Update coming soon!

Now that I’ve graduated from school, I’ll have a little more time and energy to put into my blog! I plan to do an update; add some content, change some of the looks, etc., so come back soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been regularly Tweeting, so be sure to follow me there.

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Set mailto to use Gmail in Chrome

April 14, 2009 34 comments

Who doesn’t use webmail these days?  I use Gmail, and I’m sure most everyone else does too.  I also use Google Chrome, yet for some reason all those ‘mailto:address@email.com’ links don’t shoot you over to Google’s Gmail, they try and open your desktop email client!  Anyways, I remembered changing this in Firefox a while back, and just now decided it was time to change it in Chrome.  I found several articles online telling me to download and install GMail Notifier, which constantly runs and notifies you on your desktop of any new emails.  I didn’t want to download and install anything, much less something that’s going to constantly run.

NOTE: The following requires you to edit your registry


  1. Open your registry editor: In Vista, goto the Start Menu and type ‘regedit’. (XP users type ‘regedit’ in Run)
  2. Goto HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command
  3. There should be a ‘(Default)’ variable of type ‘REG_EXPAND_SZ’.  Right-click on it and select ‘Modify…’
  4. Copy and paste the following string into the value:

C:\Users\Nate\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe -app=https://mail.google.com/mail?extsrc=mailto&url=%1


WARNING: Replace ‘Nate’ in the string with your user name


There you have it, now when you click on an email address while browsing a new Chrome window should open to GMail’s Compose window.


Categories: Miscellaneous Tags: , ,


It’s been a while since I’ve been back here to my good old blog.  I’ve recently signed up on Twitter, so if you’ve got an account follow me!

There has been several things I would’ve liked to “tweet” about, yet the 140 character limit has prevented that; maybe it’s time to make some more blog posts?  Who knows…

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The Penguin has fallen out of the Window

February 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Long story short:
I gave up on Linux and bought Windows Vista.

Go ahead, lets hear it…

I know I know, how could I, right?

Long story:
For the 6 months I’ve had it it was great…mostly. I ran into the most trouble during my Graphics course, specifically with my 3D-rendering capabilities. Basically, there was none. Sure I have the HD ATI graphics card to perform 3D-rendering, but once again, the fault lies with the drivers. ATI hasn’t had quite as much success with their linux drivers as NVidia has, but I thought since I ordered the desktop from Dell with Ubuntu installed, something like 3D-rendering would work.

After plenty of Ubuntu forum-searching and (mostly) helpless IRC asking I couldn’t find a solution to my problem. I’m sure there’s some way to get it working out there, but I don’t have the time to find it.

I wish this wasn’t the case, I really do like a lot that linux offers; nothing beats the power of the command line! I’m hoping that I can find a replacement in cygwin.

Anyway, I’ve ordered Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with SP1 for System Builders from Newegg, it should arrive tomorrow. I was fortunate enough to easily find the necessary 64-bit drivers for my hardware available from Dell; I shouldn’t encounter any driver issues with Windows.

…Famous last words!

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Set Up An rsync Server in Ubuntu for File Syncing Between Machines

January 19, 2009 21 comments

I’ve been doing some programming on my laptop recently and then finding myself without my work when I’m on my desktop.  I remembered someone telling me that they use rsync to keep their source directories in-sync between their home and work machines, so I figured I’d do the same.

I thought it would be trivial to accomplish a file transfer using rsync between 2 machines on a local network, but I ended up spending an hour more than I wanted to.

So, first of all you need to have rsync on both machines (the server and the client).  In my situation, I’m running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS on my desktop and Windows XP w/ Cygwin on my laptop; rsync comes pre-installed in Ubuntu and as an install option in Cygwin.

If you’ve already got Cygwin but rsync is not installed, you need to run the Cygwin setup.exe again. Then, rsync will be under the Net directory in the package choosing menu.

On the server machine you need to set up a daemon to run in the background and host the rsync services. First – before you start the daemon – you need to create an rsync daemon configuration file. To do this in Ubuntu, create a file named rsyncd.conf in the /etc directory, i.e.

you@your-computer:~$ sudo gedit /etc/rsyncd.conf

Now enter the following information into the rsyncd.conf file:

motd file = /etc/rsyncd.motd

path = /home/username/workspace
comment = This is the path to my Eclipse workspace (on the server)
uid = username
gid = username
read only = false
auth users = username
secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.scrt

Now replace all occurrences of username with your username on your server (not the username on your client machine!). Since I set this up for keeping my Eclipse workspaces in-sync, I used “workspace” for the path name, but you can use anything (so change “[workspace]” to “[whatever_you_want]”). I also set the path equal to my Eclipse workspace, but once again, this path can go anywhere you want to sync your files to.

