Internet


Does anyone else find it interesting the way bookmarking, as a technology, rose, then fell, then rose, then fell, then rose again?
 
Rise #1: 1995-2002
At first it was great, everybody with their Netscape Navigator or Mosaic or Lynx was so enamored by the fact that you could actually save links. People would save links… then make webpages that are just them sharing what they think are good bookmarks. Google was born during the period.
 
Fall #1: 1999-2008
At some point, we all had to get a new computer, and lost all our bookmarks. Anyone consistent enough to actually understand that something saved should be SAVED FOR LIFE and not simply go away because a piece of hardware breaks — basically stopped using bookmarks at this point. They aren’t forever. They are a way to flush your efforts down the toilet. People just started googling things.
 
Rise #2: 2006-2013
Neither of the previous ways of doing things are good. You should be able to bookmark things FOR LIFE but also not lose them when your computer dies. 3rd party external bookmarking services like Del.Iciou.Us and Diigo started popping up. There were other sites like StumbleUpon and such. The point being – people could manage their bookmarks in a way that transcends their individual computer.
 
Fall #2: 2013
Del.iciou.us shuts down. Power users who have been using the one logical solution for persistent bookmarks scream so hard at yahoo that yahoo’s corporate decision is reversed. But the damage is done. A logical person stops using a service that has announced its closure, and logical people stopped using delicoius.
 
Rise #3: 2010-2017
Oh look! Google Chrome & Firefox now let you sync your browser to the internet. Not sure when they added this as I was busy using delicious. So when you install a brand new browser, you get all your plugins and bookmarks back. Who needs delicious anymore? WHo needs a 3rd party? The browsers finally work, in the mid 2010s, the way they always should have in the late 1990s. Transparently and persistently. Why the fuck did it take them so long?

UPDATE: I wrote this up much more nicely at StackOverflow:

 

http://superuser.com/questions/1029610/how-do-view-flickr-com-using-the-old-style-consistently-automatically/1029614#1029614

 

My wife & I have gmail filters set up to forward each others’ facebook emails to each other. It brings a level of postmodern closeness and togetherness and awareness, and indeed keeps us from tripping each other up and having to have redundant exchanges of information. But then Facebook changed, and clicking each others’ links logged each other out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve logged into facebook. Probably at least 100 in 2015 alone, if not more. IT. GETS. OLD. Then one day Carolyn played with the URL and discovered you could remove the last 2 parts of it, and it would bring you to the correct place (assuming you both had access). Then I realized I already had a plugin (chrome plugin id pajiegeliagebegjdhebejdlknciafen) called Redirector that lets you run a regular expression modification on any URLs you visit.  Why the hell was I not using this?   So just do this:

From To
(.*)(facebook.com)(.*)(&mid=.*) $1$2$3

And the problem is solved. Don’t bitch to me about the 4th set of parenthesis being unnecessary. It looks way better.

BONUS FEATURE: How to make the new flickr look like the old flickr:

From To
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/[a-zA-Z0-9]+/*)$
$1?details=1

Ohhh NetHack… One of the most important and influential (it inspired Diablo, and countless spin offs) PC games of all time. It is basically Dungeons & Dragons for the PC. Yet despite being so influential, it is itself a variant of Hack, which is a variant of Rogue. But it was the variant that kicked ass enough to stick around for over 20 years.

How I love you, NetHack. How I hate you, NetHack. The only PC game from the 1980s that I still occasionally play today, over 22 years later. The only game I ever played where every letter of the alphabet did something different — for both capital and lowercase. And then some.

blacklights are cool .. so is nethack 106-0629_IMG
Carolyn
plays Nethack in 2002 (VGA tile style).

The only game I ever opened the EXE file up with with a hex editor and manually paged through the entire binary, reading all the strings of game events, and realizing that I would never, ever experience everything the game had to offer. It was just too much.

You may change your appearance — from ASCII, to extended 8-bit ASCII, to VGA tiles, to isometric 3-D to proper 3-D renderings — but you are still the same Nethack. The same damned, frustratingly impossible-for-me-to-win Nethack.


ASCII Nethack.

Now, beyond the fact that NetHack is an incredibly complex that fills one with a sense of wonder, one has to also consider that this game came to its existence in the great information blackout known as “BEFORE THE INTERNET”.

