Saturday, July 29, 2006

Reminder to all: Italy world cup champs 2006

Ok, I know promised I will not talk about this anymore, but I just pulled out the pictures I took when I went downtown and celebrated with the Italians. Check them out here.

One Red Paperclip...

I have been keeping track of this little story of a Canadian guy who started trading a red paperclip July 12 2005 in hope of being able to trade his way into a house. Surprisingly he accomplished that on July 12 2006. This just proves that almost anything is possible!! Who thought someone would be able to trade his way from a paperclip all the way to a house.

So this whole red paper clip business just expanded big time on the web. Just googling it to find Kyle's website I came across another website where "you can trade 1 red paperclip yourself"! Crazy! A movie is apparently in the works too. Check out the site, some adventure that must have been. Congratulations to Kyle MacDonald.

The most interesting trade I found was the last trade, the city of Kipling, SK is trading a house for the role in a Hollywood movie which Kyle got by trading a snowball with a directory who happened to be one of the World's biggeest snowball collectors...what a coincidence. So whats a town going to do with a movie role? Well they are running an "American Idol" style auditions for the role in Corbin Bernsen’s movie “Donna on Demand”. So if you are around Kipling,SK on Labor Day weekend, head down there and try out!! This will probably the closest you will every get to playing a role in a Hollywood movie.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fresh Mac OS X Tiger for Vicky

So I purchased OS X Tiger earlier in the summer and didnt get the chance to install it properly on my G4 PowerBook. Today I erased everything and started from scratch. I made sure to burn the free software the guy I bought this from (off eBay).

So why is it called Vicky? The story behind that is one of my friends had a PowerBook as well and he showed me the voice recognition stuff on it and how it can tell "knock knock". The voice he used was called "Vicky". So when I showed this off to some ppl they started calling it Vicky.

Anyway its 2am and I am tired. I have a meeting with the School of Grad studies tomorrow noon, I wonder what that is all about.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Italy up to 2nd place from 13th in June 2006

I was curious to know how Italy's world ranking was affected by their recent World Cup win. Before the world cup they were ranked 13th, now they are all the way up to 2nd trailing behind Brazil. Brazil was already in 1st before the cup, and I can understand that they maintained first because they won it 5 times and Italy 4 times. What I do not understand is why is Argentina in 3rd? They went out in the quarter finals and they only won twice. I think Germany should be 3rd since they won it 3 times so far plus they played much better than Argentina in this cup. Anyway who cares, Italy is 2nd. So I hope everybody survived this month of me posting mostly world cup news, this is definitely the last now. (I still feel I am going to read something sooner or later about this and start ranting on it again)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Definitely not a psychic!

My predictions:
Inzaghi doesnt play against Australia and rests for the game after (Argentina). Italy beats Australia 3-0 and moves on to face Maradona's team in which Italy wins 3-2. The Argentinians are shorter than the Italian players, so they will have a tought time with the perfect corners and free kicks by Totti.

Recently I made the above predictions, obviously I was not even a little close. Italy barely won the Austrialians. Luckily that ref gave them the penalty although Grosso was totally faking it. Argentina was not good enough to beat the Germans and lost by penalties. And ofcourse the Italians were more than good enough to beat the Germans and got a well deserved 2 goals. (Yup I'm going to keep rubbing it in your face you Argentina and German fans)

Anyway, so I came in to work today for a little bit to complete something that was not done yesterday. We needed a 2.6 kernel less than 2.6.13 to get the serial connection to the Moog platform to work. We tried a 2.4 kernel and that worked fine, but for some reason the CD fails to install a package needed for kde. There was no Gnome on these Slackware CDs so I tried the other "light weight" window managers and didn't like them very much. What luck for the CD to fail on a package needed by kde. So I burnt new CDs and am re-installing the machine now. That machine wasnt given permission to access the network yet, so won't be able to download the stuff I need.

Yesterday after we tried the serial connection on the 2.4 kernel with the new Moxa PCI card everything worked fine. I can say these Moxa drivers worked ALMOST out of the box. They only work on kernels prior to 2.6.13. So we had the DTK sliders program open and got them connected to the Moog shared memory and using these 6 sliders on my screen I was able to move the 2000 pound platform in all 6 dimensions - x,y,z,roll,yaw,and pitch. Very cool. I also got to sit inside and experience the motion first hand and its pretty neat. The up-down motion doesnt give butterflies in your stomach like I thought it would since this thing moves around at around 0.6g. Then the professor decided to do "the twist" where the platform twists around itself...that shook me up pretty well. That was fun.

