August 31, 2003

Tin Roof

A few gliders found decent lift to almost 6,000 on the second ridge today. Once again, the BLIPMAP was pretty accurate.

Lance and I took 15M up in the early afternoon. We had planned to tow to 6,500 over the 2nd ridge, but saw the variometer swing past 10 on the way there at 5,100 so we got off tow and worked it for a while. We made it to 5,850 a few times. Tried to break 6,000 but couldn't quite get the last 150 feet.

The lift seemed best by the Tin Roof (thanks to Lance for showing me where it is) and where the two ridges meet at the northwest end of the valley. We saw lots of 2 knots and some 4-6 knots.

We flew again later after Lance's Grob checkout and still found lift back there but the sea breeze was keeping it lower and weaker.

I snapped some pictures.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:10 PM

August 30, 2003

All 80s Labor Day Weekend

Star 101.3, one of the local Clear Channel cookie cutter suck ass stations is playing all 80s music this weekend, emphasizing one-hit wonders.

I love 80s weekends. The older I get the more I think that 80-90% of all the good music was created in the 80s. I suppose it's the same way for any generation.

Anyway, this should be a good weekend as far as the music department is concerned. Come Tuesday, I'll go back to listening to either KQED Radio or my iPod. In the meantime I'll be enjoying my favorite hits.

I fail to understand why there's not an all 80s station in the Bay Area.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:18 PM

Lake Tahoe, seen from the Cockpit

I left work early on Thursday and headed up to Truckee. The drive there took about 5 hours, but that's what I get for leaving at 5pm rather than earlier as planned (another story). But it was totally worth it.

On Friday morning, I headed over to Soar Truckee to meet the folks there and get Grob 36L ready to fly. I wandered into the office and met Samantha and Joe as well as a few others. Joe was to fly with me today, so he asked me to read and sign the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

By the time the day was over, I had one of my all time best flights. Read all about it in my flying blog. Or just look at the pictures I took.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:04 AM

Flying at Soar Truckee

I left work early on Thursday to fetch my car (long story) and head up to Truckee. The drive there took about 5 hours, but that's what I get for leaving at 5pm rather than earlier as planned (another story).

On Friday morning, I headed over to Soar Truckee to meet the folks there and get Grob 36L ready to fly. I wandered into the office and met Samantha and Joe as well as a few others. Joe was to fly with me today, so he asked me to read and sign the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

We then spent some time with a blown-up photo of the airport discussing the various patterns and approaches as well as their unique hazards. To illustrate the importance of not coming in short of the primary glider runway (19), Joe took me out to the end of the runway to see the 100+ foot drop for myself. That made a good impression on me. I was not going to be like the 5 glider pilots over the years who have hit the side of the cliff.

With that done, Joe went to do other things while I got the glider ready. It took a while, since I wasn't used to the interesting ways in which it was tied down. And I took extra time to go over everything, having never flown 36L before. But I eventually finished and we pulled the glider to the launch area.

First Flight: Area Checkout

Before long, towplane 7Z came to tow us (piloted by Doug), and we were off. The takeoff roll was longer than I'm used to, thanks to the much higher density altitude. So I spent more time and effort ruddering--trying to stay behind the towplane on the ground. But we got into the air and had a relatively smooth tow to 8,900 feet (3,000 above ground).

Once off tow, Joe began pointing out all the local peaks, valleys, ponds, lakes, and other assorted stuff--including the "hot rocks" where most pilots find their first thermal off tow. I was concerned about flying in a new area for the first time and even said so during tow. Around the time we reached 6,500 feet I remember laughing and saying something like "it's rather surreal flying at a new site for the first time... nothing looks familiar at all."

Before long it was time to land. It was early and the thermals were still weak. He talked me through the pattern the first time. We came in a bit high and I wasn't aggressive enough at losing altitude, so we landed long. But it wasn't a big deal. It's far better to land long than short.

After landing, we discussed the pattern and approach a bit more and got the glider positioned back down the runway for another tow.

Second Flight: Pattern Tow

Just before launching a second time, I asked Joe if we were going to do the same thing. He said, "No, you're flying is fine. Let's just fly a pattern." So we did. This time I was closer to the right speed and altitude for landing while still having a good safety margin. But I landed a bit longer than I thought I would.

Once we chatted about the landing, Joe told me I was free to fly today but that I should fly with him or someone else next time I'm in Truckee on a more windy day.

Since it was approaching 11:30 and someone else had the glider at 2pm, I decided I'd do a couple more flights and call it a day. Since the thermals hadn't really developed yet, I figured they'd be relatively short too.

Third Flight: Bits of Lift

I launched on my first solo Truckee flight at 11:30am. We headed over toward the hot rocks, flying thru a few thermals on the way. I released at 8,250 and flew around a bit looking for lift. I found some weak and broken lift over the frog pond, but nothing sustainable. Within 15 minutes I was back on the ground.

Fourth Flight: Jackpot!

At noon I took off again. With no better ideas, I planned to do the same thing. However, I quickly noticed that the conditions were improving. We flew through 3 really good thermals on tow (variometer was off the scale). But rather than release early only to never find the elusive thermal (I've been burned by that at Hollister a few times), I hung on and released at 8,000. That put me 2,100 feet above the field and seemed sufficient to find a bit of lift.

It worked. I flew over the hot rocks for a few minutes and at 7,400 feet (only 300-400 feet above pattern altitude) I hit my first good thermal. It was averaged between 8 and 10 knots. And being that close to the ground (the terrain is higher there), I could actually see the ground rushing away from me. Amazing.

For the next hour and a half, I flew from good thermal to good thermal. My highest altitude was 11,400 feet and I never really got much below 9,000 feet after the first two thermals.

After I had been up for a while, I set a goal of getting to 10,000 feet. After another 10 minutes I achieved that. Then I set a new goal of 11,000 feet. That took another 20 minutes. During this time, Doug (the tow pilot) called up every 30 minutes or so to ask how I was doing and each time I was reporting a higher altitude.

As I got higher, I ventured farther and farther away from the field and flew over progressively higher terrain. After an hour or so I was joined by 2-4 other gliders at any given time. I was listening to them launch on the radio. Most of them were smaller, faster, and lighter than me. So they'd hook a good thermal, ride it to 12,000+ feet and head toward Mount Rose.

After a while, I decided to take a few pictures of Lake Tahoe from the air. It was around then that it really sunk in. I was flying between 10,000 and 11,000 feet just a few miles from Lake Tahoe--without an engine. Very cool.

It eventually dawned on me that I had easily earned my "B" badge on this flight, so I decided to stay up long enough to also get my "C" badge too. I recalled that someone else had the glider at 2pm, so I planned to land at 1:45pm to give us time to put it back in the staging area. There were other reasons not to stay up all day. I had also run out of water to drink, and Mother Nature had been calling for a while.

