10/30/2007 09:42 PM -
within the past hour (8:04pm pst), earthquake nc40204636(measuring 5.6 on the richter scale) hit near san francisco; based in the alum rock area of san jose. fortunately, impacts to the blogosphere should be minimal. it was about 20 miles from dave winer's home, and even scoble didn't feel it.
exact coordinates of epicenter: 37 deg. 25.7 min. n (37.428n), 121 deg. 46.6 min. w (121.777w)
depth: 6 miles
news articles already filed:
google earth location (kml)
the event has not yet been reviewed by a seismologist.
10/28/2007 10:27 PM -
just some more thoughts on my car's underheating problem. i was driving last night for about an hour. even with the windows up and heat on, i had to wear a coat. it just isn't right that the car would have difficulty generating heat. it stays frosty, and if i'm driving on the highway, the thermometer never moves past "c".
10/27/2007 12:14 AM -
i realized that i have some decent multimon resources here, mostly in the form of very widescreen panoramic wallpapers. unfortunately, until now, they were all interspersed at random with no bookmarkable single location to get them.
so i wrote a new article page to consolidate them. if you want to monitor my multi-monitor updates and content coolness, you can do so on my multi-monitor resources article page.
10/26/2007 09:02 PM -
one of the more prolific trolls on channel9, under the pseudonym 'shooby', posted some flamebait today. the post was so inarticulate and poorly thought-out that i felt i had to respond.
his initial post, sans irrelevant cannabis-induced meanderings:
top 10 things windows is better at than linux
10 making you feel like you are a slave to the machine with constant updates, upgrates, reloads, and all that crap
9 sucking money out of your wallet
8 deleting your hardrive because you just got an email from .ru
7 sending all your credit card numbers to that fellow in .ru
6 disabling your favorite applications when you update
5 stealing every other software makers ideas and calling it innovation
4 bundling a bunch of useless applications like paint
3 updating the icons and the backgrounds and calling it vista
2 bolting on security that asks your granny whether port 21 is ok to allow hkerbot12.exe to use
1 making a bunch of not too bright suck ups post cat pictures
no way could i let that fly. so i responded:
why o why do i feed the trolls? we get that you don't like windows. go back to the commune and converse with the people who agree with you. we don't sit in your vw bus and ruin your circle - stop ruining ours.
4. getting new big-name software first (except decss. you can have it)
5. multi-monitor support (still sucks, but better than yours)
7. finding hardware drivers. for new stuff.
8. despite the fact that there are actual capitalists over here, we're less condescending than you. don't you have homework to do?
9. there is no one person in the world whose death will inevitably result in the kernel source code being lost.
10. having an actual company behind the product can result in great things, like innovation. if it comes in the form of buying 100 companies in five years, so be it; innovation can be bought. what linux zealots call innovation is more like an acid flashback.
having said that, i'll do you the unjustified favor of responding to yours:
10. those are all up to the user, just like in linux. have you never updated some hippie freeware app when a new version came out?
9. excuse us if we put more trust in people whose livelihoods depend on producing a quality product.
8. user's fault, shouldn't have been running as admin anyway
7. user's fault, shouldn't have credit card info on there anyway
6. cite your source. regardless, user's fault. should have read the update page before installing all of them.
5. if it's not pattented, it's fair game. come to think of it, where did linux get the idea for a gui?
4. how many hundreds of packages do most distro's come with by default? and don't some of them want updates? can you not afford an extra four gigs? get a job, cheech.
3. do you even watch the videos here?
2. user's fault for having a copy of hkerbot12.exe in the first place.
1. how about making a bunch of lenin's descendants post penguin pictures?
i see you wrote shooby.org in something called joomla. by "wrote", of course, i mean "had joomla write for you". are there any actual developers in your little circle?
i felt the last burn at the end was unusually appropriate, as linux users stereotypically pride themselves on being über super fancy high-tech coders, and this douche decided to have a piece of software write his site for him. i make $35 an hour doing this - i wonder how much mcdonald's is paying shooby?
maximum verbosity was created, by me, in c#, asp.net 2.0, and ajax. i also use technologies such as transact-sql, ado.net, and microsoft sql server 2005. shooby used a 3rd-party wizard. who do you think made the right choices here?
edit: thread got locked fast, looks like shooby got banned over this one. i guess we'll see the next incarnation of the infamous beer28 tomorrow.
10/26/2007 07:39 PM -
i ran a traffic analysis today and must say, i like the results. stats are for the dates of 07/14/07 19:40:19 through 10/16/07 17:09:55. all stats have had internal addresses (hits from me) filtered out, so this is pure external data.
total hits: 103,697
avg hits/day: 987
avg hits/ip: 3.87
total page views: 29,656
avg views/day: 282
avg views/ip: 1.11
total sessions: 26,817
avg sessions/day: 255
total unique ips: 9,755
bandwidth transferred: 4.56 gb
avg bandwidth/day: 44.47 mb
avg bandwidth/hit: 46.11 kb
i dunno what i did around september 15th that got me so many hits, but i gotta go look and do more of it.
daily hits graph:
referrers & searches
http://channel9.msdn.com: 17,654 hits
google: 4,361 hits
wikipedia: 1134 hits
... and a bunch of places that sent 500 or fewer, which aren't significant enough for a listing here.
channel9 sends so many because that's a forum i go to frequently and every post of mine has a link to the blog. additionally, when i post images, they're hosted here and thus count as hits. channel9 has a slightly higher pagerank than i do, and much more traffic. so their hits really spike the graphs.
google has been sending me alot of hits. i attribute this to my abundance of googlejuice, pagerank of 5, and awesome background code manipulation.
top referring urls:
http://channel9.msdn.com/rss.aspx: 2,795 hits
wikipedia's multi-monitor page: 391 hits
wikipedia's george foreman grill wiki page: 347 hits
live search: 150 hits
wikipedia's comcast wiki page: 118 hits
... and lots more; i excluded specific forum post pages.
daily search engines:
i don't know what msn and yahoo are doing, but google clearly has an interest in me:
top search phrases:
widescreen wallpaper: 22 hits
comcast: 19 hits
weapons of ass destruction: 18 hits
c: 16 hits
multimon: 8 hits
alicia silverstone: 8 hits
lord of sealand: 6 hits
car repair estimate: 4 hits
okay, there's really alot more than that, but those are my top results. my proprietary in-house sql logging tool i wrote reports 1112 total searches performed which resulted in someone linking here in this timeframe.
internet explorer: 52% (34.22% msie7; 17.78% msie6)
windows xp: 49.35%
windows vista: 17.8%
windows server 2003: 3.56%
windows 2000: 3.36%
linux hippies: 2.09%
windows nt: 0.74%
windows 98: 0.35%
windows me: 0.16%
windows ce: 0.08%
sun os: 0.03%
i included freebsd within "linux hippies" because freebsd is a linux distro. so is ubuntu. if you disagree, why are you on a windows developer's blog anyway?
1. googlebot (9,614 hits)
2. msn robot (8,926 hits)
3. yahoo slurp (4,713 hits)
4. alexa robot (557 hits)
5. google adsense robot (222 hits)
google spiders me 3-6 times a day. msn spiders me twice a day. yahoo spiders me eight days a week, except the third thursday of every other month during a full moon conciding with a planar eclipse on a winter solstice.
i'm seeing 5,376 code 500 errors ("internal server error") being the most popular error on the site. if you experience one, please e-mail me and let me know what you were doing at the time so i can fix it.
there are 3,459 code 404 errors ("file not found"). i can safely blame this on the fact that migrating to the mv3 engine killed a slew of old links. i wonder what my traffic would look like today if i had taken proper precuations and implemented redirection logic.
i also see 331 code 401 errors ("unauthorized"), and 67 code 403 errors ("forbidden"). what are you people doing?
data mining results
here's some random tidbits i got from my own personal backdoor software. i wrote this code to log everything that occurs on the site, on the ip level. each of you has a unique userid in my ms-sql 2005 database.
since i implemented my per-hit ip logging:
25393 activities logged:
10/26/2007 06:25 PM -
since my project just got pushed to test and we have to wait for them now, i've found myself with some time at work. so the boss's boss tasked me and j to another project...
the "other project" is an inventory system under a totally different group (not even in the e-commerce division). i'm still trying to figure out why an inventory system is even a telcomm's domain, but i digress.
their last real developer apparently left the company recently. there is one remaining; but meetings reveal this dev doesn't seem to understand basic programmatic logic and object orientation. thusly, we may as well be the only two devs on the project.
the project is written in java. that is to say, it was decreed by a man we've never seen that it would be in java; i have yet to see that any code actually exists. for that matter, the same goes for the mysterious java man who actively refused to let us use .net.
allow me to elaborate on the source of my disdain: java is a language from sun microsystems, a strong proponent of the open source movement. further, it's used by the same types of people who use technologies like php, mysql, apache, and *cringe* linux. and the people who make these concious decisions don't just use them; they hold pride parades on the commune. prove me wrong.
ndas prevent me from going into much detail here; but suffice it to say there are technical aspects we were introduced to that will greatly impede the assimilation of any new development staff and applications.
the people we'll be working with are in constant debate as to what they want, how they want to organize the data, and the cosmic origins of the universe. so we're supposed to be writing around arbitrary requirements that apply to the wrong project, for people who don't even know what they want yet.
getting real information out of these people is so difficult that it took us four hours of meetings across two days just to extract the fact that they probably want it to be a website.
it gets worse. they want us to write at least one new application in a language we don't know or like, for a group we have no business with, for people who don't know what they want; within two months.
it gets better. apparently, e-commerce has shot a developer or two their way in the past. conversations with past victims (and other people who suffered collateral damage) indicate the target group is known internally as the "black hole" of the company. evidently, people go there, get sucked in, and are never heard from again. millions have been dumped into this "parent project" which remains unfinished and reminiscent of a teenager's myspace page.
oh, yes, and apparently the cio has an eye on the whole project. that's right, the corporate information officer of the worldwide telcomm i work for.
so now i have to battle the fear that the cio will see the poor design and overall badness encompassed by the entire project, and blame someone. the blame will roll downhill and land on the only two developers on the whole project; despite the fact that we'll be working on a very small portion of an overly-complicated "parent project".
the "parent project" (which our project(s) will be a part of) would thusly be interrogated, the blame game would ensue, and there is a possibility that we'd get fired for saving the black hole from supernova.
on the other hand, there is a possibility that the cio will see our project(s) as the tiny shimmer of light within a gaping void of darkness and despair. perhaps said executive will detect that the group has two people who prefer productivity to meetings; who posess a "get it done" attitude instead of a "let's extend this deadline" attitude. perhaps this will result in rapid escalation. who knows; time will tell as the situation pans out.