Well, there was an internet back then, but the common man did not use it, or even have access to it. I began playing in 1987 or 1988, when the 600K binary file – smaller than a 1 megapixel camera image – took up 6% of the family’s 20-meg harddrive. There was NO INFORMATION back then. You heard things from TV (and they didn’t talk about computer games), word of mouth (nobody cared about computers back then), or BBSes. And BBSes were, of course, a wild west for information seekers. The internet is tame by comparison. You’d fight to get a tiny bit of information, then you’d hold onto it as tight as you can.

So Nethack was quite mysterious. There were no forums. There was no way to reach the internet. And calling local BBSes, one at a time, dealing with busy signals, leaving messages for the next caller — didn’t exactly yield a lot of info.

So it was this mysterious game. I never knew that you COULD win until the internet came along. I never really ran into other people who knew about it, or played. Not unless I talked to someone who was as similarly ahead of the tech curve as I was, and those people were few, far between, and had a wide array of interests. Even today, according to WikiPedia, “fans of NetHack consider an ascension without having read spoilers very prestigious; the achievement is so difficult that some question whether it has been or can be accomplished.”


Extended 8-bit ASCII Nethack.

When I finally got on the internet, I was the only human being I personally knew to use it until I went to Virginia Tech to study Computer Science. (And no, I wont say how. There weren’t ISPs back then, and I used a modem. People back then used programs to call WarDialers to call every phone number sequentially. I WarDialed for an hour a night some months.)

I looked hard for the “net” in nethack. I poured over newsgroups, but there still wasn’t much talk about the NET in it. I knew what networking was, and wanted to play a networked D&D game with someone. Obviously NetHack had to be multi-player — it has the word NET in it, for chrissakes!


VGA tile Nethack.

I eventually found out there were telnet servers that hosted NetHack. You could telnet to an address (this was way before the web was invented) and play Nethack there. I must have telnet’ed to every NetHack server on the planet. I was positive I would find another person in one of them. It had NET in the fucking name!


Early GL “barely 3-D” 3-D implementation. More like VGA tiles, but with fancier tiles.

Even once the web came around, I would, every few years, google around to see if anyone had perhaps developed a port that would let multiple people play at once. I’d think the game much more winnable if Carolyn could be at my side, instead of my cat. But still… IT NEVER EXISTS! NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT IT TO EXIST, IT NEVER WOULD!!!! GODDAMNIT I WANT TO PLAY!!!


3-D isometric Nethack (Vulture’s Eye). 3-D, but stuck at the same angle, causing things to be blocked from view, even though they wouldn’t be blocked from view in the original version.

Oh, if only I could go back, and tell young Clint, “This is Future Clint! Don’t look for the ‘net’ in NetHack! It’s a waste of your time!” Or if only I could go back and encourage some of the hardcore developers in the 1980s and 1990s to actually make a multi-player version of this!

Alas, I doubt this will ever happen. But at least Nethack continues to be played, even today. There’s Android and iPhone versions, but the Android has got to be better. Since every letter capital and lower does something different, it simply would be faster to play it with a real phone.

Anyway, that’s my sad childhood computer game fantasy story :) It was a FAIL.



“Proper” (rotatable, can see everything properly) 3-D Noegnut Nethack.

You can also read people’s Nethack experiences in the Nethack newsgroup, rec.games.roguelike.nethack — especially the official faq. Even today, people will post about seeing things they’ve never seen in the game. That’s just how awesome Nethack is!

Download NetHack at the official page.

For more pictures, check out the Nethack tag and Nethack photopool on Flickr, or do a Google Images search for Nethack.



Very large Nethack – “I said wallet sized, not wall-sized!”


Very small NethackiPhone.


Very small Nethack – Better phone implementation.

20101002 - too many NethacksToo many Nethacks!


Nethack humor.


Harder-to-read Nethack humor (click for larger image).


Nethack humor more people can understand than usual.


More humor.

For more pictures, check out the Nethack tag and Nethack photopool on Flickr, or do a Google Images search for Nethack.
(more…)

I think it’s a mistake… But… It’s pretty dumb that it’s that much harder to RSS-subscribe to a flickr tag nowadays. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Subscribing to a tag is one of the best ways to use flickr. If you want to see new photos of celebrities, TV shows, or *anything* you like, without having to check all your interests every day, it’s really the only way to do it. Plus, as they all show up in the same part of your screen [your rss reader], pre-loaded, you can go through images in half a second each — less time that it would typically take to find a photo and click it.

