Good Night Tooth Fairy

I had a date with the dentist today to get this sucker yanked out:

That's a wisdom tooth!

That's one of two, and I only got a 1.5 day supply of pain meds. Thanks Uncle Sam!


This is rather random, but it's something I found while playing with Instant Domain Search. I punched in jabberblabber, since blabber is the name I suggested to stpeter as an improvement over jingle. But was taken by an overly cute dragon! I guess it's a magazine and TV show in the Memphis, TN area. There's nothing to read, just the cute dragon, a song, and a TV schedule. Maybe we can invite him to the 1st JabFab to challenge the light-bulb and/or our patron saint.

One Click Installs, the Unix Way


Back on Wednesday I attended a meeting put on by IUPUI's Microsoft user group. One of the things they covered was the new one click install feature of .NET 2.0. While taking another free BrainBench test, I started thinking about how all the benefits of this feature could be done in X11. Surprisingly this could be done very simply.

In a world where we're not paranoid, the only thing the web server would need to do is start the application with the proper DISPLAY after I followed a start link. Unfortunately things aren't that simple. I would need to submit my X server's magic cookie hash to the web server. Then the web server could tell the client app all it needs to know about the server.

Although this all starts with stuff we already have, and it's pretty simple to get going there are some problems. Try throwing in actual encryption, NAT traversal, and file access. Yeah, that's all a problem, but on the bright side Linux, the BSDs, and MacOS X all support X. That's better than .NET 2.0.

Problems aside, what do we get? We get all the benefits that centrally hosted web apps have and all the benefits that actual desktop apps have. All that without having to invent anything new, or running a program in a sandbox.

Why couldn't Microsoft have thought of that?

What an inkscape!

I got Hal-ed at since I haven't reported on my adventure with Inkscape's Jabber support. There's not much to say other than that I was disappointed because it was a little too fresh out of the repository. It took me a good 24 hours to get it to compile with a number of library upgrades, including glibc. I also had to include ctype.h on a number of files which was a joy.

Once it did compile everything was in place. Besides menu items for Jabber, there was a new tool to draw diagrams by connecting shapes. This will come in extremely handy, especially for people who turn UML into an art form.

On the Jabber front, I wasn't able to share a document with the second instance I was running. I don't think invitations were implemented and nothing got sent in a conference. All I was able to do was connect to the server and get a list of people in my roster. Even that was a little flakey. The UI could also use a number of improvements too since it is far from beatiful.

If this were a finished version I would give it a thumbs down, but it's their development copy. With that in mind, they need some volunteers. This could make Inkscape extremely cool and useful, and they need all the encouragement and help they can get.

I Have C++ Class


I thought I'd share the results of the C++ test I took over at BrainBench since they're doing a couple weeks of free tests. With some stupid mistakes I did pretty good:

Score: 3.66
Percentile: Scored higher than 79% of previous examinees
Demonstrates a clear understanding of many advanced concepts within this topic. Appears capable of mentoring others on most projects in this area.
Strong Areas
  • Basic Structure and Syntax
  • Class Member Functions
  • C++ Class
Weak Areas
  • Templates

I really like the part "Appears capable of mentoring others on most projects in this area." And I guess my skills need a Boost to improve my weak area. They have another C++ test which I need to take. Wish me luck.

Hit By a Train


I'm actually trying to produce something with Ruby on Rails, and I finally got hit by the train. Here's the problem that makes no sense at all. I have a view that does the following:

<%= render :partial => 'role', :collection => @roles %>

@roles is a class attribute that's an array of roles which gets iterated over. This is where things get foobarred. In the partial I get a variable called role which is good, but I want to render a text field in this partial. Rails provides me with text_field. Good again because I can just enter the following to print the role's name:

<%= text_field "role", "name" %>

But wait! text_field will only work with class attributes for some dumb reason. Yes, that means it'll call to get the name, not If I wanted @role, I would have used @role in my call to text_field.

I can not figure out why this could have been a good idea. Now I'm stuck contemplating whether I should hack up my own text_field that works logically or not.

By Executive Order You Must Collect Data

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I was applying for a job and got this (emphasis mine):

Under Executive Order 11246, the federal government requires [company name] to report the sex and race/ethnic origin of its applicants for employment. Your submission of any of the information requested is voluntary, and your decision not to provide it will not subject you to any adverse treatment. Your cooperation is appreciated.

It then goes on how they don't discriminate. My question is why does the federal government want this information? My only guess is that it's to make the companies provide the data that could be used against them if they don't meet some quota.

Inkscape.. Whiteboard ...Jabber ...What?

I was just looking over the Summer of Code results and noticed that Inkscape sponsored a Jabber whiteboard. I'm literally checking it out now and will then compile it. Hopefully all goes well so I can play with it. Jabber me if you want to join me.

Capitalism is dead. Long live capitalism!

If I read The Magic Money Machine and the Great Prescription Drug Funding Fallacy correctly then prescription drug benefits or socialized medicine would eventually stop production of any new drugs. In an attempt to be funny the author said that only medicines for pets would still be developed. Following up on that I commented that it's good that medicines that work on pets would probably work on me, or that a black market would develop for medicines.

I think the latter would happen in such a case. We can look at the power of the mob in communist Russia as one example, or even the illicit drug market here. Both examples show that people want and will trade even under a 100% controlled economy.

Thus capitalism can not be avoided, and that produces the phrase I coined: Capitalism is dead. Long live capitalism!

Update: A quick check on google shows that I wasn't the first to coin this. :-(

Our Newly Elected Official...

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Design now rules.

I'll mail some laffy taffy to the first person to name the source of that, so leave an email.

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