Tuesday May 19, 2009

Blog Translation

Finally got around to adding a Google Translate widget to my blog. Up there. Near the top left corner. Use it to translate these blog pages into your favorite language. 34 to choice from.

I can now tell those ten people that translate my blog into other languages that they can stop doing that. Oh wait. That's somebody else.


Monday May 18, 2009

Wordle Of My Twitter Tweets

Wordle: Rich Burridge's tweets

Inspired by Tim O'Reilly, I did a Wordle of my Twitter tweets.



Monday Mar 09, 2009

Be Funky

After a tweet from ThinGuy (thanks!), I just had to try out BeFunky.com. One of each type of art style of my mug above, and I've also added them to the collection of thumnail images that get randomly selected to be at the top left of my blog.

Wonderfully simplistic BUI. I wish all site designers could make it this easy to use their site.

I don't think I've got the patience to create another A Scanner Darkly (which we finally watched over the weekend and were very disappointed), but it sure makes it easy to create simple artwork.

Hmm. Maybe another cartoon...



Thursday Feb 26, 2009

I'm Now Twittering

Or tweeting or whatever it's called. Over here. I swore I wouldn't do it, because I thought it would turn into a timesink, but as I don't blog so much any more, maybe this is just the answer.

I've setup the account and done the profile but haven't spent the time to work out who I want to follow yet. I'll work on that tomorrow.

The other thing I want to do it work out how to automatically get my tweets to appear in my blog. I think I'll have to ask somebody who's "been there, done that", on how they did it.



Thursday Jan 15, 2009

Project Euler

A couple weeks ago, Nat Torkington, on the O'Reilly Radar blog, wrote about Project Euler.

"Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems."

I love puzzles. It's probably why I enjoy programming and debugging software so much. These particular problems are a delight. They are simple to understand and require thought. I will admit I've only tried (and solved) the first thirteen so far (I haven't even made it to level 1) and so have a long way to go, but there's nothing here that leaves me wanting to tear out my hair in frustration.

You certainly can use brute force to get to the answer, but usually with a little thought, you can find a short cut. So far my longest solution took 28 seconds (on an intel Dual Core laptop). Nearly all of the rest have taken much less that 1/10th of a second. As with a lot of software related problems, finding the right way to represent the initial data is half the solution.

Now I can just hear some of you out there saying, why on earth would you want to do something like this? Don't you have enough RealWork(TM) to do? There are a few reasons. The first one is to see if I can find that elegant solution. I've also been doing these problems in Python, the language I use for most programming work nowadays, and after I've found the solution, I'll look at the posts in the forum related to this puzzle, to see how other Python programmers have solved it. In that way, I often find out things about the language that I didn't know. This accumulated knowledge then makes it easier to solve the next puzzles and (hopefully) improves the Python code I write for a living.

But one of the main reasons is to try to remind myself of all that math that I'd forgotten. My son's math homework is not yet at a level that's beyond me currently, but it won't be that way for ever. I need to take a quick refresher course, and this is a fun way of doing just that.




Monday Nov 17, 2008

Pretty Printing The Freenode Channel List Information

I had a little hack attack over the weekend, and wrote a simple Python script to convert the output of the /list command at irc.freenode.net into something more useful.

See a previous post for more information on this.

As it's reading the raw input on stdin, it should be easy to adjust to generate pretty output for other IRC sites.



Wednesday Nov 12, 2008

Gcalctool Ready For Voting On UPtoDOWN.com

The folks at UPtoDOWN.com have just let me know that they've reviewed the latest version of gcalctool and it's all ready for your voting.

They've even included a description of the calculator. It's in Portuguese, but I've spared no expense and had it translated into English for you:

It is no coincidence that gcalctool sea by the tool for calculating defect in the vicinity of Gnome desktop.

This calculator is designed both to users who only need to perform basic operations such as advanced users. That versatility it achieved due to the existence of different configurations of calculation, called in the application forms.

Gcalctool possesses four different ways: basic, advanced, the financial science. The basic mode is intended for users who perform the needed operations of certain complexity. The advanced mode added some more advanced controls as regards the handling of the fractional numbers of square roots.

The event offers some financial controls so that the most advanced, usually related to financial operations. The scientific method is oriented al calculation advanced, offering all sorts of controls, working in different units of calculation and numeración systems and advanced operations.

I know how I'm voting.



Wednesday Oct 08, 2008

Ubuntu Intrepid Upgrade On Eee PC Continued

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I had some problems when I initially tried to do a network upgrade to Intrepid.

Things had got busy recently, so I only returned to this problem last night. I booted up the machine with a wired network connection, and when I got to the login screen (where I couldn't type anything into the User Name field), I entered Control-Alt-F1 to get to a virtual terminal and a text-based login prompt.

