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September 2001


Looks like Saturday after 9 AM I can swing by CompUSA and pick up the Mac OS 10.1 update CD... I was told to bring my Mac OS Up to Date coupon, or I wouldn't get one... (Note to self: take the girls out for lunch for having to put up with tagging along with dad to the boring computer store...)

"What's the deal with the word 'meme'? I meme, come on... meme?"

And don't get me started on uucp...

I actually got Radio UserLand working fine under Mac OS X. I had to push a little further, and I got Frontier 5.0.1 running under Mac OS X! I had to update a site I (occasionally) maintain, and the last time I did it was under Mac OS 8.6. It was nice to see Frontier in the Classic environment working as it should...

I did get into some other trouble though. I tried creating my own startup service in OS X. Upon reboot (after the system locked up hard) When I rebooted my service started but it kinda stuck. (Maybe I should have launched it into the background, hmmm?) Anyway, I was now faced with the task of disabling it. Under the old Mac OS, this would have been no problem. Under OS X it took me a little investigation. I could have booted off of the OS X CD I suppose, but I managed to boot up in single user mode (security alert!) as root, mount the file system as readable/writable and modify /etc/hostconfig to turn my crummy service off... problem solved, but I don't mind telling you I was nervous for about 2 or 3 seconds there... I'm going to assume that most users of Classic Mac OS would be pretty uncomfortable doing something like that. I wouldn't be surprised if future utilities allow you to do things with some GUI method...

Of course this year I don't go to Seybold: "Attendees of the Seybold, San Francisco conference can pick up an upgrade CD at Apple's booth, and free copies were distributed to keynote attendees." Well, I wouldn't have really wanted to fly there, or go there, anyway... but I would like one of those 10.1 CD's... It's times like this you really miss your Mac OS buddies...

The Win32 Scheduler still sucks...

Shana gave me info for the W.A.T.N. page... so check it out... oh, here's my followup, Shana suggested that I look for a new copy of Blackbelt Technofix on eBay, first of all, try a search for Blackbelt Technofix on Google and see what you get...


We had a weird power fluctuation today, I think we may actually be in another dimension right now, if we are, Hello to all of our new readers in this brave new dimensions!

brew now has an uptime of just 3 minutes since it rebooted with the power fluctuation... the Win2K box also rebooted, but the PowerMac stayed up... it truly is a brave new dimensions!

Those damn session variables! We've got this web app that tends to do some sort of action, like save or delete something, when in reality it does not do something, like save or delete something, because the developers thought it would be better to save the data in session variables and feed them back to the screen rather than do the needed SQL commands and then retrieve the data from SQL again. So when the commands fail, you never know it... that's the struggle that is much of my daily routine...


Last night when making today's lunches I forgot to put any cookies in my own lunch. I had a choice between Mini-Oreos, homemade (Easy-Bake Oven) cookies, and the rare but delicious 'Cakies' which are cookies that are more cake than cookie. I forgot them all. The day is ruined... :/

I ripped many CD's to MP3's over the weekend. The next step is of course to Mix, and then after that, Burn. I'm only about a year or so late to the MP3 revolution, right?

Perl, it's not just a nice little language, it's a song!

There's a piece of hardware I'm after, but I don't know if it exists yet. I'm looking for a low cost way to get analog video into a PowerMac G4. Right now I can do that, either with a USB device or a video card... but, I want to do this under Mac OS X. Solutions today probably work fine under Mac OS 9, and might even work under Classic (though I doubt it) but I want an OS X solution! Maybe by the end of the year I'll see one. (By 'low cost' I'm taking about anywhere from $50 to $100...)

Well written: Apple's Silent Contribution


It's odd I haven't been to this site before, the oddly named Macintosh Security Site has lots of good stuff. Also check out MacSSH. I've been trying to use SSH instead of telnet whenever possible, and you should too. Need SCP? Me too... I should read up on port forwarding and tunneling a bit...

Whew, what a week! I missed out on work yesterday as well (sicks sicks sicks) not like I would have got a whole lot done anyway, since many of our Win32 machines are still being 'fixed' after the deadly virus attack of the other day. While home I took the opportunity to use Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, both of which were unaffected by the recent virus problems... I also moved all of my old mail from Eudora 4.x under Mac OS 8.6 to Eudora 5.x under Mac OS X. I didn't need any import utility, I just copied over my old files. That was easy.

Is it time to look into SVG again? Maybe this SVGFAQ will help...

I've decided I don't want to really be responsible for systems that rely on, or use Windows in any way. Care to join me?

