all men cringe

Forget the fake crap that passes for Reality TV these days! “I am Moving to Japan”: links to a Japanese show presenting a game show done right; make a mistake, get hit in the nuts!

(Ya, ok, it’s not real. it’s actually a comedy team, but the idea is sound. And the inner conflict between cringing in sympathy and laughing ’til you pee is good, too!)

posted at 8:13 am on Saturday, July 29, 2006 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on all men cringe

pointer kite?

The WindFire Designs Pointer Kite

posted at 11:57 am on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 in Links | Comments Off on pointer kite?

photo tools

“Reid”: bugged me about documenting the tools I use for photo processing and publishing:

“Irfanview”: Thumbnails – autorotate. Irfanview is a very good image viewer for Windows. I’ve always used the lossless jpeg rotator in the package. Recent versions have been shipping with Irfanview Thumbnails, which lets me do bulk autorate of my photos, based on the EXIF orientation flag which is set by an orientation sensor in both of our cameras.

“Picasa”: – photo management. I discovered Picasa when Google first bought it; I love both the photo browsing interface and the builtin “simple” photo editing tools, which do a surprisingly good job of basic edits (light balance, crops, etc.). One thing I like is that Picasa always keeps your original photo; any edits can be undone, even months later.

“Flickr”:, “Gallery”:, “Picasa Web”:, Rogers Photos – publishing. I use each for different things. Flickr has the advantage of social networking; my friends see my pictures because they have friended me. Gallery runs on my server, and I use it for blog images (including for the “rpg blogs”: Picasa Web is new from Picasa/Google; not sure if I like it yet, but it does make publishing from Picasa trivial. And Rogers Photos I use because of the “unlimited” storage for bulk pictures, like those from kite flying events.

“Unison”: – sync/backup to the main fileserver. Unison is a bidirectional file synchronization program, like rsync but it moves files in both directions, resolving conflicts appropriately. I use it so that the photo collection can be stored and edited on all four computers around here, without (too many) conflicts.

“Nero”: – backup to CD / DVD. Mentioned for completeness, and because the Roxio package that comes with the Compaq’s -sucks- doesn’t work for me (Nero came with both of my DVD writers).

“Ubuntu Dapper”: – fileserver. Also mentioned for completeness :-). The fileserver currently has 200Gb of disk, but it’s filling up again; I have a pair of 320GB drives on order, with plans to RAID-1 them together.

HP PhotoSmart 7960 – printing :-). I love this printer, even though it’s not available anymore (the new Vivera-based HP PhotoSmart printers like the 8250 are even better, from what I’ve seen). The output quality is awesome. I also have an HP LaserJet 1020 for day-to-day printing; saves wear-and-tear (and ink!).

posted at 9:13 pm on Friday, July 21, 2006 in Links, Personal | Comments Off on photo tools

tektonic review so far

With blocking SMTP in both directions, I needed an offsite backup for and related e-mail.

I’ve opened a “Virtual Private Server” account. $8/month gets me 128M of memory and 5Gb of disk space. It’s a very strange measurement, though, because the server hosts (running “Virtuozzo”: do all sorts of dynamic stuff that reduces my usage. For example, the OS binaries all appear to be linked to “master” copies outside of my VPS, so they don’t count against my quota. Memory management is also strange. The data reported by “top” doesn’t match “free”; my current guess is that virtual memory is handled by the host OS, and any pages in my processes that are swapped out don’t count against my quota.

Anyway, the net result is that I’m currently running a backup mailserver in about 500Mb of disk and 16Mb of “memory”, for $8USD/month. Nifty!

There were a couple of problems with reliability the first few days; apparently these were caused by the host server I was assigned to. After they migrated everyone off that machine to a new host, my virtual server has been solid. It’s running Debian Stable, and while I’d prefer Ubuntu Dapper, I’m not going to upgrade just yet; I’m still working on upgrading persephone, after all :-)

posted at 8:48 pm on Friday, July 21, 2006 in Personal | Comments Off on tektonic review so far


has everything:

“Monty Python’s Camelot on the Starship Enterprise”:

posted at 4:24 pm on Friday, July 21, 2006 in Humour, Links | Comments (1)
  1. David Brake says:

    It is gone from there and is now here:

    Damn that’s the funniest Youtube video I have seen yet!

    Though the Chad Vader clips here are pretty funny too:




They gradually get harder. This may eat up your day. Enjoy!

(via “Catspaw”:

*Update:* I’m stuck going from 25 to 26.

posted at 10:04 pm on Friday, July 14, 2006 in Gaming, Links | Comments Off on puzzle

never has arrived

Last Monday night Charlotte said “I’m never going to learn to steer my bike!”. By the end of the week we were riding all the way around the block without stopping. So it’s official; “Never” has arrived. It’s time to do all of those things you were never going to get to :-).

posted at 8:40 am on Monday, July 10, 2006 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Reid says:

    Hm, your Picasa pics links don’t work. But the links on the pics do work, so I got to see your shots. I didn’t realize Google was going after Flickr! Wow. And Charlotte looks gorgeous in those first communion shots.

    Are all your pics visible to the public? Or am I on a friends list of yours?

    I’m going to have to check out Picasa more carefully now. I signed up for an account (which I got instantaneously, despite the “we are handing them out slowly”-style warning) and I seem to have 250 MB of space.

    You should do a posting about the tools/websites you use. I keep finding out about cool stuff only from your use of it!

    Better still, create an account on Tech Tok and post there. I will upgrade your privs a.s.a.p. if you create one.

    Hm, maybe this should have been in email. Oh well!