sendmail.net: RBL Without a Clue. "I wouldn't know a properly configured SMTP host if it bit me in the ass - which, as far as I know, a properly configured SMTP host is capable of doing."

mainResponder bug fix: mainResponder Resources. The icons for folder and table directory listings were missing from Frontier 6.1: they've been restored.

Microsoft fudges Win2K speed trials. Apparently, Windows 2000 may not be faster than Windows NT 4.

QubeQuorner: Great links, as always, but also this: "I work with about a dozen programmers, and some of the best ones learned to program on their own. Only about four of the lot have CompSci backgrounds." Here at UserLand we have a mix, from people with lots of college computer science education to people with none. Everyone's good. (Much better than good.)

Me, I learned programming as a boy; I didn't study it in college. But neither did I learn it on my own. My parents, who were both programmers at the time, would lecture me at the dinner table on modular design. "Don't use GOTO, use GOSUB." I think, in the future, lots of kids will learn programming this way; I was one of the first.

Speaking of modular programming: I remember my first great lesson. The Apple II Plus stored its video in user-accessible memory. A large enough program, or enough data, would cause the screen to display complete garbage, as the program or its data ran into video memory. I had written a huge adventure type game -- I was a fan of the classic Colossal Caves adventure -- where each room was a separate routine with its own input loop, its own hard-coded data, its own command handlers. No subroutines, no factoring, no central event loop, no design -- just a sprawling huge app. The program ate up all the available memory, went right up into video memory, and started drawing garbage on the screen. Time to re-architect! I was 12 or 13 at the time. So I learned that lesson early, the hard way.

I thought the computer was busted, but Dad knew what the problem was.

Karl Martino pops in with a link: Motley Fool on DVD.

Garret writes: "official internet outfit ... i thought it was black. black jeans, black t, the darkest glasses possible ... because you can't take too much real or artificial light unless it's a glow limned from a crt ... "

I almost started laughing, because as I'm reading this I'm wearing black jeans and a black T-shirt, as I do pretty damn often. But no glasses. And, far from being unable to take sunlight, I'm one of its most enthusiastic, though infrequent, consumers. (Infrequent because this is Seattle.)

28 Jan 2000