Hacking Moto

So, if you watch my linklog, you’ll notice that I recently installed [moto4lin][] on [Ubuntu][] so that I could hack my [Razr][].


The primary reason for doing this was that the external screen would display my service provider’s icon. This, to me, seemed like a bit of an imposition – why should I be forced to advertise their product? I’ve already bought it – what more do they want? Blood?

So I created a 96×80 GIF image called cl.gif and uploaded it to the phone, overwriting the existing file in /a/mobile/system/ – worked a treat.

I then went to town getting rid of all the preinstalled crap that had been marked as read-only, and hence undeletable from within the phone’s menu.

Here’s where it gets interesting, because to give the user the impression that this crap isn’t taking up shedloads of space, the phone has been programmed to subtract the mass of this crap from the total space displayed when you request a memory report.

Displeasure Music

Tale Of Pod

Apple Will Eat Itself

AWEI by Craig Ward used with permission.

*AKA Waiting For Podot (groan)*

Karen has a pink iPod Mini, and it’s given us problems. Periodically, it will suffer from a major identity crisis, and believe that it is a fish. Or a banana. We’re not exactly sure what it thinks that it is, but it is definitely under the impression that it belongs to a species that does not possess the ability to play music.

This came on gradually. Initial symptoms were a kind of iPod amnesia, where it was still aware of its purpose in life, but it couldn’t remember any of the songs that it had been taught. We discovered an arcane magic spell that we could work on it, a kind of vulcan nerve pinch, that was the metaphorical cartoon sledgehammer required to remind it of its past.

This then degenerated into an iComa, where even long periods on a life support machine were insufficient to awaken it. No light came from its precious little screen. So we sent it back to Apple, the iGod, if you will.

It was returned a few days later. They said that there was nothing wrong with it. However, when I slapped it in the face to rouse it, the face that looked back at me was blank. Sure, it lived in the same body, but they had done something to the little fella to change it forever. Some demonic brainwash or the like. We painstakingly began the process of teaching it everything about the world all over again.

But it did not last. Only a few weeks have passed, and it is comatose once more. I await a response from the iGod. I grow iRate. It wasn’t mean to be this way.


My workspace

My workspace

This is where all the magic happens.

Dear Donkey

Dear Donkey – Foiled!

>Dear Donkey,

> Remember how the girl behind the counter in Specsavers flirted with me? Well, I was really looking forward to returning there, so that she could flirt with me a little more. What happens? Well, my girlfriend goes and picks up my contact lenses for me, that’s what!

> I need your help, and I need it fast. I need a good excuse why I can go back to Specsavers periodically.

> Anon

DonkeyDonkey says:

Ahohohoh! NOW we’re getting into my favourite territory.

There are a couple of options here. One superb choice would be to sneak round to Specsavers, and if the girl in question is on duty, pop inside. Look at some frames, maybe try a couple on. For this exercise, it is best if you have your contact lenses in, otherwise the next step will be very difficult.

Wait for her to look over your way. When she does, shout OI! at her, or something equally sophisticated. Tell her that you need help choosing some frames, and ask her which pair make you look the most drop-dead gorgeous and fuckable.

You probably don’t need me to tell you where to go from there. Such a phrase is like a sprinkling of paraffin on the flames of flirt. Bask, enjoy, and most of all, enjoy.

Another option is to mix up some salt solution and squirt it into your eye. This will make your eye go all red and gross and sore, which enables you to enter the opticians and bathe in the glow of her sympathy and love. The downside of this is that you’ll rapidly be rushed through to the consulting room, when I’m sure you want to spend more time stood at the counter with Flirtella herself, and you probably also don’t want to have salt in your eye preventing you from gazing adoringly down her top.

These are all fantastic ideas. We can tell, because I came up with them.

Computing Original Software


Further to a previous post where I asked you to name my new web app, I’ve decided that it’s ready for public release.

I’ll probably tweak the appearance of it at some time in the future, but it’s all up and running now at Valet.

Dear Donkey

Dear Donkey – Flirt

> Dear Donkey,

> The girl behind the counter in Specsavers flirted with me. She was quite cute, and wearing a low-cut top.

> This isn’t a question. I just wanted to gloat. Hah.

> Anon

DonkeyDonkey says:

Were my mailbag a little less empty, I’d discard this missive in a trice. In case you’d forgotten, I am incredibly studly, and am approached by foxy young things with sultry come-to-bed eyes on a daily, nay, HOURLY basis. Maybe one of these days I’ll take you out and you can observe the master at work.

Given that you haven’t asked a question, I’m free to offer you whatever advice I choose, without being constrained by being forced to make it pertinent to your request. As a result, I offer you this nugget: get a haircut you idiot.

Anyone else out there who has got problems as big as this fool?

Food Photos

Beautiful, but stupid

Beautiful, but stupid

The stainless steel corkscrew pictured was my primary corkscrew between about 2001 and 2003 (inclusive). I liked it because it was beautiful, but it did a bad job, because it’s stupid.

The [Waiters Friend][], two of which are pictured, are a superior device because of the hinged appendage which allows you to lever the cork out, thanks to the miracle of Physics.

[waiters friend]:

*Beautiful But Stupid* does not have this feature. but that’s not its only flaw, for its beautiful screw is narrow, and much more prone to slippage than the loose coils of the other corkscrews pictured.

In summary, Beautiful. But incredibly stupid.

Dragons Parenting

Dragons Don’t Count

It’s no secret that I am expecting to become a father at some point during this forthcoming summer, and very pleased about it I am too. Now you know what I was alluding to in points 25 and 28 when I indulged in [a certain meme][] a while ago.

[a certain meme]:

Parenthood-related anecdotes will surely skyrocket when the happy day arrives, but for the meantime we have choice examples such as the one which I am about to relate. I warn you in advance, it doesn’t have a punchline or any sort of satisfying payoff, so if you require such things in your literature I expect you to walk away now.

Computing Original Software

Conformance checker

I’m working on a program that utilises the [W3C Validator][] to “watch” a webpage, and automatically send you an email if your page stops validating. Functionally it’s fully operational, and is currently undergoing alpha testing. However, I have no idea what to call it, and its working title stinks like rancid ass.

[w3c validator]:

Help. My current fallbacks are things like “watchr” and “validatr”, which are derivative and dumb and preferably avoided. Please donate your ideas by email (there’s a link in the sidebar) or put something in the comments box.

*UPDATE: It’s available [here][]*



Bugfix – erratically expanding textareas, no thanks!

Ade discovered an undesirable behaviour when writing a comment on this site, which I believe is probably also present in the WordPress classic theme.

The main text field for entering comments in was being created using the following HTML:

<p><textarea name="comment" id="comment" cols="100%" rows="10" tabindex="4"></textarea></p>

As a result of a bug in Internet Explorer, as soon as you start typing in this text field it will expand to the width of the browser window, leaving the right-hand edge hidden underneath the sidebar. The culprit is cols="100%".

To fix it, I added a couple of lines, so the HTML now reads:

<div style="width:100%">
<p><textarea name="comment" id="comment" cols="100%" rows="10" tabindex="4"></textarea></p>

This seems to fix the oddness in IE without affecting the rendering in Firefox. Let me know if you encounter any further peculiarities.