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Comment Re:I actually monitor this station on occasion. (Score 1) 560

I use a Sangean ATS 505 shortwave radio (cheap, and lets you listen to all of the shortwave spectrum, not just the broadcast bands), with a wire antenna attached. That's literally a wire, strung to a tree outside, with a headphone plug soldered to one end so I can plug it in the external antenna socket. Works fine, though with a lot of static. I'm in Western Europe, so the signal is decent by night, unaudible by day.

The thing about the broadcast bands is important: most cheap shortwave radios only let you dial into specific "broadcast bands". The Buzzer (as well as most other interesting stuff) does not broadcast in one of those bands, so a normal world receiver can't pick it up.

Comment I actually monitor this station on occasion. (Score 4, Interesting) 560

I have it on right now in the background. There used to be an alternating tone at the top of the hour that kicked in suddenly and always gave me the shivers, but it stopped doing that a few years ago. Sometimes I tune in late at night, since the monotone drone of the buzzer can get pretty psychedelic. Good for coding. Never been lucky enough to catch a voice broadcast, though I did hear some crosstalk once. I even started work on a C daemon to autocorrelate the signal and auto-record any voice transmissions, but that got put on hold.
Pictures of the transmission site:

Comment Re:ZoneMinder is not all it could be (Score 1) 825

Good honest question. Here's why:

- I hack ZoneMinder for profit on company time. I have no personal interest in getting the package to work, since I don't personally need or use the software. If I forked, I'd get a lot of correspondence from people, which my employer will not let me answer on their dime. On my own dime, I have other projects.
- C++ and Perl are not my fortes. Shell and C are. So I'm not the chosen one.
- I am a Slackware person. Most of the ZoneMinder folks are Debian people. This clashes. I "corrected" a lot of assumptions that didn't hold on Slackware, but I wouldn't want to bench an alien codebase against an alien platform.

So this is just not for me, sorry. I will probably release my patches to the ZoneMinder forums though, for what it's worth, even though I hate jumping through hoops to generate a "username" and a "password" for a one-time contribution, and prefer to mail the maintainer.

Comment ZoneMinder is not all it could be (Score 5, Informative) 825

As someone who's been trying to whip up ZoneMinder into a marketable state for over a year now, I have to say it's not all it's made out to be. The capture daemons are brittle and crash frequently due to resource and memory leaks. When they exit abnormally, they always do so with the same code 255, and don't produce workable logs. Timestamps of " 1 january 1970" happen all the time, which mess up the timeline view of events. The web front end is arcane, spartan, and really time-intensive to learn. (E.g. clicking on a monitor's name does something different from clicking on its IP address, even though both screens go to a different subset of camera settings. The difference between a "modect with no zone" and a "monitor" is arbitrary. All the different camera "modes" are strange in my opinion. That there's ten different ways to view events is weird. And so on. It's not unlearnable, but it's far, far from usable.)

So instead of just whining, I patched a lot of these issues, along with adding some new cameras to the database and improving the translation for my native language. I sent the maintainer a pretty nice patch set, if I say so myself. Guess what? Absolute silence, never heard anything back. Which I could live with, if my patches at least showed up in the next release. But no new releases for over a year. So my patience with this project is pretty much over.

Comment Because PHP is BASIC with web extensions. (Score 1) 346

Simple. You don't have to install anything to use PHP (let your webhoster take care of that), and you can see the results immediately in not just a sandbox but *in your actual browser*, which is tremendously gratifying to a newbie.

While Python is obviously the better language (I really won't defend PHP there, the language is patently silly), the trouble of having to install it and then use a console for your output is going to turn people off. Most won't even get past the download-and-install stage, and the ones that do, will miss the thrill of having something that "does something cool" and is shareable with others through the web.

Comment I like the PHP suggestion. (Score 1, Insightful) 346

I like the suggestion to use PHP, it's perhaps the closest we have to oldfashioned BASIC. You hardly need anything to get started, apart from web hosting, an FTP client and Notepad. The language is well documented, its error messages are often helpful (except for that crazy hebrew one), and you get immediate reward and feedback when you refresh the page. It also has real world uses. Programming goes naturally from there, if you're curious and stick with it.

Comment Re:On LInux: (Score 1) 140

You're right, I mistakenly assumed that ~ would be aliased to /root when sudo'ing, but the shell expands the tilde, not sudo. So:

sudo chown root::root ~/.adobe/Flash_Player
sudo chmod 0000 ~/.adobe/Flash_Player

I did this and it sort of broke Flash for me on a lot of sites, so YMMV.

Comment Re:Shenanigans (Score 1) 172

Yes. Those are photos of a defocused patch of light. My original statement still stands. The only way this would work is by taking pictures through an SLR viewfinder, which has, you know, a ground glass on which the projected image forms. You cannot otherwise stack two photographic lenses.

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