Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Off to Fall Internet World

Off to Fall Internet World today. I've had the interesting perspective of having attended what I believe to be the first IW (December 1993...when it was called "Internet and Document Delivery World") and then the circuses it evolved into as the .com balloon inflated. I suspect this year it will be a shadow of its former self (but unlikely to be corralled into the basement as it was in '93).

e.p.c. posted this at 12:21 GMT on 1-Oct-2002 .

Ok, Fall Internet World was

Ok, Fall Internet World was quite depressing. I went to last year's version (in December) and that was depressingly small, but at least it took up some space at the Javits Center. The exhibit hall this fall is a tiny, tiny, tiny shadow of the show in '97-'98, maybe forty-fifty booths of various sizes.

You'd think no one was using the internet at all.

e.p.c. posted this at 22:03 GMT on 1-Oct-2002 .

Thursday, October 3, 2002

Hicks Street is closed for

Hicks Street is closed for the couple of blocks around our house, for "grinding" (and I expect eventual resurfacing). This has had the nice effect of quieting the neighborhood temporarily (since Hicks is the high-speed bypass for the BQE).

e.p.c. posted this at 17:30 GMT on 3-Oct-2002 .

Friday, October 4, 2002

Great, even MS Help is a security hole

Reposting from Infoworld: Windows help tool has 'critical' flaw. All versions from Windows 98 up affected, Microsoft warns [InfoWorld: Top News]

e.p.c. posted this at 00:15 GMT on 4-Oct-2002 .

Rebuilding my freebsd system so

Rebuilding my freebsd system so that I can host some stuff at home. Why not Linux? Dunno, more experience with the BSD brethren I guess.

e.p.c. posted this at 00:20 GMT on 4-Oct-2002 .

Radio killed the radio star

Radio killed the radio star is a slightly biased article on the consolidation and commoditization of the radio industry. I know I don't listen to much radio these days. Wonder if there's a connection between the collapse of independent radio and the collapse of CD sales that the execs attribute to napster?

e.p.c. posted this at 12:18 GMT on 4-Oct-2002 .

Lisa's off to Chicago for

Lisa's off to Chicago for her weekend at UIUC. Frisket was apparently so upset that she got sick in the car (ok, maybe she finally found something to eat on the street that made her sick, maybe).

e.p.c. posted this at 17:03 GMT on 4-Oct-2002 .

Saturday, October 5, 2002

Spent the day reading and

Spent the day reading and cleaning up my home office. "Frisket" has been confused all day...she keeps wandering the house looking for Lisa.

e.p.c. posted this at 23:00 GMT on 5-Oct-2002 .

I can't stand underlined links...sorry

I can't stand underlined links...sorry Pete, I've removed them again!

e.p.c. posted this at 23:05 GMT on 5-Oct-2002 .

Over the past week, IBM

Over the past week, IBM moved the employee 401k plan from Metropolitan Life to Hewitt Associates. Even though I left last year, I haven't rolled the plan money out yet (was kind of hoping that the market would edge up somewhat, I'm now dead even for the year). I'm not thrilled with the new web site for the plan, though I like that it doesn't use a Java applet to display the plan results.

e.p.c. posted this at 23:17 GMT on 5-Oct-2002 .

Sunday, October 6, 2002

I haven't seen it yet,

I haven't seen it yet, but this looks like an interesting show: A Sly Assault Launched From Inside Oxygen's Tent. A parody of women's television finds a home on Oxygen, a channel aimed at women. By Anita Gates. [Headlines From The NY Times]. Will try to get off my lazy tail end and Tivo it.

e.p.c. posted this at 12:42 GMT on 6-Oct-2002 .

Monday, October 7, 2002

Morning miscellany

Painters and contractors are here again today...the painters I expected, the contractors are doing yet more dust-creation activity in my office and Lisa's workspace. Frisket is quiet depressed since she can't frolick around the house and we are both hiding from the various work in the back bedroom.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:17 GMT on 7-Oct-2002 .

LK is catching an earlier

LK is catching an earlier flight and should be home tonight!

e.p.c. posted this at 21:04 GMT on 7-Oct-2002 .

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Borders plans to open a

Borders plans to open a new store on lower Broadway according to this NYT article. The WTC5 store was a great place to find computer books as well as business and finance books.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:28 GMT on 8-Oct-2002 .

Generation Wrecked

Interesting Fortune article.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:40 GMT on 8-Oct-2002 .

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

An in yet another demonstration

An in yet another demonstration of why Microsoft is evil, the latest end user license agreement update to Windows XP Service Pack 3 allegedly allows Microsoft to update your system at will, without telling you. This may cause Windows systems to violate the HIPAA act according to this Infoworld article: Windows and HIPAA .

e.p.c. posted this at 12:09 GMT on 9-Oct-2002 .

