Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

31Jan/03Off

Eaten On Safari

Looks like there's some more switching going on. Some people using Safari have found a bug to report. Apparently for a any number of reasons Safari likes to overwrite home directories. Yup. That is beta. More warnings are here and here. So much for "it just works."

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30Jan/03Off

I Am A Bad Dogsitter

I've had several people email me about the Microsoft-Al Queda link which is funny but being blown way the hell out of proportion. Unfunnily enough this will probably get them in more hot water than their business practices. I just can't fucking care. I can't.

If you're unfortunate enough to be on my *shudder* buddy list I'm going to apologize right now for any number of trash messages I may have sent you. I'm playing around with tnt which is an AIM client for emacs. Messaging with a text editor? Yes, friend, you are definitely a little too geeky to live. The interface is weird as hell so I inadvertantly sent one lucky customer a buffer's worth of text which for me is somewhere around three hundred words. Again, sorry. I'm looking for documentation right now and will not mess with this again until I know what the hell I'm doing or can fake it a little better. It's just one more reason to have emacs open and doing something all the time though my experiment with the IRC client did get me heavily flamed for being an incompetent fool. It figures.

Lycoris also withdrew from The Desktop Linux Summit which is rapidly turning into the Lindows Show. I feel sorry for the folks who already bought tickets. It sounded fun before the whole "my product, my spotlight, mine, mine, mine" shit storm started. I keep hearing that Sun has pulled out but they're still on the list of exhibitors. I looked around a little bit but ended up reading Solaris Infrequently Asked and Obscure Questions instead.

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30Jan/03Off

Countdown.

I use the CNN site as a sort of Doomsday Clock. You don't really need to read anything to get the general vibe. Just look at the parade of concerned gray faces and you can tell that bad shit is going to happen very soon. I'm pessimistic about anything changing this because what the general public thinks plays such a microscopic role in what is actually going to happen. The person in control does not give a shit about anything but what benefits a very small percentage of the population. We're all fucked. I promise not to say "I told you so" when bombs start falling out of the sky.

When all seems bleak, grim, and not worth talking about leave it to the kids to do something really funny to break the tension. Well, it worked for me anyway.

A minor annoyance: You know how MT type weblogs will store a cookie to keep your info for use in comments? For some reason many of them are dropping my email address and keeping everything else. Anyone else having this problem? It's minor but really annoying for some reason.

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30Jan/03Off

dd Is Powerful JuJu

Is it just me or is dd the scariest utility in the world? I had to format a whole pile of floppies with a disk image and the whole time I was completely paranoid. Every time I use the damn thing I type the arguments out and lift my hands from the keyboard and think really hard before hitting the enter key. It's been a whole bunch of years since I last obliterated an entire partition that way but still...

Oh, I was making Tinfoil Hat floppies to leave around work for those times when I'm feeling especially paranoid and like I need a real operating system. It's good stuff.

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30Jan/03Off

Do Not Cling To Purity

Damn it. I wasted most of my lucid hours doing homework. I'm all pooped and tired of hearing about how prayer is going to save us all and of course remove the need for tax dollars to fund any sort of social programs. Yes, of course, this makes perfect sense. Why not just build bamboo towers for the disadvantaged and they can petition the sky for precious cargo? When The Onion and plain old news are nearly indistinguishable I start worrying.

I hate myself when I give advice. I had an AIM conversation with someone earlier on tonight that broached pretty serious topics that I really cannot grasp. This isn't out of lack of effort, desire, or whatever but just not being able to put myself there. So I offer up a bunch of lame advice. Feel free to shoot me since my left foot is asleep and I'm not moving too fast right now. The advice thing is weird because I don't even like giving advice on technical matters. Even though I'm absolutely sure that adding x line to x stanza in x configuration file will make everything all better I'm always cursed with this feeling that I'm about ready to break everything. I like making things more than breaking things these days. It's like one of those creepy dreams where you need to read some vital piece of information out of a book and all the text is Esperanto or line noise or Emily Fucking Dickinson. My book is probably full of garbage in waking life as well and I hope no one takes my recitals very seriously.

I made an Amazon wish list mainly as a "what I'm currently obsessing about" list and not an aspiring camgirl thing. It's pretty boring but then again I'm neck deep in fiction and things related to literature until Summer at very least. At least one person asked why I didn't have one and I couldn't think of a good reason. Thrilling, eh? Like I'm going to go jumping into Lisp any time soon...

