inessential by Brent Simmons

March 2000


Here's the Mutant quiz -- are you, possibly, a mutant? Via 2020 Hindsight. The possibility that I'm a mutant is EXTREMELY HIGH.

Back home today. Changes -- in the week-and-a-half I was gone, Spring started in Seattle. Nice.

I just had an NT 4 Server machine completely freeze up on me. Nuts. That's pretty rare, though -- the machine had been up for a few months.

I installed IE 5/Mac today. First thing I did was test it with the JavaScript HTML editor that shows up in Manila if you're using IE 5 for Windows. It didn't work. If there are any JavaScript experts that can figure out how to make it work with IE 5/Mac, let me know how to do it. (In Frontier, jump to mainResponder.discuss.getHtmlEditor. Comment out the block that reads if not (lowerUserAgent contains "windows").)

Next question for IE 5/Mac folks -- how do you get an item into the ctrl-click menu? On Windows it's a registry entry. Simple answers, pointers to docs, etc. are welcome.


Washingtonians: drinkers, smokers. Via julia's journal. We're a bunch of bad apples up here, doncha know. Ya sure, you betcha. Despite all the left-wing health-Puritans, Seattle's still a traditional port town. What's more, it's a Pacific port town, with all that entails.

Sheila's got Star Trek links today -- including Data's bio. Theory: André Radke is actually Mr. Data. "Accessing... Accessing... Wiener Schnitzel: an Austrian dish consisting of..."

I just found this, the Linux Programmer's BouncePoint. Looks useful.

Heading home later today -- I've been in California since before ManilaPalooza. While I enjoy these trips very much, going home always feels good. You all know the feeling.


Lots of miscellaneous work today -- including tracking down a couple minor static rendering bugs.

On the radio the other day I heard Squeeze's Black Coffee in Bed. An old fave, a song I hadn't heard in a while. Now I can't get it out of my head! But that's okay. Of course these days it would say: "The stain on my laptop means nothing to me."


Browsing your Manila site in Pike: "A new version of the Pike menu allows you to view your Manila site locally. This should be an eye-opener for people who have never seen what a Manila site looks like behind the scenes, or people who have out of the loop while we developed the dynamic site features in Frontier 6 and 6.1."

Two updates for server managers fix bugs in getting Pike support running on your Manila server.

Today: more Pike work, more Manila work -- fixing bugs, adding features.

To everyone using Pike beta 1 -- remember that it's a beta. Actually, most of you do remember that, which I totally appreciate. But I've seen a couple messages that read "I'm dissapointed that..." -- well, it might just be a bug, or something not yet implemented. It's not 1.0 yet.

Also: about hearing feature requests -- we hear all of them. But it takes more than 15 minutes to implement most features. It's a process: evaluation, design, implementation, and testing. Not every request comes with a full, thought-out design. Not every request should be implemented. And we of course have a to-do list -- you may post an excellent feature request (happens all the time) but we may not get to it today, or tomorrow, or this week. This is not to discourage you from posting feature requests -- but to remind you that we're people here too with a lot of work to do, and we care very strongly about the quality of our work.

Wide Open News: Darwin to ship for Intel.


Redmonk: IE thoughts: "Important for users of UserLand's Pike: I think that IE now correctly reloads pages that were re-directed to, rather than re-posting whatever data went to the page that sent you there." We haven't checked this out yet, but it's true that IE 4.5 for Macs has some weird behavior with Pike -- behavior that may have been fixed in IE 5. If so, we may end up recommending using IE 5 on Macs. Netscape on Macs has another bug -- you can can't create new stories in Pike. (Not sure if Netscape for Windows has the same bug.)

André: "The phrase of the day here at UserLand is Wiener Schnitzel." Where was I? You'd think I'd notice if we had a phrase of the day. Maybe André's homesick for home cooking? But even I know that Wiener Schnitzel is Austrian.

If you're a Manila server manager trying to get Pike support working on your server, here's a page with a few tips.

It's my birthday today! I turned 32. We took a break, went driving, ate spicy noodles.

I had a great time at ManilaPalooza! Thanks to everyone who attended -- and to the people I got to meet for the first time and the people I got to see again.

Here's the fella who kept refilling my margarita glass at the post-ManilaPalooza dinner:

That's Ken Dow, editor of the Manila-Newbies site, author of Manila documentation.


