I'm Laura. I am female, 31, a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic.


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Of cabbages and kings

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:51:37 AM

Holy tap-dancing gods of the underworld, I am tired. I really don't even feel like moving from this chair, although my lower back and knees are being ridiculously painful (probably as a result of *being* cramped in this chair for quite literally a week. Silly body parts, always wanting movement..).

The exhaustion is always worse the day *after* pager duty, for whatever reason (Chris says it's because I'm no longer running on adrenaline, and he's probably right. I'm certainly not running on either sleep or food, at the least.) While I'm doing it, I've got a huge responsibility charge going, am fueled by mountain dew and willpower, and generally enjoying the heck out of it all (stress junkie, what?)
The evening after I hand things over to whoever comes after me I'm still feeling pretty good, and can generally start appreciating the finer things in life (which last night were a good book and some sparkling grape juice in one of my pretty wine glasses). I finally fell asleep around midnight and woke up at 10 to my alarm (it was set because I had a noon lunch date with Chris and some people from work). I then made the fatal mistake of turning over and musing on how comfy my pillows, comforter, etc were... and woke up again to Chris' phone call, wondering where the heck I was.

One thing about pager duty - it teaches you to be instantly awake, no matter when it is or how much you would really rather not be awake at that particular time (calls at 4, 5, 6am etc happen because something broke, in which case you had better be - and sound confident, alert and capable of fixing whatever-it-is). It's a talent that's actually pretty useful, surprisingly.

I decimated my shiny new black nail polish job again this afternoon (I don't know why I bother really, I never can get more than a good 24 hours with itl looking perfect). At least black is a color with a time-honored tradition of being chipped ;-)

Also, I really want this (in Red). Also this :) Am firmly tamping down the urge to buy them, however, both because I've got a few vanity pounds that I'd like to kick, and because I need to get off my ass and look for a new car first. And spending a couple of hundred on shiny new toys is just a bad idea right now. It figures.

Oh - I'm working on getting my ftpserver working again. I'm pretty sure that it does, in fact, because I just checked my logfiles, and this appeared:

What is your command, my mistress?
[501:laura@cleopatra ~]$ grep vsftpd /var/log/secure
grep: /var/log/secure: Permission denied
[502:laura@cleopatra ~]$ sudamnit
Aug 25 09:14:40 cleopatra vsftpd[25290]: connect from (
[503:laura@cleopatra ~]$

So yeah, seems to be working. Cool :-)

Edit: Mental note to fix my icon-uploading routine for this site. The move broke it and I haven't gotten around to fixing it yet, but I have some new ones that I really want to use here...

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I have SOUND!!

Posted at 17 Aug 2006 09:04:19 PM

The title says it all!

I tried the SBLive! that I'd borrowed from Tim this afternoon, and it made my computer not even POST. Grr.

So this evening, I went by Walmart, Circuit City, and Staples (in quick succession), and finally at Staples they had a SB card which *wasn't* the Audigy ES. It's the Audigy4, and I didn't know anything about the state of the ALSA drivers for it, but they have a 14-day return policy and I figured eh, what the hell. A chance at a non-silent MC tonight is worth it.

I put it in, spent about an hour and a half fiddling with it, and finally, magically, I no longer get errors when I `modprobe snd-pcm-oss` and `alsactl restore` doesn't give me any BS about not being able to resolve some control #3 bullshit.

And, as my 'music' line suggests, I finally, actually, have sound! And it's GREAT!

(Now, to get into MC.... damn queue.)

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A quick breather

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:50:38 AM

Quick update - we're back in Binghamton after a long weekend in Brooklyn, and it's good to be back :) It was a good change from being up here, especially as both of our cars are in varying stages of decay so we couldn't have gone far anyway, but still...there's something to be said for one's own bed, computer and internet.

Cedega's still being a bit of a trial, but honestly it could be worse. Anyone curious about what it currently takes to get Cedega, World of Warcraft and Slackware to all play nicely together should head over here - it may be good for a laugh, if nothing else. It certainly amused my guild when I pointed out this is what it takes for me to play this game ;-)

Car's still in the shop, having the windshield wiper motor replaced and hopefully being inspected as well (I need to call them in the morning about that). I'll be obviously working from home tomorrow then, but with any luck will actually cease to be so horridly anti-social and go into the office on Thursday.

