Archive for October, 2002

Orange and Purple

Pictures just cannot describe the sunset right now. At least pictures from my camera. A late afternoon rainshower cleared up enough for the sun to light up the west in a brilliant orange under purple clouds.

The view to the city is a minor reflection of the direct light of the sun. Of course, direct sunset shots are completely washed out.

headstanding the shark

The view over the monitor can be amazing. Just have to look up every now and then.

No comments

Fog Season

It’s been fog season this week. The temperature went from the 60s to the 40s far faster than Elliot Bay and Puget Sound can adjust. So the fog comes in and doesn’t leave.

foggy afternoon downtown.

Early in the week, KUOW was calling it early morning fog, burning off by afternoon. Then it became fog and low clouds. Recently, they’ve been saying that it will clear by tomorrow afternoon. Pretty soon, they will say that it’s just the winter weather pattern, and it will clear by sometime in June. Hopefully.

No comments

PyObjC Noodling

I’ve been noodling a bit with PyObjC, the Python-Objective C Cocoa bridge. So far, I’ve made some pretty good progress for not knowing either language or the api. In about one ti-battery worth of whacking, I got a python library communicating with a cocoa interface, and even included a post to weblog menu item. I think all hello world apps will now post to a weblog, just as all other apps expand till they read email.

I started to run into trouble with threading, specifically, NSAutoreleasePool and what happens when you kick off a thread.

  def startThread_(self,sender):

This code kicks off a backend process that should not exit. The thread spawing works, I can communicate with the back end with events appearing on screen. The console log shows some objects that were leaked without an autorelease pool, an attempt to retain the autorelease pool, and then when I type the first character in the interface, the program dies with a signal 10 SIGBUS.

I should probably try this with python threads to see what happens from that side of things.

No comments


Clueserver.com is coming up for renewal soon, and since I’ve never really done anything with it, it may be time to set it free.

So is anyone interested? I’ll entertain any reasonable offers. Unreasonable offers may entertain me.

No comments

Download a movie, kill a producer

The business will implode once you can download a movie, give it to your friends and not have a moral problem with doing it. Then we’re screwed. Literally, our very lives are at stake now. — Rick McCallum, producer of Attack of the Clones.

Literally eh? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

The rest of the article makes some good points about DVD and home theater killing the movie theater since the seats are more comfy, the crowd friendlier, tickets cheaper, and the beer better. (Well I’m making up the part about the beer)

No comments


Existing floor is carpet over plywood subfloor. This a first floor room over a crawlspace area. Room is ~120sf, 10×12′

***Flooring Options:

  1. Bamboo Hardwood Flooring at ~$10/sf installed. Looking at a planking system with a cherry finish. This is an ecologically sound flooring system, as the entire process is designed to be low impact on the envrionment. Sustainable development and all that. Planking is 1/2-3/4″ thick, and uses three layer cross grain construction. Should be dimensionally stable, suitable for a floating installation.
  2. Pergo Presto, in cherry planked. This is not as good looking as the real wood, since the grain is printed on from a photograph had the texture is somewhat unrelated to the printed grain pattern. Should last long enough, is cheaper and thinner. Moulding is available to match. 3/8″ thick, ~$5/sf installed.
  3. Existing carpet. (rejected option).

***Sub floor electrical radiant heat.
Ideally, this is something that will supplement the current inwall electrical forced air heater to make the floor nice and toasty when walking around in bare feet.

Generally several options:

Thinset Vs Gypcrete vs whatever else.

There are a few systems that use wires laid out then encased in gypcrete or thinset. I’f it comes to gypcrete, the radiant heating isn’t going to happen. (1″ of liquid mud laid down over the wires, which then dries.) That might be appropriate for a bathroom, but not this. Thinset might be an option, depending on compatibility with flooring.

I’ve also seen some references to electrical mat systems that lay out an entire mat instead of individual wires. This seems to be a better option, but there seems to be a lot less experience with this sort of thing.

10 or 15 W/sf

Most places I’ve seen say that 15w/sf is only appropriate for tile/ceramic flooring, but then turn around and suggest it for any floor put through their calculator. I’m guessing that 15w/sf would probably enough to heat the entire room without needing a bacup heater in the wall.

  • Warmly yours Seems to have one of the easier products to install. It uses a 110 volt system and foil mats. (or rolls or plain mats.) These appear to be slightly more than $10/sf covered, but that will probably work out to abou $10/sf over the entire room.

