Katrina a Year Later, from someone who was there.

30 08 2006

My friend Michael was down in St Bernard Parish in the weeks and months after Katrina came through, using his skill and knowledge as an architect to help evaluate the condition of the schools in the area. He toured virtually every one of them, taking pictures and working with the local, state, and federal agencies ‘up close and personal’.
He’s just posted fantastic photoessay about some of his time there, interspersed with words from the Powers on High. I found it incredibly moving.

QuickReview: Synergy2

28 08 2006

Have to point this handy tool out to folks.
My busy deskBecause of the complexity of my desk, I can’t really have a pile of keyboards and mouse lying around. I switch between machines constantly, and switching keyboards would just drive me batty. I had been using X2VNC for quite a while, which, while ‘okay’, had it’s own quirks. One of which was it couldn’t work in reverse (I could go from an X host to a Windows box, but not the other way around). It also wouldn’t let me slide from an X display to another X display. Pretty limiting.
Enter Synergy2, a simple client-server tool set that lets you configure multiple displays to a single ‘server’ that controls the mouse and keyboard. With Synergy2, I’m able to configure all my machines in whatever configuration I want. At the moment I can slide my mouse off my primary Linux display onto my WindowsXP box, across it’s display, and onto my laptop.
That’s pretty neat, but.. the kicker? Synergy2 manages clipboard cut n paste operations across machines. If I slide over to hunter (the laptop running Ubuntu linux), highlight something and click ‘Copy’, then slide back to my primary desktop on yawl, I can just click ‘paste’ and it works. This is miraculous to my eyes!
If you run more than one machine on your desk, I highly recommend Synergy2. Available in apt repositories everywhere.

MIT Flea. Geek joy!

20 08 2006

I do so love going to the MIT Fleamarket, aka the swapfest. It hearkens back to my days of attending the Trenton Computer Festival down in NJ every spring. That was a 3 day long affair with acres and acres of toys and goodies. The MIT flea is far smaller, taking up (in todays case) 3-4 floors of a parking garage, but Zach and I still had a good time.

Todays haul:

  • A Rokenbok monorail toy for Zach. These are generally fairly expensive, but this unopened box (train and track and accessories) we got for $15. Can’t complain.
  • An HP print server to address my load problems on badge printers during busy events. (Durn HP 500 print servers? 3 ports? ITS SINGLE THREADED. Means only one printer can print at a time. Bastages.) $10.
  • A handheld ‘shake ’em up’ LED flashlight for Zach. I like the no batteries part. 🙂
  • A Cuecat scanner for the oft-delayed media inventorying project. $1.
  • A random AGP nVidia video board. It appears to be something higher end than my aging MX400 card. Has a DVI port on it and a cooling fan, so we’ll give it a shot. $5,

I really was tempted by a 500-piece 11.5oz poker chip set in case for $50, but I demurred. 🙂

The URL Game.. An Interview with Jonathan Whiting

15 08 2006

Web games. There’s zillions of them. Find your way out of the room, play Zork,
all the fun in the world can be found on the web somewhere. Everything’s
been done to death.

Or has it?

I have to blame blk for pointing me
at a very simple webgame. I’d tell you the name of it, but… well, it doesn’t
have one.

The premise is simple. Go to n.nfshost.com.
You’ll see a nice big black page with the number one on it. This is the beginning of the
game. Your task, find the next page. This one is obviously ‘1.html’. Hmm, what could the
next page be… ahh, clicking on the ‘1’ gives you the page ‘2.html’. Okay, pretty
good Now, though, what could be the next page? Probably… 3.html. But there’s no
link to it, so maybe typing it into the web browser will work. Aha! It does.

Now find the next page.

And the next.

And the next.

Each page provides a hint as to what the next pages’ url will be.

Need a hint? DON’T GOOGLE IT! Some bright folks have put the entire URL list
on the net, and it really takes all the fun out of it. You will need to use
google for some of the hints, but just be careful about where you click.

As I am wont to do, I was curious about the motivation behind this nifty game.
It seems so simple, I wonder how it came about. After a big of digging, I managed
to get ahold of Jonathan Whiting, aka ‘Piglet‘, who agreed to a quicky interview on the game…

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Where in the world has Dave been?

14 08 2006

A noted lack of deep meaningful posts has certainly been the norm here in my little geeky corner of the web. The reason for this can be easily determined by looking at my travel schedule from the last month or so. Here, dear readers, is the summary of What I’ve Been Up To…

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