Roverless in Pasadena

Making Roving Mars Difficult To See | NASA Watch

Meanwhile, people who work at JPL (on the actual ongoing rover mission itself) have to travel hundreds of miles to the bay area (Dublin, San Jose, or San Francisco) to see it – even though there are IMAX theaters all over southern California.

I was disappointed that there was nowhere to see Roving Mars this weekend around here. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Harry Potter gets pushed out.

Tellico: Which books don't have a cover?

Do you want to see which of your books or DVDs have no cover image? Create a filter, and set it to match your cover field like so:

Then you can select that filter and see at glance, which books you might need to go find covers for. Save the filter so you can keep checking. Happy hunting!

Math Fun at the Washington Post

A graphic at the Washington Post show the amount of money spent on “pork-barrel” projects over the past 10 years. The graphic is captioned as:

The amount of money spent on pork barrel projects — special state or local projects tacked onto federal legislation — has almost tripled (emphasis mine) […]

Except, the numbers in the figure show an increase from $29.1 billion to $52.7 billion. That’s not even double, much nearly triple! It’s only 81%! Of course, it’s probable that the caption writer intended to describe the lower part of the graph which shows the number of projects, rather than the total amount. In that case, the value has increased from 4,155 to 14,211 in 10 years, which is 242%.

So the WaPo is either guilty of mathematical illiteracy or or just plain botched the caption. You decide…

Scribus and Tellico

Petri Damsten sent me a cool python script for creating a Scribus document from a Tellico data file, with better formatting etc. than my HTML export for printing. Give it a shot! Use it from within Scribus, Script->Execute Script.

It requires the image files to be in the application directory, meaning a pre-release version of Tellico, or SVN.

Searching From Tellico

Mathias Monnerville contributed a great python script for searching from Tellico. Download, and follow the directions to set it up. UPDATE: Get it from

I’m in a self-imposed string freeze for Tellico 1.1, so I hesitate to add these great scripts directly to Tellico yet. What I’d like to do for the next version after 1.1 is setup a KNewStuff mechanism for downloading scripts, similar (yet again :P) to what amaroK does.

Tellico 1.1pre3 Released

Hot on the heels of 1.1pre2 comes Tellico 1.1pre3. You really don’t want to be running 1.1pre2 since there’s a potential data loss, so go ahead and update from SVN or grab the -pre3 tarball. The only real update is the bug fix.

MD5: 3d47989d83f50a8a355e06279120260c

Data loss with Tellico 1.1pre2

There’s a potential data loss in Tellico 1.1pre2. If the config option for saving images in the file vs. the app directory gets flipped, and then the file is saved, the zip file gets overwritten before the images in the cache are updated, resulting in a loss of those images.

My poor programming skills, and too hasty code changes are the blame, of course. I’ll have another pre-release here shortly, and I hope everyone is making backups. But I know there are plenty of folks who aren’t, and I’m terribly sorry.

Current SVN should have the hole fixed, and I believe I’ve tested all the corner cases. But as always, make backups!

Tellico 1.1pre2 Released

Tellico version 1.1 pre-release2 is available.

MD5: e97847d387120058dcb44f378e82b82c

Change since Tellico 1.1pre1:

  • Default behavior for saving images is now inside the data file, with a one-time warning when more than 100 images are being saved.
  • A config option is available to toggle whether images are saved in the app dir or the data file.
  • Russian translation was added, thanks to Artur Kalimullin.
  • Updated Czech and Norwegian Nynorsk.
  • “Prettified” some of the entry templates.
  • Fixed crashing bug for deleting entries from a filter.
  • Added publication year to Alexandria import/export.
  • Changed default data sources to include and if the user’s languages include Italian, then source is added, too.
  • Fixed bug with parsing external data source options.
  • Added drag-n-drop for images in entry editor from Mozilla and Firefox.

Whither the images for Tellico?

There’s some discussion on the Tellico mailing list about the change from saving images inside the Tellico data file to a data directory inside the application’s .kde/ hierarchy. I probably shouldn’t have changed the default behavior, since that violated the principle of least surprise. It’s easy enough to switch back, fortunately.

Going forward, I think the best thing to do is to add a config option, defaulting to the old way. Then when folks ask about performance, I can point out that setting. Tellico’s sluggishness in loading and saving data files when many images are included is the #1 issue that people email me about, believe me.

I just hope that’s discoverable. I’ve thought about showing a message box, just once, asking the user which behavior they prefer. That would make the feature at least a bit more visible…