Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some thoughts on tablets in general

In taking a look at tablets in general, I can't help but note if I ever did get a tablet for 'serious' use, I would probably be inclined to get something like the old HP Slate 500, slap Linux on it, and go. iOS and Android are pretty much the big shiz now when it comes to phones and tablets, but I'd still opt for something that I can put *my* choice environment on.

Reason why I would exclude iOS is because of Apple's control, I also do not feel that the platform is sufficently designed for "Hackability" in the way that unix systems and Microsoft Windows are. While I'd probably be willing to by a Mac someday if I could justify the cost, an iPhone or iPad really isn't likely to be something that I will ever buy for myself.

Android on the other hand, is similar but I would generally take it over iOS. What I don't like about Android is the lack of control. It excells at what it does but you can't really get that power over the device, unless you gain root access to it, plus setting up a suitable cross compiler or doing development on system with most present-day Android devices, would be mildly irksome.

Which makes me think, if the principal difference between something like a Galaxy Tab or a Slate 500, is getting to install my choice of OS, why does it have to be so? I mean, Android phones and the like generally have the issue of "Rooting". But simply, I think manufacturers should offer pre rooted versions at an additional cost. Like wise, I believe the world would be a better place if Microsoft Windows eventually took this model as well, although I find that unlikely before the next major version of Windows (likely NOT8), and I think it'd be a darn fine way for them to get sued lol.

Ahhh, but in the end, there is a real kicker to it. I have a netbook that offers everything that I want. The only reason to have a tablet would be if I operated in an environment where a netbook was inefficent, like travelling most of the time. So in the end, I do actually prefer my Alice :-).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vacation Planning

I haven't mentioned much here of my vacation plans, since the majority of it is in my private operational notes. Today or tomorrow I should have the last elements of my vacatio booked. Most of my friends have some good idea of things, where as my mother of course managed to get herself pretty much blacklisted for being an offensive pain. In about ten days though, I should be enjoying a trip to Canada :-).

Perhaps the most fun of all of this planning, was when not only was my best friend shocked that the work-a-holic would be plotting Vacation, but when Miles practically banged his head on the desk after I gave him the details xD.

Only thing left to sort is final packing for my carry-on and rental car. Flight, etc is all booked and ready to go since the start of the month. Travel resouces have consisently given me data in local airport time. My Calendar gives the info in my local home time. And the airline gives Calendar data in UTC. Thus I have things in 3 time zones, that all have checked to be in aggrement. Like wise I expect on top of whatever the airport offers for time pieces, I will have my phone (local home time) and netbook (UTC) with me. Probably my watch will get pressed into use for whatever current local time is.

In short, there is basically no way I can screw up tripply redundant time data :-).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Please, let the mental retardation end!

The day started off with my first alarm going off, and a sinking feeling that if I was smart, I would get up for work at the first alarm rather than the second. Probably ideal, because after a late night I was rather thinking of leaing early and stopping off for dunkin' but alas, it was not to be.

The royal pain bellows in noting that there is some earth shattering discovery, there has been a recall of ground beef; this one in fact. She forgot to charge her tablet last night and her computer boots to slowly, so obviouly it is my problem to discover this impertive information, as my lunch for the day was made with ground beef. No sickness has been reported yet.

My tickets to Canada are rather highly non refundable and 'oli escherichiais rather the sort of thing that would get me rejected at the border, so of course, I went through the problem of running Google. Is it so hard to type two words into a box and press enter? My word, I am genuis! Perhaps leaving my computer running, makes me brillant. Sure enough nothing matches what she bought so in theory, it is pretty safe, plus the reports show it was a totally diffrent kind of packaging then what she buys. Good, sounds safe.

Then my mother's mental retardation caused me to facepalm into a morning headache. She didn't want me to get 'sick' before my vacation, good reason for see the above paragraph. The WHAT THE FUCK!? how ever is that the same ground beef lunch was made from, we have been eating on pretty steadily for nearly two weeks now. If there was any problem it would probably have been noticed by now. To top it off, lunch is leftovers from several days ago. Meaning if there was an actual risk over 0.00000000001% it would be several orders of magatude to late, and I would already be ill. Totally wasted my time, made me ~20 minutes late, and all for something already obviously a non-issue, and we've been in perfect health. Just freaking brillant I tell you, or as my choice of words on the way out were, if there was a problem, her choice of actions would be like telling someone not to cut the red wire right after they've already checked into hell.

On the way out to add insult to injury, she begins ranting that customs have been strict lately and what if my computer gets taken away? I note their only interest in my computer should be that it's the same one I left the US with and that there is nothing illegal on it (does linux count?), which goes for both Canadian and American security. Her useless rant continues towards the direction of border security being omni-potently above the law and able to do just about anything (maybe even murder on the spot?). FUD, FUD, FUD, FUCK OFF RETARD! I am tired of it. I don't FUD. Go fly a kite. I really am tired of this endless stream of bullshit.

Breakfast became a Pepsi—as Coke has less sugar and caffeine. On the upside though, I only had to stop for petrol \o/. Would it be rude to say, why don't I just cut the Fugu myself?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This makes me angry

Interesting little cluster of stuff:

  1. Phone power level is critical, standard android message to connect the charger comes up.

  2. SD card unmounted for reasons unknown!

  3. The carriers account app gives me a notification saying
    that I should reboot my phone because it has been 49
    hours past the reccomended frequency of rebooting. My
    last power up was apparently "August 1st blah blah".

    It says that they reccomend everyone reboot their phone
    at least once a week in order to improve/maintain

Now why that makes me angry? Why the fuck would I want to reboot my phone? If
you require a reboot for performance reasons, guess what mac? YOU ARE FUCKING
DOING IT WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is exactly one device that I reboot for performance reasons: my Windows
machine, since games performance tends to suffer after a day or two of uptime.

