Monday, May 31, 2004

Unicode and Windows XP

PDF. (Google HTML here)
Via Raymond Chen.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Achilles Last Stand :: Reference :: Assorted Info

This is a copy of the original plain text Led Zeppelin Infrequently Murmured Trivia file, before it was converted into horrible HTML. It is actually more readable than the HTML - if you can read it! Like much of, this page is almost completely inaccessible with Mozilla, you must use IE.

Distributism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've learned a new word today, which I ought to have heard about a long time ago: Distributism.

The Bloggers United Against Fascism: Weblog

This seems to be mostly a British thing, but it sure is a cool name.

The Anabaptist Network

There has never been an indigenous Anabaptist movement in Britain. The few Anabaptists who crossed the English Channel were forcibly ejected in the late sixteenth century. But in the past few decades Christians from many traditions in Britain (and in many other nations) have rediscovered this movement and have begun to value its legacy.

See also: Leaving Münster: an occasional anabaptist blog

Napkin Look & Feel

The Napkin Look & Feel is a pluggable Java look and feel that looks like it was scrawled on a napkin. You can use it to make provisional work actually look provisonal, or just for fun.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Tales From TheServerSide Cartoon - Framework Lock-In

It was never determined whether this cartoon involves a likeness of Craig McClanahan:

Oily Fish Prevents Asthma in Offspring

A new study shows that eating oily fish such as salmon or trout as little as once a week during pregnancy may help protect your children against developing asthma. On the other hand, eating processed fish sticks may boost your offspring's risk of developing asthma

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Led Zeppelin In-Frequently Murmured Trivia List

1995-style HTML, full of facts such as every song where you can hear squeaky drum pedals.
"Moby Dick" - Careful listening to this song reveals a variety of noises which could range from Bonham moving about on the drum stool to various sqeaking noises, probably drum pedals. There is a particularly odd scraping noise at 1:58.

css Zen Garden: # Wiggles the Wonderworm by Joseph Pearson


Enabling CORBA support in ColdFusion MX

Possibly work-related.

The Iguana Chronicles

"Led Zepp gets their ass kicked by Iggy and KISS"

Long, rambling, damn-near unreadable. Looking at other posts by the author: very strange person to be posting about Iggy Pop vs. Led Zeppelin.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 Java Sketchbook: The HTML Renderer Shootout, Part 1 [May. 24, 2004]

Compares various options for embedding HTML rendering into Java applications.

Digital Web Magazine - In Defense of Fahrner Image Replacement< Tip: Clustering and your Servlet application

Clustering is just hard.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Ok, this is what a "switch bush" looks like.

Mobile County Public Works - McDonald Road Relocation

Michigan Highways: Michigan Left Turn

These things actually exist. I saw them in Auburn Hills on a recent business trip.

I also found as ASCII drawing in this usenet post:

                      | <- \
                      |  ->
                      | Review of "A Mighty Wind"

Original post starts off as a review A Mighty Wind, turns into a great essay about the importance of Bob Dylan (duh, look what newsgroup it's in..) in music history, and the thread later goes on to include the lyrics of Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction".

With folk so whitewashed, Mr. Dylan led an exodus of the venturesome into
rock -- a move that goes unnoted in the movie. They carried with them
elements of traditional folk that have been a part of popular music ever
since: a devotion to authenticity (or an approximation thereof), an
inclination to leftist politics (or a vague liberalism), and, above all, a
faith in the folk ethic -- the notion that music is a democratic, amateur
art, a mode of vernacular expression available to anyone without formal
training. In the rock era, this idea has been the great leveler, the force
that drove punk, hip-hop and grunge and will likely spark whatever comes

As Francis Beckwith reminded me, today is Bob Dylan's birthday. (And also Victoria Day in Canada, the "24th of May" in Rush's Lakeside Park)

Friday, May 21, 2004 Cascading Style Sheets Have Taken Root [May 21, 2004]

