inessential by Brent Simmons

February 2005


I’ll be watching to Oscars tonight. Here’s a list of movies I have not seen (I’m going by the nominations list):

Hotel Rwanda
Finding Neverland
The Aviator
Million Dollar Baby
Being Julia
Maria Full of Grace
Vera Drake
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Incredibles
Shark Tale
Shrek 2
Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events
The Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement
House of Flying Daggers
The Passion of the Christ
Born into Brothels
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Super Size Me
Tupac: Resurrection
Twist of Faith
Autism is a World
The Children of Leningradsky
Mighty Times: The Children’s March
Sister Rose’s Passion
As it is in Heaven
The Chorus
The Sea Inside
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Village
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Polar Express
Birthday Boy
Gopher Broke
Guard Dog
Everything in this Country Must
Little Terrorist
7:35 in the Morning
Two Cars, One Night
I, Robot
Before Sunset

Here are the nominated movies that I have seen:

Spiderman 2

Here are the movies that I would like to see:

The Aviator
The Incredibles
I, Robot

The thing is, I love movies, it’s just that the nominated movies are usually movies that I don’t want to see.

But anyway, it doesn’t matter—the real fun of the Oscars is talking about the funny clothes people wear.

Computer existentialism

Sometimes I’m surprised by method names.

- (BOOL)computersOtherThanThisComputerExist

Okay—it’s not filled in. How could you possibly answer such an existential question?

Well, luckily, we’re talking about computers, not people. And it’s just one line of code.

Here’s the answer:

return ([[self computersNamesOtherThanThisComputer] count] > 0);

(Yes, this is actual code that I wrote this evening. It’s part of syncing for NetNewsWire.)

Small tip for screenshots

Here’s a small tip (which most of you already know, I’m sure)...

When you go to post a screenshot of an application, and you don’t want your desktop background in the screenshot—when you want a white background, that is—just create an empty folder in the Finder, make the folder really big, then bring the app to the front so that the background is the white of that empty folder.


I admit—I’m hooked on the new Battlestar Galactica.

I’ll also admit that I’m old enough to have watched the original series.

I used to like to draw pictures of the Vipers in battle. (I was a kid, okay?) Now when I watch the show I keep feeling like I want to draw pictures of the Vipers in battle. I would be kidding, except I’m not.

NetNewsWire 2.0b25: Bloglines bug fixes

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

NetNewsWire 2.0b25 just has a few bug fixes—but it fixes a rather important bug: some people using the Bloglines feature were getting crashes. Fixed.

See the change notes for the full scoop.

NetNewsWire 2.0b25 can be downloaded from the NetNewsWire Betas page.

Spam appears in every corner

I get not only email spam, referer spam, and comment spam—I also get bug tracker spam.

What’s going to happen to the economy as the problem gets worse? It appears to me as if spamming is getting more and more aggressive. Anywhere it could appear, it does appear, and there’s more of it. search feeds

A cool thing at—RSS search feeds for books. Any search result that lists books can be subscribed to.

Say you’re interested in cats, and you want an RSS search feed about cats. Here’s what to do:

1. Go to

2. Type cats in the search field and click the Search button.

3. Use the URL that appears in your browser as the subscription URL. Your aggregator should do auto-discovery to find the feed.

(For instance, if you’re using NetNewsWire, you can drag the favicon into the Subscriptions list. Or use the Services menu. Or just copy-and-paste.)

4. Now you’ll have a feed with a title like “Title word matches for cats.” You should probably set the refresh interval to something like 24 hours, since the results aren’t updated so frequently (and you probably don’t need to know about cat books on an hourly basis, do you?)

The results in the feed are the most recent books, with a maximum of 25 items.

Pretty cool, I think.

WWDC Webloggers Dinner

Buzz is doing a straw poll of who will be at WWDC and can make it for dinner. (So he can make arrangements well in advance.)

91 percent of PCs are infected?

Why Does Windows Still Suck?: “Are you using a PC? You probably have spyware. The McAfee site claims a whopping 91 percent of PCs are infected.”

I’m curious—is this even remotely, possibly true? I confess to being a bit sheltered here. (My one Windows box just won’t boot anymore. Well, actually, it boots into Linux fine.)

NetNewsWire 2.0b22: bug fixes, Bloglines, more

NetNewsWire 2.0 icon

The full version of NetNewsWire 2.0b22 has been posted today too. It includes performance enhancements, many bug fixes, and some new features: subscriptions sorting, Bloglines subscriptions, templated styles, and a new search engine feed provider (Findory).

See the change notes for the full scoop.

A few screenshots:

- Widescreen view with new Tyger style.

- Toolbar hidden, Daring Status Bar style

- Traditional view, Spotlight style, with an enclosure.

- Widescreen view, item with enclosure

- Crocuses!

Being hunted

Sometimes when I’m at work I get the strange feeling that I’m being hunted...

Papa peeking over Cinema display

Papa peeking from the side of the Cinema display

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b22: user interface makeover

NetNewsWire Lite screen shot

NetNewsWire Lite 2.0b22 has been posted to the NetNewsWire Betas page.

We hadn’t done a beta of the Lite version since 2.0b6—which meant, among other things, that Lite users didn’t have the user interface changes that were in recent betas of the full version.

The idea was in part to make the interface more attractive, give it a more modern look—but the main reasons have to do with usability.

In Pushing the Edge, Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch wrote: “The controls have been pushed to the absolute bottom. The lists abut the left and right sides of the window. Not a pixel of margin. The new UI looks simpler but actually does more.”

Just for jazz, here a couple more screen shots: one with the toolbar hidden and one using the Graphite appearance.

This release of NetNewsWire Lite gets some other new features too, such as per-feed refresh settings, datelines, and subscriptions sorting. See the change notes for more details.