Archive for the 'tech' Category

new! new! new! new!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

a season of new has arrived. new job. new fedora. new dev box. new kings season.

one of those things doesn’t quite belong. anyway, first week and a half down and things are still in the feeling out stage. exciting and daunting at the same time as scope is large and time lines are aggressive. It’ll work itself out, i’m sure.

On another note, new fedora! I am quasi sad to report that i’ve finally officially switched to using gnome . . . there, i said it. for those in the know, this next sentence will blow your mind even more. I’m now booting into run level 5, too. wow. i feel so dirty saying that, but alas, it was getting too difficult to figure out all the new daemons i had to get windowmaker to run in order to keep up with modern laptop features. in general, the box is fast enough where i don’t notice the performance difference between windowmaker and gnome. the panels still annoy the hell out of me, but i’m slowly learning how to use them. also, if i enable compiz and workspace as cube mode, i can drag windows between workspaces. kinda crazy that gnome requires you to have 3D acceleration just to drag windows between workspaces . . . so dirty . . . the one last hurdle hurdled was how gnome window geometry was absurdly large. my 80×25 emacs windows would take up a full quarter of my screen at 1400×1050. unacceptable. here’s the magic sauce in my .Xdefaults file that did the trick:

emacs.font: Monospace-12:antialias=True:pixelsize=12

you can mess with the pixelsize to get things to your liking. after each edit you have to hit

$ xrdb ~/.Xdefaults

speaking of emacs, after years of failed attempts with multiple major modes a la mmm-mode, it looks like there’s finally a good solution to be found in nXhtml. Finally a mode where php, javascript, css, and html can live happily together. the only down side are the hideous background region colors that are used to demarcate each mode. you can fix that by putting this in your .emacs:

‘(mumamo-background-chunk-major ((((class color) (min-colors 88) (background dark)) (:background “black”))))
‘(mumamo-background-chunk-submode1 ((((class color) (min-colors 88) (background dark)) (:background “black”))))
‘(mumamo-background-chunk-submode2 ((((class color) (min-colors 88) (background dark)) (:background “black”))))
‘(mumamo-background-chunk-submode3 ((((class color) (min-colors 88) (background dark)) (:background “black”))))
‘(mumamo-background-chunk-submode4 ((((class color) (min-colors 88) (background dark)) (:background “black”)))))

well, that’s all i got for now, folks. enjoy you turkey day!


Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Caught the latest bond flick last night with Carmen. It was good. A little thin on depth, i think, since it was packed with plot.

On the bus ride home, Carmen and I were talking about how she liked that the new daniel craig incarnation relies less on cool gadgets and more on bad-assery. Our conversation then turned to the only dazzle gadget in the movie which was this touch screen interface that seems to be the IT tool of choice at MI6. It basically looks like they got ten or twelve flash monkeys in a room, loaded them up with red bull, and let them go crazy with spinning gears and gifs of scanned documents and pictures. It had a nice effect overall and it looked fairly believable to interact with.

There was this one scene in particular that caught my attention. Bond is spelling the name “greene” and the interface was trying to work its speech to text mojo, typing out the name as it’s being spelled. Being the tech-savvy secret agent, bond goes spelling be style: “greene. g-r-,” then. showing a flair of sophistication, he goes for the, “double-e,” then finishes with “n-e.” For some reason, i was paying close attention to the touchscreen as it put up the g and r and then, for a split second after the “double,” it throws up a “w,” and then after bond says, “e,” the screen erases the “w” and throws up “ee.”

cute, right? poor little touch screen getting jerked around by a snobby british dude and his quirky way of spelling things . . . apparently, i was the only one that noticed.


Saturday, May 10th, 2008

talking to the chuburys the other day, it occurred to me that my career will be turning ten years old in a few short months. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I feel a retrospective is in order. On the other, I feel like I’m too young to be thinking about a retro anything. I wish I had something more substantive to say about this mile marker.

I guess what I can say is that this past decade I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with some really wonderful people with whom I’ve formed enduring friendships, and for that I am very grateful.

So, thanks y’all!

Here’s to another ten. Cheers.

sporting a new os

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

took the time to install (finally) the latest and greatest from the fedora crew, release 8. what are my impressions so far? not bad. I’m happy that the inevitable shit storm that is NetworkManager is not yet the default. I’m really worried about that thing for a couple reasons: 1) it doesn’t start network services until you log in, which leaves you ssh server, or any other server for that matter, sol. 2) you need to type in your damn password for the keyring manager before you can connect to any wifi networks. remind me again why everyone’s so crazy about this thing?

anyway, what was nice (sorta) was the network install that i did. just downloaded the 100MB rescue disc iso, popped it in and pointed it to the ftp servers on and it did the rest. the install did take significantly longer, but oh well. better than having to go out and lay down some bucks for dvd media which seems to be the only way to get a full distro now.

other niceties: the games selection is ginormous. i spent 10 minutes browsing through those options. also, you can hook up to other yum repositories during the install process, so you can have livna right off the bat. also, gnome is actually (gulp) coming along nicely. there are all sorts of extra packages to install to make it more customizable. perhaps one day i’ll finally switch . . . one day.

some other cool candy includes a desktop background that changes shades with the time of day. compiz is supposed to work, but i haven’t been able to get it going, though. but who needs wobbly windows anyway?

one big shout out has to go to the new dejavu fonts. call me square but this shit is super easy to read. it might take up a bit more space, but i have to say i prefer it. haven’t even thought about installing the ms ttf fonts package.

one the downside, the new pulse audio system still isn’t widely supported enough. i can’t seem to get mplayer working with it. also, selinux is still on the shits. i find it hilarious how they keep trying with this thing. i have to give them credit. i mean the stock selinux rules prevent you from updating the stock selinux rules. it’s a cruel, cruel world. also, i’m suspect on how yum is working. it’s missed a couple packages that had updates available. hmmm . . ..

