Archive for November, 2002

Ye gods.

Friday, November 29th, 2002

I’m glad my computer clock is a hour off. If that were really what time it were, then I’d really be scared.

Spent a few hours tonight playing with Reason (my new favorite toy. I keep thinking I’m going to go to a coffeehouse open mic with a accordian made out of a pair of oxygen8s. I’ll be the first techno accordion player. It’ll be hilarious.

Peseta music, the accordian store around the corner, must be rubbing off on me.

At least, that’s kind of whatI’m figuring at the moment.

But it’ll be a great hit at DefCon. I swear.

Assuming they let us HOLD another DefCon. ‘We didn’t exactly take away the freedom to assemble. We just made the person who’s place you are assembling at responsable for any illegal activities that occured there’. Thank you, RAVE act. It’s more like Reduce America’s Vulnerability to Young Radical Types.

Except that RAVYRT just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

‘Sheer, you’re overreacting’.

Okay. Fine.

In the meantime, my reasonesque meanderings are up on my el-cheese radio station. The transcoder is, however, broken.

Mental note to self: do something about that.

It’s okay, they suck anyway.

I am starting to wonder, though, how do I know when I’m good enough to play a open mic? And what kind of open mic do I find to play? I mean, yeesh, I’m not even sure what my musical style _is_…

I guess the one good thing is, this is Seattle, LOT of coffeehouses.


Except I guess the Starbucks and Seattle’s Bests of the world do not have things like open mics or poetry readings or pun contests.

Probably just as well.

You know, when I was a teenager there was a coffee house where you could always be sure to find someone interesting to talk to…

Yes, I hear Nicka and Chris snickering over in their respective corners, if they read this. Shut up, Chris, it was too cool. I don’t think it ever made any money, though, which was the problem. And so they turned it into a bar & grill or something of that sort. the Firehouse? Something like that.

But prior to that, it was the Dharma Coffeehouse. Ah, memories of Fairfax, Emmit Swimming doing accoustic sets..

I actually have to admit, for all my hatred of northern virginia, it did have two things going for it. Dharma and Traxx.

I think they closed both of them, though.

Okay. Enough nostalgia.

Signing off.


Good greif.

Wednesday, November 13th, 2002

Pirate radio has never been so easy. 😉

I wonder if they keep a list of everyone who’s ever bought one?

Something tells me this isn’t the kind of thing you can pay cash for.

No, P., I’m not going to buy a radio transmitter. Stop looking so horrified.

Kevin Mitnik and the news.

Monday, November 11th, 2002

So I was reading the Seattle Times today, and there’s a article on The Art Of Deception in which the author is whining about how Kevin doesn’t talk in the book about feeling any remorse for what he did.

And I’m thinking, here is someone who has completely missed the point. Kevin did NO damage, to anyone. He stole some credit card numbers, yes, but he never made a purchase. He stole some source code for some sensative parts of the cellular phone system, yes, but as far as I know he never made a phone call. And this person is complaining that – in the process of doing no damage, and increasing public awareness of the insecurity of systems all around us, Kevin has done something truly evil and should feel immense amounts of remorse.

I’ll tell you who should be feeling remorse. The CEOs of Enron, Worldcom, AOL/Time Warner, Qwest, and a half a dozen other large publicly traded companies. People who stole millions of dollars, often from their own employees. Bush, who’s trying very hard to start world war three. Other people of similar minds everywhere. The rich who got that way by robbing and exploiting the poor. The man who drives alone to work every day in his SUV, bringing WWIII [which will be fought over oil] that much closer.

Not Kevin Mitnik.

Feel guilty for figuring out how the system is broken? That doesn’t make any sense at all. You should feel guilty for abusing the ways the system is broken to get what you want, without any regards for how it hurts other people.

I could have just as easily been Kevin. Qaz could have just as easily been Kevin. I could make a long list of my friends who could have been Kevin. None of them are evil. You want to know where evil is? Look to the people running our country. Look to the police, incarcerating people for inhaling the smoke of a plant. Look to the automakers building ICE-powered cars when they know perfectly well how to make cars powered by more efficient means. Look to anyone who puts a fast buck now over bigger profits in the future.. or even having a future at all.

but don’t look at Kevin. Kevin has no reason to feel remorse. He’s paid dearly for his non-crimes, and the non-crimes of all of us who dare to look for holes, or dare to think outside the box.

tear it down!


Pop ups that shouldn’t have been popped up.

Monday, November 11th, 2002

That probably won’t work six months from now.

But, I don’t think this pop-up ad sends quite the message they meant to send.

Love the finger action.


More wonderful geek Ts.

Saturday, November 9th, 2002

Blue Max

Sunday, November 3rd, 2002

Anyone remember the 8-bit video game ‘blue max’?

About six months ago, I downloaded a commodore 64 emulator for my computer (those of you who remember the 64 will realize how comic this is). Among other things, this has enabled me to have the fine experience of being beaten in chess by a computer with less RAM than a TI-82.. but I digress.

There’s a game called ‘blue max’, which involves flying a WW-II biplane around and bombing buildings, shooting down other planes, etc. Very tight code, I still haven’t figured out how they managed to get the entire thing into RAM with no overlays..

Anyway, the really cute thing about all this is that the game crashes.. pretty hard.. if you bomb your own runway. Now I’ve always been curious as to whether this was a feature or a bug – i.e. is this something the programmer intended or somethign that happened accidentally – and I was hoping that someone on the web would have a answer. However, a google search for ‘blue max bomb own runway’ turned up nothing even remotely resembling a answer. So now, unless I can run down the person who wrote blue max (assuming that he’s A: still alive and B: connected to the internet), I will have to relearn 6502 assembly and find a reverse-assembler for the C64 (no small feat, 20 years after the fact – I mean, I can’t even find a copy of VB6.0 2 years after it was written)..

So, does anyone else have any theories?

Come on, I know I’m not the only one amongst my friends who played 8-bit video games.

By the way, I’m amazed at how many of these games retain their playability twenty years after they were written. I can’t find the urge to install and play again most of the steller CD-ROM amazing-graphics-and-sound games that I have lying around, but Pogo Joe still amuses me.

I wonder if they wrote better games back then, or if it’s just nostalgia.

I guess I should get back to work on the evparts address book, huh.


Sunday, November 3rd, 2002

Life as a gay football player

This should help remove any stereotypes any of you might have that gay people are more sensative or more intelligent.

Okay, I’m sorry, that was way out of line. But hell, it’s my journal, if I’m not allowed to be a asshole here, where am I allowed to be a asshole, eh?


From the useless invention of the month club..

Sunday, November 3rd, 2002

Yes, I know, you all want to know about the soap opera that is my life. Well, today, we’re going to get a little more literal with the soap part than usual, because it’s time for my useless invention of the month.

Here’s the idea. Take your typical bath/shower valve assembly. Now remove it. Replace the two valves with two spring-loaded voice-coil style actuators (i.e. the more current you put into them, the wider they open, when all current is removed, they default closed). Add manual valves to ajust the close-stop (for the old fashoned or for bathing in a power failure]

Now add a microcontroller and DC power supply. [since there’s going to be water around, we don’t really want a AC-operated device. Also, pot everything just to be sure]

Add some buttons, like:





Add a optical sensor that tells the widget when the tub is full, so it can automatically turn off.

Now, you can all probably visualize where this is going. You set your flow and temp once, and store it in a preset. Then, in the morning, you just whack that preset button. Whala, a shower that is the perfect temp. Even if someone flushes the toilet during your shower, the computer automatically ajusts to keep the shower temp the same (though the flow rate may massively decrease). With ‘BATH-UNTIL-HOT’ pushed, the unit flows water to the bath spigot until the water is up to your temp, then turns on the shower. No more uncertainty about shower temp in the morning, no more fiddling with valves..

The whole widget could probably be made for about $100 in parts, and be made reliable enough to last 50+ years. [Don’t forget the clamping zener and the MOV on the input to the power supply!]

We did mention that this device will only save you about 10 seconds a day and is more or less totally useless, right?

Thank you, drive through.


Hidden porn on your computer? You’re going to hell!

Friday, November 1st, 2002

SO I’ve seen about the five millionth pop under ad asking if I have hidden porn files on my computer. No, thank you, the porn on my computer is well labelled and stuck in a drawer called ‘porn’ in a logical place on the network where just about anyone who knew me at all could find it.

No, seriously, why would you care if you had hidden porn on your computer? Unless you were running out of disk space, that is..

I can come up with two conclusions.

1) The paranoid sheer conclusion: Bush et al are about to make net porn illegal. The day afterwords, the cops will storm the houses of all suspected of having porn, and bust them.

Hrm. That doesn’t make any sense

2) The christian god has decreed that you’re going to hell if you have hidden porn that you didn’t know about on your computer.

Aside from the fact that I’ve not seen anything in the bible that suggests the christian god could give one shit one way or another over whether you have naked pictures of other people [as long as you don’t covet them ;-)], this does rather sound like his methodology. Has just the right nuttiness level to it.

Life is misery. Any time you get ahead in happiness, look out, the payback’s gonna be a bitch. I mean, it’s rigged this way. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?

My SO contends that no one will mourn the human race when it’s gone in a puff of greasy smoke, which will be, if all signs and portents are right, in about a year, give or take. [That’s how long it’ll take this whole iraq thing to boil up to nuclear proportions].

My ghost will mourn it.

I so don’t have anything worth saying right now. I’m just writing because it seems more painless to write than not to write. And I’m waiting for the mac+cheese to finish cooking, and I already changed the porch light.

Trick or treat.