Friday, July 31, 2009


Today I needed to take a PDF doc that consisted of a scanned book and convert it to text, to make it searchable. I used Craig Taverner's ruby script and it worked like a charm, once I changed the script to use the right tesseract path.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Motorola H700 Headset Pairing

Just in case someone else finds this useful:
We had trouble getting Motorola H700 headsets (we have several) to pair after a while. With multiple mobile phones in the house, we often mix and match headsets with phones. After searching on google, I tried the following, that seemed to work:
  1. make sure the phone is ready to pair
  2. With the boom closed, hold the call button on the headset until it flashes purple
  3. flip open the boom
  4. tell the phone to find devices

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's the best first programming language.

Just got through this article on Infoworld via Slashdot. It basically discusses opinions on what is the best programming language to start with. I'm of the contention that it doesn't matter so much, what matters is if the programming language lets the new programmer do something they think is cool. If a teenager is really into some MMORPG that has a scripting language, that is what they will learn. If you earn your bread and butter crunching numbers in Excel, you've got motivation to learn VBA. It's like human languages, you normally learn only what you "need";.My daughter got pretty good with LOGO, which they taught at school, because she got to use it to draw pictures.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another pet peeve phrase

"Focused like a laser." "Laser-like focus." I could live with it if it weren't so heavily over-used. It gets to a point that a hackneyed phrase actually detracts from the point one is trying to make.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Firefox and Proxies

Seems not a very happy combination. I use a secured proxy to access internal websites at work from home. However, I don't want to go through that same proxy to access sites on the public internet. My system runs Ubuntu 9.04. For a while, I was running two parallel browsers, one using the proxy, and the other not. (Konqueror and Firefox). But Konqueror has issues with some of the websites. I gave a try to writing a proxy-auto-config file. And it worked. On everything except Firefox. So now I'm using FoxyProxy, which was the first proxy I came across, and seems to be doing the job. If this doesn't work as planned, I'll just install a proxy server to do the job.

The Definitive Guide to Grails

This book, by Graeme Rocher and Jeff Brown, gets a big FAIL for already being out of date. My goal in picking up a tech book is to get the cookie-cutter stuff in the tutorial to work right away, and then work my way deeper, explore the capabilities, and extend as I need, later. Examples started breaking in chapter 2, in the tutorial.
On the one hand, Grails is evolving quickly, so it is understandable that the book gets out of date. On the other hand, dropping $45 for a book where the basic tutorial doesn't work in six months means it's a bit premature to be writing books on the subject, that sort of content should probably be in a wiki that gets updated as the project evolves.