Because it took me 15 minutes to figure it out, and because Google was no help… to get the mysqldumpslow command installed on FreeBSD, use the databases/mysql51-scripts port.

I just finished reading Call of the Wild by Jack London. I had been wanting to read something by Jack London for a while because, of course, he is regarded as a great writer, but also because he was a radical leftist.

Call of the Wild was a somewhat enjoyable read. I’ve definitely read better, though. The story seems a bit out there.

I read Call of the Wild on my iPhone using the Stanza app. I got the book for free from Project Gutenberg because this book is in the public domain, along with a great deal of other books. The app was a breeze to use: just tap left or right to flip pages. And when you start up the app it remembers which book you were on and which page on that book.

I am going to at least start reading American Power and the New Mandarins by Noam Chomsky next. It was his first political book.

I realized some time ago that there are a lot of things that I needed to write down, and that I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t doing it mostly because they were things that I didn’t necessarily want my whole Twitter feed reading.

So, I started a new blog and Twitter feed that will probably get a lot more posts than this one. But, of course, I’m not telling y’all what they are, because that would defeat the whole purpose.

And, seeing as how I am a geek, I wanted to provide anonymity for myself on a technical level as well. To this end, I am using the Tor Project to anonymize my IP address. I am using a completely different browser just for using Tor. I didn’t want to share my regular browser (Firefox at the time, Chrome now) for my regular browsing and my anonymous browsing because there was the risk of not using Tor when I meant to, the risk of my anonymous browser visits getting logged in my browser history unintentionally, the annoyance of possibly having cookies get mixed up, and also the annoyance of having Tor possibly slowing down things that I didn’t need or want to use Tor for. It was much easier to just relegate Tor to its own browser.

Unfortunately, a couple of browsers on OS X use system-wide proxy settings. I didn’t want to use Tor for my whole system, just one browser! I settled on Opera as my Tor browser because it allows you to set the proxy settings that only affect it and not the whole OS. Also, Opera for OS X is a pretty nice browser, even if Opera Mini for the iPhone has awful privacy implications (please, please don’t use Opera Mini).

Anyway, I don’t know if my new blog means that I’ll be blogging here less. Probably not, seeing as how I only post on here about once every month or so. But the ten or so posts that I have made on the new blog have been really helpful for me so far. It is really good to get thoughts and feelings down in writing sometimes to help myself really understand them.

I did tell one lucky person about the blog – Mags. I wanted to make sure there was nothing hidden, and be completely open with her. On the flip side, she said that she decided not to read it unless I showed it to her, as to respect my need for a private outlet. One thing I thought of, though, is that I’ll need to show her how to use Tor if she is to view my blog from her computer, because my paranoid side knows that combing the visitor logs would reveal her IP address… which is also my IP address. And my anonymity would be potentially blown 🙂

I had been thinking for years of starting an anonymous blog. I am not sure what took me so long to do it. One thought of mine has been – if I want the blog to be anonymous, why go through all the trouble to put it on the web at all? An encrypted text file would do just fine. And I am not really sure how to answer this question completely. But I guess my vanity demands the potential for some readers, which I have had zero of so far 🙂 Also, with the potential for other people reading what I am writing, I am motivated to make my writing more coherent more thoughtful and complete, which helps to further the purpose of the blog to begin with.

OK, it is time to make another post on my super-secret paranoid anonymous blog!

I’ve decided to start messing around with Ruby on Rails a little bit recently. I am reading Learning Rails from O’Reilly Press. I like this quote (page 178):

Because Rails works hard at staying independent of any given database implementation, migrations also offer you a convenient technique for creating your application using one database for development or testing and yet another for deployment.

Fun stuff so far. I haven’t written anything besides Perl for a long time, and even when I have written Perl it has been small systems administration scripts.

I am now using Firefox 3. It isn’t much different from Firefox 2. That is probably a good thing, but I don’t know if it deserves the “3” label.

If I am studying at home, I have been turning off my computer monitor. I get too easily distracted. But sometimes I need to actually use my computer. How to not get distracted then?

If it is with Word, I use full screen. It works well. But with Firefox, their default full screen sucks. The tabs still show. Enter fuller screen. Simple, but beautiful.

Through some Google searching, I have discovered the strangely-named Dial-a-fix. It fixed some Windows Update problems I was having, and can evidently fix other problems as well. I am happy that I got it fixed, but if that program can fix it, why can’t Microsoft? Nothing on the MS knowledgebase helped me at all.

Also, never again will I reinstall Windows XP due to borked hardware. Borked software? – then yes, maybe an OS reinstall. But if your hardware is borked and you have to replace some or all of the components, give the following a try:
1) Make a Ghost image of the machine.
2) Transfer Ghost image to new machine. The first two steps here are only if you’re also using a different hard drive, obviously.
3) Insert WinXP install disc and boot from it.
4) Run the repair utility (not the recovery console). You’ll be asked if you want to run this rather than installing from scratch. This will take about the same amount of time as a fresh install takes you, and the machine will reboot a couple of times.
5) Talking about borked, all of your drivers will be borked. That’s OK. Just download and install all drivers that you need.
6) Your Windows Update may also be borked. Use the Dial-a-fix as suggested above. You will have to run Windows Update, by the way, because during the repair process it overwrites all of your Windows files and hence any updates you have done that aren’t on the install disc.

Voila! All of your programs, files, and settings are now intact on your new hardware. Isn’t exactly fast, but it sure is a lot faster than getting all of your programs and settings, etc., back how you wanted them.

As if you hadn’t guessed from the last post, I am a nerd. And hence…this event on Wednesday is something that I would really like to go to:

WordPress 2.3 is coming out on Monday, so come out Wednesday evening and upgrade your blog with the pros. How badly can you screw it up when the developers are right there? If you upgrade your blog before Wednesday come and help out others and make feature requests.

Super-chill event, just bring your laptop, yourself, and your WordPress blog. I’ll provide booze, soft drinks, and wifi.

Topics of discussion will include Trackback Etiquette: Ping on the First Date?, Join the Conspiracy to Relabel All Websites Blogs, and Putting the Friend in XFN.

Unfortunately, there is another event that I would rather go to that night. Naomi Klein is coming to San Francisco to talk about her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

So Alyssa and I picked out a new Dell laptop for her. It’s arrived and I have some time tonight to play with it (and install WoW and MS Office).

I have to admit I was a little frustrated with it for the first 15-30 minutes. But it is starting to grow on me. It isn’t slow or anything. But I guess I am glad we got her 2GB of RAM. Because, for instance, Minesweeper is taking up 67MB. Wow. I am just glad it has over 1GB left over. But as a comparison, my Windows XP machine right now is using 1.2GB of RAM (out of 2GB). I have a remarkable amount of applications open, as I usually do. The biggest thing the Dell laptop has going is World of Warcraft installer. So yeah, I guess it is a little bloated. Seems nice, though, as long as you have the system to handle it.

And it took a little hunting for me to find this one…to do the neat flippy thing you’ve seen/heard about, hit Windows+Tab instead of Alt+Tab.

Copy/paste from an email I sent out at work. In short, VMWare Fusion rocks:

Two really cool things about VMWare Fusion for Mac OS X. First of all, it has an automated Windows installer. You punch in your preferred username, password, and product key, and VMWare Fusion takes care of the whole Windows install for you. It even updates all of your drivers for you. None of this “click, wait 10 minutes, rinse, repeat” stuff. VMWare has done the Windows installer better than Microsoft.

Secondly, the “Unity” feature is really cool. It allows you to detach the individual windows from Windows and interact with them in OS X. For example, check out this screenshot.