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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.

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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.

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Thursday May 07, 2009

Links for 7th May 2008

A summary of my more interesting recent twittering.

  • World's oldest living dog turns 21 [link]

    There was another than just died at 28.

  • Apple tablet rumors [link]

  • Amazon Kindle DX [link]

    It's getting a lot better. Still not in color and too expensive for my tastes.

  • Hana (flower simulator) screensaver for Mac OS X (Intel) [link]

  • What eBooks should be [link]

  • Swine Flu tracker [link]

  • What's the state of the economy? Yet another way to look at it [link]

  • Need to burn an audio CD with no track gaps? [link]

    This works great on Ubuntu Jaunty

  • When Prom Goes Bad (humor) [link]

  • What to do in an emergency (humor) [link]

  • JoAnn Kuchera-Morin: Tour the AlloSphere. TED talk [link]

    A stunning new way to see scientific data. The potential is amazing.

  • Lawyers (humor) [link]

  • How to tick people off (humor) [link]

  • Explaining Twitterspeak to others (humor) [link]

  • Susan Boyle: The Biggest YouTube Sensation Ever? [link]

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Monday Apr 27, 2009

Blogs.sun.com - Five Years Old

And I've been here for 98.5% of it. From my first post (notice the absence of the signature image in the top left corner), through to the one that gained the most comments, and on to the latest.

Today I spend more of my spare time Twittering, but I still try to summarize the interesting things I find in blog posts.

Congratulations to the creators of Roller and the blogs.sun.com team. It's been a lot of fun.

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Wednesday Apr 22, 2009

Links for 22nd Apr 2008

A summary of my recent interesting twittering.

  • Ugobe files for bankruptcy [link]

    The Pleo's were cute when I saw them at Maker Faire, but way too pricey.

  • There's an Edge of Darkness film coming later this year [link]

    The 1985 BBC drama was my favorite drama series ever.

  • Our dog now has more followers on Twitter than I do [link]

  • Takeuchi Taijin's "A wolf loves pork" [link]

    (via Make: blog) - thanks Lynea

  • Interactive map of vanishing employment [link]

  • Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent [link]

  • Congratulations to Smart Bitches Trashy Books for successfully Google bombing "Amazon Rank" [link]

    "There was a glitch in our systems & it's being fixed," Amazon's director of corporate communications, Patty Smith, said. Yeah, right.

  • Robot programs humans to help it get through park [link]

    (via Hack a Day).

  • Best Ever Blueberry scones from Cooks Illustrated [link]

  • Python API's for the Web [link]

  • Tommy and Phil Emmanuel - Sugarfoot Rag [link]

  • How I got audio working for YouTube videos on Ubuntu Jaunty [link]

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Tuesday Apr 14, 2009

Closed TRACKEDINBUGSTER - Two Months Later

See a previous post for more background.

Well it's almost two months on, and I've shuffled a load more bugs over to Bugster, so I thought I'd run my script again.

There are now 644 bugs that have been closed in OpenSolaris Bugzilla as TRACKEDINBUGSTER. Here's their current status, this time with percentage figures:

1-Dispatched:           146       22.67%
2-Incomplete:           24         3.72%
3-Accepted:             70        10.87%
4-Defer:                16         2.48%
5-Cause Known:          6          0.93%
6-Fix Understood:       6          0.93%
7-Fix in Progress:      15         2.33%
8-Fix Available:        11         1.71%
10-Fix Delivered:       179       27.80%
11-Closed:              171       26.55%

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Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

Links for 7th April 2009

Summarized for posterity.

  • Robotic snout does double-takes at passerby [link]

    (via MAKE blog).

  • Nice Twitter backgrounds [link]

    (thanks lucy).

  • POV fun: The Propeller Clock [link]

    (via the MAKE blog).

  • art machines [link]

  • Cat Hair Bags [link]

    "shaving one Persian cat produces enough hair to make a handbag"

  • Willard Wigan - Micro sculptor [link]

  • A big box of ADHD [link]

  • Snow White & the Apple [link]

    (via MAKE blog).

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Friday Apr 03, 2009

Automatically Change Your Twitter Background

As a follow-on to yesterday's post, the Python cback.py script has been updated to automatically send your newly generated random image to Twitter to become your new background image. That functionality is not part of the "standard" Twitter Python API so many thanks to lucy for providing the magic necessary code

The new version of the script is here. Save it, then rename it to cback.py. You will also need multipart.py. Before you use it, you will need to adjust the username and password lines (about line 55) to be your valid user name and password.

Twitter is sometimes flaky in taking these images ("urllib2.HTTPError: HTTP Error 500: Internal Server Error"), but then again, I sometimes get similar problems when I try to change my background image from the Twitter Settings dialog.

The cback.py script sometimes generates images greater than the allowed size when used with the wallpaper option. I'll need to fix that.

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Thursday Apr 02, 2009

Generate Random Backgrounds For Twitter Revisited

You may remember my previous attempt to do this. There was the problem of it generating a .bmp file, which then had to be converted to .jpg or .gif (with something like Gimp), before it could be uploaded to Twitter.

