Search Results: "Eric Warmenhoven"

20 January 2009

Eric Warmenhoven: I ve decided to take up parenting as a hobby

My son Andrew is now ten weeks old, and already I ve learned so much. For example Being a good parent occasionally means being a proper adversary It s much harder than you might expect, and happens more often than you might expect. A pacifier is an excellent way to calm him down, especially when he has gas pain (and a pacifier can also reduce the risk of SIDS); however, he would let it fall out of his mouth when he wasn t sucking on it. Rather than hold it in, if you tug on the pacifier a little bit, it teaches him how to suck on it so it doesn t fall out. Sometimes what s best is actually not so good Andrew has a food allergy, but we re not exactly sure what he s allergic to. For the last couple weeks, he s been on Nutramigen, a hypoallergenic formula specifically for babies with food allergies, and has been responding really well. Meanwhile, Lisa s been on an elimination diet, eating mainly chicken and rice, trying to get everything he might possibly be allergic to out of her system so she can start nursing again. Recently, Lisa started nursing at an occasional feeding, and he coincidentally seems to have gotten more fussy. He s not screaming in pain like he was before going on the formula, and it s hard to say that it s because of the breast milk. Still, we re thinking about going back to just formula and seeing if he improves again. I read too much When I was a child, and still to this day, I had pretty severe sleep problems. I didn t sleep through the night until I was 18 months old. So before Andrew was born, Lisa and I read a few books about how to establish a healthy sleep pattern. All of them had various theories about why children develop sleep problems, and how to quiet a baby and establish a routine. Now we re so full of conflicting theories about problems that will develop if we do or don t follow some guideline, that it s hard to make a decision about what s best sometimes. It doesn t help that, in part due to his food allergy, he ll sleep through the night one night, and the next night wake up every few hours. Fortunately, only one feeding in the middle of the night has been the norm for quite some time, so it hasn t been too bad.

27 November 2008

Eric Warmenhoven: cado, cadere, cecidi, ?

The other day I was looking at the statistics collected from my web server logs, and saw that easily more than 80% of people who find my website are looking for my Latin vocab learning tools. They’re pretty basic, but I found them to be somewhat helpful when I was learning Latin. I’m seriously considering expanding it a bit, adding conjugation/declension drills, making it a little prettier, etc. Anyway, tonight, I got a nice email from a woman who uses the vocab tools, and noticed that there was a problem with fourth principal part of the Latin verb ‘cado’, and it sent me on a somewhat fruitless search for what the right word is. (A quick primer for those not familiar with Latin verbs: most verbs have four principal parts, which can be used for conjugation. The fourth principal part is the perfect passive participle, e.g. “to have been heard”.) So then, what is the perfect passive participle of ‘cado’, which means “to fall”? Before I get into that, consider for a moment what the translation to English would be. “To fall” is usually used as an intransitive verb (the transitive form is mostly obsolete), so “to have been fallen” doesn’t really sound natural. But the translation can be approximated to something like “to have been dropped” or “to have been struck down”. But what is the actual word that is used? On this there appears to be some disagreement. Wheelock’s Latin says that it’s ‘casurum‘, as does Wiktionary. However, Tyro’s Dictionary says that it’s ‘casum‘, as does All Verbs. Meanwhile, Whitaker’s Words says that ‘casurum‘ is “very rare”, from “later” Latin, and used in the Vulgate Bible, and says it should actually be ‘casusus‘. I still don’t know which one is correct, and suspect that all three are correct depending on the text that’s used. I can somewhat see how ‘casum‘ might have been correct at some point, but changed as it overlaps with the noun ‘casus‘, which is the noun “fall”, as in “that was a nasty fall”. Or vice versa. I tried to go searching through prose to see which was most commonly used, but most of what I found was from the Vulgate Bible and used ‘casurum‘. So, I’m still not sure which is actually the “best” word. I’ve changed the site so that it uses ‘casurum‘ to be consistent with Wheelock’s. So, does anyone definitively know, which is actually best, and what the etymology is?

