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kacked.com



Reconsidering My Tools

MyTools.pngThinking about going back to a self hosted site but am leary because of possible problems with maintaining my connection (I'm not the guy paying the bill.) And I'm wondering if it's worth going the roll-my-own route when right now it's basically free (my brother is still hosting my site, thanks Dan.) I think I probably will--there is some functionality that I miss. We'll see how that goes I haven't made any decisions. Yet.

A while back Michael was experimenting with Psyblosxom. Then a couple days ago I was in a bookstore looking at the computer books with the animals on them. One of the books I looked at was "Essential Blogging". There was a lot in the book about Blogger, Moveabletype and other stuff, but the thing that caught my eye was a bit about some software I really had not heard of: Blosxom. Well, except that Michael had been trying to install a python version of it...

Seemed interesting, so I made a note in my pocket computer and when I got home later I checked it out a bit. Installed it. Experimenting with it. The main thing I like about it is that you post to your weblog without using a browser. In fact, you do them using an editor. Whatever editor you prefer (even MS Word, doh!) The only caveat being that you need to be able to either save the post directly to the filespace on your server, or be able to ftp it there.

The first line of the post becomes the title. Everything after that is the entry. The date and time of the post come from the date and time attributes of the file. The only thing Blosxom needs to know it's a post is the file extention txt.

I like this way of doing it for a number of different reasons. Mostly revolving around simplicity. Right now for instance, rather than using my preferred editing environment I'm entering this post into a form window in my Opera web browser. It just doesn't seem very high tech to me. The available editing functions in this environment depend on the browser you're using, but in all cases they're pretty limited. No stuff like spell checking, search and replace--your standard editor features. Wouldn't it just be better to use a real editor and save directly to my post? You bet.

Another interesting thing about Blosxom is that it seems to integrate well with RSS tools. Lately I have taken to experimenting again with Amphetadesk. There's a version for Linux now. It's a great way to get news on your desktop. I want to try and integrate some kind of RSS news aggregator into the way I post to my weblog. Something akin to the weblog tool radio--RSS feeds serving as a kind of funnel input to an outlining tool (hopefully using my preferred editor), easing the composition of my posts. An outliner would make it easier to gather my thoughts before actually starting to write. The acronym "P.O.W.E.R." comes to mind:

Prepare Organize/Outline Write Edit Revise

It's just easier to write when you have a plan and the tools to aid in that plan's execution. That's where I've been the past couple of week. Thinking about the tools I use and where they need to change in order to make my writing more effective.

Amphetadesk

Vim Outliner

The VimOutliner Project

Blosxom

I'll probably write about this more later. Right now I'm just working through the Vim tutorial. I keep getting excited about different things I have been looking at and some new ideas that I've been having. I seem to be thinking faster than I can write. Maybe using an outliner will help me catch up with myself...


Using Linux Is Like...

construction.pngAfter reinstalling my remastered version of knoppix last night I needed to ftp something so I did an: "apt-get install gftp". It's so easy to install software on Debian. I would have that ftp client on my remastered cd but one of my goals when I made it was to completely remove both Gnome and KDE. They can be nice but really it's bloatware that doens't run well on some of the lower end machines that I use.

Got used to using G-ftp back when I was using Mandrake Linux. Unfortunately it needs about 10 meg of gnome libraries to work. That's no big deal, but like I said, I stripped out Gnome and KDE from my remaster to make a "lite" version of Knoppix.

So, anyway, I have installed G-ftp several times, but this time I got a dialog that I had not seen before--one of the Gnome font libraries had changed. The dialog asked if I wanted sub-pixel aliasing. Something to make smoother looking fonts on an LCD screen. I'm using an LCD so I said yes.

Reminded me of a quote I had seen. Using Linux was compared to living in a house that is under 24 hour construction by thousands of carpenters. Sometimes you wake up and find a new room addition or even a new wing. Nice to have a new feature arrive without even having to ask for it.


Late Night

microwavedcd.pngUp late again. Kind of a weird day--it was today. As I'm writing this I'm burning a CD and recording a mini disc at the same time. Same music but two different computers. I really prefer burning cds using Linux. I can actually use the computer for other stuff while I'm burning without experiencing serious fear of creating another coaster. While I"m on the subject of that I recommend destruction in the microwave oven for any and all CDs that don't work. Place them on top of a coffee cup and set the oven for about ten or fifteen seconds. Make sure and only do this in a well ventilated area. It gives off a plastic-ky smell as it's doing it's thing in there. And don't forget to turn out the lights. Cool lightshow spark thing. The cd looks cool after you're done. Just don't try and play it afterward.

