Archive for the 'blather' Category


make it easy for me

Saturday, January 19th, 2002

I’m getting up to speed with Radio Userland, setting up subscriptions for the news aggregator. In order to do that, you have to find the RSS file for each site you want to put in your subscription list.

When you go to a Manila site like this one, you’ll probably find that the template they use has the orange XML button (look to the left there) that takes you to the RSS file. It’s obvious, simple.

Quite a few people seem to have a template that doesn’t have the button. If you can guess that they’re using Manila, you can find the file by looking where you expect it to be (xml/scriptingNews2.xml). If not, you have to search all over their site to find some sort of RSS link. No RSS link, no automatic news aggregation, gotta go in the manual browse list.

I’m surprised at how many sites I visit regularly make me have to search for this. On many of them it’s not to be found at all or at least escapes me completely:
Joel, Eric, Chris, Aaron are a few.

I guess Radio’s the first bigtime app to make this stuff an everyday thing, but most blogging environments support RSS, so it’s probably just a matter of throwing up a link in a recognizably standard way.


not immune

Saturday, January 19th, 2002

Christoph Burkhardt points me to this article about bugs in the Linux 1.4 kernel. He’s right, for some reason it’s not likely to get much press.

That reminds me that I’ve been taken to task in a few places about being too hyperbolic in my “Move Everything To Linux” rant. True enough, I would not recommend that businesses commit to move their mission-critical enterprise systems to Linux at great expense and risk. MySQL, for instance, is absolutely not up to the tasks that MSSQL can handle. Certainly, though, file and print, domain controllers, firewalls, web services, smtp, dns – all those things that Linux does well – can be introduced without significant upheaval. It doesn’t even have to be Linux to serve my primary goal of letting Microsoft know that people are actively using alternatives and are not locked in.

Revised rant theme: “Move as much as you feel you can out of Microsoft reliance in order to do your part to help them wake up and take notice. Seriously consider starting new projects with alternate products where it makes sense.”


Third time, Automate.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2002

First time, just do it.

Second time, remark to yourself that you’ve done this once before.

Third time, write a routine to do it.

Fourth, fifth, sixth…. zillionth time, get on with something else while the computer does it for you.


exactly what I was thinking

Sunday, January 13th, 2002

The subject line said: Say Good-bye to spam

“Delete Mail Button”
Good-bye, spam.


Delete Mail Button

Sunday, January 13th, 2002

in the zone

Thursday, January 10th, 2002

My cable-fed IP address changed overnight. I have my DNS hosted for free at ZoneEdit, and I modified their dynamic DNS Perl script for my needs, so all my domain info was dynamically updated within 5 minutes of receiving the new address while I slept. Very smooth. Highly recommended. I only noticed because the DNS at a client site seems to ignore my short TTL values and still has the old address cached.



Wednesday, January 9th, 2002

The Christmas tree came down this weekend, as it does every January 6th. Jan 6th is known as Epiphany. Apparently this was the day that the three wise men made their visit to an inn’s stable so many years ago, and came to the realization that things were not going to be quite the same from here on in.

A pretty good definition of epiphany from is:

A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization: “I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself”

Usually, real epiphany is followed by another of my favourite words, vicissitude:

One of the sudden or unexpected changes or shifts often encountered in one’s life, activities, or surroundings.

The trick in life is that when an epiphany strikes you and knocks you into a vicissitude, you gotta have the presence of mind to steer out of the skid without too much intense shakeup.

That reminds me, my ABS brakes make a rattling noise when I hit ice. Gotta investigate that.

Now how the hell did I get from there to here? It’s like word association football!


Wah wah frickin wah!

Tuesday, January 8th, 2002

USA Today brings us an article about the courts cracking down on ex-employees and their online bad-mouthing of their companies.

The two examples they give are of some guys who sent 14,000 messages to 100 newsgroups and another who sent out 35,000 emails airing his grievance with his former employer. Futher actions were against anonymous posters.

These guys cry that “A little guy like me comes along and says ‘I disagree’ or ‘the CEO is ignorant,’ and I’m squished. It’s a free-speech issue.”

No it’s not. It’s a “You’re a fucking idiot spammer who can’t make a reasonable point without having a baby tantrum” issue.

You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye.