Sunday, December 25, 2005

deck of cards

Ace of Spades

I got this cool Bicycle magic card set. Two packs of Bicycle cards, red and blue, with 20-something card tricks inclusive. This is mostly for my own record, as I'm programming a deck of cards for use in a future game of mine. I want to be able to find this post and look back on it as a sort of guideline for myself. Here's what I need in the future:

Deck order:

With the deck face up (face of cards facing me) the order is
Joker one.
Joker two with the Bicycle guarantee.
Ace of Spades followed by 2 of spades consecutively to the 10, Jack, Queen, King of Spades.
Followed by the same order of the Diamond suit.
Now the order changes to the King of Clubs followed by Queen, Jack, 10 down to 2 then Ace of Clubs.
Followed by the same King, Queen, down to Ace order for the Heart suit.
The last two cards, face up, are a Special Mail-In Offer for Official Rules of Card Games with instructions on the back of the card.
Then a card with an offer to join the American Contract Bridge League. This card has the normal blue back on it, the only card without the blue back is the Mail-In offer card.

[Edit] I really should also note the following:
The One-Eyed Jacks are of Spade and Heart suit.
The Kings with swords are Spade, Club and Hearts.
The King of Hearts is stabbing himself in the head.
The King of Diamonds has an axe.
The King of Diamonds is the only King with one eye.
The King of Diamonds is not holding his axe, but has an open hand.
The Jack of Clubs is the only Jack to have a feather in his cap.
The Jack of Hearts isn't holding his axe, he is holding a flower.
All Queens have flowers, except the Queen of Spades is not holding hers in her hand.
All the Jacks and Kings have moustaches except the Jack of Diamonds and Clubs and the King of Hearts.

The back of the cards look like a standard blue back. Doesn't look like there's any indication as to what the card might be on the other side. I only mention this because my cousin once had a deck of cards that by looking in one specific corner, there was a set pattern that would dictate what the face and suit value on the other side of the card would be. Theoretically, if you learned the pattern, you could say, "I know what card this is,it's the Queen of Clubs," just by reading the pattern.

I wasn't expecting the order of cards to change have way through the brand new deck. Honestly, I was expecting Ace through King for all of Spade, Diamond, Club, Hearts. This order might be exclusive to Bicycle brand cards.

I've got a red deck as well, that came with the pack. When I say 'Blue' deck or 'Red' deck, I refer only to the back of the cards. I'm sure the face of the cards are the same for the Blue and Red deck. And as far as I can tell, the picture is the same for both decks, just a different colour. There are 4 winged cherubs that appear to have a fish bottom with a tail in the corners of the cards backs with two winged cherubs in the center on either half. These cherubs in the middle have legs and look to be riding bicycles in the direction of "out of the card" toward the viewer.

I'm not looking to rip-off Bicycle with any design of my cards for my game. I guess I'm just recording everything I see because that's the way I am... crazy.

I'm installing a Christmas present to my computer as I write this and study these cards. "Beyond Good and Evil" by Ubisoft, and it's playing some "Propaganda" song while I'm doing it. It's a catchy tune, and probably the main theme of the game. I've been looking forward to this game since its release, and 3 years later and a $12 price tag it's about time I give it a try.

[Edit] The book of tricks that came with the set says on the inside that the
"Blue deck is the 'trimmed deck'"
"Red deck is the 'standard deck'"
That means, the trimmed deck is physically cut differently at manufacture so that one end of the cards is slightly narrower than the other end. So when you are to, say, look for a certain card in the deck chosen by another person, you can flip the deck around and have the selected card put in 'backwards'. This allows you to easily feel for the card that was chosen by the other person.

-Time to learn some magic card tricks again!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

christmas tunes

Christmas Night Of The Zombies

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. I dreamt that there were zombies right outside my window Christmas night. Hungry for some flesh to eat, but I was hungry for a fight. The living dead they walk the earth, to bite on you where death do meet.

Christmas night of the living dead, my face is green and the snow is red.

Whoa. Whoa. I'm breaking bones with my bare hands, theres hundreds of them closing in. I'm running out of ammo now. I need to get the axe again to split some heads in two and by to see their bodies falling down. Struggle to survive the Christmas night when zombies came to town.

Christmas night of the living dead, my face is green and the snow is red.

I creeped in with the shotgun blast straight to the head. Bloody entrails, staring eyes. Now I'm the living dead.

Christmas night of the living dead, my face is green and the snow is red.
Christmas night of the living dead. We won't rest until your dead.

-I recommend the album: A Santa Cause - It's a Punk Rock Christmas

Friday, November 18, 2005

not long now

The end is near

Two weeks and regular classes are over. December 2 is the last day of classes for me and then it's time to study.

I'm waiting for DoomRPG to be released for my cell phone. Currently it's only offered by Rogers wireless and not for my carrier, so I'm forced to wait. I've been waiting for DoomRPG for a year now, it's still the last post in Carmack's blog (accessible from the links section to the left).

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opens in (North American) theatres tonight. I'm thinking of maybe just spur-of-the-moment going to see it. Who knows, it depends what my girlfriend feels like doing later. Yeah, 3 years in and I'm still whipped :P

-Lord Voldemort is back

Friday, November 04, 2005

crossroad of life


School is starting to take its toll on me. I'm taking more classes now than I have in recent years. I'm enrolled in 5 courses, and I haven't done that since my first year... when I failed my first class ever: Intro Chemistry 1. There are currently four classes in which I'm enrolled that I can handle. The fifth isn't going too well. Previous posts in my blog point in the direction of that class, Algorithm Analysis. I've discussed it before. With a course-load of five classes I feel I've had to choose one that I must sacrifice. The smart thing to do would to have not taken the course at all and spared myself the failing grade. Instead, I'm enrolled in it, doing the best I can with the available resources. I'm learning in the class, don't get me wrong. I'm picking up enough information that in the case I need to repeat the class, I'll know enough to get that passing grade. But currently, it's too tough when compared to my other classes. Multivariable Calculus is tough, too, but I'm putting lots of effort in that class to ensure a pass. It's better to complete Calculus with a passing grade and fail Algorithms than to put as much effort into both classes and fail both of them, right? Neither class is a requisite to any other classes I'll be taking, so I'm aiming for a 55% or better. I say 55% because any average overall grade lower than that and the student is put on academic probation. Fail to bring your overall average higher than that at the next semester end and you're out of school for a semester. Do it again and you're out a year. Or something like that. Which brings me to my next topic of discussion. Dropouts.

Most well known of the worlds dropouts from school is this man, Bill Gates. Famous for not completing his degree at Harvard, and going on to develop the (unfortunately) most popular operating system for computers. Another you might have heard of is Steve Jobs, the guy who brought you the iPod, and many other Apple products. And how about Steve Wozniak? The brain and engineer behind the Apple computer.

There is a theme here, they are all figureheads in the computer technology world. I, in no way, am touting myself as a future figurehead in the world of computer technology. I'll be happy with a solid position in a game development company as design guy. I'm just tired of school now, it's weighing down on me. I've been going to school for 3 years already, I've failed two classes. I've repeated them and passed. I've covered computer science, english, philosophy, or at least the basics therein.

I have an Algorithms midterm this coming Monday. I have a 4-part (6 to 8 page) essay due in Philosophy by Wednesday. I have another test in Multivariable calculus on Thursday. Instead of studying for any of them or writing my essay I'd rather read game-design theory or flesh out the ground-work for my games. I'd rather spend an hour reading reviews for newly released games, on either PC, console or handheld/mobile, finding out what worked for them and what doesn't. This school hasn't taught me game design (well, maybe it has this semester with Dr. Allen Paeth's Modelling and Simulation class). Nobody here wants to teach me what I want to learn.

I'll get to my essay now. I've got the weekend to write it and study for my Algorithms class. I'll do the best I can for Algorithms, if that even means putting off the essay until Monday night. I'm in no way intentionally sabotaging any of my classes. Just with a course-load as I have, I'm having a hard time making time for everything that needs to be done and attention payed to. That last part refers to my girlfriend, whom I seem to be neglecting this semester as school has taken priority. I don't know how other people do it. I'm sure I'll know how by the end of the semester, though. I'm only enrolled in 4 classes next semester.

-Not dropping out, I'm not smart enough for that.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Happy Halloween
It's Halloween again, and with it comes the feeling of having to dress up. My girlfriend is a devil this year, she was a cow last year. And with the cow, she won first place in the costume contest at her work, which won her $50 in gift certificates to the theatre in town.

We drove all over town last night looking for devil horns she could wear. Almost two hours of looking we finally found some, only 2 blocks from where we started. And yes, we drove all over town. Along the way we found a mask for myself, so I'm here typing this blog while wearing a $0.94 mask, a devil mask.

We're not doing much tonight. We'll set up our pumpkins in the back patio, because that's the entrance to the basement suite in which we live. We're probably not getting any trick-or-treat'ers tonight, but we'll be ready if there are any.

Halloween festivities going on in Medievia today, as well. I've already donned my costume and walked through the Gods offices begging for treats. Unfortunately they are all no-rent treats, which means when I'm done with the game today, the treats disappear, which is very disappointing.

