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Category: Internet

USENET archeology

Via Chuq von Rospach: What is your earliest USENET post on Google Groups?

Mine dates to October 17, 1983 and was posted to [sic].

Boy, am I old or what.

Unrelated note: I’ve never met Chuq, but based on the odd photo of him I’ve seen from time to time, I look somewhat like him. I’m a little taller, I believe, and not quite as heavy — although if I don’t get off my butt soon, he’s going to pass me coming down. Also, compared to his current weblog page, I have less forehead and much less gray in my beard. 😉 That’s OK, because I believe he’s got a couple of years on me too.

No significance to any of that, except it’s fun to have some connection to a bone fide net.god. 🙂

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Nonsense up with which I shall not put

I understand that some media companies feel the need to monetize their value propositions (to misquote the inestimable Merlin Mann), but isn’t this taking things a bit far?

Picture 1.png

Yes, that’s right: after exactly one sentence of the story, a full-column ad (about three column-inches high). Not shown: the banner ad that, combined with the video box, pushes the first sentence of the story a good six inches below the top of the page (if I wasn’t using a 24-inch Cinema Display, in fact, I’d probably have to scroll down to see it); or the vertical banner add down the side of the page.

We wouldn’t put up with this in a print magazine; why should we have to do it in a web magazine?

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Bandwagon and DreamHost

So now Bandwagon and DreamHost are co-operating on a promotion: DreamHost members get a year of Bandwagon, and vice versa.

Well, I haven’t had a chance to set up my Bandwagon account yet — and, as has been pointed out, it may not be an optimal solution for large iTunes collections — but I’m a DreamHost subscriber, and my renewal date is coming up in a couple of months, so here goes. Now all three of you who read my blog will have something to chew on for another five months. (Hey, I couldn’t keep up with the blog when I wasn’t working full-time — what makes you think I’ll do any better now?)


The O'Grady Factor

Item on The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Apple Genius says: Moo’ing normal.

Same item as quoted on Powerpage: Apple: It’s Normal for MacBooks to Moo.

Now I’m not a professional journalist, but even I can tell the difference between one offhand comment by one employee at one Apple store, and an official position by Apple the corporation.

Also omitted from the quote on Powerpage: the part where the TUAW writer then called AppleCare and is having his MacBook repaired under warranty. (Of course, the Apple Genius should have handled this…)

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to take Jason O’Grady seriously. How he ends up writing for ZDNet is beyond me.

(By the way, my new black MacBook does not moo.)

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Hey, where've you been?

Well, I’ve been really busy, is all. How do you people find time to post every day? I’ve got a wife and a kid (make that *two* kids now, which is obviously a large part of the issue), a job, a commute… I barely have time to listen to the *radio* anymore. (And I lost my iPod somewhere…)

So since virtually all of the activity over the last six weeks has been from comment spammers, and since WordPress 1.5 has just hit the streets, I’m taking the opportunity to switch over. You like it? It’s so *purty*, too…

Switching was pretty easy, too, especially since I’d been playing around with WP last December and kept a parallel copy of all my posts; so it was really just a matter of following the 1.5 upgrade instructions. A few little graphical glitches here and there, but I’ll probably be hacking the CSS anyway soon.

I should probably think of a more clever name for the weblog, too. Hmm…

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Prehistoric links fixed

To the fraction of a person who cares: the one [page][] on the Internet that links to my pre-MT blog is now correctly redirected to the equivalent items in the MT blog. (Originally, I used a [Redirect][] directive instead of a [Rewrite][]. After I reinstalled MT and switched to a MySQL database because the Berkeley DB was corrupted, I just put the archives at a compatible URL.)

Oh, and Google finally indexed my website again, so searching for the title of the weblog now yields the weblog as the second result (the first result is still [Blogshares][], for some reason — I don’t play, but I claimed my blog anyway).

That is all. Please resume your regular indifference.


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Pardon Our Dust

If anyone out there was checking the blog during the day, they may have noticed the appearance flipping around a bit. Turns out I was editing the CSS stylesheet directly on my web site, where it got overwritten the next time I published (silly me). It took me a while to find it in the “templates” list of MT; poking around my web site didn’t reveal any obvious source file. Guess I’m still getting used to this whole CMS thing; I remember when we had to make our websites by hand, with stone knives and bear skins…

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Still shopping around

As you can see, I’ve installed [Movable Type]( I hoped it would be easier to get things like comments and trackbacks working. Plus I can check out the very promising [MarsEdit]( for writing posts. And now my blog looks less spartan and more… well, more like every other MT blog. But hopefully that can be addressed too.

After my experience with WordPress, I installed MT to use Berkeley DB rather than MySQL, but since the dynamic publishing capabilities seem to require MySQL, I may have to switch over again. Probably I should do that before I get too many entries here.

…speaking of which, I seem to have changed over just after [Nick]( became the first person to link to me. And now I’ve gone and broken those links. [Edit: I made an effort to see if I could fix this with an appropriate set of RewriteRules, but that way lies madness, so I guess Nick will just have to fix his links.] Sorry, Nick.

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This is getting out of hand

About a month ago a coworker offered me a [Gmail]( invitation.
Although I prefer to use a regular IMAP mail client to access my mail,
I figured I’d take him up on the offer and reserve a reasonable email address.

The next time I logged into Gmail was this morning. Of course I had no new
messages in my inbox, which is not surprising since I’d never given this
address to anyone.

I did, however, have a piece of spam. Received less than three weeks after
creating the Gmail address. Which (to repeat) I never gave to *anyone.*
And which uses a different account name than the one I normally use
(at which I get about 750 pieces of spam a month).

By the way, Gmail’s filters had caught the spam. Good to know, and no less
than I’d expect, really. So if I post a feedback link to this blog, I may
well use that address instead.

But really, the whole thing was quite breathtaking. They say 75% of the traffic
that crosses the Internet these days is spam. I’m beginning to think it’s time
to chuck SMTP and invent a new, fully authenticating mail protocol.

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