Welcome to my blog.
Have a look at the most recent posts below, or browse the tag cloud on the right. An archive of all posts is also available.
Greetings fair internet surfers and information seekers! I have a bit of information that took me a fair bit to lay my hands upon, and I thought I would put it out to the world at large for their perusal. I recently joined financial management and account tracking website mint.com -- a lovely new service offered by Inuit. I recommend it highly, however that is not the purpose today. I would like to mention how I was finally able to add my GM Flexible Earnings card to the webapp. It turns out I was unable to add it via HSBC's website. It is unclear why I am unable to add it via that endpoint, but it always gave a login error. I discovered that if I added it via the GM card endpoint, www.gmcard.com, I was able to successfully view my transaction history and current balance via mint.com. I am now happy with the service at the webapp. I would like to thank their technical support forum, specifically this post for suggesting this fix, as it did eventually work. Hopefully this works for any of you attempting to use this service with an HSBC GM Flexible Earnings credit card.
I am currently in the process of migrating to gitolite. It's involving rebuilding the repo, hopefully I can keep all my info, and chown'ing and chmod'ing a few directories to allow gitolite and public_html to work togethor. Umask also seems to be an issue--posts are getting set to -rw------ when they should be -rwxr-xr-x
Debbug Browse has just been introduced! It is a foray into the wild world of Web Services. The particular Web Service I am targetting is the Debbug SOAP interface. It allows one to search for bugs on a certain package, maintained by a certain person/group, or of a certain severity. It's your one-stop-shop for read-only Debian BTS access! It is a quite interesting piece of tech, and I believe a browser for this information would be useful.
Currently, it looks like this. More documentation and development will be forthcoming.
Debbug Browse is written in Ruby --- bad Ruby, as this is my first foray into the language --- utilizing the tech from KDE's language bindings. The bindings are quite similar to their Python bindings, and once I had some concepts of the language, I was able to transfer my knowledge. I'm utilizing the soap support from Debian's libruby package, which is quite adequate for my needs, and easier to follow than the recommended Python package. I would recommend anyone with a mind to try Ruby give them a shot as the initial introduction.
Ludum Dare 18 is officially over. My entry was turned in as it was last night, as today afforded me little development time, and my Carpal Tunnel was acting up. The theme was 'Enemies as Weapons', which I chose to interpret both ways -- Weapons as Enemies (your enemies are disembodied swords and maces and morningstars), and Enemies as Weapons (to kill an enemy weapon, you must capture a previous enemy weapon). It's incredibly unrefined, there're a number of graphical bugs, and I didn't get around to a in-game score. I plan on shelving it for a bit, but I may come back after a few weeks, if there is time.
Ludum Dare 18 begins at 19:00:00 Pacific. Ludum Dare is a 48-hour game making competition run by teh Internets. While previously I have competed in a mini-ld, this will be my first full-fledged experience.
The themes list is a bit daunting, and I don't know what I'd do for each of them, but I'm sure some idea or another will coalesce, if not immediately then by the end of fighting tomorrow. Perhaps I'll make a Dag game? Who knows? Certainly not I!
Keep an eye to this space, perhaps you'll see an announcement of a complete game!
Red Brengard need fight badly!
So, this last weekend (Friday August 13 to Saturday August 14) there existed a fight on a mountain. That mountain was Mt. Pinos. That fight was of Dagorhir. Much fun was had, and many foes slain.
The fare of Friday night was flame and libation. Mead, wine, and beer flowed relatively freely, and friends were met. The Mallenorod camp was popular, with our burning fire and good company. Many new and veteran fighters were met, and camaraderie developed. Ducc influenced Brengard's speech patterns to great effect. After much revelry, Mallenorod retired for the night.
The night was not a good one for me; I spent the entire three hours in the tent being paranoid over bears, despite there not being bear sightings in the area. I regretted having read the news, and thus losing all my sleep. As the first light shown, I exited the tent to view a striking mountain sunrise, then went hiking. It appears someone went sign hunting; I would've been fine with it had they not re-located the sign.
Eventually, more people were about. Bubbles brought all manner of strange and wondrous objects to the table, and was suitably mysterious and terse in his descriptions of their use at that point. Ducc saved my life and produced for me a packet of instant coffee. He sent me on a Hot Water Fetch Quest, which entailed finding Visigoth Camp. I earned +15 experience and hot coffee; I leave it to you to figure the true reward (hint: Dagorhir has no experience points). After talking with them for awhile, and being treated to wonderful Ducc jerky, I decided to return to my camp. Mallenorod apparently overestimated the sleeping skills of a camping Brengard and assumed me still asleep.
After a matter of some time talking, Weapons Check began. My long blades both passed, though poor 2X4 was ruled 'unfriendly' on one side. I decided to retire him, as the repair of the tip was enough work as it was. Door Slam passed with no questions. DOOR SLAM! A couple of Mallenorod weapons did fail, including Blur. So it goes.
After Weapons Check, the plan of the day was described. Basically, a Gold Battle, with Fort-Raiding supposed to be a major goal. Team Longwall (Mallenorod+Ravens) dominated the competition for starting gold. Over the first half of the day, we scouted and recovered papers describing how to defeat the Guardian and reclaim Guardian's Axe. In the midway set battle, we claimed the Relic in three rounds, claiming the Adamant Shield --- unbreakable by even the strongest weapon.
