After chatting with friends who always bake their own bread (plus cakes and other market goods) I decided that having a breadmaker Would Be Nice, as I don't like white soggy sandwich bread.
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[ published on Sun 27.04.2008 22:48 | filed in interests/au | ]

As mentioned earlier and before I have a Wheely King rc toy. Me being me, that WK is nowhere near stock and I often delight in tinkering with it to make it work better or more fun or whatever.
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[ published on Wed 23.04.2008 15:11 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

Emacs and exmh go together very well, but of course there's spots where things rub across. Today I scratched such an itch successfully: I now have access to exmh's address database from emacs (and so can you).
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[ published on Wed 23.04.2008 01:29 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Yes, That Orkplace again. Names and other identifying bits removed to protect the terminally cluele^W^Winnocent.

This email gem arrived a few minutes ago:

The SMG Workshop agreed that academic staff should wear their scholarly gowns for key events, such as the Faculty Award Night and graduation ceremonies, as from the second semester of 2008. ... The reasoning behind this proposal supports the view it will help provide students with an overall sense of academic custom and professional admiration. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Somebody sufficiently annoyed by this fool idea replied (to all, in all caps which I fixed as being bad for your eyes):

we already wear gowns to graduation. wearing gowns anywhere else, such as awards night, would only provide students with an overall sense of hilarity at our expense. no one will attend awards nights if this unutterably silly requirement is in effect. why is there such a persistent drive to return to the middle ages, when we are supposed to be the university of the 21st century? >thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
i'm afraid your anticipation of our cooperation is mistaken.

Time to get the popcorn out, sit back, relax, and watch the upcoming exchange of heavy ordnance. "Fire for effect, over!"

[ published on Fri 18.04.2008 14:38 | filed in interests/anti | ]

"Lucky" must be his middle name -- and "Clumsy" his first: a fellow in Frankfurt fell down an elevator shaft, and landed on a woman who had "been there, done that" 24hrs earlier. He stayed awake, she stayed unconscious; he was not hurt while she is in bad shape.

How exactly one manages to fall into an elevator shaft despite knowing the thing is being repaired, is a tad beyond me.

[ published on Thu 17.04.2008 19:55 | filed in interests/humour | ]

...but quite nice. I've got my own ideas about how to manage my collection of digital photos and so I wrote my own tiny, idiosyncratic but sufficient photo manager five years ago (says rcs; hmm, those years went quickly!).

Now that Conny has a shiny digital camera of her own (and a bit of associated trigger-happiness) she also needs something to organize her pics with. And while my photomanager is fine for me Old Fart, it's a little bit gnarly. So I looked at more user-friendly (but not idiot-friendly) solutions. And voila, the first apt-cache hit was already what I had been looking for.

Martin Herrmann has written "martin's picture viewer" aka mapivi, which is more than just a viewer (a feature which is fairly irrelevant to me). It's written in perl plus tcl (important to me), it's a photo manager (ditto) and it keeps pretty much all info where relevant: in the photo files themselves. The last is most important IMHO, because it frees me from sundry databases, proprietary overview formats and the like. mapivi uses EXIF and IPTC metadata to record pretty much anything you can think of in extra segments of your jpegs (and other image formats that allow such metadata storage).

The thing is a bit rough in places but works very well for a 0.x release, and the combo of Perl and Tk is really fun to work with.

I've immediately gone full steam ahead and coded the two plugins I need to emulate the few features my photomanager had over mapivi (complete with balloon popup help texts for Conny); also submitted one patch to the upstream author.

Gone is my photomanager, and welcome mapivi. Not Invented Here indeed :-)

[ published on Wed 16.04.2008 14:07 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Just read the announcement (and news item) which tells us peons that from now on, Ebay Oz is only allowying the inhouse-bank Paypal as payment mechanism, and also that Paypal may keep your cash for up to 21 days (IOW a big "screw you, sellers!" from the greedy bunch).

I'm not certain about how I take these badly disguised price hiking changes: as a buyer, fine, doesn't cost me anything and makes it easier to stuff around with a recalcitrant seller.

But as a non-commercial seller of leftovers every now and then, this set of changes sucks: the ebay/paypal combo is quite expensive. A commercial vendor will factor these in and eat them as side-costs do doing business, but on a $10 garage sale item the fees are not fun: 0.50 listing plus 5.25% of the final, 0.30 paypal plus 2.4% of the final for paypal again.

I just wish there was a reasonable alternative in Oz/the Asia-Pac region.

[ published on Sun 13.04.2008 13:31 | filed in brainfarts | ]

Just kidding.
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[ published on Fri 11.04.2008 16:12 | filed in brainfarts | ]

Not entirely unlike a Kaplan turbine, my mini-turbine is used in a high-flow, low-head(room) scenario. Only in reverse, sort-of. Confused? Perfect, mission accomplished :-)
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[ published on Fri 11.04.2008 13:18 | filed in interests/tinkering | ]

Recently I experimented with having adsense advertisments on the chgc site, with the rationale being: it costs me money (to run that server) and time (to run the club web, membership stuff and mailinglists) and I don't get anything out of it except a Warm Fuzzy Feeling - which occasionally is very close to the Warm Fuzzy Feeling you get when some(body|thing) has peed on your pants.

Anyway, I thought why not try and see whether ads might work for paying towards the server cost. Hence, Enter Adsense, which claims to provide contextual ads.




A week later they hadn't managed to serve me one single ad (always only offering the community service ads - or none).

So, Exit Adsense: you suck.

[ published on Wed 09.04.2008 14:02 | filed in interests/anti | ]

A snippet from the classic Owed to a Spell Chequer:

I halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plane lee marques four my revue
Miss steaks aye ken knot sea

Reminds me a bit of what openoffice's spall choker did to one of conny's homework texts recently...

[ published on Sun 06.04.2008 13:06 | filed in interests/humour | ]

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