Archive for September, 2004

Cold Weather and Bad Networks

There’s so much to be done around these months… holidays seem to be more closely packed together.. family and friends seems to be ever-present, and with the cold setting in, that means fixing up any leaky entrances in the house, windows, and getting the fireplace in order for the long, long, long cold winter in New England. You see, we have three seasons here… June, July, and Winter.

Orkut Network

I’ve also been getting tired of Orkut timing out and failing on me. They should have worked out the scaling issues, but now its worse than ever! It takes me about 30 attempts to get to
the main page, another 20-30 reloads to get to the Communities page, and so on. I get all manner of “Bad Donut”, “No data” and other errors before I’m actually shown real content.

Consider that network a failed attempt at a social network… or maybe a successful attempt at how not to build a social network. I can’t help but think that their use of .Net and ASP on Microsoft servers is giving them the most performance grief. Blackbox servers with 40% of their processing and memory going to support an unused GUI environment… is not a way to run a server.

3 months or 12 weeks?

I always wondered why parents refer to their kids as being “12 weeks old” or “18 months old”. Why not just say “3 months”? Or “a year and a half”? I guess I’ll never find out.. after all, I’m only 1716 weeks old myself. Maybe in 300 more weeks I’ll gain the insight.

Seryn at 11 weeks

The online album of Seryn’s growth is finally publically available. We’ll be putting images into this for at least the next 18 years or so, so get ’em while they’re hot! She’s growing fast. Its amazing to see the different signs every day that evolution is taking its due course. Every day we see her learning more and more about her environment.

A couple of weeks ago, her right hand discovered her left hand, and they’ve been hardly inseparable since. Instead of the traditional “sucking-of-the-thumb”, she shoves her whole hand in her mouth to soothe herself. It doesn’t matter which one, just as long as one gets in there to gum on. She seems to be favoring her left hand for that, but she carries a mean fist with her right.

This week, its laughter and lots of talking. She goes on for 5, 10 minutes at a time, just singing and making words and trying to string together what sounds like sentences. I thought there’d be a stage of “babbling” or little yelps and other sounds, but nope… she went straight on to telling us stories. I wish I had a video camera to capture these moments, because in a few weeks, they’ll be gone, and nobody would believe she’s actually trying to talk!

We are out there every day walking with her, and she’s wide awake for most of it. She loves looking at the trees, anything else tall and in the way. We carry her in a “Baby Bjorn“, which is this interesting little “reverse backpack” kind of device that allows them to face your chest (at early age) or face away from you, attached at the chest (for slightly older ages).

Erika and Seryn with the Bjorn

When we walk with her in the bjorn, she kicks her legs down and swaggers her body from side to side with each step, kind of like she wants to walk, or she’s trying to compensate for the motion with her limbs or something. Its quite a site to be seen. She loves her walk.. well, the first half of it anyway. On the way back, she’s limp, sprawled over the top of the bjorn like a ragdoll.

A 12-pound ragdoll. A heavy, 12-pound ragdoll.

But she’s the cutest. Every day is a whole new day of experiences to share and learn and grow with her. I’m actually a parent!

“So THAT’S what an invisible boundary looks like!”

Credit goes to “Time Bandits” (a really great movie), which is exactly what I’ve been feeling like lately. Where does the time go?

I’ve been working on a lot of things, mainly focusing on my sideline business ventures, renovating the house, and more Palm-related goodness. A community person donated a Tungsten T3 device to me to help the pilot-link effort to get the new applications supported on the device.

Tungsten T2 and Tungsten T3

I already own a Tungsten T2 Palm handheld (which Palm conveniently does not list any longer), but it doesn’t have the new applications on it; Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes. I’ve been getting used to it, crashed it about 3-dozen times, and generally like the layout. I’m still kind of torn between the T2 and T3, for different reasons. Progress on the new applications is moving along… albeit slowly.

pilot-link 0.12.0 is really coming along well. So much better than previous versions. Unfortunately, my time to actually commit to working on the code has dwindled quite a bit lately. With Erika going back to work part-time, and me taking up the role of “Daddy Daycare”, my time to work on “personal” projects is further decreased. I need to fill in the gaps and make up for the financial differences, since we aren’t going to be using traditional daycare.

Along those lines, we’ve found that Mark/Space is using libpisock, the core library behind pilot-link (and dozens of other applications, such as J-Pilot, KPilot, gnome-pilot, PilotManager, and others) in their commercial product, “Missing Sync“.

MissingSync for Palm Handhelds

We’ve asked for, and recived their modifications to pilot-link. None of their changes are useful to us, and most of them have been superceded by significanly-better code in 0.12.0 anyway, but it is good to see that they are the first company who has actually admitted to, and complied with, the licensing to pilot-link. There are at least 5 others that I know of, who are using pilot-link in their commercial code, in direct violation of the license.

New Business Ventures

I’ve been working on some new business ventures lately, along with my growing client base of web design and hosting work. There seems to be a lot (and I mean a LOT) of untapped business areas ripe for the plucking (pun actually intended in some cases).

Electronic Books

I’ve registered 18 (yes, 18) new domain names to work with, some will have new businesses behind them and others are just for playing and for personal or community projects. I have some really slick ideas coming up, hopefully before Winter this year, that I’d like to launch.

I’ve also been partnering with a lot of people, communities, and businesses to help drive some of their content into these new business models. So far, I’ve received unanimous approval for my efforts.

More soon, as I find out more. Its going to be a really busy Fall and Winter season.

9/11/2001, A Day We Will Never Forget

Many lives were lost, many emotions poured out, and many families ruined. Our lives will never be the same. On this day, we take the time to remember the lives that were given to keep our country safe and our children’s lives safe. This was not a choice they had to make, it was made for them.

Remembering the World Trade Center event

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. It is a time of mourning, and of retrospection. I’d like to give something back, to help educate those who may not know the details surrounding the events of 9/11.

As many of you may already know, I have taken the 567-page 9/11 Commission Report (in PDF format), and converted it BY HAND to validated XHTML.

In the process I corrected several thousand punctuation mistakes, mis-hyphenated words, and the flow of the document in general. The content itself was not changed, just the way it was presented. The goal was to make the document readable on portable and handheld devices.

I also added a linked TOC, mini-TOC for each chapter, and cross-linked every annotation and footnote in the original document. I also reformatted the output itself, to better display on mobile devices, such as PalmOS
handhelds. There are a lot of other changes here that make the document much more readable on handheld devices. The information contained within, is far too important to disregard or be lost in a huge PDF on a .gov website.

From this base, I converted it to Plucker format, and then again to iSilo format. You can see all three versions here:

Plucker format

iSilo mobile format

Converted XHTML

Both of the mobile versions are available on MemoWare and Palmgear as well (these links go right to the reports themselves on these sites).

Please feel free to download, redistribute, share, and link to this version as much as you’d like (of course, if you do, please make sure to give me credit, where credit is due, as supported by US Copyright law). If I’ve missed any relevant newsgroups, forums, blogs, or websites please repost/forward this post there.

It is the only version of this document indexable by search engines and the like. It is also much more useful than the original, being heavily cross-linked within itself. I put a LOT of work into this to make it a professional work. Please respect the amount of time I’ve spent on it, by not hijacking it without crediting me.

Thanks everyone. I hope you enjoy the work. Please let me know if you’d like any additions, features, or other versions converted for other platforms.

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