Board Games Blog update

Posted by steve | Board Games | Wednesday 26 November 2008 11:21 am

I posted an update to my Board Games Blog website A World Without String, this morning.  It’s been a while since I’ve update the site.


Gasoline even lower

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Tuesday 25 November 2008 5:02 am

Saw this gasoline price yesterday at a BP station here in Omaha.


A Four Track audio recorder for the iPhone

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Saturday 22 November 2008 10:30 am

I found this iPhone application this morning and had to buy it.

It’s a Four Track recorder for the iPhone.  That is too cool.  The interface is excellent and I can’t wait to “play” with it.


Gasoline price

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Wednesday 19 November 2008 11:46 am


I drove past this BP gasoline station yesterday and I thought I was seeing things.


Wall E is available on DVD and Blu Ray

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Tuesday 18 November 2008 11:29 pm

The Pixar movie Wall-E is available for purchase in DVD and BluRay disc.  I’m not trying to promote the purchase of the film as much as just share another personal reaction watching it.

We picked up our copy tonight at Target.  The really cool thing is you can purchase the movie with an additional copy included that allows a digital installation into your iTunes library.  Not sure if the regular DVD has this as an option.  I did the installation of the digital copy to iTunes and it was simple to later synch it up with my iPhone and watch it from either my Mac or the phone.  And of course the BlueRay version looks fantastic on the HDTV.

The movie is about 90 minutes.  We sat down and watched it once again and I was reminded how heart-warming and wonderful it is to watch this Pixar/Disney film.  The animators have gotten so much “life” out of the handful of robots that star in the story.  I think Pixar has another great film on their hands, easily in the same league as “Finding Nemo”.


This face has mischief written all over it

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Monday 17 November 2008 9:17 pm

Found this picture of a lion cub at this site.

The photograph is good enough quality for a desktop background. It makes me smile.


Must not be clued-in

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Sunday 16 November 2008 10:27 am

I see the acronym FTW once in a while on the ‘net, but I’ve never been sure what it means. I looked it up.

FTW – For The Win

Really? That’s hard for me to see when it gets used so often. I must be missing an overall context.


Humor – not for kids

Posted by steve | General Commentary | Saturday 15 November 2008 4:09 pm

Found this one recently and it made me laugh.


Progress on the 2008 Squeak Tutorial

Posted by steve | Smalltalk | Thursday 13 November 2008 4:32 pm

In the Summer of 2007 I wrote an extensive Squeak tutorial and posted it as a web site. It’s been well received. I still get weekly e-mail messages from students learning how to program in Squeak using the tutorial.

This year I began a rewrite of the tutorial. This time it will be available in book form. I’m also changing a lot of the content to reflect two significant user groups.

I’ve gotten letters from students who had no previous experience programming in Squeak. And they sometimes made the simplest of mistakes. When the tutorial was written this was not my intended audience.  I was shooting for an audience that already had experience programming in Squeak but wanted a deeper and more complete example to follow.  I wasn’t anticipating the tutorial being used by students new to coding in Squeak.

The second fundamental change has to do with a better marketing message about Squeak.  I wrote the tutorial using the base Squeak image as available from This approach was, I felt, the most reliable since it would always be available from the main Squeak web site. I knew that beginning with the base Squeak would not be the environment used by the more experienced Squeak developer. You can see the built-in conflict here. It’s also true that the base Squeak image doesn’t look as appealing to developers coming from other development environments. So with this rewrite I begin the tutorial using the DevImage instead. That image has many useful tools and features built-in and is highly regarded by the Squeak community.

I began the rewrite early into this year but there have been numerous setbacks, including serious health problems and a lot of “distractions” both good and bad at work. I have finally begun again to write the book.  And I’m making progress.  I wanted to take a moment here and share a little bit about the tools I’m using to do this.  The goal is to create a great PDF file which can then be used for self-publishing at places like LuLu.

Here’s the primary writing tool I am using. It’s called Scrivener and can be found at Literature and Latte. Here’s a screenshot of my work in progress.

The cool thing about Scrivener is it’s so easy to organize my ideas.  It also has the ability to export directly to LaTex format.  That’s awesome.  Once I create the LaTex output file I process it with TeXShop. Here’s a screenshot of that tool being used.

All of this creates a standard PDF file.  Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of one of the chapters.

So I’m having fun working on my tutorial again.  Finding time to do this is often difficult, but I’m making progress.


RSS Feeds fixed

Posted by steve | Blogging | Thursday 13 November 2008 9:45 am

I think I have the RSS feeds issue resolved with the Blog.  Just a dumb configuration error on my part.  I forgot to turn it on.

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