i-think Twenty-Two

Now with more coherency.

A new fortune

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I’ve started thinking today about programming a new version of the good ol' fortune program. Not so much because it doesn’t do its job, but I think that a plain text backend has certain limitations.

I will be releasing the source code once I have it at least partially working (that is, not feature complete, but roughly working).

Features I’m looking at are:

  • SQLite Backend*
  • Ability to tag individual fortunes (so one fortune can belong to many categories and more advanced filtering could be performed)*
  • Ability to import old fortune files (pretty much a necessity)*
  • Addition of individual fortunes from the command line.
  • Mimic all the basic fortune functionality.*
  • New XML import and export standards.
  • Global and user-overriding fortune preferences.

Only the features with the *’s will be included in the first release.

I’ll be writing it in Python. Feel free to leave some comments as to what sort of features you’d like to see in a modern fortune application. In the future, additional database support may be provided.

Me and my Dvorak Keyboard

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While searching for how I could get Windows to work with my Dvorak Keyboard (not hard-wired, just re-arranged keys) I came across this most unusual resolution to a problem in Windows 2000. (KB223056). It’s resolution was (when setup doesn’t recognise your Dvorak keyboard):

To work around this problem, press keys until you find the appropriate key that maps to the standard US-101 layout for that key.

Yeop, that’s what I want to be doing, pressing random keys when installing Windows.

Public Toilet Etiquette

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Ok, so I’ve been thinking a bit about people’s actions in public toilets recently. This was partially spurred on by a post on the Dilbert Blog (Hi Jean). Over the last couple of months I have seen a number of public toilet actions that I found to be unacceptable.

  • I have overheard two mobile telephone conversations (neither was in english, but both were quite loud and from inside the cubicle. I would hate to be the person on the other end of that phone call.
  • I have seen countless people use a cubicle without closing the door. (Number 1, not Number 2). Now whilst I’m all fine with the notion of urinals, I believe that an open cubicle door screams out vacant. Before you know it you are about to walk into a small confined space with a man holding his penis. Now, that is a situation you don’t want to be in.

Fortunately only one person has broken the “don’t speak to anyone when they are in the bathroom” rule (perhaps this should be made a commandment). This rule is important because typically one would rather feel invisible in a bathroom.

In this light, I am going to finally change the poll (since it is clear that Will will wed Michael D. Cameron (or Alison if MDC turns him down)) to discuss first whether you would be inclined to leave the cubicle door open or closed and later to see how far you would go with your mobile phone.

One year at PBF

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On this day last year I started work at the PBF. I was able to escape the clutches of Pizza Hut and find more human employment. Unfortunately I’m not sure that it’s been as great as I had originally hoped. It is better than Pizza Hut (which isn’t hard) but I do feel a lot less valuable than I did when working at Pizza Hut. Here are the main reasons for that:

  • I have been left inside the building, locked up, with the security activated on more times than I can recall. One of those times was my birthday
  • When I started I was told my pay and performance would be reviewed in three months. Nothing has happened. As far as I know my performance has been good.
  • When we had a scheduled power outage recently, I was carbon copied on an email addressed to a non-technical employee suggesting that they should check the file server would be alright. The message body was also addressed to this person.
  • Before leaving on his trip to Africa for six weeks (as he was going out the door) my boss told me that I will be moving offices to a yet to be built office that is about half the size. (I know this is better than cubicle territory, although I have seen larger cubicles). This new office will not have a window and will also require that it be set up for IT work. My existing office has just enough bench space and all powerpoints are above the benches. The person who is getting my office is the new Manager. This is also how I found out (for sure) that I did not get the position.

These are what I know as fact. I also have suspicions (which are reinforced by these facts), but they are un-substantiated so I won’t publish them.

What do you think? And what would you do in my position?

Apple's marketing

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I was just visiting the Apple website when I noticed them talking about the new Intel chips that will be in future Macs. And I have to love how they summed it up:

What’s an Intel Chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it’s ever done in a PC.