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This has no place on slashdot, I know...

ryanr Oh crap (19 comments)

I'm so sorry.

more than 5 years ago

ZOMG! I remembered my password.

ryanr Re:Indeed. (18 comments)

That's me. Followed you back.

more than 5 years ago

ZOMG! I remembered my password.

ryanr Indeed. (18 comments)

I'm on all of them. ryanlrussell , except here.

more than 5 years ago

The End.

ryanr Bummer (17 comments)

I'm sorry it didn't work out.

more than 5 years ago

I'm Tired

ryanr Don't worry (5 comments)

Your wife will be calling to make sure you remembered to pick everybody up.

more than 6 years ago


ryanr hasn't submitted any stories.



Other sites

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 7 years ago

So, I created a Multiply account, which I'm just using to keep an eye on you people for now.

But I've been blogging over here for a while now, mostly infosec stuff.


Favorite song of the day

ryanr ryanr writes  |  about 8 years ago

This song. It's a mashup by Oli Clifford, the music is Arctic Monkey's "Mardy Bum", and the female vocals are Destiny's Child's "Lose My Breath." I'd never heard of the guy before. This track was a bonus on the Mashup best-of 2006 album, which I heard about in a BoingBoing post.

This is one of the things I love about mashups. Every once in a while, you get a song that is significantly better than the originals. It's subjective of course, but to my ear the mashup is loads better. The Arctic Monkeys song isn't bad, I like it OK on its own, but it's not remarkable. The Destiny's Child song is totally forgettable. If you listen to the vocals in the mashup, they're good. But for their own cut, they randomly pressed the buttons on a drum machine for the "music." If you're curious, you can hear a snippet of each song on iTunes.

The resulting song is really good. Great guitars and bass line on the music, the vocals over this music are 50's girl-group doo-wop. I can picture the beehive hairdos and synchronized dancing.


A Dominator2010 moment

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Those of you who have may have dominator2010 friended may be aware that he's not really have the best couple of days in his personal life. Nevertheless, I present a moment that I find particularly amusing.

We went to Telegraph in Berkeley today for lunch, so he could have a look around. One of the places we stopped into was Ameoba Music. While Dave (one of our developers) and I looked through the used Ska CDs, Dominator2010 is standing around, apparently looking like he works there. At least, some random customer thought so, and started asking him about some musician.

Random Customer: "Hey, who is that bad-ass black keyboard player guy?"

Dominator2010: "Um... Ray Charles?"



ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Hey, I'm trying out a proper blog over here: http://ryanlrussell.blogspot.com/.

Some of you may be interested in the stuff I post there. You'll probably also see a couple of dupes there too, since I took copies from here.

Anything that is Slashdot-related, or has to do with the circle of friends here, I plan to keep here in my journal.


Ask /. rockstars

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Aimed squarely at a number of people around here who probably know the answer...

So my oldest boy turned 16 today, and he likes to play bass. I took him to Guitar Center to pick out some toys, and gave him a relatively small dollar figure to work with. He had previously expressed interest in some new pickups or a wah peddle, or similar, so that's what I had in mind.

Instead, he was checking out amps. He wants something louder than his little 30W practice amp. After some discussion and fearing for the window panes, he tells me that he's looking for a big amp that he could use to play a gig with. He didn't find anything useful in his budget range (no surprise, since I didn't have that in mind), and he has opted to save up instead.

Now, whether worrying about playing a show is realistic or not isn't terribly important, and no reason to not indulge him.

But I have no idea what is neccessary for playing your typical local dive show. Is the band expected to bring enough noise to power the whole thing themselves? Do the venues always have in-house stuff? Is the player's own amp just used for purposes of micing or as a pre-amp?

Suggestions welcome. As in, is a 300W head and a cabinet with a couple of 12" speakers sufficient? Does he need a whole wall of hiwatts?



ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, I feel like I've picked on Solemn's writing a couple of times now, and haven't given her a chance to reciprocate. Plus, the wife's out of town, and I'm bored and the kids are asleep. So:

Tap Whistle hated to work in the rain. It loosened the black from the streets and buildings, and made the manhole diving unbearable. You didn't want to get caught by the Plumbers when it was raining. If you tried to run, you'd just end up slipping in the black runoff. After a couple of hours of rain like today, the sewers would be full up to your knees.

It also seeped into the battery jars, and the top layer of grease would short out the 'nodes, leaving you no voltage. Anyway, you didn't want to get caught with a jar if you could help it, or else you would be charged under the Tesla ban.

The rain made it too noisy to scope the street for audio, too. Not that sound would do him any good at the machine point he planned to monitor today, not from the topside.

