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Robothon Setup turns into room cleanup

I met Amy at IS today at 4:30 to load the two robots headed for the Seattle Center. We quickly got the robots loaded, tripping over the boxes and debris spread thorughout the room (that was supposed to be cleaned out several weeks ago). Somehow, we got working on cleaning the place up, and didn’t leave until just after 7:00. The room looks pretty good now. I wouldn’t quite say spetacular yet – but comparitively, it is pretty incredible. I wonder what the clubmembers will say when they see it. A hack session at the school is growing to be closer and closer to reality.

Thunderbird 0.8 and the Big Scare

I decided to upgrade to Thunderbird 0.8 yesterday, since I like doing things like that to keep my life exciting. I was not having any problems with having with 0.7, nor were there any features I needed in 0.8. The universal inbox sounded like it might be worthwhile, although it wasn’t really neccesary, since I do all my email collapsing via aliases before it reaches my server. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of clutter removal, and the unused “Comcast Email” and “Local Folders” did bother me a little bit.

The installation of Thunderbird went very smoothly – much better than the 0.6 -> 0.7 upgrade, which saw me uninstall the new version twice, and then install it again, to get things working correctly (like the about box, which insisted it was version 0.6 for a while after the initial install).

The trouble began when I thought I’d make an experiment out of transfering all my mail from my main account to my local folders. Well, you can’t select multiple folders, so either I had to drag them one by one (or – I didn’t realize this at the time – I could have dragged the entire inbox). Well, after the inbox and all the folders that come with it, I decided to move my sent folder as well – a gargantuan 100mb worth, I later found out. But then I got cold feet, realizing that I would have to edit all my settings, and everything was working fone, so there was really no need. So, I decided to move everything back. Now, dragging folders copies them, apparently, but dragging messages moves them. To only the contents of the root level inbox and my sent items folder, and my deleted items, did I need to drag back. Somehow, I missed the sent items, and after I deleted them from the Local Folders, I realized that they were also gone from my main email account folders – I just just misplaced over 100 millions bytes of data that I didn’t want to loose.

So I began searching for the undelete button. There is no reason they can’t have one, it turns out – all the messages are still there in a very readable form until you “Compact” the folder after deleting the message. But there is no undelete option. Can anyone say “feature request.” But hope was not lost. After all, I’m a TRC h4x0r, and I can deal with this kind of stuff.

After some more searching through the very readable mbox format “Sent” file in my Thudnerbird appication data directory on my computer and on searching for corresponding terms on Google, I came across this little gem of a page: Mozilla X-Mozilla-Status explained.

From this, I learned that deleted (“expunged”) is just a flag set on the message. 0x0008, in fact. So, I subtract 8 from the X-Mozilla-Status header for each message in my Sent folder, and all of the messages undelete. Like magic. Except that I suck at regular expressions (although I’m fairly certain there would be a way to do this one with regular expressions). Instead, I did it a little more manually, finding all the combinations of the X-Mozilla-Status that had the 0x0008 flag set, and replacing it with the same Satus, just not expunged.

Upon restarting Thunderbird and navigating to the Sent folder, Thunderbird had to spend a good amount of time – maybe 30 seconds – rebuilding the contents of the folder. But then, voila, all my email (as far as I can tell) reappeared, just like before.

I think its about time that I started actually backing up some on my data.

Luck and Guts

Today, the TRC had an excellent FIRST Lego League interest meeting, due to a large application of luck and some good ol’ hard work. A special shout out to Gabby for her last-minute arrangement of a staff contact, without which we would have been genuinely screwed.

Badnarik on Slashdot

A huge shout out to Erik, of for a link to an article on Slashdot, where Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik tells us all what’s up.

Seriously, how can anyone doubt that this is the best way to run things?

“Politics, in my view, should be as unimportant as possible — but where it’s important, it has to value freedom, remain rooted in principle and be forward-looking.”
–Michael Badnarik

400 gigs

I now have five 80 gb hard drives. four of which I plan to put into my desktop (which currently hosts two) into a RAID-5, RAID-0, RAID-1+0, or RAID-0+1 configuration. The other will be kept as a backup in case one of the drives fails, and in teh meantime may serve as backup for my 100gb external drive, which stores most of my worthwhiel data, and will soon hopefully hold at least a copy of all of my worthwhile data. Backing that up seems like it would be a good idea, since I’ve been a really long time without suffering any drive failures. Not that the amount of time statistically matteres, but it sure feels like I’m pressing my luck…

An item unlost is like free stuff that you already once had

Today, I was trying to put away my mother’s glasses, which she had left on the dashboard of her Highlander, which I was driving for a family trip to my sister’s place in Seattle. I opened up the sunglass compartment – and voila – my sunglasses, which I had relegated to the “lost or broken” pile that all my sunglasses seem to quickly migrate to, reappeared. This was no common joy; this was overjoy, as it was bright and sunny, and these are by far the most superior sunglasses that have ever graced my posession. They went to good use on that born-again maiden voyage.

Then, upon returning home, my newish Lexar Jumpdrive appeared out of the drying machine – having already withstood the torment of the washer as well – and it looks and works none the worse for the wear. How about that! Finally, this morning, I drove by the Shell station, and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but my work basge which had extricated itself from me on Friday while I stopped by the same station. It had once been lost, but now was found.

Useful Less Common Windows Tweaks

A better googler than I (namely, Dan of Carputer fame) forwarded these links to me, which I used to tweak my Windows XP + Installed Applications (because its really one big organic entity) to a better state. I hope they help someone else too.

This one isn’t too uncommon, but the info there gave me a much better understanding of where to look in the registry to accomplish what I wanted: Customize the right click context menus

More uncommon (and also very cool, imho): Edit the Places bar locations in Open/Save As boxes