Category: random musings

  • Email, should the “Old Ways” quietly die?

    I was having an enjoyable early Summer BBQ chat with Mark Kerr and Jonathan (Noodles) McDowell a few weeks ago. We know each other from the days of Fidonet’s greatest glory. Fidonet still exists, but back then the internet did not have a presence in normal people’s lives, academics I worked with at Queen’s only […]

  • More to a book than its cover

    Today I have found myself reading about three authors. These three men had various levels of fame and in each case, the interest today was more about them than it was about their work. Samuel Clements aka Mark Twain, the great American writer was coming to my attention because his century long delay in publishing […]

  • Boot time sound problems with QuickCam Pro 9000 webcam

    I’ve had a Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 for some time now, and it works well, but I did have one bizarre problem with it when I used it with my main desktop machine (running Debian (Sid)). Namely, that if I had the camera plugged in (usb) at boot time the sound on the computer did […]

  • Michael

    Michael stands in the rain, as drops fall from his brow to the ground, He waits patiently, his steel grey eyes surveying his battlefield, It is a strange one, strewn with grass and flowers and many a mound, And rank and file of stones each entreating that He should yield. Scattered here and there, his […]

  • Fixing g1 Accelerometer

    I had noted before that my accelerometer had broken on my Android g1 phone, so that one axis was out by about 40 degrees. Despite lots of “helpful” suggestions from my friends on how to fix it (you know who you are), nothing worked. This did. Connect to the phone with adb (from the Android […]

  • Models, Perception, Science, Religion, Martial Arts

    This is quite a long and detailed article, if you have no vague interest in meta-physics or philosophy and associated ideas, it may hold little value for you. You have been warned! I doubt that any human being lives directly in reality. None of us has an exact understanding of reality and generally I suspect […]

  • Ethics and Terminators

    I went to Terminator Salvation tonight with Andy. I don’t think what follows will act as a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen it, plan to, and worry about that, look away now. I enjoyed the first two Terminator films hugely. The third one, ho hum, and this one was good entertainment except for the […]

  • Why you should “Take the Fifth”

    I’m not an American, but like many people I’m aware of the Fifth Amendment and how it is often lampooned. I recently discussed this with someone, and I can’t for the life of me remember who, was it Peter at BLUG? If it was you, you’ll enjoy this. The discussion centred about why it would […]

  • Leaked EU code

    /** * attempt to ratify treaty * @param input the treaty to put before the “people” * @return boolean true on success, false otherwise */ boolean ratify_treaty(treaty input) { treaty treaty_to_present = hash(input); while(!popular_vote(treaty_to_present)) { sleep(BIG_NUMBER); treaty_to_present = cosmetic_rehash(treaty_to_present); } // Treaty accepted! Never ask again! return(true); } I am neither particularly strongly “pro” or […]