Maunsell Army Sea Forts

Maunsell Army Sea Forts:

Many other pretty pictures can be found at bldgblog_feed.


TempBot by Neill Blomkamp. This is awesome: it's like "Clockwatchers" or "Office Space" but with a sad little robot. You may recognize Tempbot from his previous career in the military: Tetra Vaal.

Alive in Joberg is also pretty awesome, and there are some more cool robots in his show reel (but you can stop when you get to Tetra Vaal: it includes all of that plus Tempbot).

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Dali Clock 2.23

Dali Clock 2.23, source and binaries for MacOS 10.4 and PalmOS.

This will probably be the last release in a while; while finishing up the OSX version, I took the opportunity to fix some stuff that had been bugging me about the X11 and PalmOS versions too.


  • OSX: prettier preferences panel (thanks riffraff!)
  • PalmOS:
    • smoother morphing;
    • bigger "seconds only" font;
    • color cycling when possible;
    • high-resolution mode when possible.
  • X11:
    • smoother morphing;
    • better contrast and variety in the cycled colors;
    • added three new, larger built-in fonts.

Let me know how it works on your various PalmOS devices; it works good on my Treo 650 (which is both color and hires) but I don't know how much variety there is among the other PDAs.

<lj-cut text="Two things still bug me about the PalmOS version..."> Two things still bug me about the PalmOS version:

  • Would someone like to make me an icon for it that is color and matches the style of modern PalmOS apps? (I'm also not clear on how you go about embedding both a color and mono icon into a .prc file, but people seem to do it).
  • To make hires mode work, I embedded a bigger font in the program. There should be four fonts: "normal" and "seconds-only" each for lores and hires modes. But right now there are only three: I couldn't embed the seconds-only-hires font, because that made my data segment big enough to push me over the "jmp-fits-in-a-short" boundary and the linker died. I gather that workarounds for this sort of thing exist, but I couldn't figure it out. If you know how to make it go, please send me a patch!

<lj-cut text="Also, I might as well mention a couple of GTK-related things...">

Also, I might as well mention a couple of GTK-related things:

  • You can embed xdaliclock in your Gnome Panel by installing the "Gnome Swallow" meta-applet. I've found it to be a little flaky, but it basically works with whatever Gnome comes with FC4.
  • Because of afforementioned flakiness, back in 2003 I started playing around with a GTK/GDK port of Dali Clock that didn't use Xlib at all (the eventual goal being to make it able to embed itself in the panel directly). I never finished it, because going through the GDK layer on top of Xlib made it use way too much CPU, and I got pissed off trying to work around it. So, the half-finished, don't-use-this-no-really GTK version of Dali Clock is in the source tarball too. There's not much chance I'll ever work on it again, but maybe one of you Gnome folks might want to. If you make it go, send me the changes.

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Current Music: Jem -- Just a Ride ♬

DNA Lounge: Wherein we speak of the porn and the trackballs.

Happy New Year!

Remember my comment back in May about the effect that The Event Which Shall Not Be Named had on our web server? It is apparently the gift that keeps on giving. I guess it must have started making the rounds again in late December, because we served four times as many hits in December as in November, almost all of them in the last four days of the month.

This is what the last two years looked like:

This is what December looked like:

The audience wasn't skewed in favor of the Japanese and Nether-regions this time. Go figure.

We're running out of spare trackballs for the kiosks. Can you help us find some?

We really like the ones we've been using: the clear plastic ones that light up. (Pictured here, though we prefer them unaccessorized with chewing gum.) These were called the "CompUSA Crystal Trackball" and were about $20, but CompUSA no longer sells them. Jonathan bought out the last few the local store had back in 2002, and we've survived on those until now.

We've got one that's similar that says "Quasar Crystal Trackball" and also "Quasar Tracks", and may or may not have the part number MA-9004-00 or 70310-10001. We have no idea who actually makes it or where to get more of it, or anything like it. If you do, please let us know.

The biggest constraint we have is that whatever model we use, it must not be possible to remove the ball without tools. With most trackballs, the ball just pops right out. The ones we have are nice in that the ball stays in unless you unscrew the bottom.

We could go with "industrial" or "arcade" trackballs, and some of those are pretty sweet looking, but the good ones are hundreds of dollars each, so that's not really gonna work (because they are not indestructible, trust me).