Monday, September 03, 2007

A Katamari-sized Link Roll-up

What a weekend.

I have two work-related projects I've still been putting off doing that I wanted to wrap up before heading into work tomorrow.

Haven't even looked at them....maybe later tonight.

Almost all household chores are done, except that crazy laundry pile needing folding and return to drawers and clothes-hangers.

I have successfully been tackling Katamari Darmancy on our PS2. I've cleared all but the last challenge and finally gotten the hang of the game and it's techniques. The final push will need to wait till next Friday night.

I've been on a tear with postings. It has been relaxing and fun hammering out these posts this week.

Lavie has been relaxing watching show after show about Lady Diana. It's the 10 year anniversary of her death. Hard to imagine it has been that long. Wow.

Diana, Princess of Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Princess Diana: 1961-1997 - Time Archives

Alvis has been off with her BFF camping up at McKinney Falls State Park near Austin so it has been extra quiet around the house giving me free time for PS2 gaming and posting and Lavie not having to compete for TV screen time.

We are finishing the day out vegging on Last Mimzy and Kyle XY.

Last Mimzy was a great family sci-fi movie. Alvis loved it and Lavie and I were really caught up in it. Blends science-fiction with family adventure. Not "hard" sci-fi but very entertaining....kinda like the way E.T. captured us....but not quite the blockbuster. Highly recommended for families. A few scary moments but no outright violence, lots of brother-sister scenes where they work together and protect each other...yeah, I know. I said it was sci-fi.

So, hold on and look-out, here comes one final linkfest gathering speed.

The Katamari Begins!

Mousing Tip

I've been working almost exclusively on the Vista laptop in the living room. My posture is shot but the wireless mouse I picked up is saving me from real aggravation with the track-pad. I'm working off a pine TV tray but I haven't finished the top so it is a bit rough.

In a fit of inspiration I grabbed one of Lavie's new and unused plastic chopping mats and am using it as a mousing surface. Works like a charm and the mouse slides across the surface like a fried egg in a hot buttered skillet.

Brilliant! I'm going to buy a set for all my optical mice here and at work and toss my foamy mouse-pads. Price? Under $10 for a set of four. If halved, that makes eight. What a bargain!

FireCat Contribution

FireCat is Security Database's well organized collection of Firefox Add-ons in a security bent. Back on my post listing my extensions, Steve left a comment asking if I was aware of it. In making my response, it struck me that maybe some of the Add-on's I recommended in dealing with Firefox History and Cache auditing might be useful. So I dropped the FireCat folks an email bringing the Add-ons I had encountered to their attention.

Imagine my surprise when they responded and included two of them in their new "release" over the weekend. I'm honored they gave me mention. How cool is that?!

Security Database Tools Watch - FireCAT (Firefox Catalog of Auditing exTensions) version 1.2 released

I'm glad I can give back to this neat project that has pointed me to lots of great tools for Firefox.

Helping NoScript Add-on

Today my Firefox Add-on NoScript got an auto-update from to After Firefox rebooted the icons it uses in the toolbar and the status bar wigged out big-time.

I sent the developer an email describing the behavior along with some screenshots.

He asked me to do some steps to narrow it down. Eventually after a follow-up email, he worked out what was occurring and posted an updated fix version the same day.

I tried the new version and it worked like a charm.

The developer also pointed me to a link, actually the NoScript RSS feed, that works like an "archive of links" to prior versions that someone might find helpful if they want to revert back to an older version. Sweet find!


Mando has a nice high-res pc case innards dual-monitor desktop wallpaper: IT/Solution. It's pretty nice!

TouchGraph Mapping Gizmo

TouchGraph | Products: Google Browser - I'm still not 100% sure what this is about, but it is very artsy and really cool. You can put in a website address and it displays in a map-like format the interconnectedness of your site on the web. Java-based.

Spotted on Download Squad who do a better job in their description:

The application will analyze Google's database of related sits and create a pretty picture. It's a great way to visualize how many sites you've linked to, or what sites have linked to articles you've written.

But why should the fun stop there? TouchGraph's tool is sort of the next generation of Googling yourself. Type in your name and see what pops up.

Reminds me of this project from way-back: Websites as Graphs. (Also Java-based).

DeFragging Considerations, Part II

Robert Moir is a great tech blogger. Some time back he created a great post on the whole "defragging" thing we techies can sometimes get wrapped it too much.

Someone Else : Defrag (pt 1) You can't measure it.

That inspired me to review freeware Windows Defragging tools in my post Defrag Mosaic.

(My favs still remain the very portable choices of Auslogics Disk Defrag and the combo-pack of Contig (Sysinternals) and Power Defragmenter GUI (eXcessive Software).)

Well a Part 1 post seems to leave one with the hopes there will be an eventual Part 2. Imagine if George Lucas had stopped with the first Star Wars movie!

Robert didn't disappoint and rolled out his sequel over the weekend:

Someone Else : Defrag (pt2) You can compare products - but not easily.

In it he gives some great pointers how you can begin to approach trying to compare the effectiveness of different defraggers. It's much more than seeing which one arranges the pretty colored blocks the best!

It is a bit complicated, but Robert does a great job guiding us though this fragmented topic.

And there may be a third installment...on specialty defraggers. The drama is building. I can't wait to stand in line to get my ticket for that show!

Web Archives

Lifehacker had a wonderful post, Technophilia: Where the Web Archives Are that provides a number of great links for archival information on the web.

There are far to many to list from that post, but are divided into categories covering historical information, multimedia, print media, science, web-specific, and government.

Will have to save browsing all these links for another holiday weekend!


This dead-useful little password vault management utility got another upgrade. Now it is up at version 1.08. (changelog)

I love it and depend on it to keep my super-strong random passwords handy for me.

Highly recommended, USB portable, and free!

A Romantic Tragedy involving a Purple Lump

Kent Newsome (who I suddenly realized looks remarkably like Alvis's BFF's father) did one of his great "Evening Reading" posts. In there was a link to heart-wrenching post by a blogger new to me: Rory Blyth.

Rory is delightfully eclectic in his posting comments. May be tech related may not be. Regardless, they are all pretty darn good.

Anyway, Rory's latest post The Loveliest Little Thing takes us down memory lane, having gutted a lumpy purple monster doll, a summer past, a weird cafe, late night (early morning) hours when the world seems scary, people feel alone, and even the worst bands sound good. Rory was knighted by a girl with a plastic cocktail sword...

In the end, Rory got a purple monster doll that held more than Rory would realize until much later.

Go read the post...

Good luck with that monster, Rory.

If you made it back, check this post of Rory's in which he realizes just how awesome an Apple machine can be...especially for a Windows guy getting a MacBook Pro. It's great! Apple - MacBook Pro - Windows - Nerdly Issues

(Mostly) Security-Insider Related Blogs to Add to my RSS feed list

Besides Rory's - Neopoleon blog, here are some more blogs I've added to my RSS feed list:

James O'Neill's blog - I'm not sure why, but checking out a sample of James's posts makes me want to keep on eye on his blog.

Steve Lamb's Blog - Mostly security related posts in a Microsoft slant. Heavy frequent posting updates. Sounds like a great combo. Steve has a five-part series of posts on securing a wireless network on XP.

Jesper's Blog - Windows security tech-book author's blog. Neat posts including several deeper examinations of security issues with Firefox. Interesting stuff.

Michael Howard's Web Log - Yet more insights from a Microsoft Security employee.


Looks like I'm going to bail on my work plans...just need to focus on folding the laundry.

Somehow the clean-clothes pile is 1/2 as tall as Alvis. That's pretty high, especially considering it's all wash from this week alone. I was awesome and put all the clean clothes up last time. I'm hoping it's just towels taking up the bulk. And jeans. Alvis is back in school so that means the jean load doubles.

Maybe I need to do a Katamari laundry ball rollup?

Hope you had a great weekend. It's been fun for me!


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