Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   sausage party at Ray's
Monday, August 2 2010
Today I faced a rather complicated database puzzle and so was using the most powerful database tool available, that is, the one I wrote called TableForm (or whatever better "tf" can be made to stand for). At this point my tool can show an interconnected map that I can interactively edit, drawing in new relations and repositioning tables as needed, all of which feeds into the knowledge the tool has to display data in its various other tools. But today I found myself looking at a maddeningly-complicated database map in which I needed to find a particular table. While it's possible to use a browser's find-in-page functionality for this, the display was a complicated mish mash of DHTML extending far beyond what could be shown in a single scrollbar-free window. I needed a way to search for tables and render matches in a way that allowed me to pick them out. So, over the course of several hours (yes, this amounted to professional procrastination), I introduced a new feature: the ability to change the color scheme for a table displayed in a database map. And then I added a system to search for tables and recolor those matching a search phrase. You can see what I mean in this demo. One of the links at the top reads "color code tables matching a search" and if you click that, you bring up a javascript color picker I'd written back in 1999. If you click on a color, the place to type in a search phrase is recolored. If you then type in a search phrase (try "tf") and click the search button, the tables matching that expression will be recolored. You can also recolor a specific table by clicking on its name and then clicking "change color" on the resulting menu. On my version of this system the colors can be saved, but not on this shitty little demo.

This evening I visited Ray at his new house down in Old Hurley (some two or three miles away). One of his friends named Eric who is "between things" has just moved in with him for the time being to help with painting and other new-house tasks. It was your usual sausage party scene: we sat around out in the back yard under the tiki torches drinking whiskey and beer, with me (being a nervous dog parent) fretting about whether Sally would wander off and not be able to find her way back. Among other things, Ray mentioned that tiki torch sales are way down because people only buy them when they buy a house (and nobody is buying houses these days).
Eric is kind of a low-tech guy and doesn't know much about smartphones, MP3s, or a science book, but he was excited when we started talking about humanure. One of the things he's been in his life is a farmer and a gardener, and his response to humanure lies well out in the non-icked-out long tail of the American bell curve on that subject. Eventually we moved into Ray's studio, a fully-finished and electrified adjunct to the garage. Ray played songs on his MP3 player (mostly from a recent album by The Raveonettes, which I found myself liking more than I expected; I don't usually like their 50s-style retro super pop). He also gave me one his old PDAs, a Tungsten E2. I'm a sucker for old PDAs, which I keep imagining I can make into speciality displays for, say, the solar hot water collector. I left the sausage party before I became more drunk than I allow myself to be when driving. Though the drive home from Ray's new house is a particularly easy and risk-free drunk drive, when I have the dogs I owe it to them to err on the side of caution.

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