ljplicease: (Mirror Shot)

Re-watched Fight Club. I honestly don’t understand what I saw in that movie. It’s clever, and somewhat anarchic, but like Che it has more traction as a T-shirt than it does for its ideas. Ironically appropriate given the proclivities of Tyler Durden. The film reminds me of just about every frat boy I met at uni.

Re-watching Ghostbusters. The effects are cheesy, but ahh... makes me all nostalgic for New York. Good times. This remains one of my favourite films.

New TV is a good excuse to revisit my DVD library.

Also watched my second demo (e) for the first time on my new TV, and also for the first time with my new amp. Looks and sounds really good :) I decided to skip watching my first demo Final Intensity on account of it being tainted by Kari’s contribution to the project.

Playing through Super Mario Galaxy. I am less than 15 stars short of the final showdown, assuming there isn’t an encore, which there probably is. Running both the Wii and the Mac Mini through the TV has got me to thinking that if the Wiimote worked as a pointing device for the Mac Mini it would be really cool. I still think about interface design issues, even though I am destined to work on server side stuff it seems. It’s a pity that nothing works with anything else. Yay for capitalism and free markets.

ljplicease: (Stimpy)

Feeling overly dramatic and totally energyless tonight. sendmail should die; remind me again why we can't just use postfix instead?

I have an urge to write another computer demo. Will need two things:

  1. to review OpenGL
  2. inspiration
I was in a bookstore this afternoon after work and I picked up an OpenGL book. The hard bit will be the inspiration. My last demo was inspired by the number e[1].

Who wants to be in charge of sound effects and music?

The other thing I thought about buying in the bookstore was a Mandarin/English dictionary. I decided to wait for now. I've obviously become interested in 中文[2], but I have a few 中文 resources that I should finish with before buying new stuff. It could be a passing interest after all.

  1. I'm a dork.
  2. Chinese language


Aug. 16th, 2006 06:38 am
ljplicease: (Blue Self)

Here is an old photo that reminds of the days when I would get up earlyto capture the morning light. Brrr. I think it was cold that morning!


Today, in contrast was quite nice! Weather wise I mean.

Today was the farewell lunch for Rory (not sure about the spelling), which I was sort of not looking forward to on account of having to be social and stuff, but it actually went pretty well. After ordering my lunch at the bar I got to the tables reserved for us, and all of the seats were taken at tables that had people so I had to colonize a new table. Sitting alone in a group like that is pretty disturbing, especially if you are mildly socially phobic antisocial. Some office folk with mildly recognizable faces came over to my table shortly after and introduce themselves. I think I talk too much in those situations. I can't think of anything to say so all sorts of irrelevant stuff starts to regurgitate without my thinking about it. I had this theory that it would be easier to deal with my shyness in a place other than New York, and I think I was right, or maybe I'm just getting older and more able to deal with this stuff.

Ah, but the really good news is that Cicely, Joe and (allegedly) Brian[1] are coming out to visit for New Years Eve! NYE is, quite simply, the best time of year to be in Sydney, and Sydney is, quite simply, the best place to be for NYE. I was just thinking this morning that I really love Sydney and I am fairly certain that Sydney is the greatest city on earth (no offense to my friends in New York, which I also adore), but of course I miss my friends! I am super excited about having some friends out and being able to show them around and hang out with my friends.

Yesterday my new 23" Apple HD monitor arrived and I am using it right now. It looks really good. It's a new toy that is yet another reason for me to despise the inferiority of my work equipment. My friend e was telling reminding me that most places are like "that" ... and she's right to an extent (but at least she can IM from work!), but I think I will continue to complain about work anyway. It beats complaining about my personal life!

Not much else to report.

  1. I say allegedly, because he said we was "for sure" going to come to Salt Lake for at least one of those ski trips that I organized, but he waited till the plane ticket prices were astronomical


Jul. 20th, 2006 07:51 am
ljplicease: (Perfect Reflect)
When I turned on my G5 for the first time after being locked away at sea for six months[1], I found a bunch of nice high quality scans on the desktop that I took last summer of decay and ruins from the Hudson Valley. It was a pleasant surprise because I had forgotten I had taken them, much less scanned them in. Anyway, I will be posting some of them over the next few weeks.

[1] the G5, not me


Jun. 20th, 2006 07:47 pm
ljplicease: (Cow Duck)

Today I wrote actual (perl) code as apposed to writing (in English) about existing buggy code or how one might fix said buggy code to make it work.

It was nice.


Jun. 11th, 2006 09:23 pm
ljplicease: (Open Trash)
Work has been sucking it out of me lately[1], so I haven't even checked my LJ in the past week, much less posted.

I bought a bunch of things like clothes and a new phone yesterday (let me know if you want the #). It has the Internet on it (yes, the ENTIRE internet), so now I can carry it around with me (yes, the ENTIRE internet). Actually it still doesn't solve my problem of not being able ot IM at work[2]. It solves a host of other problems though, so I don't object. Cameras on phones seemed like such a dumb thing before I got one, but living without my first few months in Australia has reminded me that there are times when they are handy. Mostly to take visual notes. If I see an ad for something that I want to later research I can. Also: I know it seems like a little thing, but I am offended by the fact that I actually have to set the time on my phone. In America my phone set the tiem itself. This was handy when I flew.

Yesterday I also found a really nice apartment in Artarmon, for which I filed an application, but the realestate agent screwed me and it looks like I won't get the place. Lawyers have a bad rap, yet I have had nothing but positive experience dealing with lawyers[3], whereas my experience with realeastate agenst has been entirely negative.

[1] I'm ready to quit

[2] at least not directly, I still may be able to figure something out though

[3] in fact, the one time when I worked with lawyers and programmers at the same time, the programmers really dissapointed me in their narrow mindedness.
ljplicease: (Moonrise)
Two observations worth remembering:
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The second observation was made by Douglas Adams, and I'm having trouble relocating the exact quote, but in essence he said that whether an object can be defined as "technology" can be determined by the "tea" test. That is,
  1. Make a hot cup of tea.
  2. Try to figure out how the object in question works.
  3. If, by the time you are done or by the time you give up the tea is cold, then you are almost certainly dealing with technology.
Here is a screencap of Micro$oft Word:
I leave it as an exercise for the reader to get my point.

Also: why is it that language designers hate Multiple inheritance so much? We used it to good effect when I was working at IBM, and it seems to work pretty well for creating people.
ljplicease: (window to decay)
Saturday, I went to the Museum of Sydney (MOS) to see the Joseph Lycett exhibit which is on there right now. Lycett was an artist, forger, and convict in New South Wales, and his work is some of the most important visual record that exists of the time. What I found remarkable about Lycett's work is that the Europeans (individuals, towns and ships) look tiny in comparison to the environment that they find themselves in. One example struck me especially shows a tree by the shore four times the height of a three mast sailing ship (which is actually closer to the viewer). Even where there are not the immense incongruities, the Europeans look small vulnerable. The few pieces that I saw featuring aboriginals were scaled more realistically. Perhaps this is because Lycett knew his presumably European audience, and what they would be interested in seeing?

more.. )
ljplicease: (Pangea)
So I mentioned earlier this week that I had a job offer, and promised further details. They were a bit disorganized, so I didn't actually sign the paper work until today.

Anyway, I start work a week after Monday next. That's 29 May. The company archives legal documents, and newspaper articles, and charges lots of money for people to search it. I'm going to be programming in perl, adjusting their code to operate correctly in places like China, and I think there will be some XML involved. I don't know all that much about internationalization, or even XML for that matter, but I think I can pick that up and I am a pretty good perl programmer.

When a friend of mine got a job working in Manhattan I imagined that she worked in this colossal steel and glass sky scraper in the financial district. (one day I met up with her where she works and it turned out to be a little loft in SoHo; this is probably a lot nicer). I'm going to be working in exactly the same building that I imagined that she worked in, except that it is located in Chatswood, very close to the train station.

I can't decide how I should refer to this company. I considered making it The Company, now that I don't work for the company formally known as The Company any more or even The Company II to distinguish it, but it seems like it deserves a better name. Maybe I'll just be vague and make statements such as that place where I work.

If you are curious about details, IM me. My contact details may be found here:
ljplicease: (Rust)
I came by this T-Shirt on the Internet today:


which probably doesn't mean much to you if you didn't go through the American education system in the late 80s early 90s like Tyler and I did, but we both found it hilarious. I then proceeded to download the latest version of The Oregon Trail, which they are still apparently making, but of course the new version left something to be desired, namely the nostalgia, which only the original could provide. This is really the only thing that it has going for it.

I've been mucking about with nameservers... I was still using belmont as my DNS server, and I'm only now starting to do the switchover to nullray (DNS is/was the last service on belmont). Some of my websites may be temporarily mucked up. I will be doing nullray soon. For those of you who logon, you may want to remember that the IP address is or add it to your hosts file. Shouldn't need it, but just in case.
ljplicease: (Mirror Shot)
For me, perl started out as this programming language that I didn't like because schallee liked it. I had a boss in my summer-job days who liked perl though, so I was forced to use it long enough to realize its power, and now I sometimes joke that English is a second language to my first language: perl (yes, I am a computer dork).

TWiki was introduced to me as this web application that I had to get working ASAP on doublethink, because they fired the only person in The Company who knew how to keep it running. At first I didn't want to use it any more than required to in order to get the job done. Now it is an integral part of the way that I plan and keep track of tasks, and bits of information which needs to be taken care of. I can't imagine living without it, frankly.

(incidentally, TWiki is written in perl, so these things that we don't like at first but come to like tend to build on each other)

There are a lot of things like this, but now that I am looking for work I am actually thankful that I got stuck with TWiki in my last year or so at The Company, because it gives me something concrete to talk about when people ask me certain kind of IT related questions now that I am looking for a job. It really was a good experience, though it didn't seem like it at the time.

Now I am seeing other things that I'm supposed to know that I am sure I will be extremely resistant to adding to my tool set, mainly because they will be some amount of work to learn and (ironically) they aren't perl or TWiki or one of the many other technologies that I already know. Which ones will I later be glad that I know?

I put Photoshop, along with dark room experience and studio lighting on my resumé in part because I had some of that kind of experience, but mostly just for fun, because I couldn't imagine possibly ever using that in my job (which is a pity). Today I actually gave my resumé to someone and he was like "oh, they would actually like someone who knows a little photoshop in addition to all this computer stuff."
ljplicease: (Metalic Over Nature)
cdrecord: Success. Cannot open SCSI driver.
ljplicease: (torpedo)
Meet Chaco the newest member of the family. It's the new Mac mini with an Intel Core Duo processor. I like the remote, it's a nice touch. There are only six buttons on it, as per typical Apple design principles, but to skip through songs in iTunes or to play a DVD you really don't need any more than that. I don't like the fact that most vendors aren't shipping native Intel or Mac OS X Universal binaries yet. The emulation for PowerPC is quite good, I've had not problem at all running older PowerPC binaries, but it is super slow. The Mozilla Foundation isn't shipping universal binaries of Firefox or Thunderbird yet, (wtf?) and I don't like Camino, so I spent a few hours last night compiling Firefox as an native Intel binary. I can forget about running Photoshop on it though. Until they start selling more powerful macs with Intel and Adobe releases a native Intel version I will be utilizing my G5 a great deal.


Jan. 19th, 2006 07:00 am
ljplicease: (pixel6)
So, regarding this recent announcements regarding "Changes to User Subdomains"


I have two comments.
  1. I'd like to know more about this supposed vulnerability, exactly which "popular" browser they are referring to.
  2. The uproar among paid account users who don't use voice posts is ridiculous, although the whiny "why can't I have an underscore in my subdomain" crowd is even more "amusing".
also: that's a lot of CNAME records.
ljplicease: (Streetlight)
The other day I was writing about my positive experience with video games. Just now I read an article from The Economist about the therapeutic applications of video games (mostly they talk about treating phobias), which concludes:
Critics denounce video games for promoting violence and destruction, despite the lack of solid evidence to support such claims. The evidence for gaming's curative and therapeutic benefits, by contrast, is rather more convincing.
Mostly the article talks about custom written applications, or modifications of existing games (using a magical patch which allows you to do magical computer things). If the nay sayers who denounce video games had their way, we wouldn't have the technological expertise to explore such possibilities.

