adrian is rad


using google sketchup

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:07 am

I’m moving in a little over a week and I thought I’d use this opportunity to try Google SketchUp to try to model the apartment. It’s an easy program to get the hang of but it proved difficult to change the model in precise ways after the model is started. For instance, if I wanted to change Bedroom 1 from 13’x13′ to 14’x15′ now, it would prove very difficult.

(For comparison, that would be a relatively easy change in either Solidworks or ProEngineer.)

Note: some dimensions are approximate or not to scale, due to the problem mentions above. Mainly the bathroom isn’t that narrow.


ipad case

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:03 pm

I got the new iPad a couple weeks ago and I decided to make my own case for it, based someone on this idea. I made it out of an old wool sports coat that I felted myself, then cut up and sewed into this pattern. The leather comes from a thrift store women’s belt. The total cost of materials was about $13.

So the case would be ready when the ipad arrived, I modeled and 3D printed a fake ipad to use in designing the case.

Here’s the felted sports coat.



Filed under: — adrian @ 9:30 am

How long does it take for a new password to become second nature for you? It’s about a month for me.


how to filter mail bcc-ed to your non-gmail address in gmail

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:24 pm

Maybe I’m the only one with this problem but I thought I’d share if there are others.

I have a few email addresses that are all forwarded to my gmail address. I have a blog that produces a lot of email with a fair amount of it being bcc-ed to the blog email address. I want to filter all emails to that address to be filtered into their own folder. It took me a while to figure out how to do it, but here it is. It’s definitely a bit of a work-around, but it can be done.

So for this example, I have these email addresses: (currently forwards to gmailaddress) (secret gmail account currently not used)

We want everything that goes to to be filtered whether it’s bcc-ed or not.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Change your forwarding address for from to
  2. Log in to secondarygmailaddress and go to Settings->forwarding and set it to forward all your mail to (‘something’ can be anything, but it should be unique).
  3. Go back to your gmailaddress account. Go to settings->filters and create a new filter. In “has the words” section put in “” (without the quotes) and set it filter that mail into a new label. Have it skip the inbox if you’d like (that’s what I wanted in my case).

If you want it to filter only bcc-ed email (but not email to the address or cc-ed to it), change the last bit to “” (without the quotes).

Don’t use secondarygmailaddress for anything else. If you have mail sent there, you’ll start getting those in your filtered mailbox, too.


mapping a (secondary) hard drive on a Mac computer to a Windows PC over the network

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:10 pm

I didn’t find how to do this online so I thought I’d put up instructions once I figured out how.

I had a friend who has a Mac that he wanted to use as a file server on his local network, which has multiple macs and Windows computer. The server Mac has multiple hard drives. Drag-and-drop and saving directly to any of those hard drives was important.

He’s got a (powerpc) Mac running OS X, 10.4.6 with 3 or 4 hard drives in it. Let’s say they are named MainDrive, Backup_001, Backup_002 and Backup_003 and the username that he logs into the server with is ServerUser.

So to map the main disk from windows, it’s not a problem. Steps as follows:
1) On the Mac: share stuff (windows sharing) in control panel->sharing. Note the IP address it gives you here (or find it elsewhere). In this case it
was (use the one that shows up on your machine)
2) On windows: go to windows->explorer->map network drive
3) drive name: (whatever you want)


(the admin user for the “server” mac is ServerUser, change this as necessary)

4) click “log in as different user”
pass: [whatever]

The other disks, you need to do something tricky and make links from the main drive to your separate drives. These are called symbolic links or symlinks.
A) open Terminal (applications->utilities->Terminal)
B) type ‘ls’ and enter. make sure you’re in your home directory
(should look like the same folders when you click on your home directory in Finder)
C) type the following line

ln -s ../../Volumes/[drive name]/ [drive name]

for instance

ln -s ../../Volumes/Backup_001/ Backup_001

D) repeat C for each remaining drive on the Mac (Backup_002 and Backup_003 in this case)

[Note, if you’ve done the above, 1-4 and A-D you should now be able to click on the networked drive on the PC and see the secondary drives within that. If this is good enough, stop here. My friend wanted to map each drive separately, which requires a little bit more.]

