Monday, July 28, 2008

Rally - Greasemonkey script to restore the "Green Boxes" on iteration printout

Coincidentally, after a co-worker of mine asked Rally about how to print the green boxes when generating an iteration report, Rally changed the way status is rendered on their HTML report. It will no-longer show green boxes and instead increase the border size of the boxes.   This bothered me a little as the green boxes (shading) shows up better on the printer that I use than trying to decipher the status from an increase of 1 pixel border on some boxes.

I created this Greasemonkey script for firefox to restore this previous functionality to Rally's printouts.
// ==UserScript==
// @name           Color Boxes
// @namespace      jason-rally-color-status
// @include
// ==/UserScript==

var allDivs, thisDiv;
allDivs = document.evaluate(
for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    thisDiv.setAttribute('style', 'color: white; background-color: green;');

Quest for the ultimate keyboard - IBM ThinkPlus Ultranav keyboard

As I discussed in a prior entry , I had been looking for my 'perfect' keyboard.   Mainly my qualification had been response / comfort / and a trackpoint which led me to two products (Endora / IBM).

I had purchased the IBM ThinkPlus Ultranav Keyboard from Provantage and received it within a few days.   Upon trying it out I noticed that both the Trackpoint left click and "L" buttons were not working well.  Provantage does not handle repairs / returns for this product so I had to call IBM directly.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pytomation - Python Serial test went as planned

Im starting to test out the framework for my new home automation software this weekend and got Python-serial library working.   I was able to retrieve the registers from the UPB PIM interface in a proof-of-concept program.

I was toying around with using Mono (Opensourced .NET implementation) and tried a pilot program with that as well.  Sadly, the state of Mono's serial library is still broken from the years ago I first tried it.  The lack of seeming interest in testing that System.IO library is echoed in my interest in pursuit of this option.

Python-Serial Docs -

Pytomation project page:

37 MPG in my Del Sol

After a bit of trouble in the beginning with the IACV which has since been replaced, I finished off a tank of gas clocking in at 37.1MPG on the Del Sol.  The little 1.6L engine has a bit of trouble keeping up with my previous driving style, thus instead of 5th I use 4th gear way more than I should.   For the last couple of weeks I have been making a concerted effort to use 5th gear and take a slower approach to work and back.   This had made for an uneventful (aka safer), yet more economical driving experience.  I may get in the habbit of this from now on ;)

Im guessing I can push the boundary still by leaving the roof on the car during my commutes, but I am still too attached to feeling the wind and glancing at the sky.  Maybe this winter I will best my record.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Review: HTC BH-S100 Stereo Bluetooth Receiver

Got my HTC BH-S100 receiver in earlier this week and have had a few days to try it out at home and at work.  In summary exactly what I expected and works exactly as I need it to.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bluetooth Stereo Headset A2DP Pairing in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy

Update: Someone created a better explanation here:

Well, I got my HTC stereo a2dp headset in.  While pairing was very straight-forward on my WinMo phone, it wasnt quite so obvious in Ubuntu.

The problem is this:  You try to browse for the device, select it, and you receive an OBEX error.  Apparently behind the scenes the gnome bluetooth manager is trying to establish an OBEX file connection with the device which a Headset generally does not have, thus you will get an OBEX error before the pairing process is complete.  Instead you need to establish an audio connection with it to trigger the authentication process, which seemingly the gnome bluetooth manager cannot do via a GUI.

Here is what I did (based on

Monday, July 21, 2008

Think Geek posted my action shot

Not exactly my best composition ;) , but I quickly fired off a shot of my TixClock that I purchased on, sent it in, and they posted it as an action shot.  Here it is

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bluetooth Headset - Quest for a decent stereo A2DP headset

The stereo bluetooth from my phone works quite well on my Sony head unit in my van.  I wish to repeat the success listening to my music at work.  I checked out various bluetooth headsets on the web, read quite a lot of reviews for the Plantronics, Motorolla, Sony, Jabra, and Logitech.  I always look at the negative reviews first to get to the point and sadly didnt find any headsets without some cosistent problems ( Uncomfortable, low battery life, fragile, low-fiedelity etc )

A change in strategy was in order and stumbled upon a few devices that merely receive stereo bluetooth and translate it into an analog 3.5mm socket to use your whatever headphone devices fit reliably/comfortably in your ears.   Of those that I looked at (Sony, Panasonic, HTC), I determined that the HTC BH-S100 was the best performer for battery / compatibility.

It was a bit hard to track down a vendor in the US, but managed to find it at Hookup Wireless for $70.  When they arrive, Ill post my take on these as well.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Honda Del Sol (Non-ABS) - Changing the front brakes / rotors

My Honda Del Sol was having slight issues with its brakes and I noticed that the rotors were pretty thin in the front.  When replacing brake pads or the rotor, both should be serviced at the same time.  For example, if the pads are worn out you should have the rotor either machined or replaced, such that the grooves left behind from the old pads dont shorten the life of the new pads.

Here is how I changed them:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

MUTO - A street painting animation

Incredible artistry in this link of what the artist calls "MUTO".  It depicts an animation composed of a series of street/wall paintings.   Im not sure how long it took this artist to do this, but it is an amazing three minutes of video / audio!

The future of Autos - VW "One-Liter"

VW is planning on making a production car in 2010 based on a prototype car called the "One-Liter".   The prototype features an 8hp diesel engine, aerodynamic carbon fiber body, weighing in at around 600lbps, and getting 232MPG.