Whistle wouldn't even bother on a day like today, except that he had a rare motivation, a paying customer. It seems that several of the local "plumbers apprentices" had named him as the best when the norm had come around looking to hire a hole diver. He was even more nervous than Whistle, and it made him laugh inside to think how paranoid the norm was about getting caught. Whistle wasn't worried, why not get paid for some of his fun? He suspected he wouldn't be able to get the message anyway.

Whistle didn't actually have to pop any holes today, so he had left the crowbar at home. This junction point was big enough that it had its own housefront. Most of the major machine points had a little house-like building on top of them. The house part was little more than a single-story box with a front door. Inside was just some storage, a wall of valves that ran below, and the circular metal starcase that led down to the workroom. Whistle had a key that he had traded for, that would open the front door. It was a simple warded key, not one of the newer pin tumblers. Those were not thought to be reliable enough, though the lockers considered them more secure. That was about the extent of Whistle's lock knowledge, which he had mostly picked up from trade pamphlets and a couple informal demos from the lockers at the meetings.

Whistle checked for any of the copper-clad Plumbers carriages on the street before letting himself in the door. Once inside with the door closed behind him, he headed straight downstairs.

At the bottom of the stairs, he stepped right into the water, feeling the cold grip on his calves, dragging at his pant legs. The rain was seeping from the walls, and dripping from the curved ceiling, between the bricks. Parts of the sewers under the city went back to Roman times, though not under a machine point. In a machine point like this, they had typically been dug down two stories worth, and rebuilt, like a mini Underground station in the dark. They didn't carry any trains though, just pipes and conduit.

Whistle's target today was Lloyd's. They were an old user, so they still mostly used the pneumatics. Usually, only the newer users used rods, because they didn't have as many feeds to convert. There were a couple of exotic hydrolics in town, used in local building carrys, but that was only the standard in America. You wouldn't find a hydrolic in an official machine point. Whistle had a few catalogs from Edison's Hydrologic Manufacturing Company, describing what they had over there.

He light the gaslight, and pulled a couple of books from his pack. One was the city feed directory, which would give him the numbers he needed to check for. Customers would use these to look up the endpoint and route. The other was a stolen PCL manual, which would give him the stamped numbers he would need to read off the pipe he wanted. He looked up the machine station he was in, and found the list of Lloyd's serials. Lloyd's had mostly low numbers, they had been around longer.

One challenge was that, through this particular station, Lloyd's had no less than 21 tubes, too many to monitor at once. Whistle knew to check which switch they went to, though. And only one switch down here lead to the destination he was supposed to watch for.

He found that only four of the tubes went through that switch, so that was the set he would have to watch. From his bag he pulled a set of loadstones and reed flags.

Carefully, he found the places in the middle of the tubes where the plungers would have to cross. The places where, when the plunger went back and forth, it would flip the flag one way and then the other, giving him a visual means of watching the bits. Down here, you could use a horn to listen to one pipe, if you only had one to watch. Well, maybe two. He had heard of one blind kid that could do two at once.

For a lot of beginners, tapping by ear was easier. Especially if you were used to decoding by ear at a legitimate endpoint anyway.

But that didn't help if you needed to watch four. Whistle set up the reeds so that the reflective sides were to the right, where the gaslight was. Once the plunger started going, the flashes would let him read the message right off the pipe.


$5 MP3 player fun

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I thought I'd experiment with posting something to the Instructables site. If you're interested, check it out. It's just a couple of really cheap parts plugged together, but I think one could get some good mischief out of it.


iTunes alphabet

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Blame btlzu2. Alright, this sounds like a fun one, anyway.

(What, no numbers & symbols?)

(Anesthesia) - Pulling Teeth Metallica
007 Desmond Dekker Deep Ska (Disc 4)
99 Red Balloons Goldfinger
Ace Of Spades Motörhead
Bark At The Moon Strung Out
Coast to Coast Scorpions
Don't Tread On Me 311
Everlong Foo Fighters
Foggy Mountain Breakdown Doug Dillard
Girl All the Bad Guys Want Bowling for Soup
Hotel California SDZakaSkaDaddyZ
I'll Stay Away The Slackers
Jessica Allman Brothers Band
Keep Fishin' Weezer
Let My Love Open the Door Pete Townshend
Man on the Silver Mountain Hammerfall
No One Like You Scorpions
Old Friend Rancid
Pressure Drop - The Specials Various
Queen For A Day Dance Hall Crashers
Rock & Roll The Hippos
Say It Ain't So Weezer
The Call Of Ktulu Metallica (iTunes says 'the' counts)
United Forces S.O.D.
Veronica Elvis Costello
Wailing Paddle The Rudiments
(no useful X)
Yyz Rush
Zombie The Cranberries

This is from my limited song list I carry around on the work laptop. The list is also pretty arbitrary, I'm sure it would be different on another day. Looks like I picked mostly upbeat stuff today?


Handguns for everyone!

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

In further stirring up trouble news:
Judge Overturns Controversial SF Hand Gun Ban

So I think the sane thing happened here, and the [clear to me] Constitutional bit about arms was upheld, against a city popular vote. (Though it was done at a State level so far.)

Plus, you gotta love this sentence from the article:

Measure H was placed on the November ballot by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, who were frustrated by an alarmingly high number of gun-related homicides in the city of 750,000.

Wow. Abuse the ambiguity of the English language much?


Want to see my kids?

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So last weekend, I went to the Makers Faire. I wish I had taken the kids, there was lots of cool stuff for them to do and see. But the way things had worked out, I hadn't planned for that well. I'll make an effort to take them next year.

So while I was there, I bought them a 10-pack of throwies. It was $20, which I think is a pretty decent deal.

So I helped the kids make them, and took pictures.

I'm trying to get a few things done here. I'm trying to learn to use a camera properly, I'm showing off the kids, and I'm trying out the flickr thing. The cat's dead, so you get pics of the kids.

The pics are mostly the kids playing with the throwies, but there's also a shot in there of my youngest boy playing with the Nintendo DS, and my oldest transcribing some music. I've been fairly impressed with the kids' music work. The oldest two seem to be putting in some real effort. The bass player has a good ear, and seems to be able to play just about any bass part he wants. He also took a Mighty Bosstones song, looked up the tab for part of it, and wrote it out as sheet music for trumpet, so his brother could play along with him.

The youngest in there is a camera hound, and insists on being in every shot. That's why you see her in most of them. And yes, she does frequently wear the princess outfit around the house.

OK, so I've added another set now, which makes that first link ambiguous (see if you can guess which one is my wife, if you look at the other set.) So here's the "throwies" set link:
kids & throwies.


You women make me feel so cheap!

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, reading the Fark, saw this link:

10 Friendly Pickup Lines [for women to use on men]

I'm insulted for my gender! Is this what those articles for the guys are like for you ladies?

On the other hand, the one time I was seriously getting hit on, I didn't realize it until a few years later. But that's a different story.


[Beloved] got Back

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 8 years ago

A little something I've worked on in my head over the years. Apologies if it's a little gay.

A poem for johndiii:

When at last I see thy bubble
My chub it swells up double.
Homeboys and whiteboys pulse through their jeans
All the world could agree and even Becky got to see.

Baby got back
You make me want to smack dat
As I wander in a haze
Oakland booty strikes me in the face



ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Any dream analysts out there? Been having a number of weird violent dreams lately. Had a nap yesterday, was dreaming about killing people, bad guys. I was on some sort of moutain thing, it was a video game or action movie setting or something. The guns weren't working very well, I'd shoot someone several times until I'd run out of ammo, and I'd have to start with the stabbing. The stabbing would make a mess, but still wasn't working well. I think I eventually had to push a few guys over the cliff to finish them off.

And then last night was the rat dreams. I was staying in some sort of not-finished basement of a building under construction. The basement was rat-infested. Huge, agressive attack rats. Some of them were raccoon size. The minute they saw you, they would come running for you, and leap for your face in an attempt to rip it off.

And again to go along with the rats was the stabbing and cutting. I was armed with a machette, a sword, and a dagger. I was able to impale a number of the huge rats with the sword as they were flying through the air. One of the somewhat smaller ones (small cat sized) got on my left forearm, and managed to tear it open a bit. That one I had to run through with the dagger.

They are actually frustration dreams, not nightmares. They are not making me scared or nervous, just frustrated that things won't die properly. My wife is the one with the rat phobia, if she was having them she'd be hanging from the ceiling, screaming. Though, she has expressed a small bit of concern that I'm lying next to her, dreaming of repeatedly stabbing things.

Anyone? Bueller? Freud?


AIM MovieFone bot

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So, I guess like everyone else in the world who has an AIM account, I've got these couple of new bots in my friends list.

I figure, what the heck, I'm up for a game of Eliza. Here's what I got:

ryanrussellbb 5:50
So, uh.... how's it going?

MovieFone 5:50
Hi there. I'm the new MovieFone bot! I can find movies for you anywhere in the country in a fraction of second. All you have to do is give me part of the title, an actor or director's name. I can also send you alerts when your favorite films are opening. Type privacy anytime to review the policy. Type any movie you want to see or menu to get going.

======= Movie of the Week =======
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Movie Site

ryanrussellbb 5:50
Dude! I'm so going to check out that movie

MovieFone 5:50

- Movies for Today
    1 -F- Awesome: I F*ckin' Shot That
    2 -P- I Know Where I'm Going

Type # next to movie to see showtimes, M to go back to the Main Menu or anything else to search again.

P=Past, N=New, S=Soon, F=Future

ryanrussellbb 5:51
you fucking shot that? What the hell.

MovieFone 5:51
That's rude. I'm here to help. Type, help if you ned it.

======= Movie of the Week =======
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Movie Site

ryanrussellbb 5:51
You started it

So, I think I lost. He did start it! I like the typos that are programmed right in.. help if I "ned" it.


iBook/OS X update

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So, several of you may recall my whining about trying to get used to OS X on this iBook I have. One of the things I was holding judgement on was how more RAM would affect things.

So, a couple of days ago, I got the more ram. I went from 384MB to 1.25GB (256-on board, swapped 128MB stick for 1GB stick. RAM is now maxed out.)

Funny story about that. "Funny" as in "Ha Ha, I have to add some Apple hardware enginner to the list of People Who Have To Die now." So, the RAM had arrived last week from Crucial. Tried to install it, iBook beeps at me. Well crud, tried a few things, decide I got a bad stick, we send it back. Get replacement, install it, and I try it without buttoning the iBook back up. Which means I'm running with the keyboard flopped over, etc.. I get it to boot twice with no problems. Yay! I got a good stick this time, I thought.

So I close it back up, and it beeps at me! Damn! OK, wasted a bunch of time blowing the P-RAM, clock circuit, NVRAM reset, check firmware revision, etc... no dice.

I get to thinking a little, and I try it again with the covers off. It boots. Hmm. I examine the old stick and the new one. New one is a double-sided DIMM, old one is single sided. The old one has the bare side up... and so it has an extra milimeter of clearance or so on the top.

Electrical contact? No, I see the little metal cage that goes over the RAM (and under the AirPort card) has a plastic strip to specifically prevent that problem.

I think to hold the DIMM down a tiny bit with my finger. Aha! Beeps at me. Try it without pushing on it, it boots fine.

At least I know what it is now. The extra set of chips on the new DIMM makes it bend down those extra couple of degrees, and I get flakey contact.

Some purposeful reseating and bending of little metal cage later, and I have a working machine with all the RAM. Yay!

So, good news, some of the slower items are now faster. I get the SPOD a lot less often.

But not entirely gone. And some things are still way slow. The example that is most clear is pogo.com, which is my wife's favorite game site. it consistently drives the CPU to 100% and stays there, and the games get really slow. I think they use mostly Java apps. bad JVM implementation? I'm using Firefox, and no idea what JVM.

One really shouldn't have to have that much RAM to get things to run decently. To be fair, XP kinda sucks air sometimes with less than 512MB, too.

I've also found that Thunderbird's Ctrl-T is Cmd-T, and Cntrl-Enter is Cmd-Enter. Just like I should have guessed. I'll get used to that eventually.

Edit: Oh, forgot! DarwinPorts is pretty cool, and I've had an opportunity to help with a couple of them a tiny bit. Also, Thunderbird has been a little crashy. Mostly on the pogo.com site, mentioned before.


The future is already here

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

"the future is already here--it's just unevenly distributed." -- William Gibson (So I hear, I haven't researched it myself.)

So Saturday, I'm driving around (see previous JE about where I was driving to/from.) And I see some billboard with an ad for memory cards. And I got to thinking about storage technology.

You know, it wasn't that long ago that such a thing was firmly science fiction. I mean like Star Trek stuff. A plastic card that you insert into your computer console that holds a billion bytes. Perhaps a "data storage crystal".

We tend to call them things like a "1GB SD card." Made out of a silicon crystal.

Curmudgeon Mode:

When I was your age, I used to have to install 9 chips, by hand, directly in the motherboard JUST to get an extra 16K! And I was happy to have it! I was lucky if I didn't break off a pin, or impale my hand!


Poetry and Dance Festival

ryanr ryanr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So, I feel like writing in my journal this evening. Aren't you lucky.

Saturday, I did something a little different. I went to a poetry and dance festival thing at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Not something I would normally have picked. Generally speaking, That Sort of Thing is Not My Bag, Baby. But I went because my wife was dancing. This is something she has taken up recently. She started with a belly dancing class, and has just kind of taken up with this dance troupe.

It's good for her, gets her out of the house a bit, it's in the evening mostly, so the schedule works out. And she has fun at it.

I had not had a chance to see her dance yet, so I drove in to see her. Naturally, I liked seeing her dance, I was proud. She did a good job.

I also kinda liked some of the other stuff as well. it was, as the name implies, mostly dance and poetry. About 4 hours worth, though it didn't seem quite that long. There were even a few occasions where I thought to myself "Hey look! Real beatniks!". Even those weren't unenjoyable.

Anyway, I was surprised that I had a decent time at said festival. That is all.

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