Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moved to github

I've moved my non-work/non-Fedora projects over to I originally hosted my own source control. I started many many years ago with CVS, then Subversion, then Mercurial for whatever reason, and finally I decided I didn't want to be my own system administrator anymore, so I shut down my server after 10 years of availability. With that came the need to find a home for email (gmail), web hosting (site5), and version control. At the recommendation of Logan, I decided to give a try. Like the web interface, hate the use of subversion.

So now I'm using git for everything: work projects and non-work projects. As such, I've moved the following projects to github:
I have not moved my osxpkgs project from because I really just don't care about it anymore. If anyone out there wants to take over ownership of that project, let me know and I'll give it to you. osxpkgs still lives here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Please Use The Correct Term

It has always bothered me when people say they are stuck on the tarmac when they really mean they are stuck on the ramp or the taxiway. Please use the correct term.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back from Las Vegas

Got back yesterday from Chris' bachelor party trip to Las Vegas. We didn't plan much beyond drinking, hanging out, and gambling. We successfully helped Chris consume an admirable quantity of alcohol and we assisted in the recovery of said experiment.

David Shea and were up all night on Saturday (well, technically, we got back at 5 AM). We went over to The Bellagio and Caesar's Palace, but they were mostly full of drunk people teetering and trying to find their rooms and/or something to do.

We did get to visit In-N-Out Burger, which I'm sure Chris hadn't had in a while. I gave him a preferred customer token that I still had, but the guy at the register had never seen one before. Still got a free burger though.

The last time I was in Vegas, I did pretty well on video poker. That surprised me because in video poker, it's not possible to bluff. This time was opposite, I didn't really do well at all. However, I did better at craps this time.

Craps is an interesting game because at glance it looks like one of the most difficult games in the casino. The tables are crowded, lively, and lots of chips flying around. At least, that's how I always thought of it. But it's really super simple. Search the interweb for any number of guides for craps and you'll see how easy it is.

In all, I think everyone had a good time. I hope Chris did. We could have planned a whole lot of things to do, but I think it was really fun for everyone to just hang out and drink.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slow Down Bugzilla

I would like to disable the Fedora and RHEL Bugzilla for one or two days a week, just to slow things down a bit. When I start work on Mondays, I have hundreds of BZ mails to sort through. By the end of the week, I might have a handle on things (usually not) and then the cycle repeats. This is on top of the MASSIVE amount of fedora-*-list email that comes in.

I'd like Bugzilla to close for Mondays and Fridays. Leave it open on weekends since a lot of people will test things on weekends and want to report bugs.

I don't think this is unreasonable. Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. B&H Photo Video is closed on Saturdays. Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays. Why not our Bugzilla?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We're #1!

In July, the Hawaii general excise tax break on fuels with 10% ethanol will expire. Combined with the rise of fuel prices this summer anyway, we could see 15 cent or higher per gallon tax increases.

With the general excise tax credit expiring, it means Hawaii will then have the highest per gallon gas tax in the nation. We're currently at 52 cents per gallon in taxes on average and in the #2 position for the highest (California beats us). With the general excise credit expiring, we'll beat out California for the #1 spot. Go Hawaii!

The lowest in the nation is still Alaska and will probably be forever. 18 cents per gallon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Air Conditioning (cont.)

Karen and I have decided to buy an air conditioner. I don't want to because it's not a fun toy like a new camera gadget, video game system, or LEGO set. Also, it's expensive. However, Hawaii is hot and will be getting hotter for us since we lose exterior windows in July and August (see previous post).

When I have to buy something that I don't want to, I delay the purchase by reading about it. Trying to learn something about before I go in and make the purchase. Air conditioning is no exception.

Air conditioners come in all shapes and sizes. Growing up in metro Atlanta, Georgia, I was used to central air conditioning. Air conditioning was an absolute must in that region of the country and when it broke down, it sucked. Central air conditioners measure their cooling capacity in tons. At one point in time, I assumed all air conditioners were measured this way. It wasn't until college that I learned room air conditioners are measured in BTUs. But wait, isn't that British thermal unit? Yes, it is. And I can make the drive to Home Depot in less than 12 parsecs.

First, you have to be able to understand air conditioning measurements. Tons vs. BTUs is pretty simple. One ton of air conditioning capacity is equal to 12,000 BTUs of air conditioning. And one BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Wait, what?

The take away from above is that BTUs are the core unit for air conditioning capacity. More BTUs means more capacity for cooling. Simple. Now, how do you determine how many BTUs (or tons) you need? The answer is you make a wild ass guess using random bullshit factors and some arithmetic.

The HVAC industry has divided the country up in to zones. These zones take in to consideration year round climate, high and low temperatures, and humidity levels. The zones are assigned bullshit factors which you use to multiply the number of square feet you want to cool by to arrive at a BTU value. Hawaii isn't given a zone because all of the zone maps I found are for the continental United States. So I picked Florida's zone. That means I use a bullshit multiply factor of 40 (according to the zone map I found).

We primarily want to cool two rooms in the condo, but not at the same time. The largest room is 150 square feet. 150 times 40 is 6,000 BTUs. The average window mounted air conditioner is 10,000 BTU, so figure these things are pretty inefficient and suffer a lot of loss in the cooling process.

But what about heat loss and ventilation where you want to cool and the building insulation and whether or not you have a glass wall that the sun beats down on for most of the day or if you high ceilings or hardwood floors or carpet? Yeah, I dunno. It's a bullshit figure to help you pick out an air conditioner.

Armed with the number 6,000, I plan to head to Home Depot later to get something near that cooling capacity. Pictures of the set up to be posted later.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

License Plates

Or number plates, depending on where you live. Many of my friends know I spot license plates on vehicles very quickly. The other day we're driving down Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki and in the middle of conversation I say, "Vermont" and point to the vehicle in front of us. Jeep Wrangler with Vermont plates in Hawaii. I've seen more out of state and out of country plates in Hawaii than anywhere else.

I have my original Georgia plate from when I bought my Jetta (complete with the Fulton county sticker covering up the Cobb county sticker, ITP residents will be able to understand) as well as my New Hampshire plates from when I moved up there. I never had the vehicle registered in Massachusetts, so I have no Massachusetts plates. I do have a California plate from my neighbor back in Nashua (not stolen, they registered the car in NH and offered me a CA plate since I had my GA one displayed).

There is a restaurant out in Hawaii Kai called The Shack, which is a neat burger place on the harbor. Outdoor seating, nice bar, boat access. They have license plates decorating the walls, which is not uncommon for places like this. Some plate designs are uber lame (e.g., Massachusetts, California, or the post-1991 Hawaii plate) and some are really nice looking (e.g., Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire).

I'm not alone in my interest in license plates. It's sort of like stamp collecting or coin collecting, I guess. So, why not get official samples from the different state governments? Not all states do, but whatever.

I'm looking for information on collecting North American-sized license plates. For example, I found that the state of Alaska will send you either the standard current plate design or the gold rush plate design for $3. I'm also interested in license plates from Canada, Mexico, and the various island territories and nations surrounding North America.

Will I collect any of these? We'll see. I might send Alaska $3 and ask for a plate. Then only 47 states to go (have NH and GA, remember). If you're ever looking for a good gift idea for me, a license plate is always welcomed. If you have any information about Canadian or Mexican license plates, let me know.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Need An Air Conditioner

Karen and I were recently informed of some construction work that will be happening this summer in our building. They are repainting the entire exterior of the building as well as spalling repair work. During the construction, all windows and lanai doors have to remain closed.

This presents a few problems. First, the building has no central HVAC system, nor are there provisions for one. We do not have a window unit air conditioner (though some units do), but we can't get one of those either because we don't have a window you can mount one in. We have floor to ceiling jalousie windows, which are not suitable for mounting window units.

I have to keep all of the windows and lanai doors open all day for there to be any sort of breeze, otherwise this place turns in to an oven. It doesn't cool down much at night either. However, it's not uncomfortable. It's noticeably warmer than other parts of the country, but you can sit around in this weather. If you close all of the windows, it really gets hot and stuffy fast. Therefore, air conditioner.

We are considering a portable air conditioner because it's just going to get too hot otherwise. Haier (makers of small sized appliances) makes a 7000 BTU portable air conditioner that's around $300 depending on where you buy it. This is sort of the price point I'm comfortable with.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ThinkPad X301

Work updated my laptop to a Lenovo ThinkPad X301 to replace my dated T42. Last year I had also purchased a MacBook system and very quickly started using both the T42 and MacBook for development work. Because of the T42's age, the MacBook was more useful (it being virt-capable, for instance). The X301 has replaced the T42 for me and is far more useful.

