Cape Cod Haze

I took a trip to the cape. Pics of haze, house, buddha.

I took a short trip to the cape this weekend. I didn’t do too much, mostly played some straight pool to practice. I did quite well. I didn’t run any racks, but I wasn’t missing a lot either.

I took some shots of the house for those of you who’ve never seen it.

Even my parents couldn’t resist putting up a flag at some point

Note the snow

The above photo was one of the first photos I took when I got the camera
after christmas ’01. The date indicates this was 1/5/02, my brother’s birthday. Anyway it’s a good shot of the pool table, so I figured I’d include it here.

It was extremely hazy on Friday night, so much so that mom thought her glasses were fogged up just from looking across the street. It made for some interesting photo opportunities, all of which I squandered.

in the bottom of the vertical photo there you can see a little buddha


Linux Tip: japanese characters render with small bitmapped font

fixing japanese font issues in linux

This is the first in a series of little linux tidbits that I’ll post. They are for my own benefit, in case I ever get alzheimer’s and need to configure SAMBA or something. If these are of any interest at all to anyone else, it’s a miracle. The problem will be in this summary, the explanation and answer are “below the fold” under “more…”

Japanese characters in gnome2 are renderred using a small, bitmapped font instead of beautiful kochi gothic or mincho.
Continue reading “Linux Tip: japanese characters render with small bitmapped font”

I wish I was, Jackie O’Nassis…

I get the wrong sunglasses in the mail. Hilarity ensues!!!!

When I was in Japan, my Oakley sunglasses broke. I didn’t break them, I swear. They were on my face, and then suddenly something popped and they fell off.
A spring had broken, and one of the arms had fallen off. A few days ago, I (finally) called the company to ask about getting them fixed. They told me to send them over along
with a check, and they’d fix them up. Hurray!

Well, I haven’t sent them off yet, because I’m a slacker. And yet, today I found a package slip in my mailbox from Oakley. Confused, I went to the post office and picked up a package. A package just the right size for glasses! I
wondered if Oakley had decided to send me a new pair of sunglasses as an apology for forcing me to pay them to fix their own damn faulty merchandise.

In fact, they had decided to send me the glasses of a guy named Wayne in
Florida. Thanks guys! I called the number of the optician written on the slip in the package, and told them to let Wayne know he would get his sunglasses, just as soon as they made the journey from Boston, back to Oakley, and on south to Florida. The woman was very thankful, and expressed surprise that I did such an honorable thing.

I was willing to return them and leave it at that, but Char suggested I try them on before I let them go. I think they look right spiffy.

Sorry for the crappy photo, I’m all out of batteries

Mythtv update

latest updates on my homebrew tivo project

After a couple months of playing around with mythtv, I’d qualify the experiment as a total success. It records shows perfectly (ok, occasionally misses the first 15 seconds), plays them back, manages them, etc. I can extract the shows, convert them, burn them if I want.

In my last entry, I mentioned the only remaining problems are slow channel changing and occasional crashes. The only other problem I’ve had is frame jitter, caused by the difficulty of converting progressive vga to interlaced ntsc.

Well the channel changing is always going to be slow, but I’ve been keeping up with the development version of mythtv, and it almost never crashes now. Rarely the frontend locks up, and almost never does the backend die. And now there’s experimental code to try to reduce the frame jitter, and it works really well. I call it the CNN Test — is the crawl at the bottom of cnn smooth or shaky? With the new code it’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than it used to be. It’s much easier to forget I’m watching output from a computer now.

The mythtv team writes some amazingly robust, quality code. The install process, however, is still ridiculously hard for anyone other than an experienced linux guru. There’s not even a configure script that tells you if you have all the pieces installed! Take a look at the 2000 page install script sometime, you’ll see. Naturally video capture is a delicate art, so there’s a lot of ground to cover, but the actual software installation of mythtv could be streamlined greatly. Hopefully one of the TODO items for 1.0 will be some sort of easy installation.

Of course it wouldn’t have been any fun if it hadn’t been challenging. Henry likes to complain about my computers, he has since I’ve known him. This is not his fault, I just tend to do weird things with my machines that make them behave differently than most people’s machines — therefore, they are unfamiliar and weird. Mythtv, however, is a very smooth, invisible system. I don’t think he can complain about much of anything (except the channel-change speed — that man weilds a remote like an automatic pistol).

Last gripe: mythtv doesn’t stop recording if the disk is full. this causes big problems and crashes. come on people.
this has been fixed in newer versions.

pps: The writer of the Tivo Hacks book recently advertised his services to build mythtv machines for 1200$. Given my experiences, that is way more money than necessary. I’ll do it for 750$.

Charles River

Char and I take a walk on the Charles

Note: this entry has been back-dated, I forgot to post it.
Char and I took a
walk along Charles River in Watertown. They’ve been extending the path along the Charles in recent years, and it’s looking really beautiful. The whole thing is overflowing in green, and if it weren’t for the steady drone of cars you could nearly think you were in a rainforest.

Charles River. You can see a lookout across the river.


A bird says hello

This bird does not move

We saw the above bird twice — once on June 3rd, and again about two weeks later. It was on the same rock, in the same pose. Given the lack of motion I thought for a moment it was a fake bird, but it soon moved its head around. Laurel, do you know what type of bird this is?

Revere Beach

Char and I took a trip to Revere Beach, which is the closest beach to us under our definition of close: "is it on the T?" In this case, Revere Beach has its own stop, so we might as well own beach-front property.

The beach was a little sad. The weather was gray and chilly, so that
didn’t help. But also there was a lot of trash everywhere, like ice cream dishes and water bottles. I imagine it’s a lot better in the summer when it’s
hot and full of people.

Welcome to Revere Beach


At least there’s shells!

Char gave me this wonderful present

But I love her still