Older blog entries for abg (starting at number 35)

Back to the mnemonic encoding:

So, I got some very good feedback on the IP Mnemonics that I was kicking around earlier. I worked with a colleague in person for a some time today and we whittled the list down to the required 256 entries - so, here's version 0.5 of some proposed IP mnemonics. (For those of you not following along, they're used in place of standard set of four octal IP addresses: for example)

Sorry, jbucata, I decided to stick with three letter ones for a few reasons, mostly because I'm lazy. 8^), but I did track down and eliminate last few two-syllable words.

mbrubeck - thanks for the references. We managed to get a few things right, trying to eliminate homonyms and near-homonyms/soundalikes, acronyms, obscure or difficult to pronounce words, proper names, etc. I think that we have done a fair job of doing so.

This system has a few advantages over other systems and an equal (if not greater) number of disadvantages:

  1. All mnemonics will be 12 characters, which is hypothetically backwards compatible with the four x three digits maximum available before. (== easy way to assign guaranteed unique machine names, which was my original intention way back when...)
  2. The mnemonics (mnes from now on) are in alphabetical order(*), which offers some visual clues to the IP behind it. (This can also be viewed as a disadvantage as well)
    • We special cased 0 and 255 as 'zip' and 'all', respectively.
  3. The one-to-one ratio makes translation easy to do by hand.

The disadvantages are:

  1. There's a limit to the phonetic distance one can have in only three letters. This is not optimised for speaking
  2. The words were strained by hand, which leads to vagaries in the choices, as we all know.
  3. Lots more

So, using the 0.5 version...

  1. PGPFone
    • advogato.org: kiwi cannonball goldfish warranty
    • lowly.limpet.net: beaming escapade spigot apollo
    • norlug.org: beaming supportive upshot applicant
  2. Mnemonic
    • advogato.org: heavy-blitz-tictac
    • lowly.limpet.net: except-energy-banjo </li>
    • norlug.org: frank-flood-axiom
  3. IP Mnemonic - the new kid
    • advogato.org: lag-bus-irk-who;
    • lowly.limpet.net: bin-gap-rut-ape
    • norlug.org: bin-sky-was-ant

God knows I'll have more to say about this later. Gotta sleep.

Up for another dumb idea?

So I was heading home, thinking about writing a Quiz Bowl master/client Python app, when I started thinking about IP numbers and displaying them and what not. What if there was a better way of showing them? What about generating names from the IP numbers?

I plunked this around in my head until I decided to go with one-syllable, three character words. I would have to remove homonyms (did you say 'eye' or 'aye'?) and the three charcter number words (one, two, six, ten) to eliminate some confusion.

The result? This list - IP mnemonics, which is my first pass at weeding out unpronounceable acronyms ('ibn'), number words (including 'won' and 'too'), and most homonyms. This is just one pass through grep -i "^[a-z][a-z][a-z]$" /usr/share/dict/words, so I probably left quite a few bad words in. Currently, there are 481 and I only need 256.

I think that it would be beneficial to seed some of the more popular ones (192.168.x.x) with something that makes sense, rather than straight nonsense.


  • Advogato: FAQ awe eel led
  • NORLUG.org: ark jam lap age

Something to think about, at least.

Hey! I wrote a new Mozilla sidebar panel - it's just a scratch window, suitable for dumping stuff to.. You can install it from my homepage (right at the bottom, under the test Mozilla link near the end) or from the page itself. Please, please, please give me some feedback, positive or negative if you do.

Other than that, not much. 8^)

So tired.

I've made a bunch of tech books (Free as in Freedom, Cathedral, Noosphere) available for download in the rocketbook format. Share and enjoy.

More later including a kewl Moz app.

Side flip you see.

US Elections: I hope that you made an informed decision at the polls. I did, but I still lost the popularity contest. 8^)

You want to know what's more effective than voting? Running for office. I did. (While it wasn't an election, it was an appointed city position.) I currently serve on the local library board. I've got 1 year left on my current term, then I'm going to go in again for another three. After that, I think that I'm going to try for a City Council position. You [points finger towards the screen] can do the same. You [points again] can have an actual, measurable impact on local policy.

