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Friday, August 30, 2002

 
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doing better workwise than i would have thought i would be 4 days ago. jenn's having a party tonight. nefarious, after being hidden behind the new firewall upgrade, is back in the web, ftp & ssh businesses (but no afp or snapperhead services yet).

but boy, i'm done.

Friday, August 23, 2002

 
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slept till noon! did some work from home. need to pay bills, do laundry. i'm just starting to play the sims: one member of my household is a cat burglar; the other is a security guard. moo-ha-ha-ha!

Thursday, August 22, 2002

 
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finally! my birthday office photos are up!

 
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chuck & susan wrote from paris! :D

 
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courses server upgrade: the pain! the deep, terrible, maddening, bone-crunching, soul-deadening pain! i have been chastized and berated by faculty in words i shan't repeat here. teresa said this might not have occurred if garrett & i had a better working relationship -- which is so blindingly obvious that i had to go sit outside for a few minutes to calm down. i am so wired i can't blink or breathe. and i fear we have only just woken the sleeping beast; i still fear the worst.

in odd nefarious.web news, i received two emails today from random people who have found my "hair and now" site. i never received an email from a random person when it was active. :) i found it had been linked to a "let's talk about hair" forum. weird. i guess i'm glad somebody finds it useful, but i'm a little annoyed someone put their credits on my photos!

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

 
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you know it's a bad server upgrade when you have to send messages like this to faculty two weeks before classes start and hours after you told them everything would be normal:
alas! the courses server is proving to be formidable and we are still struggling with the upgrade. therefore, most course webs on the server are inaccessible. however, if you happen to have a webct component, that has -not- been affected by the upgrade.

i know this is an incredibly bad time for all of us, but please be patient! we are hopeful everything will be ironed out by noon tomorrow. further bulletins as events warrant......

ack. the silver lining? i may have convinced teresa & garrett that knowing about which courses are active every term is a good thing (tm).

 
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are you all taking the google quiz? if not, why not?

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

 
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happy birthday, h.p. lovecraft! :)

Monday, August 19, 2002

 
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i encoded jeff & kristin's wedding cd today, which turned out to be a lot more hassle than i was expecting since freedb obviously didn't have a record for it.

we went to lunch to celebrate jennifer's birthday, but it turns out that jennifer didn't feel well in addition to being anti-birthday, so the group paid for my meal at the brewery instead. i gave the burden of being funny back to jeff & he ran with it; i'm so glad he's back! other than that, i really haven't done much, and certainly nothing useful. tomorrow is the new faculty institute and i am so not prepared for it or fall in general.

 
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paul graham's "a plan for spam" is an excellent article about spam filtering based on probability analysis & users who set their own tolerances, rather than a simple-spam ban approach based on word or phrase lists.

 
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one of the reasons i'm resisting .mac is that contrary to popular belief, $100/year is a lot of money, especially if you consider how much we have to spend on other software services that also want to charge you per year. for instance, subscribing to blogger pro for three of my four blogs will cost me ~$105/year. now add that to the .mac cost. then add any subscription fees i have for content sites per year, including traditional magazine subscriptions as well as video & audio sites. or even online banking fees & billpay fees. this doesn't include subscriptions for dialup ($240/year) or broadband ($480/year). or a domain name at $70/year, which i sometimes think would be neat to get. nor does it include the fact that many of these are introductory prices and will double next year or "soon," which means whenever the service decides to.

more importantly, unlike software utilities, which you pay for and then get to keep until you want to upgrade, you will pay for this stuff every year forever. software utilities have an incentive to improve so you'll pay for upgrades; software services don't have to do anything except threaten to cut off your access.

online software services pretend to be commodities, which means if you have a subscription to a paper, and decide to cancel it because it's too expensive, you can get another subscription to another paper and you won't have lost anything. services like hotmail want you to believe if you're using one web-based mail program, you can easily switch to another "brand" if you don't like hotmail, like you were deciding to buy another brand of orange juice. but these services are not that interchangeable. if you have to change your email address or domain name or blogger, that's a lot of work -- not only to inform people, but also to move everything to another provider. this is assuming you can move everything to another provider, since content is often locked into proprietary formats (how am i going to get all my blogger posts into another blogging mechanism? what about my comments?).

