Saturday, May 28, 2011

In addition to being sad, this article reminds me that a part of programming, is you will likely read several implementations of fundimental data structures, and write one or two yourself. If you can't figure out how a data structure works (TM). You probably should NOT be using the darn thing.
Since I'm not quite able to get back asleep, I thought I would decide on what to do with the photo's from Thursday's ride home.

On my way out I was telling a friend that it was about to "Rain cats, dogs, and zombies out here". Things pretty much went from nadda to bucket, upon bucket, upon bucket coming straight down and the area around Medlock Bridge and State Bridge, probably had 20+ air to ground  lighting strikes within the horizon, just trying to get through the darn light. At one point, I thought about snapping a picture to show my mother the fun, but sadly, noticed that the view through the camera was like 30% more clear than looking through the windshield.

Thursday's storms were both the worst driving conditions I've had to deal with and the most fun driving home I've had, lol. Heck, people started driving with their emergency flashers on and several started to pull over, yet I didn't have any real trouble driving next to blind most of the way :-/

What a terrible dream.... was doomed to drive endless laps around a monster track... filled with Atlanta drivers!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Every so often, life gives you a reason to be glad you learned something. Well, one for me was being stuck without working arrow keys on my server during early boot—and smiling because I knew vi well enough not to need any!

Today, I just got another lol. Setting up a bit of a server install here using some scavenged hardware. The keyboard I'm working with is both one of those annoying ones with the pipe (|) key missplaced in favour of a larger enter key—and having most of the keycaps in the wrong places! Well, unless they make a "<>PYF keyboard layout and the hardware see's it as QWERTY :-D.

Where else but technology, could you have this much of a chuckle and life still be great? Haha!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh joyus day!

Today had kind of a nice start until my mother figured out that I was awake. On the upside ma has finally gotten a few things sorted with her new phone,

I've also had to cart her to four stores in search of a case, rewrite most of her address books, been shouted at loads, and  given a nice headach cluster. I love my mother but somedays I wish she would rain on somebody elses head!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You know, when your communication methods have reach the expansion point of like 7 or 8 instant messaging networks, VoIP, and SMS technology, you know your logging infrastructural is kaput lol.
Something that I was thinking about on the way home tonight: it does say something, how we chose to spend our time. Or should we say, it does to me, because in my view Life is Time and Time is Life, so much so that I almost wrote "spend our life", lol. That is also perhaps why I consider wasted time, a grave form of disrespect.

I've pretty much decided how I want to spend my time at this point, and it occurred to me, because of my (above) views, does arguably condescend to specifying the other as well. Somehow, that kind of gives me a satisfied feeling because of my choices. Is there anything more telling than time?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You hard headed bastard

Simply put my solution to a properly-bad-mood, was either I'm going to bed or hitting  game, may as well hit a game. But what I really felt like was hitting my head into the proverbial wall.

Well that makes three sides and I'm too lazy to fetch a coin, so I asked Python for help:

23:34 - Spidey01: You wanna know how good random numbers are?
23:34 - Friend: um sure
23:35 - Spidey01: Ok, so I decided I'm either going to play a game, go to bed, or bang my head into a wall
23:36 - Spidey01: > python
Python 2.6.5 (r265:79096, Mar 19 2010, 21:48:26) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> from random import choice
>>> choice(['game', 'head-bang', 'bed'])
23:36 - Spidey01: Door jams are good for that, right?
23:36 - Friend: aw
23:37 - Friend: i dont think banging your head against a wall with help anything
23:37 - Spidey01: Dang, my head is harder than the wall \o/
23:38 - Spidey01: Well, I didn't think the Random numbers would hate me....
23:38 - Friend: well it is random
23:38 - Spidey01: 1/3 though
23:39 - Friend: lol

And yes, I really did bang my head into the door jam, lol.
Was just watching an odd film, while Repo Men is probably not going to win any wards, I at least found it interesting. Regardless of ones view points on research and cloning, unless you are the "If GOD had meant man to fly, HE would have given him wings" type—using bio-technology to replace present day organ transplants is a good thing. After all, how many of us would want to watch someone we care for die just because they need a new heart, or something like that? I could totally see myself ending up in John Q's boots.

The jist of Repo men is that you can now do an organ transplant on credit. Just like a car or a PC, you can even purchase a warranty! But, if you miss your payments, the Repo Men are coming to collect. Whether that means cutting out a kidney, lung, heart, whatever you owe. Of course the future not being totally black, they are legally obligated to ask if you wish for EMTs standing by to chart you off to the emergency room to die, if they didn't have to TASER your ass to gut you of course ^_^.

