Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Finally managed to get it working on the BBB.

The main problem is that the BB helpfully wants to capitalize the first letter of any input field. Extremely useful when you're entering in contact information, really sucky when you're trying to enter in case-sensitive usernames and passwords. The quick hack I found to get around it is you hit the key you want, backspace over the capital letter, then hit again and you get the lowercase. And, no, holding down the shift key doesn't work.

I had to go with the "latest development" version 1.7.3 because it supported SSH2. Also had to twiddle around with the fonts (8x16 seems to be readable).

By default, midpssh wants you to open up a seperate screen and enter in any commands there as a kind of batch deal, but it's possible to type directly to the console by setting the input type in the options menu. It's kind of clunky and I'd hate to have to try and use vim with it, but it's good enough for restarting services in a pinch.

blackberry bold

I was starting to look at other phones after getting fed up with the limitations of the VZW phone I had and not really impressed by their smart phone selection. The two candidates I was looking at was the iPhone and the HTC G1 (google phone). I was putting off making a decision and waiting for my contract to run out when Krak mentioned he'd scored a Blackberry and was happy with it, and suddenly the Bold was put on the table as a third option. The rest of the smartphone field was discarded after checking the out in store and through video reviews from phonescoop.com.

I ended up going with the Bold, mainly because of all the choices, it's got the least encumbered development platform.

Sure, that development platform is Java, but just because I hate everything about a language is no reason to be closed minded. AT&T was offering up refurbs for free with a new contract, and that didn't hurt the decision, either.

As for the device, I'm pretty happy with it. Better phone qualities than the Treo 600, the screen is fairly nice, can latch on to WiFi instead of 3G (and the 3G ain't bad), and the trackball is much better than sliding out a stylus any day of the week. The software itself seems decent enough, but the user interface is pretty rough when you go off the beaten path (ie, midpssh config is a freaking nightmare atm).

After fiddling around with it for a few hours, I think it'll do ok. I've currently ganked the Google Mobile stuff for maps, mail, and calendar and plan on using that instead of the native BB software (I don't need push messages). I ganked TwitterBerry from http://www.orangatame.com/products/twitterberry and will be giving that another shot (don't expect much different results, though) and I'm still struggling with midpssh (http://xk72.com/wap/) which appears to be the only free if not functional ssh application for the BB available at the moment.

Next up is locating some IM software.... might end up checking out Jive's Spark stuff for that.

Oh, and maybe, like, getting the contacts imported at some point.

But that's secondary.

Friday, March 27, 2009

to be in england in the summertime

Ah.... God bless the 80's. \o/

Art of Noise - Close to the Edit

So I get the part where they're destroying symbols of classical music as a kind of in-your-face way of saying AoN is a musical revolution. And I can kind of see how the creepy stop motion little girl in heavy eye makeup is supposed to be like some evil muse encouraging them to rebel and destroy the old gods.

But I still don't get the sausage and the dachshund. Any theories?

Friday, March 20, 2009

you'll never see me fall from grace

Cool video, good song.

KoRn - Freak On A Leash from KornBrasil on Vimeo.

or not aptana /o\

Steve tried to warn me, but I was, like... hopeful.

Turns out Aptana is basically Eclipse in disguise, and although some of the stuff that drives me nuts about Eclipse has been shaved off you can still see its heritage.

Why, java people... why in the name of all that is holy can't any of your tools "import" a directory that's already in the project target space? Other things it lost points for: the code view areas for HTML, js, and CSS files were whited out (ie, no text showing up) until I previewed the document, preview freaked out a couple of times, and the nasty editor habit of dropping ".tmp*~" files all over the workspace.

The insanely awesome good stuff: the CSS and js editors supports intellisense like code completion AND error highlighting. Strip the rails support out, and that alone is enough reason to keep it on the hard drive. CSS is my kryptonite, but Aptana just handles it beautifully.

I've decided to check out jEdit and NetBeans as well.

jEdit's got some nifty plugins that enable it to do stuff like editting files over SFTP, SVN integration, theming, but at the end of the day it's more of a text editor than an IDE. Still, it has potential to replace the trusty vim on Linux and notepad++ on Windows.

NetBeans offers up a Ruby-only install that seems extremely well integrated into Rails development. It even went so far as to call the rails command to setup the project and ferret out the database info the db.yml file up front. It's also sporting code completion for JS, so... I'm feeling hopeful about it (despite Steve also warning me about this one, too).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

checking out aptana

Discovered that Aptana Studio can run in standalone mode, supports rails and javascript dev, and offers up a way to publish to Aptana's cloud system.

This strikes me a superior solution to continuing to beat my head against the wall with Express Editions from MS, playing in GAE's sandbox, or figuring out how I'm going to wire up my own maintenance system for EC2 images.

Yeah. Sold. \o/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

checking out slicehost

Given the fact that I'm no longer running game servers, email, a blog, and have yet to spend any time rebuilding any of the sites, I've decided to try out a Xen-based VPS from slicehost with an eye towards retiring the dedicated swerver.

The upsides are basically:

1) cost - a VPS is about 25% the cost of a hosted server, with roughly the same access level
2) software based - that means the provisioning of the server was pretty much instant, managing it will be a matter of flipping a switch in a web interface and getting near real-time response
3) size - I can basically back the important bits of the server up to a USB stick. Limited space means I won't be wasting anything on silly stuff like half-compiled projects or stupid videos you could just easily link to ebaumsworld, and that I'll be pushing the big files off onto a storage system like S3 or JungleDisk (where there's a pretty good chance they'll be backed up or at least distributed Enough(tm)).

Haven't looked into whether or not I can rebuild the kernel, but to be honest, I'm at a point where if I need something that requires that, I'm probably not going to stick with it.

I chose the Debian 5.0 install, which was absolutely barebones except for SSH. apt-get the needed services, tar up the appropriate directories on the old server, and then it's just a matter of waiting for DNS to propogate. Pretty easy stuff.

And by way of a review, I'd have to say that I really like slicehost so far. Minimal interaction... just enter the needful data, and stuff happens. I absolutely love it when providers stay out of my hair. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a sample of my recent google searches

inventor of javascript
brendan eich
brendan eich location 1983
time travel technology
time travel technology hackaday
T-1000 cost to build
capturing and training velociraptors
sending velociraptors back to 1983