September 2003

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With the help of some links from Les Orchard, I've managed to enable the extended desktop on my iMac.
For the first time since buying the iMac in February, I have a reason to be disappointed in it. This is the first thing about the machine that hasn't "just worked" for me.
A quick newbie's guide to this exciting new coding paradigm.
Problem: I have a list of objects. I want to create another list containing the id property of those objects. Solutions in seven and a half languages.
I was thinking last night that I haven't really bought many CDs lately. I guess it's partly because (IMHO) the music scene is going through one of those downturns during which it doesn't produce much that I actually like. Or perhaps it's just that I'm finally getting older and my ability to adopt new music has atrophied.
I'm not a big fan of Network Address Translation. Its security benefits are minimal compared to a similarly configured firewall, and its disadvantages are legion. It's a tool that's blocking the free flow of data, segmenting the Internet and bloating protocols, while at the same time being misused as an excuse not to improve the infrastructure surrounding it. This is just a bad thing.
Probably the most glaring of my many character flaws is my ability to procrastinate pretty much forever. Over the years, this has led to me putting up with situations that most people would just do something about, because I was always going to "do something about it tomorrow".
Wherein Charles discovers he really isn't as keen on his hosting provider as he previously thought.
I recently bought a keyring-sized 256Mb USB flash drive. This got me thinking about just how portable our data is going to become, even without networks.
I'm beginning to wonder what we expect from our fellow man.
Finally, Apple have updated the 15" Powerbook.
Verisign, it seems, have the trump-card. By putting a wildcard DNS on '.net' and '.com', they are redirecting every single domain typo to their own search page. I can't even begin to describe how much this whole idea annoys me.
I sat staring at the screen for a very long time. It seems that ten years after leaving school (and five since I last studied mathematics in any meaningful way) my mathematical skills have atrophied to the point where I'd forgotten how the hell sine and cosine really worked.
This is not a bug. The Javadoc for the Character Class explains that the toLowerCase() method does not necessarily return a lower-case letter. It returns either a lower-case letter, or the original letter if it has no lower-case equivalent.
Your application should quietly do what it's told, but provide a way for the user to recover from mistakes. Make your actions undo-able. Make your deletions un-deletable.
I've visited this subject before, but it's worth repeating. In my experience, the most useless feature in any public bug-tracking system is the ability to vote on bugs.
Dear world. Fight Club was not a grand endorsement of nihilism. It was not there to reassure you that it was OK to hate the world and your life. Fight Club was a satire!
For several years now, my Slashdot signature has been: "The more I learn about the Internet, the more amazed I am that it works at all."
I'd say it's quite significant that I, someone who spends more of his life than he will comfortably admit to online, have never felt even remotely like visiting a URL chalked on the sidewalk. The same goes for the plethora of URLs that appear in print and television ads. Never bothered with them.
This email was obviously written with Bayesian filters in mind. It's seeded with around 150 random, long words of the kind that you'd not expect to find in a spam, but that are varied enough that it's quite likely that at least _some_ of them will be in your filter as high indicators of non-spamness.
Copyright does not prohibit reverse-engineering, except (thanks to the DMCA) where the thing being reverse-engineered is a copy-prevention mechanism. This is because copyright law is all about the making and distributing of copies. Under regular property law, once you have bought something, you're perfectly within your rights to take it apart and see how it works.
I was in the pub last night playing pool. At some point during the game, my opponent mentioned something about Bronski Beat (after a few beers, you're lucky I remember this much), and my Father and I both got stuck trying to remember who the Hell the lead singer was. So I tried Google...
"Fragmented" is a spin word. It has powerful negative connotations, implying that something that was once whole has broken into pieces. I would like to replace it with a better word: "competitive".
I had the weirdest dream the other night...
I would like to personally thank all the cat-lovers (even those without cats) for making "Post Pictures of Your Cat To Javablogs Day" such an enormous success. Join us same time next year, when we post candid snapshots of our favourite celebrity elbows!
Symptom: when you're trying to access a webserver, you can connect fine, send the HTTP request fine, but then the client waits forever for a reply. Interestingly enough, if you upload a really small (Say, 10 byte) file to the server, you can retrieve it without fail. Possible Cause: something is blocking Path MTU Discovery.
This is my cat. Her name is Cassie. She has nothing to do with Java.
So you've had a really great technical idea that's going to change the world? Here's a very simple sanity-check.
I loathe Cascading Style Sheets with a passion. Well, I loathe the fact that every browser supports a different, incompatible subset.
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