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Sep 6 2008 / Aaron

A brief pause in the chirping of crickets

This was an entertaining week.

On Wednesday we went and saw Keith Barry (mentalist/hypnotist/magician) at the Bulmers Comedy Festival. A few months ago, I watched this TED talk and quite enjoyed it. Noticing the Dublin accent, I had a quick look online and found the tickets for the upcoming show.

Last night we went to an opener for the Dublin Fringe Festival. We saw an amazing show by La Clique that was a fantastic burlesque cabaret circus act. Super fun. Catch their act if you can.

At work, It’s been attack of the Canadians, as two more canucks, (Morgan and Bryce) have made the leap across the pond to join my team.

On the home front, my XBox got the infamous red ring of death and is out for repairs. Booo. I’m reading a book of short stories by Cory Doctorow. I particularly enjoyed When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth. I am eagerly awaiting an Amazon delivery of two new novels by two of my favorite authors; Neil Stephenson’s Anathem and Greg Egan’s latest novel Incandescence.

Darse pointed me to Chris Martensen’s Crash Course. It’s an amazingly lucid short web-based course on the flustercluck that is the global economic system. I highly recommend getting educated. It predicts a very bumpy ride in the near future. Interestingly, it draws a lot from exponential-growth curves that are hitting us in may areas. The same reasoning is applied by Ray Kurzweil’s predictions for technological singularity. It will be interesting to see how these exponential positive and negative forces will play out. Will exponential technological gains be able to overcome exponential inflation and resource consumption? We live in interesting times.

Oh, and CRON-o-Meter 0.9.4 is out. It is just another maintenance release with some bug fixes.


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  1. Nathan / Sep 7 2008


    I’ve just recently found CRON-o-Meter, and I have to say it’s great! Thank you! I’m sure you get tons of suggestions, so perhaps this has been mentioned before, but it would be great if you could make custom Biomarkers (I’d like to add BF%), and I’d love to be able to either print or export the biomarker charts. Even if I don’t see either of those any time soon, I’ll still be using the program! Thanks again!

  2. Nathan / Sep 7 2008

    Actually, I just figured out you can easily add your own Biomarkers! Now if only it were so easy to export them!

    By the way, I love TED Talks. One of my favorite is the one about needing to reform our schools:

    It’s definitely not the most entertaining talk, but I think the subject matter is great.

    Thanks again for all of the time you put into the program!

  3. Carlos Tenorio / Oct 7 2008

    I have been using cronometer for months and I love it.
    Unfortunately, I encountered some problems when I tried to run the new version (0.94 for linux, tested in ubuntu gutsy and hardy).

    When I run the script, the terminal gives this message:

    Exception in thread “main” java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: org/jdesktop/swingx/JXBusyLabel
    at ca.spaz.cron.CRONOMETER.main(

    As I dont know how to program, I dont have a clue about what is going on… I really appreciate the quality and usefulness of the program you have created. I hope a solution for this problem could be found soon.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Val Healey / Oct 8 2008

    Huge thanks for that great Cron-O-Meter program. I am having some trouble entering a new food item.

    I opened the Food Editor window and entered the name of the new food. I added a serving and gave the weight as 34 gr. Everything under the tabs below that was greyed out. I could click on all the tabs and they work ok but I could see no way to enter the information below them.

    Then I clicked Save and the food appeared in the food list. Next I selected that food and, under the General tab, I made entries. Each time I double-clicked energy, protein, carbs, etc a little window popped open and I entered the values for the food. When I had finished the entries, the Summary, General, etc tabs all showed 0.0. That food item in the food list was still highlighted. Obviously I am missing something.

    If anyone could identify the error in the procedure I’d appreciate it.

    PS, is the Dublin you mentioned in Ireland or in the US. There is a major one in California and 11 or 12 others scattered around the US.

  5. Val / Oct 11 2008

    I figured that one out and came across another problem. The total grams of protein in the daily diet list in the summary – Calories, Protein and Carbs is 12 gr above the
    actual number when I add up the value in every item in the list – no mistake, I checked several times. The program gave 57 gr and my count was 45.

  6. sheila / Oct 12 2008

    why does the cron-o-meter not list wheatgrass juice?

  7. alchemyst / Oct 12 2008

    Hey. I was very happy to find a free (and cross platform) diet tracker, but I was disappointed that it had no option to change to kilojoules for energy units. I live in a metrified country, and I rarely see any energy contents in Calories, so I am dreading having to multiply and divide by 4.18 all the time. What are the odds of such a feature creeping into a future release?

  8. Ted Clayton / Nov 4 2008

    I have downloaded the USDA nutrition databases, and wished for a program like CRON-O-Meter to make using it easier. I never could get the Java JRE to install right on my old Windows, but I am now almost a fledged Linux beginner. I presently play with ZipSlack 11.0, and BigSlack 7.1. (Big is just big-Zip, but 7.1 is like 8 years old.) Both are the final versions of their respective Slackware projects.

    I only have 128 meg of ram, have a CR budget that is yielding excellent economic-health benefits, and will not deviate. A new box will wait … but CR Linux need not. I have now downloaded the X package etc for SW-11, and will try putting that and other stuff on Zip-11. (I am ordering a stack of full & small distros from LinuxCD. $1.75 per CD is CR enough.)

    Now that I have WGET working good on Windows, I will probably download Damn Small Linux (and maybe a couple others) (24k copper dialup) and give that a try too. DSL may have a flicker-problem, and I do have the vulnerable CRT monitor.

    Thanks a bunch! Ted

  9. Josh / Nov 20 2008

    Hi Aaron,

    I’ve just started using Cron-O-Meter — many thanks for this very helpful app!

    I work on a Linux box at home and a Windows box at work. I’d like to run Cron-O-Meter from a flash drive so as to have it with me at both places. Or possibly to have it see my data on the flash drive.

    Can you help me do this? I can run it from the flash drive on my Linux box, but no matter how I try to start it from the flash drive on the Windows box I encounter a classpath error. (When I installed the Windows version, that ran fine, but I don’t know how to make it see my data on the flash drive.)


    — Josh

  10. Val / Nov 21 2008

    I finally sorted the problems I have had and am really beginning to appreciate this great program.

    The ability to get the daily list of foods in alphabetical order would be great Searching a list of about 40 foods is time consuming.

    One curious thing – if I copy yesterday’s food list and paste it into today’s date, what arrives is not the same as yesterday’s.

    A second one is, where did the daily requirement of about 4,700 mg for Potassium come from? I did numerous searches and it seems that there is no official daily number for this mineral. I had a great struggle with vitamin A or protein overload at that high potassium requirement.

    Thanks again for such a great program.

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