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January 2001


A Scott Schoenbeck quote from 1988: "I work at Sears now... Come on in, I'll sell you some hardware."

A Dan Valerian quote from 1989: "Not much action as such... but you could be sitting there... really digging this..."

What's the connection? Well, Dan Valerian was in the band Hardware, and Scott sold hardware. Dan had what we call "cha-riz-ma" and lots of it. Scott had something else, I'm not sure what we called it. Scott is now in the Promise Ring, and I don't know where Dan is... that is all.

Don't blame me, my freelance rates are very reasonable... ;)

ARGH!!! So I've been trying to work with this person to get their directory online for the past two weeks, and at every turn, they seem to put up some sort of opposition. I finally think I'm at a point where they understand what I need and I get a phone call to the effect of "What are you trying to do!? What's the problem!? Blah, blah, blah!" Yellin' in my ear sorta thing... Do I need this? Geez, you try your best to improve people's sites and make their lives easier, and they go all nuts on ya... Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong industry... or job... or something... or maybe it just doesn't pay to get outta bed each morning... I dunno... :[

I got the beta of Outlook:mac 2001 to work at home, and while it's not good that I've infected a home machine with some MS virus, it is good that I can now easily access my mail from home. It's a sad world isn't it?

I'm reasonable sure I'll add some new things to this site tomorrow. If I'm lucky the new things will not require JavaScript.


It's been a busy week. To recap... Friday we closed on our house. We are no longer homeowners. We are renters. Yup. But not before a crisis or two, and dropping a heavy object onto my finger which caused it turn purple and get real fat real fast. Anyway, we are more - or less - moved. There are some straggling items we need to deal with, but nothing too bad. We did find the boxes we thought were stolen. They were luckily 'misplaced' rather than stolen, so that turned out ok. Saturday we managed to lose our heat, and used many blankets and a space heater to stay warm. Sunday we had to abandon our new home due to it being around 50 degrees, so we had to relocate Maddy's 2nd birthday party, so it goes.. We managed to get heat back Sunday night, but not before more space heater time. Monday was ice storm day! I worked from home, with the blazing fast speed of a 46k connection. Last night we went to KMart, and met the Mayor of Empty Town, that's what we call the Manager, since they run the store on a skeleton crew, seems everyone's been quitting lately, the place was near empty. You know how kids sometimes say things because they don't know you shouldn't say them? Well, we're at KMart, and a woman who works there answers a question for us and as we walk away Emma says (rather loudly) "Mom, was that a guy?" Ohhh, as a parent you just cringe and don't know what to do. What else? The female wouldn't let me buy BB's (to scare off the squirrels) as she feared I would hurt myself, so I'll have to dig up the BB's I already own. We've only been there a short time and already I need to start boycott places, this time it's Ben Franklin's, who has policies that limit individual freedom, after a strongly worded letter to the corporate HQ, I may consider contacting the ACLU. While Ben Franklin the person was a great man, with many good qualities, Ben Franklin the store are a bunch of fascist jerks. Oh yeah, poor old Slave1 is sick. I ended up using StrawMac all day yesterday because Slave1 was having some odd problem syncing the video, and I didn't feel like using a 640x480 monitor all day... goodnight...


MacGIMP - Helping you to get GTK, X Windows, and the GIMP running on the Macintosh... wow...

I should catch up with genehack more often... when I read it tody, I found out about a Salon interview with Ian Mackaye.

John Katz says "Access to computing... ...shapes creativity, vocabuliary..." Uhh, sure John, whutever yu saiy... "vocabuliary" indeed!

New house update: we still don't have the washing machine working, too much leaking water. We went to the laundromat. Laundromats suck. We did get the dryer working, after a very small gas leak, all was well. We have a phone now, so we'll get back online real soon now. We can get DSL, but should we really get it from Ameritech? ugh... that's all for now... more adventures to come.


Hmmm, it looks like we had some items stolen previous to our move. A few boxes never showed up at the new place, and from what we can recall they were in our back porch at the old house. Being robbed is depressing, and leaves you feeling helpless and hopeless. (Ask the dork about that...) Of course it's stuff that just can't be replaced. Some items we're got at auctions or rummage sales, none of if was extremely valuable... ugh... what to do...

On the bright side, I started playing with the whole My.UserLand on the Desktop thing, and it is actually pretty darn cool...


Hey, we finally got a refrigerator. No more eating out of the cooler. I keep saying "It's like we're camping!" but the female is getting sick of that phrase quick. I don't know if we have a phone yet, and the mattress is still on the floor, but we're getting settled. Last night's adventure involved turning on the washer faucets and seeing water spew and drip all over. Our landlord will be on speed dial... as soon as the phone works...

It is cool to be in a new city, we pretty much had to move since we were boycotting so many local businesses where we used to live. Hopefully we'll have better luck with the local merchants here. If not, we'll start a new list of places to blacklist. Take note Black's, Heide's, and all the others!


