The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Two projects I would really like to work on, but don't have the time (</pitiful excuse>):
  • A de-grain filter for my birthday present (nope, it's not a wallet), because the gauss blur is too blurry and the smoothers don't get all the noise. It would read a mask of the CMOS grain I would prepare for the device and apply color correction to counter (or at least minimize) the effects. I have a rough idea on how one goes about writing a program like that (VirtualDub filter API + common sense + peeking at open source smoother filters). That would actually make the gift somewhat useable.
  • An XML-RPC component for Winamp3 that would reply with current track's details and upon authorization even allow one to control the program (basic controls + playlist). Lyrics3 support is obvious, the rest is ID3. A Trillian plug-in does it, so it's possible. A second part, the client, would build a web component based on that info.
    Again, I know how to use the WA3 component API, I know a bit about http servers (lots of open source stuff there), XML-RPC libraries are available. I have no idea how to implement SSL for authorization, but I'm sure that can be arranged. The client part can be built off FFDB code-base (play-list, author-list, what's the difference?).
The second project has more future as it would interest other people and I would receive certain amount of help from seasoned coders. It could even get hosted on sourceforge and become a full blown open community thing (only when the Linux port for WA3 is done, and the Lyrics3 support is integrated into the file-info component (or a standard Lyrics3 component with a good API is ready)), especially if someone like Justin put it on his home page. We all know those will never be done. You know what's sad? I know I can do this. No foolin', I can. I'm not Avery Lee or Peter-Paul Koch, I don't hang around /. and I don't hack up Perl code for fun (yet ;) ), and my skills are amateurish at best, but I am certain I can do it. There is the capability, and from time to time the inspiration, but the determination to actually do something? I'm willing to bet I'm the laziest @ss on earth.
Forced Focus is a dream (nay, it's a poor, weak, excuse for further procrastination! *pulls a Dobby*), but what it boils down to is the old saying: "God helps those who help themselves". (*that's the spirit! See how smart you are? No need to do any more productive stuff today, you've fulfilled the quota. Go munch through half of GT and then rant about how bad it is*) I hope that when I read these lines a year (or ten) from now, I will not want to strangle myself the way I wanted when reading something from last year's archives.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Mouse Gestures is the second best thing after friction. Almost. All you people still using M$IE - this is as good a reason as any to upgrade. BTW, I'm not using Mozilla anymore. Too much bloat. I've changed to Phoenix. It's KISS for Mozilla, my kind of thing. Only version 0.4, and it's very nice. I'm looking forward to 1.0. Found a really, really, really nice tree widget for fully dynamic tree navigation in javascript. Much better than what you see to the left. But, I'm rather proud of what you see to he left, because I created it with zero knowledge of proper DHTML coding. When I'm done with the box class (that is Malfoy-level overconfidence) I'm going to redesign my Container class to be cool as this one, but don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I've just had a Design Idea. What if the main window was a scrollable static box? That is, the browser content will not be scrollable, but the text inside a box will be. The Nav box will not be moving at all, of course. If anyone is interested in seeing this, I can make it happen for some 24 hours - just tell me (if comments aren't working please use email). In TM2, this behavior will be configurable (customizable box size, location, scrollability, color, border properties).

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Looks like JavaScript was intended to be interpreted once-only per run-time. I'm still working on it though. Why does Elizabeth assume I have some ulterior motives at asking questions? And who am I supposed to ask, dudes who have just learned the difference between boxers and briefs? A vast source of information, they are.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

While I work on "on demand" loading of the quotes script, kindly explain the differences between a corset and a bustier, if any. Inquiring teenage minds want to know. Leslie, I think this is your department. ;) Note: you can employ graphical aids (PG-13), but you may not rely entirely on graphics.

Friday, October 25, 2002

I just got it why it's called The Gryffindor Tower. They write the worst fanfic in the fandom and they have the guts to publish it online. If I wrote something like that, I'd die of embarrassment if anyone ever found out. This constitutes flaming. I wanted to try it for size. Doesn't suit me, I think. But they really have to re-edit everything they have published if they ever want to have any respect. I love the ship, I really do, but the implementation� except for some very few good fics (such as A&Z's, Emily's, Irina's and Imogen's), it's all very� plebe. Like they're all twelve (which wouldn't surprise me the least).
Ok, I need to get this straight. If we disregard law (state, federal and divine) and judge by the socially accepted (i.e. tolerated), what is the current status on underage sex in the States? I'm reading this fic, and it's totally impossible, like it's a parody or something. I will be more inclined to support reformed !Draco than the notion that Molly Weasley is going to accept the possibility of her 14 y/o only daughter having sex just because "it feels right". Yeah, and who's gonna raise that brood when you're supposed to do your O.W.L.s, girl? Not enough spankin', I'm telling ya.
Am rethinking my view on smut. Mr. Carole Estes is one lucky guy, for the bed time stories he's likely getting. Oh yeah, I have no shipping loyalty whatsoever. D/G just bumped R/H out of the running as my second favorite ship. It's IC alright, but it's so dull! (one could, of course, argue that Ron has the hair, but I'm just not into that kind of stuff)

HP Fandom - BNF

Anyone emailing me a verifiable photo of Cassandra Claire in which you can actually see her face gets anything she wants (that I can provide, of course).