So here’s the format:

FlickR: RSS a tag: http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?tags=nicolekidman&lang=en-us&format=rss_200

Just subtitute in a different name other than Nicole Kidman. Don’t use spaces, of course.

Some suggested FlickR RSS subscriptions:

Lily Cole
Nicole Kidman
Penelope Cruz
Salma Hayek
Anna Faris
Annie Wersching (redhead agent in latest seasons of 24)
Elisha Cuthbert
Mena Suvari
Teri Hatcher (hopefully pre-Michael Jackson face)
Jennifer Connelly
Connie Seleca (alas, new pics of her are INFREQUENT)
Elizabeth Kucinich (I’m waiting… patiently.)

If you’re a geek, here’s some more:
command line
Clint’s ASCII & ANSI artwork pool

Some RSS comedy links:
XKCD
FAILblog
Fail Flickr photopool
TENSO photopool (also mine)
Totally Looks Like
WTF pictures
LOLpoliticians
Garfield Minus Garfield

Enjoy loadin’ up your reader with this goodness. Cartoon lovers may want:

Beavis & Butt-head photopool
The Simpsons flickr tag
The Simpsons photo pool
The Simpsons – another photo pool

There have been unexpected consequences for me. The first time I heard of the movie The House Bunny was via flickr, because someone posted an Anna Faris pic (She’s the star). Since I’m not plugged directly into the hype machine, several movies by some of my most lusted-after actresses have come to my attention by me subscribing to their pictures. Or the time my dad told me The Simpsons were coming out with postage stamps. He figured I didn’t know, because I don’t use the mail or buy stamps. But I’d seen their picture on flickr. When the world is your input data set, you get all kinds of interesting output. Yay technology!

So anyway — put THIS into your RSS reader and smoke it! (more…)

One of the things I try to avoid is the business of manually checking sites. I really don’t do it. It’s a phenomenal waste of time. Even if you only check 1 or 2 sites a day, you may find that automating the process [via rss] leaves you with more free time, allowing you to either check more sites, or, you know, reclaim your life back. I spend 0 seconds a day typing my favorite websites into the addressbar and waiting for pages to load.

The Notifications feed (found near the bottom-right of the page HERE, though it may be more prudent to use the new RSS News Feed Reader app on Facebook) always felt useless to me. Why would I want to read in my reader that someone commented on a link of mine? I’d rather get the email, so I know RIGHT AWAY, so I can converse. So I always skipped over the notification feed for having untimely info. However, that feed contains other stuff you might read on your news feed, such as quizzes, surveys, and other banal facebook stuff. The flaw in this feed has always been that it is half “stuff I want to know the second it happens” and half “stuff I don’t care when [or if] I find out”. The trick is to send the first half to email, and the second half to RSS.

To do this, we need to scrub the time-dependent stuff out of the Facebook Notifications feed, using a 3rd party RSS feed filter such as FeedRinse (NOTE: FeedRinse SUCKS! I would advise finding anything random on the internet over using FeedRinse. It’s unreliable and slow, and doesn’t actually save time.). This ruleset is by no means complete, but it’s a damn good start:

FeedRinse is also good for filtering your “friends’ status updates” and “friends’ links” and “friends’ notes” feed: Remove those pesky repetitive things people repeat every week, MafiaWars invites, mentions of football, particular people you want to shut up but don’t want to friend, and such.

Screw reading by the web! It forces you to read everybody’s stuff with no filters, and it forces you to manually check. You also have no way of storing a backlog — Facebook only goes back so far in the web; the reader remembers everything that happens while you are gone. It also allows you to search everything you’ve read, which you can’t do on Facebook. After seeing a movie I like, I search my reader for that movie. A lot of the results are friends talking about it. I now know who saw the movie, and go and leave a comment. Sometimes people are surprised that I’m commenting on something they posted 6 months ago. “How did you find this post?” RSS, that’s how! (more…)

Another tip for couples computing: Share your email notifications.

20070421 - Angel & Ian's housewarming party - (by Angel) - 470743940_c94781aa77_o - diptych - 470743256_17879731d9_o - Carolyn, Clint as Tina Fey with Angel's glasses - 1=sassy, 2=trashed

If you’re a close couple who wants to be aware of each other’s socializing, or find out when the other is in a conversation you might want to join in … The best way to do it is to share email notifications. For example, any email that goes to Carolyn or myself via Facebook, Livejournal, or Netflix – automatically goes to the other.

