Radio Adam foobared

09/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Macintosh

Yesterday I updated Radio Adam to use the newest iTunes since it had been working appropriately on my other systems. Part of the install requires a reboot of the system which I didn't think much of at the time.

When everything came back up, I restarted iTunes, let it do its validation process and ran the usual playlist. What I had forgotten was that it reads in the music from a remote SMB file system. OSX does not automount network drives by default when a device is requested (see MacOSHints for some suggestions on how to do this at boot time) so when iTunes went to read the first file, it didn't find it and therefore marked it unavailable with that lovely little exclamation mark in a circle. It then went to the second, had the same problem, and proceeded onto the third. Within moments it had invalidated about 13,000 tracks.

It's here that I found a major problem with iTunes. If you double click or bring up information on an invalid file which is actually there, iTunes will mark it valid again. Unfortunately it will only do this for the initial file so if you use the "next" or "previous" buttons from the information browser, it'll leave any other viewed items as unavailable. If you're playing to revalidate, once the first track finishes, iTunes won't try any others as they're all flagged unavailable. As far as I can therefore see, there is no way to force a bulk revalidation of music once its marked as being dead.

I then took the other brute force route and dropped the entire file system for the music back on iTunes and went to bed. When I checked in later, it had duplicated all the unavailable files rather than merging back the links back in. I now have a vast collection of duplicate entries that need to be cleared out plus I've lost all of the iTunes library-specific data as that's indexed to the "unavailable" version of the files.

I'm not best pleased.

 

Time Magazine's Worst Cars List

09/07/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, Potpourri

Link: http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/0,28757,1658545,00.html

Time's list of lousy cars is remarkably even-handed: it doesn't go just for the most ugly or unreliable but also for those which started unfortunate trends.

(Via Wired)

 

Geekcercise

09/06/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly
 

The Register reviews Nokia's best business phone to date

09/02/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

Link: http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/12/20/nokia_breakthrough_phone/

Fun little article from the UK's Register which reviews the best of the Nokia phones currently on the market.

I have one of them!

 

Rules for going to the cinema

09/01/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly
 

Worth its weight in gold

08/31/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/density

But is it? Density and market prices determine the answer!

(Via Boing Boing)

 

Profitability in the wireless telco world (Rogers Edition)

08/30/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://wirelessnorth.ca/2008/08/26/where-oh-where-your-wireless-bill-goes/

37% net profit. Not bad at all.

(Via Michael Geist)

(And look at the comments on Geist's site; there's one that can be summed up as "don't blame corporations for being greedy; it's their nature." Problem is that it's meant as exculpation, not castigation...)

 

Evolution, Alberta and Headdesk Denyse - Part II

08/30/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

The Calgary Herald gave Denyse O'Leary an "in rebuttal" column (entitled "Theory needs a paramedic, not more cheerleaders") to rebut Breakenridge's article.

From what I can gather, Denyse is ostensibly a journalistic defender of Intelligent Design.

Now, you could get the print copy from the Herald, but Denyse has also posted the article on her own blog and it includes the sources she used, which are revealing.

Full story »

 

The law of unintended consequences strikes again

08/29/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/26/ids_warns_it_skills_shortage/

The Register comments on the IT field in the UK suffering from a lack of people with appropriate skills. It lays the blame at the foot of offshoring all the entry level jobs. After all, if you don't train people, they'll never be in a position to take over the more senior jobs when inevitably those currently in them move on up or out of the workforce.

Yup. I can agree; I watched this happen on a more local level here in Calgary a few years ago and have little doubt the same has happened before. As usual, it's short-term gain pushing out longer-term survival.

 

Wired on urban gardening

08/28/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-09/st_thompson

Directly referencing the victory gardens of World War 2, Wired's Clive Thompson has an interesting article on the reviving popularity of growing food in an urban environment. Having come originally from the UK where this is not a terribly unusual thing to do -- and unless you're in an apartment it still isn't -- it makes for an interesting read. It's a nice follow up from yesterday's roof gardens post.

As a side note, none of my carrots or lettuce came up this year for which I blame the local populations of hares. The spinach is great, the potatoes rather bushy (but still underground) and the tomatoes are delicious, or I'm sure will be once they finally ripen. Next year the raspberries should start bearing fruit. Yum! I wouldn't want try to live off what I grow though; this is strictly supplemental to the weekly grocery run...

