Sunday, March 25, 2007 11:47 AM ShoZu


If I didn't have to pay by the kb for net access on my phone, I'd be tempted to use this service. If cell phones companies really want to dominate, they'll eventually learn that they need to be on the consumers side. Provide a great service, charge fair prices, and most importantly: DON'T PUNISH YOUR USERS FOR USING YOUR SERVICE MORE THAN THEY CLAIMED THEY MIGHT!!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:33 AM

Over the past month or so I've noticed that I rarely use a numpad, but there is always one on my keyboard. It's a waste of space. Additionally, having it there causes my mouse to be in an awkward area far to the right of the keyboard. This causes unecessary reaching when I'm sitting with my keyboard centered around the home keys.

My search for a mini keyboard that would mostly resolve this situation has almost come to an end:

SOLIDTEK 4" x 9" Super Mini USB Keyboard (SilverBlack) KB-P3100SU in Canada at

SolidTek Super Mini USB Keyboard with Trackball

Now, if I can only find a local computer store that carries these so I can try one out before I buy it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 10:23 PM Going to brazil

I just received an acceptance letter for a paper that I submitted to a conference. Not only was the paper accepted to the conference, it will also be published in a Journal. Only the best 35 papers were selected for journal publication so I'm very proud of this acceptance. Anita and I are both really excited about it. You can read more about the conference at:

You can also see a few pictures of the venue here:

Here is the acceptance letter.

Dear Mr. Lakin Wecker:
Congratulations - your paper ''Contextual Void Patching for Digital
Elevation Model'' for CGI 2007 - papers has been accepted as Journal
paper. The overall standard this year of papers submitted to CGI 2007
was high and decisions were difficult; thus you should be particularly
pleased with this acceptance

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 7:15 AM Dell to Add Linux-Certified Desktops, Laptops - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

Dell to Add Linux-Certified Desktops, Laptops - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

I really hope they add Ubuntu to this list. My friend got a very nice dell laptop a year or so ago. I quite like the laptop, and the only thing that would have made it better is pre-installed Ubuntu.

Saturday, February 24, 2007 8:11 PM Orisinal : Morning Sunshine

Orisinal : Morning Sunshine

A set of games which are wonderfully designed and produced. I haven't played them all, and I don't enjoy the gameplay in them all. But ... and this is an important but. Each of them is a piece of art, both visually and aurally. In addition, they are all simple. Dead simple. Most of them come with instructions, but I bet that most people could figure out how to play each of the games by just clicking around a bit.

Thursday, February 22, 2007 4:31 PM The arcane publishing practices of the academic world

When I first signed up for my masters degree, I expected to find a much more progressive culture of open access. Unfortunately it was much the opposite. Most of the academic research do they charge a fee, they charge very large fees. It's unfortunate, but North American Universities take this for granted.

Until reading Mako's posts, I did not realize how much this practice affected me. I feel that it played a large role in my decision to not to further pursue a Doctorate.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:42 PM Something to read later

Sounds like some interesting advice.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:37 PM Cell-phones!

How stupid is it that the cell phone providers "bet" with us about our usage for the month? If we win, they only get our monthly fee. If they win then we pay out of the nose. Why isn't the cell-phone company on our side?!

Imagine a grocery store that worked like a cell phone company. You guess at your monthly food intake and then sign up for two years at 40$ a month. Then every day/week you go to the store and pick up the necessary food for the week. But they don't tell you how much it costs, you have to figure that out based on when you're at the store and how much you get. At the end of the month they tally up your account and if you're under .... too bad, you still get charged the 40$. Went way over cause you had family over for vacation? That'll be 400$ please.

Now, imagine a provider where you pay them some small monthly fee for network access, and then your monthly-payment is based on your actual usage. Didn't use your phone? fine, don't give them any money. You used it about twice as much as last month? Great that means you qualify for their 80$ a month plan and that's what you're charged.

Monday, February 19, 2007 7:52 AM Conduit

I've recently been looking at a way to sync files between my laptop, desktop and work computer. After considering iFolder, I settled on Unison. It's worked well, although it has crashed on me in the middle of some larger transfers.

