projects | github | twitter | rss | contact
November 2008

my thoughts on the nokia e71

posted to writings on nov 25th, 2008 with tags e71, iphone, and phone

i've been using my nokia e71 for a week and a half now and there are quite a few things that i like, and quite a few that i don't.

one of the first things i did when i got it (after buying an 8gb micro-sd card for it) was pair it with my imac over bluetooth, then run isync and push my calendars and contacts to it wirelessly. the ironic part, of course, is that isync is made by apple and comes with mac os x, but it doesn't work with apple's own iphone. it does, however, work with pretty much every other non-apple phone i've ever had.

Continue reading 1,216 words...


posted to writings on nov 13th, 2008 with tags c and openbsd

i wrote a perl script about a year ago called qconsole that used wmctrl to incrementally scroll an xterm down from the top of my screen, then back up when it was called again. i called it qconsole because i thought i remembered the game quake having a console like that. even though i have lots of xterms scattered around my screens all the time, having that one console around in whatever workspace i was in, accessible with a single keystroke, was really handy.

when i switched from fluxbox to xfce4/xfwm, it no longer worked because xfwm won't allow windows to be moved off-screen even a window's mapping geometry is specifically requesting it. that sucked, and i stopped using qconsole.

Continue reading 343 words...

on the blackberry bold

posted to writings on nov 4th, 2008 with tags blackberry, iphone, and phone

over a year ago, i switched from a blackberry curve to the apple iphone. the iphone has been a fairly good smartphone and i haven't had too many complaints, until a month or two ago when everything on it started to get really slow and laggy. opening an application like notes or sms would take a few seconds to show anything, then another 5 or so seconds to actually respond to a tap. by the time the camera application would actually show its video, whatever i wanted to take a picture of had usually changed or moved.

the lack of 3rd party apps quickly led me to jailbreak it so i could run things like mobileterminal with openssh and vnc. while neat at first, jailbreaking quickly became a pain in the ass, usually leaving me a version behind the current release for a while until a stable jailbreak had been released. i resisted upgrading to the 2.0 firmware for a long time partly because it hadn't been jailbroken, and the app store apps were pretty lame compared to what i already had installed.

Continue reading 1,010 words...

OpenBSD 4.4 is out

posted to writings on nov 3rd, 2008 with tag openbsd

bandwidth usage for

Continue reading 4 words...

October 2008

transient messages

posted to writings on oct 29th, 2008 with tag web

i added geolocation functionality to is it going to rain? so it will try to find your zipcode the first time you visit.

Continue reading 23 words...

the real cost of selling something on ebay

posted to writings on oct 8th, 2008 with tag ebay

i recently sold something on ebay and actually added up all the little costs and fees and days of waiting. it's ridiculous, and there has to be something better out there. craigslist does not inspire confidence in buyers or sellers, and goes so far as to shut down sites that let you search outside of your local area making it difficult to sell to anyone outside your own city.

so i listed the item on ebay with a buy it now price of $1,285. i did this at like 1 in the morning and since that means the auction ends at 1 in the morning, i used ebay's "list in the future" thing to start it the following day at 2 in the afternoon. once the auction started, of course it got a bid right away since it had no reserve or high start price, which immediately removes the buy it now option. why does ebay do this? according to their site, it's because buyers would get confused by someone using buy it now after they placed a bid. but of course, in certain categories, they still retain the buy it now option after bidding, and those certain categories change randomly. i think that is more confusing.

Continue reading 741 words...

September 2008

making mutt useful offline

posted to writings on sep 29th, 2008 with tag mutt

i've been using mutt as my mua for over 8 years now. long ago i would ssh to my server and run it on local maildirs, but as soon as i started using smartphones and multiple computers i had to switch to an imap+ssl setup. mutt's header_cache option has long made accessing large mailboxes snappy, and the recent message_cachedir option available in 1.5 makes browsing through messages with attachments equally snappy over imap.

a useful side effect of message body caching is that it provides an offline copy of entire mailboxes which get synchronized automatically and can easily be read in mutt as a local mailbox... well, almost.

Continue reading 378 words...

everything is always going to be okay, forever

posted to writings on sep 23rd, 2008 with tag ipv6


now i just need an animated gif of carl dancing...

Continue reading 26 words...


posted to writings on sep 13th, 2008 with tags iphone, todo, and web, last updated on sep 13th, 2008

here are some ideas i've been thinking about but am too busy/lazy/stupid to implement:


Continue reading 652 words...

don't anthropomorphize computers - they don't like it

posted to writings on sep 11th, 2008 with tags asterisk and voip

it appears that asterisk/sip servers are now a target of random (?) internet brute force scans just like ssh and smtp with authentication enabled.

i'm curious what they would have done had they found an account with an easily guessable password, though. make free long distance calls to their friends? it'd be like finding an ssh account and then using it to telnet back to your home machine, no? i'm half-tempted to create one of these simple accounts and then make asterisk record all of the calls made by it and then post the audio up on the internet.

Continue reading 764 words...

rescuing a lacie "big disk extreme with triple interface" usb drive

posted to writings on sep 4th, 2008 with tag mac, last updated on sep 4th, 2008

i've been using a lacie 500gb "big disk extreme with triple interface" on the mac mini hooked up to my tv to hold all of my movies. it died the other day and wouldn't attach to the mac. since it was out of warranty anyway, i opened it up to see what was happening.

it's a big unit since it has two 250gb drives in it that are concatenated as one 500gb drive to the operating system. when plugging it in, the drives would whirr up very faintly but nowhere near full speed. the blue light on the enclosure would blink and then go solid for a second, then keep blinking as if it was continuously trying to read from the drives to attach to the mac.

Continue reading 379 words...

August 2008

i should have been i before we became we

posted to writings on aug 19th, 2008 with tag web, last updated on aug 19th, 2008

amazon's wish list system has a "universal wish list button" feature now so you can add things from other websites. i wonder which silly web 2.0 startup they put out of business with this addition.

i've been using amazon's wish list for the past 6 years to add books that i hear about and plan on buying myself later. now i can add all those non-amazon things that i plan on wasting money on, like a supercharger for my exige.

Continue reading 118 words...

recursive carl

posted to writings on aug 19th, 2008 with tag carl

whenever carl hears a police car or an ambulance, he tries to howl and bark along with the siren. while sitting at my desk the other day, i heard a siren and saw carl pop his head up, so i started recording him howling at a police car.

while uploading the video and playing it, he heard himself howling and started doing it again, so i recorded carl howling at carl howling at a police car.

Continue reading 77 words...

July 2008

My history with OpenBSD

posted to writings on jul 30th, 2008 with tags me and openbsd

I received an e-mail asking me how I got started with OpenBSD, so I thought I'd write the answer here in case anyone else wanted to read it.

I started using OpenBSD in 1998 (version 2.3 or 2.4) to host a BBS that I was running. I chose OpenBSD because of its security record and because I was getting fed up with Linux (Slackware) at the time. I think the machine was a Pentium 75 or something, and OpenBSD worked quite well on it. During the course of building the BBS, I had to install some 3rd party software, so I got interested in OpenBSD's ports system to make installation of that software cleaner. I submitted some ports to the ports@ mailing list and got them committed by other developers. I tested others' ports and supplied feedback where I could. I hadn't done much unix development back then, so writing simple makefiles for ports was an easy way to get involved.

Continue reading 1,175 words...

songs with words

posted to writings on jul 28th, 2008 with tags music and web

i made a muxtape. it is mostly songs with words. i am not really sure why i picked these, but picking 12 songs out of my 4700 in ichoones is hard.

i will probably make another one with songs without words, and maybe one of old idm stuff.

Continue reading 49 words...