3 November 2008

Eric Warmenhoven

Dear Lazyweb, what’s best dedicated server/virtual private server offering? My basic requirements are: Right now I have Dreamhost, which has been reasonable for what I pay, which is $16/mo. They run Debian and, aside from root, give me everything else that I want. However, I’m starting to get really annoyed at being on shared hosting. Also, they’re moving everyone over to new servers, and when they do, I won’t be able to use procmail filtering anymore. So I’m looking for alternatives. One of my friends had used ServerPronto, which meets all my requirements. However, his experience convinced me that I don’t want to be using ServerPronto. So, what should I use?

5 August 2008

Eric Warmenhoven: Expensive toys, expensive repairs

This past weekend, I took my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L lens to take some indoor pictures. I had been using it previously to take outdoor pictures, and had used my polarizer, and left it on the lens when I was done. So this weekend, I tried taking it off, and couldn’t. That’s the first time this had happened to me. I wasn’t sure what to do. Fortunately for me, before I did anything too extreme, Adam suggested I get a filter wrench. So I headed over to Wolf Camera to get one. Wolf didn’t have one, so I asked where I could get one, and they suggested someone else who also didn’t have one, but they suggested Keeble & Shuchat Photography, who I had been to before. They did have wrenches, but not in the size that I needed. They suggested I just bring the lens to their repair department, which I did. Fifteen minutes later, the filter still wasn’t off the lens, and they had given up. My lens is now on its way to Canon USA for a repair, and hopefully I’ll get both parts back, separated, and in usable condition. They estimated the cost would be somewhere between two and three hundred dollars. I guess that’s what happens when a lens that costs $1000 and a filter that costs $100 decide to misbehave in tandem. And I was hoping the repair would be a simple $5 filter wrench!

25 July 2008

Eric Warmenhoven: Strobist.

Recently, I was trying to take portraits of Lisa at home, and failing. There wasn’t enough light, and the (on-camera) flash I had simply wasn’t cutting it. I decided it was time for a more serious solution. Enter I already had the 580EX II Flash, so I got a stand, umbrella, and reflector, told my sister-in-law to stand between it all, and the results turned out much better:
IMG_5319.jpg IMG_5319.jpg
The background there is actually an empty room with all of the lights turned off, which I was pretty impressed with. Since then, I’ve convinced Lisa to let me set up a photo studio in the garage, complete with backgrounds. I picked up a background stand (no backgrounds yet though) and a Calumet Genesis 200 1-Light Kit, which is pretty awesome. I’ve also signed up for some classes to try and pick up some tips on all of this. In other news, I picked up the WordPress iPhone app. Maybe I’ll actually start posting more regularly.