Simply put, it really is not a pretty line of work. Yeah, jacking someone's Lexus over a late payment is one thing but ripping a heart out is a bit eh, unfriendly? lol. A highly successful repo man named Remy has to deal with his wife pushing him to transfer to the sales department. This is of course all well and good, until an accident on the job lands Remy in need of an artificial heart, on credit. Now unable to afford the organ keeping him alive, Remy is forced to watch his entire life crumble into ruin as final notice passes him by. Then it all hits the fan royally.

The ending is kind of sad but appropriate, maybe it will make more or less sense depending on your thoughts about the universe but the movie is well worth the watching. +/- the question of whether you faint at the sight of a scalpel. Hmm, the book is probably worth a read too.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Think one down side of work is that I keep freaking wake up around then, even on my days off! Dreamland at least was refreshing, although the progression infantry->zombies->aliens is rather tiring, especially when the aliens are bullet proof :|.

On the upside though, I was reading about nVidia's GTX560s, which pretty much makes me retire my intention of  going with an ATI/AMD {5,6}8{5,7}0 grade hardware with a comparable nVidia card. Eh, what can I say, I'm more partial to Intel and nVidia than their competitors. I also have a rather poor opinion of ATI's stuff, or should we say I'm not fond of them.

In looking at the prices of hardware and how sharply it has fallen, I also feel rather old. Even worse when I consider that in 3-4 pay cheques of saving I could built quite a nice computer. But I would much rather pour that towards putting together a vacation plan than replacing SAL1600. Although, I do admit that if Dead Island requires newer hardware, I'm buying it. But I only expect to require a better graphics card, unless like a Quad Core is required lol.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another sign that I spent way to many years on training/teaching CQB concepts over at [SAS], is when in the event of congestion at the hatch, my instinct is still ride the door for threats and clear the fatal funnel ASAP!

Sadly, that portion of my brain gets better exercise at Airsoft than at Work, lol. Hmm...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hmm, I just realised that come 2011-09-09, this September is going to be roughly the fifth anniversary of when I began keeping my journal via weblog. Facebook rather entered the mix after a friend decided to run one of his projects off it, as opposed to more traditional mailing list/forum structure.

Still have files littering my home directory, since at least 2007. Either private thoughts or project notes that I've recorded. Most things generally end up here on my journal, because that's the sense of one. Facebook for me is utilized more as a hybrid of things. Friends generally prefer Facebook, so it's a practical consideration. Me, well, I rather prefer something like Blogger or Instant Messaging. But what can I say, people tend to be attracted to such monoliths.

Over the years, I have rather amassed a large sum of time around computers: virtually since diapers! I don't think that I can even remember not having a computer, and my memory does go quite a far ways back. In the pat ten years, I really don't want to know how many more hours I've spent on/around computers, than doing something else. So yeah, it makes sense that I would use a computer for recording my thoughts.

Some people use paper, and hide it away someway. Me on the other hand, I've few things to hide, and am too cheap to buy a larger hard drive than the cloud.

Love versus Sense

or why I'll never walk across a bridge built by my mother.

It's Common Knowledge either by experience or paying attention, that if if smooth something (nail) goes in, enough force makes smooth something come out the hole. That's why screw's screw in instead of *push* in. I'm not the most handy person on earth but even I know when to use a nail and when to use a screw. Unless you want to get screwed by physics,


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out

This is a song that I bumped into cica last week and had stuck in my head for about a day and a half. Gotta admit, after looking at some of his work, I'm inclined to like John Lennon.

Nobody loves you when you're down and out
Nobody sees you when you're on cloud nine
Everybody's hustin' for a buck and a dime
I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine

I've been across to the other side
I've shown you everything, I got nothing to hide
And still you ask me do I love you, what it is, what it is
All I can tell you is it's all show biz
All I can tell you is it's all show biz

Nobody loves you when you're down and out
Nobody knows you when you're on cloud nine
Everybody's hustlin' for a buck and a dime
I'll scratch your back and you knife mine

I've been across the water now so many times
I've seen the one eyed witchdoctor leading the blind
And still you ask me do I love you, what you say, what you say
Every time I put my finger on it, it slips away
Every time I put my finger on it, it slips away

Well I get up in the morning and I'm looking in the mirror to see, ooo wee!
Then I'm lying in the darkness and I k now I can't get to sleep, ooo wee!

Nobody loves you when you're old and grey
nobody needs you when you're upside down
Everybody's hollerin' 'bout their own birthday
Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground

Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out—John Lennon

Friday, May 6, 2011

Are passwords an outdated way to login to web services?

Writing the previous entry, made me recollect something that I was thinking about on the way home from work Thursday or Wednesday. Are passwords outdated when it comes to logging into a web service? Really. I think they are to be honest.