When the time came to land, I had to purposely avoid lift, flying mostly in 6-8 knot sink, just to get down to a reasonable altitude without cracking the spoilers. When I go low enough, I made my radio call, entered the pattern, and made my best landing of the day.

My flight time was roughly 1.7 hours. A personal best for such a low tow.

I took several pictures during they day. Take a look.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:59 AM

August 27, 2003

RSS Lurking

This is too cool...

The fun starts when someone changes an item after posting it; I do this myself all the time--for some reason, I never seem to see some typos in my weblog application's entry form, but they stand out like a beacon on the main page of LittleThinkTank. When NetNewsWire refreshes a feed subsequent to a change, you get to see the differences.

Thanks to Brent for the link.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:19 PM

August 26, 2003

gzip vs. bzip2

I've been doing a bit of compression performance testing related to some possible MySQL development (think "better compressed MyISAM tables") and was shocked at the difference between gzip and bzip2.

Given a MyISAM data file of roughly 2,661,512 (or 2.5GB), I compressed it using both gzip and bzip2 using their respective -9 options to achieve maximal compression and timed each. I did this twice. I then decompressed the resulting file to stdout and sent the results to /dev/null and timed that too. The times are in mm:ss and the size is in KB.

 comp timecomp. sizedecomp time

Needless to say, I was blown away by the results. It's clear that bzip2 produces smaller compressed files but it does so at a very big cost--especially if you're thinking of using it in an application that requires frequent decompression. It's one thing to compress files and not look at them again for a few years. But we're talking about compressed tables that'd see lots of use.


What about myisampack and MySQL's compressed tables? We tried that already. The resulting file is 921,888KB (900MB). We need to do quite a bit better than that.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:26 PM

Yahoo! News RSS Feeds Launched

This has been in the works for a while and it's finally up for for real. Visit for details.

RSS is alive and well at Yahoo. Watch for more in the future. :-)

Congrats and thanks to Jeff and team for making it happen!

Posted by jzawodn at 02:01 PM

August 25, 2003

Finding the best version of a song...

I often find myself collecting various versions of a particular artists songs--one from the early album, a live concert version, a remake, and so on. This was a lot easier in the heyday of Napster, but you can still do it if you try, thanks mainly to iTunes and Google.

What seems to be missing is a web site where you can easily find out how many version of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" exist and which one(s) are generally regarded as superior. Or maybe you're a fan of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and didn't know that the versions on "Surfacing" and "Mirrorball" are different. And that there's a live duet version on the 2nd Lilith Fair album. Or the various version's of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up." I have one with Kate Bush, one with Sinead O'Connor (not sure were I found it--I thought it was Us but it's not), and one with Paula Cole.

I could go on. For quite a while, in fact.

What I'm thinking of is something IMDB-like for music. Considering how I occasionally get sidetracked on IMDB for a while, that'd be ideal.

Does such a thing exist?

I admit to not having looked very hard, but I've yet to run across a site that was even close to doing for music what IMDB does for movies and television.

So far the closest I've found is Artist Direct but there's something I don't like about the site and I can't quite put my finger on it..

Posted by jzawodn at 12:35 AM

August 24, 2003

Kruckenberg on MT Hacking

Mike says:

The more I fiddle with MT the more I wish I had more time to fiddle with it.

I couldn't agree more.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:22 PM

Inertial Dampeners Needed

I know I've complained about this before, but I could really use some inertial dampeners. Seriously.

Got any I can borrow? Or rent?

I've had resort to the old "put some good music on the iPod/headphones and drink some Mt. Dew" trick.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:09 PM

Derek's Tombstone

Derek and I were talking recently and stumbled upon the pieces of what would make an amusing tombstone for him. So I've assembled them here.

Here lie the ashes of Derek Balling,
Dork Lord of the Sith.
He died of a heart attack.
That's gay as hell!

Okay, that's probably not funny to anyone else. But that's never really stopped me before. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 06:01 PM

August 23, 2003

Good local lift, meeting Dr. Jack, and flying a single seat ship

Today started out well. We (Lance, Joyce, me) arrived early. I planned to get checked out to fly BASA's famous 1-34 ("Orange Crush") now that it's back in service. Lance was set to fly acro with Russell in a 21, and Joyce had an afternoon lesson with Jim.

Star Power

While getting acquainted with the 1-34, Lance came over for a peek and we noticed a few guys getting their private gliders out of the trailers. He said, "hey, that's Dr. Jack!" so we headed over to chat with him.

If you've not met him, Dr. Jack's a pretty cool, laid back guy. We chatted for a bit about the local soring, his DG-400 motorglider, and the BLIPMAP (of course!).

It was pretty cool to meet a soaring celebrity before the day got moving. And, hey if Dr. Jack is coming out to fly it must be a good day, right? :-)


After chatting with several folks about the 1-34 and going over everything with Jim, decided to get a burger before flying. It was then that I noticed we were surrounded by cumulus. You saw 'em along the east hills, down south toward Panoche, and even out by Fremont Peak. What a good looking summer day!

It was around this time that Lance convinced me to ride along in the back seat of 63JJ for a quick flight to the 2nd ridge to see if we could find anything. So I postponed my inaugural 1-34 flight and we launched a bit after 1:30pm.

Earlier I had noticed clouds cycling (appearing, growing, and vanishing) every 20 minutes or so over the hills. So there was sure to be some lift.

The plan was for Lance to fly the first 2,500 feet or so and then I'd fly for a bit to get used to the 21 back seat, having never flown it from the back yet. Well, the tow was very bumpy. There was strong thermals all around and they were higher than normal. No sign of the sea breeze yet. We did find some sink just past the first ridge, so we just stayed on tow (so as not repeat the mistake I made a few weeks ago).

Lance flew the whole tow to 6,000 while I snapped pictures. We released over the 2nd ridge and found lift quickly. Clouds marked lift well but there was really lift all over. We also spotted a couple other gliders in the area. Joyce and Jim were in 87R and Brett arrived in JH. We took turns either flying or watching for traffic. Gaggle flying is easier with two sets of eyes in the cockpit.

Several times the three of us ended up thermalling together before one of us would venture out. We followed Brett a few times, though he easily out climbed us. But I got some good pictures of 87R from above.

After playing under the clouds for a while, we decided to head down the valley. We were surprised to find a path that provided lift nearly the whole way. If I recall, it was 2-3 knots most of the time. So we flew the length of the valley a few times. We also experimented with flying straight under the larger clouds a few time. At one time I had us in 4-6 knot lift while flying straight at 60 knots! Good lift indeed!

We spent most of our flight above 6,000 feet. The cloud bases seemed to shift a few times. Sometimes they were at 6,500 or so. Other times they were a bit lower. Or max altitude was 6,300.

We heard the guys that flew south (Dr. Jack, Ramy, others) getting decent lift past Panoche. Some talked of going to Avenal and/or Black Mountain. Hopefully we'll hear more about their flights.

One thing I learned is that speed control while thermalling is much easier from the back seat of the ASK-21 than from the front.

At roughly 3:00pm it got a lot harder to find good lift. Later on, we'd find that the sea breeze had finally begun blowing. The clouds all vanished and the lift was weak and spotty. We flew around 5,000 for a bit and could have done that for a while, I suspect. But the glider was due back, so we headed back to the airport. There was a lot of sink over the foothills again, but once we hit the flat land near the airport there was a surprising amount of lift to be had--and it was higher than normal for a typical Summer day in Hollister.

Our total flight time was 1.7 hours.

Single Seat

After a break to snack and refill the water, I was convinced to take the 1-34 up. All the advice I got earlier in the day form Jim, Russell, Brett, and Miguel helped.

I had a nice headwind on takeoff (good, since I towed behind the Citabria). I had the stick a bit forward too long and a brief scrape of the skid told me what to do. I was in the air in no time, given how much lighter the 1-34 is than anything I'd previously flown.

The first couple thousand feet where challenging. The air was still quite bumpy and I had to get a feel for flying the ship for the first time. Over-ruddering, under-ruddering, rolling too much, etc. I got some unplanned slack line practice. Once we got over 3,000 feet things smoothed out quite a bit. I was able to stay behind Alan without trying.

I released at 4,200 and practiced turns, slow flight, speed control, and so on. Even though I was told before the flight, I was surprised at how little control force I needed to pitch the glider. And I was surprised by how little pitch I needed to increase or decrease my speed by 5-10 mph.

Once I got low enough to enter the pattern, I performed my checklist and got downwind for 24. I played a bit with the air brakes since I had some altitude to burn. I found that you need more forward stick to make up for the speed lost.

I turned final at 600 AGL and didn't need more than 1/3 brakes with the strong headwind. My touch down was good (I'm told) but it was too far from the turnoff. I didn't have nearly enough energy to roll all the way there (light ship, strong headwind), so I turned off the runway after I knew I could clear the lights. Luckily, there was more than enough help to push to the turnoff and park the glider. Thanks guys!

The 1-34 seems like fun ship to fly. As many told me, it's like a smaller, lighter 2-32. After another 2-3 flights I suspect I'll be a lot more comfortable in it. Having the first flight done though, I at least know what the expect on takeoff and tow. That's what I was most worried about. And I know to land farther down the runway next time!

See Also: The day's pictures.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:02 PM

August 22, 2003

Yahoo! Korea Blog Service Launched

Well, I can't read the language at all, but Yahoo! Korea launched its blog service this week.

Apparently blogs, message boards, avatars, and all stuff related to on-line communities are big--really, really big in Korea.

Mmm. Momentum. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:00 PM

August 21, 2003

Lies Google Tells Me

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Google seemed to think that one of my blog entries is the best match for the search "Schwarzenegger for governor"

In the comments, a crowd of people came to chide me for bashing Google. I suppose I deserve it, since I've complained about PageRank on more than one occasion.

But at that time, I missed the fact that Phillip Winn noticed that removing the word "for" from the query changes the results.

So let's look at this closely. The first screenshot on the right (click to enlarge) is from the first search on Google. Notice what I've circled in red using my high-tech crayon. For those who can't read it, it says:

"for" is a very common word and was not included in your search. [details]

You'd expect then, that removing "for" from the query should produce the same results. After all, Google is telling me in no uncertain terms that they're ignoring "for" in my query.


Try it yourself or look at the second screenshot no the right (click to enlarge). Notice that the result are different. Yes, I'm still in the results, but it's a different set of results with a different order to it. The number of documents matched is even different.

They're not ignoring the word "for" in my query. It clearly factors into the method they're using to produce those results.

This got me wondering what other lies Google tells? Have you run into any?

Posted by jzawodn at 11:51 AM

Contract Web Designer Needed (Bay Area)

I don't use my blog as a job board very often, but what the hell. If you know of a good web designer (someone who actually knows CSS and isn't afraid of dealing with a template-based content management systems) or if you are one and live in the Bay Area... please let me know.

A company that I do a lot of work with is looking for someone who can work on a contract basis to redesign several new and existing news and technology oriented web sites.

A good candidate will be local to the San Francisco Bay Area and have existing on-line work as well as references.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:20 AM

You know it's a busy day when...

You haven't even thought about touching your aggregator until after midnight.

Oh, well.

Better busy than bored, right?

Posted by jzawodn at 12:06 AM

August 20, 2003

RSS Discovery Sucks

After spending most of the day on the problem of "how to find the RSS feed (if there is one) given a URL" I've come to the conclusion that it's a pain in the ass.

I have a much better appreciation for the pain that aggregators developers have been thru. And that includes Feedster, Technorati, and others who have the same (or similar) problems.


Posted by jzawodn at 11:59 PM

August 19, 2003

Dumb things heard around the office...

If George Carlin visited Yahoo for a day, I bet he'd have a field day with the stuff I hear on a regular basis.


For example, there's a certain class of people who seem to believe that the only word they can use to begin a conversation is: So.

I'm not kidding you. They use the word to begin conversations and then at the beginning of every 2nd or 3rd sentence. It's like they're trying to fill some sort of bizarre quota. Given how little meaning the word has, it just bugs the hell out of me.

So, what are we going to do about these core dumps?
So, did you get that e-mail?
So, how's that module coming along?

So, why the hell do you say "so" all the time?

That's what I ought to ask next time I hear it.

It gets worse. Some of them are so horribly afflicted with this disease that they even use it as a way of breaking into a conversation--you know, because they're too rude to wait their damned turn to talk?

Sss... So... So... Sooo, what do you think of these numbers?

It actually sounds like they have a stuttering problem. I have to try not to laugh when I hear this. I hear it every day and it just sounds stupid.

Going where?

And then there are the people who say things like "What are we going to do, going forward?

As if it wasn't abundantly clear that we're planning to "go forward" anyway?

Where the hell else would we be going? Do we ever not go forward?

Did you see my e-mail?

Some people seem to have a deep-seated desire to verbally confirm every e-mail sent--often within seconds of sending it!.

So, I just sent you a message about...
Hey, did you get that e-mail I just sent?

What the hell? If the message is that damned important, just pick up the phone, use IM, or walk your lazy ass over to the other person's cube.

E-mail is not real-time. It never has been. Why do you assume that your messages and received and read within 20 seconds? Some people actually work.

What's your damage, anyway?

