Imx Fix in my experience
 
July 2002 Archives


July 31, 2002 12:54 PM


O'Reilly has finally put out the word that the DHTML Bible, aka, Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Guide. It's not going to be cheap ("$59.95 US est.") but is a full 50% fatter than the current 1000+ page tome. /me drools...
Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference, Second Edition, is an indispensable compendium for web development. The new edition has been updated to include complete reference material on the latest specifications, including HTML 4.01, CSS Level 2, DOM Level 2, and JavaScript 1.5, as well as the latest browsers, Internet Explorer 6 (Windows), Internet Explorer 5.1 (Mac), Netscape Navigator 6 and 7, and Mozilla 1.0.
Is my O'Reilly bias showing? I sure hope so. And while we're on the subject of O'Reilly and bias, here's a blog item (first seen via camworld) from the man himself on MSFT, AAPL and they way things are.

July 31, 2002 12:11 PM


There have been complaints/worries that MovableType's RDF data inserted into HTML files makes the HTML un-validatable (that can't be a real word). Someone else had the idea to put RSS in XHTML for 'one file nirvana' but it didn't work out, but not for a lack of trying.

So, do we need to port all (X)HTML files into RDF and use a new class of software as resource browsers?

July 30, 2002 11:45 AM


I look thru my server logs every day and have found a few RSS/RDF aggregation apps thru referral urls. I wouldn't have known about them had I not seen these referrers. So, read your server logs folks, there's lots of great stuff in there. As for the aggregation apps, these two are the best I've seen so far (imho)...

AmphetaDesk (all platforms)
"AmphetaDesk is a free, cross platform, open-sourced, syndicated news aggregator - it obediently sits on your desktop, downloads the latest news that interests you, and displays them in a quick and easy to use (and customizable!) webpage. With thousands of channels available, AmphetaDesk can shave hours off your day - and you'll look smart to all your friends! Egotism never had it better!"
NetNewsWire (OSX only)
NetNewsWire is an easy-to-use news reader for web sites. It uses a familiar three-paned interface—like that of Outlook Express or Mailsmith—to display websites and their news. It reads RSS files. (It's not a screen-scraper.)


July 30, 2002 2:31 AM


Slashdot | GUIs for Everyone is a thread based on an article titled "generating the next-generation gui." Both the thread and article are worth a read...
We have "open source" development on Operating Systems in the attempt to utilize the minds of many super intelligent folks to develop the next-gen OS. The end-result is available for free (or close to it) and it takes advantage of the culimination of many great ideas into effect. While it's a little messy to install, it's faster and more robust than Windows and it's getting better every day. As a result, it has the opportunity to challenge the Windows Monopoly.

Unfortunately, something important is missing.


July 29, 2002 10:57 AM


I was on vacation last week at Disney with my wife (and we had a good time, even if it did cost us too much money). It occurred to me while getting off of a few rides that the ride was not worth the wait.

Most, if not all Disney rides, are designed to be full experiences, with "transitional experiences" leading to the core experience (the ride itself). All of which eventually leads to the horrible Gift Shop experience, with tons of merchandise and people in your way.

Nathan would have us believe that the entire experience, from beginning to end, is important. Disney clearly believes that as well. But the investment of time by the people in line needs to be more carefully considered, by those in the line. Disney has done their part, imho, by creating employing "transitional experiences" and more importantly, a Fast Pass system where you go to the ride and get a pass with a time stamp on when to return for the ride. When you return, your wait will be significantly less, and lowers the personal time investment and increases the value of the ride (and it seems to be inversely proportional). Too bad all of the rides are so short that even a 10 minute wait is often too long.

To be honest, the huge wave pool with a real, breaking, 6 foot wave coming out every 90 seconds was the highlight of the trip.

July 20, 2002 11:01 AM


I won't be posting anything for the next week due to a long overdue vacation. C'ya.

July 18, 2002 9:44 AM


Denizens of the WebDesign List already know about this and those who don't, should. Two web sites (here and here) have the same interface, and Earl Cooley from the List notes...

A check of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine shows that heshketh.com use [sic] the design at least as early as November 9th, 2000 and bannerboxuk.com started with it around November 22nd, 2001, about a year later.
So, what's a web designer to do when the entire profession is based on reusable (read: stolen) code? Well, I have to believe there's some sort of case for (or against?) copyright violations here. Just read the source code and you'll see they didn't even bother changing the comments.

July 18, 2002 9:20 AM


Seeing a camera crew in front of your workplace as you drive in the drive way is never a good feeling. I'm guessing it's because of this article in The Washington Post (it's 11 pages long, and is the first of two articles). I think this part of the story is more disappointing though since Pittman seems to have the confidence of the proletariat around here.