{This also has the added curse/benefit that if I block someobody, but Carolyn doesn’t, I still see the responses that Carolyn would see. Thus, they don’t see what I write, but I see what they write. The other curse is that any conversation you are both in will result in 2 emails, plus you often get email notification for your own comments.}

Still, the old SubGenius saying goes, “Too much is always better than not enough.” If the two of you want to be aware of each other’s conversations, your choice is to see some things 0 times, or twice. I’ll take twice.

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

For purposes of this conversation, my email is clint@gmail.com and Carolyn’s is carolyn@gmail.com.

  1. I change my Facebook/LiveJournal/whatever notification email from clint@gmail.com to clint+carolyn@gmail.com. Everything after the “+” does not affect delivery, but is very useful for filtering (see next step).
  2. I create a gmail filter that says “if mail is to clint+carolyn@gmail.com, then forward to carolyn@gmail.com”.
  3. Carolyn changes her Facebook/LiveJournal/whatever notification email from carolyn@gmail.com to carolyn+clint@gmail.com.
  4. Carolyn creates a gmail filter that says “if mail is to carolyn+clint@gmail.com, then forward to clint@gmail.com”.

Voila! Now you both get each other’s notifications. You have strengthened your ties together, at the expense of cluttering your inbox.

This is also very useful for Netflix notifications. Or Evites. (more…)

This had us laughing sooo hard last night!
(more…)

Unfortunately this Facebook Application Idea would not work, as it would end up messaging random people who don’t install the app, most likely a violation of anti-spam rules. Then again, you never know. Here’s the idea for my Facebook App, the “Manatee Joke Sender”:

South Park - Clint - by Clint - Towelie shirt First off, you need to know what a “Manatee Joke” is. You can read about it HERE. Basically, South Park criticized Family Guy, in their two-part episode Cartoon Wars, for writing jokes with manatees. They said they had manatees in a tank, with ideas written on balls. Things like “Gary Coleman”, “Mexico”, and “Laundromat”. The manatees then select these balls at random, and a joke is made. In South Park, they parody Family Guy, and show them breaking away to an imaginary flashback — “Remember that time I took Gary Coleman to a Mexican laundromat?”

The whole point of their criticism is that Family Guy’s jokes are completely random and have nothing to do with the plot:

Don’t you ever, ever compare me to Family Guy, you hear me Kyle? Compare me to Family Guy again, and, so help me, I will kill you where you stand! Do you have any idea what it’s like? Everywhere I go: “Hey Cartman you must like Family Guy, right?” “Hey, your sense of humor reminds me of Family Guy, Cartman!” I am nothing like Family Guy! When I make jokes, they are inherent to a story! Deep situational and emotional jokes based on what is relevant and has a point, not just one random interchangeable joke after another!
—Eric Cartman, Cartoon Wars Part I

So anyway.. Facebook has fan pages. For example, you can search for Gary Coleman and click “Become a fan”.

Deep Space Manatee by nickelcroquette @ flickr

Deep Space Manatee by nickelcroquette @ flickr

This leads me to the manatee idea on a social network. Pick 3 random things — Gary Coleman, Mexico, and laundromats. Obviously these 3 things have to have fan pages on facebook, but hey, you can fan “socks” and “nitrogen” (yes, the gas) if you want on facebook. Just about everything has a facebook fan page!

The application picks 3 random things… And then cues the admin to write a joke using these 3. The joke is then sent to all facebook people who are fans of the 3 items intended. So it hopefully only goes to people who would appreciate the humor.

Sadly, this sounds like a lot of effort to implement, it would be considered a nuisance or spam by the people receiving the joke, and there’s probably no money in it. And an AI could not write funny jokes; it would have to prompt a human.

I still think there’s potential here… Someone should do it. Just not me :)

One of the greatest feature in gmail is labels that can be applied to any message. Unlike folders, you can apply as many labels as you want. If someone sends me a funny picture, rather than having to create a new “funny pictures” folder, I can just apply the existing labels “comedy” and “pictures”. Similarly, if someone sends me an unfunny picture, I can just label it “pictures”. And if someone sends me comedy that isn’t a picture, I can label it “comedy”. Multi-labels are POWERFUL, and keep you from having to have as many “folders”. Back in the folder days, I would frequently save the same email to 2 or 3 folders, creating extra copies and wqasting extra space.

