Categories
computers suck

RIP freedb.org

freedb.org is going away

Categories
Wind Things

it’s over ….

AWEA 2006, that is. Best swag was probably the places that had USB keys; yeah, they’re only 64MB, but these are big enough for tiny Linuxes or restore tools.

Freebies aside, it was a great show, and I guess a few hundred thousand business cards changed hands.

Categories
General Wind Things

drinking with the wind

I didn’t go to the AWEA banquet last night, but did sneak into the GE Wind event (to which I was semi-invited) at the Andy Warhol Museum, and then on to the Clipper event (to which I definitely wasn’t) at the insanely ornate Heinz Hall. I guess you could say that place amounted to a hill of beans.
Caught up with Norman & David Surplus of B9, whom I last saw more than a decade ago. As there was free drink, I am slightly fragile this morning.

And so to pack …

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

so it is true!

First-class airport lounges really do have free beer taps and open spirits gantries. It’s quite the opposite of the little shed that the Midwestern flights depart YYZ from.

Categories
computers suck goatee-stroking musing, or something

best beat neat nest

Beware, nerdiness follows: I generally like my BlackBerry 7130e, but its multiple letters per key can sometimes give the wrong result. Using word frequency lists from the British National Corpus, sqlite, and way too much programming time, I determined that the key sequence with the most possible word results (81?2) produces best, beat, neat or nest. The device itself suggests also brat and bray, so I should try a longer word list — in my copious free time, of course.
The longest (common words in the corpus) that have the same key sequence are employers and employees, which might briefly cause hilarity in an HR or legal context.

Categories
computers suck

Free the Laserjet 4!

I love the HP LaserJet 4+. Built like a tank, good print quality, and now available used/refurb for pennies. Sure, they weight about as much as a Sherman, and suck power like there was no tomorrow, but one of my 4+s has nearly a million on the page count, yet prints crisp and clean.

Last weekend I scored a 4+ with built in duplexer from eBay for very little. It didn’t want to print at first (giving a cryptic 13 PAPER JAM error), but removing the rather beat-up full-ream paper tray fixed that. It may need a new cartridge (at almost twice what I paid for the printer), but I’m happy.

Wonder if I can direct-connect one of them to the ethernet port on Catherine’s eMac? I know my router won’t talk AppleTalk, so we can’t network just one printer.

Categories
cars suck

i’m really sorry …

We bought a car today. We’ve been car-free for over 10 years, nearly four of them in Canada, too.

Honda Civic

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

Stewart’s long walk

After picking up my UK passport form at Bay & College, I walked to Spadina Subway. Not far, you’d say. It is if you go via College all the way to Dufferin, and back. 7.3 km, I make it, from the amazing Gmaps Pedometer. I went via Canada Computers (where I got a fantastically quiet Vantec case fan) and Soundscapes (where, of course, I bought too many CDs).

And you know why it was such a long walk? I was looking for a Timmy’s. Sad, isn’t it? It would seem that Little Italy is almost totally free of Tim’s. Yes, I know I could have had fantastic espresso and some kind of pastry there, but I wanted Tim’s, and I was prepared to walk for over an hour in sub-zero temperatures to get it, dammit.

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

the monopoly on free money

from a familiar note
It’s a licence to print money! Well, Monopoly® money, that is. But you can’t have everything; it doesn’t stop people from trying, though.

The above image is copyrighted, trademarked, service-marked and intellectually-propertized 15-ways-to-Sunday by Hasbro. I hereby acknowledge that I’m a very naughty person to have nicked it for my website, and have felt good and contrite for at least the last 5 (five) seconds. But then, since Hasbro own the rights to my earliest published writings (long story: they bought Database Publications, for whom I used to write) and are sitting on the goldmine that is the film rights to Stardodger (my first, and only, game), I think they’ve done okay from me.

Categories
o canada

Bill, the Area Man

Seems that Bill lives just around the corner. And I thought that this area was pretty much a blogger-free zone, too.

Categories
computers suck

OS bad craziness

DSL running on top of Windows XP
Yes, it’s really a linux box booting inside windows. Thank Damn Small Linux and QEMU for that.

It opens up an X session, and passes through most system services — so I was able to print to my network printer.

Categories
computers suck

Software Paul didn’t think of …

Can I just say that SimStapler is splendid?

Categories
General

blog entry for dad

My folks have been visiting for the last couple of weeks (we’re just about to leave for the airport), and Dad asked for some links we discussed. The following will probably make little or no sense to other readers:

Categories
cars suck goatee-stroking musing, or something

Rolser shopping cart

My late grandmother’s intense dislike of them notwithstanding, it looks like a shopping cart from Rolser Canada could be just the thing for the carfree-about-town. Lugging shopping bags about is teh suk.

The intensely tony Pepper Mill in Hazelton Lanes seems to be the stockist for Toronto.

Categories
computers suck goatee-stroking musing, or something o canada

ididn’tBook

For a truly soulless evening, take yourself down to the BestBuy at Scarborough Town Centre.

STC is a mega-mall, with the obligatory huge concrete and asphalt deadzone around it. Its current sales slogan is For what defines you, which must mean that its denizens are in a pretty parlous state, existentially speaking. Its only slightly attractive feature is its derelict KrispyKreme store, which opened as a flagship, then frazzled almost as quickly as a KK’s dextrose rush. Abandoned donut shops are Canada’s ruined abbeys; places of worship gone to seed.

BestBuy itself is an outcast from the mall, in an especially ped-unfriendly way. Perhaps the only defined route there is through a monster split-level Wal-Mart, but I didn’t have enough hitpoints to make it through that particular slough.

I’d checked their website, and it said that the store had iBooks in stock, at $50 below retail. Did the store have any on display? No. The Apple section was set behind the customer service desk, which was a scrum of slightly disgruntled shoppers. So I left without seeing one.

I wandered in a bit of a post big-box haze to McCowan RT, a weird little station at the very end of the rails. At least I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset over the 401 at McCowan; all boiling red and purple. That’s about the best you’ll get near STC, and for free, too.

Categories
computers suck

dealbreakers

Okay, so if I were to buy an iBook, I must be able to:

  • have virtual workspaces, like X11
  • use a compose key for accented characters
  • be able to do my usual Perl/Bash things in the terminal
  • get basic, useful applications for free.

Since I can do these things on Linux now, there’s no point in me switchin’ in the kitchen.

Categories
choons

Reverend Rico’s Travelling Roadshow

Nifty free Nettwerk Roots MP3 sampler: Reverend Rico’s Travelling Roadshow

Categories
computers suck goatee-stroking musing, or something

the word “bummer”

WordReference used to have all the Collins dictionaries available online, for free browsing. I was the main dictionary computing guy at Collins when this deal was made, and it was pretty cool to have a good, non-US English dictionary on the web.

I gues the money has run out, as the Collins data has disappeared, and the English dictionary is derived from WordNet. While I think that WordNet‘s a worthy project, it doesn’t quite compare to the Collins English Dictionary.

Oh well, it was good to know you, WordReference.