Marco's Blog

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The Most Important Invention of the 20th Century

2014-10-19 4 min read Uncategorised marco
Ladies and Gentlemen! Please join me in honoring the winner of the World’s Most Important Invention of the 20th Century! Our candidates, first. In no particular order, I give you: Automobiles Airplanes Antibiotics Computers The Internet And the winner is… A write-in candidate! It is the Fast Forward button on the remote! OK, maybe I am exaggerating a little. But the FWD button on the remote has become my go-to tool for a while. Continue reading

A tumblr-like Gallery in Joomla?

2014-01-21 2 min read Uncategorised marco
I guess a lot of people have noticed the presentation of galleries on tumblr, the image blogging platform, and liked it. I certainly loved it so much that I looked back at the more traditional gallery I use, JoomGallery, and wished it were a little fancier in its presentation. A little scouting expedition into the depth of the Internet showed that there were many, many extensions available for other platforms, but nothing for Joomla. Continue reading

Surfing Banyans on a Costco Foamie

2013-08-19 6 min read Uncategorised marco
My older brother came to visit with his kids for the first time ever, and they decided to see as much as they possibly could in two weeks. The trip included San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the high point Hawaii. Now you’d think it’s a long trip, even from the West Coast. But Hawaii they had been dreaming, and it was just 5 hours away – compared to the 20 hours they would have had to fly from Europe. Continue reading

Sea World (Dont' Forget the Tanning Lotion and Hat!)

2013-08-14 6 min read Uncategorised marco
Can you believe I set foot in San Diego for the first time 15 years ago, and have been living here for 4 years, and managed never to go to Sea World? That’s really weird, especially considering that the place is just 8 minutes by car from here, a quick jaunt across the bay. Well, my brother came here with his kids, and we were looking for things to do. Balboa Park was quickly shot down, because Teenagers Don’t Do Museums™. Continue reading

Business Hosted Services

2006-03-18 15 min read Uncategorised marco
The Internet was awash with application service providers that would allow consumers and businesses to perform tasks, even in the very early days of the commercial web. After a few years and a burst of the Bubble, most of the companies that provided online services disappeared, leaving only a very few winners. This was true across horizontals, where only a few of the many related companies survived, and verticals, where only a few types of solutions did. Continue reading


2005-04-30 2 min read Uncategorised marco
Prerequisites Well, the utility is a command line tool that uses Perl – so that’s a good start for requirements. You need some recent version of Perl: I used the tool only with 5.8.0 and appreciate feedback. The packages required to run the utility are: GD::Graph POSIX S710 GD::Graph GD::Graph is the graphical core of the utility. It takes care of generating a graph given the data, and you as a user don’t have to do more than presenting it and – voila! Continue reading


2005-04-30 2 min read Uncategorised marco
How Is It? I called the project hrmcat because I started thinking it would end up being a set of parallel utilities that would complement the existing srd* utilities. Then I found that it made little sense to proceed this way and simply added the capability of reading HRM files to the srd* utilities. Indeed, the change was so minimal that aside from a new C file (for the parsing of the HRM file itself), the modifications to Dave’s code consisted only of a minor change to the file reader. Continue reading

HRM File Format

2005-04-30 4 min read Uncategorised marco
Overview The Polar S7xx heart rate monitor comes with Windows software to download and display workout data. That’s nice, but for those of us that don’t use Windows, it’s really not going to work. Dave Bailey, a physicist turned to the dark side of programming like me, has written software to download and display workout data on Linux. Unfortunately, the format he uses to store data is not the same as the format used by the Windows software. Continue reading

Polar HRM

2005-04-29 2 min read Uncategorised marco
What’s this? The Polar S7xx family of bike computers has a handy feature that allows you to download your exercise data to a PC running Windows. Thanks to the work of Dave Bailey, the Polar family now runs on Linux, too. Dave provided software to read Polar data into the PC and to display it in graphs. Later, he added a Perl interface to the library that makes his work accessible from scripts. Continue reading
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