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Feb 03, 2006

Static Blosxom

Due to my host experiancing some issues with site spam from insecure weblog setup I've shifted my blosxom based site to statis rendering. The site will be much faster but posts will be further apart as I don't have daytime console access to rerun the static render after each update.

Permalink | 2006.02.03-19:24.00

Jan 31, 2006

Emacs Rememberence Agent + More

This is funky - Rememberence Agent - this Emacs agent will watch what you're working on and suggest related documents based on context.

AnandTech do a thorough dissection of the new Intel iMac.

Useful - FileLight is a graphical drive utilisation monitor. Handy for finding out who is hogging all the disk space.

Cool but utterly useless desktop toys.

This guy has a lot to answer for - the inventor of Comic Sans.

Annoyed by cellphone users - give them a Shhhh Card.

Annoyed by idiots on the road - use these handy flash cards to express your road rage. Not free unfortunately.

Interesting - summary comparing Solaris, Linux & BSD kernels from a Solaris perspective.

Permalink | 2006.01.31-22:53.00

Jan 30, 2006

Amusing 404 + More

A very cool 404 Page Not Found error from homokaasu. Note that Homokaasu is the home of the very cool Rasterbator - which turns any image into a huge rasterised poster.

The A to Z of Programmer Predilictions. I'm sure some of the people I used to work with can ID a number of these traits in their development teams. I'm probably similar to Process Peter (lack of basic process drives me insane) with a bit of Quiet Quincey (at the end of the day you just need to get the job done regardless) thrown in.

Excellent - lots of prebuilt Qemu OS images (most under 1Gb) at OSZoo. Including FreeBSD, Debian, Plan9, Fedora, Mandrake, SuSe, Slackware, Ubuntu, NetBSD, OpenBSD, OpenSolaris + more.

Arstechnica provides some information on the latest Itanium update.

Howto - Setup a chrooted SSH environment.

Handy - Truecrypt. Open source Windows/Linux virtual disk encryption. Useful for USB keys. I wonder if it will read/write virtual volumes written on other platforms ? Having a virtual encrypted disk that can be mounted on Windows, Linux, OSX would be really handy.

A cool approximate time watch from Talus.

Doing the rounds - Chatfu converts your IM session into a Cartoon.

Linked previously but they're so neat I need to link again - Orikaso make flat-pack plates, cups and bowls you assemble as required.

I've read some great reviews of this PS2 game - Shadow of the colossus. I really liked the cinematic quality of Ico so this might be one to get.

Familiar to 'The Da Vinci Code' readers - Cryptex. Own your own custom made one.

NPR has some concerts available for download. Some seem to be streamed and some you can get as mp3. Stuff like James Brown, Sigur Ros, White Stripes + others.

Also doing the rounds - surprising it hasn't appeared on slashdot yet - Radio Controlled Steam Powered Vehicles.

Just plain silly - Oh my god theres an axe in my head - in 112 different languages.

Just to show theres a Wikipedia article on almost everything - Wellington City 'street icon' Ben Hana. I wonder why no one has an article on 80's/90's icon 'Kenny' - a Kenny Rogers look/sound-alike that used to play his guitar opposite the theatre in central Wellington ?

Permalink | 2006.01.30-20:03.00

Jan 26, 2006

Why Executives Order Re-orgs + More (Updated 27/01/06)

Godlike power - Galaxy Collider. Java app to simulate a galactic collision.

Google video - Self assembling robots. Nifty. A bit like watching a rubiks snake assemble itself.

Nice hack - iTunes Jukebox. It seems slightly perverse to go back to a CD case scanning metaphor but its still pretty neat.

Amusing (although probably completely serious and not at all a laughing matter) - Why executives order reorgs.

Howto - How to make meetings useful and its companion piece meetings considered harmful.

A Wooden Clock Kit. Someone has a lot of patience!

The people that distribute Mathematica have a companion site which diagramatically covers a number of mathematical theories via animated gifs and java apps. I don't understand any of them but some are pretty impressive - like Langtons Ant.

