Jan 29 2010

Discoveries

1) Google Chrome is wayyyy faster than Firefox.

1a) But my life depends on search-as-you-type, and that’s presently only available via an extremely jittery alpha plugin.

2) It’s actually pretty easy to write a Second Life bot.

3) I like Metaplace’s aesthetics enough that I’m actually playing the Facebook time-waster game they set up when Metaplace went down.

ETA: 4) CVS house-brand cold cream is scented with something absolutely vile. It’s like citronella mixed with camphor and death. I’m sure they were trying to mimic the rose scent in the Ponds, but they… I actually have no idea how they could have ended up with this. Perhaps someone accidentally hired the mad doctor Jizabel Disraeli from Count Cain as a perfumist.

Anyway, the discovery is that in the future I’m going to have to remember to spend the extra two bucks on the Ponds. Also, try to return this stuff.


Jan 01 2010

What you do on New Years Day.

Tag: computer — 11:39 pm

You cuss at Game Maker for having no mechanism for stepping through your code when something goes horrifically wrong with a script containing multiple layers of nested loops.

AND OH WAIT I THINK I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG HANG ON

(this is what the blog is for)

ETA: HAHAHAHA YES I am in charge of A* pathfinding!

“what the blog is for” = getting my brain into critical mode and out of “my code isn’t wrong yours is” mode. See, that’s why I mostly only post about books I didn’t like! It’s not just because I’m a jerk!

In general, it is not constructive when I convince myself that my code is perfect and there is clearly something wrong with the interpreter/compiler. I am sure that people have existed who have found that there was a bug in the interpreter/compiler, which just happened to affect the long piece of code they’d written in one inspired sprint without any testing. However, given my habits, the odds that that will be the source of my problems are not high.


Dec 02 2009

Computer Easter

Tag: computer,personal — 2:37 pm

It’s back now. All my files seem to be okay.

I’m posting this as an experiment, to see if smoking starts curling out of the keyboard the moment I hit “publish.”


Dec 01 2009

It is Chinese Zodiac Year of the Dead Computer.

Tag: computer,i'm an idiot,personal — 10:57 pm

I know because my computer is dead.

This means that EVERY PERSON IN THIS FAMILY’S COMPUTER HAS DIED WITHIN THE PAST THREE MONTHS. So maybe it’s the Three-Month Period of the Dead Computer. I guess I shouldn’t have brought the Chinese Zodiac into it; I apologize; the lunar calendar is clearly in no way responsible for the condition of these computers. More likely the problem relates to voodoo.

I have double-backups of everything because I’ve been obsessive about that recently – my last manual backup was the 27th, and I just checked and my Carbonite seems to have been working fine. I’m pretty sure that some kanji flashcards and MP3s are the only thing neither of them would have caught, and the MP3s are on my phone’s SD card. THANK GOD I AM ANAL-RETENTIVE.

Continue reading “It is Chinese Zodiac Year of the Dead Computer.”


Nov 17 2009

Shocking Update: Yahoo domain registration still sleazy.

They just tried to charge me for a domain they don’t manage again.

Fortunately, this time through I’d erased my debit card number from Yahoo Wallet. (I had to use it to renew my Flickr a couple months ago, but I remembered to erase it again afterwards.) Not having anything to charge, they instead sent me a “Past-Due Payment Notice” demanding $35. For the domain I transferred last year!

(For those who don’t feel like clicking the link, the last time this happened they just charged me without warning, and I had to contest it on PayPal to get the money back – because, since I don’t actually have an account with Yahoo Small Business, Yahoo Small Business customer service won’t talk to me.)

To summarize Yahoo’s domain registration behavior thus far:

1) Yahoo offers a “private registration” option, which allows you to keep your real name and mailing address out of the WHOIS database. It is impossible to transfer one of these private domains to another registrar. Ever. (See my post from last year, or this guy’s post from 2007.)

To effect a transfer, you have to downgrade the domain to a non-private one, thus revealing your personal information. This means that if, for any reason, you’re in a position in which you can’t allow your real name and address to become public – say: you’re being stalked, you’ve expressed certain uncomplimentary ideas about your employer on your blog, you’re a Venezuelan political dissident, you’re an oil industry whistle blower, you’ve converted to Islam or Linux or come to some conclusions about your sexual orientation and your grandmother is an Old Regular Baptist Microsoft project manager who’s waiting in line for a heart transplant – you can’t leave Yahoo for another registrar.

2) According to this blogger, Yahoo will also expose your real name and address if you allow your domain registration to expire.

So, if for some reason you can’t allow your real name into WHOIS, you also can’t cancel a privately registered Yahoo domain.

Continue reading “Shocking Update: Yahoo domain registration still sleazy.”


Sep 29 2009

Heir to the Shadows, Anne Bishop

I’M READING ANNE BISHOP AGAIN apparently I suffer from masochistic tendencies.

