Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Subway, Lifeblood

Via 2 4 Flinching, check out these photos of the New York City Subway circa the 1980s: filthy, graffiti-ridden, dangerous, dark, cold, primal, raw, real.

This is a New York City that, unless you were born in that era of the 1970s/1980s and grew up in or very near the city, you can only currently see in movies and TV shows, read about in books, or hear the vibe of in the music from that era. Our currently NYC, for better or for worse, is a much cleaner and safer city than it once was back in that era. But at the same time, we also have a Mayor who has driven artists from a public park, calling the simple selling of art a crime, and has turned New York into an overly cookie-cutter shell of its former self, sans soul. It's outrageous!

But back on track... enjoy the photos, and check out more of the artist's work around the city.

Don't Mind the Mess!

I want to put a new template on my blog, as I feel that the old template is simply not cutting it visually. So for the time being, things will look a bit off-kilter while I fix that. I'll try not to take too long with that, but now getting ready to move is going to cut into my free time a bit.

If you have some good design know-how and any friendly advice to give in that matter, give me a holler.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Going Hardcore with Arch Linux

Seeing as how I've never used it, I decided to download Arch Linux and see what it's all about. My test subject machine for Arch is an Asus Eee PC 2G Surf, with an 800 MHz Celeron CPU (underclocked to 571 MHz), 512MB RAM, and 2GB SSD.

I downloaded the netinst ISO of the latest release (2010.05 at the time of this writing), burned to CD, and installed with minimal effort. The SSD was divvied up into a 50MB /boot partition, with the rest going to / and no swap setup; as this is an SSD a swap would be rather unnecessary. Gave / the ext2 filesystem and installed a base install with a few extra tools. Total install with just the core install was ~420MB.

I decided to forego installing X and went completely CLI-only. Not to say that X is bad, but I want to see how useful the machine can be without a GUI as part of an experiment. Here's a quick list of some of the tools and apps I have installed:

   * lynx & elinks for web browsers
   * mutt for email
   * irssi for IRC
   * frotz for games
   * mc for file management
   * cURL for file downloads
   * htop for system monitoring
   * python & perl for development

Most of the other tools and apps installed are the standard set of Linux tools, and I also installed the developer tools so I can compile some things from source. With kernel 2.6.34 and bash 4.0, the entire setup takes up a grand total of just over 1.1GB now.

Here's a picture of my Eee PC running irssi and communicating on #rockbox-community on freenode:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Free Delicious Cake!!

And that's no lie! Until May 24th, Portal is free for download from Steam, as a celebration of the Mac OS X version of the popular gaming store and service.

So grab yourself a slice of delicious cake and grab Portal for free! :)


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

iPhone can now run Android!? WHAT!?

Yes, it's absolutely, positively true! I thought the day would never come, but it did! A hacker by the name of planetbeing has posted a video on YouTube of what appears to be either Android 1.5 or 1.6 running on the iPhone. Before anyone says, "This looks shopped!" or "Fake!", read his blog post about this first, then watch the video of it in action (linked below).

According to planetbeing, this is an iPhone 2G that's running Android, but it's likely that it may be relatively simple to port to the iPhone 3G as well. The iPhone 3GS may need some extra work.

But enough yap... this is utterly amazing to see! The iPhone is finally running true alternate OSes, which is something I've been wanting to see since it first arrived on the scene in 2007. If I did have a disposable income, I'd buy an iPhone 2G or 3G just to try this out, or help planetbeing test and develop further. Perhaps at one point or another, Android 2.x may be a reality! :-)

Check out the article on Android Police here, and don't forget to pay a visit to planetbeing's blog (linked above)!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Playing with Lomography

These pictures were taken using the FxCamera app for Android on my phone. The lomography setting in the app is amazing, with tons of options and flexibility.

Personally, I am absolutely enamored with lomography now, and want to buy a camera. Click the images to view them in full-size.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Next Ubuntu version will be named "Maverick Meerkat"

Looks like things are really heating up in the Ubuntu camp. Mark Shuttleworth, former CEO of Canonical, has just recently announced that the next version of Ubuntu (version 10.10) will be named "Maverick Meerkat".  The currently upcoming version, 10.04, is named "Lucid Lynx".

Lucid Lynx, due by the end of this month, is shaping up to be a major transition for Ubuntu, and Linux in general. Its biggest change is its new "Light" theme, which does away with the familiar browns and earth tones of previous versions of the default GNOME theme, and instead offers a theme composed of purples and blacks, a slightly more Mac OS X-like layout, and a cleaner GNOME desktop (image below taken from the Ubuntu wiki).

Having played around with the beta of Lucid Lynx, getting a feel for its new features, software, and support for hardware (nVidia graphics chips have far, far better support, and the new nouveau driver makes it much easier to support such chips; netbook support is much improved), I can easily say that Ubuntu's going to bring me back to wanting to use it as my desktop Linux distro easily. I usually recommend Ubuntu as the Linux distro for newcomers, but I believe that even hardened Linux vets may want to give Ubuntu another look now. The new Ubuntu Software Center (from Ubuntu 9.10) will make installing apps for beginners a breeze; I've even had a few people ask why Windows doesn't have anything like that... even Mac OS X has a similar idea in the form of Bodega, a 1-click app installer utility!

Maverick Meerkat looks to be taking everything Lucid Lynx is doing, and kicking it into massive overdrive. Canonical's goal is to get Ubuntu and free software onto every desktop PC they can from every major manufacturer, a bold move indeed. Some manufacturers like Dell and System76 already offer Ubuntu preinstalled on laptops, but it's only System76 that displays those laptops prominently; Dell still has to tuck them off to the side due to Microsoft's strongarm tactics of threatening computer manufacturers with revoking licenses for Windows or taxing computers sold without Windows or an alternative OS. The new Ubuntu version looks to give Microsoft a powerful kick in the testicles.

I'm seriously considering giving lessons to people interested in switching to Ubuntu from another OS. Perhaps a couple of days a month at one of the Brooklyn libraries (either Grand Army Plaza or Carroll Gardens, as I know how to get to both of those easily). Keep watch on my Twitter account for announcements. I leave you dear readers with one final link... read Mark Shuttleworth's blog post about Maverick Meerkat and its direction here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

iSqueak for iPhone OS

iSqueak is a port of Squeak, a Smalltalk environment, to the iPhone OS. So as they usually say: Got the urge to write Smalltalk on the iPhone? There's an app for that!

There's a wealth of documentation at the Squeak for iPhone page located here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Much Ado About Coffee

Laughing Squid has a recent article about the improving coffee situation in New York. At one point, it seemed that all coffee in NYC was going to be Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts or even McDonalds, but the advent of the small coffee shop is coming in full swing here.

As a recent Brooklynite, one coffee shop I have become a fan of is Coffee Den near Red Hook. It's a small place, family and friend owned, but they brew one hell of a cup of coffee! I can't imagine a Saturday passing by where I'm not there, having a mug of red eye or hot chocolate while I study. The relaxed atmosphere and local regulars make it a nice place to start a Saturday for me.

There are many other coffee shops like this one, which I love. These are the kinds of places that care about what kind of coffee they serve, the quality of their foods, and friendliness towards customers. It's the sort of coffee shop that's more popular in other parts of the US, but is becoming a big part of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Read the article about coffee shops via Laughing Squid.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Via Boing Boing: Golden-age computer manual encourages you to break DRM, rants against EULAs

I read this rather amusing post on Boing Boing today, and thought it funny that a computer manufacturer advocated breaking DRM and ranting on EULAs, both of which are two things I despise.
 This isn't quite a "rant about DRM and EULAs" post for me right now; I'll get to that later. In the meantime, you can read the original article here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Interview with David Byrne

David Byrne was at TED2010, and Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing managed to get an interview with him. The 10 minute audio interview is on Boing Boing's site, located at this page.

I'll be taking a further listen to it and will write a bit more about it in a future post.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chrome for OS X now supports extensions

Google Chrome has started to win me over on Linux and Windows, where it's starting to displace Firefox as my browser of choice. Its lightweight architecture, fast rendering engine, and smaller memory footprint make Firefox feel bloated in comparison.

But the Mac version of Chrome was, for a long time, far behind the Windows and Linux versions in terms of certain features. One of these features were extensions, which, like in Firefox, allow you to customize the browser behavior to your own needs. On Firefox, for example, one of the first extensions I ever add to a new install is the AdBlock Plus extension. Since I first discovered that particular extension, I've been surfing in ad-free comfort for 5 years. Hell, I even forgot that there *were* ads on the web! :)

Now Chrome can finally allow me to surf in ad-free comfort on my Macs, and for that, I'm happy. My Hackintosh (which I'll be talking about later) can now finally have ad-free surfing!

Read more about the news at Techradar.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A name change? So soon!?

Well, yes! Now that I think about it, what else do you call a blog that's about technology and food?

Simple... you call it "More Blogs About Technology and Food". :)

And the name itself was also inspired by the Talking Heads album "More Songs About Buildings and Food", which in itself was about, yes, buildings and food.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So now we have the iPad...

Earlier today, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in California, Apple finally made the announcement: the rumored tablet computer was shown, and was given an official name now.

Folks, say hello to the iPad!

And as it's been shown today, reactions have been polarized. On one side are the people yelling out "ZOMG MUST BUY!!!!111!!1!", and on the other side are people saying that the iPad is not worth it whatsoever. And here's what is really funny: even those that are dismissing the iPad will buy it anyway, just because it looks so cool.

While I think it looks pretty cool, I have a couple of minor gripes about it. First, it's not running Mac OS X (as was originally rumored), but instead is running the iPhone OS. While this means that apps for the iPhone OS will run right off the bat on it, most of these apps were meant for the smaller screen of the iPhone or iPod Touch, and not for the 1024x768 screen on the iPad, so expect either a lot of scaled graphics or very small images displayed. Second, having one model without WiFi or 3G and one with is rather stupid. Personally, I think that WiFi and 3G should just have been a standard for every model of iPad, and only have the differences be in storage capacity. Third, the price is too high, but like all Apple products, you're paying for premium computing here.

But to balance my gripes is a little praise as well. The iPad certainly looks wicked... it reminds me a lot of the data pads from Star Trek: The Next Generation (and it would be even cooler if the iPads ran LCARS ;) ). The iPad may not be the computer for super-geeks like myself, but people who really just want a computer that works and does exactly what they need without any headaches will love it. The user interface is dead easy to use, which will attract a whole new wave of consumers. Hey, people had once said that the GUI was for brain-dead morons, but the GUI is now ubiquitous in computing, and this is coming from the mouth of a command-line junkie!

I may not be buying an iPad any time soon, but I'll certainly love to play around with one to see what it's capable of. Just as the original Macintosh once revolutionized computing by bringing the GUI to the masses and making the computer simple and elegant for many users, the iPad is prepared to do the same in the 21st century: revolutionize computing and carry it to a whole new level. As it stands, the iPad may be the very computer that will take cloud computing into... well, the clouds! :)

If you would like to read more about the iPad, Cult of Mac has a great article about it here.

New toy

I recently got myself a new toy to play with: an Xserve G5. The version I have, according to Mactracker, is the January 2005 model, which contains the following:
  • Single PowerPC 970fx (G5) CPU clocked at 2.0 GHz
  • 1 GB RAM
  • ATI Radeon video card (specific model unknown)
It's currently running the client (read: consumer) version of Mac OS X 10.4.11, but I'm looking to install either Mac OS X 10.5, either server or client versions, or just grab a Linux distro for PowerPC and install that instead. Either way, this Xserve's going to be put to good use! I'll be setting it up to run as a web server, file server, and perhaps as a Wordpress server as well. I'll also be installing some extra RAM and a couple of larger hard drives to handle the extra load as well. Oh, and as this is a 1U rack-mount server, I should look for a rack as well! ;)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

PlayStation 3 has been hacked!

One site that I follow a lot, Hack A Day, has just posted this story about how the Sony PlayStation 3 was hacked to have full read/write access, bypassing the Hypervisor. Homebrew software can't be too far behind now. :)

Check out the link for more info.

The Obligatory First Post

First post on a new blog. I'm going to get to enjoy this! I figured that if I ever want to comment or talk about anything, a blog is the best way to go about it. And there is much that I would love to talk about!

So, to start... I'm a tech geek, open source advocate, budding foodie, beer snob, amateur photographer, software developer, and generally just full of crazy ideas. I live in Brooklyn, NY, enjoy trying anything at least once, and have big, crazy dreams like many others (or perhaps not; my dreams are rather nuts at times!) I also enjoy just going out on adventures throughout the city, going anywhere at random. If I didn't have a day job, I would probably just be a fulltime adventurer. That would be the most awesome thing ever!

So stay tuned, and more will come along on this blog. I'll be talking about hardware hacking projects, stuff I wrote, food I ate, pictures I took, music I listened to, and generally any random brain droppings that I happened to come across. Time to head out into a new frontier... allons-y!