1. A new pet added to the apartment.

    28 June 2009

    Yesterday afternoon, after much deliberation and cursing at the general lack of quality of PetCo's inventory Lyssa and I finally picked up a new rodent cage and associated gear (silent running wheel, water bottle, plastic hutch, et cetera) to set up on the coffee table in the library.  We then headed in the opposite direction to the other PetCo in our area to pick up a new addition to the family, a mostly white long haired hamster who won our hearts through his antics and, it should be noted, cluelessness.  When we first saw him a couple off weeks ago …

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  2. You're probably wondering where I've been lately.

    26 June 2009

    By and large, work has been, well, work.  Lots of hours at the office, lots of hours stuck in traffic sweating like Kevin Mitnick during a traffic stop.  When I haven't been logging time behind a console, I've either been trying to get my head back into Python coding (try as I might, I just don't understand GUI programming in general or PyGTK in particular), reading data sheets, reading up on the Arduino microcontroller, or pulling a Tesla while pondering the best way to build my latest obsession, a laser synthtar.

    You see, it all started at HacDC a couple …

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  3. The King of Pop has passed.

    25 June 2009

    It's official - Michael Jackson is dead at the age of 50.  Jackson was rushed into an undisclosed hospital in Los Angeles, California in full cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 1446 PST8PDT.  The cause of death isn't known, and won't be determined for a couple of weeks at least.  The rumors from earlier today have been officially dispelled, and Netcraft confirms it.  Jackson was easily one of the most prolific musicians in history, topping out in the neighborhood of 750 million records sold during his career.  Oddly enough, he just closed a series of 50 concerts in London, England …

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  4. Crash on the red line of the DC Metro this afternoon.

    22 June 2009

    Around 1700 EST5EDT in the DC metroplex, there was a head-on collision between two trains on the red line. The crash occurred in the vicinity of Takoma Park, Maryland. Reports vary, but about ten people were severely injured in the crash. Unconfirmed reports state that the crash may have had something to do with the drivers being distracted.

    
    

    If you were on the DC metro and you’re reading this, please comment so that we know you’re okay.

    
    

    Lyssa, Laurelinde, Bronwyn, Cate, Hasufin, and I are all right.

    
    

    Hasufin’s confirmed that Mika’s all right.

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  5. Arduino cross-development kit on Gentoo.

    19 June 2009

    While I’m sitting here hacking around, here’s the exact command that I needed to run to get the Arduino development kit to install properly on Windbringer:

    It should be noted that I’m using Layman to manage my overlays, which is why I had to specify the environment variable on the command line.

    I discovered that GCC v4.1.2 didn't support the Atmega328, which is what my Arduino Duemilanove is based upon, so I had to upgrade GCC to the latest stable release for Gentoo.  To generate code for the Atmega328, you need v4.2.2 or …

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  6. I figured out the glitch in Windbringer.

    19 June 2009

    Ever since version 2.6.29 of the Linux kernel was released I’d been having problems with Windbringer crashing on shutdown. After triggering the system shutdown applet in Gnome X would terminate, sometimes I’d see a debug message from NetworkManager as it tried to shut down the network interfaces (and sometimes the ALSA sound drivers, oddly enough), sometimes I wouldn’t see anything. The end result, however, was that Windbringer would have to be manually powered off, thus forcing a (lengthy) file system check the next time I booted up.

    
    

    The answer arrived from this thread at the …

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  7. Blips from the future.

    18 June 2009

    While doing some research for another entry I stumbled across a pair of articles in my daily news feed scan that jumped out at me because they seem thematically appropriate. Warren Ellis called them “outbreaks of the future” because they hint at things to come when they appear in the media. Or maybe it’s because they ring of what was once science fiction while carrying a byline of the now.

    James Symington of the Halifax, Canada police department’s K-9 unit worked with a search-and-rescue dog named Trakr for fifteen years. Trakr’s claim to fame came during the …

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  8. A backlog of photographs.

    16 June 2009

    I’ve been sitting on some photographs that have piled on Windbringer’s hard drive up over the past couple of weeks and finally found the time to get them resized and uploaded.

    A visit to the Air and Space Museum on my father’s in law’s birthday.

    A couple of photographs taken at P. W. Singer’s presentation at HacDC. There are also a couple of shots of fun with night vision goggles later that evening in that set.

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  9. Aaaaaaannnnd.... we're back!

    16 June 2009

    After much deliberation I’ve finally gotten around to upgrading my website to the latest version of the software, and while I was at it I decided to change the default appearance to something a little less busy.. which basically means that I played around with CSS until I happened across something that I like but which will probably cause everyone else to run screaming.

    I know things are a little broken right now, I’m still sorting them out. I hope you like it.

    The locations of the RSS and ATOM feeds have changed, so if you read this …

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  10. A completely random thought for you.

    14 June 2009

    A couple of weeks ago I spent an evening in a dark, cramped bar full of pirate kitsch with a bunch of people who could have stepped out of the science fiction novel of your choice (yes, even the old-school Shadowrun novels). Collectively, we had more electronic equipment than NASA at the times we were born on our person. None of were particularly aware of life imitating science fiction (or is it science fiction predicting life?) or of the horrors occurring around us at the time. On top of all of that, we all sat around appreciating a belly dancer …

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