July 29, 2013

Ruby Warrior Game: Write Ruby Code, Save the Day

While reading Hacker News Sunday morning, I am across a link to this Ruby programming game called Ruby Warrior.  On each level, you write ruby code, run it, and watch the results play out on the screen.  

The game calls your method "play_turn" passing in an object that controls your character.  I've printed out the code to pass level 01.


class Player
def play_turn(warrior)
# cool code goes here


It even has a 80's style sound track to go with the 80's graphics. 




Posted at 08:24 AM in Games, Programming, Ruby | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2013

Google Fiber in Austin

Looks like Google made the official announcement today that Austin will be the next city to get Google Fiber around middle of 2014. 

They have not published pricing for Austin yet, but they do have Google FIber pricing for Kansas City on their site. 


Posted at 12:49 PM in General IT, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 04, 2013

Books Read in 2013

For 2013, I have finished reading the following books on my Kindle.


  1. Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia (15 JAN 2013)
  2. Rediscover Catholiscm by Matthew Kelly (4 FEB 2013)
  3. Monster Hunter Vendetta by Larry Correia (20 FEB 2013)
  4. Confession of a Mega Church Paster by Allen Hunt (2 MAR 2013)
  5. Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia (22 MAR 2013)
  6. Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia (8 APR 2013)
  7. Time Management for Systems Administrators by Thomas Limoncelli (24 APR 2013)
  8. Wool, Book 1 by Hugh Howey (2 MAY 2013)
  9. Wool, Book 2 by Hugh Howey (4 MAY 2013)
  10. Wool, Book 3 by Hugh Howey (14 MAY 2013)
  11. Wool, Book 3 by Hugh Howey (17 MAY 2013)
  12. Wool, Book 3 by Hugh Howey (21 MAY 2013)
  13. The Human Division by John Scalzi (3 JUN 2013)
  14. Shift, Book 1 by Hugh Howey (10 JUN 2013)
  15. Nolo's Quick LLC by Anthony Mancuso (14 JUL 2013)
  16. The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence Krauss (19 JUL 2013)
  17. 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman (31 JUL 2013)
  18. Dust by Hugh Howey (19 SEP 2013)
  19. Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (15 OCT 2013)
  20. Captain's Share (22 OCT 2013)



Books 2012  (33)

Books 2011  (30)

Books 2010  (37)

Books 2009  (31)

Books 2008  (28)


Posted at 09:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 23, 2012

Opinion on Gun Control

From Charles Max Wood (@cmaxw) on Twitter, I found this post covering gun control written by a former gun store owner.  

I didn’t want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I’ve been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I’ve heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I’ve spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand).



Posted at 08:30 AM in Law, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 14, 2012

VIM: Quick Underline

In VIM, you can you use the key sequence YpVr= to quickly generate an underline.  For example, if you have a line in Vim:

My List of Things

You can change it to the following:

My List of Things

by using the following commands:

 Y - Yank current line to buffer
 p - Insert current buffer below current line
 V - Visually select the entire line
 r - Replace everything select with the following character
 = - Replacing character 




Posted at 12:05 PM in VIM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 02, 2012

Books Read in 2012

For 2012, I have finished reading reading the following books on my new Kindle 3 w/3G , which I purchased on 22 JAN 2011. [Kindle with Wifi Only]


  1. Have Space Suit - Will Travel by Robert Heinlein (7 JAN 2012)
  2. Sex Begins in the Kitchen by Kevin Leman (15 JAN 2012)
  3. Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton (17 FEB 2012)
  4. Neuromancer by William Gibson (7 MAR 2012)
  5. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (5 APR 2012)
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorecer's Stone by JK Rowling (15 APR 2012)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (24 APR 2012)
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (30 APR 2012)
  9. Mac at Work by David Sparks (15 MAY 2012)
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (27 MAY 2012)
  11. Harry Potter and the Order fo the Phoenix by JK Rowling (8 JUN 2012)
  12. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (24 JUN 2012)
  13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (5 JUL 2012)
  14. Old Man's War by John Scalzi (15 JUL 2012)
  15. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (1 AUG 2012)
  16. Get Clients Now by CJ Hayden (5 AUG 2012)
  17. To Stand Beneath the Sun by Brad Strickland (7 AUG 2012) (DTV)
  18. Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell (10 AUG 2012)
  19. Half Share by Nathan Lowell (16 AUG 2012)
  20. Full Share by Nathan Lowell (21 AUG 2012)
  21. Double Share by Nathan Lowell (26 AUG 2012)
  22. A Light in the Dark by Nathan Lowell (28 AUG 2012)
  23. Ready Player One by Earnest Cline (2 SEP 2012)
  24. Storm Front by Jim Butcher (9 SEP 2012)
  25. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (16 SEP 2012)
  26. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (27 SEP 2012)
  27. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (7 OCT 2012)
  28. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle(16 OCT 2012)
  29. This is Life by Seth Harwood (21 OCT 2012)
  30. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
  31. Protector by Larry Niven (6 NOV 2012) DTV
  32. Cold Days by Jim Butcher (15 DEC 2012)
  33. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (20 DEC 2012)