Anyway I am all done here. The Linux box is working flawlessly now :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Linux virtual keyboard

Since it doesnt make any sense to have a physical keyboard inside the flight simulator it makes a lot of sense to get a virtual keyboard such as xvkbd. Like any other open source project, it comes with the source so that you can modify it to your own needs. After playing around with it yesterday to figure out what needs to be done to tailor this for FlightGear and Vdrift I got a draft of what this virtual keyboard might just look like at th end. Ofcourse theres a few more keys that need to be added. You can also have several of them running so for example I get the FlightGear keyboard running, and then another default keyboard to allow for regular input into the machine. Heres a screenshot after setting up the necessary options:

So at the top is the default keyboard if needed. Below it to the left is a numberpad to allow enterring coordinates and other autopilot options in FlightGear. Finally, the FlightGear keyboard is on the right. I split them this way because I thought it would be good for the user to just have whatever keyboards they need and minimize the rest. Ofcourse this script should be put on the desktop to easily start these up using the touchscreen.

Like I promised, World Cup updates will be over when its done and only if Italy wins, otherwise Ill be ranting about that for a while (jk, even I can get bored from Italy and its soccer) The final is on Sunday, and against the Frenchies. For those who recall the Euro Cup two years ago, theres some unfinnished business between the French and the Italians when the Italians unfortunately lost a game they were winning until the last two minutes (break a leg Wiltord!) On the other hand, the Italians have a better squad today which works like one machine so I doubt the French have a chance of even scoring. Note that the Italian goal did not "lose its virginity yet" except for that own goal. (Now that sentence sounds a little bit dirty...too dirty) Don't you come and tell me "but they beat Brazil", since when does Brazil have no shots on goal, I don't get it but I am glad that team is out.

Now on to a topic a lot of you love to joke about - " Nael's Deportation Adventures". Although I was accepted into grad school by Computing and Software, I still need a final approval from the School of Graduate studies and that is what I am currently working on. My cumulative gpa doesnt satisfy their requirements, but thats just because of first year, and that had nothing to do with what I am doing now so my professor sent a letter along with my application. Hopefully that works out and I get my letter so that I can renew my permit and NOT get deported. I am still playing on both fields though and applying for jobs just incase something goes wrong (aha..deportation contingency plans), so I have an interview tomorrow with a startup in Toronto. Let us see what that brings us. Until now, I am still more interested in what I will be doing in grad school althought it might not pay anything but at the end I believe I shall be better off.

..and ofcourse Forza Italia!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Italy strike late to break hosts' hearts

Beautifull game! So far the most entertaining of the whole cup, not just because the Italians won, but because it was just attack after attack, there was almost no midfield! Grosso's amazing goal broke the deadlock 2 min before the end of the second extra time after a perfect pass from Pirlo. Del Piero then scored again a few minutes later catching the Germans in the counter attack. The ref did some bad calls, and forgot others. Italy commited a foul and a handball in the box, but got lucky without a call. On the other hand, the Germans got lucky twice when the Italians hit the post twice in the extra time. All in all, it was a fair game and the best team won. There was a clear foul and an even more clearer corner kick for Italy that somehow got overlooked by the ref, but thats not so bad I guess.

The cup is 1 match away now, and beating the Germans in their home, infront of 60,000 Germans is something and I doubt the French or Portuguese can stand up against the Azzurri.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Germany, here come the Mighty Italians

Its the semi-finals now as you all should know and Italy is facing the Germans. The Germans have played really well this world cup, better than the last one as the team of "freshmen" got more experience, but are they match for the experienced Italians? Ofcourse the Germans are being coached by an all time favorite of mine - Jurgen Klinsmann - but can they do it? Their strategy all along was to fire a shot as soon as the goal is visible. Not a bad strategy and it makes them look really good when someone reviews the game stats. As for the Italians I must say the played awesome against Ukraine and Toni's curse was finally broken when he finally scored...twice. So July 4th the Italians will face the Germans, in their home country (obviously) and hopefully the Germans shall get crushed. Its been a long time since Italy reached a semi final game, and even longer since they reached the final, so its about time.

Goodluck to the Azzurri.

P.S. The world cup is almost over, so those of you who read this will get back to reading less soccer posts and more random shit like before.