Friday evening we leave for ConnectiCon - YAY! I'm really looking forward to this, and with any luck it will be as good as I think it will. Questionable Content, VG Cats, Real Life Comics, Mac Hall (clearly!) and I'm not sure yet about Penny-Arcade will be there, so it should be a good party if nothing else!

I am planning on being totally fangirlish and carrying around my sketchbook in which I hope to persuade various awesome people to draw.

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Teh sexxay desktop

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:01:14 AM

I up and ordered WindowBlinds for real today :) I like it too much to go back to crappy ol' Explorer, even if it is just my work laptop. Hells, at this point, I'm wondering whether I can get my litestep theme ported back to linux for whenever I get a laptop of my own!

So anyhow, here's my UI as it is currently:

Sexy, no?

I got approval to take the first RedHat developer's training course this August. Of course, I need to be in the office to fill out the paperwork associated with getting Ensco to pay for it, and since my car's still borked and it seems determined to rain every day this week, I can't do that.

I'm aiming to get my car fixed tomorrow. Which means yuk...another day at home. I'm really suffering for lack of human interaction at this point, but at least after it's fixed it will be _fixed_. Which reminds me, I need to call Tony's and see whether they're the place that I actually need to take it to in the first place.

*goes to do that*

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My latest linux conquest

Posted at 10 Jun 2006 12:41:33 AM

If anyone cares, I am badass. Again!

Slackware 10.2 + Cedega + A whole lot of Tinkering = Me in MC now! Woot :D

My framerate sucks a bit, but I suspect that's more lack of optimisation of my PCI-E card than anything else.

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Of Cabbages and Kings

Posted at 30 May 2006 08:28:29 PM

Well, commenting still isn't working (mainly because my page code seems to be working awkwardly...clicking on the link that normally takes you to the comments produces the right URL, but the contents of the index page). However, Things have been Happening, so I feel the need to talk :)

Yesterday I put the rest of my new (upgraded) computer together, and did the Let's-Reinstall-Slackware dance. It only took 2 tries, which might be a record! It boots up quickly and at this point I've got all of my essential apps (wterm, Firefox, Gaim, Gimp etc) back on it, along with all of my fonts and themes. There's always a lot more stuff to go, but thankfully I'm a software packrat and don't ever delete any .tar.gz or .tgz files from my downloads directory, so it's relatively easy to resolve dependancies and such.

Haven't tried putting Cedega on yet...that's a project for after I get everything else up to speed. My resolution still sucks, too...1024x768 just isn't enough when your dockapps take up 64bits square.

The case is absolutely perfect. I had some qualms right up until this morning, because even though there wasn't any real whirring, you could still hear the fans going and it was a lot louder than I expected! But then I was fiddling around with it, and put my hand over the power supply fan...and the noise went away! Heh...so I hooked up the rear-panel fan control (Thermaltake ftw) and turned it down to just over the Min setting, and yeah...MUCH better.

For some bizarre reason the rear USB ports don't feel like working, although the front-panel ones do. I need to figure that out; more than likely it's a switch or BIOS option that I just haven't found yet. I don't mind too much, except the computer's next to my desk now, and the angle on the mouse cord keeps giving the mouse an unfamiliar tension. Creature of habit, much?

I preordered the new Heroes of Might and Magic while I was at the mall the other day, and today I got a call from EB saying that they'd also gotten in some copies of the Collector's Edition, and would I like one of those instead? I said Yes thank you, I very much would! I'll run out and pick up that and my new contacts this afternoon after work.

I'll see whether I can get the code problems here repaired before going away this weekend. I don't know how it happens, but I always seem to really lump my projects up. Computer, new OS, website move...le sigh. I think it's nature's way of telling me that I'm getting too complacent.

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Desktops and drunken WoW

Posted at 27 Apr 2006 09:36:47 AM

Well...this site has been down for the better part of two weeks now, and my wrath is only slightly appeased. I'm still on Simonweb, unfortunately, but my domain name is my own now and first chance I get, I'll be changing hosts. I have backups of this site in about seventeen places by now, I think...!

The point of this post, though, is that I need to geek out for a minute - I've been playing with WindowBlinds in conjunction with Litestep, and just discovered that the theme I'm using (or maybe WindowBlinds as a whole, or something - I don't know and right now am too excited to care) lets me shade my windows! I.e. when I right-click on a window's titlebar, it all collapses up into that titlebar. No minimizing anymore, yaaaaaaaaaay! ( although truthfully, that wasn't so bad anymore, now that my taskbar's up at the top of the screen and is stay-on-top like a good little taskbar). Because I know you all care so much, here - have a screenshot:

Also (I nearly forgot) Tim had an amusing story this morning:

<--conversation begins-->
(10:30:06) Tim: i was drunk.
(10:30:24) Tim: and then i went online and started talking shit with old guildmates...
(10:30:34) Me: an excellent plan
(10:30:35) Tim: i reactivated my wow account lastnight/thismorning
(10:30:39) Me: ahahahah
(10:30:41) Tim: check this out....
(10:30:43) Tim: Realm: Kargath
Character Name: >>Tim<<

Account Action: Warning

This category includes both clear and masked language which:
? Is crude and offensive in nature
? Is an inappropriate reference to human anatomy or bodily functions
? Is pornographic in nature

Details (Note - Times are listed in Greenwich Mean Time, GMT):
4/27/2006 7:24 >>Tim<< General - Orgrimmar needs a hug (and anal sex from >>censored<<)
4/27/2006 7:31 >>Tim<< General - Orgrimmar fuck you >>censored<<!

(10:31:05) Me: LOL
(10:31:13) Me: that is fabulous
(10:31:20) Tim: i love it
(10:31:32) Me: you are the only person I know who gets drunk and doesn't wake up with a warning from the cops for being obscene, you wake up with a WoW account warning
(10:31:35) Me: that's awesome
(10:31:42) Tim: hahah

...So, yeah. *grin* I have the best friends ;-)

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ASSPA v0.5 released

Posted at 17 Apr 2006 08:20:18 PM

Just a short post - version 0.5 is of ASSPA has been released. (And doesn't that just sound all official now?)
I'm not willing to call it anything but beta still, as it's only been tested on my computers, but you can pick it up either here or at its Sourceforge page, here.

I'll be giving it a test run on SuSE in a few (watching Mirrormask now...SO GOOD!)

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A very simple podcast aggregator

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:01:07 AM

WHEN will people learn that a screw-up on the part of the client does IN NO WAY mean that adding new code to bypass the verification logic is a good idea?! I mean, the data won't load as-is, because they're sending a bad value in field X.
We have 2 choices:
1. Tell the client to start sending good data in field X. This is not difficult. I'll do it myself if management is having trouble writing the email. If they ask me nicely, I may even write it politely.
2. Write more crappy, inexplicable code to bypass the verification checks done on field X, and put some even more inexplicable (and guaranteed to be uncommented) qualifiers in there so that the bypass only happens for this specific client, because we really don't want unverified data getting in there under any normal and sane circumstances.

Apparently, choice 2 is better. WTF?!


Yesterday, I noticed that Penny-Arcade had completed a podcast rss file of sorts, which is available here for anyone that missed the announcement. I have been greatly enjoying the PA podcasts, and got to thinking - they're planning on submitting the podcast to iTunes. This is all well and nifty, except that I don't really use iTunes, for the reason that it would be really clunky to download things on my windows box at Chris', burn it to CD, and rip it back off at my apartment, just so I could listen to the silly things on my laptop/iPod/whatever. Accordingly, I went looking for a good piece of podcast aggregation software for linux. The consensus on LQ seems to be either Juice (formerly iPodder), or CastPodder (formerly known as iPodder Linux). I had two fairly major problems with these:

Juice: Says on any google search and on its FAQ page that it is available for "Windows, MacOSX and GNU/Linux". However, in little letters underneath "GNU/Linux" it adds "coming soon" and the download page shows no evidence of there ever having been a linux version. I am mystified by their apparently linux-y reputation.

CastPodder: Requires, in this order:
Python 2.4 >
libpython 2.4 >
libwxPythonGTK 2.6 >
wxPythonGTK (wxPython on some distro's) 2.6 >
libxml2-python 2.6 >
xmms-python(pyxmms) - Python interface to XMMS
PyBMP (for beep-media-player) can be found at http://borgforge.net/projects/pybmp

Python 2.4 - check
libpython 2.4 - can't find it anywhere, except a vague mention of an RPM available for Mandrake. This is curious, not to mention problematic.
libwxPythonGTK - Google draws a complete blank.

