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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Downloading Eclipse via Bittorrent == Community (Helios edition)

Tomorrow is the public release of Eclipse 3.6, a.k.a. Helios. I reminded you last year why I prefer downloading via bittorrent. It bears repeating.

Those of us that have become Friends of Eclipse are eligible to download it today. Like last year, I'm using the bittorrent links. (If you're not a Friend of Eclipse, you'll have to wait until Wednesday.)

But here's why using bittorrent to get your Eclipse distribution is a contribution to the Eclipse community:
  • Downloading by bittorrent means you can seed many other users.
  • This gives the rest of the community faster access than a standard download.
  • For extra credit, download more distributions than you need, providing even more seeds. For instance, I don't use Windows, but many people do. I can make a difference for those users, too.
  • Any bandwidth you contribute so someone else can download Eclipse results in less bandwidth required by the Eclipse Foundation. In other words, you're saving money for the Eclipse Foundation
  • It gives me a chance to do another 48-hour analysis.
So, please, download via bittorrent. And, really, have you made your donation to become a Friend of Eclipse? Please don't make me get Ira Glass to ask you.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Third Anniversary with Maggie

Three years ago we adopted Maggie. Today is our third anniversary. It took about a month for us all to get in a comfortable rhythm. Now after three years we can't imagine what life would be like without her. (I recognize that it's a little odd for some people for a dog to be treated like a member of the family. Case in point: Act Two of the This American Life episode titled True Urban Legends. Alas, I'm digressing.)

In celebration of this day, we took her to the beach and ran her in to the ground.



She's so tired that not even the lure of a stuffed squirrel can keep her from sleeping.


Thanks, you good, sleepy, dog.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ruler Off Target

I bought a wooden 12" ruler from Target.


I like rulers for drawing straight edges on paper.

Does this ruler look like you can use it to draw straight edges?



This pen has some straight edges. Does this ruler look like it draws straight edges?



I made some ad-hoc graph paper against which I could mark the path of the ruler's edges. (I couldn't use standard rectangular graph paper on an 8.5x11" sheet since the ruler was 12", so I made one this using GIMP.)


My measurements were made by placing the corners of the ruler edges along the center long line and drawing the path. The short lines help identify the degree of error.

A good ruler would not deviate from the center long line.


Let's see what path the inches edge makes.


Can you see? Perhaps a close-up would help:


Here's the path of the centimeter edge.



Here's a closer look:


Looks like the centimeter side goes about an eighth of an inch off target. Well, I can't be certain - I measured that with my arc-y ruler.

Where did it come from?


Too bad. I don't blame the Chinese manufacturer for this crappy construction. I blame Target for accepting it.

And to be clear, the reason I dislike this so much is that people buy their school supplies from Target. How many students have rulers that just suck? A student can't understand geometry when their tool is this bad. Will a poor student have the money to replace it?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Playing with GoPro HD

I'm tinkering with the GoPro HD camera a friend loaned me for the day. It's got a minimal interface, which is great, but it is still hard to tell when it's on, which isn't so great.

Yes, the painting dripped and created my t-shirt.

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It also has a mount that will fit bicycle handlebars. I can't wait to see how it records that video.