April 28, 2004

some tweakage

You'd be amazed at how much sense it makes to make the "Comment" link below actually skip directly to the comments section of the individual page. I've now implemented this exact thing, and fixed the (c: hovery thing.

Oh, and I added the category images to the individual pages. Eventually I'm going to re-do the comment form so it looks a little less clunky, but right now, I ain't got time, yo.

Also, Finn says he likes the dashy comment borders. That makes me smiley.

This was blog news. I'm your anchor, Compulsive Tweaker.

[film at lbf.com]

Posted by Sol at 2:59 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2004

the baby and the bathwater

Sometimes I pursue goals so singularly that it proves to be to my great detriment. It's allowed me to accomplish a lot of neat things, but proves to be a valid basis for a sense of stubbornness that I dislike about myself.

Anyway, for better or worse, and late-night analysis of my time usage aside, Imperial Radio is back up, and this time, in linux. My victory for the evening. I suggest this winamp skin for listening.

[i win]

Posted by Sol at 5:12 AM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2004

in for a penny

Here are some pressing bulletins that have taken me a week (or in some cases, longer) to commit to blog-paper. I say blog-paper because it's not really committing it to paper, but it's more than committing it to a text box. This is a special text box, and I'm not just saying that because it's where I keep my pancakes. What? Belive it or not, this entry is going to be as pointless and meandering as its introduction. Anyway, here's some stuff:

This is an old link that I kept meaning to work into a post, but I'm cleaning house, and the text file where it lived is going bye-bye. So, behold, one of the greatest innovations of all mankind. If someone gave me a five hundred dollar amazon gift certificate, I would probably hock it, but then later regret not having spent it on this. Think of how it would go next to the Game Grid and a ratty old pool table in a basement with 3 dartboards.

Speaking of greatest innovations of all mankind, may I present to you the might and majesty of some german dude's open source PDF Creator. It pretends it's a windows printer, so any windows app that can print can now magically create PDFs. And they are BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely GORGEOUS PDFs. I mean, holy crap, they are nice. And it's easy to use, and it's free, and as an additional side bonus, the PDFs it creates look REALLY AMAZING.

Since discovering this and running around my home shrieking like a little girl about how awesome it is, I've been made aware of the Adobe Distiller, which is an official version of essentially the same thing. It comes with PageMaker, so I knew of its existence, but never bothered to learn what the hell it is. So, one could argue that the aforementioned PDF Creator is not actually as revolutionary and world-shaking as I am making it out to be. But, I am also told that Distiller is clumsy, resource hoggy, and just plain bloated. Plus, I doubt it could generate PDFs that look anywhere near as good. So burn on you Distiller fans.

Speaking of PageMaker, I've been using it to lay out the final report for my broadcast management class, and it has made me all nostalgic for the newspaper days, and making me wonder why I turned my back on the print world and the joys of graphic design and layout. It's good to know I still got the skills though. This is especially true as I now am accruing the bills that typically accompany them in the colloquial saying.

Woah. I think there is a speed at which you can consume an IBC Black Cherry wherein its chemical composition and extreme coldness actually cause it to bore into your soul. I have consumed 2 of these since getting home from the collate-a-thon this morning, and it's a wonderful kind of pain to have that kind of searing, delicious, yet somehow liquid-based knife run through your body. Anyway.

So, I've had to password protect the RvB archive, because Google is a little too good at its job, and it was directing people to my archive in droves, and my connection simply couldn't take it. Digging through my Apache access logs brought a lot of interesting things to life. First off, someone on Comcast in the northeast is determined to bring my webserver down using denial of service attacks designed for windows-based webservers. Good luck, buddy. Second, that after being guided to me by google, friggin' assholes have no problem launching 5 simultaneous 30meg downloads. Moderation, people. If I could get the throttling mod working, I'd open it back up to the public, because the assholes would be incapable of ruining it. As it is, people wanting access will have to actually contact me, instead of using Google as a remarkably efficient leech agent.

In addition to plugging up my bandwidth hole, finally, there's another neat plus. While I was going through and repeatedly checking logs, I saw someone access my gallery, and reverse-lookup'd the IP. Turns out, someone from the east campus lab at the University of Kansas had been looking at the NES controller I made for the empress, and thanks to the Apache log giving me the referring URL, I was able to find the exact google search that led them to me. Of course, I was giddy about even showing up on google, and before anyone says it, yes, this is because I am a huge nerd.

However, after putting in that same search, (nes controller computer hookup) I found something really cool. I AM NUMBER 4. EF OH YOO ARE. FOURTH ON THE LIST. AWWWWW YEAH.

Okay, so it's no Regular Expressions, but we all gotta start somewhere. And for those of you who are thinking, "hey, man, you're fourth on the list of an incredibly specific set of search terms, my grandma is 2nd for 'old lady who lives on 345 califa st and is named agnes'", I will respond, "Shut Up, Jerk, I was happy about something in my life for 6 seconds until you came along and totally ruined it." And then I'll probably pout for a bit.

