Friday, November 29, 2013

Cheyenne Mountain scifi

I just spent a few days in Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station (CMAFS). The exercise was a good one, and the mountain is much drier than it was right after all the heavy rains and floods.

And, since it seemed like the right thing to do, I brought my copy of Footfall and re-read the bits where the hard science fiction authors went Inside as US threat team in case the space aliens turned out to be bad guys. (Non-spoiler: they invade.)

I was also reading Mission to Mars by Buzz Aldrin so it got a trip Inside, too.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Windows 7 Save As... customization

It's a small thing, but I've found it frustrating that some dialog boxes show my favorites, such as Google Drive and Downloads, and others will not. To boot, most of those "others" are in C:\Users\<mylogin>, but that directory isn't in the default list. has a nice HOWTO to edit your registry to change that dialog box. The one thing I missed was that it doesn't add to the Save As... list, it replaces what's there.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

301 redirects and google sites

I'd forgotten I'd tried to set this up once, but I got an update notification today from The issue is that google sites doesn't support 301 redirects.

How does that effect us? What it means is if you're porting an existing web site to google sites, you're about guaranteed  to have things break. If anyone's linked to an index.html page of yours, or default.htm, you're stuck with a 404 report forever. You can't even load a blank page with an embedded redirect because google sites changes the document type so your browser won't read it correctly.

The funny thing is google likes 301 redirects. They even made a video to show you how cool they are. But since it's been a year since good old issue #73 was logged and there's no update, my guess is google sites will just never support this feature. Which probably means google's going to abandon the product.

I can't imagine anyone recommending moving an existing site to google sites, or even starting a new one from scratch with it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

KDE screen savers

It's just a small thing, but had annoyed me for a while. The "Screen Locker", from Iguana > Configure Desktop > Display and Monitor > Screen Locker, has a slide show option. Gnome seemed to have dumped this, so I was happy to see it in kde.

I'm not big on fancy transitions, anyway, and the random ones here were impossibly slow. Why transition every five seconds to a new picture if it takes 30 seconds to paint a new screen? is the reported bug, and the fix still works. Edit ~/kde4/share/config/kslideshow.kssrc, and add "EffectsEnabled=false" after the last line.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Seen on the CLUE (Colorado Linux Users and Enthusiasts) mail list:
I'd tell you a UDP joke but you might not get it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Colorado Constitution updated for 2013

I've finished updating the Colorado Constitution with Amendment S (State Personnel System), which wraps up the changes approved by the electorate in 2012. You can get the pdf or the LaTeX files. It runs 122 pages, and is best printed dual sided (duplexed).

The next step is to figure out how to output in other formats, like text, mobi, and epub. I'm going to give pandoc a try.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Amendment 65 added to LaTeX

It turns out that the entire constitutional change of Amendment 65 (Colorado Congressional Delegation to Support Campaign Finance Limits) is two words. It changes "... encouraging voluntary campaign spending limits ..." to "... establishing campaign spending limits ...". This doesn't match up very well with the ballot title.

Ah, that's because the majority of the changes are in Colorado Revised Statues, not the constitution. I hadn't realized that a constitutional amendment could change law. Sure, it can force changes in law, but the other was new to me. Of course, the ballot title does start "Shall there be amendments to the Colorado constitution and the Colorado revised statutes ...", so I suppose both could be amended at the same time. I wonder if editing two things at once violates the single ballot rule?

The real meat is in the CRS, 1-45-103.7 (9)(a).
The voters instruct the Colorado congressional delegation to propose and support, and the Colorado state legislature to ratify, an amendment to the United States Constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, can express their views to one another and their government on a level playing field.
 I suspect that, like the US Congress, no law can force a future Colorado legislature to an action, so the whole effort means about nothing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

LaTeX and the Colorado Constition

With the three amendments to the Colorado Constitution passed in 2012, it was time to update my pdf of the Colorado Constitution. The three amendments were Amendment 64 (Use and Regulation of Marijuana), Amendment 65 (Colorado Congressional Delegation to Support Campaign Finance Limits), and Amendment S (State Personnel System).

Strangely, there is no official version of the constitution on the state website, There is a scan of the original 1876 constitution, but that doesn't do us immediate good for today. Scott Gessler, the Secretary of State, does have a combined US and Colorado Constitution. It hasn't been updated with the 2012 amendments, and has a host of citations and notes from the LexisNexis website, the official provider of the Colorado Constitution.

That's the really weird thing. The official version of the Colorado Constitution is only on the LexisNexis website. To even view it you have to agree to a 4,579 word terms and conditions document. It's at least not a pay-wall, but I shouldn't have to read about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act just to get to the state Constitution.

Which brings me to my little project. I've taken all the text, minus the cites and other legal work that could really be LexisNexis property, and turned it into a pdf . Why not a word doc? Well, I wanted to use LaTeX so pdf is the way to go. It's nicely formatted in the general flavor of the original 1876 Constitution.

You're welcome to the LaTeX file, too. These are still the 2010 versions -- I haven't finished copying in the 2012 amendments yet. I got Amendment 64 in today, hopefully the rest will come soon.