Thursday, July 9, 2015
The first time I saw Sunny, she popped out of Tracie's purse and looked at me with supreme confidence. Her feathers were slightly fluffed from being carried in the purse that morning after Tracie had picked her up from her previous home.
She was a yellow lovebird with blue tailfeathers, very pretty. She was curious. The other day I was holding the washing machine, so it wouldn't vibrate as it does excessively when it spins. Sunny was sitting on my shoulder, curiously inclining her head to see what I was doing. I explained to her I was trying to keep the machine from making so much noise, and showed her how when I put my hand on it, the noise lessened, and when I took it away, the vibrating sound got louder. I repeated these actions, of using my hand to dampen the vibrations and taking my hand away to let the vibrations sound unmuffled, several times, talking to her about what I was doing. She watched my hand, listened to me, looked at the machine. My impression was, she understood what I was trying to convey.
I was looking forward to developing more communication with her, to learn from her, to teach her, to sing with her, to have fun, to watch her have fun flying and chirping and swinging on a swing and running across the floor and taking baths and sitting on my shoulder and crawling in my pockets and nipping my toes.
I remember another time, Sunny had been running up to me as I stood watching TV or something, and biting my toes. I usually would yell and step away, and she would look pleased with herself. Once she caught me so much by surprise, I fell over onto the floor when I lifted my foot up to get it away from her beak, and lost my balance. I remember her sitting there motionless, looking very pleased with herself
I love you Sunny. I will remember you. I hope we meet again in other incarnations, and remember each other and learn more from each other and communicate with each other again.
I wish I could fix Sunny's body, heal her broken neck. I imagine a future where such fixes will be routine, and each mortal lives as long as they please.
The Offspring released a new album in 2012 and I didn't know until yesterday. There are implications to that I need to get sorted but now you know what I'm listening to all day while I work.
They have a newer song out which I heard on the radio, which is what clued me in that something had been done since Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. (Which was the 'new album' in my brain until yesterday even though it's 5 or 6 years old. Not that that is a big deal. I also think of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son as 'new' Maiden and that came out in '88)
I may start streaming US radio stations to stay more aware of what is going on in music back home.
I have a file on my machine - render.conf
I just did the following:
cp render.conf render-snap.conf
mv render.conf render-main.conf
mv render-snap.conf render.conf
And then I just laughed at myself for a bit. It made sense when I did it and as soon as I had I realized how stupid it was.
XP was a (had become) a mature operating system. I abhor the fetish of "newer is better" that reigns in our industry.
I've been working on a little side project. I would like to have an app where people can read updates that I send out. It seemed like a fun way to learn more about programming mobile apps and it's something I could actually use if I can get it to a decent state.
I'm keeping it simple. I decided the app would just be an rss feed reader. And that meant I need a feed. I want it to be very specific to my app so I decided the way to go would be to just create my own back end for creating the feed. I decided to use php and I wrote a simple set up using the codeigniter framework. That gave me a quick way to set up authorization and it was easy to tie in styling from bootstrap so that things can look decent without any effort.
I've been doing all the work at my office, on my desktop running Fedora. I have two nice big lcd monitors and developing on Linux is just so easy. I had the environment up and running in no time.
Then this week my son got sick. Nothing serious - but enough for him to stay home from school for a few days. I worked from home to keep an eye on him. I've been putting off getting my Macbook set up to do this kind of stuff but now I really needed to tackle it. Ugh - what a pain. The machine itself has grown on me. The hardware is decent and works pretty well. The software isn't horrible. But oh my word - when I want to do anything 'out of the ordinary' and by that I mean any kind of meaningful work with the system, it is pretty bad. I know lots of professional developers use Macs but I'm stunned at what a pain it is to do things that are trivially easy in Linux.
Getting Mysql installed and running with Apache was a lot more work. Getting PHP working the way I want took more time than it ever has before. Things are far from ideal even now, but I've got it to a point where it works.
And now I have my code in 3 places. So I'll be using github to keep code in sync between them. It's a little more of a challenge because I have the production environment set up a little differently than the dev environment. But not so differently that it is a huge deal. I have ssh access to my hosting environment (Bluehost) so that makes it pretty easy. - Oh and that is the one thing that saves the mac - having bash. If it didn't I'd have given up on it long ago.
I got a thing from the IRS and they want me to fill out an on-line form.
To successfully complete the form I have to enter my filing address and it has to match my return. The form fields don't allow me to correctly enter the address.
So the address has to match for the form to validate, but the form wont allow me to enter the address correctly. It's beautiful. There's an email address to send information about the process and it says below the address that you can send an email but they wont respond. Super.
So I go to the page with a phone number to call. It says "You can call between 7 am and 7 pm your local time." I'd wager not.
I've never had a problem with the IRS or filing until this year. Something has put me onto some list with them, which they wont tell me about other than in a general way and now everything is exponentially more difficult. Fantastic.
The video editor built into youtube is surprisingly decent. It lets you cut videos up, add transitions, add photos, add text, put in music, all kinds of stuff.
With it running on their side I was able to edit up a bunch of separate videos, and then leave them processing while I did other stuff. It made it possible to do a lot of videos in parallel and not have my machine bogged down with it. Not bad.
It's not the greatest but for simple stuff that you just want to get up - it is pretty awesome. And it's really easy to get authenticated (or authorized or whatever) to load longer content than the default. I've been putting up stuff that is over an hour long without any problems.
We did our first home delivery from Tesco yesterday. My wife ordered on-line and they brought our stuff inside the window we were given for the delivery. The fee for delivery was 299 HUF which is about $1.10 right now.
It was a pretty awesome deal. The guy brought everything right in. There was a slight mix up - but that's because when people use GPS to come to our house it always takes them to my neighbor a little down the street. I don't know how it works in other parts of Europe, but in Hungary they seem to change the numbering of streets at a higher frequency than the U.S. So my house number is 6 but that use to be my neighbor Zsolt's house number and a lot of systems still think it is.
So the guy called me and after a moment or two of me fumbling around for the right Hungarian words, I realized he was 'here' and went outside to bring him in. A few minutes later we'd checked everything over, paid and we were all set. With gas going for around 400 HUF a liter, I doubt we could drive to the store and get it for less than we paid to have it delivered. On top of that the whole thing took maybe 10 minutes at most. If I go get it all myself I'm gone for over an hour. So we'll be using it again.
I got a message that the OTA update to Lollipop was available for my Nexus 7 so I installed it.
It made the tablet unusable. Performance was atrocious, battery life could dropped to a couple hours. It couldn't play music. Doing anything took so long (if it worked at all) that it was really not worth it.
I googled around. One suggestion was to clear the cache. I tried to do that but when I tried to boot into recovery that always failed with an error about "No command found."
So finally I just flashed it back to Kit Kat.
I'm wrapping that up now. Google backup is reinstalling my apps and such. Hopefully things will improve. I know it's 3 years old but I really like it and I don't think it's too much to ask for it to still run well.
My son updated his too (he has the 2013 model) and he's been complaining. So this was a good run through if he wants me to do the same for his. I don't think the impact on his was as bad. He may just not like how lollipop looks. I'll talk to him about it this week-end and see what he wants to do.
To get the most out of ffmpeg on Fedora - as far as I can tell - it needs to be compiled, not installed from a package manager. This is the only way I could find to get it with libfdk_aac support. I tried other stuff and then just went ahead and followed the very thorough guide on installing from source, right here: https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/CompilationGuide/Centos
Though there was one thing I needed that they didn't have in the dependencies - libtool. That was quickly rectified. So if you do this - might as well add that on the front end. I noticed the need when there was an error with autoconf for one of the parts.
The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.