Taking back 'Chaos' | Monday, May 28th, 2007

Civilization is tidy. We like to keep things clean, organized, secure, predictable. We're taught to seek comfort for ourselves and our loved ones, whether it's on the couch watching '24' or in our SUV on the way to the supermarket. Law and Order, though often villified by the same society they protect, are credited with helping maintain this false appearance of normality.

Stuff for sale! | Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Well, spring cleaning / renovations paid off. I sold off lots of cool stuff, but still have a couple things left looking for a happy new home! I always try to sell my stuff in this order: Friends -> Blog -> Craigslist -> eBay.

12" Apple Powerbook: SOLD! 

AMD 2600+ Desktop:

+ Antec Power Supply + Piano Black Tower. (Some scratches on the tower, and rubber feet missing) AMD Athlon XP 2600+ 2.00 Ghz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 2 Western Digital Hard Drives: 1 80gb and 1 40 Gb = 120Gb total, Nvidia Geforce 6600 video card with TV / DVI / VGA out, DVD-ROM/CD-RW, Front USB ports, rear USB, PS2, firewire, SPDIF, 5.1 speaker, headphone, microphone out ports. Gigabit ethernet.

Messing with Enlightenment | Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Enlightenment is an X window manager for *nix-like systems. I've never really been a party to all the Gnome vs. KDE vs. XFCE vs. XYZ battles, so I usually just use whatever window manager ships by default with the distro I happen to be using. I usually have the libs installed for Gnome and KDE either way, though, since I favor some apps that are KDE projects and others that are Gnome projects.


I'm totally window-manager-agnostic, since they are all very customizable - the most important aspect for me, since my various workflows are so peculiar / specific. In this respect, Windows Vista and Mac aren't quite prime-time enough for me.

Enlightenment E17 looks very nice, though. It embraces some design standards and philosophies which diverge a little from what I'm used to (though as mentioned, everything can be customized), and is still in heavy development, but I can see myself getting used to it.

Oh, and it's the default Linux distro for the PlayStation 3. AND and and... Grid Wars runs fine on it. ;)

Mini-Howto: Build a web browser testing station | Friday, April 13th, 2007

Web designers, or even people who just dabble in web design, are well aware that it isn't always easy to get your site looking consistent across all the different web browsers that are out there. Internet Explorer, in particular has been a thorn in the side of anyone who's used to a standards-compliant browsers such as Mozilla FIrefox and takes for granted that everything "just works". The matter is made worse by the fact that you can't run Internet Explorer - the most common web browser out there - on anything but Microsoft Windows, while most designers are on Apple or Linux Linux or Apple systems ;). Designers don't want to resort to emulation or virtual machines.

Here's a very quick and easy way to configure a workstation with versions of all the major browsers to test with.

Pearls of Wisdom... | Monday, April 9th, 2007

Them: "What's the main ingredient in icing sugar?"

Me: "Sugar."

IM chat after an "unconference" session:

Me: "I swear, listening to someone pontificate about open source software from behind a Macbook Pro is like watching them sermonize about global warming while they're driving a Hummer."

Them: "A Hummer with a coal-powered air-conditioner and Amazonian Redwood body panels. And seat coverings made from real puppies."

Me: "And baby seal eyes for headlights."

Buying some toys for my nephews, waiting in line at the cash register:

Cashier: "Would you like to contribute a dollar from your purchase to the Sick Children's Network"?
Customer: "How much does it cost?"

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Fasting: Carbs are the frenemy. | Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Though I've left behind many of the traditions and customs that come with growing up in a church-going family, one that has always stuck with me is the idea of fasting for lent. Across different religions, the act of giving something up (usually food) for a pretermined amount of time is quite hip.

My Dad (Roman Catholic) and Mom (Orthodox) both grew up in Iraq with a strong understanding of the spiritual importance of fasting, which stuck on me too.