Anyway. I just thought it was interesting that I came across the article, since I had been writing about the subject recently.
ljplicease: (Red Shack)
Two things came up at Thanksgiving dinner this year that I wanted to talk about. One was my "blog" and the other was video games. I prefer to refer to it as a journal, but it is what is, so it is a blog. I sort of defended the existence of my journal by saying that I started it because I wanted to practice writing to keep my skills from decaying. That is actually true, although there is another reason.

I find when I get angry or into an argument, I often become incoherent. It's not that the ideas are unclear to me, in fact, I find just the opposite: the ideas are so clear in my head that I don't stop to explain key points that need to be made. If I take my time and write down my reasoning for a particular position I find that I can be much more persuasive, or at least less nervous if the subject should come up in a conversation. I have strong opinions, but I tend to be non-confrontational.

Take the other subject at dinner: video games. In the 7th grade I wrote an essay about why video games were good that was so coherent and well written that my no-good English teacher Mr. Farley wrongly accused my mother of having written it. My father felt that I spent too much time playing video games and tried to dissuade me from doing so. In the long term he didn't alter my behavior, I think that he was wrong to try, and I don't think that my interest in video games has stunted my personal growth. I hardly play video games at all anymore, but I do not regret the time I invested in them.

At dinner, one of the guests said that video games were bad because you don't use your own imagination. Since I tend to be non-confrontational in person, I didn't contradict the guest. While it is sort of a personal reasoning, and may not be relevant to everyone's experience, I'd like to explain why I disagree here for the record, and so that in the future I have a coherent line of reasoning for arguing the subject.

Why video games can be good... )


Nov. 18th, 2005 12:43 pm
ljplicease: (Mirror Shot)
I was having trouble with several on-line retailers earlier in this week, but I finally had a break through with buy.com and the fixed the problem I was having with them. They wanted me to fax them my drivers license, which I thought was a bit much. Fortunately they relented. Just now I wrote a strongly worded letter to eBay. My complaint against half.com has apparently been escalated up to the parent company's support staff. I don't expect them to give me what I am asking for (which amounts to an apology at this point, since they failed to fix what I asked them to fix), and to be honest I don't really care that much, but I'm proceeding under the assumption that It's The Principle Of The Thing. The truth, however, is that it is pointless.

Things are quiet at work today, given that it is the Friday before Thanksgiving week. My former manager (the good one, who was promoted into upper management), came over the other day and said something about "Think Fridays" (I guess it must have been a Friday) and I was like ... "Um. What is that." I vaguely recall some discussion about this in a meeting at some point, but I had buried it or ignored it because it seemed pointless.

Thanksgiving week always seems like a good week to take days off, but since management always comes around on Wednesday to let us out early, I think that it is kind of pointless to take that day off, and hence the rest of the short week.

I watched an episode of the Apprentice with some friends last night. That also seemed rather pointless.

Before that we watched Crash, which wasn't pointless... It was actually pretty good, but I didn't like the way that actors would break character randomly and begin essay-like monologues from time to time. I don't really like that style of story telling, but I suppose to bring that up here is pointless.

Rainy Days

Oct. 9th, 2005 02:39 am
ljplicease: (ski lift)
Today was miserable as far as the weather is concerned. So I went to see the new Wallace and Gromit movie. Definitely good enough to pay matinee prices on an otherwise bleak Saturday. I haven't gone to see a movie by myself in a long time, and I felt vaguely odd watching a movie which seemed to be popular most with children, but I am a fan of the makers of the short films and I'm glad that I saw this one, though I have to say that I enjoyed Chicken Run much more.

more on the dangers of reading... )
ljplicease: (Default)
ollisg@belmont.wdlabs.com's password:
Last login: Thu Sep 22 10:17:40 2005 from ***********************
Welcome To Belmont.
8 days before the Kalends of October
belmont% uptime
 10:16am  up 368 days,  1:27,  2 users,  load average: 0.08, 0.03, 0.02
belmont% _

Cow Duck

Sep. 19th, 2005 11:10 pm
ljplicease: (Cow Duck)
One of the Adium X icons that you can download is a cow, which reminded me of a certain friend from Nebraska.

Update: I should say Cow Duck, since it is actually a duck with cow spots, horns and bell.


ljplicease: (Default)

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