East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2006/7/31

Colorado Springs

Filed under: Family,OS X,Software — Erwin @ 8:47 pm

Garden of the GodsBeen busy, and that’s not counting the 12 hour road-trip back yesterday!

  • Garden of the Gods, for some climbing, posing, wandering, and then a picnic for lunch.
  • Flying W Ranch provided some background information, dinner, and entertainment. A limited menu for dinner, but what they had, was well done.
  • Pike’s Peak Cog Railway took us up to the 14,110 foot high summit of Pike’s Peak, where I found out that the lack of oxygen didn’t combine well with a sunburn headache and possibly some influence from the cold meds. Woo! My ears also took much longer than expected to readjust, which I’ll blame on my cold for now.
  • Manitou Cliff Dwellings, while apparently authentic enough, didn’t quite live up to expectations. The kids got to climb around a lot, but likely would’ve had just as much fun in, say, Garden of the Gods, which is free.

And between that of course a healthy amount of getting to know M‘s cousins, plus their spouses and kids. Even though occasionally I felt the need to zone out (mostly because of headaches caused by a cold), it was very much an enjoyable couple of days.

Bringing the laptop along turned out to be useful as well, to check directions to one place or another, and to burn images grabbed from a camera’s memory stick onto CD so that it could be emptied and reused for more snapshots. 🙂

What irritated a bit is that Firefox (and Thunderbird, but that’s less distracting) don’t use OS X’s system proxy settings, so when changing those in some way (switching Locations or manually) you still need to go in and fix it for them separately. I see there’s a switchproxy plugin available but that doesn’t make it as seamless as I’d like it to be.

Using Thunderbird (IMAP accounts in this case) also required some ssh-tunneling magic because my IMAP server is only visible on my local network. Still couldn’t send email, but that wasn’t a great loss. 😉 I may look into IMAP’s email sending support, though.

2006/7/27

Greetings from Denver!

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 1:58 am

We arrived safely after a *checks time* 12 hour trip (stops included), which I think means we averaged 55 mph. Not bad? Missed out on the whole mountains in the horizon that just don’t seem to get any closer effect because it was cloudy (rain and thunder). Drat, but maybe next time. The AAA TripTik print-out worked out beautifully with correct directions all the way into the hotel parking lot, and now I’m using their (Holiday Inn Express, that is) free (as far as I can tell) wireless to browse around a little and check weather forecasts and such. Joy.

I expect to be busy in the next few days while I’m spending time with in-law family members I have never before encountered, then driving back home on Sunday.

Have a good week-end and weekend, everybody. 🙂

2006/7/21

Shiny!

Filed under: OS X — Erwin @ 6:26 pm

MacBook ProTo replace the definitely-not-functional-now laptop I gave in and bought a MacBook Pro, with the idea in mind that it would also replace the Mac Mini which would then, in the near future, be rotated to a general purpose (a.k.a kid) computer.

For starters, Apple continues to make a good habit of under-promising and over-delivering with respect to shipping and delivery times. I noticed that with the Minis and it happened again now, with the shipment showing up 4 days earlier than it was originally indicated. It’s a little thing, but it adds to the positive experience.

What also continues to impress is the design of the hardware, which simply shines. Slick.

The wifi hardware appears to be better prepared to squeeze a few more kilobytes out of the static than any other cards we currently have (ignoring the Minis, which have always been in the same room as the access point) so I hope to be able to work from the porch and patio occasionally. Well, when it isn’t 105 Fahrenheit outside anyway (in the shade, no less)!

Apparently sleep mode really means hibernation, which is good for battery life of course.

The most fun will be to migrate the various applications. Ran into some trouble with Thunderbird this morning, which means I may have to recreate the IMAP accounts and then copy the various things back in, like filter-rules. Hopefully other applications will be easier.

