Monthly Archive: March 2009

Mental Fragmentation

diy-laptop-1

Okay, here’s the scoop. I’m AMAZINGLY busy right now. I shouldn’t be writing, but I can’t keep all of this bottled up! I’ve been adding small notes, images, and links to an ever-growing blog entry which remains unpublished. It’s getting out of hand! It’s clear I’m busy and lack the time to write sufficiently right now. My thesis defense is tomorrow, and I have a lot of work to do before then. Hopefully soon I’ll write more, but until I do I’ll just give you all of the little fragments of potential blogs I’ve saved over the last couple weeks. Since I’m not writing much about them, you’ll have to assess them for yourself and (if you’re lucky) maybe even decipher their significance. Anything that I post must be significant, right? Okay, here are the blurbs: Look at this amazing figure I created thanks to Inkscape (I love free, opensource software!). Doesn’t it look nice? I think so too! =o) First things first – here are some free songs! Okay, they may be illegal, but we’ll see what happens. I don’t know their title (I ripped them from Pandora and lost the XML tags for them) but I found them …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.SWHarden.com/blog/2009-03-30-mental-fragmentation/

Momentary Silence

thesis_defense

My public writing project is still on hiatus. For now, I need to concentrate on completing my degree requirements. I anticipate that graduation will be in order by next week. Until then, hold on a bit longer, and brace yourself for an outpouring of blogs related to obscure and geeky projects. In the mean time, this is what I’m working on, and sure you’re invited. It’s at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Show up, say you’re from my blog, and I’ll buy you a round after the examination!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.SWHarden.com/blog/2009-03-23-momentary-silence/

Thesis Countdown Continues…

puxing-777

Today is the much-awaited day of anticipation, mystery, excitement, and dread. Yes, today is the day that I will sit down (with the intent to) actually begin writing the content of my master’s thesis. Molecular biology is one of the most boring subjects invented. Luckily, my thesis has little to do with molecular biology and more to do with cardio-neurological anatomy. Today is Wednesday. Supposedly one week from Friday (9 days from now) the thesis should be complete and turned in. I have my work cut out for me. Luckily, the outline of the thesis is already finished, and I believe I have all the representative figures I will need. Yesterday my PI (principal investigator, aka: lab manager, aka: my boss!) told me that my paper (which I’ve neatly compiled into the outline of a single document) would be better if it were split into 3 documents, and published as 3 separate papers (one for sympathetic findings, one for parasympathetic findings, and one for findings involving sympathetic/parasympathetic interaction). I guess my plan is to proceed as originally planned, writing a single paper for my thesis, then splitting it up into 3 and sending them off for review/publication after I graduate. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.SWHarden.com/blog/2009-03-11-from-latex-to-lamemsw/

Transmitting Geekdom Around the World

parallelism

It’s save to say I’m a completely overloaded individual these days. I spend 12+ hours a day in the laboratory (it’s 11:30pm and I’m in lab right now), have a masters thesis to write, propose, defend, and submit all within about 30 days from today (I haven’t even actually started writing it yet), I am in the middle of being accepted into dental school (involving tons of deadline-ridden paperwork dealing with housing, immunizations, certifications, transcripts, finances, etc), somehow I have to find the time to do my taxes (1st time my wife and I will file together), and now that I mention it, yes, I have a wife at home to think about! We’ve been married a year plus a few months. I have to remember wifey things. Is an anniversary coming up? [ponders...] Wait, one just passed. I’m good. Anyway, I’ve got a TON of things on my plate, and no matter how quickly I try to scrape them off, more keep piling on. So, with all this stuff I have to do, and tons of stuff I should do, could I ever justify taking time out of my day to do stuff that I actually want to do? …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.SWHarden.com/blog/2009-03-04-transmitting-geekdom-around-the-world/

Hacking Into Pandora’s Box

hacking_pandora

I have several current hacking projects and one of them that I keep coming back to is Pandora , the internet radio service. You tell it a song or artist you like and the service customizes a radio station just for you with music which has the same qualities as songs you like. They don’t offer mp3 downloads however, and they don’t allow you to fast forward, rewind, or skip songs. It’s a flash-based web interface, and my digging (both on windows and in linux) has led me to realize that these songs are temporarily being downloaded to the hard drive. (They’re in M4A format, which is essentially videoless MP4). The problem is that these files have garbage filenames (random letters). If I can just obtain the artist and song title to associate with each, I’ll be able to write a Python script which will allow me to copy these files as they download, assigning their ID3 tags accordingly. I know this is possible, because I can spy XML data being transferred over my network (thanks to tcpdump) which contains all this information. The timing corresponds to the download of each subsequent M4A file. Where does this XML data go? …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.SWHarden.com/blog/2009-03-03-hacking-into-pandoras-box/