personal, humor comments edit

Scott Hanselman works with me on random crap at work, and over the course of time I’ve gotten to know a little more about how he works and stuff he says all the time, and I have to call BS on him every once in a while, so to speak. We all have our catch phrases or whatever, I just find there’s a whole dialect forming solely based on Hanselisms. We’ll call this “Hanselingo” - The Language of the Hanselman.

Hanselminutes: A unit of time in a continuum unique to Scott. Started when I asked him if I could get a feature enhancement on a bit of code he was working on. “Sure, gimme 10 minutes,” he said. Two weeks later, I’m still waiting the 10 minutes. (Yes, it did eventually get done.) That was “10 Hanselminutes.”

Thanks For Your Patience: This is a classic phrase that you’ll usually get in a reasonably patronizing tone when you’re being slow to pick something up… or Scott perceives you’re being slow to pick it up. A “nice” way of turning the situation around and not only making you feel stupid but guilty for eating up time as well.

Cakemail or cmail: An email sent with a non sequitur answer. Derives from a random phrase that one might interject into a conversation (“Hey, Scott, what exactly is this method doing?” “I like cake!”). Typically the result of the fact he’s got 10 things to do and time enough for five of them.

“I’m not sayin’…, I’m just sayin’…: An easy way out when you’re telling someone something they don’t want to hear. “You know, this could really be improved if you held to any sort of quality standards whatsoever.” “What?!” “I’m not sayin’… I’m just sayin’…” Usually accompanied by hand gestures: the “I’m not sayin’” gets the hands raised in the air, like a small, defensive “hands up” maneuver; the “I’m just sayin’” gets the hands pushed forward, palms up, like an offering.

Scott’s the man, but I just gotta give him crap. It makes my world go ‘round. :)

So Jenn and I got home late last night after hanging out with some friends. We’re tired and trying to sleep.

5:19a Sunday morning, we get this phone call. It doesn’t seem to appear on the caller ID, so I pick it up. It’s 5:19a - it’s gotta be life or death, right?

Travis: Hello? Caller: Hi, is Jennifer there? T: Who can I tell her is calling? Caller: This is Raymund. T: Can I tell her what this is about? Come on, man, it’s 5:19 in the morning. Raymund: It’s about a child of ours.

I handed the phone to Jenn, but by the time I got it to her, he had hung up.

That shit weirded me out. I mean, that’s the kind of phone call you get when the guilty serial murderer’s brother knows who the next target is and wants them to wake up and get out of the house.

I got up, checked all the rooms, and found that the caller ID on one of the other phones picked it up:

Raymond Rosales. 541-212-6379.

I looked it up online, and while I can’t seem to find an address for it, it’s an Ontario, OR, based number. Sprint’s the carrier. I couldn’t find anything else.

Anyway, if anything happens to us, call Raymund. That was some fishy shit. I’ve had like three hours of sleep and my adrenaline’s got me up now. I’m gonna have to watch a movie and chill out, then maybe take a nap later today.

While cruising through my morning news, I’ve found…

Engadget reports on PyMusique, a program that allows you to download music from iTunes without the DRM being attached. Turns out iTunes itself is what creates the DRM when you buy from the iTunes Music Store. This program buys from the iTunes music store (you still have to pay) but doesn’t add the DRM. I’m going to have to check this out.

Raymond Chen talks about some interesting trivia regarding Windows XP service pack build numbers. If your Windows XP version is Version 5.1 (Build 2600.xpsp2.040919-1003 : Service Pack 1), are you running service pack 2 (as indicated by “xpsp2”) or service pack 1? (Turns out it’s service pack 1; the why is the interesting part.)

Google’s opened, a site chock-full of Google-related code and API information. Wanna develop against Google? That seems to be the place. Seems to be all C++ and Python at the moment, but the plan is that more will be released later. I may have to check this out.

I went home and, after giving Roomba a thorough cleaning, did some testing.

So it was acting up around the virtual wall units. I had some placed around the bedroom so the Roomba wouldn’t go under the bed and destroy the crap we have down there, but what ended up happening was that Roomba would spin in circles and clean the same four square feet over and over. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was up.

After reading some of the FAQs on the iRobot site, I started gathering that the virtual walls not only put out a beam forward (as the virtual wall) but also a beam around the wall unit itself, presumably so the Roomba doesn’t run into the unit and knock it over or change its position.

On the bottom of the virtual wall unit is a diagram that sort of illustrates this:

Original virtual wall

You can see in the diagram a small dotted halo surrounding the virtual wall unit as it projects the beam. I had interpreted this halo as a circle to highlight the virtual wall unit. Not the case - it actually outlines the wall unit’s beam pattern.

As it turns out, this diagram is correct, just not to any sort of scale. The correct diagram would look more like this:

More accurate virtual wall

Notice the halo extends to the far reaches of space. This is more accurate. In fact, if I cover the little broadcast point on the top of the virtual wall unit (to stop the halo), Roomba behaves as normal again.

That’s why you see the virtual wall in the diagram parked behind a physical wall and broadcasting outward - so Roomba doesn’t pick up on the protective halo of the virtual wall unit.

Why was I afflicted? I had changed the way the virtual walls in the room were laid out from previous times Roomba had run. Before I had blocked the virtual walls with a pillow so Roomba wouldn’t hit them, which, at the same time, meant I unknowingly had blocked the virtual wall’s protective halo so I never saw the behavior. This time I had not blocked the virtual walls with a pillow, and Roomba went nuts. Too much infrared in a small space.

So I’m back to status quo on that front. Virtual wall placement now becomes a more strategic task, but I should be okay.