One of my basic tenants of email is that people’s emails should be labeled with their name. If your name is Frank, I want any emails from you or to you under my “Frank” label. Since labels can have custom colors, this is very useful. For instance, since Tabbitha loves pink so much, I made her label bright pink. Her emails stand out in my inbox — assuming they are labeled.

So this gets us to the labeling problem. For me to highlight Tabbitha’s messages pink, I have to create two filters! Maybe even three!

1) If message is from Tabbitha, label “Tabbitha”.
2) If message is to Tabbitha, label “Tabbitha”.
3) If message subject contains Tabbitha (for evite or facebook notifications), label “Tabbitha”.

Obviously, it is time consuming to make 3 filters every time you meet someone. Guess how many filters I’ve created in my 4+ years of using gmail? 1,993!

It would be SO SO SO nice if they had an “OR” operator. So I could put Tabbitha in “from”, “to”, and “subject”, and click “or”, and then if she was in any of those, it would work. But nooooooo. Gmail defaults to using “AND”. So if you put Tabbitha in “from”, “to”, and “subject”, it will only apply to messages that are from AND to her AND have it in the subject. And by definition, those emails would never get to me (they are from Tabbitha, and to herself.. so I’m not getting them… haha). Gmail fails here, because they use “AND” and not “OR”. I really wish they would let us choose the boolean operator.

So anyway, in an effort to keep this number as low as possible — I figured out a way to combine 2 or 3 filters into 1, by FOOLING GMAIL. This allows for faster filter creation. Observe the method for squeezing 2 filters into one:

gmail filter hack - squeeze 2 filters out of 1

See the first circled part? This shouldn’t be accepted as valid user input, but it is.
Because the parenthesis shouldn’t be there, gmail adds a right parenthesis to close it.
See the second circled part?  This is how gmail resolves it – it closes the parenthesis, which contain nothing in them, and as such “cancel out” in an almost algebraic way. The remaining code is “from:(dynamite44) OR to:(dynamite44)”. I’ve successfully subverted gmail into using “OR” instead of “AND”. w00t!

This ends up giving the desired effect of 2 filters in one.

Finally, Facebook and Evites and Flickr often give you notification for people using their username, or their first and last names. So, this concept can be extended to the subject as well. In this example, I made a filter for someone who consistently uses ‘remodulated’ for their email and flickr notifications:

gmail filter hack - squeeze 3 filters out of 1

In this case, the filter would match any message that is from remodulated OR to remodulated OR has remodulated in the subject. Normally, this would require 3 filters. But you can trick gmail into doing it all in 1 filter. double w00t! (more…)

Browser compare using browser javascript benchmark HERE. (more…)

What improved with the new version of wordpress, exactly? Looks don’t count. The only thing I can think of that’s better is the comment approval page now uses ajax so you don’t have to reload it. But I have plenty of problems with their so-called “progress”:

1) Got future dated posts? Want to find the one closest to Christmas to add in a Merry Christmas blurb? Try looking at the list of future dated posts (if I dropped dead, my blog would keep spitting out content until next May). They changed the date column from displaying the date (gee, is that so bad?) to displaying “14 days from now” instead. You have to do math. If I want to know what post is on Carolyn’s birthday — I have to count the numbers of days it is from now (Feb 23 = 23 in feb + 31 for jan + 14 for the rest of this year, so 23+31+14 = 68) and then look for the one that says “68 days from now” in the column. HOW STUPID IS THAT?
I emailed support, and they taught me how to get around this. Mouse over “x days from now”. A tooltip will come up saying the date. Of course, it’s not a link, so why would I think to mouseover it? I guess whenever anything is missing, I now have to mouseover every element on the page in hopes of finding it. STUPID FAIL. If you’re going to change it, give me an option to change it to the way it was. The non-stupid way.

