More Ramblings from a Los Angeles Programmer

November 22, 2009

What does the science say: 8 glasss of water

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 8:20 pm

For those interested, I’ve published my latest science-y essay. This time the topic is whether or not we really need 8 glasses of water a day.

Article found here:


November 18, 2009

Poll for next topic

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 8:00 am

I’ve put up a poll in the sidebar of my other blog for those interested in the science topics I have been doing (vaccines and energy drinks so far).

The poll should also be available below (you can enter up to 3 answers or do a write-in):

June 4, 2009

My own Basic Intructions Avatar!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 4:04 pm

For those rare people who read this blog by actually going to it, you may have noticed that my profile image has changed. This is my new custom avatar from Scott Meyer, creator of the hilarious and quirky Basic Instructions web comic that I often share/star in my Reader feed.

I went for my frequent mountain man look 😉

Custom Avatar 1

Not much of a return to blogging,but I haven’t had anything to rant about lately 🙂 Anyone have any ideas?

March 20, 2007

The train ride from hell!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 11:25 am

Had a good time in Dublin for St. Patrick’s. Will let Rachel comment on the ride back 🙂

California Girl in a British World: The train ride from hell!!!!

January 11, 2007

Book Meme

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 4:13 am

Found here: » Blog Archive » Book Meme

The instructions were: Bold the ones you’ve read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov *
3. Dune, Frank Herbert *
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein *
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke *
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card *
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams *
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke *
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven *
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Looks like I’ve got some books to read…

January 4, 2007

Researchers use brain scans on shoppers | Science Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 5:33 pm

Researchers use brain scans on shoppers | Science Blog
The results of this paper support an alternative perspective that views consumers as trading off the immediate pleasure of making a purchase against an immediate pain: the pain of forking out the money for the item.

All I gotta say is: Ain’t that the truth!

December 21, 2006

Slashdot | Autodesk Suing to Keep Format Closed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 4:00 am

Apparently, AutoDesk is rather angry that the Open Design Alliance in adding what is essentially an AutoCAD ‘watermark’ to AutoCAD DWG files produced by it’s libraries.  When I first read the headline to the /. article, it implied that AutoDesk was directly trying to step the reverse-engineering for the format itself. On further reading (of the article itself as well the comments on the /. article), it’s more that AutoDesk doesn’t want the ‘TrustedDWG’ data to be applied.

Now, this does effectively mean that you can’t produce files outside of AutoCAD because apparently it will only read DWG files that are marked in this way. And that’s the real issue in the matter. For people using AutoCAD, all is fine because obviously all the bits will be properly set and encrypted. However, if you’re working with somebody who isn’t using AutoCAD, but another program capable of producing DWG files, both you and he lose out because the files will be unreadable.  The files may be exactly the same as what would have been produced by AutoCAD but still won’t be readable.

So, even though they are apparently fine with people reverse-engineering the format, they are still saying that if you are using AutoCAD, then every person or company you work with better be using it as well.

Keep in mind that the OpenDWG is capable of producing the ‘TrustedDWG’ data, but is no longer making that code available out of respect for the lawsuit. This really makes me want to obtain the code (if it was already available) or attempt to reverse the format myself.

What AutoDesk should do is add a dialog when opening the ‘open’ files that says ‘Warning: This file was produced outside of AutoDesk’. But whatever.

February 26, 2006

Start of another blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 12:43 am

Maybe this one will work. Problem is, I always feel that I have to have a “theme” for these things. My first go I tried posting my answers to the exercises to the Arabic book that I was studying. That didn’t go so well (entering things was kind of a pain, even with my perl script that let me enter the words in a transliterated manner and converting to HTML Unicode) and I didn’t keep up with it. Then my thought was to do book reviews of the books I read throughout the year: I take the bus to and from work so I tend to get a good 2 hours of reading in a day, if not more.

I had planned on starting that at the beginning of the year, and it’s already well into February, so I’m a bit behind there.

I’m currently reading the abridged (single-volume-Western-Empire-only) version of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. So what I’m thinking now is that I will try to summarize, in no more than two paragraphs, each of the chapters. After that I want to gradually shorten the summaries until I can do the whole thing in one paragraph (a la Book-A-Minute). With hope, I will keep up with that but since I don’t actually have a real reason to do it, we shall see. Perhaps my problem is that I’d rather be reading than writing. Writing well is hard but I still keep thinking that I’d like to do it. Plus it will help make me a better writer.

If the whole DaF thing doesn’t work, then maybe I’ll do something crazy and simply write what’s on my mind for the day. That seems to be working great for my co-worker and friend Wesley. Of course, I also have a blog on his server that I haven’t been keeping up with…so fresh start here.

November 21, 2005

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Josh DeWald @ 4:02 pm

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Blog at