Brief updates

  • 11:13 Experiencing a blast from the past: I have Eve Tokimatsuri songs running through my head now. #
  • 11:45 @snidegrrl “The spiders launched to the space station a supply of tasty fruit flies for food” – spiders with orbital capability? Uh-oh. #
  • 12:07 Noting that the “post Twitter entries to LJ” script is doing so at wildly varying times of day for some reason. #

Sent subspace radio by LoudTwitter

The silhouette of a Martian machine

My “grown-up” moment for the week: not bidding on a Lego Mars Rover on eBay even though it came to $10 below retail. I just don’t need to be spending $85 on Lego right now. But I thought about it for a second.

Worked on a shell script today which will automate and streamline installation and troubleshooting of our backup services. I keep forgetting how much I love writing code, especially the bit where it executes and everything works properly and I feel like Dr. Frankenstein shouting “It’s alive!!” I caught the coding bug when the TRS-80s came out, and I’ve never gotten over it.

I headed in to work early today, to help install a glut of new monitors which arrived. Not my usual assignment, but I wanted to help out, and the monitors were the lightest of the equipment to be installed. On the other hand, that does mean a lot of crawling under desks, and even a 22-inch flatscreen isn’t that light after you’ve lifted the tenth one onto a desk. I’m a little tired.

Going to try to get in touch with Mom again tonight.

Some observations

Well, I’m actually feeling a bit accomplished these days. This weekend, I shook the rust from my joints and did some serious database programming, teaching it how to build (static) webpages for manual upload. Today, I forced our server (which recently graduated from peer-to-peer file sharer to real server) to take an OS upgrade that it supposedly can’t, getting better networking and filesystem performance from it.

You had to ‘force’ it?

Sometimes, there’s no doubt about to which section of society a person belongs.

When one of the greatest thrills that person’s had lately (outside the bedroom) is the detection and crushing of a month-long bug in old database code, there is absolutely no doubt.

(but, I found it, and I fixed it, and now everyone in my office has to bow down before my superior intellect. so there.)

I am going to rant now.

A friend of mine has a website she updates once a week. I have been visiting and enjoying this site for two years, chatted with her about it on Yahoo! Messenger, and corresponded with her by e-mail, We’ve exchanged pictures of spouses and (in her case) child, and get along pretty well. But she has other things to do besides learn HTML, so she has a friend build her site with updates she passes along.

And now I can’t get in her site. Why? Because her webmaster has fallen in love with the nonstandard JavaScript tricks available to Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.

I use a Macintosh. I don’t apologize for that, I love it. It’s not perfect, I can point out some of the issues involved long before any Windows user can, but it’s a solid machine that I can get all my work done on. Just about the only thing I haven’t been able to do with my Mac is play “Half-Life”, and even that’s been ported to the PlayStation 2 now.

So I write politely to the webmaster, pointing out that the latest IE I can access is 5.1, and suggesting that he might want to design a more flexible site. Heck, with JavaScript you can ask the browser who it is and reconfigure on the fly.

What do I hear back? “Can’t be bothered. Your machine sucks. Why don’t you buy a PC?”

I gently point out that there are still plenty of users out there who don’t use Windows. Heck, some of the Windows users I know won’t install IE 6 ’cause (I’m told) it’s a buggy, bloated piece of work that rewrites half your system when you install it. Does he want to block every one of those users from his sites?

Response? “Don’t care. Buy a PC so you can look at my site. If Macs were so great, they could handle IE 6 JavaScript.”

At this point, I realized, I was talking to a brick wall. I’m not bothering to respond by telling him that I can, if I want, run a more cutting edge version of MS Office than he can and get great framerate in Quake III at the same time. But I have to miss out on a friend’s website because he’s some l33t idiot who figures, “The hell with standards; it’s from Redmond, so it’s perfection and the wave of the future!”

I’m done now. I wish to point out here that in no part of this rant have I been rude about the general capabilities of PCs as hardware, or of Windows as an operating system.