So, what sort of brain damage do you hear around the office (or wherever you work)?

Posted by jzawodn at 09:31 PM

Need a MySQL 4.0.14 Sparc Solaris 2.6 Binary?

Since I went to the effort of building one, I figure I might as well offer it here. MySQL AB no longer releases builds for 2.6 (who can blame them?), so here it is.

Use at your own risk.

Oh, it thinks it is installed in /opt/mysql4 but you're clever and can trick it with a symlink. It won't mind.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:01 AM

August 18, 2003

A glimpse into my twisted little mind...

Anyone who knows me realizes that I'm a little, uhm, different than most. Long-time blog readers are well aware of this fact too.

(Some of you are similarly messed up. Like those of you who clicked on all those individual links--just to see if there was any porn. Yeah, you.)

This is a little detective story that I didn't know was a detective story until I got to the end. It really started a a year or so ago...

Actually, this post is really about Chyler Leigh, but you don't know who she is. And I didn't either. Well, I did, but I didn't know it was her. Sort of.

You see, I'm a fan of the movie Not Another Teen Movie. If you're a fan of the 80s teen movie (and related spoofs) genre, I highly recommend it. Any movie with John Hughes High School in it gets my vote.

At John Hughes High School, the students are the same as just about every other teenager in a teen movie. The popular jock, Jake (Chris Evans), takes a bet from Austin, the cocky blonde guy (Eric Christian Olsen), that he can transform Janey, the pretty ugly girl (Chyler Leigh), into the prom queen before the prom. But two people are trying to stop Jake from succeeding: his evil sister, Catherine, the cruelest girl in school (Mia Kirshner), and Priscilla, the bitchy cheerleader (Jaime Pressly). And all of their friends are the same as any other teen movie: Areola, the naked foreign exchange student (Cerina Vincent), Les, the beautiful weirdo (Riley Smith), Malik, the token black guy (Deon Richmond), the desperate virgins (Cody McMains, Samm Levine, and Sam Huntington), Amanda Becker, the perfect girl (Lacey Chabert), Ricky, Janey's obsessed best friend (Eric Jungmann), and Sadie, the VERY old undercover reporter (Beverly Polcyn).

Anyway, one more than one occasion I've been watching the movie and thought to myself, "Damn, not only is Janey Briggs cute, I could swear I've seen her before." For those of you who don't remember (shame on you), Janey is the main female character.

I'd never been able to figure it out. I assumed that maybe she just looked a lot like a combination of two actresses (or even non-actresses) that I've seen before. It's possible. If you look at her just right, you can see a bit of JLH and someone else in there. Maybe. But who?

Well, earlier today I was replying to a note from fellow goon Andy in which he made a reference that reminded me of the movie. And I, of course, needed the URL. So I headed over to IMDB to find it, 'cause that's what geeks do.

While there, I thought to myself, "Hey, they have a roster of all the film stars. I should find out what her real name is.

It's Chyler Leigh.

I wonder what else she's been in.


(IMDB rocks.)


Ah! She was in Girl's Club, the 2002 David E. Kelley Drama that didn't last very long.

Yes, I watched it. So sue me. The basic premise was a three cute 20-something lawyers in San Francisco. How bad could it be?

Three young women, best friends and roommates, work at a prestigious, male-dominated law firm in San Francisco and deal with a variety of courtroom cases, legal depositions and other professional and personal matters.

Anyhoo, that's when it clicks. "Oh, yeah! That's right. I remember watching that show and thinking, 'Damn, she reminds me of of JLH.'"

Now I know, thanks to the Internet.

And so do you.

But the strange thing is that I also remember thinking I saw her in something before Girls' Club. But nothing on her filmography is anything I'd have seen.

Then I remembered that it might have been JLH's co-star in her flop Party of Five spin-off, Time of Your Life. Ah, Jennifer Garner. Nope, not her either.

Now, those playing along at home will realize that Lacey Chabert was in Party of Five as the young Claudia Salinger. And she's also in Not Another Teen Movie as Amanda Becker.

Funny little coincidence, huh?

It took me about 30 minutes after she appeared in the movie to figure it out, 'cause she was a bit older than in Party of Five.

Anyway, back to Chyler...

In case you're disappointed that IMDB doesn't have any pictures of her (you know, so you could have an idea who I'm talking about--since you've never seen the movie or the TV show), never fear. If you search Google for Chyler Leigh you'll find several fan sites with pictures. Some are a bit more revealing than others. I shouldn't have been but I was surprised.

There. I told you I was different. Not only did I actually think and do this, I took 10 times as much time to also write about it and include pictures.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog posts...

Or maybe I'll figure out how Kevin Bacon fits into all of this...

Posted by jzawodn at 11:21 PM

Damn, I'm Patient

And I'll prove it.

I'm building MySQL 4.0.14 on an old Sun box.

How old?

It's a Sparc 20 with two blazing fast 75MHz CPUs!

SunOS Release 5.6 Version Generic_105181-23 [UNIX(R) System V Release 4.0]
Copyright (c) 1983-1997, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
pac: enabled - SuperSPARC/SuperCache
cpu0: TI,TMS390Z55 (mid 8 impl 0x0 ver 0xc clock 75 MHz)
cpu1: TI,TMS390Z55 (mid 10 impl 0x0 ver 0xc clock 75 MHz)
mem = 393216K (0x18000000)
avail mem = 389087232

I'll let you know when it's done, next week.

At least it's not short on memory... Imagine swapping too.

Update: Wow, it only took 2.5 hours. Well, it was a lot closer to 3 if you count ./configure time too.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:38 PM

Another Amazon Patent

Hey, the Europeans may be as dumb as the Americans when it comes to granting patents.

The European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich has recently granted a patent to Amazon which covers all computerised methods of automatically delivering a gift to a third party. This patent is a descendant of the famous "Amazon One Click Patent" granted in the USA, but with a broader claim scope than the original US version.

Read the rest of it.

Yeah. There's no prior art for giving gifts electronically, right?

I have a lot of respect for Amazon. I know good people at Amazon. I shop there more often than Yahoo! Shopping. But, damn, sometimes I really wonder.

Thanks to Justin for the link.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:30 PM


Dylan Tweney thinks the dot-bomb should be called the telebomb:

When I asked executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas about this earlier this year, they told me that ten times as many people lost jobs in the telecom sector as had been laid off in the Internet/dot com sector. In other words, the years 2001-2002 were the telebomb, not dot-bomb.

Yup. They blew a ton of cash during the boom.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:46 PM

Media Getting on Your Nerves

You're not alone. Karl's pissed too:

Who fucking cares why the power went down? Just fix it.
Everyone is suddenly a fucking engineer. Graphics displays suddenly pop up on every channel giving crash courses on how the power system really works. Democrats pointing at Bush; Bush pointing at a toasted cheese sandwich.

