Sunday, November 3, 2002

Lisa, "Frisket", and I are

Lisa, Frisket, and I are off to the 33rd NYC marathon. We'll take up a spot just past the 14 mile marker. We have 4 cases of Kleenex this will be no where near enough.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:55 GMT on 3-Nov-2002 .

NYC Marathon 2002

We just got back from the marathon. I'll update this post with pictures later after I've warmed up a bit. It looks like four cases of kleenex was almost year we'll get a fifth.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:02 GMT on 3-Nov-2002 .

NYC Marathon 2002

I decided to go ahead and post the pictures, then I will crash. Unfortunately I spent much of the race handing out Kleenex with my right hand, and restraining "Frisket" with my left, so there are no pictures of Frisket at her first marathon, however be assured that she was adored by many. And enjoyed the Powerbar "gel" packs she kept finding. And the Gatorade.

MM14 before the race

The women's elite runners

Women's elite runners

Women's elite runners pack

Mid-race...about a third of the runners have passed

Lisa doing Kleenex duty

Frisket and Jody (Frisket found the garbage very enticing)

The street has gotten a little messy

Lisa got many thanks from runners

Lisa (close) and Cori (far) hand out the last tissues

Some flag waving for NYC

e.p.c. posted this at 15:22 GMT on 3-Nov-2002 .

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Today's tasks:Vote early, often (I'm

Today's tasks:
  • Vote early, often (I'm from Chicago)
  • work on web services tutorial
  • upgrade pittsburgh to OS/X Jaguar
  • Vote again

e.p.c. posted this at 11:31 GMT on 5-Nov-2002 .

A High Hg lifestyle

So...I eat almost only tuna and chicken for my "meat", I rarely have a burger or steak (maybe once per month). Supposed to be good, right? Bzzzt. Thank you for playing. Turns out according to this article in the SF Examiner, a moderate diet in tuna can lead to high levels of mercury. Don't even think of eating swordfish. Argh. Double Argh.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:22 GMT on 5-Nov-2002 .

Did you vote yet?

I propose a new constiutional amendment...if you don't vote, you lose the right to complain, whine, or grumble about politics and politicians until 30 days before the next election.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:25 GMT on 5-Nov-2002 .

Business 2.0 has an article

Business 2.0 has an article up about LiquidMetal Technologies. They are producing a metal composite which is lighter than titanium and (allegedly) as easy to manipulate as plastic when heated. Has promise for things like cell phone cases, laptop cases, etc.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:53 GMT on 5-Nov-2002 .

Thursday, November 7, 2002

Morning news roundup

The Noah's Ark of the Web, 7,000 Characters at a Time (NYT): covers the development of a new font designed to incorporate all the symbols used in math, physics, and other sciences. The problem with symbols in fonts today is that most fonts have few symbols in them (think alpha Α beta Β sigma σ, etc.) and from font to font the symbols may not be in the same place.

Bill Gates Views What He's Sown in Libraries (NYT): Gates' foundation is giving away computers to libraries in every state. While a laudable goal, I'm sure that there's more than a few strings attached to the "gifts". I suspect the libraries don't get to pick whether they want a Mac or PC, and I'm doubt they get to install anything other than Microsoft products on the donated systems.

Linksys vulnerability puts home users at risk ( via Yahoo!). Appears that if you (duh!) turn on remote management (meaning anyone from the Internet can access your router), it's possible to crash the router. Solution? Don't turn on remote management! or upgrade the firmware. In English: You live in a high crime neighborhood and have a very secure door which protects your home. Your door has a "feature" to allow someone without a key to enter your home. This "feature" is disabled by default. If you choose to enable it, then someone can enter your home. Why would anyone ever do this? Argh...

Briefly.... The Leonid meteor shower is supposed to be spectacular this year. Unfortunately we'll be in Philly.

e.p.c. posted this at 09:56 GMT on 7-Nov-2002 .

The oddities of using "Radio

The oddities of using "Radio Userland" to run this site never cease...the publishing link to my original weblog, seems to have restarted. So this site is now available in some form in three places:, and No, I'm not sure there's any benefit to spamming the internet with my rantings but it's fun.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:03 GMT on 7-Nov-2002 .

The NYTimes site seems embarrassingly

The NYTimes site seems embarrassingly slow today.

e.p.c. posted this at 12:54 GMT on 7-Nov-2002 .

Friday, November 8, 2002

Went to the optometrist today

Went to the optometrist today for a yearly checkup. The good increase in eye pressure. It's still a bit higher than normal but is holding steady. The bad news...replacing the glasses "Frisket" munched on will cost several ugly pennies. I decided to get two pairs with stronger frames this time.

e.p.c. posted this at 13:24 GMT on 8-Nov-2002 .

Midday news roundup

All CDs will be protected and you are a filthy pirate (The Register): basically EMI and BMG have begun copy-protecting all CDs in Europe. The problem is that CDs were not designed to be copy protected. The copy protection schemes in use cause the CDs to be unplayable in all sorts of CD players, though in theory the goal is just to prevent people from digitizing the CDs. More than ever, I'm committed to boycotting the music industry. I don't engage in music trading, but I do like to have our entire music collection in mp3 format. If I can't buy the music and know it'll work as a CD, then I won't buy any.

I dumped my Yahoo! stock earlier this week, not at the highest but I got a decent return. Turns out to be prescient given that Softbank also dumped its shares (they had a few more than I did) according to c|net: Yahoo slides on downgrade, Softbank sale

e.p.c. posted this at 13:30 GMT on 8-Nov-2002 .

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Today's little task: compiling Apache

Today's little task: compiling Apache 2 for Freebsd.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I suspect there is no

I suspect there is no one remotely interested in this, but I found the site for The Affordable Floors, a Pittsburgh area college band that briefly flared in the 1980s before getting squished by a major label. The cool thing is that they have some of their songs available online (I doubt you can buy the CD anywhere, including their site). (Somehow I came across this while looking up information about Billy Corgan's new band Zwan).

Update: 9 Nov 2004

The floors now have an online store. Buy Buy Buy!

e.p.c. posted this at 16:38 GMT on 13-Nov-2002 .

Friday, November 15, 2002

Green Screen of Death

Our bedroom TiVo died this morning, aged 3+. More specifically, on rebooting from the frozen screen it came up with what I'll call the Green Screen of Death (inspired by Microsoft no doubt). You can hear the disk thrashing away, probably spewing little bits of magnetic plasma all over the place. We're debating now whether to rebuild it (we have the technology), turn it over to Tivo for "service", or let "frisket" dig a hole in the front yard and bury it.

Update @ 10:22 a.m.

The darn thing seems to have fixed itself, though we're taking this as a warning shot (it's been on continuously for 3+ years. Somehow I doubt it's as robust as a hardcore computer server). Must have fsck'd all the filesystems. (Um, no, that's not an obscenity, it's an ancient unix command, short for filesystem check, kind of like chkdsk but for a real operating system).

e.p.c. posted this at 08:44 GMT on 15-Nov-2002 .

Pubscience shut down

PubScience was a US DoE sponsored site which offered free access to scientific and technical articles. Commercial publishers lobbied the Bush administration to shut it down and have succeeded according to this article at Federal Computer Week. This is "privatization" at work...basically, your tax dollars go to pay for the research, and then to find out about the results you get to pay a private firm for the privilege of access to formerly public information. I don't understand how the public is better off...

e.p.c. posted this at 08:54 GMT on 15-Nov-2002 .

Saturday, November 16, 2002

In this Wired article, the

In this Wired article, the latest example of corporate greed run amok, Visa has successfully shut down a website called for trademark dilution. was a site about travel (and visa(s), which used to be a public domain word meaning an official authorization to travel. I have been meaning to review my credit cards, perhaps it's time to junk my Visa?

e.p.c. posted this at 19:21 GMT on 16-Nov-2002 .

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Spent Sunday and Monday in

Spent Sunday and Monday in Philadelphia (drove Lisa down to attend an ASIS conference). Picked up "Frisket" this afternoon, I just missed picking her up from "monster mutt" by about 15 minutes last night.

e.p.c. posted this at 19:23 GMT on 19-Nov-2002 .

Thursday, November 21, 2002

I've been playing with the

I've been playing with the latest beta version of the Opera web browser (v7). It's very slick, fast, and if this were a fair world, would easily beat MSIE. For the webheads in the thing I like is that if it finds any LINK elements in the HEAD of a document, it will add buttons corrsponding to those links at the top of the browser window.

e.p.c. posted this at 20:16 GMT on 21-Nov-2002 .

Friday, November 22, 2002

Just when I thought it was time to get back on the plane

Salon: The air industry's worst nightmare Just days ago, national security executives met secretly with airline CEOs to warn them that al-Qaida may be planning to fire shoulder-launched missiles at commercial jets in the U.S. There's virtually no defense...

e.p.c. posted this at 08:38 GMT on 22-Nov-2002 .

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Lisa and I spent the

Lisa and I spent the afternoon in Manhattan, brunching at NoHo Star and then wandering around NoHo, SoHo, and NoLita. Lisa picked up some clothes at American Colors by Henry Lehr, after an aborted attempt at shopping at the SoHo EMS (they win no points for customer service). If you haven't been to the new Crate and Barrel in the Cable Building definitely drop in, they've done an amazing job renovating the space (formerly occupied by said EMS store, a sports club, and a couple of other stores). "Frisket" spent the afternoon at "Monster Mutt" and was quite exhausted by the time we walked her back home.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:16 GMT on 23-Nov-2002 .

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Morning news roundup

In Australia, debate is starting over who owns the "facts" in a database. According to this Sydney Morning Herald article, the Aussies are debating whether to use the European model (where it's easy to protect the "facts" in a database through copyright) vs the US model (you can copyright the design of a database, but the actual data, eg: name address and phone number, are public domain). Enron is getting into the pre-owned car business according to CNN Money. The "SMH" has a review of the domain naming craze that occurred during the .com bubble.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:31 GMT on 26-Nov-2002 .

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Morning News Roundup

Officer Krowbar retires at the age of ten from the US Customs Service. FEMA has bungled yet again, failing to pay for a 9/11 P.O. box. The best support for computers in NYC schools comes from the 21st century version of the A/V club: The Mouse Squad.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:49 GMT on 27-Nov-2002 .

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Thanksgiving 2002

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

e.p.c. posted this at 17:23 GMT on 28-Nov-2002 .

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Today we walked "Frisket" over

Today we walked "Frisket" over to Jacques Torres chocolate factory followed by a spell at the dog run. I spent the afternoon cleaning up the front bedroom which is almost ready to be used for something other than the dumping ground for my old apartment. Came across many wierd ancient things like cancelled checks from the 1980's (some of the boxes apparently moved from Meadville to Pittsburgh to Poughkeepsie to New York never being opened!) as well as a collection (still in boxes) of Atari video games for the Apple 2 (and two Apple 2e's as well). Saw Die Another Day tonight at the Court St theaters (this is a vertical complex, you keep taking escalators up and up). My take: yes, it's a rehash of Goldeneye (minus the obscene number of IBM computers), however much better than that was. Although I liked the movie, it seems like the ending was sewn on (I wonder if it was rewritten last fall). There were a couple firsts (as far as I know) for a Bond movie, for one thing, James Bond doesn't get away in the opening sequence. If you need a stupid, shoot-em-up, escapist fantasy for a couple hours, go see Die Another Day.

e.p.c. posted this at 22:28 GMT on 30-Nov-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

More about me here.