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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: December 17, 2014, 12:12:06 AM
RE: Phillip K. Dick...
I went through a phase where I devoured everything he did that I could find.  Imagine my surprise when I caught wind that Disney got the rights to produce an animated version of "King of the Elves".  I thoroughly enjoyed the story as a "man completely loses touch with reality -> LOL PLOT TWIST" type of short read.  I think it would do MUCH better live-acted, but I don't have an empire built on an animated rodent, so what do I know? [attach=1]

Anyways, I love a good PKD read, the films hit or miss, and I pray nobody in Hollywood gets a wild hair to start cinematizing Kafka.   ohmy
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: December 16, 2014, 11:54:49 PM
Well, just came from a pre-release showing of 'The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies'.  


Though I long ago abandoned any hope that Peter Jackson and company would follow the books in any semblance of exactivity (and who's to say the movies would have been better for it if they had?), but I was not disappointed.  If you're a Tolkien fan and have already seen the others, don't miss this one, it's just as good (or, if you're not a fan, just as bad) as the previous installments. 'Nuff said.

Not in 3D, but it was free because my son's orthodontist does a "customer appreciation" event every year where he rents out the entire theater and only customers/patients and family can go to see the latest hit.  Call me a cheap date if you will, but hey, I got to go to a movie with my wife (looooong overdue), and my son thoroughly enjoyed it.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 15, 2014, 09:33:12 PM

I'm also observing that those who claim to hear things that I can't are also more *superstitious* than I am as well.

At least you were polite enough not to mention their webbed feet. Grin

hehe... Lately I've taken to omitting the tone control altogether, and swapping the volume for a 3-position switch with resistor networks for full-on, 77% (give or take...), and full-off because I've noticed that playing style and amplifier choice have more to do with tone than anything capacitative in the guitar.   I've played awful guitars through amazing amps and was convinced I was a guitar god.  I've played amazing guitars through awful amps and thought the action was too high and the pickups weak.  At the moment I play a Squier Stratocaster upgraded to better hardware and custom pickup configuration, playing through a hand-made distortion pedal and Wal-mart bass amp.  I have to say I'm not blown away but totally not disappointed either.  

Also just recently proved to myself that imagination can DEFINITELY color your perception; just yesterday I fired up 'speaker-test' to test what I thought was some degradation in the sound of my stereo and ended up playing with my own head;  
Speaker-test will play white noise for a second through one channel, then another until you kill it.  As it ran, I listened for high frequency sound from the left speaker - lo and behold! the left speaker sounded brighter.  "Damn," I thought, "time to replace the caps in the pre-amp, the right channel's getting dull" but then I listened for the same frequency in the right speaker.  Damned if it didn't suddenly get brighter with more "air" and "definition" than the left speaker.  I slowly smiled to myself and spent the better part of the next ten minutes actively listening for different parts of the spectrum, and sure enough, they'd pop out like gremlins at my whim.  Mind you, I have a very nice stereo amplifier and decent speakers, so the frequencies were there to be heard, but it was amazing to see (hear?) just how much expectations will color your perceptions... frighteningly so, in fact.  

Now, I am quite aware that no amount of imagination is going to turn my '53 Fender Deluxe into a Marshall JCM 900, but at least I am dispelled of any myth that might suggest that putting a vintage Bumblebee cap in my '82 Bullet S-3 is going to turn me into Eric Clapton.
4  Other Software / Developer's Corner / The Grumpy Programmer - great blog by a well-seasoned programmer on: December 14, 2014, 08:43:01 PM
Just found this and lost a few hours of my life basking in the glow of someone who really has "been there, done that".
Programming doesn't have to suck...

from ReadWrite Blog
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Music Identification via Sound Card on: December 08, 2014, 08:15:55 PM
Woops... sorry about that.  Sad
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Code Combat! on: December 05, 2014, 10:49:13 PM
I considered posting this in Developer's Corner, but I think it should live here...

