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  •        
    09 Aug 2016

    He's Not Wrong...
    Over at Net Meister there's a nice peice entitled Things They Don't Teach You in School". A lot of what Jan has to say is spot-on observation and good advice.

    It's definitely worth a read.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    28 Apr 2014

    Looking back...
    As I look back at code I wrote a decade ago as an undergrad, I often find lots of little things that can be done better. For instance, in one file I found that reversing the order in which two functions were called would have eliminated a half dozen conditionals from one of the functions and would have resulted in the same expected behavior, but with fewer lines of code and a lower cyclomatic complexity.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    10 Dec 2013

    Thoughts on National Computer Science Education Week
    This week is apparently National Computer Science Education Week. Code.org is organizing the "hour of code" to promote teaching of Computer Science and Programming in schools. They're also organizing petitions to make CS courses count as credits in Mathematics or Science for High School graduation requirements.

    In High School, my CS courses were by far my favorites, Programming in Pascal, AP Comp Sci in Pascal, Programming in C++, and AP Comp Sci in C++ ( the language for the exam switched my junior year). I learned a lot about structured code, elegant, efficient code. I learned enough about Data Structures and Algorithms that I didn't have to study for my college CS classes until Computational Structures (Discrete Math II with Scheme, essentially) in my third semester. I had an amazing Computer Science teacher who also taught me Calculus and the proper order of precedence in life: God, Family, Math. I wouldn't be where I am today without that educational opportunity I had in High School. I want others to have that opportunity too.

    However, this is where I differ with the opinion of the Code.org folks. I do not believe that CS classes should count toward the Math or Science requirements. In this state, CS counts toward the "practical or performing art" requirements, I'm assuming under the "practical" label. I think this is a better place for it at the High School level.

    Computer Science is not a hard Science. It's not Physics. It's not Biology. It's not Chemistry. There's a saying that if the subject has science in its name, it's not really a science. That is true with Computer Science. It's not studying the how and why of atoms, of molecules, of living systems, of anything really. It's not science.

    Computer Science is really applied mathematics. I am very fortunate that the college program I went through was very strong in mathematics: Calc I and II, Linear (Matrix) Algebra, Discrete Math, Discrete Math II in the guise of Computational Structures, Probability and Statistics, Theory of Computation, Algorithmic Analysis... the list goes on. All of these mathematical foundations were then applied to a machine, to make the machine carry out a task in an efficient manner. It's those mathematical foundations that are the true core of Computer Science.

    While mathematics is the core of Computer Science and Computer Science is essentially applied mathematics, I do not believe it should count toward the Math requirements. The CS classes would likely detract from other mathematics courses such as Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus. These courses are far too important to an education to be replaced by a Computer Science course. Many, maybe even most, High School Computer Science courses focus more on "programming" than the fundamental mathematical theories. They will pick the language du jour and teach you the syntax and semantics. They'll teach about basic data structures like arrays, and linked lists. The AP exam currently focuses not on implementing lists, trees, stacks, queues, and sorting and searching algorithms, but on arrays and lists using Java library calls. This is not math. This is learning Java syntax.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    20 Aug 2012

    unHide
    After a friend's computer became infected with some malware that hides files in your home directory and tries to extort money from you in order to "recover" your data, I was inspired to write this little program.

    All it does is search for hidden, non-system files and unhides them. It defaults to the user's home directory (My Documents), but other directories can be chosen.

    If anyone wants to try it out, please do. If you do try it, let me know what parts I can do better. I primarily work on embedded systems and Unix daemons professionally; the user only knows my software exists when it isn't working. As such, I have very little experience with GUIs or human-computer interactions. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

    The Windows executable can be found at: http://www.skinnymf.com/~mforde/unHide/. Source code is available upon request.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    01 Mar 2012

    Just a Question
    Given the following code fragment, I was asked to implement foo such that the program would output "America." How would you do it?

            int main()
            {
              char *p = "Hello";
    
              foo(         );
              printf("%s",p);
    
              return 0;
            }
    

    My solution involved allocating new memory from the heap to store the new string, and changing p to point to that buffer. They didn't like that answer. They preferred the method of putting the new string in the data segment as well.

