Archive for May, 2003

Don’t forget your power cord

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

When you go out of town, remember your laptop’s power adapter before you are a few hundred miles away. D’oh. If I’m lucky I might be able to pick up an extra here in town for $100 or so — tomorrow (again, if I am lucky). Sigh.

Update: As of 9:00 Monday morning (the very minute the store opened), I have two power cords for my laptop. It was $79.00 + tax, which ended up being around $84. Woo-hoo. (:

In Savannah

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

I made it to Savannah, safe and sound. Along the way, I endured a massive storm… there was lightning on all sides and the rain was pouring down so hard that I could barely see the road. Everyone on the road had to slow down to crawl. At one point, it was coming down so hard that I thought my windows were all going to crack and shatter. It may have been hail.

I had to dodge the obsessively large SUVs and giant big-rigs attempting to take my lane by force, brave it through the constant downpour of a forboding lightning storm, stay away from the wacky strangers in the rest areas, navigate through the stunt courses of constant construction zones, wait it out through tailgating traffic (caused by the massive monsoon-like gushing of water falling fast) — despite all the obstacles, I made it to Savannah in one piece. (:

It’ll be fun here, hanging out with my family and visiting with some of my friends in the area. I’ll take pictures too.

The death of Internet Explorer?

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

It seems as though Microsoft has decreed Internet Explorer, the de facto web browser for Windows, dead (at least feature-wise and as an installable browser) at this point in time. Straight from the horse’s mouth, they declare the following (in a Q & A session):

Q: when will IE get transparent PNG support?

A: Ian, I’m sorry, I can’t answer that question for you

Q: when / will there be the next version of IE?

A: As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation.

Q: What’s the long-term outlook for IE as a development platform? Are there major limitations planned for future releases (such as in Longhorn) due to security reasons? I know that this is a concern to many developers that rely on IE technology.

A: Security continues to be a top priority. The platform will change for longhorn but you can expect the client, where folks need to browse, to not be as restrictive as the server. I encourage folks to get involved in our beta program to help us evolve the platform

Q: Why is this? the anti-trust? (no further standalone)

A: Although this is off topic, I will answer briefly: Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS.

Sorry. Having to update the operating system is complete and utter hogwash. Mozilla takes advantage of PNG transparency, has nice rendering and proper CSS support, tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, renders pages quicker, and is open source — and it does it on multiple versions of Windows (taking advantage of what it can, like in XP, it uses the native theme infrastructure). In addition to Windows, Mozilla even does what it does on multiple, non-Windows operating systems!

Listed directly above is just a few of the big features. There’s a more exhaustive list of several other reasons why Mozilla is better available.

Anyway, according to the project manager of the Internet Explorer project at Microsoft, it seems as though their browser is grandfathered. It will not get any updates unless they deem it necessary (mostly security "enhancements", something that it seems to take them a while to fix…)

We can hope that hardware vendors, ISPs, and others relying on Internet Explorer take this into consideration. I’m sure Internet-related companies outside of Microsoft want the best experience for people browsing the web. Eventually, some of them may hopefully start shipping alternative browsers on the desktop, such as Mozilla or even Opera. AOL has already embedded Mozilla in their AOL for OS X and Compuserve clients. (Of course, I’m not sure how yesterday’s AOL and Microsoft announcement factors into all of this…)

Anyway, it’s sad to see that Microsoft does not seem to support real innovation, especially in something as neat (and important) as the Internet.

With a company so large and a product so important, you would think that there would be more emphasis placed on the browser so that it supports even the basic standards that have been around for years (PNG, CSS 1 & 2, etc.). Mozilla, Konqueror, Safari, and Opera all support this basic featureset all extraordinay well.

If Microsoft’s stated position on the subject (from the Q & A session linked above) is accurate, then they are really doing a disservice to not only their users but to the world wide Internet community as well.

(Thanks to Kevin for pointing out the link.)

Red Hat soccer shirts

Saturday, May 31st, 2003

Last night, I took a picture of my Red Hat soccer shirt. I designed the uniform in the style of a classic football crest (the rest of the world knows "soccer" as "football", and the probably measure the field using metric instead of the imperial system, too).

Check out the photograph of our new official soccer uniform.

Cingular security hole

Friday, May 30th, 2003

A Cingular security hole was found. Basically, anyone could have had access to any customer’s records. Partly at fault was lock\line, a company whose motto is "Get Security You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Have".

I am a Cingular customer. D’oh.

It makes you wonder how "secure" any given company might be.

Gnome 2.x on OS X

Friday, May 30th, 2003

The Fink people are finally starting to work on Gnome 2.x for OS X. Check out the screenshot which happens to feature Bluecurve (the theme family and icon set I made for Red Hat).

“Bruce Almighty” phone number coincidences

Friday, May 30th, 2003

In the movie "Bruce Almighty", Jim Carrey’s character supposedly has a phone number which, when called, reaches God. A lot of people remembered the number and decided to call it. The number is not a 555-**** number; it actually works in around 30 places within the United States. According to the article linked above, in North Carolina it is a direct number to a church whose minister is actually named "Bruce". Also, in Georgia, it is a reverand’s home phone number.

Pretty funny. (: