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Journal Journal: LINUX: Flash Player 9 (Really) 2

So there I was trying to get my fix of crappy American television via www.abc.com. What's this new "Ugly Betty" show all about I wondered? I hit the site and I get a message saying that I need to update my Flash 9 player. So I click the link and where do I go? To the same old download that Adobe has had for Linux users for the past 20 years. Dead as a parrot from a Monty Python sketch, only deader. Bah. Well, luckily someone recently informed me of a beta release program for Adobe's upcoming REAL Flash 9 player for Linux. So, I did a bit of looking and found it here at: http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer9.html. I went there, downloaded it and then uncompressed and copied the file to my Firefox browser's plugins directory. Then I went back to the ABC site and lo and behold, it works. I get a chance to see this young actress named America potraying Ugly Betty. But who cares when I've got more important things to test with this new Flash 9 beta. YMMV... I'm just posting this in case anyone has been having trouble accessing Flash sites with the standard Flash plugin for Linux. This new beta seems to work a lot better. Merry Christmas and enjoy.
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Journal Journal: HALD/DBUS/Gnome: What This Space 1

OK... in my quest to get my Rio Karma working in an automated fashion on my Gentoo boxes, I am starting to delve into HALD/DBUS and how they integrate with Gnome. As I play around with this, it seems that I will be able to get the Rio Karma to just be "PnP" with a few simple changes to UDEV rules, HALD rules and Gnome. If I get this working right, I might try to see about getting it to work in KDE as well and then build a Gentoo eBuild for lkarmafs with notes about Fuse dependencies. It's starting to look really good. :) My main reason for posting this here is that anyone else who wants their USB removable drives and music players to work will likely be able to benefit from this.

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Journal Journal: BASH SCRIPTING: Telling Which User is Logged on an X Display

I am working on a script for my Rio Karma so that I can have use Nautilus as a basic "music manager". So far, using the Linux kernel support for Karma partitions, the omfs file system driver, and udev (plus some custom rules), I'm able to get my system to automatically mount the omfs partitions. Here's what I've got so far:

From /etc/udev/rules.d/20-local.rules:

BUS=="usb", KERNEL=="sd*", SYSFS{manufacturer}=="Rio", SYSFS{product}=="Rio Karma", SYMLINK+="karma%n", MODE="0644", RUN+="/usr/local/bin/karma_mounter"

The 'karma_mounter' script is a simple one so far:

#!/bin/bash

function mount_karma()
{
mount -t omfs /dev/karma1 /mnt/karma1
mount -t omfs /dev/karma2 /mnt/karma2
}

function umount_karma()
{
umount /mnt/karma1
umount /mnt/karma2
}

if test "$1" = "-u"
then
umount_karma
else
mount_karma
fi

Right now, I'm manually running the following command to use the Fuse lkarmafs file system to actually access the Karma with Nautilus in a reasonable way:

lkarmafs -A /mnt/karma2 -T ~/MyKarma

Ideally I want the karma_mounter script to pop up a dialog in the GUI asking if I want to use Storage Device or Music Manager mode. And then based on that, it will issue the appropriate 'lkarmafs' command and open a Nautilus window with focus on ~/MyKarma. I plan to use Zenity for the GUI dialog(s). However, it appears that since udev is running the karma_mounter script it's being run as 'root' and the root user is not allowed to pop open any GUI stuff on the locally logged in user's desktop. So... I came up with this short line to determine who is logged into the localhost:0 X DISPLAY. That way I might be able to run the GUI portions as that user and thereby be allowed to display:

who | grep ":0 " | awk {' print $1 '}

Does anyone see any problems with this logic? I ran the command on several of my Linux boxes and got the appropriate username as the result. Seems to work. And before anyone asks me why I'm doing this... it's because no one has yet built decent Karma functionality into any of the existing music managers and as I ranted in a Java thread this morning, I don't like the Rio Music Manager Lite java app. I also don't run Windows and don't plan to just to manage the device when I have the option to build something... Any thoughts?

User Journal

Journal Journal: POLITICAL BILE: So Who's a Cheese Eater? 1

Go to the Wikipedia entry on Cheese and scroll down to the lists of largest producers/exporters/consumers of cheese. Although the largest per-capita consumers are cheese are the greek owing to their small population in relation to cheese consumption, the US is the top producer and a marginal exporter since most of the cheese made is for the U.S. market. Add to that, the fact that other countries export their cheese at a much higher rate and we are very likely (not noted in the Wikipedia entry, just an assumption) the largest importers of said cheese... well there you have it. I believe it is WE Americans who are the "cheese eaters". So, if we pull out of Iraq instead of "staying the course" I guess the rest of the world has every right to call America "cheese eating surrender monkeys". Go figure.

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Journal Journal: THE PAST: Old Friends

A while back I wrote a JE about a close friend who had finally told me that he didn't want to be friends anymore. He had all sorts of problems (drugs, alcohol, jail) and had a really screwed up life. He got in touch with me a few weeks later and we started sort of hanging out again. But, it was tense. Nothing really felt the same. So this weekend he once again told me he didn't really want to hang out anymore. He stated his reasons. And to be honest, I am completely tired of it all. It became a huge annoyance and distraction to wonder whether I'd get another drunken e-mail insulting me. He was good enough to just keep his attacks focused on me. But when he was sober, it was pretty much just good times.

This time around, I felt a sort of relief. And I think I know why. I think the reason I tolerated more than most people would and the reasons I felt that he was a good friend (and I still do) are because he is the last connection I have to the wild side of my youth. If there was mischief to be had, he was around. He was also connected with one of the highlights of my youth as well. A point in time when I was living in the "hipster" region of my city, meeting and hanging out with the bohemian crowd and generally living a pretty fun youthful life. He was my roommate at the time. At that point I had a plan for my life. I was going to be a successful musician, move to NYC, marry my girlfriend at the time and hobnob with other artists and musicians. But plans you have at 19 don't seem to work out quite the way you picture.

So getting back to my friend... I think the reason I hung out with him through the various phases he went through was that he was the last connection to that point in my life. Whenever I would get together with him I'd feel like I was 20 again and that we were going to go on some kind of adventure even if it was just sitting around and talking. I think to an extent that might be why he wanted to hang out with me this late in the game too. But he's trying to move on. And sadly, even though he's got a ton of other issues to surmount, I think the both of us hanging out is probably a bad idea now. It holds both of us back in some way that I can't quite put my finger on. We've already been kind of distant and strained since his last attempt to end the friendship. And now, I just feel like I want a rest.

I don't want to have the strain of worrying about what kind of insult I met get hurled at me in a drunken rage only to hear an apology the next day. This time he was also able to tell me one of the things that he didn't really like about me and he did it sober. It was largely a misunderstanding but I can see his point. Over the years he's told me a number of tales about his wild exploits and he relates them in a very humorous fashion. I'd always made the mistaken assumption that he was somewhat proud of these things and because his delivery is so humorous (think of someone like Dennis Leary) I would tell these stories to my wife and few close friends (mostly people he's never or never will meet). It never occurred to me that he wanted to keep this stuff confidential. He'd never actually said, "Don't tell this to anyone". That's what he says really bothered him. He feels that his life has been ruined by the fact that there are people who know his stories and no matter how he tries to clean up, that will haunt him.

Of course he doesn't take the responsibility himself of having been involved in a lot of these things of his own volition. I think he's looking for a scapegoat to be able to say that someone "ruined" his chances in this city (he's planning on moving and starting new somewhere else). So he's blamed me for it in his mind as he's blamed his parents, his ex-girlfriends and other friends for his lot in life. No matter who he cuts off or how he tries to change, unless he tackles his drinking problem, he's destined to have these experiences and to do things that he's not proud of and is haunted by for the rest of his life. And he knows it but he hates this fact because he's so in love with the bottle. It's sad and I've tried to help and encourage him to stop, but I can't anymore. As I told him, I'm just plain tired now. I've got other shit to worry about, so I'm just dropping this part of my life now for good. Will I help him in the future if he asks me? Sure, for the basic stuff. But as far as the bigger things (money, emergency food runs, etc...) not anymore.

My other reason for being really into this friend is the gargantuan effort he put into saving my psychologically wrecked self when the girlfriend mentioned above dumped me. I was nearly suicidal and he made the effort to come 2000 miles TWICE on surprise visits to hang out with me and cheer me up. So he was a really good friend. He didn't have any ulterior motives for those visits (he remained sober) he just came to help a friend out. So I think I also felt over the years that a debt needed to be repaid. I think it's finally been evened up. It's not easy disconnecting from that last connection to my past. But this time around it feels easier than it's ever felt before when I've tried.

On a sidenote. He did mention another old friend of our who we've both loosely hung around with for years as well. That guy also has a ton of issues and I've not been too close to him for a long time. I do want to say that I don't appreciate the manipulations he's attempted on the friendship I had with my good friend. Apparently, based on what I read in the e-mail this morning, this other friend told my good friend a while back that I couldn't be trusted because I "stab people in the back" by talking about them. This is a total fabrication. Unless there is something I don't understand about people, if someone tells you something and doesn't say, "don't tell anyone this" and it's not something really personal then you can share it with others. I've NEVER betrayed a secret in my life. If someone told me something in confidence, I've always respected that. Maybe there is some male code of ethics that I don't understand, but I expect that when I tell people something, they will tell others unless I ask them to keep it a secret. So this other old friend saw an opportunity at some point to besmirch my reputation. Fine. That's why we aren't close anymore.

So that's about it. Just some thoughts that I had to get out. Bring on the comments that question my sexuality, sanity, political leanings, etc... Or, better yet, just ignore this post.

User Journal

Journal Journal: AS SEEN ON THE ROAD: The Morning Drive 1

On my way into work this morning I saw an awesome sight. There was this silver Honda hybrid way ahead of me. As I got closer I noticed a bumper sticker. When I could finally read it as I passed it read, "Draft SUV Drivers First". Perfect and I agree 110% with the sentiment.

As a side note, the 16 year old mischief maker in me had a thought about bumper stickers on the drive in. It seems like the sort of guerilla tactics that my prankster friends would have pulled in high school... The idea? A bumper sticker that instead of using standard adhesive, uses a solvent to soften up the paint it comes into contact with on a car so it sticks. Hehehe... with the nasty side-effect of making a pretty ugly mark if removed. Evil? Yes. Would I do it? No. But it's the way I think sometimes.

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Journal Journal: IM: I'm a Mad Scientist 4

A friend of mine put some music up on his webserver that he wanted me to hear. After downloading it and looking at the way I did it, I realized, maybe I've lost my mind? Judge for yourself:

(13:58:49) eno2001/Gaim: hehehe... OK. Want to hear something crazy?
(13:59:00) Fuji: OK
(13:59:06) eno2001/Gaim: This is how I'm listening to that track.
(13:59:23) eno2001/Gaim: I am running Gentoo 2006.1 on my workstation.
(13:59:42) Fuji: OK
(13:59:45) eno2001/Gaim: On that workstation I'm running QEMU to run a Gentoo 2006.1 VM so I can proxy all web traffic.
(14:00:00) eno2001/Gaim: That VM is using my USB key drive as my /home filesystem so I can take it anywhere I go with me. (ie. Nothing left at work ;P)
(14:00:15) eno2001/Gaim: That VM is also using a Squid proxy for all web traffic.
(14:00:22) eno2001/Gaim: The squid proxy is at home.
(14:00:28) eno2001/Gaim: On another Xen VM.
(14:00:56) Fuji: sometimes I think you just deliberately make things more complex than need be
(14:00:58) Fuji: :)
(14:00:59) eno2001/Gaim: I'm accessing the squid proxy from within my QEMU VM via the OpenVPN connection that I have on my actual workstation here (non VM).
(14:01:18) eno2001/Gaim: The OpenVPN server is also at home, but it's running in a QEMU VM.
(14:01:35) eno2001/Gaim: It's the dead soul of my original Redhat Linux 7 web server/vpn server, etc... I still need to move the remaining services from the old soul to the new Xen VM box.
(14:01:54) eno2001/Gaim: All of that VPN traffic pierces my Linux firewall at home.
(14:02:08) eno2001/Gaim: Which is running RedHat 6 with lots of manual updates.
(14:02:33) eno2001/Gaim: However... the GUI on my local QEMU VM is actually locked up at the moment. Something went wrong with it.
(14:02:43) eno2001/Gaim: I'm in the middle of a huge emerge though so I can't just kill it or reboot the VM.
(14:02:55) eno2001/Gaim: So... in order to hear your song...
(14:03:04) eno2001/Gaim: I sshed into the QEMU VM from my workstation.
(14:03:28) eno2001/Gaim: I exported the DISPLAY variable so the Firefox browser would use my actual workstation's display instead of the VM's display.
(14:03:50) eno2001/Gaim: When the download finished, it asked if it should launch the Totem media player to which I said yes.
(14:04:13) eno2001/Gaim: That also displayed on my real workstation's X server display and not on the VM X server.
(14:04:33) eno2001/Gaim: But.. the sound was handled by the VM and passed to the workstation via OSS support.
(14:04:49) eno2001/Gaim: Think of all the networking going on just to get and play that song! ;P
(14:05:12) eno2001/Gaim: That was pretty good BTW. I just finished listening.
(14:05:20) Fuji: heh heh
(14:05:50) eno2001/Gaim: I have truly become a "mad scientist".
(14:06:51) Fuji: heh heh
(14:06:56) eno2001/Gaim: BTW... something new I noticed about Gnome when you're exporting a remote app to a local display (ie. "publishing an application"). The title bar for my Firefox says, "eMusic - Mozilla Firefox (on Darkcity)". Darkcity is the name of my QEMU VM here.
(14:07:10) eno2001/Gaim: Rather nice as it lets you know what system the application is really running on.
(14:07:16) Fuji: interesting
(14:07:44) eno2001/Gaim: Man... explaining the way I have things running here points out to my just how Byzantine my systems can be. ;P