Over the past few weeks, I've slowly been moving work projects from the MacBook over to the X301. I completed the final move today and am now MacBook-free. That coincides with selling the MacBook too. Nothing like selling the MacBook to get you to finish up moving data to the X301.

So, specs? My knowledge of current processors and what's better or worse is long since useless. I remember that you wanted a 486 'DX' processor instead of an 'SX' processor, for instance. The Pentium 60Mhz (which I owned) was also slower than a 486 DX/4 at 100Mhz. And using anything from Cyrix was a waste of time (I owned a 6x86 133+ processor, which ran at a clock speed of 110Mhz and required the oddball 55Mhz bus speed or something like that). The last time I made an effort to stay up to date on processors was with my Pentium Pro system. I had a dual Pentium Pro 200Mhz system. Each CPU ran at 200Mhz, had 1MB of L2 cache, and got really really hot. I had an Intel PR440FX mainboard with onboard AIC-7880 SCSI. That was neat....10 years ago. OK, so skip to now. I don't know processor names, low end or high end speeds, or really anything else about them. But I do know what the X301 has:
  • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU U9400 @ 1.40GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB SSD storage
  • DVD RW drive
  • USB, BlueTooth, wifi, Ethernetfi, fingerprint reader (great?)
At least one of my friends will ask what graphics adapter it has. According to lspci, it's: 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07). Personally, I really don't care about the graphics adapter so long as I can see firefox, my email client, terminal windows, and vim.

The X301 is amazingly quiet, light, and speedy. I like it.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Karen and I are engaged, as of April 18th, 2009. I had huge elaborate plans to propose to Karen, which involved planning a secret trip under the disguise of a business trip to Boston and then proposing there and having a party with all of our Boston friends. The main problem associated with that trip was timing and money, because Karen and I already travel quite a bit. So then I thought about a weekend trip to Maui on the Superferry and proposing either on the Superferry or somewhere on Maui. I went to book tickets for the trip and it happened to be the same exact day that the Superferry was shut down by the Hawaii supreme court. Taking that as a sign to not involve travel around the proposal, I got up at 4:00 AM one Saturday and made breakfast and went and got flowers and surprised Karen that way. She loved it.

We celebrated at Rum Fire (in fact, the photo above is from Rum Fire, and I think I had had a few drinks by the time the camera came out) that night with Karen's mom and friends and then had fun calling and telling our friends and family. Facebook was alerted a few days later.

Karen and I met in Boston in July of 2006. She was living in Medford, Massachusetts and I was living in Nashua, New Hampshire. We met via eHarmony. Our first date was at Bertucci's in the Alewife T Station. What's sort of funny now is that we originally had planned a date a little earlier than the one we actually had. I was getting ready to leave work (the Westford Red Hat office) and we [the anaconda team] were working late on trying to make split media installs work (well, I wasn't doing much of anything if I recall correctly). At the mandate of Jeremy Katz (that's right, I'm calling you out by name), he indicated that my leaving early would suck. Not really knowing what else to do, I walked out behind the building and called Karen to cancel. She told me later that she didn't expect to hear from me after that, that perhaps I had met someone else and was getting out of this date.

What REALLY sucked is that after that split media crap, my parents came up to visit for a week. So I was postponing even more. So many things were working against me for Karen and I to meet up. However, I did call her and we did make arrangements for another date and it actually worked this time. I arrived a bit early and was sitting at the bar in a Hawaiian shirt. Little did I know we'd be living in Hawaii years later. We hit it off immediately and everyone knows the rest.

We have been getting a lot of questions about when the wedding will be and where the wedding will be. And then about a thousand other questions. Things I'd like our friends and family to know as Karen and I plan things:
  • We have been invited to four weddings for 2009.
  • We have other travels slated for 2009 (holidays, etc).
  • We live in Hawaii, so no trip is minor.
  • We have chosen the Boston, Massachusetts area for the wedding because it's where we met and that location means something to both of us.
  • The wedding will not occur in 2009 (see first point).
And that's all we have planned so far. Really. Seriously. Since I am nerdly, I will probably set up a wedding web site as we get more things put together.