Then go to the windows machine and repeat steps 1-4 above except for step 3 type for the location:


for instance:


Repeat as necessary for all of your backup drives.

Now each drive will be mapped to the windows machine separately and drag-and-drop and saving directly to those drives should be possible.

When one or the other machine is rebooted, the windows machine might show a red ‘X’ by that network drive. Once both are on again, you should be able to simply double-click the drive and opening it should reconnect the drive.


lifestats, part II

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:38 am

Notice anything new about the page?

Look to the right over there…

After Randy’s comment on my post about being inspired to keep track of some life stats for 2007, I was further inspired to put up some of the stats in more or less real time. So there they are. Are there any other stats you want to see? The full list of stats that I’m tracking:

  • emails sent (home/ work)
  • miles travelled
  • wikipedia pages read
  • beers consumed
  • work days
  • photos taken (digital/ film)
  • albums purchased
  • concerts attended
  • books read
  • movies seen (theater/ netflix)
  • hours of TV
  • haircuts
  • shaves
  • miles biked
  • miles ran
  • miles swam

Originally I was going to do this literally updating every time you loaded the page, but that made the page really slowly (even slower than it loads already), so I decided to write up a caching system where it only loads the new data every six hours. I might adjust this if it makes sense to.

The script checks to see if the cache is older than 6 hours old and if so pulls some data from a google spreadsheet. Otherwise, it writes the old data into the html that you see on the right. I’ll probably write up a full post or a instructable of how I did all this sometime when I have more time.

I’m going Web2.0 all over this place!@



Filed under: — adrian @ 11:19 am

I hope you’re paying attention, because this is really exciting; I’m a little giddy.

Possibly the second of many.


that’s one way to put it

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:08 pm

a conversation between an engineer and an alumnus of KZSU while having a problem printing from a laptop:

alumnus: why won’t this work?
engineer: it’d be simple on a mac
alumnus: but 2/3 of the world uses windows
engineer: 2/3 of the world also shits in bushes and eats bugs

that’s one argument for macs, yes.


sms alert for football (NFL) scores

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:35 pm

The other day, I was thinking it’d be cool to have sms alerts sent to my phone whenever the score changes in the Steelers game. I noticed that the NFL scores page has some peculiarities in their structure that would make it somewhat easy to pick out the scores.

There are people who you can pay to do this. (Or, I discovered today, there are sort of sketchy places that will do it for “free.”) But let’s say you don’t want to pay. And let’s say that you, like me:

  • have unlimited (or plenty of) sms’s
  • have a server or access to a server
  • are slightly obessive your team
  • love being a geek

So I wrote a perl script to do it (with some help from jesse and a lot of help from andyl). I’ve put it online here. Grab it if you want it. I ran it with a cron job which checked the score every two minutes during today’s Atlanta-New Orleans game:

[insert crappy picture of sms]

What you’ll need to do to make it work:

  1. download the file
  2. get WWW:Mechanize and HTML::Tree::Builder perl modules. if you’re running debian, you can type ‘apt-get install libwww-mechanize-perl’ and ‘apt-get install libhtml-tree-perl’ respectively.
  3. open Score:
    1. find ‘mail 0123456789\’ and replace it with your phone number and email gateway. (here are two lists of email gateways. So if you have sprint and your phone number is 987-654-3210 then your put ‘mail 9876543210\’. It’s important you \@ your @ sign or it won’t work.
    2. if you want the scores of a different team than the Steelers, find the two instances of ‘Pittsburgh’ in the file and replace them with your town’s name. (Check to check how they write it).
  4. save the file
  5. open your crontab file (in /etc/crontab) and add the following line:
    */2 9-21 * * 00 root perl /home/directorypath/Score >& /dev/null
    where /home/directorypath is whereever you’ve put the Score file. This will check the score every 2 minutes (*/2) between 9am and 9pm (9-21) on sundays (00). You can adjust these parameters if you’re on the east coast (adjust the times) or if your team is playing on a non-Sunday. 1 would be a Monday, etc.

It emails you the team names, their scores and the time (2nd Qtr, 2:54, for example).

It worked very nearly flawless during tonight’s game. I made one change so that when the game ends it’ll sms you the score and say it’s “Final” as well as smsing all the score changes. It does send one unnecessary sms when things are resetting the first time the cron job runs. You could probably figure out how to make it not do that.

I’m just putting this code out there. Use it if you like. I’m not really in a position to offer any warranties or support on it. I’m putting this out there under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

Pittsburgh friends, I can add you to my script if you want to get Steelers alerts too. Just let me know.


weird celebrity sighting

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:24 pm

So I saw George Lucas before, but this really takes the cake for celebrity sightings.

I was just finishing up my Wednesday night bowls at the Palo Alto Lawn Bowls Club and who walks in but Steve Jobs. He sat and talked with another guy while watching the bowl for about 25 minutes and then got up and left. He pretty much kept to himself but talked to a couple members when they approached him.

The crappiest picture ever of him leaving (he’s the one in black):


The Proud New Owner of Brand New Canada

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:56 pm

My new bedside companion:

Specs: 2.0GHz Macbook 13″ with 2GB RAM, 120 GB hard drive, DVD-r/CD-r.


everything and nothing

I’ve been pretty slow on the posts recently, large because I’ve been busy doing stuff that is sort of not-interesting-in-the-blog-way.

So I decided I’d turn all this stuff into a post.

One time things and whatnot:

  • Nedelle‘s pretty rad. She’s going to be playing on my radio show this Wednesday at about 10:15pm PDT. I’m pretty excited. I’ll see if I can get a copy of the show up for you east coast people to listen to.
  • I’m getting ready for the Tahoe Century ride in about a month. I’ve been trying to ride a lot in preparation. I rode today and yesterday, but I’ve also been having problems with getting an inordinate number of flats, so I need to resolve that. But my goal over the next three weeks is 3 rides/ week: 2 x 30 miles and 1 x 15 miles, including at least one trip up Old La Honda or King’s Mountain per week. At this point, I alternatingly feel I’m screwed and that I’m doing fine.
  • I’m going to be in Philadelphia/ DC, NYC and Pittsburgh for about 10 days total in late July for a couple weddings. It’s pretty exciting. I’m thinking about Rye Playland and Kennywood among so many other things. I might also try to catch a taping of Conan, try to catch a Buc’s game and, of course, see some fantastic friends and take lots of pictures with too many cameras.
  • I just now found a weird and kind of interesting acoustic cover of Sigur Ros. I never considered that someone could cover Sigur Ros. They’re no Sigur Ros, but it’s cool.
  • I’m going to South Africa again next February. February 2007, that is for my mom’s birthday. I’m going to spend a week in Cape Town, but I’m also going to try to spend 1-2 weeks on the road driving around South Africa. I’m looking forward to going back to South Africa.
  • It looks like my laptop (Proud Owner of Brand New Canada) is near its end. Unless something changes about the situation, I’ll probably be getting a new one in the next few weeks/ couple of months.

Everyday stuff:

  • I’m still taking spanish at the Palo Alto Adult School. It’s about 2 hours a week and the pace is slow, but I’m learning stuff so, yeah, it’s good.
  • Lots of KZSU stuff. I’m doing my indie show. I’m not longer hosting the the Lunch Special but I’m still acting as the producer. Lots of interesting guests bringing their music. A schedule is on that page I linked up there. I’m also the Promotions Director, so I try to organize tickets for concerts for on-air giveaways. As the promotions guy, I’m also writing a custom PHP web app. This stuff is not obvious and not easy, at least not for me, the mech e. I’m getting the hang of it, but I’m also pretty much sick of writing this app.
  • I’ve been challenged by lawn bowling and recently applied for membership at the place I’ve been bowling, the Palo Alto Lawn Bowling Club. The green is closed until the end of May, though, so no bowling for now.
  • The BoSox are tied for lead in their division. The Pirates are a couple steps away from the bottom of the league. The Steelers got what look like a couple good WRs in the draft.

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