Archives for the month of: November, 2007

The Borrowed

Many high school teachers will actually admit that you will never use the things they are required to teach you. I found two examples of math applied to everyday life. one useful(ish) and one not so much.

the first: Geek Logik, a book and a blog to promote it. on the blog he gives the equation for weather you should get married or not. I’m sure Randall Munroe would be interested (refer to comic 55), he also has a “will my marriage last.” interesting but i’m not sure if life altering decisions should be made based upon the findings

Will My Marriage Last
Will My Marriage Last


Should i get Married?
Should we get married


And finally a bit about the potential for useless mathematics. The Daily News gossip column has a bit about Useless Celebrities

I’ve been thinking and reading and spinning about the generation gap. i came across an article by Penelope Trunk, a columnist for the Boston Globe and Yahoo Finance. I’ve caught a few of her articles on yahoo, an am generally impressed. she has had a couple of good articles about the fundemental differences between the millennials, and the baby boomers (generally their parents). she discusses that the millennial generation transcends time, and is defined more by our actions, and methods. saying that, many older folks are millennials, and many younger folks are pre-aged….

Activies that millennials live for:

  • Facebook, MySpace
  • viral video
  • online gaming (Xbox Live, mmorpg)
  • text messaging
  • Work more efficiently, work less
  • Instant messaging
  • instant gratification
  • fun in the workplace

She also talks about the baby boomers stressing team work, and that teamwork is so engrained in the millennials way of life the forced structure, and the talking about teamwork are uninteresting.

I’m coming to you tonight from foreign soil. sad but true. There has been a death, and it has caused a great disturbance (in the force that is). My laptop got together with my beer late sunday night, and well, it did not live to tell the tale. After intense drying exercises and surgical exploration it was determined that resuscitation was not only unlikely but not possible.

The Obituary

Today we must honor and celebrate the life of lilPenguin. A proud Dell Inspiron 600m, that enjoyed running Ubuntu and aiding in developing in PHP and Java among others. With 1.5 Gb of RAM lilPenguin would perform great feats with ease, and often outpaced many of the Windows opponents, if not in speed then certainly in nobility. Survivors include the LCD screen, Hard drive, and RAM who will undoubtedly miss him greatly. Favorite programs were Eclipse, with PHPclipse plugin, Firefox with FireFTP plugin and Pidgin.

lilPenguin met his end shortly before eight o’clock in the evening Sunday November 25, 2007. After a night of too much beer, he just couldn’t pull through. He did fight for life until around 9 when he finally gave up hope and passed with a sound that can only be heard when liquid comes in contact with a live circuit board. A surgical autopsy confirmed the findings and he was laid to rest in a cardboard box in the closed. Though lilPenguin can never be replaced, we can only hope that which ever machine succeeds him is at least half of the machine he was, and hopefully twice as fast. With all our thoughts and prayers we wish you well lilPenguin.

End of days


Beware all!

I have had this collection of tools. Growing restless. And now they are FREE! I have built a workbench out of wood. with screws. it was fun.WorkBenchStool

And the stuff on the top, is Collin Proof! I just need to find a really tall chair….


So i really don’t care what is happening with WordPress development. At least not on an every day (usually multiple times) when i log into my WordPress install. WordPress tells me if there is an update, so the goings on at the WordPress development site have become invisible to me. i completely disregard that part of my dashboard (and its a pretty large part). So i thought to myself why can’t i put what I want to see there, and really why not? it is just an xml feed pulling from wp dev. It would seem logical to put some thing in the interface, to change that xml URL to something a little more personalized. like my own version of Google reader. I want new posts to greet me when i login. so i set out to find a way. And i have. but not without some digging.

