In bed

What does it mean when your fortune cookie is empty?

Thanks for that

To whomever thought it would be hilarious to pull my apartment building’s fire alarm tonight:

Die in a fire.


Monopoly Fight!

Have you ever been playing a game of Monopoly and wondering who had the better set of properties? Well, wonder no more, as Monopoly Fight! will figure this out for you. Tell it what properties each player owns, and how much they’ve each been developed, and it will tell you how much money each player is expected to earn or lose per roll of the dice.

I won’t bore you here with a description of how it works, but keep in mind that its answers don’t take into account how much each player had to spend to get their properties in the first place. For figuring out what properties you should prefer to invest in, there are better resources for that.

Call for help: Music Applet 2.3.0 crasher

Several users have reported that Music Applet 2.3.0 crashes for them. Unfortunately, I have been unable to reproduce this bug myself, and none of the crash reports I’ve received have contained enough detail to suggest where the problem might lie, other than hinting that it only happens with Python 2.5. Without figuring out more information about the cause of the problem, I have no way to fix it.

If you’re experiencing crashes, you can help by trying to find out what’s causing the crash. Here’s some suggestions on how you might be able to do this:

  • Run the applet from the command line before adding it to the panel, so that error messages will be printed to the console. See the FAQ for details on how to do this.
  • If the applet dumps core, use gdb to get a backtrace, and send that backtrace to me. That should at least identify the line of code where the crash occurs.
  • Try disabling all plugins by default. To do this, before running ./configure, edit the file data/ Look for the line that says:

    <default>[Amarok,Audacious,Banshee,Exaile,MPD,Muine,Quod Libet,Rhythmbox,VLC,XMMS,XMMS2]</default>

    And replace it with:


    If the applet no longer crashes on startup, try re-enabling plugins one by one until you find one that causes the crash.

  • Let me know the versions of everything the applet is using: Python, GTK, GNOME, D-Bus (and the Python bindings for it), and the player-specific libraries used by the plugins that (possibly) cause the crash.
  • Let me know exactly what you were doing with the applet when the crash happened (i.e., adding it to the panel, launching a player, clicking one of the buttons, etc.).

Without more information from someone who’s able to reproduce the crash themselves, there’s unfortunately nothing I can do to fix this problem. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

All washed up

Pop quiz: How long does it take for the lane stripings on a road to go from “brand new” to “so faded that road crews have to put up warning signs about an unmarked road”?

Apparently, around here, the answer is “less than 48 hours”.

It’s somewhat of a remarkable achievement when you think about it. How exactly does a road crew achieve this degree of epic fail for what should be routine maintenance? Did they use water-soluble paint? I haven’t seen that much suffusion of yellow since Dirk Gently lent me his calculator. Even the tape the road crew used for temporary lane markings proved more durable.

I know, I know, car navigation systems are pretty nifty, but can we please wait until they stop telling people to drive along train tracks before we start eschewing lane markings?

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