Community and Children

This is a fairly personal-type post, but I want to point folks to something Chip said regarding kids and community. Amen brother.

Vintage Trailer Restoration

Talk about fun. This fellow has taken a 1948 Sportsman trailer, torn it down to its component parts, rebuilt it, redesigned it, and built it back up again into a beautiful camper. Talk about a wonderful project. I’ve had dreams of doing similar, perhaps with a sailboat though, but this his photo-log of all the steps the project went through is fascinating.
Found via Boingboing

The Editor Wars… continue!

There’s always a sort of tongue-in-cheek banter between boosters of Emacs (aka ‘The One True Editor’), and ‘vi’, the old workhorse that it is. Note that ‘vi’ has pretty much been replaced by ‘vim’ (aka ‘Vi – Improved!’), as the old version hadn’t really been updated in 15+ years.
One of the weapons in this give and take was the vast number of plugins and tools and full-on applications people had written to run inside emacs. Ticket management, email clients, news readers… all written inside emacs. One of those was in a fact an IRC client, so Emacs users could chat online without ever exiting or switching away from their beloved editor.
On a lark, I went looking to see if someone had done the same for vim. Sure enough, VimIRC is a script for vim that… lets you connect and talk to IRC servers inside the vim environment. It’s sort of painful actually watching conversations happen in editor buffers (you actually say something on channel by inserting a line into the buffer), but someone had fun doing it.

Fun with digital cameras.


Inspired by this pool on Flickr, I decided to do some digital camera geeking of my own. This is the end result. I title it “Time To Do The Laundry”. I’ll add it to the flickr pool tomorrow. Right now I’m too tired and I killed the batteries on my camera during this process.
I think the next step will be to work on a double-shot, using the second monitor as well, but that gets complicated when doing ‘skewed’ viewing angles. One thing at a time.

Some light browsing for the day

Back in the good old days, I thought one of the coolest jobs on the planet would be to run a video game store. You know, always have all the games at your fingertips, tons of cool toys, and everyone would come visit you and talk about games, gaming, and all the fun it was.
There may have been a slight element of self-delusion there.
As if to underline that possibility, there are the wonderful comments of one Gord, the owner of ‘Gamers Edge’ up in Canada. Although no longer running his store, he faithfully documented the daily fun encountered in his store.
From the introduction:

But the story was not yet over. For some time The Gord and I concurrently kept The Retail Faith. His Establishment maintained, surpassed and soon eclipsed mine in sheer Consumer Idiocy. Tales were told that begged disbelief. “No one,” we thought, “Is really that stupid.” But the stories continued, and the cries of the wretched grew louder and more plentiful. The stories were true: The Gord had become an Owner in Hell. Witness after Witness held forth tales of lunacy and mental vacuousness.
I knew him as Gord. These were his stories..

CounterfeitMini.org!

Consumer watch alert!
Unscrupulous dealers are trying to foist unofficial Mini Cooper lookalikes on an uninformed public! If you’re considering purchasing a new or used Mini, it’s important to review this site to make sure you don’t fall victim to this scam!
Thanks to Adam and mort for the pointer.

Mobile once again

This afternoon marks the end of my forced detachment from mobile computing. After a brief stay at the local IBM warranty repair center, hunter, my trusty T40 laptop, is back in my hands and working properly. I had gone about a month and a half dealing with keyboard problems that INCLUDED a keyboard replacement (didn’t help), and a kernel upgrade (didn’t help but fixed some other things).
I really wasn’t aware how much of an impact this was having on day to day life until I had the machine available for remote work again. Now I sit happily at Panera sipping a coffee mocha latte and catching up on email, irc, and blogstuff, all on a new keyboard and stable system.
I’ll take this opportunity to point out how much IBM’s warranty program rocks. I bought this T40 off ebay about 8 months ago, from Joe Random Seller. When it arrived, it was a simple matter of going to ibm.com, typing in the serial number, and noting that yes, in fact, it’s under warranty for another 2 years. That means just about anything that breaks will be free to repair, either via ordered parts (shipped to me for free overnight), or via carry in service (ala a motherboard replacement). Turnaround at the service center was 2 days (though 1 day is normal – the mobo came in late yesterday), and cost to me was $0.00.
Hard to argue with that.

XChat for Windows

There’s hardly a more contentious subject among the geek crew than “What IRC client is best?” I suppose “Which Linux distribution is best” may eclipse it, and lets not even talk about ‘What’s the best editor?’. But the IRC client argument certainly ranks up there.
Recently my trusty laptop ‘hunter‘ went in to the local shop for some repairs. My keyboard problems had become too much to ignore, and a new keyboard didn’t fix it. So off to the local IBM Warranty repair office for a new mainboard.
This of course leaves me to work on the red-headed stepchild in Chez Geek, my ShuttleX Windows XP system. Now, normally this box simply runs Seti@Home, or tests out viewing pages in IE, or runs Azureus, but today it needs to belly up to the bar, and actually do -work- for me.
Naturally, the first thing required is a decent IRC client. Priorities, yanno.
I’m a fervent user of X-Chat, the excellent GTK based IRC client by Peter Zelazny. Were I on my Linux box, there’s no question what I’d run. Alas, Pete decided a while back that building under Windows was too much of a hassle (and, to his credit, it is), and changed the licensing agreement on the product so that Windows users had to pay for the official builds of the client (the Linux version was still free). Needless to say this annoyed a lot of folks who are forced to use Windows.
Ah, but the joys of the GPL come to the fore. Since the application is licensed under the GPL, anyone can pull the source and build it and offer it for distribution, and someone has done just that.
The folks over at Silverex.org are providing up to the minute rebuilds of the Xchat client for windows. Latest versions are online and install cleanly without a license or hassle.
I’m happily running Xchat on my windows desktop now. On to pillage…