Archive for category Software

JavaScript Techniques and Dustin Diaz

Dustin Diaz is one of my hero’s. I just got done reading one of his articles. He is the kind of developer I aspire to be. He is a bad-ass programmer that eats Javascript for breakfast, at Google of all places. Next to him I idolize Douglas Crockford, David Flanagan, and Brendan Eich. All Javascript demi-gods in their own right.

The thing that really sets Dustin apart in my mind is that he is that I can see the two sides of his brain at work when I read his articles. There is the technical part that gets a kick from programming, then there is the creative side that says “yes that works, but it isn’t sexy enough.”

So there, a little bit of idol worship, I am done now.

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Fiesty Fawn

!ALERT! Ubuntu Feisty Fawn final has been released! Proceed to your nearest torrent tracker and initiate download and seeding. Or if your like me, ALL MY RAM ARE BELONG TO ME!

Oh, and Thunderbird 2.0 was released today too. But since everyone that would appreciate it already uses Gmail, it kinda got lost in the shuffle.

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I decided that I didn’t want all my music just sitting on my home machine, so I moved it all to my file server in the basement. The problem was that outside of mounting one of the samba shares, I couldn’t access my music anywhere but in the house. That solution worked for about a week, until I got curious to see how I could listen to my music anywhere. Well, by anywhere, I meant, anywhere there was an internet connection and a modern browser. 😉

I tried a couple of different products, but none really did what I wanted. Then a coworker told me about the software from Slimdevices that streams music to their hardware is open source and free for download. Never one to pass up a deal that included the word free (ye gods I am cheap, I admit it), I downloaded the source and eagerly tried to install it on my Ubuntu server. That lasted about as long as it took me to find that they have a package repository for debs. Just add the following to your sources.list:

deb testing main

then ‘apt-get update’ then ‘apt-get install slimserver’ and your running. I forgot to mention that you need perl installed on your machine too, but that usually comes standard anymore.

Oh, and I tried running APF last night for about 3 hours to no avail. At this point I am ready to give up, there HAS to be a better way to manage iptables than manually specifying everything.


Bad moods

Sometimes I think that bad moods are brought about by circumstance. I wrecked my car, I am getting sued, I got fired. Whatever. But today I am convinced that bad moods can be the result of nothing at all, or a something that isn’t apparent to the one having the bad mood. Take, well, me for example, today I feel like punching kittens. Why? I have abso-fricken-lootely no idea. My run in the morning turned into a walk to the end of the alley, with a twenty minute zone-out at the intersection, followed by a vigorous saunter back to the house.

I can’t concentrate on my code today. Its just a mess of stuff that I don’t want to make sense of.

My server was the unwilling target of a massive brute force attack last night, I just got my logwatch email telling me about all the failed login attempts. Those just bother me. I am going to set up the Brute Force Detection with Advance Policy Firewall from RFXNetworks, hopefully that cuts down the attempts.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much, if they did get access all they would have access to is my music collection and some encrypted backups. Well, I guess they could turn it into a zombie too, that would be bad. I guess it just bothers me that someone else has been banging away at my machine. Kinda like if some johnny were to hit on my wife. I wish I were smarter, I could hit back, but ell-if-I-know how to hackback. I suppose I could take the time to learn but I am too busy being in a bad mood right now..

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Goodbye uptime-project!

As of March 1st 2007 the Uptime-Project will be no more. This is very sad news indeed, as I have been using their services for the better part of three years. For anyone that doesn’t know, it was a novelty project that let you proudly display the up time of your machines on attractive site badges and whatnot. I have an Uptime-Project site badge on the bottom of the right column of this site, but unfortunately I will be taking it down when the site goes offline. I will probably roll my own uptime-ish badge in the future.

Thanks to everyone at the for everything they have done. You will be missed!

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Hobby programming projects..

I started a project about a year ago, I started to make a game. I have only ever developed web based applications, so the idea of having a loop that just, well keeps looping has been difficult to wrap my head around. I had grand ideas, of how it would play and what it would look like. I started coding like a man possessed. I bought a book and almost finished it. Then, my enthusiasm started to wain. I wasn’t making the progress I was in the beginning, I wanted to head in a direction that the book wasn’t going. So I started to wing it…Then I realized how much I really was leaning on the examples from the book. i got frustrated and took a month off, and when I came back to it, none of it seemed to make any sense.

I got the project all setup in SourceForge and I was checking things in and out of SVN there as I worked, but I felt like I was swimming upstream. I never seemed to make any progress. So tonight as I stared at my editor with some of the base classes open in front of me. I thought, should I just give up all together? What ever happened to those dreams of making this the coolest open source game out there? Its seems sad that for all my excitement at the beginning, it takes herculean effort to just open my editor at home and sift through all my old work.

So is this where its going to end…?

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Firebug 1.0

If you are a web developer and you haven’t seen or used Firebug, run, don’t walk, over to: and download it. It’s plugin for Firefox that is the most useful development tool I have ever used in my career. I can’t even start to explain how many useful features is has, just head over to the site and check it out for yourself.

But there is one feature that I have been waiting for, the network monitor. It times and logs each request in a stylish bar graph giving you an image of what was downloaded, how big it was and how long it took. Indispensable, really, I love this tool.

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Syntax highlighting

I have been meaning to post alot of the code I use day in and out, so that other could benefit from it. But I didn’t want to just slap some code and have it looking all nasty. I think format and syntax is part of the art of coding. How sexy is monochrome code that is all in Courier and no indenting? Not very.

I tried a number of other syntax highlighters and none of them seemed to work quite right. Then I stumbled here:

It uses the uber-cool dp.SyntaxtHighlighter. Check out my first page where I use it. Good stuff.

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Maybe this JS stuff has merit

Steve Yegge has an interesting take on Javascript’s place. I for one can honestly say that since I have been doing massive amounts of JS coding, I have become a better programmer overall. There is nothing I can specifically put my finger on. Just better overall I suspect.

It makes me wonder if Javascript will ever get the respect of other “high” level languages do.


Yahoo! Maps

Alright, Google just had the gauntlet thrown down on it. Yahoo! Maps seriously ups the ante in the online mapping arena.

Some of the features that I found really cool:

  • Automatically supports way points in a route. If I want to get from one place to another, but I absolutely must go through another place(s). Google maps doesn’t do this easily, or at all that I am aware of.
  • You roll over a part of the directions and it highlights the part of the route on the map it is referring to. Very cool.
  • Traffic view. You can overlay current traffic congestion/problems on major roadways on you directions.

Those were the first things that really jumped off the screen at me. Oh, and another thing for developers, Yahoo! is offering all the Javascript libraries that make Yahoo! Maps work, available for download at

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