January 2004 Archives

Another good article from Bruce Schneier: Slouching toward Big Brother | CNET News.com.

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RT3 just decided to start acting strangely on me.

Whenever I visit with Safari, it decides to use the japanese localization.

I found this message, so I updated Locale::Maketext on my machine, but there's no difference.

I've only got 'english' selected in my system preferences as a preferred language, so why is Safari sending "Accept-Language: en-us, ja;" (as verified by tcpdump)?

This doesn't happen with IE, since it's just sending "Accept-Language: en".

Update: Looks like the correction was put into Local::Maketext here. The problem persisted after my upgrade because MT had a stale version and modperl was pointed to the mt libs first.

It still doesn't explain why Safari says I accept "ja" pages, but it works now.

I'm going to install the MT-necessary libs the normal perl/CPAN way and remove as many from mt/extlib as I can.

I agree with this article.

I get bombarded with messages from AV software every time there is a new email virus outbreak. It's bad enough that I get to deal with all the bounced messages from when the worms attempt to email invalid mailboxes with my address forged as the 'From:'

Maybe when everyone starts using spf this kind of thing won't happen anymore. (Yeah, right, like I'm really that optimistic).

After fighting a bit with apache2, I gave up (for now) on installing it on geeklair.

IPv6 support will have to wait until it works a little better (mainly I was having issues getting mod_perl2 or fastcgi working which I need for rt).

In any event, as a consolation prize, I've installed mod_perl on the apache 1.3 that is currently running. I've also updated the config to run movabletype under mod_perl and rebuilt all of the geeklair weblogs so that they reference the mod_perl'd scripts instead of the cgi ones.

So, you'll have to modify your bookmarklet if you are using one (substitute /mt/app for /cgi-bin/mt.cgi).

Otherwise, let me know if you notice any problems.

I'm just noticing that things are faster (although for a while it wasn't noticeable because Jason was mailbombing me ;-) ).

I want to upgrade to apache2 on geeklair, but I need to have some spare time to try stuff out and make sure I can get everything working.

That way I can serve up web over IPv6 too.

... and I'll probably move the MovableType install over to modperl (the instructions are here) at that point too. It should make things faster.

I seem to have broken MTThreadMail when I upgraded MT.

Since I'm the only one using threaded comments and MTThreadMail, I guess that I don't really need to be in a hurry to fix it.

I thought I had fixed it, but it doesn't seem to be working (perhaps it is just broken for those entries I made before I made my latest change?).

I'll have to dig a little deeper.

Update: I've fixed this. After a few minutes of fiddling I noticed that I was missing a $comment->notify($q->param('notify')); Oops. The 'notify' flag was therefore not getting set in the database with the comment, so the code was refusing to send email (as it should). Looks like I missed this when I went through the diffs. I'll have to modify the way I'm doing my MT upgrades. (Hopefully the upgrade to MT 3.0 won't involve the exporting and re-importing of everyone's blogs).


In a strange turn of events, I seem to have actually won one of the contests that people who run booths at Macworld Expo try to get you to enter in order to get your email address/phone number/address/etc.

I won an iPod from the CDW/Macwarehouse contest.

I've filled out the appropriate forms and they will be shipping the prize out to me.

Having never won a contest like this before, all I can say is ... Cool :)

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Just installed the MT 2.661 upgrade.

Fortunately, I had the MT 2.66 upgrade still sitting in my $HOME and so I was able to diff the two and use patch to apply the new changes. It's vastly easier than installing the new version and then trying to re-patch the comments files so that threaded comments and email responses work correctly.

I should probably pull the MT source into my subversion server and use it to merge in changes in the future ...

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The latest CRYPTO-GRAM just landed in my inbox. Notable is this quote:

"Security is a trade-off. When deciding whether to implement a security measure, we must balance the costs against the benefits. Large-scale fingerprinting is something that doesn't add much to our security against terrorism, costs an enormous amount of money that could be better spent elsewhere. Allocating the funds on compiling, sharing, and enforcing the terrorist watch list would be a far better security investment. As a security consumer, I'm getting swindled." - Bruce Schneier

CRYPTO-GRAM is usually a good read (even if you disagree with some of the points Bruce Schneier makes, he lays out his reasoning and it's always interesting).

I highly recommend subscribing.

I had a nightmare last night that because of the changes to how Movable Type handles links in comments (to keep people from using comment spam to improve their google page rank) my weblog no longer appeared anywhere in a google search for my name.

I woke up and felt especially geeky...

In other geek news, I got my tactilepro keyboard today from the UPS guy.

It's really nice to finally have a good keyboard with high-quality mechanical switches again. The keyboard comes with a driver to enable to volume and eject keys, but they are working for me without installing the driver, so I think I'll leave it uninstalled. The keyboard itself doesn't seem to have been built to the highest quality standards. (The plastic casing has two halves that clip to each other, but there is a fairly big gap that runs around the whole keyboard. I had to snap mine together as it wasn't fully assembled. Since there wasn't any impact damage on the packaging, it looks like it shipped that way). Even though the fit-and-finish didn't have the high quality I was expecting, the feel of the keyboard is really good (it's also a bit loud, louder than the Apple Extended Keyboard II I used to use), but I'm typing faster already.

mmmm keyboard ...

All in all, I highly recommend purchasing one of these. It's a great USB keyboard. You can get one online here (it's cheaper than buying direct from the manufacturer).

I've just upgraded MT on geeklair.net to the latest (2.66) version. As always, let me know if you notice any problems.

