Tim Hatch

Weblog | Photos | Projects | Panoramas | About

Google-Flickr Homepage API 14 Dec, 2005

Google released a new API for use with their personalized homepage a few days ago. (Apparently I’m a bit behind in the news.) They use a nice XML-based format for storing data about the “widget,” but what I found especially interesting was one of the examples they gave on the developer guide (screenshot).

I’ve reproduced the part in question here:


My, doesn’t that look like a flickr url, with the domain changed? Let’s try that… http://flickr.com/photos/26243604@N00 — and it works, with pictures of dogs named Rowan. I find it interesting that Google would use as an example in their document a link (well, almost) to a photo-hosting service now owned by Yahoo.

Dvorak 13 Dec, 2005

I’ve come into a cheap iMac DV keyboard (ooh, black) with the intention of using my Powerbook in clamshell mode, but it turns out it works perfectly with PCs running both Windows and Linux despite what the product info page said. The Apple key maps to the Windows key on Windows and the NOLOGO? key on Linux. It was also PnP under the 2.6.13 kernel, which was pleasantly surprising. After noticing that the keycaps were semitransparent and identically-sized, I started popping them off to replace them in a dvorak layout, which was surprisingly easy!

The only issue was the F and J keys had a little nub that fit into a hole underneath them, which caused an issue in the new Y and C positions because there was no such hole. I am still hunting-and-pecking right now but it’s a lot easier to type while eating, I can say that much from the week I’ve had to work with it.

I’m still trying to work up the courage to swap around the keys on my Powerbook, after seeing that other people have done it successfully, though I’m afraid that they’ll have the same nubs under F and J that the iMDV keyboard did.

Ubuntu 5.10 13 Dec, 2005

I briefly attended the short-lived UNT LUG meetings years ago back when RedHat 7 was new. I run Gentoo at home and Debian on servers, but many people have tried to sell me on Ubuntu (despite my inability to pronounce it). Our machines at work run an Intel 915 chipset with a SATA hard drive and onboard Yukon gigabit ethernet card. Every Debian/Knoppix livecd I’d tried in it had failed in some way or another (some more spectacularly than others) and had failed to both boot to a full prompt and allow me access to the hard drive.

Hoary Hedgehog changed all that, with nearly zero configuration (hitting Enter on “US English” keyboard layout, IIRC). DHCP worked as advertised, and the hard drive was in the expected place (sda) and writable! The default theme is also reasonably pretty, but a few variations without so much brown would be nice.

Gnome ran fast enough off the livecd, though I imagine there was some customization involved there. I run XFWM/XFCE at home because I find both KDE and Gnome to be a bit too bloated for me. I occasionally use apps from both (my KDE favorite being Filelight), so I’ve got all the base libs installed anyway, and switching window managers is no big deal.

I think it would be nice if there was a standard way to compose characters, and by “standard,” I mean everyone should use the Mac way. I got pretty used to hitting Option-u, u for u-umlaut, and the default X-compose way is using colon instead (somewhat more like the Windows way). Someday I’ll get around to documenting the Mac shortcuts and making a compose file for it — at least Linux allows me to customize it.

del.icio.us 13 Dec, 2005

I’ve stopped posting links here for the time being, mainly because I haven’t had the time (due to school) to finish the posting interface and database design for my microformat-enabled weblog. Yes, that’s right, I’ve sold out and I’m using a hosted service for links now — http://del.icio.us/timhatch. This explains my lack of visible posting here — subscribe to its rss feed to keep up with what I’m interested in.

It fits my needs quite nicely, with the exception of its own tagcloud separate from my own. I don’t think I’m ready to move to flickr though, I like having control over the software behind my pictures (and backups of comments, should they ever go under).

I was initially bothered by the Yahoo purchase of del.icio.us but I’m hoping my account is grandfathered and they don’t harass me to link my account with a Yahoo one.

Internet Downgrade 13 Dec, 2005

Last week, UNT downgraded their Internet service from ~155Mbps to ~105Mbps, and the reason that was passed down to minions like myself was “reducing piracy.”

I’m sorry, but the Internet service in the residence halls was already horrible (which was bandwidth-limited per port to something like bad dsl), and the faculty side wasn’t much better. I seriously doubt that reducing the available bandwidth on an already-saturated pipe will do any good toward “reducing piracy.” Now if “cutting costs” is the reason, I might be more understanding. I think this may backfire on UNT and people will move off-campus to actually have a public ip with control over incoming ports and have faster speed.