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29Jan/03Off

Install The Hours Away…

Worst.Luck.Ever. I'm unfortunately installing Visual Studio .Net on two machines with a single set of CDs. Did I mention that the network jack in here randomly quits working? I made the mistake of starting an upgrade and marveled at the 330B/s download time I was getting. The timeout errors, the ridiculous professors who've figured out that there's a "Linux guy" in the office and keep spying on me like I'm going to randomly install Linux on machines if they don't keep an eye on me. Laughable because these folks teach Visual Basic and need enough babysitting as it is. Sorry. The network connection thing is driving me crazy, though, bbecause I know damn well that Google has more reliable network connectivity than this office does.

I've half heartedly been following the incredible pissing match happening on the debian-devel mailing list between Debian developers and folks from the MPlayer folks over the tangled and horrible licensing issues that keep Mplayer out of Debian. It seems incredibly silly to me since Debian has some of the strictest criteria for what is and isn't free software why a project with some many legal grey areas would even pursue the matter. I think it's one of those "Are you calling me a fuckin' liar" arguments. I haven't managed to keep up on what's actually happening on the thread because my network connection is completely spastic at this point. How I long to see things measured in kilobytes.

Speaking of pissing matches, Aaron must've inadvertantly drawn a pentagram or something because he is plagued with (war|right wing) bloggers. Actually he made some mention of wishing they'd go away or were dead or something. This stuff seems cyclical although amusing since they ain't on my lawn.

OK. Installation over with. Time to get the hell out of here. Someone just thought I was a professor. It must be the beard.

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29Jan/03Off

What To Do When Your Early Class Is Cancelled

Wow. The soon-to-be new version of Movable Type has a crazy feature list. Most of the plug ins that I've added to my install are being folded into the application (most notably Brad Choate's Sanitize plug in which I think is pretty essential. We'll also get more diverse database support (PostGre even) and Creative Commons license support right out of the bag. Good stuff all around.

MT answers this question quite well. You can make money from shareware if you actually create something monolithically useful and don't pester the hell out of people to pay more than the application is worth. That's one of the biggest problems with shareware -- it's almost like used computers listed in the newspaper classifieds where someone (presumably one who hasn't consulted an index of current pricing for a long while) tries to sell their two year old machine for $100 less than they paid for it. It just doesn't work that way. Your twenty dollars to edit MP3 tags versus a world of functionality for $20 doesn't balance out. Given the ease of accepting micro payments over the past couple of years you'd think some clue would be distributed. There were also a lot of comments attached to that question stating how much people hate crippleware. Movable Type works without a key -- it's just a little goodie strapped on to the package once you've decided it's a keeper. Most shareware is crippled in one way or another (expiration, "lite" versions, etc.) and doesn't warrant much attention especially when an equivalent free/open source project offers similar functionality. Blah, blah, it's early.

So, like buying a giant off road vehicle is now a legitimate business expense? Time to buy another tax resale number so I can write off my paddle ball, golf clubs, and nose hair trimmer. I hope I'm not the only person who finds this a little pointless. You'd think during what is probably going to be another energy crunch our administration would make some token effort at encouraging conservation. No, no, that would be bad for the economy...

I've also noticed that the Nigerian scammers are suffering inflation. The last couple I received were offering 67 million dollars instead of that tired old twenty something. Eventually we'll hit the million billion mark and my interest will be piqued.

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28Jan/03Off

Don’t Make Shit Up

Today is another day full of hours that all ran together into a big pudding-like mess. How do you get to the end of the day, feel this tired, and still be unable to think of a single real thing that you've accomplished? That just seems like limbo to me and not the fun kind either...

I gave Shrub about five minutes tonight to convince me that he isn't an assmonkey sent straight from the inner most circle of hell. The persistent standing ovations for insanely obvious and/or vague statements eventually drove me away. Even if you were a sad little donkey and cried and swore oaths of eternal loyalty and whatnot after September 11th I don't think that you're really expected to keep backing this maniac. Seriously, ten minutes of laughably empty platitudes about making x stronger and insuring a better future by decimating funding for public schools made me consider the "moving very far away before this jackass gets us all killed or living in cardboard boxes" option. I'm not a believer.

