know the architecture.

Podcast thoughts

Podcasts are neat now that iTunes does them so easily. The only problem is that now that I've subscribed to tons of podcasts, including Leo Laporte's casts, I've noticed that if I was sit down and just started to listen to them all it would be 4.8 days of non stop listening. That's like 13 days of 8hour workdays to listen to it all.

No wonder people just listen to a few that they enjoy. Granted from what I heard over at's blog there are some that are only like 5-10 minute segments. I just seemed to be getting the ones that are 1+ hours per cast.

Wow, Podcast neatness

So this is something that is kind of neat. The podcasts that I can get off the iTunes stuff sometimes have video and pictures. Now I never thought this was that big of a deal but as the description said I can see that sort of stuff if I had an ipod that did color. That's awesome. Really really awesome. And with the oscon information that I heard from the apple folks that ipods are all going to be color from now on, I'm so thinking of a new ipod.

Speech recognition and Blogging

Ok, here's an experiment in concentration. Start a blog post. Now plug in something like your ipod into your ears. Turn it on to something that's like talk radio (like a podcast). Try and listen the podcast and blog at the same time. Come back two or more days later and see what sort of blog entries do you make.

So far I've noticed that I've written things like "it seamed like an important result" or "rankin is important". I really do thing it's true that there are parts of our brain that can't really multitask out. Language centers are something that are devoted to one stream at a time and doing two language tasks are the same time (constructing speech and understanding it) is something that makes a person blog less impressively and still not really understand what was spoken to him.

Think of it as the "Hey Honey" effect. Every husband has encountered this. The wife can be telling you about her day and you are reading the paper and when a question is posed you go "Huh?" to one of them. And we all know which one had the priority.....

And we know who is the dog house now. Maybe some meditation can mitigate this or if you kept listening to podcasts and blogged you'd learn to mitigate the symptoms slightly.

Bookmarks is the greatest thing ever. You should should go to it, try it out and marvel at it's genious. Nowadays I don't have any of my bookmarks on my machine, it's all up on It's really is something that more people should use.

For example, when I blew away my old hard drive (which I still need to get the RMA for and return) I didn't even think about my bookmarks. It's getting to the point where things are never really living on my machine except for a few easy config files. So when it's time to blow something away, it's not the tear jerking, hair pulling situation it used to be.

News Services

So, I just found out that possibly Marylin Monroe spent some with women in a sexual way. Yeah I'm behind the times, but that's not what this entry is about. This entry is about newsfeeds in the modern era.

In my view, the things that journalism talks about are independently discovered by three or four different people and reported from the various angles. So when I hear something there are going to be three or more seperate stories, all thought out and verified by various people. Different takes or approaches to stories.

This wasn't the case with the Marylin story. I think that Reuters LA released this story and it was picked up by all the rest of the services. No one then spent really any leg work to see what else was part of the story. All the various stories so far were rehashed versions of the first story. It wasn't original and meant that the person that had the highest ranking in the search engine really seemed to be the only one that really mattered.

That's sad. And I can't begin to tell you how often I hate hearing "left her cold". I mean sure it was a paraphrased sentence of Marylin, but shoot, English is full of language to deal with dissapointment. Left her cold, felt nothing for it, was a big dissapointment, was a let down, wasn't interesting, etc. Granted some of the phrases are the kind that are fire-able for writing. Saying something like "left a bad taste" wouldn't be too good when referring to sexual content or cooking.


How many times do you exclaim to yourself, "I'm going to blog this"? Anymore I say it once about every two days. The main reason is due to watching things and hearing things via various news services. Or sometimes I think that I'm going to blog something when the thing I just saw or thought was particulary importantant or insigtful.

Yeah, that's selfish. But still it's what I tend to think.

I wonder if there have been any studies of people and what sorts of subjects they tend to blog on. I think the random sampling would be a right pain and involve a lot of man hours to do so.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Matrix Fixes

1. Make it so I can see my factionmates as easily as my crewmates.
2. Let me button mash in an advanced combat interface
3. Let me email crewmates with materials and information
4. Put in some scripting language to make plugins.

Sure (4) is the most weird request. I just want the same thing that I have in WoW. Trackers of xp, loot, easy ways to reskin the interface, inventory at a glance, maps of the area I'm in with overlays of things (like bad guys and what they drop). There are a hundred different little UI type changes that I would like, but that's no guarantee that there are others that would like that. So, give me a language to plug in my changes and then if I call and ask for help the first thing tech support says is "Have you turned off your plugins" or "We have a signature to the server saying you are using plugins, we don't support that".

It's not too much to ask. Although, to date, WoW is the only game that has had this kick ass feature.

Oh and speaking of features, blogger arbitrarily cuts off posts after a certain character count is reached (I think it's actually line based). Not cool. Give me a popup saying that this post is longer than X lines and may be truncated. Don't just let the thing post and let me think I'm ok.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


A test


Well, whaddya know. It worked out just fine. Granted it's not something that replaces being able to make a REST call or something but still, this is pretty sweet.


You know what I *really* need?

Some emacs loving that does blogger entries. I had something like it at one time, but it wasn't quite what I wanted (barrier to learning was a tad too esoteric). I've tried the mail-in option and that doesn't seem to work at all.

Anyone have any suggestions?


So yeah came across this while browsing why's site. Very cool. I hadn't been put into a situation where I needed to match the same thing on multiple lines (what with the nature of directory based information). But still this is damn cool. Give a regular expression to a string#scan and get back all the matching elements.

Means I can slurp in an entire file and pick out the bits I want. Memory overhead goes down the drain, but still for quick snatch-and-grabs, that has be the coolest thing.

re = /pattern./

too cool.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

And the addenda.... The Virtual Internship: Take Control of Your Future by Becoming an Open Source Developer: "The Virtual Internship: Take Control of Your Future by Becoming an Open Source Developer"

Oh the thing he should have added on the end: Stop making products that are simple in scope and simple in aspirations. No one wants to hear that "Well I've finished with this product" unless you follow it up with a "And I'm adding to this suite of new utilities that will also be great".

Seriously, end the open source heartache of "I've closed the doors on this project"-itis.

Yeah - politics comment

So I keep getting this email from various Christian fellows of mine saying "God Bless the United States". Frequently it goes on to request a prayer for this nation for the Almighty to bless it and keep it.

Uh, you know I have a problem with that. Prayers are often for 'please keep the status quo' or 'make people go back to the right way of doing things'. In a country that uses the most gasoline products, that doesn't sign the Kyoto treaty, that wants credits for the trees it has to make up for the coal it burns, and the policies it asks others to follow by gunpoint, I find it hard to want God, Allah, the Godhead, or whomever you subscribe to as the divine super-god to keep things the way they are.

I'd rather pray for clean air, responsible politicians, and intelligent designs by people who not only have to make the decisions but have to live with them for the next 50 years. I want politicians to pretend like they have to be the ones that back up their statements personally. I want the government to admit failures. And any failures they make they follow it up with a new solution.

Leadership isn't claiming a mandate by the people, it's going with something that when you look into the eyes of the baby you kissed 15 years ago you can honestly not have to say, inwardly, "Sorry kid."

Leadership isn't sending people to die over and over again hoping that the variation in people that do the killing will make one sacrifice the pivotal one that changes the course.

Leadership is making people forget the bad old ways of doing things in exchange for something new and better structured.

Leadership is making phone calls to people to say you are sorry for their son's death even when you aren't the leader of the armed forces and you didn't sign off on what they are doing currently. Oh, and then going and making sure that the sacrifice isn't forgotten and policies are changed. Each person counts. No life is squandered and noone in the news service or in the public can be allowed to forget it. And the you can't forget it either.

Leadership is saying something difficult, achieving the impossible, and fighting the ignorance. Do everything in the open, and do everything like it was going to be in the open and you won't have to squelch the requests for information. Publish the bad advice, the moronic policy suggestions, the underhanded offers. If everyone knows that someone wants to buy you off, and they didn't, there will be a great deal more respect for you. And the institution you embody.

The Voters may have put you in an office, but their children will pay the price of the decision. Stop letting every child inherit a world full of bad air, bad attitudes, and bad decisions.

Wishful thinking? Maybe. But the US didn't start out with a ton of special interests being the ones listened to, where people thought twice about drinking from the river, and citizens were thinking "Let's move to Canada".

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Yeah so Greasemonkey is very neat. I've got a post in right now to the greasemonkey folks to see if there is some kind soul that will help me alter CSS style elements since I'm just not getting how to do it from the Dive site. It's kind of frustrating. I could take platypus to the pages that I want to have changed but that's kind of cheese.

I just know that someone will just that I blow away the CSS style and reintegrate it my way. Not really something I want to do. I'd rather just alter the two elements and get on with my life. Guess this is how some people feel with computers in general.

