Friday, December 7, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007


As Drew suggested (after writing about "Crooked Little Vein") I started reading Transmetropolitan, a Vertigo comic by Warren Ellis. Its a fantastic series and would suggest it to anyone who likes cyberpunk, bastards or abusive journalists.

Funny thing about the series. Last Saturday I got kicked out of a bar for berating people. I think it was because I had read two Transmet tradebacks before heading out and getting smashed. I felt it was my duty to inform people that they were assholes. DJs at bars don't like that, patrons don't like that and security guards don't like that. I left peacefully though so no broken nose.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Lawrence Arms

I saw The Lawrence Arms on the 11th with Kevin and Sean. Quite an amazing show -- All members of The Lawrence Arms played two sets, each is a member of one of the opening bands: The Falcon and Sundowner. The third act was a local SF band, American Steel. The sole disappointment was that "In Transit" wasn't performed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

OpenSocial - Google Code

OpenSocial - Google Code

Google's "Maka Maka" project looks like it finally launched. I'm quite excited by this change. Its funny that just a year ago I was talking with friends about how I wished someone would unify the social networking space and I think we're about to see that happen. I guess we'll have to see if we can really make this happen. I love Facebook and I always thought that they would be the ones to open up this space. They're a smart, innovative and daring company with a product I've proudly used for years. I wonder what their plans were before this news.

Though, to be honest, if you asked me what sort of app I would like to see on a social network I wouldn't have an answer for you. What about widgets on web pages? No ideas there either. I'm not really interested in looking at little doohickeys or playing scrabble or throwing sheep at people so why then am I excited? I'm looking forward to the day when I have *one* address book. Thats really it. I want to sort and tag and organize my contacts and I don't want to have to enter the majority of the contact information. With a little tweaking and some interopability I might someday be able to make sure that the contact in my email app has the most up to date email address for my friends. How will that make it up to date? Because their profile is controlled by them and when they change their email address they can update the profile and nobody will have to send a "changed my email" message, similiarly for phone, address, IM, etc. I think this is made more possible by Google's next move into this field, an open social graph but enabling people to get data is the first step in letting them control where it goes.

This makes you wonder. Why didn't XMPP take off? I'm still sour about the state of instant communications. Microsoft and Yahoo, Google and Jabber, IRC. Why are these things so hard to traverse. There isn't even a market in making money here - It not any different than email but with email I can talk to anyone no matter what domain they're on.

There are rumors that Facebook was ignored in the creation of the open social alliance. I don't think that was the case but if it was I'd be deeply disappointed in my company. I think its possible that this could have happened but I find it unlikely. More likely was that so and so talked to so and so but that never go to whos-its-face and thus the proclaimation. It seems people look at this as if it were only a strategy move, something to move into an upcoming industry but Google is an Engineer driven company. My bet is that someone here got fed up with the state of the social networking world, talked to enough people and then had a project to work on.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Shamu Day 2007

Happy Shamu Day, 2007. Here are a few pictures from the festivities this year. More are sure to come.

Shamu Day 2006

Happy Shamu Day!

Happy Shamu Day! The best Shamu Day ever!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Crooked Little Vein

Just finished reading Crooked Little Vein, by Warren Ellis -- Author of Transmetropolitian among other comic books. I'll have to admit, its a pretty fine book. A bit short, with a slightly disappointing ending. But damn, its probably the best fiction book I've read in a while, not that I know how to read or anything.

Quick summary: Dude is a down and out PI (why does this *never* get boring?) who encounters a heroin addicted state official and is charged with retrieving a lost copy of the real constitution, built in part from a pillaging alien's hide laid down by no-one other than Benjamin Franklin.

There are numerous laugh out loud moments which really cuts the book enough to balance the outright outlandish predicaments the main characters get themselves into.

As I said, the ending is a bit disappointing with a preachy Internet will save us interlude that left me angry but I unlike most has probably heard that enough that there are few others who would get frustrated with that sentiment.

All in all I do plan on picking up some other works by Warren Ellis in the future. Good thing I live a couple blocks away from a comics store.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just browsing around...

Taiwan photos from a coworker

These were taken with Ben and I when we were in Taiwan. Nostalga.

Google Reader for the Wii

For as long as I've had my Nintendo Wii, I've said the best part of the system is being able to log onto Google Video and watch Tech Talks. The user experience has always left a lot to be desired. Quite frankly, browsing the interwebs on a TV is not a great experience but I put up with it because I was able to watch TV on . . . my TV. Today, I decided I was going to see if there was a way to read RSS feeds on the Wii and I did a search. Low and behold it turns out there is a special Google Reader interface for the Wii. This was an amazing realization and now I seriously recommend that everyone who wants to watch video online should have a Wii. I love my company.

Facebook HQ

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sean's Room -- Owned!

We had boxes. He needed a fort.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Zombie Watch

My friends and I have started preparing for the ever looming zombie apocolypse. Its coming and you should be prepared. We're going to be. Zombie Watch: We're ready so we don't die.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My Science Foo Camp Profile

Find the joe.
IMGP5740.JPG Originally uploaded by dullhunk
Find the joe!

Monday, June 11, 2007


I went sailing!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dublin Travel

I've started mapping out where I've been in Ireland at my Dublin Tourism Google Map.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I'm an idiot

Who goes to the wrong airport? Seriously. Who?


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bye bye photos

There was a serious disk failure on my web server and my website disapeared for a few days, you may have noticed. Its back now, sans photos. I have them all backed up on my laptop so I'll get them back up sometime this week.

Have you seen Grindhouse? You should!

Who's going to meet me in some state other than California or Illinois in the next month for a weekend? Now accepting applications.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Whew . . .

I struggled through it but for the first time in three years I wrote Java. It was simple . . . Tic Tac Toe, but I feel so satisfied. I've been struggling unsuccessfully for the past few months on dead-from-the-start personal projects. Some were python, heck one was C# but I never got anywhere more than a random hundred lines of programming-equivalent chicken scratch.

Now I can write very, very verbose chicken scratch.

The most interesting thing in this adventure to relearn Java was the realization I had about my own skills as a programmer. Four and a half years ago I took two semesters worth of Java classes and learned a small subset of the language. At the time I was a bit cocky but more so I was nave. I thought that those classes had taught me programming and that damn it, I knew what I was doing. Three years of a break from Java and two years of immersion into programming . . . in a different language . . . for Google has made me realize how uninformed and unskilled I was.

I had learned Visual Basic and dabbled in php when I was in High School then c and c++ during my year at Purdue but never at any point do I feel (looking back) that I got anywhere past the point of simply learning the language. I never pushed myself to the point wher I was actually learning to program. I've been fortunate enough to have that experience working at Google and now am taking advantage of it daily as I spend my work day at the job I dreamed about in High School.

I thought it would be fun at this point to excerpt some of my old code and comment on it here, but it seems my terrible internet connection is refusing to allow me the pleasure.

[jlapenna@zane 130] traceroute
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1 (  2.810 ms  3.187 ms  2.993 ms
 2  * * *
 3 (  15.014 ms  22.287 ms  13.962 ms
 4 (  14.332 ms  16.152 ms  16.999 ms
 5 (  38.520 ms  16.269 ms  16.496 ms
 6  * (  11.335 ms *
 7 (  19.770 ms  16.349 ms  17.258 ms
 8 (  18.287 ms  19.217 ms *
 9 (  22.241 ms  17.933 ms  14.214 ms
10  * * (  15.430 ms
11 (  17.122 ms  11.585 ms  11.790 ms

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Started poking around with Java again. Geeze, after working so much with python, this is a pain to deal with.

I've also been sick the past two days. In between sleeping I haven't done much besides work. How is that any different than the rest of my life?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What's new?

Its been four months since I last updated this blog and surprising little has happened in that time. When I last left off I had just moved to San Francisco for work. I had a job, a place to live and even some friends already who had either lived in SF for a long time or had just moved to the state as well.

I spent November getting used to living in San Francisco. I had to learn the transit system, purchase things by which to live . . . soap, curtains, desk etc. I also had to learn to not use my car which compared to the other choices -- which soap to buy? Which place to get my hair cut? -- was the easier decision. I was able to find a parking garage that leaves its gates open on the weekends and doesn't check for illegal cars on the week days. Parking would be cheap as long as I could do without taking my car out during the week. Luckily Google provides a shuttle from various points of the city into work at may times of the day and night. The down side is that I have to take a bus to the shuttle stop which adds another 20-30 minutes to an already hour long commute.

I spent almost one third of December out of state. First I went to the LISA (Large Installation System Administration) conference. I had quite a blast in Washington, DC with some of my co-workers from SF and Oregon. I was decimated in a car bomb contest when the bartender we did one with slammed empty glass to the table while I still had half my glass left. I came in 3rd out of 16 people in that race. Second would have been mine had I not been stunned by the 'tender's surprise performance. The following weekend my brother came into town and I enjoyed showing him what I knew of the city. The cap of the weekend was when we went to see Rx Bandits at Bottom of the Hill. I spent the last week of December back in Carol Stream visiting friends and family. While it was quite fun and I enjoyed seeing them I was anxious to get back to my new city and life.

I returned to San Francisco on a terribly early flight on New Years Day courtesy of Josh and for the next few weeks hammered on my project at work anxiously awaiting news of a promotion.

In Februray Diana came into town to visit for a couple weeks and there were good times abounds. I visited Napa Valley for the first time saw some movies and generally had a relaxing time all the while being quite stressed at work. It was late February when I heard about my promotion. I nearly passed out when I heard the good news I was so excited and relieved.

Its the first week of March now and this month has nothing special to report. Chris is visiting for GDC this week and I imagine I'll be hanging out with some folks from Chicago tonight and for the rest of the week.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sunday, February 4, 2007


k700i gnokiirc

port = /dev/rfcomm0
model = AT
initlength = default
connection = serial
use_locking = yes
serial_baudrate = 19200
smsc_timeout = 10

bindir = /usr/sbin/

TELEPHONE = 13129252805

debug = on
rlpdebug = off
xdebug = off

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007

n800 arrived

So I got my n800 last night. A 2GB SD car showed up at the same time which was quite the coincidence. First off, I'm very pleased with the device. It feels a lot more polished: from the hardware design to the niceties of the new OS version, IT2007. Nokia took a device that felt like developer's beta (n770) and turned it into a real product. The faster processor is defiantly more noticeable as well as the increased RAM.


  1. Faster hardware: When using the tablet, I no longer feel like I can only run one application at a time. Now I feel comfortable having a browser window and Google Talk running at once.
  2. Better bluetooth support: Im´typing this entry with a bluetooth keyboard at took barely any effort. Im´quite excited about this. Now I have to go and buy another bluetooth GPS module since I lost my other one. Another cool thing is when you enable a keyboard, the on screen one does not pop up when you have to do input. It is smart enough to realize you have an alternate input method.
  3. Improved Opera: Gmail actually works consistently now. Yay! As everyone has already said, YouTube is unusable. To me that is okay. I don't´use it much at all.


  1. My camera arrived broken. It shows an image but doesn't flip when you rotate it away from you. I contacted Nokia already and much to my dismay, I have to send it in for service. In the interim I'll be without the device I just shelled out 400 dollars for. Lame.
  2. Non-attached case: I like the cloth case or the device, but it makes holding the device and the stylus and the case quite annoying. I'l have to find some other option for this. Its unacceptable.
  3. Opera: I wonder how much they thought about using a different browser for this iteration. I don't like opera very much. I still cant´get Google Reader or Google Calendar to work properly on the device but I was able to use it minimo with the 770.

All in all a very solid device -- I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a pda-like device. The device also seems a lot more stable too. I only had one reboot and that was when I first turned on the device. More information:

  1. Ari Jaaksi's Blog: The Nokia N800
  2. ThoughtFix on Nokia Internet Tablets: My First N800 Video
  3. ThoughtFix on Nokia Internet Tablets: N800 - First Look
  4. ThoughtFix on Nokia Internet Tablets: Interview with Dr. Ari Jaaki: The Podcast and Notes
  5. John Tokash’s Blog » Nokia is Listening to its Customers
  6. John Tokash’s Blog » An Internet Tablet OS 2007 Update is available for the Nokia N800
  7. John Tokash’s Blog » Updates on the Nokia N800

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Minimum wage in sf

Second Life Open Sourced!

Second Life has open sourced their client software -- Super cool!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Thursday, January 4, 2007