The Garage

Posted: October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’m so used to doing my own construction/work, but I started the process of getting a garage built earlier this year. Luckily I have a father who is an architect, and after a few months we pulled together a set of plans that really excited me.

Of course, then getting the garage built is problematic. The first quote I got was for $97k. A bit of sticker shock.

So regroup and rethink. I spent months trying to figure out what I was going to do. Somewhat interestingly it all circles back around. I started getting quotes for foundation and builders, then I ran into a builder that said he could take care of it all, and for about 1/2 of the $97k.

Of course this stuff is never straightforward. I’ve visited town hall a dozen times in the last 6 months (and I’m sure I have many more trips ahead of me). I know it will all be worth it when it’s done… but for now I’m stressed.

A new home

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

As you may notice, I’ve decided to move driestone.net to wordpress.com. I’ve been neglecting the site for a while now, and I noticed that it had been hacked. I don’t have the time or energy fight shit like that.

I’ve moved all my personal projects and such to jon-sweet.com.

One of my many various complaints about the Mac recently is this idea that if you want to break out of the Apple world things start to go awry. This is especially evident when it comes to iTunes. I can’t tell you how many times I’m forcing iTunes to quit because the app thinks it need to start up to do something.

My biggest complaint is the media keys on the Apple keyboard. I use Spotify as my primary music playback app/service now, and since I use iCloud for backups, I really don’t have a need for iTunes. I would happily purge the app from my system, but apparently that’s not a good idea since the system complains when you try to do that.

Before Mountain Lion I used a not well publicized app called MMFix, but that app no longer works on 10.8. Luckily all is not lost.

So the offending app is the Remote Control Daemon (RCD) found in System/Library/CoreServices

Inside RCD is several AppleScript commands so the media keys can control various Apple apps when they’re open. The offending command is in there : tell application id “com.apple.iTunes” to launch

In my quick testing, I grabbed a hex editor and deleted that line of text from the rcd binary.

So far so good…

Too Serene

Posted: January 7, 2012 in General, Movies/TV/Music

A good book has no ending ~R.D. Cumming.

I was recently sucked into watching all thirteen episodes of Firefly again. This is only the third or fourth time I’ve watched the entire series despite being a huge fan. Honestly, I had forgotten how great the writing and acting was. I finished off the marathon viewing session by watching Serenity. This is where things take a wrong turn. I’ve never actually watched Firefly followed by Serenity before so I’ve never been forced to recognize the disconnect between the show and the movie. More importantly I didn’t realize how my feeling of Firefly was negatively affected by Serenity.

To be honest, I’ve never truly loved Serenity. I’ve wanted to. I was lucky enough to go see one of those private screenings for fans before the movie was released. I, of course, went to the theater after it was released and saw it again (hoping I’d like it better the second time). I always thought the issue was the plot and the special effects (which do carry some of the fault). The fact is though, Serenity lost what made Firefly special. It doesn’t have any heart. Characters who we love in Firefly die without my tugging at the heart. The sad part is that even looking back it would have been difficult to make Serenity with the same heart.

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Another Clock to Tick

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Computing, Projects

For the last year or so we’ve been using a toddler alarm clock for Zachary. Since he can’t read time, a standard clock isn’t all that helpful. A toddler alarm clock uses a stop light (red/green) to indicate if you should be sleeping or awake. It’s pretty ingenious and it’s been somewhat successful.

I do have a few complaints though. The selection of clocks is pretty limited, it’s not exactly a market with a lot of options (and they tend to be expensive). I (of course) bought one off Woot when it became available (basically it’s this one). Honestly, it kind of stinks. It’s very hard to set the time (you need to press the button twice to set the alarm, but the buttons are polled from the chip, so you can only successfully double tap 1/4 of the time). It feels like a $1 clock with $3 of plastic.

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Halo old friend

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Computing, Gaming

A few weeks ago I received my copy of Halo Combat Evolved : Anniversary, which is basically the original Halo with updated graphics/sound/etc. As many who know me, I’m a Halo fanatic (I have the tattoo* to prove it). I had a habit of kicking everyone’s ass it Halo (and Halo 2) back in the day. Then there was Halo 3 (first Halo on the Xbox 360), then Halo ODST, Halo Wars, and Halo Reach. Which is pretty much mediocrity bookended with two pretty good Halo tales (Halo 3 and Reach being the pretty good tales). Bungie, the company who started and built almost everything Halo (with the exception of Halo Wars) for the last 10 years bowed out, leaving the Halo franchise in Microsoft’s hands.

So Microsoft created a new development group/company called 343 Studios (which is a Halo reference). 343’s first product is the 10th anniversary version of the original Halo. All things considered, this is a great idea. Take a well-established and loved franchise’s first outing and make it current.

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See ya Steve

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Computing, iPhone

With everything going on in the world, it might seem silly to make note of Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO of Apple. The fact is though, this is a man, who’s leadership took a company 90 days from bankruptcy to one of the most powerful companies in the world in just under fifteen years.

I don’t doubt there are better people in the world than Steve, certainly more moral and more selfless, however as a geek (and Apple lover since the 1980’s), Steve is a celebrity and a great man.

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