So I’m about 3/4 through this book. And there’s this guy Lucivar, and he’s explaining evil magical roofies to his zombie-vampire father, Saetan SaDiablo, the High Lord of Hell. And this is the third time he’s talked about the evil magical roofies, and Saetan SaDiablo is shocked by the cruelty of mortals and has to sit down on his dark throne, and Saetan SaDiablo has been shocked by the cruelty of mortals and had to sit down in every single scene he’s been in. Except for the one where he was pretending to be a pedophile serial killer to trick the other pedophile serial killer into coming into his bedroom so he could kill him.

Not his bedroom in Hell, his bedroom in the Shadow Realm. The Shadow Realm’s someplace else.

Lucivar spent 2/3 of the book enslaved to a rapist, and his father Saetan SaDiablo (third-most powerful male wizard in the world) and his teenaged adopted sister Jaenelle Angelline (most powerful wizard in the world) know that, and stuff, but they kinda don’t do anything about it. I guess it’s not that important? So there are all these scenes where Lucivar’s being tortured, and then there’s a scene where Jaenelle shows up at Saetan SaDiablo’s grim palace with a unicorn or an adorable telepathic wolf cub and Saetan SaDiablo goes “OH MAN IT IS A UNICORN AND/OR TELEPATHIC WOLF CUB AND THAT IS NOT OKAY FOR MY IMAGE” and people smile and offer him a drink, and he’s sitting down in his dark throne again I mean I don’t know why he bothers to stand up. And then Lucivar escapes by himself and shows up, and they say, “Oh, hey! You made it!” And Lucivar hangs out with the unicorns and things are basically fine. He isn’t mad about how, you know, they didn’t rescue him! He knows they were real busy.

(I came up with a new way to describe Anne Bishop today: “Laurell K. Hamilton writes licensed Disney Princesses books.”)

It is because Anne Bishop is not good at remembering what the plot is. She also forgot how Lucivar has a brother named Daemon Sadi – alias, The Sadist, other alias, Hayll’s Whoreand Hayll is also a different place from Hell – who is a 1700-year-old Warlord Prince sex slave with the second-strongest magic powers in the world, and is impotent (and random people just up and start talking about his impotence because everyone knows – stuff gets around in 1700 years, it’s just a thing – even though people periodically forget that he generally kills the women he sleeps with), and who was the protagonist of the first book and spent half of it being sad that he was an impotent sex slave unworthy of the woman he loves (Jaenelle, his then-twelve-year-old adopted sister), and the other half being angry about the same issue, and killing people in many ways.

Anyway, she forgot Daemon was there. This book he went insane in a way that makes him weep all the time and occasionally refer to himself in the third person, mainly to keep him out of the way so we can get this big important The Unicorns And Telepathic Wolf Cubs Move In With Saetan And Wacky Antics Ensue thing established. There are also some scenes where Jaenelle goes clothes shopping and doesn’t get along with the other kids.

I totally forgot about how, in this book, there is an evil queen named Dorothea who wants Daemon to father her children. There’s also an evil priestess named Hekatah who used to be married to Saetan and wants to kill him. I think sometimes Bishop forgets which one of the two has which set of motivations.

I like how it’s possible to forget about things like that in this series.

-

Unrelated note to the internet: Nobody buy a Samsung Magnet, please. Dad bought one and I just spent three hours trying to get the drivers installed so I could sync up his address book. At least for Vista, there are no working drivers for this phone.


Sep 11 2009

Recent Projects: Picasa and ancient breadmakers

Tag: computer,food,recent researches — 3:31 am

How To Make Picasa Index All Of Your Frigging Images, Rather Than Merely The Ones Of Which It Approves

Picasa by default does not index PNGs, GIFs, or TGAs. It indexes, but does not display, pictures of under 250×250 pixels in size. The problem with this is not that this is the default setting – this set-up makes sense for people using the software mainly for photo management, who probably make up most of its user base, and who don’t want Picasa indexing all the GIFs in every piece of software on their machine’s UIs.

The problem is that failures that this causes happen silently. In Windows, when one right-clicks a PNG, GIF, or TGA and selects “Open in Picasa,” Picasa opens, but the image doesn’t. There’s no pop-up to explain this. When one attempts to add such a file to the Picasa index through the “File >> Add file to Picasa…” menu option, it scrolls down to the appropriate folder and behaves as if the file was added. There is no pop-up explaining that it wasn’t.

One can open an undersize image in Picasa by clicking on it in Windows Explorer, but it won’t show up in the directory view. It also won’t upload with the rest of the folder if one attempts to publish to Google Photos.

So, if one (today, one is me) finds that not all the files in a folder are showing up, one doesn’t know why, and assumes the problem to be a bug in Picasa’s indexing. (I would bet that some of the people in this thread are actually having this problem.)