User Journal

Journal Journal: LINUX: Why Is it "Hard" for a Lot of People? 3

I read a post in the front page story asking "Why Do People Hate Microsoft" this morning. In it the poster suggests that they've never had any success using Linux long term as a desktop, so they use Windows. This person doesn't even seem to be anti-Linux. And I've seen this repeated frequently among various friends of mine as well. Considering that I and various members of my family have moved to Linux as a desktop, it makes me wonder, WHY do people find it hard to make the switch?

I've tried giving it a lot of thought and thinking about my own experiences making the switch. Admittedly, I'm a fairly technically minded person. But I am aware of the limitations of most users. I think the reason I've been successful with my family members (wife and parents) is that I only view them as users and not as technical people. So, I understand that when it comes to configuring something, it will be up to me. In the case of the average person, the configuration would be up to the vendor/support staff.

Back in 2000 I even did a test with my girlfriend (now wife) when she was living in her own apartment. I gave her a dual boot system that I set up to do the things she normally does: dial-up internet check e-mail, browse the web, rip CDs, listen to MP3s, internet telephony (with me since it was long distance at the time), etc... Here were the basic results:

The Windows 98 partition took me six hours to set up and have her up and running fully functionally. She could use it with little trouble to do all those things. There was some additional functionality that I added (firewall, virus scanner, office software (OO.o), etc...)

The RedHat 7 partition took me about six days to get set up. It had a bit more functionality to it (proxy server, firewall, virus scanner, samba, web server, etc...) than the Windows system. She told me that she actually found it easier to use, due to my customization of her desktop and wound up staying in Linux 100% of the time. The old Windows partition was soon toast so that she could store more music. Note that she is NOT a technical person. In fact, when I first met her, her first comment on computers was, "I hate those fucking things".

Her first experience with her own computer (after I got her to like them a bit more than she did initially) was a PowerPC Macintosh. She wanted to go that route to be sure she could use the machine. She used it for about two or three years before I set her up with a Linux box as an experiment (not the one noted above). Her comment on the Windows/Linux dual boot box was that the Linux side was just as nice as her Mac. Again, this is with basic customization of the Gnome desktop. And we're talking Gnome 1.x!

This leads into the answer to my main question (Why is Linux "Hard" for so many people?). I think the problem is that people do not explore the customization features of ANY desktop environment they use. They simply go with the defaults and therefore base their opinions of the environment on those settings. Take for example a Windows 9x desktop that had the "Active Desktop" feature. You know the one where the desktop was essentially an HTML document and all the desktop icons could be activated with a single click. To some people this was "easy" because they just clicked once on an icon and something happened. To veteran GUI users this was a mess because it flew in the face of the established double click to open/execute paradigm.

Then Microsoft changed the paradigm and went back to the normal desktop, by removing the default Active Desktop features. So now all those single click users were confused and frustrated by having to double click. But to compensate they started double clicking on EVERYTHING that could be clicked. Sometimes it works and sometimes it causes problems. Especially if you have the Windows quick launch bar enabled. No easy fix for this as the users really don't think about when and why they should single or double click.