I'm editing this page in an outliner -- on a Mac, a PowerBook G3. Hello, Kitty. I had to switch from using IE 4.5 to Netscape, however. IE 4.5 has some terrible bugs. In a nutshell, it seems to not want to work with anything UserLand ever wants to do. Okay, that's just frustration talking. It's not really true.

We're still getting intermittent outages at the Woodside LAN. Very frustrating. But we continue anyway.

Sheila's been re-designing her template -- using Pike, of course. If you've done website framework sites in Frontier, you know how much nicer editing your template in an outline is over a textarea. For those of you who don't know -- you'll find out.

And now Dave's editing his home page in an outline...


In case I haven't said it lately -- Sheila rules.

Hey -- I'm editing this page in an outliner!

Update: still editing in an outliner!

Speaking of editing Manila pages externally, there was an update to the Manila RPC spec today. The full spec has been revised to reflect the changes.

blackholebrain: SubHonker2 abducted!

Keola posted a blurry picture of the alien suspected in the abduction.

Update 6:38 a.m.: We've been experiencing intermittent outages this morning. The problem may not be cured.

Of course, the real question may be: what am I doing up at 6:38 a.m.? It's hard to sleep when the sun's pourin' in, the birds are singin', and I got codin' to do.

More details about the outage: the three problems were inside PacBell. One was a bad port. (This means something different than I'm used to it meaning.) Another was bad translation between ATM and frame relay. (A configuration issue, I think.) The third was "bad OAM cells." As best as I could understand, cells are portions of packets -- packets are broken down into cells. When cells go bad, packets can't be re-assembled.

These problems are all at a level I rarely go to or seek to understand, or I could explain better.

At the end, Steve Martin from Conxion -- a bone fide trooper, a network superman -- had several PacBell technicians and at least one person from Cisco all in a long conference call until this got resolved. Basically, he was investigating the "cloud," and had PacBell technicians at each point. I didn't catch their names, but Steve made a note of taking them down -- these PacBell guys, unlike the folks he'd been dealing with earlier in the day (starting in the wee hours), were quite helpful. They got the job done.

And so, a little while after 11 p.m., the net came back up. Steve had some windows open that were doing constant pings to the outside world. All day long they just said "Request timed out." Suddenly the pings were coming back. We leapt to our web browsers. Hello Scripting News! Hello Salon.Com! Hello everywhere!


The network outage on our Conxion LAN -- the LAN where EditThisPage.Com sites are hosted, among other things -- is over. It was a combination of problems, all PacBell problems. At long last we got net again. More details on Scripting News in the morning.

3/20/2000 is Jake Savin's brother's site. (Jake's been hired by UserLand, starting soon.) If you dig looking at pictures of cool Star Trek ships -- and I do, I'm a complete and unapologetic sucker for this stuff -- then, well, visit the site.

Boeing SPEEA strike ends. Finally. Has anyone spoken the phrase "brain drain" yet?


My birthday is a week from today -- but since I won't be home, I'm celebrating with family today. Happy birthday to me! Sort of!

We used to sing: "Happy birthday to you -- you smell like a monkey -- and look like one too!"

I created a new site on Weblogs.Com today -- not because I want a new weblog, but because I want the chance to experiment with a personal weblog portal. Here's the site, still completely in its default state at this writing.

At Electric Dirt Farmer, lots of notes on Zaplets. I'm having trouble getting excited about them.

I was thinking about intelligence. There are many types -- but two types often referred to, and measured by IQ tests, are spatial and verbal intelligence.

Then there is another set of types -- analytic and synthetic.

My theory: if you treat these two sets as x and y axes, the great minds of history, from Aristotle to Shakespeare to Einstein, would land squarely in the center.

Below is my graph -- I'm the yellow dot. Balanced on one axis, very unbalanced on the other.


There is, of course, a third axis -- candlepower. One might be a balanced dim bulb. I don't even attempt to show a third axis here. (I probably couldn't figure out how to draw it anyway!)

Finally, there's a fourth axis, also not shown: time.


Frauke points to an article about women's IQs increasing during pregnancy.


I'm not sure how I got this far without discovering the top command -- you're probably not sure either. But anyway, I sure like it. I've discovered, for one thing, that my Linux machines are basically not breathing hard. The busiest Linux server on my LAN, an old LinuxPPC Mac 8500, hovers around 1-3% CPU usage. It's running Apache, DNS, a couple other services. I'm not sure if top counts itself in the CPU usage number -- if it does, then normal CPU usage is even lower.

