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February 2002

02.26.2002

Today whilst scrolling through some source code I saw about 10 lines spell out letters in a pattern, Qrmts - what does it mean?

I'm not entirely sure but I think it's telling me to open a pizzaria out near the highway... right next to the industrial park...

Yesterday Emma was telling me that they learned about Chinese in school, and they don't have letters, they have characters. I told her that we have characters too, and then went on to explain letters, numbers, alphanumeric characters, characters such as : / \ @ ~ ! ? # $ & + and we even touched on meta-characters a bit. She wrote out her email address and things like 'http://emma.com/' (with a little help from me.) She could write most of the characters we went over, but did have problems with the &mpersand, and I told her that was ok, because perl doesn't force you to use it when calling a subroutine...

(People always tell me I'm a character...)

Maybe tonight we'll get into the high-ASCII characters... and wait until next week to get into Unicode, hey, she's only five...

02.25.2002

I spent more time this weekend customizing Movable Type templates. I've pretty much got everything I need done for the archives, and was able to pretty easily retrofit all of my old content, 55 months of archive pages, or something like that... whew... I still need to work on the mod_rewrite and cgiwrap stuff a bit, as well as a few code edits to fix things I don't like...

Last night's installs included LoadInDock and Weatherling. LoadInDock showed me what was going on with my system, while Weatherling showed me that it was 50 degrees at midnight, and I noticed yesterday afternoon that it got up to 60 degrees, so it's not surprising that it snowed today. urgh...

Mac OS X 10.1: Chart of Available Software Updates

I was asked today if we could make all of the links on a site open into a new window... please, just shoot me now... I give the basic arguments why this is a bad idea, explaining as well that this capability has been built into most browsers for quite a while, and giving users the choice makes the most sense... and then I shut up and let them do whatever they want to do... painfully... it hurts to work hard towards making the web more usable to have people not get it...

There's a guy at work, I'll refer to him as 'poor bastard' because sometimes I think things here are more painful for him than for me - anyway, he was trying to get all the needed info to fix an internal app, and I finally got us pointed in the right direction, and talking to the right people, when we discover that no one has used the app for 3 months because they found something better... At this point we had to decide whether or not we wanted to fix it, my suggestion was to set it on fire, but he said '...to subtle.....nitro on the interior and c4 at all major junction points to bring it down flat... What do you think...' I think we have a winner! (If anyone ever tells you your job will involve 'supporting in-house applications', run... run far and run fast...)

Is the economy recovered yet?

02.22.2002

Well, it was quite a week! My speaking engagement at the local high sküle did not happen, that's probably a good thing. I took Maddy to the emergency room Sunday night at 2:00 AM, we were there for an hour and took some x-rays, she got some medicine with codeine and some stickers, both of which helped. She's doing better now after many coughing fits and high temperatures... I ended up taking sick days most of the week because I was either sick or had to take care of sick people, and we only had one vehicle, just to make it interesting.

On Thursday I went to the Kindergarten Olympics at Emma's sküle, I was in charge (with Ian's mom) of the Bobsledding event, which involved sliding on the floor with carpet or cardboard boxes. Only one kid got hurt at our event... Everyone got a gold medal, hey, it's kindergarten, what did you expect? The Olympics was marred by one thing, as we were walking in the hallway a kid next to me looked up and said something, I smiled like an idiot because I couldn't understand what she said, so she said it again "Penis!" to which I just sort of looked at her, and said "Yes... ok then..." What would you have said? It's not exactly a 'naughty' word, but it's also not what you'd expect a smiling 6 year old to say to you, or maybe it is... I know I wouldn't expect my smiling not-quite-six year old to say it to me...

I'm working on exporting all of the stuff from RasterWeb! (over 4 1/2 years) into a format that Movable Type can import. I've been testing Movable Type for a while now, and I think with the right amount of mod_rewrite, cgiwrap, umask, and aaron, I can get things working the way I want. We'll just see...

Oh, if I didn't mention it, Movable Type is an amazing application, at least on the surface, I haven't dug into the code too much, but I'm assuming it's pretty solid underneath as well...

Below is some old stuff from last week I never uploaded...

I had gotten email from someone who said they would take their category list home to work on, and send it to me in the morning. So I got email from the person saying they sent it in an interoffice envelope to me. I thought that was odd, why didn't they just email it to me? Are they trying to make things difficult!? So when I got it, it was a photocopy of what they had written out on paper. It just seemed odd to me, as usual, the geek in me forgets that there are people who don't have computers at home, and don't have the ability to take work home and do it electronically. Hmmm, I suppose they could have checked out a laptop... ah well... computers for all!

