johnk's blog

Hauppage WinTV-1600 on Linux

I bought this several months back, and finally installed it on the Linux box. It works, sort of. ATSC (HDTV terrestrial broadcast) works fine. FM Radio does not. More info:

Abstraction for Newbies

This post isn't for any specific reason, but it's been bouncing around in my mind for a long time. That higher levels of abstration is a "good thing" is given among experience hackers, people into functional programming, and people who write SQL. At least up to a few years ago, there was some hostility toward increasing abstraction, particularly from the anti-SQL set. I railed about this against and entry in a Symfony book. This is another review of the issue.

MS Outlook: Mass Email VBA Script

This is an outline I'm going to use to fix up a mass email script for Outlook that I'm working on.

Nobody Cares about InfoPath

InfoPath Rocks
InfoPath Sucks

"Rocks" is beating out "sucks" 189 to 119, but the fact that it seems like nobody cares about InfoPath is the really interesting fact(oid).

A GUI Trip Down Memory Lane

Operating Sytem Interface Design Between 1981 - 2009 has a lot of great screenshots.

There's on omission of history. The Start Menu, wasn't the first "start menu". Apple's System 7 allowed you to put folders into the Apple Menu, and people would put folders full of aliases (shortcuts) to their apps. Next also had a unified menu that listed apps.

Sitemeter Tracks Clicks

Just figured out that tracks clicks. It's not something they tell you in their free reports (which are pretty good btw). So, when you click on a link, they know where you're headed. This isn't that hard, technically - it involves attaching a handler onto A tags - but so far, sites don't seem to be doing that. The reason probably stems from the fact that tracking clicks will gather stats on sites that haven't put a Sitemeter counter onto their pages. Seems like a gray area.

So bye-bye Sitemeter. Nice knowin ya.

Social Categorization of Images into Taxonomies

This is an idea, not something that exists, but I'm putting this out there to thwart future patents.

Heuristics are Nice : (working toward) Facebook-style Previews

I was thinking about how facebook updates parse out the url, then construct a nice looking preview. I think what it takes is scanning the textarea for a url, and then using ajax to tell the server to fetch a summary of the page at the url. get the data back, and insert it into a template, and reveal it.

History of the "Bowl"

In the past few years, there have been an explosion of "bowl" meals at different fast food restaurants.

Another Lame Patent War: Phone Number Tapping

Apple busted HTC on a patent for a tech called "data tapping".

Making the Tumblr "Well" Layouts with CSS

So I was puzzling over how to make the "Well" style layout in Tumblr without Javascript.

Haskell Name Game

Main> nameGame "alonzo"
"alonzo, alonzo bo blonzo bonana fanna fo flonzo fee fy mo mlonzo, alonzo"
Main> nameGame "haskell"
"haskell, haskell bo baskell bonana fanna fo faskell fee fy mo maskell, haskell"
LOLz. Here's some real beginner-level source code for a version of the "Name Game". The Name Game was a song from way back. It's silly.
Sources after the jump.

Reused a Variable Name

I accidentally reused the variable name $count twice in a function.

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