Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Looking through my logs this month, I've noticed a few things.

Releasing the exe versions of my ruby programs has caused more people to download them (which isn't really surprising since a lot of people don't have Ruby).

Zipper seems to be the most popular of those with Prepend in second place. I've found them all to be handy programs because I deal with a lot of files with different naming conventions (otherwise I wouldn't have made them), so I think it's interesting to see what other people think is the most useful.

People are grabbing the new FunLibs version a decent amount (which I also expected).

They're also grabbing copies of the FunLibs *source* (which is just plain weird, in my opinion, because it's so mind numbingly simple. It's just forms, data passing, and string manipulation really. I didn't dynamically create the forms or anything because I really wasn't in the mood, so every story has it's own word gathering form for the sake of playing with forms)

It also seems weird to me that more people download the toys rather than the tools. Maybe they'll send me some of the stories they get. I like to see those on occasion. =]

On an unrelated note, I probably won't be available tomorrow. If you call or email, expect a response on Thursday.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Sneaker Pimps - Curl

Monday, October 29, 2007

This Is Why I Hate Software Cults.

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. Software and licenses for same are not a religion and SHOULD NOT BE.

Today, when news that Sun has Dual-Licensed Netbeans 6 in their own OSI-approved CDDL license and GLPv2 (not 3) hit Slashdot, there were a few people who slammed them for not being really “committed to Free Software.”

I wanted to strangle people. I know it sounds stupid, but after so long of dealing with people slamming you and people you actually know because you don’t open source *everything* that you write, you’d understand.

First off, no kidding Sun isn’t committed to “Free” software (“Free” software is a subset of Open Source software and it galls Stallman that Open Source has more support than "Free" does because the rest of the world isn't into the moral crusade). They don’t buy into the moral crusade. The fact that both of the licenses are OSI approved, but one of them is not “Free” should tell you that.

Secondly, how dare a company or a person decide to use a license only when it makes sense to do so? The shock and horror. (Pardon me while I roll my eyes).

Not all people who use or advocate Open Source are zealots. I’m not.

Some of us actually realize that tools are meant to be tools and not religions. Sometimes you use a screwdriver, sometimes a hacksaw, sometimes a hammer…

The zealots, on the other hand, view everything as a nail. The great irony is that most of the zealots that I’ve met don’t release *anything* into the community. Heck, probably 90% of them I’ve met don’t even *code*. The other 10% is generally idealistic high school and college students who haven’t been into the world yet.

Most of them just want to bash Microsoft because they can’t get a copy of Visual Studio for free. (Ironically, I only paid about $11 for mine. Legally, from Microsoft. You have to love promotions)

The heck of it is that I’ve known a lot of developers that have stopped releasing *anything* as open source because they were tired of the backlash because, no matter what they did, no matter what they released, they were still evil because they didn’t release *everything* as open.

As a result, the zealots now get nothing from those people and neither does anyone else. How’s that for helping the cause you claim to espouse?

The zealots are a bunch of ingrates, and I would love to add a clause to my license to prevent them from using my software, but that would be childish. Instead, I just grit my teeth and release things under whatever license I bloody well want.

Some of it’s open. Some of it isn’t.

Use it or don’t. That’s your choice. What I do with it is mine unless someone else owns the rights to it after it’s made.

Current mood: annoyed
Current music: Matthew Sweet – Silent City

Friday, October 26, 2007

Apparently I’m Blind.

I got a response the other day from the creator of rubyscript2exe about why my sorter program wouldn’t produce a useable exe file (for which he has my thanks. It’s always nice to get a helpful response).

It seems as though I missed that section in his documentation and had to add a few lines of code to my app. Strangely, the other ones didn’t need it. Go figure.

The upside is that I am now slightly less confused (by one thing, at least) and sorter now has a working exe posted in addition to the source code.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Fall Out Boy – Bang the Doldrums

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ever had one of those nights where it seems like, no matter what you do, you just can't seem to decompress? The ones where there just seems like there's something you're forgetting, but you have no idea what it is?

Yeah, this is one of those. We're not talking shove your fists in your mouth depression, beat your neighbors to death with Lego blocks manic behavior, or stuff rabid badgers down your co-workers trousers style psychosis (now isn't *that* a fun mental image?). I just feel restless for some reason, and I really dislike that feeling. *shrugs*

Current mood: blah
Current music: Veruca Salt - Sound of the Bell

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fun new stuff

Over the last couple of days, I’ve posted several new programs on my site and updated a couple of existing ones.

Since I’ve been working with C# now instead of Java, I decided to redo my old FunLibs program and add a few new stories to it while I was at it.

In my personal opinion, it looks a heck of a lot better than the java version, and I added the capability to save the story to a text file (not a huge deal since you could just copy and paste the story into a file, but I thought it was a nice touch).

In addition, I added error checking to Sorter and Zipper. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was kind of important that my programs die gracefully if they encounter an error while mucking about with files (especially if I’m not the only one using it).

The new programs that I’ve posted are things I’ve been using myself for about 6 months or so now. I just took a little time to polish them a bit more and decided that I might as well share them since someone else might get some use out of them as well.

Prepend adds a string to the beginning of all of the filenames in the directory that it’s called in.

Renamer replaces one string in all of the filenames in the directory that it’s called in with another string.

Spacer replaces all of the underscores in the filenames with spaces.

Underscore is the opposite of Spacer, replacing all spaces in filenames with underscores.

They’re written in the Unix tradition of simple programs that do one thing and do it well. They get used quite a bit by me, so I thought that there might be others who would appreciate them as well.

Prepend, Renamer, Spacer, Underscore, and Zipper all have both .rb versions and windows exe versions thanks to a handy little program called rubyscript2exe. Unfortunately, for some reason, it won’t work properly with Sorter, so it only has a .rb version available at the moment.

Feel free to use them. They're all on the Programs section of my website, and are all distributed under the GPL (version 2 only).

As always, if you have any suggestions, questions, comments, bug reports, or just want to drop me a line to say “hi”, my email address is on the website.

Current mood: tired
Current music: Metallica – Unforgiven II

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Where Do They Find These People??

I realize that I post on here about the local area far too often. However, sometimes something happens that you just have to share.

In a letter to the editor, someone asks when will the levies ever stop because they say they pay $300 more a year in taxes than when they first moved here (no word on how long they’ve been here, which is rather important).

Of course, we get the people going “no no no no no more levies!!!” and a few reasonable people saying that the public infrastructure (schools, libraries, fire, etc) needs to be funded and that’s done through taxes, because apparently some of these people think that there’s a magical money tree somewhere that the government gets operating funds from.

And then you have the guy who wrote that I’m going to paste here in just a minute. I wish I could say that he’s some weird lampoon, but there's a really good chance that the boy's for real because there are a lot of other people just like this who comment on the paper...

Finally, let me say that this is a direct cut and paste. I didn’t clean up anything, and I certainly didn’t make it worse than it was written.

These taxis are way to much! Seniors can hace a center but make it with a factory where the users make carvings and quilts that support it. They can wokr there till the center supports istelf.
As for fire and rescue, why don't they just charge people that use it? Don't want to pay? Don't set yourself on fire! Duh!
And the library. What do I want with a library? I already have several books and my kids dont red them anyway. Only in school cause court makes them go. People that want library are intellectil snobs.
Keep ballets free!!!”

And, in a later comment from him:

I dont want anbd dont pay for grocery store at library. Whos fancy idea is that anyways. Im tired of being taxed out the ears for that snob place”

My head hurts. The library is a place for intellectual (actually “intellectil”) snobs? What ever happened to bettering yourself?

Oh, I forgot. We don’t do that kind of thing here. That might mean that you were acting better than you were.

*slams head against desk, deepening the forehead shaped indentation just a little bit more*

Current mood: Sad
Current music: AFI – The Missing Frame

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Today, while wondering through a store, I saw something that made me do a double take. You could say that it was a case of merchandising gone much too far.

“What?” you ask?

Jeff Foxworthy Teriyaki Style Beef Jerky.

I kid you not.

I think he must have a new addition to his list –

You might be a redneck if…. You eat Jeff Foxworthy Teriyaki Style Beef Jerky.

Current mood: amused
Current music: Cyndi Lauper – The Goonies R Good Enough (hey, one bout of cheese deserves another)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Groktober Fest

It has been my experience that a lot of people need to expand their horizons more often, and many of them don’t really understand what they claim to know.

To that end, I propose a new holiday that I think most geeks and technical people would agree is kind of overdue. I present to you Groktober Fest.

The point of Groktober Fest is simple. Learn something in more than just a cursory manner. It doesn’t matter horribly much what it is, though I give you kudos if it’s useful to you or those around you.

It could be something entirely new or it could be something you already have a little understanding of, but pick something (or more than one thing) and learn it well.

If you want, post here what it is you are going to try to grok. I’d love to hear it.

After all, we should all try to better ourselves on occasion.

Current mood: contemplative
Current music: Rise Against – Give it All

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Reading a friend’s blog, I discovered that apparently, if an agreement hadn’t been reached by October 1st, the state of Michigan was basically just going to shut down.

Much like the pool, the state would be closed. Everyone pack up your beach towels and go home.

Being a bit doubtful, I decided to do some checking. She wasn’t kidding. That’s straight from

My head hurts. I mean, really, how do you just close a state? I can understand that schools might get disrupted if teachers go on strike or some other group decides to walk, but an almost complete shutdown of an entire *state*?

Think that I’m exaggerating? Read the article I linked in this post. The plan was to cut everything down to a barely functional skeleton crew of absolutely essential services (basically just state police, prisons, courts, and mental health – all at drastically reduced manpower capable of only dealing with “emergencies”).

Current mood: o.O
Current music: Rob D – Furious Angels

Monday, October 01, 2007

I just realized something freaky while I was doing my (usually) nightly workout. (hey, when you spend most of the day behind a keyboard, it's actually needed)

If you factor in the weight and number of reps I do, I'm generally lifting around 2,000 lbs a night.

It's no wonder I'm built like a wall...

Current mood: tired
Current Music: AFI - Love Like Winter