My pet hate of the day...

I’m an intolerant person, at times. I despise lazy spellers, inappropriate punctuation, and meaningless drivel (unless I wrote it). So, imagine my consternation when I perused a missive on a Whirlpool forum:

my-subi writes… > billee, > just whimmed you, pls check your inbox, ta. no probs, going there now.

Now, there’s two things wrong with this picture. The first is that billee would have been notified of the whim (WHirlpool Instant Message) upon logging in, so there is no need to post a message like this. I can let it slide, as it’s possible that billee might be checking the forums without actually logging in. However, there is no need to reply that (s)he is “going there now.” It’s probably going to take longer to type in that message and press _Send _than it is to click on the link that takes you to the whimbox (I just made that word up!) What a crazy waste of bandwidth. Writing a message saying that you have been sent a private message, and then replying that you are about to read the private message. Almost as crazy and pointless as some guy blogging about how annoying it is when people do stupid, pointless things.

Back from Perth

Well, I’ve been in Perth for the last week, for this year’s School Sport Australia National Touch Football Championships. I’m a bit tired to do a proper write-up of what went on, and how we went, but I may do it later. In short, we beat Victoria twice, 4-1 each time, and lost to every other team. The girls played okay, but I still felt they played a bit below their best. I was pretty disappointed with a couple of the games, but generally had a pretty good time.

Show more of first post

I’ve had a good idea for a way to simplify the front page of a blog: have the newest post displayed in it’s full glory, but have other posts only have an excerpt. Actually, what I might do is make it so that is uses JavaScript, and only the post headers of other posts are shown, but clicking on the title displays the whole text…

Let Your Soul Be Your PilotSting & The PoliceThe Very Best Of Sting & The Police

iTunes Berkeley

University of California (Berkeley) now has a whole lot of lectures available as downloadable audio. You can get Podcasts of them, or get them via the [iTunes Music Store, Berkeley edition][1]. I’m not getting them as Podcasts, since the ones on iTunesU are already pre-tagged, and the courses I’m getting are not currently running, so I don’t need to automatically get new ones. The only tagging fault I’ve found is that they are missing: Remember playback position Skip when shuffling Which I think are important for this type of thing. I’ve also noticed some Podcast/downloads via iTunes can be paused and resumed, unfortunately, these ones can’t. Finally, a neat point is that it automatically creates a new Playlist, and a new Playlist Folder.

[Snow][2] • [Alex Lloyd][3] • [Black The Sun][4] ★★★

[1]: javascript:openWindow(‘https://deimos.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/berkeley.edu’,’_blank’,400,250,0); [2]: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSearch.woa/wa/advancedSearchResults?songTerm=Snow&artistTerm=Alex+Lloyd [3]: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSearch.woa/wa/advancedSearchResults?artistTerm=Alex+Lloyd [4]: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSearch.woa/wa/advancedSearchResults?albumTerm=Black+The+Sun&artistTerm=Alex+Lloyd

Don't Archive Compressed Files

I recently had cause to download something via bit-torrent: it’s immaterial if the something was legal or not, but I did notice, sometime after starting the 710Mb download, that the torrent had a series of files inside of it:

filename.nfo filename.part01.rar filename.part02.rar … filename.part51.rar filename.sfv

Thankfully, The Unarchiver.app was able to decompress this multi-part RAR archive. However, the file that was created, filename.ext, was 700.2Mb. That’s right, the compressed version of the file was larger than the original. There really is no need to do something silly like compress MP3, AAC, AVI or other already compressed media files. If the compression scheme that was used to create the file from uncompressed data (i.e., WAV audio file, .DV movie) is worth it’s salt, it will already be much smaller than the same file compressed using RAR, ZIP or whatever. Files that are compressed are reduced using an algorithm that looks for patterns in the data, and replaces duplicates with an alternative. Data that has already been compressed will be effectively random, as any duplicate patterns will already have been removed. Thus, you are wasting CPU time in compressing the files further, and in fact, in many cases, will end up with files that are larger. This is due to the inherent overheads in compressed archives. So, whoever created that .torrent, you wasted a bit of my time, and everyone who has read this since…

Make It Easy On YourselfThe Walker BrothersThe Love Songs Of Burt Bacharach ★★

Credit where it's due, not everywhere.

