October 27, 2005

Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon

Filed under: digital — mhoye @ 2:00 pm

root@grayswandir:/home/mhoye # apt-get remove
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
kubuntu-desktop ubuntu-desktop
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 7 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives.
After unpacking 155MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? _

This is nerd-speak for “if you don’t like my agonizingly-slow word processor, I’m taking your entire user interface and going home”.

You’ve. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

UPDATE: As it turns out, I am the one kidding me. And I spoke too soon about speaking too soon. Very meta! (Thank you, commentors)

October 23, 2005

Once More, With Feeling

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 2:24 pm

Transcribed verbatim as of moments ago, and provided without comment:

“Kind of boring… Why are you writing boring stories? Aren’t you supposed to be funny? Why are you boring the people who are reading your blarg?”

Feel the love!


“No! No, I don’t want to be blogged!”

Fontified Whine

Filed under: digital — mhoye @ 11:58 am

This is going to be another long-winded, nerdy entry, but it’s perhaps a dash more ranty than the last one. I believe that by examining these two entries with modern instrumentation, it may be possible to discern the atomic value of entertainment!

I have a user here in my workplace who just got a new, extra-big flatscreen, and wanted some help with setting it up so that it’s usable. The screen’s native resolution is 1280×1024; he’d been running at 800×600, and his fonts didn’t look quite right because of it. So his request was, “I want my fonts to have nice crisp edges, and I want them to be big enough that I can read them easily with these old eyes.” Simple?

Well, not so much.


October 21, 2005


Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 11:31 am

I’ve had some interesting conversations lately, in which I’ve made vague reference to a couple of articles that have informed my thinking on a variety of subjects. Here they are, in no particular order, because maybe you’d like to read them too.


October 17, 2005

Bit Rot

Filed under: digital — mhoye @ 11:07 pm

If you’re not an information technology type, stop reading this right now. If you’re actually in I.T., this entry is liable to bore you to tears. If you’re not, reading this may cause one of your internal organs to fail spontaneously, just for the adrenaline jolt the rest of your system will need to keep everything from failing at once from systemic, catastrophic boredom. You heard me right: one of your organs will throw itself nobly into the abyss, in the hopes of saving the others. If you press on, and if you make it out alive, call me from the hospital and let me know what part of your internal mechanism was the noblest and most courageous of them all. Feel free to call collect, I’m here to listen.

I’ve warned you, though, so from here on in you have only yourself to blame.


To Do, To Not Do.

Filed under: digital — mhoye @ 11:52 am

I’ve got a 2.6Ghz laptop here, with half a gig of RAM in it, and I can’t get it to play an MP3 without skipping every minute or two. I love Linux.

For those of you playing along at home, here are a few things that you might think that you should install on your regular-personal-use Linux box, but that you really should not:

  1. Flash (flashplayer-mozilla or flashplugin-nonfree)

    Reason: Dims the lights when you turn it on, shivs you in the eye with ads. Bogs your browsing experience to a crawl, once you start closing windows or tabs that have flash animations in them.

  2. mozilla-mplayer

    Reason: Dims the lights when you turn it on, and Linux sounds support continues to suck, so websites that (they exist, horrors!) try to play more than one sound file at the same time will occasionally lock up your interface hard enough that if you can’t ssh into the box and start killing processes, you’ll have to hard-reset the machine.

  3. ATI’s proprietary video drivers.

    Reason: Extreme suckage. If you expect your tv-out jack to work properly, or you’re just not running at one of their four or five prescribed resolutions (4×3, all of them) that’s just too damn bad. And undoing the damage that the installer causes is capital-H Hard.

One thing you absolutely should have installed is Mike Skallas’ ad-blocking hosts file, which prevents a surprising amount of stuff you don’t want to see from hitting your eyeballs. This last bit includes Mac and WIndows users, as well. It’s a good thing!

October 13, 2005


Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 10:14 am

Chris was having a tough game last night, got fouled a few times, was on the verge of losing his cool and so he walked away from the game for a bit to cool off. I didn’t pay much attention to it, ’cause that happens from time to time, but at the end of the game he produces a hot pizza, and offered everyone a slice.

We were out on a field playing Ultimate, and kind of wondered where it came from, so we asked.

“Geoff always told me that when you’re having a bad game”, says Chris, “you need to calm down and focus on doing what you do best.”

“So I ordered a pizza.”

It was awesome.

October 10, 2005


Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 11:32 pm

Once more, I’ve blown through Toronto and blown off all my friends in the process. All my time was blocked out for family, imminent family or both, which makes me happy (Family!) and sad (Friends?), but right now I’m back in Ottawa, and life rolls on. Sorry, Torontonians. I’ll be back soon.

One philosophical point I’d like to make before we move on to other things here is the stark contrast between a moral and a scientific question, one that comes up about as often as you’d expect in a complicated world like ours. When you phrase a question using the word “can”, for example, as in “I can do”, you are typically making stark assertion of fact. This is a claim of veracity, whose outcome will be either true, you can do X, or false, you cannot.

Comparably, you will often discover that the word “should” comes up in identical contexts but meaning a very different thing. In this case, “I should do” means you have made a judgement of some kind, and determined that to perform some action will have positive repercussions with respect to some later goal.

This is typically not a claim of outright veracity, but nevertheless, the result can be just as stark. And, frequently, the outcomes from those two claims can be seen to be diametrically opposed to one another. For example, consider the phrase “All the sushi you can eat.” I submit to you that in at least one case, that is to say The Case Of The Missing Sushi, a mysterious affair in which I am as it turns out the prime suspect, the difference between “all the sushi you can eat” and “all the sushi you should eat” is approximately a pound and a half of sushi.

I think the groaning and waddling is what gave me away.

October 5, 2005

Little By Little

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 12:51 am

Harvey Danger has released their latest album to the wilds of the net, in its entirety, for free.

I’m going to have to chew on it for a while, but my early impression is that it’s really, really good.

I’ve been a fan of their music for a while; “Flagpole Sitta” was their only track to get a lot of radio play, but it’s unquestionably the weakest track on their first album, an album that’s aged well for me, and that I still think is exceptionally strong. Their next album, King James’ Version, is pretty much impossible to come by on the store shelf but you can still get it through iTunes, I’m told.

Their latest, “Little By Little”, you can get immediately by clicking your clicky thing. I urge you to do that right away. Use the Bittorrent download; faster, and higher bitrates, than the direct-download link.

I cannot stop listening to “What You Live By.”

Update: My initial impressions stand. Strong.

October 2, 2005

Serenity. Now.

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 1:13 am

This short note, free of spoilers and any related detractions from the oeuvre, is here to inform you that Serenity might be the single best piece of science fiction committed to film since the director’s cut of Blade Runner.

It is just that good. They should never have cancelled that show.

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