Archive for November, 2001

Referer Logs

Checking through the referer logs recently I find they’ve gotten much more interesting, mainly since I’ve allowed google to index the site. Previously, all robots were disallowed (yet lycos crawled it anyway) and I didn’t get much search engine traffic.

But now, Google is indexing me. And they are indexing me well.

I’m #4 for Squirrel Attacks, #1 for iis virus, #4 for osx ipsec, and #1 for Pictures of baby turtles.

Unfortunately, except for the ranking and the fact that they’re all relevant, there’s nothing especially disturbing about them.

No comments

A short break….

Sorry for the short break. I picked up the Lord of the Rings on Saturday, and I’m at about 900 of 1100 pages into it. Yes, it’s the first time I’ve gotten into it.

*** Why I’m not a CSR

Don’t tell a customer on the phone that this is “a hideous hack”, but it should work. They don’t like hearing those words.

*** Why I don’t like CSRs

(Twice) On the phone today, dealing with a balky DSL installation I had variations of this conversation:

Them: What operating system are you using?
Me: Macos 9.
Them: What version of Windows? What does it say when you ….

The horror. The horror.

At least I didn’t have to explain the linux box on the other connection. Not sure how they’d deal with “Debian Potato” as an operating system.

No comments

Themed Weekend

A 4 day weekend is a wodnerful thing — eought time to decompress fully.

Thursday was a day of cooking. It was absolutely essential to make the house smell as nice as possibe with the array of foods at our disposal. For the food curious, we had: Stuffing Wellington, Yams with apples and pears, Glazed carrots, Roast potatoes, Raspberry-cranberry sauce, and Pumpkin Pie. All from scratch, all made that day. Oh yes, and 2 bottles of Beaujolais Neauvau, one I can’t remember right now and one Georges De’boeuf. The first was really good, the second a little sharp.

Friday was a day of making candles.

Saturday was for shopping.

No comments


Office not found

*** New Mozilla

There’s a new mozilla out, 0.9.6. It’s nice. I notice a definite speed improvement over 0.9.5 on both mac 9.x and linux. We’ll see about OSX when the build comes out.

The only quirks I’ve seen are in the bookmark management, as there are a couple of bookmarks that I can’t move or delete. But I can deal with that, as I only organize bookmarks in months following a blue moon.

No comments

I am tired, I am weary

I could sleep for a thousand years. Perhaps going up to Arlington to see the Leonids wasn’t a good idea after spending a week of 14 hour days moving my office.

The Leonids were the best metors I’ve ever seen, better than the childhood rememberance of seeing the Persids (august) in a corn field in Iowa. But this wasn’t a storm. There were peaks of 20-30 per minute, an even mixture of fireballs and little streaks. There were a couple with long lived trails or brignt enough to wonder how close they were.

Given the mix of bright and dim, I’m guessing that we didn’t have the best darkness or seeing. Especially since my little sister went up to the San Juan Islands and laid out on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere. She saw a storm. I’m Jealous.

No comments

Localization problems

Hi Eric,

I like your plug in. I’ve run into two problems:

a) if your change your site name membership and indexing for searching features do not work anymore. One has to change the site name to the original name, do the setting with your plug in and restore the old site name.

b) the text for the sign up questions do not work in other languages than english. unfortunately, there is no work around for this one.

1 comment

The Impossible

If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the cause. And it’s probably your fault.

I’ve been chasing a timeout bug, after a server move. I had ruled out every possibility. It’s not physical, not the application, not the client, seems to depend on the browser, but not terribly reliably.

Of course it’s my fault. A setting that wasn’t updated. Causing queries to a private network to fail, since that private network is on another part of the internet.

You should try it too, Some days I can believe six impossible things before breakfast.

*** War Too…

Product Differentiation for ‘Technical Reasons’ is politics by other means. I had to listen to market droid explanations of why Quest DSL is not able to extend as far as Covads (because covad uses amplified curcuits). I’ve made plenty of technical decisions in my time; if there are two options it all gets back to money or politics. In this case, probably of the form: more range or less cost?

No comments

Voicemail User Interface

Voicestream is going through an upgrade of their voicemail system, pitched as an upgrade. I’m sure that the upgrade is technically necessary, but there is at least one feature that is going to be a real pain.

Formerly, the 7 key was the ‘Play Message’ key. It is now the ‘Delete Message’ key. Previously, I would dial the voicemail number, then hit 7 without listening. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to wind up deleting messages before I’m through the transition.

Previously their system was pretty good; only a minumum of key presses to deal with the normal function of voicemail. Much better than the one at work.

At work if I want to get messages, I have to: Hit the VM button, then type in my extension followed by #, My password followed by #, then wait. It them tells me how many messages I have waiting. (So far, it’s reasonable, but you could certainly get my extension from the phone, and know that all of the passwords are 4 digits, saving half of the keystrokes.) The next menu asks: Press 1 to Record Greetings, Press 2 for somehting else, Press 3 to listen to messages. Umm, I’ve just logged in. 99% of the time, I want to listen to my messages. Either start playing it, or make it the first choice. As a result, I don’t normally want to get my messages. I could go on, but it just gets worse from there.

I’m not a UI designer; there are loads of things that you could critique in my designs. But I generally try to make the common function the easiest thing to do, and I try to make delete hard to accidentially trigger.

No comments

Hippo Birdday

Two years ago, I started this site as one of the first manila sites outside Userland. 800+ postings, 300 pictures, Several machines and 2 operating systems later, here we are.

No comments

OsX on Ancient Equipment

I’ve got OSX running on a G4 as a testbed. Unfortunately, I’ve got more machines than decent monitors, so I pull one out of the vault. A ca. 1989 21″ fixed frequency grayscale , 1152x870x75hz. The G4 and OSX recognize the pixels and frequency, even that the monitor only supports 256 ‘colors’.

But is there a way to make it support 256 grays? This is a throwback … waaaaay back. I wouldn’t worry too much, except that a lot of window backgrounds in the Finder and MSIE are all black on this monitor.

I’m just realizing that this monitor is smaller in pixels than a tiBook.

*** Cartoon Violence

I want to see a movie. Preferably tonight, but I’ll be patient. I want to see cartoon style violence against the telecom industry, something that shakes them to the core, scares them, and when they are just at the brink of expiration, have the Telecom Ranger and his trusty sidekick Clue Boy ride in and restructure to save the day. (ummm, perhaps it’s already on cnnfn, but I digress)

I want the telcos ripped to the core and rebuilt by people with a clue. I’d settle for the customer service reps with a clue, but if they could dole a few out to the billing department that would be acceptable too. So far, of the 5 dsl connections I’ve had at home or work, Every single one of them has had billing issues. 4 of them major, one of them minor and in my favor and I didn’t even notice (not sure how that happened). In two cases, they didn’t bill anyone for the connection for more than 6 months.

Episode 1 Broadband Wars: The Phantom Installer
Episode 2: Send in the CSRs
Episode 3: TBA
Episode 4: The Wireless Rebellion: A New Hope
Episode 5: Revenge of the Billing Department
Episode 6: Return of the Techie

Save us 802.11, you’re our only hope!

No comments

Next Page »