Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
May 31st, 2005

AstoundingTales.com Volume 2, Issue 1 done

I published the fifth issue of AstoundingTales.com. We are officially a year old. I have already found several typos and two out and out mistakes, but I am tired and I have to walk around the lake. It is time to knock off for today.

I have been accessing the internet through my neighbor’s wireless router for several months. The router has been down for a week and I can’t work at home. If I had internet access at home, I’d have finished over the weekend. It’s not like I can go over and tell them to reboot their cable modem. This might make it obvious that I am sneaking in through their wifi. I have to wait for their kid to get home from camp and start downloading porn again.






May 26th, 2005

BoingBoing

I have been BoingBoinged. There goes the bandwidth! I should have put some links up to my other sites. I have to catch up, now. I hope I can afford this. What was I thinking?

Update:
It seems that I did not have much to worry about. After a few hours, the traffic has died down. Harpamps.com, in the same time, had more hits and generated three times as much in ad revenue. I expect to get hits for the rest of the weekend, but I think the worst is over.

Being on BoingBoing.net looks like it is going to get me a total of under 10,000 views over the next few days and an eCPM (effective cost per 1000 impressions) at about 1/4 that of my other sites. BoingBoingers don’t click ads.

Being linked in BoingBoing is worth about $5 to $10 unless you are selling something.

I never believed that BoingBoing.net had more FireFox hits than IE hits, but 60% of the clickthroughs from BoingBoing were using FireFox. Normally, I get only 10% FireFox.

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May 25th, 2005

The Sounds of Outer Space

I found this great site where they have recorded some sounds sent back by Voyager and other space probes. This is great stuff.

I like the Earth Proton Whistlers. It’s very eerie, like whalesong.






May 25th, 2005

Barcode experiments

My friend Skip wants to go beyond a Single Identification Number (SIN) and barcode everyone on the arm. This will put a dent in identity theft. I argue that it only opens up a market for skin tone self stick bogus barcode labels.

I had a project recently that got me thinking about barcodes. I learned how to manipulate images with PHP. I created my own barcode font and produced CODE 128 barcodes.

When the time comes you can get the graphics from my program and glue it to your arm.

Here is my example page.

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May 20th, 2005

Chat rooms added to a couple of sites

I added chat rooms to Harpamps.com and Astoundingtales.com.

The Astounding Tales chat room will not be officially announced until June 1. I will set up scheduled chats there because we only get a few dozen users a day at the site so the odds are poor that someone will be there when you log in.

Harpamps.com, on the other hand gets 5,000 people a day and I am worried about traffic increasing to the point where I will have to pay extra fees. I may have to set up limited hours to keep the traffic down.

Harmonica Amp Chat

Astounding Tales Speculative Fiction Chat.

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May 18th, 2005

Java down again

I have 29 different web sites that I manage. They pay for themselves nicely, but it requires that I keep an eye on them. Two applications are written in Java. NameAGalaxy.com and the harp-l archives. I decided to convert a chunk of NameAgalaxy to PHP and mySQL to make it work a little better and to allow users to edit their galaxies. This is when I discovered that Java was broken at HostGator.com.

I have been arguing with tech support that I have been using Java on their site for five months and that it goes down from time to time, but comes back after about an hour and all they have to do is reboot the server.

They tell me that my Java programs never worked. I have the logs showing the java apps working correctly.

Tech support people hate Java. This is the fourth java host that I’ve been with and now these guys are going to crap out on me. I have to continue my endless search for a reliable java host.

Back up again at 11:50 – configuration error I was told. I didn’t mess with the configuration, so it’s their fault, I guess.






May 17th, 2005

Best of Astounding Tales

Arthur Sanchez has finished putting together the first annual Best of Astounding Tales.

It’s available in two forms: e-book and paperback. Check them out. Buy a copy or two. Spread the word. Here are the links

For the e-book go to: www.Whortleberrypress.com

For the paperback go to: www.lulu.com

You should by a copy. This anthology is better than it has any right to be!

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May 16th, 2005

Rolling and Tumbling

More video madness.

Here’s the link to the audio mp3 that I used for background.






May 16th, 2005

Gracie’s first video

I bought a tiny video camera and video recorder. My goal is to take clips of blues jams and acts for my website. I was testing it out and, of course, Gracie was my first subject. My father worked with a photographer during WWII. He was stationed in various places, but one of his jobs was to develop film when he was stationed at an airbase in Germany. He said 90% of all the pictures he developed for the other soldiers was of their pets. Give someone a camera and all they wanted to do was take pictures of their dogs.

I took pictures of cat, so I show a little better taste.

The camera is a Eujoy 2 MegaPixel 6-in-1 Digital Still/Vid/MP3/Web Cam/Voice from Geeks.com. If you watch for the geek specials you can get it for $44.95. It records voice (music comes out just so-so) You can play MP3 files like an iPod. You can take decent quality pictures and web quality video. I bought a 256meg secure data memory card so I can record about an hour of audio and 45 minutes of video.

Click on the picture of Gracie to see her video debut. I compressed the video somewhat to speed up downloads, so it is marginal quality. The original was a little better.


Almost all kittens are born in Spring. By convention, at out house, all kittens celebrate Mother’s Day as their birthday. Gracie is now about a year old.






May 6th, 2005

Birth of a Programmer

I was thinking about programming, wondering if the thrill was gone. I remembered the first real program that I ever ran and how I felt when it completed successfully.

I wrote it up. Read The Birth of a Programmer.






May 5th, 2005

1975, A couple of kids in love

My Mom found this picture of Erica and me in 1975. It was at my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.

We were married over a year. We were just 24 and I had been fired from my job. We made the rent by doing Flea Markets. We sold junk that I found at the side of the road and crafts that Erica made. We sold some beautiful quilts dirt cheap. I told fortunes with Tarot cards. We also worked (off the books) at a theater that summer. I saw Oh Calcutta 18 times – it still gives me the shivers. That 11 months that I was unemployed was the best time of my life.

Not long after this I got my hair cut. My Father-in-law gave me a gift certificate to Vidal Sassoon’s in NYC. I had at least a dozen gay men working on me for two hours. My hair was so weird that I came home and went to a barber on North Broadway in Nyack and had it cut short.

I love Erica’s long hair!






May 5th, 2005

TZ Bridge


http://www.thruway.state.ny.us/webcams/tz1/index-hs.html

Every morning, I cross the Tappan Zee Bridge to get to work. This morning it took me 1 hour and 35 minutes to go 14 miles. The picture above, snatched when I finally made it in, shows no backup. I think the traffice just huddled around me and slowed only me.

That’s my home town in the distance: Nyack, Jewel of the Hudson. The Tappan Zee is the part of the Hudson River where it opens up to about 2-1/2 miles with Nyack on one side and Tarrytown (home of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) on the other. In the 1920s, my Grandfather, Roy Hunt, drove his model T across the frozen Tappan Zee and had lunch in Tarrytown.

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May 4th, 2005

Diving Duck at Rockland Lake

If the river was whiskey and I was a diving duck
If the river was whiskey and I was a diving duck
I would swim to the bottom
Drink myself back up

- Muddy Waters


Cormerant at Rockland Lake

I took a really nice picture of James White and his wife.






May 3rd, 2005

Tips on Spinning Cat Hair

I have often thought that there should be a use for all the cat hair that gets all over everthing

Tips on Spinning Cat Hair

Now if I could find an article on what to do with the clothes dryer lint, I’d be happy.