10/24/2007 07:12 PM -
interesting. my recent google search results include some unusual results:
got the glass: #2 of 85,900,000
afterdark for windows vista: #1 of 27,000
car repair estimates: #12 of 263,000
10 most recent google searches: #4 of 18,100,000
i just saw a few of these and did a double-take as i realized what obscure things are leading people here. oh, and whoever searched for memorystream ajax download save to client, i hope you found what you were looking for.
10/23/2007 07:57 PM -
i went to the garden of the gods yesterday around sunset and did the tourist thing. the pics are being hosted at my flickr site; alas, the panoramas i extrapolated therein wouldn't fit into my monthly flickr upload allotment, so here they are.
for this set, i'll let you download both the puny 8170x1050 panoramic rectangles (which are good for an eight-foot wallpaper), or the entire, satellite-resolution, panorama scene from which i cropped out the area i wanted. infos follow:
gogpano1: 13497x3302, 20.8mb
gogpano1-rect: 8140x1050, 5.4mb
gogpano2: 4289x3205, 5.5mb
gogpano2-rect: 4129x536, 1.2mb
gogpano3: 14728x5316, 27.4mb
gogpano3-rect: 8170x1055, 5.0mb
i had a gogpano4 set as well, but autostitch crapped out on it cuz my ram capped at 2gb. it saved a 30mb file, but i couldn't open it -- maybe because autostitch was overloaded, maybe because vista's windows photogallery can't open a 30mb jpg. who knows.
all gogpano's are in the raw, uncompressed dump i got from autostitch. all gogpano-rect files are at an aspect ratio of 817x105 and saved using full level-12 quality in a jpg file. yeah, i know jpeg is lossy. i also know i won't serve these files from home in a larger, lossless format.
how's that for a great set of multi-monitor wallpapers? seriously, most of the multimon wallpaper sites out there sport dual-screen or three-screen wallpaper; but those of us who have six screens are forced to go out and make our own.
i have put these here for general dispersal across the internet under the condition you not pass them off as your own, and hopefully someday contribute similar works of your own back across the internet.
10/23/2007 07:16 PM -
a project at my company goes through these phases:
1. analysis, design, documentation
i just finished my big, fancy, secret project's development cycle and moved into testing. now i get to sit back and work a relaxed 40-hour week while the testers get all uppity and excited and overworked, while i grace their screens with the vivid splendor of my big, fancy, secret project (which looks really nice imho).
now all i have to do is update the existing documentation to reflect all the changes that got made during development; make some pretty visio flowcharts and diagrams for management, and move on to the next big thing.
the next big thing is threefold: handicap accessibility, fixing bugs found in test phase, and some java project the boss's boss wants us to work on. i don't know a bit of java, but my c# knowledge will help with the basic syntax and overall structure. however, i forsee myself spending alot of time looking for java's equivalent of alot of methods and objects i'd normally find within the system namespace.
so while i'm booked through early 2008, at least it's not a crunch-time pace like the past couple weeks. plus it leaves me pretty confident my contract will be renewed when it expires this christmas.
10/21/2007 07:53 PM -
i've had ten cars now. each one of them had no problem generating heat; in fact some generated too much. tonight i went driving through the seven falls [ website ] area up in the mountains. i kept trying to get hot air to heat up the cabin, but the engine refused to go above c level.
interesting, i thought; i've had cars that overheated, but never a car that underheated. this could become problematic as the snow begins to pile up over the next six months.
10/21/2007 04:10 PM -
we got our first snow last night. it looks like we got about 4" and none of it seems to be on the road. either it got plowed already or it just didn't snow there (?).
hopefully the winter of 2007 will be shorter than the winter of 2006, in which we got three blizzards. i also hope my eclipse can handle it.
10/19/2007 12:05 AM -
tomorrow is the end of the development cycle for my (big, fancy, secret) project at work. i ran into some interesting complications and learned a few things in the process:
1. how to write a windows service
2. windows services don't like regular winform timers, you have to use a system.timers.timer(). otherwise, it'll compile and run, but the timer won't tick and your service will be totally useless.
3. how to communicate with old db2 databases from a .net application
4. how to communicate with an ftp server form a .net application
5. people make philly cheesesteaks with two different types of cheese. both are apparently considered "philly-style". i wonder how they're made in philly?
so i guess i'm a better person for it. i just finished what i believe to be the last major hurdle in the process. that just leaves a few things to do tomorrow:
1. a week of unit testing
2. two days of documentation (visio flowcharts, class diagrams, fun stuff)
3. update to release mode, final compilation, packaging, and delivery to test
so i guess i'll be able to sit back and relax, soon. maybe this weekend.
10/18/2007 11:58 PM -
the car is finally completely running. i just paid $1100 for a bigass tuneup and new-car repairs (see previous entry), but it runs alot better now.
the thing i find amusing, of course, is that the "check engine" light came on after the mechanics at meineke checked the engine. it wasn't on before, but it is now. i've never had a "check engine" light come on before, ever.
so they referred me to autozone, who does free engine scans to detect why the light is on. autozone tells me they don't have the equipment for a 1990 mitsubishi eclipse, and that i should go to a mechanic. that's who sent me there!
from what they tell me, i still need new valve cover gaskets of some kind (different from the one they replaced), so there may still be an oil leak somewhere. that explains why the oil pressure still dips into the "low" at idle, but goes up where it belongs above 1500rpm. obviously, with the engine running faster, the oil is more pressurized. i don't see where it would be leaking from, so it must be a very small leak (or it's leaking inside the engine, which would really suck).
so i guess i'll take it to a mechanic. this time, it won't be meineke. i have to find someone who specializes in engines and/or eclipses. perhaps the mitsubishi dealership. they, in turn, will charge me ten times what they should, but at least i'll have peace of mind.
