Archive for February, 2002


Talk about the Two-Way-Web!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2002

Doc blogged me on this, so the chatters keep rollin in. I’m refining the tool as we go and it’s lots of fun. Good thing I’m at home today!

I’ll wait a bit before releasing an update since changes are coming along furiously. Consider the current release a preview for testing your environment.

I’ve been chatting with some of the people who visit my blog, see me online, and press the button.

It’s remarkable to see where they all come from. In the last 24 hours I’ve chatted with people from Sydney, Texas, Pennsylvania, Rotterdam, Manhattan, Winnipeg, Sweden, Vancouver, Maryland, Victoria, Utah and others I’m sure I’ve missed. Sometimes there have been up to four of us chatting away at the same time.

I feel a sense of the global community drawing closer around me as I find new ways to connect myself to distant minds via human conversation.


blog chat update

Monday, February 18th, 2002

I’ve got the blog chat working pretty well now with both IE and Mozilla. The only problem is that sometimes upon submission your line will be echoed back to you twice due to timing between submission and poll.


Live blog feedback

Sunday, February 17th, 2002

My latest fun experiment is a little blog chat app. You’ll see an image on the right here that tells you whether or not I’m currently available for live text chat. Now you can tell me I’m full of shit without delay!

It works so far in IE. I’ve tried it in Mozilla and it has problems but I’ll work out all the operational kinks before I make it cross-browser.

It uses my JavaScript Remote Scripting library for client-server polling and PHP/mySql on the back end. Less than 100 lines on each side of the client/server divide.


Skating Smackdown, One of the Evil Ns

Friday, February 15th, 2002

Mary Wehmeier has a lot of perspective on this Olympic skating judging scandal. I sent her an email with my observations:

It confuses me that the French judge is getting all the flack for turning her decision one way or the other, when nobody is
questioning at all the implication that every other judge had an entirely fixed position from the outset – Canadian, American,
Russian judges alike. Sounds like the French judge was the only one accorded any sort of free will at all! If it had been the
Russians’ perfect skate and the Canadians’ error, would it still have been voted the same by each judge with the French judge
as the swing vote, I wonder?

scottandrew speaks for all of us when he points out a few of the reasons why Netscape (at least 4.x) is one of the Three Evil “N”s which send my spidey senses reeling when introduced to a project. ( the other two are Notes and Novell, fyi )


Table tennis

Thursday, February 14th, 2002

It’s like I’m at a tennis match, watching the Tables vs. CSS battle, head swinging back and forth. Point to Tables! CSS ace! Table Fault! Reminds me a bit of the goto wars.

I was telling Tim this morning that when I did a CSS redesign on my site , I had a bunch of teething trouble trying to get it to look how I wanted it to, so I ended up just seeing what it would do if I did this or that and letting its behaviour guide my design decisions, so rather than me using CSS to implement a design, I built something that would look ok in CSS. Of course, I’m not a designer.

CSS is a great thing to use, to understand, to implement, but there’s no reason on earth to abandon all tables and immediately rewrite your intranet online expense sheet so some dork can use it on his cellphone or from WebTV. That’s not your intended audience.

As a scripting guy, I tend to use what gets the job done. As Rick says:

I learned HTML with tables, font tags, cute midi files, and spacer gifs too. But, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity of web design using CSS. No more weird table structures, just a neat DIV structure. I’m still learning, too…

disclaimer :: this site has tables because I’m an anal bastard and don’t want a liquid 3 column layout. I want a nice two column layout because I hate reading text in wide columns in high res displays. And, I like centered websites. And I’m lazy and haven’t come up with a suitable CSS replacement just yet. But hey, Supasite’s admin portion is XHTML compliant…

He’s got the winning attitude. Interested in getting it right in the long term, but determined to make it work now.

I’m blogging on my radio site too. Trying to figure out where I’ll end up doing most of this.


Meeting of the minds

Thursday, February 14th, 2002

I had lunch today with Shane McChesney and Tim Aiello. I’ve known Tim for many years now however neither of us had met Shane before except through blogging. Shane fell into the conversation as though we’d all been buds for eons. Great conversations. I bet a few peoples’ ears were burning – Jonno, Dave, Eric, Scott

It seems as though getting to know someone through their blog allows you a backstage pass to their psyche. Maybe it’s just that people who blog are by and large riders of the ClueTrain. I expect if you’re particularly closed to the concept of blogging, you’re likely closed to me on a personal level at any rate.

I’m glad he didn’t try to kiss me though, heh heh.


One big microwave

Wednesday, February 13th, 2002

Tim points to some really neat visualization of wireless network coverage areas. Reminds me of infrared rescue helicopter cameras. Or radiation exposure topography. The closer you are to the blue areas, the less likely you are to still have functional gonads.

What are the human implications of the new ubiquity of wireless computer communications? Am I fooling myself that 802.11 and wireless data really makes things any worse than broadcast Radio, TV, cell phones, cordless phones have already made things? How close are we to baking ourselves in this gigantic radio-frequency Greater Metropolitan Area oven?

UltraEdit 9.0 is available. I registered it in 2000 so no free upgrade, but it’s well worth the $17.50 to keep updates flowing for another year. Fantastic editor. What sold me originally was that it printed in color-context, but its list of features is endless. Column mode, Function lists, User-defined context colouring, file Diff, FTP open/save, macros, regex search/replace, dos cmd to window, low energy spin and fluff cycle…

While I’m on about indispensable things, TightVNC is a great version of AT&T’s Cambridge UK labs VNC remote control program that uses optimized compression. I use it all the time, well at least when my @#$&^@%* cable provider is up!!


A bridge too far

Thursday, February 7th, 2002

Contract Bridge may be coming to the Olympics. Andy Barrie said it best on CBC this morning (paraphrased): “What’s next – Rock, Paper Scissors?”.

They interviewed a guy on the Canadian team that just won a huge tournament in Salt Lake City. Olympic Bridge athletes (?!) must be split into separate teams for men and women and undergo random drug tests.

Now, I really, really appreciate that these people are the best in the whole damned world at a pastime that is remarkably challenging and worthy of all sorts of respect. But IOC, give your fucking heads a shake.

I’m starting to train now for the 2012 summer games where I’ll partake in the booger-flicking competition.

Tim says he can’t wait to watch every minute of riveting Olympic Bridge coverage. I’m considering making room in my cable tv portfolio for this event’s coverage by dropping the ever-popular Paint-Drying Channel – a tough decision but I’m willing to sacrifice. If only I could afford the tickets to the event floor. Bastard ticket scalpers.