April 2003

April 30, 2003

Comments For Everyone

Tonight we’ve enabled guest comments for non-member visitors. This makes it possible for anyone to comment on a weblog entry without going through the rigamarole of creating an account. I really like the accountability of member-only comments but I’m interested to see if we can get more voices involved by making this new channel available.

I’m hoping registered users continue to log in before posting. It adds to your stats and now, it also comes with the added benefit of being able to edit your recently posted comments. Enjoy.

(In addition, there are some backend changes which improve handling of incoming comments as well as generating clean, compliant, well-encoded XHTML.)

[Also: If you’re interested, a number of updates have been added to the Moving Day page since the last time I mentioned it.]

April 28, 2003

Waiting For Little Clues To Appear

“Leave… me alone. I won’t pick… up the phone. And I won’t… listen to… messages. Sent by some…one who calls… up and says, ‘I don’t like… how you’re li…ving my life. Get yourself a wife. Get yourself a job. You’re living a dream. Don’t you be a slob.’”

— Slob, Maladroit, Weezer

(My first album purchase from the iTunes Music Store. iTMS Link.)

[Also, Rachelle and I got music sharing working across networks using this excellent tip.]

April 28, 2003

Apple Music

Not surprisingly, I think Apple’s new music services are pretty slick. Rather surprising, however, is that everyone else in the world seems to agree. Apple is demonstrating once again that interface, integration, and experience are critical to the business plan and I suspect they’re poised to make a fortune from their new technologies.

My favorite feature of the Music Store has got to be the samples. I’m not sure, but I think you can sample every track in the system. And since the store is integrated into iTunes, you don’t need other music software or plugins.

It’s great to see that Rendezvous has finally made it into iTunes 4. Here’s my question about Rendezvous: Is there a way to build a network of peers rather than rely on it to find my peers on a local network? I want to detect the shared music libraries of my friends and family who may be outside of my local network.

And finally, Tabitha should be thrilled because it looks as though Apple has finally taken her advice and rounded off the previously sharp corners of the iPod.

April 27, 2003

Free Your Mind

The Matrix Reloaded

I’ve got pre-opening day tickets to The Matrix Reloaded at the Metreon. Yay!

April 24, 2003

Comet Collectors

Rob and I were in the South Bay at Foothill College last night. The guy on stage was Dr. Scott Sandford from NASA Ames Research Center. He’s collected lunar rocks and even bits from Mars, all right here on Earth, in Antarctica. Yes, there are bits of other planetoids down there. Well preserved and easy to spot.

It’s amazing the lengths to which scientists will go to in order to collect comet dust in the upper atmosphere. Yet understandable when you recognize the types of discoveries which can be made. What would really be nice though would be to launch a rocket, send a vehicle spinning through the solar system, fly it through the tail of a comet at Mach 20 (taking photos and collecting samples the whole time), and return the collector safely to Earth. Sound nuts?

Say hello to the Stardust project.

April 23, 2003


Six Apart, the mom and pop weblog publishing software company behind the phenomenal Movable Type product, made some exciting announcements today foremost among them being the forthcoming launch of a hosted service, TypePad. It’s similar to Blogger, but powered by Movable Type-style technology. Progress on Movable Type Pro, additional employees, and new sources of funding were also mentioned.

This is great news because Six Apart has created a tool superior to most others (like Blogger and Radio) but has always been constrained by a rather complicated installation process and funky technical requirements. Now, the rapidly growing blogger market will be able to initialize a Movable Type installation on a central server with comparative ease. Phenomenal.

Also, congratulations to Rachelle for scooping me on the coolest news twice in as many days. I’m losing my omniwebconscious edge.

April 22, 2003


The GeoBlog map.

I’ve added geographic metadata to iWalt.com to make it possible for tools to know where we’re blogging from. This should make it possible for fantastic projects like this one to track us. In addition, the GeoTags on this site are tied into my Pingthing project so I can keep them up to date on either side of the bay with the click of a button.

[Update: It works! See who’s blogging near iWalt.com.]

This is kind of my way of feeling like I’m at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference despite the fact that I can’t actually afford to attend.

