Good bye grandma, I’ll miss you.

This week my grandma passed away. It was a day we knew would come but somehow it always seems unexpected when it does happen. She was my last surviving grandparent.

I remember fondly sitting with my grandma when I was a kid at her kitchen table learning new card games. That seemed to be our big thing whenever I went to visit. It was always fun. Rummy was what we usually played but there were many other as well.

Episode 16 of JD’s Musical Alchemy will include a small tribute to her and is due out February 9th.

I’m going to miss you Grandma.

When Computers Go Bad

It’s been a very busy month fighting various computer problems. First I had a motherboard failure which resulted in having to gut my computer and replace most of it. Technology is changing so fast that even though many of the components in my computer were fairly new they weren’t compatible with my new motherboard.

As a result of the hardware change I had to reverify my Windows XP installation with Microsoft many times throughout the process. Every time you make major hardware changes (with only a hand full of exceptions) to a Windows XP box (the hardware, not the software) they wan’t you to check in with them to verify your installation. This is a process I find personally offensive. It reminds me of Fry’s Electronics where after you make your purchase you have to stand in line to wait your turn to have your purchases verified by the correctional officer standing at the exit door. If they didn’t want me to walk out the door with something in my shopping bag they didn’t want me to have they should not be putting anything in the bag that doesn’t belong there. It isn’t even like they are stopping shoplifting because they are just checking the bags their own employees pack.

When I installed Windows XP I registered the software and was on record as having a valid installation. While I understand why they are doing this I don’t think it’s the best approach. I haven’t changed my software and it was running on the same hard drive where I originally installed it. If I upgrade my PC that is my business and I should not have to let Microsoft know when I do.

To this end I’ve decided to migrate all my productivity to Linux. My plan is to only keep Windows XP around for gaming and solely because at the moment too many game companies aren’t writing for Linux yet. They are missing the boat if you ask me.

So now I am running Ubuntu Linux on my system and I’ve replaced 98% of my regular applications (sans games) with either Linux versions of the same software or comparable software. Still on my list of apps to run under linux are iTunes which I like for it’s iPod management though as a music player I have a better solution under Linux I like better.

This Friday will be the first episode of JD’s Musical Alchemy I’ve recorded under the Linux environment. I’ve been reviewing it and I’m very impressed with how it came out. Keep an eye open for Episode 15.

Sand Art Video on MySpace

I came across this amazing video over on MySpace when I was checking out Ethereal, a new artist for the show. I’m not sure who the artist is in the video but he’s truly amazing. The artist is pushing sand around on a back lit screen which is filmed in silhouette and projected onto the stage. This is all done real time to music and is thoroughly enchanting to watch.

The MySpace link for the video is no longer valid. I’ve pointed it to the YouTube copy of the same video. – July 2, 2007

Happy New Year 2007!!!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a happy new year. I recorded a short bonus episode of JD’s Musical Alchemy to ring in the new year.

Have a safe an happy new year.

JD’s Musical Alchemy Christmas Show

Merry Christmas everyone… I just released a special Christmas show over on JD’s Musical Alchemy… It also came to my attention that my pre-christmas show which originally came out December 22 had the wrong file attached and I’ve rereleased it with the correct file… It was a real bummer being that my thought was to have it available for Christmas Eve…

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas day wherever you are…

Released JDMA Episode 10

Wow, I finally released episode 10 and broke the two digit mark… Subscriber counts for the podcast have been increasing which is really cool too… I was really pleased with the show… If you get a chance head over to JD’s Musical Alchemy and check out the show notes

I have a couple Christmas episodes planned too so stay tuned…

Christmas Shopping Done

It was quite the ordeal but we actually got Christmas shopping done and sent off early this year. This isn’t normally the case. Usually we spend more time trying to figure out what we are going to get everyone than actually doing the getting. The result is that we find ourselves holding off on the shipping until we get everything together.

Not only did we finish our shopping, I am quite pleased with some of the gifts. Every year I try very hard to get people things that are just a step up from simply grabbing something off a shelf. It is one thing to buy someone perfume but another to really put your heart and mind into choosing a perfume that really suits their personality. Or alternatively buying a book or game for someone can mean allot more if you take their mannerisms or style into account instead of simply buying based on their known interests.

Regardless, I am so happy were done. Now I’ve got to get geared up for the Christmas show over on JD’s Musical Alchemy.

New site design

I’ve been working on a new design and look for the blog. I think we’re finally finished with it. Much of the graphics were provided by my good friend Arlen. If your interested in the space industry and related news you might want to check out his site at I may still tweak it here and there but overall I’m quite happy with the results.

I’ll be skinning the new downloads site (Bidi’s World Downloads) and the new photo gallery site (Bidi’s World Photo Gallery) next.

Let me know what you think of the new theme.

Serendipity Plugin – Coppermine Selector Enhanced 2.05

One Serendipity Coppermine plugin I’ve used allot has been the Coppermine Selector plugin by Mathew Maude. One problem I’ve had with it has been that the thumbnail view has been too small for my taste and the full size images are too big. Coppermine keeps a third size called “normal” size that it uses when displaying the detailed image which is scaled much smaller than full size but larger than a thumbnail. It’s a more web friendly size.

My enhancement allows you to use this image instead of the full size image as well as set a maximum width and/or height for display purposes. Note that these limits don’t actually change the image in any way, it is simply a limiter on the display size. The enhancement is based off from the 2.04 version of the original plugin and these changes will eventually make their way into the official plugin.

Download the Coppermine Selector Enhanced plugin here.

Serendipity Plugin – FeedFlare 1.0

When I decided to add FeedBurner‘s FeedFlare to my blog, I was looking for the cleanest way to implement it but found nobody had made a FeedFlare Serendipity plugin. To that end, I decided to make one. Here is my initial release which is currently running on my blog. If anyone wants to add it to Spartacus I wouldn’t mind though I’d prefer to make this the permanent home for any future releases.

Download the Serendipity FeedFlare Plugin here.

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