31 August 2008

ubuntu + white list browsing

as Boy gets older, i want to make sure i'm keeping ahead of him on the computer front. i surpassed my own father easily and could subvert any blocks he could have chosen (if he were ever inclined to do so). so i'd like to try to set up a white list of tubes that Boy can visit. i'm trying to avoid setting up a simple proxy + white list since that will be easily defeated in a few years, although i could start there if necessary.

anyone have some good hints or places to start?


i have proof that i have good ideas occasionally: apparently Michael Feathers doesn't care for the idea of overriding equals() and hashcode() in subclasses either. since equality is likely to be context-dependent for most any class, prefer creation of methods or classes that encapsulate that context. Dave and i came up with the "Equalator," a name derived from Comparator.

let's just say i have a peeve about id equality.

it's time to protect american jobs

30 August 2008

town saved from girls gone wild

a couple of kids started a road-side stand to sell their family's surplus veggies, bringing The Man down on them like a hammer. exhibit A for nanny state-ism:
"They may start out with a little card-table and selling a couple of things, but then who is to say what else they have. Is all the produce made there, do they make it themselves? Are they going to have eggs and chickens for sale next," said [douchebag Mayor] Manning.

Lucky for Katie and Sabrina their folks don't have lemon trees.

"Lemonade stands are technically illegal, but they don't last long enough to do anything about," said Manning.
so what if they sell eggs and chickens? and is this guy serious that he would go after lemonade stands if only he could catch them in time? it's amazing what people at any level of gubmint think is their responsibility.

avant window navigator

i'm getting closer to a mac look and feel on my ubuntu install. i found a mac-ish window theme and a terrific dock application installable from the repos. until i can afford a real mac, i'm a bit happier now.

29 August 2008

he's got my vote

now this is a convention speech i can get behind, even if it's a bit generic. i can't get any kind of enthusiasm for O'Bama.

One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.

We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will never die! For this election isn’t about the past or the present, or even the pluperfect conditional. It’s about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that’s where all his accomplishments are.

(HT: +1)

take that, itunes

i believe i have finally found my itunes replacement: songbird. it already handles a lot of what i needed from itunes, including ipod sync, with more on the way. it is built on xulrunner, promising to be the firefox of music players.

as a result, i haven't even tried vmware. now windows is for syncing to my phone (cool ringtones, baby!). bitpim doesn't support my phone yet, but when it does, i may consider it again. now i have to see if i can sync my google calendar...

25 August 2008

more exciting machine re-build info!

i've got the latest itunes installed in my xp virtualbox vm and have re-imported all the tunes; however, the playlists didn't survive the reanimation process and xp can't see my ipods. given my recent hellahatred for windows, i think i may revisit gtkpod and the other replacement software, including rockbox. i am also wondering if i should covet apple products given the intentional lack of interoperability. (unfortunately, i've had a long chat with myself over tea and i still covet.)

music playback through virtualbox is not workable, having a stutter every couple of seconds. i can only guess that the drive passthrough can't keep up with it. i can play nearly all of the music i have in linux, especially if el tunes turns out to work. if it does, someone must be able to write a conversion utility.

on to vmware!

22 August 2008


it looks like windows cannot handle my hard drive anymore. i have to think that my video driver stunt didn't cause this mess--chkdsk won't even run. since linux gave its life that i might live (it got whacked during my attempt at reinstalling xp), i was thinking i would repay it by making it my official OS and running xp through vmware. i've already gotst the 32-bit ubuntu back up and running (the key was the copying of the xorg.conf file from my old backup).

so anyone gotst a good idea of which vm package to use? i've found vmware and virtualbox, the latter having a simple install, but the former having more press (i.e. it has a brain cell devoted to remembering that i've heard of it).

i'm also looking for someone to donate a mac to a good cause.

11 August 2008

Agile 2008

i am finally returned from agile2008, held this year in toronto, canadia. i'll try to capture some of the findings or learnings from the week, but it may come as a trickle. we'll see how well my notes hold up.

my initial response to the conference was shock and horror. the first day consisted of 'research in progress' presentations. i tend to think of myself as an academically minded person with a large spoonful of pragmatism (comments welcome), but these presentations, along with group discussions to provide feedback, were largely useless, time wasting activities, perhaps due to my not having read any preparatory material before taking my seat. in general, each presentation was too brief to impart enough facts to judge the quality or depth of the research, sampling techniques, or analysis.

by far the largest frustration was to be found in folks' heavy reliance on poorly factored powerpoint slides. several people were even so bold as to read slides to their audience. the one man to pull it off was Gregg Pollack (of RailsEnvy), who managed to weave a great narrative around a demo of RSpec.

10 August 2008

linux saves the day

i've been having a problem with windows lately wherein one of my cpus gets pegged by a process that the built-in process monitor cannot report on. i downloaded the sysinternals process explorer and it told me that the 'hardware interrupts' process was the culprit. a quick google led me to a statement that the video driver might be to blame. well, shit, i know how to do that, i thought, remembering all of my linux problems from recent history. so i grabbed the latest nvidia driver from the support tube and ran it.

turns out that was a mistake. now i can't even boot to safe mode. well, i've reinstalled windows often enough to know how to do it, including all the drivers i had to get via my linux live cd last time.

i really want a mac.

quote of the day-or-so

Patterning your life around other's opinions is nothing more than slavery.
Lawana Blackwell, The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, 1999

back when people on tv could parse logic...

09 August 2008

paris responds

the sad part is that i'd prolly rather vote for her than barrack or the white haired dude.
See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die