Posts 736 to 743:

Yet Another Reason To Hate OSX

-> Utilities
-> Disk Utility
-> Images Menu
-> Open...

I want to open the file /tmp/FC3-i386-disc2.iso.  But the dialog provides no way to view the /tmp/ directory.  It appears that’s impossible.  If it IS possible, a half-hour of searching has yet to lead me to the solution.  Anyone?  Please??

Posted by Anthony on 3 replies

Quote: Kenwood Aux Adapter

Hi Anthony, Your tutorial on making a Kenwood Aux. Adapter is for a specific Protocol of the Kenwood cdc(cd-changer).

If you want to add the following to your tutorial I dont mind:
For Protocol C(1995’ish) of the Kenwood cdc you need to put the resistor(10k ohm) between points 4(ch-reqh) and 12(ch-reqc) of your tutorial. This is to get the H.U to get the extra Disc Menu.

Left Audio in is point 9 and Right is point 5. Audio ground is point 7.

There are Several cdc protocols(D,C,B,A; D being oldest) and I guess the pinouts are all different.

Posted by Bab Himself on 2 replies

Da Bomb

Those of you who know my dad and/or my neighbor Dan Watkins will appreciate this little exchange that happened in a dream I just had:

Quoting a strange dream:

Dad: Where’s Nick?
Dan: They’re caving, in Holland.
Dad: Where?
Dan: It’s the bomb.

I was up in my room and they were in the kitchen, and Dan had just come up from the basement, where he had been playing my drums -- he was playing a song from Rage Against The Machine’s "Evil Empire" album, and he totally nailed it.  I was in my room banging my head and waving my arm as he played  ( :

OK, back to sleep.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies


I saw a Segway in person for the first time in my life today.  A guy was riding it and he was flying.  He went from the sidewalk down the little ramp to the street and across an intersection without slowing down at all.  It was pretty funny but also looked really fun and cool.

And it looks like Adelphia has relented a little on their upload cap.  As long as I’ve been a customer of their cable internet service, it’s been capped at 256 kilobits/sec (32 kiloBytes/sec), which is pretty pitiful.  But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed (in disbelief) that my tx-meter showed I was transmitting at around 100KB/s.  Today I transferred a 350MB file and sure enough, it took 57 minutes for an average of 102KB/s.

This is good news since I tend to transfer files a lot, and whenever I’m at work I have a VNC window viewing my home desktop, and I’m also often streaming music from my home system to listen at work.  At the old 32KB/s the music skipped a lot and the remote desktop window was really slow.

Update 20050517: either there’s a problem with my connection, or they changed their minds about this.  My connection is now limited to 50KB/s upload -- still better than the old 32, but only by about 50%, whereas the old new speed of 100KB/s was a 200% improvement.  Hrmph.

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies

Image Editing with GIMP

Image-editing programs can be so frustrating, and it seems that often the most frustrating things are the simplest.  When I can’t figure out how to do something or other, I look it up and it turns out that usually the solution was simple and I was trying too hard.  Anyway here are a few handy things to remember about GIMP.

To draw a straight line using a tool like the pencil, first click the starting point, then hold the shift key, and click the end point.

To draw a circle, use the oval-select tool.  Draw a selection, then click Edit, Stroke Selection.

To select shapes/regions from an image, use the Path tool.  Click on the border of the region you want to select and it’ll make a "node;" click again and it’ll make another connected to the first.  Do this until you have the shape/region fully enclosed -- if you want to connect the last node to the first, hold the control key and click the first node.  Then you can click Select, From Path to turn your path into a selection.  You can also save ("export") your path to a file.  And here’s one of those simple-but-nonobvious things: when you switch to another tool and your path’s nodes disappear, the way to get them to show up again is to switch back to the Path tool and then click around somewhere that you know a node is at (approximately).  This will make them all show up again.

To make the background transparent, you have to add a new layer, an "alpha" layer.  Just click Layer, Transparency, Add Alpha Channel.  Now when you use the eraser tool (or select an area then press Ctrl-k), it will erase to "transparent" instead of to the background color.  (Of course, only PNG and GIF images support transparency, or at least, they are the only popular formats that do.  JPEG and BMP do not.)

To remove red-eye from your photos, download the script from the bottom of this page and save it to your /home/user/.gimp-2.0/scripts/ directory.  Then it’ll show up in GIMP under Script-Fu, Selection, Red Eye.  All you need to do is select a small part of the red area inside the eye, then click that menu item, and it’ll do all the work for you.

After changing an image’s canvas size, you often need to click Layer, Layer to Image Size.  And if after doing some manipulation you find you can no longer draw on your image, you may need to do Select -> None, and/or Image -> Flatten Image.

There are a few more that aren’t coming to me right now, but if and when they do I will post them here.

Posted by Anthony on reply

This Is Only A Test

But if you happen to see it before I delete it, post a test reply and fill in all the fields, would ya?

Posted by Anthony on 11 replies


Hey, nice head shot.  Do you hope to have one for everybody?

Posted by Rolly on 8 replies

Google Gets Cooler; Microsoft... Is Still Everywhere

Google bought the mapping company Keyhole last year, and now Google Maps can show you aerial satellite photography of whatever location you’re mapping.  As if Google Maps wasn’t cool enough already!

Google also recently added support for natural-language search queries (like the one I just posted about).  But according to the article:


Google Q&A has strengths and weaknesses, Norvig admitted. ... For example, asking, "What is the population of India?" returns rock-solid results in the form of links to Web sites that answer the question.

On the other hand, the top result for the question, "What is the capital of France?" was "Investment Capital and Banking in France."

... But the queries don’t have to be full sentences. The system identifies both query words, such as "who" or "what," and fact-type terms such as capital, director, population. "To find out who directed "Finding Nemo," you don’t have to put in the ’who is,’" he explained.

I think this is more marketing hype than anything "new" from Google.  Their existing search already ignored common words (like "is") anyway; I don’t see how this new "natural language" support is fundamentally different.

In other tech news, Microsoft’s approach to Windows system security may be changing (which can only mean "improving" at this point) when the next version is released in a year or so.  One huge problem with the current design is the fact that, although Windows supports the concept of different levels of user privileges:


...90 percent of Windows software can’t be installed without administrator access to Windows, [and] 70 percent won’t run properly unless the user is an administrator.

The whole point of having restricted user-level accounts is that you don’t want your users to be able to break critical parts of the system -- even when "your users" just means "you."  You don’t want to use the powerful administrator account for your day-to-day activities, because 1) even if you’re good with computers, you could accidentally delete something crucial, and 2) you run lots of programs written by other people and companies, so you don’t want to give them access to critical parts of the system either.

But as the above quote shows, it’s simply not practical to run Windows with a user-level account, because like so many things in Windows, this security feature was hacked on as an afterthought and doesn’t really work yet.  Until it gets fixed, we’ll continue to be plagued by myriad viruses and otherwise-malicious programs that hijack Windows systems and then modify the system to prevent the user from removing them.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

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