I may be hot on the trail of getting back the zines that were taken from me long ago, including the rare Blackbelt Technofix #2... ahhhh, justice is at hand...


Well, yesterday was a great day. I didn't go to work. I had the day off. Aside from going to the dentist and being prescribed toothpaste for people with sensitive teeth (I must be old people now) I got to walk Emma to school, then go to school later to do a Let's Talk with her teacher, stick around and eat lunch with her, and see her play with her new friends... I also got to play with Maddy in the morning and then got to pick her up at therapy, and, she's doing very well by the way... Later Maddy and I headed back to school to pick up Emma. A wonderful day. I was completely oblivious to Nimda...

Yes, it seems good 'ol Win32 was the victim of yet another security hole (YASH!) So when I came in this morning, I got a nice little update about how almost nothing got done while I was gone... ugh... back to the grind...

From Wired: "Nimda -- Admin backwards -- only infects computers running a Microsoft operating system and Microsoft's e-mail, Web browser or Web server applications."

From Wired: "Microsoft's Budd said Windows 2000 and NT operating systems are quite secure... ...Microsoft Windows 2000 and NT are proven secure platforms that are used successfully by millions of customers..." Hmmm?

At times like these, it always good to remember that there are alternatives. Unix, Linux, *BSD, etc... just thought you might need a reminder.

As long as you're at it, build sites that don't rely on Javascript...

And give Mozilla a try!

My new policy is to delete any email I don't want to deal with, and then tell people that I thought I might have contained a virus. That should cut the workload down a bit...


Yesterday Jared asked the question, "if you could have a citizenship in another country, what country would it be?" My answer was Canada, even though I usually hate Canada (sorry aaron!) The reasons being, that I can get there without flying (this would have been a reason even before last week) it's somewhat similar, but at the same time very different from the United States, and I even speak the language, sort of... eh?

"I don't know if I sent you an email message back in May. Why? Well, the company doesn't believe that we should save outgoing mail (or that I should have access to the mail I sent) over four months ago... Yes, sir, I do think that's silly. Yes, I know disk space is fairly cheap..."


I need to get out more. I need to return to my habit of leaving the office once a day, if even for just five minutes, to walk outside and forget the worries of the day. I did this today and it seemed to do a world of good. Though it seems to only last for the short time you're actually gone. The return snaps you back into reality. Today when I came back inside I logged into my Linux machine, and got the following MOTD: Don't sweat it, it's only ones and zeros. Something (or someone) is trying to tell me something.

"See, the hardware is uh... less expensive! Yeah.. and it's...it's easier to support a single platform. And better. And more Gooder. And it's, you know... STANDARD... everyone does it... It's just the way it's done." right...?

My kingdom for good data... I've been playing the 'Clean the Data' game for too long now. Now, if you're going to create a database with address information, create a country field, don't just type the name of the country into the Zip Code (which should be Postal Code) field, or after the name of the state in the State field, if it's not a United States address... I mean really, come on people... get with the program! Talk of data transformation is nice, and XML is a good thing, but so much data right now is total crap, it's hard to move forward. Perl and regular expressions can only do so much...

I get to walk Emma to school tomorrow, and if I'm lucky I'll get to each lunch with her. That is, if I can eat anything after being to the dentist. We plan on bringing our own lunches rather than eat the possibly-tainted meat they serve to the youth of our country...

Oh, if anyone can get me in touch with Milton Zorro, please let me know...

From the angry red planet: "...it is a beginning of an wretched, inhuman way of life for everyone."

We wonder... is it a beginning... or a continuance...?


I installed MacGIMP last night, and though it said it failed in some way, while I was later configuring XWindows, I got it running. I actually made an image. It felt pretty foreign though, like driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, writing with your 'other' hand, or using 'Windows' after being a Mac OS user for so long... it felt weird because I've been using Photoshop since version 1.0.7 or something. Still, I am exited about the possibilities of the GIMP under Mac OS X.

XWindows configuration continues... I've actually got things *somewhat* usable now, but definitely not to the point where I could get lots of real work done. Speaking of getting real work done, I just completed my first real project using Mac OS X as my primary development platform. It went well, if not a little slow, mainly due to still getting used to a new environment. Progress marches on...

Damn! Why can't I get Tk installed! Damn ppm! Damn CPAN!


Ramble on... terror

Overheard: "I had to convert it to RBG." Ah, hmmm, what's that - 'Really Big Graphic' format?

