March 11th, 2015

Czech Radio (a song in three parts)


part one


Tamás St.Auby, Czech radio (1969) (exegesis) (sideways exegesis)


part two

shitphone, a love story (okay, okay, its a phone, not a radio).


part three

I was living in Budapest and volunteering at Artpool in 1993, where I saw St.Auby’s Czech radio as part of the _3x4_ exhibit. I had it explained to me in person, and at a post-opening dinner, his toddler-daughter fed me my salad piece-by-piece.

22 years later, I am reading an article on cheap smartphones, and see the czech-radio. Dumb bricks. Only this time, who is fooled?

March 24th, 2014


(larger size at flickr.)

This was the back-page ad from … some magazine. The (c) is 1997, but it could have been between then and 2000 when I tore it off and put it on my cubicle wall. It’s been there, on every cube or office I’ve been in since. Well, minus the xray-specs which were hanging elsewhere, until BWING: some particle pings off of some neuron. Plus, filters added in Picassa (hah!) and poorly-taken photo from my crappy phone.

There’s something to be said for crappy phones. I loved my old clamshell that a job provided. It was 0.3 megapixels, and had a crappy lens. The photos could be awesome! My current phone is a “feature-phone” which means it has a touch-screen and enough functions to be annoying, but not enough to make it user-friendly. And no flash. Which totally sucks. But it is always in my pocket, so there’s that.

(The only Macintosh I ever owned was a sad-faced classic Mac [that would only boot to the sad-face]).

see also: Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign and Picasso-inspired Mac-logos.


Over lunch today, I twiddled with the image some more in Picassa (because: (1) why not (2) I no longer have Photoshop installed and (3) the GIMP is just too awkward and long-loading). And THEN I started working with Processing:


The core of the pixellization routine was originally from Jeffery Thompson but he is in no way to blame for what came later. Color averaging code was based on an answer at StackOverflow. Animation courtesy of

Future work might include generating gifs from inside of Processing [update: DONE], and tiling from the CENTER of the image, instead of the upper-left. This would allow for cropping the image to fit a specific canvas size.

Code is on GitHub.


See, even when I do post something other than an animated GIF to this blog, it’s still an animated GIF.

UPDATE 2014.04.16: See also: and

July 16th, 2013

See Also: part 1, part 2


An attempted install on my home system went much more smoothly, all modules appeared to be present. I ran into one remaining issue that I had encountered previously, and so I’ve opened a ticket.


I also discovered the Emacs Guide — which bills itself as an Emacs guide written for JavaScript coders. It’ll cover installation, basic text editing to taking advantage of powerful extensions made for NodeJS and JavaScript. However, it’s primarily a guide to emacs.js, and is currently incomplete (“Creating Modules”, “Creating HTML Files”, “Debugging” and “See Also” are empty sections, while “Creating Projects” exists only as a keybinding note).


Still, I’ve got some other issues with it.


By default, the code wants all of the files in the HOME directory. I don’t put my files they’re — they’re going into Dropbox, and shared across a couple of installs.

It’s not difficult to update the code for this — but if that file is updated in the project, my updates go out the window.

I think the project should support something different, but I haven’t written a replacement for it.


A minor issue is relative line-numbers. I’m sure somebody likes them. I find them distracting.


But most importantly, basic keystrokes are remapped. That the arrow-keys are mapped to other functions is perhaps forgiveable — Emacs already has line-up, line-down, prevchar, next-char mapped to certain keys. Which I never use. Because it’s stupid to use those keystrokes on a modern keyboard that has arrow keys. But, hey. I can almost follow along. Emacs-stylee, right? Although how following an obscure Emacs convention for a library that is pitched at non-Emacs-users who want a Javascript IDE is a bit perplexing.


Unforgiveable, however, is the remapping of keystrokes like kill-region. That’s a basic Emacs keybinding, and shouldn’t be screwed around with. WTF?


emacs.js has the ability too use customized profiles, but these seem to be loaded AFTER things have already been loaded, so the keybindings might be unfixable by simple means. Or maybe it is an easy fix — I haven’t really looked into the customization yet.