Both of the above perform simple file synchronization. So if you want your email, or your Gaim contacts, or your Tomboy notes synchronized, you need to find where they store their files and setup the profile.

In steps conduit. It's got me excited. It knows about all of the different types of things I may want to synchronize between computers. And ... even more importantly, it knows how to sync between different applications. From the screenshots, it appears that it will sync between different application types. For instance: sync your notes between Tomboy and and gmail!

They're still young software but I'm sure that they would love more testers and developers. The best part is that it is written in python, which significantly increases the chances that I'll contribute.


Sunday, February 18, 2007 7:32 PM Zelda: The twilight princess

I really looked forward to playing this game. It was the beginning of a new era for me. The game was released a two days before my thesis defense. I would have the time and have no responsibilities to hold me back.

Ugh. That's about all I can say. The game has been severely tedious for me. Tonight I set aside a few hours to play it. I wanted to really sit down and enjoy it. But everywhere I go I'm presented with tedious tasks. Even worse than this is when tedious tasks turn out to be the wrong ones!

Take the entrance to Death mountain for instance. According to the story, I was to go there and save the day. So I happily headed out, ready to kick some ass. Right at the beginning I'm met by a Goron who throws me off of the cliff. Just before he strikes me a message pops up telling me to press "A". But my reflexes aren't fast enough. So I climb back up the cliff (which is 30 more seconds of boring) to try again. This time I press "A" in time. But I'm slowly pushed to the edge and thrown off the cliff. "Huh?" I think. I climb back up (30 more seconds). This time I stop before I get too close and think about it. What am I supposed to do. Maybe I should try to get closer to him before he hits me so that I have time to stop him. Nope. As soon as he starts rolling towards me, I'm prevented from moving forward (or backwards)?!!. And I'm thrown off again. There are no messages telling me what I'm doing wrong. Everything in the game up to this point has told me I'm supposed to be here. But I have no clue what I'm supposed to do. I think about it more, I consider all my options. I explore the surrounding area looking for a clue, or an alternate passage. Nothing.

So ... I try again. After a few more unsuccessful tries, I'm almost dead. I head back to town to collect some hearts. As I exit the area I'm met by the town elder who informs me that it's impossible for me to go that way at this point. I should go back to my hometown and talk to person X. Thanks.

Thanks for fucking wasting my time.

5:49 PM YouTube - Mario Piano Medley - MMLeung

YouTube - Mario Piano Medley - MMLeung

And his website.

This kid is good. Man does this bring back the nostalgia of playing Mario.

5:14 PM - Blender 2.43 - Blender 2.43

Blender rocks! I'm blogging this mostly to let Mike know about their new Sculpt Mode and their new Muli-res Mesh mode.

I'm off to download and try it out.

8:54 AM Show Me that Updated Gnome Main Menu « Open Source Advocacy with Reverend Ted

Show Me that Updated Gnome Main Menu « Open Source Advocacy with Reverend Ted

I like the ideas behind this menu and want to try it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007 8:04 PM Of Apples and Oranges, GNOME and KDE

I used to think quite a lot of Linus. I still do. But I can't believe that he could be so unbending in his view [1]. It's as if the reasoning portion of his brain was shut off. Not to mention the other fan-boys who made uninformed and useless comments on this article.

I've used KDE in the past, I even try it again about every 6 months. Every time, I find it completely unusable. The defaults are cluttered. There are too many buttons, too many options. I can configure each and every aspect of my desktop operating system. I previously made attempts to do this. When I used KDE regularly, I would find that every weekend was spent tweaking those options. At the end of the weekend I would think smugly to myself: I've got it this time. This desktop is the best ever. And yet, the next weekend I'd be frustrated by my choices, and I'd be back browsing the options. (Yes. I realize that this is mostly my fault, but keep reading)

Then I installed Ubuntu and they gave me a simple desktop. It did what I wanted. It made it easy. There was a consistency to the desktop. I could learn how one application worked and then apply those rules to the next application with consistent results. I have to admit that there are times when I find some task that is harder than I'd like. Or down right impossible. In these cases I've found that the Gnome developers have always been open to solutions. They just want solutions that are well thought out, consistent, and simple.