Well, the cd is done burning and the mini disc is still going and it's time for me to be getting some Z's. Up at 6 a.m. to get ready to be at work by 7. Work has been such a foreign concept for me, it kind of feels nice to actually do some hard work. And the change of scene is doing me some good as well.

Keep those cards and letters coming...

Microwaved CD


The Good The Bad and The Ugly

GoodBadUgly.pngJust brought my old server back online--the one that was hosting kacked.com. I'm going thru and testing stuff, making sure all the various services are working. This machine was hosting a bunch of different stuff. The chatroom for one, which doesn't work from the web page right now because of some configuration issues. It _does_ work if you connect over irc so if you know how and feel like stop by and say hello: irc://kacked.com:6667

Not sure what I'm going to do about any of this in the long run. My intention is to combine the content into kacked.com and then do away with the older sites. I think I'll be going back to something that looks more like the original site--at least banner wise. I like the way that banner resized to whatever screen res people happened to be using. But then these were my intentions when I switched from greymatter to phpnuke for hosting the site. The original kacked.com is still there as well.

Update: The chat server web interface _is_ working. Stop by and say hello. Or not.


Linux Again

LinuxAgain.pngWell, I'm back using Linux again. I don't know, what was that? about six months with no internet connection? Using my laptop with a wireless card at the cafe and the internet kiosks at the library downtown. Funny how it worked out that I was flying to Texas on the very day that they were switching to a new system at the library. The new system where you were limited to only two hours of access per day.

So now here I am using Linux again and I'm finding that I have forgotten a lot of stuff. But it's all coming back to me. Most of the notes I had made about my adventures with Knoppix are on my server. The server that is still back in California. Having to rediscover some of the stuff I had learned. And now there's OpenBSD too. The laptop will be sacrificed to the Linux gods soon. I don't care if the movie software IS better using Windows. I'm sick of having Windows around. Then it will just be the dj box with Windows on it. And that will have to go too.


Schrodinger's Crap

MyStuff.pngGot to bed last night about four a.m. Up at nine. I wasn't sure why but then the dog started barking. Guess I was anticipating the arrival of my stuff from California. I opened the door still half asleep and there stood a Fed Ex guy. He freaked about the dog so I put her in the back yard. When I opened the front door again he had two big boxes on a dolly. He was impressed with how much they weighed. "This one is a hundred and eighteen pounds and this one is a hundred and thirty five pounds" he told me.

Later in the day I asked my brother to go out to his car for his camera. As he was coming back in he took a picture of Fed Ex guy number two delivering box number three (sixty six lbs.) Unfortunately, as I opened the front door to see what was keeping my brother the dog ran out barking. Fed Ex guy number two reacted by throwing box number three at dog number one.

Finally, the little box that was supposed to arrive first--it went by air--arrived last. I didn't open anything until they were all assembled in the foyer. Wanted that group photo. As long as I didn't open anything I could hold to the illusion that everything inside was undamaged. Like Schrodinger's cat my stuff was in an undetermined state.


The Well Dressed Cat

dressedcat.pngI wasn't sure if I should post this or not--I mean, it's pretty stupid. But then I look at it again and can't stop laughing:

"Do I look sexy?"

"Remove her clothes and give her a hub [sic], say 'Thank you!'"

Catprin - Tailor for Cats


Another Fifteen Minutes

samurai.pngJust got approved to have my rss feed on syndic8.com. I'm not sure if this is tired or wired, but I got excited about it so I made a screenshot commemorating the event.

Kind of reminds me of the time I was sitting in the Novel cafe next to the great grandson of the world's longest lived man. No shit. The great grandson of the man who had lived longer than any other man was sitting right next to me. Made me feel kinda famous. Yeah. We were sitting around looking at the Guinness Book of World Records (not having anything better to do, why else would we be hanging out at the Novel?) when this obnoxious kid sits down with us, borrows the book and shows us the page that his great grandfather's picture was on. Some old fuck dressed in a samurai outfit. Looked old as dirt. The kid then ripped the page out of the book and put it in his pocket. I remember hopin' he would split so we could sit around, stare at the picture and marvel at the wonder of having sat next to the great grandson of the world's longest lived man.

Years later I saw the same kid ride by on a ten speed bicycle when I was in downtown Los Angeles by the public library. I told myself: "there goes the great grandson of the world's longest lived man." He was smoking the same stupid corncob pipe, and there I was by the library and all and he had ripped a page out of a book.


When Everyone Looks Like Barbie

hentai7.pngThere's a funny article at the New York Times about the rise of the bare midriff. I guess the fashion section of the New York Times isn't held to the same level of journalistic integrity as the rest of the paper. Some funny quotes and some major hyperbole:

"It is a look that has transcended fad, transcended fashion itself, and now seems a deeply ingrained psycho-cultural impulse, one that flourishes across lines of ethnicity, geography and body type."

Give me a break. I have a mental image of a woman wearing a birka with her midriff exposed...

"The breast has become merely an accessory of the plastic body... When everyone looks like Barbie, that kind of body can still remain an aesthetic ideal, but it almost ceases to have an erotic appeal."

"Experts in this controversial field believe that men are hard-wired to be attracted to women who will bear healthy offspring."

Duh. They needed experts to reach that conclusion?

"Modern midriff-baring is arguably rooted in the Clinton sex scandal. If not for Monica Lewinsky, thongs might have remained absent from network news reports and ultimately from view. Suddenly an undergarment was imbued with the power to unravel a presidency."

Yeah, O.K.

New York Times -- CULTURAL STUDIES: At Gender's Last Frontier (registration required...)


Postnuke In Da House

kid_toilet.pngJust got postnuke working. It's getting a lot easier to work with OpenBSD. I"m getting to where I can muck about and get things working. More mucking than trucking still at this point but I did manage to install php with both mysql and imap support. Then I installed mysql. The whole thing is still giving me fits but I'm figuring it out slowly. The sticky wicket right now is this chroot jail stuff--Apache has no get out of jail free card.

From what I can tell, Apache is in the jail and mysql is outside. I have to figure out how to get them to talk. I did actually but not according to the documentation. In other words, everytime I restart the server I have to fudge by doing some stuff by hand. I'll figure it out.

The whole thing was kind of nasty at first and then just got easier and easier. If I had to do it again in six months I'm pretty sure I wouldn't remember a lot of what I did. I plan to write up what I went through as a series of recipes. Not so much so other people can do it as much as just so that I can do it again. And hey, in six months I'll be someone else again anyway.

The prototype is running on that 200 Mhz AMD with 64 meg of ram that I got from my brother (thanks Dan!) Pay no attention to the kludged address, or the man behind the curtain:

prototype postnuke site

Play around with it if you like. Keep in mind though that I will be deleting the database and all the html in no more that a few days. So don't spend a lot of time doing anything clever...

I need to thank a couple of my online buddies--for turning me on to OpenBSD and helping out when I got stuck.

Thanks prefect. Thanks robb.


Extra Fancy

suave.pngCaught myself being fancy today. I hate it when that happens. Keep it simple stupid.

Was talking to someone about my web site today. They were nice and complementary. I asked what he thought about my comics. He said it was interesting but it was too small and he couldn't really make it out. That was when I realized he thought that sepiatone teaser image that's on my homepage was the entire comic. When I explained that the idea was that you click on it to get to the rest of the comic he apologized for not getting it.

I'm the one that needs to apologize! Sometimes when you stare at something too long it just looks like it's going to be obvious. You forget that somethings not clear. This happens all the time with people that are "computer literate"--they forget the pain they had to go through to get there. It just seems like it was easy.

Sheet. I thought it was obvious. It's not obvious at all though now that I think about it. Ha! Gonna have to give this some thought. Anybody have any suggestions about what I could do to make it more clear that the comics section/site is there? I'd hate to put some icon there that's farting and bleeping in fifteen fantastic colors. I guess partly the problem will go away when I go back to running the site using php. I can have a set of links to internal parts of the site. Just as before--like chatroom, comics, etc.

From "Fight Club":

JACK: "Tyler, you are by far, the most interesting single-serving friend I've ever met."

Tyler stares Jack. Jack, enjoying his own chance to be witty, leans closer to Tyler.

JACK: "See, obviously everything on a plane is single-serving, even--"

TYLER: "Oh, I get it. It's very clever."

JACK: "Thank you."

TYLER: "How's that working out for you?"

JACK: "What?"

TYLER: "Being clever."

JACK: (thrown) "Great."

TYLER: "Keep it up then. Right up."


Being There

biancas.pngBeen wondering what happened to Bianca's Smut Shack. One of my favorite places to hang out while at Burningman and an inspiration for me in my career as a DJ. I had planned to hit them up to let me do my MP3 DJ thing. But then last year it was gone. Kaput-nik.

I was looking at their web site today. Sniffing around for extended dance mixes. Found some. There was also a page explaining what happened (more of less) and giving a history of the shack. It seems to support the theory we had (we being me and my friends that I hang with while at burningman, all of us shack lovers) that the place had just spiraled out of control. It's the kind of thing that would happen with a place that had the reputation it had. The reputation that sex could happen there at any time. Or was happening in some corner of the room just out of view. Or as it happens, right next to me on the couch...

