Friday, September 22, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
code >>> compile >>>> run >>> success ;-)
/\ || ||
^^ \/ \/
^^ errors errors
^^ \\ //
^^ \\ //
\<<<<<<< cut N paste
I have days where this is my programming model.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I was debugging some code in VS 2005 when I noticed that I could no longer find "Step Into" on the debug menu. I was already used to the keyboard short cut of F11, but I was wondering why it was no longer on the menu. After some googling, I found a post from Paul Litwin's blog that explained how to fix it. Basicly, the IDE thinks that you just don't want to see that menu item and you just need to reset your profile. Here are the steps that Paul listed on his blog:
- Click the Tools->Import and Export Settings menu item
- Choose Reset all Settings
- Don’t save your settings
- Pick a new profile
OK, I couldn't resist the last one. The $64,000 question is why this happened in the first place. When Paul posted his blog entry, VS 2005 was still new and shiny and the thought was that a prior installation of VS 2005 (beta?) had some how screwed up the settings. That didn't match my setup, I avoided the VS 2005 beta like the plague. I do have VS 2003 installed, that may have confused VS 2005. I also installed SQL Server 2005 before VS 2005, that too could confuse VS 2005.
Monday, September 11, 2006
While skimming Boing Boing, I came across a link to some MP3s by Takeshi Terauchi. These files come courtesy of WFMU's Beware of the Blog. Takeshi Terauchi plays surf guitar music the old schol way, these MP3s were from recordings that are four decades old. They sound the Ventures with backed by a traditional Chinese opera (in a good way). WFMU has two complete albums, This is Terauchi Bushi, and Let's Go Classics.
Let's Go Classics is a surf guitar interpretation of traditional classical pieces like Blue Daube Waltz and the theme from Swan Lake. Very different.
Takeshi Terauchi started out as a sideman in Country/Western band, Jimmy Tokita & the Mountain Playboys. In 1962, Terauchi formed his first Eliki (Japanese slang for Electric) band, the Bluejeans, becoming Japan's first Surf band. In '66, Terauchi quit the Bluejeans and formed the Bunnys, the group behind the two albums on WFMU.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I'm on my third E-ZPass tag. The battery in the first one died after about 5 years. I have had the second one for another 5 years. This time, the E-ZPass people sent me a new one before the current one died.
They did it the right way. The new tag came in a small envelope with a letter and a return envelope. The return envelope was for the old tag so it could be sent back. It was a pre-paid envelope, a nice touch. The letter explained that the new tag had to be sent back, or I would be charged for it's replacement cost.
They clearly labeled the serial number of the old tag and of the new one. I have two tags in use, I had to check each car to grab the right one.
The replacement tag had a eaisy to peel off sticker with the following text: THIS IS YOUR REPLACEMENT TAG. Seems kinds of obvious, but if you are fooling around in your garage with the tags, that makes it easy not to mix up the old tag with the new one.
They could have mentioned which car the tag was for. The only way to tell was by the serial number on the front of tag. I could read it just fine, but it's in small print and that's not too friendly for AARP crowd. That would be the only thing I would have changed with how they handle replacements.
More companies should study how the E-ZPass program is run. The hardware just works, no fuss or muss. We recentl;y drove from Albany NY, to Corolla, NC and just about every toll bridge and road accepted the E-ZPass. The only exception was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, and they are in the process of implementing an electronic toll collection system (E-ZPass).
I came across this blog post by Robert Scoble while checking something for a GPS data collector that I writing, it has a useful data point to file in the back of the mind. It has nothing to do with GPS data collection or even what I was googling for, but it explains a very good reason why you won’t see Linux on corporate desktops for the conceivable future.
I can sum it up for you with one sentence: Linux fonts and their technology are no match to Windows and the Mac.
I'm not bashing Linux, I have a few things that run on it at home. Not paying the Microsoft tax makes perfect sense for devices using embedded OS's. I love my TiVo and the fact that it uses an OS that doesn't blue screen. My $70 router/access point is running a pretty cool 3rd party firmware that could only be done if it was using Linux.
But on the desktop, I want a desktop that easy on the eyes. The quality of the fonts and how they are displayed are a huge part of that. Microsoft recognizes that and they spend a lot of time and money on fonts. Consolas is a very nice typeface for pounding out code. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I like it.
Monday, September 04, 2006
You can also download the file as an .mp4 video directly from TiVo's web site (50 mb) from www.tivo.com/bluemoon.
There looks like there are some subliminal text message in the video, I couldn't navigate YouTube's controls with enough precision to get the frames with the text. It was a more subtle effect than the blipverts used in some GE commercials than ran back in May.
Friday, September 01, 2006
It has the stuff I want: Ethernet support built in, dual tuners, cablecard, High Def, big honking hard drive (plus external SATA port). The rumored list price is $795. That's a lot of shekels. I have two Series 2 units and $800 is too much for my pocket. Maybe next year if the prices drop...
It's stunning that they have gone so long without it WPA. When I first bought my TiVos, I had them on the home network using a wireless connection. I did it a little differently than most people. TiVo supports a limited range of USB connected wireless network adapters. TiVo supports WEP, but not WPA.
WEP is fairly trivial to crack, while WPA is pretty secure. Our neighborhood is pretty noisy on the 2.4ghz spectrum, everybody and their mother has a wireless router/access point. I had set up the wireless part of my home network to be 802.11g with WPA security. TiVo's wireless solution was not going to work.
There is more than one way to proivde wireless ethernet. I picked up a couple of SMC 2870W wireless bridges. A wireless bridge converts an Ethernet to 802.11 (a/b/g/n) signal. It works transparently to the Ethernet equipped device. That device thinks it's on a wired network and there are no drivers to install. The 2870W supports WPA right out of the box. The radio on the 2870W is lot more powerful than the run of the mill USB wireless adapters, it's like having mini access points on each machine.
With the TiVo, I use a cheap Linksys USB to Ethernet adapter and connect that adapter to the bridge. The TiVo thinlks it's on a wireless network and everyone is happy. There is an additional performance benefit by offloading the 802.11g processing from the TiVo to the 2870W. The bottleneck becomes the 11 mb/s speed of the USB connection. The TiVO CPU is not the fastest in the world. Its roughly equivalent to Pentium 100, no need to have it tackle 802.11 processing if it doesn't have to. That's probably the reason it didn't support WPA, just not enough horse power under the hood.
The Linksys/SMC combination worked very well, I never had any problems. I had more problems using a Linksys 802.11g adapter on Windows XP box on the same network and in the same room as one of the TiVos.
I ended up running CAT5e cable through the house when I swtched to FiOS and now the TiVos are wired to the network. If you can do that, life is much easier. With each TiVo directly on the network, I can transfer shows between the TiVos in real time. I'm still hobbled by the Series 2 USB speed (or lack thereof), the Series built in Ethernet adapter would be cool to have.