it’s not a journal… >>> …but occasionally it has journal-y stuff in it. Lor’s back in town (yay!), so I can finally go to work at a decent hour, which means I have the time to a morning update. Had a good weekend — I spent some time on Saturday upgrading to XFree86 4 (it just entered the unstable branch of Debian), which entailed fixing some font problems. Decided to clean up the CSS for this site a bit too — let me know how that looks for you. The upgrade also prompted me to make an extensive investigation of what packages I had installed (via dselect), so I’ve gotten rid of some cruft and found some new toys to play with. Saturday night, Lor and I had dinner at the home of Lyn and Steve, which was very nice.

some design notes >>> I also cleaned out my MP3 directory this weekend, since a bunch of the stuff I’d ripped myself was truncated, encoded at the wrong bitrate, or had the wrong ID3 tags. I went through all the stuff that I didn’t rip and normalized the ID3 tags, and set up a sane directory structure. I’d like to start re-ripping things (I mean, that 10 gigs is just sitting there — might as well make it earn its keep!), but I’m a little unhappy with Grip, which is what I’ve been using to drive the ripping. I think I need to write some Perl to tie together cdparanoia and lame, so here are some notes on doing that:

I think I’m going to need two scripts: one that (a) queries CDDB (or FreeDB) for album information, (b) drives cdparanoia to rip the tracks to WAV files, and (c) makes a log of these WAV files, with all the info needed for properly ID3 tagging the end product MP3 file. This script will be run interactively, so error output can happen on STDERR. The second script should (a) read in that log file (which may contain info about WAVs from >disk), (b) MP3 encode each track using lame, setting the ID3 info appropriately, (c) remove the WAV file, and (d) move the MP3 file to its permanent home. Since this script is going to be run as a cron job in the wee hours of the morning, or during the day while I’m at work, it needs to log the results of all operations, and then mail that log to me.

As long as I can find a Perl module on CPAN that will query a CDDB-like database based on what disk is in the CD drive, I think I should be in business…

umm, wes… >>> Where were you last Saturday night at 0300 GMT?

Just one week after Microsoft admitted to a major breach of its security, another hacker by the name of Dimitri claims to have gained access to several of its Web servers.
Using a known security hole in M$’ Internet Information Server software - which should have been fixed with its own patch - Dimitri hacked into the servers and uploaded a text file called Hack the Planet.

(Bolding mine.)

(More info at InfoWorld.)

Seriously, I wonder if Wes is going to be questioned by the Feds over this? Seems like the kind of brain-dead thing they might consider…

joy >>> Peapod is now doing grocery delivery in our area. Now if they’d just team up with Trader Joe’s as well as Giant, I’d never have to go to the grocery store again…

more on banking >>> More about the recent banking dilemma: Previously, I had said we were going to use a combination of our bank’s website (to pay bills) and GnuCash (for checkbook register-type stuff). Now, we’re thinking about using onmoney.com for the latter functions. Anybody out there have any feedback about onmoney? The nice thing about using them is that we can then access the info from anywhere — which means if Lor’s on the road, she’s got as much access as I do from home.

male-hood >>> Every time I look at this strip, I laugh my ass off.

soon to be pointless, but… >>> So, Mike quotes Drudge on some internal Bush polling numbers showing the Gov leading Gore in several key states. My inner pedant is forcing me to point out that the numbers quoted are “within the margin of error”, and without knowing what that margin of error is, you can’t really evaluate them. If we assume a ‘typical’ margin of error of 2 to 4 percent, the Florida and California results become meaningless, and the Michigan result becomes much more marginal (with a 4% margin of error, the spread between the candidates could be as low as 1%).

Hopefully, that will satisfy the pedant in me for this particular election season…

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