12 May 2006

digging in real life

i'm talking about really using shovels or heavy machinery, not that website.

P5120029
they've started to dig up a huge ditch from one end of the street to another, starting at 8am in the morning forcing me to get up at such an ungodly hour ;)

i don't quite know what they're doing, i hope they are putting in fiber. some dude walks around with a hip high triangular sensor and swings it over the road every once in a while, and then spray blue chalk on the ground to mark where his device beeps. i think it's detecting gas pipes or whatever. then two days later it gets dug up.

when i was a kid in hong kong, we get used to constructions along the street. in fact, new 20-30 stories building get put up every couple of months, and then they put in their foundation with massive hammers, the whole flat shakes. i used to hate it when this happens during summer holidays, especially when the building is right next door to our building!

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11 May 2006

software update front, pytagger and fruity

spent a morning tying up some loose ends and kicked out the door my annual release of pytagger (python id3 tag reader/writer) with a couple of minor bugs fixed. i've managed to spend 2 years in between 0.3 and 0.5 releases.

i also packaged up fruity 1.0 with a few ui and functionality polishes. it's still got a long way to go before i'm satisfied with it, but i decided to let a few more people know about it to see if there's any new ideas i can throw in.

upcoming things that will get updated

plotkit will be next to get updated. heaps of changes that i'm trying to bring in to make it more usable, most noticeably the SVN version uses excanvas rather than iecanvas.htc, and i'm readying a autoload and packed version to reduce the number of imports. if there's enough time i might even integrate some patches with a new horizontal bar chart scheme.

one thing that people can help on with plotkit which i have no idea about is prototype.js support. there is a fellow who wants to fork plotkit to work on prototype.js, but i would like to know what the bare minimum is needed to get them to coexist, rather than a complete port.

the only reason i want it because further down the line, there might be things i want that uses prototype.js, and i don't want to run into conflicts. for instance, lightbox v2.0 is an amazing piece of work, but it needs prototype.js, so i can't have graphs on the same page.

finally, i need to get around to making an initial release of pysilc that i've put on to berlios.de. it is ultra stable, except i might need to compile it on openbsd on sparc, which may be a challenge. the only thing missing is some docs and passphrase support in the supybot driver.

so next time i feel a need to counter-balance my productiveness, those are the things that will get updated. that's all for code related news.

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10 May 2006

new cell shaded zelda for nintendo ds

i didn't see this one coming, maybe because i don't scour the game news sites. i was saying i loved the cell-shaded zelda, and now nintendo is bringing it to the nintendo ds as "the phantom hourglass". chalk that up as one more reason to get a nintendo ds-lite.

Zeldads

as expected, the graphics isn't really like gamecube's wind waker. it looks like more a cross between zelda on the SNES plus zelda wind waker on the gamecube. but still, i like cartoon zelda better than teenage idol zelda.

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09 May 2006

great django presentation

as people know, this website is powered by django (as noted at the bottom of the page). i'm not a massive web developer, but i've done my fair share of php hacking with various CMS systems (drupal, geeklog, etc) and my various personal blog engines (before they were known as blogs.) django really is the very nice, it takes alot of pain out of developing web apps.

jacob kaplan-moss, one of the django creators gave a very good overview talk with very little code snippets, enough to demonstrate both how it looks like in python and also the template languages. don't worry, none of the code snippets are more than 4 lines long -- he really got the balanced presentation right. even though i've played with django for nearly 6 months, i still learned a bit of stuff that i haven't touched.

i'd encourage anyone who likes to dabble in web apps to watch it. although it is 1 hour long and you can download it directly from google video, but its 240MB big -- and playable on vlc on the mac. (doesn't work with quicktime + xvid)



here's me trying play with embedding google videos on my blog. please do check it out if you have an hour.

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09 May 2006

my asia miles are about to expire!!!

i just got this amusing email from asia miles, cathay pacific's frequent flyer program.