April 21, 2003

Film at Eleven

Friday morning the Bay Area Fox channel’s (KTVU) morning news program re-demonstrated the stunning incompetence of local news services with the following (paraphrased) exchanged:

Anchor: “And now over to Bob with traffic.”

Camera switches to the traffic desk. No one is there.

Anchor: “Bob?”

Bob slides into view looking confused and apologetic.

Anchor: “Don’t worry about it Bob, it’s just live television.”

Bob: “Sorry, I wasn’t aware we were coming back to me…”

Then, from offscreen, not through an active microphone but loud enough to be heard, someone on the set yells, “Bullshit!”


April 16, 2003

No Joy in Drizzleville

Bryce and I watched incredulously as the Giants blew a five run lead and a six game winning streak in the chilly Bay Area drizzle this evening. It was really nice to visit with Bryce though and we cheered the Giants on until the bitter, bitter end.

April 15, 2003

OmniGraffle Pro

OmniGraffle Professional

The OmniGroup released a new version of OmniGraffle today as well as a professional edition. I’ve been using this software for a couple of months now to design website hierarchies, task flow diagrams, and even some fairly complex screen schematics. The new Pro version introduces an awesome new feature which has been sorely lacking from every diagramming tool I’ve used aside from ConceptDraw, multiple page documents. Another unexpected surprise is the phenomenally slick solution the OmniGroup has created to handle their floaters. It’s reminiscent of Macromedia’s cool new design in apps like Dreamweaver but more Aqua-oriented and a bit more slick. Basically, the floaters can be grouped and ungrouped by dragging them near each other, and expanded and collapsed easily.

More on this when I’ve had a bit more time to work with it.

April 14, 2003


I am so freakishly tired. Off to bed soon. Not sure why I’m so exhausted. Zzz…

[Later: I slept for 11 hours shortly after posting this entry. Feeling much better now.]

April 13, 2003

My Tax Dollars

The taxes are finished. So much less painful than last year. Best of all, I was able to do them myself and on time which will save me accountant fees, late fees, interest fees, etc. All of which came into play last year. Now I just have to run all over San Francisco on Monday to drop them in the mail, make an IRA contribution, etc.

April 12, 2003



I’ve been itching for some kind of relatively inexpensive game platform with titles I’m interested in playing to make itself desirable to me for some time now. I was kind of intrigued by the new Gameboy Advance SP until I came to the realization I didn’t like playing those kinds of games. I’m impressed by the XBox and its fabulous online capabilities but I can’t see myself really getting into it and I don’t want to spend all the money for the platform, the games, the online service, etc. The Playstation 2 I have kind of a ‘been there, done that’ attitude towards although I’m sure some excellent titles have been released for it since the last time I looked.

Which leaves the GameCube. It’s a little cheaper, has some nice games, and today Reuters ran a story claiming that as of May 4th there would be a ‘Cube/Zelda bundle. The GameCube, Zelda, and a couple of Star Wars titles for under $250 seems like a nearly irresistible deal to me. Of course, I am ever the waffler on these things so we’ll just have to wait and see.

April 11, 2003

Heavy Lifting

Since launching our Moving Day page a couple days ago we’ve settled on a target weekend for the move, changed the photos a bit, and added RSVP and snack request forms. This move is going to be a party in disguise. Come for the heavy lifting, stay for the munchables.

April 9, 2003


The old domain name is up for renewal soon. I’ve been thinking about changing the domain, renaming the site, going for something more original. The only other domain I’ve got registered at the moment is WaltDickinson.com which might be a viable alternative. What does everyone think? Has iWalt.com run its course? Is it time for something less Apple-inspired? Suggestions? Alternatives? Thoughts? Thanks.

[Update: The people have spoken. It’s iWalt.com forever! Thanks for the feedback.]

April 9, 2003

Orange of Death

Do you ever get nervous, as a result of seeing The Godfather too many times, when you see an orange in a strange context? There was one on BART today. Propped up on the back of one of the seats, staring at me. It was freaky.

[Also: Philip Greenspun meets Dave Winer, starts a blog, stirs the pot.]

