Wanted: Reactive Agent Frank

Agent Frank was super-useful as a personal proxy back in the day, but in the end it introduced too much of a delay into my daily browsing and I turned it off.

Now that Firefox’s history is powered by a SQLite database I was hoping to be able to query it for my history every x minutes, request the pages and store and index them locally.

The documentation of SQLite on MDC seems to be quite lightweight but what it does tell us is this:

“How to corrupt your database: Open the database from an external program while it is open in Mozilla”

Balls. Other ideas?

Grouping disparate feeds by a common author

I’ve been thinking about the user interaction of subscribing to feeds and how, and at which point, to identify that a particular feed belongs to a particular person when you already subscribe to another feed coming from that person (i.e. subscribing to their delicious feed when you’re already subscribed to their blog).

I’d been trying to think of an easy way of typing in, or selecting the author’s real name, thus tying multiple feeds to a single individual (assuming that the feed doesn’t contain enough information to be able to deduce this already).

It took me a day or so of idling mulling in my spare time that it’s really solved by tagging and system-provided usernames. I am ‘pip’ on most of the systems I use; Paul Mison is ‘blech’. This is easily identifiable information from each feed, but if it’s not there, or different for any given service then it’s still quicker and easier to enter as a feed-level tag than the full name for a person.

The moral of the story is to look at the solutions you’re given rather than inventing new problems 🙂

Personal Arduino failure

So next week is XTech 2008 and I’m not going.

Arduino arrival

Last year’s was excellent though and one of the more physical results was that I bought myself an Arduino board and related gumpf.

However, in a very anti-hacker sentiment, I haven’t done anything interesting with it at all, mainly out of a concern for breaking it! Another guy in my office has also got one and has happily burned through resistors and capacitors but I can’t help but think that if I did something like that I’d have done it wrong somehow.

I obviously need to steel myself and get embrace the lack-of-concern needed to develop some cool physical products!