East of the Sun, West of the Moon


About time!

Filed under: Technology — Erwin @ 5:33 pm

TDK developed a more scratch-proof layer for DVDs:

Two years ago TDK, a maker of tape and disc-based recording media, began developing what was initially a single-layer coating to make DVDs more resistant to scuffing. But the new coating is far tougher, and it is transparent to the full spectrum of visible light rather than just a DVD’s red laser, so it can also be used to protect the plastic surface of colour liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

Having seen how fast CDs and DVDs can become all scratched up (even if there are no children involved), I can’t wait until actual discs using this layer make it to the market!

Time flies.

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 3:55 pm

Some time ago I subscribed myself to a few Google Alerts, so typically once a day I get an update on new items it found in various news outfits on the net that match the keywords I asked it to look for.

Usually, because every now and then you get something like this:

Google Alerts <…> Google Alert for: … (10 hours ago)
Google Alerts <…> Google Alert for: … (4 minutes ago)

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Emphasis mine, and yes these are two alerts for the same set of keywords. They either can’t keep or they occasionally have very short days. 🙂



Filed under: Technology — Erwin @ 1:45 pm

Just walked through Wal-Mart and couldn’t resist this coffee grinder:
[Mr Coffee Grinder, IDS77]
Will it make my coffee taste better? No idea, but it can’t get worse, now can it? Wait, that sounds all wrong…

E – 3

Filed under: News — Erwin @ 11:17 am

Man, I wish this presidential election was over already. It seems as if not a single news site, including the tech related ones that I read, is without some article or another that touches on it.

In more interesting news, the internet supposedly turned 35 recently:

Kleinrock said he predicted in 1969 that the small network would eventually expand across the globe, making a vast amount of information accessible at any time from anywhere in the world.

“The part I missed… was that my 97-year-old mother would be on the internet today,” he said.

What does my choice of Linux distribution (Debian) say about me:

This distribution is popular with those who always count in binary, and are politically correct in a free software kind of way. Many are suspected of having been nursed on a TTY. Debian users take pride in the fact that their distribution is always several releases behind the latest version of the kernel, but makes up for that by being more difficult to install and use.

Generalizations can be so… wrong. 😛

My still-favourite Go-server KGS is creating a for-pay subscription service at $5 per month that certainly won’t make me go broke but I’m not sure I have the time and energy to make use of what they’re offering, so I’ll pass, for now. Not to mention that I’ve been spending most of my Go playing time on DGS lately. Maybe when I have a few more round tuits available?


Javascript, love or hate

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 10:19 pm

Mostly I hate it. I think. It’s quite handy to spice up a webpage with little bits of javascript, like auto-submit pull-down menus and such, but once you get beyond trivial, you find out that what you want can be done, sure, but only if you focus on one particular browser, browser version, or platform. There are differences between IE javascript and Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox javascript that are so pointless, it’s painful to read about it. The same IE browser behaves differently on a Mac or a Windows PC because they apparently had two different teams working on something that has otherwise an identical version number. There are things you can do with the Gecko engine that can’t be done with IE javascript, and vice versa. Oh, and then there’s other browsers that just lack both ways, which isn’t a particularly brilliant compromise, really.

Today’s (and yesterday’s) fun was with figuring out the cursor position in a textarea. It can be done with the Gecko engine. In fact it’s bloody easy, you just query the start/end position of the marked text. If they are the same that’s where the cursor is, if not, you’re dealing with a selected piece of text. Then there’s IE. Oh yes. I don’t think they could possibly have made it any more difficult, if they had tried. Why they didn’t simply add the same attributes that Gecko has? No idea. Stubborness, perhaps. The most annoying part is that in IE you have to be really careful or you can really mess with people’s heads and end up modifying the textarea contents just because you’re trying to figure out where the cursor is! And then my (still) favourite browser, Opera. It doesn’t have either one of these methods available. So at the best you can add text at the end of the textarea contents, and pretend that’s useful. I really hope they’ll choose the sane Gecko approach in their next version but I’m not holding my breath.



Filed under: General — Erwin @ 12:30 pm

Hey, question, do you have a headache? No? Would you like one? Yes? Ok, cool, then go to this website (I’m not even sure what its purpose is, to be honest) and you’ll likely have one soon.


What’s new today

Filed under: News — Erwin @ 9:48 am

What caught my eye this morning:

There, now you know everything I know. 😉


Maildir vs. Mbox

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 6:05 pm

Maildir is useful in that it doesn’t require locking so the SMTP, POP3 and IMAP servers can fiddle around without too much worrying, but when someone has 4 GB worth of it in a single folder that all by itself is already over 10 MB in size, that advantage becomes more something of a burden and makes you wish that it was all one big mbox file, instead. Especially if you want to keep that data in sync with a copy elsewhere using rsync. It will do it, sure, but if does not appreciate having to go through huge folders like the one mentioned above and memory usage goes a little crazy.


Deja duh

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 12:03 pm

From today’s update at Electoral Vote:

Here is an example of the kind of issue that might turn Ohio into Florida.. Take a look at the absentee ballot for Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located. Suppose you wanted to vote for George Bush. Which square would you fill in? If you picked the one I colored in green, congratulations, you just threw your vote away. The one in red is the correct choice to vote for George Bush. Blue is for Kerry.

Why does everybody want to reinvent the wheel and make it a square one while they’re at it? 🙁


Nuff is nuff

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 12:10 pm

Ok, this was the week from hell, or something. We just had to reboot two machines because a RAID attached to one of them was misbehaving. 🙁

It’s weekend now, you hear? Weekend! Time to do fun stuff, like, err… doing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, diningroom, etc. Bah. 🙂 Where’s that tropical island with broadband that I was promised at one point? I’d take you up on that offer now, really, I would.

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