31 March 2008

Eric Warmenhoven: Rewriting as a learning tool

So a year and a half ago, I mentioned I was trying to learn Haskell, and I still am. It’s been going much more slowly than I hoped, since I haven’t really spent any time on it. I never write anything new anymore! So I decided to rewrite something I had previously written myself, need be damned. So I chose the RSS aggregator I wrote, harsh. harsh hasn’t changed in eleven months (and that change was just about making the location of its configuration file configurable), but I still remembered how it worked pretty closely; at least enough that I didn’t have to really go searching through its code too much. That’s probably also a function of how small harsh is; in terms of lines of code (excluding blank lines):
  config.c: 139
  cookie.c: 221
 display.c: 709
    feed.c: 577
    list.c: 96
    list.h: 16
    main.c: 96
    main.h: 84
     md5.c: 360
     md5.h: 76
     rss.c: 120
     xml.c: 276
     xml.h: 17
     total: 2787
It uses expat to parse the HTML, libnbio for socket management (which is available in Debian), and ncurses for the UI. It doesn’t have any sort of threading (libnbio does a good job of making sure that, other than DNS lookups, there’s never anything going on long enough to prevent responsiveness). About its only feature is that it will use my cookies.txt file, so that I can see my LiveJournal friends’ protected entries. I originally wrote harsh in about a day or two. It was really easy because of the 2800 lines, about 850 of them had been written in some of my other projects (list.c/h and xml.c/h) or are standard (md5.c/h). I was also really familiar with the three helper libraries from writing grim (my IM client) and stark (a tool for viewing GnuCash data files). As a learning exercise, rewriting harsh in Haskell was excellent. It’s incredibly small, does a lot of standard things (like networking and console UI), and doesn’t do a lot of non-standard things (like an AIM client does). I got to play with the Haskell light-weight threads and STM; I learned how to create a Debian Haskell package; I learned how to use ghci as a debugger with breakpoints; and I’m much more comfortable with monads and with the language in general. It did take me significantly longer to write than the C version, though that’s more due to me having to learn not just the language but some libraries along the way (like HTTP, Vty, and HaXml). I still think that it would take me just as long to write the Haskell version as the C version, but I’m still much more comfortable with C, and imperative programming in general. From a code size perspective, the Haskell version is about one-sixth the size (excluding comments):
Config.lhs: 53
  Feed.lhs: 144
 Harsh.lhs: 272
  Util.lhs: 26
     total: 495
However, that’s not a very fair comparison. In the C version, md5.c/h are included in the total count, when really they should be considered a standard library (and on the Haskell side, I used Data.Hash.MD5 from MissingH). On the C side, I did all of the HTTP request and response processing myself (which is what more than half of feed.c is about), while on the Haskell side I left that to an HTTP client library. Excluding all those things though, the Haskell version is still about one-fourth the size. Anyway, I put the Haskell version of harsh up here. If any Haskell hackers out there could take a look at it and let me know what I’m doing wrong or oddly, I’d appreciate it.

25 December 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Tomorrow will be: roughly the same as today.

A couple months ago, I got an iPhone, like I wanted. Today, I dropped it flat on its face onto a tile floor, and the bottom half of the touch screen no longer responded. So this afternoon, Christmas Eve, I went to the Apple store at 5pm to try to get it fixed, realizing at the time how stupid and unlikely that was. To my great surprise, the store was open, mostly empty, and I was given a brand new iPhone on the spot. I took it home and connected it to my Macbook, and iTunes asked me if I wanted to restore my old profile. A short sync later and it’s indistinguishable from my old iPhone, pre-drop. It even remembered which websites I had open! It also had the pictures I had taken with the phone but hadn’t yet copied off of the computer. So now I love my iPhone even more because I don’t care if it breaks; the new one will be identical to the old one in every way. Today ends week eight of my forty-eight week Invisalign treatment. I originally was looking at orthodontic work to correct the crowding on my lower teeth, and have been considering getting either braces or Invisalign for about four years now. I’ve talked to several dentist and orthodontists, and the ones who offer both braces and Invisalign have tried to persuade me to get braces instead. The main reasons they’ve pushed braces are that they’re cheaper, they’ll probably take less time, and they’ll be able to correct more things, such as my overbite. I decided to go with Invisalign instead for several reasons: vanity, comfort, convenience, and protection. Invisalign so far has been much more comfortable than braces were, especially since they don’t cut at my lips and gums like braces did. I can eat whatever I want, unlike with braces, since the retainers come off while I eat. And I grind my teeth at night, so the Invisalign gets worn down instead of my teeth. The biggest inconvenience so far with Invisalign is that I’ve stopped snacking, since there’s such a huge time cost involved with brushing my teeth before putting them back on, and I’m not supposed to have them off for more than two hours per day.

18 September 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: iWant.

Lately I have been wanting to buy a lot of fairly expensive stuff that I don’t really need. It started with the telephoto zoom lens, which I ended up getting, and love. I’m really happy that I got it, especially since Lisa and I will be going on a hot air balloon ride in Napa for our anniversary, and then to the Salinas Air Show the following weekend. Then it was the new TiVo HD. We already have a Series 3, but we’ve occasionally thought that we might like to get a second TiVo for our other TV. Now that it’s been confirmed that Multi-Room Viewing is coming to both the Series3 and TiVo HD soon, there’s even more incentive to get one. Fortunately right now they’re selling them to employees at a discounted price (limit one per employee). And now it’s the iPhone. I can’t explain why I feel compelled to buy this other than iWant. A few of my coworkers have one and they look pretty slick. Plus my current iPod battery can’t hold a charge very long. Plus I like the idea of having an integrated iPod and phone (it’s part of the reason why I got my current phone, the Motorola SLVR L7). Plus it’s roughly the same size as the SLVR and only slightly heavier.

