Here are Loyal Readers Numbers One, Two, and Three looking at a (surprise!) computer. Hello . . . hello . . . hello! Hello.

Shorter rides back and forth to work today. Maybe the fall/winter traffic slowdown is easing up a little. We can certainly hope so. I’ve been enjoying driving the Sable the last couple of weeks. It’s comfortable and powerful, and it has all the options I really want. With its cassette adapter, my iPod sounds better than in the Honda, in which I have to use my little FM radio transmitter. Too much interference in San Francisco’s radio-rich environment.

I didn’t do anything tonight other than hold Loyal Reader Number Twelve, but it was worth it. And now it’s bedtime. Yikes.

Well, I did do one other thing while I was holding her. Two, actually. I read a few pages from some recent issues of Free Software Magazine, and I watched most of the MST3K version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. High-class entertainment, that. The brilliance of MST3K, of course, was that it made the absolutely worst movies into instant classics – true works of art. This one is highly recommended holiday viewing.

Free Software Magazine is also recommended, especially given its price (free). I haven’t seen an issue yet that doesn’t have something I’m interested in. I just finished a how-to article on RT-Linux and one on FlightGear, a free and very accurate flight simulator. In fact, the reviewer laments just a little that it’s too accurate, making it quite hard to fly. On the other hand, in addition to everything from a Cessna 172 through a 747 and Concorde, they also have Santa’s sleigh and a flying saucer. So there’s a wide choice of aircraft.

Anyway, now I’m working on an article about creating a “managed” website, meaning one that uses a Content Management System (CMS), like Drupal, which currently powers the (pitifully neglected) HRVA website. As many Loyal Readers know, I’m getting ready to redo the Gardenville Software website to make it contain actual software, and I’m looking for the ideal CMS. I want it to be easy to maintain, while making it look all Web 2.0-ish and cool. The plan is to start with the program written the other day by LRN1 that changes the color on his Mac’s screen based on the amount of light the Arduino sees on a sensor. The cool thing about this project is that it contains just a little bit of circuitry on the Arduino, a simple but non-trivial program on the Arduino, and a cool little program on the Mac. I think it would be well-received by the microcontroller community as an excellent springboard for others who want to integrate the Arduino with their computers. I’m also interested in hearing what LRN1’s next project will be.

I may have to start riding the train again. As much as I enjoy listening to podcasts, it has occurred to me that the majority of my free time on any given day takes place during my commute. Maybe I should start using it differently. There are lots of things I want to read, and I could get some writing done too. I wish they would get the onboard Wifi working again (although that might make me less productive, come to think of it). On the other hand, with the new podcasts I added to the iPod the other night, I’m now only on show 12 of 114, with more arriving every day. That’s a lot of catching up to do. Decisions, decisions.

It’s my off Friday tomorrow! Unfortunately, I’ll be spending it at work. For free. With an additional four hours on the road. And I have so much to do right now. Fortunately, I at least enjoy the work, and there’s plenty of it.

And finally, as far as I’m concerned, nothing says Christmas like this. Bon appetit! I guess when Dasher, Dancer, and Prancer start getting a little too slow…

See you tomorrow.

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