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April 2001


The software development process:

  1. Develop and implement a system
  2. Hear users complain that nobody asked them for input
  3. Decide to develop a new feature of system
  4. Ask users for feedback
  5. Get no feedback
  6. Design it on your own
  7. Repeat

I mentioned Nicholas, who helped me on The Road to Linux. Now he's on the road, right behind me. I've loaned him my Running Linux book and my Red Hat CD's. Within a month he'll probably be passing me... I'll be on the side of the road with an overheated engine...

On my readling list: Using RPM.

Well, if all goes according to plan, we should be moving again in just over a month... what's that you say? Didn't we move a few months ago? Why, yes we did... and we're doing it again... (groan!) This will be the last time, for a very long time though, and that's for sure... as 'for sure' as anything can be nowadays...

Who is Molly?


Hot damn! We're back on The Road to Linux!

In related matters, I was asked to check out an OpenBSD box in the office that does one of those specific tasks we don't talk about or some such thing... it's like an open-source operating system day all around!

Oh, the OpenBSD box has a funny message when you login as root: Don't login as root, use the su command har har...

I've started using the VNCThing client... I like it.


I'm seriously contemplating getting a new Mac. A G4 nonetheless... I've fallen behind quite a bit, and would really like to start running Mac OS X, and my current hardware won't do it. So even though it'll put us into more debt, I'll probably get some sort of halfway decent G4. At least 400mhz, 20 gig drive, and 256 mb or RAM. That should be sufficient to run OS X, right?

Since I've not been paying as much attention to OS X as I wish I had, I need to start doing research, finding out what hardware/software is (and isn't) compatible. A year or two ago I would have been completely on top of this subject, but today... I need some serious schooling. As usual, I just wish I had more time... (and money...)

One interesting thing about doing Mac OS X research, I didn't even think about visiting Apple's site at first, because I know that you usually don't find the really useful information on the vendors site. But you knew that, didn't you?

So where does that leave The Road to Linux? Well, once I get a new machine, I'd also like to put some Linux distro on it, probably Yellow Dog, though I might check out some others as well. Decstar could still be useful if I ever get a network card to work.

jim wanted to know why I didn't mention Joey Ramone... well, the "not mentioning" can be viewed as a moment of silence... Ok, I liked The Ramones - long ago - I often wish they would have done the fast and furious/crash and burn thing and stopped being The Ramones long ago, but that's mainly to go along with my theories on why some things shouldn't last too long... I used the name Pyschotherapy for a zine I published back 'round the mid 80's, so there's always been some underlying Ramones influence. Time to pull out Rock n' Roll High School one more time... Bye Joey!


I still have nothing of value to say... try again later...


The more I've been using iTunes, the more I like it. I've got 131 songs loaded, all from my own CDs, though I really haven't made much of an effort to rip too many CDs... The other must-have is the keyboard with volume keys. Steve Jobs put em on the NeXT keyboards long ago, and rightly decided they should be on the latest Mac keyboards that Apple ships. Damn, he's a visionary...

Wowza! Mozilla/Mac OS is all scriptable and stuff... a good, good, good thing! I built a glue table for Radio, and tweaked webBrowser.supportedBrowsers to return 'MOZZ' as well as 'MSIE' and 'MOSS' - kabang! I can now use Mozilla for my Radio related stuff, like authoring static sites and the like... I haven't done extensive testing, but when Radio tells Mozilla to open a url, it does it, and that's all I need...

The more I work on managing a certain browser-based application I've been assigned to, the more I think browser-based applications will ultimately fail... I think about it more and then I realize that they don't have to fail, but they have a long way to go before they mature enough to satisfy users. These are big issues and my little head starts to hurt too much when I think about them... hurm...

Ahhh, MPW... probably as close to using perl via the command line as you'll get under pre-Mac OS X. (Hmmm, would MachTen be closer to command line nirvana under pre-Mac OS X?)

BUGS "This document varies from difficult to understand to completely and utterly opaque. The wandering prose riddled with jargon is hard to fathom in several places." (that's perl for ya!)

How's this for a wacky idea? If you are going to offer a web-based service, why not sniff out the browser the user is using before they start trying to use the service so you can warn the user that their browser won't work... Hmmm? Is that an idea?

After waiting two months and never hearing back from Ameritech on my Speedpath/DSL questions via email, I got a phone call. The first thing I did was voice my concerns about the poor quality of service and the fact that I never got an answer. Oh, the woman on the phone was all apologies for sure... She mentioned that since she got DSL she hasn't needed any sort of support and she's not that technical. Ok, so now I'm told that customer service can suck because I won't need it, and that she isn't very technical - should she be the one talking to me about DSL service if she isn't very technical? I asked about the "Windows only" requirements, and she said that DSL was not available for the Mac. I assured her the Mac OS could use DSL as well as any other OS, and she then clarified that Ameritech does not offer DSL service for Mac users... I told her we're moving soon and I'd call them back then. I was lying of course...

The other day I was reaching up into this high cabinet to get some towels and something made a clanging noise. (As you may remember, we're currently renting a house with a dubious history.) I reached up into the cabinet, not being able to see what was up there, and pulled out a machete! Wow... that was a weird one... I thought maybe it had been used in a crime, or to protect the drugs sold out of our house, I even contemplated turning it over to the authorities, but in the end I thought it better to tape up the blade, and then hide it somewhere else.


After I explained April Fools Day to Emma, she had an idea. She said we should "pretend to be somebody else" to fool our neighbors. I said, "Won't they know who we are?" And she suggested we put on paper hair so they wouldn't know who we are, and then tell them we were somebody else. I think we might have done it if it wasn't so cold out... and our neighbors were home. Kids rules...

Saturday was the day... it was actually warm enough to take the boat out. I first washed it a bit, since it was pretty muddy and had a lot of leaves in it. Once that was done, we dragged it down to the lake. It's maiden voyage consisted of me paddling around for a few minutes making sure it wouldn't sink. Then the whole family piled into our new canoe and paddled around for about 20 minutes. The lake is still half ice, so we didn't go too far. We'll try again next week.

It snowed Saturday night. Lame lame lame... We did manage to get out for a dinner without the kids, which we've only done once before since Madeline was born. We tried the Delafield Brewhaus, which was great, even though we don't drink beer. I did sample some, and it tasted as horrible as I last remember it. Maybe I'll try beer again in 10 years to see if I've changed my mind...

The joke was on us... Usually we know when that whole daylight savings crap is coming, but for some reason we missed it this year. It might be because everyone in our house passed out before 10 PM Saturday. So on Sunday I turned on the Win98 laptop I've borrowing and it said "The clock has been adjusted for Daylight Savings" I mumbled something about Windows being st00pid and forgot about it. Later we wondered why the bread store was closed, and cursed at them as well, and when we got home, realized we had missed daylight savings turn-the-clock-ahead activities... argh...

I started my attempt at making sure all of the pages here are valid. Most of them are pretty close, since they all flow through a common template, I will have to check the html generated by some of the scripts on this site though... those I know are a mess...


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  Last Modified: 09.17.2001 by rasterboy