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August 27, 2007

RIP Daniel Hansson ()

by fluffy at 4:51 PM
Now I feel really bad that I haven't used Fred (my SIDstation) in a while, because the guy who designed it died in a car accident.

And right now Fred is in storage so it'll be a while before I can even use it en memoriam.

August 24, 2007

Two travel dreams ()

by fluffy at 8:03 PM
I had these dreams last night:
  1. I was at a dinner party somewhere in California with several of my friends from Seattle, including Libbie, Will, and Jenn. For some reason Will was going through my luggage and he found some gray-market estrogen, which he proceeded to do lines of (cocaine-style), and then he licked the mirror when he was done. Then I went back to the hotel (which was based on the one I was staying in), and in my room someone had left a two-piece bikini. It was too small for me, though, and the housekeeping staff (played by my friend Allison back in Las Cruces!) said it wasn't mine anyway. I looked in the bathroom and it was entirely filled with various clothes, mostly in a big pile on the floor, some hung up on hooks, some on partial-body mannequins, and more and more kept on piling in and was about to bury me, so I ran out of the bathroom. The other side of the bathroom wall was a gigantic wall-sized control panel for the air conditioner, which was really loud.
  2. I was wandering around downtown San Francisco, and saw some guys fooling around with a payphone, attaching stuff to it. I recognized them and what they were doing from the current (in-dream) cover story of Make Magazine — they were hooking up a pre-paid cellphone to it so that people could make calls to it, as a work of interactive art. They had put one cellphone (some low-end Nokia) into a pedestal in an illuminated cut-out on the top of the phone with an instruction panel, and they had another cellphone (a Samsung) in a Commodore DS-10 VoIP Gateway Box, which looked a lot like a C64GS. Hooked up to it was a slimline version of the Amiga 1200, which the main artist (who was Finnish) was using to reprogram the phone. I chatted with them about the DS-10 VoIP Gateway and asked if it only worked with the Samsung ("no, it's a generic connector that works with all Korean phones, Samsung and LG") and we lamented about how it never actually existed, since Commodore went out of business several years before VoIP was even invented.

August 22, 2007

Another good experience: Speakeasy ()

by fluffy at 11:08 AM
Since I'm moving and don't know what sort of connectivity options I'll have when I get a place, I just called Speakeasy to cancel my service. The CSR only asked me one question: "Do you want to take Speakeasy with you, or do you need some time to decide?" When I said I needed time to decide, he said, "Okay, let me get the cancellation taken care of for you now." And that was the end of the conversation.

He didn't try to sell me on moving my service or signing up for some transitional dialup service or whatever. Making no attempt at customer retention has actually done more to retain my custom, and so of course Speakeasy will be my first consideration when I'm moved in elsewhere.

August 19, 2007

T-Mobile HotSpot day pass trouble ()

by fluffy at 7:37 PM
So while I was stuck at the airport I needed Internet access. SFO uses T-Mobile HotSpot, which has a number of vastly overpriced options, such as $9.99 for one day of access, $39.99 for a month of access, or $359.88 for a year of access. There is no discount for any of these for existing T-Mobile customers, except on the monthly access, which of course I didn't want.

So I signed up for one day of service (the "day pass" option) and used it to take care of Important Things while I was stranded at SFO.

August 17, 2007

How to provide locations to people ()

by fluffy at 8:58 AM
"Do you know where our office is?"

"No."

There are two ways to proceed.

The right way: "We're at 10000 Aurora Ave N, do you need directions?"

The wrong way: "Okay, well what part of town are you coming from? Do you know how to get to 85th? Just go there and then if you're coming from Ballard, turn left onto Aurora, which is also Highway 99, and then go up a ways until you see—"

August 10, 2007

How circuitous ()

by fluffy at 10:38 PM
Remember AudioCompress, which started life as xmms-compress before I made it generic? Someone's made a "new" XMMS plugin called xmms-normalize using the AudioCompress core.

Meaning they've ported an XMMS plugin to XMMS.

I would have preferred if they'd just submitted a patch to make it compatible with XMMS2 so it could be part of the core AudioCompress distribution, but whatever...

8/11 03:15 This has inspired me to go through the code and basically rewrite it. It's amazing how something I wrote as a quick hack as a grad student is still algorithmically-good but of course several years of professional software engineering have given me a completely different perspective on code quality.