Why UI? Why Not?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I took some time over the long weekend to hunker down and get familiar with YUI, and re-familiar with javascript. I’m a dork. I know. But, i have to admit it’s been a while since i sat down and did something educational for myself.

Anyway, something to note about YUI is that, while incredibly powerful, it’s terribly documented. I mean, do i pass an id string or a reference to the html element? the examples are a mix/blur of both usages. Also, for those using the animation stuff, opacity is a value between 0 and 1, not 0 and 100. and you might also have to use a “from” attribute. oh, and you might also have to pre-initialize the opacity to match your “from”.

you see, i really don’t know cause i ended up shotgunning it cause,well, i spent one day setting up all the webservices i needed for this little app i’m building, and then the next four days trying to figure out how to mofo fade a damn li in and out.

also, one thing i have yet to figure out is javascript blocking/sleeping/waiting. i have an array that i want to iterate through and append li elements in a ul. the problem is that i want to append these elements over x amount of time, maybe, i dunno, one per second. however, i can’t seem to figure out how to sleep in javascript. anyone?

Handy uses for a Mac Number 2 and 3

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

#2) i can record hd content from my dvr via firewire
#3) I can buy shows on itunes and export it via dvi->hdmi to my tv.


Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

That’s how i tried to kill a process yesterday. Why, you ask? I’ll give you one guess.

I am now at the point where i could really fuck something up if i can’t even kill a process correctly anymore. So, i’ve decided to take a new approach. Namely, firing up the thinkpad, putting fedora 7 on it and running with that at home. Sorry, macbook. i tried. If it’s any consolation, you can still play my quicktime trailers.

Macbook has arrived [Updated]

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Any suggestions on how to make it work like a unix box/windowmaker are most welcome. This includes tips on X11 forwarding, sloppy focus, virtual desktops, and maybe some info on how the heck the filesystem is laid out.

in addition, if anyone knows a better music player than itunes, i’m all ears. I’m looking for something that has a light desktop footprint, doesn’t chew up gobs of memory, and has the ability to create a playlist, shufflie it, and the play the shuffled playlist in sequential order. thinki winamp/xmms for mac. any hints? i just tried itunes and for some stupid reason it has decided to copy all of my music into it’s special directory. why the hell it would do such a dumbass thing is beyond me, although from memory, i vaguely recall that if i tell it not to i can’t get all play history and rating stuff.

update: also could use some help with fixing the trackpad. it just doesn’t track properly. my finger feels like sysiphus. it moves all the way across the pad only to have to do it over and over again until it finally gets across the screen.

update 2: and why didn’t they put a full keypad on this thing? i mean, there’s plenty of space . . .

update 3: a bagillion thanks to selfish crab for his mac osx insights. Fink/FinkCommander seems to be the ticket. xmms is up and running now. they even have windowmaker! do i dare dream?

update 4: in case anyone was wondering, the macbook’s given name is

update 5: Virtual desktops are go! thanks to DekstopManager.

update 6: Virtual desktops aren’t as much of a go as i originally thought. it appears the ability to drag windows between desktops is not possible. boo.

update 7: what’s with the no date in the f-ing toolbar on top? how is that possible?

update 8: ah. found the fix for not date in the toolbar. hack.

update 9: what? “ctrl-delete” works like “^m-delete” in emacs while “delete” works like backspace. bitches. how can a brother get a delete going?

update 10: “ctrl-delete” can be achieved with “fn-ctrl-delete.” “delete” can be achieved with “fn-delete.” annoying.

update 11: apparently, all of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

update 12: i finally broke down and did an explicit emacs key binding. I just have to note that this is *not* an emacs problem. It’s a mac problem. they fucked up their keyboard from the start and have been too stubborn to fix it.

Outlook Killer?

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

todo.txt. brilliant!


Monday, April 17th, 2006

Qty Product Code Description Unit Cost Total
Product Description Lenovo ThinkPad T60 2623 – Core Duo T2400 1.83 GHz – 14.1″ TFT
Recommended Use Small business
Dimensions (WxDxH) 12.4 in x 10 in x 1.2 in
Weight 5.3 lbs
Localization English / United States
Platform Technology Intel Centrino Duo
System Type Notebook
Built-in Devices Stereo speakers, wireless LAN antenna, fingerprint reader, ThinkLight
Processor Intel Core Duo T2400 1.83 GHz ( Dual-Core )
Cache Memory 2 MB – L2 cache
RAM 512 MB (installed) / 3 GB (max) – DDR II SDRAM – 667 MHz – PC2-5300
Hard Drive 80 GB – Serial ATA-150 – 5400 rpm
Optical Storage DVD¦RW (¦R DL) / DVD-RAM – plug-in module
Display 14.1″ TFT active matrix SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) – 24-bit (16.7 million colors)
Graphics Controller ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 – 64 MB
Audio Output Sound card
Telecom Fax / modem – CDC – 56 Kbps
Networking Network adapter – Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g
Wireless NIC Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Input Device Keyboard, TrackPoint, UltraNav
Power AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
Battery Lithium ion
Run Time (Up To) 3.9 hour(s)
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Manufacturer Warranty 3 years warranty
Product Description Lenovo ThinkPad memory – 512 MB – SO DIMM 200-pin – DDR II
Storage Capacity 512 MB
Technology DDR II SDRAM
Form Factor SO DIMM 200-pin
Memory Speed 667 MHz ( PC2-5300 )
Qty Product Code Description Unit Cost Total

And minus the Microsoft Tax!!!!! Woooot!