For any one concerned: this is not for stalking or sniping purposes. Honest.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Am so wasted. Low alcohol tolerance SUX.
The Second Hint 3 words, 40 letters. file is data.koi8-r.base64.asc.rar.grouped Now everyone can decode it, I believe.
I can't believe I've forgot about this fic. It R0X. A bit weird, but funny. And also reminds me of Caitlyn's Letters From Home (Potter/Malfoy, Malfoy/Potter, NOT slash! ;) ).

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

How truly sad. :-( Frank is spinning in his grave, I bet. How dare they, milk such a thing for money? Christopher didn't live up to his father's legacy too, but at least he knew not to mess with it (too badly, that is).

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

To quote a redhead: give me loff.
Hermione stomped her foot in annoyance. "Ron, please! Don't be so vulgar! Even if Harry and Ginny were going at it three times a night and all day on Sundays, they won't be "shagging" - they'll be making love! Don't belittle what they have like that!"

- Ruskbyte, Order of The Phoenix, Chapter Thirty: Musings and Hints

Oh, that's good to know, especially because Ginny's only 14, but wasn't the expression "every night and twice on Sunday"? Oh, sorry, I forgot, he's Harry The Boy Who Can Go On All Night Potter. ::rollseyes::

your and you're are not the interchangeable. Keep it in mind if you don't want to get flamed. The job of an editor at a publisher is to uphold a certain level of quality amongst the creative staff (and, of course, keep the staff working on the political angle the publisher stands for). When slacking, the editor puts the publisher's reputation on the line, next to the author's. Clearly, has no self respect to uphold. Sorry Imogen.
It seems that The Challenge is too difficult. I will give you people clues. Every letter of the clue will cost the winner a week of her year's benefits. First clue, a major one. Two words, 10 letters. John Walker.
Have read a random H/G fic from Would've been much better if it was proofread prior to being published. And if it wasn't so cliché. But you know what? I still liked it. I'm a sucker for cliché H/G. And Bigger is, if not better, at least more impressive. I think I'll read the sequels.

Monday, October 21, 2002

More about LyricsAmp. It appears that many people get to this site by searching for a plug-in/component for the Winamp player that provides automatic lyrics search and retrieve for the currently playing track. I find it odd, but that is simply the way search engines work. In order to help those people, here are two links. One is for LyricsAmp and the other for another similar component. Both are to their pages on LyricsAmp and Lyrix. I have used both and decided they are about equal. Both have no problem finding popular songs, both do have a problem with the rare songs (that I've had no trouble finding on google), but Lyrix features an editor and saves to plaintext files and/or Lyrics3 tags inside the mp3 files themselves. LyricsAmp does not. Therefore, I use the former. Both clearly need some additional work to become really good. Their main drawback, of course, is that you must have correct entries in the ID3 tags, including correct spelling (a big problem with mp3s tagged by hand. People, use CDDB/FreeDB, it will make life so much easier!). Otherwise, the idea is solid. If only it was implemented through something like XML-RPC and not the web, we could save a lot of bandwidth. And some stricter quality control (I've spotted errors sometimes, and I'm not a very critical reader). I, of course, am NOT affiliated with Winamp, Nullsoft or the creators of the two components. I'm just a user, same as you. Comment here only if you have something to say to me. Have a good day and don?t forget to leave a review for the author at the component's page if you've used it and have something to say.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Have decided to catch up on my Sci-Fi reading while I'm being too lazy to implement TM2. I'm not entirely sure I'm enjoying classic cyberpunk that much. Alternating the refined cerebral with the carnal corporeal certainly achieves some realism in adapting to the male geek's brainwave patterns, but to me it taints the story. It cannot be denied that we are all biological creatures trying to reproduce and nature has some very effective ways of making us always keep it in mind, but, some of us, some of the time, go above that. So, when a person is actually reading something that requires thought, why should it be "spiced" every few pages with talk about "penises"? To keep the reader intrigued? What kind of audience is it aimed at? Or is the book supposed to be read in one sitting and should therefore provide jerk-off breaks, like TV sports programs have built-in bathroom breaks, required for the beer-drinking audience? Don't they think that a reader who has successfully wedged though a whole chapter about the philosophy of mathematics can be trusted to be able to use a bookmark when he needs a break? Maybe it's just my reaction that is "off". I should re-read some Asimov to verify and calibrate if necessary. After all, "abstention" wasn't even in his heroes' vocabulary. And yet, while reading Simmons not so long ago, I wasn?t bothered at all. Is it just my good taste being offended, or is it something more?

