The Sweet Spot
On software, engineering leadership, and anything shiny.

Category: geek

2012
April
Backup, backup, backup

Well, the inevitable happened: I finally experienced a hard drive failure. It's pretty incredible that in the twenty-odd years I've been around computers I've never had the horror of losing …

2011
October
mmtss, a collaborative loop station

## mmtss is a loop station built for live performances. Let's make music together! This project simplifies a traditional loop tracking station and is designed for interactive collaborative music performances. …

August
Introducing Boink, a photobooth for the rest of us.

My friends were complaining that wedding photobooths were too expensive to rent. Could we make one for them? Glen and I from the [Porkbuns Initiative](http://porkbuns.net) stepped up in full armor, …

February
Save our souls - a Twitter art installation

Here's how the installation looked on the day of the art show. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="333" caption="We mounted the installation on the inside of the Regeneration cafe. The Arduino lies …

Arduino and python-firmata

I just spent five hours trying to figure out why  none of the [Firmata libraries for Python](http://arduino.cc/playground/Interfacing/Python) were working over my serial connection. I was wondering why the previous program …

The making of SOS: Intro

[![Save Our Souls - Logo](http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5095/5408231821_b4d0fd6837.jpg)](http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhao/5408231821/) I'm starting a project for my church's art show that integrates Twitter, print design and light. I'm titling it "Save Our Souls". The theme of …

2010
August
On selling my soul and switching to Mac

A month ago I bought an '07 MacBook on Craigslist. No, it's not one of those sexy aluminum hot rods, but it sure is pretty. I was full of mixed …

June
post-review, git-svn and Review Board

Here's how to set up the excellent VMware-developed open-source [Review Board](http://www.reviewboard.org/) and its `[post-review](http://www.reviewboard.org/docs/releasenotes/dev/rbtools/0.2/)` command line review creation utility to work with git and git-svn on your computer. My assumption …

2009
February
Thoughts on rural computing in Botswana

I'm currently in Botswana, doing volunteer work at a nonprofit Christian agency called [Love Botswana Outreach Mission](http://lovebotswana.org). Among my responsibilities are helping out with the organization's IT needs. I was …

2008
November
Setting up a multi-AP wireless network

A few weeks ago, I couldn't seem to connect my laptop to the wireless AP in my apartment. Additionally, I'd be getting weak signals from all these weird corners in …

October
First look at SproutCore and Cappuccino

One trend on the Web these days is to move away from traditional full-stack frameworks (like [Rails](http://rubyonrails.org)) toward client-side, full-stack Javascript frameworks (among them [Dojo](http://dojotoolkit.org/), [GWT](http://code.google.com/webtoolkit/), [SproutCore](http://sproutcore.com), and [Cappuccino](http://cappuccino.org)). There's …

GWT vs. SproutCore vs. Cappuccino

I'm looking to develop a Web application with a full-stack Javascript framework like [GWT](http://code.google.com/webtoolkit/), [SproutCore](http://www.sproutcore.com) or [Cappuccino](http://www.cappuccino.org). I'm making the decision to go with a Javascript framework over a traditional …

September
A layman's guide to the OAI-ORE data aggregation protocol

In Spring 2008, I took an information architecture course in the [UC Berkeley School of Information](http://ischool.berkeley.edu), taught by [Erik Wilde](http://dret.typepad.com) (disclaimer: I dropped the course after a month because of …

I Like Google Chrome

I have to admit, I am an unabashed fan of [Google Chrome](http://google.com/chrome), the new Web browser on the block. Why? UI design that shows attention to detail and a really …

March
Tales from the crypt

Now I remember why I love and hate assembling computers. You've got to love the rush of building something cool. The anticipation of the new BIOS screen--blue letters on black …

After site duplication, an .htaccess redirect for old Wordpress posts

I think I must preface this post with a bit of context: A month ago I added a new blog ([blog.andrewhao.com](http://blog.andrewhao.com)). I wanted that blog to become my personal blog …

February
Quad Core and the Nerd

My apartmentmate Mike just upgraded his computer to an Intel Core 2 Quad-core processor. Once he got it up and running, he opened up Task Manager and summoned me over …

Today's Geek Hijinks

### Morning: Woke up and attempted to mount a Samba file share under Ubuntu. My Gutsy server in the living room is getting a second life as a backup file …

Noam Chomsky is The Man

Why? The man is a respected thinker, theorist and activist. I've had several Mass Communications classes devote a couple of sections to his thoughts about mass media and its effect …

A new blog is coming!

I'm forking this blog in two: a design/development blog and a personal blog. I'll be keeping [blog.g9labs.com](http://blog.g9labs.com) as my technical blog: if you stay with me here, you'll find me …

January
Wordpress Bughunt

I spent a good four hours today digging through [Wordpress](http://www.wordpress.org) code, trying to get our [Cal Christian Fellowship](http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~ccf) Web site back up. The problem: the page seemed to freeze when …

2007
December
Feeling awesome today

So for our [CS188 (Artificial Intelligence)](http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs188/fa07/announcements.html) project, [Capture-the-Flag Pac-Man](http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs188/fa07/projects/contest/contest.html), I'm responsible for writing a script that does some processing and analysis on a game board, simulating a Pac-Man agent (my …

Meeting Joe Hewitt

I shook [Joe Hewitt](http://www.joehewitt.com)'s hand today (psst, he's the guy who did tons of Mozilla stuff but most notably built [Firebug](http://www.getfirebug.com/)). I stammered a lot. But that's okay, because I …

November
More scenes

_Disclaimer: about 95% of you won't get this. The other 5% should consider getting a life._ So we're in CS lecture (this is with Prof. Papadmitrou), and one student in …

October
Yahoo! University Hack Day

So Hsiu-fan and I had floated the idea of doing a hack for [Yahoo! University Hack Day](http://developer.yahoo.com/hacku/). We had even polled some of our friends about it, and the consensus …

Crusher website

What gives you more geek fuzzies than seeing an Evite competitor with an ASCII logo? [Crusher website ~ Send invites for free](http://crush3r.com/) Fun, simple, bare-bones, everything you need and nothing …

Oh well! Lessons learned the hard way

I restored a database by hand from the Rails production log and the console. We had forgotten to run a backup cronjob (and good thing we're stealth! Otherwise folks would …

September
Hello, awesome

[![Hello awesome](http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1221/1364248426_8f30709fd6.jpg)](http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhao/1364248426/) Only a geek could take a picture of his computer... and be proud of it.

2006
GTD-izing my Thunderbird client, and other productivity things

Do any fellow geeks out there follow any [GettingThingsDone](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_things_done) (GTD) practices? (I'm trying to get my life organized�a futile attempt before the sledgehammer of school and responsibilities drops. Organized as …