November 2002

November 28, 2002

Turkey Day

The sky over Highway 101.

Happy Thanksgiving wishes from Santa Rosa! Sean has already fired up a Thanksgiving forum subject. So if you happen to be visiting Ye Olde iWalt.com this fabulous four-day weekend, drop in and say hi.

There’s been lots of great stuff to blog about recently but I haven’t been finding the time. One interesting bit (to me anyway) is John Gruber’s rant on the shortcomings of Mac OS X’s “Finder”. He hits the nail so painfully on the head.

Finally, writing the PHP code that handles URL requests from mod_rewrite is a huge pain. It all seems to be working at the moment but there’s always some new exception to discover. If you’re having trouble with anything please let me know. Thanks.

[Also: The drive up was trafficky and brutal but the sunset was colorful and lovely.]

November 25, 2002

Director MX

I guess I have to eat my hat. Macromedia announced Director MX today.

I wonder how long it will take Moodstats to be Carbonized.

[Also: Can you spot me? Hint: It’s almost impossible.]

November 23, 2002

Dynamic Directories

We’re experimenting with a freaky new directory structure in the Weblog section this evening. Out with the ugly, query string-based URIs and in with sexy directory structure URIs. Now, you can get to the July posts for this year at http://www.iwalt.com/weblog/2002/07/. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Yes, I said sexy.

November 23, 2002

Distractions

It’s difficult to not think about seeing the accident yesterday. I’m trying to not spend the weekend wallow in misery about it though.

Last night I inhaled three quarters of a large Round Table pepperoni pizza in about half an hour (comfort food) and vegetated in front of the television for a while (watching Will and Grace and Happy Gilmore). This morning Tabitha and I went to the grand opening of the Apple Store at the Bay Street mall. Got our free t-shirts and marveled at the fanaticism. Then we went to Ikea briefly to buy more coat racks and picture frames.

I’ve been really enjoying the Dooce Road Trip Mix. (It’s at the bottom of the post. The song titles are links to the MP3s.)

November 22, 2002

Hit and Run

So, I just saw probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen. In the intersection next to work, on the crosswalk I cross serveral times a day, I saw a guy fly through the air, rag doll style, and land on the curb, motionless. I was standing on the opposite side of 4th Street. The first thing I thought was, “Am I really seeing this?” The car which had run a red light, nailed this guy and sent him flying, was already past him when he hit the ground. The car slowed briefly, and then sped away. Impusively I wanted to chase the car. I thought if it hit traffic and I was fast enough I could catch up (presumably to drag out the driver and hold them on the street until the police arrived but I really hadn’t thought that far ahead). I might have started running if there weren’t still cars moving through the intersection in front of me. So I just stood there. The rest of the people in the busy, oddly-shaped intersection weren’t moving either. Everyone was frozen, trying to register what they’d seen and what they were going to do next. Some ran to the guy, a lot got on their phones, several started crying. Being that I have no medical skills at all, and that dozens of people saw what happened better than I did, I walked to my building and watched the rest from the window. The police arrived. Witnesses told them what they’d seen, gesturing with their hands how the guy had spun through the air. The ambulances arrived. They cut the guy’s outer clothes off, swarmed around him, carefully checking him and moving him to a board. Somewhere in there he started moving. He wasn’t dead. The board was put on a stretcher. The stretcher was put on the ambulance. That dust that soaks up blood was put on the ground where his head had landed. The cars left. The cops kept talking to people. I left the window.

Be careful crossing the street. Really careful.

November 22, 2002

Insanity Thy Name Is Commerce

The question you have to ask yourself once you’ve made the decision to plan your whole weekend around the opening of a new retail establishment is, “What kind of sick, geeky, degenerate materialist have I become?” If the answer you arrive at is anything other than, “The best kind!” Then you should consider changing your plans … and seeking professional help. If, however, you manage to clear that hurdle, you’re home free and might as well just decide to enjoy the opening of the new Apple Store.

Tabitha and I will be here tomorrow morning. =-)

November 19, 2002

Too Practical

I didn’t go out to watch the meteors this year. I got my finances straight instead. Balanced the registers, wrote the checks, found the stamps, paid the bills, silently cursed myself for letting them get overdue, made sure the numbers all lined up perfectly, wondered where it all went.

I also got caught up on my email and for those of you who I didn’t get caught up with, you’re now at the top of my list.

November 18, 2002

Leonids

Is anyone doing anything cool for the meteor shower tonight? Better yet, anyone got any suggestions for the best spots in the Bay Area to watch them? I’m not sure I’m going to last that late but if I can I’d like to try and see the show if I can get away from the city, and the moon. Lousy moon.

November 15, 2002

CQ

Dragonfly

Tabitha and I rented CQ last weekend. It has to go back tomorrow so I’ve been watching a bunch of the special features from the back of the disc. Among the usual nuggets of cuts, behind the scenes stuff, interviews, and so forth you can also watch both versions of the movie-within-the-movie. Which is hilarious all on its own of course. Seeing the director and some of stars talk about the film made me appreciate it more. It also made me appreciate the staggering amount of money the Coppolas must have flowing through their family.

Yick. Amazon has redesigned their linked-to-product page to further deemphasize the product you’re referencing and emphasize the related products. I really preferred the old design. Also, you know what I use as a dictionary these days? Google. It’s just easier.

November 15, 2002

Software Love

I completely agree with the author of In My Experience about the new Transmit and BBEdit. I bought Transmit 2 the day it came out and I’m trying to psyche myself up to upgrade to BBEdit 7. These two apps are perfect and yet their respective authors continue to improve and enhance their capabilites.

Adobe, on the other hand, released Acrobat Reader 5.1 today. Ugly installation process, ugly piece of software. It still contains oodles of nasty interface mistakes. For example, the Application menu has about eight items, and yet from time to time, the menu puts the Quit item beneath the range of the menu, as if there weren’t enough room to display it. Nonsense. Every item in the Preferences window is an example of how to ignore the Aqua Human Interface Guidelines. The installer uses OS 9 progress indicators and installs an app named “Acrobat Reader 5.0”. So, did I just install 5.1 or not? A peak at the Finder Info window reveals I have.

Some software is comfortable, some is obnoxious. It’s surprising how often the comfortable software comes from the small companies and vice versa.

November 15, 2002

Made My Peace

Ah, the simple joy of having clean, dry towels in the morning. I don’t know about you but I think towels just don’t dry as quickly in the winter months. This creates two problems. One, when you get out of your nice, warm shower in the mornings you have to face a moist, ice cold towel. Two, the perpetual sogginess encourages mold factors. So I made a special laundry trip last night specifically for the towels. And we will be investigating methods for getting them dry faster.

As if by magic, those of you who’ve installed the Forum searching channel for Sherlock will find that there are some improvements today. (You don’t even have to reinstall.) First, I noticed that searching for strings with spaces in them (a la “star wars”) broke the searcher. Second, I noticed that when Sherlock was expanded to full screen, you couldn’t click on the table’s scroll bar if your mouse was flush with the right hand side of the screen, as you should. Third, the object at the bottom which displays the full forum message has been upgraded from a text view to an HTML view which means bigger, better fonts, links in the messages, bold and italic formatting, and line breaks.

November 14, 2002

Search in Aqua

For any Jaguar geeks who want to search the iWalt.com Forums in style, we’ve cooked up a Sherlock 3 channel to do just that. It works pretty similar to the web-based search interface, with similar perks and shortcomings. It should be easy to install the channel into your copy of Sherlock. Enjoy.

November 12, 2002

All Better

Happy Birthday Nani and Nick!

[Wired: “Equipped with a digital camera, an Apple PowerBook and a Robinson R-44 helicopter, Kenneth Adelman and his wife are taking high-resolution pictures of every mile of the California coastline, 500 feet at a time.” Awesome.]

Tabitha loaned me one of her many spare umbrellas. I threw away the old shoes and bought fabulous new ones. The energy saving settings on the laptop were optimized, it got all charged up, and now it’s running version 10.2.2 of Mac OS X. All better again.

The opening of the Emeryville Apple Store was pushed back. Now I think it’s set to open during Thanksgiving weekend. Which sucks.

November 8, 2002

Missed It By That Much

I forgot my umbrella on the BART this morning. My shoes have become squeaky and are giving me callouses. I left the power cord for my laptop at home this morning and have to ration the battery power. Oh well, I guess it’s not that bad.

I’m currently waiting for the latest version of OmniGraffle to finish downloading so I can see whether I can reproduce a content map better in it than I can in ConceptDraw or whether I have to use Illustrator. Oh, how I hate them all so much. But that’s really another rant entirely. I have a feeling though that if my computer had a better video card then OmniGraffle wouldn’t get so sluggish when I’m dragging dozens of Quartz-rendered widgets around the screen. Maybe I should just buy a GeForce4 Ti for my work computer. Nah.

The signs continue to emerge by the way. First, Apple releases fabulous new PowerBooks. Then, the opening day of the Emeryville Apple Store is announced. Now, out of nowhere, my credit card company offers to up my limit. It’s clearly meant to be. Right?

November 6, 2002

Drool.

The New PowerBook G4

Must… not… buy… new PowerBook!

Panic’s Steven Frank is not helping me try to ignore how much cooler the new PowerBooks are than mine. Apparently, he’s got a G4/500 also and feels similarly “drool”ish about the new machines.

It’s just a good thing that the Emeryville Apple Store isn’t open yet.

November 5, 2002

Search The Forums

We’ve cooked up a little search tool for the Forums tonight. You can search for specific strings or select individual users or even forums. It’s still in the experimental phase so if you’ve got any feedback, I’m all ears.

[Also: We’ve had over 20 hits from Kaliber10000 since we updated our desktop screenshot the other day. Which was constructed from the various Reloaded posters over at the official website. Mmm, Matrix.]

November 5, 2002

Fresh Morning Software

There are new versions of Chimera and NetNewsWire Lite available this morning.

[Also: Jon Stewart on CNN: “I’m a king maker. I’m an idol maker. If I had a tie, I would be a newsman.”]

November 4, 2002

Mission Exhaustion

A couple of things to do when I get home. Fix the hideously annoying bugs which have crept into the Blogizer along the way to version 4 and enable the login fields. Get it straight in my mind how the cascading of font settings works in CSS. Take out the trash. Seriously.

[Update: Two out of four ain’t bad. And at least that garbage is gone.]

November 2, 2002

Love and Pudding

Finding Nemo

Tabitha and I went to see Punch Drunk Love last night. It was excellent, highly recommended, I’ve never been so stressed out during a romantic comedy. Everyone says you shouldn’t expect to see Adam Sandler play his usual self (to which I must say “no duh” and “thank god”) but he doesn’t escape his playbook of dopey smiles and furious yelling completely. Emily Watson was great too. Luis Guzman hardly had to be there but I was glad he was anyway. And Philip Seymore Hoffman had a great, albeit short, part and played it perfectly, like always.

There were a couple of great trailers before the movie too. Spike Jonze’s Adaptation with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep looks awesome. As does Confessions of a Dangerous Mind with Sam Rockwell, George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore. Both have screenplays by Charlie Kaufman of Being John Malkovich fame.

I was reminded in all of this great movieness that I never saw CQ but still want to.

Lastly, we note that the trailer for Pixar’s Finding Nemo has arrived. Everybody go check it out. It’s great.

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