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December 2007 Archives

December 18, 2007

Well, here I am

I've been telling myself "Self, you have to get up off of your butt and start writing again!"

Well, I finally listened to me, and here we are. ;) I even have something to blog about. Mozilla v1.71 has been really bugging me for a while; the first time after I turn on the computer and enter a URL, Mozilla just goes librarian-poo and eats up most of the CPU cycles while resolving the DNS. After that it's fine.

Then there's the multimedia files it won't play (but Firefox will quite nicely), the time it takes to save even a single image, the occasional random "Mozilla starts hitting 98% CPU usage" hijinks. Feh. Not to mention the fact that it Just Won't check email until I've sent something to someone else, or specifically told Mozilla to check by clicking on the "Mail and Newsgroups" button. I didn't get email for nearly a week at one point until I realized what was happening.

The Mozilla Foundation has (for me) created in Firefox 2.x an entirely acceptable browser. And, yes, I'm picky. Opera is nice, but they changed too many "default" keystroke commands such as Alt-D for the address bar.

Anyhoo, I used to resist Firefox, as I felt the look & feel was toy-like, and customization seemed limited. This is no longer true. About the only thing missing are the mail/newsgroup settings which have been moved over to the Thunderbird email client. It's true there's a small learning curve. For example, I had to figure out my passwords were no longer in Tools/Password manager as in Mozilla, but are now in Tools/Options/Security instead. But it seems all the important tweaks are there.

Migrating from Mozilla to Firefox and Thunderbird was quite painless as both include import tools. Shortcuts, history, and passwords for Firefox; and not only email/server settings for Thunderbird but the learning rules for the spam heuristics so I don't have to "train" my client all over again. Very nice.

One little detail: I have a question for the more experienced Firefox/Thunderbird users out there. I would like to have some sort of resident system-tray-like utility which regularly checks for mail just like Mozilla used to do. Or will I be forced to click on an icon every time I want to check for mail? My personal preference is for a local daemon to alert me when new mail is available.

UPDATE: for some idiot reason, MT isn't showing anything in the comment pop-up window when you click on "Comments." If you go to the permalink you can enter a comment there. Don't bloody ask me why, but if there's an MT 3.33 guru out there, I'd appreciate knowing. The bloody .cgi script is where it's supposed to be, it has the right bloody permissions now (had to fix that - don't know why as it used to work, but the frame pops up with a blank window. Feh.

December 25, 2007

A Charlie Brown Christmas, from Linus...

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

My best wishes and prayers to all, on this most wonderful of days.

Will Smith, credulous fool?

This mindless bit of dreck has caused a bit of a stir by claiming that Will Smith said "Hitler was a good person." What stands out to me is that anyone actually reading the article should immediately realize that there were no actual quotes to that effect.

Word to the wise folks: look for the quote marks. If you don't see them, then the reporter is making things up.

Eugene Volokh, Ilya Somin, and Dave Price all agree that Smith never said anything resembling the quote attributed to him.

Mr. Price seems to think that Smith displayed a certain degree of naivety for his general point of view, while the Volokh Conspiracy writers limited their skepticism to the idea that someone like Hitler could be "reprogrammed" or psychologically reshaped; a position with which I agree.

Smith's general point rang a bell with me, and it bothered me for a bit. For quite a while I've held to the belief that no one sees themselves as evil, but I couldn't recall the seed of that belief. Then it hit me: Heinlein, naturally!

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate--and quickly.
While the second part of that directive might prove problematical, I prefer Heinlein's formulation, especially his use of the word "villain" as opposed to "evil."

So maybe Will Smith isn't quite so naive after all.

December 26, 2007

The Great Sled-Safety Cover-up

Meryl Yourish thinks that safety helmets aren't enough for sledders. I agree.

Not only do we need mouth guards and eye protectors, we need to do something about those bloody unsafe metal runners! Yep, it's all fun and games until someone loses a finger...

My proposal is to replace metal runners with Nerf runners. This follows in the footsteps of other great ideas like Nerf footballs, Nerf frisbees, and Nerf dartguns. Mind you, the kids won't go very fast with Nerf runners on their sleds, but isn't that all to the good? God forbid someone might get hurt having fun.

About December 2007

This page contains all entries posted to The Gantry Launchpad in December 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2007 is the previous archive.

January 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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