Showing posts from December, 2006

2007 Predictions

It's always fun to make some predictions so you can make a fool of yourself in 12 months time. So here it goes: The Nintendo Wii will outsell the XBox 360, although it may take all year. Most XBox 360 owners will also have a Wii. The US economy will do worse in 2007 than in 2006. A part of the reason will be because of lowered housing prices. Brazil will do marginally better in 2007 than 2006. The OLPC will have a rough start mostly because of political reasons and an extended smear campaign but will be an utter success as 2008 rolls around. We'll start seeing more machines with Linux pre-installed on it instead of Windows in 2007 or with a sticker saying "linux ready" or some such. We'll slowly start seeing companies putting Linux on their employees desktops instead of windows because it is easier to administer and catches less viruses. People will start understanding that DRM is evil and will actively try to avoid it, despite the lack of legal choices. Some s

When regular Sudoku just isn't hard enough for you

There's 3D sudoku

Dot to Png

For fun I wasted some time creating diagrams using the dot language. It's pretty fast to get a diagram out, except that there are a lot of things you can't do, like make shadows or rounded and filled rectangles. With this dot code: digraph "User Clicks" { node [ shape="rectangle" style="filled" ] server [label="Server"] java [shape="ellipse" label="Java\nCode"] provider [label="Service\nProvider"] browser [label="Firefox"] browser->server[label=<&#9312; AJAX Sends Session ID>]; server->java[label=<&#9313; Confirms Session ID>]; java->provider[label=<&#9314; Makes HTTPS call>]; provider->java[label=<&#9315; Results>]; java->server[label=<&#9316; Results>]; server->browser[label=<&#9317; Results>]; } You can click on the image to see the SVG rendered in Firefox, if you use that. I wrote a little python program to call t

Brazil's Obsession with Languages

On the way to and from work, I pass three English, one Japanese and one Mandarin Chinese school. If I drive one block off my regular route I can also pass infront of Portuguese, French, German, Spanish and Italian schools (although some do double duty). These little schools are more common in Brazil than Starbucks are in the US. It reminded me when I was working at my previous job, there was this new guy who started working next to me. He wanted to learn 4 languages. I didn't know what to say. I mentioned that I speak four languages, but it never really helped me get a job. Even in Brazil where knowing English can really be an asset (and thus all the English schools), I hardly ever had a chance to speak it at work. For a while, I was even working for an American company in São Paulo (Convergys) and the only time I got to speak English was when I went out to a bar with the Americans. I just didn't have the heart to tell him that he should really learn another computer langua

Messed up Ubuntu, again

I've not been having great luck with Ubuntu recently. Two weeks ago I tried an upgrade and failed miserably (see thread ). I was able to backup and essentially reinstall from CD and start all over (which isn't all that hard with Synaptic, it's just click and install and rsync to recover my 45 gig backup). You'll notice that there are no window borders and the console is actually on top of the panel at the top of the screen. Then this week I was playing with vnc2swf and somehow I killed my window manager. Basically, my machine would start up but had no borders around the window, they are unmovable and I can't Alt-Tab to different programs. I 'knew' the problem was with the window manager, but what is that called, and how do I set it up properly? At first I thought it was GDM (the GNOME Display Manager) , but after fiddling with that for a bit I realized (eventually) that I was wrong. Some more surfing and I realized that it is probably metacity (althou

I've Gotta Wii

I forgot to post that I managed to get a Wii. For a while I tried from Amazon, even wrote a python program to check the various Amazon pages periodically and put it in my shopping basket the minute it's available. It was finally through the XP Bargains Wii tracker that I was able to find one available via . It came with 6 games and an extra remote. The extras games besides Wii Sports are Zelda , Trauma Center , Red Steel , Marvel Ultimate Alliance , Super Monkey Ball , and Madden NFL - it's not a bad list of games. I ordered it on 24th of November and it arrived at my mom's on 6th of December. I had a colleague who was at Mountain View who was able to bring it to me the 11th of December (17 long days since I order it). So this was my first wiikend with the Wii. Basically, Victor and I played Zelda until our eyes bled. Looks like I was pretty lucky, people are still queuing up all night to get one. That link points out the sad tale of 200 people lining u

New version of wxOptParse released

I got an e-mail from a user of my open source project wxoptparse , he had some problems and even provided some patches. I downloaded my code from subversion and found that it was still missing some important features and had some other serious issues, which I have since fixed. This program is a union of Python's option-parser ( optparse ) and wxPython . My program hijacks optparse and creates a dialog box of the parameters and shows it in a gui. Then by selecting checkboxes, combo-boxes or typing in edit boxes you can choose the parameters to call the program. This is pretty handy for utilities you don't use very often. As long as your python program uses optparse, you have to change anything in your program. Another handy feature is that it remembers your previous values, so you don't have to type it in again. There are still a lot of features I can think of to add, but it helps when I get some feedback (sorta like Warnock's Dilemma ).