Moss's Bloglet

About

This is the personal weblog of Moss Collum, a programmer living in Healdsburg, CA. I mostly blog about tech stuff, linguistics, politics, and fun things I find on the web, but there's really no set topic.

If you've found this page through Google, I hope it helps. The search tool may help find the exact post you're looking for. If you want to see what I've posted lately, you can go to the front page of the blog.

If you're someone I know, you probably already know about this blog and come here regularly, but if not, please leave me a note: chances are I'd be delighted to hear from you.

If you want to contact me, you can email me at gmail (where my address is my first name dot my last name), or just leave a comment here.

Note that the "Bloglet" of my page title is the Perl script I use for my blogging, not the other, better known Bloglet.

Journal

Exploding Blossoms
Exploding Blossoms
If it's not already clear from Julia's pictures, spring has hit our neighborhood good and hard. _
respond? (1)
12:59:00 AM, Sunday 25 March 2007

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Julia finishing the race _
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02:33:40 PM, Saturday 24 March 2007

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Wall at a winery yesterday. _
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08:33:06 PM, Sunday 18 March 2007

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Lights _
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08:31:19 PM, Sunday 18 March 2007

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0313071816.jpg _
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09:21:28 PM, Tuesday 13 March 2007

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What I was wrong about in March 2003:

The Internet Archive doesn't actually resurrect the glory days of Forum 2000. Its index is patchy at best.

Thinking the body and the soul separable doesn't actually require that much philosophical sophistication. It's at least one of the obvious interpretations of experience.

Water will not protect me from the terrible secret of space.

My prediction of success for a planned action was too optimistic: I didn't end up moving closer to work. But later, work moved closer to me. However, it turns out I still didn't want mp3 recordings of RSS feeds. _
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08:11:55 PM, Thursday 8 March 2007

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Not Actually About Hunting Zombies _
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09:44:46 PM, Wednesday 7 March 2007

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Whee! I'm blogging from the phone! And I'm easily amused! Being easily amused makes everything better! _
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01:24:39 AM, Wednesday 7 March 2007

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So basically, the Red campaign proves to be the charity equivalent of corn ethanol.

There's really only one thing to say: pwnz0(RED). _
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02:53:58 PM, Tuesday 6 March 2007

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The Dow began the day falling sharply, and the decline accelerated throughout the course of the session before stocks took a huge plunge in late afternoon as computer-driven sell programs kicked in, and also as a computer glitch caused a delay in the recording of a large number of trades.

And I can't help thinking: Some poor bastard wrote that code. _
respond? (4)
12:57:45 AM, Wednesday 28 February 2007

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An Ask MetaFilter thread about being required to memorize digits of pi turned into a pretty interesting discussion of the benefits and otherwise of rote memorization. _
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01:36:07 PM, Friday 23 February 2007

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As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I use vim for all my text editing. I recently discovered the session saving feature, which lets you save a script to recreate the current state of the editor, and I've used it to set up some macros that I'm finding very useful.

See, all my projects are pretty neatly divided up into different directories. And when I'm working on a project, I tend to spend a lot of time in the same set of files for a few days in a row. So, I reasoned, it makes sense to have a vim session associated with any directory I edit files in, that I can save as restore as necessary. I can just save a session with a standard name (I picked session.vim) in any directory where I do a lot of text editing.

To make this automatic, I wrote two vim macros (CTRL-S to save the session, CTRL-Q to save and quit) and two bash aliases (vs to start vim with the current directory's session, and gvs to start gvim). And, having used them for a few months now, I must say it's made my life easier. I can now feel safe quitting gvim and abandoning my (at last count) thirteen carefully organized windows, secure in the knowledge that they'll all be restored when I come back, even if I spend some time working on another project first.

To implement it, I added this to my .bash_profile:

alias vs='vim -S session.vim'
alias gvs='gvim -S session.vim'
and this to my .vimrc:
" Save session and quit with CTRL-Q
nnoremap \sq :mksession! session.vim:qa
nmap  \sq
imap  \sq

" Session settings, to make above two commands most useful
set sessionoptions=blank,buffers,folds,help,localoptions,options,resize,sesdir,tabpages,winsize
Note that the last line in the .vimrc isn't strictly necessary--it's just the set of session options that I found best suited to the way I work. If you're doing something like this, you may want to look up the help page on sessionoptions and see if there are any you want to set differently. _
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01:59:33 PM, Thursday 22 February 2007

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This is for Martin. _
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07:38:12 PM, Friday 16 February 2007

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I'm currently eating a lavender blueberry scone. It is delicious and unexpected. _
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01:38:18 PM, Friday 16 February 2007

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Resolutely Uphold The Militant Bolshevik Spirit And Revolutionary Romanticism Embodied In Comrade Valentine!

