Busy making things: tinycast, github, links, photos, @mc.

textamerica editors pick!

Posted: November 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | Comments Off

Hey cool!  That’s my picture on the bottom right.  It’s not one of my best, but there it is on the front page of textamerica (for a few minutes anyway).

The really cool part is that they sent me an email telling me about it.  I know that the process is automated, but it is a warm fuzzy email buried in a mound of spam.

Speaking of textamerica, I got an email from Shawn Honnick last night, and yes, and I’ll totally be sticking with them while they figure things out.

Python At LinuxWorld

Posted: November 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Python | Comments Off

Jeremy Hylton:

Steve Holden and I are speaking at the LinuxWorld Expo in January at the Javits Center in New York City. Steve is giving his popular Network Programming in Python course. I am talking about Programming Weblogs with Python.

This is good to know.  I’ll see if I can plan my schedule around one or both sessions.

Boeing 7E7 Interior Design

Posted: November 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

The proposed interior design of the Boeing 7E7 calls out to me. It’s retro, sci-fi, and contemporary at the same time.

Check out more at the Boeing 7E7 photo gallery.

All The Best Chips Come From Dresden

Posted: November 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Wednesday it plans to hold news conferences in the United States and Germany on Thursday for what industry observers expect to be the announcement of plans to build an advanced microchip plant in Dresden, Germany.

My last Athlon chip (sadly a Slot A 750MHz) was made in Dresden. If AMD is building a state of the art fab facility there, it is guaranteed to put out some cool and groundbreaking stuff.

WordPress: Impressive!

Posted: November 20th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | Comments Off

Wow. I installed WordPress a few minutes ago, and the whole process was one of the easiest and quickest blog installs that I’ve ever done. I can probably set up a MT blog in my sleep. Blosxom just takes a few minutes but lacks Whizzy menus and user-friendly stuff. It was as simple as uncompressing WordPress, creating a MySQL database, editing about 4 fields in a php file and a few configuration clicks.

It was really quick. It’s really slick.

It’s set up for mutli-author blogging out of the box. It does trackback, pings weblogs.com, and does all of the basic things that I can think of out of the box. The RSS 0.92, RSS 1.0 and RSS 2.0 feeds that it generates all validate. The templates do included a good bit of embedded PHP, so they are going to be harder to edit than your standard Movable Type template. The default template is okay but not particularly beautiful. It could always be worse.

It looks like they allow per-blog and per-post geolocation data in the form of lat/long. I haven’t seen much done with this in the blog that is produced, but I’m not looking very hard. Of course many evil and interesting things can be done with such data.

I would peg WordPress (which is derived from the b2 codebase) at a little more advanced than your Livejournal/blogger/hosted blog and around the same level of complexity/flexibility of Movable Type. It does require PHP and MySQL, though both of those can be found in less expensive shared hosting. I’m not going to move my daily blogging to it, but I am definitely going to poke around.

Inklog: What’s That Scribble?

Posted: November 19th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | Comments Off

Inklog is cool and all, but geek handwriting is rarely all that legible. I hope that MS is using geeks to test their handwriting recognition, because if you can decipher geekwriting, you can probably comprehend anyone, save perhaps doctors.

GPL’d NDIS Wrapper (Broadcom 802.11g in Linux)

Posted: November 19th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source | Comments Off

Via Slashdot, NdisWrapper provider a free beer/free speech way of using Windows drivers for Broadcom chipsets under Linux, similar to the Linuxant wrapper.

File this under w00t, with a caveat.

It’s great that I can now get the Wi-Fi built in to my laptop to work.  The bad news is that NDIS isn’t going to allow me to do some of the cooler things that you can do with Wi-Fi under linux.  The motivation for someone to write Linux-native drivers just went down the tube.

This is great, but it’s bad.

Update: NdisWrapper requires kernel 2.6.0-test8 or higher, so it is not for the weak of heart.

Croydon’s Law of Internet Connectivity

Posted: November 18th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I came to the following conclusion this morning:

Croydon’s law of internet connectivity: Do not praise your ISP, as your connection will go down shortly thereafter.

Luckily remote sibling protocol came through and everything is up and running again.

HP’s $1200 AMD64 Deal

Posted: November 18th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off


HP is attempting to position the 8000Z below its low-end Itanium-based machines and above its most robust Pentium-based PCs. The 8000Z will be available for purchase Wednesday for around $1200 plus or minus $100 depending on the rebates available. The Athlon 64 is manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices.

Wow!  That’s a pretty good deal considering that the AMD64 chip alone costs over $400 on the street.  AMD64 motherboards don’t cost a ton more than their XP counterparts.  The rest of the required components are pretty much the same as a regular desktop machine.

It’s those chips.  They’ve got to come down in price before myself and the many other homebuilders are going to start buying in any significant quantity.

A desktop with a $1200 price point is definitely the first step.  Thanks, HP.

Thank You Comcast!

Posted: November 18th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Comcast has been slowly upping the download bandwidth on their cable customers across the US.  I received a hot tip yesterday that I should run some bandwidth tests to see if the new faster firmware had been pushed to my cable modem.  Sure enough, it has.  Right now I’m pulling down about 2782kbps.  The thumbnail above links to the full sized table.

Thanks, Comcast!

theKompany GPLs Rekall

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source | Comments Off

theKompany announced today that they were releasing Rekall under the GPLRekall is an Access-like database system that sits atop many standard SQL servers, including MySQL and PostgreSQL.  Rekall allows users to do pretty much what Access can do: create forms and reports in a simple and easy way.

Lately theKompany has been focusing on the embedded market, and having a GPL’d version of Rekall is definitely a win for Linux users.

There is a community site called Rekall Revealed has all of the information including download and installation information.  There is an rss feed for the site.

Eclipse Visual Editor Project

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source | Comments Off


The Eclipse consortium tomorrow will announce the establishment of the Visual Editor Project, a new effort to create and deliver an open visual GUI construction and editing platform. The project is designed to generically work with any user interface framework and programming language Eclipse supports; ultimately, it will implement a reference GUI builder for the Java Swing/JFC and SWT graphical user interface frameworks.

It’s good to see competition for Project Rave even before its release.  The VEP looks like more of a simplification of GUI design than anything else.  Of course creating GUIs in Swing or SWT is one of the more common grumbles about Java development.  Every bit helps.

IBM Powers Every Next-Gen Console

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

El Reg:

IBM has its finger in every next-generation home console pie: Sony, Microsoft and now Nintendo.

Wow.  That’s what I thought.  Go IBM!

Upgraded to Rawdog 1.6

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Python | Comments Off

I upgraded my aggregator to Rawdog 1.6 today.  I was previously using 1.4.  The new version fixes some bugs and allows some global and item level templating.  It was pretty much a drop in replacement and it’s running via cron quite happily.

DC Area Sniper Convicted on All Counts

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Washington Post:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Nov. 17 — Jurors reached guilty verdicts on all four charges Monday morning in the capital murder trial of accused sniper John Allen Muhammad after approximately 6½ hours of deliberations.

It took the jury just over 6.5 hours to come to that conclusion.  The jury now decides John Mohammad’s fate.  Mohammad and Malvo terrorized the DC Metro Area for weeks last year.  One of the shootings took place about a block from where I work.  We pumped our gas in fear of being the next victim.  We were afraid to leave our homes.  Some of us died doing our everyday chores.

It looks like Malvo’s defense is going to focus on saving him from the death penalty rather than trying to set him free.  Mohammad may not be so lucky.

Disney Ditches Animation Project

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

The Washington Post:

The Walt Disney Co. has shut down production on its animated feature “A Few Good Ghosts,” a decision likely to lead to more layoffs at its beleaguered Florida animation facility.

The project was a mix of traditional and computer animation and honestly doesn’t sound like it had a whole lot going for it if Disney was trying to make money/break even on it.  The article also mentions a trail of layoffs in Disney’s animation division.


Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Python | Comments Off

Via Pythonware’s Daily Python-URL, isbn.py is an ISBN formatter.  It also allows you to strip non-ISBN characters, verify that a list of numbers is a valid ISBN, and also verify the check digit.  See the authors entry for other open source code dealing with ISBNs.

Nokia Series 90 MIDP SDK Now For (Red Hat) Linux

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Linux | Comments Off

Nokia’s Series 90 MIDP SDK now supports Linux.  And by Linux, the release notes mean Red Hat Linux 8.0.  It was tested secondarily on RH 7.2.  No mention of Red Hat 9, Fedora, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

This whole Linux thing is just going to get more complicated.

Google Ads Invade textamerica

Posted: November 17th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Weblogs | Comments Off

It looks like logging in to textamerica last night to edit an entry updated my template to include google ads.  It also changed the template to one of the new default ones.  I guess I’m complaining about a free service which rocks, but I am a little annoyed at the sudden appearance of google ads on my moblog.  I’ve always had the few required linkbacks in my template, and recently each entry in my RSS feed adds some links to textamerica.

I went poking around the footer template, and the div containing the Google ads is required.  I can’t remove them or alter them or else I am A Bad Man (and probably violating ToS).

It is understandable that textamerica needs some way to fund their site whcih has gone from a few hundred users to probably thousands and thousands in the past few months.  It has always been a free service, and I’ve never quite been sure how they’ve been paying for it.  They sell ringtones, but it obviously is not making them enough money.

My suggestion to textamerica: offer a for-pay ad-free account option.  Maybe a couple of bucks a month ($2.95-$4.95) would cover it.  I would definitely consider the option.  Right now I’ve got a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, so I’m thinking about moving on to self-hosted moblogging.  Textamerica has definitely got a lot going for it: When I first signed up with them, I went from zero to moblog in just a few minutes.


Posted: November 16th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Projects | Comments Off

Must check out Groovy  at some point.