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October 30, 2003

I've been trying to remember / find Drinky Crow Gets a Job for a couple of weeks now. Yay for Google!

October 29, 2003

I've been using the character-mode version Emacs that comes with Mac OS X because Emacs on Aqua is unstable. This port looks much better. I just started using it but so far it launches quickly, accepts drag-and-drop correctly, respects the mouse wheel, and generally seems to behave like I expect Emacs to behave.

Microsoft Hit Wizard! Exactly.

It's scary how much code there is between me and people who want to send me spam or virii. The arms race escalates, as I move to block "sildenafil citrate" (actually, I'm matching for a substring of it, in anticipation of future filter circumvention techniques) in addition to Viagra, and they just call it Viagr[a or Viagr/a to defeat my regex match for /\sviagra\s/i . So, I'd like to take this opportunity to try a new approach to stopping penis enlargement spam forever:

Guys. Unless you're exposing yourself to women you meet (which is almost certainly the cause for your lackluster love life, if you are) they can't see your dick until you're already pretty much guaranteed to score. Making it bigger is not going to do anything for your laid/rejected ratio. Buy some decent clothes and go clubbing. Take ballroom or salsa or swing dance lessons. Turn off the precious HDTV plasma screen and stop playing video games for a minute, and explore plays, museums, art galleries, and the outdoors. Be friendly with the girls you meet, and then ask them out on dates. Try not to bring up the matter of your penile length, girth, or rock hard erections (since that's what the spams advertise, and it must be what you're thinking about since apparently those topics make you buy the junk the spammers are peddling). Talk about things that are going on outside of your pants.

If you still think that you need to enlarge a body part in order to get laid, look for a tongue enlarger, or better yet, start with a backrub (sending the message that it's not all about your dick in this relationship) and when the time comes, dive! And solicit constructive criticism. Is it that difficult to understand that your obsession with your own genitalia is the problem? Buying products to enable your obsession won't fix anything.

OK, now please stop buying these things. Take a Vicodin (or Vicod/in or V 1 c 0 d 1 n or whatever they're calling it to get around the keyword spam filters in your neck of the woods) and forget about your wiener for a few minutes.

To anyone who doesn't think that Panther really changed anything other than Expose and the Finder, read this analysis of a ton of little changes.

October 28, 2003

I did the Panther "archive and install" upgrade last night. That's the option that moves your old OS stuff out of the way and then installs the new system.

Everything still worked except for WindowShade X (I had to download an updated version, and it was moved out of the way anyway so I still would have had to reinstall it) and Palm Desktop. Palm Desktop just needed its HotSync shared libraries, which were easy enough to find in the "Previous Systems" folder by searching for "HotSync" and copying them to the corresponding folder in the new System folder. I could have reinstalled Palm Desktop, but the last time I did that it lost all my data (which of course I have backed up in like 20 places because it's so important) and forgot about the special HotSync conduit for Life Balance. So, I hand-copied those 2 files & it all works fine now.

It is a bit faster at certain things than Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.2) was. Perhaps I'm smoking crack, but Safari seems a lot faster, and I think the Finder is multithreaded. Expose is interesting but I haven't really gotten into a full-on work scenario with a dozen windows open, which is about what it takes for Expose to shine.

October 25, 2003

If you're in the U.S. or E.U, remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour tonight or tomorrow morning for Daylight Saving Time (U.S.) or Summer Time (E.U.). Read more about it here.... did you know that Hawaii doesn't observe DST?

Because I recently bought a PowerBook, I'm eligible for the Mac OS X Up-To-Date program. Actually it says you have to have bought a computer on or after October 8 but they are being generous about approving people who bought computers well before that date into the program. (I bought mine on September 4th and they said I was qualified.) So I get Panther for $19.95. Sweet!

I was looking forward to getting Panther, mainly for FileVault and Expose as well as a couple of bug fixes. Unfortunately I just got an email from Apple telling me my order was delayed and would ship on 10/29. Well I guess that gives me some time to read the Panther user reports on Macintouch so I can see if it's really such a great idea to upgrade right away.

Here are some interesting pictures from a Panther release party in Tampa. I especially like the quote, "The end of the line was actually just around the corner. We were so far away from the store, I didn't even pick up their AirPort signal." Geek! I didn't realize that Apple was going to have a 10% off everything when you buy Panther sale. No wonder so many people were waiting in line.

I have to do some work this weekend and get my Hallowe'en costume together. I have a pumpkin carving party to go to, and there's a concert at school that I want to go to (it's part of a requirement that all music majors attend a certain number of recitals each semester). I'll try and post some more pictures soon.

October 23, 2003

To anyone who still thinks that big corporations will behave themselves if we just remove all the regulations, read this story about legal but shady tax shelters.

In a statement, he said that Mr. Hamersley, who worked in mergers and acquisitions, was "simply not qualified to reach the purely personal opinions he espouses about alleged improper or so-called `abusive' activity. His conclusions are simply wrong."