I want to use emacs.js — it’s got a lot of javascript-editing packages included that I’m interested in.

But the setup, lack of complete documentation, and bizarre keybindings is slowing me down.

It’s an open-source project, and I can work to minimize those problems.

I’ve opened one ticket already; these notes are part of my own further process.

June 24th, 2013

Blogging has still not been my top-priority this past month. I’ve got a few things in the pipeline, though….

So, what have I been doing since, and in light of, my last DOING updates?

  • My new project, a Pmwiki-Trello plugin is looking good, to me.
  • work on the Pmwiki-Bootstrap-Skin has slowed, but gotten some core-features closer to a state I wanted.
    • Want to get the skin into a shape where I can use it for my “vanity” site rework.
    • Possibly, I should finalize the rework FIRST, then look at using the skin.
    • Since neither the site nor rework currently use a CMS.
  • My study of node.js is limping along.
    • Looking into jake – j(avascript m)ake.
    • Which is half the reason I want to use node in the first place – using tools match my code.
  • I am using org-mode for my daily journaling, personal, and freelance.
  • Trying to keep up some activity on the EmacsWiki and PmWiki.
    • Tweaking wiki-notes is a (minor) contribution to a project.
    • This should be part of my thoughts on wiki(s)
  • Day-job remains! I enjoy it, and the company is doing well. We just had our summer picnic on Friday.

September 28th, 2012

Work on (and from, sadly) TextMunger has slowed down in the past few months. I took a vague break this summer, and am knuckling down on some freelance work this fall. Which leaves even less time for TM work….


Still, things have happened, and there are some plans.


XRML formatter

The XRML-targeted formatter works a bit better (doesn’t get stuck on zero-punctuation for long periods of time) even if the underlying algorithm still has issues.


I’m thinking of rewriting it, or writing another, that would work on multiple-passes over a text-block to allow for vertical text placement a la columns, although hopefully not so dense and delineated to show up rivers of punctuation that delineate actual columns. I would like just enough to encourage a vertical reading, and not just the standard (Western) left-to-right, line-by-line.


A simple implementation of a single-pass would be an offset, so that the next word lines up with the start of the last word. Would want to enhance this so that an arbitrary number of words (tokens, whatever) are printed before the next line alignment.


Multi-pass is more difficult, as it would include the above, as well as requiring an intake of a previously formatted chunk of text for re-writing.


Text library

I’ve done some work on preparing to save lists of selected texts, but it has been exposed to the UI yet.


First, because there is no menu-strip in the UI. I think it’s time to address this (as well as scrapping the diagnostics tab).


But mainly I think the library-system needs and overhaul. Parsing a nested set of folders for .txt files is fine, but it’s a dumb system. Workable, practical, but literally dumb — it returns texts, but no awareness of those texts. And awareness allows us to sort, etc.

 By author, date, other characteristics. And above all, source — which would be a good thing for citations and acknowledgements.


Weighted source texts (for Markov chaining)

I’ve been staring at Edde Addad’s jGnoetry. Not only do I want to integrate some sort of re-processeable template (?) system, weighted texts is a desirable element. I’m constantly irritated by trying to combine two texts — say, Manual Of Egyptian Archaeology And Guide To The Study Of Antiquities In Egypt and a script for The Wizard of Oz or 1975 Apocalypse Now Workprint, only to find that almost everything is Egyptian due to the massive size of the source. If I could indicate that the Egyptian text, regardless of length should only be considered 30% of the time, I’d be much happier. Currently, I can dump in multiple copies of one text, but that’s a nuisance.


Selectable output as re-processable template

As mentioned, jGnoetry has made me want to be able to keep some words|tokens, but regenerate everything else.


Not just for markov chaining, however — being able to select any arbitrary rule and apply it to a block of text would be great. This would move the UI to a real alt-text-editor tool. Probably would need a rule-toolbar. Or easy way to select (and edit-on-the-fly?) a given rule for application.


rework of the rule selection system

Too many clicks to get to where I want to edit something.


(Assignable) hot-keys is one-option. A serious re-thinking of the rule-selection GUI is a must.

September 27th, 2012


Pierre Gordeeff’s The Built From Scratch Apparatus is the general title for a series of projects by Pierre Gordeeff initiated in 2006. Composed of parts salvaged from the trash, yard sales and equipment purchased from bankrupt hospitals, schools and factories, Gordeeff’s work has slowly evolved into an ornate sculpture and light show along with amplified moving parts fed into a mixer.

The Rhizome article also has some audio & video.

Pierre Gordeef’s website

Built from Scratch

I found this via a circuitous vicus of information from the Facebook Weird Instrument Tribe, that also lead to more pics from Robodonien 2012 where the below pics were ganked.

Here’s an auto-translated-from-the-french article that seems to embody some of the spirit of the contraption in its irregularity. If your French is better than mine, or google’s, here’s the original.

June 11th, 2012

I love this for all the wrong reasons — I want to add this to TextMunger.

June 5th, 2012

A small JavaScript bookmarklet to allow FireFox to easily search the Wayback Machine (if a URL is provided):


  1. var locAppend = '*/';
  2. var locEmpty = '';
  3. var loc = '';
  4. if('%s') {
  5.     loc = locAppend + '%s';
  6. } else {
  7.     loc = locEmpty;
  8. }
  9. location.href=loc;


  1. javascript:{var%20locAppend='*/';var%20locEmpty='';var%20loc='';if('%s'){loc=locAppend+'%s';}else{loc=locEmpty;}location.href=loc;}

June 1st, 2012

This post is for viewing/testing the PmWiki Markup plugin I’m working on.


The test-area is bracketed with two wp-geshi blocks, with no intervening spaces in the source-markup. This should allow for top and bottom-border testing.

NOTE: wpautop is turned OFF (as it interferes with the (:markup:)...(:markupend:) output).

NOTE: ordered lists had no default formatting under my blog css

Show WP ordered list
  1. * whatever
    1. ** no, seriously
  2. * second main item
  3. * third
    1. ** indent
      1. *** indent further
    2. ** not as far
  4. * fourth
  1. public void main(string[] args) {
  3.   //TODO: implement
  5. }


Links work fine, but CSS is missing
Also, the (hide) click is missing the javascript, so will not work
hrm, maybe IN THE ORIGINAL it uses JavaScript to even show up
that way, it will degrade to NON-APPEARANCE when the JS is not present (as in the markup extraction)



monospaced text

public void main(string[] args) {

  //TODO: implement




uses Geshi, so similar to raw WP geshi, above
However, the link element fails entirely

(:source lang=csharp:)
public void main(string[] args) {

  //TODO: implement

public void main(string[] args) {

  //TODO: implement




All URLs show up as approved for the markup service, but must still go through approval back in the wiki:



LinkWikiWords ShouldBe Off

[[SpaceWikiWords]] should be off.

LinkWikiWords ShouldBe Off


SpaceWikiWords? should be off.

NOTE: that’s also an example of a wiki-link to an unknown (and probably non-existent) page/group





This is an example header !!

sub-header !!!

level three !!!!

level four !!!!!


Unordered list

* whatever
** no, seriously
* second main item
* third
** indent
*** indent further
** not as far
* fourth
  • whatever
    • no, seriously
  • second main item
  • third
    • indent
      • indent further
    • not as far
  • fourth



Ordered list

# whatever
## no, seriously
# second main item
# third
## indent
### indent further
## not as far
# fourth
  1. whatever
    1. no, seriously
  2. second main item
  3. third
    1. indent
      1. indent further
    2. not as far
  4. fourth



link test






this  is a random slashmark
this is a slashmark in singlequotes: ‘’
this is a double-slash in singlequote: ‘\’


this is strong while this is emphasized


clip lrindent

>>clip lrindent<<
This is some clip text

This is some clip text



comment and include test

requires admin permissions, so should not appear

(:comment the below is not rendered due to lack of permissions. hooray!:)
(:include SiteAdmin/AuthUser:)

Hopefully you saw nothing, since the include requires admin permission on the Pmwiki side to view — so it should NOT render

no strange permissions, should appear

(:include PrantedMutter/Ort:)

orts are small and smaller than warts which they are not no not warts are orts.


not big, not large, not by half nor in half, less than tiny or small, decidedly not tall, not at all.

  1. public void main(string[] args) {
  3.   //TODO: implement
  5. }
Ironically, tables are rendered correctly in a normal WP post with wp-autop I’m going to have to look at how the text is returned inside the plugin to keep working on this… It might have to do with plugin priority? The below code was ganked from the source of a render in pmwiki; it should look almost identical to some code above, unles wpatuop is turned on. In which case, the below will be correct, and the above will be a mess.

clip lrindent

>>clip lrindent<< This is some clip text >><< 

This is some clip text



below is the HTML generated by the conflict of Wp-Pmwiki-Markup and wpautop:
  1. wpautop is turned on:
  3. <h2>
  4. <a id="toc10" name="toc10"></a>
  5. clip lrindent
  6. </h2>
  7. <td<br>
  8. class=’markup2′ valign=’top’&gt;
  9. <div class="clip lrindent">
  10. <p>This is some clip text </p>
  11. </div>
  12. </td<br>
  13. <table class="markup vert" align="center">
  14. <tbody>
  15. <tr>
  16. <td class="markup1" valign="top">
  17. <pre>&gt;&gt;clip lrindent&lt;&lt; This is some clip text &gt;&gt;&lt;&lt;

May 23rd, 2012

For my birthday (a month ago today, hey!), I got a hand-crank/solar-powered radio, with NOAA and shortwave bells-n-whistles — it can even power/charge USB devices (and can run on batteries, if you want).

More pieces for getting off the grid! Or for when Connecticut Power & Light are surprised by the weather….

Little Michael thinks this is the best thing since sliced toast, and loves turning on the lights, changing the volume, and then finding something shiny and letting it on the floor to discharge the battery…. and he’s always frustrated when I try to crank it back to life.

May 21st, 2012


August 15th, 2008

This cell-phone jammer is sweet to behold, a little out of my price-range ($250), and probably illegal to operate in the United States.


July 17th, 2008

numbers game

June 3rd, 2008

two threads of little but my obsession with re-posting anti-cell-phone links to the BoingBoing tribe at…

March 12th, 2008

Scranton Times Letter to the Editor, 02/12/2008

Torture Cell

Editor: I have a great tip for some smokers who are having a hard time giving up the weed. Maybe youre tired of the smelly clothes and car, the sore throats, the morning hacking and wheezing, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, tobacco breath, etc., but you just cant stand not being able to annoy people anymore. Heres your answer buy a cell phone.

You can annoy far more people in far more places without impairing their health or yours. They are allowed in far more places than cigarettes, and even if theyre not allowed, so what! And if you dont want to give up the thrill of flirting with death with each coffin nail you stick in your mouth, not to worry. Use the cell phone while youre driving. And, just like with the smokes, you might take a few people with you.

The cell phone is just about the same size as a pack of cigarettes, and you can light it up anywhere you like: church, the courtroom, restaurant, movie theater, bus seat, plane seat. You get the idea.

Why, just the other night while I enjoyed a fabulous Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Motown concert at the Scranton Cultural Center in the big-bucks seats, a woman several seats away was, during half the concert, text messaging. In a dark theater, to those around her, that little light became an annoying beacon. She, oh so sweetly, shushed the man who told her to turn the phone off and leave it off. So chuck the butts and sprint on down to grab the latest model of this LSMFT legal safe means for torture. LOL, cu.



Sadly, I have recently — and against my will — joined the ranks of the be-cell-phoned. Work requirement. :::sigh:::

November 6th, 2007

notes on cell-phone blockers in the nyt

August 1st, 2007

10 reasons to throw away your cell phone

July 27th, 2007


July 24th, 2007

cell-phone rampage

May 4th, 2007

customized cell phones

raw cell

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