Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal Journal: The Good Slashkeeping Seal of Approval

Coined this today. Sounds like a winner - an award for the coolest application of technology. Doesn't have to be useful, just very, very cool.


Journal Journal: Even Caffeine Is Failing Me Now 1

Who wants post caffeine withdrawals? Not me. So I drink watered down coffee. It only takes a small amount of caffeine to kick-start someone, anything after that is wasted and makes coming down off it that much more regrettable. I also like to sleep at night, not twitch and throw all my covers on the floor.

I'm tired. Bone tired. Caffeine can't do anything about that. Need to hit the hay earlier. Stop eating junk, too.

Gonna be a challenge though. Got an Android tablet today. Want to try all sorts of fun stuff. Install Apache and PHP on it. See if I can make it wireless server. That'd be killer fun.

Ah. But need sleep.

Decisions. Decisions.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Trapezium 6

[Here's a 2nd try, as the first attempt evidently went to bit heaven.]

Saturnday night I went out with other Santa Cruz Astronomy Club members to the Bonny Doon airfield. I live about 15 miles from the site and was a bit put off when upon unpacking found the power cord had left its storage compartment on my portable power pack. I'd been there before, leaving it home, but this time it appears well and truly lost. (Sunday I picked up a new cord at Radio Shack and used a tie-strip to secure it to the eq. mount.)

So muscling the LXD-75 10 inch SNT around was the order of the night. Not terrible, but it meant no tracking, which is the feature I depend upon most. Around midnight Orion cleared the trees and I swung the tube over to examine the Orion Nebula (M42), in Orion's sword. It's one of my favourite sights and this evening would be one of the best for viewing.

Early on I could easily make out the four brightest stars in Trapesium and continued to check up as Orion progressed higher. About 1:00 AM I was easily able to make out five stars, by 1:30 AM I was able to clearly see six, which is the full known compliment of blue stars in that stellar nursery. Cue massive geek astronomical excitement!

After a bit I swung the scope over to Fornax and Eridanus to scan for galaxies, which were in abundance. About 2:00 AM I was still wide awake, thanks to my 1L Sigg full of green tea, but knew I'd need to head home eventually or be the worse for it while unpacking and transporting all this wonderful dead weight back into the house. After returning home I was still pretty awake and enthusiastic enough to plan my viewing for the next week while downing some soup.

Sunday proved to be a difficult adjustment, even with the extra hour to sleep in.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Whine Country Safari

I've been living in California for just over 10 years. Prior to moving here I visited friends, Mark T. (game designer/producer who lived in Sacremento for a while before moving to the bay area then back to the midwest) and Paul Z. (Stanford grad and worked in silicon valley for a variety of network companies) and got a little look at the Napa county scene.

After moving to California in 1997 I made a few trips up to Napa and one Sonoma visit with Paul. On these trips we visited well known and lesser well known wineries. Generally the more 'successful' turned me off with all the clothing, kitsch and food related items they carried, along with some prices which defied my taste for their wines.

I'm no wine connoisseur, I simply know what I like and don't like. I have found inexpensive wines in the past I liked fine. They usually came from unpretentious rustic wine tasting rooms. I took a trip through the Russian River wine country on Sunday and revisited some of these places I had in the past to see what they had and if I could score a couple bottles of something decent for not much scratch. Shock. Rochioli, which has IMHO a good chardonnay which was $11 or $12 a bottle last time through was now up to $30 a bottle and had a book on the counter showing how fabulously their wines had been received at the White House. Oof. Time to go.

Around the corner is Hop Kiln, which had some decent reds the last time I visited was now selling all the merchandise lamented above and their wines had also gone up a lot. Bye.

Next to last visit of the day was Ridge/Lytton Springs. Reknowned for their Zinfandels, I recalled a couple very good bottles several years ago and thought we might visit their rustic steel pole barn, which was inhabited by several large wooden fermenters and a number of cats. Shock. All new building, fancy stuff all around. The Zins were still good, still reasonably priced, but it's obvious success has hit these places. Further someone mentioned how good a year it is supposed to be fore Pinot Noir. I don't know Pinot Noir from Guinness, but evidently the film Sideways branded the variety a hot property and novuea riche (or wannabes) were swarming around looking for it.

We elected to search for one of Paul's favourites, Rochambeau and found an empty lot. Looks like they're going to put in a spiff new tasting room etc. We'll see. Last visit on the road was Rabbit Ridge which featured some very good moderately priced wines. I wish them success, with moderation ;-)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Viral behaviour of Ideas and Deja Foobar 2

On Feb 14, 2002, to the best of my knowledge (and Google searching at the time) I coined the following from the All Your Base meme:

Rose are red
Violet are blue
All my base
Are belong to you

A variation I could find I had posted on the occasion of Rob Malda proposing in a most geekish fashion, using his own /. web site.

Now it seems to be everywhere, even on shirts at (I didn't think to submit it to them so haven't seen a penny of that.)

About 4 years ago I adopted my current sig.

A feeling of having made the same mistake before: Deja Foobar

It was common to refer to a programming error as a foobar in one place I worked, as they were usually the result of testing, rather than the older acronym fubar which I felt carried a stronger definition of erring.

The sig actually was born when I was reminiscing about Deja News, perhaps due to Google's revival of the Deja archives for Google Groups and coined the term deja foobar without particularly attaching it to anything. Eventually I would associate the term with the feeling of making the feeling of repeating programming mistake. And wanting a new, more original sig for my slashdot account made it such.

This is more easy to track than the AYB poem. I was almost immediately set upon by people pointing out I had it wrong and it should be fubar. As the original meaning was rather private I didn't care and shrugged off these "correction attempts" over the years. I recently wondered if anyone had picked up the sig and posted it anywhere.


Indeed it has been, spelled foobar and fubar. Some others have even gone so far as to use it in their sig as well. The number of matches is surprising and shows how far an original idea spreads. Both are found with the core idea of 'feeling of having made the same mistake before' Interesting. I should probably post it to before someone else nicks it. :o)

Google results for
Deja Foobar
Deja Fubar

User Journal

Journal Journal: Proto Boards!

So this MIT student walks through Logan (Boston, MA area) airfield terminal with a Proto Board on her jumper and the cops jump Her. Many that's lame, as lame as the half a fibre drum of nail trimmers I saw at an airport a few years ago. It doesn't smell like explosive, does it? I bet terrorists just laugh themselves sick at how jumpy they've made everyone. Like the british security agents who slaughtered the brazilian electrician.

Got me thinking about Proto Boards though. I was just thinking about getting a tiny one yesterday. I'm converting a webcam to an astro-imaging camera, by changing colour CCD to B/W CCD and adding some solid-state cooling to it. I've got a circuit board to make, but a small Proto Board would probably work as well and give me some flexibility the soldered PCB wouldn't. I'll have to see what sizes I can find.

User Journal

Journal Journal: ITLAPD as it were

A funny old fing. I got into the pirate character for all of my posts on the 19th of Sept., "arrrs" here, "avasts" there and such. A bit of mental gymnastics trying to fit it all together and try to contribute to discussion.

Oddly, most of my posts which were modded were modded Funny, not insightful or informative or even interesting. Oh a point here or there, but still 80%+ funny, though the content wasn't meant to be. I'm sure it'll all come out in a month when someone metamods these things and thinks 'wtf!?!' since they probably won't make the International Talk Like a Pirate Day connection.

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: Free game: Command and Conquer Gold 1

Bless their hearts - they are giving away this old game. I suspect I have each and every one of this (as well as the Red Alert fork) sitting on my shelf.


Be sure to see the readme for what you need to get it up and running on XP, as I know I let my Win95 box fade away.


Journal Journal: Update question for OSX users (and mod bombed for wondering) 4

WTF moderators... I hate the 'overrated' mod that will not be m2'ed.

