Older blog entries for harrisj (starting at number 21)

Got the DSL modem installed this morning. It's radically faster than dialup (yippee!!!). Now I just have to configure the wireless network to use the DSL connection and I'm all set. Covad and Concentric have been most helpful so far. Now I just have to see how well it works.

It's been pretty busy since I got back from vacation. Code seems to be breaking, just to remind me of the existence of Murphy's Law. Rather irritating for me.

At least my Digital Underground order came in today. New weird German electronic bands to listen to. Yay. That and the spooky ambience of Halo_gen is keeping me going.

Found Joachims' SVMLight, which has been rather illuminating...

Support Vector Machines are interesting, but rather difficult to comprehend. I wish I could remember more Linear Algebra and such...

Got a ThinkGeek order in today. The Swiss Army Knife Cybertool is pretty sweet...

It's not a good day so far. I hate it when old problems seem to recur...

Beautiful people everywhere. The way they comb their hair!

Listening to a Devo anthology while I code. It's taking me way back to the early 80s.

Otherwise, not much new to report. I am finally recovered from the jetlag and am ready to tackle some of the bigger problems here at work.

Back from vacation. London was fun as always. Ireland was interesting, but surprisingly rural. But I suppose I'm just a big city boy. Still, it was nice to breathe fresh air and check out the beautiful countryside.

I actually have no real Irish ancestry, but more Norman (and thus Viking) blood. So I guess my ancestors were responsible for sacking a lot of the monasteries and generally doing bad things all over Ireland. I was hoping there would be shirts like "My ancestors sacked Clanmacnoise Monastery and all I got was this lousy T-shirt", but sadly not.

Otherwise, jet lagged and back at work.

Javascript Challenge

What I would really like would be a way for a user to select text in an HTML document and retrieve the selection with HTML tags included. Javascript provides a Document.getSelection() method, but this returns only the text formatted in some approximation of the HTML page. This is not quite what I want, since it can strip off some really useful tags, that I would like. I'm doing this incidentally to do some funky transformations on HTML tables selected by the user. I suspect it's impossible, but does any Javascript wizard have an idea that might help me here? I know there are some further problems (eg, how do you decide which tags to select at the beginning and end of the text, since they are invisible.), but a basic solution would be most insightful.

Got a new computer here at work. It's fast. Which is good, since I unfortunately have to run Windows NT on it. The performance of the old machine next to an identical Linux box was truly appalling. I am also shocked that a single Windows server can't be expected to do multiple tasks like web serving, mail, and ftp. No wonder there are so many Windows machines out there.

Biggest recent outrage at Microsoft's Embrace, Extend, Extinguish policy comes from their XML-DOM implementation. This was a standard to which Microsoft was a large contributor, and they STILL have inserted their own proprietary functions. I have grown tired of trying to explain to people why standards determined by one company are worthless.

Anyhoo, jumping the pond tonight and going to England and Ireland.

Another day at work. Except that this Thursday I will be gone for a week and a half on vacation in England and Ireland.

Yesterday, I went to the Exposure film festival. Sponsored by the SciFi Channel, this was supposed to present the future of filmmaking. If so, the future involves dim lighting and a lot of beanbag chairs. There were three custom built theaters showing films, some good (The Sticky Fingers of Time), some bad (Incubus, starring Shatner speaking Esperanto). Funky use of materials, but ultimately I just wished for a good seat and better sound proofing from the other theaters. That, and attendants who actually listen to my input that the video projector's color was off, without snootily insisting it was supposed to be that way.

Yesterday, went to the Russian/Turkish Baths in the East Village. It's really a bit of a timewarp, but very interesting. For $26, you can stay as long as you like and use one of the three types of sauna, freezing cold pool, sun deck, etc. I did the whole russian sauna/cold pool cycle a few times and got myself a massage. Very relaxing.

More thoughts on architecture (the physical kind). If you live in New York, the AIA Guide to New York Architecture is a fascinating book, and you can learn all sorts of interesting things about some of the buildings you walk by each day. For instance, I discovered that the building I work in was built by I.M. Pei and is the "classiest building on Water Street".

Went yesterday to see The Magnetic Fields in a free concert. It went for an hour before it was rained out (bummer).

Work is progressing nicely. Unfortunately, I can't really say what I'm doing, but I'm doing it better now... ;)

I do agree with whoever it was about ACM Membership. The ACM Digital Library is a great tool, and it's a great organization for professional or academic developers to belong to. Helps you keep up with what's going on out there.

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