Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Asian Disaster

On the homepage of is a banner asking you to donate to the relief efforts of the recent earthquake and tsunami in South Asia. The death toll is over 80,000 people right now. Most of you already have accounts. Just type your password and donate. It's easy, and it's worth helping out.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Digital prints at Meijer

Meijer offers a service called Print @ Store from Home. You download their software (which has a terrible interface), pick your photos, select your print sizes, submit the order, and then go to the store and pick up your prints. It's a pretty good idea, I must say. And for $0.20 4x6 inch prints, it made for a pretty good experience.

Sunday, December 26, 2004


I'm in St. Charles, Illinois, at my parents' house for the week. I've been here for a few days. Since I'll be here for so long, I brought my laptop and my wireless router. I finally set it up today. It's nice being able to sit in their living room with my laptop and be on their cable modem. It's just like being in Champaign.

Christmas was today

Today was my fourth Christmas gathering, and the first one at which I exchanged gifts. The previous ones had been with step-family or cousins with whom I no longer exchange gifts. Actually, that's not entirely true. My cousin David (the one in the Peace Corps in Tanzania) is back for a few weeks. He brought back some souvenirs, including "tire sandals," which are flip-flops made from used car tires. Today was for the real gifts. Highlights of my giving included the cute pink outfit for my two-week-old niece, some nice clothes for my sister and mom, a Smartwool top for a brother-in-law, and a camcorder for the new parents (a combined gift from everyone). Highlights of what I received included a guitar from a sister, a great cookbook (The New Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated; it's bigger than most phone books), and a set of nice kitchen knives (Forschner by Victorinox, the Swiss Army Knife company) recommended by Cook's Illustrated (surprise!). It was a great day, full of great gift exchanges. I hope everyone out there is having a nice time with the people in their life that they care about.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Coyote Linux rocks

Coyote Linux transforms your low-end PC into a NAT/Firewall/Gateway box. The last time I tried it, it was a crude application. Now it's gorgeous. It has an elegant web-based configuration UI, as well as a barebones SSH interface. And it fits on a single floppy! My gateway box no longer hosts services! Yay! It only took me a year to realize that goal!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I was buying some groceries today and I stopped to buy some eggnog. (A former roommate describe eggnog as "The Prince of Drinks.") I was comparing the Schnuck's brand to some other non-store-brand that was ten cents more. I was looking over the ingredients list and they were identical, even in the hyphenation of "mono- and diglycerides." Then I saw a "processed at plant x" number on the Schnuck's brand. The non-store-brand had the same number on it (but different wording). I'm convinced that they're the same, identical product that came from the same production plant.

(Yes, my life is this boring.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Return of the King

I went to Best Buy over lunch and purchased the Return of the King extended edition. I'm nearly sexually excited about the new 50 minutes of footage.

Upcoming Downtime

I've requested a transfer of this domain ( to a new registrar, so over the next week or so there might be a few days of downtime. Not that that's a big deal :)

Friday, December 03, 2004

128-bit storage

How much energy would it take to fill a 128-bit address space with data? More energy than it would require to boil the oceans. Fun read.