Wesley Felter recommends GKrellM.

I'm going to get a stats app -- probably Analog -- running on this machine soon. I'd like to get an idea of how many hits it takes. I'm guessing it's between 5K and 10K hits per day (not much) -- but I don't really know. I'm leaning toward Analog because I've used the Mac port. ChangesBowie: "I don't know about you, but I've been waiting to bank with Bowie ever since Diamond Dogs." Bowie's one of my heroes -- but please, I don't want a Thin White Duke thin plastic card. Who would?

Jason Levine: Manila and Daily Links.


Geek goes to the mailbox, finds a Linux Journal and a Scientific American. Happy geek.

Regex help needed. Can you help? Update 2:45 p.m.: Got it working, with help from Hannes Wallnöfer and private help from André Radke. Thanks!

Do squirrels like peanut butter? I was thinking about the afterlife for squirrels, and I imagined it with rivers of peanut butter. But then -- that may be a squirrel's hell, actually. Maybe they only like nuts when they can bury them, crack them open, carry them around?

Jake's Brainpan is running a survey -- do you enjoy Star Trek? I conform perfectly to stereotype -- I can't get enough. I even read the books.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'd like to say something like -- "This is a day all Americans, Irish and non-Irish, can reflect on and be proud of their ethnic heritage" -- but then I remember: oh yeah, I'm descended from the people who like to beat up on the Irish. Nuts.

Popular Apache modules. It looks like PHP is the most popular, followed by FrontPage. The appearance of FrontPage is a surprise to me, I didn't know there was such a module for Apache.


Manila festival roll call. Will we see you there?

Brian Behlendorf on mod_rewrite: "The great thing about mod_rewrite is it gives you all the configurability and flexibility of Sendmail. The downside to mod_rewrite is that it gives you all the configurability and flexibility of Sendmail." Post of the Day: "Having cash without debt is a powerful way to control what you can do with your life."

The new Mariners commercials are up. I voted for the one with Edgar in it.

Sheila: Edit this Dream.

Congrats to Jason Levine, who'll be doing his residency at Columbia, his top choice.

LinuxNewbies: More On Installing Software. "First we'll look at possibly the hardest and most frustrating process you will ever face in Linux: installing software from its source code."

GNOME's not Microsoft: "'The birth of GNOME happened about two and a half years ago,' explains de Icaza, 'when Microsoft showed me a component-based application [Internet Explorer] which, instead of a huge bloated single-component application, was a huge application bloated with small components.'"

"radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif"

Demotivators from "It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black." "Never understimate the power of stupid people in large groups." Via stewart himself.

I like these as antidotes to the current era of sunny, self-esteem-raising slogans. Maybe they're great as propaganda for kids, but adults use the stuff too.

Thinking more about slogans, one of my favorites is "violence never solved anything," which I've been hearing since I was a kid. It's probably been around even longer. It's a sad day, like learning that Santa Claus doesn't exist, the day you learn that violence, far from being a poor problem-solver, is actually remarkably effective and popular. Very unfortunately.

On the other hand...



Jeff Cheney is exploring ideas for log analysis for Manila Sites.

New server just arrived. 700 MHz, PIII, 512MB RAM, CD-RW, 30 GB drive. Good chance it's going to be a search engine.

Here's a site I'd like to see: a Yahoo-like directory for web developers. It wouldn't have to have original content, and it wouldn't focus on just open-source or just Manila or just Microsoft or just Java -- it would cover everything, with an easy-to-use hierarchy. I've been wanting this site to exist for a few years, actually. Please someone do this.

Thousands of years from now, when archaeologists are digging up the remains of our current age, they're going to find lots of canned goods. If they can decipher our language, I bet they fix themselves a bowl of chicken soup. And I bet they like it. Then archaeology becomes a fiendish passion: they're all on a hunt for more soup.

ACI US acquires StarNine. "ACI has recently acquired StarNine Technologies, Inc., publishers of the WebSTAR server suite line of products to complement the 4th Dimension product line."

Barry Manilow is on tour. My inner child wants to hear "Copacabana" live. That's a joke, by the way. Or, actually, probably not.


