Monday, July 24, 2006


So I started this morning by waking up at like 6AM so I could stare at the ceiling and worry about my tutorial about using the Subversion libraries in your own code.

Fortunately, the tutorial actually went quite well. I had something like 30 people show up, and most of them managed to stay awake throughout most of the talk ;-)

Additionally, I actually had enough content to fill all three hours, almost exactly. Ideally I would have actually had slightly less stuff, since I ran about 5 minutes over, and it would have been good to stop a few minutes early to leave time for questions.

Most importantly though, it's over, and I can move on to worrying about my talks later in the week.

Post-tutorial I ran into Ugo Cei, who's blog I've read for some time. We grabbed lunch at the Red Robin near the convention center, which was a great way to wind down after the tutorial. I swear the entire convention was sitting in that place over lunch...

Right now I'm sitting in MJD's talk on Higher Order Perl. The high point so far was him going off on a rant about the correct plural of the word octopus, which was quite amusing. Other than that, not too much stuff I hadn't gotten out of his book (although the trick to bless a closure into an object is pretty slick, I don't recall seeing that before), but I have high hopes for the section about parsing at the end of the talk.

Anyway, back to paying attention...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bash + Readline + Sanity

So yesterday, in a futile attempt to convince Firefox,, Ubuntu, and a really large s5 presentation to work together without consuming ridiculous amounts of CPU I upgraded from Ubuntu Breezy to Ubuntu Dapper.

Naturally, tihs didn't actually fix anything of consequence, although it did give me a laptop that boots quite a bit faster (bonus!), and an X screen resolution control panel that is capable of controlling the resolution on more than one display (kind of slick).

Unfortunately, it broke my .inputrc, which sets up and down arrows to history-search-backward and hisory-search-forward respectively, and since I'm totally addicted to that feature I had to stop all productive work and find a way to fix it.

After flailing around hopelessly for a while, I came upon the /usr/share/doc/bash/inputrc.arrows file, which has various different ways to configure your arrow keys. Now just cut and pasting all of them into .inputrc didn't help much, well it did actually fix the problem I was working on, but it made me have to hit enter twice to do anything, which isn't really a step forward in my opinion. But after paring it down to just the basics, I found that the following worked:

set enable-keypad on
"\C-[OD" backward-char
"\C-[OC" forward-char
"\C-[OA" history-search-backward
"\C-[OB" history-search-forward

Previously I had gotten away with:

"\M-[A": history-search-backward
"\M-[B": history-search-forward
"\M-[C": forward-char
"\M-[D": backward-char

This worked on dozens of systems, and I still have no idea why it stopped working, but whatever...

Just figured I'd post it in case anyone else has the same problem, or, more likely, I have the same problem again and need to look up what I did to fix it ;-)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Housing Situation

So, despite Jessica's attempt to jinx us by posting about it on LiveJournal earlier today, we successfully managed to sign the lease on our new apartment tonight. It's incredibly cool, way nicer than any other places we looked at, and I can't wait to move in. There's a ton of room, it's near all sorts of stuff, and is just generally awesome.

Oh, and the bar that's just down the street from it is just too damn cool. We're totally going to rule their trivia night.

Anyway, now that we've settled that I just get to sit back and relax until September 1st when we move in.

Friday, July 7, 2006

XMPP/Jabber Fun

So just yesterday Paul and I were talking about the various options available for running your own Jabber server (short version, Wildfire and DJabberd appear to be the best options available, which you use probably depends on whether you want to extend it and if so whether you prefer to hack in Java or Perl), and then today the Livejournal guys announce their new Jabber support. It's pretty slick, if you're already a Livejournal user you automatically get a Jabber acount that's integrated with your existing Livejournal friends list (your mutual friends anyway, other friends show up as pending). Perhaps most importantly, server to server support works (although there are still some issues with regard to cross server buddy lists apparently), which means this will work just fine with other Jabber based systems (like Google Talk). The IM world continues to get more and more interesting. Wonder how long it'll take until one of the big three IM systems start supporting Jabber natively...

Monday, July 3, 2006

Railroad Bridge

As part of my ongoing attempt to actually get out and take more pictures I took a quick trip down to the Cape Cod Canal and got some shots of the railroad bridge at the south end.

The results are up on flickr.

It was actually a pretty lousy day down by the canal. Both windy and cloudy. I had planned on waiting around for dusk to get some shots of the bridge as it got dark, but there was no way that was going to happen.

Fortunately, there are few pictures of large metal objects like bridges that can't be made to look at least reasonably artistic by applying the "remove color" command in Photoshop ;-)

Sunday, July 2, 2006


A little over 300 pictures taken at the Onset fireworks last night, and about 10 that ended up looking decent enough to put on flickr ;-)

Things I've learned about photographing fireworks...

People keep standing up in front of you. What a pain. Maybe I need a taller tripod.

Auto focus totally doesn't work at all, although that's not entirely unexpected.

Tripods on the beach only sorta work. Need to find a better spot to shoot from next year.

I really could have used a hands free shutter release thingy. Again, maybe for next year.

Should have reset the focus part way through, it looked decent at the beginning, but a lot of the later shots looked blurry.

The smoke really does get in the way. It's important to get some good shots quickly, because by the end of the show the smoke will obscure most everything.

Anyway, here's the stuff that ended up looking halfway decent. Enjoy.