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Comment Subscriptions
June 9, 2012 by Noah
Because people frequently post comments on some of my blog posts asking for help with something the post was talking about, I've added a new feature! You can subscribe to future comments on a blog post now. :) When adding a comment, there is a new optional e-mail address field, and a checkbox to subscribe to future replies on that comment thread. So you can get an instant update whenever I (or anyone else) posts a comment on that page. All the notification e-mails contain links to unsubscribe your e-mail from the mailing list, and if you want to unsubscribe to all comment threads, there's a way to do that too. :)

See the comment privacy policy for details and a global unsubscribe form.

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Firefox Nightly
April 23, 2012 by Noah

If anyone's interested, I wrote a Perl script that downloads and installs Firefox Nightly on a Unix-like operating system.

By default, it installs the application into /opt/firefox-nightly, with a link to run it at /usr/bin/firefox-nightly. This way, it doesn't conflict with your already-installed version of Firefox. Furthermore, it will put a launcher item in your Applications/Internet menu.

You can get it from here: http://sh.kirsle.net/ffnightly

$ mkdir ~/bin
$ wget http://sh.kirsle.net/ffnightly -O bin/ffnightly
$ chmod +x bin/ffnightly
$ ffnightly

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Turn off monitor from Linux CLI
March 21, 2012 by Noah
I keep looking up this information and then losing track of it, so I'm posting it here for my own reference.

This command will turn off the monitor on a Linux box from the command line (sorta like what happens when you have your power saving options configured to do this automatically after a length of time):

xset dpms force off
The monitor turns off until you hit a keyboard button or move the mouse. With this info you could set up a keyboard shortcut to run this command and have something like a "lock screen button" on your netbook, to turn off the display on command and conserve battery life for a little bit longer than usual.

For a "lock screen button" that also locks the screen in addition to turning it off, a pair of commands like this may be handy:

xset dpms force off; xscreensaver-command --lock
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Kirsle CMS Upgrade
March 30, 2011 by Noah
I've upgraded the back-end Perl code that powers Kirsle.net.

It is now running on the same code that Siikir runs on. I did this for a few reasons:

  • URLs look cleaner now. Instead of /blog.html?u=kirsle&id=114 you get nicer looking URLs like /blog/kirsle/kirsle-cms-upgrade.
  • I want to partition off my blogging some more. I've had the "Channels" view where you can narrow posts by topic, but I want further partitioning: I'll have different usernames on kirsle.net, each with their own blogs. So, expect a user to pop up who will write about personal things that most of y'all probably don't care about anyway.
  • The new code is more efficient than the old code.
It only took me a couple days to port the site over. I had to go and program in web blog support, and commenting support (for blog posts, photos and my guestbook page). This means that these features are also going to be coming to Siikir in the near future, once I harden them against dumb users first.

All the old links to old pages on kirsle.net will now automatically redirect to their new locations.

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Where did all my free time go?
March 23, 2011 by Noah
After my recent move back to my hometown, a guy I apparently used to chat with all the time several years ago found me on Grindr. I had no recollection of who this guy is, and the only person I could think of who shared a name with him was a member of one of my super old social networking sites.

Back when I was about 16 or 17 years old, I created a gay social networking site named RainbowBoi. I later rebranded it to XYBois before losing interest in it entirely, and now it's called Siikir. Anyway, I decided to dig up my old backups of this site to dig up the picture of the guy I think I'm talking to. It was him.

But poking around at the user profile data for the old sites, I got the idea to try dusting the code off and get it running again on my local web server... just for nostalgia's sake. Get the site up, dos2unix convert all its data files so that I can log into it, and just click around and see how the site used to be back in its day, back from 2005-06.

Throughout this blog post, all the small screenshot thumbnails can be clicked to view the full size.

Screenshot
(the homepage. click for bigger screenshot)

This version of the site was in the middle of being rebranded. The Perl source code that powers the site is also the same code I had written for my old AiChaos site, which you can see here on my archive subdomain. The code is ugly to look at, because I was relatively new to programming.

But newbie as I was, I was apparently quite ambitious. This site was very featureful: it had social networking features (including photo comments and private messaging and search and friend lists), it had helpful articles to read about coming out of the closet and topics like that, it had some public photo albums which were surely pretty popular, it had a "straight-acting" quiz. It even had a chat room, where I had programmed my own chat protocol, client program and server from scratch.

It even had used Image::Magick to scale the user photos down, and calculated ages based on birthdates, and syndicated RSS feeds for display on the site. I definitely knew my stuff back then, even if I didn't have a good coding style down yet.

I miss the days when I used to have this kind of free time on my hands. Whenever I dust off my old projects and play around with them, I keep seeing really ambitious ideas. The code may not be pretty, but it is featureful. I don't create anything nearly this cool nowadays. I just don't have the free time or the motivation to do it.

Maybe this is the consequence of doing what you love as a job. As a software developer, I spend all day long writing code to get paid and by the time I'm done, I don't feel like writing any more code for the day. And then on the weekends I just wanna relax and try to have a social life, or else just watch TV and play videogames.