I love Karl. He reminds me of Brandt in his late college years.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:17 PM

August 17, 2003

FreeBSD Filesystem ACLs

There's a nice summary and brief tutorial on O'Reilly Net that discusses FreeBSD 5.x Filesystem ACLs.

Access Control Lists (ACLs) solve these problems. They allow more flexibility than the standard Unix user/group/other set of permissions. ACLs have been available in commercial UNIXes such as IRIX and Solaris (and in Windows NT) for years. Now, thanks to the TrustedBSD project's work, ACLs are available in FreeBSD 5.0-RELEASE and beyond. Much of the information below applies, at least in part, to ACL implementations on other platforms; however, you will want to look at specific documentation to avoid being tripped up by differences in syntax. There shouldn't be many, as FreeBSD attempts to conform to the latest POSIX.1e draft.

Cool stuff. Check it out.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:11 PM

Dating Class

Derek says:

There ought to be a class for people who positively suck at talking to members of the opposite sex.

And then continues with:

I mean, let's presume for the moment that you were not the sort of person to pick up that social skill-set during high-school. Where exactly are you going to learn it in today's society?
First impressions, especially on the topic of romance, are so terribly crucial, and if you screw it up, it doesn't matter how much chemistry you and the other person might have had if given the chance, it'll all be for naught because the first impression will have already been blown.

(See also: I Need To Think Like A Single Guy and Quantifying Derek's Lameness.)

And then goes on to discuss the problem of today's "dating scene," including the lack of any good feedback when you're rejected.

I certainly feel the pain. Or at least I used to. A long time ago I mostly gave up and decided that anyone really worth spending my life with wouldn't be the sort of person who's gonna blow me off after 20 seconds of conversation.

The fact is, every significant dating relationship I've had (or could have had) involved first becoming pretty good friends with the person before real dating kicked in (or would have kicked in--but that's another story).

So that's my recipe, for better or worse. I don't really go to bars or parties or participate in the stereotypical "dating scene." Remember, I'm a geek. I have an aversion to big groups unless I'm standing in front with a microphone. I'd rather stay at home and read something. Or go to a movie with some friends. I really don't need all the fake pressures, expectations, and other bullshit that goes with the dating scene. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm a little surprised at how many people do put up with it.

Maybe that's why and Yahoo! Personals are making so much money? Enough other people are sick of it too.

Of course, living in Silicon Valley and hanging out at the gliderport aren't the most fruitful ways to meet single women. But that's life. I knew that (on some level) going into this. And that's fine, 'cause I'm really not in a hurry. I have no deadlines to meet.

Come to think of it, I've really never understood the folks who are in such a hurry to find and hook up with their soulmate. Not to pick on women, but I knew several in college who were in college to "get an Mrs degree" rather than to learn the advanced skills and concepts required to get a nice job. That's all well and good, 'cause people are free to do what they want. But it always struck me as a little... I don't know, dirty maybe? Misleading?

Amusingly, none of them are married yet, but most of my other college friends are. Trying too hard, maybe? I don't know.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:33 PM

Debian Stable Backport Packages

Ever wanted to run packages from testing or even unstable on your stable Debian servers? Adrian Bunk's backport collection does the trick. Add this to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb woody/bunk-1 main contrib non-free

And you'll be good to go. New kernel. New SpamAssassin. Lots of new stuff. And no odd dependencies and hassles to deal with.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:19 PM

August 15, 2003

Blog Stuff

I've realized two things recently:

  1. I'm bored of roughly 90% of the blogs that I "read"
  2. I enjoy life more when I tried to avoid computers on the weekend.


  1. I'm going to either read fewer blogs or find some new blogs to read. Any suggestions?
  2. I'm no longer blogging on the weekend. Heck, I'm generally trying to avoid the computer on the weekend. I'd rather spend the time outside or reading or... whatever. Yeah, there's the issue of the book. It's the main exception right now. Most of it happens only on the weekends. And if something really blog-worthy happens, I won't wait until Monday.

Oh, and I have an experiment I want to try on my blog. More on that soon--Monday, I guess.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:37 PM

Panoche Checkout Part #2

I'm posting this a bit late but wanted to summarize the second Panoche Checkout experience. So it's not as detailed as last time.

On Friday the 15th, I met Lance and Darren at HGC around noon. I, again, flew in the BASA Grob with Johnathon Hughes while Lance flew with Brett in 9KS and Darren flew with Russell in 63JJ.

The BLIPMAP looked better than last time but not much better.

We launched around 1pm to find that the lift in Panoche was weak and hard to find. The thermals were small and difficult. I tried to focus more on my speed control while thermalling this time around. I was better but still need practice.

I managed to find a thermal or two at first. Eventually I lost 'em and we started to get low. I headed toward the strip and then Johnathon took the controls to aggressively work a difficult thermal. I learned a lot just following him on the controls. He even commented that it was a hard thermal and that the conditions were some of the worst he'd seen at Panoche.

Johnathon got us back up around 4,000 feet, so I went of in search of more lift. We didn't find much heading south and started to get low, so we headed toward the field once again. Johnathon flew for a bit but couldn't find anything. We were low, so I took the controls to get us on the ground. I was a bit high on final, but slipped the altitude off and landed okay.

We hung out of a bit and let Russell and Darren launch a few times. The first was a rope break and the second was a real tow. I took advantage of the time to take some pictures of the launches.

We then launched and got into the thermal right over the airport, joining Lance and Brett in 9KS. We eventually out climbed them and headed off to look for lift elsewhere--unsuccessfully. This flight didn't last too long, so we landed and took another break. After parking the glider, we wandered over to the bar to get cold drinks and a couple of T-shirts.

The others came into land and we begun the process of towing toward the release point on the way to Hollister. On the way back, Johnathon asked Alan to level off at 7,500 feed so we could practice slack line recovery in straight and level fight. It wasn't bad. Recovery took a lot longer, but I only needed to use gentle control inputs to let it out.

Once again, Johnathon was great to fly with. He has a lot of Panoche and XC experience and is able to put up with my less than stellar thermalling techniques.

See Also: Brett's description of the day and my e-mail comments.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:22 PM

What happened to Yahoo's Millionaires?

Forbes has a brief story on Yahoo! Finance called Purple People in which they track down a few of the millionaires created by acquisitions at Yahoo during the boom.

Forbes tracked down 25 individual sellers in the Yahoo deals and found that every one of them is at work on something new and vital, a few of them on several projects at once. Only five still work at Yahoo. Ten are entrepreneurs. Four are angel investors or venture capitalists, and two others are weighing new chief executive jobs. The rest are teaching, writing or consulting. Sure, for many their workdays are shorter than they used to be, but entrepreneurial drive is tough to quash.