My personal annoyance for the day: I'm developing rage and hatred towards applications that store passwords. I know, I know, convenience and blah blah blah but I'll try to put this into a meaningful context by relating more thrilling details about the drudge that keeps the heat on. One big chunk of what I do every day is fix broken and misconfigured Windows applications. Outlook is the one I spend the most time with because it's used and depended upon the most by office trolls. Most of my configuration tends to happen after a reimage and many images occur after hard drives decide to poop out especially the king hell shit Western Digital drives that are the hardware equivalent to the Pinto exploding for no particular reason at the worst possible times. Unfortunately this means that there isn't a salvageable profile to restore. This is usually when I find out that the user in question does not know their own mail password because after the initial entry the magical remember my password box was checked and forgotten forever.

This isn't a problem in itself because resetting passwords is trivial but since I don't have root access on the mail server on of the admins is responsible for resetting it. Since I am lowly and cannot even begin to offer suggestions like "Learn to do your fucking job before you are replaced with a drinking bird" it's most often set to "welcome." Insert the big sigh here because I know you can predict the next sequence of events. Crappy default password, no requirement to change password after first use, labor saving "save password" feature in virus friendly mail client, and there is basically no security whatsoever. This sounds more than a little anal retentive but consider that some of these people are chairmen of departments, dolers of financial aid, etc. and it gets scarier. I don't think that this attitude is unique to academic institutions. If I pushed this issue I'd be fired immediately as a "hacker." Your tax dollars at work...

Everyone has already seen this Langa Letter, right? I don't want to go into long boring detail about this being another utterly pointless and invalid (in that it does not measure what it intends to measure) questioning of Linux security. His method of looking at it is just so fundamentally flawed that it doesn't warrant a real serious autopsy. If you don't even grasp what it is that you're measuring (again using the CERT stats for all of the applications in a distribution) please don't tell people they're hiding the truth. Christ it wasn't that long ago that reporting a bug was nearly impossible and hearing anything back about it was unheard of. This evaluation isn't even worth calling a troll.

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27Jan/03Off

Poke In The Eye

This has been a non-stop sort of day. I crashed out really early last night after the Super Bowl, the crushing defeat of Oakland, and all of that PBR. I did indeed wear an eyepatch for a little while though it covered the third eye on my forehead and not either of the ones necessary for watching football. From work to practice with nary a moment of sit down. I'm left with that feeling you get when sucked under the waves by the undertow and smashed into the bottom. I guess it''s getting "flushed down the toilet" in the vernacular.

Whoa. Kenneth Hunt's site looks all bare and 2001. The weird part is that I'm really starting to gain an appreciation for sparse layouts again. I really like Mark Pilgrim's new look as well.

Glad to see that other people are amused by the self-parodying horror that is World Tech Tribune. The comparison to Ed Anger is spot on.

Pointless, fun, and non-premium. Woo.

Do you think it really matters what the inspectors find in Iraq? I don't. Dubya has been humping the leg of mass destruction since he stole the presidency with a continually shifting target. It just doesn't fucking matter at this point and as a bonus will destroy what little economic stability the US has left. But, hey!, people love those tax breaks...

All Thirty Two Of You that I owe real email responses to: maybe tomorrow. Damn.

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26Jan/03Off

Lobotomies For The Sake Of Usability

I'm excited to see that Mad Penguin is actually up and running after some network outages and other nonsense. Again I'm going to hold back on commenting too heavily yet because the enthusiasm that comes with launching a brand new (and very ambitious) site is often not enough to keep people enthusiastic about the thankless grunt work involved in keeping things running. They're off to a fabulous start. There. I'll leave at that.

Followed a link of the aforementioned site and took a look at pushChange which sounds very wonderful and labor saving and whatnot but has anyone used it? They do have a live demo running but I didn't have the patience or intestinal fortitude so early on Sunday to do much more than gawk blankly at it. I'll have to follow up on this one when I have more time. The price is definitely right if it does indeed save drowning babies and win the World Series like the documentation promises.

Soon it will be time for the Super Bowl. It's all Oakland win or lose because I just want to see Jerry Rice play in one more bowl before he retires. Ending brief spasm of sports enthusiasm here.