According to a posting on the LinuxPPC announcement list, Jason Haas of LinuxPPC was in a serious accident. Jeff Carr wrote: "Jason was going to email this out to everyone, but I have the sad job of reporting to you that he was in a serious accident on Friday -- hit by a DUI driving a tahoe. He is in bad shape, but is looking better today. I'm trying to keep up with what email he has so if you email kind things to him i'll pass them on." Jason's email address is Best wishes for a quick recovery.

Sam DeVore: Adding a text counter with a plugin.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Initiative 695, which replaces the state car-tab tax with a $30 fee and requires a public vote on all tax and fee increases, violates the state constitution's requirement that initiatives tackle only a single subject, a King County Superior Court judge ruled today." Next stop is the Washington state supreme court.

Jake Savin's got some good news.

Dan Gillmor: "Ballmer talked about Microsoft's 'Dreams' for the future... At the top of that list was 'Complete customer control.'"

Internet groupware from Macrobyte Resources.

MacLaunch.Com. "Free mailing list support for Macintosh webmasters worldwide." is available., via


Byte.Com: Internet Patents Are Changing The Rules. This is basically a HowTo, no commentary here.

MSNBC: Mission to Mars: How and why. Not talking about the movie here, but about the real thing. We gotta go. Under The Hood of PHP 4: "Andi and I were probably more frustrated than the users when it came to the performance of PHP 3 with complex scripts. Although almost no users complained to us about its performance, we knew we could have written it in a much better way to handle such applications, by creating an engine which would compile the PHP code first, and then execute, rather then execute while parsing. So, we decided to do it."

Seattle P-I: Ballard-Magnolia citizens battle insecticide use. My wife and I, we're Ballard citizens -- about to get sprayed by insecticide. I have family in Magnolia. Looks like we're all about to get sprayed. I need more info on this. Via julia's journal.

There's no question, however, that gypsy moths must be stopped. I remember south Jersey, years ago. (Late '70s?) I spent summers there. It was horrific. Unless you've seen it, you have no idea.


carpe diem's back. Oh thank goodness. The shakes are gone.

Super Hardcore: "Who the hell did this???"

Forget KING 5, forget the Seattle Times, when I'm looking for local news headlines my first stop is julia's journal.

Soundgarden fans: is available.

I just realized that for some time now -- months, perhaps years -- I've been semi-consciously thinking of my brain as a web server.

Happiness is... smooshing the first spider of Spring.

Seattle Times: Mariners enjoy best spring outing. "Whether it was connected to the announcement that Alex Rodriguez is staying for the season, the Mariners played their best game of the spring yesterday in beating San Francisco, 4-1."

Seattle Times: 11 arrested as police break up rowdy crowd in Pioneer Square. "He said women were being accosted and having their blouses ripped off. One reveler wore a suit made of bubble wrap. There were top hats, scantily clad women and at least one man who wore very little."

Manila archaelogy: here's one of Manila's ancestors, Frontier NewsPage.

More archaelogy -- you can see how Frontier News & Updates became Scripting News. Scroll to the bottom of this page: "Sat, Apr 27, 1996 This page was started to contain news of releases for the Frontier scripting community. Suggestion: Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites menu."

It Worked 2.0 -- Call for templates.

NetDyslexia: "Internet users are busy and always on the run... And a long login procedure contradicts this." Tip: edit your custom prefs so the sign-up page is shorter. For instance, the sign up page on this site is pretty short -- I don't really want to know your zip code, or that you're from Alabama, etc.

MacSetup is "a place to stop for technical news and info for Mac administrators." Via Jeff Cheney.


Doctor Doctor, I've got carpe diem withdrawal. Got the shakes, real bad.

Do you keep books in your refrigerator? It doesn't really help, you know.

Is Bush disgusting?

The Register: XML: Does MS really have nothing up its sleeve?

Sometimes only Hepcat scratches the itch I got.

Joe Barton -- I mean, John VanDyk -- wonders if I'm a closet Republican. Nope! Unless being pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-freedom-of-speech, pro-gun-control, pro-environment, anti-death-penalty, pro-separation-of-church-and-state, anti-flag-burning-amendment, anti-Proposition-22, pro-science-funding, etc. makes me a Republican.

Actually, like many Americans neither major party fits me exactly. I'm extremely liberal on social issues, but tend toward fiscal conservatism. But: I've never voted for a Republican in my life, and there's a strong chance I never will.