Interesting take on CSS from a Java programmer point-of-view.
We cannot change the html markup language but it has become flexible enough such that content publishers can now get around the issue of semantic content by applying "class" and "id" attributes to tags. What publishers end up doing is tagging a div with an id such as "sidebar." As far as I'm concerned, this is equivalent to having a <sidebar> tag. Suddenly combining markup with css stylesheets becomes a task more akin to writing content using a specialized markup language such as docbook. The difference of course is that the rules are completely informal; they're invented by the content developer. - eDisclaimers

Email disclaimers are statements you often find appended to the end of an email. They sometimes have legal character, sometimes they are meant for marketing. What they have in common is that my blood starts boiling at their sight. Well, I started collecting them at some point.

My employer uses this:
Please be advised that the information contained in this communication may be confidential and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. Any other use, dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The TrueMajority "Pig Mobile"

I saw this thing driving around Atlanta when President Bush came to town to see the Home Depot guy.
The Pig Mobile consists of three different-sized piggy banks strung together to illustrate just how big a financial disaster the Iraq War has turned out to be.

The largest pig (by far) shows the financial cost ($200 billion) of America's attack on Iraq, including the projected minimum cost of reconstruction. The smaller pig illustrates how much the federal government spends on K-12 education ($34 billion). And the third pig, which is a wee little pig, shows America's dedication to lessening world hunger and poverty ($10 billion).
Apparently anyone can with a clean driving record can take a turn at the wheel: heres the sign-up form, which also includes a picture of the thing.

time to stop reading SlashDot

The release of the next Star Wars movie is now only a year away, so it's time to stop reading SlashDot if I want to avoid spoilers. No hardcore SW fan expects much from this movie compared to, say, Empire Strikes Back, but I want to give it a fair viewing. I don't want my mind polluted by reading all the other fanboy predictions and rumors.

FWIW, I still haven't seen Matrix Revolutions. Too many of my friends hated it for me to want to go see it in the theater, and I haven't seen it on DVD yet either. I already know too much about it, because I didn't avoid SlashDot like I'm doing for Star Wars.

jMusic - Computer music composition in Java.

(via Slashdot) Java library for music programming.

Cellular automata and music

(via Slashdot) Long article, read later.

Andy Kaufman Returns

Once the initial part of faking my death was over, it was very easy to just "disappear." Plenty of people do this and are reported by their families as missing, only to show up weeks or months later. The trick was staying away for so long. For the stunt to be successful, I had to go away for a very, very long time. I figured twenty years was a good, round number that was long enough and would be totally legendary. I've been keeping a low profile, traveling the world, working odd jobs and practicing transcendental meditation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


I hate how it's actually possible to not have enough disk space available to uninstall stuff.

Switch Bushes

There is a certain wild (not neccessarily native, but certainly not cultivated deliberately) shrub that my parents only taught me to call a "switch bush". Because it was the most common source of "switches" used to whip wayward children in bygone days.

What is the "real" name of this plant? It is rampant around here. If left untended, it tends to bend over almost to the ground, making sort of an arch. I've seen them get 6 or 8 feet tall, but most are smaller. It is woody, with long bendy branches up to a couple of inches thick, but usually much less than one inch thick. (the switches!) Small green leaves. No thorns of any kind.

It has a large number of tiny white flowers that positively fill the air with their smell at this time of year. It can be overpowering at times. On a hot day the smell combined with the heat can almost make you faint. I imagine that back in even more bygone days, the ladies would get the vapors and swoon from being around these things.

Not sure about fruit, as I only tend to notice the plants while they are flowering. Only this spring did I get interested enough in them to pay attention to what they looked like.

One of my favorite pleasures is driving around Atlanta with the windows rolled down during as many seasons and types of weather as I can possibly stand. From early spring through summer, there is a clear progression of floral smells: first wisteria, then honeysuckle, then switch bush. They are almost always noticeable over the car exhaust and other freeway smells on the Northeast Expressway I-85. In fact I don't associate *my* Northeast Expressway with smoke and smog and burnt rubber at all -- I associate it with the smell of wisteria, honeysuckle, and switch bushes. I want to write a poem about it but it's been so long since I wrote poetry that I'm not sure how to start. Blogging is poetry now, I guess.

