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August 2000

08.25.2000

Hey there... looks like I'm going to Seybold next week, if you'll be there too, let me know. There may or may not be updates while I'm gone. I'm not sure yet...

Question of the day: Do you really think I want to hear the music you like? What's more annoying than someone driving next to you with their stereo blasting? It's someone in your office with their stereo blasting... ugh...

The Low End Mac has an article on Linux for PowerPC. I've had good success with Yellow Dog's PPC offerings, and no success with LinuxPPC.

Aww, how cute, Blogger is 1 year old. I remember back when RasterWeb celebrated it's 1st birthday, it was the summer of '98, it seems so long ago... sigh...

Those Blogger folks seem to have some new ideas up their collective sleeve as well...

I need to add the latest pile of crap computers to the junkpile. the dork gave me two Apple ][e's! Thanks dork!

Jobs & Apple: it's all about image. The new iMac commercials feature a spinning iMac with a bit of music, and nothing else. Well, one of them shows a price, but the last one I saw showed no price, no specs, no mhz/RAM/software nothing. Just a happy, shiny, spinning, pretty computer. Pure image. Look at the page listing Steve's keynote at Seybold. It's just Steve. No explanation, no text, no topic. Just Steve. Hmmm...

Doe anti-aliased text looks better? Well, the answer is really: depends on the font, face, color, style, and use. Sometimes anti-aliased text does look better, and sometimes it looks worse. For pure readability of copy on today's desktop, portable, or handheld displays, it usually looks worse.

I forgot to mention this, I finally saw The Matrix. I thought it was a fine film. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The female did not enjoy it very much. That's ok, next time we'll get some sappy chick movie. It all evens out.

Oh, I forgot this too, Dick Bacon died. Dick used to come to our art classes so we could draw his nude body. Dick was a cool guy. It's sad to see him go...

At least we still have Dick Trickle, another great Wisconsin Dick.

08.24.2000

What to do with the Centris 650 I recently aquired? Maybe NetBSD is the answer... I haven't tried a NetBSD install for a few years, maybe it's gotten easier ;)

Hmmm, something that destroys all files in the Windows and System directories would be a good thing, right? I can't help but think that this article's reporting that 'four-fifths of the world's computers use Microsoft's OS' is wrong. Right now I'm at a desk with 5 computers, only 1 of which is running Windows. (Mac OS: 2, Linux: 1, Palm OS: 1, Windows NT: 1) Anyway, even if it does wipeout Windows (which might be a good thing) a virus aimed at children just seems evil. As usual, Mac users, *nix users, pine/elm users, nothing to see here... move along...

The trouble with programmers... Not all programmers, but some programmers, is that they lack imagination. They aren't hackers. Hackers come up with ideas that can be brilliant and insane at the same time. I often wish I had the skills to be a really good programmer. Instead I have the ideas to create and design things that I just can't build. It's a tradeoff, a damn tradeoff... If anyone out there needs an 'idea man' and is a brilliant programmer lacking direction, or an investor looking for someone to invest in, gimme a call...

Whew, we're back! Spent some time doing 'other' stuff, and didn't get to do any updates here. So here's an update. Two days ago I said to myself, "Hey, I should spend 10 minutes a night reading Running Linux, I'll be through it in no time!" Well, I managed to keep it up for one night at least. Yesterday we went to the beach, when you're a 4 year old girl, it's ok to take your swim suit off halfway and dance on a table. When you get older it's not ok. (depending on who you are, or who you ask.) I went to the doctor. When's the last time a doctor said to you "I've never seen anything like that before." I've either got a doctor with very little experience, or I'm a medical anomaly. Sadly, I think the second one is true. Do you ever feel like big changes are on the verge of happening, but something's holding them back? I do... I do... I read a theory once that people hate clowns because clowns aren't seen as human. They're "something else" behind the makeup and goofy clothes. I did not watch "Survivor. " I don't think I missed anything. I wanted to use gcc but when I did the Linux installs I didn't include gcc because I thought I'd just be wasting space. Damn... (see geekish for some context on a few of these things.) What happens when some Linux geeks sit around getting drunk and speculating? A NewsForge article, of course! I like robots. We watched the pod race yesterday, I like the pod race. Is there a problem with PGP? Crap.... I like PGP. I don't think GPG is available for the Mac OS...

