Mary as origami

March 24, 2006

Mary comes to the conclustion that you should never play Twister with a puppeteer. However, after reading that description it makes me WANT to play Twister with a puppeteer…

some mood lighting…

Barry White on the stereo…

Man, I need a hobby… and a cold shower.

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So, I’ve tried three different web log posting tools for the Pocket PC over the last couple of days. Rather poor showing so far.

First, the parameters I set for myself is that it needed to be a native Pocket PC application. No web page synchronization like AvantGo. I’ve used AvantGo before, I’ve designed applications around it and while it does well at its intended purpose, it isn’t what I need. I basically want a local application that can:

  • connect to the XMLRPC API on my WordPress weblog and get the categories and previous posts and download to the local device.
  • Then, it needs to allow me to create a new post, using those categories already downloaded.
  • I need to be able to save as a draft for later posting.
  • It needs to be network aware
  • It needs to allow offline posting. For example, if I post a message and it is unable to connect to the server it should queue that post for later delivery when the network is connected.
  • It needs to show decent error messages. One of the ones I’ve tried (Blog in Hand) just displays ‘The server returned an error while attempting to submit the new post.’ Pardon me, but that is as bad as a Microsoft error message! If it returned an error, tell me what the blasted error is!
  • It needs to allow me to bold, italicize, insert a URL, etc. without having to write HTML code. I can write code; I’m looking for a tool that does that simple task for me.

I’m sure there are more features I’d want, if I gave it some thought.

Looking at the list, I think I’m writing a design document for myself… perhaps it is time to start thinking in those terms…

Update: I forgot to list the ones I’ve tried so far: Diarist, Blog in Hand, and … drat, I can’t remember the other since I already deleted it. I guess I’ll update again when I remember.

Another test

March 23, 2006

Just another test to see how this one works.

I tried Diarist but it was too buggy.

EDIT: this is the post I’ve been trying with ‘Blog In Hand’ for much of a day now to get posted. It finally posts when I’ve given up on it. Grrr.

One of the reasons I don’t post more often is that I spend most of the time in front of the computer at work for my employer. Either that, or I’m playing Sudoku, to which I’m happily addicted.

To that end, I’ve thought about using my Pocket Pc to post. As a software engineer I was going to write my own. Being inheriently lazy. I decided to try out some free or open source software first.

So, expect to see more posts here and my spelling may get worse as I use the Transcriber as my data entry tool.

MoeMore later after I’ve worked more with it.

I Like to Giggle

March 13, 2006

I took the paper for many years for the SOLE reason of reading the comics – I even picked the local paper with the best selection rather than the best at news or some other arbitrary reason. About five years ago, I stopped my subscription to the paper – I wasn’t reading it except for the comics and the comics were (and continue to be) squeezed for space. Instead, I started reading the comics online.

As it is now, I have about 100 or so web comics that I check regularly (see the sidebar for some favorites) as well as an annual subscription to comics.com. Many of those that I get with my subscription I can get otherwise by visiting every day via bookmarks or RSS, but that doesn’t trickle anything back to the comic creator. I also buy the anthologies to support strips I really like – so far I’m up to two bookshelves full and need to add another.

Comics make me laugh and often tell a great story – I’ve got all of the Sluggies up until the time they stopped being funny (no offense Pete!). There are strips that I’ve followed since they started (Dilbert, Doonesbury, FoxTrot, Sherman’s Lagoon) and some that don’t ever publish anthologies. One of my favorites is the only Mr. Boffo anthology I’ve ever seen… I still take it down and giggle every once in a while. Bloom County? Same thing.

Almost every day I realize that the old distribution model of printing something on paper and then having someone carry it to everyone’s home just isn’t going to be economically or socially sustainable. Stuff I really like I get in paper form, but that really is only novels and comics. Everything else is electronic.

Time to go read the comics…

Dreaming…

March 8, 2006

So last night I had a very, very vivid dream.

Amazingly, I still remember it.

Here is what I remember… I was driving, I don’t know what freeway but it wasn’t local since it was low rolling hills, kind of like the area outside Fort Worth, Texas. I’m changing freeways and I’m below the horizon a bit when I notice a black column of smoke pouring into the sky. It is huge and very recent since it hasn’t had time to start to break up at all. As I take the offramp and climb up the little hill the scene is … well, unreal (this is a dream, remember).

I still can’t see what is at the base of the column of smoke. However, there is a crashed passenger airliner in the middle of the freeway about a quarter of a mile ahead of me on the right. There is a passenger airliner in the air careening out of control as if the pilot was attempting to regain control of the craft. Cars are sliding all over the road as this unfolds in the sky above. I can see every detail in a hyper-realistic way and I slam on the brakes and slide to a stop.

I jump out of the car and with a few other people we pull the back off of the plane (dream, remember?) and pull the people out, unharmed. Then we start unloading the luggage. I remember there was a football with a cut in it that was ruined and I was trying to find out who it belonged to so I could give it back.

What does it all mean?

Don’t eat chips and dip before falling asleep at my desk.

My Bookshelf…

March 6, 2006

A quick image of the books on the west wall…

Bookshelf, west side, 1

west wall, continued…

Bookshelf, west side, 2

north wall…

Bookshelf, north side

east wall…

Bookshelf, east side, 1

east wall, continued. (yes, those are vinyl music albums)

Bookshelf, east side, 2

Coincidence…

March 6, 2006

Well, I noticed today from Science@NASA that

Sunspots come and go with an 11-year rhythm called the sunspot cycle. At the cycle’s peak, solar maximum, the sun is continually peppered with spots, some as big as the planet Jupiter. But for every peak there is a valley, and during solar minimum months can go by without a single sunspot.

Now, weather around here is cyclic and the meteorologists locally like to refer to a pattern of precipitation and such… you guessed it, in an 11 year cycle. There is literature online describing this, as a 30 second Google search shows, but I’m having trouble trusting in something where one of the principal researchers name is ‘Loon’.

So, I’m asking all of you out there if you are aware of documented links between the 11 year (yes, I do know it is actually 22 year) solar cycle and the weather. Quick glances at search results show that it probably isn’t temperature since the oceans would dampen the effect of the slight temperature variation.

What do you think? Magnetic field influences on the Earth’s mag field? Increases in solar wind dragging at the planet? Aliens? Leave a comment…

EDIT: Just found this link to a Science News Article at Reuters describing how the sun’s next cycle “…could be 50 percent stronger…”. Yowch!

XML Schema Part 0: Primer Second Edition

In general, an element is required to appear when the value of minOccurs is 1 or more. The maximum number of times an element may appear is determined by the value of a maxOccurs attribute in its declaration. This value may be a positive integer such as 41, or the term unbounded to indicate there is no maximum number of occurrences. The default value for both the minOccurs and the maxOccurs attributes is 1. Thus, when an element such as comment is declared without a maxOccurs attribute, the element may not occur more than once. Be sure that if you specify a value for only the minOccurs attribute, it is less than or equal to the default value of maxOccurs, i.e. it is 0 or 1. Similarly, if you specify a value for only the maxOccurs attribute, it must be greater than or equal to the default value of minOccurs, i.e. 1 or more. If both attributes are omitted, the element must appear exactly once.

Basically, if it is missing it is assumed to be a value of 1 for both minOccurs and maxOccurs. So, a definition of

<xsd:element ref=”Keys” />

Would be interpreted as

<xsd:element ref=”Keys” minOccurs=”1″ maxOccurs=”1″ />

Just in case you were wondering.

(note: this entry was updated several times to get the code formatting to appear correctly for me in FireFox. I didn’t try IE.)