Category Archives: geekiness

Merry Consumermas!

With a couple of caveats, this is a great cellphone. Basically, it’s cute and full of Dick Tracy fun, but it’s also a cellphone only a geek could love sometimes.

Pros:

  • Fun.
  • Cute.
  • Your phone is always handy on your wrist. No more beeperlepsy!
  • It comes with bluetooth, so you don’t have to talk into your watch if you don’t want to.
  • You can talk into your watch if you want to!
  • It can also play mp3s and videos.

Cons:

  • Weak antenna–I have trouble getting a signal some places, sigh.
  • Mine came with W32/RJump pre-installed for my convenience.
  • I’ve managed to crash the WAP browser a couple of times. I hear this is SOP for WAP browsers. *shrug*
  • 120 character limit on text field entry, but unless you have good eyes for the tiny onscreen keyboard or patience for the handwriting recognition, that might not be a problem for you.

Things that may be a positive or negative depending on your personal taste:

  • The anime graphics that come with the phone are really cute. I didn’t expect to like them, because I’m not always the biggest fan of cute, but I do! If you’re, to quote Think Geek, “Mr. Super Manly Man who is a afraid of a little cute,” well… YMMV.
  • The phone works with AT&T and T-Mobile, but you have to set up your own WAP settings or there will be no web surfing for you on the teeny tiny screen. I found setting up WAP fun, so this was a positive for me, but I’m a geek.

The manual reads like someone took the Chinese version and ran it through Babelfish. I find the result amusing but not very informative. A random example: “Do not put battery at machine impactive places, and poke battery with hard things.”

As for the W32/RJump, it’s a Windows executable, so the cellphone itself wasn’t infected, and if you use linux or Mac you can’t catch it (but delete autorun.inf, RavMon.exe, and Ghost.pif anyway). If you run Windows, update your antivirus. It’s delivered through Generic!atr, and virus definitions have been able to catch that for over a year. (It’s a worm that spreads itself through removable media. The cellphone watch acts as removable media to allow you to copy your multimedia files over, so it’s possible someone just tested it on an infected machine.)

If you want to see the watch in action, this guy is trying to sell ’em on eBay in English. There’s also a Chinese demo that shows the handwriting recognition, and an Italian demo that shows the menus.

Overall? Four paws and a wireless access point up.

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Gadget lust!

Check it out! It’s a teeny tiny laptop that runs linux. I could even carry it in my purse if I bought a bigger purse. I fondled one at the store today. People kept asking me if I needed help. No! Go away or I will replace you with a very small shell script!
I could probably even install subversion on it. I could also upgrade the RAM, but if I did I would need to buy this shirt to go with it.
I have a perfectly good laptop, by the way. This one is just cool.

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Things you can learn from a grrl’s purse.

You can learn things about a grrl from what’s in her purse. Here’s some of what’s in mine:

  1. Two Epi-Pens.
  2. Two inhalers.
  3. Puppy linux CD
  4. Knoppix S-T-D CD
  5. Cellphone.
  6. PDA.
  7. Screwdriver.
  8. Thumb drive.
  9. Pens.
  10. Titanium spork from Think Geek.

What do you carry around with you?

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More geeky things.

Fairly random, but:

Geeky cakes. So cool!

Wikipedia entry on unusual software bugs, including Heisenbugs and Schroedinbugs.

I love being a geek.

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Nerd stuff.

I was having this problem. Moving the mt-static directory to the top level of my webspace fixed it. If you’re getting a funky error on the comment page about whether you’re logged in or not, log out and log back in.
In other news, I’m using this site‘s outline helper to make my outline suck less. Thus far it’s helping, even though it didn’t want to work on linux, sigh.
In other other news, Amy’s Macaroni and Soy Cheeze is yummy. Mmm. Tasty soy goodness!

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Site upgrade!

Movable Type 4.0. Better authentication. I’ve only changed one
template to take advantage of that, but I may randomly break stuff while
dorking around over the next few days. Don’t worry if something’s
broken; I’ll fix it.

Because I hate spam so much, comments are moderated unless you’re a
trusted authenticated user. Sorry. On the other hand, cleaning spam
off my dead pet entries feels like scrubbing spray paint off their
tombstones. Special circle in hell. Buried in pet feces for all
eternity. If you’re not spam, I’ll approve you.

Also, there’s this new thing spammers do where they post faux emo
crap with their links. “I don’t think I can go on anymore nothing
matters!” with a link to Viagra. This girl is so depressed that her
boyfriend can’t perform that she’s going to end it all? I ask you.
Besides, I generally don’t get emo comments, so they stand out in the
queue.

As you were.

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In Nerd News

I’ve upgraded the site to MT3.34 with FastCGI. You probably won’t notice unless you comment, but I can tell and that’s what matters! To me, at least!