More senseless death... I killed a squirrel today. I didn't really mean to, it wouldn't move, and I couldn't exactly swerve. I am a murderer...

ifconfig... then what?

FTP sucks... I don't meant that it sucks because it's not secure, like SCP, I mean it sucks because it's slow. We need FFTP (Fast File Transfer Protocol.) I know, it's the network that's determining the speed in many cases, but I want faster! The ol' T-1 is showing it's age...

Um, excuse me there, Iomega... I can't select my operating system because you don't have it listed!

The events of the last few days have been surreal. I'm still at somewhat of a loss on what to say. I might assemble a rambling page of what some of my thoughts are on various things, just to get something out... I think it'll make me feel better... who knows though...


At about 9:45 AM Chicago time, I saw a plane flying... on most days that wouldn't be worth noting...


It's times like these, when someone like me, a comedian, someone who likes to make jokes and make fun of everything and everyone... is left speechless. I've got nothing to say. I'll be quiet for a while... I'm in awe...


Ahhh, I remember fondly back when the IS guys where I used to work told us that a DEC Alpha running NT would be the best server platform for us (they of course thought our Macs were toys and Apple would be dead in a year) and after Microsoft stopped shipping NT for the Alpha, we got a Compaq server to replace our DEC box. So let's see, since then DEC was bought by Compaq, and now Compaq is being bought by HP... and Apple is still making Macs... but now they have BSD *nix at the core... Doesn't HP sell unix servers?

Right now: bizzy downloading software for Mac OS X at an alarming rate...


The Army of the Slow Monkeys - when you describe yourself, for a resume, bragging rights, or whatever - do not downplay your abilities to rule mercilessly over your text editor and/or text editing skills. Do you ever watch in pain as someone spends what seems like an eternity manually editing something that could have been done in seconds with a good text editor, regular expressions, and (if really needed) a bit of perl? Become one with your text editor. Control it, do not let it control you.

I prefer BBEdit for my text editing needs. (Now for Mac OS X!)

I got XWindows running under Mac OS X yesterday, bud didn't have time to really configure or use it. I spent most of my time trying to configure apache to do just what I wanted it to do. Buy the time I did that, it was time to get some sleep...


Woohoo! I'm really getting into Mac OS X. Last night I installed Pine, Pico, MySQL, and lots of other goodies... tonight I hope to install Zope, XWindows, GTK, and other fun stuff... and once I really get brave, I'll configure CPAN. Ha! To think, the day has come when I'll have Apache, MySQL, and Zope running on my Mac!

Worth checking out: Mac OS Hints - it's great to see the Mac OS and *nix communities joining together. More fun can be had over at the O'Reilly Mac Dev Center.

Here's a gem: "Want to run shell scripts from the Finder? Simply append '.command' to the script name, e.g. test.command, when the script is double clicked from the Finder a terminal window will open and the script is executed." very cool...

After the first day of sküle, Emma asked "Why do I always have to go to sküle?" Ah, kids... It's a big change, everyone gets up early now... and everyone is ready to go to sleep early as well... except me, I stay up late installing Mac OS X packages...


Today is Emma's first day of sküle. I think mom and I are more freaked out than she is. She of course does not know we are freaked out about it...

Weird things. I was going through some old pictures and found a photo of the female from long ago, and on the floor next to her was a book by Leo Kottke, so we now present a link to Jason Kottke's web site. In other news, Jason has a link to Wil Wheaton's web site. More Weird? No... but if I can give you any advice today, it's this. don't have your picture taken when standing next to Steve from 8bark. Oh, and if you want to remember how to spell weird, just remember the phrase 'we are weird' - don't be like Cometbus and spell it wrogn...

I'm now a Mac OS X user. I've still got a number of apps to install, but I did actual production work over the weekend, and will be doing more tonight. This is good. I was sort of thinking I'd end up playing in OS X, and doing my work with OS 9, but so far it isn't so... and no, I'm not just running my apps in Classic. I didn't even need to use any Classic apps. (Well, I did use Netscape 4.7 on another machine for compatibility testing, if you want to count that...)

Oh, somebody help me... I was actually writing ColdFusion code the other day - snap out of it! Perl, Perl , Perl! Save me!

I upgraded my sister's iMac yesterday. They had a whopping 32 mb of ram in it, and since I upgraded ours to 160 mb, I had an unused 32 mb laying around, which new would cost you less than ten bucks... so within 10 minutes I doubled their ram. All is well...

Fire up the quote-monster!

"All is lost, nothing is saved..."

"...even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise."


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  Last Modified: 10.03.2001 by rasterboy