I've gone back and reworked my cback script so that it now uses the Python Imaging Library. Not only does this fix the .jpg problem, it has made it an order of magnitude faster. The new source code is here. The changes were minimal.

The final problem to try to solve, (in trying to totally automate this), is to see if there is a way to automatically upload the new image to Twitter. I'll leave that for another day.

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Monday Mar 30, 2009

Links for 30th March 2009

  • Pride and Prejudice Red Dwarf style [link]

  • Matt Shlian paper sculpture [link]

  • How to provide snacks for your Super Bowl party [link]

  • Wire Glue, now made with Buckyballs! [link]

    (from the MAKE blog).

  • Gaping hole halloween costume [link]

  • Guide to Sound Effects [link]

  • Poodwaddle World Clock [link]

  • Wonderful not-so-subtle parody of British Professional Darts [link]

  • Wikipedia for schools. [link]

    (5500 articles, 34,000 images and 20 million words).

  • A great ad you'd never see on US TV. [link]

  • Alan Moore's BIG NUMBERS Episode 3, long-lost and rediscovered on ebay [link]

    (thanks to Neil Gaiman)

  • IntriCut: The paper work of Aoyama Hina [link]

    (Lots of other good paper links in the right column too).

  • The WayBack machine is now going to be on Sun hardware. [link]

    (A 3 petabyte file system).

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Thursday Mar 26, 2009

Generate Random Backgrounds For Twitter

I had a hack attack yesterday. I converted an old C program of mine that automatically generated random patterned backgrounds for an X11 desktop, to now generate similar random patterns, but this time save them in a .bmp file. If you then convert then to .jpg (or .gif or .png) they can be uploaded and used as your new Twitter background.

The simple Python script that did this is here. A big thankyou to Paul McGuire for writing the bmp.py code that makes this so easy. You can find that file here.

You can see a sample random circle background pattern on my Twitter page.

It's version 0.1 of the code. A quick simple conversion. It needs to be tidied up and improved. It should also just generate .jpg (or .gif or .png) files. I need to see if there is a standard Python class trhat does something like that.

What would be even nicer was if it could automatically change your Twitter background, but I don't see anything in the Python API for Twitter that allows anything like that. Pity.

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Sunday Mar 22, 2009

Links for 22nd March 2009

More interesting Twitter links from the last week.

  • You can't see pending FaceBook friend requests [link]

    (thanks Joanmarie)

  • How to post your drivel to Twitter and FaceBook at the same time [link]

    (thanks Joanmarie)

  • Easy Peasy (Ubuntu based O/S) for Eee PC (looks great) [link]

  • Python folks maybe just a little closer to considering to think about something that's been in [Open]Solaris for years [link]

  • Solar cells from donuts and tea. Ummm, donuts! [link]

  • Object Oriented Concepts survey [link]

  • Extreme Sheep Herding [link]

    (thanks Lynea)

  • More good music than you can point a stick at [link]

    (thanks Ranbir)

  • Shell Programming 101. Just enough to make you dangerous [link]

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Sunday Mar 15, 2009

Links for 15th March 2009

These are the interesting links I've posted to Twitter since I started, just over a couple weeks ago. I wonder if there is a way to get them automatically reposted (and/or summarized to this blog).

  • Turn your Mac laptop logo into a "second monitor" [link]

  • Twitter keyword monitor [link]

  • Twitter for Beginners [link]

  • Steve Wozniak - Dancing with the Stars [link]

  • Finger USB drive [link]

  • 20 words that should exist [link]

  • Over 6Gb of free SXSW 2009 music [link]

  • Video of Carter Johnson's postage stamp puzzles [link]

  • Twitter Python front-end [link]

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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...

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Monday Mar 02, 2009

Backing Up Your Twitter Posts

Now I'm twittering I wanted to make sure I had a way to locally save my pearls of wisdom drivel. From googling, I'd found tweetake and twistory but didn't like the idea of passing over my username and password to a site I didn't know.

I then stumbled on a Python frontend to the Twitter API. I downloaded the compressed tarball and unpacked, built and installed it with:

  $ gzip -dc python-twitter-0.5.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
  $ cd python-twitter-0.5
  $ python setup.py build
  $ pfexec python setup.py install

Now "backing up" my tweets is as simple as running:

  $ python backup.py > richb-tweets.txt

where backup.py is:

    import twitter

    api = twitter.Api()
    statuses = api.GetUserTimeline("richburridge")
    for s in statuses:
        date_ts = " ".join(s.created_at.split()[:4])
        print "%s: %s\\n" % (date_ts, s.text)

for output that looks like:

Mon Mar 02 20:39:10: Oooh! Twitter has a Python front-end to it's API: http://code.google.com/p/python-twitter/ I can see hours of tinkering ahead.

Mon Mar 02 19:10:46: Added twitter monitor thingy to left column on main blog. Didn't help that Twitter went oopsie while I was debugging this.

...

(Adjust the "richburridge" user name to your own, if you want to use this).

Still lots more to explore with python-twitter, but that's enough for today.

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