Monthly Archives: July 2003

Rolling Simple Syndication

Rolling Stone now has a number of RSS feeds for you to oogle. One thing, the linked page above says “All XML files are generated twice daily at 4:30, 10:30, 16:30, 22:30 Pacific Standard Time.” Wouldn’t that be four times daily? The headers for the feeds I looked at indicated they were last modified at 22:00 last night. Go figure.


Giving it a trial run, it actually doesn’t look that bad on my site. I’m glad they got rid of that ghastly grey. However at the moment Google seems to think “coconut monkey purses” are particularly relevant to visitors of my page. Go figure. Anyway if an ad looks interesting to you check it out.

Update: The ads are starting to appear more relevant. Maybe this’ll work. They really should allow you to style it to match your site.

A Little Hair

Well so I finally did it. I’ve been flirting with the idea of growing my hair long, really long. Either that or I wanted to cut it all off, not quite bald but buzzed. I went in to the hair place not quite sure what I was going to do, either get a light trim just to clean it up or take it all off, and I ended up with neither. To satisfy everyone’s burning curiousity here is the obligitory before and after picture. What do you think?

Before the Haircut    After the haircut

Truly Bizarre

Last Wednesday I transfered this domain to the new server, a dual Xeon with cute hard drives and RAM for days. This domain was, by far, the hardest one to transfer. I couldn’t tar it up because the previous system had a 2 gigabyte file size limit, and that mark was crossed long ago. What I ended up doing with the help of Mat is simply FTPing the albums directory (about 3 gigabytes) to the new server manually, and then packaging and transferring the rest of the account as I would normally. It was a hassle but it worked. Then another problem popped up, everyone seemed to be holding on the their outdated or cached DNS information like it was the last chocolate on earth, even though I had turned down the TTL days before. It was hairy for a few hours, but it all resolved itself, so to speak.

Except one. Mozilla 1.4 on this desktop still pulls up from the old server! Is it not simply a page cache, as I have cleared that and force reloaded more times than I can count. It is not a DNS issue, because Internet Explorer and Opera on the same machine seem to get to the new site just fine. I can ping, I can sing laments, I can fling books, but to no avail. So for the first times since I made the switch I am posting from IE instead of Mozilla, while I contemplate the best course of action from here. Perhaps another go at Firebird or the Mozilla 1.5 alpha is in order. That may solve it, but I’m still so confused as to why it is acting the way it does. Bizzare. Also if you don’t see this entry put your glasses on or, alternatively, contact me.

New Tungsten

The Tungsten T2 is out. I’m not terribly impressed with the specs, but it’s a step in the right direction. The Tungsten T is still a great product and you can probably get them for quite a bargain now.

Elissa Is So…

Elissa made me a really cool mix CD, so cool I feel like I have to share the track list.

  1. Explosion — Dilute
  2. Paper Bag — Fiona Apple
  3. Kaini Industries — Boards of Canada
  4. Easy — Emiliana Torrini
  5. Why You’d Want to Live Here — Death Cab for Cutie
  6. Your Bleedin’ Heart — Reggie & the Full Effect
  7. In the Morning of the Magician… — The Flaming Lips
  8. Reunited — Funkstorung featuring Wu Tang
  9. Highschool Lover — AIR
  10. Is It Wicked Not to Care? — Belle & Sebastian
  11. Merge — Lamb
  12. You Got Me — Roots featuring Erykah Badu
  13. Labour of Love — Frente
  14. Playboys — Mono
  15. Felt Mountain — Goldfrapp

Collected Links

Sometimes these things just build up, here are a few links worth browsing.

In Austin

As of last night I have been happily in Austin, a much needed vacation and also a wonderful oppurtunity to visit my sister Charleen whose birthday is the driving reason for this visit. It’s interesting because we didn’t get along terribly well when we were both younger (and there were ten years between us) but now we seem to grow closer every year. The goal for this weekend, when not partaking in festivities, are to finish all of my email, including the ones from January and December that I still haven’t taken care of. I tried to get it done yesterday to try and beat the weekend email rhyme policy but there was just too much.

Yes, it’s a policy now! I’ve decided for the forseeable future every weekend all emails except ones where it would be wildly inappropiate will be composed and responded to in some sort of poetic form. Sure it will probably increase the amount of time each email will take, but whistle while you work, spoonful of sugar and all that.

