Archives for February 2005

Back to Archives

"Podcasting" Comes to KCRW

KCRW has finally put online their podcasting feeds, first announced sometime during this past pledge drive. I haven't looked into podcasting software yet, but I did download the Which Way LA feed and one day's show. They're doing 48kbps MP3, which is a good size for voice. The 128MB memory stick duo I ordered for my phone just came in today, so that means I can easily fit four hours or so of audio while still keeping a good chunk of room for photos.

Now I just need to write a little script to manage sync'ing recent shows over to the phone via bluetooth each night.

Sitting and Waiting and Sitting and Waiting...

It took me a little over two hours to get to work today. The Gold Line is still feeling the effects of the weather and running a questionable temporary schedule which threw me off for my connection to the 50-minute headways on the 177. This is more proof that my route is far too fragile. You may or may not remember that largely the same thing happened to me back in January. I've got a lot to rant about, but I'll throw that in the body so that you can skip it if you're not that interested in transit. — Continue Reading...

Trains in the News

Transit's all over the news today. The LA Times has coverage of yesterday's MTA subway vote with a variety of good quotes from people saying nice things about the subway system. Nice to see that a West Hollywood Councilmember was there to support the motion as well. Of course the Bus Riders Union showed up to protest spending money on anything that's not a bus:

"We think this is a backward, outdated and financially irresponsible approach," Manuel Criollo of the Bus Riders Union said of the subway plan. "The subway has been a complete and utter failure," he said, citing what he described as lower than expected ridership and the Red Line's $4.5-billion price tag so far.

Once again I point to the numbers I posted yesterday. I think it's ridiculous to try to label the subway a failure.

In other news the California PUC ruled on Gold Line noise relief measures, so the MTA has 60 days to install new bells and noise shrouds. Also from the meeting yesterday comes the Pasadena Star News' proclamation that the "Gold Line extension stays on back burner. Local blog the skunks of los felix asks what Antonovich was trying to accomplish with his "ultimatum" on Gold Line extension. I think it's a valid question.

My Limited Spectrum

I got in to work this morning to find that my monitor no longer supported the color red. Oddly I had something very similar happen with the color green back in 1999. I'm now back to the full spectrum using a different monitor, though I lost a bit of resolution in the change (1280x960 to 1024x768).

GeoURL: Almost Back

Wandering through links I happened just now to click on to the GeoURL site, which has been dead for quite a while now. I first heard of GeoURL quite a while ago (June '03) and really liked the idea. In fact I wrote this about why I thought it was important (actually I im'ed this to Alan and he posted it on his blog:

a blog, when it includes real world elements, helps construct the tapestry of life in an environment. to me it's fascinating to see the views of others in my area to understand how they experience some of the same things i experience. geourl helps connect the real world and blogs. (not just blogs, but i think those are the interesting part)

It's odd to see that this has really been an area of interest every since. That concept is why I've been so excited about sites like LA Blogs and

The contact on the temporary GeoURL page is local blogger Ask Bjørn Hansen. Suddenly his recent post about breaking up huge tiff files seems to gain a bit of context.

Mmmm... Java Calculator

I bought new batteries for my graphing calculator yesterday, only to find that it doesn't work anymore (it's possible the backup battery is just out and needs replacing). That got me thinking, though, that with a phone that runs java I shouldn't need to carry a separate calculator. Tonight I took a few minutes to search for a java calculator made for cell phones and I found exactly what I was looking for. Calc is a scientific calculator that supports pretty much any function you have use for. The menu system is really easy once you get a feel for where the functions are. It's pretty much a radial menu, except with just five directions.

The one thing that I'm going to have to get to is RPN. I sort of understand it, but I've never had a calculator cool enough to use it.

LAist on MTA vote; Me on LAist

I missed this yesterday, but LAist ran a piece on the MTA subway vote yesterday. The piece is half on the failed motion from last wednesday that attempted to get subway expansion wheels moving again, and half on the motion that went before the full board this morning. I've expressed my non-excitement about LAist various places before, but this piece sort of brings out some of my bigger complaints.

Update (5pm): It looks like the MTA Board vote passed 11-2. — Continue Reading...

Almost Like Another Upgrade

In the course of upgrading the kernel on my desktop (which is also the server for the blog at the moment... sorry if you got a Bad Gateway error while it was down) I took a few minutes to tackle a long-standing suspicion that my machine wasn't running as fast as it should be.

Turns out it really wasn't -- in fact it wasn't even close.

See back in September when I bought new parts and built myself the bulk of a new machine I had a few issues with the motherboard and had to reset the CMOS settings. Somehow that meant I ended up with the frontside bus speed set to 100mhz. The computer then saw my Athlon 3200+ as a 1300mhz CPU. I've now bumped that up to 166mhz (I didn't try 200mhz yet) and the CPU now shows up as a 3000+. I know, it's still not at its full potential, but it's enough of a bump to get almost a 2x speedup in eThreads benchmarks.

I sort of like the idea of a progressive upgrade. Now it's like I just got a new CPU, even though I paid for it back in September.

Finally, the s710a Arrives

So I got a new phone today. I've been anxiously awaiting the release of the Sony Ericsson s710a for quite a while now, so when it finally appeared I couldn't hold off too much longer before ordering it. I placed the order yesterday around noon via cingular's website. The phone was delivered this morning at 9am. That's what I call good turnaround. I can't say I'm an expert just yet, but I've played with the phone enough by now to be able to give a first impression type review. Summary: good, not perfect. — Continue Reading...

Random Twins

I was walking from my apartment to the bus stop today when I noticed that the guy in front of me had the same bag I do. Now, this was kind of a weird experience, since I've never seen anyone that even had a bag by the same manufacturer I do (Arkel). But this guy had the exact same model. I said hi and found that he works for the LA County Bike Coalition, which I had no idea was headquartered on my block.

Flexcar: Finally, a Hybrid

My Dad's in town right now, so after my morning class I came back Downtown, met him for lunch at the Yorkshire Grill, and then we took the DASH over to Union Station to pick up a Flexcar. If you remember back to my first trip I was disappointed to not get a hybrid. Well this time I made sure and reserved ahead of time to get one of the cars at One Gateway Plaza (two cars, both hybrids). I've actually still got the car right now since we're heading back out in a bit for dinner, but I thought I'd drop by the blog for a midway update. — Continue Reading...

Me and Einstein, Not Just the Caltech Connection

For my careers class we took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test before last week. Today we got our results, which say that I am an INTP. In general I think that seems about right. This site tells me I have the same type as Einstein. Another INTP explanation seems to nail me:

you can be an under-achieving but very capable student... A relentless learner in areas that hold your interest... you might seem "lost in thought" to others... you tend to connect unrelated thoughts... you would rather be the architect of a plan than the implementer of it...

It's almost eerie how true that all is. — Continue Reading...