28 August 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Eclipse.

I stayed up late last night to watch the lunar eclipse, and took pictures. In related news, I need a lens that has a much longer zoom. The pictures I posted aren’t scaled (just cropped). I wish I’d thought of this a couple weeks ago so I could have finally ordered the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L that I’ve been looking at for months now. I’ll probably get it soon though, so that I’ll have it for the Salinas Air Show at the end of September.

13 August 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Does this flash make me look small?

.flickr-photo .flickr-frame float: left; text-align: center; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; .flickr-caption font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px;

originally uploaded by warmenhoven.
I’ve been playing around with my flash a bit. I’m more comfortable with the extra weight and all the controls now. I still haven’t gotten used to using it to add light very well though. A while back when I was looking for my tripod, I got to play with a 30D. The extra size felt really good in my hands, and ever since I’ve wanted a slightly bigger camera. Not that I’ve been unhappy with the XTI at all; it’s just that it could be better. And so, I’ve been following the rumors of a 40D somewhat closely, even though I don’t think I’ll get one. I’ll probably wait until next August in hopes that Canon announces an update to the current 5D.

8 August 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Self portraits are hard.

A few weeks ago, Lisa and I were in Barnes&Noble, and I decided to buy a few photography books: The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby: This book is, as advertised, not a book about concepts and theories but rather about practical advice and tips. If you already know some of the theory, it’s pretty easy to see how it plays out in practice in this book. Composition Photo Workshop by Blue Fier: I love the name “Blue Fier”, even though I’m probably pronouncing “Fier” wrong (”Fire”). Anyway, this book started off a little slow for me because he covers things like aperture and depth of field and focus, and shutter speed and ISO and other things I’m already fairly familiar with. When he started getting into framing and rule-of-thirds type stuff it got more interesting. He also covered several different styles of photography (landscape, macro, portrait, etc.) and so it was a pretty good introductory book. Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting by Catherine Jamieson and Sean McCormick: I’m only half way through this book so far, and already it’s prompted me to spend hundreds of dollars on a new flash, and gotten me thinking about getting lights and umbrellas and reflectors and setting up my own miniature studio. I’ve spent the past few days trying to take portraits of Pixel and Lisa and myself, and haven’t had much success, mainly due to poor lighting (hence the flash and the dreams of better lighting equipment). When taking self portraits I’ve had such trouble getting the camera placement and focus and lighting right that I haven’t even gotten to really working on posing much. Which is fine, since I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet anyway. There’s a portrait workshop being held in Los Gatos at the end of September that I think I’m going to enroll in, but I’m worried based on the description that I’ll have already heard most of it from the portrait book I bought. In the spring I may enroll for a photography class at the local community college as well.

24 July 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Let me explain

I’ve been thinking about what I’m able to write about TiVo without upsetting anyone, and so I’ve been doing a bit of research about what’s already been written. Surprisingly, a lot. So I decided that there really wasn’t a whole lot that I could say that isn’t already somewhere else on the web, and figured I’d just add in some technical explanations to questions that are likely to come up. For example, the remote that we will ship has the thumbs buttons, but the Comcast remote [pdf] doesn’t. If you compare the remotes closely (there’s a picture of the TiVo remote in the article linked above), you’ll see the Comcast remote has two buttons that the TiVo remote doesn’t: Page Up and Page Down. There you go. The TiVo UI uses Channel Up/Channel Down as Page Up/Page Down in lists, so we don’t need separate Page Up/Page Down buttons, and use them for Thumbs buttons instead. Also, to confirm what was written in that article linked to above, we really did rewrite our software in Java. Sort of. As the article states, we run on top of TVWorks’ TV Navigator middleware. It’s not a full OCAP implementation, but rather an implementation of OnRamp To OCAP, which is (from Informitv) not a precursor but “a subset of OCAP so that applications will be forward-compatible with the full OCAP specification.” In other words, we didn’t write the OCAP layer, nor the OS. And the Java-based software so far only runs on the Motorola hardware.

