Archive for the 'Random Thoughts' Category


Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Sadly, I don’t have much time to write about this in detail right now, but it’s worth noting that if you use *any* cloud storage services, SMEstorage is worth checking out.

It does a lot of different things, but a big part of what makes it useful for me is that it allows you to mount any of your cloud storage services as a local part of your OS — even if you’re using Linux or OS X. That’s really, really useful.

In addition, there are mobile clients for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry.

You really need to see this.

Long live TinyXP!

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

If you *must* run Windows, instead of Linux or OS X, this is the version you should be running.

TinyXP is XP with all of the wasteful crap stripped out.

For details, see this blog post.

To download, go here or here, depending on what you want.

Tips for New Ubuntu Installs

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

To move the window controls (Minimize, Maximize, Close) to the right side of a window, instead of the left, install this theme:

To make new Firefox tabs open on the right, instead of the left, follow these instructions:

I forget how I installed, Flash, but you’ll probably want to do that, too. Feel free to leave a comment.

George Orwell

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Whoever controls the image and information of the past determines what and how future generations will think; whoever controls the information and images of the present determines how those same people will view the past.
~ George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

If you find this interesting, check out this LRC article by John Gatto.

There are PLENTY of IP Addresses!!

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

If you follow CNN, you’re almost certainly already aware that, due to a shortage of IP addresses, “the internet might stop working.”

I just wanted to take a moment to make three quick points:

1) The Internet is not going to stop working when we run out of IP addresses. In fact, that whole idea is incomprehensibly dumb.

2) There are PLENTY of IP addresses!!

Okay, get this… There are fewer than 300 million internet users in the world. There are over 4 BILLION IPv4 addresses.

Get it? There are plenty of addresses. The problem is not the number of addresses. The problem is that the crackheads assigning them don’t care whether or not they end up being utilized. What an incredible (and expensive) waste.

3) There is a very simple solution to this that doesn’t involve spending billions of dollars on forcing the world to move to IPv6 before it’s ready:

ARIN should just start reclaiming unused IP blocks.

It’s that simple. It really is.

Ping each IP address, and if there’s no response, check a few ports.

Use that data to create a utilization metric for each IP block.

If the IP block is underutilized, or not used at all, simply recover part or all of the IP block for someone else to use.

That’s it. That’s all that has to be done.

People are idiots.


Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

When you grow up, start making your own money, and people start coming for half your stuff every year, you will either become a cynic, like me, or a fool who pays it happily. But at least you won’t be a mooch.

Real-Time Photo Mosaic Tools

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

It occurred to me that my blog is pretty outdated. I haven’t updated it regularly in ages, and I just don’t have time to blog anymore.

So, I’ve decided to redo and make it less blog-centric.

One idea that I had was to create a photo mosaic from my Flickr feed. So, it would be one large picture of me made up of my last 1000 Flickr uploads. When I upload a new photo, it would update the mosaic automatically.

In order to do this, though, I need a PHP or Python script that generates photo mosaics and could be modified to run as a script.

This is just a brainstorm-in-progress, but here are a few pieces of software that may be part of the puzzle:

Flickr makes 75×75 px thumbnails readily available for all of its photos. So I could write a script that downconverts all of them to 20×20 px, generate a mosaic, and then cache it for speed and use on my website.

I’m going to shelve this for now, but I might develop and implement this in the future… just an idea…

Scammers taking over Facebook?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Check out the Facebook chat I just had:

(03:28:00 AM) Andrew Hayes: hello
(03:28:12 AM) Andrew Hayes: how are you doing?
(03:28:57 AM) Chris Brunner: a little tired, you?
(03:29:13 AM) Andrew Hayes: i am not good at the moment
i am in a deep mess and i need your help
(03:30:34 AM) Chris Brunner: What can I do?
(03:31:42 AM) Andrew Hayes: i am stuck in London Got mugged at gunpoint
(03:32:15 AM) Chris Brunner: That’s horrible
(03:33:06 AM) Chris Brunner: I’m sorry to hear that
(03:33:33 AM) Andrew Hayes: all cash on me was stolen including cell phone and credit card
(03:33:50 AM) Andrew Hayes: i was injured…little bruises on my neck
(03:34:10 AM) Chris Brunner: is this a joke?
(03:34:50 AM) Andrew Hayes: i am really serious
(03:35:00 AM) Andrew Hayes: i am just freaked out
(03:35:19 AM) Chris Brunner: how are you using a computer?
(03:35:38 AM) Andrew Hayes: i am presently in a loocal library
(03:35:48 AM) Chris Brunner: which one?
(03:35:53 AM) Andrew Hayes: i have limited time here!!
(03:36:05 AM) Andrew Hayes: here in London
(03:36:18 AM) Andrew Hayes: i need your help urgently
(03:36:22 AM) Chris Brunner: …
(03:36:57 AM) Chris Brunner: what is it that you’re asking me to do?
(03:37:46 AM) Andrew Hayes: my return flight leaves in few hours time
(03:38:28 AM) Andrew Hayes: i am having problems settling the hotel i checked into and getting a cab to the airport
(03:38:54 AM) Chris Brunner: what can I do?
(03:40:17 AM) Andrew Hayes: i need you to loan me some money to sort my hotel bills and get a cab to the airport
(03:41:41 AM) Chris Brunner: sure, no problem. just get any of our mutual friends to vouch for your character and I will happily loan you cash via western union or moneygram
(03:42:26 AM) Andrew Hayes: you are all i got at the moment
(03:42:46 AM) Andrew Hayes: to help me out
(03:43:14 AM) Chris Brunner: of our mutual friends, whose phone number do you need? I will wake them up.
(03:43:28 AM) Chris Brunner: I know most of them personally
(03:43:35 AM) Andrew Hayes: i don’t have access to phone
(03:43:46 AM) Chris Brunner: surely someone in the library has a cell phone
(03:43:58 AM) Andrew Hayes: the muggers stole away my phone like i told u ealier
(03:44:05 AM) Chris Brunner: I will call you on that phone, and conference in a mutual friend who can vouch for you
(03:45:19 AM) Andrew Hayes: there is no phone in the library
(03:45:19 AM) Andrew Hayes: there is no phone in the library
(03:45:35 AM) Andrew Hayes: besides it is a local one!!
(03:45:50 AM) Chris Brunner: so? I will pay the international toll. it’s an emergency, right?
(03:46:42 AM) Andrew Hayes: yeah
(03:47:02 AM) Chris Brunner: okay, then give me the number to any phone in london where I can call you, and conference in a mutual friend.
(03:47:09 AM) Andrew Hayes: yeah
(03:48:06 AM) Andrew Hayes: are you there??
(03:48:13 AM) Chris Brunner: yes, of course
(03:48:53 AM) Andrew Hayes: i really need your help
(03:49:04 AM) Chris Brunner: I understand that. That’s why I’m trying to help you.
(03:49:46 AM) Andrew Hayes: i have limited time here
(03:50:17 AM) Andrew Hayes: as their computer is even faulty
(03:50:56 AM) Andrew Hayes: all i need from you is a loan of 600$
(03:51:04 AM) Andrew Hayes: to get on my flight
(03:51:09 AM) Andrew Hayes: are you there??
(03:51:13 AM) Chris Brunner: okay, how should I send it?
(03:51:37 AM) Andrew Hayes: all you need is my name and address
(03:51:43 AM) Chris Brunner: okay
(03:52:04 AM) Andrew Hayes: do you know any western union outlet near you?
(03:52:08 AM) Chris Brunner: yes
(03:52:31 AM) Andrew Hayes: how long will it take you to get there?
(03:52:39 AM) Chris Brunner: about ten minutes
(03:52:40 AM) Andrew Hayes: as i have limited time here
(03:52:43 AM) Chris Brunner: but I will try to be fast
(03:53:21 AM) Andrew Hayes: should i give you the info
(03:53:34 AM) Andrew Hayes: you will need in sending the money?
(03:53:38 AM) Chris Brunner: yes. I will write it down
(03:53:53 AM) Andrew Hayes: Name:Andrew Hayes
(03:55:13 AM) Chris Brunner: okay
(03:55:23 AM) Chris Brunner: don’t I need the address?
(03:55:48 AM) Andrew Hayes: Location: 30 Leicester Square. City, London. Country, United Kingdom
(03:55:53 AM) Andrew Hayes: got it?
(03:56:01 AM) Chris Brunner: got it.
(03:56:09 AM) Andrew Hayes: ok
(03:56:23 AM) Andrew Hayes: can you please leave now?
(03:56:57 AM) Andrew Hayes: ??
(03:57:03 AM) Andrew Hayes: ??
(03:57:41 AM) Chris Brunner: yes, I’m leaving now
(03:57:51 AM) Andrew Hayes: ok
(03:58:31 AM) Andrew Hayes: are you there?
(03:58:41 AM) Andrew Hayes: i will be online waiting
(03:58:55 AM) Chris Brunner: wait, is it 600 USD or 600 pounds?
(03:59:26 AM) Andrew Hayes: pounds
(03:59:35 AM) Chris Brunner: okay
(04:01:15 AM) Andrew Hayes: are you still there?
(04:06:04 AM) Andrew Hayes: are you there??
(04:10:04 AM) Andrew Hayes: ??
(04:10:40 AM) Andrew Hayes: ??
(04:15:48 AM) Andrew Hayes: ??

Obviously, this is a scam. I’m guessing Andrew’s Facebook account was hacked. So, I called the London police and told them where the scammer will be trying to pick up the money that I didn’t send.

Facebookers beware.

If this happens to one of your friends, here’s the link to report it.

AT&T: Please, please, please get a land line!

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

So for those who don’t know, I’ve moved into a new place in Birmingham. I randomly discovered Vtech DS6321-3, which basically uses Bluetooth to make your cell phone act like a land line connection. That’s attractive to me because I work from home, and a cordless phone is more comfortable to use for extended periods of time than a cell phone is. It also imports contacts from your cell phone, over Bluetooth, so people’s names show up when people call.

Anyway, it made me briefly consider getting a land line, and I stumbled across this page on AT&T’s website. Pretty funny.

My favorite reason listed is, “You need a way to call your cell phone when you lose it.” A close second is, “Your security system needs to be hooked up to something.”

Good stuff.

Google Gears XPI Download

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Are you trying to download and install Google Gears in Mozilla Prism using these or these instructions?

If so, you may have run into trouble finding the correct URLs for the Google Gears XPI. Let me help: