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Feb
28
2002
2 comments
This is just a test of added capabilities here - notice that there are "comments" for the three subcategories on the left, and when adding comments you can add your website's URL. Fun stuff, huh?



Feb
28
2002
0 comments
Just a head's-up, to spread the love around to all my webinsanities: My Backwash column has been updated.

When I was younger, there was an older man who lived on the corner of our block. He sat out on his front step almost all day long, visiting with anyone who went by & chatting with the neighborhood kids. I didn't talk to him much, but he was nice to everyone and that's how he passed the time in his autumn years. His house had an apartment on the back of it, and in it lived a woman who yelled at you if you rode your bike on the grass of the property that she didn't own.

Des' daycare has a small public park down the street from it, and they often visit during the day. Other than proximity, the reason daycare visits is because there's playground equipment fit for toddlers to play on, unlike most public parks.

However, at least according to my daycare, there's a hateful woman living there who despises the children that visit the park. She has made threatening calls to the daycare, she has asked the Fargo Park Board to rip out the park, and she has sprayed the daycare kids with water and yelled at them.

Everyrone is entitled to an opinion, but how sad for a lady to treat the happiness of children as a blemish on her neighborhood. Life is what you make of it, no matter how close to your own death you are. Be like the guy on the front porch, open to the world, adsorbing the happiness that's out there. Were this woman at the park to go out and throw around a ball with the 4 and 5-year olds, her entire day would be brightened. Instead, she peeks out from between pulled shades, taking notes on whether the children throw sticks on her lawn or not.



Feb
27
2002
0 comments
My hard drive arrived only moments ago! Yay!

Speaking of computers, Intel has designed a way for one processor to act like two. Intel has asked motherboard manufacturers to disable the ability, so that servers have an advantage over desktops. Why make it an add-on anyway? If the processor has that many leftover resources, then Intel is just wasting their efforts. SMT should be left on, by default, and non-multiprocessor OSes will ignore the extra "processor" anyway.



Feb
27
2002
0 comments
Vandalism at Dartmouth's Art Department results in critiques of the damage as artistic expression. Now, I can appreciate artistic interpretation of most things, but this borders on labeling Homer Simpson an outsider artist, even if it was an art student who committed the crime.

Still, can expression of emotion through vandalism be without artistic expression? There are symbols in everything that humans do emotionally.



Feb
27
2002
0 comments
Daily Condition:

on radio: MPR's pledge drive. I renewed my membership weeks ago.

my condition: Last night I awoke with an excrutiating headache, but dispatched it with some Ibuprofen. That headache is struggling to return.



Feb
27
2002
0 comments
Derek Is Reading:

on radio: MPR's pledge drive. I renewed my membership weeks ago.

my condition: I awoke in the middle of the night with a horrible headache, which was vanquished with Tylenol. However, I can feel it trying to return...



Feb
26
2002
1 comment
It is official - I am changing majors from Business Management to MIS. My employer has reduced its tuition reimbursement maximum, forcing me to pay most of my tuition myself. So, why stick with my employer's recommended degree when I'm going to pay for it anyway? I'll pick something more in line with my interests. My prior experience with computers will also let me "skip" some courses, getting full credit based on prior knowledge. My completion horizon remains only slightly longer, due to the fact that this year was made up mostly of general study requirements.



Feb
25
2002
0 comments
Alas, poor PC - I turned on my computer at lunch, and was greeted by loud clicks and scraping. Thinking it was my new internal tape drive, I ejected the DAT. Thinking it was my Sparq, I ejected the cassette. My 4GB hard drive had been making random clicks & thunks for a while, and I knew it was a sign of future failure. That drive failure finally came to be.

Luckily, I had purchased a 40GB hard drive last week, and it will arrive via UPS on Wednesday.

Still - the underlying truth is this: Derek will be without a computer for at least two days. Two days. Two days? How will I survive?!

Eh, it won't be too hard. I'm a computer nut, so I have plenty of alternatives on hand. Destiny's computer is plenty powerful to complete my homework for tomorrow night, plus web browsing & other fun stuff. Drive failures don't affect me much - I have a resilient fileserver which stores all my sensitive files, the aforementioned DAT backup drive backs up drives, and I use web-based services for email & such, so data loss is kept to a minimum.



Feb
25
2002
0 comments
Went to see Queen of the Damned yesterday with a friend. I enjoyed it, but I think the reason which caused reviewer's distaste was that the scriptwriters had two of Anne Rice's novels to condense into a single film. Like my disappointment in Atlantis, there seems to have been much more intended than actually appeared on screen. As in Lord Of The Rings, there are plenty of in-references included for fans of the novels, but unlike LOTR there wasn't enough included for those unfamiliar with the original stories to enjoy it.

