26 May 2010

latest chromium

if you prefer a faster browser than firefox, then google chrome is what you probably want to be running.  if you want something a bit more bleeding edge than waiting for google to push out patches to their chrome release, chromium is what you want.

since they release updates several times a day, i wrote a small bash script to grab the latest version released and set it up as my default browser.  (of course, this is for linux.)  and this is specifically for the 64-bit linux platform.  swap out the CHROMIUM_URL values in the script for your appropriate architecture.

##  get_latest_build.sh
##  this assumes you've set up sudo
##  if not, then change the sudos to "su -c"


if [ ! -d $CHROME_DIR ]; then
  echo "creating $CHROME_DIR..."
  sudo mkdir $CHROME_DIR

echo "get latest version number..."
wget -nv -O "/tmp/LATEST" "$CHROMIUM_URL/LATEST"
LATEST=`cat /tmp/LATEST`

echo "download latest..."
wget -O "$CHROME_DIR/chrome-linux.zip" 

echo "unzip latest..."
unzip "$CHROME_DIR/chrome-linux.zip" -d "$CHROME_DIR"

echo "rename the directory with build number..."
mv "$CHROME_DIR/chrome-linux" "$CHROME_DIR/chrome-linux-$LATEST"

echo "reset soft link..."
rm "$CHROME_DIR/chrome_linux"
ln -s "$CHROME_DIR/chrome-linux-$LATEST" "$CHROME_DIR/chrome_linux"

if [ -d $PLUGINS_DIR ]; then
  echo "copy plugins directory into new chrome dir..."
  cp -r $PLUGINS_DIR $CHROME_DIR/chrome_linux/

echo "setting permissions on directory..."
chmod ug+rx "$CHROME_DIR/chrome_linux"

echo "done!"

20 May 2010

benton’s bacon…and a waterfall

a few weekends back, i made a trip to bald river falls to photograph with a friend and my niece.  it was a very sunny day for a drive into the more country side of tennessee.  the back roads away from the city set my mind in a more relaxed state…unless i hear banjos.  plenty of rains from the weekends before fueled the falls with plenty to shoot.

smooth wateri snapped a bunch of photos experimenting with very fast and very slow shutter speeds.  i posted a few of what i came up with, including a few of my niece, on flickr.   i also messed around with a polarizing filter to help cut down on the glare from the sun.  this was quite educational.  rotating the filter changed the light and color of the image.  although i’ve used this filter before, i’ve not played around with it to this extent.  (see “how to use a polarizing filter.”)

after we finished (aw) snapping our photos, our trek back took us close to benton’s bacon in madisonville.  did we stop by?  are you kidding?  i contained my excitement as we walked into the modest storefront.  once you step through their portal, the wonderful smell of smoked goodness fills your senses.  although visually there’s not much to see, the aroma tells a different story.  when i was asked i could be helped, i immediately told the fellow, “i need bacon!”

“how much?”

hmm, what a question?  i really hadn’t considered a limited amount.  but i knew i wanted a slab.  i asked rationally, “how much is it?”

he told me the price per pound.  i pondered for a moment and knew he needed an answer.  so i uttered, “twenty pounds.”  unphased, the benton’s butcher turned and walked toward the back.  in a moment, he returned carrying a slab and a half.  he loaded it on the scale and told me it was close to twenty pounds.  i told him that was fine.

benton’s bacon redefines how i rate the taste of bacon.  my senses have been re-calibrated to  a high level of quality.  everything else pales in comparison.  i don’t think i can eat regular bacon again.

19 May 2010

android update (finally)

i updated my phone on friday last week to android 2.1.  this was a significant and long-awaited upgrade from version 1.5 i had been running for a long time.

the update went rather smoothly once i found a windows pc available to recognize my usb connection.  of course, it turns out my third-party usb cable seemed to be holding back the ability for my phone to be recognized as a shared drive, a problem i thought was to blame on either the phone or my os.  the original usb cable proved to be required for the phone to be seen.  noted for future reference.

i have to say that i really love the update.  aside from being able to run some apps that run under android 2.0 and up, the interface is much improved.  and some of my apps which did run under android 1.5 run much better under 2.1.  sprint boasted of these improvements:

  • Keypad backlight optimization

  • Bulk Bluetooth contact push

  • Various Bluetooth fixes

  • Increased speed and performance

  • Swipe to Unlock/Mute/Speakerphone

  • New camera features

  • Pandora enhancements

of course, i don’t care at all about pandora since it is lame.  the swipe to unlock feature is very nice.  the camera responds better too.