/sigh

Here are 6 more screenshots of the old RainbowBoi/XYBois.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

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Android Mini PC
October 12, 2010 by Noah
The device of my dreams: a no strings attached, open Android-powered device, which is like a smartphone (touch screen etc.), but which is not a phone, but can get a data plan from any cell carrier in the same way that laptops can use 3G cards and get internet anywhere from a cell phone carrier.

It would basically be a miniature PC that resembles an Android phone, but which isn't a phone, but which you can just install Skype on if you really need to make a phone call, since it could still get cellular data service.

And, being like a miniature PC, it would be as open to operating systems as a real PC; it would be just as easy to install and reinstall Android firmwares (or any compatible OS) to it as it would reinstalling your operating system on your laptop.

I imagine Dell would be a good manufacturer for such a device; they would market it just like they market netbooks, as being just a mini PC that happens to run Android (preferably the stock vanilla Android as Google intended it, but being open you could flash any version of Android you want).

If such a device existed I would buy it as soon as it came out. I'm quite sick of the way phone carriers abuse the Android OS and wish there could just be a seriously open device.

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RSS Feed
August 21, 2010 by Noah
I've finally put together an RSS feed for this particular incarnation of my web blog.

It's available at http://www.kirsle.net/rss.cgi.

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"By the way: If you like this game, buy it or die."
July 27, 2010 by Noah
I discovered I hold a small chunk of Internet fame even though nobody knows it.

In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, there's an anti-piracy measure that I triggered late one night while using a MysticTicket and AuroraTicket to start my quest of capturing Lugia, Ho-oh and Deoxys. The ticket checker at Vermilion City told me to buy this game or die.

By the way: If you like this game, buy it or die.

I created a You're The Man Now, Dog page using this animated GIF image (because at the time--near the end of high school--YTMND was cool). From there apparently the GIF found a home in the Bulbagarden forums.

Months (years?) after making the GIF I decided to google this and see if anyone else has seen it. Apparently it's been verified by various ROM dumpers to be legitimately in the game's code, so my ROM wasn't just a hacked copy. And that's when I discovered the familiar-looking animated GIF; verifying its MD5 hash proved it was indeed the result of my 5 minutes spent taking screenshots and animating them that these people were all linking to.

Interestingly, it seems that the GIF is the only screenshot (animated or otherwise) that exists on the topic. IIRC all I did was enter some cheats to get me a MysticTicket and AuroraTicket (either by cheating and making my monsters carry them when captured and subsequently take them away, or else by buying them at a Pokemart) and then attempting to catch a boat with them in hand.

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noah.is
July 22, 2010 by Noah
Yay, I've finally gotten a domain name of just my first name! noah.is. There's nothing there just yet, though.

I've been wanting a domain like this for a while (especially after I saw my former boss, Samy's (my hero) domain name, samy.pl), and then I found a domain checking service online that would look up a domain under every possible TLD and I found a few that were still available, .is being the most attractive of them all (come on, http://noah.is/awesome?).

It took a good number of hours wrestling with ISNIC about the DNS settings, though. They have retardedly strict requirements for DNS servers; the servers themselves have to be configured in the most strict way possible (matching forward and reverse DNS records for each of the name server hostnames for example), and furthermore they want all their DNS servers to be "registered" with ISNIC, and they want the person who manages the name servers to be the one who registers them.

Thus, using the ol' ns1.kirsle.net, ns2.kirsle.net was out of the picture, as my server has only one IP and I don't control the reverse DNS on that IP regardless. Luckily my web hosting company provides DNS forwarding services, and their servers are configured in the strict way ISNIC requires. I just had to register them with ISNIC ($karma--, I registered them with my own ISNIC name instead of bothering my web hosting company to do it; should be fine though, if they have any issues I'll forward the e-mails they send to the web host to deal with then).

ISNIC charges me 39 euros a year for the domain and they are the sole dictators of .is so I can't transfer to another registrar... but, again, http://noah.is/wicked.cool? Seriously.

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New Favicon
March 14, 2010 by Noah
After moving this website from cuvou.com to kirsle.net, I never got around to making a new favicon.ico for it (the icon for cuvou.com can be seen as the emblem on my tutorials page).

The new icon in 962, 482, 322, and 162 sizes:

96x96 48x48 32x32 16x16
(These are PNG images with alpha channels, if you're using a lame browser like IE 6 that can't show them correctly, then... I pity you. Catch up with the rest of us in 2010 and use a real browser.)

It's an emblem I made up at least 7 years ago, it's a composite of the letters "CjK", as in my Internet alias, "Casey James Kirsle."

Speaking of favicons, I created the icon using a command-line tool in Linux called icotool. In Fedora it was provided by the icoutils package from the fedora yum repository.

# create (-c) favicon.ico (-o) from source PNGs cjk-16.png and cjk-32.png
$ icotool -c -o favicon.ico cjk-16.png cjk-32.png
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