Jun 10

Want to do something right?

Remember the Six P’s:
Piss Poor Planning Prevents Proper Performance.

Jun 10

Introducing the Countdown Timer gadget

The Countdown timer gadget was created as a learning project and because I needed something to remind me to take breaks throughout the day. I wanted something that had a tiny footprint both in appearance and function, similar to the gnome-timer applet (for Linux desktops).

5 minute countdown underway

The concept is very basic – countdown from a preset time (in minutes) and alert when time is up. This gadget is more akin to a kitchen timer than a countdown-until-my-birthday type timer. However, the gadget will happily countdown 135971947923 minutes in case that amount of time happens to be of value to you.

the settings dialog box

As with any quality gadget or applet, this one is configurable. The Custom Countdown setting (in minutes), if set, will override the default of 30 minutes and any Preset Timers selection (also in minutes). Lastly, the Number of Alarm Sounds option defines how many times the audible alarm will sound when time is up. Putting a 0 in this option field disables it.

The Countdown Timer gadget was designed to work with Windows 7 but there should be no problem running it in Vista. I’ve committed the code to my github account where you can follow along for nitty gritty details.

Download it now

See the included README for installation instructions and additional info. Post questions and comments to this entry and I hope you find it as useful as I have.

Last Updated: July 1st, 2010

Dec 09

Distinguished Driver Achievement Certifications

Why are there so many bad drivers? Excluding the stupid and oblivious ones, the obvious answer is because it’s easier and the chances of being caught are slim. When these asshats inevitably create conflict, bad drivers aren’t discouraged by the bird. Odds are when they get it, they give it right back with a shit-faced grin and the gumption to go agitate the next reluctant participant.

flippin the bird

flippin' the bird

On a slightly deeper level, turd-knockers are “rewarded” instantly, where as good drivers have to earn their rewards through time and tolerance. And even then, their rewards amount to little more than lower insurance premiums and a statistically greater chance of not having accidents.

The prime reason for being a good driver, assuming one would otherwise not be, is to lower your required insurance premium. Insurers love this. They award good drivers because it’s a fine marketing point. ‘Our drivers have the lowest premiums out of any other insurer‘, because they deny drivers with too many incidents.
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Dec 09

Ensure privacy of your data by encrypting public email service


first, set up a secure-mail domain email server that upon mail receipt, applied (subscriber specified key) encryption, to the message contents and then forward that encrypted message along to whatever web mail service that subscriber wants to, or is already, use (and is supported) – – such as gmail, y-mail, hotmail.  key point being, be the first leg in the journey & to secure the contents of the message before sending onto the public email service.

second, develop a browser plug-in that utilizes “screen-scraping” and decrypts secure-mail messages using the user’s private key (PGP perhaps).  the plug-in could display the decrypted message contents on the fly without sending any data back to the storing server.

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