Update: I guess it wouldn't be a real Monday without some sort of minor disaster. My iBook's power brick has apparently given up the ghost after a long and fruitful life, providing further ammunition for my usual rants on the lack of universal power adaptors (or connectors) for any sort of device.

(The closest that I have ever come to this is Toshiba's more or less uniform and interchangeable transformers, which are compatible with most of their laptops - spanning five years and several different ranges.)

Even considering that I was always extra careful with it (to avoid cable breaks and such), the electronics seem to have given up, and althoughMelo (ever helpful) has promised to lend me one of his adaptors, any pointers on obtaining an iBook G3/G4 power brick in Portugal are welcome.

Mental note: re-visit my Network Computing strategy and, if I ever order a MacBook, get an extra power brick.

I've taken a few days off to relax a bit, practice sitting in a beach without anything to do except get a tan, visit friends, take some photos and read a lot.

Which is harder than it looks, for I loathe inactivity of any sort. Still, I've found it relatively easy to lounge on a canvas chair and chuckle my way through All Things Bright And Beautiful, a James Herriot omnibus that I heartily recommend (the trouble with James Herriot's books is not that they aren't wonderfully entertaining - quite the contrary, actually - but that there seem to be rather too many slightly different compilations of his tales).

Where's The Beach Ball Cursor?

Anyway, next year I hope to be able to bring one of these to the beach (via Gizmodo):

WindFire Designs

It would be too cool for words. Just think of the photo opportunities...

Light Toast

Back to technology, it seems that Merom is coming out much earlier than I expected, and as usual the rumor mills are churning out stories regarding their inclusion in MacBooks.

If this rumor pans out, it will be a second good reason (right after being able to order a machine without the hideous glossy screen) to spring for a MacBook Pro.


In the meantime, I've decided to re-visit newspipe and see what it would take to do a complete, from-scratch, object-oriented re-write.

I have three reasons to do this:

  • The current source distribution has been frozen for a while now, and some of the bundled libraries like the Universal Feed Parser have evolved a bit since.
  • I like Plagger's approach at filtering and content manipulation via plugins. Since I never coded anything of the sort in Python and am getting sick and tired of tweaking regexps for removing RSS feed advertisements, I think it's a good way to scratch an itch.
  • I'd like to do a parallel implementation in Ruby, and rebuilding everything from scratch with an object-oriented approach makes it easier to compare (simple interface contracts and unit tests become essentially the same).

So far, I'm fiddling with JSON as a support format for storing configuration and feed specs, since it is easier to manipulate with a web front-end than OPML.

We'll see if this gets anywhere on the short time I'll allow myself for it while on vacation.

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