Monday, January 27, 2014


Sorry for the week long silence. I moved, but my internet took a week to follow me ;) I should be as noisy as every going forward...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Working on Wordpress

FYI, I'm working on bringing Wordpress back, and have discovered an old database dump of old posts, so I may be able to import them as well. I'll wait until I've ported the theme over, so the process is as invisible as possible.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Singer Wanted!

I posted this on our Facebook page yesterday, but Rock Bottom is looking for a lead singer. We all grew up in the 80's and are heavily influenced by 80's hair metal, but plan on doing original stuff eventually and not remaining a cover band forever ;) We're mostly a group of beginners (except the lead guitarist) who enjoy hanging out and jamming on the weekend, so if you or someone you know is available to practice most Saturday evenings in Columbus, let one of us know on Facebook, or email Skill level isn't as important as having fun doing it. We're not looking to gig just yet, but once we have a singer and we're comfortable with a set list, we might be ;)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Blogger is frustrating

I love Blogger. Really, I do. But I find that I bump up against its limitations quite often. The first one I ran across when I turned on Google+ integration. Actually, that one kinda pissed me off. It's not so bad that it linked everything to my real name, because a little CSS and a custom About page easily fixed that. But it totally linked my Blogger account to my Google+ account, which means that I comment on other blogger-driver blogs under my real name, now, or have to use another log-in method to comment. Very frustrating.

Another limitation that I'm starting to see more of is with widgets. When I powered the blog with Blogger before, it was via ftp to my webhost. This allowed me to use custom PHP in my widgets, and I took advantage of that. I might be able to create a sub-domain on a host and create php-powered widgets that way, but it's still not ideal.

Finally, the commenting system, again. I hate that it displays the default Blogger page when commenting, instead of having it themed like the rest of the blog.

So, I'm second-guessing going back to Blogger. Maybe I'll move back to self-hosted Wordpress yet again. If so, I'll try WP-United again and see if I can get that going. That was the most powerful overall platform I think I've used. I had chat, phpBB, Wordpress, and a wiki all using a single sign-on. It was glorious. If I can get that working again, I'm definitely going back.

edit: I found an option to allow embedding comments, which I think may fix the one issue. But the settings on when a comment needs moderated is way too restrictive as well. If I approve someone's comments, I should have the ability to allow that person to bypass the moderation system.

Friday, January 10, 2014

One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity.

Anyone have a review of The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun [affiliate link]? Seems like something I might need soon, seeing as the wife and I are expecting our first in August ;)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

fbcmd - Facebook via Command Line

There's a great tutorial for setting up fbcmd, which allows you to access Facebook via the command line in Linux. I've used this little utility before, and highly recommend it for a minimalist approach to Facebook.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Grapefruit Grapefruit. Unchain the hot petunia.

The other day, Donald Trump made a comment about global warming. So I, naturally, questioned his authority to speak on that matter. I also noticed that someone else stated he was a great business man in reply to another person questioning him. While that may be arguably true (I withhold judgement on that point), what does one have to do with the other? The person I was debating decided to stoop to personal attacks when I pointed out that I was not agreeing or disagreeing with climate scientists who insist on global warming, but questioning Mr. Trump's authority on the matter. Is that the modus operandi of deniers these days? Or just the ones who cannot argue without committing obvious logical fallacies?

Anyhow, here's the tread on twitter, near as I can piece it together (I'm sure it's missing a post or two, and out of order here and there), with commentary:

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump - This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @realDonaldTrump Really? And you can back this up with what science, exactly?

[Obviously, Mr. Trump needs educated that "global warming" is a misnomer, and doesn't actually mean an end to record lows. To my layman's understanding, it means upward trending over time, and worse extremes on both ends.]

George Reese ‏@GeorgeReese - @realDonaldTrump You have reached a level of dumbass the world has never seen.

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - You >>@GeorgeReese

[OK, so he wasn't polite about it, but it is what it is.]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @GeorgeReese And another thing @realDonaldTrump is a smart businessman and it would be an honor to be around such brilliance.

[My reply to this logical fallacy should be obvious, but here it comes...]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx @GeorgeReese @realDonaldTrump How does being a smart businessman make him an authority on global warming? (hint, it don't)

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 @GeorgeReese HA HA Like the Activists that got stuck in Antarctica proving it? HA HA Hoax that it is.