    I personally would always avoid that, whenever possible. "Hello" is stored in a read-only area of memory as is "America" in their preferred solution. Any attempt to alter those strings will trigger a segfault. This is an accident waiting to happen.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    19 Apr 2011

    It's not magic, it's C.
    I love reading comments like

    /* These defined magically in the linker script. */
    I found that in the GNU Standard C Library implementation when GCC told me the the variables to which the comment referred were undefined. I guess that linker script isn't magic after all...

    [/code] [permanent link]

    19 Oct 2009

    C#, XNA, and 8 Queens
    I spent some time this weekend learning some C# and getting working a bit with the XNA framework. I implemented a solution for the 8 Queens problem in C++, then ported that class to C#. After getting that working in Windows, I started moving it to the Xbox.

    It works there with little issue, but, as expected, writing to system.console doesn't produce useful output. My next step is to get some sort of graphical representation of the chessboard displayed with the solution set.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    17 Oct 2009

    XNA
    As of this morning, I am now a member of the XNA Creators Club.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    14 Oct 2009

    Self Documenting Code
    Despite what you think about your code, it is not self documenting. When writing code add comments, describe what a function does, explain why you're using that convoluted pointer arithmetic and bit shifting. I'm sure it makes sense now, but someday you'll have to go back and look at it and figure out what the hell you were doing. Or worse, I'll have to go back and look at it and figure out what the hell you were doing.

    Sometimes it is important to have some sort of separate documentation for the code; maybe some UML or ER diagrams, maybe some English text. Use what ever it takes to explain what you were doing. Do not paste snippets of your code into the text and call it documentation.That is not documentation, that is code.

    [/code] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


    contact

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  •        
    07 Oct 2022


    I'm looking California and feeling Minnesota

    [/musings] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


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    Subscribe
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  •        
    24 Dec 2012

    Christmas Eve
    On Christmas Eve, I headed out around 7:00PM to take a look at the Christmas lights and decorations around town. There was a snow storm predicted for around 9:00PM, so I decided to take the DeLorean out for one last drive before the Wonderful Winter Weather(TM).

    The snow started much earlier than expected. The snow was light and slow, and despite the car not handling well in slick conditions, I kept going for a while.

    As I was driving I had the realization that I was having an experience no one else in the world has ever had. I was driving a DeLorean through my town on Christmas Eve, admiring Christmas lights and listening to Christmas music as snow fell.

    I looked over at the empty passenger seat and wished there had been someone, anyone there to share this with. So for now, until circumstances like this arise again, I will continue to be the only person to have experienced this.

    When I got home, I took this photograph.
    Snow Covered DeLorean

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    02 Dec 2012

    Happy Birthday

    I'm starting to get used to celebrating my birthday at TBM concerts. This year it was about a week prior to my birthday at a show on December 1 held at New York's Gramercy Theatre.

    Along with the tickets, I had also purchased the "VIP package." This package included an autographed poster signed by all members of the band, a "VIP" laminate on a lanyard, and... the opportunity to meet the band prior to the show!

    You may be thinking, "But they stick around after shows and mingle with their fans anyway," and "You've already met them a few times!" Both are true. And even with this "VIP" package meet-and-greet, they still make time for all their fans after the show. What this provided was a somewhat quieter meeting in a more intimate setting.

    In fact the meeting was in a small lounge beneath the concert hall. Dim mood lighting, mirrors, and couches set the atmosphere. I spoke with Rainbow, Michael, and Nate first. Rainbow informed me his name was Michael also and made a joke about the "power of the three Mikes lighting the room." After a bit, they started moving me to Chibi who was sitting on a couch after injuring her knee during a show two nights prior. She tried to walk to me, but I told her not to. She said, "I'll meet you half way then."

    I gave her a get well card, knowing she had had surgery on her vocal chords about 8 weeks prior and recently injured her knee. Someone decided we needed a photo of that and she gave me the card back so I could give it back to her. I believe it was Owen who said, "Act natural and hold it for 30 seconds!"

    I asked Rainbow about writing "Unfamiliar" because both he and OE were given credit in the liner notes. He said it was mostly OE; OE started it and Rainbow had finished it. I said I wanted to thank them because it was a song that had taken on some greater meaning to me and I relayed a brief version of the story of the moment I recognized that. It turns out "Unfamiliar" is one of Chibi's favorite songs too.