At work and at home, I use 'keys', not passwords. My ~/.ssh/config and /etc/hosts files are configured so that I can run 'ssh pcname' and log into machines automagically; no need for a password. I do it this way, because while I can set a passphrase on SSH keys: the ratio between chance of theft and frequency of logging in, is wide enough that I've little need to worry. If someone walks off with my computer, the SSH keys to my other PCs are the least of my worries, assuming that they didn't take those too!

Quite readily one could just adapt something like the SSH2 public key authentication to browsing the web; and maybe improve on it while they're at it. Even better, rather than relying on the browser to "Remember passwords" it can simply be made to ask a key agent. While Windows out of the box has always lacked something comparable to my knowledge, GNOME and KDE have had keyring management services for as long as I can remember; Konqueror was the first web browser that I ever used that integrated with something approximating one (KWallet). Although I rather prefer the GNOME keyring stuff, hehe.

This could then if desired, be linked to your computer login. For example, login to your desktop can unlock the keyring and allow pre-authorized requests to utilize it's services. There are obvious implications for such things but I rather would like to see what it could do in like the next ~20 years.

All that of course, still means that if you leave your computer unlocked and your bank account open, you deserve what you get ^_^.  For what little I consider it worth, my systems are usually programmed to auto-lock after a short delay, and I frequently lock them before going AFK, if there's any sense to it. I.e. at home, the PC is more likely to get carted off by a thief, then the one at work, lol.

Paste it!

A while back I was thinking of setting up a personal paste-bin, but obviously that means finding suitable software or writing it. In my case, I'd rather like one that is locked to me or restricted to logins I issue.

But it just occurred to me, that having sufficient access to the system, I can just use vim's :TOhtml command to export a file as HTML, upload it to a designated area, and have the web server pick it up. Then use a cron-job on the server side to clean out files in that directory every now and then.


+1 for git in my book

Parsing this old blog post by Keith Packard, somehow makes me happy that I opted to follow the Git path rather than the Mercurial (hg) path when I left CVS behind. I also like the trailing comment xD.

That being said, git and hg are the only version control systems I really respect, above tar. Perforce and Darcs, I at least consider worth a closer look someday. Just haven't had any excuse to leave Git on my own projects since the first date.

Yeah, I'm a lazy git alright.

More signs that you're a workaholic at heart, love your job, or both

Today's the last day for one of our more skilled hackers, so the powers that be decided to cart Engineering out to lunch for the send off. While I'm happy enough to accept the invite, I'm also, well, I just eat a quick lunch and go back to work lol. Asked one of my peers whether he thought it would be rude if I brought the netbook along to get some work done and he thought nothing of it. The guy that's leaving the company, I'm surprised we could pry him off work long enough for the gathering. Yup.

So of course I'm working remotely off alice by the time the like ~20 of us are filtering out of this Mexican restaurant up the road. What brought a smile to my face however, was when Steve remarked something like, "You just couldn't leave work?" and then realized we had wifi access the whole time xD.

My closest friends know that I'm kind of a workaholic at heart.... and that I am also insane lol
Alice just proved her ROI lol. When I left work yesterday, I just unplugged her, closed the lid and slipped alice in my backpack. There it sat until getting to work just now—with 2:35 hours remaining on the battery!

This thing is energy efficient enough to take several times my laptops battery life, when under a normal load. Let it go into restrained sleep and it's pretty darn long lived; I have Linux programmed to prefer using more power then is strictly necessary when on battery as well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The recession has hit everybody really hard...

I think the Pakistan bit at the end is in poor taste but especially loved the one above it.

My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.

I saw a Mormon with only one wife.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their
children's names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico ..

A picture is now only worth 200 words.

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal.

Oh Great! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally....

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

Source—Stocky Stan @ 94.9 The Bull; Read more:

I reckon going by historical critique, my opinions would differ but I think I may have finally figured out how to give my mother a smile towards Mother's day.
Last night ma went kind of on red alert when she noticed someone climbing up a ladder outside her window; me of course, why would I worry? If they're smart enough to use a ladder they're not stupid and if they break the window, well, you shout at them to be more careful next time... heh. It was far past time for sleeping that short of seeing a TV lowering out the window, little to worry about in my books.

In my shift from tired mode to quick-computate mode, things obviously suggested thief, or someone sneaking in without the parents knowledge. Seeing a young arm hanging out a window, holding a pink ribbon tied to the ladder and trying to 'remotely' hide it on the other hand, would suggest the latter to me. So of course, ma had me look up the non emergency number for the local police, which conveniently has an outpost like 2 minutes up the road from here. Sure enough, 17-year old whose probably going to have upset parents.

Nothing like being out in the cold with like four cops poking around to get you wide awake again. *Groans*

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The best part about being a penny pinching S.O.B. is when you make a budget that's designed around being bled like a stuffed pig, unless the car halts and catches fire, the fact is that the reality can't be toooo terrible when the graph is so good.

