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So after I upgraded to iTunes 10 and did the necessary bits of extra hackery to make the UI reasonable again, iTunes decided to lose track of my AppleTV (probably as a result of my fiddling with plists to try to fix this annoying regression), which forced me to do a full re-sync of my entire library.

Three days later (I pushed around 165GB over my wireless network), the sync was complete, but I noticed a giant 282GB blob of “Other” stuff on the disk allocation graph in iTunes. When I logged into the AppleTV to see what was going on, I discovered that during the sync process, something was causing my AppleTV to drop 78MB iTunesDB.tmp files in my /mnt/Media directory.

A lot of them.

Just north of 3600, in fact.

So… yeah, there’s my 280+ GB of “Other”. Ouch! So much for that nice new 500GB external drive! My initial testing didn’t seem to indicate that their presence or absence mattered at all for normal use, so I nuked them and freed up a ton of disk space. I have observed that I get one to three more of them every time iTunes syncs to the AppleTV, though, so eventually they’ll be a problem again.

Does anyone know what these files are or why they’re written to disk during syncs? Or more importantly, do you know what should be–but clearly isn’t–cleaning them up?

One Honking Great Idea

I really enjoyed From Python Import Podcast’s two-parter on the Zen of Python, but I’ve been thinking that they may have missed something really interesting in the last item in the Zen:

Namespaces are one honking great idea — let’s do more of those!

For a long time, I had largely overlooked this one myself, because on its face it seems frivolous and perhaps too specific. Up to that point, the Zen is all broad strokes and elegant generalizations, and suddenly BAM! here comes this thing about namespaces that’s full of colloquialisms and exclamation points, and it feels very tacked on and strange and arbitrary, like a sort of gangly teenager trying to fit into a more mature crowd.

Naturally, the conversation in the podcast went straight down the nerd rabbit hole to talk about the meaning of namespaces, and completely neglected the real meat here, which is a pity because this might actually be one of the most important aspects of the Zen.

This is an expression of the enthusiasm and joy that pervade the Python community.

This is Python’s “Get Excited and Make Things.” This is a formal declaration that it’s all right to get excited about stuff that we make. This is a mission statement to go forth and create new delights, so that those who encounter them may be similarly inspired. That above all, this stuff should be fun.

Think about that the next time you’re crafting some Python code and see if it doesn’t change how you approach things.

Exceptions, Error Recovery, and Man Purses

My friend and coworker Aaron Oliver has had a lightbulb moment about exceptions, error recovery, and man purses that Python folks might be interested in reading.

Ten Years

Today (technically yesterday at this point, I suppose) was my ten year anniversary at AG Interactive.

I'm frankly astounded that it's been so long, so soon.

Once upon a time, there was a 23-year-old version of me, leaving behind the miseries of being an IBM road warrior to sling code for an internet startup with its sights set on an IPO, where lunches were free and the foosball was fast and furious. I was psyched to be able to see both my fiance and the inside of my apartment on a daily basis. I was a Perl zealot, but willing and curious to learn Python (in spite of my perception that it Just Wasn't That Great).

Since then I've fallen out of love with Perl (she was nuts, man!) and found that Python might in fact be my soul mate of programming languages. We didn't IPO, the free lunches have long since passed, and I don't play nearly as much foosball as I used to, but the culture's still a lot of fun. (At the very least, daily finger missile battles keep us on our toes!) The apartment has been upgraded to a house, the fiance to wife (that's another ten year anniversary coming up soon!), and we've added cats and a kid to the domestic mix.

All in all, it's been a decent ten years. I just can't believe they happened so fast!

"Teach Me Dependency Injection" at Clepy

The stars finally aligned in a configuration that allowed me to return to Clepy, our local Python group. It was really nice to see some folks that I hadn't in forever, including some long-lost ex-AGI people that I hadn't caught up with in what seemed like forever.

We did tonight's meeting in the "Teach Me X" format made popular by Steve Holden's "Teach Me Twisted" open space at Pycon 2009. One of our newer compatriots, Chris Miller, had been hearing a lot of buzz about dependency injection and wanted a deeper exposure to it, so he played the questioner while David Stanek played ringleader to the group discussion. The format was a lot of fun, and a good way to engage the group without having a more straightforward and less-interactive "eyes-forward" Powerpoint extravaganza of death, though the conversation did seem to be dominated by a few voices that had had the most experience with DI in their professional lives. But overall it was good, and I think that at least a few people had lightbulb moments, and I suspect that even us seasoned DI nerds achieved some insights into the subject as well.

I'm eager to try out the "Teach Me..." format at work, where I've got some peer education to-dos that I've been struggling to figure out how to structure without causing roomfuls of eyes to glaze over.

In other news, Cleveland Give Camp is coming up in July, and they're eager for all types of participation--so whether you want to help organize the event or want to participate (they're particularly seeking code-slingers and graphic designers), this looks like a great opportunity to Do Some Good.

Clepy are a nice bunch of smart folks; meetings are held on the first Monday of the month aboard LeanDog's awesome boat. And now we have an official pizza and beer fund, so we can enjoy a bit of a treat whilst geeking about. If you're in Cleveland and are interested in Python, it's definitely worth joining in. I certainly hope to make it a regular part of my extracurricular life again.

What's That Awful Buzzing Sound?

This is an experiment to see if Google Buzz (in its infinite wisdom) will stop posting my last blog entry every three hours if I give it something new to chew on, or if I will just have to have a Very Serious Conversation with it or any Google folk who cross my path in the coming days.

*stern look*

Yesterday's Tweets

Since last time:

  • 09:24 Watched Zhang Yimou's "Raise the Red Lantern" last night. It was pretty, but basically a Lifetime movie of the week in Chinese.
  • 09:26 .@mcantor Egon Value... your mucus.
  • 10:23 Damn it, I've misplaced my good pen. The whole day will be out of whack now.
  • 12:36 Really fading fast; guess I should have gotten more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep.
  • 13:23 The NSA is "helping" with Windows 7 security. Which I read as "installing crypto backdoors." is.gd/4XgU7 Pass the tinfoil.
  • 13:24 "Shatnerquake" is free today: jeffburk.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/download-shatnerquake-for-free-today-only/ #awesome
  • 16:34 Hey @codemash, your xhtml strict is busted. Might want to look into that.
  • 18:50 Kiddo, upon handing me her new Darth Vader clicky pen, just declared "This Star Wars." We don't know where she learned this, but I approve.
  • 23:02 The QVC Slanket people look like members of a cult. A very cozy, warm one.
  • 23:33 Holy crap, our iPhone app made it to an ad!!! #agi #ecards #woohoo twitpic.com/pya08
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Yesterday's Tweets

Since last time:

  • 09:26 Cool--mix your own Adult Swim DVDs: bit.ly/24sdhB
  • 15:05 The Internet is off. twitpic.com/ps81l
  • 20:57 Reasons I love my wife: she's already set the DVR to record John Woo's "Red Cliff".
  • 00:02 The horsey is infected! www.sampsonuk.net/B3TA/TrojanHorse.jpg
  • 00:57 Am really not doing well at this whole "go to sleep at a reasonable and consistent time" thing.
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Yesterday's Tweets

Since last time:

  • 09:05 Kiddo's got a fever and her breathing sounds bad when she's horizontal. Poor thing. :-( Today will probably be the opposite of yesterday.
  • 20:13 Embarking on the ever-more-ridiculously epic annual health insurance benefits enrollment process. We are a nation of friggin' busywork.
  • 20:35 Really? You're asking if my 2-year-old is being treated for *pregnancy*? American health insurance is soooo full of fail.
  • 20:38 WebMD's health cost evaluator is the single most STUPID PIECE OF CRAP ever.
  • 20:41 I'm seriously being asked to pick a health care plan without ANY details about what they cover? "Compare plans" = see 3 bar graphs? LIVID.
  • 20:49 @holdenweb What really offends me is that in the past we've at least been told some details about what the plans cover. Not so this time.
  • 21:12 WTF, chasehsa.com--is a user signup really that hard? Who do I have to fuck to check my HSA balance?
  • 00:27 What kind of world do these health benefit people live in where their websites don't actually have to work? (I bet the hours are better...)
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Yesterday's Tweets

Since last time:

  • 13:48 Today is asymptotically approaching perfection. #happy
  • 16:17 RT @bethdean: Maybe the coolest looking record ever flic.kr/p/7fDao7
  • 16:22 Stocking up on study materials (2 cases of wine) for @DrinkableGrape...
  • 18:18 I end up using my daughter's magnetic doodle board way more than she does (and probably more than I should): twitpic.com/pjrkq
  • 21:39 Mint.com sent me a spurious low balance alert... Now that I'm recovered from the panic, I'm just annoyed.
  • 22:32 Holy crap, you can seriously get a 1TB external hard drive for $100? Never thought I'd see the day! (Get off my lawn.)
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If there's a bright center of the Internet, you're on the blog that it's furthest from. Rants, raves, and assorted ramblings from my little patch of the periphery of known space.

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September 2010


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