Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

30Nov/04Off

Meanwhile At The Shit Sandwich Buffet

I just realized earlier today that there are only two weeks left in the semester. Of course, being in the middle of a huge pile of last minute work seems much worse when considering this. I'm sort of glad that none of the new toys are likely to arrive until the semester has ended because the burn out and allure of new things to play with would be too much.

I actually set aside a little time tonight to mess with a couple parts of the site that aren't working the way I want them to. Unfortunately the new hosting company is being somewhat balky about giving my account SSH access. cPanel works well most of the time but the editor has the habit of adding stray newlines at the beginning of files. When you're editing PHP scripts this is the bad thing and your scripts tend to break. I had that problem when I moved the Midcentury site over to this server and it took me a couple of days to figure out what the problem was. The weird part is that the newlines aren't exactly visible in the cPanel editor so deleting them is an exercise in parking the cursor against a block of text and pounding the delete key until you hit text again. I've found six or seven blank newlines at the beginnings and ends of files. The permissions utility is a little bit on the buggy side as well which was more of a problem when I was using my old host but they were more than happy to give me SSH access the second I asked for it. I get tons of space and more bandwidth than I really know what to do with but I really do miss the folks at PureNRG. So, instead of additional functionality you get me complaining and checking my mail client every ten minutes in hopes of some news.

I bought a Handspring Visor Edge today for a very small dollar amount and I'm looking forward to tinkering with it. It's old but it will more than handle the things that I want to do with it (beats a million scribbled on scraps of paper in every pocket) and will let me mess with some of the PalmOS utilities for Linux. Now all I need is one of those cases that attaches to my belt and I'm the mayor of Dork City. I'm also thinking that it will helpful for dealing with Palm support issues at work since the only time I ever deal with the PalmOS is when it's malfunctioning. I wrote documentation once for a client to connect our super-duper crappy mail-calendaring software to Palm devices by sitting down with a PDA and the single page of PDF instructions. Why did you port scan the calendar server? Uhhhh.... because I needed to know what port it listened on?

Still no word from the overlords of the server so I will stagger off to bed.

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29Nov/04Off

Mild To Moderate Testing

For the fuck of it since many are mentioning it and it takes all of a couple seconds I decided to check out Blogsome. It really is a couple of second process and works very well for testing purposes. I'm not exactly sure what the future holds so I can't very well recommend it for those wanting to set up full time shop as their terms of service plainly point out:

Termination
We strongly recommend that you keep backup copies of any information you post on blogsome.com as blgosome.com may at its sole discretion and at any time discontinue providing the blog hosting service (whether due to systems failure or not), or any other services, with or without notice.

so don't get all crazy if your shit disappears. I'm going to poke around a little bit as time allows today so if you want to see what I'm breaking Test Murder exists for the moment. Kubrick is the default theme which I changed but I'm sure that some people would love to dive in up to their elbows on an install that isn't permanent.

SCO got popped yet again and Netcraft has the poop. Again, this is pretty funny but ultimately a little like beating the proverbial dead horse. I'm glad they got a shot of it since everything seems restored over at the site of the damned. I hate saying it but: Nice crack, man.

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28Nov/04Off

Not Doing What I’m Supposed To Be Doing

In an effort to fill out more of those annoying "which thing are you" quizzes I filled out one of them entitled "Which Kind Of Blogger Are You?" I was offended by the use of the oh-so-totally-annoying term 'blogger' but that annoyance was eclipsed by the annoyance I felt at the result. Apparently, I am a Snarky Blogger which, judging from the illustration accompanying it, means that I am some kind of anime porn character described by an adjective that's seeming laudatory when applied to oneself and an insult when used by others in reference to you. Sounds about fucking perfect. I'm not bothering with the drawing for the obvious reasons...

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28Nov/04Off

Funny But Unessential

I'm going to have to agree with the Newsforge folks on this story about a SCO defacement over the holiday. While the screen shot is funny it really isn't necessary at this point since the days of SCO being anything other than a new synonym for the failure of the litigation as product strategy is rapidly approaching. On the other hand, it was a fairly benign defacement given that most of the original content was still there with a little bit of text altered. More of a prank than anything else but I'm sure the spin machine is already cranking up to transform this into another PR blitz about the lack of respect Linux have for property. It would have worked just as well as a Gimp alteration. Too bad because I have more respect for humor than most anything else these days.

