johnk's blog

Arial vs. Helvetica Test

Ironic Sans has a fun quiz where you try to identify which font is Arial, and which one is Helvetica.

http://www.ironicsans.com/helvarialquiz/

MS Access to KML Data Dump

Here's a script that helps to export KML files for Google Earth from Access tables. The idea is that you create a query with columns named "Latitude" and "Longitude" and any other columns you need. Open that query, and pass the recordset to this dumper. You also specify a file name, and a list of columns to use for the name and definition fields.

Drupal Updated (and a few bugs)

What a pain in the ass. Drupal updates look so slick when they work, but when they fail, it's a nightmare. I ended up reverting to a backup and doing it by the book (which seems to matter a lot), and lost a few posts. Oh well. They were mostly programming posts so the code's around somewhere, and probably slightly improved, and may end up on here again.

libdvdcss decss

This is dvd decoding software.

Amazon Associates Political BS

So I'm an inactive Amazon Associate (that's the term for their affiliate program) and I get this email from Amazon.

OMFG - the future of software, in Javascript, Xopus

Xopus is an XML editor, written in Javascript and HTML5. It's not just JS, but it's licensed software for your desktop. I'm blown away. This is Google Docs, Angry Birds, Yahoo Pipes level blown away. Check it out.

PHP Runs an Old Version of PCRE Causing Problems with Drupal and MediaWiki

This seems to happen a lot - and it took several searches and many pages of reading to find the solution. This page will try to even the odds a little more.

Undermining the Cache (Sharepoint?)

I was on the Ralphs website, and found some image URLs that looked like this:

SpinRite 6.0 on a Dell e6410

After reading some of the documentation and the website page about SATA, I got the software working by doing the following.

Javascript and Lisp (erm Scheme or Guile)

I was reading up on Guile, figuring I should revisit Scheme annually. Found some examples, and translated them into Javascript.

(lambda (x) (+ x x))

(define add4 (let ((x 4)) (lambda (y) (+ x y))))

(define factorial (x) (if (zerop x) 1 (* x (factorial (- x 1)))))

function(x) { return add(x,x); }

function _defunmaker() { var x=4; return function(y) { return x + y; } }
var add4 = _defunmaker();
_defunmaker = null;

var factorial = function(x) { if (x==0) { return 1; } else { return x * factorial(x-1); }; };

10 Passe Graphic Design Gimmicks

10. Drop shadows.

9. Crescent swoosh.

8. Gradient background.

7. Rounded corners.

6. 8-bit video game pixel nostalgia.

5. Glassy reflection on buttons.

Blu-Ray Market Share

Does BluRay matter yet? Beats me. I'm always paying attention to this because I need to know when to buy BluRay equipment for work.

Jennifer Lynn Aaker on Social Media (good talk)

This is a good 10 minute presentation about how to use social media. I got it from a podcast I listen to.

http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail4834.html

Takeaway points:

Bye GNOME

Having failed at using Unity, I decided to try the Gnome Shell.

Ugh. It's just as bad. And I just found out it's the future of Gnome.

Conclusion is that I've installed KDE, then ended up loading xubuntu on top of that. So it starts up with kdm, and logs me into xfce4. The themes are simple, and the design (or lack of) is restrained. They're not trying to copy Apple, or Microsoft. It looks like a cross between Mac OS 9 and Windows XP, without the obnoxious colors and toned-down gradients.

May 1st

Tomorrow is May Day! In Los Angeles, this means an annual Los Angeles May Day march for immigrant worker rights.

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