10/18/2007 11:49 PM -
never would have thought i'd end up on page 1 of a google search for unused halo 1 product key... sure enough. obviously, i would never broadcast a perfectly-good product key across the internet; i'd keep it for my own selfish gains. nonetheless, i find it funny. y'see, i complained about halo 1, and i complained about the windows vista service upnp device host and mentioned windows product keys in the complaint; so google indexed them together under tag 4 (beta).
so there was really no relevant content to what the user was looking for, just a funny anecdote.
10/17/2007 09:09 PM -
41. why is firefox faster on vista than internet explorer?
42. give me a way to get windows 2000/xp window behavior and aero glass visuals at the same time. just because i like it to be attractive doesn't mean i should have to look at the bloat and have bad keyboard navigation too.
43. the mouse control panel still doesn't give me a way to map extra mouse buttons to functions like "close window".
44. explorer windows should display the name of the current folder in what used to be the titlebar area. it's okay if it's wierd-looking on the glass if you give me adjustments for it.
45. new explorer windows don't need to take up half a million pixels. figure out how many files are in the folder the first time i open it, and size it accordingly to an aspect ratio of about 4:3. if i have three files, i don't need room for 100.
46. when i maximize a window, the translucent areas shouldn't loose their glassy properties.
47. the bubbles screensaver reminds me of after dark for windows 3.11.
48. when i open media player, i don't want it to take over all my file associations. i don't want to go through a bunch of options (i'll set those when i have time); i just want to play a file, so go directly to doing that.
49. aero glass turns off when i accept a remote assistance invitation. seriously, i have the bandwidth for it!
50. activesync's functionality has been merged into windows vista by default. now it won't connect to my mobile device anymore.
51. fix the control panel. you jacked it up, we all had a good laugh, but it's over; now put it back the way it was.
52. shift-clicking on a folder or hyperlink is supposed to force a new window open to follow the link. this doesn't always happen, and the behavior for deciding whether it does or not is erratic.
53. in the window color and appearance dialog, give me an option to adjust the refraction index of the glass.
54. (ahem) "windows dreamscene can't run as your desktop is now configured. windows dreamscene cannot run because the total desktop size exceeds the primary video adapter's maximum texture size".
- that's true. my primary video adapter has 512mb gddr2 memory, and can probably fit enough textures for one video card. that (combined with there only being two ramdacs) is why my primary video adapter is only connected to two of my monitors. the other four are connected to the two secondary adapters. use their texture area. seriously, 1.5gb of video memory should be plenty.
55. on the screen saver settings dialog, under "wait x minutes", add "shut off after x minutes". connect this to my power settings.
56. let me forcefully change the audio input and output devices an open application is running, instead of having to change the default devices and reopen the application.
57. windows aero mouse cursors are nice, but my desktop size demands i use extra large inverted. add an extra large windows aero inverted theme.
58. pressing ctrl to locate the mouse cursor is a nice touch. now, make it not mess with my running directx applications (i.e. videos and games).
59. from the personalize dialog, clicking "display settings" opens a new window; clicking "color and appearance" does not. what gives?
60. in the "monitor" dialog (what used to be "display settings >
10/17/2007 08:44 PM -
1. dwm (desktop window manager, the service that runs aero) is consuming 158mb "working set", which i believe to be non-paged ram.
2. still has crappy multi-monitor support. even if i overlook the fact that i had to get a driver written this month to get all my adapters to run aero glass, windows vista still doesn't have support for:
- wallpapers spanning multiple screens, unless you use the photoshop pixel manipulation trick
- groupbar, from microsoft research, which organizes the taskbar better.
- running seperate screensavers on different monitors
- all screensaver options have beeen completely removed. you're stuck with what microsoft decided were the optimal default settings.
- some screensavers (i.e. windows energy) only run on one screen.
- why do they keep removing old screensavers? i'd love to see the old 3dmaze.scr running on this system.
3. windows have large areas that could be effectively glassed, but they aren't. for example, the mdi grid in the task manager's processes tab could be transparent with shadowed white text for contrast.
4. the location settings dialog box still won't let you exit without entering an area code, or forcibly killing the process.
5. the performance grading software (winsat.exe) still crashes every time i run it.
6. when i have a file-open or file-saveas dialog open and keyboard focus is on the filename textbox, pressing shift-tab should move focus to the files within the explorer mdi child control. i shouldn't have to tab all over the window like a 508c accessibility user; the keyboard is supposed to be faster than the mouse. that's why it has all those keys.
7. some of the icons still look xpish.
8. internet explorer 7 sucks donkey balls. it comes with vista.
9. random freezing and bsod's that didn't exist in xp.
10. vista build 5308 had a nicer glass effect than rtm and sp1 do. as you moved a window around, the glass would refract differently what lies underneath.
11. some explorer and internet explorer windows randomly climb to 100% cpu and stay there until restarted.
12. forcing a virtual pc instance to a processor affinity does not prevent virtual pc from using the other processor(s).
13. file move and copy dialogs should be always-expanded.
14. task manager and performance monitor controls that monitor network utilization should measure per second; not per minute or "interval". every network traffic measurement in the world is based on activity per second (bps, kbps, mbps, gbps, etc)
15. sidebar takes up way too much memory. applets should be forced to behave.