Whew, what a weekend! We are moved. Not 100%, but more or less, we are moved. Moving is pure hell. It makes you contemplate giving away all of your worldly possessions... or at least a good deal of them. Some of the highlights include not having a refrigerator for a few days, almost being killed when the dork and myself we're carrying a 1 ton washing machine up some steps, finding out there are cable hookups in almost every room - except the living room, and being told I can actually get a DSL connection if I want one. The big story was that there was a DEA drug raid in the part of the house we're living in last year. I guess it was a SWAT team with rifles surrounding the house and kicking in doors type of event. Did I mention we're located just a block from the police station? Wild stuff... I'm sure we'll have many stories in the months to come.

Will I ever get sick of saying, "Fix the table..." Yes, yes I will. In fact, I'm sick of it already... I am. I really am.


Oooh, I'm very interested in the outcome of the whole "Macrallaria" merger. I hope many parts of it fail. I suppose I'm one of the people who doesn't really see any positive aspect of these two getting together... Other disagree. Urgle-0rp...

Everybody's movin'... everybody's movin'... everybody's movin' movin' movin' movin'... Ok, not everybody. But we'll be relocating the Rasterboy Enterprises Data Center tomorrow. Slave1 is already dismantled, and awaiting re-mantling at the new location. The others are also ready to go, as well as most of the staff. What remains? Well, lotsa junk... sheesh... I'll be filling many boxes and bags over the next few days. If you don't hear from me in a week, assume the worst, and call in the A-Team!

Are you the adventurous type? Now you can subscribe to the RasterWeb channel, and get the RSS info via email, courtesy of xmlTree. Neat.


Macromedia and Allaire to Merge... this seems like a really bad thing. I say that coming from the position of seeing people use Dreamweaver who don't actually know html. It's a scary thing. Now the people who don't even know how to use an img tag can build dynamic elements that they don't understand. Woo-hoo! Can't wait! (Maybe they can call themselves "Mallairia")

I feel the same way about Dreamweaver that diehard unix geeks feel about gui's. It's like trying to eat popcorn with oven mitts on. bleargh...

If I've been contributing nothing useful lately, you may want to check out Brent's stuff. I've known Brent for a long time. And by that I mean, we were in the same community years ago, not like I go to baseball games with the guy. Anyway, he's been writing some good stuff.

If that's not your thing, check out Jim's stuff. I've known Jim the same way I've known Brent, for the same reason. Hurm...


I've chattered on about an A-Team movie before, people usually say "George Peppard is dead..." to shut me up. But... today I heard ol' Stephen J. Cannell on the radio, and it sounds like it'll actually happen! Some of the names thrown around as the possible cast - Hannibal: Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis, Face: Brad Pitt, Murdock: Kevin Spacey, B.A.: Ving Raimes. Man, I loved that show! Stephen's list of shows is amazing...

We checked out the new place yesterday. It's sort of a culture shock going from owning a home to renting again. On the positive side, I saw an ethernet jack that had the words "future internet" next to it. I don't know what "future internet" is, but it sure sounds interesting. I'll have to find out where it goes.


I've been using the beta of Outlook:mac 2001, which is improved from the old 8.2.2, but it still sucks, and chances are, you still need to use it. Can I please use an email application that allows me to easily get my mail out of it, including the full headers? Is it that hard to do? Eudora does a fine job... Damn Outlook... argh...

Have you been puked on lately? I've now been puked on by both of my children. It's always a fun time. Last week Emma was sick and managed to puke twice, Madeline had to out do her by puking about 10 times on Saturday. She got me, the female, the bathroom floor, the bathtub, the living room floor, towels, blankets, and managed to hit a bowl a few times as well. Most kids take it easy and relax, maybe watching TV when they're sick - not Maddy. She's all go, go, go not stopping for a minute. Drink some water, start to play, puke. Repeat. Ugh... Emma seems to be somewhat frightened of food, and has barely eaten in the last 3 days. On top of that it's moving week...

Moving week means, packing, lifting, filling trash bags, sorting, digging boxes out of dumpsters, and more of the same. The sad thing is we'll probably end up moving again this year. I suppose we should leave as much as we can in boxes for now. Moving is hell.

Fish update - the end is near...

I thought most geeks already knew about the Google Cache trick...

Now that I'm doing more RSS, a climb up the xmlTree is more valuable to me...


We thought a piece of software was doing some weird port scanning that could be considered a security risk, so after reading though the docs, it seems it's not the app that does it, it's really done by a system call. The system call makes the system do the port scanning. Did I mention the system is Win32?

Perl is on the mainframe... I'm working on the classic problem of downloading mail from a remote pop account and processing it as needed. (I sure miss procmail!) But Mail::POP3Client makes it fairly easy...


Usually when you hear someome say "Why can't we use a real computer!?" it's a Mac faithful trashing Windows, or a Windows user belittling a Mac user, or nowadays, a Linux user making fun of both groups... but it's refreshing and amusing to hear someone say that, and realize they're talking about the real computer being a mainframe! Now that's funny!

