Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 2 of Soylent

I'm on day 2 of Soylent. Using the Hacker School recipe with the following variations:
  1. I'm not measuring with the kind of precision they do. Everything is approximate with teaspoons being considered close enough.
  2. I'm using some powdered vitamin shake for the micronutrients, this is a mistake I bought the stuff before I read their recipe. I will move over to the Trader Joe's fortified protein powder soon.
So far, so good. I did eat a little bit of mashed potatoes, green beans and left over fried rice last night, but breakfast and lunch were all soylent.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kixeye Games


I've been loving Backyard Monsters and Battle Pirates. One thing that doesn't make much sense in Battle Pirates is the weapons stats. It says the mortars are 100% accurate, but you see them landing all over the place, on lots of things that couldn't have been the target. What does that 100% mean? And what does the 50% mean when you're talking about the ripper cannon?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New to Linux

The short version of the story is that I need a good link to a something on Linux performance tuning. Anybody who feels like dropping a link in the comments, or a book title and/or author will be much appreciated. My own reading thus far has been the first link from my google search, which is also the highest ranked in delicious.

Here's the long version for those who are interested:

So I went and downloaded Ubuntu and the installation experience was a whole lot less painful than I expected, in fact, easier than a windows install. I spent about a half an hour confirming what I had found out during a previous attempt at dual booting--that it wasn't going to partition my hard drive. I was willing to make a complete break with windows at this point. With my Compaq recover discs, it would take about a half an hour to do a wipe-clean and reinstall of windows. But then it would take a very long time to download all the updates and get everything set up right, and it would take less time than previously to again reach the point where I am now, the point where bootup times have multiplied by a factor of something obscene and the performance has gone to hell and it's time to consider re-installing windows or switching to Linux again. So I wipe the hard drive and dive fully into Ubuntu.

I don't count the half hour I spent determining that my hard drive isn't going to partition, so the Ubuntu install was about a half an hour. It found my internet connection without any input from me and I was up and running. Responsiveness all around has been a major improvement over windows.

Video, on the other hand, has been a bit wierd. Once I installed VLC, it played DVD's full screen with only a few hiccups. Windows played them without hiccups even when overall performance was in the toilet, but that's a reasonable trade-off. Now that I'm getting comfortable in linux-land, I can probably performance-tune these hiccups away. This is where it gets interesting.

I know only the little I learned in 303, and then what I've picked up doing most of my homework on lab machines when the assignment didn't require me to be on windows. So I know almost nothing.

I open up a terminal and type free:

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 449520 442172 7348 0 14376 183256
-/+ buffers/cache: 244540 204980
Swap: 1317288 8 1317280


What's up with this? I have 2 terminals and emacs running and it's ussing 442 of my 449 megs of RAM?

ps shows only bash running, I know that isn't the case, because I'm typing in emacs right now. I know that Ubuntu sets me up as something less than root, and that you use sudo to up your priviledges, but sudo ps gives the same result. That can't be right. I tried adjusting the kernel.threads-max on the advice of this page, the first hit on my search for "Ubuntu performance tuning". Making that smaller didn't seem to help my video playback, and actually seemed to make it a bit worse. Upping it didn't help either. This reminded me that I really don't know what I'm doing here and should do a bit more homework before I start randomly messing with things. I rebooted to get my original value back and decided to post this issue to the intertubes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More like this please!

The Destroyermen is going on hiatus. I'm glad to see that there was a blog like this to hiatus from. It's the XO of an actual US navy destroyer who takes amazing photos. I do hope he gets back to blogging sometime soon. I also hope that more military units will start semi-official blogs like this sometime soon. Every bit of information that can be released to the public without compromising opsec should be, and that's a pretty substantial number of bits. Check out the archives. I particularly liked the pictures of the ships going into Singapore.

Update: They're back!! This is the coolest military blog I've yet found. I hope we get more like these from all the branches. Troops blogging on their own are cool, but officers blogging with their real names and ranks up above each post adds a much needed perspective. We need a good infantry batallion XO blog someday soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blogging news

Okay, I've been reading blogs since a time when many of my friends didn't know what they were. That wasn't very long ago. Now, I read in bits that there's a Nielsen online and that they are rating blogs now. Both these things are interesting news. Even more interesting is that, of the top ten most widely read weblogs in America, only one name is familiar to me.

I've also never heard of bebo. According to this post it's the social networking site that dominates in the UK. The interesting thing about that is, one might expect that without the language barrier, the established networking sites like myspace or facebook would have taken the UK market, but they haven't. It seems like old-style word of mouth may be a big part of how those networks grow. Now that I think of it, my own entry into each of the networking sites I have a profile on (Friendster, myspace, and facebook) was prompted in each case by someone either telling me about it face to face or by an email from someone physically not far from me. LinkedIn is the exception. I have a profile there, which I haven't touched in probably over a year. That seemed like a really good idea, but I don't know if it will amount to anything or not.

But it's interesting how in the online world language barriers are not the only substantial cultural boundaries.

If a particular website can dominate its market in the US, while another one holds on to its share of the UK market, it seems to follow that a site could hold a market share that matters in terms of dollars in just one region of the US against a competitor that holds the rest. I read an article about Elvis that talked about how there were such a thing as regional hits back in the 50's and early 60's but the music market had become a national thing and those were history. Could the web bring that back?

Owning stuff

Basically, I'm against it. I used to collect books, but moving on a limited budget made me aware of the cost of keeping heavy, dust-collecting things around.

The value of keeping a bookshelf full of the things that have meant something to you is now better available in Facebook applications and blogs. So there is no reason to have books around once I'm done reading them. Ditto for DVDs and CDs.

Once I tried reading books on my Dell Axim handheld computer with its little 3 inch screen, I found the experience better than printed books in every way, unless illustrations were involved. If everything I wanted to read was available in that format, I would have switched entirely over. But most of what's really good to read was published before Ebooks and is available much cheaper at used bookstores. That will continue to be the case for some time. But eventually, I won't have to deal with printed books at all and I'll be happy.

I found this interesting quote on the NY Times tech blog Bits, which I keep in my Google Reader.
Until now, Apple has scoffed at the idea of music subscriptions. Steve Jobs, its chief executive, has said that people want to own, not rent music. The company declined to comment.
Steve Jobs is right about most things, but this is surprisingly wrong. Everybody I know who has tried Rhapsody loves it. I think as more people try renting music, they'll look back and laugh at the time they wanted to own it.

The downside of Rhapsody is you can only listen to it on a computer with broadband. But a portable device that can do what rhapsody does would be ideal. I know such devices exist now, but they don't do anything else. If the iphone had that capability, I would want one even more than I already do.

But the main point is, read bits. Because, in the words of Samuel Faber, "Knowledge is good".