My dad’s watch has had the alarm stuck on for years. Neither of us could figure out how to turn the damn thing off. I think one of the buttons doesn’t work. In any event, it used to be set to go off at midnight. So every night, my parents would be in bed when the watch went off, at which point my dad would note, “It’s midnight”. Then my dad had an idea: while it’s impossible to turn off the alarm, he’s still able to set it. So about a year ago he set it to 9:00, figuring that no matter which 9:00 the watch went with, it shouldn’t be too intrusive at that time. Turns out it’s 9:00 PM, at which time the family is often eating dinner or watching TV or something.
Now, it just so happens that my mother has high-frequency hearing loss, so she can’t hear the alarm. As a result, she spent years thinking that she had married a crazy person; every night he’d announce that it must be midnight and claim it was a result of his alarm going off, but she’d've heard an alarm and there very clearly wasn’t an alarm. But when he set it to 9, my brother and I started hearing it too. My father was vindicated.
And now, every night at 9 o’clock, we remind her.
There are a lot of reasons that you’d want to know if your app has been run before. Maybe you want to ask the user if you can collect usage information. Maybe you want to set up the default settings. Whatever the reason, it’s often useful to know. A simple method would be this:
If you interrupt my shower to tell me something, there aren’t a whole lot of things that’ll make me glad you did.
<Abe> I accidentally wrote on my computer screen!
That’s one of them.
I listen to a lot of music. Unfortunately, I don’t have much of an income at the moment, so my options for getting more are basically limited to pirating it and subscribing to an unlimited music service (e.g. Zune Pass, Spotify, Qriocity). I’m not going to lie and claim that I’ve never taken the former route, but I prefer to use legitimate methods when I can. The end result is that I am currently a subscriber to Zune Pass.
I’ve been enjoying it a lot. The ability to listen to anything on a whim (and legally!) is really nice. What’s special about Zune Pass, though, is the fact that, every month, you are given 10 credits. Each credit can be traded in for an MP3 copy of a song. This is the killer feature of the service. If for some reason I eventually cancel my subscription, I’ll still have some music. With, for example, Qriocity, I’d have nothing to show for my time using the service. It is more expensive than most of the other services ($15/month vs. $10/month), but I think this makes up for it.
It’s not perfect, though. The credits don’t roll over if you forget to use them before the month ends, so you have to keep on top of things. That’s not too much of an issue. The real problem is the lack of support.
Zune Pass currently works with Windows computers, Zune players, the Xbox 360 (provided you have Xbox Live), and Windows Phones. Not too many people have Windows Phones just yet and the Zune never really caught on. What Microsoft really needs to do is port the Zune software to Mac OS X and write apps for iPhone and Android.
There’s some hope of this; the Windows Phone Connector for Mac has some assets indicating that Zune will be coming to OS X in some fashion, but it’s still pretty murky. As for the phones, I don’t know about the iPhone, but I’ve got some heavy doubts about that there’ll ever be a Zune app for Android. Java is pretty easy to decompile, and the app would need to have the DRM scheme in it. Then again, there are obfuscators (e.g. DashO), so who knows? Maybe it will happen after all.
One thing I use a lot on my computer is the “open command window here” context menu entry. By default, you have to hold shift when right-clicking on a folder to get it to show up, but you can hack it such that it always shows up when you right-click on a folder (delete the registry entry at HKCR\Directory\shell\cmd called Extended) or when you right-click the empty space inside a folder window (delete the registry key at HKCR\Directory\Background\shell\cmd called Extended).
The Windows version of git comes with a version of bash that’s set up all nice-like with git integration. I found myself often opening a bash console, switching into some directory, doing something with git, and then closing the console. That’s somewhat tedious, though, so I ended up making an “Open in Git Bash” context menu entry. If you want to use it, you’ll need two files: bash.bat and bash.reg
I heard she asked about me from a friend the other day
He said as far as he knew I was doing fine
- Eli Young Band, Back of My Mind
I’m still here.
C++ is a good language to know if you want to go into software development. So are Java and C# and Python. More important than any of these, however, is versatility. With documentation handy, you should be able to develop a basic working knowledge of pretty much any language within a day or so. Don’t be scared off by that; it’s much easier than it sounds. Languages tend to follow certain patterns. If you can get the thinking down, translating it into code is the easy part.
As cute as you might think monkeys are, they’re evil little bastards. They’ll steal your stuff, beat you with it, and run off. They’ll beg you for food, only to bite your hand when you try to give them some. They don’t care that you just want to hang out with them. You are not a monkey and that is offensive to them. Also, they smell like fecal catastrophe.
Gorillas, on the other hand, are chill. A gorilla knows that he could rip your limbs off if he wanted to, and he’s secure in this knowledge. So long as you don’t piss him off, he’ll let you do as you wish. If you play your cards right, he’ll even learn sign language just to tell you how much cooler than you he is.
The whale shark, too, is a rad guy. He’s so big that you are insignificant in comparison. Wanna swim next to him? No problem! You can join the veritable army of fishes that use him as an express train system. Just be careful not to get in front of him; that gaping maw sucks in everything that happens to be in his path.
Apparently sake isn’t terrible. You just need to heat it first.
Melon Fanta? Why don’t we have this in the states?
I love how much more common thigh-highs are over here. Next time on Things That Turn Me On: detached sleeves.
I’m going to the atomic bomb museum in Hiroshima. There is something distinctly American about bombing the shit out of a country and then paying them to see the wreckage.
I don’t eat pork because I am Jewish and I don’t eat seafood because I am weird. Perhaps going to Japan, where those are two of the primary things that are eaten, was a mistake.
What is it with beers and drinkability? For that matter, what the hell is drinkability? As far as I’m concerned, something is drinkable if it is a liquid that doesn’t destroy your esophagus on the way down. Arsenic-spiked tea is drinkable. Lava is not. The beer companies are clearly using some other definition.
I like that there’s a guy by the train ticket gate machines whose job consists mostly of saying “thanks” every time somebody passes by.
English’s relative simplicity with respect to grammar (specifically, the minimal conjugation) makes it easier to work with in some ways, but the cost for this is a loss of subtlety. Contrast this with Hebrew; a good chunk of Biblical commentary is concerned with grammatical oddities, such as God using the plural form of “you” when talking specifically to Moses.