Sunday, November 27, 2011

A photographic decision

While brushing my teeth tonight, I have come to a decision about how to limit the ways my mother can pain  me. When I came back from vacation, my mother took great effort to see my photo album distributed however she pleases. That was generally met with forcing people to go straight through me if they want to see anything of mine, which is obvious if you want to see my stuff. Well, due to my mother's unresolveble nastiness and her constantly using that as a form of leverage to attack me through, I have decided the following:
From this date forward, anyone who is currently related to me by blood or marriage is blocked from viewing any photo's that I have taken in the past, currently have stored, or will ever take in the future, except where posted publicly. Likewise any violations by future generations shall be met with aggressive sanctions to match. In plain English that means, I have just banned my kin from ever seeing a single solitary photo that I ever take or have ever taken.
To match this decision, any web albums of mine currently shared with "Family" have since had that access permanently revoked. Any kin contacting me will accordingly be linked here in the future and any currently open loops will be e-mailed linkage to this decision. If need be this sanction will be expanded past the scope of kinship.

My mother has proven nasty enough to me over the past ~23.5 years that I choose to close this case in this manor, rather than allow her any way of attacking me in the future. I also have no concern what so ever just how unkind or inconvenient this decision may prove for kin that deserve my kindness—because being nice to you in about this, is not worth the cost my mother adds to it. So don't bother crying if you feel this is harsh or unfair. It's the price we all share for being related to my mother.

Decision is final for the length of my life or my mother's life, whichever lasts longest.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A problem every dog owner must eventually reach

"Do I watch you taking a bath...wait, O.K. then we're even now!"
Willow wouldn't get out, so I had to shower with the door open :-S.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yesterday was a nice bit of fun. On top of not so good dreams, I end up *sailing* home at 60mph when it is practically raining fleshpounds outside—and I do mean sailing! All because my mother is wigging out over the weather report. By the time I'm nearly there, and there is barely a freaking drizzle in Duluth, compared to John's Creek, she texts me saying the tornado was cancled. Poppycock! Then to top it off, while I'm working from home, she pesters me enough that I quit work early to take her fucking shopping to shut her the fuck up. And guess what? While I'm unloading the car there is such a flash monsoon that my feet and one eye was all that was left dry, guess the boots worked. Literally it was worse than showering with your clothes on. Of course, it was over by the time I was done, leaving me drenched. 

My vote is still she wanted to go shopping ASAP. Pest.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When working off a local clone of code while I'm stuck sitting in a doctors office, I've got to admit, it would have been smart to have run make tags, and copied the resulting TAGS file over from the development environment to my transformer. Turns out it depends on more than just the usual tags generator >_<.

Oh well, I guess it's time to nav it the other way!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project Butterball

No, I am not making a turky (hell no!) but I did just try a bit of pound cake. I started with this recipe as a base and the knowledge that the traditional pound cake is a 1:1:1:1 ratio of eggs, flour, surgar, and butter. This is my first cake ever, and more of a quest to figure it out than create a yumo confection.

My end result for test Alpha:

  • 1 cup unsifted cake flour.
    • sifting in a colander proved nuts, so I just attacked in a measuring cup.
  • 1/2 cup sugar.
  • 1.5 stick of room temp' butter.
  • 3 eggs
    • I only failed at the first egg, and lost most of the yolk.
    • Being smarter than totally stupid, I used two containers: one to hold the eggs and one to crack/drain in.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, since both my other half, my mother, and Google all agreed.
    • My first go is more about science than taste!
  • 1.5 sticks of butter
    • seems excessive to me but as Paula Deen says, "Butter makes it better", so I digress.
    • I chopped it for ease of mixing.
    • My mother suggested melting it.
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
First I washed the pan, containers, tools, etc; let the butter, eggs, and milk sit out. Then I started to measure stuff out into containers. Got my eggs together and put the milk in, mixed them up with a rubber spatula and cut the butter into slices and greased the pan with some. Then while mixing for a bit between, added each the flour, sugar, some butter (maybe 2/3 of 1/4 a stick). Than I put in the extract and more butter, mashed and mixed that and set about getting in all the butter.

After a while of doing this with the rubber spatula and a old whisk, I saw it would take forever to get the chunks out of the batter, so I just switched to a hand mixer: first at low, than for a bit at speed and throttled back to low to finish it off. Poured it in the pan, switched on the oven to 350' F and let the batter sit in the pan for a couple minutes while I made prep to clean; then I stuck it in and cleaned up after myself. In retrospect I should have taken a picture of the batter, as a gauge for next time.

Here is how it came out:

It came out soft and tasty, not overpowering and rather close to what I wanted really. Next experiment I think, will trade some butter for vegetable oil.