    Every one of the bands that night were amazing. All, remarkably, were performing as duos. Creature Feature was a real fun band to see. Their music is heavily influenced by old horror movies which gives them a dark yet fun sound.

    Aesthetic Perfection put on a good performance. Their drummer is amazing and fun to watch. They heavily synth-based and while there was a dark tone to most of their songs, they still had fun and lightened things up with a Fine Young Cannibals cover.

    William Control was the only other act I had heard before the show (Thanks Last.fm!). He was great live and I'd love to see him again. He reminded me a little of Dommin in that Dean Martin meets Glen Danzig sort of way.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album. For most of the set Chibi was sitting on a speaker placed near center at the front of the stage, wearing a knee brace. She stood up and moved around occasionally, but not much. At one point Rainbow sat down on another speaker and stuck out one leg in a similar fashion to how Chibi was seated and laughed a little. It was easy to tell by their interaction here that Chibi and Rainbow are close.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Night Shift
    • Down
    • Control
    • Always
    • Red Stars
    • Video kid
    • Lover's End
    • Forever
    • Pins and Needles
    • Happy Birthday
    • Alibis
    • Calling
    • In the Dark
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight
    • -- Encore --
    • Leaving Tonight
    • The Long Way Home
    • Blue


    The band did not leave the stage prior to the encore as they normally would. Chibi said, "This is the part of the show where we say thank you and leave and you clap and we come back out and play some more. But I'm not going to walk down those stairs anymore than I have to, so do you want to hear three more songs?"

    [/tbm] [permanent link]

    Happy Birthday

    I'm starting to get used to celebrating my birthday at TBM concerts. This year it was about a week prior to my birthday at a show on December 1 held at New York's Gramercy Theatre.

    Along with the tickets, I had also purchased the "VIP package." This package included an autographed poster signed by all members of the band, a "VIP" laminate on a lanyard, and... the opportunity to meet the band prior to the show!

    You may be thinking, "But they stick around after shows and mingle with their fans anyway," and "You've already met them a few times!" Both are true. And even with this "VIP" package meet-and-greet, they still make time for all their fans after the show. What this provided was a somewhat quieter meeting in a more intimate setting.

    In fact the meeting was in a small lounge beneath the concert hall. Dim mood lighting, mirrors, and couches set the atmosphere. I spoke with Rainbow, Michael, and Nate first. Rainbow informed me his name was Michael also and made a joke about the "power of the three Mikes lighting the room." After a bit, they started moving me to Chibi who was sitting on a couch after injuring her knee during a show two nights prior. She tried to walk to me, but I told her not to. She said, "I'll meet you half way then."

    I gave her a get well card, knowing she had had surgery on her vocal chords about 8 weeks prior and recently injured her knee. Someone decided we needed a photo of that and she gave me the card back so I could give it back to her. I believe it was Owen who said, "Act natural and hold it for 30 seconds!"

    I asked Rainbow about writing "Unfamiliar" because both he and OE were given credit in the liner notes. He said it was mostly OE; OE started it and Rainbow had finished it. I said I wanted to thank them because it was a song that had taken on some greater meaning to me and I relayed a brief version of the story of the moment I recognized that. It turns out "Unfamiliar" is one of Chibi's favorite songs too.

    Every one of the bands that night were amazing. All, remarkably, were performing as duos. Creature Feature was a real fun band to see. Their music is heavily influenced by old horror movies which gives them a dark yet fun sound.

    Aesthetic Perfection put on a good performance. Their drummer is amazing and fun to watch. They heavily synth-based and while there was a dark tone to most of their songs, they still had fun and lightened things up with a Fine Young Cannibals cover.

    William Control was the only other act I had heard before the show (Thanks Last.fm!). He was great live and I'd love to see him again. He reminded me a little of Dommin in that Dean Martin meets Glen Danzig sort of way.

    The Birthday Massacre was great. They played a good mix including songs from every album. For most of the set Chibi was sitting on a speaker placed near center at the front of the stage, wearing a knee brace. She stood up and moved around occasionally, but not much. At one point Rainbow sat down on another speaker and stuck out one leg in a similar fashion to how Chibi was seated and laughed a little. It was easy to tell by their interaction here that Chibi and Rainbow are close.

    If you care (or even if you don't), their set list follows:
    • Night Shift
    • Down
    • Control
    • Always
    • Red Stars
    • Video kid
    • Lover's End
    • Forever
    • Pins and Needles
    • Happy Birthday
    • Alibis
    • Calling
    • In the Dark
    • Sleep Walking
    • Midnight
    • -- Encore --
    • Leaving Tonight
    • The Long Way Home
    • Blue


    The band did not leave the stage prior to the encore as they normally would. Chibi said, "This is the part of the show where we say thank you and leave and you clap and we come back out and play some more. But I'm not going to walk down those stairs anymore than I have to, so do you want to hear three more songs?"

    [/musings] [permanent link]


       
    Eponymous
    Eponymous
       



    About
    My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner


    contact

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  • index
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  • Giraffes
  • Eat. Run. Sleep.

  •        
    24 Dec 2016

    Merry Christmas
    While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, I know and understand how hard they can be for some people. If you're having a rough time over the next week or so and need someone to talk to, feel free to message me. If you're reading this blog, you likely know my email address or phone number.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    28 Oct 2016

    Aisling at 35
    She's still looking good at 35....
    DeLorean DMC-12 with
gullwing doors open

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    02 Oct 2016

    Happy Birthday Aisling!!!!
    My DeLorean, #5333, was built in October of 1981. This month, the car will be 35 years old and she looks and handles like the day she came off the assembly line.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    26 Sep 2016

    Don't Call it a Comeback
    On June fourth, I was running in the Tourne on a trail I first ran twenty years ago, a trail I've run hundreds if not thousands of times before. On that morning, my foot came down on a wet rock at just the wrong angle, slipped just enough and I rolled my ankle. Not only did I roll the joint, I came down on it with enough force to break it; a fact I would learn when I final saw a doctor about it on June ninth.

    No surgery was required, but I was unable to run for three months. I was finally cleared to run. The plan was to start with short distances, about a quarter mile, on a rubberized track then build up from there, moving on to treadmills and eventually roads and trails. I was instructed to spend six months rebuilding my 60 mile per week base.

    On the morning of September 11 (a day I will never forget and a morning that will always make me feel a bit uneasy), I took to the track for the first time. I started by walking a mile. As I finished the fourth lap, I said a prayer, asking God to give me the run I needed and the wisdom to know when to stop. I queued up my playlist: AC\DC's "Back in Black" and LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out." I took my first stride.

    I've been progressing well in the last two weeks; pushing it on some days, resting when necessary. Though the short, slow distances have been frustrating, it feel good to be running again. Every stride I take I'm reminded of everything I love about the sport.

    It's good to be back.

    [/running] [permanent link]

    18 Sep 2016

    Fun Conversations
    The DeLorean often leads to conversations one wouldn't normally expect. Case in point: today I had to call my auto insurance provider for an issue with my daily driver. After taking some info to pull up my account the conversation went something like this:

    Agent: Which car is this?
    Me: The Pontiac.
    Agent: Am I reading this right?
    Me: Reading what?
    Agent: I'm sorry, do you have a DeLorean?
    Me: Yes.
    Agent: I never thought I'd see someone with a policy on a DeLorean.
    Me: Well, you've insured both of mine...
    Agent: You've had two DeLoreans?
    Me: Yes.

    At that point there were a few more questions and then we got back to the issue which my phone call had been about originally.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    24 Aug 2016

    An Observation
    There is something satisfying about driving in a DeLorean while listening to The Clash's Live: From Here to Eternity.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    13 Aug 2016

    What Year is This?!
    So this was my Saturday night....
    A bottle of Crystal Pepsi with Metallica's Ride the Lightning and
Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures vinyl records sitting on the hood of a
DeLorean Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures on a record player

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    09 Aug 2016

    He's Not Wrong...
    Over at Net Meister there's a nice peice entitled Things They Don't Teach You in School". A lot of what Jan has to say is spot-on observation and good advice.

    It's definitely worth a read.

    [/code] [permanent link]

    20 Jul 2016 08 Jul 2016

    X11 Mouse Cursor Themes
    Starting after installimg the binary nvidia drivers on both my laptop (Quadro K1100M) and my workstation (GeForce GT 630) Blackbox was defaulting to a mouse cursor that was suboptimal, a black, notched triangle.

