Trepanation is always cool.

I gather "Fable 3" is one of those "video" games:

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Headphones

Not everything sucks: I like my new headphones a lot.

UltimateEars 500vi. I had the UE 5vi before, but they have done the musical-chairs thing with their product numbers again and this seems to be the new, comparable version, based on it being at the same price point.

So, they sound good, but the real reason I'm singing their praises is that this is the first set of headphones I can recall owning that managed to avoid all of my headphone peeves:

  • In-ear, with extremely noise-isolating foam tips;
  • The controller is up by your ear, instead of down by your chest, meaning you can still reach it even if the cable is zipped inside a jacket;
  • Controller has both command button and volume buttons on it;
  • Cable is flat, so it doesn't get as kinked up; and most importantly,
  • Right-angle plug!

So they're a complete win, physical-design wise. I think that every previous set of headphones I've owned has gotten at least two of these wrong.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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A badge for the software industry's failures:

Let's say you want to automate a post to Twitter. This used to be an HTTPS POST with a user name and password, and essentially it still is, except that now it's a token with a very convoluted generation-and-signing process. Still, after that token has been generated once, a post comes down to nothing more than connect(), write(), read(). The whole process fits in like 6 packets.

So then you do "cpan Net::Twitter".

The dependency hell that follows results in 49 tar files downloaded, 91 packages installed, and 10,403 lines of compiler and installer output.

For 6 packets.

(Oh, and then it doesn't work anyway, because something called "Moose" fails to install with an "unknown error" -- which apparently really means "unsatisfied dependencies"! So it is a mystery how many packages it would have actually installed.)

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Webcast Computer Hell Update

To recap: I have this Mac Mini with two external drives attached to it. It was working basically fine for years, but had the problem that when it would reboot, sometimes the drives wouldn't mount without power-cycling them. This became a bigger deal when the machine started crashing regularly (locking up, black screen, no logs, no auto-reboot).

Attempts to fix this so far have included:

  1. Replace and increase the machine's RAM.
  2. Put the USB2 drives on a powered USB hub.
  3. Replace both drive enclosures.
  4. Switch from USB2 to Firewire 400 through a powered hub.
  5. Replace both drive enclosures again.
  6. Upgrade from MacOS 10.5.8 to 10.6.7.
  7. Replace the entire Mini itself (macini1,1 → macmini2,1).

None of these have fixed the problem (and #6 has caused another) and at this point, I have replaced every piece of hardware except the power cable and the drives themselves (which fsck fine).

I guess it's time to buy a pair of new drives, unless someone has another idea. (I have put this off until last because copying 1TB of data takes almost two days, each.)

Incidientally, I think I understand the source of the crash/hang: the other day I saw one of the drives get into a situation where "ls" on that drive would hang forever in the kernel and be unkillable with -9, so that's an express train to a full process table and inability to reboot right there. I haven't seen that kind of shit since the bad old NFS days. Apparently my Mac has nostalgia for SunOS 4.1.3.

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Flash Media Live Encoder?

Can someone get me a copy of Flash Media Live Encoder for Mac newer than "4.0.0.6814"?

This is what I use to automate the Justin.TV webcast (without having to log in through a web page every time the machine reboots) and since I upgraded the machine from MacOS 10.5.8 to 10.6.7 (in an attempt to fix other problems), now FMLE crashes every few minutes.

It seems that FMLE 3.2 is still the latest version that Adobe has officially released, but this copy of 4.0.0.6814 is from Sep 2009, so I'm sure there's a newer one, and my source for this version isn't answering...

Update: Nevermind: apparently the "4.0" beta I had was a predecessor of "3.2", and there is a new "4.0" beta that is a predecessor of some post-3.2 Windows-only thing. So I guess the public 3.2 is actually what I want.

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DNA Lounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein we acquire some Things.
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Chell Nouveau

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