Showing posts from October, 2007

Yo, Gmail

I finally have IMAP with Gmail! Thus ends the series of posts nobody cares about concerning my lack of email.Technorati Tags: ,

Uptime screen saver update

In a previous post, I detailed how to make a Mac screen saver that showed off your uptime. With the advent of Leopard, things have changed enough in Quartz Composer so that the Shell Command Patch does not work. When I get a chance, I’ll see about updating it, but for now it does not work.Technorati Tags: , ,

Oy, Gmail

It’s at this point in nothavingGmail that I truly wish I had not accidentally run over a Google employee’s dog, where by “accidentally” I mean “repeatedly”, and “dog” I mean “son”. And yes, I took that from the Simpsons. Honestly, what else am I supposed to do? It’s not like I have IMAP to fill my time.Technorati Tags: , ,

A few quick impressions of Leopard, or "I can't wait to lose a file"

On Friday I went and got Leopard. Due to how long it took trying to safely clean up an external hard drive to use with Time Machine (long ago purchased for backups, no less), I did not get around to trying out most of Leopards features until Sunday.Overall, it is a joy to use. I keep the dock off to the side, so I have not had a visceral to the shiny dock, although I am undecided about those lights representing a program is running.I’m just now trying out Spaces. I used to use VirtueDesktops (I’d give a link, but it has now gone defunct due Leopard announcing similar features). Spaces does not have as many features, but it definitely seems smoother. This is most likely because it is now built in to the system.The most fun feature is Time Machine, though. I only have a couple of backup points now, but it’s fun to go back and forth in it. As one of my friends said on Friday, “I can’t wait to lose a file.”There are still a few things I have not tried yet. being a major one. The …

Gmail IMAP info, and such and such

So I still don’t have IMAP available for Gmail. A post on the Official Gmail Blog said it would take a couple of days to do them all, but I was hoping I would be better than average. Oh, well.I have picked up some useful pieces of information from an editorial “Will Google replace Microsoft Exchange?”. I don’t know if everything is true (I try not to use editorials as a source for facts, although has tended to be pretty good), but if it is there were two things I did not know previously:Gmail’s IMAP does not currently support IMAP Idle. This is too bad, but also not surprising, since I assume they wanted to get IMAP out as they could. I would be surprised if this doesn’t hurt them in the end, what with everyone doing full refreshes.Leopardwill support IMAP idle. This is great news. Before I started using Gmail for everything, I was using IMAP and loving it. Unfortunately, didn’t have idle so I saw no point in leaving it running for any length of time …

More Nepal photo goodness: Annapurna tea house

Annapurna tea house
Originally uploaded by ruan benade This great photo just showed up today from ruan benade. And again, I'm not trying to turn this in to Nepal-photos-on-Flickr-love-fest, whatever that means. But dang it, there are some good photos out there. The one problem with this one is the original is too small to make in to a desktop background. And I have no idea who those people in the picture are.Technorati Tags:

Flickr Photo: Going Home

Going Home
Originally uploaded by framing_gale Here’s the actual reason I wanted to be able to write about photos from Flickr. Everything about it is just really amazing.
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Gmail gets IMAP? One can hope.

Gmail gets IMAP - Download Squad:It appears that Google is working on integrating IMAP into Gmail. Download Squad reader eD! Thomas sent in a tip letting us know he came across the new IMAP setting while snooping around Gmail. However, it is only appearing in select few Gmail and Google Apps for domains accounts at the moment. When we checked Gmail Help database this evening, Gmail had said that they support POP, but not IMAP. Then a few minutes later, that doc was gone, and a stack of IMAP related help docs were up. The new pages explain how to integrate the new mail feature. It’s as easy as setting up POP, but with huge benefits.There’s a little mental list I have of things I’d like Google to do to improve their applications, and this just crossed half of them off (assuming it’s true; I haven’t seen this preference yet).(Via Tags: , ,

A calculation of some podcasts

One of the things I like to do (when my ears are free) is listen to podcasts. I don’t think I’m unusual in that, with few exceptions, I use podcasts for time shifting conventional radio shows. That is to say, iTunes, and likewise my iPod, is more like a TiVo for radio at this point. Sure I listen to music, but I like to stay informed. It also allows me to listen to shows I otherwise would not have, due to them not playing on a local radio station. In particular, I’m really glad that NPR has jumped on the podcasting bandwagon, because now I get to listen to them a lot more.For the last year I have been behind. Really behind. As in, a backlog of over 24 hours. Just a week ago I had roughly 30 hours of podcasts (In a concerted effort, this is now down to 16 hours, thank God.) This wouldn’t be too bad, but of course shows update all the time, adding to this. Plus, I like to listen to my podcasts in the order they were downloaded, so just last week I was listening to podcasts a month and a…

Gandruk at dawn

Gandruk at dawn
Originally uploaded by WhiteGoldWielder Yet another nice Nepal photo. Don’t worry; I will post things other than purty pictures soon.
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Another beautiful Nepal photo