16. why are system notification icons separated from other notification icons in my notification area? when the taskbar is docked to a side of a screen, this can cause two icons to consume about 30 extra pixels along the y axis. if your taskbar is configured to 300px wide like mine, this wastes 9,000 pixels of valuable desktop space. i could fit an entire additional window indicator button into that space.
17. why has the date and time window been split into two (a view window and an edit window)?
18. why are users coming out with better sidebar widgets than microsoft?
19. why did they change the shortcuts around so much? one example: in an explorer window, i used to be able to change to view-by-type mode via alt-v, i, t. now it's alt-v, o, t.
20. media center is still wonky.
21. media center is still being called "media center edition" like it's a different edition of windows. it's just another program that runs on top of windows vista "ultimate edition".
22. why can't i disable that annoying favorites & folders explorer bar altogether? all i can do is make it really small, or resize my explorer windows so the explorer bar can't fit.
23. when i boot up, i am greeted by alternating forms of pure blackness. the screens turn on and initialize; then five of them turn off; then the other one turns off; then they all go into standby; then they all wake up to the vista orb just before the login screen. it seriously looks like my computer froze at boot.
24. why is
10/16/2007 08:17 PM -
just a quick tip for the googlers out there who find themselves with as empty a search page as i was. if you're developing a .net application using a 3rd-party library to access a db2 database, sucks to be you.
anyway, when calling a stored procedure on the db2 server, you may get a db2exception reading "sql0113n: invalid character found in [sproc], reason code : 000". all the googling in the world will reveal that this is usually a malformed data string in one of your input parameters, or an erroneously-cased parameter name.
this is not always the case. as i recently learned, when calling a sproc in db2, you must declare the entire db2command string in uppercase, like so:
dim con as new db2connection(connectionstring)
dim cmd as new db2command("database.sprocname",con)
lowercase won't work. smart casing won't work. casing it the way the db2 guy gave it to you won't work. pass it in all caps, including the database name. that is all.
10/15/2007 07:39 PM -
meineke finally finished inspecting my car and gave me the run-down on the initial repairs needed to get it up to a "reliable" position:
$62 front pads
$59 rear pads
$160 stuff i didn't write down
$74 valve cover gasket
$20 oil change
$150 plugs & wires
$55 coolant flush w/new radiator cap
$160 external drive belts
there was more, which i forgot, but it came to around $1060. the mechanics gave me an interesting explanation as to my issues:
it seems the valve cover gasket is cracked, which of course led to oil leaking out of the engine and oozing down the sides of the engine. the oil oozes over the spark plugs, which thus caused the stalling and loss in performance and occasional power drops. the oil would then burn off due to the high temperatures of the exterior of the engine (and the high-voltage sparks), causing the smell and smoke.
there's a coolant hose dangling from the front bumper area. after a ride in a particularly rough off-road patch, i noticed this hose's existence, as it was spurting large amounts of coolant on the ground about two feet in front of the car. the hose actually belongs there, serving as a route for coolant to exit the relief valve safely without getting all over my engine. i was very relieved to hear i hadn't cracked something on a tree stump or shallow cliff.
the coolant was spurting out because the radiator was getting overpressurized due to a faulty radiator cap. this, of course, caused the coolant to move around faster, heating up in the process. thus was the boiling coolant i detected. somehow it still prevented the engine from overheating.
the #3 spark plug distributor wire has a hole in it. i don't know what problems that causes, but the plugs and wires are old anyway so they needed to go.
the brake pads are worn, but not as much as the rotors. the mechanic said he was suprised i wasn't hearing a loud grinding sound (which i have heard in previous cars, so that concerned me); i guess i should be happy this one didn't degenerate into a leaky master cylinder like two other cars of mine have.
what must have really kicked his ass was this: when he presented me with the $1060 estimate, my response was "go ahead and fix all of it. i just purchased, insured, and registered a car; so i'll have to wait until thursday to pick it up". after all that, i was only $200 short.
a week later, i'll probably end up replacing all six shocks (four chassis, two hatch), as they're pretty much all out of pressure.
10/14/2007 03:10 PM -
live.damnednice.com -- in this video i perform some testing and initial marketing on a new windows vista user interface i've been working on for task switching. requires adobe flash.
10/13/2007 08:44 PM -
live.damnednice.com -- it took three bug reports to microsoft, three new video cards, and a whole lot of patience; but i finally have aero glass working on my six-monitor configuration. those of you with shockwave flash installed and enabled can play the video here to see it.
aero is the primary ui theme for windows vista. it exists in two main states: aero basic, and aero glass. aero basic looks alot nicer than the luna theme from windows xp, but that's not saying much as luna was ugly. aero glass is the high-end theme that includes alpha blending and a few new ui tricks. for the uninitiated, here are some of the features enabled by aero glass:
windows flip: replaces the old alt-tab dialog with one that includes thumbnails that update in realtime.
flip3d, which allows you to tab through a large thumbnail of each window; updated in realtime.
preview pane: hovering the mouse cursor over an item in the taskbar will display a thumbnail of that window.
anyway, this is basically a follow-up to my previous entry, where i complained about my homogeneous multi-adapter configuration not working in vista sp1. now it does.
the fix was put into version 7.14.0010.0523 of the ati radeon x1650 catalyst driver. based on this fix being released immediately after my bug report (combined with the comment on my bug report saying "we're working with the video team and ati"), i think they released 7.14.0010.0523 just because of me -- and that is why we submit good bug reports.
10/13/2007 07:24 PM -
i created another very widescreen wallpaper yesterday, having been inspired by an area with a significant elevation difference and mountain vista at sunset. be warned, this is a very widescreen wallpaper!
69 megapixels. wallpapers simply don't get bigger. pano5a is a rectangle i cropped out for my desktop wallpaper, but feel free to download the huge one and crop out your own shape and size.
pano5a: 3.97mb, 8170x1050
pano5 huge: 27.5mb, 25286x2748
freakishly large wallpaper was stitched together by autostitch from shots taken by my canon powershot sd1000.
10/12/2007 10:04 PM -
i registered the car today. it took two freaking hours, with 13 booths open. other than the stagnant departmental progress, i was unexpectedly satisfied with the service. i walked in with a signed title and my dd 214, and had the proof of insurance faxed in; i walked out with a new title, registration, and honorably discharged veteran plates.
i figured surely the title would be mailed to me and i'd probably have to get temp plates while i wait for my fancy, special plates to be made or sent. alas, my luck was better.
i approached the desk and we negotiated the price. evidently, the special military plates (veteran, purple heart, medals, campaigns, etc) are all $50; she said it would probably come to >$
10/11/2007 09:59 PM -
so, i'm on my ninth car now. the eclipse is fully paid off ($950) and i have the signed title in hand. now, i must look into locations and hours of operation for the dmv (which handles registrations here instead of the county clerk). i have to remember to bring my dd 214 so i can get honorably discharged veteran plates.
i left at 5:45 for the podunk town of watkins. the previous owner didn't live in watkins, so much as near it in county. so my destination was a house on a private dirt road at the end of a public dirt road off of a state highway in county near a small town that almost borders a suburb of a real city. talk about being out there!
i arrived at 7:45. he wasn't there, but he left the signed title and bill of sale. good enough, so i paid off his (very hot) wife and took the paperwork home.
10/10/2007 05:55 PM -
if you glance at your sidebar, you'll notice two new sections toward the bottom: recent queries and recent referrers. i added this a few nights ago.
recent queries reflects things people have recently searched for and clicked on my link. so i figured i'd show it off and link back to the search page. for example, if someone googled for x1650 vista sp1 and clicked the search result from damnednice.com, there would be a new item under recent queries labeled x1650 vista sp1, which would link back to the google search page that referred the user here.
recent referrers works the same way, but with search engines and queries filtered out. you'll notice alot of my referrals come from wikipedia (what can i say, i had relevant content). while the items there only show the fqdn of the referring page, the link itself goes to the direct page that linked here. so if someone linked to me from wikipedia's comcast page, it would show en.wikipedia.org, but would actually link to http://en.wikipedia.org/en/comcast. not only does this give credit where credit is due, but it also tells google that my pagerank-5 site is casting a vote back their way. so all you have to do to get a temporary link on my front page is link to me and click on that link. of course, after ten more referrers come in, it'll be gone.
10/09/2007 06:43 PM -
the next release of the big, fancy, secret project i'm working on at work is due within two weeks. by "working on", of course, i mean "rewriting from scratch, in six weeks, what took the last guy 18 months; only now with object orientation and a much improved ui". i completed two major segments of it today, leaving only a few. i estimate it at two weeks' worth of work. but one of those two weeks is provisioned for unit testing and documentation. oh noes!
the boss was impressed to hear of the progress j and i were making on the project. in fact, he was so impressed he decided to skip the testing segment of the development lifecycle and go directly to production at the end of next week. he dropped the bomb!
so now any side issues that would be found during test must be found and fixed this week, in addition to at least four more major milestones that remain undone.
so, yeah, i'll be pulling extra hours and crunching, probably through monday. then i get to start on ut and documentation. as everyone knows, documentation is the most exciting part of the development lifecycle. it has visio flowcharts, use cases, and of course a thorough explanation of how the entire product works. that way i'm easy to replace - lovely.
so you might ask, what will we be doing after this release hits production? in addition to updates based on user feedback, we're scheduled to be tasked to yet another big, fancy, secret project. only this new one is older, more broken, and an overall much bigger mess. i'm sure i can look forward to the same tight deadlines on that one too.
10/08/2007 01:42 AM -
i dunno if this is a new idea, and i'm too lazy to research it, but it seems like a good idea: cereal shakes. basically, you take your favorite breakfast cereal concoction, blend it all together, and drink it in a cup.
i'm gonna try that later this week with rasin bran and cookie crisp (seperately, obviously). we'll see how it goes.
10/07/2007 11:14 PM -
i got a wild hair up my ass to check my googlejuice today, based on recent search results i've been seeing. in my typical fashion of self-promotion, here's how it went:
1 of 6,240,000: very widescreen (entry) (wow!)
1 of 221,000: comcast line tech (entry)
1 of 169,000: shiny red sports car (entry)
1 of 72,200: unreliable comcast (entry
1 of 10,200: multimon glass (entry 1, entry 2)
4 of 54,600: comcast bought adelphia (entry)
2 of 216,000: internet monitoring comcast (entry)
2 of 30,700: vista sp1 beta glass (entry)
3 of 246,000: vista sp1 glass (entry)
3 of 35,400: next grilleration review (entry)
lately, however, most of my referrals have been coming from wikipedia (730 so far). i guess editing their pages to my own advantage was helpful after all.
10/07/2007 09:40 PM -
some of you will recall that i mentioned i'd be doing paid blog entries, and even posted a few already. i waited for a few weeks, just to make sure they would, in fact, pay me for the first two. they finally did, so i'm back to posting for pay.
they actually pay pretty well, on a per-hour basis, for high-pagerank sites like mine. granted, it's not enough to make a living on, but it's enough to buy new toys and have a nice dinner once in a while. if you've got a blog that you'd like to make money on (that's been active for >9
10/07/2007 09:20 PM -
some of you have probably been following my adventures in trying to purchase a car, and my generally-bad luck therein. this whole thing started when i realized i had a repo on my credit report, and thus couldn't finance a car through a company for seven years. sure wish i knew that ahead of time.
obviously, not everyone has my bad luck. then again, i also have to acknowledge there are a great many people out there, somewhere, who have even worse issues with credit. for them, we have bankruptcy lawyers. while i've never considered bankrupcy (and god willing, never will), i certainly sympathize with people whom life has handed nothing but lemons.
fortunately for these poor folks, the guys over at creditloan.com have information on how to stop foreclosure, and help on reposession, lawsuits, and creditor harassment. it's likely too late to help me with my reposession, but i sure could have used their advice three years ago.
and creditors? well, i suppose one can simply keep them running around in circles, but it really is better to take the legal route. if you need some credit advice, give them a click and see if they can help you.
this is a paid entry. i am being financially compensated to disseminate the preceeding entry across the internet via this blog. if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to browse my disclosure policy or e-mail me.
10/06/2007 11:07 PM -
i added two google adsense ads, one below each of the first two displayed entries when viewing the new entry view (default view). in the three days it's been active, i've earned a whopping three cents. i need more traffic.
10/05/2007 11:58 PM -
so, the question of the day is how to solve a routing problem. hopefully some of my secret blog readers are ccna's who don't mind working with linksys and belkin hardware. yes, i know, linksys embarasses cisco. moving on...
comcast's continued problems have caused me to get a dsl connection as a backup. however, i want the live cameras to connect to ustream through the dsl all the time, while all other internet-connecting applications connect via the order of precedence (cable first, then dsl if cable is out). therein lies the complication.
let's say i have a configuration like this:
cable modem: 10.10.100.1
cable router: 10.10.1.1
dsl modem: 10.10.0.1
dsl router: 10.10.2.1
pc: 10.10.1.2, 10.10.2.2
[switch connecting pc and routers]
in this example, pc has a default gateway of 10.10.1.1, with a secondary gateway specified as 10.10.2.1. the pc's dns servers are configured this way too. because of presence on both subnets, it can talk to both routers. when either modem fails, the pc switches to the other connection successfully after a few seconds and reinitialization of everything that uses the internet. the lan remains up throughout the change.
the pc wants to use 10.10.1.1 whenever possible, except for all connections to 188.8.131.52 (ustream). those should go through 10.10.2.1. optimally, udp connections would be the ony ones ignoring the order of precedence; tcp connections would still connect to 184.108.40.206 via 10.10.1.1 - though this is not required.
anyone out there on these interwebs have any info on this kind of a configuration? keep in mind, this is mostly consumer grade equipment, so i can't go setting static routes within my cheapo routers. they don't even take telnet connections (sheesh!).
10/05/2007 08:19 PM -
php servlets continue to amuse me. i guess being a professional web developer, one notices these things. every time i see one, it looks like it was written in some archaic n00b language propagated by open-source hippies...
10/05/2007 09:26 AM -
those of you in the know will know about this: ebay recently did an in-depth threat analysis to gain further perspective for great justice.
those of you who are known to more than two people on the interwebs surely receive in the range of 50-200 e-mails a day. thus, you have likely been inundated with messages asking you to help the vice sub-under-prince of nigeria and that two billion bars of gold are waiting when they receive nothing more than your social security number. simple, huh?
so, lots of these e-mails come out from ebay and paypal (owned by ebay). they give you a link to a very convincing facsimilé of ebay's or paypal's member problem-fix page. all you have to do is enter enough personal information to become an inadvertent leinholder to the space station.
anyway, during the most recent threat analysis, it was discovered that the vast majority of these e-mails are coming from "rootkitted linux boxes for great justice. they say 1200 accounts were comprimised last week alone.
"since linux machines can be used to more easily create specially crafted networking packets, they can be used in highly sophisticated online attacks".
the moral of the story, of course, is that the blame for system insecurities lies squarely on the shoulders of the users, not the operating system. windows has the largest market share, so windows has more users. the only way in which linux is really more secure, then, is that it's so uncommon.
10/04/2007 10:45 PM -
some of you may have been following my endeavors to acquire a reliable conveyance. i've been trying on and off for over two months.
first, i tried (and failed) to buy a 2000 celica gt. i was ultimately turned away because there's a repo on my credit report that won't go away until sometime around 2010-2011; thus i won't be able to finance a car through a company for that long. i can safely say i didn't think that one through. the car was $8,000. sadly, it would have been almost paid off by now.
last friday, i bought a 1994 saturn (looked like an sl1?) whose only major problem was a knocking sound. i figured i'd get it home and have a mechanic look at it. it broke down two hours later on the way home, so i left it at a meineke in castle rock. they said it needed a new engine, $3500. i paid $750 for the car. so i'm gonna sell it to j.
today, i bought a 1990 mitsubishi eclipse gs with 210,000 miles for $900. there are no obvious major defects (though a whole lot of obvious minor ones, but what can one expect from an 18-year-old car (as they are built the year previous to their named year.)?). this one actually made it home; i plan to have it analyzed by a mechanic this weekend, and will register and insure it next weekend. how will i get an operational vehicle across town without registration and insurance, you ask? well, i can't show you all my cards.
i'll post some pictures later, pending motivation.
