LAN party site repair blog

From my friend, and former boss, Steve.

Samantha and I decided to start keeping a record of our toasted house and its reconstruction. It's mostly pictures, but they're better than words anyhow right?

Anyways, now y'all can check in from time to time and see how far (or close) we are to getting our other primary LAN party spot back.

Boggles the mind. I'll update if I hear back on when he expects to be able to actually move in again.


The Ultimate Geek Car

So I got my new car on Tuesday, a 2005 Toyota Prius Hybrid. I am floored beyond description.

The Prius uses a "Hybrid Synergy Drive" which gives it a few advantages over its closest competitor, the Honda Civic Hybrid. In short, unlike the Honda a Prius can run air and heat while the electric motor is running (eliminating cold commutes in winter stop-and-go traffic). While the Civic requires the gas engine to start and drive, the Prius can run on the electric only up to 40mph.

The Prius drive also allows for some pretty amazing fuel economy. On August 7, 2005 five men took an unmodified Prius nearly 1400 miles on a single 12.87 gallon tank of gas. That’s 109 mpg! They did it by using a technique called “Pulse and Glide”. Normal consumption is much lower, I've been averaging about 50mpg on my commute, but I'll see if I can try the "Pulse and Glide" technique on some stretches.

There are a lot of tips out there on how to max your mileage on the Prius, but the biggest are:
  • Drive slower - The aerodynamic drag on the car increases dramatically the faster you drive. For example, the drag force at 70 mph (113 kph) is about double that at 50 mph (81 kph). So, keeping your speed down can increase your mileage significantly.
  • Maintain a constant speed - Each time you speed up the car you use energy, some of which is wasted when you slow the car down again. By maintaining a constant speed, you will make the most efficient use of your fuel.
  • Avoid abrupt stops - When you stop your car, the electric motor in the hybrid acts like a generator and takes some of the energy out of the car while slowing it down. If you give the electric motor more time to slow the vehicle, it can recover more of the energy. If you stop quickly, the brakes on the car will do most of the work of slowing the car down, and that energy will be wasted.
So here's my new beauty, I think I'll call it Kit. You know, from Knight Rider. Oh come on, surely you've seen the reruns... I swear, kids these days...


Red Hat Performance Tuning Tools

As a system administrator, part of your daily duties is to monitor systems for performance and to tune systems where necessary. While there are expensive software products and benchmarking tools that can hone a machine to optimum efficiency, there exist several basic tools within Linux that permit the knowledgeable system administrator to gather information and use the valuable information to make decisions about where and when to tune a system.

Read more from Red Hat Magazine, Issue #11 September 2005.

Miyazaki Talks to the Guardian

The Guardian is running an interesting summary of an interview with Hayao Miyazaki, proclaimed 'God' of anime. In the interview Miyazaki discusses a wide range of issues from his distribution deal with Disney to the future of anime.
There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: "No cuts."

The director chortles. "Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts." He smiles. "I defeated him."
According to Miyazaki's publicist this is the first interview he has agreed to in 10 years. Miyazaki has produced such excellent titles as "Howl's Moving Castle", "Laputa: Castle in the Sky", "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away".


Yet Another BF2 Stat Page

I really hope EA gets off their butts and gets their own external stat server going. But for now, here's another stat page that might work better (and longer) than the other one.

Well, this could get addictive...

Your Power Color Is Teal

At Your Highest:
You feel accomplished and optimistic about the future.
At Your Lowest:
You feel in a slump and lack creativity.
In Love:
You tend to be many people's ideal partner.
How You're Attractive:
You make people feel confident and accepted.
Your Eternal Question:
"What Impression Am I Giving?"

Your Birthdate: February 24
Born on the 24th, you have a greater capacity for responsibility and helping others than your may have realized.
You may also become the mediator and peacemaker in inharmonious situations.
Devoted to family, you tend to manage and protect.

This birth date adds to the emotional nature and perhaps to the sensitivities.
Affections are important to you; both the giving and the receiving.

You Are 60% Weird
You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

My Inner Child

I usually don't do these corny kind of things... Geeky yes, corny no...

Your Inner Child Is Surprised
You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.


Patch & Workaround for Firefox Flaw Available

Saturday Slashdot reported on a Firefox vulnerability which could allow remote code execution. Today Firefox has a patch and a configuration workaround, both of which immunize against the bug. If you are using Firefox you should immediately go to the URL 'about:config', type 'network.enableIDN' into the box, and verify that 'network.enableIDN' is set to 'false'.


What's In Your Laptop Bag?

TheTechZone is running a cool human interest story showing what their chief editor has inside his laptop bag. Some of the stuff in there could really make a geek salivate - like a mobile VoIP adapter and the world's smallest wireless router.