Category Archives: software

Mininova Torrent Jam

by ,

torrent jam
Look at how many people are torrenting (click for current list)

Wow, I figured that with the season 3 premiere of Battlestar Galactica, there would be a lot of BitTorrent activity, especially since here in Toronto
isn’t showing it until tonight, but over 25,000 people?


Going Native – iTerm 0.7.8 Intel build

by ,

Now that I’m on my Mac Pro full time, I’m on the hunt for native Intel apps.
Mostly I’m finding my main tools are already Universal (a side benefit for waiting for the Mac Pro before jumping on the Intel bandwagon).

However, one app I use almost 24/7 was problematic: iTerm, a terminal program.

Now, iTerm has been universal (meaning it has both native PPC and Intel code) since version 0.8. However, I have found all versions after 0.7.8 to be buggy and not well-behaved.
I tried downloading the latest and greatest stable version, but i started getting rendering errors (blocks of black showing up) and the main text was over-bold for some reason (I was able to tone it down by setting the colour to a very drak grey instead of black).

Well, I’ve had enough.
iTerm is open source, so I checked out the version of iTerm that was current as of 0.7.8 (which has a modification date of Mar 11 2004) and built it as an Intel binary (not universal – maybe later when I have copious amounts of spare time).
This wasn’t rocket science – zero coding was required.
Indeed, I didn’t even have to change **anything**.

You can grab it here:
iTerm 0.78 intel

Here’s all I did:

cvs -z3 co -D 2004-03-11 -P iTerm
open iTerm.xcode

Xcode proceeded to update the project and somehow magically set the target architecture to i386.
I clicked on “Build” and away it went.

When it was done, lo and behold there was an Intel version of iTerm sitting in the “build/Development” folder.
I double-clicked it and, booya, it ran fine.

Now the development version is not for distribution so, okay, I changed *one* setting:
I changed the popup that said “Development” to “Deployment”.
Another click on “Build” and there sat another iTerm in build/Deployment

I hope this is of use to someone other than me.
I’m I the only one who finds iTerm 0.8 and later frustrating?

webcast showing how Free Software ≠ Open Source

by ,

I followed
the link to a webcast
at the end of
this blog post
by someone from Ubuntu.
It showed a meeting at the U.N. where representatives from various (mostly African?) countries met with software representatives to discuss “Alternative Technologies for Development: A Look at Free Open Source Software“.
It is a very good place to listen to Richard Stallman explain the difference between “Free Software” and “Open Source”, as well as talking about a number of other topics.

The whole thing is (a) Real Player, and (b) very long (2 hours?).

I’ve hit my monthly limit on Flickr

by ,

I left my powerbook uploading pictures when I went off to Yosemite Park today, an it stopped after picture 155 of 413 (each is about 4 MB) because I had exceeded my quota. Hah.

I think i’ve found a way around my problem with huge mux’ed MPEG-1 videos. I’ve found an app that separates the audio out to a separate file. So I can do that, then convert the file to DivX hopefully adding the audio track at that point so I end up with nice, tiny video files that can be uploaded to YouTube.

I have a few more mux’ed MPEG-1s that fit in the 100 MB YouTube limit so for now I acn upload those. But they will be short.

Quake levels

by ,
InExtremis by Charon


We’ve been talking about playing Quake sometime, and how various buildings would make good Quake levels, etc.
So I thought I’d look into tools to build Quake levels.
Specifically, the canonical tool, Radiant, which was written by Id Software and released under the GPL.

It took about ½ hour, but I managed to find a
Mac version of Radiant
(actually, it’s GtkRadiant, running under X Windows on a Mac, so it doesn’t look quite native).

Here are some links I ran across on the way to finally tracking it down:
   Tutorial for creating spiral stairs
   Mac GtkRadiant forum
   Manual install of GtkRadiant on a Mac

Oh, Radiant doesn’t only edit Quake 3 levels or something.
It can handle pretty much all Id games, from Quake 1 (I think) through Doom 3.

Maybe some of us can get hopping now, eh?

Here is a screenshot of the editor in action (somewhat reduced).
Pretty ugly, eh?

Actually, it reminds me of Maya a bit.


Screenshot of GtkRadiant running

Ants! It must be spring

by ,

We have ants in our laundry room.
I didn’t notice until I had pushed the big pile-o-towels over to the washing machine to do a hot wash.
I picked up a facecloth and noticed there was black fluff on it.

Then the black fluff MOVED.

I had inadvertently squished a whole train of ants when I moved the towels.
So I had to shake out all the towels before I put it them the washing machine.
About a dozen stunned and confused ants dropped to the floor.

So I have laid down several drops of our AntBeGone stuff, but I can’t remember if it works very well or not.
I then had a thought that I should find out more about where they are going.
So I set up my powerbook running iStopMotion:

powerbook monitoring ants

My PowerBook recording ant movement

iSight watches ants

The iSight keeps an eye on the ants clustered around the drain.

I’m hoping it will be easier to figure out where the ants come from and go to if we see them move much faster.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Google Earth somewhat inaccurate

by ,

If you click the picture below to see its larger (1205×980) version, you will see a screenshot of Google Earth with a view of Greenwich Observatory with overlaid lines describing the inaccuracy of Google Earth.

Of course, perhaps like the speed of light, the Prime Meridian of Earth has been redefined recently and I am just out of the loop..


Click to see larger version