Granted I love the challenge of scripting greasemoneky code. Esp without any references.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Refinery count

Refinery Stats can be found by putting in each state and manually counting up.

Montana: 4 Refineries
Wyoming: 5 Refineries
Virginia: 2 Refineries

So How much does a person pay per gallon per refinery?

Montana: 2.11$/g / 4 Refineries = 0.52$/g per Refinery
Wyoming: 1.98$/g / 5 Refineries = 0.39$/g per Refinery
Virginia: 1.81$/g / 2 Refineries = 0.90$/g per Refinery

So, clearly, Virginia's low gas price isn't related to their sheer number of Refineries. And being landlocked isn't a big factor as Wyoming is as landlocked as Montana in relation to sea ports. Could another refinery make up for the difference? Probably, as it would be a drop of about (2.11/5 - 0.39) 0.03$ per gallon per refinery.

Gas Costs across the states.

Ok the 2003 average wages were (according to the National Census):

Montana: 34,375 USD
Wyoming: 41501 USD
Virginia: 52,587 USD

Given the 2.3% national growth we have the following, assuming wages grew at least as much as inflation:

Montana: 35,165 USD
Wyoming: 42,455 USD
Virginia: 53,796 USD

Now lets say that we have a family in each state that uses 10 gallons of gas per week or 520 gallons per year.

Montana will shell out 1097$ or about 3.11% of their wages per year.
Wyoming will shell out 1029$ or about 2.42% of their wages per year.
Virginia will shell out 941$ or about 1.74% of their wages per year.

Ok, yeah, looks like either a vast shortage of refineries is to blame, or being the 41st in income and yet being almost #1 in tourism helps to keep Montanan's with less in their pockets than others.

Cheap Gas

So today I was checking out Cheap Gas. It's a really neat site that combines data with google's map. The data that it uses is that of gas prices and then the locations of places.

Ok, bottom line. Montana cheapest: 2.11$/gl Viriginia: 1.81$/gl. Yeah this makes sense. I mean totally. Virginians have to drive a few miles to work each day, and the average commute in Montana is like 10-20 miles. One way.

Wyoming? $1.98. Ok, it's starting to sound like Montana is getting it in the shorts as a tourist state.

Maybe someone should do a price comparison of per capita and gas costs. I bet you dollars to donuts that Montana is having to shell out the most per gallon.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My Opera Community

Opera8 is a sweet , sweet browser. It's fast, friendly, and if you want more components it'll download them for you and install them in the background.

Oh and the skins/themes are just awesome. They are pretty and you can even overlay a color to them, making them even more personal.

Yeah definitely thinking of switching from Firefox for the majority of my surfing. The "only" thing I need to find is an adblocker with regex's for it and I'm set.

I'd suggest anyone trying it out. Disclaimer, this link gets me one step closer to a fully registered version, but if you don't want to go through that go here to their main website and download it that way.

Did I mention that this full featured, kick butt browser that's faster than snot is just 4 megabytes and can do email?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Slashdot Moderation

Slashdot Moderation, apparently is what i can do now. Maybe. It's kind of, ahem, weird that it's possible for someone like me to wield the power to stop or start a thread hither thither and yon.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Esoterica Bulk to Order

Esoterica Bulk Tobacco can be ordered at Knox Cigar. A half pound, as of this writing, was about 20$ without shipping. Spendy, but from what I've read of the reviews, it's worth every penny.

Esoterica Tobacciana - Stonehaven

An interesting blend is reviewed here. What does this have to do with tech or anything else? Nothing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

How to get that perfect shave

A link from Weekend Edition - that describes how to get a good shave. It seems to have worked kind of well, and I'm really excited to see what sort of manly creams and moisturizers I can go buy. Taylor's on Old Bond ST looks like it has some really neat items to use. Oh and badger hair brushes are expensive! Hua, they are spendy.

Friday, April 01, 2005

My computers

Actually more my work'scomputers. Also keep in mind that my work asked me to set this up for them to use the cycles and 'burn in' the system more.

It's weird looking for stars being stuck in a basement. Oh well.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Ah the good old days of Fidonet. I remember spending a lot of time with the local sysops reading stuff and wanting to be that cool to have my own BBS and the network feeds that it entailed. I really think that was why I was so thrilled the first time I dialed into the Internet with a 14,400 baud modem. It was total information gluttony. Granted the 90/10 rule hadn't set in yet as much so there was a lot of *easy to find* information that I could read.

And there was 4dos on the BBS's.