July 17, 2002 9:39 AM


C'mon, $100 for an annual iTools subscription is way out of hand. $50 is something I can deal with, but triple digits is just nuts. I think what's even more odd is that the Cognitive Psych wonks down at Apple central didn't even try the $99.95 price to avoid a triple digit jaw dropper. Anyway, kick ass new iTools features better be announced today, and may adverts never see the light of day at iTools WebMail.

July 17, 2002 5:14 AM


A Mac applications maker is going to release a Personal Video Recorded (a Tivo basically) for the Mac (OSX) this week. Instead of being a do-it-all set top box like Tivo, or the salient Moxi box, this recorder will use your Mac in conjunction with a simple RF receiver. I think if I had an eMac and lived in a dorm, this would be perfect. I bet this part is going to horrify some copyright holders somewhere...
In order to save programs onto VideoCDs, you will need a CD burner and Roxio’s Toast 5 Titanium CD recording software (not included with EyeTV).
Like to watch episodes of Alias? Collect and trade them all!

July 16, 2002 12:14 PM


I felt that I had to write something about this article at ZDnet (want the C|net UI instead?) discussing MSFT's misgivings over sales rates of Office for OSX. I had a weird feeling of thinking how stupid I thought MSFT was, but couldn't come up with something more eloquent than that to say. Luckily, this is the web and I can just link to someone else making more sense than me. Winterspeak owns and FUD blows.

July 16, 2002 1:54 AM


Early in this blog's (short) history, I posted a note about Hobo symbols which got deleted somehow. Anyway, I found it amazing that a loosely and not very well educated populace would be able to develop a robust system of glyphs that help the Hobo find food, work, shelter and other necessities of life. The bread glyph is perfect.

Well, not to be out done, geeks have their own version for their own uses; an über meme called WarChalking closely related to War Driving. It seems to me that in the 'burbs (which is where I live), not many people are going to be willing to walk around chalking wireless access points, and who would see it anyway? And doesn't chalk seem to be a little transient for this use? But who cares about that when there's these "i plus points" all over the place.

In my community, there is a movement to get a Wide Area Wireless Internet Access Provider (WAWISP) put together. I suppose WarChalking that would be helpful, but the car reigns supreme in this area, so don't be shy people, chalk the street signs too; or better yet, a Giant-esqe sticker campaign.

(ps, again, this would be a prime TrackBack opportunity, but this time the site I'm referencing uses MovableType, but doesn't have TrackBack installed/enabled, so I'm just going to ping the TrackBack dev page for the hell of it.)

July 15, 2002 11:12 AM


Audion is the dark horse of Mac OS MP3 players. SoundJam got more advertising than audion, and was then swallowed up by Apple and contorted into iTunes. Now, iTunes gets all the press, but Audion remains the superior player. Here's why...

The over all interface
iTunes gives you two interfaces, one big, one small (minimized). Many folks have lauded the big iTunes interface for allowing a single screen interaction architecture (you can do everything without going thru multiple screens). I agree, that's a good thing, but it forces the interface to be big, if forces a full screen of buttons, lists, and chrome elements.

Audio on the other hand is skinnable, tight and simple. The main interface is an MP3 player, and nothing more. It allows you to organize your playlist(s) and view info about the currently playing track. If you want to do other stuff, you bring up the console. While audio does not allow access to most/all functions from one screen, it doesn't bury those functions. Everything is still easily accessible and lets the main interface remain simple. simple is good. Simple = minimal interface.
User Centricity
Like I mentioned before, Audion is skinnable, iTunes is not. Score one for Audion. There are many good skins out there for Audion, and they are all free, so score another for audion. Also, because audion's main interface is simple, the skins can be uber small which is great when you keep the player up all day while you work.

Audio can link a playlist to a directory, so when you put new MP3's into a directory, the playlist updates. Very cool.

There's even a cross fading interface allowing you to mix tracks like a turntablist.

I could go on an on with this list, but Panic already has, so why repeat it here?
Speed
I wish I had real data for this, but all I can offer is anecdotal evidence. I've run both iTunes and audion for long periods of time, and Audion feels like it sucks up less CPU cycles than iTunes. I've done some quasi-scientific analysis in top in the Terminal, and my best guess is that Audion takes up about a third fewer cycles than iTunes. Panic claims the new 3.0 version now takes even less CPU time than the 2.x versions. Less is more.
ID3 tag editing.
Audion 2.x and iTunes both pale in comparison to MP3 Rage when it comes to editing ID3 tags in MP3s. End of story.
Price
iTunes is free, but Audion is worth the cost, if you get my meaning. You get more flexibility and less brushed metal, plain and simple.
In completely unrelated news, the Dell guy got spanked by the Screen Actor's Guild. Bahahaahahahahaa!