One of the problems is that many people don't actually know what they want. Apparently, I'm not the only person like this. Given time to think about their preferences people will gladly make up some reason why they like X over Y. Most of the time they're wrong. They know what they like when presented with it, but they don't know why. Another problem is that not every one is an INTJ. Not everyone uses the same thought processes.

Some people are control freaks. They know their computer inside and out, and want to control every aspect of it. They have a specific work flow and they want to follow it. They will want to tweak every last aspect of it. That's fine. They should do that. And it's likely that they'll currently prefer KDE over Gnome. That's fine too.

However, some people have dyscalculia, some have dyslexia. And more importantly, most people just want their computer to work, to be simple and to do the few things they want to do. I don't have the stats. But I'm willing to bet that there is a far larger group of computer users who fall into the latter category. All but two of my family want something simple that works. Most of my friends want the same thing. Gnome gives this to them. KDE confuses them.

In the end, it's also important to note that everyone is different, and that trying to to say that everyone should use KDE or that everyone should use Gnome is misguided. Each project has a lot to offer. And each has their failings.

Me? I'm a power user. I've always been top of my class. I've got my Bachelor's in computer science with Honours. I've got my Masters in computer science. I've got an open invitation to return and get my PhD. I've used Linux for over 6 years. And I've configured and tweaked every part of my operating system.

But apparently I'm an idiot-user. I'm also an interface-nazi. Apparently Linus knows better, and is certain that I don't know what I'm talking about. I should be using KDE.

But I don't. Why? Because I like to get things done. I like my desktop to be configured with sane defaults. I like my computer to work. I like simplicity and I want my computer to infer what I want rather than explicitly asking me for my choice of gads options at every turn.

So here's to Gnome. Here's to Ubuntu. Here's to the combination that brought GNU/Linux to both of my parents who are using it exclusively since 2005. Here's to the operating system and desktop environment that convinced two of my co-workers to drop windows on their workstations. Here's to continuing that tradition. Is Gnome perfect? No. But it's damned good and keeps getting better everyday.

And finally, here's to KDE. Without it, Linus and his fan-boys would still be using virtual terminals. Without KDE, Gnome wouldn't have an open source competitor that innovates and subsequently motivates Gnome to improve and innovate each and every day.

[1] Of Apples and Oranges, GNOME and KDE « Ubuntu Blog

Sunday, January 21, 2007 11:38 AM Gaming live cd.

I am currently downloading this, and plan to write a bunch of DVD's for the guys at work.

11:10 AM GWT Drag & Drop

Drag & Drop for the GWT. I wonder how hard it is to use Django for the automatic admin interface and use GWT for the front end?

Saturday, January 13, 2007 9:07 PM One handed keyboard

I think I want one of these. I wonder how fast I can code with it?

6:06 PM I'm proud of this

In most cases I was a poor English student. However, when visiting my parents over Christmas I found a paper that I wrote in University of which I'm very proud. I've decided to type it up and put it online because at least one friend has expressed interest in it. I'm not entirely certain of why I like the paper. The grammar isn't particularly great, and the point isn't particularly amazing. Here it is, nonetheless

Lakin Wecker
Ms. Westerbeck
English 102
April 2, 1999.

Neighborhood Watch: The Curious Town That Killed Homer Baron
In "A Rose For Emily," William Faulkner presents an old southern town filled with curious people who make it their business to know everyone else's, especially the business of an aging lonely southern woman. Miss Emily Grierson never did find a mate good enough for her father or the townspeople. Her father turned away countless suitors, deciding himself their worth, and the townspeople expected her to find a prince charming, never approving her boyfriends. The ever present townspeople eventually drove her to find a mate that would never leave her, one that she could love and cherish forever, her "rose".

Emily grew up in "a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street(55)." She probably grew up with almost every luxury that a little girl could want, yet as a teenager and young adult there was something she never ever received, a mate for life. Every man she found was not good enough for her father or the town. Just as her house slowly decomposed, so did her sanity, as she was constantly under pressure to find a perfect husband. Eventually they both stood in disarray. Both worn down from their own pressures of survival, the house from old age and weather, Emily from the constant pressure of her father and the townspeople.

