Goodbye Interlude

image1314149070.jpgThe last load out. Tomorrow the dumpster gets picked up. I never enjoy the last bits if a move. I sort of wish it could all be done at once. But I know that has it’s own stresses.

As I left Natick, I changed the ‘home’ favorite in my GPS to Mosaic. Guess it’s official now, huh?

Briefly, from the iPhone. We moved.

Trying out a blog tool from the iPhone. More details later once I figure out if it sucks or not.

We moved today. 9 hours with professional movers, plus a cast of thousands of wonderful awesome people. Pictures are on flickr, but for now I’m too tired to list out all the kudos necessary. A more detailed, meaningful, and contentful post is forthcoming.

For now though, gonna go crash for my first night sleeping in cohousing.

Dear iPhone Developer Community…

You see that switch on the side of the iPhone? That little switch that means “Be quiet, I’m in a place where a vibrate will do?”
Pay attention to it!
There is absolutely no excuse to write a game, app, utility, or tool that starts making sounds or playing music upon startup if that switch is set to ‘silent’!
At the moment, I’m talking to you, Ezone, and you’re Crazy Snowboard app, that, despite having the phone on “SILENT”, you start playing music loud and clear upon startup!

Glimpses Back – The House that held Homeport – Up for sale!

It’s always interesting looking into houses that have so much history for you personally – after you’ve moved out of them.
The house that got to be well known as Homeport, which we sold about three and a half years ago, is back up for sale.
The listing on has a whole series of pictures of what the house looks like now. While I don’t agree with many (er, well, most) of their decorating tastes, I do think replacing the countertops in the kitchen with granite was a good idea.
I hope they do well – this is a bad time to be selling a large house, but it looks like they’ve dressed it up nicely, and have done repairs and improvements that the place needed.

Mame Cabinet delivered and installed

Installed at the office.Before I got sick last week, I installed the Mame cabinet into the rec room at work. Since we’re moving, it seemed like a good way to get One More Thing out of the house, and it would be nice to have the machine get some use.
Feedback from folks at the office has been really positive. The new Wah!Cade front end is quite stable and easy to navigate (though people tend to get confused with the “Pull up menu” and “Select” options). I had a problem getting the screen previews working, but ironed it out. Now people play 10 or so times a day. Yay!
I did hit one problem. The cabinet (now stained and looking pretty splufty), has no cooling in it. The little Dell laptop I’m running everything on had no moving air, and started overheating. It’s now sitting on the shelf next to the cabinet until I can rework cooling inside the box.
Now of course I’m considering the next rebuild of the controller panel. I do miss not having a trackball, and I think a set of switchable 4/8 way joysticks would be a huge win (I have 4 way microswitch driven sticks now, and they’re noisy. I’d love true 8 way, with quiet contacts, specifically for games like Robotron).
It does feel good to walk into the break room and see someone playing Galaxian or Ninja Gaiden or the like.

The Move. T-Minus 10 days – Disassembly of Interlude begins.

In less than 10 days, Cat and Zach and I will be moving to Mosaic. It’s an intense time for all of us, and what with me being down with the crud and life continuing apace, taking no notice of our challenges, things have become a little… chaotic.

InterludeUnlike some of my friends, I’ve moved only twice in the last, gosh, 13 years. Once into Homeport, and then from there to our current abode, called Interlude. Interlude was supposed to be a weigh station between homeport and Mosaic, but it lasted longer than we anticipated (almost 4 years). They were good years though, with our awesome roommate Beth and a cast of thousands (well, okay, 3 cats over that time, plus one dog and one fish). We had some great music nights, great gaming socials, and a few outstanding parties.

Now it’s time to pull up stakes and move again. This time to a far greater project than anything else I’ve ever been involved in. There’s a lot of unknowns ahead. I’ve never lived in cohousing. I know all the families I’ll be living near – some families have already had our children growing up together – but what will the community be like when we move from seeing each other on weekends and constantly sending email – to actually living right next door? Will we survive?

Of course we will, but I just don’t know what it’ll be like.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

At Arisia ’08 I saw this video as part of their film series. The DVD was not available at the time, though it’s one that I do want to add to my collection. (edit: apparently it is available at, which appears to be down at the moment).
Now, here it is in it’s entirety…
It is a dark steampunk story that has been nominated for several awards. Think Jules Verne meets Edgar Allen Poe.
Thanks to Boingboing for the heads up.

Day 3 – Still sick

I’m sick.
I started noticing the telltale throat itchiness Thursday night, and by Friday morning it was in full swing. We’re to the point of thinking this is flu now, as I’ve been down for almost 3 days, and at last sensor check, I’m running a 101 fever.
Sudafed and Nyquil are keeping things under control at night, but I’m really tired of being weak as a kitten.
I have however been enjoying browsing Hulu to watch some shows I never get around to seeing. I really want to watch Heroes and BSG from season 1 on, but Hulu doesn’t apparently have them online (Sad!).
What I have been watching is Legend of the Seeker, the TV adaptation of Terry Goodkind’s books. All in all, they’re not awful – the casting of the main characters is good, though a lot of the incidental roles are terrible. I have read the books, so I didn’t have high expectations for the television series, and so far things seem to be meeting that bar 🙂
What bothers me most is that this show went to 22 episodes,and Firefly, which I still feel is a vastly better series, was cancelled at 12. I just don’t understand Hollywood.
Back on the sick front, I may have exacerbated this whole flu thing yesterday, where I spent the whole day helping Mosaic folks move materials out of our basement and into the common house. We needed to get this stuff moved now so that we can clean the basement, and there really wasn’t an option to ‘sit it out’. The crew was awesome, and I managed to make it through without having to do any heavy lifting (not that I could anyway), and we got everything moved without mishap. Yay community!
Now back to medicine and bedrest.