Talk about a mind bomb, I helped one of our Windows guys load Mac OS X onto the Mac sitting on his desk... you should see the spark in his eyes when he got a taste of what OS X can do... He pretty much said "I need to get a Mac!" werd...

Understanding NFS: and just in time... last week I told our developer that I was going to do some research on NFS, which I never did... but now I will...

02.15.2002

It's dead animal day! On the way in today I saw a dead black and white cat on the road. I always feel sad, knowing that someone lost their beloved pet. About a 1/4 mile down the road I saw a dead black and white skunk. Who would have a skunk for a pet? I mean, sure, we have a rabbit, but a skunk? As I drove further I saw something laying in the ditch, either a cow or some black and white plastic, not sure which. I also saw some dead animals that were not black and white, but I could not identify them.

The other thing worth mentioning was the sign that told me I could buy a guard llama starting at $150. I've been thinking about a home security system, and this might be just the ticket. Maybe I'll stop by on the way home from work and ask if I can ride one to see if I really want it...

Of course if I could get a camel I would, as it would most likely increase my perl skills tremendously... If I ever got stuck I could refer to the camel...

Today is a monumental day. I spell checked these entries, and not one bad word came up. Now, if only there were software that could detect my grammatical errors, but ignore my grammatical eccentricities...

02.14.2002

From the will-you-marry-me dept Introducing, Mrs. Taco! Or is it Mrs. Slashdot... I see a new trend, geeks everywhere who have enough social skills to somehow land a potential spouse will post their marriage proposals on Slashdot. Sorry, your story submission has been rejected... again...

[insert some joke about making a Beowolf cluster here...]

More wise words from Joel... (Personally I sometimes wonder why I'm stuck in the world of software development... and other times am glad I'm here... it's a rollercoaster...)

I tried to look at the BYO Records site yesterday, but it was just too depressing...

I really hate WebTrends... WebTrends, can you please run without puking constantly because of some idiotic error? Arrrggghh....

Whenever I run the web site traffic reports, I feel like someone from Office Space, the boss comes over and asks when the reports will be ready, and I say "I'm working on it..." and it goes on like that until they're done.

The only good thing about the reports is the perl stuff I wrote to spit out custom graphs via GD, though I'd most likely want to use SVG if implementing this today...

02.13.2002

Computers are still not fast enough. When you need to unzip a 566 mb log file, and the gzip the 566 mb log file, you will agree with me. Computers are too damn slow.

Was it not D.I. that said, "I know that I'm gonna have me some fun, gotta stick to your guns..." I think it was... and wise words to live by, indeed...

If only this page listed more of D.I.'s lyrics, I could settle so many arguments we had back in 1988...

I figured out the cgiwrap stuff I needed to yesterday, so the 777 problem of Movable Type should not be a problem. I do think the security concerns should be addressed a bit more in the FAQ's and docs... then again, some people care about that stuff, and some don't. Some people think telnet and ftp are just fine while others think ssh and scp are preferable... blah, blah, blah...

Do you know how painful it can be to have to support a system that is crap...? It hurts on a daily basis... I need to fire up the Excuse-O-Matic constantly... Imaging an apologetic BOFH typing %perl excuse.pl and relaying today's sorry state of development to the frustrated users... augh...

02.12.2002

So this morning the female sez to me "What time is it?" and I lift my shirt off of the clock and say "Six oh one..." I consider myself lucky that she has an internal alarm clock that acts as a failsafe when I forget to set the alarm. Even with getting the kids dressed and doing all of the other morning stuff, I managed to be only five minutes late, which isn't late at all if you add up all of the times I've been a minute early...

Hmmm, I can't properly control Mozilla 0.9.8 with Radio 7.0 anymore... did the scripting support in the Mac OS (Classic) version of Mozilla break?

With just a little bit of sadness, I downloaded Movable Type today... I've crafted my own system of running this 'weblog' thing before the term 'weblog' even existed. I'll see if Movable Type does what I want. It's written in perl right? So there's a good chance... I've heard mainly good things about it... well, outside the whole chmod 777 thing...

Sometimes when I log into the old Linux box, the motd is profound... I got this one the other day "The brain works from the moment of birth until you stand up to speak in public." which is of interest, because I'm going to the local high sküle to speak next week... now I'm worried...

Well, I tracked down Jason Tertadian (aka Terd) and also heard from Kevin Koch - part of the South Milwaukee crew from long ago, want more? WATN...

David says: state of the art 4 year old blah blah

Report from Kindergarten: The female went to 'centers' which is this activity time when parents come in to do things. They asked the kids to draw what they would buy if they had a hundred dollars and Emma drew a computer. Not just any computer, but a computer with a little Apple on it... there is no denying she rules...

02.08.2002

Followup to Outlook and OS X: A mactopia Outlook and Exchange Survey. If you're a corporate slave like me, who is just lucky enough to use a Mac, fill it out... (Oh, don't try it with Mozilla 0.9.8, since it appears Microsoft has created a form that doesn't actually submit... at least it didn't for me... argh...)

I located Terd yesterday. Hmmm, that does sound a bit strange... I'll follow up on that later...

02.07.2002

I finally got to see The Crazy Schtuff Show on OTN, and while Rich and C Ex did a fine job of hosting, they did not show the Extended Version of Tape Face - they showed the Shortened Version, which I've already seen. What a disappointment. People Getting Hurt was a good segment, but it does not make up for the lack of new Tape Face footage... the people want more Tape Face!

While Mac OS X is promoted as "rock solid" and "stable" and all those other great buzzwords, in reality, I've found it not that different than older versions of the Mac OS in many ways. Sure I can force quit apps or kill processes without the system dying (though I do that a lot in OS 9) there are still times when things go off into la-la land, and only a reboot will fix them. Sometimes I can't eject the CD tray, and until I find the command or some app to do it, that requires a restart. Sometimes the Finder, or some other app I need to use just won't launch. It just bounces and bounces. Restart. Sometimes I can't restart or shutdown. That multicolor spinning beachball sure looks cool, but after watching it for 10 minutes it's time to pull the plug. Is everyone experiencing these things, or just me?

I can tell you what I really miss in OS X - Finder labels! Oh, to color code my files... that's definitely on my feature request list!

02.06.2002

Yesterday I decided to move my Users dir to another partition, since I seemed to be running out of drive space. This is just not something to be doing after midnight. I moved everything, and made the changes in Netinfo (as Leo told me to) and then started digging around the system. I finally discovered at about 1 AM that there was a directory called mqueue (or something like that) that had 17 gig of spool files in it! Argh... I deleted them all, probably caused by some horrible cron/perl/sendmail thing I tried at one time which wouldn't work without a domain name, and then realized I had so much damn room, that I should move my Users dir back... so I did... and I deleted my symlinks, and did everything but reboot and change Netinfo again... since it was 2 AM I was probably pretty close to typing sudo rm -rf in the wrong place... sleep, that damn necessary evil thwarts me again!

bill tells me that Get a Life is "much funnier as a faded memory" ahhh, what memories... and don't get me started on The Ben Stiller Show (FOX not MTV version) or Night After Night with Allan Havey... good TV to ya!

I dl'd Mozilla 0.9.8 yesterday and got it running on a Mac OS 9 and a Mac OS X box - it's great on both... 0.9.9 here we come...

02.05.2002

The time has come people... it finally makes sense to buy a DVD player...

Books on tape are cool. Last week it was The Best of Bob and Ray (that's Bob Elliot - it's all connected...) and this week it's The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which, I noticed, will be appearing in theatres soon. I saw the old version long ago... H.G. Wells is considered by many to be the father of science fiction.

I'm going to be speaking at the local high sküle in a few weeks, I'm the guest of a student there who needed someone to come in and talk about their 'career' but since I just have a job, and not a career, I'll have to figure out what to talk about. The female said she'd rather be burned by hot oil than speak to a class of high sküle students... I'm ready now!

02.04.2002

Microsoft put out Office for OS X and got much praise. The Mac community welcomed it, and from what I hear, it's a nice little suite of applications. I'm sure Microsoft will make a lot of money with it. It looks like Microsoft will not be releasing an OS X friendly version of Outlook. Why would they? There's really no money to be made doing it. Outlook:mac 2001 works under classic (poorly though) and for those of us that are forced to use Outlook by our employers, well, we get screwed by Microsoft again...

I thought 32 gig would be enough for my main Mac OS X volume, and I get the feeling it probably is, but somehow I've only got 6 gig free. I'm guessing Sherlock doesn't search the bsd subsystem when looking for files, because I couldn't find any huger files after deleted the 1 gig mailbox I (and cron) accidentally generated... man find I guess...

Mozilla now supports the favicon thingy... I'm still not sure if this is good or bad...

 

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  Last Modified: 03.28.2002 by rasterboy