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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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User Journal

Journal: Web Dev on the Mac 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

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.

User Journal

Journal: Might explain some of the behavior here 23

Journal by smitty_one_each

I have quoted before my old friend Theodore Dalrymple on the purposes of lies in totalitarian societies:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

This has a ring of truth to it with respect to Slashdot. I've been on the receiving end of repeated accusations used like bludgeons to the point there are some people on here to whom I just ain't got jack to say beyond: "Lord bless your heart".
Which is not to whine about it. This is Slashdot; let the incontinent go elsewhere.
Rather, I'm yawning.

User Journal

Journal: And you thought Twitter useless 11

Journal by smitty_one_each
User Journal

Journal: Nebbishes Yearning for Truth (NYT) 26

Journal by smitty_one_each
Pravda on the Hudson decided to un-frack itself with its Gail Collins hit piece.
I don't really care if Slashdot's favorite dirty diaper un-soils himself on the subject as in this JE.
It would be fine if he manned up and repented of being a total crapflooder; I'd enjoy adult conversations with him, as he seems an intelligent person. But then, we're talking about a dedicated bile spewer here. The sort that yields to nothing less than full-on Divine Intervention. So let me pray for that.
User Journal

Journal: You can all blame me 39

Journal by smitty_one_each

I'm really past caring. Somewhere around the thousandth iteration, the trash talk just got tedious. It's my fault. I'll take the hit, like an RPG striking a helicopter carrying Brian Williams. I just can't muster the interest any more.

User Journal

Journal: Catch 22 6

Journal by stoolpigeon

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.

User Journal

Journal: Youtube Video Editor 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

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.

User Journal

Journal: Tesco Home Delivery 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

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.

User Journal

Journal: Worth it for the howls on here alone 51

Journal by smitty_one_each

What's changed is that Walker has, in the last week, gone national. His speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit earned rave reviews, and was followed with what appears to be the first pro-Walker presidential ad. And everyone seems to have noticed what Walker's opponents in Wisconsin have learned the hard way, repeatedly: he's a formidable politician. This should worry his GOP rivals not only because of Walker's win streak, but also because Walker is doing something many of them aren't: he's setting the terms of the debate instead of following the terms the Democrats have set.

Walker has the same virtue as Sarah Palin: making the Left wet itself. Unlike Palin, Walker has a substantially better record of standing in the breach and surviving. Stipulate that fustakrakich is correct, and it's all rigged. Fine. Let's go for max Lefty head 'splosions, then.

User Journal

Journal: Round Three 10

Journal by smitty_one_each
I'm growing to despise the word "entitled", preferring "earned" or "merited":

I think it's a real opportunity for federalism to allow states and local school boards to figure out what works for them. There isn't a thing wrong with the Department of Education that we can't fix by just reducing to some light oversight. In particular, federal financial interactions with non-employees should just stop.

Previously:
1. All forms of racial segregation and discrimination are wrong. 2. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.

The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer. -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike

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