Books 2011  (30)

Books 2010  (37)

Books 2009  (31)

Books 2008  (28)


Posted at 09:28 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2012

Faux Data Generator: Ruby Library to Generate Random Member Records

I needed a tool to generate some random member data, such as name, address, date of birth, and decided to write some ruby code.  See FauxData for details.



Posted at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 01, 2012

BootStrap: Twitter's New Web Library

I keep forgetting the name of this library, so this post is for me.



BootStrap: Web Library from Twitter

Posted at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 03, 2011

VIM: How to hard wrap long lines of text?

Today, I needed to clean up some documentation from an email and I wanted to hard wrap the paragraphs at line length of 50.  After searching a few posts, I found a succinct solution.

14.2. How do I format long lines in a file so that each 
      line contains less than 'n' characters?

You can set the 'textwidth' option to control the number of
characters that can be present in a line. For example, to 
set the maximum width of a line to 70 characters, you can 
use the following command:

    set textwidth=70

Now to break the long lines in a file to the length defined
by the 'textwidth' option, you can use

    :g/./normal gqq



Posted at 08:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 04, 2011

How to Get SFTP Perl support on Windows XP

Today, I needed to update some old perl scripts from sending files via ftp to sftp.  I finally figured out how to make that happen on ActiveState's Perl 5.8.8 running on Windows XP. [Instructions for ActiveState PPMs for 5.8.8]


C:\>ppm install http://theoryx5.uwinnipeg.ca/ppms/Net-SSH2.ppd



Posted at 01:26 PM in Software | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 02, 2011

Git: Should I use 'git pull' or 'git fetch'?

While searching for documentation explaining the difference between "git pull" versus "git fetch", I found a nice blog posting covering this issue titled, git: fetch and merge, don’t pull.

The short answer is use 'git fetch origin' followed by a 'git merge origin/master'.  You can insert a 'git diff master origin/master' between the first and second command to see what will be brought in.


 Online Git Book, "Pro Git"


Posted at 01:31 PM in Software | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 27, 2011

BitCoin: A New Internet Currency?

I first heard about Bitcoin while listening Steve Gibson's Security Now podcast, episode # 287.  


Steve: Well, it's really, really clever. The reason that I sort of fell in love with this for the moment is, as I plowed in, I just got a big kick out of the way that the many problems associated with a sort of a floating currency, meaning a currency that isn't anchored by any central bank, there's no state sponsorship for it, I mean, and it's a real thing. Anyone who's interested, and I would encourage our listeners, if this podcast and what they hear about it makes them curious, go check it out. Just put "bitcoin" into Google, and you'll start seeing pages of stuff. And about two years ago the project was registered, a little over two years ago, by a Japanese cryptographer, Satoshi Nakamoto. And it's an open source project on SourceForge, so none of this is black art stuff. The goal is to really solve, I mean, to offer an honest-to-god, non-hobby-level, but industrial-strength, Internet-based, peer-to-peer currency where real value can be exchanged between two parties without any intermediary being involved. And that's one of the trickiest things because you've got all kinds of problems. First of all, where does the currency come from? What creates the currency? How much currency is flowing through the system? How do you monitor that and regulate it? How do you prevent it from being inflated? How do you keep people from fraudulently creating currency? How do you keep someone from, if they have some, from reusing the same currency? All of that has been solved with this system in some very clever and very new ways. Which is really what captivated my attention on this.


Next, I installed the Mac version of the Bitcoin client application, and headed over to get some free bitcoins from Gavin's Bitcoin faucet.

So far it is a definetly an interesting solution to a difficult problem: How to provide a true Internet Currency or E-Cash, which is not tied nor control by banks or soverign country.  BitCoin Market Watche provides data on how BitCoin is trading against the US Dollar.  Comments from PayPal on Bitcoin.




BitCoin Me!  [18cfvqNkQR6Q1bWpAarPiaTM51bRFb2W1z]

Bitcoin Block Explorer: Tool for Review Bitcoins Blocks.

Posted at 04:05 PM in crypto, Software | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 24, 2011

Vim: How to insert and remove tabs while in Insert Mode

This tip was picked up from Daily Vim.

Here are some handy shortcuts that you can utilize while you're in insert mode.

<CTRL> + T: Adjusts current line one indent right
<CTRL> + D: Adjusts current line one indent left


Posted at 12:41 PM in VIM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 23, 2011

Good Sci-Fi Recommendations from Steve Gibson: Episode 277: Security Now!

During episode 277 of Steve Gibson's Security Now! podcast [transcript], he lists several science fiction novels he enjoys reading.  Since I've find it difficult to pick the next book I'm going to read,I decided to list Steve's recommendations here as reference.


STEVE: ...  And I'm constantly getting feedback from listeners, saying, hey, Steve, what's happening in the world of sci-fi? So as it happens, still the very best things that I have found are what we've talked about before. If listeners are not familiar with Peter Hamilton, he's at the top of my list.

LEO: Me, too. And you introduced me to him, and I love him.

STEVE: Oh. "Fallen Dragon." You get an introduction. It's a standalone volume. He's very wordy. But so these books are long.

LEO: But they're all good words.

STEVE: Yes, they are. And he paints such a rich environment that, I mean, I still see all of these worlds that he has created for me. So "Fallen Dragon" is a perfect introduction. Then my second favorite series, it's just a two-volume series, is "Pandora's Star," followed by "Judas Unchained," which is the sequel to "Pandora's Star," which is just - I've read "Fallen Dragon" I think three times. I've read both "Pandora's Star" and "Judas Unchained" twice. Because these are things you can reread, or I can. They're just spectacular pieces of work.

I checked and Peter Hamilton's works listed above are available in Kindle edition.  Links are listed below.

  1. Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton
  2. Pandora's Star by Petter Hamilton, book 1 of 2 book series.
  3. Judas Unchained by Peter Hamilton, book 2 of 2 book series.


[STEVE: ]Then my second favorite we've also spoken of before, and that's Michael McCollum's books. He has a website, Scifi-AZ.com, Michael McCollum. He also writes multi-volume series which I very much enjoy. Because, again, if I read one book, it's like, okay, well, that's gone. It's annoying if the series isn't finished, and then you're, like, stuck waiting, which happens to me from time to time. But his Antares Trilogy - "Antares Dawn," "Antares Passage," and "Antares Victory" - is just fantastic. I read them all twice. And I'm just sort of waiting now for it to be long enough for me to reread them.

And then the Gibraltar Trilogy I've mentioned: "Gibraltar Earth," "... Sun," and "... Stars" is fantastic. And in the case of "Stars," I read it before it was published because just to be his proofreader. So that came out. And I reread the prior two in order to get ready for the third one to be done. So that's great. And he also has many individual novels.

I started reading the Antares series in January, and I'm hooked.  I read the Gibraltar series last year and it was also a great read.  Links are below.

  1. Antares Dawn by Michael McCollum, Book 1 of 3
  2. Antares Passage by Michael McCollym, Book 2of 3
  3. Antares Victory by Michael McCollum, Book 3 of 3
  4. Gibraltar Earth by Michael McCollum, Book 1 of 3
  5. Gibraltar Sun by Michael McCollum, Book 2 of 3
  6. Gibraltar Stars by Michael McCollum, Book 3 of 3


STEVE: So I did all of those. Then I said, okay, what next? Then I ran across something called "Helfort's War."

LEO: You like these big long series, don't you. You don't want just one book. You don't want just two books.

STEVE: Well, and here was one where I ran out before the fourth book. This is a series of four. And it's sort of the classic newly minted graduate from Star Fleet, I mean, it's not set in the Star Trek environment, but we do have like the academy. He's graduated from the academy, and we follow his career through four books. And I ran out at the end of the book three, and book four just was published on the 23rd of November. So it's available for Kindle, which is where I'm reading this stuff. And I haven't yet started because I'm just finishing the fourth book in another series of six, which is Gregory Benford's Galactic Center Series.

I haven't read this four book series from Graham Sharp Paul, but the links are listed below.

  1. Helfort's War Book 1: The Battle at the Moons of Hell
  2. Helfort's War Book 2: The Battle of the Hammer Worlds
  3. Helfort's War Book 3: The Battle of Devastation Reef
  4. Helfort's War Book 4: The Battle for Commitment Planet


[STEVE:] And then Gregory Benford actually is a UCI physics professor.

LEO: I like that. I like hard science.

STEVE: This is. His is the so-called Galactic Center Series. I've just finished "Tides of Light," which is the fourth in the series of six. And here we sort of - we've got the humans versus the machines is like sort of the overall scenario there. And I loved, back in the day, Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series.

LEO: I haven't read those, either.

STEVE: Oh, those are really good, Leo. Berserkers being machines left over from some unknown alien race in the past that are out to kill off all biological life. And really interesting sci-fi that's old. It's been around forever. But now we've got the so-called "mechs," the mechs versus the humans. And this is a huge scope, like tens of thousands of years of history, but really interesting new ideas that I've never read before. And also substantial works. So I'm liking those, as well. So "The Lost Fleet," "Helfort's War," and Gregory Benford's Galactic Center series.

The links to Gregory Benford's Glactic Center series is listed below.

  1. In the Oceans of Night  Book 1 of 6
  2. Across the Sea of Suns  Book 2 of 6
  3. Great Sky River Book 3 of 6
  4. Tides of Light  Book 4 of 6
  5. Furious Gulf  Book 5 of 6
  6. Sailing Bright Eternity  Book 6 of 6




Posted at 08:13 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

January 18, 2011

Books Read in 2011

For 2011, I have finished reading reading the following books on my new Kindle 3 w/3G , which I purchased on 22 JAN 2011. [Kindle with Wifi Only]

  1. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (17 JAN 2011)
  2. Antares Dawn by Michael McCollum (22 JAN 2011)
  3. Antares Passage by Michael McCollum (28 JAN 2011)
  4. Antares Victory by Michael McCollum (29 JAN 2011)
  5. Dragons of Autumn Twlight by Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis (8 FEB 2011)
  6. Dragons of Winter Night by Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis (19 FEB 2011)
  7. Dragons of Spring Dawning by Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis (27 FEB 2011)
  8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (15 MAR 2011)
  9. Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leeman (22 MAR 2011)
  10. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson (02 APR 2011)
  11. The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson (09 APR 2011)
  12. Dating My Vibrator by Suzanne Tyrpak (10 APR 2011)
  13. A Minute in the Church by Gus Lloyd (11 APR 2011)
  14. The  Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman (25 APR 2011)
  15. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (05 MAY 2011)
  16. Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler (24 MAY 2011)
  17. In the Beginning was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson (28 MAY 2011)
  18. At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation by Dan Shaughnessy (11 JUN 2011)
  19. Zodiac by Neal Stephenson (20 JUL 2011)
  20. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (12 AUG 2011)
  21. Zero Day by Mark Russinovich (25 AUG 2011)
  22. Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick (30 SEP 2011)
  23. A Biblical Walk Through The Mass by Edward Sri (24 OCT 2011)
  24. Sinner by Lino Rulli (5 NOV 2011)
  25. The Litigators by John Grisham (18 NOV 2011)
  26. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (25 NOV 2011)
  27. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
  28. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (5 DEC 2011)
  29. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (13 DEC 2011)
  30. Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (23 DEC 2010)


Books 2010

Books 2009

Books 2008


Posted at 09:54 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 07, 2011

VIM: How to Replace Text in Multiple Files

Today, I found a good article on using VIM to replace some text in multiple documents.   In my case, I needed to change the copyright year from 2010 to 2011 on about 15 html files.  Two (2) VIM commands made this a breeze.

:args *.html
:argdo %s/2010/2011/gec | update





Posted at 06:25 PM in VIM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2010

Fictitious Web Sites from "The Confession"

While ready John Grisham's new legal novel, "The Confession," I noticed that the story keeps referring to two (2) opposing web sites: WeMissYouNikki.com and FreeDonteDrumm.com.   During lunch today, I checked to see if they were registered.  According to a whois lookup, they were by a Mr. Michael Pellman on October 26, 2010.








In the Kindle edition of "The Confession" jumped to location 1210 to see the reference to both web sites.

Posted at 07:41 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 11, 2010

VIM: How to Sort and Remove Duplicate Lines

In VIM, you can quickly sort a list of lines and remove all the duplicates by running the following command:

:sort u

Other options for using the command.




Posted at 08:49 PM in VIM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 07, 2010

Vim: How to print out form feeds

In VIM, you can tell it to observer form feeds with the following command:

:set popt=formfeed:y

Other options for using the command.

:set printoptions=paper:letter,duplex:off



Posted at 09:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2010

VIM: How to Insert the Current Date

In VIM on Windows, one can insert the current date into the buffer by issue the following command.

!! date /t


:r! date/t

The first command replaces the current line with the output from "date /t."  The second command inserts a new line with the date.


Posted at 08:06 PM in VIM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 17, 2010

Thunderbird 3.0: How to Turn Off "Tab Windows"

Thunderbird 3.0 defaults to "Tab Windows" when viewing email messages.  I tried it, but I do not like it.

You can change this behavior under Tools --> Options.  Then select Advanced --> "Ready & Display"




Posted at 06:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)