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While I was at Macworld, I had my car parked by Jared's house. He was kind enough to take me to the airport and pick me up when I came back.

Unfortunately, someone (or something?) hit my car while it was there.

/sigh/ oh well ...


I got to see my first keynote in person. It's really great to see Steve live. Once again, the attention Apple pays to small details amazes me. The stage-lighting was supurb, and the way the purple lights aimed at the backdrop-curtain moved during the presentations created a nice visual effect that highlighted the action on the stage.

Before I get into my thoughts about the keynote I want to highlight something to remember.

Apple is usually right. Sometimes they are wrong (the cube, unfortunately, did not sell well even though it was cool), but Apple is almost always right.

When the iPod first came out, most people though it wouldn't do very well (it was big, but so was that nomad thing) because it was expensive. It wasn't very exciting to me at the time, because I perceived it as "just an mp3 player". It's the kind of thing a non-Apple user would say about their computer ("it's just a computer").

So, after having said that, I have the same feelings now about the iPod mini as I did about the iPod. I think it's cool, but it's not something I am going to purchase. One thing that didn't come across as well as it could have in the keynote is how incredibly tiny it is. Personally, I am going to either save up for the 40GB one (so I can make use of its secondary role as a big firewire hard drive) or wait for the price to drop and pick one up (you know it will drop eventually). I am surprised that it didn't come in at the $199 price point, though. (And it's really just too bad that there wasn't one under my seat at the keynote :) ).

The G5 XServes were expected, but they are still very cool. It would be nice to move geeklair.net to one of them (perhaps co-located somewhere close to my house that had lots of bandwidth ;) ).

The XServe RAID update is nice too.

A few years ago, everyone was focused on Apple as a software company, since the Mac OS was what really differentiated their computers. There was much speculation about Apple porting Mac OS to x86, or letting the Mac clone manufacturers handle the hardware, and just becoming a software-only company.

Then, Apple reminded us all that it is a hardware company. The release of the original iMac and the machines that followed were great examples of what the company can do (and why it inspires such loyalty).

Fast forward to now, and we're in almost the opposite situation. While more and more people are discovering how great Mac OS X is (even though in many ways it still trails behind previous versions of Mac OS in usability), and how quickly it is improving, the general populace seems focused on the hardware. The iPod and Apple's industry-leading laptops really attract a lot of attention.

So, when an expo comes around and most of the updates are about software, some people are disappointed. I crave new Apple hardware as much (or more) than the rest of the population, but I'm fascinated by their software as well. Perhaps it's because I'm a programmer, or maybe because I love the way the iLife applications seem targeted at enabling people to create great things.

The updates to iTunes, iDVD, iPhoto, and iMovie don't seem huge to me. I think it's a sign of how well chosen the additional features are (iMovie editing _should_ act the way the new iMovie does things, iPhoto _should_ be fast even with 25,000 photos, iTunes music store _should_ have lots of classical music, etc.). The new application, GarageBand, blows me away, however.

It's easy to use, and sounds good. I'm going to spend lots of time playing with it once it is released (and I get a copy). It'll even push me to purchase that keyboard I've been wanting for the past 2 years or so but haven't even gotten around to buying. Hopefully I'll be able to get some of the music I want to write written since it will significantly lower the effort barrier for me.

So to everyone who was disappointed at the keynote, I say "bah".

Some booths with cool stuff on the expo floor:

  • The Omni Group has a booth with demos of their applications including the very cool OmniWeb 5. It looks like it will probably replace Safari as my browser of choice on Mac OS X

  • Matias has a booth showing their cool looking iPod/laptop armor and a product that I have been really pining for. They have a keyboard designed to closely mimic the Apple Extended Keyboard (which Ben justifiably calls "the greatest keyboard ever made"). It uses real mechanical switches (almost the same ones used in the AEK, the exact same ones are not available for purchase according to the guy in the booth). I played with their demo keyboard briefly, and it is by far the best feeling USB keyboard I have ever used.

  • Finally, the SoftRAID booth was very cool. I talked to the developer and the product is something on my "must purchase soon" list. They do all their sales online, so it will be very easy. I'm just going to wait for their official support of bootable RAID mirrors (should be soon). It's a cool product, with a strong history from pre-Mac OS X days, with very professional, very dedicated people behind it.

  • Xgrid was announced too, and it's very very cool.

That just about wraps up my day 1 thoughts and experiences. Day 1 is usually the most fun at the expo (mostly because of the keynote, Steve is a masterful presenter).

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Thanks to P, I noticed that I'm back at #1 for a google search for my first and last name. Perhaps it was the addition of an appropriate meta keywords tag, or perhaps something else caused the pagerank of the other page to drop.

In any event, I'm rather happy to be back.

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  • Print a few copies of my resume (just in case) ... done
  • Print a copy of my itinerary ... done
  • Print a copy of dfayne's itinerary ... done
  • Pack carryon bag with clothes ... done
  • Clean excess crap from coat pockets ... done
  • Feed and water cats ... done
  • Change cat litter box ... done
  • Clean excess crap from laptop bag ... done
  • Make sure laptop is set up correctly ... done
  • Pack phone charger ... done
  • Pack copy of Civ. III for the plane ... done

... I think that about covers it. I'm excited for MacWorld Expo!


For the first time a quite a while, I've lost the #1 search result for "Daniel Luke". See for yourself: Google Search: Daniel Luke. I'm still #1 for "Daniel J. Luke", though.

/sigh/ Oh well :)

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