CORBA chapters

The CORBA spec, broken into separate PDFs for each chapter.

On, Off, or Asleep

Only 25 percent of all PC users fully utilize their computer’s energy saving features. The LBL hypothesizes that these high levels of disabling are caused, in part, by the varied and confusing office equipment power control interfaces. The LBL proposes that by making power management controls more intuitive and consistent across all office equipment, people will enable energy saving features more fully and thereby reduce overall energy consumption. An international standard for the symbols does exist (IEC 60417 and ISO 7000); however, those few manufacturers that adhere to the standard often implement it in different ways.
(via this old discussion about orange XML buttons on MetaFilter)

Google Search: microsoft cairo

Gotta love it.

Another Windows Code Names page

This one disagrees with the other one about something, such as whether Cairo was Windows NT 4 or Windows 2000.

Windows Codenames

Longhorn, Whistler, et al.

Google Search: "more cowbell"

I suggest that Ringo Starr was the first drummer to really give a song "more cowbell". I'll have to go home and dig into my CD collection to tell exactly which song was first, though.

Well, actually it was probably somebody else, probably on some Motown or Stax single. But Ringo is usually the first to come to my mind.

The Depressive and the Psychopath - At last we know why the Columbine killers did it. By Dave Cullen

The first steps to understanding Columbine, they say, are to forget the popular narrative about the jocks, Goths, and Trenchcoat Mafia—click here to read more about Columbine's myths—and to abandon the core idea that Columbine was simply a school shooting. We can't understand why they did it until we understand what they were doing.

It goes on to say that they were not actually members of the "Trenchcoat Mafia". They were also not fans of Marilyn Manson. Urban legends die hard, though.

Vacuum Tube Modules for Electronic Music by METASONIX

Wow. Real-life "acid rock".

Maybe I should see if these guys want to build the Powercow.

(via Miscellaneous Heathen)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Interesting tidbit I learned on a recent business flight: at least some Target stores really do have giant a giant "target" logos painted on their roofs, clearly visible from the air. > Find TV Commercial Ad Music

"What was the song used in that television commercial?" Now you can find the answer at - the weblog of information on music from TV ads, film trailers, and more.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Who's been teaching my kid German?

Yesterday I heard my two-year-old singing what sounded like "Winnie das Pooh, Winnie das Pooh.." Wtf? Did that CD of Disney songs I checked out from the public library have hidden Nazi messages in it? (I'm not sure what exactly the German's actually called Winnie the Pooh, but that probablt isn't it)

obligatory web design post

The backlash against CSS layouts! Read all about it.

An Objective Look at Table Based vs. CSS Based Design
Gasp! Tables!
Tables! Oh, the Horror!

And the anti-tablist response:

Tables for Layout
Tables My Ass

And lastly, this wonderfully trollish thing:
The World Wide Web is not enough
Communist radicals got a bad rap in the 20th century because they wanted to take over the world and brainwash everybody. More efficient, they said. More humane, they claimed. A better way to run things, so they thought.

These days, the rebel youth aren’t so busy admiring Marx as they are giving each other tutorials on how to use XHTML Strict. Bravely battling JavaScript menus and eradicating layout tables, admonishing us to “please think of the children” and design our pages so they’re compatible with the handhelds of next century. Same conformist thinking, same lousy outcome.

Damn, that's good crazy!

Friday, May 14, 2004

The Rise of Illiberal Democracy by Fareed Zakaria

(via slacktivist) I've blogged stuff by or about this guy before. This article was written in 1997, but is probably more relevant now than it was then.
It has been difficult to recognize this problem because for almost a century in the West, democracy has meant liberal democracy -- a political system marked not only by free and fair elections, but also by the rule of law, a separation of powers, and the protection of basic liberties of speech, assembly, religion, and property. In fact, this latter bundle of freedoms -- what might be termed constitutional liberalism -- is theoretically different and historically distinct from democracy. As the political scientist Philippe Schmitter has pointed out, "Liberalism, either as a conception of political liberty, or as a doctrine about economic policy, may have coincided with the rise of democracy. But it has never been immutably or unambiguously linked to its practice." Today the two strands of liberal democracy, interwoven in the Western political fabric, are coming apart in the rest of the world. Democracy is flourishing; constitutional liberalism is not.