    The settings in the Xresources for the mouse cursor theme are honored by XDM at the graphical log in, but when Blackbox or Fluxbox start, the cursor would change to the black notched triangle. TWM honors the settings in Xresources, but TWM is just a little too minimalist, even for me.

    But there's a simple fix!

    Create a file in your home directory (if it doesn't already exist) .icons/default/index.theme. In this file, add the following lines:

    [Icon Theme]
    Inherits = polarblue
    

    where polarblue is the name of the X11 mouse cursor theme you wish to use. FreeBSD installs many of the X11 cursor sets into /usr/local/lib/X11/icons/, your Unix flavor may be different. In theory, you can also install new themes of your choosing into ~/.icons/ and use those without the need for any elevated privileges.

    Additionally, there's the option of creating a .Xdefaults file in the home directory and adding the line
    Xcursor.theme: polarblue
    

    Again, where polarblue is the name of theme you want to use.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    18 Jun 2016

    FreeBSD Unix on Dell Precision M4800
    I installed FreeBSD 10.3 on the laptop I recently acquired and almost eveything worked out of the box. The gigabit ethernet and wi-fi coards worked fine and by setting the BIOS to discrete graphics only, the nVidia Quadro was recognized.

    I installed the binary driver from nVidia, because they support FreeBSD because they're awesome like that. The nvidia-xconfig(1) program was useful to streamline the process of getting X.org to use the Quadro.

    There were a few things that did need some tewaking though. First there's the sound card. Because the quadro supports HDMI (in addition to VGA and DisplayPort), it includes an HDA-compliant sound card. This card is recognized before the primary HDA-compliant sound card in the machine, the one that's actually connected to the speakers.

    I did some research and there were some suggestions about using sysctl(8) to control soundcard GPIO pins to connect the nVidia sound device to the speackers but what ultimately worked was using sysctl(8) to change the default primary sound device to the dedicated card. There were a few ways to make this happen but the one I found that actually worked was to place sysctl(8) command lines in /etc/rc.local.

    First I found the device I wanted as the default:

    mforde@gaz:~> cat /dev/sndstat 
    Installed devices:
    pcm0:  (play) default
    pcm1:  (play)
    pcm2:  (play) 
    pcm3:  (play)
    


    Device pcm2 was the one I wanted so I added the following lines to /etc/rc.local
    sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=2
    sysctl hw.snd.default_auto=2
    


    Now when boot completes pcm2 is set to my default and sound "just works" and sndstat shows pcm2 as the default.

    I found ACPI support has some weirdness as ACPI support often does. What I found was that Suspend works from console, but resume doesn't... HOWEVER After I start X ACPI suspend and resume work just fine. Normally I prefer to boot into a console and only start X if I really need it, but because I want suspend and resume to work "by default" I've enabled X to start at boot by allowing the xdm console in /etc/ttys.

    But this had one last issue. See, when manually starting X, I added the -dpi 143 option to get graphics and text to be appropriately sized for my screen. XDM needed to know about this.

    This probably wasn't the best place to do it, but I edited /usr/local/lib/X11/xdm/XServers and modified the call to X(7) to add the -dpi 143 option. Now when Xdm loads at start up, the DPI is set correctly.

    The function keys for adjusting the screen brightness don't work; however, xbacklight(1) works just fine. Similarly the volume keys don't work but I can adjust the volume quite easily with aumix(1).

    I've submitted my dmesg output to NYCBUG's dmesgd repository.

    I suppose I've posted this for two reasons. The first is so I have a record of how I eventually got these little things working in case I have to do it again. The second is in case anyone has similar issues with their hardware; if they happen to stumble upon this, it might give them some hints.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    08 Jun 2016

    Megapath sucks
    Speakeasy was by far the best ISP I ever dealt with. Freindly, and above all, knowledgeable. Since they have been purchased by Megapath then merged into Global Capacity, their tech support has been, frankly a bunch of idiots. Furthermore, their website routinely has "Service failed" errors that prevent you from logging in, changing passwords, and viewing account information.

    Today, after being unable to log in to the website due to "service failed" the tech support rep on the phoned didn't understand what a subnet mask or gateway address were. Eventually I just got her to read me "all three IP addresses" on the screen in front of her.

    But at this point my only other option is Verizon. So I'm sticking with Megapath.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    25 May 2016

    Found this sitting in a tarball of my old home directory...

