enjoying salad since 1978.

Friday, July 30, 2004

13-digit isbn numbers explained

Stacy has the low down on the 13-digit ISBN number and why the namespace increase was so small.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

cubicle farms suck.

Paul Graham on offices:
After software, the most important tool to a hacker is probably his office. Big companies think the function of office space is to express rank. But hackers use their offices for more than that: they use their office as a place to think in. And if you're a technology company, their thoughts are your product. So making hackers work in a noisy, distracting environment is like having a paint factory where the air is full of soot. The cartoon strip Dilbert has a lot to say about cubicles, and with good reason. All the hackers I know despise them. The mere prospect of being interrupted is enough to prevent hackers from working on hard problems. If you want to get real work done in an office with cubicles, you have two options: work at home, or come in early or late or on a weekend, when no one else is there. Don't companies realize this is a sign that something is broken? An office environment is supposed to be something you work in, not something you work despite.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

dual monitors in dos 5.0

Rands In Repose: Messy Thinking: "Little know fact, if you installed a Hercules video card in your PC, you could do something revolutionary (for PCs). On your primary monitor, you had the windows application that you'd be debugging. On your secondary Hercules monitor, you'd have your debugging information. Given present day technology, this is a serious yawn, but remember, we're talking about the early 90s here. Macs remained spendy and it'd be another eight years before Microsoft landed dual-monitor support in Windows 2000."

Yes, I'll confirm this was true at least as early as DOS 5. This was possible because Mono cards and color video cards used different IRQs.

I resonate very strongly with this post. Except the part where he became a total Windows nerd, I became a Unix dork. Oh, and he was hacking away at a real job at Borland while I was busy hacking on microcontrollers in my bedroom, listening to the Ramones, getting pneumonia from crawling around in telephone company dumpsters in December, using Turbo Debugger on my second monitor, SysV on my actual vt320 terminal, and just generally being 15 years old.

Ah, memories.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

captcha is easy to break

Jay Allen (author of MT-Blacklist) weighs in on the arms race with spammers:
If you use a captcha, spammers will use OCR. If you make them answer a question, they'll collect all of the questions and answer them one by one, or even better, post the question on their own porn sites as a "bot protection" question on their own sites, hence programmatically getting an answer from another human.
That last part should have you scared. He's right, CAPTCHA is completely vulnerable to man in the middle. Another good reason to dump CAPTCHA and find something better.

Adam Leventhal explains nohup -p

Adam Leventhal explains how nohup -p works.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

adc on gcc

"The GNU Compiler Collection on Mac OS X"

Friday, July 16, 2004

I M P E R I A L V I O L E T . O R G

PyBloom Adam Langley's bloom filter in Python.

Divmod.Org :: Home

Divmod.Org These guys are either insanely smart or just insane. I'll let you know after I try some of these libraries.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

wysiwyg in blogger

Oh hot dog! WYSIWYG editing in Blogger. I'm working from home today with a cold so I forgot this was making it in today. I squealed like a girl when I read CW's post:
One solution, implemented now at Blogger, is to create a mixed-mode enviroment for WYSIWYG where a user can enter rich styling and HTML and have both work. So (as coined by Jason "Mr. Product" Goldman) the result is more of a WYSI-M-WYG or 'What You See Is Mostly What You Get' editor.
Oh man, I've been waiting forever for this! It's so much better than any other WYSIWYG editor I've ever used on the web.

wonders of dtrace

Dtrace looks really amazing. Here's a Google Groups posting about it by the author.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Gmailto for OS X

I keep forgetting to link to this but my pal Jak wroteGmailto for OS X, a way to switch your mailto: handler to use Gmail.

Memory Cell

Memory Cell is a menubar app that keeps track of the RPRVT memory of the process currently running. He's asked to not list it on news sites until it's done. Once it's finished, I'll post it to my OS X blog.

Radeon X800 Pro

"The RADEON™ X800 PRO must be connected to the computer's power supply to meet its performance and high-speed memory requirements." A video card that one guy picked up to play Doom 3. It has 256M of GDDR3 RAM and supports AGP 8x. Any video card with a "lite" version you know has to be expensive.

Habitat Chronicles: You can't tell people anything

Habitat Chronicles: You can't tell people anything

python inspect and pprint

"ONLamp.com: Cheap debugging trick: inspect pprint"

Man, am I glad to see these. I've been programming in more Python than Common Lisp lately so these tools are pretty intuitive to me. That should say lots about the connection between Python and Lisp, none of which hasn't been said before.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004



ONLamp.com: Five Habits for Successful Regular Expressions

ONLamp.com: "Five Habits for Successful Regular Expressions"

XML.com: The Road to XHTML 2.0: MIME Types

"XML.com: The Road to XHTML 2.0: MIME Types" The most useful thing I learned was how to use mod_rewrite to change my mime type.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Clinton on Bushs Tax Cuts

From NPR: Clinton on the 2003 tax cuts.

"And to make matters worse, we gave half of the money to the top 1 percent and an extraordinary amount of the money to the other 200,000 americans like me who paid income taxes on over a million dollars last year and I just think it's wrong. I think it is so wrong. We've got national guardsman fighting over in iraq and the administration doesn't even want to make them eligible for military health care benefits if they're not covered by their own plans. We've increased the cost of veterans benefits at health centers by 500%. We've cut 300,000 kids out of health care programs and I've still got my tax cut? That's my sacrifice in the war on terror? I think it's bad ethics and terrible economics and it's something we're going to have to pay for a long time to come."


What I tried to do was to leave my generation, the baby boom generation, with the security of knowing that their children would not have to support them instead of their grandchildren. It was a huge economic gift to the next generation of Americans. Now we've thrown all of that away on what I consider to be highly self indulgent tax cuts for upper income people. I think it's selfish and I think it's wrong. [...] We should have targetted these tax cuts to middle class people and small business. They could have even been bigger. [...] I would liked to seen an exapnsion in earned income tax credit for lower income working people. They could have permanent. Most of this stuff is just wrong. It's bad economics. It's personally selfish for really wealthy people to have this kind of money. I know no pertinent millionaire in New York, and I know a lot of them, Republican and Democrat, who thinks this is right. I don't know anybody who thinks this is right.

leaving safari

After one too many battles with Safari, I'm ditching it for Camino. Ironic, since Camino is the browser Dave Hyatt started and Safari is the browser Hyatt is finishing.

A few things:

  1. Safari's XMLHttpRequest doesn't allow methods other than GET and POST.
  2. Safari crashes if you use BlogThis on a valid XHTML page served as application/xhtml+xml.
  3. Safari crashes when running certain javascript on valid XHTML pages served as application/xhtml+xml.
  4. Safari crashes if you use more than a single Gmail account for more than an hour.
  5. Safari crashes too much.
  6. Neither Mozilla nor Firefox will open BlogThis! in front of the current browser window.

So Camino it is.

Before you say anything; I report all crashes. For the Gmail issue, I even made the problem reproducible and ran it through many vicious iterations with Apple's Performance Tools trying to see if there was some systemic failure I could report. It was no use. Of course, if it was open source, I'd be able to track it down much farther if not fix it myself.

Some of you will remember that I started using Camino back when it was still Chimera.

Friday, July 09, 2004

New Chip Heralds a Parallel Future

New Chip Heralds a Parallel Future | Lambda the Ultimate: "We programmers are all too busy reinventing the wheel to consider axels, let alone shock absorbers."

A random dude on change happening slowly.

Buy My Vaio

If you want to buy my barely used Vaio, my girlfriend listed it on eBay

Thursday, July 08, 2004

video diary from beyond the grave

BBC NEWS: "Mr Barrows, of Burlingame, California, has filed a patent application for his design of a tombstone that can accommodate video equipment operated by a remote control."

Monday, July 05, 2004

wanted: dot generator in common lisp

Anybody know of some Common Lisp code to generate Graphviz dot files? If so, drop me a note. stevej+dot @ pobox.com

Saturday, July 03, 2004

You have 57 dependencies

You know it's going to be a rough day when you go to install a small package and you need to install 57 of it's friends and, most likely, 50 of their friends.

At least fink takes care of this for you automatically.