Emily was released from most of this pressure when her father died while she was still young. This relief was so great her mind refused to accept the truth that she was finally free. She received the condolences without grief, saying "that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her (57)." She felt as though her father had robbed her from the one thing in life everyone yearns, marriage. The townspeople knew that "She would cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.(57)"

After her father's death, Emily disappeared for a long time. She finally reappeared with short hair that summer. She was starting to rebel from her father's control already. In the old south it would have been considered to be heresy to cut your hair short if you were a girl. Her hair was a statement of independence, of being able to do whatever she pleased whenever she wanted. Soon after cutting her hair short, she rebelled again by beginning to date Homer Barron. Homer was a northerner and a day laborer who was in town only because he was the foreman of a paving company who was hired to pave the sidewalks of their town. He was exactly the type of suitor that Emily's father turned away many times.

While Emily was dating Homer townspeople began to talk saying "Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer.(57)" They were glad that she had an interest, but thought "that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige(57)." Emily's new-found freedom was vanquished. The townpeople had taken the place of her father. They were happy she found a friend, but would not believe that she could think seriously of him as a mate. Not a Grierson at least, not a lady of her position and power, she was just having fun. Emily inevitably heard people saying such things, and took it to heart. Emily had slowly become serious about Homer, serious enough to want him to not to leave her.

Homer, on the other hand, was nearing the end of his stay in Jefferson and was preparing to move on. He knew that he could never marry her, because he would never be accepted by the town as a worthy mate of hers. He was a day laborer and liked to hang out at the bar with the younger men, drinking and having fun. He was ready to move on to another town and another Miss Grierson.

Emily could not accept the fact that he was going to leave. She wanted him as hers, as her flower to keep forever. It was then that she bought the poison. When she didn't kill herself, people forgot about the arsenic. Shortly after that the paving company left for the next town, and Homer went for one last visit to Emily. People saw him enter that night and the townspeople never heard from him again. Afraid to ask too many questions of a Grierson, the people accepted the fact that he had left.

It wasn't until after the funeral that the townspeople figured out the truth. Most of the town attended the funeral. The men because of respect for a fallen monument, and the women out of curiosity. Even after her death she could not escape the trap of being born a Grierson. People were still curious of what went on in her life. They had the resepect to wait until she was buried, but after her Negro left for good and she was in the ground, they all went upstairs to her forbidden room that had been locked up long ago. They wanted to know what went on in this house. The first thing they noticed when they opened the door of the room, was the dust, then it was the body in the bed. They discovered Homer Barron's body in her bed, with a strand of long gray hair beside it.

After Emily's father died, she believed she was free from the controlling power of her name, but it never left her. She begain to date Homer thinking that if she wanted she could marry him, but soon found this not to be true. The townspeople had taken the place of her father not accepting Homer as a suitable husband for her. When she heard of this, she was forced to make sure that Homer would never leave her. He came over for his last visit, and she promptly invited him to stay forever with her. The town pushed Emily too far, pushing her to find someone to stay with her forever, but her rose wilted as roses do, after she picked it and brought it home forever.

Sunday, January 07, 2007 9:00 AM Scientific Creationism

I cannot dismiss the idea of a God and Creation:

... It really does not change the overall situation; it is more an argument over semantics. The fact that the Earth was created by a creator approximately 10,000 years ago, or whether it was created by a spontaneous explosion billions of years ago, does not matter. Either way, it was a one-time event that violates all of the current conditions of the universe ... [1]


... It is even more important to note that there is at least one scientific idea that is not falsifiable or at all. It actually forms the basis of all other scientific data - I refer of course to scientific induction. Scientific induction is used in the formulation of all other scientific theories, but in fact is taken as a postulate, and unprovable by any means. [1]

These quotes are somewhat taken out of context, but I don't think their meaning is skewed because of it. As in all cases, read the original article.

Similar to:

God exists because mathematics is undoubtedly consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove the consistency.[2]
This is of course, more humour than evidence. However, it does illustrate an important point: mathematics and consequently science are based on axioms that we cannot yet prove. I can't find an actual reference to this, but I'm pretty certain that these axioms can't be proven. If both god and math are based on some unprovable axioms 1 - god exists or 2 - the axioms exist, then how can I dismiss one for the other? And more importantly, are both not blind faith because of this?


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