Joel Spolsky is running the first in a series on Good Design. Looks like one to keep an eye on.

Permalink | 2006.01.26-00:40.00

Jan 25, 2006

Demise of the Alpha + More

A nice run down on why the DEC Alpha processor was so cool (and of course why it was killed off). In a similar vein Emulators International have an Alpha emulator that lets you run VMS on your Windows XP system. A little pricey at $495US but I guess for the target audience of VMS users money isn't a big issue.

Comprehensive review of the OQO 01+. Lovely form factor but there seem to be reservations about the screen brightness, screen touch-surface and stylus. Maybe they'll get it right in the next revision.

The Japanese even seem to have a knack for classy gift wrapping technique. Check out something similar over here for a near zen like How to fold a shirt.

This is very cool - OGLE: The OpenGLExtractor - it allows 3D Screen Captures - essentially it intercepts and interprets the 3D data between the application and the screen - it can then use this to re-create the object in 3D. This could probably be really useful at my previous company who have some cool 3D visualisation tools.

Handy - perl script converts log files into RSS so you can subscribe to them in your feedreader. Nice way to keep tabs on your servers.

Permalink | 2006.01.25-04:23.00

Jan 24, 2006

Eager + More

Like the Knowledge Navigator, Eager is something I wish we saw more of in the personal computer world. Who really cares about 50 different variations on a WindowsCE/PocketPC based PDA/Smartphone - I want my intelligent assistant! Be sure to view the little Quicktime sample movie for Eager - if they could do this years ago why isn't it part of the OS now (and no I don't mean in an annoying 'Clippy' kind of way) ?

This guy sounds talented - Handcrafted code makes supercomputers run even faster.

Useful Windows tips over at Propellerhead.

A nice guide to .htaccess.

This one has been doing the rounds but its handy to bookmark - Play Commodore 64 Games in your browser. Looks to be an embedded Java C64 Emulator.

The Buddha Machine - cool ambient music 'box'. Looks like a little 70's transister radio.

Useful How to survive a bad manager.

Interesting - How meditation works from a Buddhist perspective.

Handy - More tips on getting to sleep from Psychology Today.

Informative - An Illustrated Guide to Cryptographic Hashes. He's got some other nice Windows/Unix guides and tips on his site too.

Amusing - this guy is trying to follow 'This Book Will Change Your Life' and documenting each day (the book covers a day a year) in his weblog - This Blog Will Change Your Life.

I need to find some real world reviews of this - USB Turntable. Sounds really useful if it actually works. My old turntable is currently languishing but if I have the time I'd love to convert my vinyl to mp3.

Permalink | 2006.01.24-02:43.00

Jan 18, 2006

Newt on the Nokia 770 + More

Hot on the heels of Newton being emulated on the Zaurus comes a Newton emulated on a Nokia 770 web-tablet.

Interesting - Interview with Mark Spencer about his open source PABX - Asterisk.

Useful - How to setup database replication under MySQL.

Useful - How to get a standing ovation. Probably more useful as a guide to effective presentation for us mere mortals. Still Guy Kawasaki does tend exagerate (I guess thats his job though...)

Flashback - Home computing 20 years ago. I used to read Compute! all those years ago.

I think I'm to conservative to change - How to do what you love. I think most IT people get into the profession because the like gizmos - but after awhile you become like a jaded Teacher educating unappreciative kids - fixing other peoples computer problems just starts to become irratating.

These 'walking' sculptures look amazing. Be sure to check out the avi's.

Interesting - Xen virtualisation & Linux Clustering part 1 and part 2.

Permalink | 2006.01.18-21:15.00

Jan 17, 2006

I'm A Programmer, Not A Computer Guy + More (Updated 18/01/06)

What to do with all of those knives - stick them in one of these things ;-)

Good Intel iMac review - ArsTechnica Intel iMac Review.

Bush Humour (I know I know its like shooting fish in a barrel) - Bush as an Infocom Adventure and The Bushiad - an Illiad Parody.