and so while i think price is a concern, i also think ownership is a major difference -- traditional subscriptions give you access to someone else's content, but this new trend affects your own content. it's a trust issue and i don't think we should yet trust companies enough to be responsible for our content, paid or not.

this doesn't mean i don't think things like blogs and idisk aren't worth paying for! i'm understanding of "the end of free" phenomenon. and i'm usually the poster child for social consumerism -- i don't mind paying a little more if it's the right thing to do. but i want three things before i start investing in online software services:
1. i don't want to be at the mercy of the service provider
i don't want the service to require me to use a particular platform or browser. i don't want them to have the "freedom" to change their terms at any time, without notice. i want them to create ways to transfer content between other services in a fairly painless way. i want opt-in rather than opt-out policies.

i think this should apply to free services, too: if they're willing to offer a service, then they're responsible for a certain level of customer service -- as opposed to one day deciding to wipe out sent-mail older than 30 days, shrugging their shoulders and saying, "hey, it's free. what do you want?" offering a free service does not clear them of all obligation.

2. i don't want overlap between services
one of the things that irks me is that almost everybody already has a built-in subscription cost -- your service provider, who usually offers you an email address, web space, and/or other offerings you may choose to get from somewhere else. but there's no opt-out, and there's no way to say, "thanks, but i'd actually like to get these services from one or more other providers, so could you knock $20/month off my bill?"

i'm not knocking isps, which i see as the most crucial element -- after all, i can't use an online software service without getting online first. but i think my frustration is in part derived from believing there's a growing segment of people who recognize they want "placeless" services (like mail, webspace, blogging, content) which don't change as they move around, but don't (nor shouldn't) have the technical ability to make it happen. and yet that's in direct conflict to isps, which are geographically locked into place and offer the same services. so i pay twice for the same things, even if they have different goals.

one way to handle this might be to aggregate services like cable channels, so that you could subscribe to one service to get several other services. in this sense, i think aol's structure really has an advantage: when someone signs up for aol, they often do get other services they would ordinarily need to pay for individually. this is also the way .mac looks like it wants to go with its foray into backup software. this idea, while having merits, makes me a little nervous because of rule 1: if i don't want to be at the mercy of individual services, how much worse would it be for a service aggregate to change its mind? plus, cable has notorious overlap and i still get a whole bunch of channels i don't want. better would be to offer a menu of potential services (and options within them, like several blogging clients) to choose from for each individual.

3. i want to pay less for each service
i know, this is the obvious one. $35-100/year for each service really adds up, and it's money that goes away every year. poof. given the limitations of the current setup, i see no choice but to continue to offer the free/fee structure -- but i'd like to think more people would be on the fee side if it were more reasonable to do so for simultaneous services. physical subscriptions to periodicals like discover and wired are between $12-$24, and it seems they have a much larger physical infrastructure to support. my guess is that someone will point out these are costs largely subsidized by advertisers, which have a miserable track record online. that's a whole other subject (though i believe marketing is still a viable online option even if advertising isn't). the point is that these are reasonable costs for the average household. i'd rather pay $100/year to support six or seven services instead of just one. if i can only afford to support just one service, how do i choose? which service is more "worthy"?
i admit to being a little insulted by the recent .mac strategy: it's an interesting idea, but i feel as if they're holding my content, my identity, hostage and i refuse to be blackmailed or bullied into paying. i'm also appalled that it's a feature which ties directly into the os, which means any new machine i buy won't really fully function unless i buy a .mac subscription. this is one of those instances where maintaining a free/fee structure would have saved a lot of ill-will.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

 
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finally! it looks like i've managed to recover most of my calligraphy files, plus add jennifer's two rough drafts: jenger01.jpg & jenger02.jpg. i only lost the pepsi pen pieces, which i can re-scan. the even better news is that this means i can use nefarious tomorrow without worrying about overwriting the files.

everybody say, "thank you, norton utilities!"

 
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i'm at compusa to pick up norton 7.0 in the hopes it will recover my calligraphy files (and a copy of the sims for my laptop because i've always wanted to try it).

i'm using their copy of 10.2 and it rocks! you can finally (!) assign user permissions from the gui "show info" w/ an admin password, you can call the find function without calling sherlock, and you can even search within a window! and command-~ no longer goes to a folder, it swaps between windows, like god intended.

still, i consider these interface enhancements long overdue rather than an actual upgrade. i'm happy to be getting it soon, but i would -hate- to have to pay for it out of my own pocket.

 
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i shut down nefarious.web so the deluge of mp3 requests writing to the logs would be less likely to interfere with possible recovery of the calligraphy files. for some reason, ps -a was only listing my personal user processes, even when invoked by sudo, so i finally had to learn "top -l1" and pipe that to grep for httpd processes.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

 
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good work at the fallbrook retreat today. i scanned some drafts, but before i could upload i made the classic unix mistake: rm * on my calligraphy directory. i'm still stunned at the stupidity. i've lost all these files (google fortunately archived the list), some of which i don't have any more. and if you've been reading the blog, you'd know my stupid backup process has been up in the air and so was pretty useless. if anyone has them, or a miracle undelete for unix/mac osx, i would looooooove you forever. and ever.

*sob*

Friday, August 16, 2002

 
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i made bricks with carole this morning; jean igoe wanted four bricks (create, climb, imagine, everything), and i only was able to make three of them, only one of which i'm truly happy with. i need to wait till the morning to figure out if i'm going to keep them or recreate them. but.... carole had the best idea for chuck & susan's brick! so at least i've got that covered for sunday.

then we went to chan's chinese garden & onto the mission valley branch library -- a newly constructed library right next to ikea! the san diego book arts group had a show opening there tonight. i usually dislike books shows because they're behind glass and i want to hold them, and this was no different. but the library is gorgeous!

tomorrow is the fallbrook summer retreat, and i have to figure out what i'm going to do during the time. since jenn's birthday is monday, i'd like to make her something, but i don't have any ideas yet....

Thursday, August 15, 2002

 
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the good news: tulip is over! i feel pretty good about the changes, even though they were very glazed over this morning. for mementos, jenn & i bought little terra cotta pots and then glued a screenshot of their project on one side and a pseudo-latin phrase on the other (mimicing latin plant classifications). then she filled the pot with shredded paper & a packet of poppy seeds (of course, tulips would have been more appropriate, but the bulbs aren't available at this time of year and poppies are the state flower). they were very cool.

now the next thing to tackle: the new faculty institute. and fall courses. *sigh*

tomorrow i will work on bricks & go to the river artists' library reception. saturday is the artists' retreat in fallbrook (thanks, risa!), sunday is chuck & susan's wedding, and monday is jennifer's birthday. whee!

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

 
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so i finally got retrospect and it turns out i'm going to have to read the manual. darnit! i really like the folder synchronizer interface, but it wasn't the most reliable or fastest piece of software. *sighs*

 
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after reading online instructor evals, i realize the dichotomy of online learning: students don't like the fact that they have reduced interaction, but they hate activities which force them to interact. hmmmmm.

Monday, August 12, 2002

 
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added more growing pictures to the prius earthday card collection.

 
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not keen on this news...!

"Apple considering Mac OS X-only systems
August 2 - 11:00 EDT  Apple is planning on preventing future Mac systems from booting into Mac OS 9, according to eWeek. The move, which would not affect the Classic environment under Mac OS X, is intended to further encourage developers and customers to embrace Mac OS X. eWeek sources suggest that such systems could be unveiled as early as January at Macworld Expo San Francisco."

especially not after the trouble we just had with frontpage! when oh when will apple make a freaking iweb application and get it over with? it still kills me that textedit won't save as html.

 
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holy cripes! here's my mac trick of the day: did you know that you can drag any icon into the browser-button bar to create a link? i didn't! it's freaking awesome! i'm linking to the joy of tech using this technique -- the icon will update itself when the comic changes. whee!