Notice there are two other files mentioned: /etc/rsyncd.motd and /etc/rsyncd.scrt. You need to create these the same way you created the /etc/rsyncd.conf file.

The /etc/rsyncd.motd is the Message Of The Day file. The contents of this file will be displayed by the server when a client machine connects.

The /etc/rsyncd.scrt file contains username and password pairs. For example,


As before, username should be your username on your server.

Now you should have all the configuration information necessary, all that’s left to do is open the rsync port and start the daemon.

To open the port, open the /etc/default/rsync file, i.e.,

you@your-computer:~$ sudo gedit /etc/default/rsync

and set RSYNC_ENABLE=true.

Now to start the daemon,

you@your-computer:~$ sudo /etc/init.d/rsync restart

There you have it, your rsync server should be up and running!

Now you probably want to know how to copy files from your remote machine to your server. In Cygwin,

$ rsync -vr SRC username@server ip-address::workspace/DEST

The -vr flags are for verbose output and recursive (so entire directory structures can be copied). The SRC is the root directory of your source files. If you wanted to sync your entire Eclipse workspace with the workspace on your server, this would be the workspace directory; the recursive flag would then go through all the projects within your workspace directory and copy everything. The username should match the username in the /etc/rsyncd.conf file. The “workspace” after “::” should match your path name in the /etc/rsyncd.conf file, i.e., the “[workspace]”. DEST is then appended to the path from the /etc/rsyncd.conf file, i.e., /home/username/workspace/DEST.

When you enter this command you should see the contents of the /etc/rsyncd.motd file appear and you should be prompted for the password corresponding to the username provided. This username/password pair should match the contents of the /etc/rsyncd.scrt file. Once you enter the password correctly, the sync will begin!

Here’s an example with the username on the server “nick” and the server ip-address is “”:


motd file = /etc/rsyncd.motd

path = /home/nick/workspace
comment = My Eclipse workspace directory.
uid = nick
gid = nick
read only = false
auth users = nick
secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.scrt


Welcome to my rsync server!



To sync the “Java2D” projects in the workspaces of the server and client machines (entered in Cygwin on client/remote machine):

$ rsync -vr /Documents and Settings/Nick/workspace/Java2D/ nick@
Welcome to my rsync server!

Password: mybirthday

Categories: Linux Tags: ,

The Belgariad

December 1, 2008 3 comments

Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4

Although I’ve only reviewed the first book of the series, I’ve continued on and I’m currently reading the fourth.  Honestly, I didn’t really know what to say for a review of the second and third books.  My reactions to the first still held true for the rest; I’m enjoying the series.  As expected, the first book in a series is typically a bit slower as the characters and world must be introduced to the reader.

The second and third books were packed with action and adventure as Garion learns about his identity and capabilities.  I don’t plan on reviewing each book individually, but once I finish the last book I will write a review for the series.

I’ve been looking at what series I want to read next and although I’ve come across many options, I think I’m going to give Raymond Feist‘s Riftwar Saga a shot.  I’m a slow reader so I’d like to stay away from the series’ with 9 books at 700 pages each; right now I just want to keep trying new authors and new stories to find what I like.

You’ve got a review for Feist’s Riftwar Saga or opinions on The Belgariad? Leave it in a comment!

Review: Pawn of Prophecy

November 11, 2008 1 comment


Cover of Pawn of Prophecy


Pawn of Prophecy follows the main character Garion – a 14-year-old farmboy raised by his Aunt – as he is forced to leave the world he has known – the farm he’s lived all his life – to embark on a journey with his Aunt, a mysterious old man, and a small group of supporting characters.  For much of the book Garion is kept in the dark on what is going on: their reasons for abrupt venture, the identities of the people he is with, and most importantly who he is.  It is quickly apparent to Garion that he is more than just a simple-minded farmboy, yet his identity and background are kept from him for most of the book.  

After leaving the farm, the story picks up the speed and maintains the pace as the group is chasing after and being chased by something.  As to what, Garion feels to be the only one who doesn’t know.  The story sends the group North, to a city of snow and chills as a meeting is to take place among many kings.  The party remains in the city as the story draws to an end, and little by little Garion learns more of who he is and who he is in the company of.  After matters have been discussed and plans made, the party leaves the city of the North by sea to head South and continue the chase.

