# Thursday, March 10, 2005
I’ve had my Amateur Radio license for 8 months or so now, and haven’t spent too much time talking on it.  But…  Just recently I’ve discovered the groovy world of IRLP, or the Internet Radio Linking Protocol.  Me talking to a radio in Portland, which is connected via VoIP links to one or more other radios around the world that other people are talking to.  Pretty cool.  You can talk to people all over the world with just a handheld radio and a Technician license.  I made my first “long” distance contact last night, chatting with W2SBI in Virginia.  It’s a pretty strange juxtaposition of old and new technology, but hey, it works.  You can listen in to one of the IRLP reflectors from the web site.
Thursday, March 10, 2005 3:58:42 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to get some ham radio related (yes, I’m that big a nerd) software to run on an old laptop I have at home.  I figured, being such an old and limited little machine, I’ll run Linux, since it will be small, light and agile on such hardware.  As ever, the Linux install itself went very smoothly (Debian 3.0).  I spent three solid days installing Linux back in like ‘93, so I appreciate how far installing has come.  It’s what happens after that.  I know I write code for a living, but I’ve discovered that when I get home, it’s not really what I want to do.  And the unfortunate truth of Linux (for me at least) is that everything that doesn’t come with your distro is next to impossible to run.  I just don’t have the patience to compile every piece of software that I want to use, especially since whatever libraries it depends on are NEVER the ones that I have. 

Sigh.  I know deep in my heart that Linux is cool.  I just don’t have that kind of time. 

As sad as it is, I gave up and installed the copy of 98 SE that came with the box.  And it just works.  Not nearly as flashy (Gnome is way cooler, hands down) but a solid performer.  Of course it took two days and several sets of drivers to get my D-Link WiFi card to work, but that’s a different story. :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2005 2:05:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Wednesday, February 23, 2005
 Michele Leroux Bustamante posted a really great summary of how to go about creating a web service front end coupled to a multi-tier backend.  Check out the diagram at the end.  It makes it very clear.  I particularly like the use of the facade assembly on the web layer to talk to the business tier.  Very nicely done.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 10:56:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I know things have been a bit quiet here lately.  Suffice it to say it’s been a weird winter so far.  I’m hoping to get some more technical content soon, but in the mean time…

I just got back from vacation in Phoenix, where it rained almost the entire time we were there, while here at home in (usually not so) sunny Portland it’s been sunny and in the 50’s and 60’s.  Good thing that whole global climate change is just a myth propagated by eco-freaks.  :-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 9:52:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 
# Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Bruce Sterling wrote a great review of the Voltaic Solar Backpack.  Pretty neat gizmo.  It’s a backpack with solar panels on the back that charge an internal battery, that in turn can be used to charge your cell phone/iPod/camera, etc.  I don’t know how well it would work here in the land where the sun is dim, but it’s a cool idea.  Energy self-sufficiency for one’s gizmos is a noble goal.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005 9:51:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, January 24, 2005

I have a hobbyist level interest in linguistics, and one of the things I find most fascinating about language is the way it changes.  Modern English provides us with some pretty stunning examples.  I think they tend to fall into two categories.  There are abuses that are just plain wrong and should be severely dealt with, many of which can be found in our media (and political speeches).  These stem mainly from a lack of proper education, or just plain lack of attention.  I was a bit shocked to here Dr. Rice, in her confirmation hearings, talk about the “dismantlement” of our nuclear missiles.  This would be abuse. 

On the other hand, there are innovative uses of language that, IMHO, grow our language in interesting ways.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one of the biggest reasons I love the show is for it’s innovative use of language.  There’s a cool page over at PBS right now about “Slayer Slang” and some of the innovative linguistic tidbits to come out of BtVS.  As but one small example, when told that something was “pointless”, Buffy responds “it’s totally pointy!”  That’s innovative use of language, and I think it should be applauded.

Given that, I was happy to see Wil Wheaton start a post today with the word “Embiggened”. :-)  Is it a word?  No.  Should it be?  Maybe.  Is it evocative and interesting?  Most definitely. 

Monday, January 24, 2005 10:23:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

 Henrik Gemal has added some code to Thunderbird (as a first step he says) to provide extra protection from phishing.   Sounds like a pretty good start to me.  You’ll get a warning if the link you clicked on in an email is an IP address instead of DNS, or if it’s a different address from the one in the text of the link.  A little goes a long way here, and this will certainly be a big help. 

Good work!

Monday, January 24, 2005 10:09:58 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, January 13, 2005

I finally feel as if I’m starting to recover from the weekend…

My wife received a big award in the SCA (she’s now a Laurel for anyone who knows what that means) and the run up to the event was pretty hectic.  And the party that followed was epic in proportion.  I’m just not as young as I used to be.  I should have some pictures up after this weekend.

Anyway, hopefully things will pick up here a bit now that it’s over. 

Thursday, January 13, 2005 1:12:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, January 06, 2005

No surprises there…

I am nerdier than 76% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thursday, January 06, 2005 2:33:50 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

My musical tastes tend to run towards the eclectic.  Basically, I like just about any kind of music that sounds like the people who made it actually cared about what they were doing.  This mostly only excludes “pop” in all its evil forms. 

Anyhow, once again Rhapsody is my friend, and I found this guy named Krishna Das.  The have him listed under “Devotional”, since his lyrics center around Indian (Hindu) religious themes, but the music is pretty progressive.  Picture Hare Krisnas doing Trip Hop.  I’m diggin’ it as background music-to-code by. 

The fun of subscribing to Rhapsody is that I get access to all kinds of amazing music on demand, but not stuff that I’d necessarily want to shell out for on CD.  The fact that I can only listen to it when I’m at my (or any) PC isn’t a problem, since that’s where I mostly am anyway. 

I really dig what is often referred to as “Asian Underground”.  There are a whole bunch of South Asian DJs and musicians living in the UK who are combining traditional South Asian music forms with electronica/dance music.  Very cool stuff.  It’s an amazing fusion that really works well.  Check out stuff like DJ Cheb i Sabbah, MIDIval PunditZ, and State of Bengal (one of my favorites).

Thursday, January 06, 2005 11:23:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |