Archive for April, 2001

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with every season, turn, turn, turn

Friday, April 27th, 2001

it must be spring. had barbequed burgers and corn on the cob for dinner. yum yum. reminds me that i have a longstanding responsibility to humanity to compile and report statistics about the ages-old corncob question. this seems as good a place as any to get a demographic sample. i’ll report when i get critical mass.

[ iframe removed - way out of date ]

of course, if you’re using Netscape 4.x you won’t see the survey form i included in an iframe between this paragraph and the previous one. well, that’s just TFB for you. wake the fuck up, drag yourself into the 21st century, and get yourself a real browser.

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rant boy

Thursday, April 19th, 2001

lotsa snippets today


cool 1K DHTML API library at Dithered, as discovered via scottandrew. what a frickin braintrust there is amongst bloggers.


it’s bugged me for a while now that the GPL and even the LGPL dump so much restrictive baggage and responsibility on the user of the copylefted work. i wouldn’t mind using SourceForge for a project or two if i didn’t then have to burden the potential users of my code with all the crap on these licenses. it seems to me that with the GPL, the open source community has simply created a counter-establishment license designed to impose controls on intellectual property. maybe i’m naive, but this is my license


how come it is that as soon as you hear “in order to serve you better…”, you know it’s gonna be followed by something that should have been prefaced with “in order to increase our bottom line…”?


word of the day: terpsichorean. i first came across it in the classic cheese shop sketch.

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it’s only 28 in hex

Tuesday, April 17th, 2001

well, i’m 40 today. fantastic family, nice house, my own boss, yet i’m only halfway there. who could ask for anything more?


being definitely a technical logjam breaker kind of guy, and most assuredly not an aesthetic design type, i’m glad there is diversity in the world, because the people who have the design talent and are willing to share their knowledge (scott andrew lepera, eric costello are two of exceptional note) help tremendously to fill the gaping holes in my talent. i’ve finally css-ified my business and family sites. no great shakes, but a good sense of accomplishment.


my $&*% frickin frackin cable internet provider has had me down from 10am to 4pm every day for almost 3 weeks now. they’ve got some heinous routing problems (with non-routable 10.x.x.x networks in the middle of the routable cloud) that they are apparently having difficulties setting right. not only that, but they have two of their own servers collectively streaming 100kbits per second of unwanted multicast traffic at me (and everyone else around me) at all times. the problem, of course, is that if i complain too loudly, i’ll be scrutinized to the point that they’ll clue in to the incoming dns, smtp, ftp and http traffic, a slight stretch to their terms of service, and i’ll have to go out and colocate a server for big dough. yeccch.

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in the valley of the jolly… ho ho ho…

Tuesday, April 10th, 2001

i used an interesting word the other week – inveigle. i like it when one well-chosen word manages to bring together a complete symphony of concepts and context to express a single idea. somehow, in the catacombs of my mind, my synapses have carefully cross-indexed a whole slew of such words, each to be presented at the tip of my tongue just at the moment when their particular ideal conversational and syntactic conditions come together.

funny, then, that such an obscure word should inveigle itself into conversation again today on an entirely different topic.

there has been a remarkable wave of openness and warmth over the last few months emanating from IBM towards the Linux and open-source communities. the big blue behemoth has become the veritable Jolly Blue Giant of the open-source valley, bringing forth a cornucopia of products and services, embracing openness, standards, hand picked enterprise javabeans and individually quick-frozen servlets for all. IBM even released a Mozilla-based browser for OS/2.

what’s truly remarkable is that it has all been done with nary a peep of suspicion from the open-source crowd. the same often vitriolically cynical anti-establishment crowd that spits daily venom at Microsoft seems to be content bedding down with IBM despite its gargantuan stature and storied history.

looks like a wolf in underdog’s clothing to me. not that i mean to demonize IBM, but that they’ve gotta have a motive in doing this, and it will definitely have to do with the bottom line. somewhere along the line, they’ll want to capitalize on their investment. it’s just a matter of where and when. once the inveigling is successful to the right depth, the tentacles will appear.

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what’s old is new again

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2001

Dave Winer pointed today to this article on CNet about Marc Andreesen and Nicholas Negroponte’s involvement in Bang Networks. It seems that they managed to score 18 million in VC funding by convincing the investors that there’s something new or revolutionary in making background connections from a web client to the server and updating the page content without a refresh.

I really had to look at this hard to convince myself it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. Apparently it’s not. They seem to really believe that they’re breaking new ground. Sure, they’re making the connection persistent for push and building some huge marketable network of services onto it, but still, fresh technology it ain’t.

Of course, those who have been using Internet Explorer and any of the various available forms of remote scripting have been doing this for YEARS.

The difference is, I guess, that those Netscape centric folks who have had their Microsoft-filtering shades on are finally with a workable NS6 DOM sparking up a clue that there can be life after a page is rendered.

If Netscape 4.x hadn’t been holding us back all this time, we’d all have been enjoying the benefits of a rich application environment inside a browser for years now.

Welcome to 1998, Marc. Your coffee’s cold.