Author Archives: thepsylum

weekend update

I just patched my wordpress distro to 2.2.2, It’s kind of nice that they have their trac organized enough that they can post links to trac queries for the patches and changelists to be autogenerated. It kind of likens to my following of many open source projects through blogs and just watching the checkin/issue logs on something like trac.

There is good news for me this week though. I am supposedly for real actually on my way to graduating with my master’s degree in computer science. All of the paperwork is in flight, and grades have been put in, so it’s only a matter of time I have been told. When I get the certificate, everyone is invited over to celebrate. Also, I survived a week of work, and I’m closing in on the remaining large HR and new hire junk that everyone must deal with. The next step is my huge learning curve on the systems I’ll be working with. Good think I have a bunch of big, strong, tasty beers at home :)

By the way, what do you think about the new articles on MSN Censorship? If you ask me it’s pretty bad. It seems to fall into that net neutrality gray area (they’re doing it to protect people from virii, but, come on, a filter like that is hurting as much as it is helping!). Hopefully it can be resolved and people won’t have to tell people to go to sites like growl dot info.

now entering: “real life”

Today was my first day at my new job. It went as smoothly as it can go for a programmer at a large company (i think?). Either way, i’m well on my way to being all set up and settling in. Everyone is super nice and/or cool, which is always a bonus. Also a bonus, the dress code is more of a suggestion then a rule, so I can be more comfortable and less done up, yay!

Also, tonight I went to see The Simpson’s Movie with Kim at South Side Works Theatre. It was way hilarious. I must say I am more than impressed with the work put into the film. It was a great adaptation from television, as well as a well rounded movie IMHO. Anyhow, if you haven’t yet seen it, you really should.


So a friend of mine let me know about this sweet application: synergy. It’s supported on all the major platforms, works over the net (LAN would be suggested). If you set up ssh portforwarding you could make it secure, but i’m serving on a windows machine and i’m only using it locally. Anyhow, the app allows you to share your mouse and keyboard (and optionally clipboard depending) across any machine. it’s more or less a snap to setup, windows has a dialog based configurator. OSX and linux have a simple text config file (which is normal for those platforms).

I am somewhat curious as to why configurations must be mirrored across machines, maybe just to reduce the overhead of announcing it from the server. Perhaps i’ll look into it, or better yet, port the configurator to cocoa, wouldn’t that be nifty? The software is available as a binary for OSX, but i opted to install it via port (which has the latest version). If you have a few machines sitting at a desk and don’t want to use a full blown vnc system, this really simplifies usage.

some new bits

So today I started work in earnest on my “nightlife” site for pittsburgh. You can see it slowly progress here. Ideally i’d like to list all of the bars actually still around Pittsburgh, with the normal info (location, hours, specials, pictures, etc.). As time progresses I hope to add more information and functionality (suggestions are welcome). Also, since I’ve been intrigued by Google Maps as well as their new Mapplets feature, that is a target for this site too.

Other sites like BarSmart and iLoveDrinks are ok as far as lists go. BarSmart is indeed trying to improve upon that by hosting mini-sites in an effort to keep strong ties and have correct information. I’m making my site less for commercial purposes and more for the ease of use I’d expect from a good information service.


The last week has been quite a crazy one. After moving in and doing some stuff related to getting the new place in order, there were plenty of fun activities to be done. I went out to several of the bars and clubs on the southside to check them out for the first time. Friday was my dad’s birthday, Saturday was mine, and we had a family get together today at my great aunt’s house.

Pretty much this week involved alcohol in some way or another. When I went to a bar, this connection is obvious. As far as my dad’s birthday, I attempted to have them try some new beers since they only like a few (and aren’t usually interested in trying new ones since they don’t drink all that often). My birthday was a day long adventure, ending with many friends hanging out at Mad Mex. I also found out earlier this week that I’m getting the opportunity to brew a kettle of ESB at The Brew Kettle in Ohio. I’ve been wanting to do this since I heard about it, so i’m pretty excited. I get to do the bottling in a few weeks, shortly before I start my new job.

This coming week will hopefully yield a better end-date for my project as I’ll be meeting with my advisor. Some of Kim’s friends are coming into town this week and staying with us for a bit, so there will be some fun getting to show them around Pittsburgh and what it has to offer. Who knows, maybe i’ll even get to find a few new places myself.

box it up

Tomorrow I move to the Southside… finally. When we first signed the lease I envisioned a nice, slow, “as necessary” preparation to the actual move (since there’s a month of overlap on our current apartment’s lease). Then I realized that the new place is better in almost every facet that an apartment can be, so I decided we should just move the earliest we could, instead of having to wait half the month. Soo, I’ve been packing the last 3 or 4 days straight, with nice breaks amongst friends to keep my sanity.

As it is, most of the apartment is now in boxes, excluding mainly the kitchen. But if somehow some stuff isn’t ready for the move tomorrow morning, it can be moved later because of the overlap. Two nights ago we went to a small house party and I was lucky enough to try a Caipirinha, a drink known by all in Brazil. It was decent, having a kind of feel like both Tequila and Vodka, with a nice tang to even it out; and it was strong :).  It’s nice being able to relax with friends who are down to earth, easy to get along with, and full of good stories. I get most of July to bum around before I start my job, but I have many (not so lofty) things I’d like to do before then; hopefully it will be more fun and less work.

Tonight I’m stopping by a friend’s housewarming party (also in the Southside), as well as hopefully stopping by the Creative Treehouse in Bellevue. iJustine is supposed to be there, so perhaps I’ll get to finally meet her. Either way, that’s near my old stomping grounds (well, where I grew up anyhow), so I like to see that interesting things are still taking root in those parts.

mad friday

So yesterday I spent all day on campus working on my project. Bad News: I’ve been using benchmarks that run way longer than is necessary. Good News: I’m now using ones that finish in reasonable time periods. I accidentally ran all of the small ones last night, but since they all completed successfully under the several configurations that’s an ok sign. Anyways, after I finally came home around 9:30, we went out for drinks in Oakland.

Since I hadn’t eaten in like 7 hours, I decided to get half price at Mad Mex; after drinking half of a 220z margarita on an empty stomach. I was fine, I just ended up being too full to drink much the rest of the night. After Mex, we went to the “new” P-Cafe. I call it new because it just reopened and it looks totally different. It’s like, swank, now. I’m curious to see what they do with the second floor since that used to just be a part of the place to listen to bands and find some breathing room occasionally. They had decent prices on stuff though, where everyone except me had Dogfish Head 90min IPAs for $4, which is pretty awesome. I had a Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale since I hadn’t tried that brewery’s version yet, and it was pretty good I must say.

cough cough

Last night I got to see Michael Moore’s new documentary SiCKO for free at South Side Works. First let me say I think it’s ridiculous how strict they’ve become as far as pre-release viewings have become. Case in point, someone who walked in ahead of us was on the “guest list”, but could not take in a camera phone, which i’m sure could take a few seconds long clips smaller than my hand, omg! Further, the movie has already been leaked, so what’s the point? It was circulating in high quality on youtube the other day, so it’s not like it’s still “safe.”

Anyhow, I actually rather liked the film. It was biased and pointed, as his other films are, but the points raised were nothing if not disturbing. Knowing that so many other countries offer free healthcare without a second thought to the monetary aspect makes me feel like our country is either full of greedy pigs, or is just too stupid to realize they’re only a step away from becoming so.

Near the end of the film, there was a scene including some of the heroes of 9/11 meeting some firefighters from the tiny nation of Cuba. Being that my father was a firefighter, I have seen several instances where their brotherhood and intense bond was evident. The scene in this movie was extremely indicative of this, which makes me glad since those who put their lives on the line like that really should get more respect for what they do.

MacPorts fun

So on my MacBook Pro, I ended up giving up on Fink after a little usage (Fink Commander was having another hissy fit when I last used it). Anyhow, I decided to use DarwinPorts instead, because at the time I needed a copy of cracklib installed somewhere for a class project. It worked out pretty well, and has since continued to grow nicer. They have renamed the project to MacPorts and are hosted by Apple (afaik).

Today I went to upgrade all of my ports since I was using my lab desktop and my laptop was sitting mostly idle, only to discover I had multiple copies of many of my installed ports. When I tried to uninstall them it refused, noting that they were depended upon. This however was not true though, since they were inactive and a newer version was being used. After a little googling and a look at the man page, I found out the following command would do the upgrade, and forcibly remove the currently installed version

port -fun upgrade outdated

After using that, I forcibly uninstalled all the inactive ports I had (since if something really bad does happen I can always downgrade them, and these are more toy apps, not mission-critical). Now I have a single copy of all my ports installed, at the latest version; this is very good since I’m already running out of hard drive space on my laptop ’cause I haven’t learned to temper my free iTunes downloading of video :O

and so it begins..

So I have finally gotten new hosting for this domain (after several free years of decent service from 1and1). Since WordPress is provided by DreamHost, I figured I’d give it a try since it’s supposed to be one of the best pieces of software out there for blogging. And if there’s one thing I like, it’s toying with software.