In the second half of the day, we challenged the Guardian, and beat him handily. Almost immediately afterwards, a lone scout attempted to enter our unguarded --- but within eyesight --- fort, and Rau handily slew him. Before any of the rest of us could enter the fort, a train of Walking Dead swarmed upon us; we defeated them whilst suffering no losses and claimed the Axe of Power. The entire team found their way to the fort, when the Sith unit approached. The cowards refused to face us, even when we sent only equal number --- and even when we faced them two of us to four of them! Their Dagger of Slaying apparently afforded them no courage, and they ran off to be chased by the Legion of the Dead.
After a short amount of time, a Mysterious Wanderer found our camp, offering us great power, including invulnerability. Rau, wary of the bargain, slew the Wanderer and found himself cursed. A runner made his way to Longwall Fortress, and proposed a deal. We send warriors to hunt the Sith alongside the Orcs, and in return we procure the Dagger of Slaying. Heartily we agreed, sending forth four of our warriors. The Sith assaulted Orc Fortress whilst half our warriors joined with a small number of Orcs and the Legion of the Dead to march on Sithigoth Fortress. Upon successful completion, I ran out, unsure of how long the Legion of the Dead would honor the cease-fire.
On the way back, I was beset by the Mysterious Wanderer while being chased by Orcs. He was accompanied by Rau, who had fallen to the Dark Powers. The Wanderer scared off the Orcs, for which I was grateful, but would not state his price for Power. Untrusting of the offer, I slew both Rau and the Wanderer, only to find myself cursed by hair which obscured the vision.
After returning to Longwall Fortress, the Legion of the Dead swiftly fell upon us. The Wander offered power to slay them all, but Mallenorod was unwilling to pay the price; we then fell to the overwhelming numbers of the Dead.
Unfortunately, at that point, the game was called. Red Brengard needed brains badly! Longwall claimed the highest gold total and thus won the game. I would be quite willing to play the game, especially if the second half were longer, and perhaps a third half utilized! Hopefully this could be done at an altitude less than 8300 feet, though I am unsure if a sufficiently wooded ground exists within travel distance.
Coming soon is the Harvest Massacre! Come one, come all! Fight for glory! Fight for honour! Fight for the thrill of combat! Fight with us September 17-19th at Ed Levin Park in Milpitas! Information will eventually be available at Mallenorod's Website (the forums there are overrun with spam. do not read) and discussion can be followed at Mallenorod's Yahoo Group.
A new Python GovTrack.us Client is now available under the Shades of Nothingness label. This client accesses the GovTrack.us web API to fetch information about bill status in the current US Congress. The author hopes that this will inspire the users to learn more about upcoming bills---perhaps even write their Congressman?
The GovTrack PyClient is built upon the PyKDE4 and PyQt4 libraries (and thereby itself written in Python). It's currently in a quite unrefined state, and development will continue as the author finds time to do so. If you have any suggestions or bug reports, contact the author at email@example.com -- he's willing to help.
As of the Summer 2010 semester, San Jose State University is to begin using the Learning Management Software 'Desire2Learn'. This is a change away from the current LMS software, BlackBoard.
Now, I've never used Desire2Learn, so I cannot adequately describe its perks and flaws, but I can say that BlackBoard was a horrendous mess. The looks of Desire2Learn aren't much better --- a system that tries to be anything and everything a student may need in his/her academic career. Email, Grades, Quizzes, even Blogs. There's a reason unix-like systems do so well, and it's called 'do one thing and do it well'. I already have an email addy and a blog, and I still think paper is the best quiz-taking medium. I should note, as an aside, that Desire2Learn supports requiring Respondus LockDown Browser. If I am forced to use that pile of breakage, I will complain verbosely; until then I will reserve verbage.
CS 160's page on MySJSU indicates that it might require Desire2Learn. We shall see. I hope to never again touch the byzantine breakage that is Learning Management Systems. 100W biased me against them heavily. While it was used in Bio 23, BlackBoard wasn't used as...annoyingly there, so there is hope for professors to use them wisely.
Anyway, I'm rambling. Till next blogging!
Given my grades for the Spring semester were all adequate, I have enrolled in courses for the Fall 2010 semester. It seems there are benefits to being a 'Graduation Senior', as I was able to sign up 13 units off the bat, rather than being forced to choose a class I would hope to be open after classes start. Had that happened, I suppose I would have choses CS158B, though even there two classes funnel into a single class. But, huzzah!, I didn't have to choose. I will be free of the school's unit limit bureaucracy after this coming Spring! Even if I sign up for graduate work here, I will be able to sign up for as much as I need.
Quick run-down of the classes I'll be taking:
CS 152 Programming Paradigms
CS 158B Network Management
CS 160 Software Engineering
KIN 52A Beginning Judo
PHIL 134 Computers, Society, and Ethics
For a total of 13 units. I will be filing a 'Graduation Date Change' petition at the beginning of next semester (by the end of the first week), so that I may take 13 units instead of 19. While I did satisfactorily with 15 this semester, I'd rather not push my luck. Perhaps I will get the final two SJSU Studies classes waived?! If not, I will see if I can sign up for Computer Graphics Credit/No-Credit. Perhaps I would do it anyway? Who knows! Certainly not I!
School is finally winding down now. I will have to begin searching for gainful employment in the coming months. Hopefully I can get a meaningful job doing Networking work. Ideally, I'd like to work on the Network Stack for one operating system or another, but I realize I'll probably have to have more experience before that. I'll have to see what I can get into overall. Hells, perhaps I'll sign on for graduate work? SJSU's program, at least, is geared towards working individuals. I'll also have to search across states --- though I've finally begun to grow roots here.
At any rate, this is vites signing off --
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