There are blog posts about this already. But they seem to be for a previous version of WordPress. The truth lies here (well until they change it again). The secret lies in: /wp-admin/index-extra.php. now thats a good naming scheme, really clued me in as to what this file did. It is really pretty self explanatory, simply change these four lines

$rss = @fetch_rss(apply_filters( 'dashboard_primary_feed', '' ));
<h3><?php echo apply_filters( 'dashboard_primary_title', __('WordPress Development Blog') ); ?></h3>


$rss = @fetch_rss(apply_filters( 'dashboard_secondary_feed', '' ));
<h3><?php echo apply_filters( 'dashboard_secondary_title', __('Other WordPress News') ); ?></h3>

The primary blog is what is currently the development blog, and the secondary is the planet wordpress blog, but you can probably deduce that from the URL’s.

My hope is to now find or write a really simple RSS aggregator in which you can load up all your fav xml and rss feeds into one place. But Wait! hasn’t Google already done that, and i can’t actually think i can so anything better than Google. caveat: you have to be logged into google to get your Google reader xml feeds to work, and because you would have to have the server log you in and thats a pain. Google does allow you to share which is really exactly the functionality i’m after, but you can only share specific posts not specific feeds.

**update** Dan mentioned that yahoo pipes would do this feed aggregation for me, so i took a look and wow. Its big and will do a lot of things but seems like a little too much. it does the job for this type of situation though.

one interesting thing about the way wp displays these xml feeds: it is all done using js.

Snow in missoula

Sorry it’s just a cell phone photo while i was waiting for the bus this morning. Snow in the morning, and rain in the afternoon… only morning.

As of late I’ve been getting more and more interested in some of the open source licenses, specifically the Creative Commons, and the GPL I have been working on an open source project for openmissoula who works for economic fairness by promoting and demonstrating the used of Free and Open Source Software. So I’ve been learning about Stallman (gpl founder) and Lessig (cc founder). and i stopped by Hastings tonight to see if there were any books by Lessig, and they had none. At home, and slightly annoyed, it occurred to me that purchasing a book about the freedom of information, and the general idea of open source was not only an absurd idea but a little ironic.
GNUCCSo I pulled out a site from the memory bank, a good one, Free Tech Books and i did some looking and found just what i was looking for. A book by Laurence Lessig, and a book by Richard Stallman. I have used this site for other books, how to, code help and the like. Really a helpful site. There is a third entry entitled “Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing” it is licensed with the “Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License 2.0” and published by O’Reilly. O’Reilly will certainly allow you to read the book for free, but in order to download the book in pdf format you have to do it by chapter, and you must purchase ‘tokens.’ Irony.

Word of the Week: Kludge: A kludge (or, alternatively, kluge) is a clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem or difficulty. In engineering, a kludge is a workaround, typically using unrelated parts cobbled together. Especially in computer programs, a kludge is often used to fix an unanticipated problem in an earlier kludge; this is essentially a kind of cruft. (Thanks Patia!) says I'm a Technology Geek.  What are you?  Click here!
I am nerdier than 87% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!


a pretty brief entry, i was parusing and came across this test and thought it was interesting, there are two verstions, and they are posted above.


Recently i mentioned that i’ve been working with openmissoula, a local non-profit, to create an online system that would allow a user to choose the type of legal form they want to create, fill out an online form, and have the system create the appropriately formatted legal form. it really works quite nicely, you may take a look. it is at the moment very rough… well you can just read the post from openmissoula. I was also asked to be on the board, and excepted, and so starts another adventure.

As of late i have been researching, playing and otherwise learning as much as i possibly can about: website analysis, online social networking as it relates to higher ed, and calendaring softwares suitable for higher education websites (both open source and otherwise). We have also been asked at work to set up a web server that runs linux and apache! exciting news, there may actually be some reason in the universe! (but don’t tell anyone) So i’m hoping to have a WAMP server up and running at work in the next couple of days, and then once the new LAMP server hardware has been purchased and they we get at least two deep trained in enterprise level support, we will be up and running (so like everything it will take time).

thought of the day: pay a programmer, not a corporation’s stockholders.