[And there's another logical fallacy, not to mention blatant ignorance of how global warming actually works. So I ask again...]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx how does that qualify Trump to talk about science again? (Another hint: it don't, which was my point.)

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 What qualities you? Nothing, your just a loud mouth, shove off creeper.

[Aside from the logical fallacies, does she know what "creeper" even means? creeper: (n) A person who does weird things, like stares at you while you sleep, or looks at you for hours through a window.]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @ElishaNEWS @wintermute740 It's another hoax by the government to take taxpayers money and fund it. #ClimateChangeHoax

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx @ElishaNEWS I never said otherwise. I simply said Mr Trump isn't qualified to speak with any authority about it.

[Did I say climate change was a hoax, or was real? I don't think I said either way.]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 Your showing your ignorance creeper.

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx haha... can't win an argument, so stoop to insults. Classy.

[Not to mention, you still don't know what "creeper" means and don't know the difference between "your" and "you're."]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740

[Did I say you had to? Only asked for Mr. Trumps credentials, if I recall.]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx like I said... can't argue, so stoop to insults. You're proving all that needs proven. Thanks.

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 So why don't you shove off Creeper.

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx because, the world can see your ignorance in your replies.

[If you want me to "shove off." then why did you reply to my legitimate question with insults?]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 Wow, the "World"? Go stick your head back in the sand Creeper.

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx it won't fit with yours already buried there.

[OK. The closest I've come to an an insult, and a reference to her denial of global warming in the face of the years of science establishing it as fact.]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 Have a nice cold day Creeper.

[She doesn't understand global warming. At all.]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx what, exactly, makes me a "creeper?" Or is that your go-to insult when you can't win an argument?

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 I already won, just making you out to be the fool you are.

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx whose looking the fool by stooping to insults again?

[Damnit. Typo! She didn't catch it. Thank goodness!]

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 You can tweet back, when you get some followers Creeper.

[Interesting. Who's the creeper again? I not once looked at your profile during all of this. You were obviously creeping mine. Oh, and another logical fallacy, which I'm happy to point out...]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx my ability to tweet is not predicated on my number of followers.

[It looks like it's over, so I jokingly post this...]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - I don't always troll people on twitter, but when I do, they REALLY take the bait...

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 No originality Creeper.

[It appears she's still creeping me.]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - @christineinsatx oh, so I'm not the only one you stoop to insults with.

[And I finish with...]

Wintermute ‏@wintermute740 - Well, that was entertaining. I should call out global warming deniers more often ;)

Christine Love ‏@christineinsatx - @wintermute740 #polarvortex

[Still don't understand global warming, does she?]

[Finally, bonus points if you got the reference in the title of this post.]

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Modem emulation

Ever since I got my Raspberry Pi*, I've been kicking around the idea of running a BBS on it, and have had a couple of working configs going for short periods of time, but I've never been entirely happy with them. Then a moment of genius struck - why not obtain an old external modem, and stuff the entire BBS into it? Nothing, really, as long as the modem is large enough to contain the Pi, I'm good. So I set out to find a suitable modem, and I found this Zoom external modem* at a thrift store. The modem number is 3048, and I chose it for a couple of reasons. First, it was the first one I found that would easily contain the Pi, and second, it's got a ton of LEDs on the front panel that I can re-purpose via the GPIO header.

After kicking around what BBS software to install and such, an idea struck me. Why not revisit my CoCo project? My original thought was to emulate the CoCo to get it going (which I might, but only as proof-of-concept, as I need to re-obtain the real hardware at some point. Mine has all been lost.), but then another thought struck me. Why not, instead of putting the entire BBS in the modem, emulate a modem via tcpser and a USB<->RS232 adapter*? This would allow me to use my modem with any old-school BBS system I wanted. So that's what I'm setting out to do. I'll post updates as I go, but I'm excited about this project and wanted to share the idea with the world.

*affiliate link

Monday, January 6, 2014

Is the NFL making up rules as they go?

Let me start by saying I'm not a huge football fan, and couldn't really tell you the last time I watched a full game, so it may be that the rules have changed since the last time I watched, but there was a play in yesterday's playoff game that bothered me. Cincinnati had just completed a pass with 13 seconds to go in the first half, and the player was pushed out of bounds. The QB took a quick snap and spiked the ball, leaving 2 seconds on the clock. The referees then reviewed the previous play. Even though Cincinnati scored a field goal, and the end result is likely to have not changed, my issue is three-fold. First, should the receiver going out of bounds have stopped the clock? Last time I watched a full game, it would have. Second, barring that, shouldn't have the clock stopped, at least momentarily, while the chains were moved? And finally, and, I think, most importantly, the last time I checked, a play could not be reviewed if another play was run in the interim. Did the referees review the play in violation of NFL rules? Or did that rule only pertain to challenges, and not reviews initiated by the officials?

The end result of this is that the play stood, Cincinnati scored, but lost the game, and nothing would have likely changed. Just curious as to whether I missed a rule change since the last time I watched or not...

Update: According to the 2013 NFL rules posted online (Section 9, Article 2, Note 2) "The Replay Official must initiate a review before the ball is next legally put in play," so it does, indeed, appear that the officials were making stuff up as they went.

Friday, January 3, 2014

And now for something completely different...

I've decided that 2014 is the year that I finally really embrace some of my hobbies, and one of my greatest hobbies - the one I've turned into a career, in fact - is computing. I used to do it for fun, and I still do to some extent. But I'm not really talking social media and the like, I'm talking experimenting with operating systems, running a BBS, programming, retro-computing etc... So, among all the other things I'd like to tinker with in 2014, I'm considering digging out the CDs and installing OS/2 Warp 4.0 on one of my netbooks, and using that fairly exclusively for at least 30 days during 2014. I'm likely to cheat a little bit, as I have multiple Android devices that I'm not likely to give up, and I have to use Windows 7 on my work computer. Also, I may just set it up under a virtual machine in order to keep things fairly simple, and allow me to switch back to Linux after my experiment is over. Even if I don't use it exclusively, the plan is to find software to use for the things I do daily, so that I could make the switch if I had to. This could be fun, and I'll post my progress once I decide when to start.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Open source guitar pedal

Both Hacked Gadgets and Hack A Day have recently featured this awesome open-source Arduino-powered guitar pedal. I've been thinking of doing something similar since I got my Arduino, but never seemed to get around to it. Now, I might finally be able to.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blogtipping for January 2014

With the new year, I'd like to re-introduce an old tradition that I discovered long ago known as blogtipping.

What is "blogtipping?"

At the first of the month (or, in my case, the first weekday of the month), you pick three blogs to link to. For each of these these blogs, you point out three things you like. You then find provide a tip for something you feel could be improved upon. A little constructive criticism never hurt anyone, and may make that favorite blog of yours even better.

It's also a great way to share the blogs you love with the rest of the world, showing them some link-love in the process, and may actually result you getting some of that love back. The best way to illustrate blogtipping may be by example, so without further ado:

The Blogs:

Nerdly Pleasures

  • I love the color scheme. For a blog that covers retro computing, it really works.

  • You are the master of the long-form post, and the content is always extremely informative.

  • Finally, I love that you're using a tag cloud, making all of that wonderful content easy to find.

Tip: I have to do a little bit of horizontal scrolling with my resolution set to 1440x900 because one of your widgets is wider than the rest. Not a huge issue, as content is king and I don't have to horizontally scroll for that.


  • I love the simplicity of the design. It's something we should all remember.

  • I also love the fluid width, so I never have to horizontally scroll.

  • Finally, I love that you've got blog membership tied to a LinkedIn group's membership, even if it is a manual process. Great concept.

Tip: Could you darken the background of the sidebar just a bit? I'm not sure if it's already got a slight hue to it or not (it appears to, but that could be my eyes playing tricks on me), but darkening it slightly would separate the sidebar from the content a little better.

Hack A Day

  • The green-on-black gives the site a very retro feel. I love it!

  • The entire design seems to scream "Here's how to find the content!"

  • You make it easy to follow via other social media sites without hitting your readers over the head with the links to those sites.

Tip: Speaking of following, some of us still use RSS, so adding a link to the feed would make things slightly easier on us. (Then again, most RSS readers with find the feed given the site's main URL, so that's not a huge deal.)

There it is. Nothing too critical to say about any of the three blogs I chose this month, and three things I love about each. If you publish a blog, my challenge to you is to join in next month. And remember, the first falls on a Saturday, so I will be publishing my Feb 2014 blogtipping post on the third, instead.