Animal Crossing is celebrating Halloween today as well, so I'll be trick or treating there later tonight.

-Trick or treat, smell my feet. Give me something good to eat

Monday, October 17, 2005

upon a highschool day

Bad Attitude

I mouthed off one of my professors today. He didn't like me already, and I didn't like him already because I knew he didn't like me. In fact, I believe he just doesn't like standing in front of a classroom full of what he believes to be challenged individuals, teaching a subject he believes a highschool student should be able to catch onto in 5 minutes or less.

I seem to be falling into my highschool habits. I had a few teachers who thought I had a chip on my shoulder (and I never really quite got that idiom). But that's not a bad thing; I never failed a highschool subject. Maybe I was angry back then. Maybe I'm getting angry now. It really seems to work for some people whom I know to be angry and quite intelligent.

This one professor said to the class, "Judging by the blank stares on your faces I may as well be speaking French to you" (this guy is from France and has the horrible guy-french accent). I responded with, "You're just speaking Math to me," which didn't really seem to be a problem.

Later he comes hovering over my shoulder as I'm supposed to be working out the proof for some algorithm complexity. He waits, I keep my pencil still. He waits longer, I pretend to be thinking hard. I'm thinking this guy is wasting valuable class time that I'm not going to be able to make up. I'm thinking he should be going over the example on the board and doing it slowly so the class can grasp the concept. Instead, over the course of a 80 minute lecture, he covers three examples by leaving it for the student to work out (by himself so as not to plageurize) and then he quickly goes over the proof on the board. Anyway the professor hovers over my shoulder and waits. Waits longer. Sees I'm not doing anything. He turns to walk away, I relax. He sees that I moved and begins hovering over my shoulder again, apperantly thinking I've discovered the solution.

Now when he waits and sees that I've still not solved anything he says to me, "You really have no idea where to start, do you?"

I could have taken that to mean, "Let me give you a hint" but the past has proven he's not here to help. And the pompousness carried over in his accent. So I simply told him, "I really don't understand why we're doing this," because I was taught to always ask questions. Always ask why. And I don't find too many opportunities when I get to ask the question why.

Why can go on a long time, and I don't believe one can really understand the whole picture until that why comes down to the fundamentals.

"I really don't undertstand why we're doing this. How is this going to help me in my profession?"

He replies, "You want to be able to find out the complexity of your algorithms, don't you?"... Uh, no! I don't. If I was interested in that sort of thing, I sure would. But why do I need to express interest in complexities? So I tell him, "If I wanted to know the complexity of an algorithm I'd look it up on Google."

I didn't mean to offend. I don't think he was offended. But apperantly other students thought it was a big deal.

-Bring back the highschool habits

Friday, October 14, 2005

Leaving on a prop plane

Oh Brother, where art thou

My brother has arrived, visited and left. One whole month, and it really feels like it came and went so quickly. We played computer games, gamecube games, mind games. It was great fun, and it won't be for another 2 years probably that I'll get to see him again.


I'm kinda sucking with school right now. My classes are tough and I hardly find enough time to get everything done on time. Except today, yesterday was the end of my mad dash to complete an Algorithms assignment, a two-part Philosophy essay and write a Multi-Variable Calculus midterm. So, naturally, it is Friday and I get to play. Except I haven't had a chance to play (except for two hours this morning after driving my brother to the airport at which time I was doing some MAD Dungeon Siege 2 adventuring.

Oooh, and I made time (1.5 hours) to work on my moth simulation. I haven't done that in a while.

-Back to lecture and then working on another class project

Friday, October 07, 2005

Of knapsacks and ceiling wax

Of Knapsacks and feeding cats, broccoli and queens

This year is tough. This Algorithm Analysis course I am in is being taught by a know-it-all math wizard who expects nothing less than perfection from his students. And since I am far less than perfect I'm a prime candidate for his French snobbery. By now, however, he realizes how poorly his entire class is doing so out of the kindness of his heart (or something like that) he is awarding a standard point on the last test for keeping your booklet neat and readable. 24 out of 25 of those marks are legitimate knowledge testing questions, and that last grade is actually counted toward your final grade. It's a 'question' on the test. You can get less than a perfect score if you answered 100% of the questions correctly but failed to do it in a tidy way.

The Knapsack algorithm has proven to be kind of fun. I can say the same for the (N) 8-Queens problem as well. I think I'll post the algorithms so they are available on the interweb. It turns out that good algorithms that are easy to understand are so hard to find on here. Maybe the thought police force people to take them down so the students of the future don't have a source to plageurize from.

Dungeon Siege
My brother bought Dungeon Siege II on the weekend. It came at a bad time, seeing how I had 3 assignments, one essay and a test to study for. Never-the-less we played. And it was fun. At this moment I can find nothing more satisfying than beating the crap out of a big unique monster holding my breath hoping he drops the next item to the set I'm collecting (night).

-Car battery died, been riding my motorcycle all week.

Friday, September 23, 2005

bugged eyes

Least I could do

I just spent the last two hours with my eyes glued to the computer monitor reading through a years worth of LICD archives. It's an entertaining strip.

I get cable internet and TV today. w00t, I finally have another way to waste time at home.

-To class now

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

the struggle

Disgruntled Professors

I don't know if this is common only to French people or if it's a magical force that insists at least one of your professors must be a complete jackass. I'm registered for Algorithm Analysis in the computer science degree here at UBC. Well, I was under the impression that I might not have met the prerequisite to the class so I requested a waiver. The professor gave me the "I doubt I'll let you in. To satisfy you, I'll ask my colleagues" speech. He emails me his reply, "No, because of two things. 1) You'll be an extra paper to grade and 2) I'll have to slow the class down and explain everything to you twice". So I politely replied through email asking him to reconsider. His answer, "No".

Well, I checked the calendar and I didn't need a minimum grade in any of the three requisite classes. Just to have passed all three. So I apologized to him in his office. "Let me check. Hrm, you're right. You are in my class. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it." Then he went on about some issue with plaguerizing my homework. I straightened that out by showing him where I quoted my source. He's out to get me.

-French or disgruntled. Same thing, right?

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Nothing Really

Done the school thing for a few days, went to some classes.

Algorithm Analysis
Could be an alright class. I figure anything that teaches you how to do something better is worth while. Though my first lecture left me feeling like I know nothing about computer science at all. If I apply myself (I spent the last 3 hours refreshing myself with sorting algorithms) then I can pull a good grade.

Introduction to Philosophy Term 1
I've always enjoyed philosophy and am glad to be taking another. This is my first philosophy class since my first year of university (three years ago, Logic and Critical Thinking) and think I can really perform well in it. Our first lecture was a 'field trip' to the gymnasium where the Presidents from the universities of Ritsumeikan (Japan), Mexico, Korea, Singapore, and British Columbia were assembled to discuss the term 'Global Citizen' and how each of their universities was doing their part to contribute to the world. Our goal was to decide if the colloquium could come up with a solid definition of 'global citizen' or if it was just a bunch of crap. (Crap).

Modelling and Simulation
Holy crap, this class seems to be made for me. That doesn't mean I'd have the best grade in the class but it does mean it'd do a better job than most of holding my attention. Since I've been working on my own simulation (ie Codling Moths) for the last year and a while I thought it was in my best interest to find out really what I've been doing wrong this whole time. The professor frowns on real-life situations encountered in every day life such as standing in line at a bank (queuing theory). Instead, he rather prefers to simulate things that can be turned into games (game theory). I think I like that last part. Sadly, I'm on a wait-list. Second on a waitlist, 6 others in line behind me. 20 people in the class. 18 of the registered students showed up to class, I took up seat 19. I hope I can get in.

Been reading TUX eZine. Nice read for casual Linux users.

-Wireless 'net working with my Linux partition. w00t

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

back at school

School has begun

Year 4 of my degree has just begun. I went to school today for the orientation, not because I felt I really needed to be oriented but because I need to win the tuition prize offered as a free raffle today. The free pizza lunch and rootbeer floats was a nice bonus, too. And seeing my friends and getting a hand finishing up my wireless setup in my Kubuntu partition.

I'd had the wireless setup 90% done. I just didn't know how to modprobe wlan0 and iwconfig, etc etc.

I'm performing my third motorcycle skills test tomorrow. Third because I failed it the first time and it expired a month after I passed it the second time. When I pass it tomorrow I'm good for 11 months from then (not a full year because I've waited a month since renewing my license already).

-No news, bye bye

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

naksup trip

Back from the vacation...

...and it really wasn't all too exciting. The drive took about 4 hours to get to our destination, and it wasn't a bad drive. But when you pay to stay a night at a hotel, or in our case a chalet, I guess it's nice to make the most of your time. But we got there just after 7pm and checkout was 11am. So it was pretty much just a place to stay before we moved on to the main accomodation.

That accomodation wasn't what I thought it would be, either. To stay at this inn we paid $30 more than the chalet, and a price increase like that tells me "Bed and Breakfast". But I was wrong. It was just an inn that charged more. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice place, but it would have been everything I was expecting I could leave there with a full stomache. At least this place didn't have checkout until noon.

The drive back was nice. What took us 4 hours on the way there took only 3 hours to get back. Now I get to sleep in "my own bed" and not have to worry about missing a checkout time. I can wander over to the cupboard and find some cereal when I'm ready and eat without having to drive into town to find somebody who will take my money in exchange for cooking me food.

-Always nice to be home

Oh, but wait. What's the deal with hotsprings anyway? It was just a small heated pool of water with another part of the pool blocked off, featuring hotter water. We didn't stay long because it didn't really hold our attention long enough. Next time we do a vacation, it's going to be some place with a beach-front and something to do at night.

-Good to be home.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Back from the dead

I don't know what caused it in the first place, but my dead pixel has fixed itself. It's functioning as normal, no more blue dot on dark backgrounds.


I did the walkout with the landlord today and handed over the keys. I have no home any longer. For the next two weeks I'll be sharing the bottom bunk in my girlfriends brothers room. School starts some time between now and then. And finally, I'll be able to move into my new home.

-Vacation at the HotSprings for the next couple nights

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

dead pixel


My first dead pixel. My monitor on my laptop has its first dead pixel. Those of you who own a Sony PSP (Playstation Portable) know what I'm talking about. I've got one dead pixel in the upper left quadrant of my screen. It's a single blue pixel and it shows up on black and other dark colors. It's terrible. I just hope nothing more comes of this. I can think of no reason it should just appear like it did. It wasn't there 15 minutes ago. I just set the laptop down, made juice and came back and there it was.

-It's not going away.

Friday, August 19, 2005



You busy yourself preparing a campfire, lighting it expertly ... it ignites instantly. Orange and red flames shoot up from the timber.
Flames lick at your clothing and it begins to smolder.
OH NO! You have caught fire!


Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Basement Suite

My girlfriend and I looked at a basement suite yesterday in the evening. We were scheduled to be the first people to look, but when we arrived it was clear we weren't the only ones there. 3 groups had been shown through by the time we arrived, one was still hanging around building raport with one half of the couple showing the suite. Another man arrived as we did and was shown the suite at the same time as us.

It was a great looking place, it has a natural gas fireplace (one that you can turn on and off) and nice carpet. A big(ger) bathroom (than the one we have here) and it was below the ground. That in itself should be enough for us, and hopefully it keeps cool without running up the electricity. Well, at least that was the plan. When we left we had the feeling the couple was telling everyone that "these are the people I told you I liked."

So we left there with a little hope, but only a little. It was nice to hear this morning when they called us back saying it was a choice between us and another young couple. And even better when they called back 6 hours later asking us if we were really serious about the suite and could pay an additional pet deposit. We have the suite and make plans tomorrow.

-Was starting to feel unlucky with the whole house-finding thing

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Chemical Warfare

Acid Burn... my lungs and eyes. Coming home from grocery shopping just now I was walking up the far steps, rather than taking the elevator in the middle of the building. I've got my grocery bags and they are all in one hand so I can open doors along the way. Coming up to the landing of the first flight of stairs I inhaled something I wish not to inhale again. My landlord is coming down from the third floor and asks me, "Do you smell something burning."

I try to reply, do the normal 'inhale so you have a breath to speak with' and all I come out with is a thought 'Ack, my lungs and nose are burning. Cough! COUGH!' and I manage to squeek out "no,butican'tbreath" *COUGH*COUGH* where I pick up my pace, try to keep my head low (in case it's like smoke, where there's a layer you can get under so you can still breath).

I managed to get into my apartment (on the top (third) floor) and set my bags down. I went to the balcony and inhaled clean air (while still coughing up my lungs) for a few minutes. I can breath in my apartment at the moment, mostly, but I can sense it creeping in here. Some breaths I inhale breath in a good plume of this shit, whatever it is. Probably cancer causing, if it's not somebody's suicidal idea of a sick joke.

And what am I still doing in my apartment blogging this when my eyes have become reddened and I've coughed so much I've almost thrown up twice. Like I said, I can still breath in my apartment, but when I poked my head out in the hall again I almost collapsed for my own safety looking for clean air to breath. And my landlord is walking around breathing in like he's immune to it. He thought it was from my apartment but I'd invite him in if he doesn't believe me. He's looking for the source as is. And I've got to get out of this place, so I'm holding my breath while running down three stories of this apartment building to the parking lot below. I have to get more boxes to pack with anyway.

-Now I've got this powdery texture in my mouth.


Well shit, the fire department is here knocking on a door down the hall from me, it turns out that's the source. My neighbors across the hall have left their apartment, taking their cat with them. I've got two cats, and one carry case. If it comes down to it I'll take both cats away in the carry case. And my laptop.

I went out on my balcony again to breath and Diane, the managers wife, asked how I was doing. She was talking with the fire chief and they didn't seem to find it important to yell at me "Get the hell out of the building" so I guess I'll stay here (for the cats safety) until they tell me I've got to leave. Fuck it, I'm turning on my vents (over the stove and in the bathroom) right now and taking my cats downstairs. This sucks, I'm starting to cough again. My computer where I'm sitting is 20 feet from the door, it's still creeping in.


Brian, the manager of the building, kicked some people out this morning soon after I left to drive my girlfriend to work. And a good thing she worked today, too, because Cystic Fibrosis and fucked up air do not mix. She's a tough girl but that stuff brought me to my knees.

Here's what happened. After Brian kicked the people out of the building (squatters in a friends room or whatever) the people didn't take it lightly. After they appeared to leave, but didn't really, they sprayed mace/bear/pepper-spray throughout the hallways and ran out of the buildings with their mouths covered. That's the story I got from Brian and his wife. The fire department came by, inspected the place, decided it was pepper-spray as well. 'Interrogated' the woman in the room that was busted up this morning and she made up some story about a friend of hers having a can of mace in her purse that must have exploded by accident blah blah blah. The fire department flushed out the halls with industrial fans and all is well now. I just had to wait downstairs for 10 minutes with the cats (one of which gouged a big red streak in my gut with his claw) while the halls dispersed.

-I can now leave the cats safely at home while I get packing boxes

Friday, August 12, 2005


Back to the topic at hand

I'm moving. My girlfriend and I are getting out of our little apartment and are attempting to move into a little basement suite. The problem with moving is you've got to bring all the stuff you accumulated in your old place to your new place. And in our case, we now have two cats. It was simple enough to find a place beforehand, we just happened to move into an apartment that allows cats. Now, however, no-one wants to take these cats. Until today; I think I may have found a home for the four of us. A basement suite that has us pay 40% of the utilities and has a bath tub. We don't pay utilities where we're at, but I guess it's something we'll have to do if we want to bring the cats with us.

-Gotta grab more boxes this weekend

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

awk stuff

Hey, I learned something new today

Here's a file I have, this is just a small example of it:

*** Week 1 @@@ sfm_146 smm_146 wfm_0 wmm_0
1989,3479 m1 s121 e141
2449,3503 m1 s121 e141
2555,3539 m1 s121 e141
2652,2849 m1 s121 e141
2349,2229 m1 s121 e141
2617,3004 m1 s121 e141
2713,3097 m1 s121 e141
3356,2684 m1 s121 e141
2725,2193 m1 s121 e141
2016,1992 m1 s121 e141
2813,2569 m1 s121 e141
3000,2796 m1 s121 e141
2851,2628 m1 s121 e141
2320,3693 m1 s121 e141
2270,3087 m1 s121 e141
2538,2173 m1 s121 e141
2647,2702 m1 s121 e141
2669,2445 m1 s121 e141
2217,2498 m1 s121 e141
2565,3155 m1 s121 e141
3212,2145 m1 s122 e142
2338,1808 m1 s122 e142
2009,2752 m1 s122 e142
4142,2074 m1 s122 e142
2605,2691 m1 s122 e142
2756,2689 m1 s122 e142
2337,2698 m1 s121 e142
2959,2286 m1 s121 e142
2554,3128 m1 s122 e142
2761,2578 m1 s121 e142
2894,2183 m1 s122 e142
2789,2265 m1 s122 e142
2315,2834 m1 s122 e142
2846,2133 m1 s121 e142
3218,2455 m1 s122 e142
2023,2796 m1 s121 e142
2683,3119 m1 s122 e142
2570,3545 m1 s122 e142

That is the output file from my program regarding moth matings and their locations. The first pair is the (x,y) location of the mating. The second number beginning with 'm' is the mate type, 1 for sterile:sterile, 2 for sterile:wild and 3 for wild:wild matings. The third bit that starts with the 's' is the start time of the mating session. The 'e' is the time they finished mating. My moths are pretty in sync with each other, maybe that's something I should fix later.

What I needed from that file was all the mate start times. I had to find an easy way to parse that data, but how to do it? A friend of mine suggested a quick 'awk' command on it that went something like this:

cat _MatingLocations.txt | awk '{print $3}' > tmp.txt

which just takes the 'third word' from the file and spits it out, in this case I piped it to the tmp.txt file. The tmp.txt file looks like this now:


And as you can see, it's got a '1' printed at the very top. You might have noticed that is the third word from the first line '*** Week 1 @@@ sfm_146 smm_146 wfm_0 wmm_0' and is something I might not want. So now I grep'd the file to output only the files with the 's' in it.

grep s tmp.txt > filter.txt

which looks the same as above, just without the 1 at the top. Now I want to get rid of the 's' in front of the values so I can run those values through another program to get the mean value. To remove the 's' I simply grab the substring of it like this

cat filter.txt | awk '{print substr($0,2)}' > inp.dat

which outputs data like this


and can now be read by other programs as numerical values. awk made it a whole lot easier to parse the files than writing a custom script in, say, matlab to do it for me.

And speaking of matlab, I could then open matlab in a terminal 'matlab -nodesktop' then load the data 'load inp.dat' and then calculate the average of the values 'mean(inp)' and then save the data of the average value 'save -ascii avgData.dat'

And to grab a few words from the raw text file I could

cat file.txt | awk '{print $2 " " $3 " " $4}'

-Thanks awk

Sunday, August 07, 2005

12 boxes

12 boxes and hardly a dent

My girlfriend and I, along with our two cats, are out of this apartment at the end of this month. We don't know where we're going to end up. We've given our notice that we'll move out at the end of the month, but we haven't found a place to move into yet. If it comes down to it, we've got a 3 bedroom place to move into with another couple, temporarily.

We've packed up most of the pictures on the walls, the books on both our bookshelves, candles, ornaments, etc. The little stuff. 12 boxes worth, and it appears we've hardly made a dent. Though that would comprise the majority of the things to pack. Our clothing dressers will remain full and we'll move them as one.

There's the entertainment stand with our TV and stereo. Got out appliences to pack up. The bigger stuff. I think we've done a good job. Nice to start early so we're not in such a frenzy later. And we've got storage to put all this into, in advance, so that's nice. And it's free to us.

-Hope we find a nice place to move into, soon

Friday, August 05, 2005

1984 - orwell

Big Brother is watching you

I just read the first few pages of Orwell's book 1984 and this is what I think of it so far. The character, Winston, is who I've been introduced to. He's just come home from work and poured himself a glass of "Victory Gin". He's about to smoke a "Victory Cigarrette" and is about to write in an illegal diary. Well, nothing is illegal, as they say, in this society as there are no laws. But possession of such a thing would surely result in his punishment by either death or 25 years hard labour.

His apartment has a single camera mounted in it. The government is watching and listening to him at any given time. The same to all its citizens. Winston is about to write in his journal and is not sure who he's writing to. He writes a date, April 4th 1984, but is not sure if that's the correct year. Nobody knows for sure what the correct date, plus or minus a year, is any more. He decides to write about the movies he watched the night before.

It appears the government entertains its people with movies of war. Winston writes gleefully of witnessing a massacre of refugees; seeing a frightened man, viewed through the gun-barrels of a helicopter, shot full of holes while swimming away from the helicopter. Another of a woman in a boat full of children trying to calm her son, holding her arms around him as if that were enough to protect them from the bullets. And if that weren't enough, the 20 kg bomb dropped onto the boat would do them in. And he recalls a particular shot of a childs arm propelled into the air falling just short of a helicopters rotors.

Some society to live in. And this all within the first few pages of the book. Sounds like a book I should read, maybe not a happy book, but an important one none-the-less.

-When does Emmanuel Goldstein get introduced

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

girlfriends birthday

Happy Birthday!!

I know you wanted one of these:

and we will. We'll get one when we've got the time and space. Happy birthday, sweetheart.

-Lots of love, from your guy.

Monday, August 01, 2005

xmodmap thinger

Buttons with my laptop

I found a nice little config to get the volume control buttons working on my laptop. Note, this config file will probably only work on an HP zv5320, but the way to set up the config to automatically run after every reboot will probably be a help to you. The help came from this page particularly, so thanks a lot to the author.

Create a file called .Xmodmap in your home directory

> sudo emacs /home/user/.Xmodmap

and add these lines

keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume

keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute

keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume

keycode 178 = XF86HomePage

keycode 223 = XF86Standby

keycode 162 = XF86AudioPlay

keycode 164 = XF86AudioStop

keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev

keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext
Again, it's only going to work for an HP zv5320 laptop.

Problem was, I couldn't get the script to load up every time the computer rebooted. I would have to load the script via

> xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

in order for the buttons to work again. You can imagine that it would suck to havae to do that every time. I don't know because I have it set to do it automatically. Here's what I did (and no other way worked for me, I tried quite a few). So now is where this works for anybody on any system, at least that's the aim. To run the command xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap at the beginning of every session, instead of manually typing it into a terminal yourself, add the following to the end of your .bash_profile from your home directory

if [ -f ~/.Xmodmap ]; then
xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

save the .bash_profile and you should be good to go.

-bash_profile is good for everything! (at least lots of things)

Friday, July 29, 2005

changing ips

Changing IPs

The computer I use in my office at school has this habit of renewing its IP every time it reboots. It's not the computers fault, it's network services fault for not giving static IPs to the computers. My biggest problem with that is I can never figure out what the new IP is without a little bit of work. Well, no more! It's easy from here on out.

The solution was simple. Have the computer email me the new IP every time it reboots itself. And since it's emailed to me, I can access that from anywhere as well. Here's how it's done.

I wanted to edit/create the S99local script in /etc/rc2.d
In my case, I had to create it.

> ls /etc/rc2.d

comes up with a whole lot of S* scripts. I didn't see the S99local so I created it.

> sudo emacs /etc/rc2.d/S99local

and wrote the following
ifconfig | grep inet | mail -s "new IP for work computer" myEmailAddress@theHost.something

The above is a shell script, that's why it starts with #!bin/sh and the rest is kind of self explanitory. And if not, just know that it does work.

I then changed the file via

> sudo chmod a+x S99local

so it can be run by the shell. Now every time the system restarts it emails the new IP to my gmail account. That makes it a lot easier than how I was doing it. I used to scan the whole university computer system looking for computers with an open ssh port 22. I'd pipe the information to a text file and pull out entries with 'open ssh' and try to SSH my account on there. That took a while because there are a lot of computers on the system with an open port 22.

-Much easier now

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

You suck education is not for you

You suck. Education is above you

So I got a reply in the mail today telling me I suck and my education will not be offered me this year. Well, in a nutshell that's what it said.

I applied for my student loan, filled out all my applications to specification. Had my girlfriend fill out her spousal form to send it all away. Got my reply and it said, "You should have enough money saved and enough money from your girlfriend over the course of the year that you can pay for school yourself. Kthxbye."

So now I get $0 for my student loan and don't know what's going to happen. I'm sure I'll still go, but I'll be getting my money more inconveniently.

-Stupid government


Awake now

Augustus Gloop looks like he has been created with the help of a computer. The movie was awesome. Tim Burton plays off Charlie like he has a dark secret love of hurting others. Sadistic, maybe. The only movie to leave such an impression on me in a long time.

-Great fun



And the chocolate factory.

Augustus Gloop... CGI.

-Sleep now

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Working it at work without an internet connection

Started writing the paper for my simulation. Haven't gotten very far with it. Kinda wrote up a placeholder abstract section. Wrote up the beginning of an introduction and have the groundwork done for my model section. The bones are there, but the skin is at a minimal appearance and is giving off a faint corpse-ish odor. Oh, and my professor wants draft number one on her desk by the end of today. So that must mean she wants me to either email it to her so she can print it off some time tonight. Or she wants me to print it off and submit it before I leave work. If I email it, it'll be because I think I've got time to work on it tonight. In such a case, it'll be better than it would be if I submitted it at the end of work. However, if I submit it at the end of work, it'll be slightly crappier than if I submitted it tonight. I don't know what the hurry is. I'd rather work on it for a week so it wasn't so poorly constructed.

-But she's asking for it.

The reason I'd submit it before I go home

I'm hoping to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight. I've seen the previews, I've placed a screenshot of the film on my desktop, I've sneaked peeks of the film. I have not, however, read the book. I'm going to add that to my reading list right now.

-Try a blade! Oh, please do. Please do!

Book worm

I'm reading the new Harry Potter book. This one is supposed to be the most depressing of the series (the rest were good). And I guess I haven't come to that part yet, it's a pretty good read so far. I wasn't going to buy it, but it was scheduled to be released with an MSRT of ~$40 so when I saw the hard cover for $20 I had to buy it. Now I just need books 4 and 5 and I'll have the whole current set.

I'll be reading Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) by George Orwell, next. Oh, shoot. I just remembered, I've got a book due back at the town library today. I'd borrowed Kevin Mitnick's "The Art of Deception". I guess I'll extend the loan and return it when I find time.

Harrison Bergeron is another story I'd like to read again. It was one of those short reading assignments you get in something like 10th grade English. Was an alright read back then, so I'll see how it compares to reading it now that I'm older.

-Anti evil governmentarianorsomethinglikethatism

Bad place of girlfriend's work

Once again my girlfriend is being booted around at work. Well, they're trying, anyway. But she's not giving in, so good for her. The new manager girl started yesterday, she was supposed to close the store last night. My girlfriend was to work 9-5. Well, when she got to the store the new manager girl (who, remember, was hired the same day as my girlfriend) was already there. And on top of that, the new assistant manager (the girl who used to undeservedly be the manager, but has now taken my girlfriends job) says "Oh, you're closing now. Check your (in-store) email". An email that you can't check outside the store, but is only accessible on the company intranet. Evidently there was no email there. Go figure, dumbasses. My girl fought, she said she was working her scheduled time (there was nowhere else that said she was scheduled otherwise). She got the boss guy involved, too, and he settled with her. Good for her, I'm proud of her. Only another week in this store, anyway. And we've got to find another place to move to closer to her work and mine.

-Quick, like a bunny.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Soylent Green is people!

So I went into the movie knowing the secret, I wasn't in suspense as I suppose I was supposed to be (heh, suppose supposed). Since I knew the Green's secret I spent the movie wondering when it was going to finally be revealed. And when the secret was 'finally revealed' it was kind of anti-climactic to me.

Look at is this way, the old people in the library find out the secret. Now couldn't the secret just be that Soylent Green is made in the same factory that disposes of bodies? Who says Soylent Green has to be made of people. Maybe this 2022 year New York is full of sensitive people who think that may be unsanitary. Maybe that's why Simonsen agrees he must die, he feels guilty about the sanitation issues. And Sol, he has lived long enough; maybe he is at conflict with the idea that Soylent Green is manufactured in the same building that disposes of corpses.

When Thorn breaks into the disposal/green factory does he in fact see the bodies being processed into Soylent Green? No, he sees the bodies being disposed of in an industrial waste bin (you see them at your local sewage plant, the rotating poop-spray thing). Next Thorn finds a conveyor belt pushing along the soylent product. But nowhere do we see the bodies being turned into paste and squished into green, square crackers.

I think it's purely supposition. We're to believe Soylent Green is people. However, the end of the movie contradicts that to me. I see the world as believing Thorn is a bit crazy by this point. He does not have solid proof the product is made of human flesh. Throw a couple extra scenes in there and that could be the final nail in the coffin.

-That's what I'd like to see

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

bash scripting

Write a bash script and use it from any directory

I wrote up a simple bash script that automates creating a .java file template the way I like my java programs laid out. What I wanted to do was be able to use this bash script from any directory. From my /home/username directory I had created another directory /home/username/scripts that is intended to house any scripts I write up.

It is simple enough to write a bash script and access it from any directory via

> bash /home/username/scripts/theScript args

but I wanted something simpler. Something like

> theScript args

And here's how it's done. You have written a script (theScript) and placed it in your /home/username/scripts directory. Now change the permission of the script

> chmod +x theScript

which allows you to execute the script. Now open up your .bashrc from /home/username/.bashrc and add the following line to the end of it.

export PATH=$PATH:/home/username/scripts

then save the .bashrc and close it. The changes have now been applied, but you must open a new terminal for it to take effect in that terminal.

-Getting better at this

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

teh funny button masher

Skater girls and nurses

How about both rolled into one? I saw one, you know. I was on my way back from the beach, driving home with my girlfriend. And on the walkway that runs parallel to the street I see a tall blonde girl in a nurses smock on a skateboard going to work. My girlfriend caught me staring. It didn't help that I exclaimed "That. Is. AWESOME." So I'm still making that up to her.

-I love you dear.

In other news

Hapless .gif beats himself to a pulp.

-Deeper shade of red.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

kde and ICEauthority fix

Installed XFCE and ICEauthority didn't like it.

When I logged out of XFCE and tried to log into KDE it wouldn't let me.

The following installation problem was detected while trying to start KDE:

No write access to '/home/myaccount/.ICEauthority'.

KDE is unable to start [OK]

was what it said to me.

Could not start ksmserver. Check your installation. [okay]

was another.

How did I fix it? Well, reinstalling ksmserver through kynaptic (and subsequently from the Kubuntu install CD) did nothing. This is what I had to do.

login to failsafe

sudo chown myaccount:myaccount /home/myaccount/.ICEauthority

-And all was better

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Good music

Country Music Festival

No, it's not for me. The Merit Mountain Music Fest is going on at the moment, which wraps up Saturday night. My girlfriend is attending this weekend with some of her girl friends from work. Meanwhile, the Kelowna regatta is this weekend, so I have my own music festival to attend. One of the bands, The Bleeding Alarm, will be there in the park. I got to see them again during Wakefest this passed weekend.

Wakefest was pretty good. I was quite pleased with the Alexisonfire concert. I got to see The Bleeding Alarm, The Warriors, Comeback Kid and Alexisonfire. Saturday night I saw Blinded, Sweatshop Union and De La Soul. That was ok, but not as good as the night before, though it drew a larger crowd.

-Stinky kid, shower time

So hot

A laptop in the lap makes me a hot boy

And not in the attractive sense. This thing can heat up a room, maybe that's why my apartment has been so warm lately. I've been using my laptop at home more often than usual.

So I'm thinking of putting a Linux partition on my laptop, possibly this weekend. I've freed up ~40% of my drive, will defrag and run the installer. I'm thinking a 15Gb partition aught to be alright.

Small post, mostly to get this picture moved off the front page. It's run its course, time to bring something else up.

-Lvl 27 Cleric/Thief I wonder what that is referencing?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Nothing to do with

This picture has nothing to do with anything I know of

Except that I thought it was pretty cool.

I get to see

Alexisonfire tomorrow, along with Comeback Kid for Wakefest going on down the street. Party party music bikini music splash.

-Just a keyboard cowboy

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

War of the worlds movie

Because I said so.

I did say I was going to post my thoughts on Spielburg's War of the Worlds movie, didn't I. Let me just say, Ebert can have his opinion all to himself.

Oh, speaking of Ebert and his review: Is the Canadian version different from the American version? It appeared to me that in the American review they only see an alien outside his machine once, during the final death march that brings the machines down. However, when I saw the movie this weekend there was a scene where a group of three or four aliens peruse the contents of a basement.

But back to my thoughts. Spielburg stuck to the original story as best as a modern day era could allow. He pulled it off, he really did. The tripod machines, the heat ray, the human collecting, the fluid extraction, the red weed. OK, wait. The red weed wasn't quite like I envisioned. I was thinking something more short and shrubby, less tendril-y. He seemed to use a lot of firecracker sound effects, too. When a machine set down his huge pod of a foot "crack-crackle-pop-splutter". When someone burst into a cloud of dust (which evidently sends your shirt and pants flying straight up into the air) "crackle-boom-fizzle-pop-pop-boom".

And about those pants and shirts, there's a scene where Tom Cruise's character is running for his life from the monsters and all around him are pants and shirts falling from the sky. This happens again later in the film when he's accompanied by his children.

I'm looking forward to Timothy Hine's version of War as well, his being set during the actually time frame of the book. To see these awesome monsters destroying London of the 1800s should be fun to watch.

-crackle-fizz-pop "Oh look out! FALLING PANTS!!!"

Monday, July 04, 2005

simple audio fix

Well, listen here

Turns out I had a problem with my onboard sound card (via chipset) conflicting with my Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Gamer 5.1 sound card. The quick and easy fix? Here's what I had to do:

Show all sound modules currently enabled

> lsmod|grep snd

and in my case, I knew I wanted to turn off anything to do with via. So I looked on the left side for snd_[whatever via] and made a note of it. What is on the right side isn't important, even if you see via on that side.

snd_emu10k1 81668 1
snd_rawmidi 22944 1 snd_emu10k1
snd_seq_device 8332 2 snd_emu10k1,snd_rawmidi
snd_ac97_codec 64608 1 snd_emu10k1
snd_pcm_oss 47652 0
snd_mixer_oss 16768 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 84872 3 snd_emu10k1,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 23300 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 9604 2 snd_emu10k1,snd_pcm
snd_via82xx [someNumber] [somethingElse]
snd_util_mem 4608 1 snd_emu10k1
snd_hwdep 9220 1 snd_emu10k1
snd 50276 11 snd_emu10k1,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_hwdep
soundcore 9824 1 snd

I make a note of snd_via82xx because I want to add that to the system's blacklist. Open up blacklist with editing privileges:

> sudo emacs /etc/hotplug/blacklist

And somewhere at the bottom should be the snd_ section. Simply add whichever module you want blacklisted and it will no longer load at system restart. That allows the other sound card, my SB Live! 5.1 to work without the sound being disabled.

A point to note, this enables the dsp channel of the system. Only one program at a time can use this channel, wheres the alsa works any way. At least that's my understanding.

To see what is using the alsa channel:

> lsof /dev/snd/*

and to see what is using the dsp channel:

> lsof /dev/dsp

One last thing, codecs. You'll want to install audio and/or video codecs now that you've got your soundcard working. The codecs section of the Ubuntu guide suggests the following steps. However, you can search for the packages through Kynaptic just as well. Through kynaptic you don't have to do the gst-register step:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.8-plugins
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.8-lame
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.8-ffmpeg
sudo apt-get install w32codecs
sudo apt-get install libdivx4linux
sudo apt-get install lame
sudo apt-get install sox
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
sudo apt-get install mjpegtools
sudo apt-get install vorbis-tools

-Audio goodness

simple nvidia fix

Get that nVidia video card working.

Real solution at the end of this post, borrowed from the ubuntu wiki. If this solution does not work or you do not have an nVidia video card, try there. It may have a better solution for you.

I couldn't figure out why my nVidia video card wasn't working with my new install of Kubuntu. I tried downloading a .sh package from the nVidia web site. When I installed the script, it complained about shutting off the X server. Well, figuring out what the hell X server is was another bit of research. Another easy fix.

Ctrl-Alt-F1 to bring up a text login screen.

Log in as root (or do it all through sudo). When logging in as root, you may have to set the root password now. That requires editing of the shadow file, basically erasing the * in the roots password (this makes it so you don't need a password for root. A very dangerous thing). Now that root requires no password, log in as root and change its password with passwd.

To turn off the X server (the graphical user interface of Linux, like the fancy login screen)

> sudo /etc/init.d/?dm stop
# where ? is either g for gnome, k for kde
# of course, to start it again, end the line with start instead of stop.

Now that X is turned off, the video card install script still didn't want to install. Something about not having access to the kernel to reconfigure itself. So the true, easy fix appears and viola! working video card.

Here are the simple lines to type into the terminal in order to automatically configure your video card for your system. Note, this is specifically for an nVidia video card. It will be different for ATI.

> sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx

> sudo nvidia-glx-config enable

And that will do it! To make sure it's working, benchmark it in glxgears.

> glxgears

kyle@waggyMachine:~$ glxgears
8151 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1630.200 FPS
8825 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1765.000 FPS
8764 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1752.800 FPS
8774 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1754.800 FPS
8870 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1774.000 FPS

Not getting above 1000 frames per second? Don't fear. Either reboot the computer or simply log in as root from a text terminal then

> /etc/init.d/kdm stop
> /etc/inti.d/kdm start

and it should work fine.

-Now if I could only get my sound working

Three days of Kubuntu

I've converted

No longer am I a slave to windows. I've taken to Linux, I dove in head first. Some things don't work, sure. But they will, and I'll make them work. I'll be given instructions and I'll fix these problems myself. First was setting up repositories so I have a bigger list of programs to download and install. Next was setting up my passwords, I got to play with the shadow file. I wanted to play games next, so I installed almost everything game related. Well, not everything to do with games, but I did select gnome games and kde games and kde toys and supertux and tuxkart and tuxracer.

Waitaminute. How come I can't play tuxracer!? Right, 'build your own operating system'. My graphics card wasn't configured for my computer yet. More on this later, as it's another helpful hint for installing a new debian operating system.

Though I figured out my video card problem, I am still having troubles with my sound. I've installed the recommended media packages and still no luck. What is really strange is the game Frozen Bubble has sound wrapped around it's little finger. It has made audio its bitch. But why won't any other program make use of it? I can't hear an mp3 in Juk or Amarok. I've got no sound with a video in Noatun. Not even a squeek when playing Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid. Just another problem I've got to read about and and easy fix to apply.

-It's finding the easy fix that's the hard part

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Kubuntu Repositories

After a fresh Kubuntu install

You're going to want to set the appropriate repositories so you have access to most every available piece of good software for Linux (at least that's my understanding, not to mention the security updates).

So after a fresh install, you'll want to access your sources.list which is found at:


If you're an Emacs user, you might want to start up Kynaptic, opened from a terminal by:

> sudo kynaptic
> password:

and then CTRL-F to bring up the list of packages. Do a search for emacs and select emacs-2.1 or whichever version is showing. Click ok, then press the last (third) button to commit changes. Press enter to agree and it well set off installing emacs for you. When that's done, to access /etc/apt/sources.list you type:

>sudo emacs /etc/apt/sources.list

Of course if you use vim then you've alread done this part before the others have finished installing Emacs. And if you do use vim, you're probably already done this walkthrough.

Now edit the sources.list to have these package addresses in them. Five should already exist, you should only have to uncomment two of them, and only have to add the last two, the multiverse and backport:

deb hoary main restricted
deb-src hoary main restricted

deb hoary-updates main restricted
deb-src hoary-updates main restricted

deb hoary universe
deb-src hoary universe

deb hoary-security main restricted
deb-src hoary-security main restricted

deb hoary-security universe
deb-src hoary-security universe

deb hoary multiverse
deb-src hoary multiverse

## Backports
deb hoary-backports main universe multiverse restricted
deb hoary-extras main universe multiverse restricted

After you have edited sources.list it may be a good time to open up Kynaptic again and under file click on:

Refresh Package Information

then update all your packages (that's the middle button of the three). I just did that here and it took about 5 or 6 minutes on a cable connection to download and update on my 750MHz computer. Have fun installing games and toys through the package manager.

-Frozen bubbles?

Impressive Quick Install

30 minutes

That was all it took to install a fully functional operating system on my working hard drive. And I'm not talking about anything Microsoft related, either. My 15Gb hard drive was taken off life support yesterday afternoon. It was pronounced dead at 12 noon. The corpse still resides within its steel mounting as a reminder of what could happen should I choose to mess around with my computer without proper grounding straps and knowledge of disconnecting the power before handing components.

-Very impressed with my new Kubuntu

Friday, July 01, 2005

War with HG Wells

There's a war

And that war is between two worlds. In a few hours I'm going to catch the afternoon matinee of S.Speilburg's version of War of the Worlds. Roger Ebert was naysaying the movie. He thinks the movie is too much like the book version. Honestly, that's what I was looking for. I want aliens stomping around on tripods of death. Though Ebert may have a point in saying the tripods of death would be more believable if the movie were to take place in the late 1800's like the book.

-Bacteria saves the day

Computer play

I've been messing around with my computer, playing with my 15Gb hard drive. Messing around with Linux. It turns out my 15Gb drive has died. The head is off alignment and clicks every available random interval. To really test this I had Kubuntu installed on it three times. And that was a 5 hour install every time (5 hours due to the broken hard drive). When Kubuntu satisfied my theory that the drive was b0rken I then proceeded to put Suse 9.1 pro on there. That didn't work either. Broken hard drive.

Now I've booted from a Win98 floppy and have removed the partitions on the 15Gb drive. Now I'm setting up a large partition on it and am going to format the drive. One last test, I'm going to see if WinXP can get the drive working as it should (I doubt it, but this is an exhaustive test). I still hear random clicking, though, during the (very slow) partition sequence. Finally, when I see just how dead this drive is, I'm going to format my 120Gb and start fresh with that. I wouldn't bother with the reinstallation of WinXP on the 120Gb drive but I kinda screwed up.

Here's what I did. I mounted my 120Gb hard drive to the Kubuntu OS installed on the 15Gb hard drive. When I didn't think it had worked, instead of umounting it, I rm -r it. When I realized it shouldn't take 4 seconds to recursively remove an empty directory I cancelled that, unknowingly just what it was I had erased.

Surprisingly every thing I tried in the WinXP drive (upon booting up in Windows again) worked! It would take a long time before I find whatever was (partially) erased. It could be a game, half an episode of HackTV, etc. Except when I went to defrag, had to run Windows scan-disk and found a few cross-ref'd files. I assume scan-disk fixed that, so I then went on to the defrag. Unfortunately my 120Gb hard drive seemed to die then. (This was yesterday). I came back to my computer and was greeted with a blue screen. Not a BSoD, just a plain blue screen. An unexplained, something-has-happened-but-as-the-computer-I-won't-tell-you-what blue screen. So I shut down the computer hard, in the middle of an unfinished defragmentation.

When I tried to boot the computer up again, it really didn't want to. My BIOS couldn't find the hard drive on the IDE cable, but it could find the slave, 15Gb. I felt the hard drive and it was hot. Defragging a large hard drive in a warm room with a case that's clogged with bits of cat hair (damned cats and their shedding). I'm thinking the drive just got too hot and shut itself down preventatively. I waited for the drive to cool and Lo! It recognizes and boots up. The Western Digital diagnostic tool says the 120Gb drive is perfect. It says the 15Gb drive sucks.

I've backed up all the important bits I need to reinstall WinXP on the 120Gb drive. Tomorrow, after I'm done playing with the 15Gb, I'll format the 120Gb and reinstall WinXP with another partition for Linux and Swap.

-Crossing my fingers, toes and eyes

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Throttle control

Just passed

I'd taken my motorcycle skills test (MST) last week and failed with 5 demerits. I don't know how many I'm allowed, but I failed all the same. The inspector, female, sent me home, telling me to come back in one week.

This morning I took the MST again. The inspector, a guy, passed me with 3 demerits. Wheres last week I rawked out on the slow-speed straight ride and was alright on the pylon slalom, and utterly screwed up the quick-stop from u-turn; this week I utterly screwed up the slow-speed straight ride, wobbling all over the straight line... twice. But I was great with the pylons and I rawked out with the acceleration/deceleration of the quick-stop maneuver.

Upon completion, I stalled the bike. A demeritable offense, one which he ignored since the test was over. He handed my license back to me saying "have another printed up inside", where last week she kept mine and said "have another printed up inside". But before I left, he made sure I knew that I sucked. "You need to practice. Holy Crap! You need to practice that throttle control. It's like riding a bicycle, that's where the balance is. It'll keep you in a straight line."