Why is that I've had to read so much whining about seeing messages when an application is launched from a terminal? It seems like I've seen more than a handful of rants about how horrible it is that people have to see feedback when they start and application from the terminal. Foremost, this is just fucking stupid. There are more than a few "textbox" applications (I use gmrun) that bypass the need for littering your desktops with a kazillion terminals and will spare you the trauma of watching messages appear in the terminal window. I never hear people whining about that stupid hourglass/clock feedback which keeps the click happy from opening thirty instances of a single application. Or maybe you should just slide an icepick gently under your eyelid and wiggle it until everything feels better.

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26Jan/03Off

Shit Is #1

I've heard so much rumbling about calls for the repeal of Roe vs. Wade but it doesn't make any sense to me. Obviously Shrub is not as popular as he once was. He was lucky enough to be the hall monitor around the time of September 11th. Does this make him immune to publicity generated by stick stupid moves? I think not. If you recall the last election, setting aside the trauma of having the election fucking stolen by a smug little group of insiders, both candidates ran on pretty centrist platforms. Shrub didn't say poop about rolling back rights, hamstringing all but the richest of taxpayers, throwing the entire economy in the crapper seemingly overnight, or trying to drum up a holy war on a different country for different reasons on a weekly basis. Sticking his nose into the mechanisms of affirmative action was stupid, coining "axis of evil" was stupid, and trying to alienate a goodly percentage of the women in the US (and a great number of men like me who feel like they shouldn't even have an opinion on abortion until they sprout a uterus) with one manuver that is more likely than not going to be a failure -- it's obviously seppuku even for someone as dense as Dubya.

Maybe I'm missing some obvious piece of the puzzle here because I generally stop digging into Washington politics at a very superficial level. When I'm scooping out the catbox I have no interest in breaking apart the cat litter clumps. They smell bad enough with little investigation from me at all. Poli Sci types can feel free to enlighten the unwashed tech/lit-crit-theory types and make some cohesive, gestalt explanation that will make me feel a little less like I'm existing in some bad science fiction movie about a totalitarian future where shit is #1 and all the humans swim in the fucking toilet (cribbed shamelessly from Sam McPheeters).

This entry may disappear without warning when I've had some sleep.

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25Jan/03Off

Drudgery

I noticed the big slowdown early this morning (when all the real work gets done) but didn't really think that much about it. I guess other people were having a more interesting time of it. The only thing that was obvious to was that the spam pounding slowed down considerably since I usually get two or three every ten minutes in the wee hours. I've been looking through my own logs and as expected the worm was dumb enough to scan me for a port that doesn't exist a couple hundred times a second for a couple of hours. This attack seems less like a planned DDoS and more like an infinite loop because it didn't do any real damage despite being targeted and basically sprayed packets at anything that moved. Better luck next time, kids. Moral of the story: Don't connect MS SQL Server directly to the web and hire some real fucking admins who know what to do when the solution doesn't involve clicking and pointing. Thanks. Oh, yeah, and try to patch your servers every six fucking months or so... It looks like you couldn't sell your soul then either. It's probably for the best.

No Indoctrination seems like a good idea until you start reading the postings. There are indeed bible colleges out there if you really can't deal with live debate and having the less popular opinion. The truly ridiculous part is that it seems to be sociology professors teaching electives that are drawing a good deal of the fire. Ugh.

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25Jan/03Off

Testing The Broken CGI

Test. Please don't break anymore nice perl script...

Update For some reason one paragraph of the post I intended for this space is causing MT to bomb. No idea why...

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25Jan/03Off

Really Really Big Savings..

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25Jan/03Off

Staggering Around The Web Like Godzilla In Tokyo

After clawing my way through the barrage of "feeling you out" assignments that are pretty much a given the first week of the semester I'm starting to feel like school is really in session again. I forget about the incredible amounts of busy work that you commit to when grades are based on percentages. Hooray for pointless tasks.

So, there's an Operating Systems World Map under construction to complement the Debian User World Map which is a cool idea and appeases some of those trolls who insist that Debian users are nothing more than a thinly concealed cult.

Stellarium is totally cool. I'm not even an amateur astronomer but I'm continually fascinated by applications like this and Kstars. The feeling of disorientation that comes along with the realization that there are enormous things and events out there is a necessary jolt when my universe has receded to two feet away from my monitor.

Kenneth Hunt provides more evidence that technology companies are rapidly turning into seas of cubicles full of MBAs playing solitaire. And people call me paranoid...

Hello. I'm a genius. How long will it take before the first angry person fails to read the whole thing and makes an absolute idiot out of themselves by posting an angry rant about this? Would you like that count in seconds or minutes?

