February 2002

February 28, 2002

Be still my beating heart.

A Cocoa-based, Gecko-powered web browser? Yes. [Via Macslash]

Behold the mightiness. Behold it!

[Also: Wired writes, “The iPod is perfect for virtual shoplifting.” Via Rob]

February 27, 2002


“In a case that raises ethical issues, a woman who may be doomed to develop Alzheimer’s within 10 years has given birth to a baby who was genetically selected to be free of the disease, researchers said on Tuesday.” Amazing.

[Update: I guess this story isn’t as “amazing” as I had initially imagined. It does kind of set the stage for designer offspring, a promising (if not bone-chillingly terrifying) prospect. I’m curious to know what people think of this step in the genetic engineering arena.]

February 26, 2002


Rob and I (and Rob’s friend Chris (and someone Rob knows from work (and her S.O.))) went to the SF chapter of SIGGRAPH’s “A Night With Pixar” Monday night. Very cool. Four Pixar employees described their roles in detail and demonstrated how their work adds to the film. One was a conceptual artist who worked on early sketches and storyboards. One did the blocking and framing for each scene. One was an animator. And one was a computer graphics specialist. (The kind of guy who makes sure the computer takes care of making Sulley’s hair move well even when it’s colliding with other objects.) I was really glad to have gone and feel like I have a much better sense of how the Pixar process works. Still though, it’s amazing what they can do.

I’m finally starting to dig the latest build of OmniWeb. Their CSS-rendering has really improved. I still think it’s kind of a strange browser but they seem to be improving it faster than anyone else is improving theirs.

[Update: Jessyca pointed out to me that it was SIGGRAPH’s gig, not AIGA. Which is true.]

February 23, 2002

Photoshop 7 for Mac OS X

Adobe Photoshop 7

There’s no going back now… This is the last big killer app and may mean never having to boot into Classic again. My favorite new feature? More AppleScripting features to automate repetitive tasks. Adobe’s Actions work well but this will be nice. The new Pattern Maker feature seems pretty cool too.

[ Adobe | Apple | MacCentral | MacSlash | MacNN | Macworld ]

Kudos to Apple as well for making it possible to order your copy or your upgrade now. You can’t even do that on Adobe’s site! Hehehe… Now if only the ship date weren’t all the way off in April I could really be excited about this.

February 23, 2002

All Around

Rob: “I nominate this for iWalt.

Mom: “I’ve been reading Leonard Peltier’s most recent book.”

Scott: “I pledged $10.” [Forum]

Me: Busy weekend already. Been trying to get caught up on a project I’ve been spinning my wheels on. Getting my mind around Final Cut Pro 3 so I can finally put together the little movie I’ve been slacking on. Really getting into the concept of Jabber but haven’t got the programming “I-don’t-know-what” to take advantage of my ideas. Downloading episodes of Invader Zim and trying to figure out how to run the whack format they’re in on a Macintosh.

I thought everything is easier on a Mac… =-)

February 21, 2002

Mr. Show on DVD

Thanks to Sam for bringing this to my attention. Two full seasons of Mr. Show, arguably one of the best sketch comedy shows of this or any other era, are are coming to DVD.

[Related: The Mr. Show website is no more but there is now a Bob and David site.]

February 19, 2002


Invader Zim

If you’ve been living in a cave, two of the best shows on TV have been canceled. Futurama has about a year’s worth of unaired episodes left but Fox hasn’t ordered any more. And Invader Zim has been cut from Nickelodeon.

Now, I hardly watch any TV these days. I don’t get Nickelodeon and I usually forget to watch Futurama, but these two shows are better than 90% of the rest of the crap of television combined. So do what you can to save both won’t you?

You can start buy signing the Invader Zim petition.

[Update: Nick, who has never seen the show, has nonetheless picked up the sword of righteousness and signed the petition. Thanks buddy!]

[Further: There are currently, 38366 signatures! Good lord. I wonder if those can possibly all be legitimate. Seems unlikely doesn’t it? I also wonder if web based petitions like this carry much weight. The makers of Futurama encourage people to send written letters to Fox, rather than e-mails…]

February 18, 2002

Humble Request

Does anyone subscribe to HBO Comedy West or East? This is a specific channel of HBO, not general HBO. If you do, can you record off it onto VHS? Does anyone know anyone who might be able to do this?

I ask because I’ve got a bunch of people I want to show Eddie Izzard’s “Dress To Kill” routine to and buying the tape off the web is both expensive and a pain in the ass. (Transfer it to DVD and sell it on Amazon fer crying out loud Eddie!)

Please let me know if you can hook me up. Thanks.

February 17, 2002

Notes from San Diego


“A fan shall not know disloyalty. Nor discouragement. Nor personal hygiene.”