Ahh, the boom.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:54 AM

August 14, 2003

Can it, dude.

Someone at work had a Really Dumb Idea[tm] and I was gonna write about it. But I found that JR did a good job of that already, so go read his comments.

Yes, apparently it was someones hyperactive brainchild to draw attention to the need for all us happy employees to recycle. Mind you, these are the same employees that stuff their Hummers into compact spots, litter the bathroom floor with print-outs from, leave piles of dirty dishes beneath "Don't leave your freaking dishes here you moron!" signs.


A day in the life of a Yahoo.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:09 PM

Do they really work?

We've all seen the ads. And we've all wondered if they really do work. But few of us ever try them. Even fewer document their experience on a weblog.

That's right, we're talking about Penis Enlargement Pills.

Over on Do Penis Enlargement Pills Work? you can follow one man's experience, starting from day #1 when he took the baseline measurements.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:23 PM

Shutting Down

I expect the power outage to catch up with this machine shortly. The UPS will only last so long. So I'm gonna shut down and let someone power it back up when this is over.

That's twice in the last month.

See Also: Downtime

Posted by jzawodn at 02:32 PM

Happy Birthday Kasia

Everyone head over to her blog and leave a birthday comment in one of her entries. I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Just try not to spam her referer logs along the way.

No, I won't tell you how old she is now. That's her job. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 08:34 AM

MovableType for Site Management

Over the past few months I've been reading more and more comments about how great MovableType is for managing stuff other than strictly weblogs. It's Perl, it's flexibly, it's hackable, etc. Spend a few minutes on Feedster and I'm sure you'll see some of it.

I believe it all. I'm a big MT fan. In fact, I'm helping someone launch some new MT-based sites soon.

But I hadn't seen much in the way of "here's one cool hack/thing you can do..." that helps to demonstrate the fact. Head over to Dylan Tweney's weblog. In his Movable Type blogroll he explains a simple trick he uses to let MT help manage his blogroll.

Dylan's a very smart guy. You should be reading his stuff if you're not already. And I'm not just saying that because I'm on his blogroll!

Posted by jzawodn at 12:08 AM

August 13, 2003

Just for the record...


  • You are foolish enough to attempt parking in San Francisco on a Saturday afternoon
  • You park sloppily, such that your car is blocking 4 inches of someone's driveway
  • They call the police to complain
  • The police come and find your car there


  • They fine you $75 for the trouble

This concludes tonight's Public Service Announcement. The check is in the mail.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:49 PM

Intel withdraws sponsorship of SCO trade show

From Bruce Perens:

For the past several months, Intel had been listed as "Gold Sponsor" of "SCO Forum 2003", SCO's Las Vegas trade show. Now, Intel appears to have quietly withdrawn its support for the show. SCO's web site, at , has replaced Intel with CRN as "Gold Sponsor. Press organizations like CRN generally don't have big bucks on hand for trade show sponsorship, and I surmise that they are listed there only as a place-holder to prevent embarassment for SCO.
HP is still listed as "Premier Sponsor" of the SCO event, despite criticism from just about everyone associated with Linux and Open Source.


Posted by jzawodn at 02:59 PM

These are not the droids you're looking for...

Move along.

(...waves hand...)

Posted by jzawodn at 01:50 PM

August 12, 2003

That Annoying E-Mail Your Family Sends

Over on a Word Soup, Karl rants about that stupid e-mail. You know, the meaningless time wasting crap that some of my friends and family seem all to happy to send me.

No, asshat. Playing with lesbians in jello is fun. What you sent me is fun if you're a slightly retarded third grader so pumped with Ritalin his eyes look like storm clouds. You might as well have sent me a "Hello Kitty" screensaver for all the difference I can see.....
I understand you're amused. Good job. But know your target audience. We've spent billions on fiber optic network infrastructure and you, with the intellectual capacity of a pine cone, use it to perform the electronic equivalent of a fart joke. Well established. But please; don't e-mail me anymore.

Go read the whole thing. It's classic.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:48 PM

So Tired

Don't know why.

So I'm being unproductive.

This sucks.

Grr. I have much to do.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:15 PM

August 11, 2003

Trying KDE for a while...

For reasons of laziness, I've switched to using Debian's default KDE setup on my Linux box at work. (I'm still using the custom-designed FVWM2 setup at home.)

You know what? I like it. By and large it doesn't feel like it's getting in my way at all. And that's not what I expected. There are a few things I adjusted (mouse focus issue--I can't stand click-to-focus). And there's one annoyance. Every time I highlight something URL-like, to put it into the X clipboard, this stupid little applet thing pops up and tries to "help" me decide what to do with it.

Anyone know what it is and how to disable it?

And for some reason it seems to ignore part of my ~/.Xdefaults. I haven't quite sorted that out yet.

Other than that, I'm sorta liking this. It's a bit more pretty than my dull-ass FVWM2 setup. And it's not sucking on my productivity at all.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:45 PM

Talk Directly to the Unix Yahoo! Messenger Team

The search group isn't the only one with a public forum. If you're a user of Y! Messenger on Unix, you can talk directly to the engineers who build the software in the ymessenger group:

This Yahoo! group is dedicated to enabling users to interact with the development of the Unix version of Yahoo! Messenger. The scope of this list involves but is not limited to:
* Beta Releases
* Feature requests
* User problems and solutions

Not only that, but one of the engineers now has a public web site where you can get more information, downloads, and more. There are RPMs (Debian packages coming soonish) of the 1.0 client available there.

Check it out.

And be on the lookout for new of more Yahoo! groups who are using Yahoo! Groups to talk more directly with our users.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:17 AM

Bay Area Traffic

Phil experiences Bay Area traffic and notes:

Traversing a few miles of I-80 here (the Bay Bridge) took 2 hours, longer than flying over the entire stretch of I-80 that traverses Utah (from Wyoming to Nevada). No accidents; just a normal flow Sunday around noon.

When people used to ask me if I liked living in the Bay Area, I always said: "I love it, except for two things... The traffic and the cost of housing (not living)." Traffic isn't nearly as bad as it used to be in 1999 and 2000. You really can tell that a of of people moved away and/or are not working. The morning commute is much easier.

There still are times and places when it's still quite bad. I experienced the Hell that is I-880 near Berkeley yesterday evening. And I don't see that really changing unless something dramatic changes--like getting much better public transit around the Bay Area. Yeah, getting to and from San Francisco isn't bad, but there are a lot of other places that public transit really doesn't serve too well.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:01 AM

Andrei is a Yahoo

Yup, we've got a new PHP Hacker working at Yahoo now. Welcome, Andrei.