That doesn't mean I don't recognize character and vision no matter where it appears.

Here's what I think most Americans think. They think that if Thomas Jefferson were alive today he'd agree with them on every issue. Republicans think that, Democrats think that, independents think that. If you're an American, I bet you think that. I certainly do. We can't all be right! But that's okay.

John Marden has figured out who Joe Barton is. Mariners won't trade A-Rod this season. Good news! It's better not to have the possibility hanging over our heads.

misnomer is reporting that there's a Hamsterdance CD single -- that you can dance to.

Thomas A. Creedon links to an mp3 remix.

The most Hardcore FAQ ever created.

McCain's Navy has a picture of the candidate and his wife. I sure wish McCain had won big yesterday. I'm not sure why I care so much, not being a Republican, but... oh well.

I take that back. I do know why I care. I listened to McCain's speech and remembered why. Because he says the right things about democracy. I don't agree with him on 9 out of 10 issues -- but on the fundamental need to strengthen our democratic tradition, I'm right there with him. I don't hear anybody else talking about this stuff.


Check out array's new design.

It's Wim Wenders day on Sheila's web site. We were watching a report about the new movie on CNN the other day -- and they consistently mis-spelled his name as Wim Vendor. What do you call that colored strip at the bottom of the screen they always use on TV when they're interviewing somebody, where they put the person's name? They were actually interviewing the man, but still managed to completely mangle his name. Of course, they spelled "Bono" correctly.

I wish they had spelled it Whim Vendor -- a person who sells impulses and sudden wishes -- or Vim Vendor -- a person who sells vigor and vitality.

NetDyslexia: "Link to us! It's free of charge!" Okay!

No hiccups! More no hiccups. The EditThisPage.Com server handled nearly 100,000 page reads on Friday, by the way.

"James Kirk"

Q is reporting on a UK Manila hosting service. Q: "Quality Web Enterprises is a free Manila hosting service in the UK, but they have a scary provision in their FAQ."

More survey comments: Andrew Duncan is going with LinuxPPC for his Macs; Jim Roepcke's going with Mac OS X.

The survey -- How are you going to upgrade your Macs? -- is still open. The leading answer so far: "Leave some running 7-8-9, upgrade others to Mac OS X, others to Linux."

Starting yesterday there's also been discussion of web stats apps and GUI email clients for Linux.

"radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif"

It's Super Tuesday. My predictions: Bradley will be dropping out after today. McCain won't drop out quite yet, but soon, because today it will be clear that Republicans are going with the safe vote for George Bush. Which is too bad for Republicans, by the way -- McCain would have been competition for Gore in the general election. They don't call 'em conservatives for nuthin'.

Republicans, those who didn't vote for McCain -- can you feel it slipping away? I don't mean to be a downer, but... you had your chance, and didn't want to take it.

Why do I think McCain would have been better against Gore than Bush will be? Because I'm a liberal Democrat, and I could almost vote for McCain. But I couldn't get past certain of his conservative positions, no matter how much I like him. Millions of Democrats are more moderate than I am -- and they totally could vote for McCain in the general election, despite his conservative positions. As much as Bush wants you to think Democrats voted for McCain in various primaries just to be mean, it ain't so -- Democrats like McCain, even though he's a conservative. They like the man.


got coke?

blackholebrain on Manila: Less Specs, More Fun!

Screen shots of the Helix GNOME Desktop.

Joe Mahoney describes why he'll be upgrading his iMac to LinuxPPC. (See the survey below.)

I think the important line in Bruce Sterling's Hard Times: A Letter from 2035 is this: "Like, we never quite made it to Mars, because manned space flight has no real commercial potential." If the opposite is true -- and I think it is, I think the Internet gold rush is a nickel-to-Bill-Gates'-fortune compared to the upcoming space rush -- then what a different letter would be written from the year 2035.

Problem is that the Space Age may not get started by the year 2035. And if it does, it may not be the countries one expects -- America, Europe, Russia -- that are going into space.

George Bush has been taking tips from Mr. T.

If you run a UNIX webserver -- which stats app do you prefer? Analog? Do you use a program that does separate reports for virtual domains? If you would, send me email or reply on the dg.

Photographs from the air.

A draft copy of the Manila User's Guide in pdf format is available.

Survey (requires membership): How are you going to upgrade your Macs?