 

Roof lawns

08/27/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Build_a_Green_Roof

I've always liked the idea of a lawn or garden on top of a house, partially as insulator, but also as an interesting visual. I'd hate to try to maintain it and it wouldn't be much fun to try to maintain the structure under it either.

That said, Wired has put together one of their How-To wikis on this.

 

In space, no one wants to hear you burp

08/26/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/people/journals/space/kloeris/05-01-01.html

Carbonated drinks in space are a no-no:

One of the items the astronauts might like to have when they are on orbit is soda, or carbonated beverages. Many years back, they decided to fly the soft drink Coca Cola® on the shuttle. First, it had to be packaged in a special can to keep it under pressure so it wouldn't lose its carbonation, and to keep it under pressure so the soda and the carbonation would not separate in microgravity. Not only is carbonation difficult in microgravity, it causes you to burp. On earth, that's not such a big deal, but in microgravity it's just gross! Because there is no gravity, the contents of your stomach float and tend to stay at the top of your stomach, under the rib cage and close to the valve at the top of your stomach. Because this valve isn't a complete closure (just a muscle that works with gravity), if you burp, it becomes a wet burp from the contents in your stomach. I've been told this is NOT pleasant!

Who knew?

(Via Irregular Webcomic)

 

IIS6 to IIS7 Handler Migration

08/20/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Programming

We had one big hiccup moving from IIS 6.0 to the 7.0 version.

In the Web.Config, IIS 7.0 no longer likes to have an httpHandlers section. We had:


<system.web>
  <httpHandlers>
   <remove verb="*" path="*.asmx"/>
   <add verb="*" path="*.asmx" validate="false"
   type="System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory,
   System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0,
   Culture=neutral,
   PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35"/>
   <add verb="GET,HEAD" path="ScriptResource.axd"
   type="System.Web.Handlers.ScriptResourceHandler,
   System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0,
   Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35"
   validate="false"/>
  </httpHandlers>
</system.web>

A very good guide to IIS 7.0 migration issues is located here, and we used that to help guide our transition, though it missed a couple of issues.

We had to put in a <system.webServer> section. We moved the <httpHandlers> code into there, but instead of <httpHandlers>, the section should now be called <handlers>.

One thing that is not mentioned is that your handlers should have names now, so we tried changing things like this:


<system.webServer>
  <handlers>
   <remove name="asmx" verb="*" path="*.asmx" />
   <add name="asmx" verb="*" path="*.asmx" ... />
   <add name="scriptResource" verb="GET,HEAD" ... />
  </handlers>
</system.webServer>

Trying the web server yet again, we ran into another error, "unrecognized attribute 'verb'" on the "remove" line.

Well, it turns out that the remove syntax has changed, such that you only need the name. We had been fooled by the IIS 6.0 similarity between the add and remove syntax and thinking it still applied.

Changing the remove line to just:


   <remove name="asmx" />

...worked just fine.

This did not come up in our searches for "unrecognized attribute "verb", so hopefully, this saves someone else a bit of time.

 

Evolution, Alberta and Headdesk Denyse - Part I

08/20/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

Rob Breakenridge wrote this article for the Calgary Herald, entitled "What is it about evolution theory that Albertans don't get?" in response to this Angus Reid poll. On the third page of the poll results, there is a percentage, by region, of the percentage of people surveyed whose views came closest to one of the following statements:

  • Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years
  • God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years
  • Not sure

Alberta was the embarrassing outlier in this poll, with only 37% of respondents going with the first option (the next lowest was Atlantic Canada with 56%) and 40% going with the second (almost double the 22% of the next highest three regions).

Breakenridge mulls over the problem and, apart from the general pro-evolution point of view, says something that is sure to bring a certain type of folk out of the woodwork:

Furthermore, although Alberta's model of school choice is commendable, is may also be a source of the problem.

Alberta taxpayers should not be subsidizing pseudoscience and religious dogma masquerading as legitimate curriculum.

The government recently announced an increase in per-capita funding to private schools, providing those schools meet a specific set of criteria. That criteria should include a ban on the teaching of creationism and its gussied up offspring, Intelligent Design.

Full story »

 

Greatest video evar!

08/14/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpcUxwpOQ_A

Beaker from the Muppets does all of the parts of Ode to Joy solo. I can't find words to emphasize how good this is.

 

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