art's abode

Archive for November, 2007

Hadron Collider starting up tomorrow

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Tomorrow (26th Nov), the Hadron Collider is scheduled to turn on for the first time. Here’s an older BBC documentary about the Collider (which apparently cost £6 billion):

Let’s hope that tomorrow doesn’t start with a big bang.

Written by art

November 25th, 2007 at 4:18 am

Posted in science,video

Ruby and Silverlight

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  • imageRubyCLR, a ruby bridge to .NET:

A high-performance Ruby to .NET bridge that allows seamless integration of CLR and Ruby objects in the same Win32 process. Use it to create rich client applications using the Windows Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation libraries.


  • An insightful video on mashing up Silverlight (using the Dynamic Language Runtime) and ruby, together with Python, VB and JavaScript:

Presented by Jim Hugunin, John Lam
Duration: 72 minutes, 26 seconds

Written by art

November 15th, 2007 at 9:07 pm

Windows Live Writer 2008 finally released!

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Aye, that’s right open source fans, your favorite blogging tool is no longer beta testing! Live Writer 2008 was released earlier this month and is finally out of beta testing (I’m using it as of this post!) at version 12.0.1366.1026. I’ve been posting here almost exclusively using WLW, and contrary to the regular ultra-hilarious jokes about Microsoft Beta softwarez, it’s been a pleasant and stable experience for me in Vista.

Apart from supporting Live Spaces (which I haven’t tried as of yet), it supports publishing to WordPress and, among others. It has a nice and non-intrusive WYSIWYG editor with toolbars, supports easy inserting of pictures, tables, and videos. WLW lets you set up multiple accounts, which is handy if you are a real lifeless dork and find yourself tending multiple blogs.

Recently I set up a SharePoint MySite blog server at work, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it integrated as seamlessly as they boast. It’s a matter of putting in the URL to your own blog as a SharePoint blog account in WLW, and after you authenticate, it’s more or less ready to go. Uploading content attached to your entry is also handled well, allowing you to link or upload content to the web host.

imageWLW 2008 supports different views, so you can more or less edit your entry as it would appear formatted using your blog’s CSS styles. Then again, you could not, and turn it off too–pick your poison. And when you feel like wearing a black trench coat and putting on your Matrix-style sunglasses, you can switch into HTML editing mode too. Nifty.

It also allows you to create categories inside the editor, as well as select existing categories, and set the publishing date.

It’s worth a try if you’re using Windows, it’s still free.

Written by art

November 15th, 2007 at 5:49 pm gets scared

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Looks like demonoid is the next to go! From their website:

The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding

Woe is them.

Written by art

November 11th, 2007 at 5:49 pm

ENGEDU – Wuala distributed file system

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Wuala looks interesting indeed. The way it replicates information is a lot more efficient than Freenet from the looks of this video (they’re built for different purposes, but the math used in Wuala is pretty original). Too bad they’re not doing a public beta yet, the service is on a signup-and-wait-for-us-to-possibly-invite-you-someday type of deal at the moment.

Written by art

November 11th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Posted in distributed,video

putty – Vista fonts (Lucida Console) and unix consoles

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lucida_console-vs-terminal Aye, it was a pain to get this one going properly with the line drawing:

Set the font to Lucida Console, which should have been installed with Vista. If you’re using a linux terminal you might as well make sure the linux keyboard layout is selected as well.

For lines and other special characters, set the line drawing to Unicode. Lucida Console has Unicode lines. This is also why it doesn’t work with Terminal or Fixedsys fonts in Vista, woe is me, I spent ages trying to figure that one out.

Unless you know you’re using another translation page, set the translation to UTF8.

Things should look a lot better now!

Written by art

November 11th, 2007 at 12:57 am

mutt – reverse sorting mails and showing message times

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To sort your messages so that the newest is at the top, edit your .muttrc:

set sort = reverse-date

By default my distribution displays the message index with the date that messages are sent, but I find that it’s extremely useful to show the actual time of the day that it was sent. You can modify your .muttrc like so:

set index_format = "%4C %Z %{%b %d %R} %-15.15L (%4l) %s"

The critical part of that format string which will show the time as well as the date is the part marked in red (%R is the variable to show time).

Update 08Nov07:

"set sort_browser = reverse-date" sorts items in the file browser only, not in the main message index. Message indexes are sorted using the $sort variable. Thanks Dr Guildo from for pointing out the error.

Update 11Nov07:

If you want to sort newest-to-oldest while enabling threading, use these lines instead, for example:

set sort = threads
set sort_aux = reverse-last-date-received

Note that inside a thread, messages are still sorted oldest-to-newest.

Written by art

November 8th, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Posted in .muttrc,mutt

Identd (aka AUTH) service/server for Windows Vista

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AUTH is needed for many IRC networks, most notably on EFnet. If you’re running a single instance of mIRC for example, it’s not so difficult to port forward TCP 113 to your windows machine and allow mIRC to run its built-in identd.

It gets trickier when you want to dish out varied AUTH responses depending on the client on your NAT. You can use rndware’s Windows Ident Server (1.0.3 is the latest as of this post) with Vista. I use it on Vista and can confirm that it runs both as an application in your systray (handy!), or as a system service (doubly handy!).

You can also use it in conjunction with reply-from-file mode, where it reads identity information from a flatfile rather than responding with the same AUTH each time. This is handy if you setup psyBNC on the same machine as your identd.

Written by art

November 8th, 2007 at 5:30 pm

Modifying your $PATH

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… is handy so that you don’t have to type ~/usr/bin/someapp, for instance, if you’ve installed something it under your home directory using ./configure ––prefix=~/usr (naturally this works no matter what your path is).

Most shells support .profile. The system settings for the shell might be found in /etc/profile, for instance; user-specific profiles are stored in their home directories, i.e., /home/art/.profile. Edit this file in your favorite browser.

Append the following, modifying it to suit your needs:

export PATH=~/usr/bin:$PATH

Take note that the PATH variable prioritizes by order. So, according to the above line, if there is /home/art/usr/bin/cat, and /bin/cat, the path specified before (here, /home/art/usr/bin/cat) will take precedence.

Written by art

November 7th, 2007 at 12:26 am

Posted in $PATH,shell

Doing a rootless ./configure; make; make install

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Often I want to compile something for my normal user account. In these cases, it doesn’t make sense to install system-wide. Lots of source tarballs nowadays allow you to compile and install a program in a particular location.

In general, you should be doing something like so:

$ tar -jxvf some_fantastic_warez.tar.bz2

$ cd some_fantastic_warez
$ ./configure ––prefix=~/usr

$ make

$ make install

make install will place your compiled binary into the path you specified with the ––prefix option when running configure. In this case I’ve set it to install it under the directory tree ~/usr (i.e., /home/username/usr).

If the source is fairly standard, you will then find the binary as ~/usr/bin/some_fantastic_warez.

You may wish to read about modifying your $PATH, so that you don’t need to specify the full path to run your program.

Written by art

November 6th, 2007 at 11:32 pm

Posted in shell,source-code