Problems in WebsiteLand, USA

First, the good news. The website is running on a brand new webserver (Tomcat 5.5.12), and using a brand new Java (Java 5), the web apps are no longer owned by the super user on the system (however, you can't run a server on port 80 [http] on Linux without being root, so it's still runs under root), and all the web apps are now in their own, separate from Tomcat, folder. I found /usr/local/webs to be a convenient place to put everything. This makes future upgrades to Tomcat a lot easier. It all still works, as you can see by reading this... I just had to take about a day to update it :( It sucked.

Now, the bad news. By a slip of the finger, I deleted my whole website and had to rewrite everything. Ok, maybe not. I'm not *that* bad :) But, stuff was deleted. Namely, my pictures and downloads. Fear not, I have backups. But, I have to put them in the right folders, and I have different stuff on different systems (songs have recently been staying on my Mac Mini rather than being copied into a central location, so I have songs on two systems), and images, well, I hope I have backups of them. Actually, I probably do, but it will probably be easier to delete them from the database and reload them because the software on this website takes care of a lot of stuff, like making thumbnails and putting them in their respective directories. That sucks. Does anyone know if Linux has a "Recycle Bin" or "Trash" place where deleted files go? I tried using debugfs but it didn't show any recently deleted files :( They're probably somewhere but the f#@$!$!@ if I know...

Happy New Year, I'm getting blitzed tonight.

Apparently, the Java Calendar object's "roll" function doesn't work as I'd expected! Until it's fixed, the month showing under January 2006 is December 2006! Woops. I looked at the code and it would obviously only roll the month value, but you'd think if it was January rolling back one month, it would roll back the year as well?! Oh well. It'll be fixed whenever I upload it...

The Greatest Thing about Wireless Internet is Neighbors with WAPs

Subtitled: Guess what I bought yesterday?!?

I know I should be saving (I think I have a post on the subject as far back as... oh yeah, yesterday), but that money's in a different account, the "Do Not Spend" account... but if there's money in my "Bills, Life Support and/or Devious Pleasures" account, that S@%@#1 doesn't stand a chance. Not even in my most glory filled moment of resistance to the evils of temptation would have I been able to resist the technologically marvelous beauty of what is known as the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

And, thanks to the neighbor with the unsecured wireless router with SSID of "linksys" (you know who you are) for letting me download the update to it with no problems :)

(Actually, I think it's my cool neighbors, Tom and Lisa. Thanks guys!)

Finally able to save

It's different for me when I look at my savings account online and see *only* credits, and no debits. I'm trying to save a bunch of money this year, which will be one of my New Year's Resolutions, but I figured, why wait until then? Some of my other New Year's Resolutions are to play video games more often, to make time for more programming, to cut down and possibly quit smoking, and of course, to work out and lose some of my excess weight. I want a mountain bike.

Anyway, I like earning free money, and watching this interest stuff accumulate is fun. Right now I'm earning $0.18 a month. When I get enough saved up, I'm opening a money market account, then the free money will really start pouring in. That's not for at least 2 months though. There's a minimum amount required to open one at my bank, and I'm about 40% of the way there. Should be fun.

Happy New Year!

Yesterday I was just about the sickest that I've ever been. I was awake for a total of 4 hours between 1 am yesterday and around 7:40 this morning. I couldn't move. I had a hard time moving this morning too, but I managed.

I was able to get a gift for my Mom. Thanks for your help ;-) I asked my Dad for help, and he came up with something decent. I went up to Boscov's (Shout out to Zatko) and got a bottle of perfume. I went there on Friday, the 23rd. Traffic wasn't all that bad at 4 PM (work let out early). At the Granite Run Mall, Boscov's is attached to the mall, but has its own entrances (like most big stores attached to malls), so I parked near it, found the spot that sold the perfume I needed, paid for it, took a walk around the first floor of the mall, and left. It was my best experience going Christmas shopping that late. I've gone to the Springfield Mall on Christmas Eve, and I would not recommend it.

SuperBowl Poll

I added a new poll. For a while there, I had forgotten that I even have polls! Anyway, it works still :) This one's a SuperBowl poll and it only includes the teams that are at the top of their division as of today, December 23, 2005, based on this list. I'll add more teams based on Wild Cards later. Maybe I'll change the "Go Live" date so it doesn't show up until everyone's in there, so you might even ignore this post until then :)

Check the Polls page often.

Personally, since the Eagles aren't in there, I will be rooting for the other bird, the Seahawks.

[Update] Ok, I set it to go live on the 26th, after this weekend. Hopefully we'll have a better idea of who's in then.

