Thu, 02 Jun 2011
OSCON 2011

OSCON 2011

Seems that OSCON moved back to Portland in 2010, right when I wasn't paying attention. Well, then, looks like a daytrip is in order...

Thu, 01 Apr 2004
CSS and JavaScript fun

I learned something today.

When a javascript snippet to change css properties in a page -- in this case, hiding and unhiding chunks of text -- fails on both mozilla and IE, but works on Safari, something is screwy. Nobody says much on the web about the error generated:

Exception ``[Exception... "Access to restricted URI denied" code: "1012" nsresult:...

It turns out that the restricted URI involved (though nothing actually gives the URI) is the imported stylesheet, which lives on a different server. Even though the actual css rules I was changing were in the local html file itself, if there are any off-server css rules at all, JavaScript can't edit them.

So. Now you know. (Mostly this is blogged because it was much too painful finding this out on my own. What finally tipped me off was an entry at slayeroffice on the site's CSS viewing bookmarklet.)

Fri, 19 Sep 2003
A question to VersionTracker

Maybe I've been spoiled by software index/archives sites like freewarepalm and tucows , but why for the love of Mike does VersionTracker , such a Macintosh-focused site, not have screenshots?

Wed, 18 Jun 2003
The monotonically decreasing blues

Actually it's the lack of monotonic decreasiness that's annoying. The subject is progress bars - particularily installers, but also downloads.

I'm sure it seemed like a good idea to put an estimate of remaining time just below the bar. But please, people, think of the users. The numbers should not increase. No. No.

Also, the numbers should bear some relation to reality. It's just bloody annoying to see "Time remaining: Less than one minute" for over 15 minutes.

Sun, 18 May 2003
Total E-Clips

Well, the thingy that I've burned way too many cycles on at work is finally live. E-Clips is a web-based news clipping collector. It uses the blosxom weblogging software to present the news items as they appear on the web. Many items are automatically added from searches; this is a huge improvement, work-wise, over the old process of cutting-and-pasting news tidbits into an email. There's also a mechanism for adding clips semi-automatically via a bookmarklet if extra items are found.

Many thanks to Rael Dornfest for blosxom and blagg , to Todd Larason (some content NSFW) for his calendar plugin , Breyten Ernsting for the exclude plugin , and Jack Baty for phpetal .

Tue, 22 Apr 2003
One-liner shell scripts

I needed to back-date a bunch of files at work. Each file had a date in it like "Apr 4" or "Apr 23"; the back-dating had to match that date.

I ended up with two one-line shell scripts like the following:
for i in *.txt ; do j=`awk 'BEGIN { do { l = getline; match($0, /Apr [0-9],/) ; s = substr($0,RSTART+4,RLENGTH-5) } while ((s !~ /[0-9]/) && (l !=0)) ; print s ; close(l)}' $i` ; if [[ $j == [0-9] ]] ; then k=`echo "2003040 $j 1100" | sed 's/ //g'` ; touch -t $k $i ; fi ;done
(The other matched for two digits before the comma.)

I decided to do this as a shell-and-awk script because I thought doing it in perl would be too complicated. :-P

Fri, 18 Apr 2003
With a little bit of luck...

I have both a livejournal and a weblog .
I like the weblog, because it uses blosxom , so it's easy, I can quickly post from my hiptop, and I can customize a lot. But most of my friends have livejournals and follow their friends pages.
Technology makes solutions. With any luck, this post will get sent to both. I've set it up so the minutiae of my site maintenance and the little quickie links won't show up on LJ, so that may help. Anyway, here goes.

Wed, 09 Apr 2003
Fun with XML
My favorite XML namespace is Mozilla's:
Wed, 26 Mar 2003
GP32: Very Very Cool
Just read a review of the GP32, a handheld game console I'd never heard of before. Pictures of it look amazing, and the specs aren't too shabby either. Powerful enough to run emulators of a sickening array of game platforms, uses ?SmartMedia cards, support wireless multiplayer via cell phone.

It is indeed a cool little beastie. Lik-Sang has it up at $160; I don't know where to get it domestically.

Perhaps I should save up a bit...

Sun, 09 Mar 2003
Linux Server Hacks

I really have to recommend Linux Server Hacks. It's chock-full of good bits -- and any bits you don't use are tweakable to the point that they will be useful somehow or other.

Wed, 05 Mar 2003
New Linux distribution
This looks like a very interesting new distribution...
Sun, 02 Mar 2003
Projector station
a projector mounted over a drafting table
This is more or less what would be my ideal computer desk: a projector putting the images on a slanted drafting table.

Mind, this is just an opaque projector and not a monitor at all, and there would probably be problems with shadows, so a touchscreen lcd set into the table might be better. But I'm so tired of computers being set up like TV typewriters.

Wed, 26 Feb 2003 Pervasive computing and geeks as firemen
Bruce Sterling, always an engaging writer, has [a new piece]: up on [Viridian]: now. He draws some very interesting scenarios that can come from applying pervasive computing to the real world. Like most of the real world, it ain't pretty. But it would probably work.
Tue, 25 Feb 2003
Amazon and usable wishlists
[]: is pretty familiar to most people who use the web. One of the most interesting things is the wishlist feature [(here's mine)]: . Users can easily make a list of things they'd like to get as gifts; it's also handy as a "maybe later" arena for windows shopping--the stuff you'd want, but not want to buy just now. DJ Adams (yeah, the same one who wrote blosmail) has a [nifty little perl module]: that extracts nice XML data from Amazon's wishlist, so you can present it formatted differently, or keep your own outside list (like I do in [Readerware]: . Of course, as DJ noticed, Amazon has [web services]: available that may work quite a bit better. I should probably get an ID for this to play with. Or maybe I should finish the palm app I'm writing for class, or the overdue languages report...
Tue, 18 Feb 2003
Web fridge sim
There's long been a structure of files (currently maintained best by Yakko at ) that emulate a refrigerator.

Mark Pilgrim of has taken the next step: a hack that'll convert a website into faux refrigerator magnets, for fridge poetry. See for the details.

Mon, 17 Feb 2003
Amusement looks like a rather nice web gallery system. I may have to try it out.

And from :

Marcos Martin Parra, 18, hit the basketball court again in January, only six months after having his head nearly severed from his body in a traffic collision caused by a drunken driver. Parra's skull had been ripped from the cervical spine and neck ligaments, leaving the head fragilely attached, only by the spinal cord. At St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Dr. Curtis Dickman performed first-of-a-kind surgery, which worked so well that Parra lost only about 5 percent of his neck's range of motion. [ABC News, 1-21-03; Arizona Republic, 11-18-02]
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