The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Doppelgänger

(Not the wonderful album by Curve)

Walking near Plaza Rocha on my way to the bus stop I catch a glimpse of a painting on a building and pause to take a closer look. It’s called “Apollo Parnassius”, masterpiece of a local artist by the moniker of Martín La Spina. The resemblance with myself is uncanny.

Thanks

There was this old lady at our club that used to calm discussions with this adage:

If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t. Unless it’s important.

She was very very quiet.

I have more than enough ranting material but, on the other arm of the scale I have this that makes me feel warm inside and takes away all the pain.

A while ago one of my Best Friends published his first album, Clusterobvia.

We were long out of touch despite living near and one Thursday tagged along for tea and snacks with a mutual Best Friend to catch up (quite a bizarre triangle).
He brought two copies and we discovered that our names appear on the credits with words so nice and heartwarming beyond description.

It’s so wonderful seeing the dreams of a close friend come true. I’m very guilty of keeping feelings to myself and so when reading the booklet there was such a revelation of how much we value each other.

Thanks.

Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays

I wanted to visit it since a long time and in February just happened that I had a work meeting a few blocks from it, so instead of heading to the subway entrance I drifted for a while.

Having a place like this in the middle of Buenos Aires seems like a dream, it reminds me a lot of Córdoba and some parts of La Plata and Berisso (mainly the Instituto Spegazzini and the, um, jungle? at isla Paulino). Outside of the main tracks there are very very quiet spots.

There are also a lot of cats, very nicely groomed and friendly towards people

The third one followed me around for a while and lost interest, until I bought cake from a couple of gals and a guy that looked like Eric Schenkman.

There are very nice buildings in an art noveau style inside but, by the time I got there they were closed. So I’ll have to come back.

Chasing misterious 500 errors within php.

For the last couple of days I’ve been investing time learning doing some (serious) things with Drupal and I quite like it, given that for my previous gig involving php I had to manually compile and patch php 5.2 in order to work with a monstrosity made with Textpattern and CakePHP (and a spice of hand crafted databased code).

Last morning I was almost ecstatic reading about Features and went on to make a new one just to try it out.

I select a few components, hit “Download feature” and after a while, nothing. Same happened with “Generate feature”.

On the error.log I see:
2014-10-29 07:49:31: (mod_fastcgi.c.2543) unexpected end-of-file (perhaps the fastcgi process died): pid: 11992 socket: unix:/tmp/php.socket-3
2014-10-29 07:49:31: (mod_fastcgi.c.3329) response not received, request sent: 1106 on socket: unix:/tmp/php.socket-3 for /some_site/index.php?q=admin/structure/features/create, closing connection

That was a bit odd, since the memory limit is set to an ample 256M and it died long before the time limt.

Just to be sure I tried using Apache instead of Lighttpd but no dice.

On the system log I see:

php-cgi[13015]: segfault at bf7c6fcc ip b738201a sp bf7c6fd0 error 6 in libpcre.so.3.13.1[b736d000+3f000]

With that clue I edit php.ini and shave a couple of zeros out of pcre.recursion_limit from the default of 100000. After restarting the server everything worked fine.

I shudder thinking of something that really needs a call stack 100 thousand levels deep. But on the other hand I cut my teeth on a micro with 68 bytes of ram.

From busted magnetron to incense holder.

It’s been a while since I made something nice.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a neighbour taking a microwave to the curb and brought it home with me, as they are always full of useful bits. This one was not very old but of a very simple construction. It has a mechanical timer that makes a lovely ‘ding’ when finished. It also went through a bit of hard love.

Cavity magnetrons are very cool devices. Besides providing a couple of strong magnets and aluminum plates they are made of a very pure copper allow with interesting shapes.