Sunday, August 11, 2002

 
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jeff & kristin's wedding was quite nice! i took some bad pictures with my desperately-in-need-of-a-zoom-feature camera. on the way home, i saw a meteor skim the sky, so i drove out to a dark area and, after several minutes of craning my neck, i saw one thin meteor barely scratch the sky. so i drove home and on the way, a huge fireball of a meteor dropped almost straight down and wiggled out near the horizon.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

 
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from the friday five:
1. Do you have a car? If so, what kind of car is it?
trixie, a 2001 aqua ice opalescent toyota prius
2. Do you drive very often?
how can you not in southern california? but i used to drive a lot in pueblo, too. i actually like driving, but i sometimes really envy michael.
3. What's your dream car?
i don't lust over cars; my dream car would have a moonroof and a fold-down back seat, both of which are lacking on the current prius incarnations. :( now, my dream motorcycle, on the other hand.... :D
4. Have you ever received a ticket?
uh-huh. a few, in fact.
5. Have you ever been in an accident?
yes, two: one extremely minor and the other which totalled my volkswagen scirocco, but everyone was unharmed.
other car notes: trixie is my first new car. i've never had car payments before. i've never named a car before.

 
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the cats conference is looking for a new logo for the 2003 conference. patrick crispen (fullerton) submitted the funniest idea i have ever seen, but i am quite sure it won't be accepted.

 
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today is jeff & kristin's san marcos wedding! last night we filled the back room at chin's for dinner (i had a shrimp dish called "nude party" which i found embarassing to order, but how could i leave without knowing what it was? :). i must have accidentally gotten kristin's fortune cookie, because it said, "you & your spouse will be happy together." then i came home and worked on their wedding present until 5 a.m. i'm so very glad they're having an evening wedding. ;)

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

 
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i fixed mac frontpage! it turned out to be a memory issue! increasing the minimum & maximum sizes did the trick. of course, then it generated a -different- issue: using os x, fp webs show _____ instead of words for filenames or folders. so you can't browse for files. it's crazy! the only fix is to -reboot- into 9.2 and run it from there. >:(

 
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whoah! jay's selling his house! (link=pdf, btw) apparently he's buying a house very close to the university.

 
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i wish i had a camera! becky & dierdre & lynn & candie decorated my office this morning with a giant "official birth certificate" and streamers and balloons. i also got a tiny yellow rose bush and two vanilla cokes with big bows on them. yay! :D

mac frontpage is acting funky (funkier than usual). i can open webs on nefarious, but every other machine on campus gives an unhelpful "an unexpected exception occurred" message. i really hate the fact that we "support" macs and we "support" frontpage but the two together totally suck. :(

Monday, August 05, 2002

 
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ben, who always appreciates a random email, sent another update about his bar test. then he spent time discussing the legal ramifications of domesticated wolves. he's soooooooo close to being a full-fledged lawyer-type guy, and it's almost his birthday! why dontcha send him a random email? :)

 
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i played the guilt trip card on jenn for forgetting my birthday. she keeps apologizing. it turns out that the vast majority of my other cellmates actually thought my birthday was august 9, because that's what it's listed as being in the state system. hermph!

 
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happy birthday to me (well, yesterday, anyway). thanks to michael, who sent the first four books of the sandman series (which i have already finished reading!) and two packages of bookdarts; and to alex for the books he sent. poor brian thought it was my 30th birthday and so sent a very nice card & wrote a poem for me, which i totally appreciate. :) gerrie & i went to the outback for dinner since it's both of our birthdays; she also gave me a cool-looking magnifying glass & a sculpture of a girl in a nautilus shell. my dad called, too.

today is the beginning of tulip, for which i am wholly unprepared. and adra leaves today for arkansas. :(

Saturday, August 03, 2002

 
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well, look at that. i have a sofabed now. huh.

still coughing like crazy. what will it take to get rid of this cold?

5776 hits on nefarious today; 2455 for mp3s.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

 
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holy cripes! 3933 hits to nefarious just so far today! 2658 of those were sifting for mp3s. this actually kind of makes me nervous. i feel exposed somehow.

 
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whoah! tess suddenly thinks she's a computer named "elizabethgrace." what's up with that?

 
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i see this is a day of one liners. can we only hope that more hybrids are on the way?
http://news.findlaw.com/business/s/20020730/autosfordreportdc.html

 
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what the heck am i going to get chuck & susan for their wedding?

 
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i feel like i'm in alternate dimension: garrett actually said that he liked something i did -- and seemed sincere! i always believe what garrett does, not what he says, and he actually changed the way he worked on the tulip2002 web. i don't even know how to react.