I've got six Macs, mostly servers, in my office: one runs LinuxPPC, the rest run various versions of Mac OS from 8 to 9. Given that Apple is replacing 7-8-9 with Mac OS X, and given the existence of Linux distributions for Macs, I'll be upgrading the system software on probably all of my Macs within the next 12 months or so. What will you be doing with your Macs?

Results so far:

{surveyMacros.results ("", "howAreYouGoingToUpgradeYourMacs", "whitesmoke", "black", "#666666")}

"radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif"

Here's a few available domains for webloggers with appearance issues:,,

And here's a super-cool domain name that's available: I imagine it as a portal for people who just need to relax. Languor is one of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Then there's At least it's easy to spell, easy to type. I like it in a dangerous meta characters kind of way.

Here's a mean bad cat:

Actually, he's not mean at all. He's sweet unless he's hungry. Of course, he's almost always hungry.

We're working on something very cool right now. Grown men will faint. Women will weep. Children will look up from their TV sets. Cats will talk. Squirrels will ride motorcycles. Dogs will invent a new calculus. Roller coasters will run in reverse. Stars will move in closer to the Earth.

O'Reilly Network: An Amble Through Apache Configuration. I still have to look this stuff up sometimes. We've got five machines running Apache to administer, three of which are production machines. Sometimes I post stuff here mainly so I can find it later. I'll be able to run a search on this site and find this link.

Post695: Throw it out.

Search for Linux on Search for Manila Express. Search for XML. Search for Mr. Ed.

A few different Frontier scripters have raised this question: How does Manila fit in with the rest of Frontier? Quick overview: Manila is a mainResponder application. Manila sites are website framework sites. Prefs.root is used to build most of the forms. XML, and XML-RPC, play important roles -- forms are defined in XML; Manila sites are scriptable over the network. Manila is another layer which builds on top of lots of previous layers. My questions: What else, specifically, do you want to know? What parts are the confusing parts?

My contacts arrived this morning. I ordered them late Friday night. If you're a contact lens wearer, I recommend I work much better on my triangles if I don't have to squint at the screen.

Thinking about pre-built templates (themes) for Manila. How it could work.

The Weblogger folks have a site about Manila design.

Apache module for XML-RPC. 36-year-old rookie still basking in instant celebrity.


Manila's new Set Relative Path path feature allows you to set the site structure path from the Admin box that appears at the bottom of discussion group pages.

Speaking of the new feature, Sheila says: "I love it!" As with many Manila features, Sheila played the role of tester. (In return, she gets Manila technical support over the dinner table, at the grocery store, and so on. As she once remarked, every day's a Manila festival for her.)

Zend.Com is a new resource for PHP developers.

My take on the "Are European teenagers more mature?" question: maturity is a very hard thing to measure in absolute terms, as it means different things in different cultures. For Americans, it's a "grass is greener on the other side" thing. One could come up with examples of behavior that would be labelled immature on one side of the Atlantic and mature on the other side -- but in talking about this stuff it's very easy to hurt people's feelings on both continents. Bottom line: I think European and American teenagers are equally mature, when viewed in the context of their respective cultures.


Eric Soroos is pretty impressed -- so far -- with Mozilla M14. I haven't tried it yet, but I probably will within the next few days. Why I Promote Python: "I want to live in a world where most software is written in a decent programming language. Java is decent, and I don't mind it. Therefore I don't begrudge its success. But I consider it a proprietary language surrounded by a re-invent-the-wheel culture."

I ordered contact lenses from last night. I was expecting it to be weird and difficult -- but it was easy. For the record, my contact lens parameters are: pwr -7.50; bc 8.4; dia 14.4. That's pretty much all you have to know, those three numbers, to be able to place an order.


The T'inator -- pity the website! Via Windowseat Annex.

SwallowingTacks. "A spoonful a day keeps George Bush Jr. away."

What is it about Seattle-area high-tech companies? Microsoft, Amazon, Real. There's an obvious abuse-of-power thread going on here.

When I was originally looking for a domain name for this website, it came down to two choices: and Note: is still available.

If you don't like Linux -- and I do like Linux, but maybe you don't -- you could register

Sometimes I think the reason why I sit so much in front of a computer is physiological -- the light from the monitor is crude treatment for seasonal affective disorder. (No, I don't really have SAD. But I do get really tired of the cold and cloudy days of Winter.)

