August 30, 2003

All 80s Labor Day Weekend

Star 101.3, one of the local Clear Channel cookie cutter suck ass stations is playing all 80s music this weekend, emphasizing one-hit wonders.

I love 80s weekends. The older I get the more I think that 80-90% of all the good music was created in the 80s. I suppose it's the same way for any generation.

Anyway, this should be a good weekend as far as the music department is concerned. Come Tuesday, I'll go back to listening to either KQED Radio or my iPod. In the meantime I'll be enjoying my favorite hits.

I fail to understand why there's not an all 80s station in the Bay Area.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:18 PM

Lake Tahoe, seen from the Cockpit

I left work early on Thursday and headed up to Truckee. The drive there took about 5 hours, but that's what I get for leaving at 5pm rather than earlier as planned (another story). But it was totally worth it.

On Friday morning, I headed over to Soar Truckee to meet the folks there and get Grob 36L ready to fly. I wandered into the office and met Samantha and Joe as well as a few others. Joe was to fly with me today, so he asked me to read and sign the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

By the time the day was over, I had one of my all time best flights. Read all about it in my flying blog. Or just look at the pictures I took.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:04 AM

August 27, 2003

RSS Lurking

This is too cool...

The fun starts when someone changes an item after posting it; I do this myself all the time--for some reason, I never seem to see some typos in my weblog application's entry form, but they stand out like a beacon on the main page of LittleThinkTank. When NetNewsWire refreshes a feed subsequent to a change, you get to see the differences.

Thanks to Brent for the link.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:19 PM

August 26, 2003

gzip vs. bzip2

I've been doing a bit of compression performance testing related to some possible MySQL development (think "better compressed MyISAM tables") and was shocked at the difference between gzip and bzip2.

Given a MyISAM data file of roughly 2,661,512 (or 2.5GB), I compressed it using both gzip and bzip2 using their respective -9 options to achieve maximal compression and timed each. I did this twice. I then decompressed the resulting file to stdout and sent the results to /dev/null and timed that too. The times are in mm:ss and the size is in KB.

 comp timecomp. sizedecomp time

Needless to say, I was blown away by the results. It's clear that bzip2 produces smaller compressed files but it does so at a very big cost--especially if you're thinking of using it in an application that requires frequent decompression. It's one thing to compress files and not look at them again for a few years. But we're talking about compressed tables that'd see lots of use.


What about myisampack and MySQL's compressed tables? We tried that already. The resulting file is 921,888KB (900MB). We need to do quite a bit better than that.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:26 PM

Yahoo! News RSS Feeds Launched

This has been in the works for a while and it's finally up for for real. Visit for details.

RSS is alive and well at Yahoo. Watch for more in the future. :-)

Congrats and thanks to Jeff and team for making it happen!

Posted by jzawodn at 02:01 PM

August 25, 2003

Finding the best version of a song...

I often find myself collecting various versions of a particular artists songs--one from the early album, a live concert version, a remake, and so on. This was a lot easier in the heyday of Napster, but you can still do it if you try, thanks mainly to iTunes and Google.

What seems to be missing is a web site where you can easily find out how many version of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" exist and which one(s) are generally regarded as superior. Or maybe you're a fan of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and didn't know that the versions on "Surfacing" and "Mirrorball" are different. And that there's a live duet version on the 2nd Lilith Fair album. Or the various version's of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up." I have one with Kate Bush, one with Sinead O'Connor (not sure were I found it--I thought it was Us but it's not), and one with Paula Cole.

I could go on. For quite a while, in fact.

What I'm thinking of is something IMDB-like for music. Considering how I occasionally get sidetracked on IMDB for a while, that'd be ideal.

Does such a thing exist?

I admit to not having looked very hard, but I've yet to run across a site that was even close to doing for music what IMDB does for movies and television.

So far the closest I've found is Artist Direct but there's something I don't like about the site and I can't quite put my finger on it..

Posted by jzawodn at 12:35 AM

August 24, 2003

Kruckenberg on MT Hacking

Mike says:

The more I fiddle with MT the more I wish I had more time to fiddle with it.

I couldn't agree more.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:22 PM

Inertial Dampeners Needed

I know I've complained about this before, but I could really use some inertial dampeners. Seriously.

Got any I can borrow? Or rent?

I've had resort to the old "put some good music on the iPod/headphones and drink some Mt. Dew" trick.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:09 PM

Derek's Tombstone

Derek and I were talking recently and stumbled upon the pieces of what would make an amusing tombstone for him. So I've assembled them here.

Here lie the ashes of Derek Balling,
Dork Lord of the Sith.
He died of a heart attack.
That's gay as hell!

Okay, that's probably not funny to anyone else. But that's never really stopped me before. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 06:01 PM