I’ve often heard people refer to surfing as if it was the greatest activity in the world. I won’t object to that, nor could I as I’ve never gone surfing. Of the dozens of times this idea has come up, I’ve never heard anyone describe why surfing is so wonderful. Until now:

“For me personally, words cannot describe the euphoria that surfing provides as a human. Words cannot describe the absolutely magical and romantic feeling of riding a wave, going up and down on the surface of the water and feeling, just an unlimited power under your feet and to be in harmony with the ocean; perhaps riding along and seeing a dolphin in the face of the wave next to you, or a beautiful rainbow as the spray of the wind is offshore pluming over the back of the wave. It’s just the most beautiful, romantic, organic thing I think a human can do”.

That was Jonathan Paskowitz, speaking to Terry Gross during an interview on the Fresh Air podcast for 2008-05-08. There’s more here.


Fun with Vim


I use the Vim text editor all the time.  In an effort to try to post more here, I think I’ll put up snippets of my Vim usage now and then.

So I was simply trying to layout a line of text in my progress notebook. Its a text file I keep all my work in and edit with Vim. I do this for many reasons, but most of all because searching is so easy, and its simple to style (with syntax highlighting) and to program.

I had a line of text to separate sections of the notebook:

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<[ 2008-04-25 Apr.Fri 11:24 ]>>>

Okay, once you’ve stopped admiring^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H laughing at my superior documentation formatting skills, you can read more. I just wanted to move the date portion around to see which way I liked it best. I used these some mappings to make it so that the left and right arrow keys would move the bracketed text left and right, leaving at least one of the leading and trailing characters. There’s a bunch of junk in there to maintain the search history and search highlighting option, so I moved that part to two commands:

:command! A :let _save_hls=&hls |:let &hls=0
:command! B :call histdel("/",-1) |:let @/=histget("/",-1) |:let &hls=_save_hls

:map <silent> <left>  :A<CR>:s/\v^(.)(\1+)(\[.*)(.)$/\2\3\4\4/e<CR>:B<CR>
:map <silent> <right> :A<CR>:s/\v^(.)(.*\])(.)(\3+)$/\1\1\2\4/e<CR>:B<CR>

An even better approach would be to search for the pattern you want to move around, and have the mapping use that.

" setup leading and trailing characters
let @a='<'
let @b='>'

" here's what I want to move. @/ is the search pattern register
let @/='\[ \d\{4}-\d\{2}-\d\{2} \S\+ \S\+ \]'

" here's the search pattern for moving it
let @s= '^\(' . @a .'\=\)\(\1*\)\(' . @/ .'\)\('. @b .'\=\)\(\4*\)$'

" now the mappings for left and right arrow keys:
map <silent> <left>  :exe ':s/'. @s .'/'. '\2\3\4\5'. @b .'/'<CR>
map <silent> <right> :exe ':s/'. @s .'/'. @a  .'\1\2\3\5'.'/'<CR>

That was fun!

Check out this video that shows beautiful mathematical transformations:

This is the work of Douglas N. Arnold.

Yesterday I was reading my dilbert.com feed from Google Reader and found the images weren’t being rendered any more, so I visited dilbert.com to see what was going on. What an abomination! Flash scripts all over the place. And its not obvious how to see prev/next daily strips.

Fortunately I found a greasemonkey fix today.

Grab the Dilbert.com No Flash Greasemonkey userscript written by Manuel Seeger over at userscripts.org.

The userscript strips the flash from around the daily comic. What a godsend. BTW, it doesn’t work so well on the Sunday comic since its more than the standard 3 panel size. I posted a comment for the script in hopes of getting that fixed. At any rate, if you visit the dilbert site and can’t stand the flash, try the script.

Also, I recommend the new Dilbert daily comic strip feed for anyone who may be wondering what is wrong with the old feed.

8:00 Travis woke me up. He climbed in bed between Lisa and me. Since he wasn’t going back to sleep, I got up with him. We ate Wegman’s Peanut Butter Crunch cereal. He fed Bailey. I made coffee. Then we tried playing the PS2 game College Hoops 2k8, but we had a great deal of trouble trying to figure it out. So then he played Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground, and I helped accomplish a couple minor goals.

Truecrypt is free open source encryption software that runs on Windows and Linux. It allows you to create a virtual encrypted disk which is mounted to the system so you can use just like any other disk with files and directories. People rave about it and I’m anxious to give it a shot but it is not yet available for Mac OS X. The developers are working on a version for Mac OS X.

The Truecrypt site doesn’t provide a feed, but they do have a news page where I would expect them to announce the release of the Mac OS X version. Unfortunately there is no RSS feed. So its Feed43 to the rescue!

I whipped up this feed in hopes that someday this year I’ll see the release of the OS X version of Truecrypt.

Here is the feed: feed43 Truecrypt News

Claiming this blog on Technorati: Technorati Profile

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. I used to believe it. I’ve been playing around with computers since my stepfather brought home an ADAM Colecovision in the mid-to-late 1980’s.

ADAM Colecovision

I have 30 pages of passwords in my Franklin Planner, dating back to 1999. With approximately 15 accounts per page, that comes to 450 passwords. Ridiculous. Whenever I need to find one I have to scan several pages before I find it. And 90% of those I’ve only used once or twice and now they are just wasting space. Where is my ubiquitous, secure, always-on, always-syncronized password management site?

At present, I have 629 feeds in Google Reader with 18312 unread posts. Surely there are some real gems nestled in there amongst a ton of other content I don’t care about. When will I be able to toggle an option to filter out only the content I’m interested in?

This blog will be a place for my thoughts and experiences in this global communication technology.