I hadn't realized that he started already. I walked over to Brian's cube a few days ago to ask him a question, knocked on the wall (there's no door, of course), and Andrei turned around. I wasn't quite paying attention yet and said something like "Hey, you're not Brian." And then realized that I knew Andrei was starting soon, so they must be sharing a cube for now.

It's funny when stuff like that happens.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:03 AM

August 08, 2003


Something odd happened. While at work I was editing a file on one of my home computers when the connection suddenly stopped responding. So I did some checking and found that both my cable and DSL connections died at 6:40pm--at least that's what my monitoring told me.

Figuring that could only mean a few things, all of them bad, I took that as my signal to head home. So I did.

As, I was driving home this evening and for the second time this week I ran into horrible traffic on Lawrence Expressway. The first time was Tuesday morning. As I got closer to home (which took forever), I realized two things. First, I was not going to be able to reach the grocery store before they closed. Second, I noticed that traffic lights were out. Apparently there was a big power outage and the radio station I was listening to didn't inform me of this. They're usually quite good about such things.

When I tried to turn onto my street from Lawrence I noticed that I couldn't. There was a very smashed up car, a fire truck, and three police cars in the way. Ah! The power outage was caused by some moron running into the pole at the end of my street.


So I took the long way. I spent some time throwing out junk mail, cleaning up, and making sure I knew where the candles were. Then I decided to walk to the functioning ATM (the power was fine on the south side of Homestead Ave, but the north side was dead) to deposit several checks that I've been meaning to do something with.

Heading home from there, I noticed that power had been restored. Yeay! No spoiled food in the fridge.

I grabbed a drink of water and some yogurt and prepared to work on some stuff while a movie played as background noise. Except that 5 minutes into this little exercise, the power died again. It's still off. And it's quite dark outside, since it's 9pm.

With several candles lit and little else to do, I figured I'd write a blog entry while I still have some battery life in the laptop.

It's times like this that I wonder why the big power transformers sit on the busy road rather than a side street where they're far less prone to being attached by rouge vehicles.

Of course, I know why. But that won't make my lights come on any sooner.


Update: At 9:30pm I got power back. But it seems that everything across the street is still dark. Hmm.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:33 PM

August 07, 2003

Talk Directly to the Yahoo! Search Team

Ever wanted to talk directly to the Yahoo! Search team in an open forum? Well, now you can.

The Yahoo! Search Users Group is open to anyone and is designed to give Yahoo! Search users a forum to exchange ideas with each other and with the Yahoo! Search team in an open group format. The Search Product Team plans to link to this group Web site from our help pages, as well as from several other potential locations on the Yahoo! Search site. The intention is to use this group as a catalyst to stimulate discussion and user interest around Yahoo! Search.

Go ahead. Sign up.

Oh, BTW... How many other big web companies do this?

Yeah, that's what I thought...

Posted by jzawodn at 11:57 PM

August 06, 2003

PageRank: still broken

A friend just pinged me on messenger to let me know that if you search Google for "Schwarzenegger for governor" you get an entry form my blog as the first result. (See screen shot on the right and click for full image.)

I wonder how long that will last.

Maybe I should sell some ads on that page in a hurry? :-)

See Also: PageRank is Dead, Salon on The Google Backlash, and Whoring your PageRank

If this keeps up, I'm starting a Google category in my blog.

Update: Phil has some interesting thoughts on this too--beyond what you see in the comments below.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:47 PM

What is that smell?

It's blowing in from the front window. It smells like burnt rubber stew or something.

It's so nasty. And distracting.

And my new neightbors with the loud kids are making a hell of a lot of noise too.


I should reply to that condo for rent posting at work. It sounded much nicer than my place, it's closer to work, and the rent is cheaper.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:25 PM

Google News Alerts

Launched today on Google Labs is Google News Alerts.

Google News Alerts are sent by email when news articles appear online that match the topics you specify. Some handy uses of Google News Alerts include:
  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

Too bad it doesn't search blogs too, huh?

Of course, we've had alerts on Yahoo! for ages.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:29 AM

August 05, 2003

MySQL's MaxDB (formerly SAP DB)

The MySQL/SAP alliance is starting to take shape. The press release and Kaj's mailing list announcement explain more, saying things like:

First, the main consequence of the SAP partnership is the same as when we announced it in the first place: you'll see the development of MySQL speed up further. The SAP partnership provides MySQL AB with resources that enables us to develop new features faster.
Second, if you need features which MySQL still lacks, we suggest that you take a look at MaxDB. You'll probably find them there. MySQL AB will offer databases that meet a wide range of application needs, whether you like your database fast, stable and easy to use (as in MySQL), or whether you like it enterprise-grade and feature-packed (as in MaxDB).
Third, it will now be easier for you to obtain approval from your management and customers to use MySQL in mission-critical projects. SAP is trusting MySQL AB with their database needs, so why shouldn't everyone?

Here's some of the really cool stuff:

MaxDB 7.5 will be able to communicate using the MySQL protocol, which means that you can use the MySQL clients on it. A primary goal is to be able to easily mysqldump data from MaxDB and pipe it into a mysql client as input to MySQL -- as well as to mysqldump data from MySQL and pipe it into a mysql client as input to MaxDB.
MaxDB 7.5 also aims at supporting MySQL replication. You can then use MaxDB either as a master or as a slave to MySQL, by hooking it onto the MySQL replication mechanism.

Interesting times, eh?

Posted by jzawodn at 01:55 PM

To rate or not to rate?

Every time I send DVDs back to Netflix (which is a great service, BTW), they e-mail me to say something like "We've received $some_movie, rate it today!" They're trying to get me to rate it so that they can better recommend movies in the future.

This isn't new. Amazon has been using customer product ratings and purchase behavior for a long time, and they're done quite a good job at at. The rating takes me about 10 seconds. But for some reason I can't seem to bring myself to bother rating Netflix movies. And I'm not really sure why.

I guess I feel like it really won't matter. I rarely browse Netflix in the way that I do on Amazon. When I go to Netflix, I usually know what I'm looking for.

Am I the only one? Do my fellow Netflix subscribers actually rate all their flix?

It's interesting to note that I only fill out the Yahoo! Shopping merchant ratings about half the time too, but for different reasons. I have a half-written "Why I shop on Amazon instead of Yahoo" entry that I haven't managed to finish yet. But hey, it's only been 2 months. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 01:36 PM

After the Dentist...

Whenever I come back from a dental cleaning (like this morning), I always feel guilty about eating anything sweet for the rest of the day. And if I do manage to eat something "bad" I must immediately brush my teeth.

Seriously. It's some sort of short-term obsessive compulsive sort of thing.

It's too bad this doesn't last more than one day. And it's really too bad it never kicked in when I was younger. It would have saved countless dental procedures and lots of insurance money over the years.

