A collection of articles, ideas, and rambling from a guy who wrote some software that one time.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
I remember when I was younger it seemed like I have lots of spare time. There were rare occasions when I felt some pressing deadline looming over me, but they were predictable and relatively far between.
These days I feel like every day is a battle over hours. Any moments for doing "extra" activities - such as writing this blog post - are stolen from sleep. I understand that I have generally less time, but the way things are going right now seems pretty extreme. I don't know how to get organized when I have so much to do and not enough time. Anyone in a startup situation actually figured out how to have a life?
Saturday, June 12, 2004
I have long suspected that my current router/access point, a Netgear MR814v2 is a little buggy. It seems to have some subtle problems with UDP, which I notice sometimes when I have trouble with voice-over-IP applications. Overall I've been happy with it, except for having to update the firmware when I purchased it (it didn't work with my Powerbook out of the box).
After a bit of browsing around, I've selected another Netgear, the WGT634U to replace it. Since I didn't want to spend another $50 to just maybe, possibly fix this one problem I've been having, I wanted to add a little extra cost justification (and okay, maybe a little extra cost) by getting some "toy" features too. The model that I've selected here has a built-in USB port which can be used to attach a USB disk to its internal file and web server. It's surprisingly hard to find networking gadgets with any fun features. I've been looking around and it seems that everything is "enterprise" scale, which means it's waaaaay too expensive, noisy, and heat-producing for me to get just for personal use.
Anybody have a suggestion for me? I'm open to building something myself as long as it's small, quiet, and fairly low-hassle. (No, buying individual hardware components, assembling them, and building my own embedded linux distribution from scratch is not "low-hassle".)
Although I can't find a complete history, Runtime Revolution appears to be a direct derivative of SuperCard. I was amazed to find the XTalk language community still limping along; even moreso that SC itself is still being actively developed! I guess proprietary development environments can still survive a harsh economic winter sometimes.
Does anyone still have a copy of ... dare I say it ... "Elemental Knowledge" on some ancient media that we could dust off and update for the new millennium? (How about New Zork City? I think I have a floppy disk here with something on it, but I doubt that it's physically survived, and I don't have a drive that can read it handy.)
a web comic. Of course, we've never really had the time in our schedules
to commit to updating as regularly as those whose comics we read. This
blog's spotty and inconsistent content should be a strong testimonial to
However, sometimes I see things that just indicate there's a creative
impulse that needs expressing. For example, yesterday Ying was
alt="Logos removed to indemnify me against an inevitable lawsuit"
To her, this is simply a scribble she drew on some scrap paper. To
me, though, this is potentially a hilarious comic strip. I can see the
potential for a comic there; sort of a href="http://www.slowwave.com/">Slow Wave meets href="http://www.achewood.com/">Achewood vibe. An entry from her href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/cyli/5954.html">already-famous
turtles could provide that Phillipe/ href="http://www.wigu.com/">Wigu quality.
src="http://glyph.is-a-geek.org/scribbles/images/story/kame.png" alt="Kame!" />
As long as I'm describing by association, I suppose I need to
mention Silence of the Lambs. You just can't quite ignore the
implied cannibalism of a sentient hamburger. I could let it go
with a mere passing reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide,
considering the restaurant at the end of the universe, but the nearby
sketch of the included "toy" reveals the pathological genesis of mister
hamburger over there.
"Oh, sure", you think at first. "The eyes are a little weird, but it's
just a kid's wind-up toy. What could be wrong with that?" Don't be
fooled. That's just what it wants you to think.
You won't listen to me, though. That's what you will think. That's
what you'll think as you unwrap him; that's what you'll think as you
carelessly discard him somewhere in your home, to zoom around your
floors and innocently amuse you by bonking into walls. But
not me... I know all about Bonky the Beetle and his href="http://glyph.is-a-geek.org/binky.png">seemingly innocent
You'll leave him there, on the floor, forgotten, out of sight, out of
mind. He won't forget you, though. Every scrap of lint gumming up his
wheels, every rotten, rusting, made-in-china part of his winding
mechanism, every soul-mangling hour of neglect, reminds him of you.
One day when you least expect it, when your guard is down, and you're
walking down the hall, he'll be there. Right under your heel as you're
taking that first step down the stairs. Right where you'll slip on him
and break your neck.
It'll kill him too, too, of course. It will crush him like a
proverbial bug - well, like an actual bug - but for him, it'll be worth
it. He'll finally remind you that he's there, in a way you
can never forget again.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
I noticed the package waiting for me as I was leaving to go get lunch, so I'm going to have to keep this brief, but WOW, this thing is LOUD. It isn't quite as identical to the Apple Extended II as they claim, but I think that it stands fairly well on its own. (I am getting ready to push "enter" now. BANG!)
Now, for you keyboard freaks out there: this is very definitely a keyboard designed for a mac, so the 'command' key, where the 'alt' key normally goes, maps to a Windows key. And there are key-caps on every key designed to match up with the semantics of the "alt" key on the mac. However, after only a few minutes experience with this keyboard, I would recommend it strongly to anyone who spends 10+ hours a day at their keyboard and doesn't hold with any of this fruity new "ergonomic" stuff.
As to the actual tactile experience: it feels like a tighter Model M; slightly smaller keys, less travel, function keys closer to the home row. The caps-lock key is, thankfully, not the hold-down-and-lock model that came with the Apple Extended II, but it does have a strange, slightly cushioned feel which is different from the rest of the keys. This is actually a nice touch from my perspective, as an emacs user who spends half his life with that key pressed down.
I think the keyboard is still going to take a little getting used to; I've been using a scissor-switch keyboard with very little travel and no gaps between the keys, and although I had no problems with that one, I think I'm very glad I bought this. It's worth it for the nostalgia alone (I used an Apple Extended II for about 5 years, until, like an idiot, I tried to spray-paint it), but the keyboard itself seems very high-quality.