/*sidenote tool from arc90 */ /* end of Google Analytics code */ A Random Pattern: August 2006

A Random Pattern

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Update: Final new web home

I've got a new web address, and I've even imported all my old posts from here. It's my own domain, which means I can do whatever I want with it. ;)

That also means I have a new email address, though you don't have to worry about that. I won't be changing any of my current addresses, just rerouting, etc...

Stop by and see me. Bookmark my feed, too, though it might not work for another few days until I get everything straightened out. :(

My content posts will be happening at ransomedhome.com from now on, instead of ransomedhome.blogspot.com. Thanks to Google and Blogspot for the free hosting, and for getting me started. :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Testing complete, and Applets

Not only was it successful, but I've discovered Applets! Now I'm blogging, through Remote Desktop, from a button on my taskbar (bar across bottom of desktop), without any difficulty. Very nice - I really like this tool, it's exactly what I've been looking for.

I've also got a funny screenshot for you. I just grabbed this off my desktop and dragged it into my post, so we'll see how well it uploads to Blogger. ;)

Take a look at the last line of the description. Although monkey-bubble is a decent game, in the vein (though not nearly as good as) Snood, the description by the open-source authors displays one of the weaknesses of most linux geeks. :-D

Thursday, August 10, 2006

testing, testing, 1 2 3

test from Ubuntu using a "blog entry poster" application for Gnome. This is kind of cool, though I'm not sure how useful it will be. Depends on how well it works, I guess.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Animated Jigsaw Puzzle

This is a simple example, but it's really cool once you figure out what's going on. I hope to see more of these!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gentle Hint Guide to n.nfshost.com

First, how this guide will work. I've hidden all except the most gentle of hints, so anything you can read right now is safe and won't spoil your "success" feeling. Then, I provide a few hints for every puzzle, finally practically giving you the answer. Give it a day if you're stuck, then come back to it. This isn't the best made puzzle ever, so there will be some guessing necessary, but nothing's very far out there. The answer is always (somewhat) obvious, so no arcane puzzling knowledge or torturous logic paths are necessary.

Start with 1: Move your mouse over the 1.

On 2? Stuck? You can actually manually type in a web address, did you know that? Or you can change the current one just a bit, and see if there's a page with that name?
More for 2: Go back to page 1, and look at the address. Now go forward to page 2. Look at the address. What would the address for 3 look like?

3: what did you do to get here? Do the same thing, only look at the information on the page first.

more for 3: How does the symbol in the middle of the page correspond to 3? What would be 4 then?

Still need more? Look up "Roman number".

4: Really, just repeat the last sets of instructions. What comes after four?

5: Ok, this is where the puzzle starts to vary a little bit from the formula of the last several. Give it a try.

5 again: Count the o's. Now how do you get to 6?

6: This is your first stretch. How does that number equal 6? Being a computer would help you understand this....

6 not-so-subtle hint: We're not in the decimal system anymore, Toto.

6, one more hint: Try wikipedia. try google. Put in the number you know and the number you don't. Find out how they are related.

7: Tricky one - if you're from U.S., it's not what you first think. Do a google search.

7 more detailed hint: Ok, search for both the clue and the number (7 and sept).

7 TMI: try learning a different language. At least until you can count to eight...

8: Hopefully you're getting the hang of it. Here's another new one, but nothing too difficult.

8 actual hint: How does the clue equal eight?

8: ok, get a mirror. Or pretend you're from a country that reads right-to-left. Unless you are, in which case you probably didn't need this hint. ;)

9: Oh, fun! Where'd your clue go? If you are reading this, you already know how to solve 9.

9: C'mon, you can find it! Did you look for it? Use your mouse..

10: 2 ways to tackle this one. Try selecting your missing clue, or look at source code. Source code's really the better way, because you'll need it later on anyways. Go to "View" "Source Code" in the menu.

More to follow.....

Clues for 11-20 will be posted later this week, followed by clues all the way through 30. Hang in there!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

WWDC 2006 Predictions: It's about the Cat

Everyone else is doing it, I figured I'll throw my hat in the ring too. Of course, I don't have much to add other than what I think is obvious. If you want the low-down on rumors, sites like TUAW writeup will fill you up.

So here's the skinny: This is a developer conference. Yes, Apple may role out some new hardware. Everyone wants them to, but no one's got any real idea whether they will or won't. What we do know is that the main focus here is on Developers, and on the next version of OS X.

