Pushback

By the way, Dave and John Robb, have to push back about content management software and Apple. My mother in law needs to be able to manage her photos. That will help Apple sell computers. They’re leaving you a space in the ecosystem to capture the mindshare of all of us bloggers.

Radio? What’s a radio?

I just found this hommage a radio in Doc Searls’ weblog (I’m only a day late. Sue me, I was in Appalachia). It’s fascinating, except that it’s a nostalgia that I can’t share. I think the equivalent nostalgia for my generation (born in 1972) would have to be personal computers. Maybe video game consoles. Feelin’ old yet, Doc? 🙂

First PC I ever spent any hands-on time with? Probably an Apple IIe (Apple ][e?), or maybe our family friend’s Atari 800. First family computer–Apple //c. First computer of my very own? Mac SE/30. That was only two Macs ago for me. They last a long time…

Christmas Catch-Up

I think this is the longest bloggus interruptus I’ve had in a while. Sue me; I was with family. I did make some notes along the way, though…

Saturday, December 22: So this is what holiday travel is like in the Brave New World. We had a 7:15 flight leaving Boston on the Saturday before Christmas. We bravely decided to take the train to the airport. Never mind that the first one left our station at 5:30 am, less than two hours before. Ah, the bravery of ignorance.

Still, we were lucky. After waiting the better part of an hour in line, they had pity on all of us who hadn’t planned adequately and pulled us to the front of the line. Then we got to jump in the fast line for the security screening. There was that last line at the gate for a seat (if they weren’t handing out seat assignments at check-in, why was the line so backed up?), but then we were on the plane.

I think, though, that our luck is about to end. We just heard from the flight attendant that we’re landing at A terminal in Atlanta but have our connecting flight in C terminal. Given that we have half an hour to make the connection, that’s akin to a death sentence–or at least an invitation to reprise Run Lola Run. But fortunately we made it OK–they haven’t set up security checkpoints between the terminals yet. When we got in, we found out we had narrowly missed meeting the whacko who tried to give himself a hotfoot with a shoeful of plastic explosives and had caused his plane to make a forced landing at Logan. Should be a lot of fun when we get back on Saturday.

Sunday, December 23: Lisa and I cook dinner for ten, with dancing. We make a small dent in my uncle’s game collection, cooking some quail (both in risotto and grilled), some chucker (a large bird in the pigeon family), and some venison. Much merriment. Much sleep thereafter.

Monday, December 24: A last minute discovery: My dad’s beige G3 has no USB ports. This is a problem as we have bought him a scanner with a USB connection. A quick trip to Best Buy later, we have the problem in hand. At night, I do a quick read through the service music so I can sing with my dad at Christmas Eve services. I later joke that it’s the first 100-meter freestyle sightreading exhibition I’ve done. Good music–the director, Eric, is a great musician and has impeccable taste (this is not to be taken for granted in church music).

Tuesday, December 25: Christmas starts with a light breakfast and family presents. In addition to the scanner for Dad, we took up a collection so he can buy a barbecue grill for the new house. Mom got a nice tennis bracelet, gold with diamonds (well done, Dad!). I got a Diesel Sweeties t-shirt (“I’m a rocker. I rock out”), the Peanuts art collection, and from my wife, an iPod. They are killer little toys. Christmas dinner was unusual: a “fresh” (uncured) ham, brined in Coca-Cola and spices and baked. Afterwards settling back to digest in peace. I was able to watch my new DVD (Blazing Saddles) on my laptop, but only with much difficulty. I don’t know whether the DVD was flawed or if my player is having problems, but I finally settled on a sequence of playing a CD in the drive first, then putting another DVD in, then putting the Blazing Saddles DVD in before it would work.

Good morning!

Quick progress update. School: last paper is in. I have an ongoing project with a professor I’m still working on, but that’s OK, I get paid for that. Manila Envelope: more work last night. Rolling in News Item support. I have it supporting posting to the home page now. Some UI changes this afternoon. And I want to try to support categories in News Items — will have to play with the Manila RPC definition to see how that works. There are some interesting UI questions too — do I support adding new categories? If not, how does the user refresh categories from the browser?

All for now. I have to go see a movie about a hobbit. 🙂

Until we meet again

Great party last night to say goodbye to our friend Dubhfeasa, my classmate Niall’s girlfriend. She’s heading back to Ireland where she has a great job in a hospital near Dublin. She’s one of our favorite people, and we’ll miss her tremendously. We’ll have to get to the Emerald Isle soon to visit her.

Merry Christmas from Google

I thought that this would be a day without blogging — I’m just dealing with the usual end of semester crap and didn’t have anything new to say. Then I saw the announcement: 20 years of Usenet available via Google.

I had forgotten some of the stuff I used to spend time writing about–poetry, fonts, even some stuff in PowerBuilder. But it’s not forgotten any more — both from my days at Virginia, where I had my first Usenet access, and at AMS, when I was first a programmer.

One thing I’ve noticed: my sense of typographic anal-retentiveness in monospaced type. I must have spent a really long time in the computer lab getting that early .sig file lined up just right…

Praise Bob! Praise Whittards!

I’m working from home this morning. It’s amazing how much more productive I can be by adding two distractions: Bob Dylan‘s Love and Theft on the stereo and a cup of hot tea. I’ve given Lisa a lot of grief for her habit of bringing back a small duffel bag worth of tea every time she goes to London, but I have to admit, Whittard’s Christmas Tea is awfully nice.