Kudos for Weblogger

Dave points to a review of Weblogger, my hosting service, in PC Magazine. Big, big shout out to Erin and his team for keeping this site up and running and happy since I cut over from my free site at Userland late last year.

In commemoration of the moment, I’m adding the button I should have had all advertising their services along the button list. Which just reminds me: I really need to clean up this site. The left nav wasn’t designed for all the crap I’m trying to cram into it.

Here we go again

More than twelve hours after my last post, I’m back in SeaTac. As Esta alluded earlier, our plane taxied away from the gate, only to pause before getting to the runway, turn around, and start heading back, to the pilot’s somewhat apologetic explanation, “We got a light on the hydraulics, folks, and we just need to head back and check it out…”

We waited at the gate for over an hour, while the kids in front of me got crankier and nastier at their mom, and the mom got crankier and nastier at Dad, until finally the pilot announced that the plane needed hangar maintenance and that we needed to deplane. In confusion, with no explanation of where to go, we ended up at a sort of confused huddle line around the American Airlines ticket counter, where we got no acknowledgment except for a guy handing out pieces of paper with the 1-800 number for the booking department.

I decided to try the Yahoo travel number first, since I had booked my tickets through them. Big mistake. The voice recognition software, which is OK if you’re calling from a quiet office, got hopelessly confused with all the background noise around me and so asked for corrections twice after every thing I said. You’d think they’d program it to default to number entry after a certain number of failures. Eventually I hung up in disgust and called the airline number. Our line still hadn’t moved. I got through to an agent after a minute, who started checking out possibilities. A promising itinerary, which would have put me at Dulles at the same time as my original arrival in BWI, turned to a blind alley after the American agent was unable to raise United. Finally I got rebooked on a red-eye, went home, slept, had dinner with Lisa and her folks, and came back to the airport.

And here I am, again, enjoying(?) the WiFi and a Black Butte Porter, waiting for a time when it’ll be late enough to merit going down to the gate. I have an hour and a half until I board, almost enough time to watch a movie on the PowerBook. Maybe I’ll start looking at the Weblogs.com data.

Oh, the punch line: I at least got upgraded to first class for the first leg of my journey. I might get some sleep tonight after all.

Julie Powell and Tin Man: blackout survivors

Julie: Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a Blackout. “With a flashlight wedged under my chin and candles everywhere, I sautéed rice in butter—would have used some onions there but I had none, or if I did they were lost in the dark refrigerator…”

Tin Man: “ I stood on the Hudson River promenade. I listened and looked at the water lapping against the rocks. I leaned against the railing and stared east at the Manhattan skyline. Most of it was dark, but much of Lower Manhattan had power. It was an eerie reversal from two years ago.

“It was like Lower Manhattan had suffered enough and was finally getting a respite.”

Blaster Roundup

Official and unofficial pages about fixing the infection. Note that Windows 95, 98, and ME machines are NOT affected by the worm.

To recap, if the official site is unreachable:

Step 1 – Patch the machine and turn on the XP Firewall

[Steps inline:

  1. Turn on your firewall.
  2. Update Windows—using either Windows Update or the information in this Security Bulletin.
  3. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date.
  4. Remove the worm using a utility provided by, for example, Symantec.]

Step 2 – Remove the Virus from your machine

Copy this file to a floppy disk before you go, run this utility on your mother’s machine and it will scan for the Virus and remove it.

If you forgot to copy it, you can download it from here:


Step 3 – Turn on Auto update

Your mother got the Virus because her machine was not properly patched. Turn on automatic download and installation of updates by completing the following steps:

  • Open Control Panel, select the System icon
  • Select the Automatic Updates Tab
  • Turn on Keep my computer up to date option by selecting the check box
  • Turn on Automatically download the updates, and install them on the schedule that I specify, by selecting the radio buttons
  • Set the date to every day and a time when you know the machine will be turned on.

Now your mother’s machine will automatically check each night if there are any new patches and install them for you.

On the road again

A few quick notes as I begin my brief vacation:

  • I normally fly Delta, or United when absolutely necessary. But if I had not flown American today I would never have known that there’s an enormous Robert Rauschenberg piece hanging in Terminal C at SeaTac.
  • You know you’re in Seattle when the line at the Terminal C Starbucks is longer than the line for the security checkpoint. I was especially impressed with their demand management system, though: one barista came out pushing a cart full of different sized cups, took everyone’s order, noted the order on the cups, then went back and had the order made by the time we got to the front of the line.
  • The WiFi in Terminal C is good. Thanks to the really large Intel Centrino signs everywhere, it’s easier to find a strong hot spot than a power outlet. Go, go, Wayport membership…
  • Finally, the irony of traveling to the recently blacked out East Coast to attend a celebration of steam power has not escaped me.