Originally uploaded by sgurranairgid I just though I would post a few other nice photos as I come across them. This one is from sgurranairgrid.
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Fiery sky

Fiery Sky!
Originally uploaded by Adams K. This photo from Adams K. really caught my eye. It also gives me the opportunity to try out blogging about photos from Flickr. The ability to write a post like this through Flickr is really quite interesting and, I might add, quite useful. And hopefully this will come out looking all right. Oh, and as I mentioned in “Flickr tourists in Nepal”, their Nepal-tagged RSS feed is something I am fond of.Technorati Tags: ,

Happy end of Dashain

Today is the last day of Dashain, and in fact is almost over completely in Nepal by now (it is almost 7:30PM there while I am writing this). So happy Dashain!Technorati Tags: ,

Flickr tourists in Nepal

I have read a lot of reports that tourism has increased in Nepal since the cease-fire. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if this was true. Unfortunately, it appears the official Nepali Tourism site only has statistics up to 2005. Those are interesting in their own right, but a bit outdated. So I thought I might try a different tact.Flickr is a great resource for trying to find photos of things, or tracking new photos of them. In fact, I am subscribed to Flickr’s Nepal RSS feed, a news feed of new photos that are public and tagged with the keyword “Nepal”. So here is a question: how many photos with the word “Nepal” appearing in their description have been taken? There are way too many uncertainties to try and draw any deep conclusions from this, but here are Flickr’s numbers, quarter by quarter:April-June 2004: 3,186July-September 2004: 1,496October-December 2004: 4,917January-March 2005: 4,031April-June 2005: 5,454July-September 2005: 8,341October-December 2005: 19,139January-March 2…

iPhone and iPod Touch, 802.1X and LEAP

This is more a note for people who were wondering like myself: the current OS X that comes with the iPod Touch and iPhone cannot handle either 802.1X or LEAP (before anyone tells me it handles 802.11x just fine, please remember that 802.1X and LEAP are specific forms of encrypting a wireless connection, not types of wireless connections. 802.11x is instead a generic term used for the varying speeds of wireless, i.e. 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, ….)This is really too bad, as both are have been built in to Mac OS X since at least version 10.3, and also both are the main ways I can get wireless at OSU. I have every intent on finding out if this gets fixed with subsequent OS updates. Incidentally, a big reason I am posting this is due to some Apple Store employees erroneously telling me it should work on the iPhone and iPod Touch, since it is built in to Mac OS X, which shares a lot of common code with the OS X on both devices (as far as anyone seems to know). I don’t fault them fo…

Students buying Leopard

Okay, now a lot of friends who are asking me about student pricing for Leopard (how I would know better than anyone is a question that comes to my mind). Anyhow, here is a collection of details from random places I have read:The list price for Leopard is $129.The education store price for Leopard is $116.The educational institution price is $69-$79, I don’t remember exactly.Some people are saying that their college bookstores are selling Mac OS X for ~$70, but this is probably for the old version.Amazon is selling Leopard for $109. So what does this mean? Well, I will probably be stopping by my local college bookstore in about a week, and if they don’t have a better price than Amazon, I will by it online. Waiting a couple more days for managed code won’t be too bad. Right? Right!?!?

Mac rumors and Leopard, redux

As an update to my previous post about buying a Mac, just today it was officially announced that Mac OS X 10.5 will be released on October 26. Of interest to me (and getting a little bit less attention so far) is Apple’s Up-To-Date program:Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard and its 300-plus new features and innovations are coming Oct. 26, 2007.If you buy a qualifying Mac between October 1, 2007 and December 29, 2007, and it does not include Mac OS X Leopard, you’re eligible to get Leopard after it’s released for just $9.95 plus tax.Incidentally, I can’t find any evidence that you can get an update for cheaper by picking it up at an Apple Store.Technorati Tags: ,

SilkAir will be flying to Nepal

SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, will be flying to Kathmandu three times a week starting October 30. This is great news, as flights from Singapore makes it slightly easier to get to Nepal (especially now one can fly using their Star Alliance).Technorati Tags: ,

Nostalgic search problems

Recently, I have been kind of wondering what has happened to some of my friends from high school, and even some people who were not maybe friends but I thought would go somewhere. Don’t worry, I won’t spend much time talking nostalgically, as there is a larger question to what I am writing about. But first, let me detail some of the kinds of references to people I can find:One person is in a bowling leagueOne is now a teacher in middle schoolOne appears to be working for a women’s foundationOne got an MBA and appears to have cut her hairOne studied physics in her undergrad, and then went on to graduate school to study danceOne is now a lawyerOne appears to be in finance and real estateOne might be doing artwork for some RPGsOne wrote a letter to a survivalist magazineOne posted a few messages to some newsgroups right before and after graduatingThese were the best results of well under half of the people I tried to find things out about. Granted, I limited myself to checking the first …