    For a bamboo engineered plank floor, I’m looking at the 10w/sf mesh, since the foil requires installation between the flooring and padding. The mesh shoud be installed in 3/8″ of thinset or self leveling cement. coverage would be roughly 6″ from the wall on each side of the room, giving about 90sf heating coverage. This can be done with the 1.5′ wide roll @ 60 feet long, $895 + 149 for the (programmable) thermostat. Requires an 8 amps, on a 15 amp curcuit. Would probably not be a primary heating in the coldest times, but should be fine most of the winter. 1800-875-5285, has worked with tile specialists before.

  • Advanced radiant can do a wire system in 3/4″ of dry set mortar. They need a dedicated 240v line. Lead time of about a week, about a day installation. Looking at ~2k. Will probably increase the height of the floor by 1/4″ or so. (ponder taking out the parquet in the hallway and putting in bamboo there. ) Mentioned that timbergrass is a good local producer of bamboo flooring.
No comments

Low Voltage Haolgen

Objective, 300w (300va) 12 volt? low voltage halogen cable system, in a v pattern running the long axis of the room. Roughly 26 feet total span, with the power coming in in the middle. There is one existing switched power tap in a recessed lighting fixure that may be removed. the switch in the room only controls that can, so it’s possible to replace the switch with an inwall dimmer if permitted by the system.

  • Ikea has what looks like 60 and 150 watt systems, some including their fixtures and some not. They are < $100. I’d want 2 of the bigger ones, which would lead to contention for transformer space. (completely useless website. better off looking at the catalog)
  • Seattle lighting Design (on second) appears to have a bunch of bits and pieces, but their fixtures are expensive. But, they give ideas.
  • Home Depot has lighting from Hampton Bay, apparently 300w monorail track systems and 60w cable ones. Need to research if I can get a 300W cable transformer + cable from them. Nothing useful on line past what they have in the store. Nothing on Hampton bay lighting in google. grr
  • Alfa Lighting: (web research) transformers 12V/300W and 24V/600, surface or hidden mount. They also have cables and widgets. They have an obnoxious website that like to pop up new windows instead of merely linking to content. Availiable online Looks like 300W transformers are ~$200+ depending on finish. Hidden transformers would be cool, but I’m not sure that I could install them without ripping out drywall.
  • LightingFX has a transformer that appears to drop into a recessed ligihting fixture.
    They also have a hidden transformer for $149 206-300dc that may not require as much space as the alfa ones. LightingFX also has some installation docs on their site.

I need to determine if I can install a hidden transformer in the ceiling without cutting it up too much, or if I should just replace the can with an exposed transformer. (mounting?)

No comments


Across the street

No comments

Swapon Swapoff. Rinse. Repeat.

I seem to be running into them all these days. Some weeks it’s just better to sleep in.

I’ve got a Dual g4/800 quicksliver that I babysit, 768 megs ram, 10.1.5, normally a load average around .5 with 25% processor usage.

Every so often, the machine (nearly) hangs. Ssh connections are refused, console access is lost, the only thing that works is static apache serving. I’m guessing that’s because all memory for apache has already been allocated and it’s just serving from a running process.

From the logs, I get the following:

Oct  8 22:56:20 Broccoli WindowServer[3390]: CGXDisableUpdate: Updates disabled 
   by connection 0x1d6cb for over 1.000000 seconds
Oct  8 22:56:36 Broccoli WindowServer[3390]: CGXDisableUpdate: Updates disabled 
   by connection 0xd377 for over 1.000000 seconds
Oct  8 22:56:47 Broccoli mach_kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: no space in 
   available paging segments; swapon suggested
Oct  8 22:56:47 Broccoli last message repeated 2 times
Oct  8 22:56:48 Broccoli mach_kernel: [KERNEL]: no space in available paging 
   segments; swapon suggested
Oct  8 22:56:48 Broccoli mach_kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: no space in 
   available paging segments; swapon suggested
Oct  8 22:56:49 Broccoli last message repeated 54 times

The last few lines repeat until the machine is restarted. In this case, for 2.5 megs of log file. There’s about 8 gigs of space availiable on disk for swap to grow.

I’m suspecting a window server bug, but google doesn’t match anything useful for the error string. yet.

No comments

Husky Racing Time

A dedicated collegiate cyclist misses the team bus and rides to the race.

As a former member of Husky Racing, I have fond memories of our own time zone. It ran anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours late, depending on the importance of the race. It could have been a lot closer to PST or PDT if we has instituted this as a rule.

No comments

Next Page »