Saturday, October 19, 2002

LOL. That is a meaningful gift for my tech friend, if I can ever find it here (and afford it).
I've been playing with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Jung's theory of personality type) lately. It's interesting, but it's not very precise. For example, I can clearly see my father is a classic ISTJ, but I have a tough time categorizing myself. I'm either a not so analytical INTP or a not so confident INTJ. And heck, at times, I can see that S in there too (mostly in combination with the J). I wonder how much of this is hardwired inherited predisposition, how much is learned and how much can be changed in an adult. Also, I wonder if I would even want to change if I could. A good way to find out how well you truly know your friends though. I was unable to sort them all. We're all probably too introvert to know each other well enough. How sad, when you think of it.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Yo, it's a real problem. Two people came here looking for a piece of software I've only mentioned by name, once. I didn't say a thing about it, nor provided a link (fixed now), and google still thought my page was the 3d best resource on the subject (not even listing the software's or its creator's home page, or a possible download location).
Bwahaha! Google strikes again. Some poor Opera user's search for LyricsAMP has lead him/her to my (very informative) blog. Anyway, it appears some people using google will have real trouble finding the thing, so I'm being a good netizen and providing a link. Also, I just found out I was number 1 for Israeli personal page in Nedstats's rating, and I didn't even know it.
Stupid Y2K echo. today.getYear() is depricated in Mozilla's JavaScript in the name of Netscape 4x compatibility. Must use getFullYear() instead. Why must they be backwards compatible with bugs??? Edit: After some research, I have located an explanation. It's still stupid, but at least I now know why. See Bugzilla reports #22964 and #45764.
The scare is over. Fear the molex connector, for it can and will mess with your mind. When unsure - go to sleep. All will be made clear in the morning.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Birthday Challenge

Something horrible happened today. My trusty WD400BB is very ill and not responding. I'm afraid it's fatal. I'm showing it to the doctor tomorrow, and if it doesn't help we'll be forced to pronounce him dead. It can be replaced, but not the (unbacked-up) data on it. That's anywhere between 1-3GB of stuff collected over the years, including stuff by me not available anywhere else. Like, the source code for this blog. FFDB stuff are archived, thankfully, and so are the rest of the very important stuff, but I've lost a lot (phonebooks etc.). It's a sad, sad day.

What I haven't lost is the Official Wolf550e Birthday Challenge I've made yesterday, and I now present to you. Solving it will grant you one full year of special stuff (24/7 tech support included) and rights to bug me. I do believe the algebric method is simpler, but some people are just bad at math. This is kind of a guessing game, real knowledge or skills not required (I'm not going to have you try to break cryptographic military level codes or something). Guess the algorithms (or sites where they're from), decode, repeat. BTW, until I have Word installed, you'll have to tolerate the bad spelling.


Have fun.