Here's my predictions - they fall in line with one of my favorite bloggers, John Gruber from Daring Fireball:
-Leopard out soon, probably before Window's Vista.
-Improved Spotlight and Metadata features (thanks Ars for making me dream!)
-New eye candy, major graphics cleanup.
-Next step for resolution independence?
-New Mac Pro. Yes, I think they'll probably introduce it. No, I don't have any good reason for thinking so, other than aggregate opinion (which is a really bad indicator, historically).

Thanks to someone's quick camera, we know Apple's expecting to wow us with the next version of OS X. And that, my friends, can only be good for computer users everywhere.

My Grandma's got a nicer iPod than me!

My wife's grandma regularly enters all kinds of contests and sweepstakes. Recently she won a brand-spankin-new 60 GB iPod. It's a generation newer than mine (about 1 year), so it's half the size and plays video. 8-)

I helped Sara's dad rip his CD collection onto our Mac, since they're still running an old HP with Win 98 (gah!). Once his iPod was set up, we gave it a test run in my Hi-Fi. :-D


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Don't worry, I'm aiming for a Nano sometime soon so I can run with it. Grandma won't be joining me. ;)


New Sidenotes for my Blogger

arc90 labs released this cool bit of javascript. You may have noticed me trying it out - I'm still trying to get it right, but seeing how often I segue into little sidenotes I could probably use something like this.

Friday, August 04, 2006

New Kitchen Pictures

Quick link: Check out our new granite (Tan-Brown) countertops, just installed.

Now if we can just get the sink hooked up....

G Talk: What's old is new again

Ok, not really old. But Google has just announced some exciting new features being rolled out to Google Talk users. This follows nicely on my last few posts.

IM and collaborative technologies are important to me, because I'm a "tele-worker" - that is, I live and work a few states away from my old office.

Now, if they'd just get a nice "whiteboard" going...

Google Maps saves addresses!

Finally! Google Maps offers a new feature - they'll save addresses you search for, and you can even label them. The first one I'll be putting in is "home" - the address I use as a starting point for 90% of my direction searches!

One of the most common requests we've received is for the ability to store a list of personal addresses on Google Maps -- and now you can.
Oh, and for all you people still using Mapquest: Please, STOP! Try Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, anything but Mapquest!!! You have NO IDEA what you're missing! (If you've tried the others, and went back to Mapquest, comment or email me - I'd really like to know why.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

iPod integration

Jupiter Research called my attention to this little iPod news bit:
Well, the final holdouts are on board with Ford, GM and Mazda offering iPod integration for their cars.

I'm glad to hear this, as I was appalled to discover Ford's new Fusion didn't even have an option (!!!!) for a stereo with iPod available plugin. Not only that, but they offer no option to downgrade to cassette tape either. That means it's CDs, radio, or FM-adapter for me, and my 9000 tunes stay locked in my iPod for now....

The implications for satellite radio and 'old' radio are certainly interesting. Do you still listen to regular radio? Do you think it's going away, or staying around? Why?

Puzzle Exhibit

A few quick links for you puzzle freaks out there: These articles are all pretty much about the same thing. The NY Times article is best, but requires registration (hence the other links).

This is an impressively large and comprehensive exhibit on mechanical puzzles of all types, including one that is impossible. ;)
Slocum puzzle exhibit opens next week

IU's Lilly Library will acquire world's largest collection of ...

Portraits of, and by, the artists

NY Times article on Puzzle Exibit (reg required - or BugMeNot extension for Firefox :) )

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ubuntu install: I've been busy

I know I'm overdue on some more posts. They'll be along shortly, but here's a few reasons for my delay.

1) trying out new Wordpress software. Conclusion so far: Awesome! Check out my new blog home, probably will end up permanently migrating though I will post several updates here when that happens.

2) Installed Ubuntu, which was also Awesome! However, had a few hiccups due to the PC I was using being very old, and somewhat broken. Everything is good now, however.

3) Finally got countertops installed, so we have an almost normal kitchen. (Pictures coming soon). Now just need to hook up sink and water, get a dishwasher, microwave, and put refrigerator in place....

4) Catching up on a sudden major load of work. This will keep me behind schedule for another week or so, probably. I'll try to get posts up every day or two, though.

Lots to do still, but I should be back on track as far as regular posting. Thanks for stopping by. If you're looking for puzzle posts, I've got a few coming your way very shortly.