December 8, 2005

From elsewhere: Linux: a social experiment

December 8, 2005 - Categories: linux

Linux advocate disguised as panhandler gives CDs away. Interesting social results: most people don’t read signs, and panhandling is fairly lucrative. <wry grin>

Would be tempted to do something similar if I also had a stack of Ubuntu CDs.

Or—evil thought!—sneak into Microsoft dev event with button that
reads “Ask me about what I geek out about” and a bag full of Ubuntu CDs… ;)

(Convert the world one geek at a time! ;) )

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Secret Santa exchanges the Web way

December 8, 2005 - Categories: barkada

Elfster makes it easy to set up Secret
Santa gift exchanges. It automates signing up, drawing people, and
even anonymously asking questions. Here’s the one I made for one of my
barkadas. (Small group because everyone had to know everyone else
well…)

Christmas is about love, not shopping. ^_^ So let’s have a letter
exchange! Instead of scouring tiangges looking for the perfect gift
that’ll fit into your already tight budget, write a nice, long, warm,
heart-felt letter instead. Also, make one New Year’s Resolution and
dedicate it to your recipient. We could all use a little help in
keeping _those_… =)

Incidentally, the organizer can rig it. I didn’t, though. ;) It would
be fun to have it randomized. Of course, nothing’s stopping us from
writing letters for _everyone_, if we feel particularly diligent… =)

Check out Elfster and set up your Secret Santa gift exchange soon!

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Squidoo now on public beta

December 8, 2005 - Categories: social, web2.0

Squidoo opened its doors to the public today. Open beta. Try it out if you’re into Web 2.0 stuff.

I’m personally a little underwhelmed, although I can see how something
like this might be useful for all the niche site probloggers who don’t
have their own server/space or who want to take advantage of extra
visibility through squidoo, although I’m not sure how much better that
would be compared to, say, making a new website that’s indexed by
Google.

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To write well, one must have leisure

December 8, 2005 - Categories: writing

To write well, one must have leisure: leisure to read, leisure to think, to talk things over, to talk oneself in and out of a position, to compose and rewrite and polish, to travel, to observe, to listen, to let the sounds and voices sink into one’s consciousness until they are ready to come out again, having “suffered a sea-change.” All this requires leisure, and leisure is an expensive commodity.

- Miguel A. Bernad, SJ

One of the reasons I want to figure out how to retire early or enjoy great work-life balance. =)

Discovered via a comment left by purpleslurpee on charlesatan’s essay on writer’s block.

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Two years ago

December 8, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Was it really just two years ago today that I learned that free tech
support gets you so much more than just vanilla ice cream from
Jollibee? <impish grin>

Wow.

For the record, I’m _soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo_ glad that I
got into Linux. =)

Ruby: Turn bash.org quotes into a fortune file

December 8, 2005 - Categories: ruby

The following code turns XML quotes from bash.org (a popular IRC quotes server) into a fortune-cookie file.
Handy for using with ../emacs/flashcard.el and my ../emacs/flashcard-config.el, which pops up a fortune
every time I get a correct answer.

bash-org-to-fortune.rb:

require 'rss/1.0'
require 'cgi'
require 'net/http'
host = Net::HTTP.new('bash.org', 80)
if ARGV[0] then
   resp, data = host.get('http://bash.org/xml/?top&below=' + ARGV[0], nil)
else
   resp, data = host.get('http://bash.org/xml/?top', nil)
end
parsed = RSS::Parser.parse(data, false)
parsed.items.each { |x| puts CGI::unescapeHTML(x.description.gsub('
', "\n")); puts "%\n" }

Call like this:

ruby bash-org-to-fortune.rb > bash; strfile bash; fortune bash

# or to get the top quotes with score < 1000
ruby bash-org-to-fortune.rb 1000 > bash; strfile bash; fortune bash

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