[ I told you future posts would bear things out. Didn't have to wait long, didya? ]
I'm a console kid. My perfect dev environment is tmux on a linux framebuffer tty. (These days, it's E16 or wmii since I have to have a goddamn web browser open to do web development.)
I do stop hacking code from time to time. While a lot of my extra-coding activities can be done in a Chrome instance, Linux still lacks in a lot of areas as a casual desktop environment. Most geeks seem to turn to OS X. "It's a GUI built on top of Unix!" Yeah, one of the shittiest 'unix' environments on earth. Call me back when library randomization is done at run-time and not install-time.
Then there's Windows.
Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows Vista, all garbage. Windows 7 gained stability but that UI is still death.
Windows 8 though… I know the post title covered this already but let's deal with it again. I, sungo, really like Windows 8, especially the UI-formerly-known-as-Metro. You, the hater, can fuck off and die.
One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 is "it's different". Yup. It totally destroyed the desktop metaphor you're brainwashed to love. (Win8 obviously has a desktop mode but that's not what smashes you in the face when you login.) I'm a Linux lover, a command line person. I rejected your idea of a "desktop" a very long time ago.
Let's face it folks. Most of you love your desktop because you haven't learned that there's another directory on your hard drive. (This goes for you Mac people too.) How many icons are on your desktop? If it's more than, say, 5 non-temporary icons, you're using your computer wrong.
What if, instead of a sea of overlapping word document icons, your main screen displayed information about your social networks, calendar, email, flight status, your weight loss goals? What if your system was immediately useful from the moment the screen powered on? That's Windows 8. I think of my Win8 desktop as a status dashboard for my life.
So, while you'll still see me with my Funtoo-based Sony VAIO Z laptop, you'll just as often see me with a Dell XPS 12 running Win8. Oh yeah, and a Nokia 920 running Windows Phone 8.
So, here we are again. It's been a few years. I've been babbling on Twitter but I've not spewed longform into the ether in a long time. I don't know that I'll have much meaningful to say but I'll give it a shot again.
Physically, I'm living at the western edge of The Sprawl, in Herndon VA. Suburban hellhole. When folks talk about the horrors of suburban life, they're talking about Northern Virginia. American Beauty blown up to county size with over a million people crammed into it. But, I have essentially no commute as I live a few miles from the office. I can spend that time overworking instead.
All in all, life's pretty good these days. Don't worry, though. I'm still angry, profanity spewing and bald. I'm sure future posts will bear that out.
So, we've been in Afghanistan for, what, like 100 years now looking for Al Qaeda. It's not working so well, it seems. So I got to thinking.
It seems to me now that we could do what you do when a kid goes missing in the woods. Everyone stands arm width apart and walks. If you find something you yell out. In this case, if you find Al Qaeda, you shoot it.
If my math's right… you put soldiers at 5 feet apart. Quadruple the number of troops in Afghanistan to 400,000. That gets you a line of soldiers about 378 miles long. Afghanistan is roughly 350 miles by 770 miles. Normal foot speed on unbroken ground is 4 miles an hour. Let's figure 2 miles an hour for a bad ass American soldier in Afghanistan. That means, it should take about 16 solid days to walk across the country. Figure a month, what with the sleeping and eating and what not.
If sungo is president, we can search Afghanistan and find anything you want in a month.
So what’s taking so long?
Update to previous entry: since then, I've discovered that zebra crossing also has an online qr generator. It'll generate a qr code for most any type of content using a magic form.
To pair up with the bookmarklets I showed yesterday, here is a bookmarklet to generate a qrcode for the current url:
(Yes, I’ve tested the bookmarklets together. You can generate a qr with this bookmarklet, hit yesterday’s bookmarklet and get the data back.)
Casey West, the devil that he is, turned me on to QR Code recently. I've seen these things popping up in ads and android-centric blogs in the last few months. At its core, qr code (and quickcode and a few other similar data types) are 21st century barcodes. They carry a lot more data in a redundant fashion. Their first niche was commercial package tracking and then Japanese culture found them, popularizing them by throwing qrcodes on everything. They're a very standard form of advertising, apparently.
The codes hold text. Standard payloads these days include vcards, urls, and small text blobs. (There's even a blog where the posts are qrcodes.)
If you're reading this on my site, off to the right you'll notice two codes. They're the same data encoded two ways. The top is quickcode and the bottom is qrcode. They contain a small vcard. The qrcode version is for standard apps while the quickcode one is much more easily read by my old crappy iphone's camera.
Want to be trendy? Here are the tools I'm using. As always, except where noted below, Google is your friend if you want to find alternate offerings.
Kaywa has a great tool on their site for generating qrcodes.
For my iPhone, I use Quickmark. It costs $1, at time of writing, and is quite worth it, in my opinion. Not only does it read several types of barcodes but it can generate quickcodes or qrcodes for text, urls, or address book entries in your phone. Quickmark generated the codes used on my site. It works well on my old edge-only iphone
For my Sony Ericsson, I use BeeTagg. It proxies urls through their site so they can occasionally insert ads.
I'm not using it (yet?) currently but a great qrcode-for-an-url generator seems to be the Mobile Barcoder plugin for firefox
There remains one HUGE gap. It's awesome to be able to read and use qrcodes from my mobile device. That's the japanese-driven market for them. qrcodes are starting to become pretty popular on the web too and I simply refuse to point my damn phone at my screen whenever I see a code. Sadly, there are not too many options that I've found. This is where Google is major fail. Usually a fountain of awesome, it has very few offerings.
So, using the Zebra Crossing project's online decoder, I whipped up a pair of bookmarklets. View the qrcode image and hit the bookmarklet. BAM! you can haz data. There’s one big caveat here. zxing, at time of writing, only supports qrcodes.
That provides full decode output with lots of info.
That provides just the content of the qrcode
So there you go. I’m still a n00b in these regards but so far so good. If I see you at a conference or something in the near future, expect me to be throwing urls or whatever at you via qrcodes on my phone.