Still, Queen of the Damned was good for eye-candy, without much of a message, and I don't think it attempted to be much more than that. So what if the characters had faint flashes of greater complexity than presented on the screen? Read the books.

I did, however, notice the hints of Tale of the Body Thief as a sequel. I have to go re-purchase the novels to re-read them. All of my Anne Rice books were lent to a friend of my ex-wife's, a man who went by the alias ^*^vampire^*^ on the BBSes, and I never got them back.



Feb
22
2002
1 comment
Supertoys supervise the elderly.

Teddy said, "You ask such silly questions, David. Nobody knows what 'real' really means. Let's go indoors."



Feb
21
2002
0 comments
Daily Condition:

listening to: crappy muzak, because the radio on my desk is acting up.

my condition: worried that I'm spending too much money - but can anyone really spend too much on computers?



Feb
18
2002
0 comments
Followup to the last entry - the magic coconut has been won by Darlene Hemlock. Congratulations!

In another news - early template for Destiny's new website is up. It doesn't do anything yet, but it'll be structured episodically, rather than categorically, with lots of pictures, movies, and sound.



Feb
16
2002
0 comments
Only ONE DAY LEFT to win my brother's magic coconut. It's a scavanger hunt - get the list, go through all the photos on his website, write down every place you find the items on the list. Easy as pie!



Feb
15
2002
0 comments
Some people don't know how to change the default titles on their webpages. Welcome to Adobe GoLive - around 278,000 of them.



Feb
15
2002
0 comments
Daily Condition:

in cd player: Soul Coughing, Irresistable Bliss

my condition: pleased that a Mirror Project submission of mine was included as a weekly highlight.



Feb
14
2002
0 comments
Derek Recommends:

Modern Love, a humorous look at love between voicemail systems.



Feb
14
2002
1 comment
YAY! I've won the ability to rename a floor in Random Hall on the MIT campus. My winning bid was $36. Now THAT'S money well spent!

I chose the sappy opportunity - the floor will be named (pending dorm approval) "Destiny", in honor of my daughter. Yeah, it's not as cool as "foo" or "blackhole," but I'm the one ponying up the dough for it!



Feb
12
2002
0 comments
The week started with pinkeye, but now it's going much better. The pinkeye was not mine, though, but Destiny is doing much better now and is back in school.

Today, I got notice that my new computer is being shipped and will arrive on Friday. Next, my investment account is up and running & I bought 10 shares of Tesoro right away, but I'm holding the other $350+ until I do more research and Office Depot released their 4Q earnings tomorrow. Then, we participated in a Lincoln's Birthday presentation at the school I tutor chess in. Finally, I made $50 over the weekend on eBay, and there are still 9 auctions open (approx. $150 worth of sales). First day of a new class tonight, and everything looks good. The sun is shining bright...not a cloud in the sky.



Feb
9
2002
0 comments
I'm such a packrat. I've spent most of the day cleaning & rearranging, and now I'm almost done with the "laundry closet", which I use for PC hardware storage and as a server room. I resolved to throw away & sell a good chunk of the unused computer parts, because there's no use in me continuing to store hardware that hasn't been used in a year or more.

I ended up tossing a bunch of stuff, mostly 386s & older. The sellable stuff is all things I use, or could use in the near future, so there's still a whole bunch of idle equipment in there.

Could use in the near future is the key behind my packrattiness. Will I ever use the 4 computers' worth of 486 parts? It's not really worth my effort to test & package parts for sale, because the selling price is so low. However, I spent a lot of money on that stuff in the past 3+ years, and there's enough use in them to make me feel bad throwing them away. I also have shelves full of VGA monitors, because they're not really worth tossing in the dumpster, but I couldn't sell them for $5 online.

You may ask why I have so much crap - how did Derek end up with 7 VGA monitors? Well, I've always had 2-3 computers running at once, and every time I upgrade the parts get handed down to the next most powerful computer, and so on, until the least useful part ends up on the shelf. The logic is, "if it was useful up until I upgraded that other computer, how can it be useless now?" I think I attribute too much value to useless things. Potentiality doesn't equal value.



Feb
8
2002
0 comments
Derek Is Reading:

Imperial Stars by E.E. "Doc" Smith and Stephen Goldin



Feb
8
2002
0 comments
the Guthrie Theatre, a midwest icon in the arts, and leader in the regional theater movement, is moving -- the new plans are out. Very cool building - it will house three stages (thrust, proscenium, and black box). As is the trend with many midwest buildings, the style is meant to evoke rural structures: silos, barns, grain elevators. The old Guthrie building was great, but even 10 years ago it had grown out of it's britches. I look forward to seeing performances at the new structure.



Feb
7
2002
0 comments
OK, I'm on a roll, beating my 15-minutes of fame to a bloody pulp in my 'blog. However, today's edition of "why don't more people pay attention to Derek?" consists of two contrasts.

