Peter Hirschberg, The Friend I’ve Never Met

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Every once in a while I come across a kindred spirit. Someone who I can say “yeah, we would be friends in real life if we went to the same high school at the same time and he wasn’t dating Quincy Cameau.”

Peter Hirshberg is one such individual. His website shows a bit about him including his love for classic 80s arcades (which he loved so much he built one in his house), his love for Battlestar Galactica (the 1978 version not tha SciFi channel crap! Starbuck? A Woman? Please!) and his love for the Atari 2600 game Adventure.

Browsing around his site is definitely worth doing just to see some of the pictures. But you should download and play his port/emulation of Adventure. I’ve been letting my kids play it and they have taken to it with an alacrity I would not have expected. In this day and age of super-graphics and controllers you just wave around in the air, they adjusted quite well to big pixels, and keyboard controls.

My hat off to you, Peter!

Happy Valentines Day

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Today was a pretty good Valentines day. I gave my wife a dozen red roses and a nice card. i got to take the family to dinner at IHOP.

One of the best things about today was the weather was better than yesterday. Luckily, I left work at 4:30 and took the frontage road with my snow tires. Even still, I made it home in just under 2 hours (normally 28 minues). Luckily, I actually made it home. I had plenty of friends at work who were stuck there all night.

For those who don’t know, last night was the worst storm I’ve ever seen. The area received 24 inches of snow in about a 7 hour period with wind of up to 70 miles per hour. It made for a complete white out with no visibility.

The storm was the main story on the weather channel with our very own intersection at work being the one always shown in the video clips.

Here is one link where you can read about the storm: Click here and here.

Piñata Valentines Day Boxes

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I think I wrote about this last year but it probably is a good idea to talk about it again. Every year growing up I had fun seeing what my parents would come up with in terms of building a box for valentines. I’m sure that I always came up with the idea, worked on it for about 5 minutes until Battlestar Galactica came on (not the crappy new one on the SciFi channel–I’m talking about the cool one from 1978) and then I took off.

Not much has changed with my kids either, except that last year I realized that was I was making resembled a piñata and then it dawned on me: I could just buy a piñata, cut a hole, and call it good.  My plan worked perfectly and my kids loved them. My daughter got some big lips and my son got a racing car.

This year my daughter got a turtle and my son got another racecar (but a different one).  I spent 5 minutes cutting two holes and I’m good to go. Total cost was only $8.00!

If you haven’t already made your kids a valentines day box, just buy a piñata and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Mezzoman – Meet in the Middle!

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You want to meet your friend for a movie or for dinner and you try and think of places that are equidistant for you both. But you only know places around you and they only know places around them. is here to help. You put in their address and yours and the type of thing to look for and, using Google magic, you have a list of possibilities that are half-way between.

Mezzoman computes “half-way” based on literal geographical points, or as we normal people, as the crow flies.  It also doesn’t take into account construction or weather or traffic. But it works pretty well.

Last Saturday we had dinner with my sister-in-law. We wanted chinese so Mezzoman found a great place half-way between us. It really works!

Crazy Monday with Key Mapping

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Key mapping is the art of telling the computer that when you press one key it registers as a different one. While this is terribly helpfull if you have a German keyboard but are running a US English operating system (the Y and Z keys are swapped), it has other more hilarious uses around the office.

SharpKeys is a little utility that will let you map one key to another. Mapping the space bar to the Enter key is one such application. Or map all the vowels to Q or something. Remember, subtelty is often more gratifying. Imagine the Help Desk swapping out keyboard after keyboard where the Shift key really turns on Caps Lock!

I know I’m having a hilarous Monday watching the scene play out with a easily irrasible co-worker!

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