CodeCombat: Learn to Code by Playing a Game
Learn programming with a multiplayer live coding strategy game. You're a wizard, and your spells are JavaScript.

Well, Javascript & Python, with experimental use of Lua, Clojure, and a few others.

I played through a few levels, at first it was a bit boring, as you are limited to directions - 'self.moveRight()', that kind of thing.  But like any good adventure game, you pick up money and items along the way and are shown new programming tricks to access new your new abilities and items to get through the different mazes.  Very good for introducing programming to pre-to-mid-teens who haven't already picked up some javascript...

from TechRepublic - 10 Toys and Games that Teach Coding
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: December 02, 2014, 09:12:34 PM
One of the (very) few things I've seen on Facebook that actually made me laugh:


8  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Coding at a rate of 240 words per minute on: December 02, 2014, 08:32:26 PM
240 words per minute?!?! 

Maybe y'all need to ease up a bit:
Because programmers don’t just type out code. The act of engineering software is more than just hammering line after line of software into a computer, like laying bricks.

I wrote about it here:

Geez folks, grab a hammock and code easy...
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server on: December 02, 2014, 08:25:11 PM
Cubox looks real slick, but it's still a bit ouch-worthy at $140 compared to the Pi's $35.

A little advice: when shopping for a wi-fi adapter for the Pi, there are certain chipsets to avoid. There's a long list here:
but, speaking from experience, avoid anything using the Realtek 8192CU chipset.  
Next time, I'm going to spend a few more bucks and get something with a RT5370 chip (make sure it's genuine).  Inexpensive, fast, and supports Access Point mode.  
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Getting things done? Hey, slow down there, speedy... on: December 02, 2014, 08:06:50 PM
I was browsing CodeProject News and stumbled across this interesting tidbit:

Whether you’re knitting or programming, working faster will only slow you down. Or at least that’s what Jeffrey Ventrella argues. In “The Case for Slow Programming“, the tech author makes the claim that software developers need to slow down if they want to quicker results.

    “Slow down, son. You’ll get the job done faster.” – Jeffrey Ventrella’s father

Interesting little concept, which assures me that when it takes me a full week before I begin to fully grok a new function, I'm doing just fine.
That led me to the source post here:

Jeffrey Ventrella - The Case for Slow Programming
Many of these coders believed in the fallacy that all engineers are fungible, and that no one should be responsible for any particular aspect of the code; any coder should be able to change any part of the code at any time. After all, we have awesome services like github to manage and merge any number of asynchronous contributions from any number of coders. As long as everyone makes frequent commits, and doesn’t break anything, everything will come out just fine.


Nice, well thought out, and he makes his case.  Didn't take all that long to read, neither.
and here:

SlowDownNow.org - The Institute of Not Doing Much
Slow Manifesto

There are those who urge us to speed. We resist!

We shall not flag or fail. We shall slow down in the office, and on the roads. We shall slow down with growing confidence when all those around us are in a shrill state of hyperactivity (signifying nothing). We shall defend our state of calm, whatever the cost may be. We shall slow down in the fields and in the streets, we shall slow down in the hills, we shall never surrender!
Grin Thmbsup

Fun reading, and the links are worth a nice at-your-own-pace peruse, but what really nailed me was point #3 of the Manifesto (emphasis mine):

3. Ponder, take your time. Do not be pushed into answering questions. A response is not the same as an answer.

You could have pushed me over with a feather after reading that line.  So much is hanging on response time, that it's no wonder dreams are dying with imaginations restricted to the capabilities of our tools, conversations reduced to disconnected 140-character missives, and yet time is still such a precious commodity.  
So... I can't stand another man-minute; that's it, I'm done.  I'm going to fully enjoy picking and choosing my technology based not on how new it is, how fast it goes, or how productive it promises to make me, but rather how much I enjoy it.
Don't worry, I'm not going to suddenly engage in a lifestyle of frequent naps, but I now have ammunition for defending my position when others insist I "get out of the way"...
Or maybe I'm just getting old... very well then, I aim to enjoy every minute of it.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: December 02, 2014, 02:25:31 AM
I don't know...I kinda like finger pants.