However, this is where both the beauty and the folly of customization show up. In the latest Gnome environments, I've found that they've taken a more Mac-like approach in terms of limiting you by default to a smaller set of features. There is also an attempt at abstracting the underlying filesystem a bit. One of the reasons I've had a lot of success converting my family to Linux is that I understand their needs AND I know how to make Gnome address their needs. However this doesn't just apply to Linux.

A few years back, I knew that my in-laws were very tentative about getting a computer. They're in their 70s and while they were interested, specifically in a laptop, I also knew that they wouldn't have had much patience in waiting for me to get the system "just right". So I recommended they get a Windows XP system (the first version of Windows that *I* was actually satisfied with at a basic level) and then helped them configure it for what they wanted: e-mail, web, dial-up internet, word processing and watching the occasional DVD. However, I also wanted to make sure I could help them remotely, so I installed my own custom compiled version of ssh and a custom CMD file to launch it and vncserver so I could have remote access. To them, it's just a double click on an icon on the desktop that says, "Connect to eno's Network". I knew what they would need and I addressed it.

I think the problem with Windows however is that there are TOO MANY ways of doing the same thing in the GUI. So when my in-laws get help from me, they get confused when I do something a bit differently than my sister-in-law. This is a huge problem because nearly everyone assumes that their way is the only good and "right" way to do things. I think this is less likely to happen when the GUI restricts you to fewer approaches. Hence the success of the Macintosh. One mouse button on their default mouse instead of the confusing right mouse button option. Granted, I'd never give up my three button scroll wheel mouse... but I'm not the beginner or average user and neither are you.

Still, even with all the extra options in Windows, I was still able to get my in-laws set up with a fairly customized desktop (just using what most of us would think of as very basic Windows skills, but the average user sees as "magical") that lets them do what they want to. This is possible in ANY desktop environment. And so I suggest that the main reasons people find Linux as a desktop confusing are:

1. Lack of pre-configuration of the underlying OS to support the expected functionality in terms of software and peripherals
2. Lack of any real customization to the desktop environment itself

Oddly, those are the same reasons that Windows can suck for the end user as well. Think about just how much difficulty most average users would run into, installing WiFi onto an old Windows system (pre XP). It's not so bad on an XP box these days, but even now there are some gotchas. Especially if the end-user wants to buy inexpensive hardware that didn't get XP certified. The big difference however, is that a lot more of both the underlying OS and desktop environment configuration is handled by the vendor. This is something that doesn't currently exist for Linux systems on any grand scale.

When you buy a PC from HP or Dell, you NEVER get a standard, plain vanilla Microsoft desktop. You get custom desktop wallpaper from the vendor. You get bundled apps that make the base system feel more complete (DVD player, limited versions of CD/DVD burning software, Office suites, Photo Editing software, Movie editing software, etc...) and provide the illusion that Windows systems are "easy". I am positive that if Dell and HP were forced to ship the PCs to the owner with plain vanilla installs of Windows and that the end-user was responsible for selecting and purchasing the extras, there would be a lot of griping about how hard Windows is to use as well.

Sadly, the same could be done for Linux (and there are a few outlets for this but not enough) only there wouldn't be a need for limited editions of various bits of software as most applications that most users would want are freely available. If they were bundled into the base install, along with plenty of customizations, Linux on the desktop would appear easier and friendlier than Windows. The only exceptions are users that need a specific very niche application that doesn't have a Linux version. But most home users don't have that outside of something like Quicken (whose utility still escapes me ;P).

So there you have it. My suggestion on how Linux on the desktop is certainly possible and could be made even easier than Windows, if only... It can be done on a personal level and it really isn't that hard. But I do wonder in amazement at the Windows users who never explore their desktop and just go with the defaults. At most, they might change their desktop wallpaper. Once. Maybe move the icons on the desktop a bit. But as far as actually manually creating program or folder shortcuts, making custom icons, setting up custom and meaningful sounds, I don't really see even that basic level of change happening. I just don't know why...

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Journal Journal: ON LOCATION: The Shoreway (Old 2) In Cleveland (Final)

I first posted in early October in my journal about the defacement of an Alltel cell phone billboard (it's owned by Clear Channel). Amazingly, it STAYED defaced until yesterday. As of yesterday, there is an ad for something completely different and unrelated. My suspicion is that there is either so much hatred for Alltel that no one bothered to report it. Or... if it was reported, that there is some business reason that Clear Channel didn't bother to fix the problem (Alltel late on payments? Clear Channel has more stock in Verizon?). Either way, I think it's incredible that a defaced billboard stayed up for two months with no complaints at all. Just startlingly amazing. This kind of thing would never have happened in Cleveland in the 20th century.
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Journal Journal: DIGG vs. SLASHDOT 7

I think I've finally put my finger on why I don't like Digg compared to Slashdot. I've been trying to figure this out for a while actually as it seems that I *should* like Digg. The activity there is much higher these days for example. But the problem for me all has to do with the attitude that Digg readers cop about Digg being so much better than Slashdot for a variety of reasons. I don't see it and here's why:

I joined Digg back in the Spring of 06 to see what all the fuss was about because frankly I wasn't too enamoured with Slashdot as it was (I'm still not but it's actually gotten better which I'll get into later...). When I got there my first impression was that it was too disorganized to really be useful to me (I hate tagging for example). Also the influx of stories being so fast made it difficult to be able to actually pay attention to the main page as I can't sit around all day reading endless submissions. Couple that with the lameness of most of the stories (being a little too "wannabe-tech" friendly) and the lack of community, and I was not impressed.

I gave it a good try, but the more time I spent there the more I saw things I didn't like. The moderation system being the largest part of it that sucked the most. Believe me, I've spent a lot of time over the years learning to manipulate Slashdot readers (and Usenet readers before that) into saying what I want them to say or modding me the way I want them to mod. I've been fiarly successful. ;P I can do the same on Digg, but here's the difference:

Slashdot: To get the desired moderation on Slashdot, all I have to do is post something that sparks a good lengthy discussion (easy if I have the time) and speak to the portion of the audience that I know will agree with me in the post. It's not hard to evaluate a story and determine which portion of the audience will agree with a certain statement. It's also not hard to read a story and see what feelings it will instill in the readers. Hence getting the desired moderation is easy and constructive because you spark possibly productive discussion at a pretty deep level most times. The positive outcome being that you potentially open others up to new ideas or perspectives. The negatives being that sometimes it just evolves into a useless flamewar (which are fun in their own right).

Digg: To get the desired "Digg" ups on Digg, all I have to do is post some "middle-of-the-road" milqtoast post that appeals to the broadest mass of readers. Regardless as to whether the opinions expressed in the post are actually right or wrong about something, as long as I pretend to agree with them, I'm golden. The problem with this is that you wind up only pushing the majority opinion and the resultant discussions are not too meaningful or thought inspiring. In other words Digg promotes lowest common denominator groupthink. As soon as you take a position counter to the majority, you get your negative Diggs into oblivion. I don't want to be a part of that and don't see why anyone else should want to unless they like being sheeple. It's just as easy to get the number of Diggs up or down that I want, but I find it far less constructive in terms of fucking with people's minds and maybe waking them up to new ideas.

So there you have it. Sage advice from the spice rack. Just call me "GNU Spice" the sixth member of the Spice Girls who spends a lot of time next to Ginger.

User Journal

Journal Journal: LATIN CHARACTER SET: Why is the Real Cent Sign Missing? 6

Back when I was a kid, I remember that standard typewriters used to have the normal cent sign (the lower case 'c' with a line through it similar the lower case 's' with the line through it) as a shift character on the number keys at the top. When I started using computers I noticed that this sign is curiously missing from the latin character set. Which is why the only way to say "my two-cents worth" is to actually write out the stupid looking $0.02 instead of the better looking (imagine a line through the 'c' in the following) c2. Now I imagine that the reason for the exclusion has something to do with a decision made at some point in computer history to save a byte. But it does seem to me that the full notation of cents using the dollar notation actually consumes more bytes. Any insight into this curious situation?