Sage advice from someone who probably spends less time debugging than writing code. I've been in that zone way too many times. "Wow. This set of nested loops with a foreach right in the middle of it all is funny. I'm going to laugh for a while. No, actually, this code is a powerful metaphor for my life. I think I'll cry for awhile. Might as well through a couple of extra braces on the end of this just to be sure. Did that coffee cup just move?"

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23Jan/03Off

Rock Or A Reasonable Facsimile

Hey. I rarely mention this here but I play guitar in a band. I just put up a really lame skeleton site here to post some MP3s of some four track stuff we recorded a little while ago. It's rough but I'm pleased with the way it came up given that it is indeed four lousy tracks to audio cassette. It's probably not what you think it is. Oh, the site will get prettier at some point but not tonight. I'll also try to get some Ogg versions of the files up there this week.

Odd synchronicity: j. kinyeta linked up some of his audio work tonight too. It's good trancey stuff that's all original instead of the same recycled loops from the same ten records that are currently causing drunken frat boys to burn up the dance floor. I'm always excited to see people who are cool making things that are cool.

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22Jan/03Off

I Really Want To RTFM But It Doesn’t Have Any Text

As often as people complain about the terseness and unfriendliness of man pages in a *nix environment you'd think that printed manuals that accompany peripherals from giant multinationals would be more instructional. While I have little trouble navigating the sparse world of Linux documentation I nearly destroyed a machine today by following their directions. Actually I did destroy it but had a replacement part handy and was able to cover up my blunder before the user was any wiser. Again I'm able to boil the problem down to the assumption that the user is an idiot. I'd like to think that I'm technically inclined. I manually edit configuration files even under operating systems where that sort of activity is frowned upon and probably illegal. I'm also perfectly capable of reading and comprehending sequential instruction. Slot A, Tab B -- I'm all over that shit. So, why am I breaking equipment during the course of setting it up according to the directions? Pictures, too many god damn pictures.

I was setting up a USB scanner with an add-on document feeder. If not for the horrible manual I could almost forgive the exclusion of any sort of drivers for the device. This is much more forgivable than the NIC I bought which referred you to their website for drivers. Unfortunately, I had to navigate entirely by line drawings. Not exploded diagrams that illustrate how parts fit together and whatnot but simple line drawings. Pull the transparent plastic covering and discard it. Never mind the fact that the layer you're supposed to remove is a filmy layer of protective coating. Never mind that the extra plastic parts included had also molted their protective coatings. I see one piece of transparent plastic located in the exact spot shown in the crappy line drawing. Yup. I yanked off the most crucial piece of the paper path guides. If not for the bonus pieces of primary transparent plastic my document feeder would have been useless. Actually the only way that I figured out how to fix the problem was seeing the extra pieces of plastic. None of the single line sentence fragments gave me the slightest clue that there were even supposed to be extras included in the package or what to do with them. The only instruction I recieved about the plastic part at all was to remove and discard it. Nice.

I was excited to see a little bit of Linux advocacy in the local paper today. I'm not sure that I can endorse the bait and switch tactics regarding MS but it's completely astounding to see any mention of Linux in the oh-so-totally-not cutting-edge Denver Post.

Because I mentioned it in a comment over at j. kenyeta's place I thought I should provide a link to the organization that collects money for starving record companies every time you buy recordable media. If you're one of those fussbudget trolls that likes to bring up the heart breaking tragedy of starving musicians on major labels as some kind of blanket excuse for any ridiculousness: Some of your friends are already this fucked.

More public response to more stupid email: Hello l33t AOLers of the world! Your continual assertions that I am some kind of asshole for selling free software (specifically Debian was amusing the first hundred times. Unfortunately your lack of mad reading comprehension skillz is probably what caused you to overlook this:

Debian creates and provides its entire distribution free of charge. Debian does not manufacture its own CDs, but relies on 3rd party vendors. To make it easier for CD vendors to provide a high quality disk we provide Official CD images for them. This is the only version that has been fully tested by our testing team and is by far the most popular way to buy Debian.

which is conveniently located here in case you're even more stupid than I think. Now go fuck off.

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21Jan/03Off

Hello. My Name Is Exhausted.

Yes. I would like a bar monkey. Eagerly looking forward to the code being posted at the site. Apparently the original site was impetus for some trouble. There aren't specifics but I guess school administrations kinda frown on booze vending machines even if they have user accounts.

There's a two part interview with Guido van Rossum for the reading. He interviews well but probably not as well as Larry Wall but we're all still real glad he's trying.

Do Not Trust This Man With Your Asschip.

Do Not Trust Your ISP.

A real Olympic sport in the comfort of your hoopty, broken office chair. News is prestigious and hardly even so asinine that it makes you want to gouge your own eyes out. I do love the fact that Jacko's publicist is "outraged."

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21Jan/03Off

The Internet Is For Everyone Especially Unicorns

It's officially back-to-school day and I've taken temporary respite from the torrent of lost freshmen pinwheeling around and asking stupid questions. I'm holed up in the library. I needed to get out of the center of the flow for a while and stop absently worrying about confused looking kids. For some reason (too much beer and speed in those crazy 90's?), I still categorized that public display of confusion in the same way that I used to look at tourists unfolding maps on the platform of the NYC subway. Obviously these two are nothing alike but I still get that weird fear when watching helpless little stupids regardless of locale.

That wasn't really the ramble I was intended to ramble off on. Easy to get involved in the peripheral musing and forget about the main bullshit. Because I chose the library for a hiding spot I ended up in the geek section (QA 76 roughly) and grabbed an ancient Lisp book and an equally ancient (at least in cultural terms) book called Digerati. Yeah, I know, don't complain about self inflicted wounds but it seemed like it would be funny at the time. Actually it is/was funny given how little of the "future" has come true. There's a Dave Winer interview in there that's pretty amusing but John Dvorak's bit is what I ended up reading. This is 1996 we're talking about (possibly a year or two before that since that's the publishing date) so the usual grains of salt need to be applied here but, goddamn, it sounds so much like what people are all hung up on these days. Dvorak spends a sizable chunk of his page time talking about the need for technology to cater to Joe Sixpack (actually he uses a cab driver as an example) and his needs. The thing is, dude, what exactly are Joe Sixpack's needs?

Nearly a decade later, the bubble long since burst, this question is still unanswered. I think it's just a terrible question. Admittedly, folks who pay the rent determining this crap have improved their methodology considerably over the years (like actually asking people what they want or like or think) but the canonical solution to all of Joe Sixpack's problems seems to be stripping down user interface to as close to a candy like, shiny button as possible. How many companies need to go under trying to push internet appliances? How many Joe Sixpacks buy the appliances aimed at them? At some point the sticky nuttiness of marketing and sales peanut butter got all mixed up in the chocolaty goodness of technology and an obstinate refusal to acknowledge what is two inches away from the collective face of the technically oriented. Most people are just not fucking interested. The feeling that we'd be giving Joe Sixpack the gift of fire if the interface was just simple enough is not only stupid but condescending to people that it is utterly unimportant to. The solution? There is no fucking solution. Why don't you go sell some nice used cars or something. Thanks.

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20Jan/03Off

Five Points, Four Numbers

first, via memepool I found this little brilliantly shining little piece of very funny manipulation and laughed my ass off for a good ten minutes despite the fact that it's all pretty much true and we're all fucking doomed.

second, cut once, measure twice and that is not meant lightly. This is way too crazy to process and I'm amazed that there is no mention of malpractice.

third, this suddenly makes fonts pretty under Mozilla. It wasn't anything essential but it is kinda nice no matter how tired I am of seeing people talk a bunch of smack about entire operating systems based on their font rendering. It really is time to get over fonts. Really.

fourth, a summary of CD based (also known as 'live') Linux distributions and a jumping in to lightweight web browsers. Now that big shiny castrato *nix has snagged some lightweightness it might be time to review our myriad of options. Nice to see dillo getting more coverage although its aversion to CSS makes it less useful to me than it would be to some folks.

A new semester begins tomorrow and ends my brief (OK, so it was nearly two months) break from reading what I'm supposed to read and not ever sleeping. It was nice but could've been a lot longer.

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20Jan/03Off

In Theory

So, in theory, a particularly noxious troll pesters the hell out of the users of a forum for discussing low cost alternatives to the big (software) guns. As you can probably divine by both the nature of the discussion and the fact that I hang out there at all much of the discussion was focused on Linux or at least alternatives to Microsoft. This particularly noxious troll would continually post flamebait about how open source/free software developers needed to give up and just use Windows with pirated software. Yeah it was pretty annoying but like most trolls also pretty easy to ignore. For some nearly unfathomable reason this troll was actually posting under his real email address. Can you guess what happened?

