Satya's blog - 2005/12/
Yetsrday I was wandering around Target looking for a LEGO Star Destroyer (no one in this state has it, no Target in the US has it, Amazon does not have it, it's even backordered on lego.com) when I found 3 B-Wing sets. The label under them said about $15, but I decided to wait and get home and see if there was a resale value for them on eBay or wherever. They're sweet, and I've always wanted a B-Wing, but it's not a big set and I don't want it that much. Build once, take pictures, re-sell.
I found it goes for anything from $20 to $50 on the auction site. I went back to Target today... looked closely at the price tag, which was for something else. Scanned the barcode, it turned out to be $35. I don't want it *that* much.
There are 3 LEGO B-Wings and an A-wing or two sitting in the West Ashley Target. And loads of Bionicles; apparently no one wants those.
(This article is ROT-13-encrypted due to potentially offensive content.)
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Last updated: Dec 28 2005 18:31
I wish I had a LEGO Star Destroyer model 10030, that thing is awesome! Anyone have one for sale? (Not the Mini!! Do NOT send me messages about the Mini, I already have it!)
The blog software I use has been taking too long to generate my blog. So I optimised it a little.
Background: Each entry is kept as a text file. The files are kept in directories. The software runs through each directory and processes each file and produces HTML pages. At the end it also produces a database from which the tag directory works and the dynamic tag-based RSS feeds can be generated on demand.
Each file processed opens an HTML::Template instance which opens and processes a template from disk. This is resource-intensive. Reading the docs, I found several cache options one of which is blind_cache. Setting this option caches the parsed template in memory, so the template module doesn't re-open and re-parse the file for each blog entry.
At the end, the program creates a new SQLite database file and runs SQL INSERT statements -- a new query for each blog entry. Of course the statement handle is re-used but it still takes time. Googling (well, I used Amazon's A9 this time) for sqlite optimizations got me a recommendation to use BEGIN TRANSACTION and END TRANSACTION before and after my flurry of SQL.
Without transactions and blind_cache:
15 wallclock secs ( 6.25 usr + 0.21 sys = 6.46 CPU)
With transactions and HTML::Template's blind_cache:
3 wallclock secs ( 2.03 usr + 0.16 sys = 2.19 CPU)
Snail mail spam = Snam
Or snamam? Snamalam? Snama lama ding dong? Or how about "cram"? Credit card spam.
I have a wattmeter. Fear.
So here's some data:
(Determined by turning stuff on and off and subtracting in my head.)
Maximum current draw: under 4 amps. Usually less than 3, 2 if quiescent. That is good.
Last updated: Dec 14 2005 12:44
I've had a Capital One Visa credit card account for a while now, and I hardly ever use it. They keep sending me sleazy stuff like cash advance checks, but that's not why I closed the account -- I closed it because I don't use it.
Unexpectedly, it was relatively easy to close -- called the number, got through a couple of straightforward phone menus, talked to customer service who only bugged me a little bit about why I want to close it, which is reasonable. Then they read me my rights (too fast and mumbled) and said the account would be closed in two billing cycles. Cool.
A few months ago I had ranted about how XP sits there waiting for a keypress to *cancel* the automatic disk check on a bad boot. There's not keypress to skip the timeout and just run the check already. Well, according to http://www.tweakxp.com/article36972.aspx there's a workaround:
(I won't tell you how to do that; if you don't know you shouldn't be doing it.)
More pictures, these are from Mount Pleasant. The pictures link to my on-line albums which have such details as date, etc. and of course more pictures:
They're both on the same lake next to my front door. The first is a reflection on a still night. The second is the fog on a cold morning.
After I did the USS Enterprise model pictures, and these two, I realised the Imagemagick options have changed, so these pictures have no captions as part of the image. The command was:
convert -density 100 -pointsize 12 -background '#00000066' -fill white \ label:"$1" \ miff:-|\ composite -gravity northwest -quality $qual - $2 $3but now I use:
convert -density 100 -pointsize 12 -background '#00000066' -fill white \ label:"$1" \ miff:-|\ composite -compose atop -quality $qual - $2 $3
Update (2010-04-10): I use this now:
convert -density 100 -pointsize 12 -background '#00000066' -fill white \ label:" $1 " \ -strokewidth 8 \ -geometry "+10""+10" \ miff:-|\ composite -compose atop -geometry "+10""+10" - "$2" $3
Last updated: Apr 20 2010 16:25