-And I drove home this week. 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk

Monday, June 27, 2005

One Funny Joke

Laugh a little

A young couple are laying in bed, sharing a pack of Gummy-Bears. The girl pulls out two Gummy-Bears that happen to be stuck together.

Girl: Look, they are having sex.

Boy: How come we're not having sex?

Girl: We're not Gummy-Bears.

-My girlfriend and I made up that joke.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Motorcycle Madness

Here's a bit of history

I took my motorcycle skills test Tuesday morning. My 'father-in-law' came by at 8am and I went for a 20 minute ride. He left me at the motor-vehicle department where I was to take my skills test, around 8:30. I was scheduled for 9:45 so I got to see people take the test before me.

Honestly, it wasn't a hard test. But I wasn't practiced. I hadn't done enough slow-speed maneuvers to really have control. And my balance sucked when coming to a stop. My break foot kept coming down and I kept relying on my hand break to keep me still. A mark off every time.

Then came the controlled quick stop. Accelerate to ~25 km/hour and slow down for a corner. Accelerate out of the corner and follow a white line. Watch the inspectors hand, break when it comes down. I think I did alright once. The other two times... nah. Not so good. Skid. Whatever, it was on a painted white line. Slippery.

She failed me and said come back in a week. So tonight I was practicing in the same parking lot with the same painted lines. I was doing alright, but I wasn't taking it seriously. And you know what, I still sucked. I stuck out my foot (my right foot) to catch myself when I was unbalanced. I did have better control over my quick stop. But that was because I did it enough times tonight. Many more times I sucked with the quick stop. I even had my rear tire locked up for 6 or 7 feet once. Not good on the official test.

And to bring the house down, my battery died. 20 minutes trying to hunt down the problem. Checking all the cables, making sure they are all good. Gas was at a half tank. The headlight would die when I tried the starter. Push-start, sure. Try that, no luck in second gear. Try third. Try fourth. Try fifth, oh my bike doesn't have that many gears. Finally, second ended up starting it. So I took off back to my place, leaving my supervisor back in the parking lot. He showed up shortly, behind me. He's got my battery now,

-Charging it up. 5 days to my retest.

Still too slow

I've found my second hard drive

I've two hard drives in my computer. One is a 120Gb with WinXP currently installed on it. The second is the 15Gb with Kubuntu (that I still need to configure). I've found my windows hard drive from my Kubuntu installation. Here's how I did it:

start a terminal window,

create a folder in /mnt
> sudo mkdir /mnt/win
> Password:

mount the physical Win hard drive to that new folder
(My Windows hard drive is hda1, Kubuntu is hdb1)
> mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/win

from here you can start Konqueror or Nautilus and navigate your way to /mnt/win to view the contents of that hard drive. Or within the terminal,
> cd /mnt/win/
and browse that way.

-More for my reference than any body else's

From the safety of Linux

Blogging from my home computer

I've done it! I'm writing this blog from my fresh install of Kubuntu Linux. Windows is still kicking around, as I've got some files I'd like to transfer over before I lose windows completely, but Kubuntu is here.

It's really slow, though. And that's all my fault. I'm thinking I didn't properly set up a swap partition. It takes 15 minutes from reboot for the computer to even load up a text login screen. Another 5 to log into the GUI. 3 minutes to open a Firefox browser.

-Will be reinstalling/partitioning today

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Some kind of bullshit

My girlfriend is the most qualified person for any job at her place of work. She was a shoe-in for the assistant manager position when it opened up. The manager was going to do her best to make sure my girlfriend was appointed. Recently the manager went on stress leave and has decided to never return. My girlfriend picked up the slack, without the title of manager or assistant manager.

Administration decides the store needs people that can be called "manager" and "assistant manager" so the rest of the employees have someone to look to. My girlfriend should have been made manager at that time, but you know what? She wasn't. The girl who's been working for the company two months longer was appointed. And you know what, that girl is from another store. She was a transfer to this store and my girlfriend had to train her in proper store procedures when she arrived. This other girl is not anywhere as qualified as my girlfriend. But still, this woman was assigned the manager position, and assistant manager went to my girl.

A month and a half later my girlfriend is still helping out this other woman when she gets stuck. My girlfriend is taking it upon herself to help this other person keep her job (making her look competent). I'm going a bit overboard here. She is competent, but still manages to get stuck or take her time or generally just not think her way out of a problem herself.

Well, now! Administration wanted people to be the 'official' managers of the store. An advertisement was placed. My girlfriend was still the most qualified for the job, but no. They've decided to replace her again. She's been bumped. I don't know the details, but I wouldn't be surprised if that other girl is now the assistant manager.

-Looking for a fair workplace

Monday, June 20, 2005

Set the path to java in your /etc/profile in Linux

'javac' and 'java' commands in Linux terminal

Those two commands above weren't working for me this morning after a fresh install of Kubuntu Linux on my work machine. I understand that normally Kubuntu would modify the appropriate paths to make the compile and run commands work. However, I needed an older version of java, and to hunt for that package through Kynaptic would have been more trouble than it was worth (maybe). So the file was downloaded by itself, and installed. But that left the paths in a state of non-existance. So in order to get them working I had to do the following:

1. Open '/etc/profile' as super in a text editor. In Kubuntu it would be:

> sudo emacs /etc/profile

2. Just before the last two lines of the file (your version of java where appropriate) add the following line:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/j2sdk1.4.1_08/bin

where the last two lines are:

export PATH

umask 022

3. Refresh your /etc/profile by either logging out and back in, or in a terminal type:

> source /etc/profile

[EDIT]: After setting up a new install it would appear that going through the package manager makes this job so much easier. You can, of course, do it manually if you like. But using a package manager like apt-get sets up all paths for you.

-And that should do it

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hacker article on TLC

Nice article

The Learning Channel has a good article (or collection of articles) on hackers and it's history. I'm adding it to my list of links.

-Just something to read in an afternoon

Hey, look. Blog offers titles now.

So I guess I don't need this title any more?

Windows and its vulnerabilities. You don't really have to wonder why people still use windows, even after hearing of all its security exploits. Myself, I'm moving away from windows. I've got it on my PC at home, and on my laptop as well. However, I'm not going too far from windows. My problem is, windows is a gaming platform. Not too many games are supported on Linux at the moment. How am I going to get my Half-Life / Half-Life 2 fix on a *nix operating system?

I'm removing windows from my home PC, Kubuntu is taking its place. My laptop, however, is still carrying Windows, but only for the games. I've got Cygwin on there and it's configured very well.

-I've also heard good things of minGW

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Research follow-up

My professor, I think, has finally realised how little enthusiasm I have for the mathematical sciences. Or, forbid! she has access to my blog.

She's proposed that I use my program to help out the two entomologists we've been working with. I have had questions all along in regards to how I should handle certain events in my simulation. Gary, the field guy entomologist dude, has suggested I try my question in my program, varying it so I can get an answer myself. The answer will be when we compare my data and his and draw a logical conclusion from that.

Sounds good to me, and I get to avoid the mathematical analysis. I do get to write an advertisement for my simulation. And I've gotten permission to post is as open-source.

-Building a better resume
Summer Loving

I don't know what to make of my summer research assistant position. My professor, she's a nice lady, but I don't think she knows what she wants with my research. I'll give her credit, she's juggling three students at the same time, each with a project unrelated to the other. Justin with his simulation of a swimming nematode. Brock with his recolonization by squirells in clear-cut forests. And myself, with my dispersal of codling moths in the presence of a network of pheromone traps. I found that the longer the title, the more impressed people are with your work. But that's getting off topic. Rebecca, my professor/supervisor, has her own research going on as well. And the school is forcing her to take her vacation time at the moment, which she is taking up until the end of this month.

However, her research runs parallel to mine. She's covering codling moth dispersal using a mathematical model. I'm doing a cellular based model on the computer. This is where it gets hair-brained. We started on my project last summer to coincide with hers. Toward the end of last summer our work was beginning to overlap. At that point, all I had was a simulated orchard with a central release point. I'd release a mass amount of moths in 4 trials of 2000 moths each. The moths would fly around their orchard and either die, become trapped or fly out of bounds; all of which would remove them from the program. OK, that's cool, but then she wanted more features. And then more features. And then she wanted me to throw together a presentation. Then she wanted me to run the experiments to gather data, from a program that I felt still needed to be polished.

The data was run, imagine 1000 trials of 500 moths each in a small simulated orchard. Now a program needed to be written to injest the 1000 large files containing data from the simulation. Enter MatLab, another language to learn. Now for the whole school year all I did was type what Rebecca dictated. I felt I could better be used in polishing the program, fixing my bloated code. I'd only had two semesters of programming experience, and that only in Java, before she had me writing this simulation for her. So 8 months of meeting with my professor for 3~6 hours a week, writing a program she was more than capable of writing herself. She knows Matlab inside and out. She could have written up the analysis program in a week, where it took the two of us almost 8 months! And I couldn't have done it that quickly on my own, I had my own classes to tend to.

So now that it's summer time again; she informed me that I was to have a paper written by the end of the summer with the intentions of having it published early next year. So the whole first month of my summer position I was modifying my program, fixing the code, tweaking it, generally making it speedier. When the program takes 30 minutes per trial of 500 moths (doing a trap efficiency experiment) you don't think that's too bad. 30 minutes 1000 times, well, that's getting a bit much. But when the program takes 8 hours for one simulation of 2000 moths, and you have to run 4 of those experiments to have enough data to say you've emulated what scientists do in the field... yeah, that's a bit extreme. But fixing my program, with the knowledge I gleaned this year in classes, I have the program going as quick as 2 hours per quarter. It takes only 8 hours to run the whole experiment!

As I said in the previous paragraph, I'd spent the first month making my program more efficient. But she wanted something I could show for. So I added sterile female moths to my program, to accompany the sterile males I'd had for the year. Though, we're not even close to ready to use these female moths in our simulation. I feel we still need to polish up the male aspect of the simulation. Get the no-wind model analyzed again now that I've made some modifications. Then we can move on to an all-male analysis using wind, since I just recently (this last week) fixed a minor bug that prevented my moths from moving in certain directions (they should be able to move in a full 360 degrees along the x-y plane). Then after we've got that data, and have analyzed as best we can, maybe we could then how the data changes when females are introduced.

But wait! Sterile males and sterile females aren't enough. Now we need to add wild males and wild females. Because, you know, we can. And when that's done, we need to have these moths mating with each other... you can see where this is going. This simulation is getting bigger and more complicated. I've got my boss looking over my shoulder (once a week, Wednesdays) telling me, "Looks good, now do this". And all the time, no research is being made. I'm just programming and programming. But don't get me wrong. That's what I'm here for, I'm here to program this awesome simulation that takes in the important parameters so the Scientist can use my program, tweak the numbers, analyse the data and write the paper.

However, my role in this project has grown. I went from just having programming duties to having to analyse the data. Then creating presentations. And with the presentations came the mathematical formulas I had to make sense of (I'm not a math student by far). I just want to go back and polish my program. I want to make it user-friendly. I want to write the document to allow the world to use my simulation (open-source if I had my way) to study the movements of more than just these Codling moths. The program could be modified to work with, say, salmon swimming up stream. Maybe even cows wandering across a field, eating grass and rolling in mud along the way. I'm here to program, that's how she sold this job to me.

And when you consider how much this program is worth, think of this. I've been employed for the last year and more to work on this. 4 months of 35 hours weeks, that's 560 hours right there. And 8 months during the school year of, say, 5 hours a week. That's another 160 hours. Plus the last two months I've been doing my summer position, another 280 (I hope I'm getting my math right). So that's a total of, wow I didn't this number, 1000 hours. And let's say I'm being paid an average $9.50 canadian for this (none of which I have managed to save) and that's $9500.00 that has been put into this simulation. So, thus far, this simulation is worth $9500, and if it were commercial, you'd want a product that you can sell to make a profit. If you wanted a profit, you'd be polishing the program and making it the best thing you could. But sadly, as you've read this far, that is not how this is going.

So now I'm going to read the stack of scientific papers I have sitting in front of me. Hopefully this will give me some insight as to how and what I should write about. That's the topic of meeting with my professor today, we're going to decide what I am to write about. All I can think of is writing an advertisement for my simulation. How it may benefit the scientific community. How to use it.

Providing I'm not contractually obligated to keep it under wraps, this is going

-to be open-source

Monday, June 13, 2005

Guess who's back

Gorillaz!!! They're 'performing' a virtual concert today for 99x listeners (everything alternative, radio Atlanta, Georgia). Click and enjoy.

-I've got sunshine in a bag

Friday, June 10, 2005

This may be a paddy-wagon used by the ZomCon people. I haven't seen it in use, but it may be what they pick up bad zombies in, or what they deliver zombies in. Just guessing.

A view of the entire ZomCon car.

This picture was taken on the North end of Maple Street, where it intersects with Riverside Ave. The movie is being filmed perpendicular to the car (behind and to the right of me as I take this picture).
Did it again

Picture of the ZomCon decal just in front of the drivers side door (the left side, here in North America).

The grumpy zombie couldn't keep me away. I rollerbladed by again today and stopped to talk with one of the security persons (persons because she was a girl). I couldn't go down Lake Ave today because they were filming toward that end, down south Maple Street. So I asked her what I could take pictures of. She didn't specifically say I couldn't take pictures of the actors (so I'm going to try to get a picture of a zombie later) and she said it was cool if I took pictures of the vehicles. So I got the cars and the Zomcon paddy-wagon. Unfortunately I couldn't find the Zomcon Milk truck. That was pretty cool-looking, too. It was a white truck, much like the ice-cream trucks you see today, with the Zomcon logo on the side with "Milk" written just below it.

They were firing the blank gunshots as I was there, too. I wanted to get closer, but wasn't going to press my luck. I was standing right by the set vehicles on my rollerblades and they hadn't kicked me out. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to get right down to the house there. Oh yeah, back to the gunshots. Pretty dull, actually. I was expecting "BANG BANG BOOM POP POP POP" but it was more like a "Ok, go." ~~~ "Pop" ~~~ "PoP" ~~~ "pOP" ~~~ "pop" over the course of 15 or 20 seconds. And the gun fire sounded like somebody dropping a wooden plank evenly on the ground. Or even hammering a nail into wood really hard. Or when you go to the public pool and some little kick slaps his boogie-board down on the water and it echoes a little off the walls.

Oh yeah, check out for the rest of my pictures :) That is, if they choose to use them.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Zombies have attitudes

Just 10 minutes ago I was rollerblading with my girlfriend. We were just coming passed the catering truck/rest area and were about to pass someone wearing what appeared to be a mechanics outfit. I whispered "That's a zombie". It was. As we went passed him I said to him, "So that's what a zombie looks like" and he said "Yes. And that's what it looks like to be hit by a car." referring to me not really paying attention as vehicles drove passed me.

-Need to bring my camera next time

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Fido the Zombie movie. This street (Maple St.) was blocked off, except to local traffic. You can see here both sides of the road are lined with old 1950s vehicles, as appropriate to the era of the film.

I really do apologize for the poor quality of these pictures. I don't know the policy of film sets allowed to be photographed, so I took this picture from my hip, with my non-telescoping lensed Olympus Camedia D-390 digital camera while zooming by on my rollerblades.

Another pic of the street Fido is currently being filmed on. This is the other end of Maple street. Not very exciting, really, but I've got less exciting pictures. Like, of the star-catering food truck used to cater the set.

-Better pics when I get braver
Even the dead need friends

Have I mentioned there's a feature film being shot only half a block from where I live? The movie is titled "Fido the Zombie" and casts the matrix star, Carrie-Anne Moss.

Click here for what has to say about the film.
And click here for a more in-depth description of what Fido is all about.

And here's what my city's local news-site has to say about the filming:

Road Closures For Fido
To accommodate filming of the feature movie Fido, the following roads will be open to local traffic only from June 8 to June 20th:
  • Maple Street, between Lake Avenue and Riverside Avenue
  • Lake Avenue, between Abbott Street and Water Street
  • Riverside Avenue, between Abbott Street and Water Street

Filming will generally take place during daylight hours, however it will also occur overnight on June 10, 11, 16 and 17 from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am.

Residents are advised there will be blank gun fire on June 10th. Some blank gunfire will also occur on June 21st when filming takes place at the end of Chute Lake Road outside city limits, and again on July 11, 12 and 13 at the old Hiram Walker distillery site in Lake Country. The RCMP will be notified prior to any firing of the weapon.

I feel like this is some pretty exciting stuff. I love zombies.

-The walking dead invade my neighborhood!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Upcoming beach party

I'm fortunate enough to live in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Yeah, this is a little piece of city park. Vendors set up tables along this stretch of walkway here. Farther down the walkway is a skate park and water park. All along the waterfront is sandy beach, which stretches from end to end of Kelowna's city limits. To the left is the grassy area of the park. Immediately to the right are the sails:

and a ways more to the right is the Grand Hotel with their dolphin fountain:

It is this area I want to discuss. Every year (at least for the last few years) WakeFest is hosted here. It's a 3 day beach party, really, with professional wakeboarders competing for $40,000 Canadian.

Last years party featured such bands as The Ataris (RAWK! >_<) and Andrew W.K.. At $18 a day pass or $43 for the whole weekend, it's a steal. Unfortunately I didn't make it last year. I did, however, stand at the fence and waited for The Ataris to play their gig. I stood in the rain for an hour, shielding my girlfriend from the rain, on our rollerblades. She did that for me, and we never did get to hear them play. But I'm sure the show was awesome.

This year is featuring Alexisonfire with Comeback Kid and some other bands (De La Soul with Sweatshop Union). Should be ok. Friday, at least. I'd pay $18 to see Comeback Kid and Alexisonfire. And let's not neglect to mention the local ladies and their bikinis (my girlfriend especially. She just bought a new bikini, pretty in pink).

And if I could bring your attention to a local band, Glory Nights. These guys are going to make it big. They are playing in the Warped Tour at the Vancouver show. Click and spread it amongst your friends.

-Back to my paying job, now