It’s nice to see that there are still some hardcore Star Wars geeks out there willing to take to the streets for months on end in order to ensure that they wind up front-row center on opening night. Not saying I would join them or anything.

Amélie is quite a cute movie. [See photo.] Very sweet. Very French. Very feel-good. Thanks to Rob for the suggestion and to Tabitha, Jessyca and Mitch for the company.

Tabitha and I also watched Woody Allen’s Celebrity which I think we both liked though it’s not really worth seeing again. Leonardo DiCaprio’s cameo was pretty funny though.

Nasa’s Photo of the Day of San Diego.

February 16, 2002


I submitted a photo to the waferbaby city project recently. I’d like to do one for the eye project as well but haven’t found the right angle, lighting, etc. (It’s hard to take a good photo of your own eye.) Hopefully the 100 frame fusion will be launched soon. I’m interested to see how that came out in the end.

Daniel (the guy behind the waferbaby) wrote me recently, out of the blue, saying (among other things) that iWalt.com was “sex-e”. I don’t mind telling you that such praise made my day. =-)

[P.S. I’m reading Scott! Keep up the blogging.]

February 14, 2002

Happy Looove Day

We here at iWalt.com love all our visitors. One in a romantic way, some in a familial way, most in a platonic, “thanks for stopping by” kind of way. But no matter which way it is, we’re all about love.

We’ve got some nifty elevators here at work. People have been trapped between floors, sometimes the doors open before the elevator finishes moving, and the other day I reached out to keep the doors from closing to let someone else on and the doors just closed on my hand. It was quite painful. For some reason it didn’t occur to me to hit the emergency stop button but later I thought, “What if my hand were part of the way through the door?” Fortunately it wasn’t and I still have all my fingers, but I learned an important lesson. Always hit the emergency button. And carry a portable power saw.

[Love-related: The cofounder of /. proposed to his girlfriend on the web site this morning. Result? Success.]

February 13, 2002


Yes, it’s a contest. There’re even prizes. iWalt.com humbly presents its first-ever competitive endeavour, the 74th Annual Academy Awards Contest, powered by the Oscarmatron 1000. Vote for the winners in multiple modes. Win amazing and highly desirable merchandise. Play for the love of the movies.

February 13, 2002

Berkeley Loves Tabitha

Yup, it’s true. Odds are good that Tabitha will be relocating to the Bay Area in the not too distant future. Which, of course, means that the scheme is going perfectly to plan. We at iWalt.com are quite thrilled about this (needless to say I’m sure). More as details emerge.

In other news, I’ve plowed through a rough draft of the Oscarmatron 1000. I needed a place to rant about the Oscars and all the ways in which they’re wrong while at the same time finding out what everyone else thinks. Don’t bother filling it out yet. It’s not done. But feel free to check it for accuracy. Thanks!

[P.S. I think Mozilla 0.9.8 for Mac OS X might (emphasis on might) be better than Internet Explorer 5.1.3 for Mac OS X. Any thoughts? Aside from the fact that I’m a dork who compares bleeding edge web browsers for weak market share operating systems?]

[Also: “‘Lord of the Rings’ is better than ‘Star Wars’!” From Salon.]

February 11, 2002

The New iMac Ads

Now I want one more than ever! The new, dancing iMac.

February 8, 2002

ArsDigita bites the dust.

Man, this is disillusioning. I really thought that ArsDigita was destined for greatness. I’m not sure why actually. Well, mainly because I think Philip Greenspun understands important aspects of web publishing and internet-based communities. Oh well. ArsDigita is no more.

[More: Some views on working for aD and why it failed. Eve Andersson and Lars Pind.]

February 6, 2002

Five hours and nothing to show for it.

After a couple failed attempts at writing some AppleScripts (one was supposed to take a file path and a recipient name and encrypt the file for the recipient, the other was the 2.0 edition of the Linkifier written with AppleScript Studio which allows the whole thing to happen in one window) and at least a good solid hour playing with the stylesheets for iW5 (at the end of which I decided that I really liked the existing font and color scheme here more than anything I was coming up with). I’m putting this silvery time-thief to sleep and going for a freaking walk.

Out yo.

February 5, 2002

I knew I stayed up late tonight for a reason.

Tim Conner’s BlogScript is now compatible with any system which supports the Blogger API and is now an open source project.

[Also: “If this is what a laryngitic Austrailian can figure out, just imagine what a pro could do.”]

February 5, 2002

The Super Bowl Ads

Rachelle wants to know where the Super Bowl Ads can be found now that AdCritic has gone the way of the digital dodo. Right here. No QuickTime though. Bastards.

Found via the Daypop Top 40.

February 5, 2002

Whoops. Sorry about that…

Wow. It’s stories like this that force me to question what the hell we’re doing over there. “Even guards and translators accompanying TIME’s reporter in the village walked away muttering anti-American sentiments.”

Some alternative views from the mainstream are presented over at dack.com.

[Also: “America is the real religion in this country.” Norman Mailer criticizes our “patriotic fever”.]

February 4, 2002


I musta been in a crappy mood earlier. Please disregard my rant. I’m easily annoyed when the “experts” dis my favorite company. And I’m conflicted about whether some 70s late night comedy sketches are funny anymore, or just rude. I’ll stick by my opinion that Mr. Show rules. Ahh, a comedic touchstone.

I was feeling better earlier because Tabitha called. That’s good. But then I watched Mission To Mars. That’s bad. But then I made tea. That’s good. But the tea was decafinated. ? (That’s bad.)

[Listening: New York City, They Might Be Giants]

February 4, 2002

Jakob, Jakob, Jakob…

So I read yesterday’s Alertbox by Jakob Nielsen over at useit.com just now. I agree that industrial design is only half (or even less than half) of the battle and that improved software design would better the lives of everyone who has had to deal with computers. But then he started in on the psycho-babble…

“Much has been made of the flat-panel display on the new iMac, but the use of anti-aliased typefaces in Windows XP is the true revolution in screen design this year.”

As I’m reading this I can’t help but notice that all the fonts on my screen are anti-aliased and I’m using Mac OS X, an operating system which (as of the time Jakob posted his article) ships as the default OS on every Mac made and was released before Windows XP.

“Unfortunately ClearType [the XP technology that Nielsen is so ga-ga over] doesn’t work on traditional CRT monitors, but even worse, it’s turned off by default in new installations of XP, even for users with flat screens.”

The monitor I’m using at the moment is a CRT and smoothing is on by default. Same goes for LCD monitors.

“There, reading the Alertbox just saved you $2,000.”

I guess by Nielsen’s rationale using Mac OS X would save you the same amount of money. And you don’t even have to wade through his poorly informed ramblings to figure it out.

[Note: Nielsen’s Alertboxes are quite often a good source of common sense. Just not this one.]

February 4, 2002

The Latest

Massive Sandwich

Too long between blogs. Thoughts piling up. I’m addicted. Need my fix. Here we go:

Tabitha’s off to her grad school interviews. I haven’t talked to her for 24 hours. That’s too damn long. =-) While we were talking yesterday she said something about being out of her natural habitat for a week. Tabitha. Habitat. Anagrams. I don’t know, I’m weird.

“I bent my Wookie!” — Ralph Wiggum. (The episode where Lisa and her rival play anagram games.) [Incidentally, also the infamous bee episode.]

Rob drove me up and back to and from Santa Rosa for the Super Bowl yesterday where we watched the game with our respective families. If you know me you know that I have a condition which makes it impossible for me to pay attention to sports for more than 200 consecutive seconds. I really try. But I always discover (to my surprise) that I’ve picked up a magazine or walked into the other room. I was happy the Patriots won (since that’s who Dad was routing for) and it was a very exciting conclusion. Which I did see and was paying attention to. =-)

Earlier in the weekend, I rearranged my kitchen/den, put up the Ikea shelf, and assembled the Target bookcase. Yes, I buy cheap furniture. I put up some posters as well which make the room much more cozy. But now the living room/bedroom is jealous.

[Photo: Rob’s massive Super Bowl sandwhich. Photo by Rob.]

February 2, 2002


“In 1982, two friends played their first show together on a stage in central park.”

“In 2002, their tale will be told.”

GIGANTIC (A Tale of Two Johns)

A movie about They Might Be Giants.

February 2, 2002

Don’t Stop Thinking

I think I started reading this series by Scott McCloud (called I Can’t Stop Thinking!) a while back and probably thought something like, “This is great, I’ll read this as soon as I get a chance.” And then promptly forgot about it.

His whole micropayments thing seems so right-on to me. It’s not about stealing music. It’s about freedom to distribute and cutting out the middle-man. Definitely worth a read.

[Also: The frost over at Harrumph!]

February 1, 2002


Market Street

I’ve been using Moodstats for a month and a half now. At times I get a little behind and have to retroactively determine how I was feeling over the past week. On the whole though I’ve done a good job of keeping up. (Spending $15 on completely unnesessary software will do that for you.) It’s strangely comforting to know that my moods are now quantified and stored remotely, becoming part of a vast database of highs and lows, loves and fears, joys and stresses. =-)

It’s been a year since he arrived in New York and redesigned his site. Now Mark has finally restarted his weblog as well. Check it. It’s good stuff.

I hate it when I touch my metal-cased computer and get a big fat spark.

[Photo: The view out my office window of Market Street this evening.]

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