Blogs
Thumbnails for Big Pictures in Konqueror

I just ran in to another case of no thumbnails for my photos in Konqueror. I know exactly what causes it but I guess it might not be obvious. I was just looking at tweaks for the KDE file browser yesterday and noticed that there's a file size limit that's considered when it creates icons which are thumbnails. You get a folder window that look like this:
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One Busy Weekend

Feels like I've been going non-stop since Friday night. I did some coding on a project that Jeff and I are working on together. Actually it was pixel art inspired by a good single-malt scotch. When I try to do game art I can really relate to that guy from Heroes. The game's coming along, by the simple goals we've set for ourselves.

Saturday morning my daughter showed up bright and early so we went roller blading for a bit. Then I mowed the lawn while she took a break reading some Dear Canada. The weather here was absolutely beautiful. I have to say I have no regrets for finally buying a gas lawn mower last year. Instead of taking an hour and a half then lying down for the rest of the day dying of allergies, I'm done in half an hour and ready to keep on going. And we did keep on except that somehow I mistook 12:00 for 11:00 and we were an hour late for skating. The funny thing is we got there and didn't even realize we were late when someone told us her coach had already left. So she only got the last half hour while I went grocery shopping. On my way back to the arena I suddenly clued in. Pretty embarrassing. I felt like a total flake; I have to apologize next time I see the coach.

An Update on Leveling the Ravager Combat Pet
Wierd, but as I was sitting here writing my last post, I heard the level sound effect come from WoW (running in Wine on one of my other KDE desktops). I flipped over to it and it says my pet's loyalty has increased. He went from Loyalty Level 2 (Unruly) to Loyalty Level 3 (Submissive). So apparently loyalty increases with just time spent being happy. Keep your pet fed. I've been spending some time leveling my new pet Ravager up. I found a spot that suits me just fine. Right at the western edge of the Vul'Gol Ogre Mound in Duskwood just east of Addle's Stead there are a number of level 29 and 30 ogres. Most are warriors but there are a couple casters. All of them are easy for my 36 hunter but also give XP for my pet Ravager. Now the Ravager just hit level 15 and I've only killed the same 5 ogres about four times. So my strategy's been working pretty well. I got some food in Goldshire and parked my hunter in this spot last time I was on and now that I have a few minutes I've put on some levels for the pet.
Getting Music on an LG 550
The LG-550 looks like a pretty snazzy phone. There are a lot of pretty snazzy phones these days. Too bad they're all locked down by the carriers in such unreasonable ways. My sister just got one of these and she was a little frustrated trying to get music on to it. Apparently it doesn't just show up as a drive like all good USB-attached memory devices should. It has a slot for a microSD card and it came with the microSD card and an adapter to make that fit in an SD card slot. So from the instant message it sounds like she was able to get some music on the card and play from the card on the phone. I'm glad that works, but really, on a phone with Bluetooth and USB this should be a lot easier. Clearly the phone could easily allow access to the files on it (whether it's wallpapers, video, ringtones, contacts, notes, calendars or whatever) through any methods just by using stuff that's built in to PCs and Macs for accessing memory devices like cameras and thumb drives. Anyhow, hope this helps someone else out there avoid paying for extra software they don't need.
Amarok Catches Podcasts. Cool.

I've been listening to podcasts off and on for maybe a year now but I've only been getting them manually. That is to say that instead of having a piece of software that will catch podcasts for me I've just been going out looking for the ones I like and grabbing them. I find now that I like podcasts so much more than the radio that I'm listening to quite a bit more of them and maybe it's time to start subscribing with a newsreader that downloads those enclosures for me automatically. So I started poking around and found surprisingly little good stuff when I search for podcatching on Linux or iTunes on Linux. On a whim I thought I'd have a look at Amarok.

I was using Amarok as my main music player on my openSuse 10.2 desktop until I broke my sound once and it wouldn't play mp3s but Kaffeine would. So Kaffeine's been my player. I've always preferred Amarok for the slick user interface and convenient use of the usually unmapped Windows key for globally accessible keyboard shortcuts. Just now I started Amarok up again and all I had to do was go to Settings -> Configure Amarok... then pick Engine on the left and set the Output Plugin field to Alsa. Okay, not obvious to a new user but I've been down this road before. Now Amarok plays fine again.
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WoW: Training a Ravager as a Combat Pet

I finally got around to playing my hunter again. It's been months. I'd forgotten how nice it was to solo with a hunter. I decided that it's time for me to go find a new pet. I like my owl but he has two problems: first he's always blocking my view and second he has a really dumb name. The great things about the owl are that he's pretty quick and he has no trouble holding aggro at all now at level 36. That's also partly due to my hunter's talent build (I know it says level 38 there, but I was mistaken - I'm still 36) I suppose, but it's been a great combo for me. Still, for some variety I thought I'd like to try out a new beast.

I still want something fast that can hold aggro - my preferred style is to send in the pet, lay a trap and start an aimed shot. Now that I can lay traps in combat that part's not as important. I have aimed shot on 9 so I do ctrl-1 then 9. By the time my aimed shot fires, the owl is already attacking and the mob is paying attention to them. Still my second attack is a concussive shot (which I keep on 8 for convenience) so that if the mob starts coming my way the owl can keep up.

I didn't want to change my play style much with a new pet so I figured I'd still need something fast with a focus on DPS. I think this pretty much limits me to cats, owls and now the ravager. To be honest, ever since I first saw the ravagers when I started my shammy I thought one would make a good pet for my hunter. My hunter is still level 36, so I took a wild guess that the easiest way to get a ravager was to head on over to Azuremyst Isle and find one of the level 10 Ravager Specimens that I'd fought with my Shaman.

WoW: Training a Ravager as a Combat Pet

I finally got around to playing my hunter again. It's been months. I'd forgotten how nice it was to solo with a hunter. I decided that it's time for me to go find a new pet. I like my owl but he has two problems: first he's always blocking my view and second he has a really dumb name. The great things about the owl are that he's pretty quick and he has no trouble holding aggro at all now at level 36. That's also partly due to my hunter's talent build (I know it says level 38 there, but I was mistaken - I'm still 36) I suppose, but it's been a great combo for me. Still, for some variety I thought I'd like to try out a new beast.

I still want something fast that can hold aggro - my preferred style is to send in the pet, lay a trap and start an aimed shot. Now that I can lay traps in combat that part's not as important. I have aimed shot on 9 so I do ctrl-1 then 9. By the time my aimed shot fires, the owl is already attacking and the mob is paying attention to them. Still my second attack is a concussive shot (which I keep on 8 for convenience) so that if the mob starts coming my way the owl can keep up.

I didn't want to change my play style much with a new pet so I figured I'd still need something fast with a focus on DPS. I think this pretty much limits me to cats, owls and now the ravager. To be honest, ever since I first saw the ravagers when I started my shammy I thought one would make a good pet for my hunter. My hunter is still level 36, so I took a wild guess that the easiest way to get a ravager was to head on over to Azuremyst Isle and find one of the level 10 Ravager Specimens that I'd fought with my Shaman.

Set the NAT Keep Alive Interval on a Lynksys PAP2T

I've been using a Lynksys PAP2T-NA ATA off and on for at least a few months now. I get my VoIP service from Les.net and I'm pretty happy with it. Les has been making some improvements even over the short time I've been using the service and just today the servers started checking for some common device configuration problems on the customer side that cause network issues. Well, I was an offender. My problem was that the PAP2 was set up to send NAT Keep Alive messages every 15 seconds. I'm pretty sure this was the default setting out of the box, but apparently it's overkill. The recommendation was to set the time up to between 60 seconds and 120 seconds. I don't think it was a major issue and it was easy for me to fix, so I thought I'd write down all the details of it.

Average US/Canadian Exchange Rate for 2006
If you, like me, are getting your income tax together and need last year's exchange rate, it's at the Bank of Canada. The annual averages are at the bottom linked as PDF files. Every year I go to the Bank of Canada site, pretty much around this time and pretty much just once. On the Canadian tax forms it says you can use their rate or the rate you actually got for selling your US dollars. Of course I'm not an accountant but I hire one and he seems to be okay with this rate. For 2006 I see 1.13409360 USD/CAD. And the drink of choice for this year's tax season is a Strongbow.
Wanted: C++ Standard Template Library Docs
I've decided I need a good reference for the STL. I had the misfortune of getting started with the STL back when Microsoft begrudgingly included it in Visual Studio 6. VS6 was a great product - especially for the time. But there was obviously no love for Standard Template Library. Jeff and I have been working on a game for a while. Nothing big, just a fun side-thing to get us in to coding in C++ on Linux. Thing is, Jeff is streets ahead of me when it comes to STL. These days I'm not in to the generic, programming for programming's sake way. I'm mostly interested in learning through doing though. I don't want to see any tutorials or sample code that shows off how smart the author is. I don't believe in Singletons and I think Functors are the work of the devil. Design patterns are a good idea but are often abused. I need thorough reference material and simple examples that suit normal usage. Any ideas?
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