Dylan: October 2002 Archives

Happy Halloween

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Witch flies past moon. Happy Halloween. Such an amusing time of year. I've nothing planned this year. No pumpkins. No costume. No parties. No fun.

My wife is back in Canada and it just isn't the same without her. For the last two years we dressed up and went trick or treating. No we are not kids. Yes we are (supposedly) mature adults. It was fun though. Got a crap load of candy as well! :)

Two years ago I was going to be a 'burglar'... which means I dress up in black and put some dark on my face.. she wasn't sure yet and my burglar sort of morphed into being a 'terrorist' and she was my hostage. She dressed up in some bedraggled business clothing and we threw a burlap sack over her head with a rope leash around her neck. I think it was quite shocking in the end.

Last year -- just after Sept 11 -- the terrorist outfit didn't seem quite that appropriate. So we went for the age-old ghost costumes. I literally had a sheet over my head with eye holes cut out. Right out of Scooby Doo. Tracey's outfit was much more elaborate mind you, with multiple layers of flowing fabric and a veil-like thing covering her face. Quite the sexy ghost I must say.

There is always next Halloween.

Manila Migration

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Well, I've just finished migrating all the entries from my old site at warmbrain.ManilaSites.com. Very cool. I used the Jericho XML-RPC Java library and massaged the data of each entry into an MTImport friendly format. It took some tweaking afterwards (2 hours worth) because the entries on my Manila site were without real titles.. and a single 'entry' often consisted of multiple postings separated by a divider image. But now the archive exists in its entirety on warmbrain. Woo!

Also for testing purposes, I installed Movable Type locally under Windows 2000. I used OmniHTTPd, an excellent win32 web server I've used previously, ActivePerl, and of course MovableType. I duplicated my warmbrain system locally in about half an hour. Even the data. MovableType wasn't so happy with a copy of the database files from a Unix system to win32, but a simple export from the server and import locally (all through the MT UI) transferred all the entries and comments across no problem.

Template Issues

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Weblog looks strange. I'm having template issues. Should be fixed up soon.

RSS Image Results

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Results are in. I managed to come in 2nd! Awesome!

'Spaces' announced!

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Hot on the trail of Mitch Kapor and his recent announcement of the OSAF and their plans... comes a (not so) subtle hint of an innovative new PIM that takes the standard PIM features we know and love, mixes in a healthy dose of P2P, then integrates it with RSS and weblogs... all within a familiar UI.

I'm talking about Spaces. A very very soon to be released killer-app written by Diego Doval.

From the website:
Spaces is a tool that for the first time will integrate seamlessly all information management tasks for individuals and small groups under a single, easy-to-use interface. Using self-organizing P2P technologies, there will be no need for servers. Having designed the interface for collaboration from the ground up, there will be no need for five different programs that always do things differently and need a subpoena to talk to each other.

Amazing. He regularly updates two weblogs (1,2), continues writing his blognovel, does postgrad research work, and writes software... and that's just his what we see publicly!

RSS Validator

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Sam Ruby and Mark Pilgrim have deployed an online RSS Validator. Excellent. This should go a long way in helping to make aggregator coder's lives easier. My contribution to this effort (so far) is 4 'Valid RSS' image candidates. And here they are:

     

Oh.. and by the way. I validate. Woo!

Preparing network connections...

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I'm setting up a laptop for my wife to use, and it has Windows 2000 Professional installed. When the machine boots up, it stalls for about 2 minutes right before the three-finger-salute login screen. It stalls when the status message "Preparing network connections..." is displayed. I get to sit there and watch it do its preparations while my fingers sit tensed over the CTRL-ALT and DEL keys.

My other machines don't do this.. so why this one? I've done some searching online to try to solve this problem but haven't been able to fix it yet. Lots of people have the problem. Some offer some solutions. None of the solutions have worked for me.

I've gone through each of the related Knowledge Base articles on Microsoft's site. None of them direcly relate to what I am seeing. Very frustrating indeed. I do find it quite incredible that with so many people struggling with the same issue, that it hasn't been resolved yet. Why might that be?

The Princess and The Pee

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I knew it was theoretically possible.. now this girl has gone and done it.

KaZaA

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Is anyone else as amazed as I am when they logon to KaZaA to find over 4 petabytes of data available for searching and download? I was still getting used to the idea of a terabyte... and KaZaA has over 4,000 of them to download.

Fruit flies like a banana

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Every year since 1976 this Argentinian family has documented the passing of time by taking portraits of themselves and now they are putting them online. I personally find it just fascinating. I love seeing how faces change and maturity grows. I would have loved if my parents had done something like this. What better time to start such a project with my wife.

The Futuristic Barber

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In the future we won't have barbers like we do now. Instead you will select a style, go through an intense 'crafting' of every hair on your head and then you will be done. The haircut will be perfect.

And now the cool part. As to avoid the intensive 'crafting' the next time around, the barber will apply a smart-gel to your entire mop and work it down to your skull. The smart-gel is in fact a network of nano-sized sensors that latch onto your hair follicles and start monitoring.

You sit back and read a magazine for an hour while the nano-sensors measure your hair growth. Every single hair on your head is mapped for location, density, health and growth-rate and the information is sent to a database for analysis. After an hour, a special solution is applied and the nano-sensors dissolve down the drain.

Next time you show up for a haircut, you provide some ID, confirm you want the 'same as last time', and let some wonderous machine at you. It crops each and every hair exactly the right amount to bring you back to exactly the original hair style. No fuss. No muss. Just the hair style you've had and want to keep.

My name is Dylan, and I got a $28 crappy haircut from Stanford Mall.

Google on NPR

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NPR now uses the word 'Google' as a verb when giving out web info for their sponsors. It's an interesting change. A few weeks ago they would actually say/spell out the URLs.. something like: "... on the web at: www.company.com..." now they just say something similar to: "... Google 'Company Name' for their website...".

If this catches on, and is a reliable method of entry, then domain names become quite a bit less important to the average consumer. No more memorizing what kind of slashes to use (explorer now takes either -- but people don't know that), no more remembering abbreviations or specific hyphen placement. Just the company name.. like it used to be.

Way to go Google.

New Digs

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Well. Such a changing life I lead right now. My wife has left the bay area and gone back up to Canada. This was planned... no falling out or anything. I stay and save money. That's my job now.

So I've moved from our 1.5 bedroom cottage in Palo Alto to a house with 2 other roommates in Santa Clara. Needless to say the savings are impressive.

One of my roommates, and the owner of the house, is absolutely anal about keeping the house pristine. Every surface in the kitchen that is used to store something has 2 layers of paper towel put down first. The top of the microwave, under the water cooler, along the edge of the window etc etc. He even paper-towels the shelves in the fridge -- just in case a bit of moisture on something, god-forbid, actually touches the metal of the fridge shelf.

I've only been in there 2 days so far but have already been told that the hardwood floors scratch easily, so be careful with them, and that anything other than water should not be allowed to sit on the marble vanity in the bathroom (and he even wasn't so sure about the water).

Ok. This sort of 'cautious' living totally freaks me out. Floors get scratched, scuffed, marked up dirty. It's a by-product of LIVING on them. And why would someone install a bathroom vanity that shouldn't have liquid sit on it? I mean.. the vanity has a SINK in the middle of it. You brush your teeth there, shave there, put on deodorant there... and it is expected that none of these substances will ever be left to sit on the counter?

Because I'm was so paranoid about having my security deposit docked if I screw up in the slightest way, I decided to store my bathroom odds and ends in the vanity drawer. I wash up, brush, shave and put them all in the drawer. That night I get home, go to brush my teeth, and lo and behold, my drawer is exactly as I left it, but now miraculously has a sheet of brown waxed paper and two layers of paper towels separating my items from the drawer bottom. Just amazing. I feel like Bill Bryson when he stayed at Mrs. Smegma's place. I'm just dreading being called in to the bathroom and shown one of my turds that wouldn't go down.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Dylan in October 2002.

Dylan: September 2002 is the previous archive.

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