08.18.2000

I still enjoy the writing of David K. Every... read his introduction to Unix

More Jabber experimentation. I managed to communicate with someone. Dan from Electrobacon and I managed to trade witty banter such as "hello" and "are you there?" wow. I also managed to jab with some dork the other day with success... wheeee...

08.17.2000

As a Palm user, I'm a bit skeptical of the newly announced Linux running PDA's. I haven't had time to dig thru all the specs yet, and it'll probably take a bit of time for some reviews to show up but Samsung has something called the YOPY (even though the page title says "SAMSUNG USB PC Camera") and from out of nowhere comes Agenda with their Linux PDA. Here's a thought - there's a Palm OS emulator for the Mac OS and Windows, would it be possible for a Palm OS emulator to run on top of one of the Linux PDA's? Don't get me wrong, I think it's very cool to see Linux showing up on PDA's, but I also think the elegance and excellence of the Palm OS are top notch. I'll put these Linux PDA's in my "keep an eye on" file...

RasterWeb - as good as better than the inner states are!

08.16.2000

Ahhh, will the madness never end? NewsForge. (yes, it's YASS) Have you noticed that most slash sites look better than Slashdot? ;)

From How To Become A Hacker:

Q. I'm having problems with my Windows software. Will you help me?

A. Yes. Go to a DOS prompt and type "format c:". The problems you are experiencing will cease within a few minutes.

Here's how I find answers. I needed an answer to this question: "My Red Hat Linux computer fires up Gnome when I used the command 'startx' how can I changed this to use KDE?" I take the terms 'startx kde gnome change' and plug them into Google. If I'm lucky (and I usually am) I'll get an answer, which I did. To some poeple this is dead simple, to others, it's amazing. As long as people are amazed by this, I'll have job security ;)

Oh the poor Vax! I'll miss my VMS mail account. We're switching to Outlook. Everyone except me is excited about this...

the angry red planet goes 'loggish' - cool...

Fox Expels 'American High' which means nothing to me, except for the part that says "The show will be replaced starting Wednesday with back-to-back episodes of Futurama" Yay... Fox used to air new episodes in the summer, but really, none of the networks used to debut shows in the summer, except for the so-called 'summer replacements' that were longshots. It's been quite a shift - they'll debut a show in the summer, and then quickly kill it. I know that at our house we don't get to watch as much in the summer because we're outside playing at night. Isn't everyone else? (I blame the internet;)

I like the Open Source Development Network, lot's of good stuff, and the community sites have a lot to offer too. Every now and then I actually think about the whole open source movement, as well as the Linux movement, and try to forecast where it'll go, where it's headed. One of the cool things is that you don't know where it's all headed, and one of the even cooler things is, you can help determine where it's headed.

Hey, I'm still a fan of the BSD's! This site runs on a FreeBSD server, and I've tried in the past to get one of my old Macs running NetBSD (to no avail!) I should try that again sometime...

Progect Manager is a nice project management app for the Palm OS. (It's similar to BrainForest) Worth checking out.

08.15.2000

More progress on The Road to Linux. There's now two machines running. Yay...

Which is scarier, AOL for Linux or the fact that AOL may own 90% of the freakin' internet? Let's see, AOL could build many different devices that use AOL's software, fulfilling their dream of AOLAnywhere. That scares me... but then again, that could mean a lot less Windows sales... then again, will every site we build have to work in AOL's browser? Wait - AOL's browser will be based on Mozilla... ugh... brain hurts...

Even if you use an OS that doesn't need/use themes, check out themes.org and see what UI madness is going on...

Jabber update: I think I finally got Jabbernaut setup properly. I can now send msgs to my AIM, Yahoo, and ICQ id's, although it always shows my ICQ account as being offline. And I don't know if it's just me, but it seems that the people I've added to my roster are never online when I am :/ ah well... Again, if you feel like helping me test things, contact me and give me your AIM, Yahoo, MSN, or ICQ id.

Hmmm, interesting tutorial on creating Netscape 6 themes. Guess I'll be able to cutomize the damn thing once it's actually released...

Lack of funding really sucks...

08.11.2000

I have a weiner bag. Do you?

The female and I have got two girls, could vegetarianism be the reason?

Great insight on one person's views of open source and free software at Advogato.

Are you a web/graphics/ui designer (aspiring or otherwise) looking for a project to work on, and a supporter of open source? Head over to SourceForge, and sign up. Once you edit your skills profile, you'll get a list of projects needing help. If a project needs a "Graphic/Other Designer" and that's what you do, sign up! There are other types of people needed too of course, writers, translators, testers, you name it. Get involved. (whew, don't worry, I'll return to being sarcastic and cynical shortly...)

08.10.2000

Lot's of Jabber talk on Slashdot. The geeks get it. An open protocol, open clients, open transport - it all adds up to powerful stuff, possiblities, coool things can happen. I'd like to read the developer docs a bit, and see what it takes (code wise) to send messages, since it's XML it should be pretty simple. Imagine building your own IM/notifier apps... mmm...

See, this is why I like IBM. While Microsoft has one thought "how the hell can we make more money selling our crap?" IBM is willing to take the academic/research approach, and do something amazing. Yeah, so you won't be buying a Linux watch this year, but maybe next year someone has a plan for some amazing device that builds off of the research and development done by IBM. More possiblities...

I bought a Motorola phone today, so I'm a customer. Here's my request, Dear Motorola, get off your ass and make more of those PowerPC processors... thanks...

Someone buy this guy an alarm clock...

After typing "man kill" which in itself could be considered an odd thing to type, I learned that "Most modern shells have a builtin kill function." - remember that next time you go to the beach, or try to use a 'shell-phone' ok?

08.09.2000

I've been digging into Jabber a bit more. I actually downloaded and installed the latest AIM and ICQ, since it's been at least a year or more since I did. I must say I was impressed. Instant messaging used to be, you know, sending a message instantly. Now it's practically a platform unto itself, like a mini-communications command center. I'm not sure what will happen with IMUnified, but if you're one of those open source weirdos, check out Jabber - which allows you to communicate with your friends who use ICQ & Yahoo Messenger, your family that uses AIM, and those losers that use MSN Messenger. If you want to help me test Jabbernaut (the Mac OS client) contact me and give me your AIM, Yahoo, MSN, or ICQ id.

Dontcha just hate those durn streaming audio feeds that don't really let you save the files? Gee if only there were a way to have perl request a url, and have it write it to a file, as it's streaming in. I wonder if you could even spoof the user agent if you needed to... hmmm

It doesn't seem to matter if I get 7 hrs of sleep, as I did the night before, or 5 hrs of sleep, as I usually do.. I'm still tired. 3 hrs tends to really hurt though, and that happens more often that it should. I need to get back into a schedule where I can actually get enough sleep for me to be rested and energetic, and function properly. I could probably get more sleep if I had a faster Mac.

Yeah, it's still the age of quarrel for some people... I find myself facing decisions lately that seem to split who I am and who I need to be, or should be, or something like that. Yeah, I gotta break these shackles, I gotta break these chains, indeed there's gotta be some purpose to the meaning of life... that reminds me, I got my shipment of Yoo-Hoo from NYC yesterday, that's always a good thing, no complaints there. Malfunctioning? you bet... it all started and (should have) ended like that! (snaps fingers) so all I can say is... we gotta know...

08.07.2000

From fozbaca comes news of a Palm-maintained weblog called The Indigestible. There's a story about it at PalmPower Magazine. The method that The Indigestible uses seems a bit clunky. One of my ideas a few months back was to build a web interface to a weblog that would work using the features of AvantGo that let you submit a form, that then gets sent to the server when you sync your device. I think the only problem would be that AvantGo can't guarantee the forms will be submitted to the server in the same order you submit them on your device. I may be wrong on this, but if not, that would mean you might need to manually number the submissions (or there might be a JavaScript solution.) Of course if you had wireless net access via your PDA, you wouldn't need to worry about such things. This means I will continue to worry about such things until someone supplies me with a wireless PDA with net access...

I'd welcome anyone to implement the above idea, especially since The Indigestible says it's: "The only weblog in the world composed on a Palm™ PDA" Please, somebody dispute this. (And this is considered PDA optimized!?)

Yay, we end the day on a positive note: up 3 days, 38 min

I got slightly diverted by trying to retrofit Pike to work like Frontier 5 did as far as a rendering engine for building static web sites. Yes, it can be done, I proved that much. How much more I'll do remains to be seen. Now, Radio UserLand has the same core as Pike, so there's some neat things going on... my big question is, if I make these pieces of software do things they were not intended to do, am I violating the License Agreement? ("You may not... Modify, translate, reverse engineer... or create derivative works based on the Software...)

I've still got XHTML on my "to do" list, I should do some more validation tests this week. (Ok, I tested today, I'm down to 21 errors, 4 of which are browser compatibility issues, the rest of which are actually links to offsite urls, so I'd say that's pretty darn good...)

I got an email from Jakob Nielsen recently that announced they've added another principal (what is this, high school?) anyway at the end he wrote "Don't worry that I will fill your mailbox with these announcements. There are probably only two more people in the world who are qualified to be principals of Nielsen Norman Group, and I doubt that they are joining any time soon." Geez, Jakob! Leave me alone! I told you I'm not interested!

I don't know what I was doing this morning when I made my lunch, but it's definitely the sign of a bad lunch when everything is the same color, and fits into the same food group.

Emma's birthday was great... We actually had a dual-theme cake - a Barbie cake with the Powerpuff Girls and Professor Utonium on top... What can I say, she's one of a kind ;) extra thanks go out to twernt, d and d, and a quiet reader named Jim for the birthday greetings. Jim sent this hand-crafted card to Emma. Thanks everybody...

The day was marred only by the loss of Obi-wan... sigh... Obi-wan said it best when he told Han: "Let's just say we'd like to avoid any Imperial entanglements." How true! A good Jedi, a good friend. The report says "The spokesman could not confirm the cause of death." Um, gee, I'm pretty sure Darth Vader killed him, hello???

I've got this thing on my monitor that says: "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from" Yeah, it's slightly amusing, but I think I should replace it with, "Standards are only a joke if you're laughing at them" (or maybe I'll just leave it as is...)

Oh those crazy users: "I tried to email this 12.7 mb tif file" BZZZT! wrong... I then explain what email is, and what ftp is, and why they both exist... sigh...

Sometimes people's stories make ya wanna find a hooded sweatshirt, big black marker, and baseball bat...

08.04.2000

Tomorrow is an important day. Sure, it's the 3 year anniversary of the First Post* to this site in it's current incarnation (it's been around since 1995 or so) but the really important thing is, it's Emma's birthday. And it's gonna be one heck of a super-happy, mega-fun, terrific-shiny Powerpuff Girls theme'd birthday. Send her a birthday greeting at emma@rasterweb.net

(* First Post is a registered trademark of Anonymous Coward, which is a registered trademark of Slashdot, which is owned by Andover.net, which was bought by VA Linux...)

The female recently got me an Apple ][c+ recently but today she called from a rummage sale that's got a Centris for super cheap... yup, I now own a Centris 650.

My old friend Dan finally got a site. He rambles on about travels and other stuff at Sound Off... (Good job Dan!)

I really want a new computer at home. I really do. I want something with at least 10 gigs of disk space, 128 mb of RAM, maybe a G3 or G4... nothing too fancy, just something better that what I've got now. Some machine that won't make me sit and wait while it tries to keep up with my typing. Some machine that won't embarrass my RC5 or OGR efforts at distributed.net too badly... Since I have no money for such a machine, I'll just dream for now... I do have other computers...

Since I tend to sometimes hate Zip drives, maybe I should get something that handles IBM 340MB Microdrives Then I could carry around a tiny little disk drive with all my important files... This won't happen of course, because as I stated above, severe lack of funding hampers my geek toy collection...

