Tech (General)

The eternal disk scans

Decided this would be a good day to scan and defrag my harddrives (you do that monthly right?) PC desktop took about 5 hours (it was bad). Laptop took about 2hrs. Bender, my Mac file server, has the largest and most fragmented drive (thanks to several fun new things I installed, with billions of files). I took it offline at aprox. 2:30 PM EST. It’s now 11:14 PM EST. And it’s not done.

Boy. And I wanted to play with some new toys on Bender. Not today.

In The News

Height matters

According to this Study, tall people make more money than short people.

“Each inch in height amounted to about $789 more a year in pay, the study found. So someone who is 7 inches taller – say 6 feet versus 5 feet 5 inches – would be expected to earn $5,525 more annually, he said.”

Great. Now we are going to see dozens of lawsuits defending short people (well, dumb people who blame it on being short). And the NAVCP (National Association for Vertically Challenged People).

Perhaps this is why Gary Coleman lost the California Election to Aaanold, the Kindergarden Cop? Perhaps it’s position, not just money.


Yankees Win



Most likely one of the more interesting games to watch. Exciting waiting for the Babe to come by and rape the Red Sox once again. Always fun seeing that happen.

The Red Sox are on the way back to Boston, where it’s 1918 24x7x365.


Oh yea… Red Sox Suck


iTunes for Windows

Among other announcements, Apple released iTunes for Windows.

I’ve given it a bit of a test drive too see how it is. Despite Steve Jobs claim that it’s the “whole thing”, IMHO it’s not as good as the Mac version:

  1. Visualizer is lame compared to the diversity in the Mac version.
  2. iPodService.exe service hanging around sucking up memory, and occasionally attacking my CPU.
  3. Awkward feel. Works perfect in Aqua, but something isn’t right on Windows.
  4. Didn’t find drivers “for importing and burning CDs and DVDs”.
  5. I would think a P4M 1.8GHz would convert a file to an MP3 much faster than a 450MHz G4. But it doesn’t feel that much faster since the last time I did it on a G4. Not scientific. But by feel, it’s slower.

On the plus side, best equalizer (usability + configurability) in a free player for windows. And overall Apple goodness.

Good first shot. But give up the Aqua look. It just feels funny. Apple’s about usability. Make it feel better.

I still prefer the Mac version, though I must admit, I still prefer my Mac.


Mozilla 1.5 Out / Website

Mozilla 1.5 is out! IMHO a great release. Rock solid. Firebird 0.7 is also out.

I’ve got to bring up a few things about what will be the new website soon. Why is this being done in XHTML? Why loose that portion of an audience, that is potentially going to switch? The easiest group to get switching is people with older browsers. These people are going to see a rather crummy page. XHTML is great, don’t get me wrong. But there is a time and a place. On a website that needs 100% compatibility to entice people to switch, having an XHTML isn’t a wise idea.

I must admit, I absolutely love the design. And I also must say, I wouldn’t mind having that Nice “M” logo as the icon for Mozilla. That’s a nice version of it. Very nice.

I’m not a fan of going to XHTML on this website. I’m of the belief that it will deter the easiest crowd to persuade to move. The older browser guys. Netscape 4 is still rather widely distributed in corporations. It’s not an extinct browser like some infer. It’s still on quite a few computers. They are the most likely candidates to switch. We should embrace them.

The only way I see it working is if there is a redirect for non-XHTML browsers to the old design. Perhaps prompt them to upgrade to see the new site.

Again, I absolutely love the design. One of the best page designs I’ve seen in a long time.


Netscape 8.0, an ISP

A report claims that AOL is planning to create Netscape 8.0. But it won’t be a browser. But an ISP. I’ve got some grief about this for several reasons:

  1. Confusing to the end user. Netscape was a popular browser. Then Netscape died. “Mozilla is Netscape, just better” became the cry. Now Netscape is an ISP. Very confusing. Not good.
  2. It’s expected to be strictly an ISP, no bloat. Not even AOL’s AIM service. Instant Messaging is considered to be the new golden child of the Internet. Yet not included into the service. Hmm? Granted they could just download AIM. Still got to wonder.
  3. Killing the little innovation. Lets face it, like AOL or not, they did innovate quite a bit. They managed to bring Instant Messaging to the masses for example. As well as many internet tools. Perhaps childlike. But they brought them.

My guess is that this will be somewhat successful, but I doubt it will save them from their present situation. Here is how I break it down:


POP3 Mail Checker

Looking for a good POP3 Mail checker for Windows, and for Mac OS X. Ideally, it should meet the following:

  • Free (open source preferable, but not required)
  • Unobtrusive unless it finds mail (then it should notify me)
  • Fast, Silent, Low CPU/RAM
  • Bonus if I could have it ask to open up a specified URL, rather than my POP3 email client (Mozilla).

I’m mobile most of the week, and not at my primary computer. As a result, I use webmail for quite a bit. I don’t like leaving webmail open. So a pop3mail checker would be nice. I keep my personal mail on my laptop. But I like my business stuff on my Mac, as that’s where I work mostly.

AOL Instant Messenger appears to have one, but because my login contains the full username, it apparently doesn’t work, even if replacing “@” with “%”, or “&” as some have suggested in the past.

So my question is. What do you use? What product works good for you?


Mozilla 1.5 Soon

It’s got to be coming soon. The release notes are already up.

Nothing on FTP so far. I’m guessing within the next 48 hours. I think this is the most stable release yet. Real bulletproof. And having spell checker built in is a real neat thing. No more downloading each time I upgrade.


New News System

The new News System for 4.0 (Daemon of the Abiss) is coming along smoothly, but slowly.

Indexing, searching WAP interface, and RSS Syndication are still to be tackled. They are the more complex, and tedious tasks.

What’s nice is that’s it’s pretty portable and easy to upgrade. Once I get all the necessary stuff plugged in for it to be ready for use, I will beta test for a while (perhaps solicit others to take a look), and put it in production for 3.0, to get the last bugs out.

I can easily revamp the entire system, and put a new version out, with minimal downtime, unless the DB needs serious work (which I doubt).

Once the new system is in place, I can begin the final process of moving over the old site into the new framework and complete the transition.

Then we can start rolling.

So it’s still a while off, but it’s coming along. Each day is a step forward (thankfully). It’s not a moonwalk, but actual forward progress.

Accettura Media

Digging through the server

In my efforts to rebuild, today I started sifting through the tons of files on the server. Boy was this a trip to the past few years.

Also found a lot of personal stuff that I threw on the site in hidden directories. Including stuff I’m not sure if they were good times, or things I want to forget ;-). I also found my parody website “University of Bob”, mocking schools in general.

Tons of other stuff. I got to spend some time over the next several weeks cleaning up. Perhaps I will post what I find funny.

While on the topic, I’m going slower than I would like in reviving the site, but it is moving. The news system is starting to come together, so are the structural changes. Authentication has been almost completely upgraded for some time. It’s just a few things that I still need to enable.

To sleep, and get some more done tomorrow.