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Thursday, April 17, 2003 bookmarklet

Here's a very simple way to save money on the web:
Go to a site that has something you want to buy. No, really, go ahead!
Drag this link to your browser toolbar:
Find Coupons
Find Coupons 2 (this one opens the results in a new window so you don't lose your place in a shopping cart, etc. on the merchant's site)
Now at the online merchant, click that link on your toolbar - it will try and look for coupons at for that site!

4/17/2003 11:23:43 PM ] [  ]



I'm getting older. Again. Buy me stuff.


[Robotech: Crystal Dreams for aforementioned Xbox] [Froogle]

[HALO] [Froogle]

[Optical-out cable for xbox so I can MAYBE hear 5.1 sound on my DAV-S300] or [Xbox high def pack (same thing)] and [Optical Cable]

Sadly, I've heard that using the analog inputs you can't get 5.1 sound from the [DAV-S300]. Supposedly with the optical input you can.

[A modchip for said xbox, since I am purely evil and using the XBoxMediaCenter would be cool]

I still need [2 or 4 speaker stands for my satellites]

And probably other stuff would be cool too, but I was 2 seconds away from buying the xbox and robotech with's current 10% off deal for about $140... so figured someone else might need gift ideas for me (yeah right) and will try to hold off another 2 weeks... must...
By all means, use [Froogle] and [dealcoupon] when buying!

4/17/2003 10:14:24 PM ] [  ]


Hey all you crackwhores....

And yes, I am totally diggin the "new" album from [Acumen Nation], [The 5ith Column].
Now my first Acumen experience was in 1995 or 1996, when I saw them opening up for Chemlab and 16volt in DC at the Capitol Ballroom. They didn't take well with me- I didn't like their live sound that much, but at some point picked up an album and decided they were just one of those bands that didn't sound good live. Their album wasn't one of my favorites but it was listenable, and I don't listen to utter crap if I can help it.
Flash forward 5 years to a few months ago when I was cruising the [SMG forum] and everyone was talking about how good The 5ith Column was.
So it was on the list in the back of my mind of odd stuff to look for if I happened to find myself in Tower at some point, though I don't think I ever remembered to look for it. And forget Kazaa, etc. - most of my music is too obscure to find on p2p networks.
So since they're now on [Invisible], they were selling the CD at the show, as well as a set of remixes I picked up but haven't listened to yet.
I was pretty surprised at the maturity and polish of the new cd. Sure, it's definitely still Acumen, but the sound shows how much they've grown up since their last album in 1996 or so.

Bit of trivia: Fifth Column records was their last label, 5 years ago, based in DC. The label kinda ate itself and took a lot of good acts with it, not the least of which was Chemlab (the lead singer went back to working as an investment banker on Wall Street).

The 5ith Column has a funky beat and I can wig out to it. I recommend it.

4/17/2003 06:35:04 PM ] [  ]


The AppKit Hates Good Design

Seems that defining the layout of a window I'm working on based on an XML file rather than a Nib from InterfaceBuilder is actually going to be easiest, based on the work I just went through to get something to lay out correctly. InterfaceBuilder wants all the sizes, etc. to be locked down, while for what I'm trying they have to be dynamic and resizing on the fly based on their content, etc. which just did not work from a nib file.
Rather annoying. Rather undocumented.
So I might just load all of the layout information from an XML file instead of a nib or locking everything into hardcoded values in the code. I was going to play with that idea for doing component software anyway at some point, I guess I'd better start tackling it sooner rather than later!

4/17/2003 06:08:00 PM ] [  ]


Yup, new code on here. It's more of a test of things to come than anything that really adds value at this point- I've been talking about rewriting the template enough that I'm actually writing code for it now (thought he calendar widget was adapted slightly from [Phil]). And last night I wrote a new Finder script that's helping me to do links right every time that's pretty cool.

4/17/2003 03:03:18 PM ] [  ]


Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Phat Lady Singing

The arab "street" [thinks that Saddam was bought out], while the Russians are not only having trouble [admitting they were wrong], but they're getting [their very dirty laundry] hung out to dry, just as [proof] of Iraq weapons was uncovered. And Saddam, well, [what more needs to be said?]

