Friday, April 30, 2004
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Posted By Allen at 10:22 PM
Since I posted this in the comments on Jeremy's blog, I should probably post it here too. I've got a couple of Gmail invitations left. So if you are dying to try it out, let me know by email and I'll send one to you. First come first served, supplies are limited, yadda yadda.
UPDATE:I'm out of invitations. If I get more I'll post a new entry on the blog. Until then please stop asking for them.
Monday, April 26, 2004
Posted By Allen at 10:04 PM
If left to our own devices, Jenna and I will wear a set of clothes until they fall apart. We both dislike shopping, and this dislike leads to procrastination, and this procrastination leads to us doing semi-annual shopping sprees where we buy whatever will fit, and keep us decent, for the next six months. Not only is this practice terrible for a budget, but it also leads to a very boring wardrobe. This is true especially in my case, because when Jenna and I are compared side by side, I have an even smaller tolerance for shopping than her. I also have a sense of fasion, if you can be so kind to call it as such, that favors utilitarian over anything else. As a result of this, I've ended up with a closet full of Polo shirts and jeans because they are easy to buy, can be worn in many situations, and require zero effort in the morning. We decided, this year, to get out of our rut, to spice up our wardrobes, and to make our clothes purchases on a more even cycle. So, we now try to buy one outfit each month. It's a good plan because I only have to shop for one outfit as opposed to a whole years worth. It's easier to budget for, and my closet is starting to build some character that would have been impossible to imagine just a year ago. Last Sunday was our shopping day, and it found us at the local mall. We'd decided to go to Nordstrom because they have everything, which makes the shopping process even easier. Also, they are right next door to the Apple Store, so I have an incentive. I was sitting in one of the chairs by the escalator, you know the ones, while Jenna was trying on a few things. It was busy, and people were streaming by. I sat and watched, wondering about the people and their stories as they walked by. I found myself thinking about how other people would feel about that day's trip to the mall. Then at one point started to wonder if anyone would find the day memorable. Just moments after I started down this line of thinking, I spied a father and his very young son. Mom was out in the racks looking for clothes, and Dad was bent over holding his son's arms in the air for support. The child was working on balance in that wobbly way that very young children have. It was fun to watch as the soon-to-be toddler would steady himself, and then loose his balance. Hid Dad was always there in time to catch him. After several tries the boy started taking little steps. He would place one small shoe in front of the other, and then lean into the step, counting on his Dad to take care of the balance and support. He started walking. His Dad was so proud. He yelled across the racks to his wife, and she came running. At first her face shown a species of concern that is reserved for Mothers with only one child. The kind of concern that just isn't there for the later children because she knows that they are fine and safe. She saw her husband beaming with pride, and her son walking down the aisle between the dresses and the slacks. Her face mirrored her husband's and they smiled the biggest smiles I have ever seen. They looked so incredibly happy and proud. Others had gathered around them, attracted by the commotion. I remember an older lady in a nice sunday dress and pearls started to clap and smile. Another lady wiped a tear from her eye, and a couple with their teenage daughter exchanged nostalgic glances. Everyone who saw the family couldn't help but watch and cheer the little boy as he took his first steps. The scene dissipated almost as quickly as it had appeared. Moving from the present into the mists of memory, and then I realized that yes, this would be a day to remember. It would be a day that I would remember, that the boy's parents were sure to remember, and that the crowd gathered spontaneously on a hot Sunday afternoon would also remember. Jenna came back from the dressing room, and found me with a smile and a memory of a first step on a Sunday afternoon.
Posted By Allen at 6:48 AM
My friends Katherine and Roger have bought a new house. They threw a housewarming party on Saturday. Jenna and I attended. Of course, I brought my camera. These pictures are from the beach near the house in Davenport, Ca. There are also some pictures of old barns along Swanton road off Highway 1, near Davenport. Finally, you'll find some cute pictures of a golden retriever on the beach, and some other friends and their dog Sassy. There are few things that express the concept of Joy more thoroughly then a golden retriever, and old tennis ball, and a person willing to throw it into the ocean over and over again. You can find the pictures, here.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Posted By Allen at 4:57 PM
Last weekend Jenna and I went to a couple of Wineries in Santa Cruz with some friends, and then we all had dinner with some other friends in Davenport. Here are some pictures from the weekend. We went to about four wineries, but I only liked a couple of them. I got some pictures of an old victorian house that survived the 1907 earthquake only to come down during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I was really pleased with several of the pictures, and hope that you enjoy them as well.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Posted By Allen at 3:08 PM
GROKLAW is reporting that PubPat has filed a request for the USPTO to reconsider the patent Microsoft holds on the FAT file system.
The Public Patent Foundation has some news for us. They just filed a formal request with the USPTO today, asking them to revoke Microsoft's patent on the FAT file system because, they say, it's causing significant public harm. 'Microsoft is using its control over the interchange of digital media to aid its ongoing effort to deter competition,' the request states. With the request, they filed some prior art to demonstate that the patent was obvious and shouldn't have been granted in the first place.
Posted By Allen at 3:04 PM
Jonas Luster, who writes one of my favorite blogs, has just published some perliminary results of a study he's doing in the field of online matchmaking.
The numbers are in. As some of you may know, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the past few months conducting interviews and researching the rather wide field of online matchmaking and its participants. While the extensive version will have to wait a few more weeks until I find the time and muse to finish it, here are some core factoids.I have to admit that this is a field close to my heart, as many of you know I met my wife Jenna on Yahoo! Personals about 4 years ago. We've been married for almost two years and have been very happy. Later this month we'll be attending the wedding of some close friends who also met on Yahoo.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Posted By Allen at 12:53 PM
This story on WPVI.com has a really dramatic slideshow that demonstrates a new chemical called Sapphire. Sapphire looks and acts like water, but it doesn't damage material immersed in it. The pictures show a laptop, a powered on TV, and a book all being immersed in a tank of Sapphire and then pulled out still functional and apparently undamaged. [via /.]
Posted By Allen at 12:40 PM
According to this article in macworld, MySql is releasing a preview version of it's clustering DB software at the MySql conference, which is going on right now in Florida. This is great! For years, I've been running web services on distributed hosts where I really needed a clustered MySql DB. The question remaining for me is whether MySql's version of DB clustering can work on high-latency low-bandwidth links. Can I have a clustered database where there are three nodes hanging off DSL lines in three different states? That would be really great.
Posted By Allen at 6:20 AM
The Dallas Morning News did a story yesterday about SpamKu, and included a link to my site.
Spam haiku — or SpamKu, as it's sometimes known — was not our invention. But while we cannot take credit for the concept, we can claim authorship of the following little ditties, compiled out of some of the detritus that made its way to our in-box over the course of a weekday afternoon ...
Friday, April 9, 2004
Posted By Allen at 11:59 AM
I've started writing a column for Computerworld. My first article has been posted to their site. I'll be covering the wireless field and hope to cover a lot of topics in this forum. Of course if you have ideas for me to write about, or feedback on my articles please feel free to email me.
I hear it all the time: "802.11g gives you the same throughput as 802.11a, so there is no reason to upgrade to 11a hardware." But that statement doesn't take into account a fundamental advantage of 802.11a: radio frequency diversity.
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Posted By Allen at 4:53 PM
Today a friend of mine let me know that he had lost his job, and he wanted some advice about finding a job in this market in Silicon Valley. I told him to read the KITList, KITList-Tech, and Craigslist, but I also told him to start a blog, and keep a copy of his resume online. I've had an online resume since I first put up a www page in 1994. It's has gotten me interviews for a number of jobs, but I didn't see it really take off until I started blogging on my site as well. The blog gives me google rank, and since I blog about areas that I work in, I show up in the top 10 for a lot of search terms that fit my resume. This leads to recruiters calling me, and sending me email almost every week. When I left Airgo, I just changed my resume to indicate that I wasn't working there anymore. The same day that I made that change I got 3 calls from recruiters. In fact, I got several calls a day until I changed my resume to indicate that I am now working at FireTide. So, If you are looking for a job, try blogging it might help. If you want to start a blog to help you find a job you should keep a couple of things in mind. First, don't blog much about your personal life. I don't think a recruiter or a hiring manager wants to read about your pets or your friends. I'm also pretty sure you don't want them to read about what you did last Friday night. Instead try blogging about something you are interested in professionally. If you are a perl hacker, blog about the new developments in perl 6. If you are interested in accounting or finance talk about the market. Second, you really need to post every day. If you don't, you won't be able to grow your audience. People like content that changes and a blog with no posts for a week looks like it's abandoned. Also, google likes content that changes routinely, and you may get a higher search ranking out of it. Third, enable an RSS feed for your blog. It could be that someone starts to read your site, but he doesn't have the resources to hire you right now. If he can put you in his news reader, then you have a good chance when that manager has the resources to hire another person. Finally, make sure to write well. This may seem like an obvious choice, but there are a lot of bad blogs out there. You need to separate yourself from the pack by writing well. Can blogging help you land a job? I believe it can, however, it's not a free ride. You have to be willing to put in the work, and create content other people want to read. If you can do that, then I'm sure you'll find a job.
Monday, April 5, 2004
Posted By Allen at 9:42 PM
In this post Jeremy talks about his recent switch to bloglines for his RSS reader. I've used bloglines on and off for awhile now, but I just can't get into it. For me it's the fact that I didn't see an easy way to do keyboard navigation. Where Jeremy decided to use Bloglines, I fell back to NetNewsWire. I also tried Shrook, but didn't like the interface. For my use, NetNewsWire is almost perfect. If it just had some way to synchronize my reading status between different machines it would be perfect.
Posted By Allen at 9:36 PM
Here is a strange story from The Register
A 15 year-old American girl has been charged with child pornography offences after posting pictures of herself online.
Friday, April 2, 2004
Posted By Allen at 7:20 AM
According to this story on engadget 100% of kids in Norway between the ages of 16 and 19 have a cell phone.
Thursday, April 1, 2004
Posted By Allen at 10:54 AM
I've posted a new version of the TrashTalk executable. It turns out that I had published a zero-link version last weekend that wouldn't run on anyone's computer except mine. Thanks to Ed Silva for pointing this out. The new version works fine, and can be downloaded from the TrashTalk home page.