4dos was a godsend. It let me do command historys and paint my prompt and all sorts of things that I do now in bash shell. It was the defacto shell I used on my old Gateway. It had everything, aliases being the nicest part of it. Man now a days I recommend people use cygwin, but 4dos will always have a place in my heart telling me not to settle for crappy shells.

Computer Loving

So got a new motherboard and some new memory. The computer was still not working. However the wife, bless her soul, mentioned that maybe I should try the old memory in the new mobo. Sure enough, it booted and stayed stable. Yay. Now I can surf again.

Oh and she got me a dvd+-r/w Sony DR710UL external. The successor to the one I have at work. And it's a sweet piece of hardware. The Nero stuff isn't that bad either, but then again I didn't really get a choice in burning software and the native stuff for Windows XP tried to think that the drive was a CD writer. The only weird thing now is that one of the cdrw drives in the machine (of which there are two) wouldn't detect or show in the items known category till I did an 'Add Software'. Very odd.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Blogging not liked by the Librarian

Slashdot | ALA President Not Fond of Bloggers

Frankly I'm not overly suprised. This is something that I've always expected to hear from the old guard. Sure there are times that blogs are complete crap, but then again when was the last time that something that you read, that was professionally made, was less than what you expected.

Fave quote:
It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I am a Moron

So I reread the gabeart section. Seems he did mention Yoko Matsugane as a pinup. I, as a skimming moron, did not read that part and just read "name" and went "== illustrator".

Oh well....

The Computer that would just not work

Replaced the motherboard last night. Then spent three hours trying to figure out why it is still resetting. The memtest came back clean, and it's almost [now] all new parts. Hooked it into another computers peripherals and power and it still reboot horribly. It's off to the last desperate measure of installing XP onto another hard drive in the machine, installing WoW and trying to get it to reboot. If it does, then the only thing left that is the same from the old computer is the video card.

And it's not a cheap one. . .

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Shoe Lacing

Where else are you going to find a site on how to lace up your shoes? This site has things like Straight (European) Lacing or Shoe Shop Lacing, which was purported to be used in the early british army for lacing boots. So far the various lacings that I have read about have both talked about easy of removal to get at injured feet. *Not* something I think of when I am lacing my shoes....

Monday, February 14, 2005

*Not* An Illustrator

So I was looking at gabeart_v2.0 and he mentioned Yoko Matsugane. She is *not* an illustrator. She is a model. Remember this, if I teach you anything, be wary of illustrators when they say things like modelling curves. . .

The Tale of The Glitchy Computer

For those of you who want to check to make sure that everything is working fine on your motherboard: Memtest86 - Memory Diagnostic Page is the page for you.

So far this is what has been tried to fix my computer:
New Power Supply
New Mouse
New Keyboard
Old Keyboard reinstated
Defragged the Hard Drive
Moved the most fragemented file from harddrive C to D, defragged C, moved file back to C
Reduced mouse polling speed [slower icky mouse and when it freaked it just hung the box]
New graphics driver [end result the login screen refreshes slower]
Replaced the DirectX9.0c installation with a fresh one
Turned off the sound card [no sound, no stability]
Reduced the Memory speed from 166 to 133 [slow memory still not stable]

One of the coworkers seems to think that it's a ram power module has gone south. Reason being that the memory on the motherboard at home kept posting errors on memtest. I brought it in, and voila, no memory errors whatsoever. How cool is that?

And the reason why I went through the steps of replacing vid/directx? Well the folks at blizzard on the forums suggested those steps. Oh and then other posters would cite that turning off their sound seemed to make it better. What was going on was that my mouse on occasion in game would just start jumping all over the screen like a chinchilla on speed. And it would click along the way. I'd lose icons, target friends, camera would go all over the place. Not fun. New motherboard is at the delivery place and here is to hoping that it is delivered today.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Focus Follows Mouse

Got this from one of the coworker/mac fan/all around good guy:

> Hey,
> I am not sure if you guys have seen this... there is a hidden option to
> enable the "focus follows mouse" feature in Apple's X11:
> Q: Is there an option for no-click-to-focus for X11 applications?
> A: Yes there is a hidden option. From an xterm or terminal execute :
> defaults write wm_ffm true
> I got this tip from the following page:

Very nice. I can have my ffm back! I've so been missing it.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Yeah I'm the speshul munkey

I set up an email to send new entries to in blogger. Then I forget it. So I came back today to see what the fark it was. So what do I do. I blog instead. Yeah, the allure of a blog is pretty large.