Thankfully, the free world can [rejoice in song]

4/16/2003 10:42:33 PM ] [  ]


Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Back in the saddle

Since my onslaught of work has at least temporarily abated, I've gotten some more time to work on Evil Toaster lately, which is a good thing.
I had been meaning to update some test code to handle non-IMAP servers with JavaMail (specifically offline Stores to store mail locally). I finally wrote a java app that will copy mail from one Store to another, letting me copy everything from an IMAP store to a local store, for instance - and I found that the ICEMail [icemh] provider had a lot of problems, at least on MacOS X with JDK 1.4.1. Yesterday I addressed the most immediate of those shortcomings and got it going with my code, which pleasantly enough didn't need major changes to work with non-IMAP stores (I had to change maybe two lines of code that were really part of a bug).

Anyway, doing work with JavaMail is a lot faster now that I'm not connecting to via SSL, and instead accessing local files in pretty much the same way. I learned my lesson about not using SSL at DefCon when I was sh33p'd on my account over the open wireless AP. Duoh! I still haven't gotten the photo of my sheepage developed yet, oh well. I have like 10 disposable cameras from defcon and Edwards waiting to be developed to PhotoCD.

With that done, I got the [Lucene] mail indexing stuff updated to handle links in emails pretty much as I want to. They're being extracted using a regular expression from the email body, which is fast and with some tweaking pretty reliable. I had planned on having java grab the HTML a link pointed to from an email and indexing that as well- how many times have you searched though mails to find a link someone sent you, right?- but yesterday realized that wouldn't be good- it would probably end yup indexing spam links, which is bad, bad, bad. The HTML viewing component for EvilToaster (using Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine as the [CHBrowserView]) has a set of controls on it that allow you to only view HTML from certain people, not view HTML emails at all, or view them but the CHBrowserView will *not* get any images, etc. over the network.
Why? Here's Apple's [simple explanation] of it. Basically, viewing spam HTML email messages can send information to the spammer without your knowledge, usually a confirmation that there is a live person at your email address. That results in more spam. I don't know about HotMail, but Yahoo mail does have a setting that will prevent HTML emails from loading graphics, etc. over the network- and it's very effective at stopping spam.
So I have to rething the link indexing. While it's nice to have just links like "" in the index, from the user's perspective it's a lot more useful to have it index the actual content at that address, not the URL. Even if it's just the actual HTML title of that page, that's a lot better than a cryptic URL. I'm probably going to have to come up with some kind of ruleset to determine what links to follow, which oh ya will be lots of fun.

Lucene 1.3RC1 is out, which among many [improvements] I've been waiting for has an API for "find similar" kind of functionality - which kicks ass.

On the Cocoa side, I've made a lot of progress implmenting some things, like a view very much like iChat's [contact list]. Apple has this annoying thing where they implement UI elements and don't let developers access them, like everything in iChat, the search field in, etc. It does annoy the hell out of me, but screw em. My app is going to be a lot easier to use than their stuff, even though I'm writing it with a target audience of one.
Screw em.
My brother has been pointing me to UI ideas from the Newton yet again, some would work well on MacOS X, some wouldn't. We'll see what I can pull off there :P

4/15/2003 05:50:13 PM ] [  ]


Rock out with your cock out

Friday night I dragged my solly azz into Hollywood to see Bile, TKK, and Pigface at the Key Club. [Bile] opened it with a tragically short set- I've seen Bile maybe 6 times since I first caught them at Wetlands in NYC way back when they played with 16 volt, and they do a great job always. Since they were the first of four acts (I sat out the 2nd band, Zeromancer), their set was only a few songs. When they headline though, they do a good selection of songs from all of their albums and manage to do it all almost as one song, without stopping, and they put on quite the show. If you ever have a chance to see Bile in person, even if you don't like their sound that much see the show, it's worth it.
TKK was pretty good but nothing to write home about, they didn't do Sex On Wheelz or After the Flesh, their two best known songs, though they played well.
Pigface was of course the last act, and they all did a great job, especially considering most of the performers had played earlier in the night as well- Pigface has a rotating cast of characters from other bands, and for this tour there were members of Bile, TKK, Voodou, [Hate Dept], and several other bands bringing their unique talents to the Pigface consortium. The Pigface set was long and intense, not the best thing on a Friday night after 3 other bands and a long work week- I was pooped out and not my usual pitthrashing self.
Get the new album, [Easy Listening] though. It rocks.
And yes, for Suck the guy from TKK did whip it out.

Getting rear ended by a Porsche at 2am on the way out of Hollywood did suck quite a bit though.

4/15/2003 03:11:16 PM ] [  ]