Bought a new toy...a WiFi

Bought a new toy...a WiFi adapter for my Handspring Prism PDA. I'd had an Omnisky/Earthlink wireless modem for it but have not been able to get it working again (worked well last year. With the hit we took to cell phone coverage in the area it doesn't seem to get enough signal even though my cell phone gets a full signal).

e.p.c. posted this at 12:10 GMT on 9-Oct-2002 .

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Argh. Another construction day. See,

Argh. Another construction day. See, the problem with "construction days" is that every time Lisa or I settle into a new temporary spot in the house to work, about five minutes later someone walks in and says they have to work in that space. We want the work finished (please!) but it's frustrating to get settled in, the move, settle in, then move, etc.

e.p.c. posted this at 13:47 GMT on 10-Oct-2002 .

On the current reading list:

On the current reading list: Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz, No Logo by Naomi Klein, Bitter Java, and a re-reading of Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. Brad borrowed my last copy of Shockwave Rider in 1991, I bought this copy at the Dymocks on George St, Sydney. Seems to be out of print in the US.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:03 GMT on 10-Oct-2002 .

Friday, October 11, 2002

This has been a big

This has been a big toy week...yesterday I picked up a Logictech wireless keyboard and mouse combo. I do most of my work on an IBM Thinkpad X21 and am happy with the keyboard for most stuff, but am finding that when I want to do a lot of writing or coding, a normal keyboard works better. Ok, normal is a relative term. The nice thing about the mouse is that it's neutral-handed (not sure ambidextrous can apply to a mouse). Although I'm right-handed, I mouse left-handed due to a long-ago adaptation after a case of CTS in my right wrist.

My only wish is that someone would come up with a wireless keyboard with a touch pad or track point built into it. This logitech keyboard has all sorts of extra keys I don't need ("email" "messaging" etc)...I'd trade them all for a trackpoint.

e.p.c. posted this at 12:58 GMT on 11-Oct-2002 .

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

TiVo takes short films to

TiVo takes short films to small screens. The DVR company announces a deal with production company Standard Film to let subscribers tune in to short flicks directed by celebrities and sponsored by marketers. [CNET News.com]

e.p.c. posted this at 16:58 GMT on 15-Oct-2002 .

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

TiVo takes short films to

TiVo takes short films to small screens. The DVR company announces a deal with production company Standard Film to let subscribers tune in to short flicks directed by celebrities and sponsored by marketers. [CNET News.com]

e.p.c. posted this at 00:07 GMT on 16-Oct-2002 .


Coverage of the bombing in Bali has been pretty poor in the US (it doesn't have the immediacy of the sniper in DC or yet another car chase in LA). The Sydney Morning Herald has extensive coverage of the impact of the bombing to the Aussie community. Bali was a popular "nearby" vacation spot for Aussies when I was living in Sydney during the Olympics. As far as I can tell everyone I know is ok. Several Sydney area sports clubs were in Bali and have suffered severe casualties.

e.p.c. posted this at 00:16 GMT on 16-Oct-2002 .

The City is paving Hicks

The City is paving Hicks Street tonight. Oh Joy. (This means 10 ton trucks are moving back and forth in front of the house. Sleep is not an option).

e.p.c. posted this at 00:31 GMT on 16-Oct-2002 .

Yet another reason to detest the DMCA

There's a new patch to the Red Hat Linux Kernel. However, if you're a US citizen or under US jursidiction, you cannot be told what the patch actually doees. According to this Register story, due to restrictions of the DMCA, the patch cannot be explained to US citizens w/o violating the DMCA. It's intended as an exercise to show how the DMCA can restrict the flow of information in the US (theoretically to "protect" the rights of copyright holders).

e.p.c. posted this at 11:31 GMT on 16-Oct-2002 .

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Sorry, not much to report

Sorry, not much to report on the past few days. The painters have finished with their painting and left the house, now all we need is the electrician to finish up (he'll return next weekend).

e.p.c. posted this at 21:42 GMT on 20-Oct-2002 .

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Cold cold cold...urk. Ok, last

Cold cold cold...urk. Ok, last night wasn't so cold since a switch in the furnace is broken, the heat stayed on all night.

e.p.c. posted this at 09:52 GMT on 24-Oct-2002 .

Applied to yet another slew

Applied to yet another slew of interesting positions this week. I guess I'd feel better if I could at least hear the maniacal laughing of the HR people reading my resume and cover letters.

e.p.c. posted this at 09:56 GMT on 24-Oct-2002 .