2) Speaking of future-dating posts, which do on a daily basis — before you could just set the date by dropping down the month, typing in the date, and dropping down the year. Now, two dropdowns is bad enough. I would prefer a textbox where I could just type 20091231, but I have to deal with the fact that they have to deal with stupid users who would mess this up. So how did they improve this? YOU CAN’T EDIT THE DATE! It’s static text. Now you have to also click the ‘edit’ button because they decided that the user “wants” an extra click between the dropdown. Why? Are people accidentally future dating their posts left-and-right, then wondering where they went??? I haven’t heard of this happening, but a simple confirmation (with a “don’t show this again”) would suffice. I future-date every movie review. I future-date holiday related stuff. I future-date stuff when I’ve blogged too much one day and know I wont be around another.. Gee, yet another click to do what I used to be able to do? Again: No functionality was added. Just more effort to do the same thing. FAIL.

3) Got categories? I do. A lot. In the past, you can click the categories you want. Now they give you “suggested frequent” categories. In the whole history of this feature, which has existeds for 2 wordpress releases, it has never suggested all the ones I need correctly. I have to click “show all tags”, and wait for it to do an ajax load (which isn’t as quick as others, as it has to send my HUGE list of categories) to get my real categories. Extra click. Extra wait. No improved functionality that I can use. PROGRESS FAIL.
(There’s also a heirarchy bug that they put in their support system as a documented bug and chose not to fix for the past 2 versions, becuase th ey’re too busy changing the appearance arbitrarliy and repeatedly and adding extra clicks to do everything.)

4) New sidebar. They had to get cute and make a CSS left sidebar instead of using a table, somethign that has worked since the inception of HTML. This is a particular problem that they are not going to fix because it affects very few people. I use NoSQuint to remember zoom levels at differnet websites, because I am in a 1920×1080 52-inch screen and sit 6-7 feet away. It’s required. It’s almost like I’m handicapped and am using assistive technologies, and their site isn’t 508-ompliant. So anyway, now when wordpress is zoomed enough for me to read the text, the sidebar expands over your edited blogpost. So you are literally typing text that is behind something else, unable to see what you are typing.
So now… I have to manually zoom down 2-3 zoom levels everytime I edit a post, and manually zoom up 2-3 levels everytime I read a post (even if I’m previewing my draft). Of course the problem goes away if I don’t load NoSquint, but then I have to adjust the zoom level pretty much everytime I load a page on the internet. Or set my default font to be larger, which can create more ugly CSS issues and put you into an “even falser reality” (IMNSHO).
So yes: The problem is NoSquint. But here’s my problem: It works for the rest of the internet. It worked for wordpress for years, too. But the new wordpress version? It zooms the sidebar over the editing box. They had to get fancy and break it — for me.
Thanks for the “improvement” wordpress. It’s purely aesthetic. It’s not like we couldn’t do the things on the sidebar before. That functionality has always been availab.e Once again, changes were made that created zero new functionality, but make my life more harder. PROGRESS FAIL.

That being said… One of the reasons I love WordPress is that they have the most responsive tech support I’ve ever seen. And they provide APIs that are easier to work with and more standardized (IMNSHO) than with LiveJournal. And much, much more functionality. (LJ still doesn’t have search boxes for people’s stuff? Or am I just missing it?)

I just wish they would focus on making things better instead of making things prettier. They cosmetically changed everything TWICE now. Even if I liked the changes, they changed those! So those who hate change are screwed, and those who liked those changes were screwed too.

This is in the midst of Gmail making itself look worse (I found a classic theme), Google Reader making itself worse (I just love how a category on the left can be highlighted yellow and lead you to beleieve that’s the category you’re reading, when it’s really not — old version didn’t do that) (and the blue background on the left side? I was used to that and now I don’t think it looks as good), Delicious’s Firefox Add-in updating, failing, and delaying me from opening my browser for an hour (while I was doing other stuff, like looking up solutions). DEVELOPERS – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This is why I end up writing my own solutions for so many things. I can at least trust myself not to screw myself over. As rigid as my own systems end up being, and as bad as the features can sometimes get — I’ll never throw away the investment of my own time. Other developers will, though. The foundation of my computing Clintvironment has been in non-stop development since 1988, and I have never screwed myself over, time-wise (with the exception of my online photo album, which taught me a lot), as bad as other people’s forced upgrades have. (more…)

http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/stupid-firefox-500-.jpg

Guess I’ll use my OTHER computer to download the files. Thank you for failing me once again Firefox.  Looks like Firefox looks in the environment for %TMP to use as a temporary folder. Nevermind the fact that windows uses %TEMP internally, so I tend to use %TMP (no E) in my own scripts. Look what happens if %TMP is set to a file (d:\documents and settings\oh\local settings\temp\4nt36c.tmp-) instead of a folder: Firefox can’t save. This includes “Save As” too!  The only solution is to close firefox, unset %TMP, and re-start it.