Don't you just hate when you author a site, and hand it over to the client, only to see your code tortured and abused? And to add insult to injury, then asked to fix/troubleshoot/debug the sloppy code they've added to it? ugh... Hmm, thinking about this a bit more, I realized recently that it's quite an insult when people think they can just "do what you do" because of course all you do is "make web pages" right? How hard can that be? "I've got a copy of Dreamweaver/Notepad/some freebie or shareware html editor and PaintShop" Yeah, you're ready... I've been building sites for years, and I've learned a lot along the way, as well as continue to learn each day. Some issues I deal with: multiple platform, multiple browsers (and versions!) meta info, usability, accessibility, testing, color palettes, fonts, css, cgi, JavaScript, more testing, file sizes, image quality vs. compression, cookies, lack of Flash/Java/Plug-ins, more testing, writing microcontent, streaming media, hosting environment... and I'm sure there's other stuff... Does everyone who does this sort of thing get a lack of respect from people in other fields?

We got a lot of hits yesterday from people looking for "marchfirst sucks" and indeed they do... Welcome "marchfirst sucks" people!

I should also mention that guy named "GoogleBot" he seems to have told more people about this site than anyone else...

Damn, I wrote too much again. Sorry...

08.03.2000

Wow, as a followup to yesterday's link to a horrible article on Linux, here's a great article on Mozilla.

A gem from the MacPerl mailing list:

Post: BTW how can they know now, already, that Perl6 will be faster and have better memory management? Wild claims, I would say.

Reply: Because it's going to take over a year, and by then machines will be significantly faster and have more memory. ;-)

08.02.2000

Woo hoo... I just realized I'm running Mozilla M15, Netscape 4.7, MSIE 5, and iCab pre2.0 all at the same time... might as well fire up a telnet session and start Lynx... This page tends to look good in Mozilla and MSIE, ok in Netscape, and sorta ok in iCab (seems to not follow the style sheet.) I'll take credit for what works due to my awesome authoring skills, and blame what doesn't work on the poor browser implementations... (Hmmm, maybe I'll try validating again...)

Poor journalism, it's not just from the lil guy with a Geocities site, Fred Moody at ABCNEWS.com can also write really crappy articles! See his Linux Sux Redux piece for proof. I could drive a semi full of Win2K CD's through the holes in his reporting. Also in their tech section, a story about the Love Bug striking again. Gee, Fred, I guess those poor Linux machines were paralyzed by the Love Bug. [via geekish]

Got too much time on your hands? Join the CMS mailing list. It's been running less than a week and it's getting overwhelming.

Today on the way in to work, I drove past a car that had strips of blue tape on it. Written on the tape, right under the driver's window was "Captain Han Solo" - it wasn't Han Solo, but it did make me laugh for quite a while...

Near the parking structure today was a stuffed dalmatian wearing a fireman's helmet. Now that'll freak ya out...

I've been a busy little code monkey, doing my best to clean up all code on this site. Clean, logical html is the goal. We're getting there...

I lament the loss of being able to read mail via telnet at the office... today in my inbox I had about 15 blank messages from the "Outlook Deployment Team." Not a good sign. Someone, please... help me...

08.01.2000

Back on track driving down The Road to Linux...

Over the weekend we went to a flea market. While we found no fleas, we did find Chewbacca. He's about 11" tall and pretty durn cool. He looks like this. (There was also a stormtrooper, but we are of limited funds.) We also saw some cow skulls. I suggested mounting one on the front of the van to, you know, let people know we're coming, but was voted down on that issue. The cow skull is of course the universal symbol for "discuss" all across the web. We thought that contact might also need a universal symbol: The head of Chewbacca!
[Contact]

I forgot to mention this, the photo of Chewie was taken by the dork...

Putting Yellow Dog on an iMac is something I'd like to do... Actually, putting Yellow Dog on any hardware that isn't old and unreliable is what I'd like to do... (Also see: MacSlash - Which Linux Distro is the best?)

Excuse my breakage... since I rewrote so much of this site in July, don't be surprised if a few things break. We'll track 'em down though... in due time...

357 days!? Hmmm...

 

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  Last Modified: 09.05.2000 by rasterboy