Xenoveritas's blog

The iPod Shuffle - Enjoy Uncertainty

My officemate was looking up something about her Apple computer, and stumbled across an ad for the iPod Shuffle boldly declaring "Enjoy Uncertainty!"

Which immediately raised the question: WTF is an "iPod Shuffle?"

Well, apparently it's an iPod where Apple has engineered out the display. The only display element it has is a little green power LED.

In other words, it plays random music and you can't know what's next because it has no way to tell you. (Well, that's not strictly true - you can tell it to play the playlist straight through, so you can follow along.)

Random Things Seen on Way To Work

So on my way into work on Friday I first pass a funeral prossession that's going down Rt. 3 for some reason, and then wind up behind an armored SWAT truck.

It was a weird trip in.


Thanks for the warning, Blizzard...

OK, so I try and log in to WoW and get the realm list (meaning the realm I play on is down). So I pop over to the server status forum and see the following:

Fai wrote:
1/20 Scheduled Mainetnance Downtime | 1/20/2005 6:34:46 PM PST

The following 20 realms will be coming down for scheduled maintenance at 6:00 PM PST:

Umm... "Will be coming down" at 6:00 PM PST and you posted that at 6:34 PM PST?

!@#*ing WoW

OK, so apparently after Icecrown went down more often than... You know, I don't really know enough movies to make the sick reference I want to, but anyway, it went down several times over the weekend.

Anyway, Blizzard has now reduced the number of players that can play on it at one time. So I go to start playing and get into a queue. Fine, I throw the game into windowed mode (tip: Press ~, then gxWindow 1, gxResolution 800x600 or whatever, then gxRestart), and let it run through the queue.

Get down to 0, and...

Nothing. Back at the login screen.

So I try to log in again, run through the login process, only to see: "Disconnected from Server."

Compiling Mozilla (well, Firefox) Under Windows for Free

Compiling Mozilla under Windows requires a C++ compiler. Previously the only way to compile Mozilla under Windows without having to pay big bucks for the Visual C++ environment was to use the free Cygwin utilities, but those didn't include all the features that Microsoft's compiler did and didn't offer all the features that Mozilla has to offer under Windows.

Microsoft has since released the build environment (but not the GUI tools) to allow developers to write software under Windows without paying large amounts of money for Visual Studio. However, the process for doing this is fairly poorly explained. (And for good reason, it's long, annoying, and impossible unless you do some extra credit which is dubiously legal.)

Creating Firefox Extensions

OK, this is one of those "to be edited later" posts, but it's a start at writing a real quick tutorial on how to write a Firefox extension.

Settings Up Firefox

Before writing any code, we need to set up Firefox to make debugging an extension more possible. I mean, we could conceivably skip these steps, but then debugging anything would be a giant pain.

Anyway, first things first. Copy your Firefox shortcut or launcher or whatever you use for your system. Edit it and add "-console" to the command that starts it. So Windows users will wind up with something like:


...And my car won't start.

Well, today's shaping up to be a great day. I wake up feeling slightly feverish (I still feel overly warm and slightly dizzy), but finally get going and get to my car - which won't start. The starter turns, the lights light up, but the engine doesn't catch.

Fortunately my Dad's still around, se we decide to try jumping the car. So we hook the cables up, and try again. Not overly surprisingly, we get the same results: starter turns, engine doesn't.


Car will be towed shortly, hopefully I'll find out what's wrong and get it back today. Hopefully.

So it looks like I'll be working from home today.


Home From Washington (DC)

Well, I'm back. And both flights were delayed. The flight down was delayed by snow, the flight back was delayed because the captain wasn't there. Or something. Apparently no one informed the captain that he was supposed to be the captain of our flight. Or... something. I'm a little hazy on the details, other than knowing that we wound up boarding some 5-10 minutes after we were scheduled to depart.

But, I'm home. Pepper (my cat) is glad to see me. Or at least glad to see my empty suitcase, one of the two. I think based on the purring he was just glad to see me. The scratches on my shoulder mean something, too. He's cute. Where are the band-aids?


Off To Washington (DC)

Well, I'm off to Washington DC this afternoon. Heading to the airport at 1, flight leaves at 3:05. Sounds like fun? Well, no, not really - it's for a training course for a product I really dislike.

Oh well.

At least I'll get a good chance to rest this evening, with nothing else to do. Assuming my flight isn't delayed due to the snow.


The FCC Song

Found this while wandering around the 'net, trying to get my ID3 tags in order, it's Eric Idle's the FCC Song (download here).

I guess it started due to fines he received from the FCC.

Oh, and be warned that it contains the F-word, and there's no fucking way I'd want to accidently expose some young innocent web surfer to such language. No fucking way.



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