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May 2006 - Posts

LastTab 2.0

It's almost 3 in the morning and I really should be in bed right now, but whenever I release new software I'm excited by it.

So, I've finally released the latest update to LastTab, my tabbed browsing Firefox extension.  This version adds support for tab previews in the tab list, adding a tab menu to the tab bar, and adds support for tab flipping.  You know, tab previews are cool and all, seriously!  Being able to see the tab's contents as you navigate the tab list is neat.  But I think I actually like having the new tab menu more.  It's such a small thing really, but it's so useful.  Why didn't Mozilla include a tab menu by default in the first place?  Oh well.  I feel good knowing I'm helping the Firefox community -- hopefully I am anyway.

So go download it, (don't) find any bugs, leave me some comments or something so I know people actually use it.  Oh, and have fun.

LastTab 2.0

Posted: Wed, May 31 2006 2:52 AM by Humpty | with 1 comment(s)
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Song of the moment

 Layo & Bushwacka! - It's Up to You (Shining Through) (Lee-Cabrera Remix)

I've been digging this song a lot over the last couple of days.  It's a (relatively) old song, being released in 2003, but it is awesome!  I don't ever remember hearing it in a DJ set, or if I did not enough to remember, but it is so cool.  (Actually, Sandra Collins used a dub version of this remix in her Perfecto Presents CD.)  This song has the bouncy bassline I like, angelic like ooohs in the background, incomprehensible speech...it's perfect!  Ha ha.  I need to use this in a set, well when I have time to do another one.  Anyway, it's a good song.

Posted: Sat, May 27 2006 4:25 PM by Humpty
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25,000 years

I was thinking the other day that I wouldn't mind repeating this whole cycle over again.  I wonder if that means I will or I won't, heh.  I just started thinking about this a few weeks ago, how doing everything over again wouldn't be so bad.  We don't have to create wars, pollution, murder, etc again, we can do it differently.  I think that's always been a fear of mine: having to experience the pain of being murdered again.  But...this is just the way we've turned out, it's not set in stone.

I've read in various places -- and just accept it now -- that we can't leave this world until we accept it as it is.  I wonder if my willingness to do everything again indicates I'm on that path to acceptance.  Or, have I just resigned myself to repeating things, a kind of realization that I may have to based on my actions...  Hmm, I'll see I suppose.  But, this world isn't all that bad, there are butterflies, blue skies, rainy days on a warm spring day, forests alive with birds, wind to move me and caress my skin.  This place isn't all that bad.

Posted: Tue, May 23 2006 11:44 PM by Humpty
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Latest eye health update

As a recap for those who don't know I'm engaged in a self-experiment to restore my vision since I'm nearsighted.  I'm starting to notice some really positive, neat, and curious signs.  The main thing is that my vision is continuing to improve.  I'm now classified as -2.75 in my left eye and -3.00 in my right, way improved from my -4.50 left and -4.00 right when I started my experiment in 2002.

I definitely feel that tension in the eyes results in myopia, nearsightedness, because I see clearly more often when I relax my eyes.  As the years have progressed I've noticed that my eyes hurt less and less when I'm out and about.  Seems strange to think about, but back when I started even the air around me would pain my eyes; I really started off with some weak eyes.  As of a few weeks ago I no longer experience pain to any significant degree in my eyes.  It's like my eyes have toughened up to the environment; wearing contacts and glasses all those years, it seems, prevented my eyes from dealing with the elements and they atrophied some.

Now I have a certain feel for how to see.  In a somewhat literal sense you have to want to see.  I'll explain.  I get images in my head to explain things to me and I got a visual relating my visual condition to a numb leg.  Like when you sit on your leg, keep it in some obscure position, or something that causes it to "go to sleep".  When you finally want to use your legs again it hurts.  But instead of giving up or getting crutches or something you will yourself to start using them, knowing the tingling sensations will subside.  That's how it is with eyes I think.  The ciliary muscles in your eye that control your lens are probably stiff and can't move well, not enough to relax and flatten your lens to see clearly far away.  So, instead of accepting the stiff muscles, which are now somewhat like the numb leg in my example, try to work through the stiffness.  It sounds strange, probably, but that really is what it feels like to me, like I just need to keep looking out as if I can see and not giving up.

I'm not straining my eyes or anything, and this is an important point to make.  Seeing clearly in the distance is a relaxed process, straining introduces tension which is counter to what you want to do if you want to see clearly.  That's one key lesson I've learned: not to strain but rather relax my eyes.  I feel like I'm just rambling but I want to share what I'm going through for anyone else that's nearsighted and wants to improve their vision, because it's definitely possible I feel.

Look as if you can see, don't strain your eyes, keep your eyes open, move them with fluidity.  The muscles in your eyes have become stiff from focusing up close for too long, they need to be relaxed.  Accept your nearsightedness and blurry vision if you want to see clearly.  There are probably a few metaphysical / philosophical ideas in there, but those are just things I've come to believe are true when it comes to curing myopia.

Community Server Captcha web control

I've finally released it, yay!  You can download it from my web site, http://timothyhumphrey.name/cs.

As I indicated in my last post about this, there are other Community Server CAPTCHA controls available but I decided to do mine for the following reasons.

  1. They're not secure.  CAPTCHA controls work by displaying an image, that you know, but they actually check it by comparing the text entered to a cookie value the control outputs.  The cookie for all the controls I've seen is in plain text so it wouldn't be too hard for spammers to modify their programs to check for this cookie and enter the value it contains to defeat the CAPTCHA.
  2. Some of the available controls are just source code which require you to modify the source for Community Server.  While I don't mind doing this I doubt others will.  Plus the module I have in mind had other, non-CAPTCHA related, code in it.

Initially I was going to use Trefy's control, but in my haste to try it out I didn't pay attention to the fact that authenticated users aren't shown the image so I thought it didn't work.  So, since I didn't like any others I set out to make my own.  Kind of funny actually, because otherwise I probably would've never noticed the insecurity of it, i.e. the plain text cookie value.  I actually borrowed a lot of ideas from his control, namely the template functionality; it's a good control.

Since I was mucking around in the source I decided to make more changes, like being able to customize the image displayed.  I added the spam rule feature thinking that would be cool, but while making the control I discovered it's somewhat useless since the Captcha functions as a validator.  Anyway, since I wrote the code for the spam rule first I decided to leave it in, it's small enough.

CAPTCHAs work!  I've had this on my blog as a test for the past few days and have gotten not a bit of spam, down from my daily 40 - 50 spam comments.

(BTW, nearly everyone seems to be using the same code from here http://www.codeproject.com/aspnet/CaptchaImage.asp.  So if you want to make your own Captcha web control, have at it :))

Posted: Sat, May 13 2006 2:28 PM by Humpty | with 3 comment(s)
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CAPTCHA Test (blog spam)

In an attempt to cut down on the huge reams of comment spam I receive on a daily basis I've implemented a CAPTCHA test on this blog: it's the funny text you see when you now try to post a comment.  The actual implementation is something that I've been working on for the past few days; while the actual image drawing code wasn't done by me the implementation as a Community Server module is.  Yeah there are other controls that do the same thing but I didn't like them -- for various reasons I'll reveal when I formally release this module.

Anyway, I'm not completely done with it yet but done enough that I can implement it here as a test.  And if I'm lucky I won't be getting anymore spam!  (And inadvertently deleting legitimate comments in my fury and haste to delete spam.)

Posted: Tue, May 9 2006 3:07 AM by Humpty | with 1 comment(s)
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Boiled Pea

Mmm mmm good!  There ain't nuthing like a big bag of boiled pea to snack on down here in the south!

Posted: Wed, May 3 2006 7:01 PM by Humpty
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Sucked into my monitor

You ever get that feeling like you're being sucked into your monitor?  For some strange reason I get this feeling while I'm at work, and lately it's been happening more often.  I'm just sitting at my desk, reading news or something, and all of a sudden I feel like I'm being pulled towards my monitor.  I feel like I'm pressed against the glass, so close to it that I feel like I might be sucked into it.  And actually, there is a certain pull I feel towards it.  Now I do have a 22" monitor -- probably the largest CRT size ever made -- so that may have an affect on things, but still.

I swear man, I need to find a shaman, psychic, or someone.  Every now and then I get these strange feelings concerning myself.  Like once I was lying in bed and had this irrational fear about crushing myself to death and I actually felt like I was doing that to myself; no joke.  It's weird, I'm curious about it.

Anyway, back to my carnivorous monitor.  I was watching The Matrix yesterday and the scene where Neo, Mr. Anderson, had taken the red pill, touched a mirror, and noticed it reverberate is somewhat like the feeling with my monitor.  I do have some control over the feeling and can stop it anytime I want, but it is so absolutely strange: I literally feel like I'm being pulled towards my monitor.  Everything around me seems small and the monitor huge; I even feel tiny.  Hmm.  The kid in the movie that bends the spoon said that it is not the spoon that moves, but you.

Posted: Mon, May 1 2006 10:39 PM by Humpty | with 3 comment(s)
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