jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

This RSS feed may or may not work. Haven't fiddled with it in forever. RSS Feed

MrCreditRepair.biz will fix your credit rating!

2010-02-28-2142Z

Been back at COS for a few days now, visiting Mexico just about every day for dental work. Today got my worst tooth reamed out in preparation for a root canal next weekend, and will have to keep off alcohol for the coming week while taking Ampicillin. Lovely. Refused pain meds, but will look for some clove oil when we get to El Paso, hopefully tomorrow, on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. [comment]

2010-02-24-0352Z

Dreamed last night that someone had found a way to enable the body to travel at tremendous speeds by humming at a very high frequency so that one's teeth chattered rapidly. Then I guess one could run without any noticeable resistance from place to place. I wanted to believe it so badly, I tried humming when I got up, but I couldn't make my teeth chatter, and in any case I couldn't run worth a damn.

Woke up at some point to the sound of coyote song, parked just south of Why, AZ near the entrance to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. First I'd heard in a long time. [comment]

2010-02-21-2137Z

Visiting Slab City near the town of Niland, CA... got there last night in time for live music at The Range, one of the music venues there. Today we found the library and shower; the latter purportedly runoff from a hot spring, but it was a bit too cold for my liking.

Info on the Internet indicates that Slab City is still owned by Uncle Sam, but two residents told us it now belongs to a California teachers association. In any case, it is still largely anarchic and free, but cops of all flavors cruise at times, according to Paul, our Couchsurfing host.

No shebeen as yet, or if there is, I haven't found it. People were only drinking canned beer at the concert last night. Bought a 6-pack of Sam Adams Boston Lager at the store in Niland just now, the best stuff they had. [comment]

2010-02-17-1954Z

The numbness in my fingers isn't gone, but for a few weeks now all the fingers are the same; that is, those fingers which were especially numb are no more, so now I can see that all my fingers are nerve-damaged to a degree. Maybe it will heal over time, maybe not. In any case, I'd better not ride an ordinary bicycle, ever again.

Finally wrote myself a bidsniping program, testing it out today. I'll be on the road for about a month, if all goes well. [comment]

2010-02-16-0854Z

GoDaddy had SSL certs on sale for $12.99, so I bought a 5-year cert. Solved that problem. Now to configure the Unternet to use CAcert.org client certificates instead of the now-obsolete Thawte Freemail certs. [comment]

2010-02-16-0335Z

While in McNear's enjoying a couple of pints of Moylan's Irish Red, I finished a simple Python script to generate a Code 39 barcode using xhtml and css (I also tried with SVG graphics, yesterday, but then found out my iPod firmware 1.1.4 doesn't support it). Took the resulting barcode back across the street to the gym, and it wouldn't scan. Did some googling when I got home, and while a bunch of physics geeks say it's impossible for a laser to read a barcode off a computer screen, a number of people too ignorant to understand this have gotten it to work. Guess I'll have to get my own laser scanner and figure it out. [comment]

2010-02-15-2218Z

Can't win for losing. I was starting to work on my OpenID code the other day, and guess what...? My certificate vendor, ipsCA, dropped the ball on getting their new root certs included in Firefox and Safari, among others. It could take up to a year, even if they answer the questions asked of them by Mozilla three months ago. The reason I went with them in the first place, besides that they're way less expensive than most, is that their previous root cert was recognized way back in Firefox 1.-something, which was what I was using in DSL on my USB key.

So anyway, it doesn't stop me from working on my code, and I can add an exception to my browser or import their new root cert... but it's just another impediment to the launch of my website. As if, with my mental lethargy, I needed any more inertia to overcome. [comment]

2010-02-14-0538Z

To find "interesting" things in a binary file quickly, try converting it to an image:

convert -size 1024x2048 -depth 8 gray:DYAM08-506-1026.bin image.jpg

Using this, I was able to locate the divisions in the WVC54GC camera binary... the Linux kernel starts at 0xc000, and the cramfs image starts at 0x68000. Beats scrolling blindly through a 2MB hexdump. It looked like the second split was about 1/5 of the way down, which would have been 0x66666, so I didn't have far to go from there to get to the actual start of the filesystem. [comment]

2010-02-13-2034Z

Had a dream early this morning that my computer had gotten a Windows virus. At bootup a little stylized train conductor was at the bottom of the screen, and a "Whoo! Whoooo!" train whistle sounded. Then the clickety-clack of the train as the system, sluggishly, continued to boot. At one point a little box appeared near the top of the screen saying "WHEEEEEE". Horrible dream, thought I was not going to be able to tell people "I've never gotten a virus" any more. While still in the dream, or halfway awake, I thought of a possibly useful program; a very lightweight (not something like Norton or McAfee, that uses most of your resources) task to monitor things like webpages fetched and software installed, and logging them to a Unix machine through the syslog facility, so if you do get a virus, you can track back to how or from where you might have gotten it. [comment]

2010-02-02-1547Z

Last Wednesday had nice weather, so I walked the train tracks all the way from the Clover Stornetta plant on Lakeville, to the Lagunitas taproom. Actually I had to pass the latter to find an exit off the tracks to an unfenced parking lot, and walk back on McDowell to the brewery. Had a Lagunitas Cappucino Stout and an Anchor Porter. They were enjoyable, but I'm finding I usually prefer my homebrews. Not only are mine cheaper and less alcoholic, the farts they generate are far less noxious.

I re-read Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and read the sequel Lila. No epiphany, but I seem to be assimilating it.

Sunday I was at Lassen on a ranger-led snowshoe walk across ten-plus feet of snow. The day was glorious.

No progress on my projects, but am revising my HPV designs in my mind.

I have some new acquisitions, a Bushbuddy Ultra woodstove from Backpacking Light, the matching Titanium cookpot, and a folding titanium spork. One of these days I'll have to make some videos. [comment]

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