Archive for July, 2008

Doin’ it Right 0

Anyone attempting to do RAW conversion under Linux (in GIMP, specifically) is probably using DCRaw, as it appears to be the only guy in town. In which case, you owe it to yourself to check out UFRaw — it’s another GIMP plugin that’s a much better front-end for DCRaw (read: one that actually has options).

Fries With That? 6

So we just got word that our offer on a house was accepted by the bank. Now it’s time for all the fun stuff! Hopefully it all works out.

“High-Def” Webcams 3

(The term High-Definition appears to be able to be applied to anything these days, so why not webcams?)

For the past few days I’ve been obsessing watching this webcam over at the Red Rock visitor center, and just now I wrote a quick script to fetch the latest image and update my desktop background with it. It’s almost like having my desk near the window back. (OK, not even close.) But, truth is, it makes a pretty crappy background at 1920×1200. Look at this other one in comparison — now that’s a webcam.

Then I remembered. Since buying a used 20D, I have an old D30 just sitting around. With a bit of Canon software magic, that can easily be setup to take a shot at any interval and automatically transfer it to the PC. I just have to write a little plumbing to get it up on the web.

I want to do this!

Tunnel to the World 0

A lot of people know that OpenSSH’s client supports tunneling out of the box. But some don’t realize that it also supports tunneled SOCKS out of the box. Here’s how to set up a quick SOCKS proxy across an encrypted tunnel:

ssh -NfD 8888 user@host

The proxy will be on port 8888. The other flags just tell ssh to go immediately to the background (after getting your password, if needed) without running a command.

Willfull Ignorance 2

Sometimes, writing good code is really hard. But other times, writing good code is so darn easy you shouldn’t even have to think about it. In fact, it shouldn’t even be called “good code” — in these cases there should never be anything else, so we’ll just call it “code”.

For instance, if I see another line of code that does this:

$foo = isset($foo) ? $foo : 'default value';

I think I’ll kill someone.

Let me clear something up for you: using the ternary operator does not make you cool. However, assigning a variable to itself makes you very uncool.

if (!isset($foo)) $foo = 'default value';

Now why is that so hard to write?

Disappearing Act 1

I’ve started trying to train myself to use Google Reader: rather than trying to remember all of the sites that I want to visit each day, and having to visit each one independently, I can go to one place and view them all. Sure, these are all benefits of RSS readers, and everybody else discovered them years ago. What can I say, I’m slow.

Anyways, Google Reader caches things on its own (which makes sense), and that has a peculiar effect: if Reader hits up the RSS feed while an article exists, and then the author decides to delete said article, said article will appear in Reader, but not on the site.

Which is where I find myself right now: I have an entry from Matt entitled, “A More Perfect Blog,” that shows nowhere on the site. So… where’d it go, Matt? 😉

Jack & Jill 3

Not too long ago I was dragged into trying out Twitter. It’s interesting — like a glorified Facebook status; I’m sure they cringe every time someone makes that comparison — but I didn’t really catch on to it.

Now I’ve decided to give Tumblr a try. So far, I like it: it has the main component of Twitter — quick, short blogish entries — but also lets you easily post pictures, videos, quotes, chat transcripts, etc. The icing on the cake would have been posting code snippets complete with syntax highlighting. Ah, one can dream.