Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-21
Posted in Twitter
First watch, 8 bells (12:03 am)
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That Error Checking Issue
Posted in Tech
First watch, 3 bells (9:38 pm)

I've been thinking about the error checking issue I mentioned the other day. And I've talked to several of the other people at work, and they agree that the best thing to do is to ensure that the error-causing issue doesn't come up. I think the easiest way (thanks, Jeff) is to return all the information that the query generates immediately. So I spent some time yesterday evening and today rewriting two different MySQL wrapper classes (one for work, one for a personal project).

I'm much happier with the code now. If anything, it's cleaner than it was before. Certainly easier to use, as well. I was also able to cut out a lot of excess functionality that became obsolete. So, by my calculations, more stable + faster + easier to debug + smaller codebase = WIN.

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Carbon Leaf
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:25 pm)

Nobody told me that Carbon Leaf was playing in Seattle tonight, or Portland tomorrow. Dang it, Internets, you FAIL!

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Better Error Checking
Posted in General
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:34 pm)

I'm working with an older C-style API in a code project, and it often unexpectedly invalidates pointers it has returned to me. Inevitably, it's because I've used the API in a way that it's supposed to do this, but it's not well documented. But short of copying everything out of memory at the time the function returns, how can I make this safe. And even tougher, how do I make this thread-safe?

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Thunderstorms
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:45 pm)

We've had some thunderstorms lately, and today the first real problem from them. Several city stoplights are just blinking instead of directing traffic. This is problematic, because it only seems to have happened at really busy intersections. Murphy wins again.

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Cable Gopher
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:24 pm)

Today was a fairly quiet day, as far as the job goes. I'm working on fixing a problem with a printer dialog box uncovered last week. Among my normal tasks, I also had a special one: buy three A/V cables for my boss. He left town this morning to attend a trade show in San Francisco and didn't have time to find the cables he needed. At home. For his TV. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't mind at all. He pays me, and I'm happy to help out. Happy to be trusted to get things done. But there were two special conditions: cables must be at least 25 feet long, and they absolutely must be at his house by Thursday at the latest.

This meant checking out local stores first. Want to venture a guess as to how much Best Buy wants for a 30 foot HDMI cable? No, you really don't—$200! For 25 foot RCA component? $89! Wow!!

So I did what anybody would do, went online. Prices are much more reasonable, but you never know when they're going to ship. Amazon would have been great, but the way their partners work you don't even always have the option to overnight ship. Anyway, I ended up calling a contact I have at PCConnection, who got me all three cables (two 35 foot RCA and one 35 foot HDMI) for $181, including overnight shipping. And a guarantee that they would go out same day because I called early enough.

So, aside from IT Manager, Refrigerator Installer, and the many other titles I hold (or, more precisely, have been held to) I now get to add Cable Gopher. Woohoo!

Lesson learned? Never be in immediate need of a cable like that. It will cost you dearly.

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Lorien’s Coming Home
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 2 bells (7:05 pm)

Today Lorien gets home from the airport. I had to call her earlier today and find out what time, for some reason I thought I had entered it into my phone's calendar application but it wasn't there. I hope that this crazy thunder and lightning is over so her plane can land without delays. It would suck to get all the way there (about 40 miles) and find out it had been rescheduled or delayed.

There is still some lightning around, in fact I just saw a flash as I am typing this, but the thunder is far off now, and the rain has all but completely stopped. Should be fine.

It will be nice having her home after two weeks though.

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Happy Birthday, Scarlet
Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
Afternoon watch, 5 bells (2:45 pm)

Yesterday was my niece Scarlet's birthday. I wanted to go to Portland for the party but just couldn't make it.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-14
Posted in Twitter
First watch, 8 bells (12:03 am)
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Handshake Game
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:56 am)

According to this post by Richard Bartle, I'm only three handshakes away from Einstein. And only two from Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. I can only assume I'm also just two away from Roy Trubshaw and any other various virtual world developers (I'm sure Raph Koster is in there somewhere).

17 Jun 2009 Update: Raph Koster has met Stephen Chow. One more for the list 🙂

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Happy Birthday, John Linnell!
Posted in Warm and Fuzzy
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:26 am)

Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn't thinking isn't thinking of.

Happy Birthday, John!

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WordPress Upgrade
Posted in General
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:39 pm)

Just upgraded to WordPress 2.8. The admin interface is, what's the best word here? Smoother? Calming?

Will it stop my insane ranting? Nah.

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Chat Time!
Posted in General
First watch, 1 bell (8:53 pm)

Today and yesterday I've had the chance to chat both in 中文 and in English with a couple of old friends in Taiwan. I'm surprised I haven't forgotten much Chinese over the years. I mean, I try to keep up with it sometimes, but it's not like I get the chance to speak very often. By all rights, I should have forgotten more than I have. I can still type in Chinese (I use the 注音 method with the 倚天 layout). The soft keyboard looks like this:

Eten (sic) keyboard in Vista

I memorized it when I was living in China in 1997 and typing all the time. Somehow, 12 years later, I still know where all the keys are. Typing in zhuyin is nice for me, because it solidifies my knowledge of the correct sounds and tones. Typing is also (IMHO) somewhat easier than using a Chinese dictionary. Ask me about that some time, it takes a little explaining.

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Good News Everyone!
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:13 am)

There is a God in Heaven and He does love us. As proof, we get (at least, according to what Ben heard) 13 new Futurama episodes!

Looks like there are going to be 26 new episodes! For the win!

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生日快樂
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 8 bells (8:26 pm)

六月九日是吳修蘭的生日,祝她一個很快樂的一天!

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