Sunday, October 30, 2011

Corn Maze

Yesterday, I went to my first corn maze at Treinen Farm with my bible study group. I have heard other people describe their corn maze experiences and combined with my low expectations of corn mazes, I was mostly excited to hang out with my bible study group.

However, I am happy to say that this corn maze was amazingly fun. They give you a partial map and indicate where to go to find the next piece of the map. Here is the maze:

The start (and end) is in the middle on the right side.

Two people in our group tracked our progress using the GPS in their phone. Here is what one of them recorded us walking, which was about a mile long:

There were seven checkpoints in the maze. Checkpoints 8 - 10 were after we left the exit of the maze. The yellow in the bottom left is my addition. The GPS tracking doesn't match up well with the maze in that corner. The yellow is what I think we did over there.

I was leading the group to the first checkpoint when I got lost. I took the second left instead of the third just before the checkpoint. However, I redeemed myself later by finding the way to checkpoint 5 after someone else got us lost.

In addition to the seven checkpoints that gave us more of the map, there were eight secrete locations, unmarked on the map. I wanted to find these locations as well, but most in the group didn't seem interested.

I am already excited for next year's maze...and maybe I can find the secret locations as well!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to Save Embedded Videos and Other Files

Many sites with videos use embedded flash players to show videos. I often want to download the whole video to avoid pauses for buffering and watch when offline.

To accomplish this in Firefox, add the Live HTTP Headers add-on. Then when obtaining the video (or other file), this add-on will give you the direct address to the file. Using Linux, I download the file using the command wget.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

ItsHidden Points to Me

In the summer of 2009, a new VPN service ItsHidden was announced. At the time, there were no instructions to help me get this to work on Ubuntu.

After a while (several days as I remember), I figured out how to make it work. The steps were easy to do but hard to figure out in the first place. Both by design and some chance, I had started an Ubuntu blog about a month earlier to both share helpful information I learned about Ubuntu and (a bit more selfishly) give myself a place to post information that I may want to again in the future. The steps to get ItsHidden working on Ubuntu was exactly the what belonged on the site.

Fast forward over two years (to today). I was just looking at ItsHidden's website and noticed that they link to my blog post!

The last bullet point is my URL (without a hyperlink though).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Old graphicx Bug

I just ran into a bug using the LaTeX package graphicx. I tried to include a graphic with a file name of the form "name.txt.png" and the file really is a PNG file. However, graphicx said ".txt.png" is an unknown graphics extension. *Sigh*...thanks for the hot tip.

A quick Google and I find that this has been a bug since 2004! This is such a simple fix. Why hasn't this been done???