In zie Deutsch, gloves are called "Handschuhe" - Hand Shoes.  embarassed
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 02, 2014, 02:10:29 AM
@40Hz:  I swore off Fender amps since the last one I tried.  Can't remember what it was, but it was loud as hell at less than 100 watts and rang like a gong...  Just like my Gramp's '53 Deluxe (which I still have and give periodic TLC Thmbsup).  Perfect compliment to that Fender guitar tone if that's what you're looking for, but I prefer to think of Fenders as the platform everybody else dove off of.  Yeah, I'm aware that they're all Bassman underneath, but I love the soul that happens when you start tinkering...

My dream amp would be to find a burnt-out Peavey twin cab (lurv the twin sound) for next to nothing, gut it and roll my own two-channel: An AC-30 or Ampeg V2 preamp circuit for the clean channel, and the Lead channel from a Mesa Mark IV for kroonch.  For power, I dunno;  I'm torn between the raw power of 6V6s, smoothness of EL34s, or maybe I'd toss the tubes out and frankenstein in the power section from a Sunn Beta Lead 100 (drool).

Or... if I had a grand or so burning a hole in my wallet, I'd wait until Bugera is allowed to sell Magicians in the states again, if ever.   huh
Look familiar?
[attachthumb=1] [attachthumb=2]
I thought so... and so did Mesa Engineering's lawyers (or so I've heard) deal
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 01, 2014, 09:09:56 PM
The semi/amis all get into the Mesa Boogies or those other $2K+ boutique amps.

HEY, hey, there now!!  I have quite a soft spot for those old Mesas (right around the Mark IIc era) and if I owned one (I was 23 and had to choose between THAT AMP or eating for a week...  I was hungry... sue me.) it would get the hell played out of it, and I'd probably just clone the thing so I could keep beating it up.  
One thing that has confused me for years: The last time I went to a music festival, the Metal stage had 3 amps on it: an Ampeg SVT for the bass players, a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier and a Marshall JCM 900 for the guitarists.  The Dual Recto was the amp of choice for many of the guitarists, but the last time I gave one a go in the music store, it sounded like farting through mud.  What I did wrong I'll never know, but that red stripe Mark III at Al's Guitarville treated me like the guitar hero I always wished I were.


I knew I should've starved, I just knew it...  wallbash
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: December 01, 2014, 08:41:47 PM
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: December 01, 2014, 08:35:05 PM
OOH! I know this game!  Grin



My best friend from high school and I came up with lots of good ones, but I can't remember more than these... small wonder.  undecided
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: November 30, 2014, 12:38:55 PM
Which throwback holiday character are you?

I haven't given my results from this quiz on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me. Were your results any better?

Linus Van Pelt.  Yeah, sounds about right...  embarassed
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Router-based ad-blocking. Possible? Totally! on: November 30, 2014, 11:19:45 AM
Continuing on with Edvard's thread since it's related, (hope you don't mind Edvard)

I don't mind at all!  Grin Grin Grin
Awesome post and I'm thinking I may just do what you've done, as it looks pretty painless.  Many others I looked at were a bit hacked-together and I was looking for something clean.  You've put together what looks like a clean package and relatively painless process, thanks!
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: November 29, 2014, 03:35:24 PM
"How to Avoid Huge Ships" by John Trimmer

From the reviews:
As the father of two teenagers, I found this book invaluable. I'm sure other parents here can empathize when I say I shudder at the thought of the increasing presence of huge ships in the lives my children. I certainly remember the strain I caused so long ago for my own parents when I began experimenting with huge ships. The long inter-continental voyages that kept my mom and dad up all night with worry. Don't even get me started on the international protocols when transporting perishable cargo. To think, I was even younger than my kids are now! huge ships are everywhere and it doesn't help that the TV and movies make huge ships seem glamorous and cool. This book helped me really approach the subject of huge ships with my kids in an honest and non judgmental way. Because of the insights this book provided, I can sleep a little better and cope with the reality that I can't always be there to protect my kids from huge ships, especially as they become adults. I'm confident that my teens, when confronted by a huge ship, are much better prepared to make wiser decisions than I did. At the very least my children certainly know that they can always come to me if they have any concerns, questions or just need my support when it comes to the topic of huge ships.

