playswithfire

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Books. Lots of Books.

I tend to read a lot. When I was a kid, my parents could always find me in the bookstore by looking for the kid sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by the books I’d picked out so far. It took them a while to figure out that it was easier to get me out of the bookstore if they took me before dinner. Eventually my hunger would outstrip my desire to read (this still works, by the way).

I figured I’d keep track of the books I’m reading over there in the sidebar. Right now, Measuring America is proving to be a far more interesting read than I thought it would. It mixes the politics and science of the day by bringing together the ideas of Jefferson, Lavoisier, Madison and others to show how each informs the other. Throw in the westward expansion of the United States and the avaricious nature of land speculators, the French Revolution and the resultant Committee for Public Safety along with the English disgust with the States and France and it’s no wonder we wound up with the measurements and weights we did.

Bag Choices

OK, so I bought a new PowerBook. Which brings me to a problem (I know, your heart bleeds - stay with me here). I need to buy a new bag for my machine, since the one I’ve got was perfect for the old TiBook, but woefully small for the new machine.

The frontrunners:

Is there anything I’m overlooking? These two seem to really appeal to me the most. I’m not really interested in stuff that’s too “boxy” or square.

What’s your favorite? Got opinions? You know you do - leave some comments.

RSS, Atom, and the Insanity That Is the Internet

I asked some friends of mine a while back about (as I put it) “this Atom thing I’m hearing about” and was treated to a few minor diatribes about why RSS sucks rocks through a garden hose. Not having been an RSS junkie other than using MoveableType’s RSS support, it didn’t make a whole lot of difference to me.

It’s starting to impinge on me a bit as some of the things I’m doing at work have to do with parsing XML, and the implications of that in a situation where you can’t guarantee the integrity of the data you’re getting (in RSS’ case, a feed). Mark Pilgrim has a great breakdown of the The myth of RSS compatibility. He’s revised his count of incompatible RSS versions - up.

Read Mark’s article. Then, shoot over to read up on Atom. When I get a chance, I might lash up an Atom feed of my own. In my Copious Free Time.

On second thought I’ll just wait ‘til MT does it.

Where Have I Been?

…I hear you cry.

Although you’re probably talking about my blog and the rather notable paucity of recent entries, I’m talking about this:


You can make your own, too.

I thought this was kind of slick. There’s one for making a world map of countries you’ve visited too. I’d do that one, but it’s not colorful enough - clearly I haven’t been to enough places.

Another Day Older

Yup. That birthday thing. A whole whopping 33.

If I had something deep or witty to say, I certainly would have come up with it by now…

Well, That Was Silly…

If I’d known it was going to be that simple, I’d’ve fixed it a heck of a long time ago. The Moveable Type default stylesheet for this had a mild problem on Safari and some gentle poking after a little reading finally brought out what was wrong and how to fix it.

There might be something to this CSS stuff after all. Here are some links to a couple of CSS sites I found halfway useful:

Sigh

I’m really not going to get anywhere letting this sit around and never fix the danged layout.

So, here we go. Delving into CSS. Yay.

Almost There…

Bah. I’ve done enough for now. If everything winds up wedged on the left side, make your window wider ‘til you get an actual right sidebar. Sometime I’ll get some additional motivation to actually fix this right, but for now it’s “ok”

Oh, One More Thing…

…that webcam pic. Not even remotely up to date anymore. I’ll update later (not that you really cared).

Coming Up for Air

Well, it’s been a heck of a few …

… months. Wow. It’s really been that long since I last updated. Must be coding too much or something. The inside of my office has certainly become overly-familiar of late, and I’m glad that we’re finally getting a breather. It’s giving me a chance to catch up on some things.

First up on the list: I’m moving. If you’re interested in my new address, drop me an email (you know how).

I’ve taken up sculling up in Sausalito, where there are also other geekly attractions (mentioned in the October issue of Discover magazine).

I’ve actually had some time to distill some things I’ve been thinking about with respect to the programming language wars, Cocoa, computer science, teaching, and being a responsible technologist.

Yes, they’re all related. Hopefully I can tie it all together without sounding like a blithering idiot.