Archive for June, 2008

Amnesty International Guantánamo Cell Tour

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I had the opportunity yesterday to take photos for Amnesty International’s Guantánamo Cell Tour which is on the mall till Sunday. One of my photos was used in the story on James Yee and Mahvish Khan both talked about their time working at the prison and the people they met there. There was music from Salim and the music lovers, and two other bands, Salim was by far the best act.

Oh and if you are wondering who the two guys on top of a building are, let just say we saw three helicopters swing over to the white house and one land just before we saw these two chatting on the roof.

Playing with gl_fusion

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

I have been using geeklog on a number of websites. Geeklog just released 1.5.0 which enabled openid support and a few other things, but gl Labs just released a drop in replacement for geeklog call glfusion. Unfortunately it wasn’t a drop in replacement for me, not because of GL Labs, but because of Geeklog’s dumb ass way of implementing paths in their new database based configuration settings. I tend to move the paths around when upgrading so I don’t completely bork a site in the process. So after installing glfusion in the glfusion-1.0.0 directory, nothing worked, I just got a message saying “Unfortunately, an error has occurred rendering this page”. So I hacked the error handler to give me something something more useful to point me in the right direction. I then had to manually update the conf values in the database, this brings me to dumb assessed part of the implementation, look at this row

| path_language | s:41:"/www/"; | text | Core | s:0:""; | 0 | -1 | 100 | 3 |

That s:41 actually means string of length 41. Took me a little while to work that one out. Come on guys have you never head of strlen()? Next why the F…. does this all have to be in one column, if you really need to know that something is a string of 41 characters then put them in a different columns.

So now I have got my rant out of the way, glFusion has some cool stuff it it. It comes with a number of plugins built in and ready to go. It also has mooTools built in to the nouveau theme. See my test page for some of the extra formatting fluff you get

I am most impressed that glLabs is watching the bug tracker for geeklog and has already applied a patch I submitted to geeklog before geeklog has even confirmed it as a bug. So one less thing I need to patch when upgrading my geeklog sites.

If you want to see my first glFusion site go to

Abusive phone calls

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I think I may have just resolved the abusive phone calls I have been receiving from blocked caller id and caller id from 0000123456. Jerimia just called from National Financial Systems looking for Frank Edison. He was polite enough to tell me the company he worked for and that their telephone number is 1 800 765 4733. I then explained to him that I did not know Frank and I have had my cellphone number for about 6 years now. He noted that after each call my number had been marked for removal but then went back in the system. He also identified himself as a supervisor so I let him know that I had repeatedly ask to have my number removed and that when I was called at 9:15am on Wednesday that I asked to speak to a supervisor and the caller refused. He said that this was not the way National Financial systems operates, but it seems they have a history of doing this kind of thing. I haven’t decided if I will file a complaint with the FTC yet.

Good tips on loosing weight

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

This is a timely article on loosing weight by biking on hills. Since I am planning on biking more often to work from West Falls Church metro I have been looking for a better solution to hills on the Custis trail close to the rosyln. If you know this tail then you know that it is a series of accents and decent that are more up and down when traveling away from Rosyln. This makes it a fun ride in the morning but a killer on the way back. So if I want to loose weight I should stick to the trail and follow the advice in the article of trying to stay seated on the bike for as long as possible.

The disadvantage of going electronic for you bills and statements

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Today I needed to pull up the last pay slip from my old company. The company in question doesn’t offer the benefit of mailing out payslips, only the ability to view them online. For some dumb reason, like maybe the possibility that you might have to document your pay and contributions to the IRS I figured that i would have access to these records for a reasonable period of time say 2-5 years, but today a few months after leaving the company I get this message…..

Fortunately after my years of dealing with the USCIS I decided to print a copy of my pay slips so I am 99% sure I have the payslip I need at home.

I also noticed a similar thing when I closed a credit card, all of a suddenly you loose access to the online records, the same thing also happened when I closed a bank account.

This whole save the environment go to e-statements and e-bills is just an excuse for the company in question to save on printing and mailing costs. If they really wanted to save the environment they would allow you to access the records for 5 years after closing the account, that way you don’t have to print at your own expense copies of the statements.

So make sure you have copies of all your bank statements, bills, pay slips before you terminate your relationship with a company because you are more than likely going to be loosing access to the online versions of those documents as well.

Staying one step ahead

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I have always used public transportation, so I have no issues with my bike/bus/metro commute in the morning but with the gas price above $4 more people are starting to switch from driving to using a bike, the buses or the metro.

I suffered through Metro’s multiple issues on the metro over the last couple weeks with the hope that less people will be using it now that schools and universities are out, but that doesn’t seem to happening, in fact the over crowding on the platforms and the rail cars is getting worse.

I mentioned before that I have seen more people biking on the streets round Herndon. Now a new twist, just in the last 2 weeks the bike rack space at the Herndon Monroe park and ride has become very tight and I expect this will only get worse now that they have started a major rebhab of the parking lot which will significantly reduce the number available car parking spaces.

So how do I stay a head of the curve. My current plan is to cut out metro (also the most expense park of my commute) and turn my bike/bus/metro commute into a bike/bus/bike commute. This will save me $6 a day in fares and hopefully mean I drop some extra weight.

Today was the second time I did this commute and here are my stats from west falls church to dc, total time 45 mins, Avg speed 13.5, distance 10.39, Max 32 mph, total miles on my new specialized 4300 134.4. A shower and a change of clothes later and I am a happy camper at work.

HOV bypass

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I recently heard that you can use 66 during HOV if you are going to the airport. I have spent years working around the issue on how to get to the airport during HOV. Now I read in the Washington Post that people are using a loop hole to get on the dulles access road and i66 during HOV by visiting a business in at the airport. Very interesting.

This make me feel old

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Mike Saylor is going to ring the bell on NASQ tomorrow to calibrate it’s 10 year anniversary since it first went public. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since they went public. That means it is 10 1/2 years since since I moved to the US on the basis of a job offer and not knowing much else about living in America. I am now married, on my second house and about to file to have my 2 year temporary status removed from my green card.

Fileserver has a new home

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

I bought a Coolmaster case a few months back from the CompUSA liquidation sale, I didn’t really need it but it was a good price at the time. It sat in the garage till I had time and a reason to do something with it. Last week I bought a cpu/motherboard/memory combination at Microcenter with the thought that I could put it in the case. When I bought the computer guts I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them. Then last week I officially ran out of disk space on the file server. So that was it, I found a purpose for all my new toys. I got Best Buy to price match a western digital 500 GB hard drive and I spent this morning putting it all together. I transfered all the drives from the old file server and added the new 500 gig.

So now I have
AMD 64 dual core X2 4800+
2 Gigs of ram
1 x 320 Western Digital pata drive
2 x 320 Western Digital sata drives
1 x 500 Western Digital sata drive
1 x 500 Seagate sata drive
1 x 500 Western Digital Green sata drive

The first 320 is the OS drive, scratch space, and backup.
The two 320 sata drives are a mirrored pair for personal files and src and mail
the three 500’s are going to be raid 5 and be used for media storage

Radio Head Nude remix

Friday, June 6th, 2008

This is freakishly good, specially if you remember loading games from tape on a sinclair spectrum 48K