Mucking about with this site

I’m mucking about with some of the code and design for this weblog. Mostly trying to move in the direction of better use of css and more leverage out of tools such as “activeRenderer” and “liveTopics” I’m sure I’ll manage to break a few things along the way. Please bear with me. I have added a Change Log to keep track of what I’ve been up to

Defenestrating technology

Why I’m not a compugeek. While pondering some hypertext-related ponderings, I found myself thinking about how I approach computers, just because I don’t seem to be typical. You won’t catch me waxing rhapsodic about the latest chip speeds or wireless gizmos, much less the latest software. My laptop at home is a PIII/850, and it… [Caveat Lector]

Dorothea goes on to say:

Where I do seem to part company from other heavy computer users is that my most common response to the things is frankly adversarial—more than that, bullying.

Program crashes? I swear like a stevedore. Bug in something I’m writing? More swearing, coupled with grim determination to make the wretched machine do what I bloody well say it ought to. Something I’m writing runs clean? Ha! One spiteful victory dance, coming up!

I always considered that one of the defining characteristics of my relationship with all technology, especially computer technology. If I haven’t threatened one of my machines with defenestration during the day, I haven’t been working very hard.

For those of you Mac or Linux fans who think my threats are about uninstalling software, don’t be fooled. When I threaten out the window, I mean out the window, preferably an upper story one. I’ve worked with operating systems and technology back to OS/360 and it’s all been out to get me most days. I am in complete agreement with Dorothea here.

Doc Searls stolen laptop

What’s Up, Doc?. Like many of you, I was shocked when I learned that my buddy Doc had his laptop stolen. What a crock! Well, it’s time to give back to the man who’s given so much to this community. I’ve set up a PayPal donation link. Let’s get that man a new friggin’ PowerBook! The 15″ SuperDrive model is only $2,799.00. If every regular Doc follower donates a few bucks to the fund, he’ll have a new machine in no time at all. I’m using for this particular campaign, and I swear (on my chest) that all monies will be given to him. If you’re going to pass the link around, please keep an eye on this particular blog post, as I’ll kill the PayPal item as soon as enough has been generated…. [C:\PIRILLO.EXE ~ Chris Pirillo]

These things happen, but at least we can do something useful about it.

Cruciverbalists congregate

For Gloria.

The 2003 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is coming March 14-16. You can either participate in person by going to Stamford, Connecticut for the weekend, or play at home on your own time. If you’re a confirmed or aspiring cruciverbalist, you should check this out — the puzzles are great and the competition is light-hearted. (Will Shortz (right), director of the tournament and editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes.)” [MetaFilter]

[The Shifted Librarian]

We usually make it through Thursday’s puzzle in the Times and manage to finish most Sunday puzzles. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to finish the puzzle on Saturdays.

Creators and distributors

Dive into this, sucka!. Dive into Premium. Read it and weep laugh… [Dave Seidel :: Wavicle < 0xDECAFBAD] []

Some fun for the weekend.

One thought. Once you learn that you can create, I think you become more comfortable with sharing the results of your creation. Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from. If you’re contribution is to simply distribute the fruits of someone else’s creation, perhaps you are more fearful about your value in the mix. Fear makes you likely to grasp at what you’ve got, rather than reach out for what is possible. I think it may be time to go and reread The Future and Its Enemies : The Growing Conflict over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress by Virginia Postrel.

Insecure door locks

Most Door Locks Insecure. John Schwartz at the New York Times reports on a blockbuster piece of research by cryptographer Matt Blaze. Matt applied… [Freedom To Tinker]

Felten is among the many reporting on this New York Times article on door locks. He makes the critical observation that:

This is why we need independent analysis of security technologies. Manufacturers will keep important information from their customers, even information that impacts the basic security decisions of the customers. Bans on security analysis, or bans on the dissemination of results, just help manufacturers keep their customers in the dark. Thank goodness there is no DMCA for door locks.

He also provides a link to the underlying research article.

Roadwired bags

RoadWired bags kick azz. If we’re gonna talk about laptop bags, I need to mention RoadWired, who make my favorite bags, cable-organizers, PDA cases, bum-bags and other roadwarrier accessories. I’ve never once broken a RoadWired bag, and I break EVERYTHING. I don’t think I’ve done a single trip in the past three years without a RoadWired gizmo: bags, pouches, cables, cable-organizers, etc. Link Discuss [Boing Boing Blog]

As if I needed another source of distraction.