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Journal Journal: THE 90s: Cyberpunk 3

I'll have to go dig around in my basement, but I believe I still have a copy or two of the seminal 90s cyberpunk magazine: Mondo 2000. Funny thing is that I'd actually forgotten about this magazine and the fact that I bought a few issues a little over a decade ago until I started reading about Jaron Lanier this morning. Back then, I was into "smart drugs", "smart food" and basically finding any way to augment my abilities. I wanted to be able to sleep less (less than the already short 4-6 hours I already sleep), think harder and generally find a way to persue perfection. Considering my neo-hippy aspirations at the time, I can see why this magazine resonated with me well. I also bought 2600 around this time too, so I'm sure some CIA or FBI file somewhere has me down as a counterculture, druggie revolutionary. Funny thing is... outside of experiments with pot and alcohol in my late teens, I've never done any illegal substances since.

I haven't actually changed that much either as my recent experimentation with the Yogic practice Jala Neti exhibits. Things are going swimmingly with Jala Neti BTW... thanks for asking. :) I suppose if the U.S. government makes Stevia (a 100% natural sweetener that can't legally be called a sweetener in the U.S.) illegal again, I may become a criminal in their eyes. But, I'm still at it. Still trying to find that perfect balance between technology and chemical modification of the mind body and soul. Anyone else in the JE circle ever read Mondo 2000? I'm sure there are people out there who completely miss the point and probably think that anyone who liked Mondo 2000 was either a poseur or just totally fried in the head. I welcome your comments too.

User Journal

Journal Journal: SLASHDOT: Slashdot is Getting Old 4

I've seen absolute proof in that there was a Propecia ad on the front page just now. Are YOU doing enough to prevent hair loss? I'm guessing Taco and crew must have taken a bite off the Propecia tit...

User Journal

Journal Journal: OK... I Will Give In. Yea! A Meme!!!

1. What is your occupation?
Semitruthful title: IT Admin. Reality: Mostly *nix admin, application services admin, Windows AD consultant, Exchange consultant, "help it don't work!" consultant...

2. What color are you socks right now?
Black. What other color would they be?

3. What are you listening to right now?
The sound of multiple CPU fans in the office and the low din of PC techs around me

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
A banana

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
With proper dicipline, anything is possible.

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Orange

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
A co-worker in the Web group

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Yes. Until the feud starts... ;P

9. How old are you today?
A little less than three months from 37. I should have renewed already. Consider me a runner.

10. Favorite drinks?
Water, water, and... water. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention; water.

11. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Anyone who disagrees with me struggling to disagree with me

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?
In my youth. But that's a sordid tail.

13. Pets?
I had a cat for 21 years. Nothing since then. Unless you consider molds pets...

14. Favorite food?
PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!

15. What was the last movie you watched?
The Uninvited (1944)

16. Favorite holiday?
Any holiday that allows for late nights with no responsibility the next day. Seeing that I'm a responsible parent of a two year old... that holiday is a way off.

17. What do you do to vent anger?
Post on Slashdot, Digg, any public forum where I can "spread the love".

18. What were your favorite toys as a kid?
Soldering irons, integrated circuits, wire, the insides of anything electronic.

19. What is your favorite: fall or spring?
Fall. That's when clothing looks good on me. I was made for Fall fashion.

20. Hugs or kisses?
Depends on what part I'm hugging or kissing...

21. Cherry or blueberry?
Cherry. Definitely ALWAYS cherry.

22. Do you want your friends to send this back?
No. I want them to tell me I'm a n00b, call me a sheeple or attention whore and never talk to me again. What do you think?

23. Who is the most likely to respond?
My loyal subjects.

24. Who is least likely to respond?
Pudge. He'll claim he doesn't care even though he'll read each line scrutinizing this for liberal sentiment so he can tell me how wrong I am as an AC. Oh wait... Yeah, he won't respond. I'm sure of it.

25. Living arrangements?
Neat house that needs a lot of work built in 1914. Wonderfully sweet, intelligent and sexy temptress for a wife (ROWR!). Incredibly cute and bright toddler for a daughter. Various species of mold for pets (see 13).

26. When was the last time you cried?
Hmmm... probably trying to stifle some tears at a sad ending to a moving film.

27. What is on the floor of your closet?
Bins that I keep clean socks, underwear, shoes in...

28. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you're sending this to?
A guy who doesn't post on Slashdot much unless it's to troll as AC along with me. Mostly he doesn't post because he doesn't see the worth in interacting with a "wretched hive of scum and villainy".

29. What did you do last night?
Would you like to know? Let's just say pr0n loses its value when you live like a porn star. :P

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