10/03/2007 06:59 PM -
uc berkley has announced that all their class lectures will be made available on youtube. you can watch them here. i love to watch videos that teach me something, don't you?
i've already started watching. since integrative biology 131 was first on the list, i started there. the videos are in short, easy to digest increments of 45-60 minutes. only, unlike the poor students who have to sit in the lecture hall, i can pause the video and do other activities.
hooray for progress! now, if only mit would follow suit.
10/03/2007 05:46 PM -
i submitted an explorer bug to microsoft through the vista sp1 feedback tool. their response made me laugh out loud:
according to the devs this existed in rtm as well therefore it's a won't fix for sp1. this will be addressed in a later os.
just sit and read that again. can you guess yet why this pissed me off? allow my response to speak for itself:
won't fix in sp1 because it existed in rtm? isn't the purpose of a service pack to fix problems that existed in rtm?
"addressed in a later os"? you had the longest development cycle of any operating system in history; you haven't even finished this one and you're deferring bugs to windows 7 or singularity? holy bejeezus.
10/02/2007 09:50 PM -
i've been researching possible causes and fixes for my issue with aero glass. that is, it doesn't work and it should.
synopsis: aero glass worked when i had one ati radeon x1600 (agp 8x, 256mb) card and two monitors plugged in. my experience with the initial windows vista beta (rtm, not sp1) led me to believe my combination of different ati generations (and thus, different drivers) would cause my system to be unable to support glass, or even worse, not have all the screens work. so i bought three of the exact same card: ati radeon x1650 (pci express x16, 512mb). it's slightly newer than my old card.
my research indicates that to support aero glass, in addition to meeting all the requirements, i must have a homogeneous multi-adapter configuration. i googled and googled and finally came to this microsoft article on that very topic. amusingly enough, having blogged about it since, i've moved to the top of many relevant google searches:
vista sp1 beta glass: 1 of 205,000 (holy crap!)
"windows vista sp1" glass: 1 of 50,500
multimon glass: 1 of 33,500
windows vista sp1 beta multimon: 1 of 23,800
x1650 aero glass: 1 of 807
sp1 multimon: 1 of 640
homogeneous multi-adapter configuration: 1 of 48
eight feet of glass on vista: 2 of 890,000 (sweet!)
aero multimon: 3 of 507
aero glass on sp1: 4 of 123,000 (sweet!)
glass vista sp1: 5 of 274,000
"ati radeon x1650" "aero glass": 4 of 967
"aero glass" sp1: 4 of 53,900
glass six monitors: 5 of 2,050,000
unfortunately, my own blog entries don't really help me a whole lot. i've read them; they just ramble on about my complaints. maybe if microsoft would send me a fix i'd blog it. *nudge*
ati and microsoft seem to agree this configuration should work flawlessly. i continue to pursue technical assistance through official routes via both companies. in the meantime, on the off chance that any of you out there happen to be running aero glass on six monitors on three ati video cards on windows vista sp1, please let me know how you did it.
10/01/2007 11:25 PM -
let me begin by saying i am a power user, and as such many things in my environment are different from a lower breed of user. my vista system has six monitors and some of the best ddr2 ram money can buy. i have a server at home with nearly 4tb of total storage.
i'm an official microsoft beta tester, a senior applications developer ii, and an all-around geek in every sense of the word. well, not every sense; i wouldn't define myself as "a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken". so i'm a geek in almost every sense of the word.
i hate the term "power user"; it's too vague and subjective. some people call themselves power users because they know how to install a game and burn a cd. these people are smoking black tar heroin, plain and simple. when i call myself a power user, it's based on a thorough understanding of the underlying hardware and software architectures, a wide variety of experience in many fields within the computer industries, and the overall geekery i have pursued over the past two decades. i scored 97% on a comptia a+ certification exam, and 80-90% on all the mcsd pre-tests i've taken so far. so yeah, i'm a power user, but don't call me that. just call me a geek.
now that the introductions are out of the way, let us proceed with the examination of the closed beta of microsoft windows vista service pack 1 (ultimate edition, build 6001).
allow me to begin with the good things:
- tons of security and performance upgrades
- aero glass is pretty and shiny
- problems and solutions keeps a list of problems and solutions
- multiple simultaneous multimedia streams have significantly improved prioritization and synchronization
and the bad things:
- i've submitted 11 bugs in 3 days. make of that what you will.
- support has been discontinued for an incredible amount of hardware. even a whole slew of pci 2.2 cards are now considered "legacy".
- security and performance upgrades are causing me performance problems.
- x64 support continues to lack significant support. try getting drivers for it. seriously. you'll end up running a 32-bit os on a 64-bit processor as a result.
- problems and solutions almost never has a solution for me.
- my memory is almost always at maximum i/o, thus reducing its lifetime.
- vista ati video driver crashes alot.
- it's still not done!
now for the drill-down, skippy, 411, info, analysis:
1. why is ie7 on both sides?
- ie7 has some great upgrades. most of them are in the ether where you'll never see them, like security.
- tabbed browsing: a great feature to have at my disposal, though honestly i'll never use it.
- it's slower than ie6. i must be able to type start >