Friday, 31 August 2007

Finding my happy place

I always hate this moment. The moment where I think I have all my data backed up and it's time to zero a drive in preparation for shipping to a new user.

Not just any kind of wipe. The kind of wipe that might be 8 passes of random data, making most attempts at recovery impossible.

Like taking a plunge into chilly pool water, I just gotta do it.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:59 PM in kaffehaus

Thursday, 30 August 2007

MacBook Pro ordered

It is done.

Intel Core Duo (2.2GHz), 2GB of RAM and the 7200RPM 160GB HDD upgrade. All good. Now the waiting.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:30 PM in kaffehaus

Close Combat, etc.

Today is pajama-day at work. Or, I work from home today.

The HD channel is showing Hogan’s Heroes and the opening credit theme took me back to my early days on the web. I hosted a website, sorta proto-blog. Different topics, but one section was dedicated to a wargame series that took the classic hex-and-counter game Advanced Squad Leader to 16bit color displays, Close Combat.

I liked this series because it managed the tedium of bookkeeping details like weather, supply lines, attack and defense mods, and even zone of control, all in simultaneous play without a lot of eye-candy. That aside, the HH theme was available as a midi, and oh yeah, it was the background sound (<bgsound… > ). Visitors could download save games and replay them. As I recall, there was one that I particularly pound of: I had set up two bazooka teams in the bocage at the southern edge of the map. The Axis, played by the AI, tried to outflank the Allies with 4 StuG IIIs. Shortly, all of the Sturmgeschütz were burning at the map edge and the bazooka teams were redeploying north.


Am I going to do a podcast? Yes. I have a first cut and will refine it today, given time.

And then there is the matter of my laptop, a very serviceable PowerBook G4. Ugh. Monday I noticed that my software builds taking a long time and a lot of swapping taking place. What gives friend?, I thought. It didn't take much to figure out... a ½ gig of RAM had disappeared! Well, long story short: last year I had the logic board replaced under an Apple recall due to a known problem with the lower RAM slot. I took it in for an inspection. The Genius worked his magic and the half gig returned, if only for two hours. Sadly, I think the logic board in the first repair was a refurb. but have no proof. And the original repair is well out of warranty and the recall is only good for two years from purchase date.

Today, a new MacBook Pro is being bought. More exciting to be sure by most measures.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:01 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Another Caffeinated Podcast?

Oh, crap.


Three reasons. Because. Garageband. blojsom templates.

I have been following the misadventures of Dr. Rotwang! at IWTBWMxB with his production and software problems. Ugh! I made my suggestion: “Get a Mac.” Yeah, yeah. Don't bother me with the urban legends about price. I'm not listening. Garageband would give the Doctor the prescription he needs for dead simple podcasting. I've been playing with Garageband and it simply makes a professional out of the amateur podcaster. In the hands of a studied professional like Dr. Rotwang! I can only imagine the greatness.

That covers reasons 1 and 2, but what's this about blojsom templates? blojsom is a blogging package, and thus could be the medium in which a podcaster offers his or her work to the listener. Instead of submitting to iTunes or some redirector, wouldn't it be nice if blojsom provided a template to serve it directly? Apple provides the XML format, all you need is a feed capable blogging server, be it blojsom or some other package, and an appropriate XML response on a request. Or so I think. But it would need at least a first podcast...

But nobody wants to listen to me. People do listen to Dr. Rotwang! To the Doctor: Go to your Apple Store. Just play, Apple let's you do that, and be wow'd.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:37 PM in the mac bloc

Friday, 24 August 2007

Bee bite

Editor note: sting, not bite. I think that at first I thought “something was biting me,” it turned out “something was stinging me.”

Out doing the yard work this evening.

Felt a bite, looked down, saw a black mass on my short sock, and in a flurry of gloved hands, batted it away.

In the action of batting, it occurred to me that I should confirm exactly what was biting me. It was black... round... oh, shit. A spider?!

The mower coughed to a stop as I looked at the ground and saw the offender squirming, dying. “Bumble bee.”

I forgot how much they sting—hence the name I suppose; I don’t think I have been stung in 30 years—but calmed myself after verifying the genus, grabbing the handle of the mower, pulling the starter, to finish my chore.

Some swelling on the ankle as I type this.

Pretty sure I’m not allergic. Pretty sure. ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 8:29 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Monday, 20 August 2007

Afternoons and coffeespoons

It has indeed been quiet at ACD. A neglected blog, as so many are; ACD was joining the ranks.

Unintentional to be sure. The many distractions can not be understated: child, wife, work, work, a little more of that to measure my patience for work. Gaming has been sacrificed without saying too much more than stating the obvious. My Evil Overloads Overlords the undesired victims of my career responsibilities.

And while work has been demanding I have found time for game prep: nurturing of ideas and the maturation of the same for sessions ahead. And some other less demanding gaming has emerged. I’ve hinted at my renewed interested in Panzer Leader, completing a DIY set from the Imaginative Strategist. It has provided some solo-gaming for my enjoyment as my far flung players made Warhammer gaming hard.

There was a time when I pursued study for the SCWCD as well. And it can be argued that certifications are busy work for one with solid experience, and yet to me it is more than a piece of paper but a structured way to look at old topics anew, finding the chewy centers of goodness in study; especially brain-friendly study. And so I do intend to take the study up as part of new 1, 3, and 5 year plan at work (and while the aforementioned distraction of work left piles of personal enjoyment in the ditches of its path, I laid a pretty solid foundation for advancement as well).

If you paid attention to some of the disjointed blogging to date, you might have noted that my Java geek fought suppression and new view frameworks to sow and root in my mind (see Got Stripes?). And topics like the YUI smolder and smoke at the hot edges of my mind’s fire, for ACD, for work, and for other ventures.

Busy to say the least; I promise a fresher mix of topics and adventures.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:42 PM in Bohemian Breakfast

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Got Stripes?

Exhausted with the non-starter that JSF has been, as well as just mentally exhausted with the crap response output from JSF, I have turned to Stripes.

Simply put, Stripes rocks.

Stripes actually allows a Java-centered web-tier developer like myself to actually code semantic HTML and use advanced DOM and CSS-pseudo classes in the front-end design.

JSF, written by Java engineers living in a HTML 3.2 world, can’t do this. Why? Because it appropriates the id attribute, a core HTML element attribute dedicated to the DOM, for the backing JSF component model (sorry, Mr. McClanahan, the id attribute is not yours to use just because you can’t code HTML). And so, JSF gets my “It Sucks” badge (I don’t have a “It Sucks” badge, but if I did it would be here for you to use).

Take a look at Stripes. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I am.

Posted by caffeinated at 1:21 PM in nerdery

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Flock 0.9x test

I follow the development of Flock from time-to-time. Updating as major releases become available. Playing with the interface, toying around with posting here, etc.

Some notes on preparing and writing this post:

  1. Adding a link means spec'ing the full URL (or is it URI?), e.g, "" or "" don't work.
  2. Adding a blog, at least a MetaWeblog API capable blog service, means each category shows up as a separate blog. Seems I read that somewhere, might be a limitation of MetaWeblog API, or just a misunderstanding by Flock. Not sure, but it's odd interface to work with when mentally I don't organize my blog this way.
  3. The HTML could be better... no <p> tags, at least in the source view. Editor note: After posting it seems that not only are there no <p> elements, there are no break tags either. The first view of this post was one CLOB (Character Large Object for you minor geeks).

The real test is what this looks like once I hit post... Tada.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:56 AM in experimental madness