Monthly Archives: May 2007

Confirmation Dialogs

I know why Windows is riddled with confirmation dialogs everywhere! It’s a coding theory problem: the minimal distance between valid codewords in a windowed interface is much smaller than that in a command line interface, so you have to add check bits to increase the distance. In layman’s terms, the probability that I accidentally clicked on “delete” instead of “rename”, which are adjacent, is much higher than the probability that I typed rm instead of mv.

Of course, there are still those times when the command line coding has too small a minimal distance. Here’s a case study, which happened to me about a year ago:

    # mkswap /dev/sda3

It turns out that sda4 was my designated swap partition, and sda3 was my root partition! This particular typo had horrible coding dynamics: the typo came at the very end of the line, right before return (so all visual checks are off); the typo was likely to result in another valid codeword; and there was no confirmation question. Thus I spent the next 6 hours figuring out how to restore an ext3 filesystem from its backup tables.

Kickin’ What?

Here’s the session from May 16th:

  1. 2007-05-16_01
  2. 2007-05-16_02
  3. 2007-05-16_03
  4. 2007-05-16_04
  5. 2007-05-16_05
  6. 2007-05-16_06
  7. 2007-05-16_07 – Bluegreen Boogie
  8. 2007-05-16_08
  9. 2007-05-16_09
  10. 2007-05-16_10
  11. 2007-05-16_11
  12. 2007-05-16_12
  13. 2007-05-16_13
  14. 2007-05-16_14

Right now, my favorite tracks are 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, 13, and 14. Ugh, the beginning of 13 is so sloppy though.

Eric, our drummer, forgot to set up the kick mic, so there is some emptiness where there should be a bass drum.


The other day I was trying to think of a way that you could choose your role in Werewolf. This led me to the idea that you start people with money, and they can bid on the role they want. I mentioned this to Jude, Cami, Paul, and Travis, and Jude said that there has to be some incentive to keep the money. Travis suggested that people get paid for winning, and I took that to mean that you pay into a pot, and the pot goes to the winners at the end of the game. Obviously we’re not talking about Werewolf anymore, this is a totally new game.

Here is my attempt to hash out the details of this new Werepoker.

Continue reading Werepoker


The improv band had a small barbeque gig last Saturday. Joining us this time was Nolan on guitar. The results were definitely groovy.

You pretty much can’t go wrong with these. #1 starts a little messy, but we get the hang of it after a few minutes. #7 doesn’t really go anywhere. Other than that, enjoy.

UPDATE: Kids, what’s it called when people are treated equally when they clearly aren’t equal? Communism. I should have said this before: tracks 5, 6, and 8 are clearly superior to the others.


I woke up this morning with a great rockin’ keyboard solo going through my head. I was just hearing it in my head, then I heard a motif which I realized I wouldn’t be able to play (specifically because my 4th and 5th finger trills aren’t fast yet). I jumped out of bed and sat at the piano for ten minutes, just practicing that riff, until I could do it to my satisfaction.

This gives me an idea: I’m going to write a suite, similar to the Hanon virtuoso pianist exercises, called the “keyboard funkercises”. Basically it will be a bunch of riffs for the left hand, and a bunch of riffs for the right hand, and you are to play them straight through, mixing each left hand with each right hand. This should serve to achieve independence of the two hands, and to build strength in both hands so they can each do a line while the other comps (in any rhythm). They are essentially a way for me to improve, but I’ll publish them for fun.

And they’d probably be way groovier to listen to than someone practicing Hanon, which can be a painful experience.

The Pruning Sessions

Unnamed improv band recordings from Apr 25:

The lineup:

  • Eric – drums
  • Evan – bass
  • Luke – keyboard
  • Charlie – keyboard
  • Nolan – guitar
  • Devon – guitar

Nolan and Devon were playing the same guitar, (hopefully) not at the same time :-).