Baseball on the radio has begun!

Sheila's added links to her most-visited weblogs to her template. I'm glad she did, it's a good practice. One of the logs she links to is Tripping!, Luke Tymowski's other weblog.

Luke writes: "What does Tripping refer to? Trip the light fantastic. That phrase came to mind when I was thinking of a title. It probably sounds druggy. But I've never so much as smoked a cigarette. So don't take it too seriously."

Here's a picture of Luke, from Tripping's about page:

Luke's Manila weblog is, of course, QubeQuorner, one of my personal favorites.

"radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif"

I'm a little confused by the rumors. Is there going to be a new Star Trek series, or not? Do you know the scoop on this?

What darkness lurks in the heart of men?


John's looking for XML-RPC support in Quark XPress. Can anyone help? Any ideas? He wants to get Quark talking to Manila.

CBS News: Bush Bombs On Letterman: "It means when it comes time to sew up your chest cavity, we use stitches as opposed to opening it up." Listen -- it's all over. Bush will win the nomination, but he's utterly and completely unelectable. I'm calling the race now: Gore will be the next President of the United States.

DaveNet: The Two-Way-Web. This is what it's all about. This is why I get up in the morning, this is why I stay up late working on software.

Airtoons. Via acute.

Help! Since upgrading to Windows 2000, IE 5 does this obnoxious thing: it hides bookmarks (in the Favorites menu) that I haven't used lately. It adds these little downward-pointing arrows. I have to click on those to see all my bookmarks. The problem is that IE 5's definition of lately is sometimes just hours-long -- in the evening, it will hide bookmarks I haven't used since the morning. Super annoying! Does anyone know how to turn this off? I want to see all my bookmarks all the time.

Fresh Stuff: I Consume Myself. Weight loss is a subject that interests me -- I lost 40 lbs. between the release of Frontier 6.0 and Frontier 6.1, a fact I'm terribly proud of. (But there's more to go.)

Here's me before losing weight:


Sheila notes that we do indeed measure time in our household by Frontier releases. Strawberry enters drug rehabilitation clinic. Good! Hang in there, Straw-Man.

We should get better performance from the EditThisPage.Com server today. We have stats that show us which sites get the most picture requests. For the top 175 sites, we ran the updated copy pictures to static server sample script. The upshot is that ETP.Com should handle almost no image requests.

Before we started writing pictures as individual files on disk, our stats were showing that picture requests were one-third of all requests.


At long last, baseball games on the radio start Friday.

Cabinet: The correspondence of Billy Donnelly. "My dad writes software and since this weekend he's been hopping mad about something you did with patting. He keeps saying amazon and there frigging patting!"

Sheila's reporting the great news that Wendi gets to keep her bungalow, it won't be removed to make way for a library. Excellent!

Misnomer doesn't get as many hits as it deserves. It's a good weblog; go there now.

Frontier: Manila and Static Pictures. You can use a static server to serve pictures.

Manila Newbies: Manila Tip Sheet.

It's A Message To You, Rudy.

I received CodeWarrior for Linux today. Why did I go with CodeWarrior over KDevelop, etc.? Because I've used CodeWarrior for MacOS for years: I like it, it's comfortable, I already know how to use it, and I've come to trust Metrowerks tools. KDevelop sounded difficult to set up -- and it works like Microsoft Visual C++, which I don't care for that much, though I do use it on Windows. And the price was right: under $100 for CodeWarrior.

LinuxNewbies: Newbie Tip: Understanding the RPM.

Welcome to March!

Sometimes you're working on new features, and sometimes you're working on performance. And sometimes performance is a feature.

"radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif" "radiation.gif"

I've been going through some old folders with pictures in them. Some of you may vaguely recognize some of these as pictures I've used on older sites, going back to 1995. These all pre-date my working for UserLand. I've been working for UserLand for three years.

Here's an ancient company logo.


A slightly later rendition of that same logo.


Here's an ancient navbar.


Here's an only slightly less ancient navbar.


For some strange reason, this blue circle figured prominently in the first MacBird site I did.


This one brings back memories.


Ancient Frontier/FileMaker based search engine I wrote.


The only excuse I have for this one is that it was 1996 and I thought Java might be cool. I wasn't wrong -- it might've been cool, but it just didn't end up that way.


Scripting, of course, is cool.