Older blog entries for saul (starting at number 24)

waterloser @ 2007-08-15T01:49:00

This new feature in Google Spreadsheets is pretty cool.


Syntax: =GoogleLookup("entity"; "attribute")
where "entity" represents the name of the entity that you want to access, like Kuala Lumpur, Audrey Hepburn, or oxygen, and "attribute" is the type of information that you want to retrieve.


For example you could make a cell that contains the number of internet uses in Paraguay. [=GoogleLookup("Paraguay"; "internet users")] While that might not be very useful, doing something like inserting the atomic weight of helium, the population of Canada, or the real time price of a stock could be.

Syndicated 2007-08-15 06:02:19 (Updated 2007-08-15 08:00:49) from Saul's Blog

Web Hosting

Dear Lazy web,

I'm looking a VPS, I don't need anything all that amazing. I just want a (virtual) box which I can install Linux, Apache and PostgreSQL on. Something I can use as a platform for the web apps I want to play with. To give a feel for what I need, I used to use a 500MHz machines with 256M of ram running in my basement for such fun.

Also I'm looking at Linode right now, anyone have any experiences with them?

Yours lazily,
- Saul

Syndicated 2007-07-31 06:09:17 (Updated 2007-07-31 06:18:51) from Saul's Blog

waterloser @ 2007-07-19T22:47:00

I've been meaning to update my blog for a while now, so I've decided to put all my updates in to one big post.

Busy Be


First off, I'm not sure what I've been doing over the last month and a half, but I know it's been keeping me busy. It's weird I can't really point to anything that I've been doing... but I just can't seem to make time for things. What I think is happening is I've had a lot of free time, which means I've had time to do all the little things I've been meaning to do over the last while... and a lot of little things can take a lot of time. Also since it's "the last summer" (with everyone starting their real jobs/grad school), people seem to always want to do things on the weekend.

Moving


I don't think I've gotten around to telling people I'm moving to California pseudo-permanently (which means I'll be there for at least the next 2-3 years). I accepted a job with VMware in Palo Alto. I haven't gotten my Visa details figured out just yet, but as long as it all goes smoothly I'll be moving there in September. I'm super excited, I'm going to be on the lab manager team, which is a very cool product.

OSCON


I'm going to OSCON next week. If last year is any indication, it should be a great time. Anyone else going to be there?

Metaphysical pet peeve


I'm annoyed with people that can't take a step outside of their scientific view of the world, and look at it through metaphysical eyes. Do we have souls / intentionality / a metaphysical presents isn't a scientific, it's philosophy, argue it on those grounds.

Syndicated 2007-07-20 02:57:54 from Saul's Blog

Superman

The Superman: The Animated Series DVDs have some cool features. The only problem I have is that not enough of the episodes have commentary. (Yes, I'm "that guy" that listens to the commentary).

One of the episodes has a "Pop up video" feature. In this mode random little factoids of information pop up on the screen through the episode.

Most of the factoids are like this one:


trivial trivia

But when this one popped up I almost fell over laughing:


I agree



My excuse for watching what is a very mediocre cartoon, I just finished watching JLU (which is AWESOME by the way), and there are some Superman episodes that add to the JLU story line. While I'm on the topic, watch season 4 of JLU. Seriously, if you at all like super heroes or even think you might, just watch it. Very briefly the idea behind the season is: Can the world trust the JL to protect them, and more specifically can the world trust Superman? What happens if Superman/JL ever goes rouge? Or in short the season asked the question "Who Watches the Watchers?". (Also if you can find it you should watch "A Better world" it's a two parter in the second season, that sets up season 4)

In short, I'm a huge nerd.

Syndicated 2007-07-04 05:08:03 from Saul's Blog

Brock Samson is thousand times more hardcore then you



Brock Samson being Hardcore


Brock giving a henchmen bad news


If these two scenes don't sell you on Venture Brothers... well you are just missing out. Brock Samson is just one of the many AWESOME (yes it needs to be in all caps) characters in Venture Brothers. I can't say enough good things about this show, even these clips don't capture the perfect humor that is The Venture Brothers.


Venture Brothers is on Teletoon in the Canada, Adult Swim in the US, and both season 1 and 2 are out on DVD. Of course it is also floating around on pseudo legal streaming sites on the internet. So go forth and enjoy.

Syndicated 2007-06-12 18:01:07 from Saul's Blog

P5P L33T H4X0R

I've been wicked busy over the last week. Today was my first day of down time, so I decided to get to something I've been meaning to do for the last while: Make my PSP hackable.

I took some quick pics to keep track of what I'm doing. First I started with my non TA-082 vanilla PSP. My PSP was shipped with version 1.60 if I remember correctly. From there I updated a few times for different games, and ended up with a firmware version of 2.71.


Original PSP


Then I used the "2.71 Downdater" by Dark_AleX/Mathieulh/Yoshi. Which uses a know TIFF overflow exploit to revert the firmware back to 1.50. 1.50 can be easily tricked in to running unsigned code in unprotected mode, making it the perfect jumping off point for installing a new and fancy hacked firmware. This is by far the scariest step, since it involves using an overflow to over write flash memory (which if corrupted would brick the system). It takes a random number of tries to get the TIFF exploit to work, sometimes it just freezes up. The only way you "know" the downdater is working is when the screen of your PSP goes all red and stop responding... and then it crashes which means it worked.

1.50 Firmware PSP (soon to be hacked)


After the downdater finished. I had a fancy new 1.50 firmware PSP, so I went on to upgrading it to "3.40 Open Edition Revision A" also by Dark_AleX. 3.40 OE-A is very cool, Dark_AleX basically made a system that combines the easily hackable-ness of 1.50, access to all current games, and you get all the fancy features of 3.40. So it's the best of both worlds.

Hacked PSP


So now I'm in the fancy world of Homebrew PSP. The first thing I installed was SNES9X, SNES games are mostly playable. The next thing I tried was FileAssistant++, man it's nice to have a function file manager for my PSP. Now I'm just looking for a better media manager.

UPDATE: I just installed Installotron, which installs homebrew right off the web using only the PSP. It's hella cool :)

Syndicated 2007-05-12 05:27:35 (Updated 2007-05-12 05:39:20) from Saul's Blog

In Montreal on the 4th

I'll be in Montreal on the weekend of the 4th. I might be busy Friday night (I'm not totally sure of my schedule just yet), but I'm pretty sure I'll be free Saturday night. Is The Madhatter still the place to be? It's been a sadly long time since I've been in Montreal, I don't know what is "cool" any more.



I should calculate how much time I have wasted

Syndicated 2007-04-23 21:41:43 from Saul's Blog

I'm going to be in Seattle on the Wednesday

I'm going to be in Seattle from Monday to Wednesday. I'm busy Monday and Tuesday, but I'm free Wednesday. My current plan for Wednesday (the 18th) is to wander the streets of Seattle staring at things.

Anyone know any cool things to do/see in Seattle? Or better yet, anyone going to be in Seattle?



Also, in the near future (next few weeks) I'm going to be in Montreal for a weekend. It would be cool to see/party with people that weekend.

Syndicated 2007-04-15 07:42:06 (Updated 2007-04-15 18:21:29) from Saul's Blog

Site Update

I've done a major graphical update of Saul's Off-Campus Housing Map Search. The page now has 99% less gray.




Old Look


New Look

Syndicated 2007-03-29 20:44:17 from Saul's Blog

waterloser @ 2007-03-14T01:23:00

I have a lot of written assignments. So that means I've been doing my own coding projects to keep myself sane. The project of the weekend is a "re-imagining" of the waterloo off-campus housing site. Now to be fair to the off campus housing site as waterloo websites go, it might be the best. But as it's not exactly what I want, thus is wrong :). When I'm looking for in a place to live it is all about the location and since I don't know every road in waterloo, I always send up searching places on google maps. So I wrote a screen scrapper for the housing sites search results that redisplays the results on a google maps api. Oh, I also added in a drop down under the Available section, that lets you pick terms rather then months... since I imagine that is how most people use the site.

The normal version should work with most modern browsers (I'm not in love with how it looks in IE), the beta super fancy ajax version seems to only work in firefox 2.0 (I'll fix it for other browser later). At some point in the future I might try to make the page look a little more sexy.

So give it a try, Saul's Off-Campus Housing Map Search is waiting you.

If the off-campus people see this and want to use it, email me. The page is written in php but most of the real work is done in javascript.



Screenshot

Syndicated 2007-03-14 05:44:51 (Updated 2007-03-15 02:09:46) from Saul's Blog

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