Ruby ruby ruby

Yeah there are times that I've wondered about my sanity. I really enjoy Ruby. Now some folks would start to talk about how they think there isn't any money to made in it or how they are missing some critical library that makes it an unusable language. To the first group I say "A hacker does for love what others would not do for money" and the other group "If you have a scratch, itch it and then send us the backscratcher". This is a really neat and wacky language. Just look at Redhanded. _why is in a class all by himself, and unlike myself, actually takes time to blog each day. Maybe I should code up some gui widget in Fox which comes standard on windows installs of ruby that takes text and emails it to an address. Then I could have an autoblogger

And the neat thing about ruby is that you can write code like this:

(1..10).each {|item| puts "Ruby is neat"}

Realize though, that my leet coding skills in Ruby are like 1 month old and I'm no David Heinemeier Hansson.

I will say this, Ruby has been for me, a side effecty language. I write some code and in one line I can do three things to the current array and get back the changes I've made at the same time. It's a good thing, but some of my old professors would have a heart attack if they ever saw that code. Oh well, at least I realize this.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Parts of Deepfreeze

This is a part of the deepfreeze program. Note that I'm using diff -ru to generate the differences between the Nth snapshot and today's snapshot. The really nice thing is I account for two things both that the target is different than the current one and that the file is now unique [ie having been deleted since the Nth snapshot was taken]

open(FP,"diff -ru --brief $SOURCE $TARGET 2>/dev/null |");

while (){
s/: /\//g;
#this is if the file that was in TARGET is different than SOURCE
if (/^Files .* and (.*) differ$/){
$tmp = $1;
$tmp =~ s/$TARGET/\./;
print FP2 $tmp,"\n";
#this is if the file no longer lives in SOURCE at all
if (/^Only in ($TARGET.*)\n/){
$tmp = $1;
$tmp =~ s/$TARGET/\./;
print FP2 $tmp,"\n";

Work Backups

So I wrote two backup strategies at work lately. Both seem to work rather fine, but I can see that unless I document them somehow they are going to overlap in my brain and that would be bad.

The first one is the the snapshot.rb/ strategy. In this one, we take and do a synchronization to a target disk. Then each day we rotate this snapshot and any other snapshots on disk to older directory names. So disk.2 would be moved to disk.3 and disk.4 to disk.5. Depending on how many snapshots are in the disk the last one is removed each time we rotate. This is where comes in. He basically goes in and checks to see what is different from this snapshot and the latest snapshot and then archives those differences in a tarball [archive file] on yet another disk. This means you get all the files that have been changed since the final snapshot was taken. This is cool and lets a person go back to any day as long as you have snapshots and tarballs and get file *at that day*. [Mental note: Check deepfreeze and see how it's diffing]

The second strategy is to take a timestamp file and find all the files on a drive that are newer than that file. Then tar them all up. Simple, eh? The other neat thing is that you can change the timestamp so that it says "Back up everything since 1969" for example and get a full backup. It's really smooth and makes backing up stuff on an odd schedule really easy. Just touch the file once a week to be a week old and it'll do a weekly backup. Touch it once a month and get one, two, or even three month backups depending on the date you specify.

Yeah it's cool.

Friday, January 21, 2005


From those wacky guys who made the Basecamp site comesTa-da. This is basically a part of the basecamp code that has been extracted out so that those of us that just want a to do list can get one really easily. And share parts of it with the world and parts of it just keep to ourselves.

How can that be bad? Answer: It can't. And from reading the author's blog it took, 500 lines of code. That's it. That's nothing. Nada, zip, zero, naught.

Some of my computer science projects took more lines of code and did a lot less work. That's just amazing.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

rebecca blood :: ten tips for a better weblog

rebecca blood :: ten tips for a better weblog

Some of these tips are really spot on. Others are more of what should be common sense, but apparently is not. Such is the lot of the logger.

US right attacks SpongeBob video

BBC NEWS | Americas | US right attacks SpongeBob video

Ok, how stupid is this. Yes we can see that there is evil in the world. Yes it exists on our very doorstep. It does NOT take the form of small yellow cartoon characters waiting to seduce our children into becoming homosexuals. The evil is inside the people that think that it is. No child in their right mind thinks anything sexual about cartoon characters, unless those characters are doing something 'naughty'. Holding hands with your friends is not 'naughty'. Touch is one way we communicate friendship, caring and honesty. When I shake someone's hand it's not because I want to jump their bones, it's cause I am greeting them. I think some people need to get out and realize that if God wanted us to live apart from each other, we'd be predators like tigers.