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Showing posts from 2005

Obstacles to Progress

I have always had the view that the needs of mankind are a set path, and that barring any self-induced catastrophe that wipes us out, it is our destiny to develop new technology until we have reached some kind of "holy grail". Resistance is but one of the many temporary obstacles to developing new technology, but even that occurs less often. As our rate of "progress" (to use a controversial word) goes up, the timeline for acceptance gets shorter, as accepting new ideas becomes more routine. Our society works in a way that consumer needs dictate the funding and motivation for research and development that leads to progress. Often times, however, people (often individuals) develop ideas that are "ahead of their time". These ideas will be met with the most resistance because the masses will not understand how they will fully integrate with our way of living. The development of these ideas is important, nonetheless, for when their time comes they will be


My friend took this picture in North Carolina.

Charting tv content characteristics

I got to thinking about tv content today. Nowadays, there's more and more "unscripted" reality tv crap splattered all over the cable-waves. It seems like each genre has various levels of 3 specific characteristics. I've come up with a rating chart to contrast 3 major characterists of all the various kinds of tv content: Type Scripted Stupid Fabricated Plot NASA Channel Movies X X Reality TV X X Crappy Sitcoms X X X NASA Channel : Reality TV without the suck.

A look ahead

My obsession with looking forward to new technology is not a new one. This is a brief essay I wrote on November 30th, 1999. The point was to have some sort of a forward-looking benchmark to "look back at". It's funny, some of this stuff seems obvious now, but at the time you couldn't even buy a DVD burner, and "TiVo" was not a widely recognized verb in the english language. The iPod didn't come out until Oct. 23rd, 2001... Almost 2 years after this was written. I'll admit that I didn't see the personal music player as a stepping stone to "PC-in-my pocket ubiquity", but you can definitely see things moving in that direction. Some of these things have yet to come to fruition. Still, not bad for a pre-turn of the century prediction. Here's a list of key modern-day technologies this article touches on, albeit in scarce detail: -iPod -DVD burners -Surround sound audio DVDs (still on the rise) -5.1 (and 7.1) digital audio soundcards -Ti

San Diego in 3D

I took this stereogram photo of Downtown San Diego at night. To view it, relax your eyes and bring the two inner images together in the middle. (Click for larger version)

2 types of people

I got my stapler back today. Office Space commentary aside, it's really interesting when you consider it: there are two people involved in stapler displacement. Person 1. Where's a stapler? Here's one. Person 2. Where's my stapler? Hmmm. Someone probably borrowed it. Perhaps I should put out an office memo, inquiring whether someone has my stapler. I'll waste an hour of productivity thinking about it, posting it on my blog, etc. In the meantime, I'll try to make do with a paperclip, scotch tape, or other inferior binding method.

Found: AOL CD

I found this AOL CD on the ground, on the Oakes green. Contact me if it is yours and I will get it back to you.

Buying a TDI

As the school year wraps up, I've had a lot of questions from people with plans to buy and convert a Volkswagen TDI to run on vegetable oil. Here's some good information: The normal price range for a decent TDI is $5,000 to $10,000. They are a little pricey because they last a long time and are in high demand. Don't bother going to the dealership to find one. They will all be gone, and the ones you do find are going to be overpriced. Volkswagen of America has set about buying back TDIs from previous customers, for full market price, so they can keep TDIs on the lot. Thus they are selling them above market price. Your best bet is private sale. Watch the local classifieds like a hawk. In vermont, I would check Burlington Free Press (also listed in ) and Motor Digest. Don't be in a hurry- it may take a month or two. Check out everyone you see. Find out if the timing belt has been changed, and adjust the value accordingly. It's a pricey ($800-$1000)

The people agree

The United State Postal Service thanks you for contribution.

I sent a really thin battery in a plain envelope, and this is what I got back. The USPS tore it open, emptied it, and returned the empty envelope to me. The back has an apology on it that reads: "Please accept our apologies. We regret the damage your package recieved during handling in the postal service." Some postal worker has a brand new battery for their cell phone.


"The Windows Logon Process system process?!"

BONES appetit

Ricky Bones has "lunch" at work.

Blowed-up projector bulb

This classroom projector bulb blew after only 300 hours of use. If you haven't heard an HID bulb blow before, it's not unnoticeable, audibly. It happened during a class in progress.

Ghetto NAS

5, 250GB SATA drives in RAID5 in external enclosure = 1 TByte Network Attached Storage for under $1300.

E-mail I sent to my colleagues

At some point, very late tonight (after midnight), Waite exhausted memory and the web server crashed. I tried to restart the server, and it abended like crazy as it unloaded the NLMs, and then of course hung up instead of rebooting. So at this point, the portal is down, and no one can get to webmail. I feel really bad about this, especially since it's so soon after its official release, and we've been getting really positive feedback about it. I considered driving there, but as soon as I got on the road I quickly reconsidered, as I observed my car was able to break traction on straightaway using only the accelerator pedal (not on snow). I consider myself to be a fairly bawlsy driver, but that's my cut-off :) The problem does not appear to be associated with Extend (Portal Services). I think Apache2 (or some supporting module) is leaking memory. I found a TID that proves its possible, even if it is a little out of date:

iPod Generations

The Singularity

Since I'm really busy, I will probably post pictures most of the time. Sometimes stuff I post will be about technology and developments, other times it will just something I think is cool. This is a subject I am carrying over from my old blog, The Singularity (deprecated): Ray Kurzweil is a futurist, who predicts that the human civilization will control its own destiny through the combining of biological and non-biological entities in to one (cyber human? humanputer?) He discusses in great detail the implications of the rate at which we are developing as a technologically advanced civilization, and something he refers to as "The Singularity"- an event after which we can not currently imagine the circumstances therein. The surprising part is that all this may happen within the next 30-50 years. I have converted the text of one of his essays to speech for listening on the go. Feel free to download it and listen on your iPod or other device. It's fairly long (2+ hours),


This is a historical moment indeed. Scamwagon has gone from a deeply rooted concept in my mind (and an ever-present domain name in my domain manager list) to reality. This is now a forum in which subject matter related to any of the following topics, but not exclusively , may appear: - Computers (Hardware, PHP, Multimedia, Perl, C, C++, other programming languages, homebrew software, free software) - Music (Bass guitars, multi-effects pedals, multitrack recording, midi, sequencing, home studio) - Cars (WRC, SCCA Pro Rally, diesel, probe, vegetable oil powered) - Tech (Gadgets, pda, wifi, personal audio, cellular, laptop) - Interesting personal experiences I feel like sharing (pics, movies, stories, etc.) Enjoy!