Sunday, March 28, 2004

ZLIB DLL Home Page

The first place where I found that I could download the previous version of ZLIB.dll. I needed to download this because the GIMP 2.0 for Windows depends on this DLL in order to open gzipped images.

Interestingly, this page says to use ZLIB 1.2.1 with the GIMP. This doesn't work for me, I had to go back to 1.1.4. My only guess is that this page describes a slightly different build of the GIMP from the one with the fancy Windows installer program.

I'm trying to decide if all of this is a bug for, or for the guy who wrote the Windows installer, or what.

Friday, March 26, 2004

GIMP - Windows installers

I'm always losing this page. It used to be somewhat challenging to find it again from, but now they've re-orgamized the site.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Airport Codes: The ABC's?? A History and Explanation

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Making Light: Namarie Sue

I neither read nor write fanfiction, but anything that involves criticism of a form of literature that exists mostly on the Internet (like blogs) is interesting from a purely geek perspective.
MARY SUE (n.): 1. A variety of story, first identified in the fan fiction community, but quickly recognized as occurring elsewhere, in which normal story values are grossly subordinated to inadequately transformed personal wish-fulfillment fantasies, often involving heroic or romantic interactions with the cast of characters of some popular entertainment. 2. A distinctive type of character appearing in these stories who represents an idealized version of the author. 3. A cluster of tendencies and characteristics commonly found in Mary Sue-type stories. 4. A body of literary theory, originally generated by the fanfic community, which has since spread to other fields (f.i., professional SF publishing) because it’s so darn useful. The act of committing Mary Sue-ism is sometimes referred to as “self-insertion.”
(via slacktivist)

floating atoll: RSS with CSS

Styling RSS and Atom using just CSS instead of XSLT.

Monday, March 22, 2004 - Watching Michael Moore's every move

MOOREWATCH is dedicated to unearthing the truth behind the doublespeak and falsehood that spews from the mouth (and keyboard) of Michael Moore on a regular basis.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Conservative Punk Magazine

Exactly what the name says.

A Bush Surprise: Fright-Wing Support

New York Times article about "conservative punk". Registration required. Mentions a lot of blogs.

Get Out of My Namespace by James Gleick

The BileBlog: Disinfotainment blogs

It's somewhat depressing the impact that blogging has had on the java world. Allowing the masses to express themselves freely and loudly has done terrible things to the signal to noise ratio of java articles.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: Home Page

Love that old-sk00l html.

Pirated Sites!! Aaarrgghh...

A blog about stolen website designs. Side by side comparisons of original and copycat.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Trail of the Hellhound: Delta Blues in the Lower Mississippi Valley

Website about the Blues provided by, of all people, the National Park Service.

I knew at least one blues fan/musician in college who now works for the park service. I wonder if he's behind this..

Socialists - The zombies who won the Spanish election. By Chris Suellentrop

Here are some of the economic promises on which Zapatero's Socialist Workers Party campaigned: lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30 percent, cutting income taxes, and reducing the value-added tax. Oh, and they're going to balance the budget and control inflation. The man expected to be the Socialist finance minister, Miguel Sebastian, is a U.S.-educated economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He's promising to put his faith in the Invisible Hand. "There will be a strict separation between politics and business," he told the Financial Times. "We will be a market-friendly government." These are socialists?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Native Win32 ports of some GNU utilities

I'm always losing my links to things like this.
Here are some ports of common GNU utilities to native Win32. In this context, native means the executables do only depend on the Microsoft C-runtime (msvcrt.dll) and not an emulation layer like that provided by Cygwin tools.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"Joke" Conversation Thread in which the :-) Was Invented

The original context in which the smiley first arose has been excavated! (via blog-fu)

The smiley was invented in 1982. Which means that everybody's favorite Unicode characters U+263A and U+263B ( and ) are actually older: like a lot of the 2600 range, they were obviously collected into Unicode from the MS-DOS "OEM" character set, which goes back to the origins of the IBM PC in 1980 or before.

I Feel Alright!!!

When I was 11 or 12, my mom told me that there had once been a kind of music called "Acid Rock". Not knowing anything about LSD, I assumed that the reference was to battery acid eating into your eardrums or something like that.

I assumed that the entire genre of "acid rock" consisted of whole songs, whole albums, whole discographies of nothing but guitar feedback and similar noises.

