Bibliomane's paradise

On the way home yesterday, I was able to swing into one of the most dangerous places north of New York: the New England Mobile Book Fair. It is a near-perfect book store. Things it does not have:

  • endcap displays
  • DVDs
  • a coffee stand/counter (actually, not the worst thing that ever happened to a bookstore, but something that definitely distinguishes NEMBF from a chain)
  • glossy formica – except perhaps at the registers
  • wheels (it hasn’t been mobile since basically forever)

It does have:

  • books, books and more books
  • funkadelic shelves
  • labyrinthine floor plan (in the remainders area – where I do most of my browsing)
  • great clippings, pictures and signs on the walls

A slide show to give you a taste…

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Nokia N810 nav functions

The N810 I recently purchased has a built in GPS receiver. I had a drive to do this morning and figured I’d put it to the route-finding test. There was very little route to find – directions were about as easy as can be imagined – a perfect first outing. Call me conservative, but I prefer to shake things down before I’m in desperate need of them (when possible). There are two options, as far as I can tell, on the N810:

  • Wayfinder comes preloaded on the N810 with a big caveat – to get route finding, you need to spend $$ to upgrade to the ‘full’ version. At this point it looks like a 36 month subscription is about $140 – too rich for my blood.
  • Maemo Mappper is a free open source app that’s a one-click install, To get voice directions you also need to install flite, so maybe I should characterize it as a two-clicker.

I spent 10 minutes or so yesterday with Maemo Mapper – figuring out how to ask for directions, download maps along the route, etc. First thing this morning, I fired up Mapper and set out. A note on the N810’s GPS performance – every review you read says the same thing – it takes forever for the receiver to find satellites. True fact. I think my ancient Garmin 12XL comes up faster. However, once it’s up the N810 does a great job staying connected. I drove with the little beastie on the passenger seat (the Garmin would have lost signal for sure) and it knew where I was throughout the trip. No tunnels – it would be interesting to see how quickly it re-composed itself once above ground again – but as I said, baby steps. The voice directions were just fine; standard syntho-voice, something I prefer – don’t startle me with a “who the heck is in the car?” moment. All in all, a positive experience – encouraging for the first time out.

Mapper generates a track as you move – I saved the ‘going away’ track and loaded it to my server. Right-click here, choose save link as and it’ll load into Google Earth like a charm. Some pics from the ride:

Local point of interest


Navigator/radio operator’s station


Got the radio on

I’m like the roadrunner


I’m in love with modern moonlight

128 when it’s dark outside


(I’ll bet a million bucks Steve knows exactly where these antennae are.)

I want some of that action!

Via Chas, we learn that PETA is using the hack lawyer stick on Gina Spadafori for posting that PETA killed 97% of the animals that they took in to their Norfolk facility in 2006. At issue? Not the number, but whether those animals were “in search of homes”. According to PETA, these animals were unadoptable. Sorry – doesn’t pass the smell test. Patrick suggests that the PETA death center in Norfolk VA be relicensed by the Commonwealth as a slaughterhouse – makes sense to me.

Pronunciation guide

Enceladus – en-sell’-ah-dus

I look these things up so you don’t have to (OK, OK – you already knew – let me maintain what little dignity I have left *grin*).

03.26.08– NASA’s Cassini spacecraft tasted and sampled a surprising organic brew erupting in geyser-like fashion from Saturn’s moon Enceladus during a close flyby on March 12. *

For life to persist once it has been established requires an environment of liquid water, the essential elements and nutrients, and an energy source. At Enceladus, we have evidence for liquid water, but we don’t know its origin. We have observed simple organic chemicals there, and the March 12 close flyby indicates there are some complex organic chemicals, as well. An energy source of some sort is producing geysers. As Cassini’s exploration continues, we’re seeking to bring together more pieces of this intriguing puzzle. * (via Bruce Sterling)



Enough to make a biophile like yrs truly do a little jig of delight.

Out of the pool!

I am not one of those folks with a gut-level aversion towards Senator Clinton, but if these sorts of things keep up, I could be persuaded.

Hillary – it’s over. The plus-sized dame has yet to sing, but sing she will. Get out, or if you can’t bring yourself to do that, cut the shit (or to continue w/ the title’s metaphor, at least stop peeing in the pool).

Update – another metaphor: the Tonya Harding option.

Yet another update – looks like I’m not the only one… (not that I’m in Kleiman or Drum’s league, blogospherically speaking)

Blasts from the past

And I do mean blasts –

  • S: (n) good time, blast (a highly pleasurable or exciting experience) “we had a good time at the party”; “celebrating after the game was a blast”
  • S: (v) blast, blare (make a strident sound) “She tended to blast when speaking into a microphone” *

From the Hemmings blog, an ad for Dr. Old’s creation – the 442. I went as fast as I’ve ever gone (in a car) in a friend’s 1966 442 – probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but what are you gonna do? Lest we all wax too nostalgic, I read a comparo in Car and Driver matching classic muscle cars against the VW GTI/Civic Si’s of the world and the newer little thangs ate the old iron up. There’s a lot to like about the old stuff, but when gas hits $4/gallon here in the states this summer, well…


From Make:, another vintage noisemaker – homemade Leslies! A Hammond B3 and Leslies – a pair that’s worth their own ‘Got a Match?’ post… Again, as a result of misspent youth – I’ll always associate Leslie speakers with the J. Geils Band (local boys make good – Mr. Faye Dunaway, though from the Bronx, will always mean early 70’s Boston to me).

The youtube of the homemade rig:


And the J. Geils Band – couldn’t find anything era-appropriate that had the whole band going, so you’ll have to settle for Magic Dick:


“27 more minutes, before I say bye-bye…”

New category

I’m throwing a new category up in the right margin: Etsy. For those who haven’t encountered it, Etsy is a way for craftspeople, artists, makers, etc. to bring stuff to market. The category ties to some thinking I’ve been doing about markets and what’s getting bought and sold in a networked world – long tails, bespoke vs. commodity, content and provenance, gift/barter/cash economies – I’m still sorting through my thoughts and have had a draft post in various stages of disarray for months. Recent conversations with A Certain Design Student (he’s looking at fixy/single-speed bicycle options) have moved this particular pot closer to the front of the stove; perhaps I can wrap up something post-worthy relatively soon. In the meantime, read 1000 True Fans over at Kung Fu Monkey.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Um, not quite – but it does seem like I’m up on a new platform. Will shake stuff down – there will likely be a burp or two over the next couple days. Loyal readers, please bear with me!

Update1 – RSS is back, but the feed address is a little different than the one I was using – is working for me.

Update2 – I seem to have lost some comments (everything after Jan. 24?) – I’ll try to get them back this evening – time to hack away at the XML export file I used to restore the posts/comments.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

Good news – the blog is mostly updated to WordPress 2.3.x. XMLRPC (a component that allows me to post from other blogging clients – see post below for an example) is functioning properly; it wasn’t working on the 2.0.x software I was using.

Bad news – RSS, comments and direct links in to posts still aren’t working. I’m working on it… If you see anything else boogered up and would like to let me know, I’d appreciate it: dr.hypercube at


I’m testing micro/mobile blogging from the N810, using WordPy (an offline blogging client). Still thinking about the best way to get pictures from my good digital camera to Flickr – without a PC – but I know I can email from the camera in my cell direct to Flickr…

I know it’s a sign of my advanced age, but every so often I just fall over in amazement. Five years ago, posting to the web from just about anywhere in the developed world using a phone and a gadget that’ll fit nicely in a pocket? Right.

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