Thursday, February 28, 2008

my boss better not be reading this!

i did it. i wasted today. i spent almost all day playing Rat Pack on Facebook. yes, i feel like a louse. but it was fun! i don't want to do it again, though - too risky to doing anything useful!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

xkcd strikes again - this time with fruity goodness!

f**k grapefruit. by the way, if you read xkcd, check the image properties. sometimes he puts the really funny stuff in the image title.

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On Creativity (but mostly a rant about Lifehacker)

as with email, subscribing to a feed, especially a very frequently updated blog like Lifehacker is a mixed blessing. you can get lots of 'spam' when you subscribe to such a feed ('spam' meaning things you're not interested in). or you can get some really cool stuff, like this article on creativity. personally, i think Lifehacker is really cool - but there's so much there, i have to train myself to ignore things or i'll never get anything done. that said, Gina and the Lifehacker crew do a great job. but when do they actually get round to doing anything else? :D

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

As a man thinketh

Got this in my mail recently. Thanks to cable-t-y. PLS GET TO THE END of it! There are two nuns. One of them is known as Sister Mathematical (SM) and the other one is known as Sister Logical (SL). It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent. SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past thirty-eight and a half minutes? I wonder what he wants. SL: It's logical. He wants to rape us. SM: Oh, no! At this rate he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most. What can we do? SL: The only logical thing to do of course is to walk faster. SM: It's not working SL: Of course it's not working. The man did the only logical thing. He started to walk faster too. SM: So, what shall we do? At this rate he will reach us in one minute. SL: The only logical thing we can do is split. You go that way and I'll go this way. He cannot follow us both. So the man decided to follow Sister Logical. Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried what has happened to Sister Logical. Then Sister Logical arrives. SM: Sister Logical! Thank God you are here! Tell me what happened! SL: The only logical thing happened. The man couldn't follow us both, so he followed me. SM: Yes, yes! But what happened then? SL: The only logical thing happened. I started to run as fast as I could and he started to run as fast as he could. SM: And? SL: The only logical thing happened. He reached me. SM: What did you do? SL: The only logical thing to do. I lifted my dress up. SM: Oh, Sister! What did the man do? SL: The only logical thing to do. He pulled down his pants. SM: Oh, no! What happened then? SL: Isn't it logical, Sister? A nun with her dress up can run faster than a man with his pants down............ And those of you who thought the ending would be dirty pray for forgiveness!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Learning every day!

i consider myself a pretty good Windows user. i'm very conversant with quite a number of features of Windows, and have acquired a number of tricks. in fact, i had a pretty high score in the Brainbench Windows XP Fundamentals test. so i considered myself a bit of a sysadmin.

well, yesterday saw me back in school, and today saw me back in the cafe where i worked as a student (doesn't that sound good? heh). something that had always puzzled me was some computers just suddenly stopped showing the LAN properties, even to administrators. no user could access the network properties and configure them using the GUI. it had happened a couple of times and each time it happened, i would repair/format the computer. today, the same problem occurred - and the Windows XP CD was broken. so i had to try to find a way to configure the network card without formatting if possible, as there was not XP disc on hand. something made me feel strongly like there should be a commandline tool to configure a network interface on Windows. i got to Google, entered a query, and found out about netsh. using netsh, i was able to configure the network interface without a GUI. i guess i did learn something new today.

so much for being a sysadmin

Friday, February 15, 2008

bug in IDLE?

i play around with Python. i 've never done anything serious in it, but it's a very handy tool. it's saved my butt a couple of times at work, or at least saved me some nightmarish coding in C, C++, C# or Java. on most major platforms on which it runs, Python comes with IDLE, which comes with an interactive shell for quickly trying out Python scripts, as well as a 'real' editor for creating scripts.

i've used Python for about 2 projects since starting work - similar things, really...and i've noticed that when i'm writing output to a file and run the script using IDLE, more often than not, the file never gets written to the end. in the latest examples, i created a Python script to create SQL INSERT statements to quickly populate a database to test another application (i probably should actually populate the database directly from the script, but that will be a 'long thing'. besides, i already saved myself a little trouble entering the data myself ;)). anyway, the script includes a option to ask how many rows of data to create. i was expecting to see 200 lines of INSERT statements, but it stopped on the 182nd line. this isn't the first time. i ran it again and something similar happened. i had to open a console window and run the script to get all 200 lines written. i'm not sure if it's a Windows-only bug, but i'm going to report it as soon as i can

Update: i posted the problem in Freenode's #Python, and i was told that i should flush() the file. when i tried it, it worked!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Saved by the connection string!

more like, saved by i can't remember exactly how i got this site, but it must have been one of those days i was crawling...anyway, i was getting frustrated by trying to connect to SQL Server 2005. for some reason, i could not connect to a remote machine running SQL Server 2005. even worse, i was getting connection errors to my local instance of SQL Server 2005 Express! i got the idea of using ODBC as an interface, but i was still having issues, until i visited now i have a completely different set of issues, but that's another story...

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Friday, February 08, 2008


one of my friends described a situation: "Your life is over, and your problems just began". sometimes i feel like that on this job. i feel like i have very little free time. anyway, enough about my troubles. life goes on, doesn't it? i'm kinda stuck with over 1GB in Audacity data files, as i had to forcibly close Audacity once and had to manually search in my temp folder for the files, since the files are quite important to me. so i'm stuck as the data is in 1MB chunks, and i don't have time to listen to each part...

yes, you read right. i have to listen to each part. the trick i learned from the Audacity website was to arrange the files by date, load them into Winamp, and uisng the wave-out plugin, re-record them. it worked...but there was a problem. some of the 5-second chunks were repeated, so i have to remove duplicates from over 1.5 hours of audio. that may take up to 3 hours, time i'm not sure i have, as this weekend, even though i'm not working, is booked.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

stuff over the past few weeks

last monday, i heard a kettle whistle for the very first time. i'd heard about it, but never really believed it unitl then. so Enid Blyton wasn't lying after all. ah well.

it seems a new version of MapZone is out. still windows-only, though. i'm not sure just how well it would run using Wine, but you can give it a whirl if you're feeling bold.

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