8 July 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Wolf Camera sucks.

Lately I’ve been thinking that I’d like to buy a tripod, for a variety of reasons. I’ve been doing some research into them and decided that I’d really like to try a few out in the store before I consider buying one (especially since head and legs together will possibly cost $600). So today Lisa and I went out driving around to a bunch of different camera stores. Or at least, we tried to go to a bunch of different stores. Los Gatos Camera closed, and we weren’t able to find a couple other of the stores on my list. The Wolf Cameras that I’ve been to have had an extremely limited variety of tripods, and I wouldn’t consider buying any of the ones that they have. Are there any decent camera shops in the San Jose area?

22 June 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: To 3 or not to 3

Apparently there’s lots of interest in the TiVo-Comcast product that I took a picture of. Already that picture has nearly 350 views, and the blog entry got a couple questions about it. And it’s a crap photo of something that was seen at CES. The two questions that were asked were: When can I get it? I have no idea. All I know is that we got 1.0 done and Comcast currently has it. Most likely they’re going to be doing some testing of it privately, and then start market trials in select areas, but I don’t know when or where. (It’s also going to be available for Cox customers, but I have even less information about that.) Should I wait for it or get a Series 3? I can’t really answer that question. I have a Series 3 at home and it’s awesome. For me, if the choice were between this or a Series 3, I’d take the Series 3, despite the several hundred dollar price tag (especially since it’s currently available). Before I got the Series 3, I had the old Comcast DVR; and if I had to choose between that and the TiVo, I’d definitely choose the TiVo. (I’m biased, but I was a TiVo fan even before I got hired. That’s part of the reason I wanted to work here.) Disclaimer Please keep in mind that I’m not speaking on behalf of TiVo. I only work here.

20 June 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: TiVo!


Originally uploaded by warmenhoven

This is my desk. I’m planning on blogging about working at TiVo. I’m also testing phone-Flickr-blog.

15 June 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Normalizing

I’ve been playing with my camera a bit more lately. The Wikipedia articles on photography and related topics are so much clearer now that I’ve had my camera for a few months. I got a new lens, an EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, and tormented Pixel with that for a while. I’m also thinking about eventually getting a tripod and a telephoto zoom lens, but probably not anytime soon. And, as was probably inevitable, I set up a Flickr account and actually uploaded some photos to it:
IMG_0514.JPG IMG_0986.JPG IMG_1515.JPG
I’m not really happy with most of the photos that I take though, and I think a lot of it is my framing. I just don’t have a real good feel for how to set up a shot. I guess the only things I can really do about that are to look through other people’s pictures, and experiment on my own.

16 April 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: No Apple Love

About eight months ago or so, Lisa and I decided to get a new laptop that both of us could use. I decided I didn’t want to buy a Windows computer, so we “compromised” (she gave in) and we got a 17″ MacBook Pro. I was pretty impressed with it, and she found it usable enough (though Quicken for Mac is quite different from the Windows version, and she still doesn’t like it much). Two weeks ago, we started having problems booting it. Problems like, the Apple logo on the boot screen would turn into a no sign and not boot. Or sometimes it would turn into a black screen and start printing console error messages before dropping me into a root shell. Or sometimes it would boot fine but then Finder would get into an infinite crash loop. Or sometimes it would boot fine and not have any problems at all for days. I backed up most of my data and took it to the Apple store this afternoon, where they had pretty severe problems just trying to boot from an external disk. They took it and said that they’d try replacing the logic board and possibly the hard disk, and give me a call in a week or so when it’s ready.