I just finished book 1 of The Belgariad; it was a quick yet fun and enjoyable read.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m new to the Fantasy genre and fairly new to reading for pleasure (i.e. I haven’t been much of a reader).  With that said, I would immediately recommend this book to young readers or someone new to the genre.  The main story is straightforward and there aren’t many side-stories.  Eddings uses common English – no thee’s and thou’s and Yoda structured sentences to slow down the reading.  The words he chooses serve their purpose and no more – I didn’t have to rely on context to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.  The focus remained on the main characters, and the time spent covering side-characters was not enough to require the reader to keep pen and paper nearby.  In other words, I hardly found myself asking “Now who is this person again?”  As some Fantasy authors have trouble doing, Eddings keeps his character and environment descriptions to a reasonable length, saving the pages for the story.

As said, Pawn of Prophecy was a quick and fun read that anybody should be able to pick up and enjoy; whether they want to continue the story for 4 more books is up to them, but as for me, I’ve already bought them all.

A Song of Fire and Ice Gave Way To The Belgariad

November 9, 2008 Leave a comment

I’m new to reading Fantasy.  Last summer on family vacation my brother handed me a book to read – A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, book 1 of the series A Song of Fire and Ice.  Despite being 900 pages and myself not much of a reader, I managed to power through it before returning from vacation.  I enjoyed the book so much I picked up the second – A Clash of Kings -upon returning home.  Unfortunately, I only managed to read a quarter of A Clash of Kings before I drifted away from reading.

Earlier this month I dusted off A Clash of Kings and started over.  I began to do some online investigating of the Fantasy genre; I’ve always liked fantasy, I just haven’t been much of a reader, nonetheless a Fantasy reader.  I kept coming across the same handful of names – Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Goodkind, and David Farland.  After more investigation into the authors and their works I was interested and looking forward to reading some of them.  But, surely, I can’t quit George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Fire and Ice – I’ve got to finish the series before starting another series!

Well, I failed, I gave in – once again, I put A Clash of Kings back on the bookshelf, still only managing to make it a quarter through the 750 pages.  What did I give it up for? David Eddings’ The Belgariad.  Why?  I was just waiting to finish A Song of Fire and Ice so I could read something else – surely not the right reason to read a series.  I was only a quarter through the second of 4 books, each 800 pages or so – not something I could “wrap up” in a week or so.  At the rate I was reading, it would’ve been…3 or 4 months before I finished A Song of Fire and Ice.  I decided it would be better to read what I wanted to read – after all, reading is supposed to be fun right?

I went over to Borders and grabbed the first book of David Edding’s The Belgariad: Pawn of Prophecy; what a change from George R.R. Martin.  Although there are more books in The Belgariad, each book is less than half the size of a book from A Song of Fire and Ice.  Not that a book should be judged by its page count, but from what others have said it seems that Fantasy series’ can have a tendency to drag on and on (Jordan’s Wheel of Time anybody?).  I’m half way through Pawn of Prophecy and so far the world is definitely more fantastic compared to A Song of Fire and Ice.  There’s real magic (real magic, what the hell!?), not so-skilled-it’s-like-magic magic; there’s more physical combat compared to political combat; and there’s the obvious one-character-of-each-class-from-Dungeons-and-Dragons characteristic.

It’s quite a refreshing change from Martin’s world – there aren’t so many characters that I need to keep note of who’s who, there’s less politics to tangle the story (although allowing for excellent twists), there are fewer side stories, and there’s less pages put into descriptions of the world and its inhabitants.  I’m finding that with less descriptions I’m able to leave the picturing of things to my imagination rather than try and figure out exactly what the description is telling me, allowing me to focus more on the story and less on the environment.

The Belgariad is more simple than A Song of Fire and Ice – probably a good thing since I’m new to the genre.  I certainly plan to finish A Song of Fire and Ice, but perhaps I need a bit more experience with the genre before I can really appreciate Martin’s story.

The Factory Pattern

November 6, 2008 Leave a comment

The Factory Pattern applied:

(From xkcd)

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Watch This

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Another odd find – trust me on this one. Check out this awesome video for the new Wario Land: Shake It game for the Wii. It’s only 0:45 seconds, watch it.

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