Month: December 2004 blog archive
special delivery - 30 Dec 2004

I had a paper route when I was 13. There was a bowling alley with arcade games towards the end of the route who subscribed to the paper who provided a much-appreciated respite from the drudgery that is newspaper delivery. They always paid me in quarters which was extremely convenient to plop into their video […]

Categories: Stories
the e-mail address should be optional - 29 Dec 2004

I don’t know who started it first, but both major blog engines that I’ve used (Movable Type and WordPress) allow either anonymous comments or require both the name and e-mail address. I’ve never understood why they don’t just require the name, without an e-mail address. I’m hesitant to give my e-mail address because I don’t […]

Categories: Blogging
exercise for your brain - 28 Dec 2004

I once wrote about exercising your brain because I had heard that the brain was like a muscle. New research results from a European study indicates that exercising your muscles can keep your brain from losing its cognitive abilities. The 290 participants, all men, were between the ages of 70 and 90 when the study […]

Categories: News
why nerds are unpopular - 27 Dec 2004

A few months ago a lunch discussion at work centered around bullies and nerds in school. The group consisted entirely of engineers and it seemed that all of us had been picked on in school, to one degree or another. This article in Wired Magazine provides insight into Why Nerds Are Unpopular. The main crux […]

Categories: Society
one thousandth post - 23 Dec 2004

This entry marks a milestone in my blogging career – my one thousandth post. For bloggers who post more than once a day, it may not sound like much, but I typically post once a day (Monday through Friday). Since my first post about Smartstocks and some gadgets at Altavista way back in December of […]

Categories: The site
the graphing calculator story - 22 Dec 2004

I’ve never used the Graphing Calculator software, but the story of how it came to be is awe inspiring. The project was terminated, but that didn’t stop Ron Avitzur from working on it. He says, “I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I […]

Categories: Programming
no one needs a computer in their home - 21 Dec 2004

Most of you have probably heard about the president of a large company saying that no one would have a computer in their home. According to Snopes, that person was Ken Olsen, then president of Digital (also known as Digital Equipment Corporation, or DEC), and although it’s true, it is taken out of context. He […]

Categories: Technology
eaten by a grue - 20 Dec 2004

For whatever reason, I never played a game that has become almost legendary in the computer world. The game I’m referring to? Zork. It’s mentioned in all sorts of places, like UserFriendly, Mark’s account of a Windows XP installation (see #56), and even in Eric Raymond’s jargon dictionary. In spite of its pervasiveness, I had […]

Categories: My Thoughts
elegance in open source software - 17 Dec 2004

An article about the usability of open source software like Mozilla, Firefox, Gnome and Nautilus gave me something to think about. He says programmers don’t have to design for either the power user or the average user because even a power user doesn’t always want to configure everything; sometimes they just want it to work […]

Categories: Linux,Technology,Usability
wordpress 1.2.2 released - 16 Dec 2004

WordPress 1.2.2 has been released for your upgrading pleasure and is available for download. You may also want to take a gander at the upgrade instructions.

Categories: WordPress
vehicular communication - 15 Dec 2004

Everyone has probably seen a car with its blinker on for miles on end, or someone who forgets to turn their headlights on at night. Other times you may know there’s a speed trap just around the corner and you want to warn other drivers, or you’ll see a car with a pididle that the […]

Categories: My Thoughts
boosting your pagerank - 14 Dec 2004

I’ve received several e-mails from owners of web sites asking me to link to their site in order to boost their Pagerank on Google. The sites were unrelated to mine. I politely but firmly informed each of them that I have reported them to Google because of their request. I do this in the hope […]

Categories: Search engines
wordpress 1.2.x dashboard - 13 Dec 2004

I took a peek at WordPress 1.3 and saw that they have a link to a dashboard in the admin menu, but nothing is there yet. I thought it sounded like a good idea, so I wrote my own dashboard for 1.2.x, just to give me an idea of the overall state of my blog. […]

Categories: WordPress
trousers of intelligence - 10 Dec 2004

(ABC News) – Sixty-five per cent of Britons do not know in which US city the hit musical ‘Chicago’ is set in, a nationwide survey for an upcoming TV quiz show says. Another 57 per cent did not know where the celebrated television soap opera ‘Dallas’ was set, and two-thirds were equally at a loss […]

Categories: My Thoughts
social or biological? - 09 Dec 2004

Most people understand that depression is not someone’s fault. A depressed individual is not able to cheer themsevles up on their own due to a medical imbalance that, in serious cases, needs to be adjusted with medication. Much like depression, some other disorders that are commonly classified as social problems may in fact be biological. […]

Categories: My Thoughts
windows xp booting issue - 08 Dec 2004

A friend of mine had some booting problems with their computer; it wouldn’t boot. Here’s what happened. The error displayed during the boot process said, “\System32\Drivers\FastFat.sys missing or corrupted.” I found a web site touting the benefits of checking the knowledge base first. In his case, the error was displayed because of bad memory, however […]

Categories: Technology
Netgear RP614 router review - 07 Dec 2004

Here’s another review that I posted at Epinions, this time of the Netgear RP614 v2 router. So far I’ve only had one problem; port 2 stopped working. Their customer support has been really busy (in fact I got a busy signal a few times) so I haven’t been able to talk to anyone yet, but […]

Categories: Reviews
how to be a programmer - 06 Dec 2004

I found this web site many moons ago, but I never made a post about it because I wanted to write more about it. I’ve never had the time to write about it, and it’s quite long anyway, so I’m just posting it sans comment. I give you, How to be a Programmer. (via gene […]

Categories: Programming
how to get CGIs to work - 03 Dec 2004

When I was working as a system administrator one of the frequent complaints we heard was that users couldn’t get their CGI scripts to work. We had a set of steps to follow to get them to work, but a few people still had trouble. One user in particular swore up and down he had […]

Categories: Useful
holiday cheer - 02 Dec 2004

Yesterday, a coworker told me it was December first and asked if I knew what that meant. I made a guess, but it wasn’t what he was looking for. He exclaimed, with cheerful exuberance, “It’s time to run xsnow!” So now I’m running xsnow, and loving it. The wind blows occasionally, sending Santa and his […]

Categories: My Thoughts