Don't get me wrong, it's not all running around, ripping out Windows boxes, planting flags and declaring this box the sovereign territory of Richard/Linus/Theo. There's Real Work to be done, from budgets to personnel to long range planning. But in the age of COPA/CIPA/Patriot/etc., I feel that I am helping do my part.

That's it. Back to life.

Req for help:

If anyone has driver for an Atari Portfolio PC Card Reader (HPC-301) from the early nineties, please let me know. I've started to chronicle my attempts to migrate back to a Portfolio from my Handspring Visor.


If all goes well, I'll be able to release my data conversion apps for Palm => Pofo to the world. I've already worked a CSV2ADR Python file up...

Something about carpentry and the some OSS/FS stuff...

Having worked on a storm/screen door for the house all weekend long, I've become disillusioned about carpentry. On the whole, on average, the amount of skill involved is rather minute. A majority of carpentry can be broken down into two skills: measuring and using power tools. Bleah.

Now that I've measure this board to exactly 4', 3/16" long, I'm going to press this button. Done!

One more thing, American carpentry is mired in imperial measurements. You would think that metric would be embraced by people who measure all day long, but I'm still using my 9/16th" bit to connect 38 3/8" boards...

People often complain that FS is 'not well documented'. They're right - the reasons for this are well known, but I've come to a corollary to this: life is not well documented. Even simple things (like screen doors) contain absolutely wretched documentation.

  1. Measure this little pieces to withing 1/16th of an inch.
  2. Measure another pieces to an absurdly small margin of error.
  3. Combine in shape of a door.



Chess has been rather well received I think...

Music: Orbital and some .mod files.

Hrm. Been thinking about window management recently. I got to test drive an OSX box and play with the pretty colored +/- symbols. It got me to thinking about the relationship between colors and the action associated with the button.

That led me to the symbols themselves. I was glad to see the + being used - I had always thought it to be a natural for window management. Apparently I was in the minority, I don't recall anyone using the + before OSX. (My suggestion to the blackbox mailing list was soundly trounced in discussion many years ago...)

What if abstract symbols weren't the best thing to use? Apple decided to augment them with colors - they must have thought it could use a little more. What else was there?

Real-life objects maybe. If people associate seeing a [foo] with [action], perhaps it would be beneficial to displaying a [foo] rather than an 'X' or '_' or what have you.

And so, I thought that I'd work something like that. Chess is a CTWM theme that uses chess pieces for window management buttons. I've taken the 'movement' of the pieces and translated them into wm actions. Here's a screenshot of it in action. I'm not going to tell you what the 'pieces' do, with any luck and a little thought you should know what purpose they serve. (This is only a first draft, there are some differences between what I thought and what you'll expect no doubt.)

Have at it. Please send feedback.

bgeiger: Re: laws - Try the reference desk at your local library. Dollars to doughnuts says that they'll be able to find it for you. (Do it during the trip you'll take to check out a few books on Locksmithing...) The nice thing about being a locksmith is that there's a low (monetary) overhead to entry and it's both a practical trade and an easy one to maintain.

goingware: re: working.
  • There was a person here at work who had a forty year anniversary just recently. He died of a heart attack not more than two weeks after that. My wife said "Boy, I bet some of his final thoughts were how glad he was spending forty years of his life in that cube."
  • I commute a long ways to work each day - 45 mins both ways. That gives you a lot of time to think. Last week I did the math...
    1. 1.5h/day == 7.5h/week. (That's like working 6 days a week...)
    2. 7.5h/week * 52 weeks == 390h/year spent commuting.
    3. 390h/year == 16.25 days/year commuting.
    4. 16.25d/year == 2.25 weeks of each year I spend driving back and forth between work.
    5. 16.25d/year * 40 years == 650 days.
    6. If I worked this job as long as he had, I'd spend an extra 1.78 years driving back and forth.
    It's not worth it. No way, shape or form. That 650 days comes right out of my 'awake' time, which is only 2/3 (roughly) of my life anyways.
Life is too important to be spent working for someone else. I'm dead serious here (no pun intended): we're getting out. We've made plans to move out of the city, cash in the house, start over. Everyone who wants to stay and do this, you can have it. I've got a wife and a daughter that I'd rather spend my time on...

Enough about that. More software stuff next entry...

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