Memories of Stockholm

15 years ago I had just returned from a business trip to Stockholm.  Last night when returning from my workout (the gym is two blocks from the office, or more accurately in our other office building), I was reminded especially of my time in Stockholm.  There’s a certain feel to the cold air and the dark and the area of downtown on the water that makes me miss my city.


A while back I upgraded the server, partially breaking my blog in the process. Rather than wade through the maze of Drupal modules I had installed to make things livable, I took the opportunity to move to WordPress. Maybe I’ll blog more. :P

Dennis M. Ritchie

According to filesystem timestamps, I wrote this 4/9/1998. I know where I was seated when I wrote it, and it was definitely
spring, so that date is plausible.

It seemed apropos, given Dennis’ passing, to post it now.

Hopefully, those who might be offended will remember that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

   DMR is my shepherd; I shall not want
   He maketh me to write code sans disasters:
   He leadeth me around the null pointers.

   He restoreth my tapes: he leadeth me
   In the paths of UNIX for its name's sake.

   Yea, though I walk through the valley
   Of the shadow of Wintel, I will fear no evil:
   The Source is with me; my root password and group staff
   They comfort me.

   He prepareth a server before me in
   defiance of Slick Willy Gates:
   He protecteth my filesystems from Usenet;
   My Sun runneth faster.

   Surely network and printer shall work for me
   All the days of my life: and I will dwell
   With my data intact for ever.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Jerry Bolton, Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Two Turntables… and a Microcontroller – Part 1

My father is into HO railroading.  He’s got quite the layout in-progress in his garage.  However, he’s having trouble finding DCC turn-tables for his engine-yards.  The ones he can find are expensive and back-ordered.  My brother and I decided it would be a fun project for an Arduino (or three).  Here’s the first installment of build pics / videos, after the break.
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Yarrduino! Shield

Yarr, matey!  Batten down th’ hatches and secyarr th’  wiring!  Lively now, ye lubbars!  Upload yer sketches ye scurvy dogs, else ye’ll be walkin’ th’ plank!  Details aftarr th’ break!

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Rainy afternoon Robotics, or the “Frankentruck FT-5″

Right Side view, FT-5.So, the day turned rainy and there is a somewhat rigorous moratorium here on desktop computing.  I decided that didn’t include supervised robotics.  Full details, more pics and movie mayhem if you click “Continue.”

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Regex for Java in Unicode…

Think The Producers‘ “Springtime…  in Germany” when reading the title, it might make slightly more sense…

A friend of mine was recently posed a challenge by hir instructor in an introductory Java class.  The challenge was (sic.) “I was recently writing a program to generate usernames from the first seven letters of a student’s last name and their first initial, given a list of names.  If you know how to do that, you can take the final right now.”

What follows (click “Read More” if you must…) is a write-up of my own over-engineered version of this exercise in sed, perl, and Java.

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A UNIX Wizard…

So, I heard “Pinball Wizard” on the radio the other day and it reminded me of a parody (author unknown) called “UNIX Wizard…”  While googling for the text for all of you, I also ran across this “UNIX Heirarchy,” which explains the difference between mere mortals and sucessive progress towards enlightenment.

Integrated Gallery While You Post…

I wanted to use Drupal to post pictures, much as LiveJournal can.  However, I already have…  an image gallery.  And, while it is a good and wondrous thing to have the gallery integrated with Drupal, what I really wanted was to be able to nicely choose images mid-post, without having to do crazy things like write my own <IMG> tags.  Yes, I can do it that way… I learned how last millennium.  So, I found that once I had gallery2 integrated with drupal… it was supposed to be trivial to install TinyMCE, which provides a nice “rich text” style editor, and g2image, which provides the in-editor image chooser for gallery2.  It turns out TinyMCE 3.x is now part of the aptly named WYSIWIG module for drupal.  And, it turns out there was a bit of trickery that had to be done to get it to recognize g2image 3.x inside Drupal 5.x.  Hopefully, this link should help anyone with the same woes, namely that after extracting all the plugins and installing them, the editor still didn’t provide the g2image button on its toolbar.  The issue appears to be that TinyMCE doesn’t dynamically find its plugins.  You have to modify wysiwig/editors/

14.2 miles

The Little Traverse Wheelway is a bike path that circumscribes Little Traverse Bay.  I’ve personally seen about 12 miles of it from a bike, and its pretty spectacular.  Most of the wheelway is specially set aside and paved for bikes.  Some of it is sidewalk, and a few segments are officially marked bike lanes on public roadways.  The path is peppered with places to stop and enjoy the views, as well as some seating and even a few picnic areas.  It connects several area parks and at least three incorporated municipalities.  Yesterday before work, I had the pleasure  of an intense early morning ride, my longest yet this summer, 7.1 miles out  and then back again (14.2 total).  I didn’t need to walk  the bike, though I did take a quick break for some photos—”read more” to see them.  The whole trek was 1.25 hours.




After lunch this chipmunk was chirping away outside the window…



This morning was less sunny, and in fact rainy and 65F.  I did see a rabbit on the trail, and it was a good ride.  However, I had to turn back early (only 9 miles today) when the lightning started in the distance, and I managed to beat the lightning back to safety.  No pictures this morning.