[via Crooked Timber] _
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03:12:09 PM, Wednesday 14 February 2007

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Pretty much the soundest response to philosophy. _
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02:39:20 PM, Wednesday 14 February 2007

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Having just about finished the podcast I've been listening to on my walk to work for a while (the CS 61 series from UC Berkeley), I've got a bunch of space on my mp3 player. Anybody have good podcasts to recommend? _
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03:00:47 PM, Monday 12 February 2007

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And yes, this also means the BlogBot is back. _
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04:32:00 PM, Friday 9 February 2007

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An open source project I've been helping on (just a little bit--Andrew Herron did most of it) has just been released! Py-TOC v2.5 is a Python library for writing AIM clients. It's an update to an older version, originally written by Jamie Turner, which stopped working a while back when AOL made incompatible changes to the TOC protocol. It's now updated and ready to help with all your AIM-bot writing needs. _
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03:38:32 PM, Friday 9 February 2007

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There's someone on Ask MetaFilter thinking of going to the St. John's Graduate Institute and asking for advice. Since a fair number of Johnnies read this, I thought I'd mention it, in case any of you have useful things to tell them. (If you have advice but no MetaFilter account, you can leave it here and I'll post it there.) _
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07:47:27 PM, Tuesday 6 February 2007

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Restarting works now - thanks! _
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07:25:39 PM, Friday 2 February 2007

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Thanks to Neil Gaiman's blog, I just found out that Penn Jillette has a podcast. I'll have to check it out! (I've also been enjoying his performance in, of all things, Sabrina the Teenage Witch). _
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12:55:01 PM, Friday 2 February 2007

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The purpose of this six-week course is to provide a practical introduction to the skills needed to create the most useful and popular images for web publishing. Students will need a copy of Photoshop CS2, familiarity with Mac OS X or Windows, and a rich fantasy life. _
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01:42:35 PM, Wednesday 31 January 2007

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I would totally play this. _
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02:34:31 PM, Tuesday 30 January 2007

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An article at Salon offers a scathing indictment of (I am not making this up) Annie's Macaroni and Cheese:

But while there's nothing wrong with food that appeals to kids and is easy to prepare, do we parents really have the right to feel so damn smug every time we open the little purple box?

No, no, no, a thousand times no.


Because apparently, if you're the kind of person that writes for Salon, the important thing about food is that it will help you feel smug, and not that it, you know, tastes good. _
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02:10:25 PM, Tuesday 30 January 2007

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You should never wrestle a pig, nor should you try to teach it to sing, but for opposite reasons. _
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02:53:53 AM, Tuesday 23 January 2007

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O.o.C.Q.o.t.D.: "Sometimes good, sometimes bad, ducks! (Oo-ooh!)" _
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08:37:48 PM, Friday 22 December 2006

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Thus answering once and for all the question "Can it still be fanfiction if it's done by the original author?" _
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03:20:55 PM, Sunday 10 December 2006

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Remarkably, those two cult YouTube posts in a row were pure coincidence. _
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05:18:35 PM, Wednesday 6 December 2006

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Learn to start a cult, in just twelve minutes on YouTube! _
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05:17:47 PM, Wednesday 6 December 2006

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Cult music on the YouTube is a MetaFilter post too good not to link to. Jonathan Richman! Velvet Underground! Young Marble Giants! And more! _
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09:44:18 AM, Friday 1 December 2006

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A friend recently told me the story of how, when she was little, she always really wanted to eat dog biscuits. They looked vaguely like cookies, you see, and of course she wasn't allowed to have them, so naturally she assumed that they must be something really good.

I get the sense that some people feel the same way about giving up liberty in exchange for security. "If they actually had to specifically protect these rights in the Constitution," I imagine the reasoning going, "it must mean that there's some big reason to want to take them away! And that reason must be that taking away rights makes us super safe! Like, safer than safe! And so there's free speech and stuff because people just don't want us to have that much safeness!"

But no, in fact. As it turns out, restricting freedom of speech really isn't that useful. Like eating a dog biscuit, it's unwise, but it also just kinda sucks. _
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06:12:15 PM, Tuesday 28 November 2006

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"Thus solving the problem once and for all!" _
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08:40:25 AM, Sunday 26 November 2006

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In honor of the day after World Usability Day, and of Mike's request last week, I've removed the abandoned and spam-prone teasmoke.net blogs from my blog tracker. _
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09:31:11 PM, Thursday 16 November 2006

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(via Mirabai)
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien *
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov *
3. Dune, Frank Herbert *
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin *
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson *
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke *
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison *
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card *
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams *
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin *
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson *
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer *
_
respond? (5)
07:21:08 PM, Wednesday 15 November 2006

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Today is World Usability Day. If you make things, why not take a little time today to work on making them more usable? _
respond? (1)
01:26:55 PM, Wednesday 15 November 2006

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Linklog

One year ago


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Two years ago


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Three years ago


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Four years ago


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Five years ago


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Six years ago


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