Interesting - Why Smart Companies Do Dumb Things. From the same site - How GE Builds Jet Engines with 170 staff and 1 manager.

Useful - Yet Another Awk Tutorial (YAAT) - Learn to talk awk.

Luckily most of us never have to worry about this but Ted Leung actually had to do this - How to recover crashed Linux volumes (handled via LVM). Kernel sounds really handy.

Amusing article about how being a programmer doesn't necessarily mean you can fix computer problems.

Open source calandering - Chandler 0.6 released - looking promising. It'll have a hard time topping Exchange and Notes though. Maybe it'll absorb some Lotus Agenda goodness along the way.

Nifty - Perpendicular Storage. Nice flash demo. It seems strange to talk about vertical storage to increase density on the platter but I guess it all makes sense - its surprising it wasn't done earlier.

Adam Tow has some information on the World Wide Newton Conference. Including the infamous Newton on Zaurus screenshots.

Permalink | 2006.01.17-03:04.00

Jan 16, 2006

Ten Websites You Should Know About + More (Updated 16/01/06 to fix some typos)

Eric Cogan has collected a list of ten pretty useful websites you should know about. I use meebo, digg and reddit.

With a Video iPod it was only a matter of time before someone came up with some 'video glasses' to enable you to watch video on the move - MyVu.

Useful - Guide to Linux run-levels, services and rc.d.

The Google Prejudice Map.

Hopefully this sitcom will actually be funny - The IT Crowd. Theres certainly a lot of black humour to be had in IT.

Being an Apple fan means I actually find this flickr photoset of Apples home page through the ages to be relatively interesting.

I remember teaching 'Internet 101' type courses back in 1997/98 and I used to show them how Google started out in terms of hardware.

I need some time to read through this - Photography Primer. A site to help budding photographers to take better pictures.

Humour - Brushed Metals take on the iLife GUI.

Two interesting Guardian articles - US army in Iraq institutionally racist, claims British officer and Legion of honour - an Englishmans time in the French Foriegn Legion.

Permalink | 2006.01.16-01:19.00

Jan 12, 2006

Autism Spectrum Quotient + More

While these tests are largely meaningless its fun anyway - Autism Quotient Test. I scored a 25 which apparently makes me above average. Yay me!

I spent almost a year there over 1983/84 - You know you've been in Finland to long when . . .. I can pretty much say all of these observations are spot-on :-)

GUI/Usability Guru Bruce Tognazzini - Ten Most Wanted Design Bugs. The fighter joystick 'fire' interface bug is a worry . . .

Makes you think - Ten Reasons Not to Buy Diamonds.

The BBC/Oxford English Dictionary Wordhunt Appeal. Some excellent words that need some more information to try and determine their origins.

Interesting - What I've Learned from Failure with respect to Software Development. Interesting quote "The strongest indication of a weak team is the realization that if you were to quit and start your own business, you wouldn't try to poach any of your colleagues".

Free (unfortunately not open source) Secure File Transfer commandline tool for Windows - MoveIT Freely.

Excellent interview with Steve Woznaik.

Another big name in the Computer industry - Paul Allen invests in Computer History. I'll have to get a telnet account on his PDP-10.

Useful - Tips for better sleeping. I can almost will myself to sleep - I just tend to zone out and drop off. Very handy on the bus trip home afterwork.

Interesting - Science's 10 Most Beautiful Experiments.

This is a great idea - Labels make MP3's available to people buying vinyl. I have plenty of Vinyl that I need to get as mp3's - I wonder if other labels will cotten onto this ?

Neat - Ultrasmall PC. Only 2 inches square!

Breakthrough - Scientists figure out how bees fly.

Permalink | 2006.01.12-00:39.00

Jan 08, 2006

Galaxy SQL Tutorial + More

An open-source sql tutorial application using sqlite and tables of galactic star data - GlaXQL. Working through it now to try and pick up a little SQL.

