Import a Git repo into Subversion


Yeah, I know it’s backwards. When I start working on a new wild code idea, I often start out with a Git repository. If the idea goes no where, it’s an easy delete. If it turns out to be great, well, I already have a repo going and ready to share. On top of the ease of use and personal nature of a Git repository, I am also a bit of a Git fanboy so by default I often choose Git.

DIY iPhone Stylus - the "Free Capacitive Stylus"


There are a few select times when having a stylus for your iPhone can come in handy. For me, I sometimes want to practice writing Chinese characters on my iPhone, and using my finger seems a silly way to do that. Another good instance is if you like to draw, it’s often more natural to use a pen than your finger (unless you are in pre-school of course). I looked around a bit and found that you can buy a stylus for your iPhone if you are so inclined.

Compressing A UUID


FarCry makes heavy use of UUIDs. I am a fan of UUIDs myself, but in some instances they are a bit long. It seems like there should be a way to make them shorter and still have them hold their value. I had a need for a shorter UUID and set out to find a way to compress a UUID. It kind of worked. It wont work for my purposes so it was a wash for me, but it was still quite a bit of fun and I figured I might as well get a blog post out of all the work.

Saving a Customised Linux Amazon Instance (EC2 and S3)


In my last post about playing around with EC2, I showed signing up for Amazon’s service and using Firefox’s Elasticfox to bring up AMIs. This bit is about how to take that running instance and save it to S3. The workflow being, you bring up an AMI, install a bunch of software, configure it how you need it, and then you need to store your new image so you can bring it up again and again (since images will revert back to their saved state after shutdown).

DIY Whiteboard For $3.00


Like most geeks, I love whiteboards. I like it for doing quick UMLs or to just quickly get ideas out (I don’t like them when used for power trips during interviews though - thank you very much). Also, for some reason, love to practice my Chinese characters on a whiteboard. The big whiteboard pen is closer to a 毛笔 than a normal ball point pen, but takes less effort to use (the ink, the clean up, etc).

Bringing Up an EC2 Instance (Movie)


I use Amazon’s S3 quite a bit and I really like it. I’ve also been very curious about using Amazon’s EC2 - their cloud computing product. If you’ve never heard of it, what EC2 allows you to do is bring up images of computers into a big network of processing power and bandwidth. It’s like you have a whole box under your control, but … there is no box. It’s like VMWare for servers.

Hidden Keys on the iPhone


You may already know when you are filling in a URL with the iPhone if you hold down the .com button for a few seconds you are offered selections of .net and .org, but you might not know other keys do the extra-bit-on-hold too. I was just testing out the next version of my XiaoCiDian iPhone application and found that other keys offer other options when you hold them down. Mostly vowels and and a few punctuation key.

Frequently Asked Question about Chinese on the iPhone


I’ve been lucky enough to get quite a few emails asking about how Chinese input works on the iPhone 2.0 software. I have received several emails from people with jailbroken 1.4 phones that want to upgrade to 2.0, but want to know how Chinese input works before going to the trouble of upgrading. Most of the emails were referring to the post with the movie showing Chinese input on the iPhone, but some parts in the movie were a bit unclear.

Mac OS X Regex Widget Update 1.7


(RegexWidget is a Mac OS X dashboard regular expression testing widget) Another small update to the Regex Widget. A bug reported by Niels Castle led to a new feature and an, arguable, bug fix. The new feature is Multiline support. When you tick the multiline check box it allows the “beginning of line” (^) and “end of line” ($) parts of a regex to work. See the screen shot for an example:

XBox Controller as a SNES Controller


If you are into playing emulated Super Nintendo games on your Mac OS X laptop, but find the keyboard awkward to use, and have a spare Xbox controller, and a spare USB cord laying around … have I got a deal for you. (I should preface this with using game emulators and and game ROMS is, sadly, of questionable legality) Short and sweet: it seems XBox controllers (non 360) use USB to do their magic, so modifying an XBox controller to use with your computer is very simple.