What’s New? 2005-02

    What’s New? 2005-02

    What’s New? 2005-02

    Sunday 27 February 2005

    I use

    to make this website.

    Today marks the day I’ve given up twelve years of page design with HTML in favor of Cascading Style Sheets, a modern, better way of doing things. I make notes about my work with a new web site in an article named . I don’t discuss the CSS design or syntax, but rather what’s necessary to have Radio work with CSS. I hope you find it handy.

    Lila: Birdie, I’m turning you off. I have a pink candy and I’m going to my grandmother’s house.

    So sayeth Lila to the toy bird which repeats everything she says, albeit speeded up. It’s one of her favorite toys.

    After announcing her day-weaning Lila has slept on her own for these two nights (the first night in a nest she made in my office, next to the chair in which I worked until early morning, the second night in her bunk bed), spent two days all by herself at her pre-school, and has been generally independent all around. It’s rather impressive, even though she’s not completely weaned, only 99 per cent…

    Friday 25 February 2005

    Lila: I miss my mama meek. I suck and I suck and I get bubkis. Then I suck and I suck and I don’t get a peep.


    announced that she was day-weaned. We night-weaned her over a month ago.

    Friday 18 February 2005

    There’s been some discussion around the ‘net about the early days. So i started thinking about where all of this got started.

    The online running commentary about my life and what was new to the ‘net started in November 1993. In 1995 I added

    I’d been writing for the customers of Sirius, a San Francisco ISP. In 1995 I also

    published by Macmillan about CU-SeeMe, an Internet-based videoconferencing system. In 1995 my commentary about an

    system, DigiCash, was added to the ‘blog, as we were using it to

    the CU-SeeMe reflector list (for a digital penny).

    All of this was done with ; version 1.0 of which was released in January 1992, and I’d had some beta versions. NCSA Mosaic, by Marc Andreessen et alia, arrived in early 1993. (This was the era of Serial Line Internet Protocol, SLIP; Point-to-Point Protocol, PPP, was still a long time in coming. It was the height of geekdom to be able to have several open command-line terminal windows active over one modem connection, so one could have separate spaces for ones Gopher, Archie, and Lynx browsing.)

    Rebecca Blood writes “Jesse’s ‘page of only weblogs’ lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999.” Perhaps for some bizarre definition of ‘blog. If you mean to say that SIX YEARS after Wired magazine’s issue 1.01 came out (Mar/Apr 1993) there were only 23 people posting “periodic posts on a common webpage… often but not necessarily in reverse chronological order” [Wiki], I got a

    to sell you.

    (Looking around my own site this evening I discover that not only was the net much more conversational than Ms. Blood implies, it was so chatty that it was worthwhile to describe some of the tips and tricks of making my ‘blog; here’s a .

    Dave Winer – the creator of Frontier – started his ‘blog at the end of April 1997, wherein he speaks of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Not 1.0. For crying out loud, the fruit-colored Apple iMacs were introduced in August 1998 to a world that was already very comfortable with modems, the web, etc.

    It’s true that each generation remembers history as starting in their lifetimes, but y’all need to be a bit more careful with your assertions. Why, back then, we didn’t even have…

    Thursday 17 February 2005

    Technical and evangelism issues aside, I’m really groovin’ on these Mozilla Firefox web browser graphics.

    From the Spread Firefox website: “…You all are spreading Firefox to a quarter of a million people a day. More than 500,000 sites now link to Firefox according to Google–a fivefold increase from six months ago… What was just a small flame 100 days ago has since exploded into a phenomenal demonstration of the power of open source.

    “No kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.”

    — James Burgh from Political Disquisitions: or, an Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses, London, 1774-1775

    Wednesday 16 February 2005

    Look who is on a …

    Speaking of the middle east, there was a large explosion today in south Iran. Tension is high because of reports that Israel might preëmptively strike at their fledgling nuclear program in an effort to forstall Iran gaining nuclear weapons. Initially reported as caused by a missile, it was today explained away as blasting work during the construction of a dam.

    The truth doesn’t matter; what does is that we’ve once again thought of the Saddam Hussein-era , aka “Baghdad Bob”. Imagined by john_frink at Fark.com:

    There was no explosion. The especially loud sound was the joyous people of Iran giving spontaneous and simultaneous thanks to Allah for an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise.

    Tuesday 15 February 2005

    ; check it out!

    My lack of interest in the royalty-as-celebrity is balanced perfectly by my love of protocol:

    The 1836 Marriage Act bars the royal family from civil marriages, says Stephen Cretney, Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

    “The legislation which governs civil marriage in England is expressed not to apply to members of the royal family. There is no statutory procedure whereby members of the royal family can marry in a register office.”

    Were the couple to wed under current legislation, Dr Cretney said the Prince of Wales would not be legally married and Camilla would not be his wife.

    I’m not saying Buckingham Palace called for advice or anything, but let’s say I’d mention Las Vegas…

    Here’s an HTML syntax hint for displaying wide panoramic images in a smaller web page: either crunch the panorama down to a fixed width (seen here at 486 pixels wide) and have it link to the bigger panoramic image

    San Francisco from Twin Peaks

    or use the div style construction to make a view into the bigger panorama, a view that is automatically sized to the width of the web page, a view which gives you a horizontal scroll bar to see the entire panorama.

    Monday 14 February 2005

    A busy day juggling a sick boy and

    after libxslt, libxml2, libcurl, libogg, and libvorbis. (I actually corrected compilation errors in libvorbis-1.1.0 and had MikeS, from the #icecast IRC channel, checked in the fixes. Yeah me!)

    I celebrate , another great way to enjoy the bean.

    The OmniWeb browser has rendered one too many pages badly, or not completely. And Apple Safari still doesn’t seem to deal with the variety of poor web page coding styles. So I’ve switched whole hog to Mozilla Firefox 1.0, the open source browser that’s taking the world by storm. (Wow, I wonder how provincial these sentences will sound a quarter-century hence, or more.)

    The functionality in Firefox is amazing, and the open architecture has spawned so many niche extentions that it’s a different kind of joy to use. It’s not completely a

    application, parts of the user interface aren’t right, and I don’t think it renders things as beautifully as OmniWeb, but it does more things right, and that counts for something 🙂

    Sunday 13 February 2005

    Hey , happy 3-and-a-half years! No more “three and five quelts” (5/12ths) for you 🙂

    is febrile: 101° F last night, 99° F today, 103.6° F this evening. Sigh.

    Saturday 12 February 2005

    A follow-up to my installation instructions for the

    and the

    under , here’s how to install the . Now they all work together.

    K. M. Peterson sends us an .

    Friday 11 February 2005

    Google Maps is released to the public, and the combination of real-time updates of sizing and scrolling is very, very nice to see. And the

    have a lean, clean look to them.

    Thursday 10 February 2005

    ; read all about it!

    Reading the following

    The Duke of Edinburgh and I [HRH The Queen of England] are very happy that The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles are to marry. We have given them our warmest good wishes for their future together.

    reminds me of when .

    As “Rupert Birkin” said on fark.com this day,

    I care. I want Charles to be happy. He’s a widower and the plants and trees don’t talk back, so let him have his companion/consort/whatever.

    He may be inbred and jug-eared, but he didn’t ask to be born and is still human at the end of the day. A funny-looking one, but human, I’m pretty sure.

    Wednesday 9 February 2005

    I’m a fan of axonometric . Norbert Ceulemans – a Belgian – has drawn

    of London and Jerusalem which are said to be stunning.

    Not that you could tell from the ‘net. His work was showcased at the International Maps Agency, imapa.com, which seems to be long-gone. And that, in itself, is telling. What an interesting kind of digital mortality we have.

    Friday 4 February 2005

    John Vernon, the Canadian actor who played Dean Wormer in “National Lampoon’s Animal House” has died at 72 at his Los Angeles house following complications from recent heart surgery. I enjoyed this role, and am saddened by his passing. In reading his obituaries I discovered

    that he was the off-screen voice of Big Brother in the 1956 film “1984.” His film credits include “Point Blank” (1967) with Lee Marvin and “Dirty Harry” (1971) and “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976) with Clint Eastwood.

    Wednesday 2 February 2005

    Yesterday we celebrated at Rose’s parents, today

    and Zofia come on over to

    to continue the festivities. Here Isaac is lighting the candles all by himself:

    Tuesday 1 February 2005

    Today Isaac decided he wanted to celebrate his birthday here (in addition to the celebrations we had on his actual birthday, when we were on our . Here he is adding sprinkles to his cake.

    And here we are at Rose’s parents, to celebrate. From left to right: , Auntie , , , Bubbie Marion, Zadie Leonard:

    Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me . Thanks!









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