A blog dedicated to tracing instances where SCIGen (an application which will generate fake journal papers) has been used to present papers at Comp Sci conferences. Nothing new since July 05 though but still amusing nonetheless.

Some nice OS X freeware from - Lobotomo. Particularly the VPN client and the Lotus Notes exporter.

Useful - Software Raids: Surviving an Audit. Software license compliance is a serious PITA. Generally as long as you show some kind of purchase tracking / installation tracking methodology most auditors will go away happy(ish).

Blades look to have matured into a serious server room solution - Battle of the Blades.

Via Ed Brill - three posts on why Lotus Notes sucks / doesn't suck - I love Lotus Notes, Lotus Notes Sucks, Lotus Notes Sucks ?

I have to admit to being a Notes fan - as per one of the links - at the end of the day its just a tool - you just learn to live with it and get on with the job. On a more positive note if you spare a thought for the IT groups supporting Notes/Domino you'll find the tools provided to them are light years ahead of those available on other groupware platforms (unless you spend lots of extra $$$ on additional software) - clustering, security and backup in particular are much simpler, more robust and more reliable than Outlook. Not to mention the free extras in terms of serving web-enabled applications (Document Libraries, Team Rooms etc).

Some CES goodies - Celestron Skyscout, Lego Mindstorm NXT - comes with Bluetooth and can be controlled via LabView, Onthegolive - stream live TV audio (how long before it does video?) to your phone.

Permalink | 2006.01.08-22:46.00

Jan 05, 2006

Macworld 2006 Predictions + More

Looks like sdf had some kind of spaz attack and reset my html permissions rendering the site unreachable for the last 24 hours or so. Joy.

Apple - Ten Things Apple Might Announce at Macworld next week.

Interesting - What is your dangerous idea ? The mini-essays from experts in a variety of fields are all pretty good. Particularly good - Richard Dawkins - Lets Stop Beating Basils Car, Diane Halpern - Choosing the sex of one's child, Judith Rich Harris - The idea of zero parental influence, Simon Baron Chogen - A political system based on empathy, Clay Shirkey - Free will is going away. Time to redesign society to take that into account.

Following in the same vien is Dave Pollards Dangerous Idea - No one is in control. More Dangerous Ideas from him here at Dave Pollards site.

Useful Reference - Network Port Numbers.

To counterbalance my weekly Ricky Gervais MP3 fix I'll be trying out these Zencasts - Buddhist teachings. Sounds like a relaxing way to wind down on the bus home.

I had to followup on a hilarious Ricky Gervais spiel against the Cambodian Midget Fighting League he refers to in his Gaurdian Podcast (episode 2) - and sure enough its a rather fantastic hoax - Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight.

Music - If you're a Swervedriver fan they have all of their albums available for download as live MP3's. Sound quality is a little tinny but the essence of each song is there. Their best stuff is contained in their early Creation EP's, awesome first and second album. After that they seemed to have band & label problems and I never really bothered tracking them through their third or fourth albums (and eventual split).

Presentation tips - Guy Kawasaki (one time Apple Evangelist Extrordinaire) discusses his 10/20/30 rule for Powerpoint. Seems to be sound advice.

SOA seems to be a new enterprise buzzword (Service Oriented Applications). An interesting look at how Motorola is deploying SOA's with a great quote from their VP of IT Strategy on how it helps assist business growth & efficiency - "Small agile kills big slow. Big agile is just scarey"

I guess having a small team of killer developers that can churn out useful web-apps that can be easily maintained and re-used throughout an organisation means you can make IT an indespensible contributor instead of just being one of those annoying necessities to keep communications ticking along (like a plumber or electrician).

I think I've linked to this before but heres a list of Portable Freeware.

Just had to link to this Spectator article hosted on a recent South African emigre's site - Kiwis Bleak Moody & Suicidal. Pretty amusing and possibly partly correct.

Cool - Belkin have a Wireless USB hub in the works.

Nifty - apparently not a new idea but it looks to be becoming more commonplace - Linksys have a wireless access point which is powered via ethernet. No need to string power leads into all sorts of hard to reach places.

Paul Thurrot has a couple of interesting glimpses into Microsofts upcoming products - an overview of the new bells and whistles in Office 12 and a look at the new Vista 5270 build. Interesting that he recently purchased a Mac Mini for his wife - I guess if you just want to get things done without having to mess around with the PC the Mac is still the one to get. On a related note Russell Beattie recently switched back to Windows precisely because he wanted to mess around more with his PC - arguing that more cutting edge tech is first available for Windows (which is definitely correct).

Permalink | 2006.01.05-07:07.00

Jan 03, 2006

Stupid Email Disclaimers + More

A collection of the stupid email disclaimers that seem to be almost mandatory these days.

Looking for details of the world biggest Domino install - check the comments in this Ed Brill entry.

A-ha - Do you get less wet if you run in the rain ?

Fun - Top 10 Google Videos.

Interesting - Thirty Eight Ways to Win an Argument.

Useful - How to order wine without looking like an asshole. Nice spiel from the aptly named Waiterrant. Still don't agree with tipping though.

Web - Ten Web Trends That Need to Die in 2006. Pretty much spot on.

And in case anyone thinks that NZ has a moderate climate (after all most places rarely top 28 deg C in summer) take a look at this - New Zealanders are being exposed to about 40 per cent more cancer-causing sun rays than North Americans living at similar latitudes, new research shows. The Kiwi sun is brutal. I've heard that in Australia they're pretty much telling people to wear sun-screen even under those parts of the body covered by clothes as the UV rays can still penetrate. Nasty. What we need is a nice protective layer of smog like the northern hemisphere ;-)

Permalink | 2006.01.03-23:02.00

Jan 01, 2006

How to become an independent programmer in just 1068 days + More

Gus Mueller of Flying Meat software discusses what it takes to become an independent Mac developer - How to become an independent programmer in just 1068 days.

New Scientist covers 13 things that do not make sense.

What will happen when the oil supply starts to run out - a surprisingly interesting (if a little grim) Rolling Stone article - The Long Emergency.

Joel Spolsky discusses the Perils of Javaschool. Pointers and recursion certainly did my head in at Uni. We started with Pascal, then C and a little Assembler so I have no idea how good/bad Java is as a tool. I loved Pascal though - I guess that makes me a Quiche Eater.

On a related note How to interview a programmer.

A collection of the Top 50 Music Videos.

Interesting - Why Are Movies So Bad ? Seems to be vaguely similar to the infamous Some of your friends are already fucked - the problem with Music. In either case (movies or music) there still seems to be a steady stream of good independent releases although its always a shame to see so much major studio/label rubbish clog the theatres/airwaves/shelves.

Useful - Execute Commands on Multiple Unix Servers - Tentakel.

Permalink | 2006.01.01-21:59.00

Dec 22, 2005

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster + More

Probably the last post before Xmas so I hope anyone reading this apart from me - Aidan, Stuart, Rob, Mark, Gareth and miscellaneous others who stumble upon the site - has an excellent Christmas & New Years. Hopefully Blosxom plays nice when 2006 hits :-)

Reputedly the creator of FSM is being paid $50k to write the Pastafarian Bible.

Create your own speech bubbles and scrolling manifestos. Nifty.

This guy has built a computer that will play Tetris - one computer watches another and provides the keycodes to move the blocks around in real-time. Pretty impressive.

The Official History of Lotus Notes.

Amusing - Tech Support Calls from Hell.

Brilliant evolving art installation project using styrofoam cups - You Are Beautiful.

The Newton Museum Closes and Auctions its collection.

Useful Reference - Network Port List.

An article over at Onlamp on organising files from an IT persons perspective.

After reading this post I decided to switch browsers for awhile to see if my web experiance improved. So far Shiira seems to coping quite well and it seems to be a little less resource hungry than Safari.

Interesting - Eluding Happiness - The Buddhist Problem with Christmas.

Permalink | 2005.12.22-23:35.00