Yeah, you know that Perl is available for your mainframe, right?

Ahhh, it sort of enjoyable when a startup comes to pitch something to you and someone says to them "Are you guys profitable yet?" and there's this pause, that seems to last for quite some time, and then... the answer "No..." followed by an explanation, VC's, funding, IPO's

The network is the nightmare - argh... did you ever have some code you modified, that started acting flakey, and you prod and poke it to try to fix it, and you eventually realize it has to do with network performance rather than your code, and you feel like banging your head one more time really hard for wasting time banging your head at all over the (non-existant) problem?


Today when someone jokingly said "It really catches your eye" I came close to saying "...so does a fishhook" but for some reason I didn't...

Good 'ol Macworld Expo is always an exciting time... alas, I feel left behind a bit as I don't really follow the Mac industry as much as I did when it was part of my job. It's always interesting though to read the announcements and see what's going on. I feel even more behind after realizing the Mac I use at home is closing in on it's 4th birthday. It's slow. It crashes. It has no USB ports. It's a sad little machine. I keep hoping I'll be able to replace it, but it's true what they say "Macs are too expensive." Of course a used Palm III would be too expensive for me right now... I'm starting too feel left behind in the computing world in general. I still use a dialup connection, we just recently got a camcorder (analog, digital was too expensive) we have no digital camera, I use a laptop (borrowed from the office) that's about 10 years old... ugh... I really love technology and new things, but sometimes it sucks to only be able to read about them and not actually be able to experience or use them. Solutions?

Um, is Netscape 6 really finished? I finally got around to loading it on the G4 I use at work, and it's got some problems. I'm sure they've been documented elsewhere, so I won't get into them. It just magnifies my point above, I now use a computer at home that probably can't even run the latest version of Netscape... sigh...


Don't you love getting checks in the mail? Especially checks from PayPal?


Whew, made some major changes under the hood. Nothing you the end-user will notice, but some nice things (I hope) on my end. No more of that darn '255 character' limit truncating things, we all know what a pain that is!

Even though it's not in the rambles section, I rambled a bit on this page about RSS and Other Stuff page. Oh, did I mention the NT page I added?

RasterWeb - best viewed by people who can, on occasion, lift as much as 50 pounds...


I finally got to see Junkyard Wars yesterday, this show kicks booty! It does tend to remind me of the A-Team, and their ability to build an armored tank out of an old Gremlin and some aluminum siding, or some other ridiculous thing like that.

We're really close to getting the rss file for this site in order. Not that anyone will care... But I know you're now asking yourself 'How can I help?" Well, over the years we've strived to create better content faster, but we're hampered by the pokey hardware we use to create this site, I know it's been slow and frustrating, but now's the time to change that. If you've enjoyed RasterWeb in the past, all we ask is that you donate a small amount to the RasterWeb Computer Fund, which will help us buy a used G3 or G4 and the needed accessories. If each one of the half-dozen regular readers donates around - let's say - $250, we'll have that new machine in no time! Thanks for your support!

Carrot Top will be in Madison next month!

(Note to self: purchase high-powered rifle, scope, and ammunition...)

Long ago KAB told me that Carrot Top get's 'more tail than Sinatra' - is there any way possible this is true?

In 2001, now more than ever - you can't be what you were...

Usually "muzak" makes me want to gouge my brain out with a spatula, but today we got to hear the "you got a friend in me" song from Toy Story... yippee...


I've been playing with perl and RSS a bit more, using XML::RSS to build my own aggregator. If you want to start using XML but you're a bit clueless, RSS is a good starting point... see Using RSS News Feeds for a good start.

I got another O'Reilly book, "Mastering Regular Expressions" which looks to be pretty darn useful. I haven't been to a real live bookstore in a long time, I couldn't believe the number of computer related books they carried. There were like 100 different perl books, Linux/Unix had it's own section. They even had some books for dumb people who wanted to learn how to use Windows... sheesh!

This morning on the radio they were talking about some museum and it's location, and the morning guy says, "it's like a Berbee..." which I'm guessing means it's located right outside of town, in another city, but they usually don't mention it. Sort of like how Berbee is in Madision, even though it's really in Fitchburg.


Rolling over is always exciting... and a bit scary. I'm always afraid some piece of code will break. I did have to redo some stuff I was working on today, just tweaking the code to still work with last year's files. Some of the people who started sites in the last year can see what it's like to roll into a new year. I remember back in 1999 when we had to worry about rolling into 2000, boy those were exciting times! I think I did most of the 4-digit date fixes on this site in 1998 or 1999. Speaking of which, this is the 4th year rollover we've had here since we started, that's just a fancy way of saying we've been around since August of 1997.

If all goes according to our plans, we'll be living in a new dwelling by the end of the month. If something goes horribly wrong, we'll be living in the van.


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  Last Modified: 09.17.2001 by rasterboy