• April 28, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

So I finally caved in and added Google Adsense ads to my website. They're pretty non-obtrusive, and can be themed to more or less blend in with the rest of my site, so I don't mind them all that much, especially since I can place them more or less wherever I want.

There's one annoyance that I want to mention, though. If you're serving pages as application/xhtml+xml to conformant browsers, Adsense won't work in the form Google gives it to you, since XHTML-conformant renderers do not allow the Javascript document.write() method to be used on "real" XHTML documents, not to mention that the HTML iframe element used by Adsense doesn't exist in XHTML. Fortunately, there's a clever workaround, which is apparently approved by Google (or so I've read elsewhere).

Otherwise, the process was pretty painless. I don't get all that many site visitors (and probably most people who read my blog do so via the RSS feed, which doesn't get ads), but hopefully this will help in some small way to defray my hosting costs.

I'll give it a couple months as a trial, and if it doesn't seem like it's worth it, I'll take it down.


  • April 27, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

This is the kind of mood I'm in today. Or maybe this is. I can't decide.

WordPress update

  • April 27, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

I just updated wordpress on this blog to 2.0.1 (2.0.2 was giving me problems). I also approved a bunch of comments that seemed to be genuine. There were over 200 comments in the moderation queue, so if I deleted your comment as spam, I’m sorry, but I really didn’t feel like spending more than a few minutes on it.

I also installed Spam Karma 2 to help with the spam problem, so the comment moderation queue shouldn’t need to be checked, and comments that are good should appear immediately.

Post authors: if you don’t like the WYSIWYG post editor, disable it on your profile page.

Ecological Footprint Revisited

  • April 27, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

Just an update from my post yesterday: Since I have many non-US readers, I'll point out that the site claims that the average "ecological footprint" for people living in the US is 25. So I'm at least below average for where I live, though we have a pretty high footprint in general.

Really, I kinda think this site is mostly a silly scare tactic to get people thinking about how much they consume and impact the environment. Which is a good thing, of course, but their methods leave a bit to be desired.

According to my score (the lower of the two), if everyone lived like me, we would need 3.9 planets. Jasper lives in The Netherlands, and while their average much lower than in the US, he even overshoots it by quite a bit.

They claim that the actual per-person resource availability (on a global scale) is 1.8. That means in order to have a stable ecology, the actual worldwide average needs to be 1.8. I'll admit that I'm not as eco-friendly as I could be, but I'm by no means a huge offender (by local standards, anyway). That means there are plenty of people "worse" than I am. If that's truly the case, shouldn't the planet be an uninhabitable wasteland by now?

There's a pretty in-depth FAQ list about the footprint quiz. They seem pretty serious about pushing its accuracy, and actually claim that they're being conservative. Since I really don't have the time or inclination to research this properly, I can only take it with a grain of salt. If anyone is interested enough to look into it and comment here as to what all of this means and how these numbers are calculated (and why we aren't all dead yet), I'd be curious to hear it.


  • April 27, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

No, not the memory footprint of Xfce. My ecological footprint according to this site.

    FOOD  / 1.5
    MOBILITY / 1.7
    SHELTER / 1.7

Not too bad, you would say, considering Brian got 24, but…


I don’t know where they got this figure, but I have a very hard time believing that. I have a small car, a small house, produce little waste and usually don’t fly. That should be below average, except maybe for the 130km a day I have to drive, so let’s say average, not 1.5 times higer.


Oops ;-)

Getting up on time

  • April 27, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

Brian, I thought the way to make sure you get up when the alarm goes of is to put the alarm clock somewhere you can’t reach from your bed ;-)

Ecological Footprint

  • April 26, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

This is pretty interesting. I won't vouch for their accuracy or objectivity, but it's worth thinking about. For the record, my "footprint" is 24 if I include the flying I do for business (~100 hours total), or 18 if I only include personal travel (~25 hours total).

I think my lack of a commute really helps keep my mobility score down.

Getting Up On Time

  • April 26, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

As most people I know are aware, I have major issues getting up in the morning. In general, I set my alarm for anywhere between 8am and 8:45am (depending on when I go to bed), but I rarely ever get up when the alarm goes off (there are exceptions, but I'm talking about the general case here). On a normal workday, I'll usually actually get out of bed anywhere between 9:30am and 10:30am. Now, this is mostly OK in the sense that I usually don't need to be in the office that early, and I usually stay later than most people. However, it's just a shitty habit, and I hate doing it. I'd set my alarm for 9:30am or 10am, but I'm afraid I'd end up snoozing and getting up 1-1.5 hours later.

So I think I'm going to try this exercise to help me get up immediately after my alarm goes off.

The idea is pretty simple: when you go to bed, you decide that you want to get up at a certain time. Presumably, before you go to bed, your conscious mind is pretty rational and coherent. However, when your alarm goes off, you're still pretty foggy: your conscious mind is not capable of recognising that, were you in your right mind, you'd make yourself get up. So you make excuses, and carry on an internal semi-conscious dialogue which eventually convinces you "a few more minutes" won't hurt.

So the solution is to take it out of the hands of your temporarily-impaired conscious. Condition yourself to get out of bed immediately when the alarm goes off. Make it a subconscious action. Actually teach yourself to get up when the alarm goes off, when you're fully awake. Pick an afternoon, get in your pajamas, make the bedroom dark, as much as early-morning-ish as possible. Set the alarm clock for a few minutes in the future, and lie down, curled up in a sleeping position. When the alarm goes off, don't think: take a deep breath, stretch your arms and legs, and get up. Then start to do whatever you'd usually do right after you get up. Then repeat this for a few hours. The idea is that, if you think at all when the alarm goes off, you're not there yet. It needs to be an automatic, subconscious, conditioned response.

It seems a bit wacky, but I have very little to lose, and if it does work, quite a bit to gain. The one hurdle I see is that I need to make myself go to bed earlier at night. 2-3am just isn't going to cut it. But that's something I can handle with conscious discipline. We'll see how it goes.

Update: There's also this article, which I'll need to follow in parallel, about becoming an early riser.

Xfce 4.4-beta

  • April 24, 2006
  • Josh Saddler - Category: Xfce

First I have to say that Xfce upstream rocks. Benny is quick and responsive to bugs and requests, even though there's so much on his plate from Thunar alone. I asked for a small feature, and it was added in a very short time.

Xfce 4.4 and Thunar are shaping up to be an even better, speedy desktop environment. This is the most impressive release yet.

And on the Gentoo side of things, dostrow pushed out an excellent set of 4.4-beta ebuilds to package.mask within a couple of days of upstream's release. Thunar et al. are a joy to use.

Thanks for all your hard work!

How Does it Work?

  • April 19, 2006
  • Brian Tarricone

Best README section ever:

You can also install files into your favorite directory by supplying setup.rb some options. Try "ruby setup.rb --help". Since we don't really know how setup.rb works, we've included the English-language version of the setup usage file. Enjoy.

Ok, maybe not best ever, but amusing, nonetheless.