23 February 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: TiVo!

I’ve been seriously thinking about leaving Brocade for a few months now. They’ve always been great to me, and I’ve enjoyed working there. But I’ve been there for nearly five years, and it was my first real job out of college, so I’ve decided I want to try something different. I especially want to get out of the storage sector; even though Brocade is really a networking company, their primary business (and everything I’ve ever worked on here) has been Fibre Channel, which is really only used for storage. I’ve been monitoring, and in early January (just after I had gotten Lisa a new Series 3 for Christmas) I saw a listing for TiVo. So I decided to apply. After a phone screen and two on-site interviews with a variety of people, they offered me a job, and last Wednesday, I accepted. My last day at Brocade will be next Friday, March 2, and my first day at TiVo will be Thursday, March 8. It’s finally been announced at Brocade; otherwise I would have posted this sooner. It’ll be nice to work on something that I actually use again. (I’ll be working on the TiVo service for Comcast DVRs.) It’s easier for me to be self-motivated when I’m working on something that is potentially going to benefit me, outside of just the usual compensation. That’s the whole motivating factor of open source, at least in theory, right? I know it’s why I worked on gaim. Also, it’s a lot easier to explain to people. Telling people I work on a Fibre Channel Router, if they don’t know anything about storage, is just gibberish, and trying to explain it is aggravatingly time-consuming. Anyway, wish me luck.

13 January 2007

Eric Warmenhoven: Rebel

Partly in preparation for an upcoming baby, and partly by watching mid, I started thinking about cameras. I’ve decided that my little old Canon PowerShot S230 is getting a little worn out (its second battery can’t hold a charge that lasts longer than a few dozen photos). So, after a lot of advice from mid, I decided to get a Canon Digital Rebel XTi (also known as the EOS 400D). Also, partly on his advice and partly on the advice of a few Amazon reviews, I decided not to get the kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6; not the one with the USM), and instead got another lens that sometimes is sold along with the XTi body (EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM). I also got a 2GB compact flash card. As someone who’s always had point-and-shoot cameras, this is a really awesome camera. Part of it is that all of my cameras up until now have been 3.2MP or less and this one is 10.1MP. But a lot of it is that I get to control things like shutter time, and that the lens has image stabilization (IS), so I don’t get nearly as many blurry pictures. But I’ve had the most fun playing with the aperture, which creates some really neat effects that just weren’t possible with my point-and-shoot. Pixel, however, was unimpressed: Pixel yawning Anyway, I can see now why people spend so much money on cameras, and especially on lenses. And I can tell already that I’m going to want a tripod. Also, I understand now why mid has a 4GB CF. My 2GB CF holds about 200 RAW images, which would be plenty with a point-and-shoot. But with this camera, it goes quickly, since it’s so easy to take multiple pictures in quick succession. Thus far, I haven’t really run into any problems with the camera itself, other than feeling like I need or want more accessories.

29 November 2006

Eric Warmenhoven: Breeders

As I said a while back, Lisa and I had been in the process of finding and buying a new house. A few months ago, we found one, and moved. We left behind a bit of our furniture that we have had since we were in college, and since then have been in a rather involved process of finding furniture that we’re willing to live with for the next few decades or so. It’s been a rather painless process for me, since Lisa’s been doing all of it. I just have to stay alert for when new things show up. I still tend to miss lamps. We were in the process of selling our townhouse; but after a few months we only had two offers, and both were significantly below our asking price. So we’ve taken it off the market for now, but will list it again in the spring. Fortunately for us it’s paid off, so other than property tax, it isn’t too big of an expense. We considered renting it but have friends who did that and their experience has convinced us that we’ll never rent anything ever. Also, a couple months ago, after we moved, we found out that Lisa’s pregnant. We’re both really excited about it. We had been married for just less than a year when we found out, which doesn’t seem like a long enough time, but we had been together for seven years prior to that. So it seemed like a good time for us. We have our third ultrasound in a couple weeks when hopefully we’ll find out the baby’s gender. Lisa’s hoping for a girl, but she thinks it’s going to be a boy; I think it’s going to be a girl. Everything seems to be going well so far, and Lisa’s starting to show a little. We haven’t started doing any of the baby-related things yet, like picking names, or setting up a nursery and buying a ton of crap that will probably end up being mostly unused. We did receive our first baby-related gift from my grandmother though, and Lisa’s grandmother is busy knitting booties and blankets. One of these days we’ll probably head over to Babies R Us and set up a baby registry, but probably not until after the new year.