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28Nov/04Off

The Break Is Broken

Damn. I'm one quarter of the way through the things I needed to accomplish over break and here it is early Sunday morning. I wish I could at least say that I've done some quality goofing around and entertaining myself but I've actually been pretty industrious excepting the actual holiday when unreasonable quantities of food and beer were consumed. Papers comparing Augustine and Erasmus, on the other hand, were not written. As time passes I have more difficulty writing things intended for lower division classes as the scope of those sorts of assignments, intended to give you, as a student, as much wriggling room as possible, is just too expansive. They always end up being twice as long as they should be and without coherent focus. This probably speaks volumes about my weaknesses as a student but I'd much rather write 3000 words about a single work or a semi-defined topic than I would slog through another 4 or 5 page junk drawer of a paper for yet another survey class.

This is tedious, though. You should instead spend some quality time with the amazingly configurable and programmable farting nun organ. It is massively impressive in its power and pointlessness.

I also made the mistake of ordering a couple major pieces of hardware (for me at least) right before the holiday weekend and knowing that my stuff is just sitting there somewhere far away while the people that would normally be packing and assembling my order are taking a well deserved couple of days off is not exactly validating Mises' blind consumer of terror. It really is a mistake to order things right before a major holiday. I want my stuff and I don't really deserve except for the grace of a better late than never financial aid disbursement. First pay off credit cards and then buy crap. I guess I could be spending my money on even more pointless things though. I actually spent the dough on a better mobo for the new machine for the first time, well, ever and I'm anticipating the thing actually dodging the performance bullet that usually dogs a new processor two weeks after you buy it. I'm the slowest of slow adopters but I couldn't resist doubling the processing power for what amounts to, in terms of technology anyway, chump change. It's a habit I'd love to break but that probably won't ever happen.
I also redid the banner thing at the top of the page. I want to redo the entire site but I confined myself to something that I could peck away when I needed a break from paper generating. I actually made five or six different ones that didn't work with the present scheme. There are a couple that I was quite fond of so avoiding the waste of that work might actually motivate me to revise this monochrome nightmare during the Christmas break.

Speaking of which, the new features for Gimp2.2 look pretty bad ass. I'm looking forward to jumbling things up with it. The ico handling and clearing of the undo history are worth the price of admission all on their own.

Unfortunately I've gotta be up in a mere handful of hours so my goofing off is limited to this. Yoon and I also had a couples massage today and I discovered that I don't hate massages. I hate back rubs. Now. Sleep.

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25Nov/04Off

A Note To The Meme Whores

I stumbled upon this post explaining the situation with the whole lost frog meme that will not die. The scoop:

The person who drew the flier is a sixteen-year-old boy who suffers from autism. His father was unaware that his son may have made more than one batch of fliers (it appears that new fliers were hung in May of 2004). He did know about the loss of the frog and I believe that he knew about the first batch of fliers.

He also did not want me to give the frog to his son. He's forgotten it, he told me. Bringing it up again will probably only bring up a bunch of bad memories.

He was quite unaware of the interest in the frog and the flier on the internet. He reiterated that he did not think it would be a good idea to show the sites to his son.

Please stop calling them. I wish more people would link to this or mention it to try to prevent that family any more "heh heh" grief from the masses of bored click and droolers. Maybe it would be worthwhile to start up a little fund to pass along some money to the family to have their number (assuming that the one on the flier is even still valid) changed or whatever? I don't know but revelations like this make me consider allegedly funny things a lot more closely.

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23Nov/04Off

Not Because You Suck Now But Because You’ve Always Sucked

via Adrants: the link to those NetZero commercials is right here. They're funny, abrasive (not in the campaign trail guy that NetZero has used. No one likes that fucker) and probably in direct endangerment by lawyers paid in incredible shrinking stock options. I really need to start a bookie business that takes bets on how long controversial and lawsuitrific materials will be publicly available.

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23Nov/04Off

Take Me Where I May Forget Myself

There's an interesting article about camera phone technology used by Amazon Japan that gives people more information on a product via the bar code. I found this article after it was mentioned on TechDirt and they took the speculation a couple of steps further into a theoretical "snap to buy" idea. That tendency that people have to want to lay hands on something before they buy it and then, reassured, order it from an online source has the brick and mortar types worried.

I usually do exactly the opposite, though, because I'm impatient for delivery. Even more often I will use a source like Amazon or Crucial for my own research and then buy the same product for a more reasonable price somewhere else. That is one problem that online sellers are always going to have versus the immediate gratification factor of a physical shop: they have to lay most of their cards on the table in terms of descriptions and specifications that they offer in lieu of an actual product to sell you. I will never buy anything directly from Crucial but being able to look up the compatibility of nearly any mobo on the market is mighty handy. Could someone look at this post and then remove that information? Not really because giving that sort of information away is what Crucial has to do in order to sell their product. CompUSA or a place like it, on the other hand, simply has to offer me the same product minus useful information by the virtue of vicinity and being open for business when I need them to be.

Anyway, all of the articles I linked above have interesting points and theories in them but I think that most marketing theory whether mostly joking or mostly not is an oversimplification of the real world and the continually evolving way that people react to having near instant access to an incredible amount of questionably useful information. Anyone else have any e-commerce sites they visit just for information?

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23Nov/04Off

In Your Free Time, Clean Up My Mess

The comment spamming is really, really terrible right now with enough of them slipping through the Spaminator as effective as it is most times and making an incredibly huge moderation junk pile for me. Oh, I'm not just bitching here -- if you're leaving legitimate comments here please realize that it's going to take me a little while to get around to approving them. I'm trying not to unintentionally delete anything but if the ridiculousness continues over the next couple of days I might have to just shut the comments off for a while -- at least until I have the patience to deal with them in a way that doesn't mess with people making valid points and adding much needed clarity to the things I post here. The twenty or so notification emails that I get in the space of five minute intervals isn't making me more patient. I'd shut it off but then I'd actually miss the false positives. Spammers must die possibly by having tons of interestdging stuff dropped on them in their free time. Maybe some authentic fake Rolex watches? Flung from atop the Empire State Building?

23Nov/04Off

Freedom Of Speech Cannot Come Out And Play Right Now

Fuck. This little bit of unearthed dirt that came my way via the ubiquitous and oh-so-totally annoying Slashdot. The first glance at the summary at /. and then the article they're referring to had me a little nervous until my reading comprehension emerged from the shell that it hides in while I'm in front of a computer and I realized both were talking about color laser printers. Given the fact that I just ordered my first laser printer in many moons earlier today it wigged me out a little. That isn't to say that manufacturers aren't building the same technology into the monochrome ones but I get a little bit of out of sight out of mind comfort from that difference.

It makes me wonder if the XP 2000+ 3200+ bare bones I bought today is going to be full of tracking devices and audio bugs. Yeesh. Timing really is everything. I tend to synch up with cheap with few regrets other than those due late adopters that get the goodies just in time to meet the backlash head on.

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22Nov/04Off

BlogsNow Meets Spammers

Wow. Looks like BlogsNow got spammed pretty heavily as most of the top results are actually pages of links from Yahoo! Japan auctions. I can't wait to hear how that hack worked. As annoying as it might be for the moment a lot can (usually) be learned from these sorts of spamming/crap flooding attacks. Most of the top twenty are from that domain which is lucky since it only means banning a single domain.

22Nov/04Off

Fork, Branch, And Vomit

I sat down earlier tonight with the intent of writing an angry screed about the Linux kernel forking article that's been bounced around at quite a few places. It's pretty "journalism" in the sense that the writer is taking advantage of a couple of terms being transposed that are entirely different things: fork and branch. Lucky for all parties involved P.J already did all of the work over at GrokLaw and no one has to read another of my lame brained attacks on tech journalism. It still sucks but I'm glad that there are more attentive ears listening than there have been in the past.

Now that I can cross that off my to-do list I can move on to other filthy tasks like moving the Midcentury site to the new server and cleaning the cat vomit off my backpack. The latter really, really sucks and I can't even blame the speed of DNS propagation for that one. There are a fair number of lame comments attached to the GrokLaw article but I can't really think about that much more because the kitten is nervous and keeps throwing up. Please send bleach.

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21Nov/04Off

Google Has Gone Backwards In Time To Determine The Most Fitting Advertising


This is really strange since I've had zero interest in the Dead Kennedys since junior high school but this is a set of Google Ads that keeps coming up from my Audioscrobbler page. I thought it was some momentary glitch or something but the same set reappeared four or five times. The pairing of the keyword(s) with something like "shopping.com" is just too bizarre to be chance. Although I haven't even thought about the DKs since the last time I scratched their name on a notebook in seventh grade somehow this is relevent to either searches that I've done in the past or the zeitgeist of my musical tastes. Neither seems right. I hate to slap on the tinfoil beanie for something so insignificant but I think I'm going to purge a goodly number of cookies. Yeesh.

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20Nov/04Off

In Order To Fix Your Pipes We Had To Destroy Your Weekend

Unfortunately we live on the corner of an alley meaning that the outside wall of our duplex forms one side of a very narrow alley. To add to the misery one of the waste water mains for the neighborhood is in this alley. On Friday it broke and since then there have been hordes of construction workers swarming all around our house all day and night. I came home messy drunk from the one year anniversary show at the Hi-Dive and still managed to get next to zero sleep. I did get to see The Symptoms last night so that makes it a little easier. I just wish that their recordings (and I'm not saying they're by any means bad) could adequately deliver the live show experience. Denver sucks less these days.

The hangover is starting to recede and I may well be dragged to the second night of festivities at the Hi Dive. PBRs are a thin dollar so it's pretty hard to argue with that sort of draw.

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18Nov/04Off

I Should Just Title This ‘Spacer.gif’

There has been entirely too much studying in my life this week and a lot of other things that are a lot more interesting shoved aside in order to cram in things that I wanted removed from my brain and incinerated as soon as possible. Disinterest is sinking in.

I finally got Evolution 2 working after wrangling with a whole mess of decidedly unhelpful error messages. The trick? You need to add the port number to the mail host listing. This is just plain weird behavior since 110 is pretty standard for POP3, no? The weirder part is that all of this stuff worked without adjustment in the 1.x versions and another account that uses IMAP works just fine without any tweaking whatsoever. Feature? Bug? On the upside of things, Evolution seems much quicker in its newer form, doesn't get all crashy when I'm speed deleting spam (what happens when you point too many domains to a single mail address -- no filtering is ever going to keep up with it all), and plays nice alongside the older version so if I do get annoyed with the differences I can always go back to 1.x temporarily and know that the little migration wizard will show up to synch everything up. The funny part is that I really use Evolution as a mail client and the new button interface works out great for me because I never have to use any of them and it keeps all of the other crap out of the way.

Someone mentioned Darwinia to me a couple days ago. The site doesn't really have much of interest up at the moment and the description manages to hit some of the buzzwords but... Well, the screenshots are certainly pretty. I did adore Uplink so this one might lure me in as well especially if they don't use that stupid black on black printing method for the registration numbers. Print that shit on a sticker and put that sticker on the jewel case. That way I don't lose the stupid registration grid and hate your company for making it trivially easy to type up the grid. Grrr...treat me like a pirate and I will fast become one. Guess that should be an Arrr and somebody should be walking a plank.

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15Nov/04Off

I Am Trying Not To Break The Bank

I've seen the Wired article with the tagline "Music is not a loaf of bread" a couple of times mainly from BlogsNow and whatnot but it wasn't until Matt linked it and did everyone the service of mentioning that it was about Wilco that I even bothered to read it. When I think of Wired I still think of the dot com boom and the huge hangover that followed like some horrific prom night motel room blowout forever lurking at the blurred periphery of memory like the original was shot with a Vaseline petroleum jelly smeared lens. It ain't soft focus chocolates n' flowers but it does get better when I brave the still atrocious layout and color scheme and actually read what is written there. I always assume that Wired will do the right thing in spirit but they usually fuck it up in delivery. They're lucky because Jeff Tweedy who you either love or hate already is stepping in to say the things we need to hear:

WN: What if the efforts to stop unauthorized music file sharing are successful? How would that change culture?

Tweedy: If they succeed, it will damage the culture and industry they say they're trying to save.

What if there was a movement to shut down libraries because book publishers and authors were up in arms over the idea that people are reading books for free? It would send a message that books are only for the elite who can afford them.

Stop trying to treat music like it's a tennis shoe, something to be branded. If the music industry wants to save money, they should take a look at some of their six-figure executive expense accounts. All those lawsuits can't be cheap, either.

You'd be very hard pressed to find an argument against the litigation industry presented as plainly and cogently as that. Ok, I'm fucking bookmarking Wired again. Fuckers.

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15Nov/04Off

Not The Slightest Bit Country

If you haven't checked out The Urban Archipelago yet which is probably the case since it went up this weekend please do. It really is, in many ways, a more staid restatement of many of the arguments made by Fuck The South. I've read it a couple of times over the weekend and despite the weird Ayn Randisms that keep popping out at me I keep finding oh-so-totally memorable things contained within:

In cities all over America, distressed liberals are talking about fleeing to Canada or, better yet, seceding from the Union. We can't literally secede and, let's admit it, we don't really want to live in Canada. It's too cold up there and in our heart-of-hearts we hate hockey. We can secede emotionally, however, by turning our backs on the heartland. We can focus on our issues, our urban issues, and promote our shared urban values. We can create a new identity politics, one that transcends class, race, sexual orientation, and religion, one that unites people living in cities with each other and with other urbanites in other cities. The Republicans have the federal government--for now. But we've got Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City (Bloomberg is a Republican in name only), and every college town in the country. We're everywhere any sane person wants to be. Let them have the shitholes, the Oklahomas, Wyomings, and Alabamas. We'll take Manhattan.

I live in one of those blue cities embedded in a solidly red state and I wholeheartedly agree.

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14Nov/04Off

The Day I Accidentally Extracted A Bad Tooth

I've been overtaken by an attack of laziness this weekend. I am happy to say that all of my machines are now running the 2.6.9 kernel. It's something that I've been procrastinating about for quite a while mainly due to the nvidia driver being such an unholy piece of shit. It looks like most of those problems have been worked out because I only had to compile the kernel for this machine once. This has more to do with my own shortcomings than those of any kernel developer or Gentoo maintainer. There's only so much sympathy you can have with someone who forgets to add USB support to his kernel configuration. Bleh. It is nice to be running an up-to-date stable kernel for the first time in six months or so. I shouldn't be so proud of myself for getting everything working the first time around but I secretly am. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone.

There's an interesting (gasp!) article over at OS News that gives a pretty decent overview of Gambas, a Basic IDE with some common design goals with Visual Basic. I've always been pretty curious about this project and went as far to install it once and promptly forgot all about it until it conflicted with something else I wanted to install and got rid of it. This really makes me wish I had the time right now to play around with it. Maybe Christmas break will be a little less hectic than usual and I can do some fiddling. Go check out the article, though. No matter how much shit I talk about that site they do have some interesting articles on occasion. Just don't read the comments.

I also added a /~ category at the very top of the side panel. That's where all of the contact info and personal shit you wouldn't be interested in will be contained. Feel free to annoy the fuck out of me so I can add you to my ignore/ban list.

For some reason I feel like I've seen Good Logo before but I have no idea when or why. I love sites like this that basically geek out on any topic other than technology or politics. I'm sort of a logo freak myself although I disagree with many of their top rated logos -- Sussy?!. I still enjoy reading other people's reasons for appreciating things as over designed and overtly commercial as logo design/typography. There is still far much printer lurking under my skin. I might just be easily amused.

11Nov/04Off

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em

For once I'm going to join in the listing thing as Bob did and join in the book meme. I live a life largely in books so this one is applicable for a change. The "What Am I" quizzes will soon follow no doubt.

Hardback or Paperback
To begin with, I'm currently in school as an English Literature major so I carry around a fair number of books on a daily basis. My lower back loves paperbacks. My favorite format for actually reading is the trade paperback. It's exactly the right size for handling as some of the smaller additions are pretty easy to drop.

Highlight or Underline
Highlighting is probably one of the most idiotic things people do in college. It's far too easy to highlight huge chunks of text that you're never going to read again. I've seen used textbooks with highlighting that looked like it was applied with a paintbrush. I underline and annotate.

Lewis or Tolkien
Tolkien is much more enjoyable reading.

E.B. White or A.A. Milne
Ummmmm....

T.S. Eliot or e.e. cummings
One is amusing on the first read and the other might be entirely full of shit. Cummings relies too often on clever.

Stephen King or Dean Koontz
As Koontz is one of the worst pop fiction writers I've ever tried to read I'm going to default to Stephen King. Although King definitely sticks to well trod devices and seldom surprises anyone the man can develop characters very well. That may be the single redeeming thing about many of his books. I've given some of his later books a whirl as brainless bus reading but the writer who could concoct characters that you cared about seems absent from the text.That might be an age thing both for King and I.

Barnes & Noble or Borders
If I'm going to get my hands dirty with the big boys I usually just opt for Amazon. I'm a complete non-believer in the necessity of little indie bookstores as they tend to pay their workers starvation wages.

Waldenbooks or B. Dalton
See above.

Fantasy or Science Fiction
Science fiction is usually a safer bet.

Horror or Suspense
Horror.

Bookmark or Dogear
Both. The bookmark keeps the place and dogeared pages are the ones that I need to revisit. Reading a book after I've finished with it generally isn't worth it.

Hemingway or Faulkner
Both of them have their well known defects but how can you pit something like As I Lay Dying against A Movable Feast and expect a clear winner. I love both of those books dearly although I enjoy Faulkner on the whole more than old Ernie. I think it's criminal that most people have no further acquaintance with Faulkner than the often anthologized "A Rose for Emily." It really isn't his best work and doesn't really represent what he became capable of.

Fitzgerald or Steinbeck
Fitzgerald was a one hit wonder and even the hit wasn't that great. I recently re-read The Grapes of Wrath and it was much more engaging the second (or third?) time around.

John Irving or John Updike
I oh-so-totally don't care. Don Delillo.

Homer or Plato
Plato. The Republic is one my favorite books.

Geoffrey Chaucer or Edmund Spenser
By the time I finished reading Canterbury Tales not only was Middle English much less daunting but I began to get some of the humor in many of the tales. I think that the humor which is very hard to understand given the lingual and other complications with the text. Spenser is Spenser. I'm not a huge fan of Christian allegorical writing and I've been required to read a shit ton of it.

