Saturday, October 27, 2007

Web Application Hosters Beware

My daughter, while unfortunately not far along in the development of her psychic abilities, is well on her way to developing a new super power.
My little Justice League member in training has always had the ability to mangle the minds of computers with a simple touch. If I even glance over at a laptop I am quickly set upon by a swirling tornado of key poking fingers that somehow always manage to close, destroy or crash, not necessarily the application that has focus, like the blank text editor I left open on purpose, but the application that contains the most important information at the time, such as the email I was writing, or the code I was editing.
This is not really amazing or strange as most children I've seen can perform this sort of trick, although this morning she went above and beyond. She managed to, with the simple graze of her finger on my keyboard, to break, not something on my computer, but a computer potentially HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY!!

I can do little more than profusely apologize to the nice people over at iFixit who I'm sure are very smart people but who were simply completely unprepared for the formidable and still developing powers of my offspring.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mankind will never discover telekinesis

We've all read that humans only use 6 of the 8 zillion neurons in our brains and that locked up in all of that extra gray matter are some pretty cool sci-fi tricks like reading minds and, my personal favorite, telekinesis. How cool would that be to be able to move objects with your mind? I don't need to get off my lazy butt to get that book, I can just have it float to me.
The discovery of the inner expanses of human brain superpowers usually falls into two categories. They are either discovered through tireless research and training, honing the mind and or body to a razor sharp edge. This is the right method for many pursuits, such as calculus, or all of Batman's cool tricks. However, I don't think this would ever be the way that humans figure out telekinesis. By the time we grow up our minds have learned so much about the world that all of that extra space is locked away behind Sesame Street, Rocky 16, playing football, how to make cookies and how to undo a bra with one hand.
By the way, don't say it. George Lucas lost all all say over when we learn telekinesis when he borked those last three movies, so don't even say it. Midiclorians ?! Oh for the love of Bob. Just don't even say it.
The other way to go is to get to the mind before it has been pent up. This method is the one I've been thinking about recently since my one year old daughter is really starting to interact with her environment I can see her thinking about stuff. Unfortunately, its watching her do this that led to the title of the post. Right now, she her mind is pretty much as open as its going to get. She can move around by herself and see what's around her, but she has never even heard of Rocky and she doesn't even like watching the Giants kick the smack out of the 49ers... yet. However, what she does do, is want. She wants for example, her mother's sandwich. And I don't mean "want" like, "Oh gee it would be nice if I had a sandwich right now" but she "wants" in an indescribably excruciatingly agonizingly spine-tinglingly complete way of hand reaching crawling over her chair clawing at the table OH MY BOB I JUST GOTTA HAVE THAT FREAKIN SANDWICH OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE that you just don't see in adults.
So here is where it all falls apart. If there was any hidden telekinesis floating around up there, with the mix of her pliable and completely free mind and that kind of desire that sandwich would have smacked her right in the face as it flew towards her cute little forehead.

Ah well. She's still really cute.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ubuntu Gutsy + ATI + Suspend workaround

The latest release of Ubuntu (Gutsy) which is in beta testing right now has a problem where laptops with ATI graphics cards will hard hang when you attempt to suspend.  The screen goes blank but the suspend light (usually a moon or something) just flashes forever.

Here is bug with the insanely long bug comment thread:

Here is the workaround:

Create this file:

Put this in it:
   blacklist fglrx


This will allow you to continue to use the fglrx driver but without the kernel module which causes the problem with suspend. .  This means you get 2D acceleration but not 3D.  So no cool Compiz eye candy.  But at least you can put your laptop to sleep.