Halleluja, internet!

Four days ahead of time, the ADSL has been activated at my new house. I’ve been migrated to a different network operator (I used to be on the Tiscali network, now on BBNed) and the line has been “opened”. Distance to the exchange seems to have quite an effect, I’m connected at 5472 kbps downstream and 928 kbps upstream. According to http://pcdb.bbned.nl/, I’m 1.6km from the exchange. A rough calculation on my downstream attenuation of 46db, yields an estimated distance of 3.

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im2avi

NOTE: All the linux machines that I work with are still running Debian Stable (aka Woody aka Linux 1958) and im2avi happily works on these machines. Some users have reported getting it to run on newer machines, some users have reported not being able to. At some stage, I’ll spend some time on a newer Linux distribution and update everything to run out of the box on such machines. Until then, you are primarily on your own.

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envedit

envedit is a Windows Environment Editor. Use it to edit / set all your user and system environment variables, such as the PATH. I made this tool as the built-in Windows editor (Start | Control Panel | System | Advanced | Environment Variables) is definitely one of the worst user interface examples ever created. envedit is different from other environment editor tools in that it offers two free-form edit windows.

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Internet at the new house

One of the complications of moving is that one’s internet connection can take its sweet time to catch up with one’s new location. For the past two weeks, I’ve been living off 64kbit/s capped UMTS (i.e. shit-slow mobile internet) at the new place. It looks like I might be rescued in another week or so by my old and generous link! Marvel at the glory of my ADSL order status:

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Oh brother!

Oh joyful day, it turns out my favourite younger brother has a weblog. He’s been very clever and hidden it behind all kinds of noms de plume and other mysterious things so that he can blab about whatever he wants without fear of damaging his good professional name. That is, once he manages to build up a good professional name. Geez, I crack myself up. In anycase, go to The Curtain to read all about what floats my little brother’s boat (as well as his friends’ boats, as far as I can see).

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DeVIDE finally on MacOS-X

The entirely too resourceful Michael Scarpa managed to get DeVIDE running on the Mac!! See the screenshot below (click to enlarge). In related news, I’m working on a script that should be able to download, configure and build a complete DeVIDE development environment from scratch (including Python 2.5, wxPython 2.6, VTK, ITK, and the kitchen sink). More on this later.

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Exporting Visio 2003 illustrations to EPS

If you’re interested in the final, working solution, skip to the end of this post (the part where it says “UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE” :). You’ve made your award-winning illustration in Visio 2003, and now you’d like to include it in your award-winning LaTeX proposal. You find this page with tips, but you’ve also discovered that none of them work for you, or that you don’t have the necessary software, or that they half-work in a very frustrating fashion (this was the case for me with visio -> emf -> openoffice draw -> eps and borked transparencies).

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Amazingly crap print support in Ubuntu 6.06

Hi there kids! Remember, all operating systems suck completely, even Loonix, the shareware system written by Luunis Torvaldez, the Mexican hacker responsible for other shareware greats, such as the desktop environment Gloom. Because this is a long(ish) text, I’ll subtly hint at the conclusion: print support in Ubuntu sucks really badly, which is all the more crappy because Ubuntu is otherwise a fine distribution. Now back to my story… In any case, today I lost a few precious hours of my life (I really had more important things to do) trying to configure the printer on my Ubuntu 6.

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The idiotic South African AIDS policy

Reading the NRC Handelsblad of yesterday, I come across this article. For those of you who don’t read Dutch, here is the BBC’s version of more or less the same issues. In short, the South African government, and specifically the intellectually (greatly) challenged minister of health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, believe that AIDS and HIV should be treated with cutting-edge medication such as garlic, lemons and beetroots. To add insult to injury, at the South African stall at the international AIDS conference in Toronto, representatives were demonstrating said garlic, lemons and beetroots.

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