 Grin Grin Grin

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: November 20, 2014, 02:11:55 AM
Sometimes, and only sometimes, I forget the 80s.  Thanks Renegade.  DA reminds me of AMQA:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-on5SiVFhHM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-on5SiVFhHM</a>

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: November 19, 2014, 01:49:35 AM
I've been in that situation.  I used to draw cartoon hot rods and super heroes and etc. during my junior high/early high school years (fairly typical) and I can name (first and last!) two kids who took my drawings and passed them off as their own.  I know now that it was just a stupid kid thing to do (making it more pathetic when adults do it), but there's a weird sense of betrayal that goes with it that you can't quite describe.  
To save face and reclaim my stolen notoriety, I went around drawing stuff for people *on the spot* to prove I was the original artist.  Sad
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: November 19, 2014, 01:40:08 AM
OK, I have an earworm to share...  Evil

We'll start with the original: Loituma's performance of "Ievan Polkka" (instant happiness, I tell you...)
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4om1rQKPijI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4om1rQKPijI</a>

Wack it out, I mean WAAY out, to Japan, that is (this one only included for completeness):
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57mkfFdvREw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57mkfFdvREw</a>

Dip it in the surf:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGCucD28gwY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGCucD28gwY</a>

Forge it in metal (sorry, couldn't find a decent video, but this folk-metal thing is rather fetching...):
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a247R3mNs5A" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a247R3mNs5A</a>

And finally... UNTERGANG style!!
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy9edjcjpYo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy9edjcjpYo</a>
(this one had me crying...)

Ok, that's enough...
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: November 19, 2014, 12:44:35 AM
WTF? I mean seriously...WTF???

Dude, that ain't even half, and you know what I'm talking about...  ohmy

Just started playing the game Omikron - The Nomad Soul again after some years and got reminded just how exceptional the music (by David Bowie) was.
And here's the opening number, a version of New Angels of Promise. Still one of my all time favorite game (and hard rock) songs. (I like this one even better than the non-game studio version.)

Hmmm... the reverbed guitar skronk in that song reminds me a bit of Brian Eno's "Skysaw".  I can't find a decent video for the song, but it's a damn tight performance, with Percy Jones and Phil Collins nailing down the rhythm section for Eno and John Cale to squawk and noodle over.  Check it out if you've a liking...
23  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Code fight club on: November 18, 2014, 12:40:33 AM
The first rule of code-fight.club is... umm... forget I mentioned it.

Code-Fight.Club is a project built by Andrew Hathaway with the aim to help fellow developers learn how to write their code in the nicest, most efficient and preferred way they can. To decide which code is the most preferred way, users can comment and vote in a fight for their favorite contender.

from CodeProject News
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Stephen Fry's eloquent response to Grammar Nazis on: November 16, 2014, 09:59:56 PM
In texting, I couldn't care less.  Economy of verbosity is the name of the game there.  As long as you have the good sense to not use the same language on your résumé, meh... whatevs.

I think the things that get to me worst are the very same types of things as the 'of' phenomenon... phoneticisms that turn into grammatical faux pas; e.g. "loose" vs. "lose" (yet another plague!), or "At your beckon call", or "One in the same". *shudders*

I'll once again stop before I go too far.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Instead of Debian based I tried Debian 7 in VM on: November 16, 2014, 06:05:26 PM
Been running Debian for about 5 years now.  No complaints, except I'm running the 'Testing' branch, which I like very much but comes with its own pain...
 ohmy Thmbsup

If you can't do it with Debian, it can't be done.
-Robert Pogson
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