[Update Nummer Zwei] Umm, so, I still don't know who's in the playoffs, so I'll officially go live with it at the end of the season! I'll work on Todd's suggestion until then, so it'll just show up either over or under the calendar on the right side.

I don't believe what I'm reading

From the Sun Developer Network site (developers.sun.com)

Get Sun Java Studio Creator 2004Q2 (full license), Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 (full license), and Sun Studio 11 (full license) software for FREE!

Here's an opportunity to get full-license versions of Sun's award winning integrated development environments (IDEs). Sun is currently offering users of the NetBeans platform and SDN members FREE copies of the Java Studio Creator ($99 value), Java Studio Enterprise ($1,895 value), and Sun Studio ($2,995 value) development tools.


Whenever people give stuff away for free, I always get nervous. It reminds me of that commercial for some sort of herbal memory enhancing stuff. The guy offers to give you a bottle for free just for calling. It's funny, because I'd never take that stuff just because the guy is like someone who I would not like to turn out like, if you follow that. He says "I've been taking it every day since we made it, and I wouldn't work a day without it." Meanwhile, he's got a twitch, his eyes are sort of crooked, and he talks out of the side of his mouth. I'm like, "If you want to sell your product, get someone ELSE to do your damn commercials." Are those effects of the supplement or is he just naturally like that? It's not something I would want happening to me. Then, at the end of the commercial, an old lady comes on and says "They're giving it away for free??!!? Then it MUST be good!!" WHAT?!?! That's proposterous. First off, there was never any scientific proof that this stuff actually works. Plus, they can probably afford to give it away because it's cheap, like sugar packets wrapped in a pill coating. You know the old saying, you get what you pay for.

Anyway, back to Sun's Studio products. I'm sure these are excellent, but I'm still a stubborn user of Eclipse, as me and it are lovers. However, for *free*, it's definitely worth trying each and every one of those products out, and if I feel Eclipse is still better, than I can make up with it and hope it forgives me, or I can just use this excellent free software that Sun provided, for *free*, and tell Eclipse to go F#@%#!$! itself. OMG I'm kidding Eclipse!! I'd never do that!! Sorry!!!

(Meanwhile, the IDE I use in work, Visual Studio 2005, just crashed on me after apparently having a plus sign in the wrong spot. It just closes sometimes. I laugh at it.)

What to do with a bazillion dollars?

I don't ever wish to win the lottery or be rich or anything like that, but if I did (if you don't play, you can't win...), I thought about what I'd do with it. Obviously, the smart thing to do would be to invest it somehow. Somewhere. I'm not too smart financially, so I wouldn't go with stocks or bonds or other financial things that I have absolutely no idea about. The obvious thing for me would be to go back to school. I am always buying books and learning stuff, so it's obviously obvious :)

Where I would go to school would be two places. Some kind of video game school (like Full Sail), and an elite institution for technology, namely, MIT. I think I'd go to MIT first, though. I'm all about getting a PHd from MIT. Besides the fact that it rhymes, that pretty much says "I know what the f@#%@# I'm talking about." I would make complete use of my time there. I'd be lost for the first year (it's been a while since I've done ANY math), but if I had money, I could just hire tutors for $100 an hour, and they could teach me math. It would be easy. I have a math mind, but it's not like riding a bike.

MIT first, also, because I'm more interested in Computer Science than I am in any one field of it. Creating video games uses multiple fields in CS, but it's not the whole of Computer Science. It's math, 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, and algorithms for other things like physics. You see physics in games today, but it would be neat to see other sciences, like Chemistry :) But that's going down another road.

Anyway, if you have an extra bazillion dollars lying around, I wouldn't mind having it :) I must be a geek, because I can't even think of anything else that I'd use it for.

Do you like toast, too?

What a weekend. Friday night, played NHL 2k6 with Beaner and his friends (we do a tournament). Bean's getting pretty good, but I still won the tournament. He wasn't his normal team, Colorado Avalanche (my lack of internet connection to my PS2 disables the useful feature in NHL 2k6 to update the rosters from the internet, so Colorado still has Peter Forsberg, not the Flyers). After his friends left, we played into the wee hours of the morning. Which wasn't a great idea, even a little bit, because the next morning I had to wake up at 8am.

But I got up on time. Woke up, dead to the world, craving an extra large coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I had to go to the bank, too, to deposit my weekly paycheck so I could pay rent and utilities this month. No problem. At 10am, I had to meet Gia to use my Dad's employee discount at the paint store so she wouldn't break the bank on painting her new house. We got like $350 worth of equipment for like $230. Not bad, thanks Dad!