From time to time I like to burn some lignum vitae and upon opening this one I knew what to make of it. I chucked it on the drill press, gave it several passes of wet sandpaper and then a cloth with polishing compound. It took quite a good shine but the handling with greasy hands is giving it a light patina. The holes are filled with glow in the dark paint. I haven’t managed yet to capture the effect but they look quite good at night (and also with uv light).

I left the rest without a final polish, partly as a testament of its origins and also because probably I’ll make a cherry wood stand for it.

Ayer me olvidé una zapatilla en tu casa…

… no sé qué pasa .

Most of the times I sleep at someone else’s place I forget something, like a sock or a handkerchief. Some do that on purpose to have an excuse for coming back but I’m a different kind of creep. I’m just Clumsy.

Last weekend I forgot an Ankh Cross.

It’s been a while since I had time to make something, take pictures and write about it so I’ll just post some old ones from the making of said cross. The rest can be found at flickr.

Ankh made out of scrap aluminum from a hard disk

Title courtesy of Mostruo! – Tu culpa

Late movies

I started again to go outside to watch some instead of staying warm at home. Some were at the Cine Freak Show, some with friends (ok, not outside but not my home either).

Like Someone in Love: It was nice and touching but even after three times I still feel like I’m missing something.

Lesson of the Evil: It took away every bit of me that wanted to visit Japan. Had very funny scenes.

Combat Girls: (Kriegerin) I watched this for the first time last year. Mixed feeling about this one. I found it a bit like This is England but relocated. Oh nuts, the same reference is at the ‘pedia.

Lazy afternoon at the foundry.

It’s not my fault if you start caring about grid systems, typefaces or history of writing instruments.
Design Fundamentals for Developers (MIX09):
The best three hours I spent this weekend. This is a workshop given by Robby Ingebretsen. Check out his original post at http://nerdplusart.com/mix09-design-fundamentals-for-developers and grab the videos and slides from:

Part 1: Process
Part 3: Composition
Part 3: Visuals

Design Fundamentals for Developers: Slides

Random snippets:
The process of design is used to bring order from chaos and randomness.
Sorta like art & has a black shirt.
The alternative to good design is bad design, not no design at all (Douglas Martin).
Authenticity is invaluable; originality non-existant (Jim Jarmusch).
There is no color that is better than black. […] To me, black is black and red is color. (Massimo Vignelli).

Typography in 8 and 16 bit systems:
Discussion about the fonts used in the most influential systems of yesterday (and the fonts in ttf format available for download).

Typography in 8 bits system fonts
Typography in 16 bits system fonts

The 60s at grain edit:
This is where I go when I need something to inspire me http://grainedit.com/tag/1960s/

Camino a la CISL 2011

En unas horitas me voy a la Conferencia Internacional de Software Libre a presentar con los Compañeros de Crear el prototipo de nuestro último proyecto, “Guitarra Vas a Llorar“.

La idea central es agregar un dispositvo electrónico a una guitarra estándar capaz de mostrar acordes, escalas y canciones sobre el diapasón. Mediante LEDs (diodos emisores de luz) se indicará en donde el guitarrista debe apoyar sus dedos. El funcionamiento se completa con dos alternativas de uso:

  •  Manual: Uso de una botonera y un pequeño LCD desde donde se podrá seleccionar que mostrar sobre el diapasón de la guitarra (escalas, notas, acordes )
  •  Automática: Conectarla mediante un cable USB a la computadora. Y a través de un software reproducir una canción, lección de estudio o una secuencia de acordes y que ésta se muestre en la guitarra.

Más info del proyecto:
http://www.elarteylatecnologia.com.ar/spip.php?article60

Programa de la Conferencia Internacional de Software Libre:
http://www.cisl.org.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=373&Itemid=466

Torno Lorch Schmidt

Hace unos días me traje a casa un torno de relojero que perteneció a mi abuelo (entre muchas otras profesiones fué relojero). Tengo que volver a buscar los contrapuntos y el plato divisor pero dentro de todo está bastante completo. Mas fotos después del salto.

 

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