Seriously, it’s cool. Trust me.

I also made my URLs prettier, as they were pretty darned ugly. I’ve been putting that off, not wanting to break links, but to the best of my knowledge no one links to any individual entries but Brian. If you’re a stealth linker, sorry ’bout that.

No, I’m not procrastinating from NaNoEdMo, why do you ask? (I’m not. Upgrading the site is my reward for good behavior!)

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Laptop switch from Ubuntu to Debian Etch.

Geek post!
I’d been using Ubuntu on my Acer Aspire 3624WXCi laptop for about a year now. I really enjoyed my Ubuntu experience until I fell victim to this obnoxious bug. It took a while to manifest itself, too; the problem seemed to get worse every time they upgraded the kernel. Finally, I couldn’t launch a web browser without pointing a fan at the bottom of the machine.
Um, no. Thanks for playing.
I have good backups, and also store all my writing in subversion, so I wasn’t particularly nervous about moving to a new distro. I just couldn’t take the overheating bug any more.
I decided that I wanted Debian, because 1. I love APT dearly, and 2. one of the guys on the bug page said his laptop dual booted Debian and Ubuntu, and didn’t overheat under Debian. Alas, I tried Debian Sarge on this laptop when I first got it, and it didn’t support the video driver (yes, Sarge is too old to have the i810 driver), so I knew I’d need Etch. I also happened to have an Etch install CD, but Debian kind of broke the Etch install CD because their PGP signing key expired. Oops.
I tried using the Sarge CD and running an immediate "apt-get dist-upgrade" to upgrade to Etch, but something was very wrong. Not only did X not work, which the dist-upgrade warned me about, but I had some kind of error message on booting about how some of the modules were newer than the kernel, or something like that. Apparently, they’re very close to making Etch Stable rather than Testing, and maybe the upgrade is, ahem, still in progress. Debian suggests you download and burn a daily or weekly CD and use that, but I didn’t want to do that. See, the machine with the CD burner was the one that was hosed. So I tried the CD Debian said was busted. Guess what? It’s busted. (Surprise! not.) When you get to the downloading from the mirrors, you get a sad red screen and end up with a freshly partitioned hard drive with no software. Alas.
At this point I could have asked my boyfriend to burn me a daily or weekly on his laptop. He was watching Supernatural at the time, though, and it’s just not very butch. I mean, really. Asking my boyfriend to burn me a CD? What’s next, getting him to open the pickle jar for me?
Ahem. If you’re secure in your masculinity, maybe you should download a daily or weekly like Debian suggests. If, like me, you have problems with your masculinity because you’re a girl, or just because, read on.
If you use the busted Etch install CD and tell it not to use a mirror, it gives you the hairy eyeball and tells you you will have a very minimal system and are you sure? Say yes. Reboot.
Log in (you weren’t expecting a GUI, were you?) as root. Add

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free

to /etc/apt/sources.list using vi.
I got around the key expiration thing using this page; I think I had to use apt to install apt-key without a valid signature first ("apt-get install apt-key"). It whined and complained but it did it. At that point, I was able to use gpg to get the key, export it, and import it into apt-key.
Yay! it works. Do an "apt-get update" and an "apt-get -u upgrade" to get all the new stuff.
I then did an "apt-get install xorg" followed by an "apt-get install gnome", but I’m pretty sure you could just install gnome and it should get xorg for you (because apt rocks). You could probably "apt-get install kde" as well, although I didn’t try it. I then had a shiny GUI and could use Synaptic to install other software I wanted, like Iceweasel (LOL!). I also did this to get my wireless card working.
Anyway, if you’re crazy like me and want to do this, good luck! My laptop is no longer overheating, so it was worth it. I guess we’ll see exactly how good my backups are after tonight’s NaNoEdMoing.

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OpenID–it’s ba-ack!

Thanks to Mark Paschal (the author of OpenID Comments for MT), OpenID is back. I’ll probably never know why Brian’s OpenID stopped working–my guess is that it’s just borked–but the LJ account I was using to test was missing a piece in the database.
If you can’t log in, let me know.
I’ll probably leave things open so people like my sister can comment, unless I decide OMGWTFBBQ!!!! i cant take teh spam any more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111! At least MT 3.33 has an “empty entire junk folder” button.

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Lo, I hath toiled in the codebase of Ahimelech!

The Parable of the Managers. Goest thou, oh managers of IT, and learnest thou the truth of the way of the profit. For I hath toiled in the codebase of Ahimelech, and many times I hath reverse-engineered and finished the undocumented projects of those servants who hath in a huff departed, and the Parable speaketh the truth.
(No more do I serve Ahimelech; verily I hath forsworn the entirety of the private sector to avoid him.)

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