Calamity Lane

Curious Code for Curious Coders Is Live

I’ve started a new experiment:! It’s a free, open server with shell accounts available for the asking.

It’s inspired by I signed up when it was a new idea, but the server filled up before I could get a slot.

Fortunately, P. F. Hawkins, a tilde-clubber started a list of alternate “Tildes” for those who were unable to get into the original.

Since I had a little extra server space (Thanks, Chad!) I decided to spin up It’s been a load of fun so far, and our members have already started doing some pretty cool stuff.

We’ve got an IRC server, loads of programming languages and games, and every account has some webspace.

So far we’ve got about 30 members, but there is still plenty of room, so feel free to sign up!

Redir Is Awesome

More than anything, I love tiny tools that do one thing, and do it well. The UNIX philosophy sends me into fits of programmery giggliness for precisely this reason.

Recently I discovered a tiny new tool to add to my toolbox. I had a test server running on port 3014, and needed to briefly expose it on port 80 (I know, I know, I’ve just made myself eligible for a righteous noodle-lashing).

Hey, New Blog Software Again!

So after many years of hating the blogging software I implemented to replace the blogging software I hated before, I’m implementing new software to replace the replacement software. Which I hate.

Updates to follow.

Hidden Chrome Features on CR-48

After having playing around with ChromeOS on the CR-48 netbook (which I’ve blogged about before), I’ve found a few more interesting tidbits that let you dig deeper into the system.


  • Experimental Features/Flash Drives: chrome://flags
  • Nicer View of Memory Usage: about:memory
  • Hilarious Pranks: about:crash
  • Wi-Fi Troubleshooting: about:network
  • Manage Extensions and Apps: chrome://extensions

Chrome OS on the CR-48: It Has Developer Bits!

So for anyone out there who is not already insanely jealous of my good looks and/or impeccable fashion sense, you should know I was one of the recipients of a CR-48 netbook in Google’s free giveaway.

A full review is forthcoming (sneak preview: it is awesome), but here I just wanted to share a couple quick things I found that turn ChromeOS from an interesting toy to a usable developer’s tool.


  • Process Manager/Task Manager: Shift-Esc
  • Shell/SSH Client: Ctrl-Alt-t
  • Developer Tools: Ctrl-Shift-i

Zombie Songs

For all those times when you’ve been thinking to yourself “Man, this would be the perfect situation in which to play a zombie song,” I’m glad to say modern independent musicians have stepped up to fill this gap:

Further zombie song recommendations are welcome in the comments.

A More Effective Name

A quick note:

If you are:

  • Using Rails
  • Using RSpec
  • Have just discovered the incredible joy of named scopes

…restrain yourself, by any means available (up to and including physical violence) from creating a named scope called “public” or “private.” The reasons for this should be fairly obvious.

Really, whoever ends up cleaning up behind you will appreciate it.

Annihilate Ubuntu’s Annoying System Beep

A quickie to remind myself next time I build an Ubuntu box, and am being slowly driven batty by a tiny, tinny obsolete PC speaker made of hate:

sudo gvim /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

(or /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf, for Ubuntu 9.04) …and add the following line:

blacklist pcspkr

From the command line, kill it in the current session:

sudo rmmod pcspkr

No more waking the baby with late-night hacking sessions!

Select Tag Funkiness With Merb

In my ongoing travails with Merb & Friends, I’ve run across a few behaviors with the select() form helper method. Since there’s currently a dearth of examples, I thought I’d document them for myself and future googlers.