My OpenBSD server reboots for kernel upgrades and power outages, or if the
weather outside is raining cats, dogs, and zombies, I may decide to
power down as a cheesy form of insurance..

My Linux powered netbook reboots when I decide I that I would d rather power
down then go to hibernate or sleep mode with my current session. My workstation
is usually powered off when I leave work and state is maintained on a
development server nearby.

Guess what. My phone only gets a reboot when one of two things happen:

  • Power is so low that I decide to shutdown rather than get a dead battery.

  • The SD card unmounted.

The former rarely occurs as unlike today, as I rarely forget to keep my charger
handy. Where as the latter happens every now and then, and the Android UI won't
allow me to remount it; the battery is also ontop of the card, making it
impossible to yank and reseat. That happens every couple of months, although
more frequently of late.

Somethings make me angry.

What the Fsck

O.K. I may have just recently cleaned out the mouse wheel of my MX400 at home, for the first time in years: as the dog hair and gunk was making it nearly impossible to scroll.

Today however, I got a new treat at work: the mouse on my desk is so old, there is mold growing out of it!!!

I'm really glad the keyboard is good stuff lol.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ramblings on Electronic Books

Of recent, I've been doing a little studying on the issue of ebooks, primarily because I tend to be tighter on shelf space than disk space. For some stuff of interest to me, I must say, the digitial solution is usually cheaper: perhaps up to 40% or less the list price. Although that being said, I usually prefer "Used" books on the cheap to new books at full price, but the nearest decent used bookstore for years has been is Amazon \o/.

Two major retailers of books in general exist that are worth my investment: Amazon (Kindle) and B&N (Nookland). Kobo looks intensely interesting but within minutes of checking their website, I do not trust them with my billing information.

Now I may be a major cheapskate but I don't mind buying what I want, in fact, I prefer it—if it gets me exactly what I want. In the case of the Kindle and Nook stores at least, it is pretty much there. The problem is DRM. You can read it on a PC, a Mac, iOS, Android devices, and their own reader devices.
Well guess what, I prefer a PC but their software doesn't work on mine. My PC's run Linux and BSD based operating systems :-).

This creates a bit of a irk for me: why should I give them my money, if they will restrict what I can do overtly? Generally, I would choose the Kindle store as a matter of taste. The problem is each store's DRM prevents me from using the devices that ***I*** wish to use at my leisure, so it is little better then requiring their hardware. Given the choice of using my cell phone or remoting to a windows or OSX box to read from Linux and BSD, isn't what I call fair enough versus the cost of a real old fashioned book I can lay in bed and read.

Honestly, I am not against DRM in concept, only how it is typically executed. Because if it is much more complex then email + password + auth token = decode and enjoy content, ala setting up Dropbox on a new PC (to access your content). It is not managing my digital rights, it is removing them. IMHO the only practical form of DRM for books and the like: would be the kind where someone is unable to access the material in _any_ form, unless their DNA matches the DNA of the person licensed to access (read) it, and any violation results in automatic punishment; such as content erasure, imprisionment, etc. Even if locked down expicilitly to the ebook reader's hardware, and somehow hardware hacking was prevented from being possible—it would still be a failure: because you could just photo copy the screen the same way as pages in a paper book. So in the end, we end up having to pay the price of assholes trying to outfox assholes \o/.

The subscription model is better: pay x/cycle for such and such content. That is probably closer to what some DRM-folks like in the music indrustry want anyway, making profit off each playback rather than each distribution of content 8-).

It is very strongly worth noting that in general: I am very against dedicated devices like the Kindle or Nook, when you could spend more and get a more general purpose device like an Android tablet or iPad. I'm not willing to buy one of those for myself until after Ice Cream is mainstream, so I really should just buy a darn Kindle 3. It's only like $140 with the 3G option, and I am more applicable to buying a Kindle then dealing with trying to get around the DRM issues.

While it's limited to technical books, I really would consider something like Safari Online Books to be a much better investment but I want more than what it can offer. I'll likely begin evaluating things more closely in the near future, as well as setting up Safari for a trial. Safari has the best techy publishers in my experience.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lessons learned

This is an except from a short convo' about the similarity between programming languages in general.

Me: Most programming languages are pretty much the same, it's just a matter of choosing your headaches
A Friend: well yeh
Me: Lessons learned:
C -> sigh, yet another hash table implementation.
C++ -> error messages should only be written in one of two ways, templates are written in a third.
Java -> please GOD, not again.
C# -> groan, building C/C++ libs is even worse.
Perl -> Yes I know it is unitialized, damn gum it!
JavaScript -> WTF was that mac?
Lisp -> Did someone stick a fork in my eye?
Lua -> off by one errno'
Haskell -> Holy shit my head hurts.
SML -> Cool headfuck but where's the damn batteries?
Shell -> Shame most people SUCK at it...
Cmd -> COBOL just got sexy.
Python -> Can not use contractions.
Ruby -> You lie.
A Friend: you missed php
Me: I respectfully omit PHP as it multiple inherits from several, and adds it's own headaches :-)
A Friend: lol
Me: hehe

That being said, except for the sort order, I would say that Lua probably got the highest marks there lololololololololol.

Cassius is now on GitHub!

While a very important girl was off visiting her grandparents, I resurrected work on Cassius! Thanks to a few nights and occasional Saturday afternoons, the interface is maturing to the point where I can almost use it, so I've decided to put it on GitHub.

Old code never goes away, it just goes back to the compiler.