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The Writings on the Stall

Sunday, 2004-01-25

backing up mt

My first scare with Movable Type (MT) data loss resulted in severe paranoia. What happened if I lost my blog, a collection of thoughts important enough to preserve? I immediately began searching for some peace of mind. And the easiest avenue possible to that end.

A solution was at hand. Through the help of others in the MT Support Forum, I was able to create a template which automates the backup of this blog.

Here's the file I'm currently using for the process. It'll remain current to MT advances as long as I continue to use the publishing system. If you're looking to pull the current export format yourself, start at line 2970 in /lib/MT/App/ and end at the dashes preceding "TEXT".

Saturday, 2004-01-24

crash of '04

Last nite, my laptop attempted suicide by jumping from a couch armrest. Luckily, it didn't entirely succeed. Other than the LCD being shot and some damage to the chasis, all seems to be well. If you're asking how, I'm typing on its keyboard and video output is to Gemma's monitor, not mine.

After all this mess — and the hard realization that I'll have to spend more than a cool thou to get portibility back — I've decided to get an Apple iBook. And join the Cult of Mac.

Tuesday, 2004-01-20


Now back to where we once were: seeking a Convergent Media degree in The College of Communication. Which'll save me the trouble of editing my about page.

Saturday, 2004-01-17

this smells like grandma's

Today I went to the Austin City-Wide Garage Sale. Considering the expectations I'd built up of what would be found (gold of course) I ended up only finding myself disappointed.

Nevertheless, there were highlights. Right after walking into the Palmer Events Center, I saw a guy wearing an "I'm blogging this." T-Shirt. Of course I gave it recognition, asked where he bought it — O'Reilly — and walked off.

Ironic, really, as I'm buying the shirt and blogging about it.

Thursday, 2004-01-15

bad ferret

Those close know that the ferret is a favorite animal of mine (alongside dogs and flying squirrels, obvs). But it's ferrets, like the one below, that give their species — Mustela putorius furo — a bad name.

A busy Ben Stiller is exceedingly happy that 'Polly' came along
Angela Dawson, Entertainment News Wire

[Angela Dawson]. Tell me about this ferret incident. What happened?

[Ben Stiller]. I didn't do anything, I swear. It was really weird, because we were doing this final scene where I come running after her, and I'm holding the ferret, and I also had just gotten a root canal the day before. And so maybe he sensed that or something. I was holding him up and he did this crazy-like turn-around thing and literally attached himself to my chin and didn't let go. It was surreal. I didn't provoke him at all.

All good, though. When I read "crazy-like turn-around thing" I imagined Stiller acting out the motion, and broke into a fit of laughter.


"I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, I totally do," said Britney Spears to MTV. And I totally love oatmeal.

Tuesday, 2004-01-13

english. here goes

After three different majors sought, I've finally found my path: English. Although this way isn't necessarily the road less traveled, it seems to be one that'll suit me well.

Funny how uneventful changing my major was, though — after all the drama of indecision. English hit me as a thought, I then walked directly (well, the next day) over to the College of Liberal Arts building, filled out two very simple forms and now we're here. Waxing poetical with a Robert Frost reference.

To two more years avoiding the real world.

Monday, 2004-01-12

100 most often misspelled words

Just mispelled misplace missplace. Not on the list of the 100 Most Often Mispelled Words, though, so I can't use that excuse.

Sunday, 2004-01-11

amazon easter egg

Search for "Old Fart" at Amazon. Laugh. Well, if good, old-fashioned geek puts a smile on your face.

Friday, 2004-01-09

culture of fear

Mom buys Flight Simulator for ten-year-old son. Orange alert!

Flight Sim enquiry raises terror alert
Andrew Orlowski, The Register

So alarmed was the Staples clerk at the prospect of the ten year old learning to fly, that he informed the police, the Greenfield Recorder reports. The authorities moved into action, leaving nothing to chance. A few days later, Olearcek was alarmed to discover a state trooper flashing a torch into to her home through a sliding glass door at 8:30 pm on a rainy night.


At one time it was rare to find US citizens, in the safest and most prosperous country in the world, jumping at their own shadows. Now we only note how high.

Thursday, 2004-01-08

bush recall

Great name for a new petition from the Bush Recall campaign (which I'm currently on the list-serve for): "Recall the Mad Cowboy."

Wednesday, 2004-01-07

internet magazine cover feature

Kim Gilmour, Features Editor of Internet Magazine, is doing a cover feature on open source (and with that, Mozilla). She sent in a short questionnaire to Blogzilla (a Mozilla advocation weblog) to find out why authors there — myself being one — have chosen Mozilla over Internet Explorer.

Pinder forwarded the message on. Below are my responses to questions asked:

First of all, why does IE suck?

In a few words: security, or lack thereof; popups.

Few more: the last time any improvements were made by Microsoft to Internet Explorer was over two years ago (6.0 in October 2001). Needless to say, a lot has changed since then.

What are the best things about the Mozilla browser?

My favorite features, in no particular order. Tabbed browsing, which frees the taskbar. Extensibility/customizability: if you don't like something about Mozilla, someone else in the community has probably already addressed your particular issue. Keyword searching, my prime arsenal for converting skeptical friends (always gets a "wow").

What contributions have you made to the development of the Mozilla browser?

Bug reports, assistance in the MozillaZine forums to those I've had the capacity to help and news/tips via Blogzilla.

What happens when bugs are found and how are they reported and 'treated'?

When bugs are found, they are often first reported to the community through the MozillaZine forums. If others can replicate the bug (and if it hasn't already been reported) it will most likely then be reported. Developers then see what they can do to fix the bug and land changes onto the trunk soon after patches are created.

Have you compiled your own versions of the browser? What technical knowledge is required?

No. As I haven't before, I'm not entirely sure.

Mozilla vs IE - what do you predict the browser usage landscape look like in the future and why?

Call me optimistic, but I see Mozilla eventually gaining a competitive share of the browser market. Back before Google was mainstream, I remember recommending the search engine to friends and classmates, whenever I could. I'm positive that plenty of others, like me, did the same. I now find myself, and others, doing the same for Mozilla.

Tuesday, 2004-01-06


The pigs and piglets at Pork4Kids look so comfortable and cute. Bet they're raised by farmers in the same uncrowded manner. Just as The National Pork Board has exhibited to kids everywhere. Right?

Monday, 2004-01-05

billionaires for bush redux

Billionaires for Bush, a cause worth fighting for. So much so that I got active and took the campaign's original logo and altered it a bit.

Keep up the good work, Billionaires. I'll keep taking advantage of the little guy.

Friday, 2004-01-02


Late to the game I may be. But I'm happy to say I'm the new proud owner of a 3rd generation, twenty gigabyte iPod. Got it on the cheap — relatively. $329 (US) at Best Buy. Now iRock.

And Bring It On Again, Pinder.