Hearing to Jimi Hendrix's version of The Star Spangled Banner confirmed this theory.

I wanted to make my own Acid Rock, but this was before I had an electric guitar. So I would do things like put an AM radio near a TV (try it..) and "play" the thing by tuning in different frequencies of RF interference. The lyrics consisted of spoken prounouncements like:
Oh yeah, baby!
Don't you know you're mine?
Just sit back, relax,
let all the noise pour in,
and let all your brains pour out!
The idea being that the music was so acidic that it would eat all the up way through your inner ears into the inside of your skull, where it would liquify your brain, which would then ooze back out your ears.

A number of years ago, after having already owned the Stooges' first album and Raw Power, I gave a listen to Fun House. For some reason, the only song I listened to was "L.A. Blues", which if you've never heard it is more or less acid rock as described above. Which is all well and good, but by that point in my life I was no longer particularly interested in that kind of thing. So for a long time I never gave much more thought to Fun House.

During the past week, however, my wife and I were cleaning out our combined tape collection, and among other things I came across a tape of Fun House which she (a recovering Iggy Pop completist) had since college. I ended up taking it in the car for my commute, since my car doesn't have a CD player and I'm always needing new cassettes to listen to. Holy crap! "L.A. Blues" aside, this thing rocks. With all due respect to Raw Power, Fun House outdoes it as the Stooges' claim to the all time great garage-punk-metal album of the late sixties/early seventies.

(Yes, I said "metal". The Stooges (like the MC5 and other bands normally classified as proto-Punk, and Blue Cheer (perhaps the closest thing to a true "Acid Rock" band according to both definitions of that term (HDANCN))) were heavier than anything produced on this side of the Atlantic until the Thrash and Deathmetal era. Proof: "Down in the Street", "TV Eye", "1970" (listen to the part where Iggy sings "I feel alright!" and tell me it would sound out of place in any of the songs on your NWOBHM compilations.))

The Light of the World (Video)

Yes, this is a video Chick Tract! (via jwz)

Friday, March 12, 2004

Life after the Video Game Crash

(via Slashdot)
There's a reason why you can still see a motion picture a century after they hit the scene, but Vaudeville shows are extinct. There's a reason why people still go to operas while live gladiator contests and public witch burnings are both rare and poorly-attended. In the entertainment world there are wives and then there are mistresses, long-term relationships and drunken one-night stands.

Our culture is married to the cinema. Gaming is a series of flings with continually younger, prettier partners.

XML button..

Well, that's as close to orange as you can get with this color scheme.

ColdFusion Documentation Project - Online CFML Docs

Basically an unofficial (but extremely fast) search engine to Macromedia's online documentation.

Kristin Thomas Spam Poetry

Poetry assembled from Spam subject lines.
American Patriots,
How can we serve you better?

Win a laptop computer?
Win a trip to Florida?
We give you more of what you want.

American Patriots,
How can we serve you better?
Want free movies?
Want to date a supermodel?
Want a bigger penis and stronger erections?
You will love it!

American Patriots,
How can we serve you better?
We have decided to increase your credit,
Increase your penis size, now
Give you free money.

Just Vote Bush. Your wife will never know.

Blogs for Bush: Things that make you go hmmm...

Blame India Watch

Blame India Watch is concerned with the increasing anti-Indian/anti-India sentiment among tech workers, as well as media coverage that focuses disproportionately on Indian workers or propigates anti-India(n) sentiment.


All of my scheming to get free feeds from BlogSpot was pointless. They've added free Atom feeds over a month ago. That's what I get for not reading the Blogger news page!

Aggregate away:

Now I've got to figure out a way to advertize the feed without using the orange XML buttons.. they don't fit the look of this page. There is no orange in the DOS color pallete. Of course, I could hide it down there with the "Powered by Blogger" logo, but then no one would see it.


Bridging the worlds of NNTP clients and RSS feeds, nntp//rss is an application that will enable you to use your existing favorite NNTP newsreader to read your information channels.
I've been thinking for a while now that aggregation was the natural evolution from the world of websites back to the email/usenet days. This truly brings it full circle.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

TV Tropes & Idioms: The Catalogue

Exactly what it says: a catalog of common TV plot devices. This has to be one of the funniest uses of the Wiki format that I know of.