After logging in, I did the:

  $ sudo apt-get update
  $ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

again, and let it chug away at downloading, unpacking and installing all the new packages. I then rebooted.

The reboot successfully bought me to the gdm login screen and I can now login via the graphical User Name field and get to my desktop. Yippee! Yet another problem solved by just waiting a while and letting things happen.

I don't like the new login music that comes with Intrepid. I'll have to see if I can work out how to put the "old" Hardy jingle back.

I also don't seem to be able to get wireless working, using the previous instructions for the madwifi package that I had. It looks like I'll have to google around again and see what's changed there.

Then I'll need to check out the battery management, web camera and microphone again. Who knows, maybe they are all working nicely now.



New Mailing List For Gcalctool

Robert Ancell, who is now the chief maintainer for gcalctool, the default calculator for the GNOME desktop, has just setup a mailing list for this application.

If you are interested, then details on how to subscribe are here.

Coincidentally this has just started up about the same time I closed down the old mailing for calctool (the predecessor to gcalctool), because all that comes over that nowadays is spam, and, for some reason, it got really busy last week.



Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

Turn Your Favorite Photos Into A Kaleidoscope

There was an interesting post on the MAKE Blog back in August, on how to turn your favorite digital photos into kaleidoscope images. Here's the actual webpage that does this. I gave it a pointer to my favourite dog and generated the images on the right. The "three eyed, four eared" variant is great.



Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Ubuntu Intrepid Upgrade On Eee PC DOA

I spent some time today upgrading my Eee PC 8G from Ubuntu Hardy to Intrepid. Over 700MB's of updates that seemed to go flawlessly apart from a couple dependencies for k3b which I quickly sorted out.

2 hours later, after the reboot I get to the login screen but it doesn't recognize as I type on the native keyboard. It didn't recognize me typing on a USB keyboard either.

I did a bit of googling around but I haven't seen a problem reported on this. I wonder what I did wrong...

The latest kernel is 2.6.24-19. I then tried booting that in recovery mode. It complained about:

mount: special device /dev/sdb1 does not exist

but I think that's just that the external USB disk wasn't turned on. It seemed to "hang" at the "Configuring network interfaces" line for a long time, but that might be because it's still setup for the wireless network at work. Once I can get in, I can hopefully easily change that.

Eventually I got to a pretty red and blue text based menu asking me what I wanted to do. As the keyboard was working at this point, I just told it to resume the boot. I then got to the graphical login prompt and the keyboard was fubar again.

If anybody has any suggestions on how to find/fix this problem, I'm all ears.

(I also tried booting from the 2.6.24-18 kernel in the GRUB menu -- the one that goes with the Ubuntu Hardy release -- and that didn't work either).

Update: the keyboard seems to be fine. Control-Alt-F1 gets me to a virtual console login. It's just that I don't seem to be able to type into the graphical Username field.



Thursday Aug 28, 2008

Getting Thunderbird to Automatically Load Images in Emails

For the version of Thunderbird I'm running under OpenSolaris 2008.05, when you receive an email with images in it, I get a little "banner" at the top of the email where I have to click the "Load Images" button in order to see the images in that email.

Well today it got to the point where it had annoyed me enough that I wanted to adjust this, so that images where automatically loaded. Seems simple right?

After spending about five minutes looking at all the Preferences options and Account Settings options and not finding it, I decided to google for it.

The solution is to bring up Edit->Preferences, click on the Advanced panel, go to the General tab and click on the "Config Editor..." button. Then look for the "mailnews.message_display.disable_remote_image" setting and double click on the "true" word to turn it to "false".

Why is this so hard? Why couldn't there be some way of doing it directly from the little banner with the "Load Images" button? Maybe a little "Change this..." link.

Anyway, hopefully this post will save somebody else a few minutes if they are struggling with the same problem.


Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Archaeologist by Dipity of blogs.sun.com

This is cool. A way to see which blogs.sun.com posts made it to Digg and then see a timeline of them.

I'm chuffed to see there's one of mine there too.

I'm not sure how they are determining these events. Some of them seem to be coming from other sites than blogs.sun.com.



Wednesday Jul 02, 2008


Finally got around to trying out Wordle.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

I of course gave it my blog as input. I let it just pick the colors, layout etc. I was rather surprised at some of the words. I don't think I've even written "Titarenko's" before. Let alone enough to make it appear on the cloud.




Wednesday Jun 25, 2008

Bill's Experience Installing Moviemaker On Windows

An email from 2003 from Chairman Bill on the problems he had installing Moviemaker on his Windows system.

My favorite bit is:

"Then it told me to reboot my machine. Why should I do that? I reboot every night -- why should I reboot at that time?"

Ahh! Windows.

(thanks Maya).






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