jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

This page generally sucks less using Mozilla Firefox. RSS Feed


2008-10-31-1147Z

Uploaded my first video to YouTube yesterday, but although I could play it with VLC on Debian before uploading, the audio got scrambled once YouTube finished mangling it. After Googling a bit, it looks as though transcoding to MPEG4 video with MP3 audio before uploading might give it a better chance. [comment]

2008-10-29-0841Z

I lost most of this dream shotly after waking but want to get some snippets of it down. I guess I was working at a big brick store in a city. I was walking out of the store, and a horse, who had a long and beautiful name I forgot, but her father's name was Yuni, was lying on her side in the hard-packed dirt, moving her legs and mouth. I realized she was laughing. "So funny! So funny!" she started saying, and I was so shocked to hear a horse talk that I started writing the words with my finger in the dirt.

I lost most of the rest, but remember the horse mentioned that being obedient, she got to see something about people -- something funny, obviously, but precisely what, I can't remember -- and I replied that I was in a servile position once and noticed the same thing. I went back into the store, looking to find someone to tell this to who wouldn't think I was a total nutcase, and chose a young lady who worked behind the counter. While talking to her, my own mouth spoke the words aloud and I awoke. [comment]

2008-10-28-1955Z

I finally downloaded colorForth2.0a.zip from Ray St. Marie's site, and am publishing the document files at Google Documents: the User's Guide and Tutorial. Maybe I can make a colorForth USB key to play with. [comment]

2008-10-28-1854Z

Chris, the lead (only?) programmer at LifeTango.com, added a new (and hidden, for now) feature for me, showing more than the default 5 goals or tasks per page if you pass '?num=N' in the URL, where N is the number per page you want.

That jog this morning didn't open up my old sores nor cause any new ones, so it looks like I'm good to go for the 5K next Sunday. Anyone else plan on coming? I'll win for sure if I don't get some competition! [comment]

2008-10-28-1520Z

Finally found where the bogus "vga=normat" was coming from on my DSL USB key. It was in /cdrom/boot/grub/menu.lst. Just edited it out, and it should boot up without a hitch next time.

Botched a job I scored on Craigslist, couldn't figure out in time how to automate Yahoo! logins. Finally worked out a method using WSH to control Internet Explorer through its COM object, but didn't have enough confidence to continue. I might try again today just for the hell of it, since my customer already moved on to another coder... it would be useful knowledge for future jobs.

I think I could make a living on RentACoder and Craigslist, but I'd be working pretty much fulltime to do so. And that's no fun. Then again, if I get the USPS job it won't be fun either, but I'll have a lot more spending money. So far the Post Office hasn't found a way to outsource their machine maintenance to India or China.

Jogged the 4.5 miles to the border again this morning. Nothing open for breakfast, so caught the bus back to town for 50 cents and had a good breakfast at La Casita for $3.21: a humungous egg-and-bacon burrito and coffee. Plus a dollar tip it was still a damned good deal. I'm liking that restaurant more all the time. Always fast and friendly service, good food, and good prices. And I haven't found them closed in over a year; I was always bitching before about walking the 4 blocks only to find it locked, but that's not happening any more. [comment]

2008-10-23-2357Z

Just published my updated resume at Google Documents. Trying for a 12-week gig in the LA area doing LAMP development. [comment]

2008-10-22-1643Z

Why do I never remember: never do work on a computer without backups! Yesterday I failed to seat the data cable completely into an added hard drive; the customer turned on the computer, and we both failed to notice Windows start "repairing" the other drive, the one whose data signals were being scrambled by the partly-seated connector on the new drive. The disk was hosed, with 200 gigs of important files. After dithering a while, I convinced him to let scandisk run again, after properly seating the other drive. It fucking worked! Maybe something was lost, but most of the files came back intact. Luckily the drive was formatted NTFS. Never would have had a chance with FAT32. [comment]

2008-10-20-0749Z

My wifi router is at lat/long 31.84610670344959, -107.65015304088593 according to the Google Maps locator at Skyhook Wireless. Going to see if I can hack up my own wifi positioning software. [comment]

2008-10-17-2106Z

Last night I dreamt that when I had my feet up in the air -- maybe doing a handstand, I don't remember -- some things resembling maggots were falling off my feet onto the floor. But they weren't maggots. I reached to pick one up and several of the creatures, white crustaceans of some sort, immediately and quite painfully burrowed under my skin, leaving only slight bumps to indicate their presence. [comment]

2008-10-16-0855Z

I was just walking through one of my favorite dreamworlds, which resembles Pembroke Pines, FL, and on every street corner there were signs in big, bold, blue and red letters with the free wifi hotspots. At a junction of this fictitious analog of Pines Boulevard with a busy Wendy's at the SW corner (which was noticeably lacking wifi) there was, near the SE corner, a small storefront for a software company called "Close, Finally" whose only product was for forcing stubborn Windows software to close when requested... I thought that was funny. As I slowly awoke, there was a sound of constant hammering somewhere in the distance. Eventually I realized it was my heartbeat.

Gotta go pee in the arroyo and get back to sleep. Just had to share that dream snippet. [comment]

2008-10-16-0054Z

Just figured out a better way to light up my keyboard when pulling an all-nighter on the computer. I'd bought a webcam some time ago and forgotten about it; it has 6 bright-white LEDs. I just plugged it in, Linux recognized it, and I pointed it down at my keyboard. Perfect! When I'm done my current RentACoder job, and another translation job, I might fiddle-fart around with streaming video. [comment]

2008-10-14-0637Z

Tried a new method of cleaning ears today. Left my Camelbak hydration bladder, filled, in the afternoon sun till it was warm, then just squeezed the bladder, squirting the stream of warm water into each ear through the attached tube. Worked much better than those ear irrigator bulbs they sell in drugstores. [comment]

2008-10-08-2232Z

No place on the NM ballot for write-ins. Cast my protest vote for Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr instead, and voted for gun rights otherwise.

Has anyone ever set Poe's The Raven to music? Seems to me it's a good match for punk rock or any kind of metal band.

Looking for stereovision goggles that could switch between builtin cameras over each eye, to an iPod or other device. And I wonder, if the goggles could emit infrared, could blind peoples' eyes be sensitive enough to heat that they could "see", after a fashion?

One of my gardening buddies today told me he'd had good luck with sand cherries and Nanking cherries up in Taos. I just planted a couple more of those Flying Dragon trifoliate orange bushes. Hope I have better luck this winter. Also have a coffee plant for indoors. But can I remember to water it? Time will tell. [comment]

2008-10-02-1815Z

Just upgraded my kernel to 2.6.26, and now my iPod Touch charges when I plug it into the USB port! Not sure if everything else is working yet, but man what an improvement! It wouldn't even charge under Win2K. [comment]

2008-10-02-0822Z

It's cold enough lately to sleep outside without the mosquitos eating you alive, so tonight I did. Awoke a while ago to a coyote chorus, and then lay awake looking at the stars. Saw a meteorite making a slow, lazy arc in the star grouping right behind Pegasus. This was one of those bright-burning things with a long tail. Then a couple of less spectacular "shooting stars" followed. [comment]

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