The Doom III article from December's PC Gamer very interesting. Too bad my rig won't pull it at anything higher than 640x480, but then again -- 'Old Faithful' was built to handle Carmack's previous engine (and it did, magnificently). I'll wait for the killer price/performance in H2 '03 probably. An overclocked ClawHammer with nv35 sounds good. :D For all those confused souls who are scratching their heads - I'm talking about the next big thing in consumer computer graphics, software-wise, and its hardware requirements ( = $$$).
So I'm cheating. Anyway, web publishing gives better access than email. "Welcome to the next edition of getting to know your friends. What you're supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that you'll send. Change all of the answers so they apply to you. Then, send this to a whole bunch of people you know *INCLUDING* the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you'll learn a lot of little known facts about your friends." So here we go... 1. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? You're going to kill me *g*. Anywhere from 9am to noon. I really try to make it not later than noon, because it's very difficult to get back to waking up "early" after that. 2. IF YOU COULD EAT LUNCH WITH ONE FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? to quote RJA: JKR. 3. GOLD OR SILVER? Silver. Definitely. Slyth beats Gryff anytime! ;) 4. WHAT WAS THE LAST FILM YOU SAW AT THE CINEMA? I don't remember. Let me check my wallet (I keep movie tickets). Minority Report. My next one will be CoS, but I really don't know when I'll watch TTT. Oh, and I will definitely watch (and be disappointed by) both Matrix sequels, and Nemesis. 5. FAVORITE TV SHOWS? I don't watch TV. Actually, I don't even have a hooked up TV set right now, and I don't notice the loss. Of those that are currently running: Enterprise. Of past shows I've watched on TV: Babylon5, DS9, TNG, ER, Law & Order, and I've forgot some good ones I'm sure. Of those I've pirated: "Undergrads", by far the best thing on TV, ever. Get it on Kazaa, 13 episodes all together; it will rock your world. 6. WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? What ever I find in the fridge that can be eaten without being chewed. 7. WHAT WOULD YOU HATE TO BE LEFT IN A ROOM WITH? My mom :-O. I love her, but we can only tolerate each other for short periods of time, then we start to get on each other's nerves. I hope to grow out of this stage soon, honest. 8. CAN YOU TOUCH YOUR NOSE WITH YOUR TONGUE? Damn. That's an important courting skill, that is! I must practice. ;) 9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? people who "made it" relying solely on their own abilities. It reminds me that it can be done. 10. WHAT'S YOUR MIDDLE NAME? look it up in the thread. 11. BEACH, CITY, or COUNTRY? if it has running water, gas, electricity, broadband and a self-refilling fridge, I don't care here it is. Since usually these requirements are easier to get in the city, I choose that. 12. SUMMER OR WINTER? Spring :p. if I must choose -- summer, but somewhere farther from the equator than here. 13. FAVORITE ICE CREAM? plain vanilla. 14. BUTTERED, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN? no popcorn, please. 15. FAVORITE COLOR? solid non shiny black. 16. FAVORITE CARS? canary-yellow Lamborghini Diablo, probably. No, wait, I know! A McLaren F1. But I could never drive one even if I owned it. I think I'll aim for a Volvo. 17. FAVORITE SANDWICH FILLING? hummus in a pita. With pickles. 18. TRUE LOVE? fairytale. Hope dies last, though. 19. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU DESPISE? hypocrisy, dangerous carelessness and laziness. 20. FAVORITE FLOWER? saguaros Selenicereus grandiflorus (Queen of the Night cactus) 21. IF YOU HAD A BIG WIN IN THE LOTTERY, HOW LONG WOULD YOU WAIT TO TELL PEOPLE? lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. 23. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BATHROOM? when I'll design mine, I'll tell you. My parents' bathroom what light cyan (I think). Anyway, I'm male and colorblind. I can only name 7 colors. :P 24. HOW MANY KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? 3 :-( 25. WHERE WOULD YOU RETIRE TO? a cabin in Montana ;) (RJA: you're invited, as soon as there's viable peace in the region) 26. CAN YOU JUGGLE? IF YES HOW MANY? Only two, which I don't think counts. 27. FAVORITE DAY(s) OF THE WEEK: Sunday. Because my parents go to work. I am a bad person. 28. RED OR WHITE WINE? mineral water, please. 29. WHAT DID YOU DO FOR YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? absolutely nothing. This year I'll go visit my friends in the dorms and watch Leslie do 7th grade algebra. -Wolf550e

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Responding to this. The sorry state of English grammar seen in technical documentation and the lack of a good grasp in basic computer usage skills exhibited by literary enthusiasts leads me to believe lit. geeks and tech. geeks should get together more often (in and out of clothes and wedlock*). Thus coders can learn the difference between there, their and they're and fantasy readers can learn how to successfully utilize WinZip, Outlook Express and the Yahoo!Groups web interface. This is my plan for both bandwidth conservation and suicide prevention. And to wrap it up: everyone who doesn't know what "win3.11" is, please leave a comment. I want to know how many of you I'm dealing with. Yes, I'm being a condescending prat. It's a technophile's occupational hazard, same as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. * - that makes for "c) controversial" ;)
This "Internet" thing is more dangerous than I thought. Using alternative search engines I was able to find my other email address, my birthday and my hardware configuration.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

My computer just restarted due to lightning. I can't afford a UPS right now. :-(
I know, I know, but Cassie's LJ is the funniest thing since May 11th 2001. Her stuff inspires others. Just look here.
Will you look at that! The XML Bible comes not only with the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Quran but also with the Book of Mormon in its examples. What seems like the entire works of Shakespeare looks handy as well. I love XML.
LyricsAMP R0X! Nuff said.
I can't chew, and I'm losing weight. It's not good for me. This hurts. I'm going to shush my male ego and get me some Midol. Alex, next time I see him, better lock away his tools.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Oh, and another thing. DV is no longer the ambiguously gay fic. It's just gay now.

Personal - Future Prospects Uncertain

I've failed the "job interview". They were quick with it. I'm glad.

Curious as I am about what they want to do with me next, I have no idea who to ask. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Now that I've finally downloaded the TTT trailer (I think doubling the article is not redundant in this case, like in saying "the alcohol", furthermore, I believe the first article is for the "trailer" part), I can say I like it. But, I'm not sure I like what they've done with the Elves. Prof. Tolkien didn't write what Elrond (what "gift of foresight"?) thought about giving his only daughter to a <Quark>human</Quark>, and I'm not sure sacrificing canon-correctness to make a better story (the parents of the bride must work against the groom, it's so romantic... *bleh*) is a good thing.

Personal - Broadband

I. Have. DSL.

I also have an appointment with my orthodontist, who is now 2 hours away.

I have been led to believe the problem was complete lack of communication between the front end and the backend @ Bezeq. The nice but ignorant and incompetent front-end interface assured me it was the backend API's fault. I believe it is a filthy lie, because the backend API is not only overly prompt (2 hours since first hearing about me, I have connection), but is also multilingual.

ex-Russian techs: 1
Stupid sweet-tongued bitches: 0

ETA: Here, we can observe the initial signs of the subject's deep rooted disrespect and dislike of help desk personnel. The causes of such a condition have not been satisfactorily explained to date.

Friday, October 11, 2002

No broadband for me this weekend, it seems. Might as well go to the beach. Oh wait, I forgot - It's an hour drive! </sarcasm>

Thursday, October 10, 2002

I should have DSL by tomorrow afternoon. But of course, tomorrow is a Friday, so if it's not ready by noon it will be done on Sunday. How much would you want to bet on it not being done by noon?

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Been promised I'll have DSL within 48 hours. For the 3d time in the last week. In other news, the beta version of the new Quotes System should be online in a minute. Check it out.

Monday, October 07, 2002

We went to a park to hang out, grill some meat and drink some beer (aka male bonding). It turned out pretty well, although I think lighting a fire should not be such a difficult task for two physics majors, two com.sci. majors and a military coder/tech. And I hate beer. And we were camped some 10 feet away from some very hungry wasps' nest. And the future weapons development officer was... himself (entertaining, granted, but also, putting it mildly, tiresome). Also, they stole all my CDs, swearing they'll return them by my birthday, but I'm telling you now - I've erased those from my inventory list. BTW, they've forgot to bring me my toothbrush and left a pen and a beer bottle (those will probably still be waiting for their return, but only if they bring my CDs back. And I don't mean the pr0n). Still no DSL, been told the local chief is handling it now. If it's not available here I'm renting a spare room at my friend's house and paying for it. In other news, the current winXP partition is showing all signs of needing a wipe and reformat, urgently.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Monster is the cutest. I loff Caitlyn's work.
Unless I get a definite answer by evening about my DSL line, tomorrow I'm going to go there in person and demand to see the techs who are working on it. The "get lost" lines from their secretaries are getting pretty old.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Emily, remember on your blog you ranted about not going swimming because you can't see anything without your glasses? I sympathize. I and my friends were at a water park today and I was without my glasses most of the time. Been told I've missed quite a lot, but really, I can't stare when it's too obvious - it's embarrassing the girls who already have to go out of their way to behave as if they're not noticing anything.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Personal - Moved

Hi all!

I'm at the new place (my computer, unlike some other stuff, has been thankfully unaffected by the move), making the first uneasy steps in the new town. It's not that bad so far.

The utter incompetence of the national telecommunications company is simply staggering. It took them 4 days to connect a phone line on perfectly good though recently disconnected hardware. Not only that but they have been experiencing "mild technical difficulties" that have been preventing them from connecting the DSL for 2 more days (and still counting) while I suffer from full-blown withdraw symptoms.

In the mean time I have been out celebrating my new place, my two friends' completion of basic training and my three other friends' move to Tel-Aviv University's dorms (quite worthy of Teri's pen that procedure was, let me tell you!).

On Oct. 1st I've been to the final (I think) stage of my own "job hunt". You understand why I Siriusly cannot elaborate on that, but I suspect that I have royally screwed it and will probably be kicked down to a position slightly lower on the coolness factor scale. Since my mommy is not marrying the second heir to the throne any time soon, I think I'll do fine without the emperor's personal com. card, so I'm not complaining. ;)

I did not yet have the time to check up on my net life, but I will as soon as I can.

Take care,

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