On the plus side, I've been taking much much better care of my teeth in the last 4 years. I really should have listened to my grandparent's advice about not taking my teeth for granted, because when they're gone they're gone. You only get one set.

Anyway, don't mess around with your teeth.

Floss. Get an electric toothbrush. Use fluoride rinse. Repeat.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:09 AM


You see the little red stuff below Toledo, Ohio in the radar image to the right (click to zoom)?

Looks nasty, huh?

It was nasty enough to knock my servers off-line--well, the ones in Ohio, at least. There's a minor problem with a dead UPS that's being replaced. One of them came ( back up just fine. The other one (, which one that hosts my domains, email, cvs, and whatnot, did not.

And I blame Murphy. You see, this had to happen just an hour after I announced a new mytop release on my blog, freshmeat, the mailing list, and so on. Now nobody can get it.


The good news is that friends machine backs up family. It has copies of all the data, config files, etc. The backup stuff (rsync) runs every 3 hours, so I knew I hadn't lost much. Three hours at most. But I did face a dilemma. Do I got thru the process of configuring everything on friends and getting it running? Or wait until the next morning when someone will be on-site to check it out?

I had no idea how long that process might take, so I decided to wait. And I was sorta thinking that family was just being dumb. Maybe it wasn't configured to auto-restart when the power comes back on. I know that friends is (obviously) configured right and that litterbox (my west coast machine) is too. But I suspected that family was not. Either that, or something went wrong with lilo or the boot-time fsck of the root filesystem (the only one that's not a journaling filesystem).

So I wanted until this morning to get someone hands on. And it turns out that I was right.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:16 AM

August 04, 2003

mytop 1.4 is released

After a long period of not integrating patches, I've released the newest version of mytop.

mytop is a console-based (non-gui) tool for monitoring the threads and overall performance of MySQL 3.22.x, 3.23.x, and 4.x servers. It runs on most Unix systems (including Mac OS X) which have Perl, DBI, and Term::ReadKey installed. And with Term::ANSIColor installed you even get color. If you install Time::HiRes, you'll get good real-time queries/second stats.

Version 1.4 contains several new features, including a revamped display at the top of the screen. See the Changes file for a details about what's new.

Give it a whirl and let me know of bugs or feature requests. To discuss, hop on the mailing list.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:45 AM

August 03, 2003

Why I replaced XP with Win2k on my Notebook

No, I haven't gone to the dark side. You see, I have more than one ThinkPad. Three to be exact. And a TiBook. But that's not the point. And it's a long story, so don't ask.

One ThinkPad runs Windows. That's it's job. It came with XP but I was fed up with it a long time ago. I wasted a long time replacing it with Win2k. It now runs semi-well--not that I use it that often. Maybe that'll help extend its half-life.

What half-life? I'll let Mark explain what the half-life is about and how much fun he had with Windows XP.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:11 PM


I've recently become reacquainted with the benefits (to my personal sanity) of occasional naps. Like from 6-8pm (or so) on weekends.

Too bad I can't fit a small bed or couch into my cube at work.

There are some really comfortable couches in the nearby breakroom.


Posted by jzawodn at 10:01 PM

My Blog Images Broken in NNW?

Someone reported an odd problem. Apparently using NNW, images from my blog aren't showing up in my RSS 2.0 full-post feed. I've looked at the XML and HTML and it looks kosher to me.

Anyone else seen this problem and know what's up? I'm happy to fix it if I know what to fix.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:36 PM

Interesting Tidbits

Here's some stuff of interest I've run across recently:

Posted by jzawodn at 06:38 PM

August 02, 2003

Netflix Night

While hacking on some code tonight, I decided to use a couple of movies as background noise. It just so happens that I had Slackers and Can't Hardly Wait sitting here.

I hadn't seen either one before. And you know what? I now know why I pass on 'em when they were in the theater. They aren't worth more than a few bucks or the time to watch them. But if you happen to be doing something else at the same time, they're decent filler material.

Well, at least one of them has some JLH. There's nothing wrong with that.

After reading the user reviews, I can't wait to see American Wedding.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:42 PM

August 01, 2003

Coding Again

I spent more than 50% of today coding to get the next release of mytop ready. Integrating patches, fixing bugs, updating docs, etc.

You know what?

It was good. It's been too long since I had more than 20 minutes of time to actually deal with code rather than e-mail, meetings, or writing various documents (or thinking about what to write in them).

The new mytop will be out in a few days. I've asked some folks to try it out first.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:29 PM

O'Reilly Blog RSS Suckage

Anyone know who runs the RSS feeds for the O'Reilly blogs?

They're all broken in a very important way. Take for example, Tim O'Reilly's weblog. The RSS URL is a gnarly one:'Reilly/&sw=dc_creator&_fl=rss10&t=1ALL.

No big deal, right? I only need to put it in my aggregator once. The trouble is that no matter which of the O'Reilly weblog feeds you subscribe to, they all have the exact same title in the XML:

  <channel rdf:about="">
    <title>Meerkat: An Open Wire Service</title>

Yup. Every one of them says "Meerkat: An Open Wire Service" in my aggregator. That makes it really hard to subscribe to more than one O'Reilly weblogger's feed.

I guess I can't compalin too much. After all, they finally added the orange XML buttons to each author's blog. But still. This really seems like a no-brainer. Does nobody at O'Reilly subscribe to their co-{author,worker}'s blogs?

Posted by jzawodn at 06:01 PM

How to spend a Wednesday

You could practice landing a glider in a field, like I did (pictures).

Or you could sit at your desk and stare at that computer screen, just like you do every day.

I'll let you in on a secret. Flying into fields is more fun--especially when there's an instructor in the back seat to make sure you don't do anything stupid.

It's even more fun when it opens up a new door in your flying--one that means better summer soaring conditions and more interesting soaring sites.

But don't take my word for it. Find your local SSA affiliated soaring club and see for yourself.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:57 PM

When did "creative" become a noun?

Someone says, "Hey, have a look at the new creative for our site!" and I can't help but to think how stupid that sounds. Creative what?

Do we really need yet another word to describe a creation? Aren't words like logo, advertisement, design, layout, or presentation sufficient and less vague at the same time?

As if the word "creative" hasn't already been abused to the point of being totally meaningless: "Hey, look what Bob did. That's very creative!"

Yo, moron. Odds are good that you mean "original" there. Any time someone creates something, it is by definition a creative exercise. So you're stating the obvious. As for it being "very creative", how do you judge that exactly?

Damned language. It keeps "evolving" in stupid ways.

(No. I have no idea why this bothers me. But it does, in a "my Internet is down" sort of way.)

Ahhh. It feels good to have that out of my system.

Flame away if you're bored. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 03:49 PM