I’m sitting here on my porch working on the software architecture book, when I notice a bug. Not the kind that I always include in the software I write, but an insect crawling on my laptop. Which reminds me that of the incorrect story of the first software bugs, which attributes it to Grace Hopper finding an insect inside the computer. Turns out the term “bug” had been used by engineers for quite a while, including Edison.

New amplifier

My old NAD 2600a amplifier has been failing for, literally, years. I recall the first problems back in the late 90’s. I now know that the source of the problem is that the old relays need to be replaced.

I just bought a used Aragon 2004 amplifier from Audiogon and I am so pleased. No buyer’s regret here. I first heard an Aragon amp back in 1991 or so, and it was the bigger brother to this amp, the 4004.

The internet is teh funz0rz

These made me laugh. And they were cluttering up my desktop, so here they are for your blog reading pleasure.

Recall that Iran photoshopped missiles into a photo? Some artists helped them out a bit more Here is my favorite (Original source):

And this one speaks for itself, assuming you listened to the radio in the 80’s.

Software architecture book chapter: Essential Modeling Relationships

I have heard from a few people who were amazed that I was actually working on my book. I suppose that is fair since it’s been on the back burner for so long, it’s hard to believe I’m working on it full time. In case you are wondering, it’s just like writing a thesis, and creating the diagrams is still a pain in the boo-tay.

Comments are very much appreciated. I’ve disabled the annoying CAPTCHA so you should be able to comment here easily, or just email me.

Without further blog fodder, here’s another chapter.

EDIT: September 1 2008.

Updated carrot soup recipe

I’ve updated my carrot soup recipe to taste better and have better texture. Mmm, delicious. I’m eating it now.

Using Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) files in Lyx

LyX is packaged incorrectly under Ubuntu Hardy 8.04. Here is how to fix the problem with embedding EPS graphics.

1. Install “texlive-extra-utils” to get the epstopdf program:

sudo aptitude install texlive-extra-utils

2. Add a converter so that Lyx knows how to convert eps to pdf. You should be able to do this through Lyx (Tools->Preferences->Converters->Add), but my “Add” button is greyed out so I cannot use it.

Visas, work, populism, foreign policy, NAFTA, Nortel DMS-100

Last night I attended a Boulder county democratic Truman Dinner. The speaker was David Sirota and he shared some of his ideas on populism. In passing, while riling up the audience, he mentioned the H1B visa situation, implying there were plenty of folks domestically to do the work. He also said that a majority of Americans hate NAFTA and that it’s bad because it’s hurting Mexican farmers. In software engineering, people are not interchangeable and I assume this is true in most fields. Just because there are a few computer programmers who are out of work does not mean that you can employ them on your project.

PDF diagrams with Open Office Draw

I was having trouble exporting OO Draw pictures as PDF’s because the resulting PDF would be letter size, not cropped to the diagram. I found this tutorial on Open Office Draw PDF bounding box that helped out. The process is a bit clunky but it does work, and the diagrams come through into Lyx / Latex great.

Firefox rocker gestures

You might have been wondering why I posted a picture of my Firefox add-ons a few days ago. I’m addicted to the easy navigation with “rocker gestures” and when it stopped working I took the opportunity to post the add-ons I find helpful. Let me elaborate on the rocker gestures.

I believe Opera was the first browser to implement rocker gestures. The idea is that when you want to navigate to the previous page, you click the right mouse button, then click the left mouse button. It’s rather like strumming your fingers on a table. To navigate forward you just strum the opposite direction.

"Smart People" movie

Last week I saw the movie Smart People, which I knew was filmed in Pittsburgh about 18 months ago. I was looking forward to seeing the movie since parts of it were filmed at CMU, but I was amazed to find out that it was filmed almost in my backyard. I was living at 327 S Negley Ave, shown with pin “A” on the map. Dennis Quaid’s character, a CMU English prof, was living at 411 S Graham St (pin “B”), and Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, an ER doc, lived at the Essex House apartments at pin “C”. These are within a couple blocks of my house!

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