Awesome! So if it's not illegal, it's ethical. It's only unethical if it's illegal. If you're not a tax accountant, you can't even have an opinion about whether certain tax shelters are shady! I admire the problem-solving instinct of these folks who look at a set of rules and find the optimum solution. But that's just the problem with capitalism, and corporations: they are amoral. Not immoral, but amoral. To rely on capitalism to teach you right from wrong is to say that it's only wrong if you get caught. "Whatever you CAN do, you SHOULD do" is not a respectable system of ethics.

(The quote in the story by Henry Camferdam sounds like finger-pointing, doesn't it? Plausible deniability, anyone?)

Last night I finished reading The Odyssey (Fagles translation). Kick ass. The ending is abrupt and seems rushed (kind of like the end of season 4 of Babylon 5!) and makes me wonder if book 24 is really Homer's. Book 23 left some things unresolved but at least it was a decent stopping point. 24 almost leaves us hanging, with Athena jumping in at the very end to stop a fight. But that's it. No ending speech, no "and Odysseus made his pilgrimage to appease Poseidon", no "and everything was back to normal." I'm not saying that I wanted a happy ending where there was none; the ending was happy. It just wasn't developed at all. Everything was up in the air until the last few lines, and then Athena stops a battle and the book ends. WTF, Homer? But it was still better than the ending of The Iliad (Fagles translation)... "and that's how they buried Hector, the end."

Next up: The Aeneid (Mandelbaum translation). In the meantime I finished Mad Cowboy and have gotten about halfway through Dude, Where's My Country and The Inner Game of Tennis.

My new Palm m500 has a dud battery. It discharges completely in about 4 hours while turned off and loses all of the data in it, which should only happen after several weeks without a recharge. Gotta use that warranty and get a new one. Dammit.

October 15, 2003

We just got back from a very fun trip to Washington, D.C. for a family visit and for Hans's wedding. All the babies born 2 years ago to friends and family have transformed from drooling lumps of flesh into little people with personalities!

I haven't written yet about the trip that Kim and I took to Angel Island. We hiked and biked all over the island to celebrate our anniversary. Unfortunately there was a lot of fog covering the coast so my photos could be better, but hey, that just means we'll have to go back! I'll post photos later.

This site has way too much information about our interstate highway system. I guess I shouldn't ask if people don't have anything better to do... obviously, they don't.

I got Dude, Where's My Country for my birthday. I was carrying it around today as I did some errands. No less than four people commented on it. One person suggested that the people who need to read it are the people in the middle of the U.S. I suggest a PsyOps mission to drop 10,000,000 copies of the book on SUVs in the midwest, just to get started.

Argh. How long did it take me to figure this known SQL Server 7 installer bug out? Don't ask. (This is a couple of weeks old but still worth noting, if you still have to work with SQL Server 7.)

Which fantasy/sci-fi character are you? It turns out I'm Data, and my arch nemesis (determined by answering all questions in the opposite way from my real feelings) is Roy Batty.

You've probably read the whole "what an amazingly versatile word 'fuck' is" thing before. But have you seen the Flash version of it? The illustrations are pretty funny.

The ThraxVac, which I mentioned back in August, is getting syndicated coverage: Device can scoop up, kill anthrax and 'ThraxVac' kills anthrax spores. (Carl Czajkowski is Kim's father.)

Mark Morford makes me laugh. Read A Casket Full Of Cheese Fries and Breakfast from Hell and see if you don't agree.

October 02, 2003

Happy October! I like October, possibly because it's the month my birthday, and my Dad's birthday, and my stepsister's birthday are in, and that means it's time to go to Washington, D.C. to visit. Also, Hans is getting married on my birthday this year so there's something else to celebrate.

My PowerBook is displacing my older computers as my main machine. My G4 desktop is almost ready to sell and my PC desktop is currently being reinstalled as a development server. I'll shove it in the server rack and then only use the PB as a client/workstation machine. The sheer quantity of little USB gizmos I have is getting ridiculous... I have a USB hub, and technically it can all be hooked up and work fine; that's not the problem. The problem is the cable spaghetti that results. I've bought some cable ties and hold-down adhesive things and tubes and various other cable management products... we'll see if they actually help once I can reduce my desk count from 2 to 1 (1 desk being eliminated when my PC moves into the rack).

PalmOne released three new models yesterday but that's OK; the Zire 21 is still missing 2 buttons, still lacks a backlight, and still has a teeny screen... but now it has a faster CPU and 8MB of RAM. I guess that's good if Palm is targeting corporate users who want to run some app that needs more resources, but for me, it's still unacceptable. I bought a Palm m500 on eBay and it's already here, my data is already in it... sweet. It's exactly what I was looking for. The packaging was somewhere between home-made sandwich bags and newspapers and full commercial product packaging, but it was fine. What was odd was that it shipped via FedEx's new Home Delivery service which apparently means "we just leave the package without bothering to get a signature". It seems that you can specify that they need a signature, as well as some other interesting options like evening delivery and even appointment delivery. I just think it was kinda lame to just leave it on the porch. If I wanted that kind of "hail Mary" delivery I woulda asked the guy to ship it Priority Mail! It's cheaper that way but not if you want a signature or tracking number or insurance (which I usually do, which is why I use UPS).