A certain software company with a history of aggressively pursuing pirates (yo ho ho) nailed his ass to the ground. Don't be stupid, kids.Google will find you. More importantly don't troll a discussion forum and then try to sell copies of pirated software. I feel sorry for the guy even though my sympathy is in direct opposition to the Darwinism necessary to keep our stupid people population as low as possible. Names, locations, and whatnot purposely excluded for the sake of the discussion site (which really is small and prefers to stay that way) and for the obvious legal reasons to not make things worse for the troll then they already are.

Do you like muffins?

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19Jan/03Off

Lying Bastard Numbers

I'm kind of hoping that this stops here. I can't believe the phone company even knuckled under. Since my street address is 420 I'm going to petition the city and get it changed just on the offhand chance that people might think I'm some king hell stoner trustafarian despite the fact that I loathe pot. I'm protecting an image here... Yeesh. It makes me wish that the KY phone company would've just switched the number to all 6's.

My wishlist has officially expanded to a single item. Other than a laptop faster than 366, that is...

This bit of FUD, voodoo, and measurements that don't mean anything is back again for some reason. Once again, every Linux news site is linking it. I did notice a detail this time around that I didn't catch earlier: Aberdeen ignores multiple vulnerabilities per CERT report and simply counts each total report as a vulnerability. Report one and get one free? What exactly is it that consultants do again? I give up.

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19Jan/03Off

While I Was Eating

I'd give some credit for linking to this but I cannot remember where the hell I saw it Adbusters getting into it with Disney about their billboard in Times Square interfering with a movie shoot. Since there is no dating system attached to the Adbusters site I have no idea how recent this is or anything. It's going to be interesting to see what happens when the lawyers come out. I've never been a tremendous fan of the whole "art as an act of revolution" party line so I'm very curious to see how deep those convictions run. Obviously I'm not opposed to Adbusters existing but I will be more critical of their output until they admit that Dru (I was going to link her post about adbusters and weight issues until I discovered that Full Bleed is totally searchless.Ack!) is right and apologize or at least indicate that they understand issues slightly less DUH than "monopolistic capitalism is bad." I'm not kidding.

Loose lips sink ships or something. I'm not sure what the precise moral of this story is but I'm guessing that it's a warning to development companies not to create vaporware. Works for people who give it away as well. Don't make big promises before you have some code behind them. The one that really doesn't apply is about losing the idea to competitors. In the free software world that's the equivalent to the Lazy Web where tools you need are just that -- needed and not a potential cash cow. He does address this and quite a few other related points saliently so go read it and stop making me feel like a sports caster. Sheesh.

I'm going to temporarily suspend my moratorium on talking about Safari and mention this somewhat ingenious solution to the tabbed browsing problem. I won't go into the lack of integrated virtual desktops, the default to a single button mouse (like control clicking is inherently easier to understand than a scroll wheel or another button), and the many other problems I have with the "ease of use" design of the Apple interface though because that would be another nitpicking rant that no one wants to read.

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19Jan/03Off

Trackback and Forth

Reciprocal Test! to make sure that everyone is getting their ping on.

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19Jan/03Off

Trouble Right Here In River City

I feel like an idiot. I had no idea until Aaron pointed it out to me that my trackback stuff was non-functional. I think it's fixed now and was just a matter of creating a template. If anyone would like to ping this post and help me figure out if I've done this correctly or need to get out the bigger size monkey wrench I'd appreciate it.

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18Jan/03Off

Damn Protestant Work Ethic

I'm working on the band website (no link because it's very larval at this stage unless you're really interested in seeing my horrible indentation methodology on the style sheet) and realizing that I'm completely insane when it comes to "getting things done." If any of you have ever dealt with me in a real life sense you probably know what I mean. I compulsively email people about trivial bugs in their site templates. I will answer any question thrown at me in more than 300 words. I will generally drive everyone around me crazy about any vaguely technology related issue. This is the sort of epiphany that you have at 3 in the morning when you're giving another pot of coffee serious consideration but hesitate when you realize that you've got to be some degree of functional by noon later today.That same pointless obsessiveness seems to triple when I'm actually working on one of my own projects. Hours whiz by and I don't even think about sleeping.