How to use DB2 7 as the session data source for WebSphere 4

Work related. I never did find a single document that spelled all this out in one simple sequence of steps. So here goes.

  1. Install DB2 if it is not already installed.
  2. On the database server, create a database to use for the session data. I assume you need one database for each server group, I haven't tried doing it any other way.
  3. Install the DB2 Admin Client on the app server box box. (Skip this step if this is the same machine where you installed the DB2 database)
  4. Run Start->Programs->IBM DB2->Client Configuration Assistant on the app server.
  5. Choose "add".
  6. Choose "Manually configure a connection to a database".
  7. Protocol: TCP/IP
  8. Hostname: (whatever DB server is being used)
  9. Port: 50000
  10. Database and database alias: (whatever name you created)
  11. Take the defaults for everything else .
  12. Finish.
  13. Test the connection.
  14. Assuming that the binaries for the admin client installed in c:\program files\sqllib, go into c:\program files\sqllib\java12 and execute these commands in this order. This is absolutely neccessary in order for WebSphere to be able to use the db2 libraries.
    • jdbc20.exe
    • usejdbc2.bat
  15. In websphere, set up a JDBC provider for DB2. The jar file for the classpath is c:\program files\sqllib\java\ Note that is a ZIP file, not a JAR.
  16. Configure a datasource under this provider. In single-server edition, there are places to enter the "databaseName". Use the same one that you've used in all the other steps. In advanced, you have to add this as a custom property.
  17. In the properties of the server group, go to "Services" tab. Highlight the "Session Manager Service" and hit "Edit Properties".
  18. On the "Persistence" tab, check "enable persistent sessions".
  19. Choose the "Low (optimize for session failover)" performance option.
  20. On the database tab, configure the same datasource you set up in step 16.
  21. If you get errors about "unsatisfied link" or something about DLL files not being in JAVA_LIBARARY_PATH, try restarting the admin server or as a last resort the physical machine.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Problem With Music by Steve Albini

Albini's classic rant about the recording industry. I don't know how accurate it is, but it cited in almost every RIAA-vs-downloaders discussion on the Net.

Interesting Slashdot comment about digitizing 78rpm records.

'Whispering keyboards' could be next attack trend

(via Slashdot)
Eavesdroppers can decipher what is typed by simply listening to the sound of a keystroke, according to a scientist at this week's IEEE Symposium of Security and Privacy in Oakland, Calif.

Newsflash: IE Conditional Comments

(via blog-fu)
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="normal.css" />
<!-- [if IE]>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="iewin.css" />


This is an attempt to make Microsoft Internet Explorer more compliant when it comes to web standards.

IE7 represents an amalgamation of disparate solutions to Explorer's rendering problems. The solutions it provides can be summarised as follows:

* CSS2/3 selectors
* box-model (including min/max-width/height)
* PNG transparency
* Broken XHTML tags

The tenets for this development are (where possible):

* IE7 will not alter the document structure
* IE7 will not pollute the global (JavaScript) namespace
* IE7 will subvert proprietary Microsoft properties/methods to imitate W3C standards

And one additional consideration:

* IE7 will sacrifice performance in favour of standards

[thelist] Select - forms

versions 5 and earlier have a bug that results in url variables declared
multiple times to only result in a single value rather than a list of
values. this has been fixed in cfmx. for example:

?foo=bar&foo=far&foo=boo should equal bar,far,boo. in cfmx it is. in cf5 it will equal the
last value of the last variable it encounters boo.

Monday, May 03, 2004

CDBS Station Search

Search the FCC databases for TV and radio stations.