Prettify Project Gutenberg Books

I’m dead tired, but before I go to sleep I wanted to inform you of a neat tool you might dig. Month before last at the Houston Palm Users Group (which I lead) we did a bit on creating ebooks. I covered the Palm Markup Language which is a sorry excuse for a markup language. To balance out how bad PML was, I wrote a little tool that would convert Project Gutenberg texts to a format more sutable for ebook reading. See the problem with the Gutenberg texts is that they are plain ASCII files which wrap every 76 characters or so. What this means on a PalmOS device is that you get a line and a half of text, and then a break, and it makes reading anything a major pain.

So what HPUG DocIt! does is combine paragraphs of text into one line so you don’t get funny line breaks everywhere, except where you want them between paragraphs. It’s pretty basic, but I’ve found it incredibly useful and a number of members of the group have as well. Even though the only other time it’s been mentioned was at the meeting and on the HPUG website, it converts about a dozen documents every day. Anyway I’d just like to put this out there as a service. The interface should look pretty familar to Texturize users, with the additional option of being able to upload text files. If there is interest there is definitely a lot of room for improvement in this tool, for example it could convert the ASCII faux text styling (stars for bold, underscores for underlined, etc.) to HTML equivilents, and it could also determine when the nend of a line is a hyphenated word and deal with the break accordingly. But for now, it does one thing and it does it well. Enjoy.

WordPress Preview

Partly as a personal todo list, and partly as a special bonus for Photo Matt readers, here’s what’s currently done or in development for WordPress .72, slated for release on [date]. This is in no particular order.

  • Improved quicktags — create ordered and unordered lists easier, <ins> support WITH datetime attribute, possibly cursor aware.
  • HTML Sanitation — Bad code checks in, but it doesn’t check out.
  • MetaWeblog API support
  • Multiple category support
  • Completely revamped options system, never edit a configuration file ever again.
  • Password-protected entries
  • Movable Type import

There are going to be some under the hood changes mainly paving the way for multi-blog support. Also significant is the documentation efforts that have been ongoing. A few other changes mostly related to RSS may or may not make it in, depending on how quickly everything comes together.

Calling Houstonians

Just in case you are like me and get all your news through non-local online sources, I would like to inform my neighbors that there is a big freakin’ storm heading this way. This has been a public service announcement.

What’s crazy is this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Let’s take a trip down Photo Matt memory lane to last October, when a category 4 hurricane was heading this way and I found out much in the same manner as this time, through instant messaging. That entry contains a humorous comment from 6 months after the post was written, I guess from some random search engine visitor stumbling by. She’s right. I should update my weather more often. Perhaps I need one of those nifty weather boxes in my sidebar that were all the rage a couple of years ago.

Update: It wasn’t that bad.


The inimitable Joe Clark’s Ten Years Ago in Spy has a brand-spanking new all-CSS layout from yours truly. As Joe said, “Take that, Alex Isley, Christiaan Kuypers, and B.W. Honeycutt!”

I didn’t do a strict before and after comparison, but I estimate at least several K have been saved. The biggest savings should come from the table, which had an elaborate system of classes that I was able to all but eliminate thanks to the flexbility provided by Joe’s semantic markup. Enjoy, and take some time to browse the archives, it’s quite entertaining.

Who Let the Blogs Out?

Woof. I had definitely noticed it, and Christine pointed it out as well, but the links on my sidebar haven’t updated since the end of June. Obviously I broke something, but I haven’t quite figured it out. That list is how I navigate the blogworld, so if I haven’t been by your place lately or left any comments that’s why. I feel so out of touch! I tried out Feed Demon but it seemed as unintuitive to me as all the others I’ve tried. All the different websites I visit, each with its own unique design and navigation scheme, all that is more comfortable to me than any aggregator I’ve tried.

Just A Punchline

“Then the designer said, ‘Don’t hate the flyer, hate the plane.'”

Who can think of the joke that goes with this? Extra points for making something crazy up.

Hot Jazz Tonight

The word on the street is that tonight at 7:30 PM at the Pasta Co. on Woodway (map) there will be some burning big band jazz with yours truly and my good friend Rene in the alto section, and the lovely Sarah Williams screaming with the trumpets. Last week was a blast and this week should be even better. I need to get a list of all the amazing people in the band together, because everyone is so talented they deserve individual mention. Come check it out and say hi to me if you do.

Update: Thanks to Josh, Elissa, Jesse, Eddie, Emily’s parents Denise and Bob, my parents, my cousins Norma and Megan, Kelly Dean, and everyone else for coming out.