    
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
                  ..,,..  ..ttLLLLtt..  ..;;ii;;,,..;;ttGGLL;;....iiiiiiiiiiii..    ..iijjttttii..                                
          iiLLLLGGKKKKDDLLGG########GGLLDDWWWWWWKKKKKK######WWDDEEWW##WWWW##WWDDjjffDD##########LL..          ..;;..              
      ..ffWW########WWKK####KKjjttEE####WWGGGGEEGGDDDDGGjjttGGKKWWWWLLGGLLGG##########DDjjttttGG##GGffttiiiiffDDKKDDGGGGGGii      
      ff####GGffffttii;;ttLLiijjtt;;LLtt;;,,,,;;;;;;iittLLtt;;,,iiiiiitt;;;;ffGGGGLLtt;;iiii;;;;DDWW####WWWW####KKDDKKKKWWWWtt    
    ..EE##LL;;ttttLLttLLLLttff##WWGGjjffGGDDGGKKKKKKWW####WWDDGGDDDDWW##EEEEffttffLLffGGWWWWGG;;;;ttffjjffDDDDff;;;;;;iittKKWWii  
    ;;KKKKiittKK######WWWW######################################KKKKWW##WW##################WWKKDDffttjjjjiiiiiiLLEEGGDDiittWWLL  
    ..KK##ttGG######WWDDDDEEKKDDKKWWDDKKEEKKWWEEKKEEWW##WWKKWWEELLLLDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKK##########WW####KKWWKK########KKiiDDEEii
      DD##ffGG######EELLLLLLLLLLGGDDLLDDGGDDDDLLLLEE####WWGGGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK######WW####KKKKKKWWWWKKKKWW####ttLLWWLL
      GG##LLLL##KKKKDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGWW####WWLLDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGKKWW######EEEEDDLLLLLLDDEEEELLEE####ffLLWWGG
      LL##GGjj##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK####WWLLEEDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGEEKK##WW##EELLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDLLKK##WWiiGGKKjj
      jj##GGiiWWWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDKK####KKLLKKEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK##GG##EEDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK##GG;;KKDD;;
      ii##EE;;DDWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK####KKLLDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEE##ffWWKKEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKWWiijj##ff  
      ;;WWWWiiGGKKLLLLLLLLGGLLDDEEDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK####KKDDGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDWWttEEWWDDDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEKKiiKKWW;;  
      ;;WW##ttGGWWGGLLLLLLEEDDEE##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKK######WWEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDGGGGDDKKWWiiLLWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKttWWLL    
      iiWWKKiiKK##DDLLLLLLEEEEWW##WWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLKKWW######EELLLLLLLLLLDDEEEEWWWWKKKKWW####ii;;KKDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDWWKKffWWtt    
      ii##WWttWW##EELLLLLLDDEE######EELLLLLLLLLLLLKKDDEE####KKLLLLLLLLLLEE##################ii..KKEELLLLLLLLLLLLGGDD##DDffWWii    
      ;;WW##ttLL##KKLLLLLLLLEE##KK##KKLLLLLLLLLLDD##LLLLEEWWKKLLLLLLLLLLKK####WWKKffLLKKWWGG;;..EEKKLLLLLLLLLLLLDDEE##LLLLWWii    
      ..EE##LLiiWWKKLLLLLLGGKK##LLKKKKGGLLLLLLDDWW##ff;;iiKKKKLLLLLLLLLLKK##WWLLffttiijjLLiiffttGG##DDLLLLLLLLDDEEKK##ffLLKKii    
        LL##KKiiKKWWGGLLLLLLKK##ttGGWWDDLLLLLLEE####tt;;,,EEKKDDLLLLLLLLEE##########WWWWWWttGGGGttWWWWDDLLLLLLGGGGKK##ffGGKK;;    
        iiWW##ttGGWWDDLLLLGGWWKK;;GGWWDDLLLLLLEE##KKiiGG;;KKKKDDLLLLLLLLGGEEWW##KKEEDDDDKKttKK##ttGG##DDLLLLLLLLGGWW##jjEEEE..    
          GG##GGttWWDDLLLLGGWWKKiiWWWWDDLLLLLLEE##GGttKKiiGG##EELLLLLLLLLLLLGGDDGGLLLLEEKKjjWW##ffLLWWGGLLLLLLLLGGWWWWjjKKGG      