Anyway, I'm marginally google-famous and I was excited about it for a while. Now that I've tasted the blood of the search result though, I am determined to jack up my position, and get more of my stuff listed. YOU SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE, ANONYMOUS UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS GAMER?

This week's priorities were getting the bcast management report done, and not failing my last test in communication law. Well, I suck at math, but I believe that a MIGHTY 242/250 IS CERTAINLY NOT FAILING MY GOOD SIR. I knew 20 questions in that I was going to bitchslap that test. I did not know how badly I was going to bitchslap it.

That was not an easy test. I just have the mad trademark/appropriation/obscenity/indecency law skills that drive the ladies nuts. Okay, so just the law school ladies. Okay, so just the law school ladies who give a flying damn about media law. Okay, so that just leaves Mildred, who is not so much a student as a custodial employee in the building next to the law school. But she's nuts about me. Even though I'm in the journalism school, and there's a custodial turf war going on across mid-campus right now.

Actually, now that I think about it, I guess I'm kinda glad I don't drive the law school ladies nuts. Give me the journalism school ladies or early childhood education ladies any day.

The TAB blog is nearing ready-for-the-time-that-is-prime status. I (mostly) got the text size knobby thing working, and the color switch works for you whiners who can't handle a little black background, with your sissy little retinas and 3rd-string corneas. I haven't figured out the best way to make the comments work. I don't know if I want to do a floating layer, like those annoying ass Geocities ads, but I'd like to have some sort of collapseable floating thing that stays the hell out of the way while someone's reading, but is right there on hand when they want to leave a comment, so they don't have to scroll to the bottom of a page. My goal here is a sort of peer review, and I may have to wait until exams are over to implement something that advanced.

In any case, it sure as hell makes posting new pages easier on me. Which may or may not happen soon.

Woooo, a tease.

A while back I commented to Dr. Rockwell(his blog is currently down for some reason) about blogspamming, and now I got blogspammed for something called Phentermine. At least it was pharmaceuticals and not porn, and it was private, not public. Still. These jerks are finding every nook and cranny.

Oh, and hopefully you RSS fans out there have noted the changes I've made to the pages you get.

[many, many lbs]

Posted by Sol at 2:46 PM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2004


I just nuked some spam for something called Uncle Rummie's Hangover Pills. This honestly may top "I was told you are fat" as best spam subject ever.

Go popfile, now at about 98% accuracy.

Bunch of stuff happened this past week, I won my appeal, my academic cloudiness has become much more cleared up, etc. Oh, and the crawfish boil. And then, today, my house was leaking for a while. But now I want to talk about the blog.

The alert reader will have noticed a few things from the dev index that have made their way here, including the pilot-program link list. I can't tell you how difficult it was to avoid calling it "Friends of the Z Axis." Wayyyyy too Jerry Falwell. Beyond that are some fun cosmetic changes to links. As you may have noticed, I have gotten over my earlier hatred of hover properties.

It's taken me way too long to put this post together, so I'm gonna take the easy way out and just end it now. Maybe there will be something substantive, including a review of the events of the past week, when I don't have a sore throat and a class in 8 hours.

[safe flight]

Posted by Sol at 2:28 AM | Comments (3)

April 12, 2004

what everybody's working for

Weekend roundup:

Friday the bouter and I finished my sweet-ass pro-lookin NES port and I sorta vegged out and tried not to think about my upcoming academic woes. I played a lot of video games, on multiple machines. The little port gizmo works beautifully. And, with some tweaking, I was able to get both a SNES and NES emu going on the teeny laptop, and played a fun little game called Uniracers for an exceedingly long time. I also tested FCE Ultra's Netplay capability, and it worked. It worked beautifully. I see remote bomberman between me and the bouter goin down. Awwww yeah.

Saturday I slept for a very very long time. Then I had to run some errands, though I totally failed to get my hair cut or stop by the Lenscrafters. I have a 75 dollar coupon to Lenscrafters, and it's time I got some new specs. I also attempted to do those two things today (Sunday) though apparently this Jesus fellow is popular enough to close roughly all stores in a 30-mile blast radius. This includes the hair cut place and lenscrafters. Hence, I looked like Shaggy McLongHair for Sunday, the easterness.

Speaking of, Sunday was the easterness. At the home of the Busa. And there was cake.

Oh holy sweet mother of God, the cake.

There is something seriously criminal about cake that good. I mean, you eat it, and you get that sort of vague wire-fraud or weapons-trafficking feeling in the hairs on the back of your neck. You think that at any moment, ATF agents will break down the door, crash through the windows, and come down the chimney, and point guns at you until you apologize for the clear Geneva convention violations that come with eating cake that delicious.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I was very impressed with the cake.

Of course, the whole thing was a wonderful experience, it's just the sheer mass of endorphins released by the cake tends to make it the most accessible memory.