That's when the fun started! With about a bazillion square feet of wallpaper to remove, two scrapers seemed insufficient. However, TG and I plowed ahead, making little to no progress, while Gia and M.E. painted the bedroom. It's always a good idea to have two girls paint the bedroom with no ventilation. After about 4 hours, they have left reality, and have entered a place that I like to call "High". I go in there, and they're painting inflammatory remarks about each other on the walls, painting the window, spilling paint, and laughing like lunatics. It was funny.

After around 8 hours of working, everyone was like "%#$#!@ this, I'm going home". There was more work to be done the next day, so I just went to Gia's apartment. We just got wasted and watched standup comedians like Dane Cook and Martin Lawrence, before pausing Martin and doing our own drunken comedy act. The Jason and Gia Show will be coming to your hometown soon! We just have some acts to finalize, but we are a riot. We literally just cracked ourselves up with about 8 gallons of liquor in us. Shortly after that, I broke my toe. And Gia's friend Ray came over with some beer in a schoolbag, and I passed out from exhaustion. Ok, not only exhaustion. By the end of the night, we had killed a bottle and a half of wine, 3/4 bottle of rum, and a small amount of vodka. We were blitzed.

Painting, Day 2. We never actually painted anything. Well, I didn't. I was on wallpaper detail the whole damn time. There I was, hungover as all hell and with a broken toe, trying to act productive. I drank about 3 gallons of water (when I'm hungover, I just get thirsty like a mofo), and stripped wallpaper all day. My brother called wanting to play a video game, and while I was on the phone, Gia wanted a smoke, so I went out with her. You should have seen her face when I was telling my brother the new buttons in the game to get to know. I was like "Press G to throw a grenade, and 4 for a smoke grenade." Her face said "OMG YOU ARE SUCH A GEEK WTF??!!?" Classic. Eyes rolling and everything. WTF Gia. WTF.

Finally got home around 7pm on Sunday. I looked at my toe shortly after, and determined that not only did it hurt like hell, it indeed is broken. Disgusting. I can go to the doctor, but for a broken little toe, all he'll say is like "Yup, you're right, it's broken. Have fun with that", and I would have made the trip to the doctor for nothing, when I can just grab some electrical tape from my drawer and tape that s@#% up.

Anyway, fun times. Luckily we don't have to continue working on Gia's house this weekend :) She gave us off for Christmas.

(Editor's Note: That title comes from Mitch Hedburg, while we were on the topic of standup comedians. "Hey, Peter Frampton, Do you like toast, too?" You have to listen, it's hilarious.)

I did my good deed of the Holiday Season

I reported a bug to Google the other day regarding Gmail. It was to do with their new "Contact Groups" feature that I have been waiting for since forever. Now that it's there, I was a bit surprised when I couldn't create a new group, considering the normally above par standards that Google upholds. This was a simple bug, but, obviously it shows the extensiveness of Google's testing practices, at least for this feature.

What happened was, I went to create a new group, and it couldn't read the email addresses after I used the neat drop down list that Google has on their pages that suggest what you are trying to type in, and make it easier for you. When you choose an email address that you would like in your group, say "Wootzor von Leetenhaxor", it drops in the name in the format "Wootzor von Leetenhaxor" <wootzor@stringed.org>. Don't ask. However, to easier find the people in my list of contacts, I've stored them as "von Leetenhaxor, Wootzor". (HAHA That name cracks me up, I just thought of it the other day. It's my handle on Slashdot) The problem lies in the way that Gmail expects contacts to be in the list that will be added to the group. When more than one contact is added (hence, a group), it uses commas to separate them. So, I would have commas in my names (yet, inside quotes), and separating contacts. And apparently Google didn't expect this. Which is why I said it leads me to believe that their testing practices are not as extensive as I would have thought. Maybe they just missed this one... hopefully.

Today, I tried to add these contacts again to my "Drinking Buddies" group, and it still failed. To get it to work, I have to delete the names from the "Last, First <email>", or just delete the commas, from each contact in the list before creating the group. I still have commas in the names in my contact list, I just had to actually delete them from the textbox containing the contacts to add to that group. So, if you come across this, just erase the commas from that textbox. It shouldn't be much of a problem, they are fixing it, as they say in this email to me:

Hello,

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. We have forwarded the information you provided to the appropriate team for further investigation. We appreciate your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Sincerely,

The Gmail Team

Two Standards is Better, Says Microsoft

Standard means ONE, I say. This is based on the Government wanting an open standard document format so that if the software maker of the software that they are using for documents (word processor documents, spreadsheet docs, etc) goes out of business, they aren't screwed. They can just move to another software provider that will be able to read and save the same types of documents. There's an article on MacWorld detailing how Microsoft believes two standards is better.