Of course, the moron^H^H^H^H^Hgeek has to have a test tasting :-).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sometimes Linus is a genius

When you begin to do more advanced things with subversion (not my idea, trust me), I would have to conclude using tarballs and larger hard drives is more useful than subversion.

For the first 10 years of kernel maintenance, we literally used tarballs and patches, which is a much superior source control management system than CVS is, but I did end up using CVS for 7 years at a commercial company [Transmeta[11]] and I hate it with a passion. When I say I hate CVS with a passion, I have to also say that if there are any SVN (Subversion) users in the audience, you might want to leave. Because my hatred of CVS has meant that I see Subversion as being the most pointless project ever started. The slogan of Subversion for a while was "CVS done right", or something like that, and if you start with that kind of slogan, there's nowhere you can go. There is no way to do CVS right.[12]
source: Wikipedia on Git.

Please, for the love of sanity (and science), do not use have been warned!

Reflections on the ICS / TF Prime craze

In the time frame of like July/August I was rather interested in Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as the ASUS Transformer TF101 that I'm writing this on :-). During the time since though, I am kind of sick of hearing about ICS. However I will admit that I am glad to be proven wrong by some froathy mouthed visitors to xda-developers, that the TF101 ASUS did decide the TF101 will get ICS. 

In the lead up to the ASUS Transformer Prime being announced, the forum section for the TF101 has to many people geared up to swap their TF101's out for TFP's, that you can't help but remember: it is a techno-geeks paradise! That being said, if I have to hear much more about the Prime, I will frakking smack someone lol. 

When I got my TF101, I had the option of waiting a little while for the Prime or getting the current TF101, and obviously chose the original Transformer. Why? It's got good enough hardware (arguably better than what I need), and it is better debugged. The platform is established along with at least 4 ROMs: Stock, Prime (what I use), Revolver, and Android Revolution HD. Another has recently began as well. 

Now, my concern is what comes after the Transformer Prime, and whether or not it will be worth the upgrade from my TF101. Hehehe. I really hope that ASUS continues with the Transformer product line for a good while and keeps developing it. Either that, or when I retire Andrea, I will probably have to evaluate between a laptop or a tablet with accessors.

+1 for waiting for the weekend: time to sit down and update my journal for the week :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Last night I was playing around with custom launchers on my phone. I have an Android 2.2 based Optimus T, so the onky real thing to gripe about is how the "LG Home" apps draw divides into "Applications" for stuff that came with the phone and "Downloaded" for stuff installed by the user. I hit up Google to learn about the basics and what major players exist; I've heard of a few but tried none. The launcher is basically an app that provides your application draw and "Home screens". Go Launcher Ex, ADW Launcher, and Zeam Launcher are the ones I opted to try. In the end, I settled on Zeam.

Zeam has the feature I wanted most: a sane applications drawer. I don't need the more fancy features of the other two launchers app drawers, and care little about theming. I'm more interested in performance and productivity versus my phones almost-stock launcher. What really makes for a sweet combo' is Zeam's dock. I can place shortcuts in the dock and scroll to the side. I've been doing the same thing with my home screens. It's also convienant to e.g. have Opera Mobile where the Dialer/Phone app usually is: I rarly make voice calls.

Zeam doesn't have many features and the settings are few and self explanitory: it can be configured inside of ten minutes. So far it is simple, stable, and does precicely what I desire and little more. That's all anyone can ask for, oh and it's free :-).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dahlia is hatched

After work I went shopping and aquired a Dell XPS 8300. I named her Dalia since it's a Dell, and found it approriate when I looked up the meaning of the name. It is basically Deliliah in the tongue native to where it was assembled, and traces to the hebrew word for branch; apt because this computer is a part of a different branch of my life than the PaC it is replacing.

The difference between my old Pentium D 930 (3.0Ghz x2) amd the new i5 2320 (3.0-3.3Ghz x4) is noticable but the old Pentium was plenty fast enough for me. Having 8GB of DDR3 RAM not so much, as after five years I only started surpassing the need for one gig out of SAL1600's 2GB DDR2 but I'm sure it won't need any upgrading for the machines life.

What is sad! The piddly Radeon HD6450 is so much better than my aging GeForce 8400 GS, that I can run L4D2 at recommended settings at a pretty steady 60 FPS. Tuned up to my monitors native 1980x1080 resolution and slightly higher settings, I get a very playable 35-45 FPS. By contrast if I set the settings up to the MAX&mdash;I get the frame rate my old PC gave me at like low and 1024x768 or 1280x1024. Like wise at the normal resolution I was playing Killing Floor last night with maximum graphics and awesome frame rates.

