inessential by Brent Simmons


***Nightly Updates Change

Important note for Frontier server managers: a change has been made regarding automatic nightly updates. They're no longer run when your overnight script runs, but at a semi-random 5 to 55 minutes later, to disperse requests to the root updates server. See Nightly Updates Changes on the Frontier site.

Apache stats

The Most Read Sites Yesterday page doesn't include the static versions of Qube Quorner, Scripting News, and this site. It's easy to count stats for sites served by Frontier -- but the static versions of these sites are served by Apache.

Question: what's the most expedient way to count page reads for a virtual host served by Apache? I could turn on logging for those sites; I could run a script on the Linux box or in Frontier. If there's something off-the-shelf I could use, I'd be happy to not have to re-invent the wheel. Any ideas?

What I want, exactly, is just one number per site, the number of page reads for the previous day. I want to get this number every night at midnight or just after.


Shooting trouble -- not the Windows way: "The first response of some newcomers when encountering a problem in Linux is to reboot. Don't."

Linux Journal: Python Programming for Beginners.


Highlights of Jobs' WWDC keynote: "A public beta of Mac OS X will be 'widely available' this summer, but the final shrinkwrapped version won't be out until January of 2001."

Apple - Mac OS X - Microsoft Internet Explorer. "One of the first fully-functional Carbon applications, IE for Mac OS X is 'a testament to the strength of the Apple-Microsoft relationship,' according to Dick Craddock, Microsoft product unit manager for Mac Internet products." Wasn't the Mac IE 5 team disbanded? I'm not about to trust any of this. (I like Mac IE 5 alot -- which is why I'm pissed at the confusion.)

wwdc2000.Weblogs.Com calls itself "The ultimate independent Apple WWDC weblog."


BlueGreen: "Environmental News and Opinions." According to the description page: "It is a site that anyone can contribute to, very easily. In a cliche, it's 'environmental information by the people, for the people.' Anyone can post something at any time." I've come to trust the editor, Dru Jay, from reading misnomer, and expect good things from this site.

News.Com: Oracle inks deals to boost portal push. Whenever I hear the word "portal" and the name of a super-huge company used in the same sentence, I cringe and tune out. But maybe this is interesting. But maybe not. (That's razor-sharp analysis for ya.)

Luke's been following the news from Zimbabwe. I confess to not following it closely, it seems so far away. But these days, nothing's far away.

There's a news site for REALbasic developers.

Whatdidyouhaveforlunch: "A bowl of cereal is NOT an appropriate food to eat during the morning commute."

I saw an ad on TV for last night. The site looks pretty boring, but I doubt I'm part of the target audience.

Jeff's got pictures of Soul Detour's show last Saturday. UserLand's Jake Savin plays what looks like a 5-string bass. Update: Jake posts details about his bass.

John posts his book list. Some of the books he mentioned would be honorable mentions on my list -- particularly White Noise, The Great Gatsby, and J.D. Salinger's books. About writing like Raymond Carver -- I tried to write like Raymond Carver too. When I wasn't trying to write like Donald Barthelme (whose 40 Stories would be an honorable mention on my list). That was the '80s. I don't know who college students these days emulate. (If you know, let me know -- I'm curious.)

John also asks what's my take on the Mariners. They're in a slump. Three main factors: the number one and two starters are injured; Kazuhiro Sasaki is having trouble with his control; the offense is stranding runners on base. Every team goes through slumps -- that's why they play 162 games. The Yankees were just swept by the Tigers, for instance, knocking the Yankees out of first place. I except both the Yankees and the M's to regain first place. I do expect the current slump to last a few more days, but they'll start coming out of it before Moyer returns in about two weeks.

My foot is improving: I can walk on it normally now, though slowly. I don't have to walk on my heel.