One of the more interesting things about the Great CD-Ripping project (I’m within 30 discs of being done!) is realizing what I have never gotten around to ripping. Frankly, some of it baffles me. For instance, I had never gotten around to ripping my Stevie Wonder material, despite the fact that it’s some of my favorite music on Earth (it’s the stuff from the 70’s, when Stevie could Do No Wrong). I never ripped either of the Who discs I have. Or the Los Lobos collection Chet got me umpteen years ago, even though I think that _Kiko and the Lavender Moon_ may be one of the most perfect songs ever.

There have been any number of other single disc things that I’ve noticed, but those are the biggies that I remember right now.

I do have to admit that I worry sometimes that new stuff isn’t going to get its due, in amongst the 30-days-of-continuous-music that I’ve currently got access to. For instance, _Year Zero_ hasn’t yet made a real impression, and I don’t think I’ve even listened to the new _Modest Mouse_. Hmmmm.

_Supersize Me_ meets Edwardian England

I have to say, the sheer quantity of food being consumed made me more than a bit green. I’m not paragon of restraint, but there’s no way I could eat this much for one day, much less seven. “Read all about it”:


Stickers on laptops

You know, I thought I was the only one who did this.

Back in ’01, I slapped a big King Crimson logo on my Thinkpad; ostensibly to make it easier to track it through the then-new airport x-ray dance, but, I suspect, really as a throwback to grade-school. It accumulated a couple of “I Voted” stickers over the next few years, and then I slapped a number of Kerry/Edwards stickers on it while I was in DC.

I was actually kind of sad when I passed the notebook on to someone last year.

So when I bought the T43p, I immediately started decorating it. “Giblets Is My Co-pilot”, a Debian logo and a couple more “I Voted” stickers now adorn it. if I could get a new KC logo, I’d drop that on, too.

Anyway, sitting here in the coffee shop, I see at least four laptops with things on their lids. One “California Republic” sticker, one that says “Don’t Stop Believing”, one with some vaguely skater-looking logo that I can’t read from this distance, and one with a logo for this very coffee shop.

I guess I’m not as unique as I seem.

I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised…

“Twitter is apparently finding that Rails doesn’t do massive scaling well”:, at least not the way that all the books will tell you to write stuff for it.

That doesn’t really surprise me. Making applications that scale well is _hard_. I’ve done it twice (though only one of those is a web app), and in both instances, what I found was a need to be able to muck around with the lowest-level code to be able to create app-specific speedups–whether that was writing my own hand-tuned demented-but-fast SQL or being able to back stuff up against memcache that most people wouldn’t think to put in there, like mutexes (and yes, I know it’s not a reliable storage medium, but given the rate at which it fails, we were willing to face potential issues).

And, honestly, I think “Catalyst”: brings most of the great stuff about Rails while letting you get to the bare-metal if/when you need to.


Why your USB-connected Palm stopped working with Debian etch

This is mostly one of those “maybe my googlejuice will help others” posts.

So, a few weeks ago I went to sync my Treo with j-pilot, and nothing happened. Normally I press the ‘sync’ button on the cable, wait a second, then hit the ‘sync’ button on j-pilot, but suddenly, nothing. I haven’t been worrying about it–I’ve gone much longer without syncing, and I’ve been awfully busy.

Anyway today I decided to figure out what was going on. There are some oblique references to the problem in some bug reports, but I’ll lay it out explicitly here.

It turns out that etch just recently got the pilot-link 0.12 packages, which have deprecated the old ‘visor’ kernel module in favor of direct communication via libusb–and when I say deprecated, I mean it: the libpisock9 packages add a file in /etc/modprobe.d that blacklists the visor module so it simply won’t get loaded. So, suddenly, attempting to sync fails without any real indication what’s wrong.

Now don’t get me wrong, using libusb is much better in many ways (faster, moves code from the kernel to userspace that is better located there, etc.), _but_, it means that you need to change the port your pilot-link-based apps are using from /dev/ttyUSB1 (or /dev/pilot or whatever) to simply ‘usb:’ (yes, the colon is important).

Do that and suddenly things should work again.

Tufte was a piker

I’m sure it’s been blogged hell-and-everywhere, but this plot of US housing prices in the last century realized as a (literal) roller-coaster, “is just too good not to note”: