The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker


| August 31, 2008

Hat tip to

1. They are watching TV. What are they watching? Project runway. 2. You’re out to eat. What kind of dressing do they get on their salad? Some variety of vinaigrette – generally balsamic-based. 3. What’s one food this person doesn’t like? What’s one food this person could not live without? Beans. Ice cream. 4. You go out to the bar. He/she orders… A cosmo, made with the best vodka they have. 5. What size shoe do they wear? Men’s size 10. I don’t know what that is in women’s but she fits in my shoes just fine. 6. If this person were to collect anything, it would be… American Girl dolls (and she does) 7. What is their favorite type of sandwich? Our fancy turkey and swiss with the rasberry wasabi mustard, some mixed greens tossed in some balsamic vinegar with some slices of sweet onion on top, all on either Portuguese sweet bread or potato bread, and grilled in a panini press. 8. This person could eat ______ every day. Yogurt. 9. Favorite cereal? Crispix 10. This person wouldn’t be caught dead wearing? An oilskin drover. 11. Favorite sports team? The Mighty Ducks (like, from the movie). 12. Who will he/she vote for? McCain. 13. What is their sign? Scorpio (There are a bunch of numbers skipped here.. odd) 16. How many states has this person lived in? 2 17. What is his/her heritage? Swiss, German, Polish 18. You bake them a cake for their birthday. What kind do you bake? Tiramisu (though that isn’t baked) 19. The CD I would probably find in their vehicle is… None, since we put in the new stereo which talks to the iPod. But, if there were a CD, it would likely be a mixed country CD. 20. What can you do that will guarantee a laugh from him/her? Be shmoopy, especially if it involves talking baby talk to kitties. 21. Does he/she get along well with their family? Yes. 22. If money wasn’t an option, I would buy him/her… A fully restored early ’70’s Super Beetle, along with a private track upon which she can drive it, because they’re not really super-safe on the road. Then I would try and find a near-identical color scheme New Beetle in a turbo ragtop for a daily driver. Finally, we’d get the existing New Beetle all set up with a new suspension, porsche racing engine, short shift kit, body ligtening, etc… ever see a pimp mustang get blown away by a yellow beetle with daisy wheels? Oh, and a new fancypancy iMac because her dual G5 shat itself, and all my normal PC and Sun diagnostic tricks do nothing for trying to figure out why her Mac won’t boot (especially since it won’t even POST, and it’s not like we can go swapping components around). Then I would buy her the 30 acres next door so I can build a range on it, and that small commercial building out on 29 so I can run my own gaming shop. Why? Well, those are the two things about which I complain the most, and if I would stop being miserable living here, I think she would be a lot happier.


| August 26, 2008

I've posted a doohickey about gaming. We'll see what comes of it.

Regarding gaming online, and my whole thought about using Second Life for it, I realize that it is a little too “heavy” for general gaming. I mean, we need to be able to play games on random low/spec hardware, and not really require the hefty hardware which Second Life needs.

Does anyone have any experience with cross platform gaming over the intertubes? There's always play by email games, but those are a little slow.

Actual conversation

| August 20, 2008

Liz: Who doesn't love a drag queen.

Me: I don't know, the Westboro Baptist church?

(We were watching project runway)

Adventures in emacs

| August 13, 2008

Meta-x indent-region is a useful command. It indents a region of code.

It is bound to Ctrl-Meta-\. \ is right below Backspace.

After dumping myself out of my X Session, I rebound it. Indent starts with i, so I bound it to control-i.

Then I tried to make a makefile. Tab wouldn't insert tabs. Kept complaining that it couldn't indent the region because there was no region selected. WTF?

Control-i maps to TAB. TAB maps to the tab key. Apparently, they're all intertwined.

After struggling to liberate the TAB key and/or control i (I tried (global-unset-key [(control i)]), as well as trying to explicitly set \t) I finally gave up and mapped it to control-r (because it is a region, after all).

Don't get me wrong, I love emacs because I can make it do some really cool stuff. Sometimes, however, it drives me right up the wall.