SAL1600 served 5 years, as did Dixie. Vectra more or less same but with more upgrades, as that was possible by salvage. I would like Dalia to get at least 3-4 years. I am cheap enough to kick SAL1600 into another 5 years but as someone close to me, then it wouldn't be fun to play on lol.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Google Music for Android force closing on playback

I had transferred my music files over to Andrea (TF101) from Alice (netbook), and after getting my invite, I transferred them over the work group to my gaming system, so I could add stuff via the PC media player. So I decided to clear my /mnt/sdcard/Music directory and reclaim some disk space, since I rarely listen to it all and I have other copies of the data.

Pretty much, I ended up with a Google Music app still reporting the local data and force closing on playback, even after stopping the service and clearing the apps data. After a little Google fu to see if it ought to work, I rebooted into recovery and hosed the dalvik cache; one perk of being root.

Now it works perfectly, and I doubt I really need a gig of files laying around so Google Music is an idea I like. Even more so because I tend to listen to radio streams more than I buy music, hehe.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A few thoughts on Polaris Office

Although it's not a feature I was particularlly interested in, so much as the whole dock+battery life thing, I must admit, the Polaris Office suite that ASUS bundled with the Transformers does add value. Most phones come pre loaded with a lot of crapware, and rarely do I actually use any of the crap pre-loaded on my phone, or Andrea. Generally, I don't need office suites. I used to use word processors excessively so I focus on those tasks. For years now: my word processing tasks get done in Vi IMproved and converted into a format for publishing; such as HTML for web or PDF for general reading. If I wanted someone else to edit the stuff, I would not send an MSWord file either. Read only data should not be sent as a writable .doc[x] file. I don't do Power PoinT presentations. What stuff most people do with a spreadsheet, I generally do with Python or Perl; a more natural interface for my brain. In fact, there are only about two times that I really use office suites. If I need to share editing tasks with a bunch of people that are probably technically illiterate or just have better things to do than pick up a suitable format; I use Google Docs. For work, I use LibreOffice. That covers both reading whatever files might pop in from other departments but in eningeering we all pretty much rely on plain or marked up text; it's really mutt/lynx friendly you could say. Something that caught my eye was a comparason of Android office suites over at XDA, Polaris was clearly a solid product. In my own tests, all I can say is that most Android apps for dealing with rich text formats seriously suck. Examples include Google Docs, Blogger, and Evernote; the last is probably the best unless you feel comfortable dealing in HTML for more stuff. Polaris Office is a really is the only Android app that I've seen, that really feels like a "Word processor" and so on. Today however, I noticed that the spreadsheet activity may be useful to me. At work, we have time sheets in Excel template format; I have both an Excel (.xls) and Open Document (.ods) files to use as a template; normally I fill it out using LibreOffice and the .ods version, and print it off my work station. I tried opening both files with Polaris Office today, and noticed while it doesn't understand Open Document formats, viewind and editing the Excel file works perfectly. Rather than screw with Android+Linux+Cloud Print, I just did stuff off my workstation. Why this surprised me is that Google Docs rather fails at doing the same, for both formats. So the question I would have to ask, is how well does Polaris Office do in generating files that work with other office suites (E.g. Microsoft's), and ditto for interfacing with Google Docs in both directions. Either way, it looks like the ASUS Transformer is as fully functional as my work station and home PC, but sans binary compatbility (x86, x86_64 != ARMv7) and Direct3D. Someday I can't help but wonder if we will have Android PC's powerful enough to run Windows in a Virtual Machine for legacy applications.

My ASUS Transformer's charger was not working

Well, getting to work was not so fun this morning. I usually use my ASUS Transformer for _a_lot_ at work. When I got in to work today, I had 40% on the tablet and a drained dock. Monday I had come with a 78%/97% charge on my tablet/dock and left with a tablet charge remaining in the 70s. Andera has good battery life so I wasn't worried, especially since my office has plenty of juice to go around.

Well, today I plug in and imagine my surprise when the frakking thing refuses to charge! Nothing, nadda! I tried hooking it up to my work stations USB 2.0 port, and Andera notified that USB debugging and ASUS Sync crap was working, so obviously +/- the right USB 3.0 pins, the cable ought to be fine. None of the electrical sockets worked.

About ready to try the freezer trick and annoyed for the first chunk of my work day, I yanked the adapter out on my way to lunch, and noticed something irksome. The base of my adapter wasn't set quite right, maybe 3 to 5 milimetres off. Snapped it back into place, plugged it back in, and dang nabbit, the son of a biscuit eater started to charge.

Sure enough, I dislodged the plug end of the adapter and snapped it back again, no problem. You just push (really hard) down on the segment where indicated, and poll it up; I used my desk for help. Simple, and fully an issue of internationalization. Somehow the bloody thing had gotten dislodged.

That's what I get, for countries not being able to decide on a single electrical socket >_<.