August 2003

August 30, 2003

Mind Meld

We’re coming to you tonight from my family’s iMac G4 which is a deeply disturbed little computer at the moment. It’s poor operating system has slipped completely off its demented nut. It seems that after launching, and after successfully logging in, none of the user accounts are able load the Finder. Or, for that matter, many of the other programs. Therefore, we’re running off the OS in my laptop via FireWire disk mode while we troubleshoot. There is not a lot to go on from either Apple’s support website nor Google. If you have any insight or need further clarification, we’d love to hear it and would be happy to go into more detail. Thanks.

[By The Way: We’ve tried logging into single user mode and running fsck several times. It seems to encounter the same errors each time. We’ve also tried dumping the Finder preferences file to no avail.]

[Update: Okay, I think we’ve reached the “rescue as much data as possible then nuke the disk from orbit” phase. (It’s the only way to be sure.)]

[Lastly: We’re all better now. Check the comments for more.]

August 27, 2003

Apple + Happy Cog + Stopdesign

“Rumor” has it that Apple plans to work with the venerable Zeldman and the honorable Douglas Bowman to update and improve the website. No doubt exists in our mind that such a collaboration would produce an experience of overwhelming web standardy goodness and amazingly slickish Apple-branded user interfaces. Both Mr. Z and Mr. B have announced their involvement in the project. Schaweeet!

[Elsewhere: K10k, MacUpdate, Dominey, MacSlash, MetaFilter…]

August 26, 2003

Home Alone

Velvet and I are kicking it bachelor style this week while Tabitha is visiting her folks. The fuzzball is feeling much better and has settled into a routine of resting on the chairs in the living room, staring out the window behind my desk, conking out on the couch with all four paws in the air, and eating all her food and keeping it down. I’m feeling better as well although the cough of this cold is lingering.

August 21, 2003

Dappled Shade

We’re very pleased to announce our lovely gf’s new weblog, Dappled Shade. She would like us to mention that it’s still evolving into what it’s going to become. As are we all.

August 21, 2003

A New NetNewsWire

Brent Simmons made a public beta available today of the next version of NetNewsWire. There are a ton of new features and great improvements. First off, the upgraded software uses the Safari HTML renderer (WebKit) to handle the rendering of feed content. This makes feeds with sophisticated markup look a lot nicer. That major new feature is just the beginning though. For example, handling of updated entries has been vastly improved with new user preferences, including the ability to show the differences between the earlier post and the update. Another great feature is that feeds which previously showed no date (because the feed didn’t include a creation timestamp) now show an arrival date which makes it easy to get a sense of roughly when something was published. Finally, the whole program feels faster now. Even on an aging PowerBook G4.

All around a very nice surprise for a Thursday afternoon.

August 20, 2003

Going Strong

Tabitha and I.

It just doesn’t feel like four years. =-)

August 18, 2003

I Am A Meat Popsicle

I have been getting sicker for 4 days now.

It’s just a cold but it’s the kind that makes your throat sore, your nose run, your lungs cough, your back hurt, your head ache, and saps your body of every ounce of energy.

August 15, 2003


In our apartment, in the bathroom, in a brown paper bag, way in the back, is a cat named Velvet. She is covered in black fur, green-eyed, an industrial-strength purr machine, and scared out of her mind. If you reach into her hide-out she won’t scratch but she will go completely limp. Once you get her on to your lap all the fear vanishes and the purring and frantic stretching take over. She likes hiding in her bag, timidly taking tiny steps into the hallway, and curling up in the bathroom sink.

We’re fostering Velvet which means she’s on loan from Berkeley Animal Services while the summer kitten frenzy is underway. Fostering cats during said frenzy helps keep the cages from getting overpopulated which in turn means less cats have to be put down. Tabitha’s been volunteering at the shelter so she’s got the inside track on the most friendly fuzzballs for fostering.

P.S. I’m convinced that this cat is equipped with a cloaking device.

August 14, 2003

Blogging By Candlelight

Apparently the power is out in New York city and much of the rest of the north eastern United States and parts of Canada. I hoped to see some local bloggers remarking on the strangeness but then I remembered… all their computers are out. Not to mention many of their ISPs and routers I would imagine. Weird, wild stuff.

Elsewhere: BoingBoing, MetaFilter, CamWorld, Fireland, Kottke, Grant Barrett, Paul Ford, Amy Langfield, Gothamist, Mark Shewmaker, Rachelle Bowden, Zeldman.

Reuters: “New York Major Michael Bloomberg said it was likely a natural occurrence.” Translation: This is part of our regularly scheduled “scare the shit out of everyone” program. Please resist the urge to loot for as long as possible.

Moblogs rise to the occasion and fill the void.

August 11, 2003


Toobin' on Lake Tahoe.

Much fun was had by all during our weekend by the lake. Thanks to the folks and everyone else for a wonderful time.

August 9, 2003

Tahoe Dialup

We’re in Tahoe this weekend for a microvacation with the family. So naturally I brought the computer and plugged it into the nearest phone jack I could find. Switching down to dialup speed connections is always so painful. It’s important to remember that tons of people still connect to the internet this way. Especially when you’re creating really heavy websites with unnecessarily huge images and bloated messy code. Not, you specifically of course. But any of us who do this thing.

August 7, 2003


So I tried to sign up for Google’s AdSense program. (Cause all the cool kids are doing it and my goal in life is to riddle this site with advertisements.) But they shot me down. Why, you ask? “Chat sites, personal pages, search engines, sites that contain predominately copyrighted material, and sites that drive traffic through cybersquatting,” are all, apparently, verboten from participating. Now most of these are understandable and I can even see why Google would screen some personal sites. But I can’t help but notice that a number of “personal” sites coughDerek Powazek/cough somehow coughSteven Frank/cough got through. Not that I particularly care. I just wanted to try it out.

August 7, 2003

The Safari Sidebar

Safari, with a sidebar.

Safari needs a sidebar. I was really getting into the usefulness of script-driven sidebars in Mozilla and Internet Explorer before Camino and Safari took over (thank goodness) and (unfortunately) did away with the sidebar. I’m really hoping that a sidebar implementation finds its way into a not-too-distant future version of Safari.

August 6, 2003

Atom 0.2 Support

I am a content syndication junkie. I subscribe to over 100 feeds from various weblogs, tech websites, news sources, and so on. I’ve written scripts which publish six feeds of content from this site as well as five feeds for other sites. Every hour more new entries arrive in my aggregator. Since I choose the sources, the entries are generally on topics of interest to me. At this very moment there are 17 unread entries. I know this, because NetNewsWire knows this.

Innovation in content syndication formats is something of a war in certain circles of bloggers. One format (RSS 2.0) has won widespread acclaim for its ease of implementation and adaptability to many forms of content. A newer format (currently called Atom) is being developed which promises comparable ease, similar adaptability, but also greater flexibility and a more robust specification in order to handle additional formats and languages.

We’re continuing to support the old while adding on support for the new. All the feeds can be found on our Feeds page which is updated regularly with the latest improvements for both formats.

Update: Kottke writes about updating his feeds, the syndication war, and the value of human-readable XML formats. Anil then takes him to task for implying that human-readability and meme generation are the hallmarks of a superior format.

August 5, 2003

Happy TypePad Day

I’ll be kicking around TypePad for a month or so. You can find me at I don’t think I’ll roll the posts there into or anything, I’m mainly keen on studying the interface of the tool and seeing what they’ve cooked up. So far I’m really impressed. No particular surprise there.

If you’ve been looking for a simple yet powerful system to get started blogging with, TypePad is the way to go. I think the rates are very reasonable, particularly the $5/mo. plan. Considering what you get, it’s a huge bargain.

August 4, 2003

The Joy of InDesign Installation

Putting software on your Mac OS X-powered machine can be a beautifully painless process involving nothing more than clicking a link to initiate a file transfer. Or it can be like this:

  1. Launch the Adobe InDesign 2.0 installer.
  2. Click ‘Continue’.
  3. Accept the license agreement.
  4. Enter the serial number.
  5. Click ‘Install Now’.
  6. Select an installation folder.
  7. Click ‘Install’.
  8. “No other applications can be running…” Close other applications.
  9. Click ‘Continue’.
  10. “Installation was successful…” Click ‘Quit’.
  11. Restart.
  12. Launch Safari.
  13. ‘’
  14. Support » Downloads
  15. Products » InDesign » Macintosh
  16. Check updates for version 2.0, none required.
  17. Check updates for version 2.0.1, download the 2.0.1 update.
  18. Check updates for version 2.0.2, download the 2.0.2 update.
  19. Download the Long Document Performance update.
  20. Download the Memory update.
  21. Download the Text update.
  22. Download the Excel Import Filter update.
  23. Launch the 2.0.1 update.
  24. Click ‘Continue’.
  25. Accept the license agreement.
  26. Click ‘Install’.
  27. “No other applications can be running…” No other applications are running.
  28. Click ‘Continue’.
  29. “Installation was successful…” Click ‘Quit’.
  30. Launch the 2.0.2 update.
  31. “…type your passphrase.” Type it, click ‘OK’.
  32. Accept the license agreement.
  33. Click ‘Install’.
  34. “No other applications can be running…” Fuck you.
  35. Click ‘Continue’.
  36. “Installation was successful…” Click ‘Quit’.
  37. Search for the file to replace with the Long Document Performance update.
  38. Replace it.
  39. Search for the file to replace with the Memory update.
  40. Replace it.
  41. Search for the files to replace with the Text update.
  42. Replace them.
  43. Search for the files to replace with the Excel Import Filter update.
  44. Replace them.
  45. Move all the used update installers and folders to the trash.
  46. Move the installer and updater log files to the trash.
  47. Launch InDesign 2.0.2.

This rant was inspired in no small part by Dive Into Mark’s “How To Install Windows XP In Five Hours or Less”. It shouldn’t be this complicated.

August 1, 2003

RSS for Jobs, Part 3

Brent Simmons (maker of NetNewsWire) notes that there’s now a service offering RSS feeds featuring customizable job listings. Comments to Brent’s post point out two other services which offer similar features.

I’ve explored this idea a bit in previous posts. First in March and then again in May. The idea continues to interest me and these early implementations of RSS specifically for job listings are good food for thought.

I continue to feel that a more specific spec, one that’s custom tailored to job listings, as well as a more specialized aggregator will be necessary to find the real value and usefulness of RSS for jobs. But until then, it’s nice to see progress.

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