For the curious, I'm making a Makefile to run my whole website hierarchy through php and save the html in a file of the same base name. Then, when I sync my dev copy to my hosting provider with rsync, I simply won't propagate the makefile or php files. The result? Static page speed with the maintenance ease of PHP for menus and other “convenience” things. (The website doesn't have any truly dynamic content).

Take that <lj user="fearsclave">!

| August 13, 2008

More kitten pics

| August 12, 2008

I've updated the kitten gallery with new pics. The new pics start here.

Computermachine stuff

| August 10, 2008

So, I've finally put up photos of my new Core 2 Quad System.

For comparison, I've also put up photos of my old Dual Athlon System.

Specs on the new system are here.

I should also note that the new system is much quieter than the old one – fewer drives spinning and quieter, speed modulated fans. That is the correct way to make a machine quiet. This is not.

Free vintage computers to good home

| August 9, 2008

I have some friends of mine who are looking to clear out some old computer kit, but don't want to throw it out. Hence, they are trying to send them off to good homes. All of these worked when last powered on:

TRS-80 Commodore 64 Commodore 128

They aren't looking for any money, except to cover shipping if applicable.

Anyone interested should drop me an email and I'll set it up.


| August 9, 2008

Following various vulnerabilities recently in Firefox (which concerns me) and IE (which doesn't, but it might concern you) which allow for the stealing of all saved passwords from your browser, regardless of whether you've set a master password or not, I have decided that it is not safe to store passwords in your browser (and likely never was), because of the potential ability of things to steal them.

Further, there are applications for which one needs to save passwords but are not accessed through a browser. Quite frankly, I'm running out of brain space for all my passwords, and have started to re-use the same ones. This is not good.

Enter Keepassx, which is a *nix port of Keepass. The version in hardy is pretty old, so I've added this PPA to my sources.list which has an updated version. Further, I've managed to import all my saved passwords by exporting them using password exporter fed into a modified version of this script which I have reposted here.

Seems to be working well.

I need to go make pizza for supper now.

Been busy

| August 9, 2008

Aside from some short quips, I haven't really updated this in about two weeks.

Last weekend, (the weekend of Aug 2nd), my brothers-in-law came to visit, along with various nieces and nephews. It was good to have a full house. Much food and fun was had by all.

The corn is all thinned, the pea fencing has been moved to the peapods, the potatoes are hilled, the lawn is mowed, and the lawn clippings are between the rows. I have yanked up most of the weeds – I need maybe another half hour or so and that will be done.

Most of the electric fencing stuff is up, I just ran out of the insulators so I need to get some from the store when we're out this week. I also need to put up some finer meshed fencing on the gates to keep out things larger than rabbits and smaller than deer.

Pretty much the only thing outstanding (as in, “stuff which should get done but that doesn't really represent a project) is a bunch of weedwackering. If it's nice tomorrow, I'll likely finish all that up. However, there are supposed to be thundershowers which makes it hard to work on that, In that ends up happening, I'll likely be making pickles (grabbed some jars and lids from my mother in law, and I have about half a dozen pickling cukes which is enough to fill two or three large jars) and painting some shelves I want to put up in my office.

I also want to tidy up the garage and starting hanging/organizing things. I've finally gotten some useful things I've needed (welder, sawhorses, angle grinder, more air tools, etc.) that I can start tackling those projects. However, right now they're kind of all in a messy pile and really need some organization before I can start on them.

Over all, I'm pretty happy with it. I like working on things like this and organizing things.

The kittens are doing well and continue to make physics look like “suggestions” rather than “laws”, especially when it comes to energy. I will likely post some pictures later.

I've also become rather enamored with Streamlight's products. I purchased one of these for firefighting applications after receiving recommendations from other firefighters. 65 lumens, 3 hour runtime, with a 50,000 hour bulb life. Not bad for a $50 light. I also picked up one of these for a more general purpose flashlight. 42 lumens, 4 hour runtime, 10,000 hour bulb, for a $25 light. I liked it so much I bought 2 more. This is, in contrast to this light which is, quite frankly, unimpressive. It works to spec, but it's a very weak light. The LUX LED's are much better.