I didn't bother to go further than that. Anything that compiles from source, and has that many obscure requirements, has a duty to also post links to them somewhere on their download page. It's not hard to do, and apparently you found them somewhere because you tested the software...right?

So I gave up. Darned if I'll chase down random python libraries just because someone wanted their overblown software to look pretty. I still needed an aggregator, though....so I wrote one. It took all of a few hours.

For now, it's available here, although I'm sort of hoping that it'll be up on Sourceforge soon. I can't possibly be the only person in existance who doesn't feel the need to slog through graphical bs when all that's desired is a simple download. Maybe I am...we'll see.

Sooo...because that little post up there never got quite finished on Friday before we left internet-enabled territory, everything's getting lumped together into one post For Your Convenience.
It was a good weekend - left late on Friday as is our wont, got to Carmel around 2am, spent a very lazy Saturday (^_^) in which Chris mostly read while I read and went shopping. Bath and Body Works, FTW.

I meant to do some more productive things over the weekend, I really did - write up a not-terrible summary web page for the ASSPA thing mentioned above, roll up some characters for Forgotten Realms or just plain DnD, learn about what a template class is (not in the programming sense), stuff like that. It partially got done, I guess...it was truly nice to spend the weekend with a few good books rather than a few good raids, though.

We're going up to Catskill this coming weekend, which I'm very much looking forward to. It'll be nice to be home (and it's getting warmer out- definitely a plus! :P)

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Happy belated St Pat's day, among other things

Posted at 12 May 2008 10:43:01 AM

Well, I think I should probably update this, seeing as how it's been awhile :-)

What's going on... Work's been really busy this week, I've been in the office 'til 9:30 and 7:30 these past couple of days, due to a MAJORCRISISOMG that seems to have started for our friends across the pond, so much involved research has been necessary. I start pager duty tomorrow, which should be erm....interesting. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Also, I've a phone conf. at 5am tomorrow morning (that crisis...), for which I need to be in the office and which means getting up at least by 4 ...that being the case, I'll certainly not be going out tonight. I may not even go to sleep, seeing as my usual bedtime is 1 or 2, and I really feel worse on 2 hours' sleep than I do on none at all. It will be a very, very long day, I can tell you that much! I'm planning on occupying my evening/night doing some work with my recipe book, installing DSL2.2 on my printserver, configuring its wireless connection (*crosses fingers*), possibly ordering some new parts for my main computer, cleaning my apartment and very probably playing a good deal of early-morning WoW :)

Oh yuk, I just realized that Starbucks isn't open at 4am. Craaaaaaaaaaapola, this will be an interesting phone conf.

We've joined up with a new WoW guild, Knights of the Watch. HoP didn't really fall apart so much as it did just sort of wander...the high-levels really wanted to raid on something approaching a regular schedule (as opposed to "never", which is about what we could pull off w/o resorting to half-PuG's). So we're mostly all in KotW now, with a few exceptions of people who had friends elsewhere. I like them, they're fun, and definitely helpful....there's 15-20 people on at 9pm, 10 or more of 'em 60s, and 270 members total.

Hmm, what else is going on? Billy Joel concert in Syracuse with Dan and Chris this Saturday!

I've learned some truly awesome bash tricks lately, if anyone cares. There's a couple of fantastic pages at Deadman.org (here and here) that are really helpful, and I'm learning a lot. I like commandline gibberish, it makes me happy ^_^

Been dl'ing everything that I see at OC Remix, lately...as my CD drive on my laptop doesn't work, this is my way of getting fresh mp3s, as I'm frequently entirely too lazy to actually reload my iPod. I should add that to my list of things to do tonight, as well... OCremix has a podcast that I'm interested in, and now P-A does too...I can't keep them actually on my iPod of course, but I'll certainly take a listen. Although with the wait for the P-A one over 200minutes now, if anyone wants it let me know and I'll give you a temp login for my ftpserver. Clearly I need to sort out my router so that it'll let my bittorrent client through, because if this is any kind of a regular thing...ouch.

Chris and I were down in the city for St. Patrick's day - we had dinner at his aunt's, and spent Saturday knocking around Manhattan with his whole gang from school....they're a lot of fun, and I liked 'em! It's been awhile since I've been part of a group of friends (even peripherally) and it's a good feeling :-)

That's it for now, largely because I actually have things to do. Remind me to kick myself into gear and crank out something for this week's ffawards...