[edit update]
My bride wandered down to my home office asking if I 'did anything' to her MacBook since it halted unexpectedly. She closed the lid and was walking to another room when it made a shutdown sound. She had several applications open with stuff she was working on, so this was not a good time to just stop. When she restarted it, it prompted her to install the update, which she did. Did it did shutdown as part of an update? Untimely static electricity that would do a proper shutdown? (she did not believe she was responsible for the restart)

A bit of background from the Windows world. If you have your machine set to "automatic" updates, Windows will occasionally download, install, and then reboot your system. It will prompt you to 'restart now or later', but selecting later will cause the dialog to pop up again... only later. If you ignore the dialog (and possibly leave the machine idle) it will take it upon itself to reboot your system. Does OSX do this same sort of thing? We are fairly new to OSX in our home and to be honest I really don't know.

This thing just got stranger... The shutdown might not have anything to do with an update after all.

Journal Journal: Slashdot just isn't "it" anymore 2

My current gig is working on a major newspaper's website. Now that I have access to logs and stuff of a MSM, it is very interesting to see where the traffic comes from—and slashdot doesn't really figure into the mix, even though we've been linked.

The three biggest sources of hits are Drudge, Digg and Fark, in that order, with Drudge being larger than #2 by an order of magnitude.

Least you think this is a small-time site, the whole enchilada gets 6 million hits a month by users, sans bots.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Thinkpad battery recall 1

Battery recall - I win again! I'm really hard on my batteries - lots of time in the airplane running a full dev environment. I probably would qualify as a good caregiver to the battery pack - the current battery only gives me 2-3 hours now (running vmware and a bunch of other stuff). A fresh new FREE battery is fantastic news.

Description: Lenovo sold these extended-life batteries with new ThinkPad notebook PCs or as optional or replacement batteries for the following ThinkPad notebook models: R Series (R60 and R60e), T Series (T60 and T60p) and Z Series (Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, and Z61p). The recalled 9-cell batteries have the following part number, which can be found on the battery label: FRU P/N 92P1131.

Hazard: If the battery in the laptop is struck forcefully on the corner, such as from a direct fall to the ground, the battery pack can overheat and pose a fire hazard to users. This is not an internal battery cell defect.

Well, for those with a Thinkpad - - roll the dice and see if you get lucky. Saw the initial notice at the register.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hat trick - and the day started so well....

  • Messed up a SVN merge so badly one of the other guys asked if there was room in the budget to 'fix' my kneecaps.
  • Drove out for some lunch to gather thoughts. About to drive back and the "check engine" light comes on.
  • Drop off the car at the shop, get shuffled home, and fire up my PC. Windows up date runs, reports a problem with the install. Stupid me tries to fix it. Why, oh why, did I think that to even *open* regedit...

Journal Journal: Nice gmail update for the blackberry

I gave the google apps a try on my blackberry 8700, but the first cut looked nothing like what they showed on the screen shots. Seemed like a very poor implementation of webmail - even compared to what I could do with the internal browser and gmail proper. Every once in a while they would check for updates, then give the same fugly interface.

Until I did the last update...

Wow. That is more like it. Looks like the 1.1.0 update was done as a "native" app. Kudo's to whomever did the pet project port. Hit on your blackberry and enjoy the now usable interface.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Free software modtrolls strike! 1


I posted a reasonable, well-intentioned, and sincere query about how anyone could think that the FSF has any real leverage over Suse--any meaningful way of expressing their evident displeasure at Novell signing on with Microsoft.

There was no inflamatory language. There were no waving red flags. There was no fanboi-ism. Frankly, I don't think there was any discernable bias one way or the other.

And along comes some clueless n00b to "-1 Flamebait" it.

Simply amazing. Amazing that mod points could be graced upon a slashdotter who could be most charitably characterized as a waste of oxygen. Amazing that once said slashdotter (henceforth known as "Puddinhead") got those mod points, he could wipe the drool off his chin and summon the intellectual muscle to work the moderation combobox. Even more amazing, if this moronic abuse of moderation represented Puddinhead's idea of taking a genuine and well thought-out position on the subject rather than the spastic twitches and burbles of the defective mentality he surely has.

Sigh. I am guessing the metamods will address this, but there are plenty of fanboi sheeples who M2 here who will agree with what they read into the moderation ("How dare he question The Stallman and his Crusade!?!"). But it doesn't matter. My karma remains excellent, because in the end, this moderation is "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Slashdot Top Deals

You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming