Geek Humor

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 12/31/2007 - 03:13

I've been out of town for a while, and before that rather busy with work. Obviously, I haven't gotten much done on the site. However, once again I felt the need to post a quick note just to let everyone know that yes, I am still alive.

And with that said, I'd like to wish a belated Merry Christmas and early Happy New Years to all my family, friends, and visitors.

Also, I'd like to leave you with this xkcd comic. I'm sure the simple fact that it's 3:00am right now has a lot to do with it, but this just struck me as one of the funniest things I've read all week. Warning: as noted in the title, prepare for hardcore geek humor.

Project/Website Status

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 11/21/2007 - 06:05

I haven't made very many posts lately, so I just wanted to update everyone that may be wondering what's going on. I've been insanely busy with work, both with my day and side jobs, and I just haven't had much time to work on personal projects. I definitely have some stuff in the works, just finding the time to move forward on any it is really hard to do lately.

I released a beta version of Universal Extractor v1.6 a while back now. That's pretty much ready for release right now, and has been for a couple weeks. I just need to polish a few last things related to the installer and language files, update the website with all of the appropriate new information for the release, and then put it out there. I'm hoping to dedicate some time to finishing this up soon.

I've actually begun working on a new version of AutoFLAC as well, but so far changes have mostly been limited to bug fixes and efficiency/workflow updates. I have some ideas for some pretty useful new features (aside from all of the issues that have been discussed in the Hydrogenaudio AutoFLAC thread), but it'll take a while to implement everything and put out a new release. In the meantime, just rest assured that this project has definitely not been abandoned, despite the fact that it's been over a year since the last release.

Less obvious to most visitors are the various website updates I've slowly been working on. Most of this involves restoring administrative functionality that was lost in my migration from PostNuke to Drupal a few months back (for a good example of this, see my last last post), or introducing some "private" features of the website, such as a new webmail system, that's restricted to specific users. I've also been (slowly) working on various other updates and under-the-hood tweaks to the site and server to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

So, yes, I'm still around, and this website (and associated projects) is still under development. Also, even if I'm busy and things are moving slowly, I'll try to at least update my website more than once a month. :-)

Wishlist Updated

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 11/21/2007 - 05:46

I finally got around to updating my Wishlist earlier tonight. I'd been putting it off for some time because I still haven't completely finished re-implementing the admin interface that allows me to add/update/remove items since moving to the new site a few months back. However, since Christmas is coming and I'm already being asked, "what do you want?", I figured it's about time to start working on it again. I can now add items through the administrative web interface (woo-hoo), but removing and modifying existing items still requires direct database edits (boo). I'll get around to finishing that part as well as soon as I can figure out Drupal's really, really odd method of form handling with tabular data.

Also, I used this opportunity to make a couple changes to the wishlist. I'm now including the Date Added, so you can tell how old (or new) a particular item is. Anything already on the list from before the migration will just have a blank value here. I've also begun adding links to Best Buy, since it's sometimes easier to purchase items in a physical store than order them online. And finally, each column is now sortable, so you can sort by things like cheapest or most recently added. Just click on the title of whichever column you'd like sorted.

So anyway, for those of you that may interested in purchasing something for me, my Wishlist page is now current. Enjoy.

Edit: I added a "Last Updated" field as well, in the upper-right corner of the page. Use this to determine at a glance how long it's been since I last updated the wishlist.

Website Upgrade

Submitted by jbreland on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 20:37

I just upgraded to Drupal 5.3. Everything should be in good order, but in case you find any errors on the site please let me know ASAP so I can correct them.


Request: Slovak Translation Update for UniExtract 1.6

Submitted by jbreland on Sun, 09/30/2007 - 23:20

I'm trying to get in touch with Peter Ž., aka zilabo. If you're reading this, please contact me regarding your Slovak translation. I tried e-mailing you a couple of times, but it appears that the e-mail address I have for you is no longer valid.

Also, if anyone else is able (and willing) to provide a Slovak translation, feel free to contact me as well. If I don't hear back from zilabo, I'll have to drop the translation going forward unless someone else is willing to maintain it.


Updated 10/25/2007:
Nevermind! I got a couple offers, and I truly appreciate them, but the original author recently got back in touch with me. His translation will be included in v1.6.

Thanks anyway!

Sexism on the Internet?

Submitted by jbreland on Fri, 09/28/2007 - 09:52

While the title sounds like this should be some deep, thought-provoking post, it's actually just a link to a comic. Sorry to disappoint. However, the comic is pretty much right-on. I've seen a lot of this myself, and just recently read an article about this kind of behavior even at mainstream IT conferences. Definitely a sad trend.

With all that said, the comic is also pretty darn funny. :-) Check it out - Pix Plz

Note: This is from a webcomic that I recently began reading called XKCD. It's pretty funny, though very geek-oriented. If you enjoy the Pix Plz comic, you may want to check out some of the previous strips as well.

Web Server Upgraded

Submitted by jbreland on Fri, 09/28/2007 - 02:17

I just upgraded the web server to Apache 2.2.6, which is a major upgrade over the previous 2.0.x version. I also upgrade PHP to address some security issues. It took me about an hour to migrate the site configuration, but I think I have everything up and running properly. If you encounter any error on with the website, please let me know ASAP so I can correct it.

Universal Extract v1.6 beta Available

Submitted by jbreland on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 08:44

I made available a beta version of the upcoming v1.6 release of Universal Extractor last night. I'm not making it available through the UniExtract home page because it's only a beta; it needs a lot of testing before official release. However, if you're interested in testing some of the new features and providing feedback on your results, you can find find change details and download links in this MSFN UniExtract forum post.

Inno Setup Support Scripts Update

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 08/08/2007 - 01:06

I just posted updates to my Inno Setup CLI Help and Modify Path Inno Setup scripts. The CLI Help is a fairly small update - it just includes updated documentation for the latest version of Inno Setup.

The ModPath update is a bit more substantial; I added the ability to add multiple directories to the system path instead of just a single directory. Usually this capability should not be necessary, but I had a need to do this for the new version of Universal Extractor that's currently in development. If you're currently using an older version of the script, though, be sure to read the updated directions. This new version is not directly compatible with older versions and requires a few small changes to your main installer script.

The updates can be downloaded from each script's home page:
Inno Setup CLI Help
Modify Path

Hurricane Katrina - Two Years Later

Submitted by jbreland on Sun, 08/05/2007 - 02:38

Time Magazine has published a very interesting article in it's August 13, 2007 edition entitled, "The Threatening Storm." It provides a detailed look a defensive reconstruction plans and efforts since the storm, and, as expected for the area, investigates many of the absurdities and political ties of the plans. It's a fascinating read.

The full article can be found here:,28804,1646611_1646683_1648904,00.html

For convenience, here's the printable version that contains the full article on a single page:,29239,1646611_1646683_1648904,00.html

Also, in semi-related news that only present or former residents of New Orleans would like care about, I just found out that a completely new Twin Span bridge is being constructed. This bridge, part of a heavily used corridor of Interstate 10, connects Slidell to New Orleans East across Lake Pontchartrain. It was heavily damaged during Katrina, and though all four lanes have since been reopened, the westbound bridge is still utilizing temporary steel bridge spans to "fill in the gaps" where the cement spans were dislodged and destroyed, limiting traffic to only 45 MPH.

The new bridges will be a vast improvement over the current spans. They'll feature three lanes of traffic each (up from the current two-lane bottleneck) and will be set 30 ft. above the water level (up from the current 8 ft.). I know I'm a bit slow on the uptake here as initial construction apparently began on July 13, 2006 (according to the Wikipedia article, but I only just found out about it after seeing the new construction during my last trip to New Orleans.

The new eastbound bridge will be complete by 2009, with the westbound bridge following in 2011. Very cool.

Complete details can be found here:

And finally, in semi-semi-related news that even fewer people will care about, the "Green Bridge" in St. Bernard Parish apparently has its own Wikipedia page:

I know, this is a largely useless addendum, but I was oddly excited to come across that entry and just felt like sharing. :-)