A cool thing or two

Posted in Geekfest on April 11th, 2008 by juan

A few different places have been raving about Flock. It’s a web browser + rss reader + email reader + flickr/facebook/youtube/del.icio.us, and web blogger interface all in one. Not convinced that this is my thing, but worth a try. Posting thing post from there.

Also while I’m at it, check this out: Max from sbooth.org. Cool little util to transmorgrify your audio from one format to another.

Blogged with the Flock Browser


MacBook sleeping done right: SmartSleep

Posted in Fanboy, Geekfest, OOTT on March 18th, 2008 by juan

If you ever had a powerbook, you remember the almost instant sleep that happened when you closed your laptop. Somewhere in the late powerbook or macbook/pro timeframe, Apple changed the behavior from sleep (save contents in RAM only) to hibernate+sleep (save contents in RAM and dump to disk). There’s been undocumented PRAM settings that let you change the behavior so that you can select sleep, hibernate+sleep, or hibernate only. However, it was a setting that affected the system globally.

However, now Patrick Stein, the guy who wrote JollyFastVNC (should be a separate blog post), has released SmartSleep. From his website:


SmartSleep.prefPane is a preference pane that dynamically sets the sleep state of your machine. It’s a successor to Hibernate.prefPane.

The Problem
Your macbook or macbook pro knows the following sleep states:

sleep: machine will go to sleep only (saves state in RAM only, battery keeps RAM contents)

sleep & hibernate: machine sleeps and hibernates. (default)

hibernate only machine will go to hibernate only. (saves state on disk, battery will not be used)

Just sleep means that the notebook will go to sleep fast, but you loose the ability to change the battery as the battery is needed to keep the contents of the memory (RAM).
Just sleep and hibernate will wake the computer fast, but sleeping will take ages as the contents of the memory are saved to disk before entering the sleep.

The solution
SmartSleep let’s you select each select sleep state. Additionaly the new SmartSleep state lets your notebook just sleep while the battery has a high level. If the battery level drops below a certain point ( default is less then 20% or 20 minutes ) it will switch to sleep and hibernate. So you have the best of both worlds.

Open Source SAM/QFS

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest, Storage on March 18th, 2008 by juan

For those of you that have never heard of Sun’s (formerly LSI) SAM/QFS, this is a high performance filesystem that also has high performance HSM capabilities. I’ve installed this and used it in some very large sites. Amongst the many good things you can do: multiple reader/multiple writer clustered file system, dynamic inode creation, dynamic migration and staging (even in the middle of a file when you do a fseek), file size based volume selection (let’s you send large files to volumes optimized for large files and small files to volumes design for them all in the same filesystem).

Now if the SAM/QFS guys and the ZFS guys could merge this stuff together, oh-la-la!

Get your copy here:

SAM/QFS at OpenSolaris.org:

Cocoa based VIM

Posted in Geekfest, OOTT on February 25th, 2008 by juan

So, over the weekend, I stumbled across a Really Good Thing. I’ve been using VIM and the mac carbon based GUI for VIM for a while now. I’ve even set it as the default editor for TXT files. However, I found myself right-clicking on files and selecting to use TextEdit more often than not. Why? Because TextEdit opens up much faster. I mean much faster. Then, by happenstance, and a lot of bored tv watching and web clicking, I stumbled across this Cocoa port of the VIM gui. On top of looking much better than the default carbon gui, this one fires up almost as fast as TextEdit. It also has cool support for transparencies, tabs, and a full screen mode that takes all of the non-sense off of the screen and makes you FOCUS. It’s actively being developed and looks very promising.

macvim – Google Code:

boo got shot

Posted in Humor, Musings on February 18th, 2008 by juan

Neal Boortz (boortz.com) is a nationally syndicated radio show host based out of Atlanta. Amongst many other things, he is the author and main proponent of the fair tax law movement. Those of you not familiar with this, I strongly encourage you to read through this. Well, Neal is also a funny man. A few years ago he and his crew took an interview of a local crime witness and “translated” it for the rest of us. Well, I just found this animated version of it. Enjoy:

Boo Got Shot – AnimationThe most amazing videos are a click away

macosxhints.com – 10.5: View any PowerPoint document in Quick Look

Posted in Fanboy on February 15th, 2008 by juan

OK – this is one of those things that has bugged me since Leopard came out. I love QuickLook but it failed in the powerpoint department. It seemed like only 1/3 of my PPT and PPS files were visible using QuickLook. Well – this hint at macosxhints takes care of that. Contrary to the comments in the hint, my 10.5.2 did not have this on by default.

macosxhints.com – 10.5: View any PowerPoint document in Quick Look

mental sausage

Posted in Commentary, Geekfest, Musings on February 14th, 2008 by juan

Merlin Mann might be one of the funniest, but also most insightful people ever. He recently made available the presentation he gave at MacWorld. In this brilliant presentation, he talks about how to keep our time and attention focused. He also gave me another reason to buy a domain name – mentalsausage.com.

Check out the presentation:

get better at shooting with the wheel (redux)

Posted in Commentary, Musings on February 12th, 2008 by juan

While sitting on a boring con call, I went ahead and re-did the shooting wheel into a PDF. This is a nice big sheet version of this so that you can take it to the range with you. This is a great tool to improve handgun shooting accuracy.

 Shooting Wheel

get better at shooting

Posted in Commentary on February 10th, 2008 by juan

Today I went to the range with my older daughter. We had a good time, but as I was trying to teach her how to improve her accuracy, I kept remembering a chart I’d see years ago. It took me a long time to find this site: http://www.bullseyepistol.com/training.htm that had the chart. I’m including it here to expose it some more.


nerdery and why excel needs help

Posted in Geekfest on February 8th, 2008 by juan

So, I was just at a customer site today. They have an interesting storage problem. Part of it was that we needed to map a whole bunch of hosts IP addresses to their VLAN id’s so that we can determine how much storage was in each VLAN. This will help architect our backup solution. Well, there was no such simple mapping to be used, so we started with an excel spread sheet that had all of the hosts names and each of their drive letters (capacity and free space). Another excel spreadsheet had the hostname to IP mapping. Yet a third spreadsheet had the subnet mask to VLAN tag mapping. Problem was that none of these represented the data in a consistent manner. The storage spreadsheet had the short name of the hosts. The hostname+IP spreadsheet had the fully qualified domain name and the IP addresses in a full decimaled notation (i.e. as opposed to The VLAN spreadsheet had the domains listed in the standard x.x.x.x/x notation. Well manipulating almost all of these turned out to be mostly doable via excel. But, the conversion of to something sensible turned out to be not so easy. Excel’s string functions are, ahhh…, rudimentary. So, rather than waste a whole bunch of time writing an excel equation that had a whole bunch of “=left(A2,search(“.”,A2,(search(“.”,A2)))” nonsense, I turned to my trusty command line on the mac and turned to sed. I copied the column with the IP’s to a text file called aa (one IP/line). It looked something like this:

slick:~$ cat aa

I then wrote this shell one liner:

slick:~$ while read i; do echo $i | sed ‘s/^0*\([0-9]*\.\)0*\([0-9]*\.\)0*\([0-9]*\.\)0*\([0-9]*$\)/\1\2\3\4/’; done <aa

and it output this:

slick:~$ while read i; do echo $i | sed ‘s/^0*\([0-9]*\.\)0*\([0-9]*\.\)0*\([0-9]*\.\)0*\([0-9]*$\)/\1\2\3\4/’; done <aa

So, the question is, can any of you (the four people that read my blog) do better on the RE in the sed statement?

Also, Microsoft, please add regular expressions to the function list! If not Steve Jobs, Numbers?