Technical

Don't worry if your eyes glaze over reading it. My eyes glazed over writing it.

Most traders ignore this vital truth about altcurrencies

RonPaulCoin wallet

I’ve been wanting RonPaulCoin(RPC) for some time. I’m not bullish on the currency, in fact, I think it’s a bad idea. Naming a currency after a personality, especially a living one (Teslacoin could be kind of cool) is a terrible idea. But especially because Ron Paul is such an anti-fiat-currency goldbug, I thought it would be funny to have one RonPaulCoin.

Caffeine underdose

In case anyone is curious what it looks like when I try to get something done and my full focus isn’t on the task:

sanctum splicer$ sudo chown -R g+x .
Password:
Sorry, try again.
Password:
chown: g+x: illegal user name
sanctum splicer$ sudo chgrp -R g+x .
chgrp: g+x: illegal group name
sanctum splicer$ sudo chmod -R g+x .
sanctum splicer$

Breaking a perfectly good fuel pump

My Moto Guzzi has been running pretty rough lately. It wouldn’t start on my trip into San Francisco for a doctor’s appointment the day before Independence Day and I had to get it trailered back to Alameda. A couple of months ago I had a similar-seeming issue which was an electrical problem, but this did not seem electrical. The starter motor turned the engine over with vigor but the darn thing would not catch.

Next on my list of usual suspects is the fuel-air mix. The first thing I tried was cleaning the pod filters, which were filthy. The instructions in the K&N Recharger Kit say that the filters ought to be cleaned once every 50,000 miles. Clearly that is a suggestion for automobiles with K&N filters safely tucked under the hood in an engine compartment. For a motorcycle where the pods may as well be flapping in the breeze (and constant barrage of road grit) I’m guessing 10,000 miles might be a more reasonable interval.

Photoshop scratch, system swap, and solid state

The first rule of Photoshop club is: don’t let Photoshop use the system disk as a scratch disk. It’s a good rule of thumb and it has helped many people get much better performance from their Photoshop systems. It’s helped even more people think they were getting better perfomance from their Photoshop systems.

NeoOffice

I admit it. I hate Microsoft Office. I’m constantly appalled at how bloated and complicated it is even to do simple things. I won’t write in Word, mostly because I’ve never been able to simply sit down and write with it. Maybe I’m too easily distracted? I know I don’t have the time to try to figure out how to simplify the interface by getting rid of useless toolbars and turning off annoying pop-ups that second-guess what I’m trying to do. I want to scream, «shut up and let me write!»

How I became a Java expert

I was teaching myself C out of the Kernighan and Ritchie book (second edition, so you know I’m a poseur johnny-come-lately) when I tried to pick up Java. This was 1996 and my head was filled with «what if» scenarios that are still as absurd today as they were then. You know, like «what if all applications were OpenDoc components written in Java?» Which is second only to «why can’t we all just get along?» in it’s naïveté. But anyhow, I had nothing better to do than buy computer books and pretend that someday I’d have some use for the knowledge they contained.

Apple's Bad News and Good News

For background, please read the article from news.com.

I don’t know why I care much about the fate of Apple, but I’ve been trying to follow this story along, and I am hopeful about Apple’s future. Although I still wouldn’t buy a Mac for myself (we’ll see how their NeXT-generation machines look? I’m keeping an OpenMind on this issue :-) ), I think that Apple has been a great presence in this industry and that it would be a real shame for them to just disappear.

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