So, to make Picasa recognize PNGs, GIFs, and TGAs:

1) Open Picasa. Go to “Tools >> Options…”

2) Click on the “File Types” tab.

3) Check the boxes for the filetypes you want it to index and click “OK”.

To make it recognize small images, go to “View” and click the menu item “Small Pictures”.

Something else to keep in mind, if you find Picasa still isn’t showing all of your images after doing this, is that it is by default set to detect duplicate photos and only load one – which seems to apply to thumbnails and their larger versions. I found that with duplicate detection turned on, Picasa (version 3.1.0) would about half the time index my thumbnails and then skip over the original version. (The other half it would index the original and skip the thumbnails, which I think is a more desirable behavior.) This, I would label definitively as a bug – it’s just not something you want your image management software doing in any circumstance. The only solution I could find for this was to switch duplicate detection off entirely. To do this,

1) Open Picasa. Go to “Tools >> Options…”

2) Click on the “General” tab.

3) Uncheck the box for “Automatically detect duplicate files while importing.”

Finally, if you were for any reason to want Picasa to show transparent placeholder images of the type used in web design, you’re probably out of luck – I haven’t been able to find any way to accomplish this.

-

How To Make Your Elderly Breadmaker Blend The Dough Properly So There Aren’t Big Clumps Of Dry Flour Left In There

1) Remember to actually screw the kneading paddle in there. (Not that I have ever made this mistake more than twice.)

2) Put all the ingredients except the yeast into the basin, and mix them up with a spoon just enough that all the flour is at least damp. Then add the yeast and start the machine.

(This is a Welbilt Baker’s Select ABM6200. If the internet is to believed, it doesn’t even exist.)


Aug 06 2009

I am now available ENCRYPTED

Tag: computer — 12:52 am

Because when I’m stressed out and have a lot of free time, I upgrade my computer’s security. It’s soothing.

Now all I need to do is wait for someone I know to get a public key, making this actually make some kind of sense. (MY PARENTS WILL NEVER DO THIS EVEN THOUGH THEY REALLY, REALLY SHOULD, IT’S PRETTY IMPORTANT IN YOUR GUYS’ LINE OF WORK. Whereas no one actually wants to read my email, being as it mainly concerns Pokemon and my inflammation.)

FireGPG is really buggy. Sometimes it doesn’t recognize my password, even if I just cut-and-pasted it into Enigmail and it worked fine. Sometimes it forgets to ask me for my password, and then says, “Password was incorrect.” And sometimes it forgets to ask me for my password, and then goes ahead and does whatever I was trying to do anyway. I’m pretty sure these are bad things!


Apr 13 2009

Dreamwidth!

Yup. I remain snarp.

I’m kinda still pondering what to do when cross-posting goes live – I doubt the buggy WordPress lj-crosspost plugin I’m using will be able to post to Dreamwidth. Anyway, I’ll be reading both my list there and my list here for the foreseeable future.

Edit: loqia posted in the comments saving my world with her WordPress crosspost plugin JournalPress. It will hopefully work with Dreamwidth soon, and in any case presently works much better than LJXP, the plugin I was using before.


Mar 30 2009

The mysteries of server logs.

Tag: computer,personal — 5:28 pm

YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR ME TALK ABOUT MY SERVER LOGS

Continue reading “The mysteries of server logs.”


Feb 22 2009

AKICOLJ

I just realized that iTunes* went crazy at some point in the past year, and I have two or three copies of about half of my music collection – all in the same folder as the originals, but with different filenames and metadata. The apparently random nature of which files were copied and how many copies I ended up with makes it less than convenient for me to go through and clean the folder up manually.

Is there a program that can search through and identify the duplicate files, even accounting for the differing metadata, and allow me to bulk-delete them? I’ve tried MediaMonkey and Duplicate Music Files Finder, and they both seem to choke on the different-metadata problem.

* I assume this to be iTunes’ fault because it is the only media player/organizer that I have ever used on this computer.


Feb 22 2009

Blah Apple

Tag: computer,consumption,personal — 3:33 pm

Having discovered that the cell phone works fine as an MP3 player, I started up my perennial Get The iTunes DRM Off My New Pornographers Albums Project again. I tried three pieces of DRM-cracking software, none of which worked. It is a triumph for Apple’s software engineers!

Except that I just torrented everything instead.


Jan 19 2009

I’ve discovered the One Good Thing about Vista.

Its image management. The metadata for JPEGs includes tags. I can tag my photos offline! And Windows Photo Gallery Live allows you to upload to Flickr, and actually works right! (Flickr Uploadr doesn’t seem to work with Vista – I’ve been using jUploadr instead. The problem is probably Microsoft’s fault, but it’s nice that they’ve set up a work-around.)

Also, there’s a feature that allows you to offset the timestamps of a batch of images to correct for inaccurate timestamps. This is A Good Thing – I get this problem a lot due to my habit of switching time zones. (Japan is thirteen hours ahead of Kentucky. I live in the future. Thirteen hours in the future.)

However, as with all things Vista, there are caveats. Cut for caveats. (They’re long.)

Continue reading “I’ve discovered the One Good Thing about Vista.”


Oct 29 2008

Glaaaare.

Tag: computer,wordpress — 6:59 am

In WordPress? Never use the automatic upgrader for plugins. It broke my whole installation today, and I spent two hours today putting it back together.

(Edit several hours later: Actually, the LiveJournal crossposter’s still broken. Additionally I hate everything, including you.)


Sep 05 2008

Random notes about Google Chrome

Tag: computer,wtf internet — 7:32 pm

* Definitely still in beta.

* The scroll-bar thingie on my touchpad scrolls down, but not up. (I assume this is at least partly because of some problem with my computer itself, since I’ve had similar issues on a few other applications, but those were all either kinda-crappy-open-source-projects or Second Life.)

* YouTube videos crash sometimes. What? Why? Don’t you guys, I mean, own YouTube? Some of Chrome’s documentation is hosted on YouTube.

* Sometimes there are artifacts left on screen after I select and then deselect something.

* The search-within-a-page-thing is apparently only accessible through a menu in the upper right. It doesn’t look like you can set it up to start searching whenever you start typing, a technique I use constantly in Firefox.

* WordPress interface looks a little weird – there’s something resembling a “resize-here” point stuck into the bottom left of my text box.

* It’s pretty; the import from Firefox was smooth; address bar recommendations are thus far rarely confusing/irritating; I haven’t managed to make it crash yet; and double-clicking within a paragraph selects the whole thing, which is good (though sometimes the selection areas are shaped funny). And I like that the status bar only pops up when you mouseover a link, since checking URLs is all I do with it. This might cause problems for those 90′s-awesome websites that use Javascript to put Sylvia Plath poetry and stuff down there (though I haven’t yet searched one out to check).

* Not about Chrome specifically, but seriously, people – what is this thing with browser spellcheckers not recognizing stuff like “spellchecker,” “touchpad,” “Javascript,” “href” and “deselect?” Are these terms’ applications for “real” status still pending? It’s not like there’s some federal word review board that’ll get on you for including common non-OED words and HTML tags in the damn spellchecker.

* Edit: Ha! I made it crash immediately after posting this! I tried to disable the SnapShots mouseover boxes on LiveJournal, and it crashed so hard Vista wouldn’t let it use its recovery thing.


Jul 19 2008

Why Yahoo Private Domain Registration Is Not Private

In short:

It’s not possible to either transfer or cancel a domain registered this way without making your personal information public. Yahoo’s description of the service is dishonest about this.

At length:

Continue reading “Why Yahoo Private Domain Registration Is Not Private”


Jul 13 2008

How to Retrieve WordPress Comments Accidentally Marked As Spam

WordPress doesn’t delete comments you mark as spam – they remain in the database to help train the spam catcher. If you accidentally mark a real comment as spam (or, perchance, a whole page of them), and you have access to phpMyAdmin, you can get it back pretty easily.

Standard disclaimers: This is for WordPress 2.5.1 – I don’t know if the database is organized in exactly this way in all previous versions, or whether they’re going to change it in later versions. Don’t do anything big with this without backing up your database, and don’t do it at all if the idea of messing around with MySQL by yourself scares you. I suspect there are plugins that’ll help you with comment recovery out there – go look for one if you’re worried you’ll mess something up. (But back up your database anyway. No, seriously. There’s a plugin for that.)

Continue reading “How to Retrieve WordPress Comments Accidentally Marked As Spam”


Jul 12 2008

New WordPress theme

Tag: computer,wordpress — 6:59 pm

I took someone else’s perfectly respectable-looking theme and covered it with pictures of Sechs. I think I’m now incapable of identifying my website as my own if it doesn’t have a grumpy Sechs picture on it. Oliver Sacks will write a case study on this phenomenon.


Jul 04 2008

How to Get WordPress Working Under PHP safe_mode on NearlyFreeSpeech.net

NearlyFreeSpeech.net does not get along well with a brand-new WordPress installation. The WordPress installation will do stuff like this:

Continue reading “How to Get WordPress Working Under PHP safe_mode on NearlyFreeSpeech.net”


Jun 29 2008

No one cares about this but me.

The term ended Thursday, so the last couple days I’ve been teaching myself Python. It logically follows. And just now I spent like half an hour creating sort a crappy roguelike with basic collision-detection! It’s less than 60 lines, it was totally easy! There aren’t any enemies because I couldn’t find an AI tutorial by someone who could spell words.

You shut up. I made a video game in twenty-six minutes. What did you do today?


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