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Present Perfect


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 9:13 am

9:13 am

So I got some cuecats off of ebay. They actually just work straightaway, although it took me some time to figure out that there were no drivers to download and compile by hand :) All the documentation on the web seems outdated and seems to mention there are no 2.6 drivers, while they are just in the kernel.

So, I can now scan some barcodes, and they arrive as if they’re typed by the keyboard. I guess that’s useful for a POS computer, but for me it’s a little annoying.

My question to you cuecat owners or Linux specialists – what should I use to programatically see that these digits are coming from the Cuecat device, so that I can intercept them without them coming in as keyboard events ?

One idea I’d like to implement is for my Elisa box to have a cuecat, and when I scan a CD I already own, it would start playing it.

Advantages of working from home #192381

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 10:22 am

10:22 am

Being able to put on a Live DVD of a band you like (in this case, Mew from Copenhagen) and crank up the volume. It creates an excellent head space and atmosphere to get work done.

Next up – Jeff Buckley at the Metro in Chicago.

Funny – when the font chosen for the credits is so big that assistant grip gets shortened to “ass. grip” I don’t know if it’s the Danish sense of humour or just a funny accident.

fire shedding the bike box

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 11:35 am

11:35 am

Every time I read the wonderful Dinosaur Comics, I’m reminded of a particularly excellent bike shedding case in the form of this Firefox bug spawned from this Seamonkey bug.

The actual bug is so wonderfully simple – some versions of Firefox (or, all versions before 3.0, which effectively means any stable version of Firefox ever) ellipsize the ending of “long” mouseover text on images. Pretty much all the DC comics have a longer-than-average sentence in their mouseovers.

Because the bug is so simple – and the natural fix is so straightforward – it’s so easy to comment on this bug that everyone and their dog come up with several arguments to not do the natural fix, and the rest of the world comment on how stupid it is to not fix the bug.

Apparently this bug, that was open since 2000 and present in Firefox 1 and 2, is fixed for Firefox 3. Obviously it’s not going to be backported to Firefox 2 because it’s not a security fix.

I don’t know who to sympathize with. I understand Mozilla wants to follow a process to keep its sanity in developing such a big project. And I’m sure there are excellent reasons why the straightforward fix never got implemented in those 8 years. So I don’t want to either praise or condemn them for it.

But today I googled around a little for how other people deal with not being able to read their favourite comic – so I arrived at this long lines extension that I hadn’t seen before. Now I can stop caring about the bike shed color and enjoy even more dinosaur humor.

And in today’s batch, DC mentions a pet peeve: don’t utilize utilize people. And this right after an hour session of GTA4 no less! Freak accident.

Pillow howto

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 12:14 am

12:14 am

lazyweb, poll time!

When you sleep, how do you use your pillow ?

  1. the middle part of the back of your head rests on the lower end of your pillow, your neck floats freely, your shoulder blades rest on the bed
  2. the middle part of the back of your head rests on the pillow, your neck rests lightly on the lower end of your pillow, your shoulder blades rest on the bed
  3. the middle part of the back and your shoulder blades rest on the pillow
  4. something else (please specify)

Free Software at work

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 10:27 am

10:27 am

Today someone at work asked me what graphing component our stats portal uses. I didn’t know either, so I took a look in our website code. Seems we use something called Open Flash Chart. I’m not a big fan of Flash for the obvious reasons, but it sure does get the job done and looks pretty doing it.

Quote from their website:

And it’s really free?!

Yes. Once upon a time I had to deal with a company who sell flash charting components, their component had a bug that I needed fixing, so I emailed them about it asking when it’d be fixed. (Remember that I had paid real money for this software.) They were so incompetent, rude and obnoxious that after three or four weeks of emails I thought to myself “I could learn Flash and Actionscript and write my own charting component, release it as Open Source, host it on sourceforge and build up a community of helpful coders faster than they can fix a single bug.” And that is what I did. And that is why it is free. I guess the moral of the lesson is: don’t piss off your customers.

How can any Free Software hacker not like that story ? Don’t piss off your customers, put into practice.

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