July 15, 2002 3:02 AM


I receive email scams at my work account from time to time, and some of them are horrible. Often you can tell the author isn't a native english speaker by their borken langwage and mistaken speling [sic]. Other times, they are almost perfect and make me question all the other email that I have recently responded too. I have never before been the target of an attempted scam like this, and it's weird that mere employment at AOL will make you a target.

One of the core scams is getting someone like myself to hand over user names and passwords and other vital bits of data under the guise that my HR department needs to update their records, or that an account is about to expire. Some people even go thru the effort to build elaborate and physically (ie, the UI) accurate scam sites to fool the user into going thru a re-registration process that snarfs the desired data.

I have also been getting many more .exe and .bat file extension files recently at my MacConnect email account. This is one of the core reasons why I am a Mac user, WAY fewer virii. It's the social engineering and thought virii that you have to watch out for. The pure Japanese spams can be pretty confusing too...


July 13, 2002 10:52 AM


Well, I saw that Cam got SquirrelMail installed without too much fuss, so I figured I'd give it a try. Thankfully, he was right and the install and config was pretty easy, and it all just works. One important side note is that co-hosted site webmasters will likely want to go with sendmail over SMTP in the configuration (because of spam issues).

There are two other reasons to install it if you think you may want your own web based email access. First, there is SpamCop integration. Second, Red Hat says they'll be integrating SquirrelMail into a future release, so I expect it will see continued active development.

(ps, this would be a perfect opportunity to do a TrackBack ping on Cam's entry if he was using MoveableType)

July 12, 2002 2:06 AM


Mother Earth Mother Board
Neil Stephenson's telco story that appeared in Wired mag years ago is a pretty interesting read within the context of the land line bandwidth glut. I remember receiving this issue in the mail, and it was the thickest magazine I'd ever gotten (except the Sears catalog) due to the length of the Stephenson article; more than 50 pages.
Nathan Shedroff's Unified Field Theory of Design
This is an oldie but a goodie that provides good advice for the aspiring info designer, web applications producer, and information architect. I've always read this piece keeping Web applications and the network mediated experience in mind. However, it's a Unified theory and not limited to 'web design.'


July 11, 2002 4:13 AM


ArsTechnica has some opinions and discussion over the ACLU's 'warning that free speech and innovation may fall to the likes of AOL Time Warner and Comcast if they continue to dominate broadband internet access.' Which is plain ridiculous, especially if you look at the failed AT&T deal and how convoluted the industry really is. IMHO, AOL hasn't done nearly a good enough job getting broadband into mass market (which is helping kill the stock price). You have to crawl before you can walk/limit-free-speech.

The thing I really don't understand, is how AOL providing a communications vehicle would limit free speech. They'd have to filter all packets, and only allow those that they agree with to continue on to their destination. ArsTechnica makes a similar point, and does it more succinctly, so go check it out.

July 10, 2002 11:59 AM


Yesterday I posted an article with a link to a file, and that link was broken. More to the point, the link was right, but Pair.com is pretty serious about security on their servers. The presence of "cgi" in the file name made the server refuse to deal with the file in that location. I renamed it to remove the cgi part, and reposted the file. You can download it here.

I suppose it's a good thing that Pair has things configured correctly, and I'd be the first person to recommend them as a host for this type of site.

July 9, 2002 9:08 AM


RSS::Lite makes mod_mp3 come alive.

In the previous article, we got mod_mp3 installed on OSX, and viewed the results in the browser. Now we'll take some time to explore one of the output formats that mod_mp3 offers and how to leverage it to create a more usable and informative front end for the user. The warnings from yesterday's article apply to today's guide...

Warning #1: If you plan on following this guide, you do so at your own risk, and with no help from me outside of this article (read: I offer ZERO support). There is no warranty, explicit or implied. You are on your own if you screw your machine up by imitating what I outline in this article. Part of this article involves enabling 'root' and using it to do things like compile software, move files around, and change the mode of arbitrary files. It's VERY easy to nuke your machine by issuing commands from the root account if you don't think before you type!

Warning #2: What we are trying to accomplish here is to use Mac OSX as an MP3 file server for a home network (which is it's intended use in my own home), however, I will only be covering the mod_mp3 and web application layer, not the network.