I just read through most of how every website defines the word "Standard", and pretty much every definition uses it as a singular term. "A basis for comparison", "established or widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence", "a recommended practice", etc. This goes against logic.

It's ignorant. Microsoft wants to just say "Hey, we can't go implementing OpenDocument now. We're supposed to release the new office in like 2 years", while other office software providers already have solutions out there. OpenOffice being the one I use.

It's STUPID!! A standard is supposed to make things EASIER on people. In software, it makes it so you only need ONE program to be able to read any document your pal or coworker may send you. It's bad enough already. Someone can send you a PDF, or a Word document, or an image. You have to have the program to be able to read it. With one standard (I shouldn't even have to say "one" standard), you just have a program that provides an acceptable implementation of that standard, the one you like, and then you can create and send documents that you authored with the program to other people with their favorite program that reads that document type. It's idiotic.

Of course, Microsoft will be the only one providing an implementation of their OpenXML document format. And you'll have to pay a huge amount just to be able to use it. And, of course, they'll have proprietary plugins, like their VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) that provide scripting of that document, and to read that document in another program even implementing the OpenXML document type will be impossible, because it will still have proprietary technology in it. Sure, Microsoft will implement a standard, but it will be by their terms, and they will own it. Good. I'm not sure who owns the Metric System, but I'm sure that's where Microsoft got their idea from.

Music in Movies: It's gotta be classical

Gotta be.

Well, maybe it defines what kind of movies I like. I like the ones that have a serious mood. Drama, I guess. One of my favorite movies right now is "The Natural", and the music is incredible. The "signature" score is mainly a horn section or two, with what seems to be flutes or something in the background. If it's a good tune, it grabs at your heart, like when Roy Hobbs makes his "Wonder Boy" baseball bat out of the trunk of the tree that got destroyed by a fate filled strike of lightning. The same tree, coincidentally, under which he lost his father.

A decent classical score can bring me back to watching movies that I would normally not watch again. Case in point: Jurassic Park. It's the damn kids. I hate movies with dumb kids in them. Actually, it's not only the kids. I also hate the Paleobotanist. I don't know her name, nor would I care enough to even come up with a detailed description of her other than her occupation in the movie. I also hate the guy, the main guy, the archaeologist. Forgive my spellings on these tough words. Ian Malcolm can stay. So can the programmer... "Newman", and the dinosaurs are pretty cool (the main attraction) I pretty much hate everyone else in that movie. So, with all these strikes against it, what in the world would possess me to buy it? Am I f@#%@#$!@ing nuts?! I remember when that movie came out. I was in high school, I think a sophomore. I remember my Track 1 (the course track for smart kids ;-) ) history teacher hadn't seen the movie, but bought the soundtrack. He made a quick comment on it before we resumed writing down word for word what he said. In fact, that course was the ultimate note taking course that I probably wrote down his comments before noticing that they weren't about medieval or renaissance era France. Pretty much all I remember about that course was his short blurb on how much he thought of the music in that movie.

The problem with non-classical music is that it doesn't transcend culture or time, obviously :) But, if you make a movie about partying back in the late 70s (like Dazed and Confused), you're obviously going to put in some great late 70s music. But, a movie that was recorded in what then was considered "present day", like "The Karate Kid" (which also has some decent instrumental/classical music [the Japanese style tune]), then you get songs on your soundtrack that aren't cool anymore. However, I can still watch that movie, the music tends to fit pretty well ("You're the Best" during the Karate tournament), and Mr. Miyagi is quite the character... he's hilarious.

My mind has drawn a blank. If I think of more movies (there are definitely quite a few more) with decent classical scores then I will post more about them. If you know any, feel free to add comments (as opposed to the normal rate of $5 per comment).

Update: More movies with great classical music. The most obvious to me and probably anyone is the Imperial March. Star Wars. Orchestral is what I probably mean, moreso than classical. Classical is a period of time. Anywho. I watched Bagger Vance again today, and that's got a good score.

I hesitate to say the Indiana Jones trilogy only because, on many an occassion, I have fallen asleep watching them, only to wake up to the theme song playing on infinite repeat at the DVD menu screen. I'd hear it 20 times in my sleep, then wake up and I'm like "WHAT THE F@#%!@!@ TURN IT OFF!!"