Monday, December 31, 2007

Yet Another Reason the Internet Knows Everything

i saw a commercial for some potato peeling gloves on the TV and wondered what was on the gloves. so i used google to look them up and found a way cool website about TV products. next time you are tempted by a TV product you can look them up here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

google graph api

need a quick graph? screw making it yourself. if you need less than 50,000 a day, have google make the graph for you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

web test

it's been a nice relaxing holiday; another mindless webgame and the discovery of a new tool for the toolbox.

i've been playing with - a free webbased rpg geared ONLY for leveling characters. Not too thrilling once you realize how many mouseclicks are involved in the long run.

after reading one theory how to scam the system, i realized i may be wasting my time with the mouse and proposed traditional interface. makes a free browser plugin called iMacros - a toolkit to train a browser (or script it) to do web testing / automate web tasks from firefox, IE, vba, delphi, whatever.

one problem with is you can only fully interact with people logged in, so the lists are always changing. I thought I could just harvest userid's behind the scenes and interact with those directly, but it needs tokens from the browser session to build the challenges - so numbers alone of people most likely offline are not going to help me. After pasting a table of live data table from of users logged in into EXCEL, i stumbled across the fact excel can live-query a table on a webpage, and it was a hop skip and a jump to punching that into iMacros. See associated screenshots for excel, and iMacros running. THe most annoying thing about my knowledge and EXCEL? the absence of a full carriage return line feed character - I can put a LINE FEED char(10) into a string, but then need to cut/paste to word for that to automagically convert it to a real carriage return line feed so I can paste it into imacros.

i'm sure I could script the whole process, but now with about 10 keyboard commands I can automate about 8 minutes of work for my account - and in only a few hours went from 3 days of screwing around a few hours a day (44,000 experience) to this morning; 77,000 experience. so it seems to be working.


For his birthday, grandma gave kev a picture of....... ME!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Car Innovation

this car in the hybrid mode would get 300 mpg and at under $30k it seems to be heading in the right direction. the vast majority of car time is probably spend with one person driving to work and if this car comes down in price it would make sense to have one of these in the driveway for the commute. plus the car does look pretty cool. i really like how it takes advantage of a couple of efficiencies like using recycled materials for some things and having solar panels that generate power for the cooling system.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

drive image xml

drive image xml looks like a halfway decent backup/recovery utility. i'm posting it here as a reminder next time i need such a tool. if you need a dvd backup selfboot option, check out this method on top of ping , it might also work on vista. hopefully ill never need that.

oh kev, you may need sysangel

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nerd Friendly

i dislike it when technical information isn't available for those of us who can use it. people also do not understand basic things like numbers are meaningless without units and what units belong to what types of numbers. does not have a good sorting process for allowing images to uploaded and orders placed. last night i uploaded my 20x30 poster from our alaska trip and placed an order. turns out the lab rejected it because it had too high a resolution and they can't print that high. why they can't downsample there i have no idea. so i called customer (dis)service. after much frustration i found out they have the following limits on their files (though i question how true these numbers are): max file size is 9 mb and max resolution is 2500 x 1900 pixels.

*** update *** yup the lady didn't have a clue what she was talking about. i downsampled to 300 dpi instead of my original 600 dpi and ended up with a resolution of 9000 x 6000 pixels and it printed (no idea if they downsampled more) the file was about 29 mb.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sarah and the Little nerd

Ye Old Nerds

Happy B-Day to the Elder nerds of the blog... I put together a little trip down memory lane of some fun pictures in somewhat random order, enjoy.

p.s. the little program to make the slide show is pretty slick, I'll use it again sometime for sure.

compucrap bites the dust

compusa is closing so get yourself over there and get the going out of business deals.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I'm sick of the GUI's, that is GROSS, UNUSABLE want to be INTERFACEs. i'm going retro, 10 years back and going to do console. we lost so much power when we told people it worked better if it had a picture on it. get your cross compiler running and load up the real tools with 10-30 years in the making. try the following

grep: Search for PATTERN in each FILE or standard input.
gawk: utility interprets a special-purpose programming language that makes it possible to handle simple data-reformatting jobs easily with just a few lines of code.
sed: is a stream editor. A stream editor is used to perform basic text transformations on an input stream
wget : GNU Wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies.

you'll be a much happier text processing nerd. well, ok, you can get some of them prebuilt here, and then read a 10sec how to here. on the output of your script toss it into gnuplot and you'll be able to do with your pinky and 10 lines of code what the new generation of engineer thought impossible. now to figure out how to control a web page form from the console and I'll be able to interact with the web from a script and be done! maybe i need this form of python

kev i know you had some web scraping experience in the past, what tools did you use?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


so I was actually wearing brown pants a blue shirt when I watched this at work (after hours).