Of course, this was part of the attraction for us. You just never knew what you were going to see. But the biggest reason we went was for the vibe. It just felt good to be there (that naked guy in the corner not withstanding--what was he doing again?) Nice people, nice music, free grilled cheese, snacks and condoms. How can you beat that?

Whenever I talk about stuff that happened at Bianca's or at Burningman I always feel a little weird. A little guilty. Partly because it's like the guy says near the end of the "Burning Sensations" documentary--no matter how you explain it to your friends and family they just look at you and say: "you did what?", but mostly because I feel like I'm doing an injustice.

Each year after coming back from Burningman, I have a tendency to want to talk about the more unusual and flamboyant things I saw. Because of this I tend to give the wrong idea of what it's like to be there.

Easy to talk about the goofy and freaky stuff I've seen. Much harder to get across what it's like being there--that in fact it's more like a spiritual experience than anything else.

So long Bianca's.

The History of Bianca at Burning Man


One, No One, One Hundred Thousand

dechirico3.pngJust before I left for Texas I was sitting in a Denny's in downtown Los Angeles. The one on the east side of Union Station. The one with the parking lot that's below the freeway. The one that evoke memories [for me] of J.G. Ballard's book "Crash":

"Somewhere in this nexus of concrete and structural steel, this elaborately signalled landscape of traffic indicators and feeder roads, status and consumer goods... cruising the highways in a dream of violence and sexuality behind an unwashed windshield."

Standing in that parking lot at night it seemed that I could be standing at the side of the road anywhere. Yet at the same time it had a very peculiar sense of place. As if by being there I was everywhere and nowhere all at once.

So, yeah, that's the Denny's I was sitting in, very late at night, and I was reading some Bukowski while waiting for a friend to come out of the restroom. This is what I read:

"The thing was to keep four walls around you. If you had four walls you had a chance. Once you were out on the street you had no chance, they had you, they really had you. Why steal something if you canít cook it? How are you going to screw something if you live in an alley? How are you going to sleep when everybody in the Union Rescue Mission snores? And steals your shoes? And stinks? And is insane? You can't even jack-off. You need four walls. Give a man four walls long enough and it is possible for him to own the world."

One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand - Luigi Pirandello


More OpenBSD

hentai4.pngIt's booting right now. Generating those ssh keys. The crypto enabled server machine. I have no idea what i'm doing with it yet, but it can't be all that different from other *NIX like operating systems, so it shouldn't take long. Couldn't get that darn ftp install working so I had to create a bootable OpenBSD install cd. Waddya know... that worked. And now I got a shiny new OpenBSD install cd to show all my geek buddies. Gosh, google is such a wonder. Installing OpenBSD was much easier than I thought it would be.

Here's a pic of my cool new computer table. That's me there struggling with the OpenBSD install on the blue screen.


Living Kacked

openbsd.pngGot a 200 Mhz AMD box with 64 meg of ram and 6 gig hard drive from my brother. My server is still in storage out in California but should be joining me out here in Texas shortly--maybe in a couple weeks. I figure I can setup the machine from my brother as mail and chat server. The biggest bottleneck to suitable performance is the ram. Needs more (remember when 16 meg was living on the edge?) With more ram it might make a suitable web server and when my server gets here from California I can set that up as just a database server and get super duper geek-boy performance.

This time around I have decided to go with OpenBSD for the server/s. I need some experience with at least one of the BSD's and OpenBSD is supposed to be the most secure. Maybe later I can install FreeBSD on my laptop. It was really tempting to just slap a Knoppix HD install on the new server. My remaster is customized for low power boxen after all but I just don't think I would get maximum performance that way and I can picture myself fussing with it more. And servers just aren't for fussin'. Have not been able to get the ftp install working so now I'm trying to make a bootable OpenBSD cd.

One of the first things I will be installing is an IRC server. I have one running right now on this laptop. If you are inclined to you can connect using your favorite IRC client (I use xchat.) Stop by and say hello if you can figure out how: burningman.shacknet.nu:6667 #kacked. If this is "all geek to you" no worries.

I'll probably write more once I get a table for all my computer crap. It's kind of a drag doing all this on my laptop. Right now it's sitting on the bed and I'm sitting on a chair borrowed from the kitchen. Jeez, I feel like I'm in a garret. My poor 233 Mhz laptop is straining like an ankle chain on a three hundred pound cha-cha.



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