How to make a (Mac) screen saver that shows your uptime

I am not all that big about screen savers, what with the fact they don’t save screens any more. On the other hand, it can be a good warning that the screen is about to turn off if you do not actually want it to. As such, a nice simple screen saver can still be useful. Blanking to black is fine, but why not make it a little nice?For a couple of years (at least), I have used a screen saver called ShowOff. The whole purpose is to keep track of your best uptime, and shows your current uptime. There are a lot problems with it, though:It has not been updated since January of 2006.It only records uptimes when the screen saver is runningEditing the font requires hand-editing the plist file.It occasionally records a random value, thus making it useless.To handle the last problem, I have been keeping a copy of the preferences and using it to replace the wrong one. Sufficed to say, this is less than optimal. So I decided to go about and make my own. I do have a goal of learning Objective-C somed…

Dashain is here

As I mentioned here, Dashain starts on October 12. Which is today. So happy Dashain.Technorati Tags: ,

On the 3x+1 Problem: Basic algorithm speedups

The last time I talked about the 3x+1 Problem, I gave a basic overview of what it is. Today, I will talk about some (basic) ways to speed up the search for a counterexample, and next time I will introduce the Structure Theorem for the 3x+1 Problem.Part I: An introduction to 3x+1Part II: Basic algorithm speedups (this one)Part III: The Structure TheoremI suggest reading from the beginning if you do not know what the 3x+1 (Collatz) Problem is.To get starting on thinking of some simple reasoning can do in speeding it up, here is some pseudocode of a naïve implementation of an algorithm that forever checks numbers. After it checks that a number goes to 1, it moves on to the next. repeat with x from 1 to forever set testMe to x while testMe is not 1 do if testMe is odd then set testMe to 3*testMe + 1 else -- It must be even set testMe to testMe divided by 2 end if end while end repeatSomewhat ironically, we will have foun…

MacRumors Buyers Guide

Rumors in the Mac world are pretty common. Just look at the proliferation of rumors-based websites: there's Yee Old Mac OS Rumors, MacRumors, Think Secret, AppleInsider, … And those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. Personally, I prefer the Crazy Apple Rumors Site, or CARS, since most rumors turn out to be false anyway and I might as well have them made up.Either due to the greater popularity of Macs lately, or whatever, but in the past few weeks I have had four friends cite rumors of new MacBooks as reasons to hold off in buying them. Obviously, I have no idea which rumors are true, and which are not. But I do know two things.By the end of the month, Mac OS X 10.5, A.K.A. “Leopard”, will be released. That means Apple will be announcing when people can buy a MacBook and later receive a free upgrade. Other people might rather have it pre-installed, it’s up to them (personally, I find doing using the Backup-and-Install method easy enough).The other thing …

Oh, TiVo. Isn't there not nothing you can't not do?

I mentioned it at somepoint, but I have a TiVo. Those involved with (or aware of) my decision making process know that this was almost a last minute decision; I had really wanted to set up a MythTV, and I had even found a decent primer or two to help me in setting it up. At some point though, I realized other people would need to use it. I also realized my whole point for wanting a DVR was so I would not have to babysit the VCR so as to make sure it was both set up to record and had room on its tape. Babysitting a DVR to just to keep it working was not anything I wanted to do. That was a hard decision, actually. I have been impressed with the XMLTV project, and to me that MythTV is using it is a plus (Of course, it is now not free in the U.S., due to no fault of the XMLTV people).So fast forward to today, and there are still things that seem magical to me. I know they shouldn’t. I mean, I am in computer science and all. I have read enough about how it works and what it is doing, and h…

On the 3x+1 Problem: An introduction

Right now, I am currently working on a paper related to the 3x+1 Problem, so I thought I would write up a short primer to a truly beautiful theorem involving a truly interesting mathematics problem that almost certainly has no bearing on anyone’s day-to-day life. Unfortunately, it has ended up being a rather large post, so I have decided to split it up in to a few pieces. As I do them, I will add links here.Part I: An introduction to 3x+1 (this one)Part II: Basic algorithm speedupsPart III: The Structure TheoremWikipedia has a decent primer on the 3x+1 Problem, A.K.A. the Collatz Conjecture. But it's also very easy to state what turns out to be a very difficult problem. Say I tell you to pick any whole number (i.e., an integral number that is 1 or bigger). Now:If the number you picked is odd, multiply it by 3, and then add 1 (hence, 3x+1).If the number you picked is even, divide it by two.Repeat the last two steps until you hit 1.So that is what you do. Before getting to the conje…

Food science

Just yesterday, Wired had an interesting interview with Brian Wansink, the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell. Probably my favorite fact from the interview:People end up serving themselves 25 percent more on a 12 inch plate than on a 10 inch plate. But if you ask them about it, they’ll deny that.The website has a lot of other really cool stuff as well.(Incidentally, they have an article summary of their report that at least in part covers plate sizes, as well as the full report  [PDF].)Technorati Tags: , ,