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IBNeko's Journal-Nyo~!
As posted on Facebook:
Phooey, Nanowrimo is down (nginx failure, apparently). I'm only at 375/50,000 words. This has been a terrible start. At least I (kinda) know where I'm going with this story. Having a plot sketched out beforehand makes a surprising amount of difference when writing. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing has yet to be seen. Also, as fanfiction, working in someone else's world (additional constraints on locations and characters) is quite interesting.

More about the planned story / other stuff not posted to FB:
Standard adventure plotline, generally following Voyage and Return on one group and potentially The Quest on the other group. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheSevenBasicPlots, http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheHerosJourney)

Using the My Little Pony world, although adding a few race of felines (Hey, there's Diamond Dogs. Shouldn't there be cats of some sort? Other than Opal? I need a name for these, by the way, so suggestions are welcome. Otherwise, they're tentatively named "Carbon Cats", but that's silly and boring) and working in a race of Deer from a different fanfic (http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/04/its-dangerous-business-going-out-your.html), although I think said deer are going to be more seers and tricksters than the deer that was in that story.

Making use of the Equestria Map found here: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/08/high-resolution-map-scan.html
And the Ponyville Map drawn up by Aurebesh found here: http://aurebesh.deviantart.com/gallery/31093498

Kinda nice not having to design my own map. Although it also means I'm somewhat constrained by the geography. Can't randomly plop in a mountain. XD

As for characters, I'm using the CMC and the mane 6. So yay, don't have to design my own characters. And arrgh, need to figure out how to write in Applejack's accent. And stay true to their characters. And writing 6 characters traveling together is going to be interesting. (I think the big challenge here is making sure they get equal "screen" time. I'm not sure how to accomplish this.)

In other news:
MLP Season 3 really really soon. Squee!

Halo 4 getting released on Nov. 6. A wonderful birthday present, whee. I've preordered, although I hadn't planned on doing NaNoWriMo when I preordered, and now that I am doing NaNoWriMo, I'm not sure I'll have the time to play. :\

Voted (by mail). Yay. Gods, I hope Obama wins.

Life / status update:
PuzzleBang 2012 went well. Prizes were awesome, all money put towards the event has been covered by my company or ACM via company sponsorship. I think everyone had fun - I know I did.

I live up in San Francisco now, in a small, and bloody expensive studio in North Beach. Old place has finally been rented out (just barely covers my rent, which is nice). I really appreciate having a 10-15 minute bike commute, instead of a 1.2-1.5 hour bike-train-bike commute. Although, I'm not sure I've used the time effectively to get more done. Slightly less exercise too (2x 1.5 mi bike rides is now down to a 2 mi bike ride).

I really should be writing more in NaNoWriMo instead of blogging, but... meh, need to 'talk' about something else. Depressingly, this post is past 500 words, almost twice what I wrote for NaNoWriMo. Blah. I need to be more descriptive when writing. Wish my knowledge of words was stronger. I envy some of the fanfic authors who've got this awesome control over building pretty things with words. Like "Short skirts and explosions"'s The End of Ponies (http://www.fimfiction.net/story/1571/The-End-of-Ponies). ::le sigh:: Maybe I should to re-read their works (or maybe read other works of fantasy and fiction I have) and copy their style. If only I had time...
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Quizzes? When I should be working on writing puzzles? Why yes, I am a silly, procrastinating pony. ^^;;
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Arrrgh, Safari 6 removed feed support silently, so now the feeds I have in my bookmarks bar to track new anime releases and other news is completely useless. I could track them in Mail, but... bleh. Anyone want to suggest nice Feed consumption apps for Mac?

Also, backspace (err, delete) to navigate was disabled. If you're like me and you use it, run:
defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2BackspaceKeyNavigationEnabled -bool YES
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[ Warning | Ramble-ly. Pretty technical. Probably boring. I'd skip if I were you. ]

So I finally got around to poking at the 1U HP DL320 G5 server (HP ProLiant DL320 G5 C352 3.20GHz Server, I think?) I picked up sometime back off the side of the street one night on the way home from broad games. It was marked "free" and "works", just missing hard drives and hard drive mounting rails.

I finally got around to booting it up. Threw in two 80GB SATA hard drives, replaced 2x 512MB chips of RAM with 2x 1GB, bringing the total up to a respectable 4 GB.

Surprisingly, everything works except for the DVD-RW drive, which is a tad bit of a pity. Rather, the drive works on boot, but it seems to die after sometime. Ended up downloading Ubuntu 12.04 and dumping it onto a USB stick.

Ran into an odd problem where it kept thinking it was supposed to read from /cdrom. Had to switch into the shell and manually mount /dev/sdc /cdrom, then exit. Rest of the installation went pretty smoothly, aside from learning about LVM and messing up my GRUB install the first time around.

Just finished installing openssh, apache, rvm (ruby-head, etc), mysqld, memcached (not sure why I decided to install that - I'm probably not likely to get around to using it, actually), node.js...

Today I learned about "apt-cache search ...". And how to copy and paste in vi. You'd think I'd know the latter, but I usually get away with using the MacOS X Terminal, where I usually have a pointing device to select text and do your normal copy and pasting.

I just wish it wasn't so damn loud. Stupid fans. Compared to my Mac Mini (that acts as my primary server and backup computer while my laptop gets repaired*), it sounds like a hurricane. Even when the fans aren't on full blast. :\ I dunno, maybe I could sell this for $600-800 and buy another Mac Mini. Although a friend has offered to host this in his basement, and that would work quite nicely, I guess.

I guess the next step is probably going to be to find some way to mask the majority of the sound without tossing it into a closet and causing it to overheat. :\ Failing that, maybe I'll take an early vacation out to Chicago to visit my friend and install the server at his place. XD

*Wifi/Bluetooth cable managed to break. I think a combination of heat and stress and casual use resulted in weakening the surface mount adaptor head or something. Either way, covered by AppleCare and is somewhere in the repair process.

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Because it's been a while since I watched anything, I watched Dog Days and Guilty Crown the past few days. Marathon style, whee.

It's 3 AM, and I do have work in a few hours and really ought to be in bed.

Dog Days was amusing, silly, but not much more than that. I was kinda hoping there'd be more catgirls. Was not the case, unfortunately. Light harem situation, but that's pretty much it. It's adorable how they wage "wars" - apparently there's some sort of magic field in place, so wars are non-lethal - getting "killed" turns you into a ball. A squishy, bouncy ball with dog ears and tail. And there's some sort of scoring system to determine who wins the war. Silly, but I think we should try adopting it as the way we do wars on this Earth. Probably won't watch again, although a second season is coming out, and I suspect I'll watch it for the heck of it.

Guilty Crown was.... well, it was shiny. That's about it. I hated the main character ("Help, I can't decide if I'm going to be a wimp or actually have a spine or try being evil!"), the plot was terrible (let's add all the plot twists we can!). It felt like they were trying to take all the good things from other series and cram it into one to see if it would work. (Hint: It doesn't.) Series not recommended. If I wasn't watching it at about 3-4x, I probably would have given up a lot earlier.

And now, sleepytime.
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Source: http://mattgemmell.com/2012/04/20/misogyny/

Cherry picking some points to discuss:
Confidence is bred from privilege and security, two things which women lack - in both cases, sadly, due to men. It’s difficult for men to understand a woman’s perspective on threatening language or behaviour, on lewd remarks, or even on the prospect of walking home alone, along a dark street. The world is actually two radically different places, yet we see only one.

It's true. I had observed once that I can't see/comprehend why women are afraid of walking home alone along a dark street. Well, no, it's not that I can't comprehend - I know the logical reasons and rationale behind it, but, as a guy, I'm blind to feelings and emotions of the root causes; I have been mostly unable to empathize, despite wanting to. (I think I noted this once, but totally did a terrible job wording it and was completely misunderstood. Everyone probably thought I was an asshole.)

Our society still inflicts a thousand paper-cuts on a woman’s confidence. Unnecessarily gender-specific, gender-illuminating or gender-characterising remarks. Social assumptions about who is paying the bill, or who is to be spoken to as an authority figure, or (more subtly) whose ego is to be primarily accommodated during an interaction.

Saddest of all, we see the horror of social conditioning on women themselves; female misogyny.

For goodness’ sake, woman!
Stupid woman.
Ugh. I hate offices full of women.
I bet the driver is a woman.
Women need to learn some responsibility.

It's interesting. Aside from "I bet the driver is a woman." (because this I've observed - at least 2 of the 3 drivers that annoy me on the road turn out to be women - usually moms with kids or talking on their phones. The rest of the time, it's old folk. Or periodically, a guy in a suit on the phone.), I don't think I've ever actually said this things. I think this is probably due to having mostly female friends through middle and high school (as part of the humanities gifted and talented programs / International Baccalaureate programs). Smart female friends, who were generally a good deal sharper than I was.
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Sweet, sweet success! Completely disassembled my iPhone 4, replaced the dock connector port and reassembled it. Total cost: $8 for the part, 40 minutes of my time. As a side bonus, my iPhone 4 now works in my speaker system I picked up during Black Friday. Huzzah!

I followed the instructions here:

Part was from an Amazon seller here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UGVOO2/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details (despite the statement that it's for Verizon, this one was for AT&T. Slightly mind boggling. Not sure why they haven't corrected that info.)
Cost: $13 with expedited shipping, but the latest Google Local Deals involved an Amazon Gift card (pay $5 for $10), so effectively, I paid $8.

Total time: 40 minutes. It took longer to disassemble than it took to assmeble.

Only odd bits:
Step 5: It's not clear that the contact clip is a separate piece of metal under the battery connector. It fell off, surprising me.

Step 13: The 1.4mm screw goes into a spacer that I think was supposed to be attached to the area below it. This was not the case for me and it kinda just spun uselessly. It's safe to ignore (or use tweezers to hold the spacer in place from the battery side). If you ignore it, as long as it's loosened, you should be able to lift the wi-fi antenna towards the front of the phone - it's connected to a U shaped piece of metal (between the antenna and the spacer).

There's what appears to be a QR code under the rear facing camera. Unfortunately, I didn't have to take it apart to the point where I could reveal the entire thing. Alas. (You can see what I mean in the step 16 picture.)

[edit] Ugh, except... the mic (part of the dock connector piece) appears to be broken. :\
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Here's a one-liner to remove xattr from files in a directory on MacOS X. (Mostly to quickly strip out the annoying quarantine flag set on downloaded files).

for i in $(ls -Rl@ | grep '^ ' | awk '{print $1}' | sort -u); do echo Removing $i ... >&2; find . | xargs xattr -d $i 2>/dev/null ; done

Note the space after the ^ should be typed with control-v, then tab (to insert a proper tab).

Found this over at http://zzamboni.org/brt/2008/05/07/removing-all-extended-attributes-from-a-directory-tree/index.html. Posting it here so I don't lose the stupid thing again.


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Huh. For some reason, MacOS X has the surround sound channels set differently than what VLC expects.

Data is going out over MiniDisplay port to HDMI.

I had to open Audio Midi Setup and set the following channels:
Left Front: 1
Center: 5
Right Front: 2
Left Surround: 3
Right Surround: 4
Sub-Woofer: 6?
Left Rear Surround: 7?
Right Rear Surround: 8?

Downloading Dolby's Channel Check Trailer. Hopefully it'll help me set the last three.

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Bah. Ended up scrapping my pitiful plans to build a set of stands for the front speakers and going with an Ikea shelf (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S29871804/). Having something that'll be adjustable and actually stable and straight (heh) (and not made out of badly hand cut 2x4s) seems to be worth the extra few dollars it costs.

Total cost: $90+ :(

Oh well, the shelves will double nicely as shelves for other things.

I do wonder if I invested in a set of power tools, I'd be able to do better. In terms of powered tools, I currently have a cheap jigsaw and a power drill.

I've been eyeing a belt sander (??) and a circular saw (at least $40). The latter would let me make slightly cleaner cuts than a hand saw + miter box. Or a miter saw, which I had the pleasure of using back in Black Maskers. Oh, those made cutting 2x4s so bloody easy. They're at least $90 though, and they're limited to 2x4s and other straight things, and I wouldn't be able to use it to cut sheets of wood (which the circular saw will do for me).

I've been spending way too much on this sound system, really. Granted, most of it was the AV receiver which was paid for with the accumulated $300 cash back on my Discover Card over the course of 2+ years. ($300 => $400 cruchfield gift certificates.) The 7.1 Onkyo speaker set was on Amazon for about $200, used via Amazon Warehouse. (5% cash back via Chase Freedom though). The left and right speakers are going on broken halogen lamps that I've repurposed for this - pretty nifty - the wiring can run inside the halogen lamp bodies. So aside from the gas (<5 mi@44 mpg) spent picking up the lamps, they were free. The back left and back right speakers will go on the wall for now. I have a friend offering me more lamps, but I haven't gotten them yet, and I'm also not entirely sure they're the right type of lamps yet.

And I'm finally using the aluminum screen / mesh I got a long time ago. It'll be covering the speaker screens, so the kitties can't shred the speaker screens. Hopefully. I imagine I can't prevent claw pricks, but hopefully the material will prevent major shredding.

Hm. I'm rambling. It's been a while since I've done this, I guess.
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This was pretty... And sad. But somewhat uplifting at the same time.


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Something happened to the first few KB of one of my external hard drives.

Nothing too critical - it was an old external that I was going to clean up, but blah. Annoyances. Not sure how much data I can recover from it. Also, weirdly, I thought this drive was formatted as HFS+, but Disk Utilities thinks it's FAT. Not sure if the partition table / drive header stuff is messed up, or my memory is faulty. =.=

On the bright side, yay for purchasing the MacUpdates Bundle back then, so I have a legit copy of Data Rescue 3 sitting around, so it's now cloning the drive and hopefully it'll be able to figure things out....

It's times like this when I wish I knew more of hard drive stuff. If I could somehow read the bit and figure out directory structure... it seems like all the data that was there is still there... the system just isn't sure how to access it.
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Something happened to the first few KB of one of my external hard drives.

Nothing too critical - it was an old external that I was going to clean up, but blah. Annoyances. Not sure how much data I can recover from it. Also, weirdly, I thought this drive was formatted as HFS+, but Disk Utilities thinks it's FAT. Not sure if the partition table / drive header stuff is messed up, or my memory is faulty. =.=

On the bright side, yay for purchasing the MacUpdates Bundle back then, so I have a legit copy of Data Rescue 3 sitting around, so it's now cloning the drive and hopefully it'll be able to figure things out....

It's times like this when I wish I knew more of hard drive stuff. If I could somehow read the bit and figure out directory structure... it seems like all the data that was there is still there... the system just isn't sure how to access it.
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Yay, that was.. not terribly bad, surprisingly. Some parts didn't quite fit, so I had to use the preexisting pipes instead of the new pipes they gave us.

Thankfully, the gasket / thing that connected was compatible across brands. That was my biggest worry - I didn't want to have to pop that out and replace it.
Finally upgraded my iPhone to iOS 5, since the untethered jailbreak just came out.

If you own an iPhone 3GS or 4, now's the best time to do so, since Apple will sign iOS 5.0.1 installation requests and there's no need to try to spoof the APTicket system yet. (I think there's also no way to do so either. I kept trying to use Cydia and TinyUmbrella as the SHSH blob host, and it kept failing on me - error 1600. Ssooo, if you're hitting error 1600, chances are, you have gs.apple.com pointed to localhost or Cydia in your hosts file, and you should either a) remove that line in your hosts file, or b) run TinyUmbrella and uncheck that box that says to set hosts to Cydia upon quit. )

iOS 5 is surprisingly shiny. And wifi syncing? All these nifty features everyone else has been using and I haven't had! But now I can play with them too! Wheee~ ::small squeals of joy::

Now slowly reinstalling everything onto the phone. iTunes is handling a lot of it, but a good amount of the jailbroken stuff has to be installed by hand.


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