Bruce Eckel's MindView, Inc: 3-11-04 About Latent Typing

We learn again and again that it's not possible to prevent people from doing something bad with your programming system no matter how safe you attempt to make it. And there's a boundary beyond which all the "directing" guidance will fail -- a programmer must have a certain level of understanding and be able to buy into a particular language, environment, framework, etc., up to a certain level in order to use those tools properly. Less than that, and they need training, not type-checking.

Fumbling towards xml..

I am considering a way to get around the fact that the free Blogspot offers no RSS (or any other type of) feeds. I'm thinking about changing my template to actually produce RSS instead of HTML. XSLT will be used to give a decent blog-like presentation in a web browser, a la mezzoblue. (But I promise I thought of this before I knew anyone else had done it.. am I still 1337?) Things holding me back:
  • say bye-bye to browsers like Opera and Safari that really are just web browsers, not XML engines like Mozilla
  • Google will continue insert their HTML ads into the RSS feed, which will most likely make the XML invalid.
  • Do I really have time to be messing with this?

Text of spam that I got today. All actual advertizing content was in images, where its hard to detect with text-scanning filters.

There were many examples of animals all around. Just tell me your answer, even if it sucks. We're going to regret this, my friend said. Don't do that, the cat pointed out.

It was cold and sweet. Love, and hate, are powerful emotions. But this was a long road, and should I walk down it, I might never come back. I'd seen many of the same things I've seen before.

But under the circumstances, I'd do it again. Suddenly, she wasn't there. (I'd seen something really weird. :) This was a place without the internet, without email, without the rush of business meetings and untapped desires.

That could well be the answer. And for ten minutes, he was a hero. We're going to regret this, my friend said. (I'd seen something really weird. :) I can never describe the walk back to my truck.
Where do they get this stuff?

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Perpetual Adolescent

When I say youth culture, I do not mean merely that the young today are transcendent, the group most admired among the various age groups in American society, but that youth is no longer viewed as a transitory state, through which one passes on the way from childhood to adulthood, but an aspiration, a vaunted condition in which, if one can only arrange it, to settle in perpetuity.

Monday, March 08, 2004

MF Bliki: AnemicDomainModel

The fundamental horror of this anti-pattern is that it's so contrary to the basic idea of object-oriented design; which is to combine data and process together. The anemic domain model is really just a procedural style design, exactly the kind of thing that object bigots like me (and Eric) have been fighting since our early days in Smalltalk. What's worse, many people think that anemic objects are real objects, and thus completely miss the point of what object-oriented design is all about.

WASAW: Writers & Artists Snacking At Work

Be sure and check with WASAW before making your next snack investment. Our reports are easy to print out and read, and hopefully a bit entertaining, too. If all goes well, you'll learn from our mistakes and reward yourself with our triumphs... all in the name of snacks.
Most of the reviews include "which South Park character would like it best?", which is always good to know when trying to decide what to buy from the vending machine.
Heck, I'd even go see Lilith Faer for a free HOHO.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Google Search: allintitle: "considered harmful"

The results seem to have grown a lot from what Meyer reported just a couple of years ago.

"Considered Harmful" Essays Considered Harmful

"Considered harmful" essays are most harmful to their own causes. The publication of a "considered harmful" essay has a strong tendency to alienate neutral parties, thus weakening support for the point of view the essay puts forth. A sufficiently dogmatic "considered harmful" essay can end a debate in favor of the viewpoint the essay considers harmful. Escaped Markup Considered Harmful [Aug. 20, 2003]

The idea of escaping markup goes against the fundamental grain of XML. If this hack spreads to other vocabularies, we'll very quickly find ourselves mired in the same bugward-compatible tag soup from which we have struggled so hard to escape.

Moveable Type XSLT — Carey Evans

This document elaborates on my ideas about XSLT in response to Kevin Davis’s experiments with Movable Type at Alazanto. (It also gave me a chance to play around with RDF and metadata that nobody will ever see.)

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Official Free PDF Support Site: Configure Free PDF on Windows 2000

I keep losing the link to this, even though I think I've blogged it before.

Obsessive Compulsive: Calvin Pees

A photo gallery and general commentary on "peeing Calvin" window stickers.
Bill Watterson quit producing the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” at the height of it’s popularity. He was somewhat of a recluse when it came publicity and mass marketing. As a result, every Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt that you’ve ever seen has been a bootleg. The characters of Calvin and Hobbes have been co-opted by by popular culture to a degree that surpasses any other phenomenon, with the possible exception of the smiley face. Only time will tell if Watterson’s characters have as long of a shelf life as the smiley face. Calvin and Hobbes have been transformed from wholesome, Dennis-the-Menace type characters (with a better imagination) to frat boys drinking beer, smoking pot and most recently, peeing on every known auto manufacturer logo.
Also includes a brief discussion of Jesus Fish stickers, but that really deserves a treatment by someone who knows more about the history/meaning of the symbol and Christianity in general.

Fair warning: most of the hits you will get by searching for "peeing calvin" are not work-safe.

(see also: C.H.E.S.S. ( via gammatron))

This got me thinking: in what strips does the real Calvin come closest to looking like Peeing Calvin? Something about the the lower left panel of this strip looked familiar from pickup truck windows, I can't find a picture that of a sticker that matches it. Maybe the one seen on all those windows is actually the duplicate Calvin? (Man, this thing rocks!)

Rohan Clan - Computer Consulting - cfeclipse

Another ColdFusion plugin for Eclipse. I have tried neither of these two. Project Info - OpenXCF

Although the project claims to be some sort of repository of useful ColdFusion code, the main item of interest is the CF Plugin for Eclipse.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Recovering Windows XP using the Recovery Console

Bunch of stuff about the Windows 2000/XP recovery console. I've been using Win2000 since 1999 (heh) and I've somehow never learned about this thing until now.

BLOGGER - Knowledge Base - What is BlogThis!

Setting up Mozilla on a fresh install, I had to go digging through the Blogger kb to find the BlogThis! thing. I'd originally installed it back when Blogger first announced it on the front page, so I'd never had to learn where it permanently lived.

ASCII art to Blogger post...

Perl one-liner to convert ASCII art to a format that can be pasted directly into Blogger.
perl -MHTML::Entities -p -e "encode_entities($_); s/ / /g; s/\\/\/g"
  • This relies on outside HTML or CSS to set the font to something suitablly monospace.
  • Hard spaces are used instead of relying on <pre>. In order to use <pre> you would have to turn off Blogger's normal newline-to-<br> conversion, and I don't want to turn it off just so I can occasionally post ASCII art.
  • Backslashes are escaped because of the strange way Blogger seems to deal with lines that end with backslashes; it thinks they are continuation characters like in a C macro or something.

Example: (from

   _____         (#########)
  /     \       (#########)    |\/\/\/|     /\ /\  /\               /\
\/\/     |      (#########)    |      |     | V  \/  \---.    .----/  \----.
 |  (o)(o)       (o)(o)(##)    |      |      \_        /       \          /
 C   .---_)    ,_C     (##)    | (o)(o)       (o)(o)  <__.   .--\ (o)(o) /__.
  | |.___|    /____,   (##)    C      _)     _C         /     \     ()     /
  |  \__/       \     (#)       | ,___|     /____,   )  \      >   (C_)   <
  /_____\        |    |         |   /         \     /----'    /___\____/___\
 /_____/ \       OOOOOO        /____\          ooooo             /|    |\
/         \     /      \      /      \        /     \           /        \

  HOMER          MARGE         BART            LISA               MAGGIE - Against Sustainababble, for Development

I ran across this while trying to get to the other Audacity. is a research company for construction industry professionals questioning the assumptions and limitations of British development. Today that means challenging the platitudes of sustainability before they are established in debilitating codes of practice, or as new liabilities actionable in courts of law. The morality of sustainable development suggests a professional duty of care to the environment, which may lead to unfortunate legal innovation and further inertia in the construction industry. This will encourage caution rather than bold experimentation, and is clearly restraining development.

Windows XP And The 'VGASave' Service

I recently hit a brick wall when attempting to repair my Windows XP installation. I couldn't install the drivers for my video card - a VisionTek Xtasy 9100 128Mb. When I visited the Device Manager, the usual "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter" that you would expect to see was not present, and when going in through the display properties, a "vgasave" service was running in it's place, which could not be removed or stopped. Strange. How was I to get the standard VGA controller back in there so I could install the Catalyst drivers? To clarify, said drivers (and quite a few others) require the video card to be listed and identified as a standard VGA graphics adapter to install from scratch.