Blog Refactoring underway

It really was time.
Planet-Geek’s style really was getting long in the tooth. When I first set up the blog, I hacked the templates and stylesheet enormously to get it to look a certain way. What that meant though was I ended up with templates that could not be updated in any sane fashion.
Tonight I took the nuclear option, and wiped out all my old templates, applied a new ‘standard’ style to the site, and regenerated all the archives from scratch. I did do a little bit of fiddling to get the AdSense ads back in place, and a few other small layout tweaks, but mostly the current design is right out of the MovableType Style Library.
What this means, though, is now that I’m back on standard templates, I can start enabling some of the features that were missing with the old setup. I won’t let the cat out of the bag, but at least two of the features are things folks have been clamoring for. Stay tuned!
If you notice anything wonky in the layout or styles, please let me know. I’ll be tuning for a little while still.

iDracula for the iPhone. iCarnage!!!

Just a quick one before I head off to my next meeting. My latest addiction for the iPhone is called ‘iDracula’. It’s sort of a mix of Diablo vs Quake vs Robotron. The 19th century ‘van helsing’-esque setting is beautifully rendered, and the soundtrack adds the appropriate head-banging necessary for any good vampire slaughtering.
There’s a great video of it in action on YouTube.
One thing I have to comment on – this is the first interactive action game on the iPhone that I feel gets the controls right. They use a pair of ‘wheels’ on the screen – one for motion, one for firing. Given the iphone’s lack of any other gaming controls, this seems to be an excellent compromise, allowing very easy motion and action.
There are a few known bugs. Settings aren’t being saved between games, it’s occasionally tricky to switch weapons in mid-melee, and there are occasional pauses. I picked it up off the appstore during a sale for $1, but it’s easily worth a lot more than that.
I hope the developers do continue to update it – a larger play area, or a decent levelling mechanism (finish this level, waste the bosses, move on to the next level) would be a definite win.

The problem with cloud computing – or “BITE ME, GOOGLE”

While browsing around this afternoon using the (usually) awesome Google Reader, I saw a sudden change in my entire look and feel. Apparently Google decided to punch out an update to Reader while i was using it. No notification, no information about it, just “oh, by the way, here’s a redesign of your page layout.”
Fortunately, the reader blog has a handy link to their “news” blog – that should have some information on what just happened…
Guess not. (for those perusing this later, the first article on that page is currently ‘READ WRITE DRINK”, or this article here. Nothing about an update, no news about changes to the site. Guess we’re on our own.
A mark against cloud computing, and a mark for locally installed apps.

A Panoply of Pidgin Plugins

pidgin-screenshot-20090308.pngI have this ongoing personal philosophy. “Don’t get too wedded to a single environment, because the designs will channel your way of thinking, and those ‘new fangled’ ideas about UI’s and systems? They they may have something there, give it a try.”
To that end, not long ago I switched from KDE to Gnome. That has had it’s ups and downs, but regardless of whether it’s been a good move or not, I now understand Gnome a lot better.
One of the tools I’ve used the longest has been X-Chat – a fairly decent IRC client that does pretty much everything I want in a client. I have screenshots of me using Xchat going back many years – a sure sign it might be time to try something else.

Continue reading “A Panoply of Pidgin Plugins”

You, yes you on your phone in Starbucks.

We’re very impressed you have a nice blackberry, Jawbone bluetooth headset, and brown loafers. The leather case you’re carrying is pretty snappy. I think it’s particularly fascinating how you’ve managed to park yourself in a sparsely populated Starbucks, cranked up that wonderful gear of yours, and decided to CALL EVERYONE IN YOUR PHONE BOOK. I suspect there may be a small problem with your headphone, because the tree-leveling volume you’re speaking at must be needed for those obviously important customers to hear you.
Oh, and the constant revolving of your head to look at everyone around you, to make sure people notice you’re doing real live interesting cool stuff? Wonderful. Makes me want to throw down my obviously worthless career and beg for your guidance to success.
It’s particularly riveting that you’ve decided not to lower yourself to actually patronizing the restaurant you’ve decided to claim as your own personal conference room. What a star!

Speaking of webcomics. What are your favorites?

While on the topic of webcomics, I’m curious what strips folks read regularly? I have all of mine loaded up in Google Reader (currently one of my favorite toys), and while I’m not necessarily looking for other good strips to add to my lineup, I’m always interested in finding new interesting comics. Some I add to my daily read, some I let slip…

Anyway, here’s my current reading list.

So, got any suggestions of strips I absolutely should read, no matter what?