Warning #3: Using this guide as a method of violating copyrights is expressly condemned. I have a large CD collection at home, and it sucks to swap the CD's all the time, so I made something that can house a lot of music, and allow easy access from any machine that can access the server. This article is being provided as a learning exercise for me (ie, technical writing) and for you (Mac OSX users who want to do fool around with the goodies underneath Aqua).

Ok, now that the warnings are over, let's get hacking.

July 8, 2002 9:36 AM


Mac OSX has a Unix underbelly that provides ample opportunity to practice more advanced computing than was available in Mac OS9. Web servers, current and standard Perl installs, shell scripting and most other Unix-like tools are now available to the 'rest of us' in our own secure environments. This article/guide intends to guide the OSX user thru the compilation, installation and configuration of mod_mp3.

This article/guide assumes a basic understanding of all of the following...

  • Mac OSX
  • The Unix command line
  • Apache
If you don't have a basic understanding of those things, you should ;) Getting the basics down isn't a big deal if you have access to a machine that supports all of the above. My environment is Mac OSX 10.1.5 with all of the latest upgrades, patches, etc. This stuff will work on Linux, OpenBSD,. etc, but I'm using OSX, and I'll be noting directory paths and processes specifically for OSX users. Linux geeks should be more than able to extrapolate what they need to do within their own environments. Windows users are S.O.L. in more ways than one.

Warning #1: If you plan on following this guide, you do so at your own risk, and with no help from me outside of this article (read: I offer ZERO support). There is no warranty, explicit or implied. You are on your own if you screw your machine up by imitating what I outline in this article. Part of this article involves enabling 'root' and using it to do things like compile software, move files around, and change the mode of arbitrary files. It's VERY easy to nuke your machine by issuing commands from the root account if you don't think before you type!

Warning #2: What we are trying to accomplish here is to use Mac OSX as an MP3 file server for a home network (which is it's intended use in my own home), however, I will only be covering the mod_mp3 and web application layer, not the network.

Warning #3: Using this guide as a method of violating copyrights is expressly condemned. I have a large CD collection at home, and it sucks to swap the CD's all the time, so I made something that can house a lot of music, and allow easy access from any machine that can access the server. This article is being provided as a learning exercise for me (ie, technical writing) and for you (Mac OSX users who want to do fool around with the goodies underneath Aqua).

Ok, now that the warnings are over, let's get hacking.

July 6, 2002 7:26 AM


Well, I have TrackBack installed and implemented, and I need to play with it some more. For now, it seems like a neat idea, and I'm really hopeful that it will be widely implemented by MovableType users. Because, after all, the value of a network increases with the amount of nodes on that network. Ping!

July 3, 2002 9:57 AM


Next week I'll be publishing a two part series on installing, configuring and using mod_mp3 on a Mac OSX based machine. Day one (probably Monday) will focus on compiling and installing mod_mp3, and then day two will focus on coding a usable front end. I'm also going to try to get TrackBack implemented and integrated by then, so wish me luck (and please have a safe 4th of July).

In the meantime, consider this quote from a c|net article today...

Kay also questioned how many Mac OS X 10.1 users would move to Jaguar, although he did see a good market for those on the older system, Mac OS 9.
What kind of crack is this guy smoking? OS9 users are looking at OSX, and all versions of it, as the big upgrade in the sky. Anyone who has done the OSX upgrade from MacOS 8 or 9 is chomping at the bit for ANY upgrade they can get (remember how dog ass slow 10.0 was?). And I think I'm hallucinating when I see quotes like this...
Kay was unenthusiastic about the Jaguar release, contending that Apple's OS updates come too frequently.
Too frequently? IMHO, too damn slow! I've been using OSX since the beta test, and based on the original road map, I should be using 10.5 by now. I'm willing to bet if these updates, especially the upgrade from 10.0 to 10.1 were more spread out, Apple would have seriously damaged the rate of OSX uptake (because, again, 10.0 was god ass slow). Dollars to donuts says this guy isn't an OSX user.

July 2, 2002 9:08 AM


Wow, lots of articles, reasons and rants recently about the Mac platform and switching to it...

July 1, 2002 9:55 AM


injektilo makes a few interesting points about the implementation of MovableType's BackTrack functionality. I have yet to decide if I agree with him or not, so I did some digging around on the REST model (here and here and here), which the authors of MovableType (Ben and Mena) cite as their implementation model.

Ben responded to the comments made, so be sure to check that out when you head over to injektilo. His case is a simple one, and well reasoned, and more importantly, well intended. For a blog technology, where somewhat average folks with average technical abilities will be implementing this, simple is good. In all cases, simple = better uptake (eg, HTML).

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