          tt##EEttWWDDLLLLDDWW##WW####DDLLLLLLKK##ffLL##DDttWWWWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLKKKKjj####jjGGKKLLGGLLLLLLDD##KKttWWLL      
          ii##KKttKKDDLLLLGGWW####WW##EELLLLLLEE##jjGG####ttDDWWGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDGGWWEEtt####ttKKWWLLLLLLLLLLDD##GGffWWtt      
          iiWWKKttWWEELLLLLLEEKKKKEEEEDDLLLLLLEE##ttEE####jjKKWWDDLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDWWDDtt##WWttWW##DDLLLLLLLLEE##LLLLWWii      
          iiWWKKff##EELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEWWttKK##KKttWW##EELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDD##GGtt##WWttWW##EELLLLLLLLEE##ttGGEE..      
          iiWWWWff##KKLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLGGKKWWttWW##KK;;EE##EELLLLLLLLLLGGGGGGGGEE##GGtt##WWttKK##EELLLLLLLLEEWWttEELL        
          ;;WWKKff##KKGGGGLLDDLLLLLLGGLLLLLLDDWWKKtt####WWiiLL##EELLLLLLDDKKWWWWKKWW####ffff##WWttEEWWDDLLLLLLLLEEKKiiEELL        
          ;;WWKKjjWWKKLLLLDDWWEEDDEEKKDDLLLLDDWWKKjj######jjLL##EELLLLLLEE##############jjLL####ttGG##DDLLLLLLLLKKKKiiKKff        
          ;;WWWWttKKEELLLLEE####WW####KKGGLLDDWWDDjj######ffGG##EELLLLLLEE##LLLLLLWWWWKKiiGG####LLjj##DDLLLLLLLLKKEEttWWff        
          ;;KKWWiiEEDDLLLLWW############DDLLGGWWDDjj######GGff##KKLLLLLLEE##ttiiiitttt,,;;KK####DDtt##EELLLLLLLLKKDDttWWtt        
          ;;KKWWiiDDDDLLLLWWWWffff######EELLDD##GGff######KKttWW##DDLLLLEE##ffGGKKjj;;iiDD######KKjj##KKLLLLLLLLKKGGffWWii        
          ,,KK##iiDDEELLLLWWGG  iiffffWWDDLLEE##GGff########ttGG##EELLLLEE##ttLL####WWWW########KKtt##KKLLLLLLGGWWLLLLKK;;        
          ..KK##ttLLKKLLLLKKGG......ttKKGGLLEE##LLLL########GGtt##KKLLLLEEKK;;LL########WWKKWW##KKttWWWWDDLLLLDD##ffLLGG..        
          ..KK##jjLLWWGGLLKKKK;;ttttff##DDLLDDWWttGG########KKttWWKKGGLLDDKKiiEE##ffttttii..ttWWWWttKK##EELLDDKK##ttGGGG          
          ;;KK##ffLLWWGGLLKKEE;;LLGGtt##KKLLGGKKjjKK########WWttKKWWDDLLDDKKttKKEE..          GG##ffff##WWDDWW##EEiiEELL          
          ..DD##GGttWWDDLLEEGG..LLWWttKKKKGGEEKKjjWW##########ttGG##KKDDDDWWttEEDD..          tt##KKiiWW##WW####GGtt##ff          
            ff##KKiiWWDDGGEEGGiiWW##ttDDKKDDWWKKjj############ffLL####WWKK##ttDDEE..          ;;KK##ttLL######WWttLL##ii          
            ;;WWWWttKKWWKKKKGGjj####ttGGWWEEWWGGtt############LLLL##########ttKKDD              GG##EEiiDD####LL;;KKEE..          
            ..EE##ffLL##WW##GGtt####jjLL######LLtt############LLttWWGGKK##LLttWWLL              iiWW##ffff####ttGG##ff            
              LL##EEttGGLL##GGtt####LLttWWKK##ffLL##EEttttKK##DD;;ff;;ttEE;;GG##tt                ff##DDiiKKLLiiWWKK;;            
              tt####ttii;;KKffff####KKiiii;;GG;;LL##ii    iiWW##LL::  ;;tttt##DD..                ;;KKWWiiffiiGG##ff              
              ..KK##GGttiiii;;GG######DDLLii;;;;KKEE..      ff####DDLLii;;GGWW;;                  ..DD##LL..tt##KK;;              
                jj######GG..jj############GGiiDD##ff        ..LL######WWKK##GG                      ff##WWDDWW##tt                
                ..LL####WWGGWWWWffiittGGWW##WW##DD::          ..ffKKWWWWWWKKtt                      ,,DD######ff..                
                  ..ttEEWWWWDDii        ttEEKKGG;;                ..;;;;ii;;                          ;;ttffii..                  
                      ..ii;;..            ..;;..                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
    

