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Entries from August 1, 2006 - August 31, 2006


College: Caffeine "Slingshot"

I had read around on reputable websites such as and of a mysterious caffeine and nap combination.

I just tried it out in hopes of increasing productivity. It works amazingly well. I am very awake and alert, but not jittery from the caffeine. If you're looking to cram in a few more hours of studying or looking to make your awake time more efficient, I heartily recommend the caffeine slingshot.

How To:

  1. Drink your caffeinated beverage of choice.
  2. Take a 15 minute nap.

3 College Tips: Moving Back

I just moved back into school at LMU yesterday. I made a few correct decisions while moving back.

We were able to cram 3 people and 2 dorm rooms into my mid-size sedan for a road trip from Seattle, WA to Los Angeles, CA.

1. Vacuum-pack your clothes. I was able to fit 3/4 of my clothes into a Jumbo Space-Bag. All you need is a vacuum cleaner.

2. Move excess furniture into the closet (if possible). My suitemates and I like space. So we moved our dressers, bookshelves, and top shelves to our desks into our spacious closets. We freed up about 14 square feet of precious space.

3. Drive to school. One of the better decisions I've made was to drive to school. I stopped in Portland, OR and San Jose, CA. My friends and I got to see the local sights and enjoy ourselves. Take time in between a summer job and classes to see the country.

I'll add more to this list as they become apparent.


Music: Ghostland Observatory @ KEXP Summer BBQ, Seattle


(Photo from the KEXP blog.)

Holy hell.

Yesterday, God decided to smile upon a thousand-or-so people near the Seattle Center, and he saw that it was oh-so-good. Ghostland Observatory rocked the KEXP summer BBQ so hard most of us didn't know what to do with ourselves.

I heartily recommend seeing this two-piece from Austin, Texas if one ever becomes so lucky. I have never seen dance moves so crazy or heard beats so divine.


Mac Issue: Security Update 2006-004

In hopes of being a less-jaded Windows user and less of a Mac martyr, I should report my latest computer problem. And for once it was on my Mac.

After installing this most recent security update released from Apple, Apple Mail and iChat refused to work. I did some poking around and it turns out that the OS X Security Update 2006-004 is corrupting the Java-based system Webkit. From my experience, any Apple product that attempts to retrieve information from somewhere on the web.

Thankfully, there's a relatively quick fix. You only need to reinstall the OS X 10.4.7 patch. Here are links to the Intel patch and PPC patch.

I guess I also can't trust Apple to release security updates that won't break my computer. Is this the beginning of the next Microsoft?


Every Day I Find a New Frustration in Windows, Episode 2: Unsizable Small Windows

While this frustration may not be a problem particular to Windows, it seems to be a problem particular to many Microsoft programs.

If you have ever developed using Microsoft Visual Studio (I assume many software developers have), you will eventually need to add dependencies to your project. If you have a large project, you may have a few dozen dependencies along with a few dozen include paths.

Currently, Visual Studio offers an anemic window to facilitate this. I dread adding a dependency to a project in Windows. Thankfully, this doesn't need to be done every day. Either way, it's in my book as another frustration. Take a look:



Every Day I Find a New Reason to Love the Mac, Episode 2: Quicksilver

When I first heard of Quicksilver, I asked myself, "Who would want something like that? It just seems to add one more level of complexity to the OS." Boy, was I wrong.

Quicksilver has been described as a "launcher on steroids" by many. Its website calls it "A unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music, and other data." The first definition is a little vague; the latter definition sounds like a PR pitch.

Quiksilver, if you give yourself a week or two to learn it, will save you several minutes of time here and there. I hardly ever search for files in Finder any more. Quicksilver doesn't scour the innards of files, so its indexing is much more resource efficient. As long as you know the names of your files, you're in good shape.

For example, with exactly 20 keystrokes, I copied a jpg image to my desktop from some directory buried on my hard drive. The entire process took me literally 2 seconds:

quicksilver demo

  • I press Control + Space to bring up the Quicksilver window

  • I type "ex41j". It only takes these 5 letter for Quicksilver to know exactly which file I want.

  • I hit Tab.

  • I type "copy to."

  • I hit Tab again.

  • I type "desk". Quicksilver knows I mean my desktop.

  • I hit Enter.

  • Bam file copied.


Every Day I Find a New Frustration in Windows, Episode 1: Network Drives and Login

Every morning, I turn on my computer. Every morning I wait 5 valuable minutes to log in to windows. Yes, on my Dell 700m, which is little more than a year old with 1.5 Gb of RAM, it takes 5 minutes for Windows to log in. And it's not because I can't remember my password.

It's because Windows is trying to connect to each network drive. You see, I'm a network drive kind of guy. I write scripts using RoboCopy to keep everything updated on all my computers. To keep the scripts simply, I just map my home and office drives to different letters on my laptop.

But because I'm never in two places at once, half the drives are always disconnected. So Windows XP always takes it's dear sweet time looking for them at log in. Why at log-in? Why every time? Why not when I actually go to access the resource?

Microsoft: please fix this.


Every Day I Find a New Reason to Love the Mac, Episode 1: Shorcuts in Finder

To start this series that's been floating around in my head for a little while, allow me to offer a short introduction.

I first bought a Mac Mini in May 2005 after being a "Windows guy" for my entire life. That was the best technical purchase I have ever made. Over the past year I've acquainted myself with the Mac, OS X, Quartz, Finder, and the whole host of Macology.

It occurred to me that, on a daily basis, I find something about the Mac that makes me say "now that just makes sense." It seems like I also find something every day that frustrates me about Windows. Note to readers: please do not accuse me of being incompetent, I develop software for Linux, OS X, and Windows. I think of myself as pretty well-versed in all three.

Enough talk, this episode's tip/trick/what-have-you tells you how to create program shortcuts at the top of your Finder window. This is very handy for dragging documents or files over the specified icon to launch. I, for example, will be documenting an SDK in HTML. I'll want to see how it looks in both Safari and Firefox. Defaulting the .html extension to open in one or the other falls short. Instead, I:

  • Find the application I want to make a shortcut of in my Applications folder

  • Drag the application over the toolbar

  • Hold down option key and then drop the icon on the window.

Here's how my Finder window looks right now, I've got shorcuts for Adobe Reader and Bare Bones Software TextWrangler: