misc 15 October 2008
    "Fremium Works If You Do It Right"

    I am an incredibly cheap bastard frugal. I don't like to pay for things.

    Yet I just paid for Flickr without hesitation or a moment of doubt. Odd.

    Here's why, I think:

    • Cheap: $25/year is not a lot of money.
    • Excellent service. I've never had a problem with the …

    misc 15 October 2008
    "Python Script For Finding And Removing Duplicate Files"

    My image, mp3, and ebook collection were a mess after years of copying to various servers, consolidating, and re-copying. I had lots of duplicates.

    I looked for an app to find and remove duplicates but surprisingly didn't find anything very good. So I had to write my own.

    This is …

    misc 15 October 2008
    "Small Biz Minimal CRM Thoughts"

    As the "computer guy" for my wife, various friends, and my own activities, I often see a need for a very simple "CRM" system. But it's not really CRM; it's more of a contact management system together with a way to send emails to various groups of friends / customers, a …

    misc 13 October 2008
    "Access Python Dictionary Keys As Properties"

    Say you want to access the values if your dictionary via the dot notation instead of the dictionary syntax. That is, you have:

    d = {'name':'Joe', 'mood':'grumpy'}

    And you want to get at "name" and "mood" via


    instead of the usual

    d['mood …

    misc 12 October 2008
    "Beanstalkd / Python Basic Tutorial"

    (First install beanstalkd and pybeanstalk)

    Beanstalkd is an in-memory queuing system. It supports named queues (called 'tubes'), priorities, and delayed delivery of messages.

    Terminology: a message is called a job, and queues are called tubes.

    Let's look at an example scenario. Say you want to create 2 tubes, one called …

    misc 12 October 2008
    "Setting Up Beanstalkd on Ubuntu for Python"

    beanstalkd is a promising in-memory queuing system in the mold of memcached (minimal configuration, just works) with client libraries in a variety of languages. The following worked for me for installing it on Ubuntu 8.04:

    mkdir ~/packages
    # pre-requisite: libevent.
    cd ~/packages
    wget http://monkey.org/~provos/libevent-1.4 …

    misc 12 October 2008
    "UCSD Hack Week: I’ll Be There"

    I'm participating in the UCSD Yahoo Hack U week this coming week (Oct 13th-17th) with a talk on Wed and hopefully sticking around through most of the actual hack day (Thurs/Fri). If you're going to be on campus let me know by emailing me ( darugar at gmail ) or leaving …

    misc 10 October 2008
    "Back Up No More?"

    My laptop suddenly stopped working, throwing me into panic - what if it's a problem with the motherboard, the same problem that killed my last laptop?

    It turned out to be the power adapter, fairly easily remedied, but it got me thinking about backups.

    I realized I actually don't have a …

    misc 10 October 2008
    "Thankful For The Stupidity of Virus Authors"

    For about a week now the network at home has been slow. Just as I'd get frustrated enough to do something about it it'd get fast again, so I procrastinated.

    Meanwhile I was cursing Time Warner, Linksys, Apple, and just about everybody else whose hardware I own. The Linksys wireless …

    misc 09 October 2008
    "Stackoverflow: Surprisingly Good Source of Technical Answers"

    Stackoverflow Logo

    Stackoverflow is a newish service for developers - ask a question, get answers, vote on answers, build reputation. Sort of like Yahoo! Answers but for developers.

    I'm surprised at how good the service is so far. I asked a question on IRC and the same question on Stackoverflow. Within 2 minutes …

    misc 07 October 2008
    "The Big Picture Adopts ReaderScroll Navigation"

    This is an excellent development - The Big Picture from boston.com, a beautiful photo blog and one of the big reasons for putting ReaderScroll together, has implemented j/k navigation, inspired by ReaderScroll. Nicely done - now you can navigate the pictures via the j/k keys.

    One down, many more …

    misc 02 October 2008

    Watching the Palin/Biden debate and the subsequent babbling by the TV talking heads has me depressed. Nothing of substance was said during the entire debate. What we witnessed was an audition for a supporting role in a B movie, not a debate between potential 2nd in commands of the …

    misc 02 October 2008

    Is it me or does Palin struggle to say "nookiller" instead of nuclear? It seems like she knows the correct pronunciation but goes out of her way to say it incorrectly. Some sort of Bushism or republicanism maybe?

    Actually it'd be interesting to draw party lines along pronunciation. I say …

    misc 24 September 2008
    "Happy: Hadoop with Python (Jython)"

    The Freebase folks have open sourced their Python (Jython) based Hadoop framework, calling it Happy. Looks interesting, will need to give it a whirl when I get a chance.

    misc 22 September 2008
    "Best Way To Automatically Convert Flickr Images to FaceBook Albums?"

    Here's a lazyweb question for you: what's the best way to convert my flickr photo stream into facebook albums on an automated, continual basis? I much prefer dealing with flickr than facebook for photos, but many of my lazy friends are on facebook, keep asking for photos, but are apparently …

    misc 17 September 2008
    "Productivity Tip: Forget The Power Cord"

    How's this for a productivity tip: leave your power cord at home. I'm in this situation now, and I'll tell ya, it does bring a razor sharp focus to what you need to be doing with those precious few minutes you have of computer time.

    (Of course if I was …

    misc 15 September 2008
    "Disco: Erlang/Python Based Map-Reduce"

    Disco is a map-reduce framework written in Erlang and Python. Seems reasonable - I definitely prefer Python to Java for writing maps and reduces, and Erlang is rumored to be good at parallel stuff.

    Interestingly no mention of an underlying distributed file system.

    Via High Scalability.

    misc 15 September 2008
    "Live Maps Rocks"

    Live doesn't get a lot of love and with those new ads Microsoft needs some serious help getting the word out, so let me say something nice about them. I've been using Live Maps lately, mainly because of the "Bird's eye view", and it's quickly becoming my favourite map app …

    misc 09 September 2008
    "Already Using Chrome Regularly"

    I'm surprised to find I use Chrome pretty regularly already. It's mostly my interface to Gmail, Google Reader, and GCal, and sits quietly in the task bar until I need to check email. Lack of firebug and various other extensions prevent me from using it for everything, but it's part …

    misc 05 September 2008
    "Drizzle: MySQL Based Slim / Cloud-Oriented DB"

    Drizzle is interesting:

    Drizzle: A High-Performance Microkernel DBMS for Scale-Out Applications
    Drizzle is a community-driven project based on the popular MySQL DBMS that is focused on MySQL's original goals of ease-of-use, reliability and performance.

    Headed up by Brian Aker, Director of Architecture at MySQL AB. Take a look at the …


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