June 2003 Archives



June 1, 2003

Move (Again) Complete

If you came to this site yesterday you would have seen a Godaddy page. This is because I moved my domain names all to a single registrar, Godaddy. I have also moved hosts AGAIN. I believe this is the 3rd time in 5 months. And it better be the last! A brief history: I left Tera-Byte because I wanted/needed a reseller account. A month after signing up with InfoBeen they went under. I then went to HostApply as the tech. InfoBeen took my account. While I had no problems with the sites being up at HostApply I was not getting any service, such as getting ImageMagick or NetPBM installed and working properly. So now I am at Cybrisk, and lets hope they do a better job. Now to throw a wrench in this I got a PM on the WebHostingTalk board from the CEO of Tera-Byte. Apparently they are beta testing a reseller program and he is going to set me up with an account. At first I was thrilled at this. He told me he would give me the space I need, all for free durring the beta program. All I needed to do was answer feedback questions etc. This is all well and good except for the fact that I have not yet heard any information about getting an account setup at Tera-Byte. I know when I left Tera-Byte they were using Ensim and Ensim has its own reseller manager app. I have since grown to like cPanel and WebHostManager (WHM) a lot more than Ensim or Plesk. For one thing cPanel makes moving all the site files to a new host so much easier. This is how I am able to move to a new host every month and a half :-P. I just don't want to do that again.

June 3, 2003

Agendus 6

I upgraded from Action Names to Agendus 6 (the software changed names, added features). My upgrade was $7.50. The upgrade was $10 but I got 25% off in an email from iambic. I can't say enough about the upgrade cost of Palm OS software. It is a pretty big upgrade feature wise to boot! They added a "Today" screen ala Pocket PC 2002. If you still use the built in Address Book and Date Book apps you should check out Agendus 6!

Resume 2.0

There is a good reason I have not been posting much lately. I have been hard at work on my resume. I came upon a job that I would fit just right. One small problem though - I could not find my resume. Anywhere. It was no where to be found. And naturally the deadline for sending in a resume for this job was in a day! Yea, fun. But I did get resume in the mail. Check it out if you like (pdf) and leave some feedback. This resume is looking a lot better then the last. I now plan to take my resume to the Writing Lab on campus and get it tweaked a bit. I will then post the revised copy.

Nvidia accused of cheating in 3DMark 03

UPDATE: Well look at this, Futuremark is eating its own words. They drop the aligations of the nVidoe cheat, "Futuremark now states that Nvidia's driver design is an application-specific optimization and not a cheat," said Futuremark in a statement. ORIGINAL POSTED 05/28/03: Full story from GameSpot. This is pretty funny since the ATI 9700 and 9800 still do better in most tests then the nVidia GeForce FX 5800 and newer 5900. So the new 3DMark 03 patch curbs the "cheating" from the nVidia driver.
By Futuremark's measure, the performance of the Nvidia GeForce FX 5900 Ultra drops 24 percent with the patch, compared with a drop of less than 2 percent with ATI's Radeon 9800 Pro with the latest ATI drivers.
I have personally always liked ATI a lot more. But the I am a Mac person and ATI has always been stronger on the Mac side. That is why when I chose my config for my PC I got the ATI 9700 Pro and I am glad I did. I wonder why nVidia would do such a thing. They must be feeling pressure from the ATI 9800 Pro's release as the 9700 bested the GeForce FX in many tests. Poor nVidia, not on top of performance anymore. Boo hoo.

June 7, 2003

It has been a long week

What a long busy week I have had. And to top it off friday I find out that there are all sorts of problems with the Key Yearbook database that is used to track senior pictures and yearbooks sold. That is a serious mess requiring a lot of extra work for the yearbook's secretary, and for me later on. Multiple problems equal one thing: FUBAR. So that is something I can add to my list of things that need attention this summer. I started training the Creative Director, Paul, of Unigraphics these last two weeks. We are hoping to roll out this invoicing system I have been working on for so long. While going over the vendor line items layout Paul gave me another "oh, can you add this." This translates to "I forgot to mention this to you six months ago, but could you add it." These types of things are not a problem, and they do not annoy me. It is fairly easy to implement new things. This time it is a markup on the vendor price. A percent dependent on the total vendor cost. It will require me to add two more calculation fields and change the grand total calc. as well. The thing is that these types of additions take time to put together. They push back the target roll out date, no one other then me seems to realize that. I have tried many times in the past 6 months to freeze feature additions to this database system, but it seems that that is not possible. And just like this vendor markup price, it is something that needs to go into the invoice now and not later. I am going to be very glad when this thing is in use. Of course that means it is on to phase 2 for me - Reports and Help System, yay.

The Italian Job (2003)

I cannot stand it when a movie trailer shows not only plot points, but resolves key parts of the movie later on in the trailer. The Italian Job's trailer did exactly that - told the entire movie. They did that with the Episode 1 trailer to a large degree as well. I really was not interested in seeing The Italian Job. And would not have if it were not for my buddy Mike who wanted to see it. Of course the only reason he wanted to see it was because of the new Mini Coopers in it. They were pretty cool. There were some nice driving scenes. But this story was just about revenge over the death of someone. Very over cooked if you asked me. Now after saying that it wasn't a bad summer flick. I am interested in seeing the original now, that's for sure. It was not too long, it didn't drag on and on at all. I would have much rather seen Bruce Almighty, but The Italian Job was an above average film. It was no "wow" but you don't get those every time you go to the theater. It got pretty good reviews and did well at the box office so I must not the be the only one who liked it. Oh, one more thing, I noticed Spider Man in the movie.

June 9, 2003

Again, what is this blog?

