Mmm... steak chalupa...
Morning. I might be a vegetarian.
Mmm... steak chalupa...
Morning. I might be a vegetarian.
Following some comments on mozillaZine about the latest nightly builds, I tried one out--pretty slick, even compared to M17. Can't open prefs, however. I'm planning to file a couple bug reports, but...
The FreeBSD box I've graciously been allowed to bum access to for a couple years now is hsa been down for a couple days now. The upgrade from 2.2.8 to 4.1 apparently didn't go well, but I can't complain, as the price as been right. Consequently, I've been without my primary e-mail account.
Morning. baby's got the bends, i know...
What the most annoying way to pack something on earth?
Having trouble? I'll tell you. Pack a monitor-sized box without hand holds inside a box that's less than an inch larger in every direction and fill the empty space with non-biodegradable packing peanuts, forcing the recipient to dump all the packing peanuts out onto the floor and slide the inner box onto the floor carefully, so as not to damage it. Outpost.com has mastered the art.
Mozilla M17 is rather stable and fast. My comments on Mozilla stand, but I'd certainly use it as my primary browser if I weren't already using iCab.
Wrestling with cat5 all morning... whoever wired our office original must've been on crizzack. Yesterday was more fun--spent all day documenting. Mmm... writing.
Had a physical today. Rather uneventful. Last three times I've been to a doctor, I've had the following exchange with the nurse:
Nurse: Hm. Your blood pressure looks rather high.
Me: Erm... um...
Nurse: Maybe you're just nervous.
Me: Um... erm...
If I wasn't before, I certainly was afterwards. And they never bothered to tell me what my bloody blood pressure was! Here's the exchange from today:
Nurse: Hm. Your blood pressure looks rather high.
Me: Erm... um...
Nurse: Hold on... (leaves room)
Nurse: (returns with larger blood pressure cuff) Let's try this again.
Me: Um... erm...
Nurse: Ah. Much better! 130/70--that's normal. Sometimes it registers high if the cuff is too small.
Me: Oh. (sigh of relief) Thanks!
It's my sincere hope that the other ones were incompetent and this one was on the ball. The doctor himself was certainly a goon. Exchange when he entered the room:
Sigh. He said something was a bit abnormal, but probably didn't mean anything. I asked him what it could mean, and he said kidney problems. Ah well. The way I see it, if my kidneys start failing, there'll probably be some sort of symptoms. I hope. I need a new doctor.
Awoken this morning by a support call from work. Could've been resolved by my cardinal rule: restart. Much easier to disturb my sleep, however. I can't really bitch legitimately... this was at 11 A.M.
Elusive macro virus (or something) returned on Friday... after turning up nothing with McAfee, I deleted Windows Scripting Host, disabled every ActiveX, scripting and Java option in Internet Explorer/Outlook Express's security 'zones', turned off HTML composition in Outlook Express and removed the .vbs, .vbe and .shs associations. I then stopped caring entirely. The boss is now greeted by an ActiveX error when he visits msn.com. Wish I could resolve that problem, but that's entirely non-technical.
Ah well, enough work bitching. It's the weekend, and all that rot. Rented Life Is Beautiful. Great, great movie. I'll have to buy that one. Don't get me wrong... I think Roberto Benigni is hilarious, but it amuses me that one of the biggest comedic talents in Italy is such a geek.
Ugh. It bothers me that I have to worry about crap like that.
Other than that, boring day. So boring, in fact, that I'm ID3ing music right now. I should be learning Dvorak instead (which would be much less boring, of course).
drivers: yeah, I learned that'n the hard way.
Sigh. Being treated like shit really makes me want to quit. The sad thing is, I'd probably be offered more money to stay--for some reason, the business has had no luck finding a replacement for me when I go back to school. Money isn't my bag, though... I'd take a pay cut if it meant being happy, creative, and/or appreciated.
I just have to wonder if everyone employed in the industry is crazy for staying--I mean, isn't management almost universally hated? Taking orders is for the birds. In today's economy, there's no shortage of IT work. If one can keep it all in order, I think there's enough contract/freelancing/consulting work around to make a damn good living. I'd undoubtedly sing a different tune if I had a family to support or some such, but I don't. I'm young. I can live on Ramen noodles indefinitely, if that's what it takes. Ideally, I'd like to start a Web development firm with a friend of mine, but partnerships are another issue entirely...
All in all, I hope tomorrow's better. Going to the local annual German fest thang for lunch for the first time, if I can drag myself away from an interview with a possible replacement for yours truly.
Oh, yeah. Never wrote down my thoughts on Instinct. I've seen worse. It made me think for two minutes or so, which is more than most movies do. It's hard to compete in the prison movie genre, though... the Shawshank Redemption is one of the Best Movies Of All Time, much less the best prison one. There was even a shameless Shawshank ripoff, but I shant give anything away.
Afternoon. I should be writing some url encoding scripts right now, but I'm not, obviously. It's been a rather slow day at work, which I rather prefer to the fast-paced-everything's-breaking-fix-it-now-Ian sort of day. Oh, yeah... the boss is out of town. I'll refrain from further comment.
kgb: Hm. I've always preferred the DxL foot court. In general, DxL seems more relaxed to me, and since when I'm there, I'm vacationing, relaxation is a Good Thing. Haven't been back in ages, though.
I suppose I'm rather domesticated, as guys/geeks/various-other-stereotypes go. I like to cook. My work and living spaces are horribly messy, but I don't really mind cleaning, and occasionally do it to blow off steam. Finally, I don't mind doing laundry. All that said, I'm not very good at any of the above, but I try. My idea of doing laundry is a pair of pants and a shirt to wear tomorrow. I end up doing laundry every night... maybe I'll catch on eventually.
Had lunch with my business partner (I still laugh a little when I think of him as a business partner--it's so... business-like) to discuss the embedded hardware project I'm working on. I'm not sure how everything's going to pan out, but it's been a lot of fun to plan--unlike anything I've done in the past.
Watched a bit of It's A Wonderful Life to decipher the meaning of "from Adam's off ox". About to watch Instinct, whatever that is. Dunno if it'll be any good, but a friend had a five-day rental, so I got to bum it.
ahosey: you're dead-on right about technology types being perfectionists. It undoubtedly results in frequent job changes. I also think technology workers have low job satisfaction because no one else recognizes this trait (except other perfectionists). No one's perfect, but at least perfectionists strive towards that end, and it sucks when no one sees the effort being put forth.
Morning. And what a beautiful morning it is. Got ~12 hours of sleep last night, which is nine more than my norm. Everything seems a bit more coherent, for some reason.
Iain: I found out a couple weeks ago that one of my cousins, the same age as I am, is pregnant. It's not the same thing by any means, but man is it strange... to think that as I'm getting ready to go to college, she's getting ready to take care of a child (I hope). I still remember going on easter egg hunts and stuff with her at our grandparents' house when we were little...
I'll be damned. Bitch long enough, and he listens. Good to see ya, Cynic.
Hm. It appears that bitrate can be part of a freeform query in nap, but it's not quite the same as being able to say >= x bitrate.
Had a near-death experience with the file server this morning. Alsoft's glorious DiskWarrior saved the day, but things were a bit tense for a while. I realized that I'd never called Apple tech support before, so I gave them a ring for the heck of it. No help, of course, but they were prompt and the very brief hold music was decent (White Room by the Cream). Ultimate suggestion? Reformat the drive. Yeah, that probably would've fixed it, but I was rather attached to some of the data on it. I suppose it helped that I went in with low expectations.
Looking into face recognition. There seems to be no shortage of research going on.
This Napster thing is all fine and good, but I can't find a decent console-mode client to run under FreeBSD. I can't get TekNap to compile (probably due to my own incompetence) and the binary-only 'nap' client floating around can't filter by bitrate. That makes it fairly worthless to me.
Having trouble keeping my eyes open. I do believe I'll catch up on my sleep tonight, or attempt to.
tired. really tired. also tired of thinking about all the work i have to do in the very near future.
recently subscribed to cms-list. seems interesting/valuable, but it's only a few days old and there's a fair amount of bitching going on... not a good sign. plus, it reminds me of a project that failed under my stewardship. still trying to resurrect it, but sometimes i wonder if it's worth the effort.
spent the better part of the day mocking up some web interfaces in a vector drawing program. it got to be boring as bloody hades after a while, but it illustrates the point i was driving at earlier, or trying to before i had a brain fade. i know designers who mock up sites in photoshop. that has to be infuriating--even with the advent of layers and masks, i still feel the need to be 'pixel-perfect' when i'm working in photoshop. in vector apps, it's trivial to go back and resize/rearrange things. i don't count illustrator among that lot, either... beziers aren't conducive to rapid prototyping and generally have a very high learning curve. i remember illustrator 88 frustrating the hell out of me when i tried to learn it--ended up going back to macdraw. at the time, freehand was better, but still no picnic. these days, freehand and illustrator are considerably easier to use, but still aren't in the same ease-of-use realm with macdraw.
came in this morning to find the file server down to 1.3 mb free. luckily, there was ~5 gb of dumpable stuff, but that dumpable stuff was an aggregated copy of a big stack of cd-rs. now, for lack of a good index, one must search through the entire stack to find what one is looking for. still haven't figured out how to crunch down huge pile of tiffs, bmps and photoshop documents into pngs (without the power of unix, i might add), either.
greg knauss's take on mozilla is an interesting one--whether one disagrees with it in principle or not, it'd be flat out wrong to call his opinion uninformed. here's my take. it's simply a case of biting off more than one can chew. ignore the fact that the mozilla project has not fulfilled its ultimate goal of creating a browser/application platform/what have you. it successfully:
i used a nightly (m17) build today for the first time in months (since moving from win32 to the mac as my primary environment at work). it was quite fast and didn't have an unacceptable level of UI clunkiness like previous builds. i'm still not sure i'd use it, even when finalized, but it's definitely usable.
to me, mozilla's passed the point of no return. there's no use saying 'end it now'. there are still plenty of people/corporate interests who wish to continue working on it. whether it's a waste of time or not, it's their decision. even if the browser is never ideal or even shippable, the project itself will continue to generate useful tools and contribute innovative concepts to the community.
for example, i'm really taken with silentdownload. i'd love to see a gnome transfer manager-like, protocol-independent utility with silentdownload-like features. a protocol api could enable transfers from ftp, http and all the emerging 'distributed' protocols in one location. all right, all right, i'm talking out of my ass. but would it be boffo to auto-assign priorities on each transfer based on availability (e.g. http and ftp drop to the bottom of the list because they're generally 'always available', where as a napster-type download is only available while the peer hosting it is present. likewise, the lowest-priority downloads could be 'silentdownloaded' over a given period of time. there's an old mac utility called quickermirror that never really caught on... might be worth a look, though. it auto-grabs a list of mirrors for a file, performs a heuristic on them all and finds the 'quickest' one. some of its methods/principles are described in this paper.
here's a message from chris 'mozillazine' nelson refuting the attitude that xul was The Wrong Way To Go. i think he raises good points, and there's really no point in looking back, but the message seems to suggest that the decision was either xul or win32 only. this quote intrigued me in particular:
I wonder what the Mozilla critics in the Mac community, or on the Linux community would say when confronted with the choice of having a product with extensive standards support and compliance, or no product at all.
i'd classify myself as far more of an observer than a critic, but here's my response as a member of the mac community. ui consistency is of paramount importance on the mac, and certainly of considerable importance on other platforms. mac users are downright religious about applications being mac-like. am i one of them? on occasion. but the simple truth is, if it isn't mac-like, a large segment of the community won't use it. thuss, i would choose no browser whatsoever over an inconsistent one. why? bear with me for a moment, and use your imagination or some such. mozilla project begins. when it's faced with the 'win32 only vs. inconsistent xul' conundrum, it chooses win32. the fast, standards-compliant browser actually makes it to market relatively quickly. the power and effectiveness of open source development is clearly demonstrated by the quick time-to-market and the excellent quality of the win32 product. as a result of this win32 win (no pun intended), netscape then allocates proper resources to mac and linux and a dozen other ports. the rendering engine is highly portable. the ports go well. many disparate but highly [insert platform here]-browsers and highly well-received browsers result. after the open source model has been proven once and for all, re-evaluate xul. chances are, each engineering team will be better prepared to implement it based on 1) their not-quite-x-platform brower efforts and 2) the ability to work outside of the 'must hit critical mozilla 1.0 milestone' deadline.
dunno. again, talkin' outta my ass. i'm no developer, nor am i deriding the efforts of the real developers. as i said before, i still consider mozilla one of the most successful open source efforts going. there's probably no use pondering roads not taken... this was mainly just a braindump.
i need to read more. a friend of mine recommended 'i've been down so long it looks like up to me'. sounds quite nice. blech... i'm apparently privileged to be in the first freshman class at my university to receive some inane book (about surviving in the wilderness) to read before school begins in a couple weeks.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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