How? Driving ~30km per day at a rate of approximately 450km to every 45 litres, seriously beats the ****ing hell out of driving near ~225km per day and using around 38 litres for the same general distance covered.

And my budget for the next month or so is built around the assumption that petrol will cost me around $4.15 a gal, or roughly $1.09 a litre. That's about a $0.25 higher per hal then it is now.
Note, I am not psychotic but this is strangely, eh, this has a nice tune is all I will say lol. It's also somewhat morbid and disturbing but, helps if you have an equally insane sense of humour.

Before the story begins, is it such a sin
For me to take what's mine until the end of time?
We were more than friends before the story ends
And I will take what's mine, create what God would never design

Our love had been so strong for far too long
I was weak with fear that something would go wrong
Before the possibilities came true I took all possibility from you
Almost laughed myself to tears, conjuring her deepest fears

Must have stabbed her fifty fucking times
I can't believe it
Ripped her heart out right before her eyes
Eyes over easy, eat it, eat it, eat it

She was never this good in bed even when she was sleeping
Now she's just so perfect, I've never been quite so fucking deep in
It goes on and on, and on, I can keep you looking young
And preserved forever with a fountain to spray on your youth whenever

'Cause I really always knew that my little crime
Would be cold that's why I got a heater for your thighs
And I know, I know it's not your time but bye, bye
And a word to the wise when the fire dies
You think it's over but it's just begun, baby don't cry

You had my heart, at least for the most part
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime
We fell apart, let's make a new start
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime, but baby, don't cry

Now possibilities I'd never considered
Are occurring the likes of which I'd never heard
Now an angry soul comes back from beyond the grave
To repossess a body with which I'd misbehaved

Smiling right from ear to ear
Almost laughed herself to tears

Must have stabbed him fifty fucking times
I can't believe it
Ripped his heart out right before his eyes
Eyes over easy, eat it, eat it, eat it

Now that it's done, I realize the error of my ways
I must venture back to apologize
From somewhere far beyond the grave

I gotta make up for what I've done
'Cause I was all up in a piece of heaven
While you burned in hell, no peace forever

'Cause I really always knew that my little crime
Would be cold that's why I got a heater for your thighs
And I know, I know it's not your time but bye, bye
And a word to the wise when the fire dies
You think it's over but it's just begun but baby, don't cry

You had my heart at least for the most part
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime
We fell apart, let's make a new start
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime, but baby, don't cry

I will suffer for so long
(What will you do, not long enough')
To make it up to you
(I pray to God that you do)
I'll do whatever you want me to do
(Well then I'll break you unchained)

And if it's not enough
(If it's not enough, if it's not enough)
If it's not enough
(Not enough)
Try again
(Try again)
And again
(And again)
Over and over again

We're coming back, coming back
We'll live forever, live forever
Let's have a wedding, have a wedding
Let's start the killing, start the killing

'Cause I really always knew that my little crime
Would be cold that's why I got a heater for your thighs
And I know, I know it's not your time but bye, bye
And a word to the wise when the fire dies
You think it's over but it's just begun but baby, don't cry

You had my heart at least for the most part
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime
We fell apart, let's make a new start
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime, but baby, don't cry

A Little Piece Of Heaven—Avenged Sevenfold

Monday, May 2, 2011

Using a custom window manager with Gnome / Ubuntu 11.04

I kinda expected that the upgrade to Natty Narwhal would be a bit bumpy, but it was pretty painless. Really all I use GNOME for is a way to get a system tray into my XMonad session with the least possible fuss. I also use a few GTK+Gnome oriented apps like evince and geeqie but have no real connexion to the old Gnome.

The only real bump that I have faced, is that overriding WINDOW_MANAGER and calling gnome-session is no longer enough to run GNOME with XMonad. Ubuntu 11.04 as of current update status, is overwriting this with compiz! Not even overriding the gconf key helps, it just gets reset to gnome-wm; which is what is *supposed* to be picking up the exported WINDOW_MANAGER variable from my X session file.

Solution? Found a helpful hint on the XMonad wiki. However rather than modify things at the system level (I am a BSD lover after all), I opted to instead setup a session file in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/gnome-session/sessions/$LOGNAME.session. The default value for $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is ~/.config, $LOGNAME is another variable for $USER (your users' login name).

[ terry@alice ]$ cat ~/.config/gnome-session/sessions/terry.session
[GNOME Session]
Name=Classic GNOME
[ terry@alice ]$

Then updated my X session to run this with commit 3e92fc91040573ba40ac20ad75a594d6eeef60b6. And for good measure, I unset the gconf key.

Now everything worky :-)