A friend of mine (who will remain nameless) asked me what exactly this blog is for. I can tell he is after a classification. I am not sure I want to classify this web site. The original thought and reason I started Breaking Windows was the fact that I had just purchased a PC and wanted to chronicle my experiences with it, as I have never used a PC on a daily basis. I have always said "I know enough about Windows to break it." That is where the name came from. And when I found that the .com was available (the .net is home to some Breaking Windows book that I might just read) I grabbed it as soon as I could. What a great name! So the that was the concept for the site. Oh and this is just for Jake. He is a cry baby, but anyway: Jake had this blog, at the time called Inside the Mind of Jake Ortman (yea that scares me too) that has evolved into UtterlyBoring.com which is also a great name for a site. At the time I was trying to figure out this blog stuff and which software I wanted to use. Well he kept bugging me and bugging me that I needed a blog. And I did, they are pretty cool, and I am all about doing the "cool" things. No really, I really liked the idea of having a personal CMS at my fingertips. Once I saw the community behind Movable Type I was sold (and it is free no less). Now I cannot give 100% credit to Jake, I had the idea to blog about my Windows experiences, but thanks in part to him this site is here. There ya go, there are your props, you deserve it. Originally I was not even going to post any Mac stuff, or much of anything else that has been posted on this site. So I cannot really classify this site. If you ask Jake he will tell you "its that spoiled little bitch's blog." But it has evolved into much more then "this has been my experience with Windows" and "these are my cool toys that Jake doesn't have" site. It is sorta like a diary, and at the very least it helps keep my sane. Why don't I just come out and say it. I like to rant about stuff. Raving is fun too, but not as good as ranting. This type of thing is an outlet that we all need. Some people write in a diary or a journal. I prefer typing it. As a technical note, I put this site together because I do not have to adhere to any client requests. I can do whatever I want with it. I don't have to think twice about using all CSS for the layout, etc. etc. It is nice to have a site like that. I can't state that enough. It is really nice to have a site that I can do whatever I want with. Unless you develop web sites you might not truly understand this. So I hope you enjoy all the gibberish I post, and hope that you spread the word about that "spoiled little bitch." Oh and yes I have plans for that domain, I just do not know how to bring those plans to fruition yet, technically.

Who uses cursive anymore?

I found this on Slashdot. I found it a great read, and a very real issue.
Handwriting experts fear that the wild popularity of e-mail and IM, particularly among kids, could erase cursive within a few decades. With 90 percent of Americans between the ages of 5 and 17 using computers, it's not uncommon for kids to type 20-30 WPM by the time they leave elementary school. Keyboards, joysticks and cell-phone touch pads have ruined kids' ability to hold a pencil properly, let alone write legibly, says the former president of the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting.
I know I do not use cursive anymore. I had to learn it, but that was about it. I have always printed block letters even when I was learning cursive in grade school.
"The truth is, boys and girls, even if you write a lot of e-mail on the computer, you will always need to write things down on paper at some point in your life," Boell says. "The letters you write to people are beautiful, and they'll cherish them forever. Have any of you ever received an e-mail that you cherished?"
This is a valid point. But I have a lot of experience in grading papers (my mother was a teacher) and the majority of kinds did not use cursive on their homework that was not cursive homework. And this was years ago when I graded papers for my mom and the other teachers. If a student used cursive it usually was hell to grade because it was sloppy. But I do agree that kids need to learn correct penmanship.

DVD Authoring FAQ

Everything you ever wanted to know about DVD authoring but never asked! It has some great info. I guess if you are a geek it has some great info, heh.

Acronym oh Acronym

Yes there are that many.

June 10, 2003

Laugh at Me Kicking a Scale

This looks so funny. Mike made this photo illustration for this multi-part feature in the local paper. The articles are centered around how people eat too much, and don't exercise. Not that I fall into that demographic. hah. So I kicked the crap out of a bunch of air for about an hour one day. This is what the final comp looks like. Click to enlarge (if you really want to). It is pretty funny, I must admit. I am all blurred out but anyone who knows me here in BG would be able to tell who it is. This was a 4 column photo, nearly the entire top half of the paper today, in color of course. The only time I will ever be on the front page of the paper :-P

Gollum has a potty mouth!

Check out his MTV acceptance speech.

June 11, 2003

Internet Headers in Outlook XP

UPDATE
I could not think of the name of the software last night, but Calypso 3 is the only other email client I have found on Windows worth its salt. Its really nice and I used it for a while but got irritated at things like the quarky address book. Jake makes a good point (read the comments) about how Office for the Mac was a pile. Office 4.2.1 _shudder_ Word 6 and Excel 5 _shudder_. Office 2001 (where Entourage first popup up) was good and as Jake sais Office X "is a work of art." Outlook is not perfect but its pretty close and the best thing out there for Windows. If someone wants to show me a better solution then please do. ORIGINAL
I used to use M$ Entourage for my email (before that all I used PINE and Eudora). I was tempted to switch to OS X Mail when 10.2 shipped, but didn't. I stuck with Entourage. It is such a well put together email client, not to mention a good PIM that made Palm Desktop unneeded. Just to clarify: Entourage is the full featured PIM bundled with Office for the Mac like Outlook is the bundled PIM with Office for Windows. I guess I made the mistake of thinking that M$ Outlook XP would be much better then Entourage. I was wrong. Its no secret that I think that Outlook is inferior to Entourage. The main reason I do not like using Outlook is the fact that it hides things three or four windows, clicks, deep. There are numerous things that I think are buried deep in dialog boxes, but today I am focusing on just one: Internet Headers. There are many reasons you might want to look at the Internet Headers of an email. That would be this junk for those among us who have not yet been initiated:
Return-Path: <---@---.edu> Received: from localhost by ---.edu with LMTP for <---@---.edu>; Tue, 27 May 2003 11:39:55 -0400 Received: from ---.edu (---.edu [129.1.5.18]) by ---.edu (Switch-2.2.6/8.11.1) with ESMTP id h4RFdtm04585 for <---@---.edu>; Tue, 27 May 2003 11:39:55 -0400 (EDT) Received: from ---.edu (---.edu [129.1.5.20]) by ---.edu (Switch-2.2.6/Switch-2.2.6) with SMTP id h4RFdt919411; Tue, 27 May 2003 11:39:55 -0400 (EDT) MIME-Version: 1.0 Reply-To: ---@---.edu Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 11:39:55 -0500 From: "Ken Edwards" <---@---.edu> Message-Id: <---@---.edu> To: "Ken Edwards" <---@---.edu> Cc: ---@---.com Subject: killer web site X-Filtered: Sendmail MIME Filter v2.3.1 ---.edu h4RFdt919411 X-AntiVirus: Sendmail Anti-Virus Filter ---.edu 4.1.60 4266 h4RFdt919411 X-Text-Classification: real X-POPFile-Link:
(Yes I took out the addresses, domains, and link from POPFile-Link, I get enough SPAM as it is I do not need a bot picking up my email addy any more than already happens thankyouverymuch) My latest reason for wanting to look at Internet Headers is because I am looking into setting up SpamAssasin on my server. I have it available to me, so I might as well use it. Just for reference, POPFile tells me that 83% of the mail I get is SPAM. If I can setup SpamAssasin to bounce SPAM, I am all for it. In Entourage I would go to the View menu and select Internet Headers (or something very similar, don't quote me on that, I do not even have Entourage installed anymore, and I am not about to take the time to install it just for this post.) If I click on the View menu in Outlook I do not get options for the selected email. I get View options for the application itself, such as the different panes to view. In Outlook you have to open up the email, double click on it, then that View menu has options for that email. Why make Outlook the odd man out in email client software? That's an easy one: because its Microsoft. OK now I've got this email open in a new window. But alas there is no View > Internet Headers. There is View > Message Header which hides/shows information like the subject line. That's clever. You need to go to View > Options... to open up the Message Options dialog box to be able to see the Internet Headers. Why would you make this very simple process so dang complicated. In OS X Mail and in Entourage (and Eudora I believe) you can select a message from your inbox (without opening it), go the to View menu, and toggle Internet Headers on. It also displays those headers in the preview pane. Outlook displays the Internet Headers in a field of the Message Options dialog box. I guess what my main beef here is that View > Internet Headers, or hell even View > Options... is a level deep. It cannot be accessed from the main inbox view. You need to open up the email in a seperate window. What if I right click on a message in my inbox? Surely they would have put a View Message Headers option in the context menu. Nope. It is the same deal. Go to Options... which opens the Message Options dialog. I come from a Mac background and am not used to right clicking everything in sight like Windows folks are. I do however use contextual menus and keyboard shortcuts a lot. But the idea of a context menu is to be secondary as well as be in context to the object you are clicking. The keyword there is secondary. I know it's not going to work like a Mac, and I know that the MacBU and the Windows Office team are separate developers but why make so many things buried in Outlook XP in comparison to essentially the same product on the Mac. It is almost as if Windows users are used to the complexity of it all.

June 12, 2003

Egypt bans 'too religious' Matrix

Global blockbuster The Matrix Reloaded has been banned in Egypt because of its "violent" content and because it tackles "religious themes". Full Article.

New Woz Interview

It is the first of a two part series from SunSpot.net. Check it out! Here is the second part of the interview.

June 13, 2003

Frisbee Golf, First Time This summer

The other day Paul and two of the Unigraphic interns, and myself went disc golfing. Its the first time I have played this summer. The course is right next to my apartment. I should get out there more often. the Unigraphics crew plays once a week so I am going to join them. Its a ton of fun. I wasn't that great off the tee, but short range and shots "on the green" were pretty good. I went to The Shed and picked up a golf frisbee for myself so I don't have to barrow one again.

Introducing 210west.com!

As the saying goes, one is never enough. So here is another blog that I am part of. This one was not my idea though. I am hosting and helping with the technical stuff like templates etc, etc. The idea is great! You see 210 West Hall is the BG News newsroom at BGSU. 210west.com was put together by a number of BGSU BG News graduates. It is an independent journalism blog. Rock on! You need to check it out. As we add more stuff I will post more about it (who says blatant advertising doesn't work). For the time being the domain just resolved to my name servers, and I just got MT 2.64 installed. There are a number of articles already though. So clicky clicky!

Down with the Calendar

I got tired of it. It was like a status symbol. Not to mention a nagging reminder that I didn't post anything on x day. Plus now the Search box is oh so much closer to the top of the page. :-O

June 16, 2003

New Design for 210west.com

Wasn't this an eventful weekend. I have so many things I want to post about but I have been working on this new design for 210west.com, please check it out and tell me what you think. There still is a small bit of tweaking to do but for the most part this is the final design. Now I get to work on all the other templates that are needed to make MT pretty. I am getting the hang of the MT code a lot easier then I thought I would. I really like Movable Type it is a hell of a nice CMS. I made the mistake of ding all the CSS stuff in Dreamweaver (DW). I got all done with the CSS and I have now come to the conclusion that DW does not like the ie5pc box model hack, which I have successfully used in the design of 210west.com. DW eats the hack for breakfast, it mangles it. I do not know why but if I edit a style such as #left that has the hack in it it will mess the definition up and put say a font-face in the middle of the hack definitions. DW should be able to handle this. the box model hack has been around for a while now. for those not familiar with the hack, here is the CSS for the left column:
#left { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; color: #dedede; position: absolute; top: 100px; left: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 10px; border: 0px; background: #333333; width: 230px; voice-family: "\"}\""; voice-family:inherit; width: 210px; } html>body #left { width: 210px; }
I ended up just using HomeSite and let me tell you, things went a lot smoother. Its cool to be able to say I developed this entire template without a lick of DW.

Duplicate a File

This might seem small, but if you are doing a lot with files in Explorer (or the Finder) it is big. It is big to me. As you may have guessed by now I am a big advocate of user interface and usability. I would have never noticed the absence of a Duplicate command in the contextual menu of Explorer had it not be for the fact that I use Duplicate a lot in the Finder. Say that I want to duplicate a file in the Mac OS - you either hit Command + D or right click and select Duplicate. In Windows I have to right click and select Copy, then select Paste. Is there a keyboard shortcut in Windows to duplicate a file?

June 17, 2003

Kung-Log is the best yet

Kung-Log is the best desktop blogging app out yet. It surpasses w.bloggar for the simple reason that it uses the built in Mac OS X spell checking. w.bloggar does have a spell checker, although I have found it to be very bad. w.bloggar is much more of a robust WYSIWYG editor. The options available are nice for sure, but I do not need all that when posting to a blog. The customizable HTML menu in Kung-Log is very nice, even allowing you to assign keyboard shortcuts. Where the customizable HTML tags feature takes a really nice turn is the ability to insert things from the clipboard. So all you do is have a URL copied, then select the text you want the link wrapped around. Once you select URL from the HTML drop down box that link is made from your clipboard. This is VERY NICE. It saves the paste step altogether. Since I have the Textile plugin installed it shows up in the Text Format popup in the Settings pane. This is another reason I like Kung-Log over w.bloggar or NetNewsWire. I can choose between using MT's text formatting or not. Kung-Log can grab info from iTunes. Thats a novelty, but cool none the less. I am listening to this right now: The Last DJ from the album "The Last DJ" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers The way Kung-Log handles the way you handle linking things in your entry is unique and I think is the best feature it has. The preview window does a great job. Being able to select installed Text Formatting plugins is nice. And the very customizable HTML tags drop down menu is very cool. Kung-Log takes advantage of the great spell checking in Mac OS X, and this is a huge help for someone who cannot spell that well. These features all add up to the reason I will now be doing all my blog posting on my TiBook. I just figured out that I can select multiple categories for a post. Nice touch. Editing a previous post works well. I found problems in editing posts in NNW. I am very impressed with this software. The full version of NNW costs $40, this is donationware. I will donate for sure! Kung-Log has a feature for uploading files. I will have to play around with this and see how it works. I will use MT to do this as it has a template setup for this, and the server makes the thumbnails automatically. Just to see if it works I have used the built in image upload and thumbnail creation ability in Kung-Log. I am not sure if it using the Perl module to do the thumbnail or not but it works.

New internet link [Fast TCP] downloads films in seconds

Holy Toledo Batman! This is insanely fast. This is interesting so I did a google search on it.
The average transmission rate was 925 megabits per second, compared with 266 megabits for ordinary TCP. "By ganging 10 Fast TCP systems together, the researchers have achieved transmission speeds of over 8.6 gigabits per second, which is more than 6,000 times the capacity of ordinary broadband links," said New Scientist.
Full Story from Ananova.

Back to the Future Trilogy DVD

I have spent the past 5 days watching the loads of extras on these 3 movies. It is amazing how much work was put into this DVD set. I borrowed this from a buddy of mine but I am going to buy it now! It is worth every penny. The quality of the movies is excellent. Bob Gale says in one of the many features that it is actually one generation better then what was shown in theaters. I am very impressed with the quality because my memory of these films is from VHS, bootlegged VHS actually. So watching these on DVD sure is nice. I have been wanting to see these movies on DVD for a while. The Back to the Future trilogy is a fond memory from my childhood. Just seeing these movies on DVD is enough to get this set. But I cannot stress enough how much extra commentary and features are on these 3 discs. All three discs have different features but all have 4 main features in common: The Making of Back to the Future, Making the Trilogy, Q & A with Robert Zemechis and Bob Gale, and Feature Commentary with Bob Gale and Neil Canton. These 4 things make up the most of the DVD and are the first things I watched (after watching the movies of course). The other extras found are pretty standard such as deleted scenes, out-takes, and special effects features. Each movie has an Animated Anecdotes (full length feature) track, but this did not work well at all on my DVD player. It does have a note that says: This function may affect playability on some DVD models. And it sure does because the animated anecdotes don't work. These anecdotes do however work in my PC I just found out. So I will have to watch that track on my computer. This is sorta like Pop Up Video on VH1 that has little bit of info that pop up on screen. Bob Gale, the Writer/Producer for the trilogy does a wonderful job. It is him that really makes this set shine. It is a shame that Robert Zemechis was not on the Feature Commentary but Bob Gale more then made up for it. He talked through out the entire movie, and explained quite a lot about the story, as well as how things might have gone but got changed in the writing process. One thing I was always amazed about was the amount of product placement in the trilogy. Many of the stories Bob Gale told were of product placement. He also explained some of the more obvious and not so obvious gags in the movie. There is so much information on the background of the film, the special effects, techniques and technologies created by ILM, and info about the story and plot points. The amount of extra features in this set is over and above what is seen in a DVD release these days. Bob Gale really makes all the features shine. He does the Feature Commentary as well as all the other features such as the deleted scenes, making of features, etc, etc. One of the many interesting things I learned about Back to the Future II is that Elijah Wood is one of the two kids in the Cafe 80's at the arcade. This is just one of the cool things I found out about the Back to the Future trilogy. These movies have always been in my 'all time favorites' list, and this DVD set shows so much more about the trilogy.

June 18, 2003

New design is live

My new design is live and everyone likes it! I only have 2 templates for finish, archives main index and the date based archive. Other then that the new design is in place. I added an advanced search page today as well. I found another great reason to use Brad Choate's MTRegex plugin today: automatically add target="_blank" to the links! The Girlie Matters is where I found this most excellent tip:
<MTAddRegex>s|a href|a target=\"_blank\" href|g</MTAddRegex>
Next on the list of things to do for 210west.com: those 2 above mentioned templates and the search results template. Oh and some day I will update my own blog's templates ;-D.

Exploror 5 for the Mac dead

I know this is not breaking news as I did not post this last friday when this broke but it is big news. MS has stopped development of IE for the Mac. They are releasing a security and performance update and that is it, no future development. Also see Apple response to MS dropping Exploder, a, I mean Explorer. It sounds like MS is giving in to Apple and Safari (in the MacCentral article). But I do not think that it is Safari that MS is giving in to. I could be wrong here but I think there are more geko based web browsers (Netscape, Mozilla, Cameno) being used then Safari by OS X users. Lets face in tabbed browsing has hit the mainstream now that Safari has them and even non geeks are learning how nice they are to use. MS would have to put in much time to add features to IE such as tabbed browsing, and a password manager/forms autofill feature to name just a couple. IE has forms autofill but its not that great. Once again Apple has taken something a bit too "geeky" and made it the defacto standard, tabbed browsing. Since Safari is still labeled a "beta" product there are a lot of users who will not touch it. I know this because I have supported enough end users over the years to see this first hand. Some people are afraid of beta software. But with Apple pushing Safari so much people are gonna download it and go "holy cow" when they realize how much faster it is compaired to IE. Of course when people tell me this I ask them if they have ever heard of OmniWeb or Cameno or Mozilla. Of course they havent because those are geeky web browsers. If you look at a comparison chart of the technologies that IE 5 for Mac supports, and compare that to Mozilla and Safari you would be very amazed as to what IE is limited too, and the kinds of holes that exist in the IE engine. But this really does not matter because people will still be using IE 5 for OS X a year from now because they don't like to change. Just like the many administrative offices at BGSU are still using Netscape 4.7. I think the MacBU at MS is much better served not developing IE though. I am glad they have stopped. Not because I hate IE for Mac, I do, especially from a web developer standpoint, but because I think they can use those developer resources on other projects. Lets not forget that MS now owns Virtual PC. I for one cannot wait to see a faster Virtual PC running on my OS X box.

June 20, 2003

A new CSS color model!

This was posted by Jake at Utterlyboring.com but it is just so darn cool news I had to post it here. I got his permission of course :-D If you have ever done any major Photoshop or desktop publishing work, you know that adjusting the hue, saturation and lightness (HSL) values of colors is a quick and easy way to adjust colors, especially if you're looking to adjust a color to make it a slightly different shade. Coming, in CSS3 is a whole new color model that will allow HSL colors to be used online. Why is this nice? The advantage of HSL over the current RGB model is that it is far more intuitive: you can guess at the colors you want, and then tweak. It is also easier to create sets of matching colors (by keeping the hue the same and varying the lightness/darkness, and saturation). Here's an article that discusses it a bit more.

G5 at the WWDC?

Will the WWDC (that is World Wide Developers Conference) bring an announcement of a IMB 970 based PowerMac G5? Everyone from Slashdot to The Register and many places in-between are reporting that Apple leaked specs on the AppleStore.

The specifications read:

  • 1.6GHz, 1.8GHz, or Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
  • Up to 1GHz processor bus
  • Up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM
  • Fast Serial ATA hard drives
  • AGP 8X Pro graphics options from NVIDIA or ATI
  • Three PCI or PCI-X expansion slots
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • One FireWire 800, two FireWire 400 ports
  • Bluetooth & AirPort Extreme ready
  • Optical and analog audio in and out

This is a good spoof of Steve Jobs' response, funny! Here are some screen shots I have found.

My thoughts: Apple might have done something like this on purpose. Steve Jobs loves a big show. And how many more people are going to be interested in the WWDC now. I mean the WWDC is a show for programmers. There is going to be a delayed webcast of the keynote (otherwise referred to as the "SteveNote") plus all the Apple Stores will have the "SteveNote" piped to them. This smells fishy, I say this is Apple marketing at its best. Apple has other things up their sleeves. "Panther" or OS X 10.3 we know about, that is the reason WWDC is being held so late. But what about a new PowerBook? With all the rumor (and non rumor) sites a buzz about the IBM 970 and the G5 that puts questions about a new PowerBook in the background for a day or two. And that is all Apple needs. The WWDC keynote is Monday. Who knows. Maybe all we will get out of WWDC 2003 is a first look at 10.3, but Apple usually plans for tricks.

Maybe they did fire someone over this?

"The position manages day to day publishing requirements such as image updates, third party loads, pricing changes, new feature enhancements, application improvements and application testing. Position also supports product launch deadlines, managing graphic and business resources to achieve business objectives."

President George W. Bush a "professional fascist"

Now this is rich.
TV3 has apologised after a graphic labelling US President George W. Bush a "professional fascist" flashed up during its primetime news. The baseline graphic, which was supposed to have promoted an upcoming weather bulletin, was aired to 360,000 viewers halfway through Wednesday night's news.
It cant get any better then this, it was a "absolutely genuine mistake."

June 21, 2003

My new bike

Yesterday I went down to the BG cycle shop and got a Giant Yukon. There were two reasons for this purchase, the first being more of need then want. My car has broke down, it doesn't like to start and when it does it likes to stall. But that is another blog entry all together. The second reason for getting a bike is because of want tho. I had a 15 speed Diamond Back stolen from campus 2 yrs. ago, and have wanted to get another bike ever since. I just now have more motivation: transportation. I must admit the seat on this thing is the hardest seat I have ever ridden on. I understand that if you are using a mountain bike to actually go mountain biking, you are not sitting down much at all. But man does it hurt the arse! I picked up a gell cover for the seat at Meijer today so we will see how that goes tomorrow when I go riding around town. This means I can bike around the corner to the frisbe golf range. yay! I never thought that 24 speeds would be worth anything. i'm used to a 10 and 15 speed bike. This one has 24. While riding home from work today (see I told you there was a need, good thing I live close to campus) I messed around with all the different speeds. Pretty cool. I have also never had a bike with shocks on them. Wow what a difference. I have never so effortlessly shifted gears either. In short I have never had a bike this nice before. It rocks. Oh and BG has a paved bike trail, so now I have a good reason to use it.

June 23, 2003

Panther (Mac OS 10.3) Screen shots?

Some are saying they are fake, some are saying they are real. Check them out. Special thanks to SPeedY_B for the link!

Nike Shox for Sale

When the Nike Shox first came out I bought a pair. I wore them for maybe a half an hour and decided I could not use them. What a disappointment. I have flat feet, and the arch in these shoes is unreal. If you know anyone who would want to own a pair of size 14 Nike Shox BB4 please email me ken[at]meancode[dot]com. Thanks. Also if you would pass the word around that I am selling them. if you know anyone who would want them let them know too. They have been sitting here in my bedroom and I want to get them out of here. i'm willing to negotiate the price. I will give you a fair deal since these are the old style Shox. So, any takers?

   

   

   

   

June 24, 2003

Martha Living Behind Bars

My dad sent this to me last week. The only reason he had found it is because so many people were sending it through his mail server, hehe. Needless to say it was a popular image. I don't have any idea where it came from so I cannot credit it. But whoever made it has a good sense of humor.

   

   

   

   

   

Donating to Movable Type

As if you could not guess I love Movable Type. It is all but as powerful as a full blown Content Management System. Today I become one of the donators to the Movable Type project. It is free to non for profit organizations, but its really too good to be free. So now I have a recently updated key, I will also be listed on the donor page. Pretty cool. Maybe that will get more eyeballs.

Touch Keyboard for 15" TiBook

No Jake, I do not one of these (Sam I am). I have a big dent in my TiBook (long story) and I don't even want to pay to get that fixed. At $259 for the TouchStream MacNTouch keyboard (interesting side note - MacInTouch is the web site of a very good Macintosh new site), you would have to REALLY be spoiled to go out and spend your money. But no Jake, I would much rather spend my money on on of those new dual 2 Ghz G5s that were announced today. But back to this touch keyboard for the 15" TiBook. That is pretty slick. One thing is for sure, it would not scratch the screen (well OK the TiBook keyboard doesn't scratch the screen but it looks like it does). That keyboard is an interesting layout, but I think it could work. I would buy it for its not-scratching-the-screen abilities myself tho. But since I do not use my TiBook nearly as much as I used to, there is no need for such expenses :-P.

The New PowerMac G5

Well isnt this nice. If I had waited 6 months I could have spent about $4000 on a new dual 2 Ghz G5 (1 GB RAM, ATI 9800, AppleCare) but alas, i spent less then $3000 on the P4 rig I have now. I am sure some of you are wondering would I have gotten the G5 over the P4. Hell yes I would have. Here is why: * downloading virus updates almost daily to combat Windows viruses * running virus software in the background all the time * scheduling virus sweep once a day * scheduling disk defragmentation once a day so my computer doesnt slow to a crawl * having to run a complex firewall to keep things out of my system * running ad and spy ware killing tools every so often I am sure I could come up with a longer list if I really wanted to. But those are the major ones. All of those things do not need doing on the Mac, and more spacificly OS X. Now am I going to go get a new shiny G5 and ditch my P4? Nope. I don't think that would be a wise thing to do. After getting the first model G4 PowerBook I have learned a good lesson. Do not buy the first model of anything. I may buy one in the future, but I will wait until the second generation comes along. That 3 Ghz G5 "within a year" doesn't sound too bad.

Apple's False Advertising

I have never understood this: Since the first G4 Apple has used the Pioneer DVD-RW drive in their systems. First it was the 103 (1x) then 104 (2x) and now the 105 (4x). The DVR-105 is neerly identicle to the DVR-A05, I do not fully understand the difference, but there is one. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Apple's SuperDrive, as they call it, is a "DVD-R" If you look at the technical specs pages it says "SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)." This is not the case. It is in fact a DVD-RW. Both Apple Disk Copy and Toast can whipe and rewrite to a DVD-RW disc. Why? Because it is a Pioneer drive. Pioneer is not going to make a special drive that has less features. This causes a problem. You have both new and old Mac folks asking the question. Is it a DVD-RW? Well yes it is timmy, but Apple doesn't like saying that. This makes Mac users out to be stupid, and PC folks love to yuk it up to the expense of stupid Mac users. And believe me, I have seen my fair share of stupid Mac users. I have seen my fair share of stupid PC users too, its just that the stupid Mac users are more fun to laugh at (for me) cuz the computer and the OS are already made with easy usability in mind. So if anyone would like to weigh in on why Apple does not promote their SuperDrive as a DVD-RW and only a DVD-R please comment. I think it is bad for potential "switchers" or Mac folks looking to buy a new Mac, like say that new G5. I cannot count the number of times I have told both Mac and PC folks that yes it is indeed a DVD-RW they are getting. If you do not believe me go into Apple System Profiler (Apple Menu > About This Mac, click More Info) and check out the Devices & Volumes tab. It will say Pioneer, and if you got the latest G4 it will say 104, that is a DVR-104. So please, please, help spread the word. We are here to educate those who cannot seem to go to a web page and look at the actual specs. But no, I do not blame people for not knowing. I blame Apple. They are the ones marketing it as only a DVD-R drive. Why Apple, why?

Good RSS article

Sharing Your Site with RSS is yet another good article from Webmonkey. I just came across it. On a related note the RSS template for SMARTY is almost finalized I am told. I finished it in April but they are still discussing legal issues and what not.

Improvements in Panther

The improvements to Panther are pretty nice. Some seem noveltys and some seem way to late to the table. Safari 1.0 - Its about time. Making Safari the default browser in 10.3 makes sense. Putting out a SDK for it makes even more sense. I have heard from developers that the HTML rendering in 10.2 is lacking. Exposé - Now this is something that is beyond Command+H. This really takes window management to an entirely new level. Fast User Switching - Its about time. It looks like it works well. I was talking to a buddy of mine, Eric, about how OS X needs to have a multiple desktop enviroment like this new fast user switching works. At first thought it might work using a "Work" user and a "Play" user and a "Code" user etc. to have different desktops. But they you have to think about user permissions and preferences. Font Book - Its about time. When Adobe said "No ATM for you!" when OS X came out Apple should have seen the crying coming. Also with a zillion and one places to store fonts, thats just confusing, even to the people who understand what a network font folder is. Not only that but here is some functionality that OS 9 had that OS X did not (a gripe all too common, and rightly so). In OS 9 if you double clicked on a font you could preview it. That does not exist nativly in 10.2. Font Book provides this and more. Finder Labels - Its about time. There are however better solutions out now. Labels X from Unsanity and Path Finder both offer the traditional colored folder idea from OS 9. I am not sold on the color the folder name thing. But then I have not played with this 10.3 beta yet. It doesnt matter, labels are back in OS X with no 3rd party apps required! woo hoo! Revamped Finder - There are some nice updates here. And I am glad to see the changes to the open/save dialog boxes as well. The developer of Path Finder must have the Panther beta or seen these screen shots because the new beta of Path Finder 2.1.5 has similar functionality with the new left pane of the Finder. I just wonder if the new Finder is any faster? I saw Folder Actions are back. Here is another OS 9 feature that should have came "out of the box" in 10.0. (Folder Actions allow you to attatch AppleScripts to folders.) Preview - Its about time. Finally you can search in a PDF. Making it "faster then Acrobat Reader" has that because we can moxi to it as well. The other improvements shown off are nice, but they did not really make me say wow. Faxing? Sure if you need it, thats nice that its there. Mail - nice improvements but lets not get too cocky, the Baysian filtering added in 10.2 is the best feature yet. So they are finally using named in the address book like they should have from the start. iDisk - I don't use it but the new sync feature sounds like a nice feature. iChat AV - I don't have a video camera, but now Apple wants to sell me one, the iSight. FileVault - ever hear of PGP? Although this is yet another feature that was in OS 9.1, the ability to encrypt and decrypt documents. All in all 10.3 sounds like another solid upgrade that SHOULD NOT cost me $129 AGAIN. But please! How many new features in 10.3, just like the new features in 10.2 were leftovers from the OS 9 days. It doesn't matter, I will get the 10.3 upgrade the minute it comes out. These new features sure look nice.

June 25, 2003

Drunken Student Falls to His Death at Church Cookout

Gregg told me about this. Full Story.

Different G5 Comparisons

Check out this page to see some different numbers from what is seem on Apple's site. Reading the hate mail at the bottom of the page is pretty funny. As we should take any kind of comparisons with a grain of salt, this guy looked in the PDFs provided on Apple's site. I think the most obvious fudge is the turning off of HyperThreading on the P4 and Xeon procs. Also using libraries that the common computer buyer/user would have access to is pretty dumb in my book. Its worth a read. It gets beyond the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field a little bit.

June 26, 2003

The Firm List

The Firm List is a wonderful site. The site offers both resources and links to web design & development firms. It is only a shame that it is run by one guy. I added my business but to be added sooner he wants me to fork over $50 to be a "Full Member" this will get me on the site faster.

Uberlink CSS Rollovers

Those crazy cool folks over at PVII (that would be Project Seven) have a cook tutorial, Uberlink CSS Rollovers. This is pretty slick. Most all of there stuff is. Check it out!

Lingerie Bowl 2004

Check out the Lingerie Bowl, a live pay per view event to be televised during halftime during the 2004 Super Bowl February 1, 2004. The event will feature two teams of models in custom lingerie taking part in a 7 on 7 tackle football game. Hell yea! My buddy Darrell sent me that link. Can you tell that neither one of us were working?

Screens from FileMaker Pro Project

We have reached a major milestone. On July 1 Unigraphics will start using this system. I wish I could say they were going to use if for live invoice billing. The University still has to make a validating application for this system since the output of this goes directly to the Bursar. This has been a long battle because the programmer that needs to do this has many other things on his plate. They will start putting in info so when we do reports we can do a fiscal year to date. That is happy news. It also means that my training is going to start paying off as they will be using this thing regulary.

Here are 4 screen shots of the finished layouts. The Find layout looks pretty much the same on all files. I am using orange to make a difference from data input to searching. I don't need them doing data input on a search layout. That would be very bad!

Invoice - Main
Invoice - Find
Clients - Main
Clients - List

June 27, 2003

I got my car back

It sure is nice to have my car back. I can do things like go to Meijer again. Its always nice to have food (and beer) in the apartment again. It cost me $300, but it seems that it works better. So it was well worth it. It rained yesterday (the problem was that the car would not start after a rain) and started just fine. So I am happy about that!!!

Mozilla Advocacy

It is so amazing that people think that Internet Exploder is the end-all be-all of web browsers. But on the other hand I guess it is not so hard to believe. People are take what they are given. It is so fun converting Exploder users into Mozilla users. Once they find out what tabbed browsing and ad blocking does for them they are hooked.

My Opinions of the G5 case

Brawn(tm) Razor. That is what it looks like. But I guess that is how they are able to cool it. Whatever. I am sure the front grille will grow on me. I am glad they kept the handles. I am very glad to see USB and FireWire on the front of the case. I am going to be picky here and ask why not 2 USB and 1 FireWire. There are many PC cases that have two USB ports on the front. A headphone jack on the front is also nice to see, after all the iMac has had front headphone jacks for a while now. Why Apple decides to put the power button right next to the headphone jack is beyond me. On the G4 towers the power button is at least a inch away from the reset button. My main problem with the design is the lack of drive bays. It used to be that you got 4 drive bays on the Mac tower case (such as the 8500 or the G3 Server). The Blue & White G3 case went down to 3 then 2 drive bays. You could still install things into the G3 and early G4 cases though. The latest G4 cases (Quicksilver and Mirrored Door) only has 1 open drive bay (for a Zip drive or another optical drive). Now with the G5 case there is no open drive bay. What I like about the last two G4 cases is the ability to get the SuperDrive and a CD-RW. You got a Pioneer DVR-105, and the option to get a Sony CD-RW. Why Apple chose to use a slow CD-RW drive I do not know (the Sony CD-RW in the Quicksilver burns at 12x max). Having a second CD drive is handy no matter what. It is nice to be able to have 2 CDs in your computer. Call me lazy (lazy). The latest CD-RW's burn at 52x and RW at 24x. Mine at home burns at 48x and RW at 16x I think. So I can RW faster then I can burn a CD-R with that Pioneer 105 in the latest G4 and the new G5. Having a second bay in the G5 case would allow you to put in a fast CD-RW. If you look at the picture on Apple's site of the inside of the G5 case there is no place for another drive bay. Look at where the RAM slots are. Two words. Wasted space! I dislike the inside of the G5 case more then I dislike the outside. You now get no expansion bays at all. There is also no room to add internal storage (just two drive bays. You used to be able to add drives to a SCSI or IDE chain in older Apple cases). But is that needed? I don't know. You can buy internal and external components to most everything. I would just rather put them inside my computer. Portability of a hard drive or a CD burner is one thing, but so is clutter. But in true Apple style this case looks just as nice to open up and add/move things around like PCI cards and RAM. I can say from experience that the Dragon case of my Alienware rig is not the most friendly and/or spacious place to be moving components around. You can't have it all and I would much rather have the design of the Apple case then the expansion of your standard PC case.

Two (2) Button Mouse

With the release of the IBM 970 chip and the PowerMac G5 I would think it would have been a good time as any to also release a (first party) 2 button mouse. I was chatting with a buddy of mine, Eric, about this and he had a good point. Sell a single button mouse with the consumer line (iMac) and a two button mouse with the pro line (PowerMac). Well why not just sell it as a BTO (Built to Order) option on the Apple Store. Although I don't know if people would really mind having a second mouse button. Just sell all Apple computers with 2 button mice. This would save the cost of buying a two (or more) button mouse from another vendor. Also think about this: am Apple designed two button mouse would be very easy to use. I am sure they would come up with nice placement for the two buttons, and why not a scroll wheel? It would look beatiful and be much more functional. At least with a PowerMac or iMac you can get another mouse. Do you realize how much nicer it would be to have a second mouse button on my PowerBook? I realize this goes completely in the oppisite direction of the entire 'ease of use' theory Apple has going for it. Apple seems to think that a second mouse button confuses people. Well I know total nOObs that are even starting to see the power of a second mouse button. It is almost like when you figure out a cool keyboard shortcut. Apple has done a great job at putting very usefull options in the contextual menus of OS X, they need to sell a two button mouse with the Mac. UPDATE: Oh and another thing: Why on earth is the Pro Mouse $60? It should be wireless for that price. You can find two and three button mice for 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of an Apple Pro Mouse. I mean, you do not have to put that much engeneering into a single button mouse. Also think of this. Don't most people like to work faster on their computer? multi-button mice do this. Just like keyboard shortcuts make you work faster. We OK now I am just trying to make a point to not having/using a two button mouse. Which incidently I read comments on at the Macworlld Forums and which prompted this post.

Mac OS X accounts for 20 percent-plus of Maya sales

Full Story from MacCentral. 25% domestic and 20% global sales of Maya going to the Mac? That is impressive. I only wish that was the market share of the Mac platform (pipe dream, I know). I really did not think the percentage would be this much. Our School of Art at BGSU has a a G4 Maya lab though and they are faster then the dual and quad Pentium 3 based SGI Maya lab. It is nice to see numbers like this. Not only for the Mac but for OS X. The more people that use OS X the less I have to deal with OS 9 related support questions :-P

June 28, 2003

Online Conversion

This Online Conversion site rocks! "Convert just about anything to anything else" I cannot tell you how much I use this site!

The RIAA and "The Little Guy"

Is it just me or does music cost too much? I for one really like the $9.99 Price for an album on the iTunes Music Store. I just wish the Apple Music Store had more music, and more full albums. From this report on The Register
... But we also believe that the business model for music, and the pricing of it in particular, needs a major overhaul. As it happens, so did the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The following is verbatim from a ruling from May 10, 2000. “The FTC estimates that U.S. consumers may have paid as much as $480 million more than they should have for CDs and other music because of these policies over the last three years.”
Now the RIAA is after its end users, individuals, not just stupid morons that are pirating TONS of music. They are now after my 80 year old grandma because she gave a friend a couple Frank Sinatra songs (that was hypothetical, my grandmother does not even own a CD player, hell I don't think she has a tape deck in the house.) I agree that there needs to be a better way to get music. paying $15 to $20 for the latest CD is not it. Apple's plan seems to be working, out of the gate at least. As the article points out its about supply and demand. People will create the supply because there is way too much demand, and the RIAA is not the ones providing it. Think of this. Before Napster no one knew about the RIAA. Now everyone, even people who don't know what MP3 is, hates the RIAA. They created that, not the customers. Now they want to sue them. i'm not gonna disagree with the fact that the artists deserve money for their work, but the entire music business model needs some serious adjusting. Anyways it is a great article, as most from The Reg are.

June 29, 2003

Street Lights in BG

I find this a little weird. The street lights of BG go on and off periodicly. Its when they do this when you are stopped at a stop sign and they go on or go off that its freaky. Why do they do this?

June 30, 2003

Splinter Cell for PS2

The one game that I had for XBOX that I did not want to give up was Splinter Cell. Well I sure was happy when they announced it would ship for the PS2. I was presently suprised to see the movie at the beginning of the game is different. The cut scenes are also somewhat different. Even more interesting to note is that the levels are changed around a bit. The objectives are the same but the way you complete the objectives, and the strategy used is different. I cannot believe it! I wonder if they made things different for the Game Cube version of the game, or the PC version. I figured it would be a direct port from the XBOX version. It is nice that they changed things up a bit because I had finished the first 3 levels of the XBOX version. Things are not exactly as they were, which is nice. Splinter Cell does really push the hardware of the PS2. I know when they developed it first for the XBOX they spacifcly made it for the XBOX capabilities. The PS2 does not handle the night vision goggles effect as nice. Also the loading times are killer long in comparison to the XBOX version. The lighting doesn't seem as crisp either. This is the first time I have seen a game on both the PS2 and XBOX and noticibly seen the PS2 get its but whooped in graphics and performance. On the other side of the coin though: The PS2 handles particles in Splinter Cell better. The fog effects through the game are much nicer. The XBOX doesn't do fog and rain well and I don't know why. Every play the Tanker Mission in Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance on the XBOX. When you are outside on the ships deck there is a rain effect on the "camera" that the XBOX just chuggs at (That was the main reason I waited for Substance to be released for the PS2, I might review that in the future). This is such a well put together game thought the loading times don't subtract from the fact that this is one of the best games I have played in years. It also seems harder on the PS2. I am in the second mission right now and because of the changes made to the level design it makes the game a bit harder. But thats OK with me. This game is so much fun.

Telemarketing opt-out site swamped

Full Stroy from C|NET. All I gotta say is "Well duh!"
"We knew it would be popular," said David Torok, Do Not Call project manager for the FTC. "But we've had overwhelming demand on the site. We were logging in 1,000 transactions per second, and by noon 370,000 users had registered."
I hope this works. It sure would be nice to recieve no more telemarketing phone calls. Now they just need a web site like this for SPAM. It would have to be handled by the FTC as well. I would love to see the FTC lay down some fines on SPAMers. Now this is just rich:
Even those fortunate enough to get through to the site and register Friday had trouble. For some--ironically--the desire to block unwanted marketing calls was tripped up by the blocking of unwanted marketing e-mail: Internet service providers either routed the Do Not Call registration confirmation e-mails to users' junk-mail folders, or prevented the messages from reaching in-boxes, due to the way users set up their spam-blocking filters.
And Yahoo sent these confirmation emails to the bulk email folder. Nice job!

May the Force be with Sony servers

"Nobody's ever had this kind of first-day volume in a game like this," he said.
It is funny hearing that from a SOE representative since EverQuest is also a SOE game :-D Full Story from C|NET. I figured something like this would happen. After all the game has been in development for years, and in talks for even more years. This game has finally got me interested in the MMORPG. Im still not sold on the fact that they charge $50 for the game then $10+ a month for access. I do not fully agree with the pricing strategy. But this game might change my mind about MMORPGs, who knows.



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