Archive for March, 2009

G1 Frustrations

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

So, finally broke down and picked up the t-mobile iphone, the G1.  So far it’s pretty nifty, though I miss being able to stretch the screen with a simple spreading of my fingers, but whatever.

1. The first annoying thing is, if you go to the android website, they show pac-man as a free app, woo hoo!

But the app isn’t in the actual marketplace, when you visit from the phone.  Talk about a major bait-and-switch.

2.  If you pause the music too long, it takes forever to unpause.

I haven’t sat down an experimented to determine the exact timeframe, but somewhere between the short-pause, and however long it took me to order my food at Subway, something goes screwy.  On the other hand, it is nice to have the ability to pause the music without having to unlock the handset, or yank the headphones, like I do with the iTouch, so it’s almost a wash.

Stupid Adobe

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

What idiots. If you install the collaborative version of acrobat, you loose your ability to view local PDFs. The only fix is to uninstall and Acrobat Air, and start over with Acrobat Reader.

Little Girl PC, You Convinced Me

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

If you watch American TV, you’ve probably seen the little girl who stitches some photos together as part of one of the cute “I’m a PC” ads.  Since I love photo-stitching, I wanted to check it out.

It turns out to work much better than my old standby, autostitch.   My first attempt is the Ghandi statue on SF Bay, which autostitch couldn’t handle.  I’m going to do some re-attempts on pano that were successful under autostitch, see what they look like under the MS version (Live Photo Gallery).

How Carrots Do It

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

A cute comic panel on carrot sex.

Tivo Fails to record Saturday Night Live

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

The error it gives in the ToDo list’s history function is “this program was not recorded because it was no longer in the program guide”, which is a lie, since I was able to see the listing in the guide still, the next morning. ah suxor.

SNL may be hit and miss, but I’m always interested in seeing what Steve Martin is up to these days.

error registering with staf rc: 21

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

You can reach your staf remotely, but on the local machine, you are getting the dreaded “RC: 21” error.  You’ve searched the web, and everyone says, “start staf”, and you say “staf is already running, see this ping from a remote box?”.

So, how long as your staf been up?  I ran into the problem on one of our boxes recently, and discovered our STAFProc had been running for 270 odd days.  Restarting him seems to have resolved our issues; now able to ping remote and local.

UPDATE2:  How to restart staf?  The recommended way is to (as root, or sudo) run /usr/local/staf/

The script handles setting up environment variables needed by the staf daemon, and redirects output to a nohup file, and is should be part of your staf install.

If you are on a Sparc Solaris box, you may find staf crashes randomly anyways.  As of yet, no solution to that problems has been found.  Wrote a simple shell script that uses pgrep to see if STAFProc is no longer running, and calls startSTAFProc if it’s not.  Just make sure you have core files set to overwrite, or you’ll soon run out of room, as each crash seems to come with one.

10% too late

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

The bug has been having a warm-start problem the last 2 years, and it got really bad last weekend, so I finally took it in. A $600 fishing expedition later, and it looks like they might have gotten the right bit replaced.

I just got an email from them, advertising St Patty’s specials, including one for 10% off any service. d’ohwell.

Free From Amazon

Friday, March 13th, 2009

I’ve been harping on Jeff Bezos, the kindle, and the lack of wishlist support (still not there), and swearing I wasn’t going to buy another paid book till they fixed it.  And indeed, I’ve been using Project Gutenberg, and, to get my books for free, reading lots of classic lit that I never was willing to pay to read.

Anna K is a good book.  Madame Bovary has been mostly underwhelming so far.

But today, I discovered the amazon tag “kindle freebies”.  There are 24 pages of actual books, and a few sorta-cliff-notes-esque summary/bibliography collections.  And they appear to really be free, though you have to assign a credit card to the transaction anyways.  Apart from the summary collections, they appear  to be decent quality and unabridged.  I bought at least 2 dozen, including stuff like The Jungle, Treasure Island, and even some modern stuff like Red Mars.  Of course, one of the first books I bought was the combo of Red Mars/Green Mars, so that one was more a curiosity.

There are a couple of romance novels by current authors, that seem to be available for free to get you hooked on the author.  Hopefully more authors will try this.

That’s a warning, not an error

Friday, March 13th, 2009

If you ever happen to be building python from source, and at the end of your make,  you notice a message along the lines of

“failed to find the necessary bits”

It’s only a warning about some apperantly optional modules; you should still go ahead and issue a “make test”, see how you feel then, before starting the hair-pulling.

Serious About Coffee

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Bryan and I are walking over to Starbucks for our morning ritual, and notice a bunch of people standing around outside the building.

“A line all the way outside?  That’s not good”


The door is locked, and now that we pay attention, we notice the flashing light inside, and the tinny buzz of a fire alarm inside.

Oh well.

But here’s the rub.

The drive-thru was still open.

Everyone in the building had to evacuate, but continuing to serve coffee was more important than the lives of mere baristas.

That’s dedication.

In all fairness, there probably wasn’t an actual fire in the building.