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    Remapping Keys in Vim
    While I love the keyboard on my relatively new Dell M4800, I'm not particularly fond of the placement of the Page Up and Page Down keys to the left and right of the Up arrow, and above the Left and Right arrow keys. I find myself accidently hitting those keys too frequently while editing code and jumping all over the file.

    So I remapped them. It was quite simple, because Vim is awesome. I added the following lines to my .vimrc file:

    map <PageUp> <Up>
    map <PageDown> <Down>


    This turns Page Up into a second Up arrow, and Page Down into a second Down arrow. For now, I'll leave it like that. I may remap them to the Left and Right arrows in the future. Or not.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    19 May 2016

    New Vernon Coach and Motor Works is Awesome
    For as long as I've been a DeLorean owner, I've been taking the car to New Vernon Coach and Motor Works. They have always been professional and courteous, and they have always done top-notch work. I highly recommend them.

    [/dmc] [permanent link]

    How to Make VMWare suck less Tip #273
    Find the .vmx file for your VM and add a line

    bios.bootDelay = "15000"


    That gives you 15 seconds before the virtual machine launches the boot loader, giving you plenty of time to do things like change the boot order so you start from a recovery CD.

    [/unix] [permanent link]

    21 Apr 2016

    Prince
    I'll never forget the day I started liking Prince's music. I was with my friend in his car headed somewhere. We were listening to K-Rock and they had a "listener playlist" where for about an hour, all the music had been selected by a listener and this listener was on the phone, talking with the DJ about his selections and introducing songs.

    The guy announced that the next song was from Prince. The DJ questioned this selection and he said, "No, this dude can shred. Just listen."

    And we laughed.

    And we listened.

    And Prince shredded.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    20 Apr 2016

    It's been a while...
    It's been a while since I've had a substantial update here. I've been busy living life leaving little time to be writing about it; at least writing about it here.

    Work has been quite busy for a while now. Lots of projects, lots of deadlines, lots of extra hours. But there hasn't been any "mandatory seven day work weeks" like I had at that one job, and there isn't that expectation of "you can work from home so you are always expected to be working" I had at the last job. Plus, the work is a lot more interesting than anything I've done in years.

    Bernstein was right: money doesn't motivate me, interesting problems and the ability to tinker do.

    Yesterday the DeLorean rolled over to 16,000 miles. That's still about 1,000 miles a year I'm putting on it. I'd like to keep the mileage low, but she's just so much fun to drive. I've been asked by people at work to bring Aisling next week for Bring Your Child to Work Day. Apparently a lot of my co-workers have told their kids about the car and they want to see it.

    I ran my 29th half-marathon this past weekend. I'd like to get up to 32 this year. I'm also signed up for my 13th marathon this Autumn. I'm considering running number 14 a few weeks later.

    In addition to all of that taking up my time, I've also been volunteering with the Youth Ministry at a church in my diocese. That's been quite an amazing adventure. It's had a profound impact on my life and has certainly helped at least a few teens. It's been an honor to do the Lord's work. Maybe someday I'll publish some of the talks I've given. The In His Image talk seems to have resonated with a lot of people, certainly more so than some of the other talks.

    I guess that sums things up for now.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    19 Apr 2016

    1461117251
    "Each of us is willed. Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary." - Pope Benedict XVI

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    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    16 Feb 2016

    On Content "Management" Systems
    Wordpress is the new Typo3.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    [/musings] [permanent link]

    06 Feb 2016

    1454815466
    Beautiful https://www.instagram.com/p/BBeDsOSrXEk/

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    [/mobile] [permanent link]

    28 Jan 2016

    1453995544
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P3hY1eagq88

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    [/mobile] [permanent link]