Here’s a hint to the Firefox developers: If a file can’t save, check if the directory is valid. If it’s not, check %TEMP instead of %TMP! If that’s still invalid, use the recycle bin as a temp folder! There’s really no excuse for firefox to fail in a practically-undocumented way such as this. It’s taken me awhile to put two and two together that this is what’s happening. Lame.

OTHER IRONY: The computer downstairs’s Firefox breaks such that you can’t type addresses into the addressbar. This happens if it’s open for about 24 hours (and I only reboot 2-3 times a month). So not only do I have to copy the address from my firefox on this computer onto the other computer to save the file, but I have to do it at the command-line to make firefox open it.  Score another victory for the superior realiability of the command-line. Memory leaks and such can’t make generally command-line commands fail the same way they can make GUI elements fail. It’s the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I have amassed a few quotes here and there. Some by me. Some by friends. Some famous quotes. Some random quotes. For a long time, simply stored these in quotes.txt.

Well, I had an idea — Turn quotes.txt into an RSS feed, so that everytime a new quote is added, it can show up in people’s readers.

And that’s what I did. You can subscribe to the “Clint‘s Quotes” RSS feed HERE.

For those still stuck in 2004 (i.e. those who don’t use RSS), the actual text file of quotes can be read HERE. But you’re screwed on updates — which is part of the point of RSS. I guess you can just check it every day for new ones? Ha ha ha, nobody would ever do that! Manually checking stuff is for suckas! That’s why I made this an RSS feed.

RSS is the most important technology since http and email. Go to Google Reader and paste http://clint.sheer.us/quotes/quotes-rss.xml into it for much better results.

WARNING: New subscribers will get an item for EVERY quote. Star them for later, mark them all as read, but don’t come whining to me about filling your RSS box :)

P.S.: To those already using our aggregated/managed feed, this feed was already incorporated several weeks ago. So no action is needed on your part.

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In response to Slashdot’s recent article, “What RSS Feeds Do You Use?“, I decided to share some of the feeds and types of feeds  that I subscribe to. If you don’t know what RSS is, you’re really surfing the web in an antiquated way that only made sense last millenium. Have fun getting less information for more time, because failure to use RSS accomplishes exactly that: It takes you longer to get the information you want, and you get less information that you want, and less awareness. Get a google account, signup for Google Reader, and ask me to forward some feeds to you.  Anyway, here are some feeds I use… (more…)

As both an organization maniac, and a visually-driven person, gmail color labels are a godsend. I have over 1500 filters that automatically apply 2-6 labels to almost every email I receive. Colors are going to make it much easier to visually grep out the labels that are important to me:

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It’s a crazy day today! Check it out… The Jessica Rabbit picture is a realization of many childhood fantasies! (more…)

WAR ON DRUGS: Federal marijuana decriminalization bill introduced — tell your congressman to support it here. Surveys tend to show that around half of Americans support decriminalization of marijuana. Since this is not a direct democracy, and you don’t get a vote, letting your congressman know what to do is the only way you will be represented. So speak up. Of course this wont make a real difference, as only 1% of marijuana arrests occur at the federal level. But federal penalties are draconian and extreme. (tags: marijuana Democrats BarneyFrank)
  • More stories past the jump —> (more…)
  • http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/pot-halo-x120.jpgFederal marijuana decriminalization bill introduced — tell your congressman to support it here Surveys tend to show that around half of Americans support decriminalization of marijuana. Since this is not a direct democracy, and you don’t get a vote, letting your congressman know what to do is the only way your opinion will be represented. So speak the fuck up. I did. (tags: marijuana )

    MUSIC + PICTURES: MyPlaylist.com – enter any bandname, and it plays random music by them, while slideshowing FlickR pictures tagged with the band name . This was awesome! !! It also works with “Futurama”! (tags: music pictures flickr ) (more…)

    I gotta figure out how to get this Tim And Eric album.  Anyway, read on for the list. I think I’m slowly learning what not to do to mess up the formatting with the new version of wordpress. (more…)

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