[And: WebCore is coming to OmniWeb. Yay! I’m sneaking a peak at the Sneakypeak version of 4.5 right now. It’s awesome. I can’t wait until WebCore is integrated into the operating system and apps like NetNewsWire.]

April 7, 2003

Moving Day: 2003

As many of you know, Tabitha and I are moving into a new apartment just down the stairs from our old apartment in a little less than a month. The amazingly short distance of this move makes the whole process drastically less daunting than the complicated series of moves which have been performed over the past two years. Nevertheless assistance is always appreciated and if you’d like to come by, carry some knick-knacks down some stairs, enjoy some quality lemonade and snacks, and check out our new place, please let us know by email or the fantastic new (and possibly bug-ridden) contact page.

Also, please make note of the official Moving Day page and check back to get the latest details on the move. Thanks!

April 7, 2003


This weekend I: Helped my landlady move into the apartment Tabitha and I are going to move into. Stabbed myself in the left index finger while cutting potatoes. Noticed the air in my tires was low and found a free air pump with a built-in gauge to refill them. Went out to dinner with Tab and her family to celebrate her forthcoming birthday. Washed the tallest stack of dirty plates I have ever seen in my life. Went to see a play in San Francisco. Bought a case of motor oil, a filter, a filter wrench, a pan, and a funnel but was thwarted by not being able to loosen the bolt on the oil tank. Made reservations at a hotel in Paris. Downloaded and enjoyed the third episode of the Animatrix.

April 4, 2003


Every car alarm in a five mile radius is blaring loudly into the night, the result of one of the loudest thunderclaps I have ever heard in my life. I felt it move through me. And I witnessed it make our little apartment creak. Earlier, the thunder was more distant, but it’s always followed by an increase in the volume of rain. Right now it’s pouring harder than ever. When the thunder was softer, the lightning wasn’t noticeable: … Rummmble. Then I could count the seconds between the light and the sound: Blink!Booom! Now, it’s more like: Flash! POW!!!. Downright scary if you ask me.

[It also seems to have knocked out the DSL. Lovely. This will have to be posted later. It’s currently about 2:15 a.m.]

April 3, 2003

Wake Up Blog

I never post anything in the mornings, here’s what’s up with me today. I’m a few moments I’ll be sprinting for the shower, throwing on my clothes, packing my bag, and making a dash for the train. If I’m lucky, those events will happen in that order. Currently I’m in my bathrobe and slippers, thinking that it’s much too cold to be out of the nice warm bed. I’ve just finished reading my email and RSS feeds of the morning. Tabitha has already split for the day, I won’t be seeing her again until 8 tonight.

That’s pretty much how the mornings go around here.

April 2, 2003

Named After The Dog

We’ve recently integrated the fabulous IndyJunior into the iWalt.com profiles. Now, if you have an account and have shared your profile, you can add a map to display your location. Simply log in and edit your profile. Here’s mine. Enjoy.

(Note: Viewing the map requires you to have the latest version of the Flash plugin installed. The object XHTML code has been treated with the wonderful Flash Satay process to make it as clean as possible. Please let me know if you have trouble viewing the maps.)

April 1, 2003

No Fooling

The fates seem determined to prevent me from accomplishing anything of substance this evening so I’ll kill the last few joules of energy bouncing around in my brain with a quick weblog entry. Already the neurons are beginning to congeal. I’ll have to make this quick. The weekend was spent in Santa Rosa. Highlights included hanging out with the family, resyncing the soundtrack on Nani’s Grand Canyon movie, visiting and hiking with Tabitha’s family, and doing a mountain of laundry. Low point: not being able to export Nani’s resynched movie to digital tape or DVD. This evening was spent in Berkeley. Highlights included shopping for groceries, chatting with Tabitha, and futzing with the computer. Low point: losing the hilarious little April Fools Day piece I was in the midst of writing when NetNewsWire crashed and took the entry with it into oblivion. Oh well.

If you happen to come across any truly excellent April Fools Day sites, please post them. (Good ole waferbaby, for example, has done quite a nice job with itself this year.) Thanks.

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