I converted this theme, Connections, to the Blogsome format. I also put a credit to myself (and another to the original theme author) into the template file. I noticed today a whole heap of new links to me via technorati. It turns out that lots of people have put this theme into their blogs, and left the credit as it is down the bottom:

Blogsome conversion and all content © Matt Schinckel, unless otherwise indicated.

I’ve changed that, so it now says:

Blogsome conversion © Matt Schinckel, content © {authors} unless otherwise indicated.

I’d love people to update their template - it makes me feel bad, taking all that credit for the content. In my template it has a bit more code, that automatically puts all of the blog’s authors in as links. The more automation the better, I always say. Also, if you use Connections, you don’t need to keep the chinese characters, they say “Tiger Paint” (or something similar). You can put whatever you want in there.

Pay to do Surveys

Saw a Google Ad today: Get Paid to do Surveys. Went to the site: here is an excerpt…

Sit Back, Relax, and Get Paid for What You Think!!

  • Online Companies will pay YOU from $5 to $125 for Each Survey!
  • Get paid to participate in online focus groups $50 to $150 per hour!

It went on a bit like this for a while, and then…

** Just one hour online can pay for your registration! ** Normally $59.95 Today’s Special Registration Price ONLY $34.95! This low price will be ending soon so hurry and take advantage of this special offer!

So, you are telling me I need to pay $35 (US, I assume) to register to do some surveys, and then I’ll get paid. I don’t really trust you, you know…

NSLU2 Memory issues

I’m running my NSLU2 as a file server, torrent client and kaid server. With 6 torrents running, it runs out of memory, and starts killing processes willy-nilly. Took me a while to figure out this was why my script to auto-start a new torrent was being “Terminated.” Not sure how it works out which processes to kill, or if there’s a way to reduce memory use. Then I came across a HOWTO: Add Additional Swap Space. Should fix stuff a bit. Just a note: it takes ages for the file to be created, apparently.

Kissing A FoolGeorge MichaelLadies & Gentlemen : The Best Of George Michael ★★

Edit: using ps x o %mem 0 command, I can see that each enhanced-ctorrent process grabs about 5 meg, while the 10 or so kaid processes each use up 2.1Mb. Since I haven’t started using kaid yet, maybe I should stop it auto-starting…

House Progress

I’m in school holidays at the moment, and I’ve been rather busy doings some more of my house renovations. The floors are all oiled, and just awaiting the oil to harden before it’s possible to put furniture on them. They look great, Jaq did a really good job doing the oiling. I also bought a heap of timber for the architraves and skirting boards - 90x12 meranti. This is thinner than normal skirting boards, which tend to be 19mm. Before I started putting them in, I had a bit of wiring to drop. Because we are having an island computer and work bench, all of the cables need to come up through a trapdoor in the floor. There was already a power point installed there, but I needed to pull some ethernet, phone and USB cables through a conduit. These then needed to be terminated at either end with sockets, which has all been done. With the cabling done, including dropping cable from the ceiling for the telephone connections, I was able to start on the skirtings and architraves. I began by cutting some skirtings for the front corner of the lounge, where there were some fiddly bits that needed to be cut, before I discovered that I am much better off doing all of the architraves first, and then measuring the skirtings to fit. Thus, the major part of today was spend cutting, sanding and priming the upright portions of the architraves for almost all of the doorways in the house. Excluding internal doorways on rooms that haven’t been sanded, or finished yet. I’ve been using an airless spray-gun, and have had fantastic results. Tomorrow I plan to finish painting these, and put them up. Measuring and cutting the top sections of these will be much easier with the uprights in position. Then it will be skirting time again!

Anybody’s WarIcehouseMan of Colours ★★½

xbmc download details

Note to self: here are the FTP details for xbmc downloading… Host = xbmp.uk.xbins.org Port = 21 Username = xbins Password = homebrew