The first Derek-excluding list of famous people is Shift Magazine's Top 25 web personalities. I'm not on the list, but Shift devoted an entire page to me in 2000, so I'm not too jealous. The fact that Shift closed their doors, reorganized, and sold the print venture to somebody else immediately after my article appeared has nothing to do with my article, I'm sure. Anyways, Drew & Wil are really cool, and deserve to be on the list instead of me. But, hey -- Mahir made the list? He hasn't done a damn thing in YEARS. And, there was the required ritual kowtow to kottke (which actually slights him, in preference of Meg). All in all, I don't regret the people chosen to be honored in my place, so this list gets my blessing.

Secondly, I didn't make this list either. It starts with wondering why Carrottop is famous, and digresses into a list of other people who are famous for no good reason. Illuminating this in a positive light, being excluded from a list including Carrottop, Tony Danza, Urkel, and Tom Arnold may actually be a good thing for me.



Feb
6
2002
0 comments
The major problem with file sharing programs like Napster is that, despite the fountain of data available, it's all contemporary crap. Really, that's the reason record companies are so up in arms - if people were trading out-of-print tunes, or music that would induce people to buy more albums, that would be different.

My dilemma consists of two songs, both of which run in Bearshare searches for hours at a time with no hits. Keeper of the Light by Warren Nelson, and Einstein the Genius by Cranberry Lake Jug Band. Both are played by MPR quite often, but I can't find myself copies of either tune.

However, thanks to the internet, I'm now listening to You Are The Woman by Firefall. This song has been stuck in my head literally decades, since before I can remember (the earliest memory was in a dream, when I was 5 or 6, so I must have heard it before then). It came on the muzak at work, I punched a few lyrics into Google, and I had the performer & song name. Bearshare came through on that one, thankfully, otherwise it'd still be boring deep within my skull, virally replacing important memories with it's catchy lyrics.



Feb
6
2002
0 comments
You'll never get a busy signal when calling me ever again! As of yesterday, I've moved to the high-bandwidth world of cablemodems. Boy, it's fast; still comfortably fast, even compared to my connection at work.

I'm glad I have a firewall in place - it's logs show far more "spurious" connection requests than I expected. I'm considering having a little fun with these wannabe hackers - I could set the firewall to direct all connections to a little isolated server, set up to lead hackers through a maze of webpages & fake login screens into a trap of logged break-in attempts, formatted & ready to forward to an ISP or law enforcement. Or, I could conserve my time and ignore them like everyone else. The jury's still out on that.



Feb
5
2002
0 comments
You know what? I'm bad at this "blogging" thing. All I do is ranble about myself, and I don't give any links.

So, here you go -- an interview with the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Another interesting link, offering an IT master's degree via "distance learning" (newspeak for correspondence course). I got a mailing from them, and responded to get the full packet. They also have a course in Advertising, too, which may be more up my alley.



Feb
5
2002
0 comments
Daily Condition:

in cd player:System of a Down, toxicity

my condition: Do I say "tired" way too often here? Well, I'm tired. Up until 1am working on Economics homework. Ugh.



Feb
5
2002
0 comments
As promised, compare yesterday's clip to my favorite interview (or, read the transcript, if you prefer). Hear it? I was witty, I was funny, the interviewers were genuinely interested in the Receipt Site insanity, and it was just low-key, comfortable, and chatty.



Feb
4
2002
0 comments
While I'm at it, feeling small and insignifiant and unable to win an award, I'll let you all listen to the absolute worst interview I've ever had. I sound like an complete moron, barely string three words together into a sentence. It was on the radio gameshow "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," 30 September 2000. Yeah, I won the prize, but at what cost?

Tomorrow I'll link to the best interview I've ever done. Until then, I'll let the humility sink in.



Feb
4
2002
0 comments
Yes, I felt slighted that I wasn't in the running for a single damn Bloggie award. However, the Anti-bloggies are taking nominations.

Here's how I suggest you vote:

  • 11111001111 for "Weblog of the Millenium."
  • kottke.org for "Most annoying or irrelevant."
  • Vote the Receipt Site for "Most banal." Sure, it's not really a blog, but I don't care.
  • Vote this pic for "coolest Mirror Project photo."

Despite all my attempts at being award-worthy, I didn't get a Blorgi this year, either.



Feb
3
2002
0 comments
I've gotten more colds this winter than I care to acknowledge. New pool of carriers, I guess, now that Destiny started school this fall.

I'm ill today, too. It started off feeling like I was allergic to something, tightness of the chest, difficulty breathing, and it grew into sore throat, cough, headache, achiness.

Par for the course, this disease has appearred at an inopportune time. A group final project is due on Tuesday for my economics class. I'm doing OK on it, but being sick doesn't help things along at all.





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