Asiamiles
it tells me that my asia miles are about to expire!! omg!! with exclamation marks!!

turns out that isn't really true. they're going to expire in a bit less than 5 months later. so much for "about to expire!!" and look out for that cool scanned signature at the bottom. makes this email look so much more professional.

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08 May 2006

anticipating nintendo wii

for those who don't know, nintendo's new game console is called nintendo wii (every one who writes that name down usually encloses the phrase "pronounced as wee" in parentheses.) say what you want about the name, but if you are going to buy a console based on the name, then you really have something wrong with you.

to be honest, i'm not hardcore gamer, those days are over for me. but i do own every nintendo game console from the famicom, super famicom (asian name for super nintendo) to the n64 and gamecube. i also had the original donkey kong handheld games and the original gameboy (along with the light+magnifing glass to actually play it!) the only non-nintendo game console to ever live at home was a sony playstation which was bought probably by my dance-dance-revolution-loving sister.

i've hardly played the gamecube since coming to cambridge, i've got no TV. but in time, i will finish playing the controversial gamecube zelda (wind waker) which i think is one of the most amazing zelda games ever released. you can tell i love cell shaded games.

 Mediafiles M-Zelda115 Gcn Ss13-Jpg

i'm telling you all this because right now on my post-phd list are two must buy items, a pair of nintendo ds-lite for me and pp, and a nintendo wii. time magazine has an interesting 5 pager about what you can expect from nintendo and other game makers in the next two years with their kick ass controller. nintendo is really like the apple of the game console world, smaller market share than its competitors, but constantly wow-ing people and innovating.

Wii Controller

that is my approriate two cents as it is E3 this week. i'm waiting for some kick ass announcements so that i can rejoin the gaming world after 3.5 years away.

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06 May 2006

new design inspired by insomnia

last night i couldn't get to bed (and was a little drunk) so i spent a couple of hours redoing the theme on my site to make it more organized. things are not really consistent everywhere and i know it is slightly broken on IE.

this is the 10th iteration of liquidx.net, which means its liquidx edition X. certain pages still need to be synced up to the new theme, but all is looking good.

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04 May 2006

summer has finally arrived

we seemed to have skipped spring this year, but summer has finally arrived in full force. today was a sunny 24C all through out the day, even at 7pm.

Summer Cambridge
notice that it can get down to 5C at night, a bit odd.

anyway, speaking of widgets, i've started using this simple widget called "sol" that tells you how much sunlight you can expect. very simple idea, and it's gained a foothold on my high value 12" screen dashboard real estate.

Sol

of course, dark blue meaning its gonna be dark, light blue means its transitioning and light blue meaning there light.

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01 May 2006

django magic removal is go!

the mythical django magic removal branch is nearly upon us, and i took the opportunity to try migrating my two public facing web apps that are built using django, my blog and flists.

flists is a much smaller web app and it took me a good part of two hours to migrating everything over. actually it sounds worse than it was, most of the two hours was me struggling to figure out that i hadn't read the wiki page about the migration properly. that is i didn't realise that META is now renamed as Meta in the Models and that django.contrib.auth are required in INSTALLED_APPS to make authentication work.

my blog is substantially harder because i used all sorts of fancy models subclassing to cut down on code. i ended up reorganising my code so i don't rely on models subclassing until that stuff is sorted out.

the result is not much different on the outside, but underneath, the code should be more organised. i took the change to strip out a lot of gunk that was inside the blogging and bookmarking code until i have more time to look at it.

anyway, all in all, not too painless apart from the destruction of models subclassing. so if you use extensive modules subclassing, you might want to wait a bit before migrating.

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30 Apr 2006

stephen colbert hands president his repor-card

the internets is alight with reports of stephen colbert staging a coup where he was invited by associate press to the white house press corp dinner. he basically did what jon stewart could not do, which is make fun of the president right in front of him. and boy was it good!

an article covering it is from editor and publisher. i've watched it via torrent already, but its available in highlight form, or on youtube as well. of course, bbc chose the less controversial comedian to report on who impersonated bush.

needless to say, president bush was not amused.

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