Monday, April 21, 2003

Another plant classification page. The navigation is bizarre.

Natural Perspective

Seriously 1997 HTML, but quite informative.

Flowering Plant Gateway

Dealing with our home lawn and garden has apparently caused me to be bitten by the botany bug (Walter Koenig voice: Botany Bug! Botany Bug!). While my wife is concerned with the practical aspects of dealing with plants in our home and yard, I am more eager to fill in the huge gaps in my scientific knowledge.

Years ago I went through the same Dinosaur phase as most geeky children, and it eventually caused me to me learn at least something about how the animal kingdom is organized. Plants are another thing altogether.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Atlanta radio just got a whole lot stranger. Z93, that bastion of "there's no such thing as too much Zeppelin and Skynyrd" classic rock, has started mixing late-70's/80's new wave rock into their schedule.

Since Monday I've heard them play:
Joe Jackson, "Is She Really Going Out With Him"?
Rolling Stones, "Can't Always Get What you Want"
REM, "What's the Frequency Kenneth"
Led Zeppelin, "Black Dog"
Jimmy Buffet, "I don't know where I'm gonna go when the Volcano blows"
The Clash, "Rock the Casbah"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "Don't ask me no Questions" (or whatever its called)
The Pretenders, "Brass in Pocket"
The Tubes, "She's a Beauty"
Bob Marley (I think), "Everything's Going to be Alright"
Allman Brothers "Blue Sky"

And all with a completely straight face. I always thought the set of people capable of appreciating all of the above with no sense of irony was an extreme minority of which I happened to be a member.

This is the first time I've heard of any commercial radio station playing this kind of a mix since the pre-simulcast-network days of the early 90's. (My favorite station back then was WZEW in Mobile: equal parts classic rock, alternative rock, and Steely-Dan-jazz; and that city's home of Dr. Demento.)

I doubt that it will last. They're probably transitioning over to an all-80's format, but they have to keep playing the old stuff until they get rid of all the classic-rock concert tickets and other schwag.

OTOH maybe this is just the arrival in Atlanta of the latest hot trend in radio formats? Help, I'm a target market!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

From a recent email exchange (slightly edited):

Because the U.S. chose to get involved in the affairs of Iraq, we now have a moral obligation to set up an actual free society there. If we replace one tyranny with another, we have betrayed our own highest principles. Ways in which we could fail include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

If we install or allow the formation of some kind of a government where "tribal" membership is very important and tribal leaders have a lot of influence, you can bet that we will just be paving the way for the warlords and their private/family/tribal armies to carve up the place in a few years.

If we install or allow the formation of any kind of theocracy, we will produce a government that will eventually be much more likely to attack the U.S. than the one we just removed.

If we set up a government that has no actual support from its people, then it will either require our continuous military help just to stay in power, or resort to totalarian measures of its own, or fall apart and be replaced by something much worse. Or all three, in that order.

If we decide to keep Iraq under our thumb and run their affairs for an indefinate time, that would be naked colonialism, a repudiation of the principles of the American revolution itself (unfortunately, far from the first in our history).

Monday, April 14, 2003

Sometimes silence is golden, but sometimes it's just yellow.
George Taylor, as quoted by David Case

Sunday, April 13, 2003

I had my first real Coke today. It was very anti-climactic.

Friday, April 11, 2003

This is my last caffeine-less work day!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Using Mozilla in testing and debugging web sites (

I am going to make all of my IE-using cow-orkers read this.

Ok, now I've seen everything. Popup ads that looks like fake DOS prompts! For all I know these things could've been around for months, because I usually block these kinds of things in Mozilla.

For anybody else who hasn't seen one, here is what it looked like.

As indicated by the MSIE image dialog, the whole ad is one big picture. These guys obviously never heard of scr2htm. I don't think I've ever seen a real DOS prompt with an "OK" button, either..

Turbo C 2.01

I think I got this link from a Slashdot story a long time ago. I used it to recompile ANSIMAN. I can't remember why I needed to do that.

You actually do need a 16-bit DOS compiler if you want to write programs that use ANSI.SYS on Windows NT, 2K or (presumably, though I haven't tried it) XP. Even if you turn on ANSI.SYS in your config.nt, win32 programs ignore it.

An alternative is to run a telnet server and telnet into your own machine with a telnet client that does ANSI emulation. Microsoft's client and server sorta work for this, but not all that well. Not well enough to run ANSIMAN, at least. Or to be able to cat ANSI files produced by THEDRAW to standard output and view them. Better servers and clients are available, but I really haven't fooled with it enough to tell you which ones.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Here's one good use for that scr2html thing. I used to work wth a guy who would run THEDRAW on his C and Pascal sources to draw nifty little boxes around his comments. Like this:
/* ┌───────────────────────────────────┐                                        

   │                                   │                                        
   │  This is a really cool comment,   │                                        
   │  eh? I can do this because I know │                                        
   │  that nobody will ever need to    │                                        
   │  edit my source code on any OS    │                                        
   │  other than MS-DOS.               │                                        
   │                                   │                                        

You get the idea.

This, I have to say, is the nicest example of typosquatting I've ever seen. I'd almost say that the word doesn't apply here, as "squatting" is almost by definition done for malicious or at least unscrupulous reasons. This one just points you the way to where you probably intended to go. The only thing that they may be advertizing are those greeting card images.

At first I thought that Google themselves must've set this up, but a whois search seems to indicate that they are unrelated. For typo domains that Google actually has registered, such as, they appear to just do a standard redirect.

I didn't actually mistype "Google" as "Boogle" in order to find this. I was intentionally looking for examples of typo-squatting.

Screen to HTML

I should use this to make an online version of Benny and Kenny Defense.

Bart's Network Boot Disk

It's been quite some time since I had a job where I would regular use such a thing, but this does indeed look cool for a DOS-based boot disk.

I could've really used that network card detection back when I was a desktop support tech, dealing with all kinds of different Ethernet and Token Ring (!) cards.

There was unusually light traffic this morning. I couldn't help thinking that half of Atlanta was coming into work an hour late because of daylight savings time.

Phrases that my daughter knows:

Thank you.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Spring. Only at this time of the year can you stand next to one of the busiest streets in Atlanta, in front of an auto repair shop, and smell... wisteria.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Right at this moment, I'm watching flatworms have sex on PBS. They're hermaphrodites, and they get into a duel where they attempt to stab each other with their penises. The loser ends up pregnant, while the winner swims away free and unencumbered by the burdens of parenthood.

My neighbors are putting up a new wooden privacy fence around their yard. This is generally a good thing. They have some big mean dogs, and the new fence will keep my daughter from sticking her arm through the chainlink fence to "pet" those beasties.

They have taken down some trees that were right on the fence line. No big whoop; we have plenty of trees.

But with the trees went the muscadine vines that clung to those trees. Oh well, last year the berries shriveled up in the drought anyway. Its not like we got to enjoy them or anything. It would probably be the same this year.

Presumably the vines weren't destroyed down to the roots (the trees certainly weren't.. the stumps are two or three feet high), so maybe they'll grow back. Maybe we can train them to grow on a trellis or something, instead of those trees.