Linkage on 2006-07-20

Filed under: Linkage — Erwin @ 2:00 am

Solio – Portable Hybrid Solar Charger
Something to keep in mind. Given how much sun we get in these parts, it’s quite silly to waste it.
(tags: energy solar technology)

2006/7/19

Linkage on 2006-07-18

Filed under: Linkage — Erwin @ 2:00 am

Captcha Mashup
An amusing alternative approach, similar to the select the pictures with cats/dogs/etc to prove you’re not a robot concept.
(tags: software)

Dutch court lets paedophile party contest country’s general election
Allow them and let the votes do the talking, basically. It makes sense, although as the past has shown the so-called protest-votes can skew the results and cause them to actually get one or more seats in the parliament.
(tags: netherlands news politics)

Mark’s Sysinternals Blog: On My Way To Microsoft
Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated?
(tags: microsoft news software)

Microsoft buddies up with open source rival
The long term implication could be that others (Apple, for instance) will work harder to also support Xen, as dom0 or other.
(tags: linux microsoft osx software)

Brits Float Solar Boat
It may seem like a small step, but the good part is the research and development that’s gone into this and that may now be applied to other more common vehicles and equipment in general.
(tags: news technology)

2006/7/18

Linkage on 2006-07-17

Filed under: Linkage — Erwin @ 1:39 pm

Fuel Conservation No Idle Matter at UPS
Saving fuel cost by preferring right turns over left turns. Hmm, will the trip planning websites start doing that too, soon? I’m confused about the comment regarding always turning off their vehicle, even when just for a few seconds. I thought starting
(tags: fuel news software technology)

Discovery makes Florida landing
I’ll drink to that and hope that the next flight won’t be placed under the microscope like this one.
(tags: news space technology)

US government told to take its hands off internet
Agreed. Too much going on behind closed doors that shouldn’t be.
(tags: internet net neutrality news politics)

2006/7/17

Spamvertized

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 6:32 pm

Just for the hell of it I’m putting together a list of things for which I receive spam.

  • Casino, blackjack, poker, etc websites
  • Dating sites (Russian and other)
  • Free gifts (Armani, (Hugo) Boss, Versace)
  • Financial advice (stock, loans)
  • Medicine (viagra, cialis, ambien, valium, hoodia, xanax, tamiflu, meridia, levitra, soma, tramadol)
  • Software (Windows XP, Corel Draw, Photoshop, Encarta, Borland Delphi, …)
  • Watches (Cartier, Omega, Rolex, …)

Of course the spammers also invoke the names of known institutions to sound reliable:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • VISA

Why don’t we hear more complaints from these brands, or are they profiting too much from the spam (any news is good news, any attention is good attention) and don’t care?

2006/7/16

Linkage on 2006-07-15

Filed under: Linkage — Erwin @ 2:00 am

Rembrandt’s 400th birthday marked
Sounds like fun.
(tags: entertainment history netherlands)

Space shuttle moves away from ISS
Almost homeward bound.
(tags: news space technology)

Textual harassment
Does iChat not have a block this user feature then? Surely…
(tags: im osx software)

2006/7/15

Shoot in foot

Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 6:43 pm

Running a website/server with mod_security turned on is all fine and dandy, but in the end it doesn’t seem to be much more than a few hardcoded pattern-checks, like fopen. (I realize that it’s really more than that, but that’s the part I tripped over.) And as it happens, I use fopen() in one of the static pages, to read a file (with statistics) that is updated regularly. Not a problem, as long as I don’t try to edit the page. Hrm.

Ok, so while I’m working on these pages (finally getting around to fixing some problems that I ran into after the upgrade to WP 2.0), that check is turned off, and when I hope I’m done, I’ll turn it back on.

Sheesh. 🙂

Linkage on 2006-07-14

Filed under: Linkage — Erwin @ 2:00 am

Wal-Mart lowers shoplifting bar
Have at it, folks!
(tags: news weird)

CIA agent in leak furore sues Cheney and White House aides
That was only a matter of time, surely? Let’s see how that works out.
(tags: bush politics)

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