Speaking of the band site, there should be something up by sometime next week. I just got all the domain registration stuff nailed down three hours ago. We just listened to a mixed down 4 track recording and there's at least one song out of the three that is worth making available. It is a rough recording (by my standards anyhow) but I'm pretty enthusiastic about documenting things as they happen. Most people aren't compelled to make this sort of documentation public and I am not by any means an exhibitionist but it's a sort of air clearing exercise. It's fun to say that you don't care about opinions on your output (whatever that might be -- like the box in Following everyone has output of some kind) but it's completely false. I just like to get the awkward part out of the way. I feel that way about first shows with a new band as well. Did things go well? I dunno. No one threw up and nothing was broken permanently. For a first show that is a total success. It will never be perfect and it's a little like being jumped in to a band but at least it's over, right?

I swear this one is going to validate. It will! This is, of course, assuming that I finish the basic framework before next week when the semester resumes and my toils in the trenches of litcrit begin again.

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17Jan/03Off

Agents Of Satan

Even porn hosts are becoming Linux activists. Hey, they hate proprietary GUI server interfaces too. Unfortunately, they recommend IIS over Apache because

Porn developers with complex database requirements however turn to Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 with Internet Information Server 4.0, to provide the highest level of performance for serving both static and dynamic content.

Um, yeah, this article is a little dated to take as fact put it's pretty funny. I guess the whole lag on the Linux version of the pr0n peer to peer client must be discouraging them...

It's a little hard to believe that Microsoft has never previously paid dividends. People are all excited about it although their immortal souls will soon be under a shrinkwrap license and Clippy their new spiritual advisor. I guess now that they officially own the government there's no reason no to shell out a few cents a share especially given that money storage shortfall in Redmond. Since it takes less effort -- whatev.

I kind of like the idea behind Checky if only to see all two hundred and something errors come up when I try to validate this very site but for some reason it only shows up in root. Since I am connected to the web exactly never when in a root X session I don't think this plug-in is quite functional for *nix folks. Then again I'm so tired right now that I'm seeing little clear bats swoop through my peripheral vision so it might be a problem with the framework somewhere. It is a good idea I just wish it worked for me without entailing a horrendous security risk. Funny because I know so many people who default into administrator accounts on Windows boxen. I think the "no root X sessions" thing has been pounded into my head for so long that I start mentally counting whenever I use the PPPoE client in root. OK. Good. Some other kind soul has already filed a bug report for it. That is my cue to go the hell to bed.

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16Jan/03Off

And How Is This Shit Different?

Looks like Lindows is fucking up pretty hard and fast. Substituting their fearless leader as the keynote speaker instead of Bruce Perens? Huge changes in agenda at the last minute? Oh no, I don't think that's acceptable. Desktop Linux is pulling out of the summit which is nothing less than expected.

Based on this blatant disregard for the Advisory Board, which we felt was crucial to the vendor-neutrality of the conference, and the unilateral substitution of a completely new agenda, which is, of course, the heart of the conference, DesktopLinux.com no longer can lend its good name and dynamic community to supporting the event. Lindows.com is certainly within their rights to host a conference on any subject whatsoever, but DesktopLinux.com is committed to the principle of vendor neutrality in its editorial content and initiatives, and our continued support for the conference as its major media sponsor would constitute a violation of the trust that the community places in our objectivity.

I look forward eagerly to the demise of Lindows and a chance to chuckle heartily at whatever wild goose Robertson goes chasing next. I did notice that there was an addition of "Agenda and Speakers subject to change" added to the speaker listings at the summit site. Ass covering...

I had to do a Visual Studio .Net install on a CIS instructor's machine at work today. Do you think MS could make an installation routine that didn't break while looking for files in the top level of a directory? In any case IIS is active on that machine so I'm sure it'll be owned in a couple of weeks and then I can start the joyous three hour process all over again. Wunnerful. Nothing like downloading every security patch in the past year just in case the installer might need them. No list, no specificity, nothing but the dumb and persistent command to patch is what you're confronted with. I'd though about installing it on that lonely neglected partition but it just seems like far more trouble than its worth. I did have the chance to shame one of the CIS instructors when he asked me what tools I, the English major loser, used for writing code. "Emacs, a compiler, and often Doxygen," I said. Then I bashed his brains out with a copy of a Unix V manual. Well, not really...

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