July 2003

When thongs go terribly, terribly wrong

by Joey deVilla on July 31, 2003

It’s funny when Ray the cat from the web comic Achewood wears a thong.

It’s even funnier when Ray’s real-life human equivalent does the same. Warning: I’m not sure if this photo is safe for work; check your human resources department for their policy on Speedos.

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When thongs go terribly, terribly wrong

by Joey deVilla on July 31, 2003

It’s funny when Ray the cat from the web comic Achewood wears a thong.

It’s even funnier when Ray’s real-life human equivalent does the same. Warning: I’m not sure if this photo is safe for work; check your human resources department for their policy on Speedos.

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A facelift is forthcoming

by Joey deVilla on July 31, 2003

As you might know, this blog is a “mirror” of the Blogger version of The Adventures of AccordionGuy int he 21st Century. Since Blogware is still in stealth mode, nobody outside the Tucows/vpop world knows of the existence of the Blogware version, and hence I haven’t been too worried about the appearance of this version. All I’ve made sure is that whenever I post to the Blogger version, I post the exact same thing to the Blogware version.

This weekend is a long weekend up here in Canada — Civic Holiday, they call it — and I plan to take some time to do some serious fixin’ up. I want to look good for the launch, and have every intention of being a Blogware poster child, spreading the Blogware love and using my Googlejuice to spread the Blogware message. It’s certainly a fine tool, and I hope to someday get a chance to contribute to the development effort. Nice work, Blogwarians!

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Bruce Eckel interview at Borland’s Community site

by Joey deVilla on July 29, 2003

Check out this Bruce Eckel interview at Borland’s community site. The interview’s all over the map, covering what you’d expect: C++, Delphi, Java, Borland’s IDEs, Java vs. C#, and of course, his new favourite language, Python. There’s also stuff you wouldn’t expect: his favourite song, his favourite movie, and whether he’d rather eat the fat from a moose’s eyeball or a Pop-Tart™ (really!).

In honour of tonight’s meeting of the pyGTA (Greater Toronto Area Python User Group), I’ll end with the most Pythonic quote from the article:

Saving the best for last [he discusses other programming languages just before this part], I’ve said in numerous places that Python is my favorite language, and this is because I’m most productive in that language. I can get so much more done in Python than in any other language I’ve encountered that it’s very hard for me to use those other languages, because to do so means throwing away time. Also, I’ve found the Python community to be my favorite group of language people; I can’t figure out how or why this is the case, but it retains the gentleness and enthusiasm that I most value in my interactions with a language community. I look forward to when I finally get my plate cleared enough that I can continue working on “Thinking in Python.”

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Show Desktop for OS X (or "Damn you, Hammersley!")

by Joey deVilla on July 29, 2003

On OS X, I believe there was some magic keystroke — possibly a magic click on a “close window” button — that closed all the windows and revealed the desktop. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it once before. I think.

On OS 9, it was easy — you’d just select “Minimize All” from the application menu (once again, I think that’s what it’s called — OS 9 and prior feel like distant memories now. On Windows, you can either click on the Desktop icon on the Taskbar or use the magic keystroke Windows-M.

Now you can get that capability in Show Desktop, an app that you can have either in the Dock or the menubar that will hide all open windows with a click. You can even provide it with a list of apps to exclude, just in case there were apps that you’d never want it to minimize (“Someone may be trying to reach me on iChat right now!)

I was going to post this entry to Forwarding Address: OS X, after looking for such a utlity to install on my spiffy new 12″ Powerbook. While checking to make sure that nobody on that blog had already written about it, I found that Ben Hammersely posted such an entry…today!

Damn you, Hammersley! Damn you to Hell!

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Getting XMMS to play MP3s on Red Hat 9

by Joey deVilla on July 29, 2003

I’d just installed Red Hat 9 on my work desktop box, fired up XMMS and pointed it at Groove Salad when I got a dialogue box saying something along the lines of:

In order to stay out of any trouble with Thomson, who charge royalties (75 cents per unit, or a one-time fee of US$50,000 – $60,000) to anyone who develops MP3 encoding or decoding software, we’ve removed MP3 playback capability. Sorry.

Finding out that XMMS no longer plays MP3s is like finding out that your set of flathead screwdrivers will no longer actually turn screws, but still can be used to open cans of paint.

Luckily, there’s a quick fix. This site has an RPM that restores MP3 playback capability to the versions of XMMS that come with Red Hat versions 8 and 9.

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Fuel for your Friday flamewar

by Joey deVilla on July 29, 2003

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to gather at the pub over beer and engage in debate! Programming languages, especially ones by Microsoft, are always good for raising ire and blood pressure. May I suggest, for your reading pleasure:

I personally have no religious tendencies when it comes to programming languages, other than an aversion to Perl. To close, allow me to quote Master Yoda and his opinion of Python vs. Perl


EXTERIOR: DAGOBAH — DAY

With Yoda strapped to his back, Luke climbs up one of the many thick vines that grow in the swamp until he reaches the Dagobah statistics lab. Panting heavily, he continues his exercises — grepping, installing new packages, logging in as root, and writing replacements for two-year-old shell scripts in Python.

YODA: Code! Yes. A programmer’s strength flows from code maintainability. But beware of Perl. Terse syntax…more than one way to do it…default variables. The dark side of code maintainability are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you when code you write. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

LUKE: Is Perl better than Python?

YODA: No… no… no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

LUKE: But how will I know why Python is better than Perl?

YODA: You will know. When your code you try to read six months from now.

(Taken from the Python Humor Page.)

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