There were some cakes there I didn't know, but I cake we got along okay, and everyone seemed to cake pretty well by the end of the evening. Cake cake.

Seriously though, I worry about how I came off to those people. I think it has something to do with my oft-bemoaned utter lack of self confidence.

I got home, began my war plan against the independent study people, and made a blog category pic. Did some tweakin to the bloggy pages, and began writing this entry.

I guess that pretty much brings the blog up to speed on the day-to-days. I loafed a lot this weekend. But it was pretty cool. I even squeezed in some pizza and ninja turtles.

Now, seeing as I have to get up in the morning, I should probably get to sleeping.

[everybody cakes a little cake cake]

Posted by Sol at 1:09 AM | Comments (2)

April 9, 2004

the fourth wall

I shall be remaking my first NES PC port this evening- the tupperware thing just makes me ashamed in comparison to carrie's pretty sweet looking dedicated controller. So, I'm gonna get an enclosure and do it up all good. I've found that keyboards have really nice, flexible wire, with 4 internal wires - which is one more than I need for NES controllage. I've also found I have a tendency to pour sugarwater in keyboards accidentally, and keep them after the fact because I'm somehow convinced it might be useful.

In this case, however, BURN ON YOU NON PACKRATS. Because it was useful. I now have sweet, professional looking wire to run from the project enclosure to the parallel port. My NES port will look nice and clean and I will use it to play Metroid on the laptop upstairs. So screw all you.

It will look cool. And it will be secure and function even when I accidentally kick it under my desk, which is more than I can say for its current state. Dangling, barely attached wires do not for stability make.

I'm also breaking the fourth wall, and making available to the elite blog-viewing public the shiny development index. Sometimes it's broken, and it's there for me to screw around while not breaking the main page. Hard Hats required in this area, etc. You can check it out from time to time and see what i'm cookin up as far as potential changes for the main page. I always test the dev page for a while, and tweak it a bunch, before I copy it over and update the main index. Right now, the dev page has some CSS table effects i'm playing with, and a first stab at a collection of front page links. These will eventually make their way to the main page, once I'm happy with the way they look and function. Prior dev-index innovations are the syndication links, the category logos, and the AIM comment link thingy.

It occurs to me that I really need to establish a "blog stuff" category, because often times I have entries in the blog that are simply about the development of the blog. But then I'd have to come up with another category logo, and I'm still not happy with the links one. Plus, i'm pretty much out of good primary colors. Yellow is double plus lame.

[codename: blogging out]

Posted by Sol at 1:01 PM | Comments (1)

i need a job

So, it occurs to me that I never linked Plain Vanilla from here. This was a project for my web design class, but it was actually kind of fun to do. Since I managed to break my arches account, it has been moved over to this server, and the resume link is broken. Ah well. It's still fun.

It ain't finished, but I'm outta time on the flash project for that same class. It involves Hertz, a character from an unfinished cartoon I started last year, and may someday finish. I'm thinking long about my retirement.

I am still in the eye of a shitstorm from the university, but I'm gonna reserve comment on that until I know how it shakes down.

I am not as excited about this weekend as I would've been. There is still much suckage to come. At this point I just need to shoot myself in the head or go work at texaco.

At least one of my classes is canceled tomorrow, so I get to go home early.

[the storm, she brews]

Posted by Sol at 2:44 AM | Comments (3)

April 4, 2004

loose wires

Finally finished the Empress' nintendo controller. The Sam's-brand USB cables are a dream to work with. Now I need to find a series of projects that use the other end of them.

Now, after I clean up a bit, and maybe draw up some plans for the eventually-coming DUN DUN DUN GameGrid nintendo ports, I shall momentarily turn my video-gamey-geeking-out energy toward setting up a Battlefield Stats server. Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, (kevin) Lt. Dan / Gen. Tso, (my brother) Torkins, (patrick) Lt. Dan II /Joey Bleedsalot (my other brother) and Hannibal Smith (myself) deserve to have our in-game kills tracked and enshrined on a publicly-available site. The dogged fight against computer-simulated communism must be documented.

Right now, I'm sort of stuck between options. There's BFStats, which looks pretty and has intricate map breakdowns, but also doesn't seem to support Vietnam so well and generates insanely long pages. There's BF1942Live(demo is currently down), which has a serious bonus of showing the current players and levels, and appears to support Vietnam, but lacks any real long-term stat tracking. And then there's my current pick, select[bf] - it's got per-person detailed breakdowns, a bunch of different types of ranking breakdowns (thankfully all split to their own page) configurable CSS setup, and support for Vietnam (though apparently only the Linux dedicated server.)

Man, I have really really missed video games. Stupid school.

Anyway, I gotta see if we can get the damned XML logs going from the dedicated server before I try and get the stat thing up. But it'll be pretty damned sweet when I do.

[texaco has dental]

Posted by Sol at 5:45 PM | Comments (2)