Friday, October 25, 2002

In other news...no news on

In other news...no news on the job front. We've had an interesting week with the furnace...this is day three of various repairmen trying to repair it. Initially it was just the "fan" gadget...now I'm told that the transformer has also fried.

e.p.c. posted this at 16:51 GMT on 25-Oct-2002 .

Monday, October 28, 2002

Argh...I would really like to

Argh...I would really like to permanently block the new MSN 8.0 ads that are plagueing the NYTimes.com site. Bad enough they spammed the city with butterfly decals (and got off with a $50 fine).

On a almost completed unrelated note, I noticed that Windows Messenger had reenabled itself. I'd used the Windows XP feature to remove access to it a couple months back. Probably a new feature of Windows XP, I can see it now: "Oh, I see that you've disabled a Microsoft program. We've reenabled it for you since we really think you should be using it instead of a competitor's program.".

It's probably a good thing that my submission to resume@microsoft.com bounced.

e.p.c. posted this at 12:01 GMT on 28-Oct-2002 .

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

e-commerce fun

I finally broke down and bought something from Amazon today. I think it's possible I've bought a book there before but I doubt it. The reason is quite simple, I like browsing through bookstores. Most of the books I buy are computer related, and I find it important to browse through them beforehand before popping US$50 for them.

I also avoided amazon all these years because I didn't trust them...I figured it's a huge target and likely to be hacked/attacked. I also figure 5+ years is enough time for them to have worked out their bugs.

On the other hand...I used Amazon earlier this morning to validate something I guessed at. See, I've been boycotting the US Recording Industry in my own little way this past year due to all the nonsense about the DMCA, CBDTPA, and every other stupid thing they are doing to abridge various rights. Instead, I've been buying my CDs through HMV Australia (ok, ok, it's not a true boycott, though I have cut down my CD purchases significantly this year).

Now, I buy through HMV Australia simply because 1) I set up an account there when I lived in Sydney and 2) they have a decent selection of Australian performers, surprisingly. What I didn't count on was that it'd be cheaper to buy via Australia (including shipping) than to buy in the US.

As an example, I ordered seven CDs last Monday (Tuesday in Oz). The total cost was AUD$190. Since one of the CDs wasn't available yet, they only shipped six and charged me US$95. Figure that they'll bill me another US$10-$15 when the other CD ships (it's Oz list is AUD$29.95).

Adding up the CDs on Amazon (and guessing liberally on two that Amazon didn't carry) came to a total of US$135 before shipping. Buying the CDs in a local store would likely be about $10 hire since Amazon tends to shave a bit off the price.

Now, the kicker is this: I ordered these on what was essentially Tuesday afternoon in Sydney. They were here yesterday morning (about a week). Had I ordered the same CDs from Amazon, paid more base, and taken the free shipping option, I'd likely still be waiting (since free shipping takes 5-9 days according to their site).

The CD list (in case anyone's interested): Signal Hill by Monique Brumby, TheChilloutSessions3 mixed by Ministry of Sound, ...nothing but a dream by Paul Kelly, capricornia by midnight oil, Sea Change by Beck, Let Go by Avril Lavigne and Present by Killing Heidi.

The books were so boring all I'll say is that they're on WiFi and 802.11 networking.

e.p.c. posted this at 12:41 GMT on 29-Oct-2002 .

As if there weren't enough

As if there weren't enough problems in the Middle East, according to this LA Times article, a wall supporting the Temple Mount is on the verge of collapse.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:21 GMT on 29-Oct-2002 .

Lisa, "Frisket", and I will

Lisa, "Frisket", and I will be doing our bit to support the marathon this weekend by hanging out around mile 13 (just past the water station) and handing out tissues to the runners.

e.p.c. posted this at 20:21 GMT on 29-Oct-2002 .

SF fans should check out

SF fans should check out The Infinite Matrix which calls itself a journal for people who love science fiction as a literature of ideas. It's currently in the midst of a fundraising drive (an interesting one at that if you're into S/F collectables).

e.p.c. posted this at 21:21 GMT on 29-Oct-2002 .

Thursday, October 31, 2002

You Shall Know Our Velocity

There's a new novel out called You Shall Know Our Velocity by David Eggers (reviewd by Salon here. Now, I haven't read the book yet (Lisa's making her way through it now), but I like the book if only because it's quirky (it starts on the cover) and the author has published it independently and is selling it only through independent bookstores (you are not going to see it at Barnes & Noble or Borders, but at the Anderson's, A Clean Well Lighted Place For Books, and Bookcourt's of the world). My friend Deb reports that it's weird and Lisa seems to agree, I'll post again once I've read it.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:13 GMT on 31-Oct-2002 .

Slightly acerbic and eccentric dog walker who masquerades as a web developer and occasional CTO.

Spent five years running the technology side of the circus known as www.ibm.com.

More about me here.