Pen or Pencil
Pencils are for Scantrons, drawing, and absolutely nothing else.

Looseleaf or Notebook
The idea of dealing with looseleaf paper terrifies me and always makes me think of those collision in a hallway scenes in movies where an entire novel or dissertation is scattered into chaos.

Alphabetize: By Author or By Title?
Neither. I don't alphabetize. Maybe when I have sufficient bookshelf space for all of the books but right now they're organized by the stack and stuff methodology.

Dustjacket: On or Off?
Take it off and pitch it in the trash.

Novella or Epic?
Usually epic although right now I'm reading Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories.

John Grisham or Scott Turow?
Kill them all and let god sort 'em out.

J.K. Rowling or Lemony Snicket
Ibid.

Fiction or Non-fiction
Non-fiction about fiction? I'm a student so I read more critical articles from literary journals than I'm happy to admit. I tend to read fiction because I want to and non-fiction because I want to know about something.

Historical Biography or Historical Romance
Biography, by a huge margin. My plate is too damned full already and there needs to be some value in what I read.

A Few Pages per Sitting or Finish at Least a Chapter
I read really, really fast so usually between 30-50 pages in a sitting. I don't like being interrupted when a major event or revelation is happening in the story.

Short Story or Creative Non-fiction Essay
I'd usually default to the essay as short stories aren't my favorite. Essays usually provoke some kind of reader engagement while short stories are often convenient ways to waste twenty minutes.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"
Both would make me stop reading with equal rapidity.

Buy or borrow
Buy. People tend to get pissed off when you fold, spindle, and annotate their books. I like to keep the friends I have.

Book Reviews or Word of Mouth
I hate reading book reviews. I like talking to people about what they've read and knowing that if I do read what they recommend at least one person I know will be able to talk about it with me.

10Nov/04Off

I’m Not Asking For Pre-Digestion But Some Fucking Navigational Clues Might Be Nice

Another short gap between classes here and I was catching up on all of the Planets that I should be reading on a regular basis and had a realization of sorts. It's something that I normally try to do with somewhat limited success because my intent to practice good habits versus my memory and patience weighs out exactly the way you'd think it would plus I think that it's one of my more irritating weblogging habits: when you're speaking about something that's changed a couple of times in the past, for reasons, try to mention the things that you've transitioned from and the reasons that you've made those changes in the past.

For one, that makes your weblog a whole lot more search engine surfer friendly -- it gives some instant context to those who came in looking for your reasons and other things you've tried instead of the actual occurrence. I supremely doubt whether many of us that operate non-LiveJournal or Blogger weblogs (and I don't mean to disparage those hosts at all since I know an increasing number of people that write at sites hosted there without [incessantly] posting kitty pictures or publicly obsessing over mundane daily minutiae) still seriously think that people we don't know are trying to piece together chronologies of what actually transpires during the course of our days, so maybe trying to help our imaginary readership in figuring that out without reading a dozen entries might be nice or at very least more pragmatic. Shit, what more could you possibly hope for than someone finding something useful amongst the torrents of blah blah blah?

Two, or rather as an addition to what I mentioned above: When you mention the factors that, for example, influenced your decision to change Linux distributions or buy a different kind of car or move to Canada, you might also think about adding some kind of navigational aid other than pinging back your own weblog a half dozen times. This isn't just because I think that stuff is obnoxious as hell (and Aaron, as much I as I truly loved the guy, is a fine example of how not to go about this because he fucking reveled in obscurity and outward opacity) and I would like to know how you got somewhere but I'm honestly kinda lazy when it comes to reading weblogs closely. I think most people are. There isn't an examination afterwards and they're largely (individual posts, not the entire spectrum of the weblog world) on personal relationships to larger topics and intended for immediate consumption. It doesn't help that most of us are are amateur writers with the goal of getting something out there or out of our systems rather than writing a cohesive/instructive piece of composition when this shit gets slapped together.

Uh, blah blah blah. I intended to write more than a paragraph or two here nor for this to turn into some horribly verbose and lecure-rific caricature or its original purpose: it was supposed to be a suggestion for fellow webloggers. So, uh, the one sentence summary: when you write on topics that other people might find useful enough to Google finish the job you lazy, sloppy bastards; don't be cryptic and think about connecting your ideas together in a way that doesn't require an intimate knowledge of either you or your topic. Don't dumb it down but make fucking sense, I guess. That was two doh! three but I'm hungry, and tired, and running out of time and full of goddamn conjunctions. I'll have the time and mental ability for coherency when lecturing you about the same when I'm dead.

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10Nov/04Off

Working At Work Is For Chumps

None of the folks that I'm supposed to help with their nebulous problems that can never be reproduced and don't log to the event viewer. That leaves me with time to mess around and the link dump follows.

I really do try to avoid OS News as much as humanly possible because it's generally mean spirited and filled with junk articles that rehash the same "the installer was not very fun" sort of reviews that you can see elsewhere with less blinky advertising causing temporary blindness. This opinion piece about RMS and the GPL is just so breathtakingly clueless that I have to link it up. You really should give it a skim. The use of case sensitivity as an issue for Linux adoption is fantastic. I guess it's either OS News or BBspot for this stuff. At least one of them is intentionally funny. I'm a complete supporter of uplifting the poo.

Although Fuck The South has been linked like mad in places much more often visited than this it is really a piece of art. This is wonderful evidence that a piece of opinion can be angry, scathing, and still function as a deliver mechanism for a cogent train of thought. Ann Coulter might want to learn from this example. Thank you.

MacDevCenter has a pretty interesting article on creating weblogging software with Tk and Perl. This is notable, to me, mainly because it's aimed at a Mac audience. I usually find articles discussing the logic of piecing together components of an application interesting as the process of plunking out little applications to serve a personal purpose is typically more interesting in process than in the results. Unfortunately, only the first part is up which talks almost exclusively about interface and not the core functionality of the application. Hopefully I'll actually remember to check out the next installment no matter how much that runs contrary to the rules of conceivable likelihood.

In a comment attached to a post over at Old New Thing one of Raymond's readers inadvertently answers a question that has annoyed me for a very long time. The "why windows doesn't recognize my USB device if plugged into another port" question that frames the whole post I've long since written off as a simple Windows stupidity as no other operating system I've ever used has been so insistent on lording over PnP hardware but the revelation of the Registry key that allows you to overcome the horrible death trap of USB devices with duplicate serial numbers is good stuff. Rebooting the machine to deal with the problem is completely unacceptable. Dealing with the hardware soup of a Windows environment has really made me think a lot harder about design decisions I make. Besides the money part that might be the only positive aspect of my job.

I've been using some of the OS X machines at work when I'm out on campus and, like now, I don't have any particular agenda. Safari is generally an OK piece of software and seems to have to no problems with some sites that earlier versions of Firefox had trouble with. The functionality is there but some of the design decisions baffle me. Like the lack of an URL preview in the frame of the main application window. Why would you keep that a secret? Are the big league phishers cutting you a check or something? The little tiny back and forward buttons (yes, I'm aware that these are defaults but...) are millimeters away from the close button. That is just bad, bad, bad. Otherwise, I really like the browser. It's as fast as Konqueror and has tabbing which none of the Windows boxes in the student labs do, being stuck on IE and prehistoric versions of Netscape. I'm still not drinking the Kool-Aid but it beats the hell out of XP. It helps that Python is installed on all of them as well.

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10Nov/04Off

Three Hits From Hell

A couple of things that make life considerably easier:

1. Kitten's Spaminator - I've used a bunch of plugins from MooKitty for dealing with the increasingly messy world of even allowing comments but this is the one that pretty much removes the administrator from the equation. I do have it set to mail me in order to catch potential false positives but otherwise it is automagic. This is pretty much perfect because the volume of crapflooding has gone through the roof over the past couple of weeks. They don't seem to be getting any smarter but the persistence is almost admirable. If you're running WordPress this plugin is pretty much required.

2. Koders is a search engine for source code. It allows you to search by language and license which is nice. Looks like they're going to actually sell the software for internal use in commercial applications but this is already a helluva lot handier than the blunt instrument that Google is for these sorts of searches.

3. Yotoshi is a search engine for torrents and other more legally complicated things. It was formerly called Bitoogle (note to people developing anything search related: don't slap 'oogle' on the end of name of things. The joke is a little old at this point and the main 'oogle' seems a little lawyer happy when it comes to naming) and it looks like (it's been a while since I've used it) they've added KaZaA searches to the toolkit as well. I'm not sure I'd ever use the latter but the torrent search is pretty damn handy.

Filed under: General, New To Me 1 Comment
8Nov/04Off

That Hole In The Ground Is No Longer Your Ass, Pilgrim

Sometimes you need to actually look at the people in your clip art, stock stills pictures and know who they are. Then again, I wouldn't have laughed quite so hard. From the Trend Watching newsletter...

8Nov/04Off

AllResearch Needs To Go Away

Another great thing about having sparkling fresh logs is that you catch fuckers like AllResearch sucking down your bandwidth in 24.39 MB chunks. They'll also rat you out to law enforcement with evidence gathered by a bot that changes its user agent name every couple of hours. Oh, and they also zealously guard against trademark infringing slash fiction. My fucking heroes.

38.144.36.16 is the magic number for your banning and/or rewriting pleasure.

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8Nov/04Off

Call Dr. Tushy. I Am Feeling Odd.

One of the things that I've found interesting about looking at the logs post-server move (besides the Movable Type crap finally being purged) is that I get nearly as much traffic from the feeds as those antiquated dinosaurs who actually read weblogs with a browser. Yeah, yeah, I know but the weird part about it is that the feeds are usually in much smaller swigs so doing a little ass-math it figures that I'm probably getting four times the numbers of eyeballs from feeds. That is freakish although not entirely surprising.

The referrer spam is also a bit much. I hadn't noticed it in the past but when a domain that contains "dr. tushy" is in the logs thirty or so times an hour it becomes annoying as fuck. This is, of course, after you recover from the spasms of laughter that come along with spelunking in pr0n lingo. Anal destruction? Maybe when I'm finished destroying this monitor and keyboard with coffee expelled through my nose I'll give that a whirl. I have to admit that "Eurotexans' still has me a little bewildered. Have any linguists checked in with analysis of how online porn has (aff)effected language? That topic is ripe for it.

7Nov/04Off

Get Well Soon

I'm still hammering down a few things that aren't playing nice together here but Bob, the man behind Note To Myself, seems to be having severe breakage. This must be some cursed weekend. I feel insanely lucky.


6Nov/04Off

Less Waste But Will Probably Never Reach Market

Can't quite remember where I heard about this but it looks like biodegradeable CDs optical discs are pre-production. I really hope that they're not overly burdened with the piracy tax. If they were wasteless and inexpensive enough they'd really be a boon for folks like me who sell linux CDs. This would also be an opportunity for AOL to stop dumping a gazillion tons of compact discs into landfills everywhere.

The gist:

The Japanese electronics maker said the Blu-ray optical disc, which can be written once and stores 25 gigabytes of data, is 87 percent natural polymer derived from corn and biodegrades.

Correction
I heard about this via Dangerous Meta. Whew.

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5Nov/04Off

Neutron Bombs Are The New Black

It looks like all of the plague like spread of DNS propagation has done its work and I've been able to see the new home of here from a couple of different networks. That's good since it's been less than twenty four hours since I switched it out. I did feel kind of bad canceling my old hosting account since it's been more than two years after I opened it and I wasn't unhappy with their hosting by any means. PureNRG has been nothing but good to me since the beginning and I hate to leave them but growing pains being what they are. I moved my shit to WebHostingBuzz because it allows me a ludicrous amount of space and bandwidth for less than I was paying per month in the past. It also remains consistent with the "web host must have worst name ever" rule that I've stuck with in the past so I'm pretty happy with that. The full text is back on in all of the feeds and that alone makes me a much happier. I detest being stingy about bandwidth and the 3 gig limitation was beginning to chafe. You won't believe this, but now my pants are beginning to chafe me.

I'm starting to get over the stunned and haggard trance that the election caused many of us who are generally leftist (in my case, a lot left of the majority) but aren't aligned with the Democratic party. This rubs a couple of different way because many folks saw coming out to vote for a Democrat presidential candidate as sort of a compromise to begin with. It was inexplicable to snuggle up to what felt like a centrist safe spot with a dead ringer for the evil doctor in The Re-Animator only to be trounced soundly by the all-Jesus-all-the-time freaks that populate middle America. It won't ever happen again. I was temporarily hypnotized by the shiny, shiny hope that the United States could tear itself away from the crack rock of terrorism and the onslaught of homosexual occupation for ten seconds. I was oh-so utterly wrong. Wrong president, wrong century... I know I'm a little hung up on the idea of not dying of diabetes while the Jesus adherents of Jesusland (which leaves me with a considerable comedic debt to whoever cooked up that near-brilliant map) misunderstand how stem cell research and praise Jesus so loudly and often that we actually have to sneak a neutron bomb into Kansas to silence the continual and collective drone that we're all too familiar with from consulting Romero's Dead trilogy like a divining device for what the next four years are going to be like in the U.S. Nonetheless, I'm so not aligned with the folks who are equally drony about all of us who thought we were compromising with Kerry rolling over to Republican rule by "working together" in some hallucinogenic It's a Small World After All nightmare. Fuck you. I'm a little sorry that it took me this long to snap out of the stupor. Word Soup gets it so why don't the rest of you?

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