January 30, 2004

OK, not really Hoon.

Reposted from #joiito, I bring you a morning chortle from the Guardian.

The Guardian being, apparently, one of the digerati papers of record. But that's a whole other discussion...

Posted by esinclai at 06:58 AM
January 29, 2004
Morrisey on 78

For the last several weeks I've been using RAW to rip each evening's John Peel Show on Radio One to my iPod, then listening to it during the course of the following day. It's been a delight to return to this - a friend Stuart used to tape and then tree them from Scotland every few months, which worked while the tree did, but after that several episodes evidently ended up in gloveboxes across the country.

RAW is, thus, highly recommended, almost as much as the world's greatest dj, Mr Peel.

During the course of his show, he has what is called the "Pig's Pick 78" - which is usually an old track on, well, a 78 RPM disk. Imagine my surprise when on the 28th the Pig's Pick was Morrisey's "We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful."

Who knew? Well, apparently it does exist, and Mr Peel has two copies stashed away for his retirement fund.

This doesn't markedly change my opinions of Mr Morrissey, however. While not as harsh as Albini once was, he's never quite been my cup of tea, though I can see why people like him. But the promotional novelty of a 10" 78 of a hit single... Is kinda keen.

Posted by esinclai at 07:15 PM
Purple References

A friend and I resumed a long and attenuated conversation last night about various info gathering, presentation, and storage tools. One of my takeaways was to provide him with a quick list of purple resources. For 'posterity' (in the web sense, this is pretty fleeting...) I repost them here.

Some purple links:

Posted by esinclai at 06:35 AM
Colin Bait

And not Colin Powell.

Flipping through Julian Bond's website today (he's been doing some thoughtful rumination on what are now being TLA'd as SSN's in various places), I can across his citation of this Flash Promo at TrueMajority.

Though presumably a bit high level with some of the facts, it's at the very least a compelling example of how the new media can be used to provide a viewpoint and entertain - and the use of interaction provides an immediate buy-in and feedback mechanism.

Worth it just for the clever use of false-out-of-the-frame animation.

Posted by esinclai at 05:29 AM
January 28, 2004

I've been really enjoying (addictively) the recently launched folklore.org website - a history of Apple in oral tradition, as told by the participants. The site is particularly nice because - given the sources - one gets a deep sense of some of the excitement, frustration, and inspiration that went into the early development of the Macintosh back in the day. For a reader of my generation, who can still clearly remember seeing the first Macs to come to Bloomington IN (and the first Lisas in Indiana, though they were in Indianapolis...), it's particularly evocative of a time and place in technology history.

As of this writing, it's still fairly heavily slashdot-effected, but worth a browse.

If you read no other items there (unlikely once you start!), do try at least Creative Think for some thinking tools, and Gobble, Gobble, Gobble for an unfortunate (but clearly memorable) Jobsian Job Interview.

Posted by esinclai at 07:07 AM
January 27, 2004
Remember to gzip your logs

From Paolo Valdemarin:

Files 'overloaded' Mars probe. Hundreds of data files accumulating on the computer belonging to Mars rover Spirit may have crippled it. [BBC News | Technology | UK Edition]

Looks like we are not the only ones getting stuck with useless log files from time to time ;-)
[Paolo Valdemarin: Paolo's Weblog]

To which I'll add that gzipping logfiles (or bzip2, which some have claimed to make for smaller files) is a big part of it. Checking your log level ("why am I still running at log4J's debug?") periodically is useful as well.

(yes, this is a bit of an inside joke for myself)

Posted by esinclai at 05:27 AM
January 26, 2004
Etech Lurking

Last year I was able to attend (largely in an onsite lurking capacity, though I did take part in some of the BoF sessions with interest, made some initial contacts with some folks, and gave myself a kick in the head intellectually) ETCon 2003.

Unfortunately, this year I won't be in attendance on site, either at the formal conference or the detourned one. Work time presures and policies conspired this year to circumvent my hopes. So I'll be testing the chatting/blogging/trackbacking/technorati-ing/Tribesing nature instead, gleaning what I can.

Posted by esinclai at 06:49 AM
More localized library software

LibDB is Morbus Iff's entry into the personal library software realm. Morbus' work with Amphetadesk (the 'all in one page like Radio, but oh so much more and yet quieter' aggregator) has been pretty nice, so this project carries some interest. Currently focused on video/movie items, but presumably extensible.

Morbus is throwing a number of acronym's around (like FRBR) that the unfamiliar (like me) with formal library science may be troubled by, but he's handed out a keen reading list to his wiki to help catch us up.

One to watch going forward, especially as the distributed library project written about here and elsewhere earlier seems to have gone a bit quiet.

Posted by esinclai at 05:43 AM
January 25, 2004
snow day again

Another attempt, though the snow has moved on.

Posted by esinclai at 11:28 AM
January 24, 2004
snow day

Snow... And a chance to try the camera as I head downtown.

Posted by esinclai at 12:58 PM
WER Obit (again)

Per WorldChanging, Whole Earth Review (nee' CoEvolution Quarterly) has given up their office space, stopped paying a number of creditors, and the usual 'business closing' activities. There's no shame in that; it happens regularly, and I trust they are doing this in as honorable manner as possible.

But it is sad to see them close again, after the bold experiments which succeeded (the magazine's long run, which I'm not trying to aggregate for my project; the catalogs that influenced a number of sibling's and fellow-travellers, the Well, etc) and didn't (Signal was a flash, but I'm not sure the cross from print coverage to new media was successful).

The time is still ripe for my project, which is to trace the inbound and outbound links of the collection of ideas that made CoEQ/WER such a success. To Begin.....

(initial citation at BoingBoing.... where else?)

Posted by esinclai at 11:05 AM
January 23, 2004

I'm pleased to see Zawodny's announcement of RSS support within My Yahoo.

First, of course, because it's a great idea.

And second because it makes me recall those halcyon days of just a few years ago when we got excited about the my.netscape pages and customising them with all kinds of cool feeds of our own. Not that Yahoo is duplicating that - there's a number of great bits rolled on top of this, like pingability, the more ubiquitousness of the content format these days, etc.

It's nice to see the good ideas again coming around.

Now..... what happened to HyperG?

Posted by esinclai at 07:04 AM
January 22, 2004

So if the election plays out as it surely will, how long before one of the smoldering CheneyScandals is allowed to proceed? This would help assure a post Bush succession...

I would like to be first (not Frist) to call this "pulling a Spiro."

Posted by esinclai at 07:28 PM
Eyes on You


Has popular culture met geek culture? Or is geek culture meeting popular culture? Or are the overarching concerns just making it to the broader understanding?

(Candorville is one of the new strips picked up by the Chicago Tribune in recent weeks...)

See Also: SOTU snippage @ craphound

Posted by esinclai at 06:32 AM
January 08, 2004
Drugs, Demons: A Man in a Mask

This piece about Patrick Miller of Minimal Man is one of the better rock obits (in concert with the additional one in the Times today) I've read of late.

Posted by esinclai at 08:58 AM
It's a shame about Ray

And I don't mean the "chivalry's not dead" Ray Davies, either....

As has been previously noted, AZ and I are regular listeners to WLUW. We listen to it in the mornings, we listen to it some evenings, we listen to it when Dick Buckley's coughing is too distracting. We defend it to our friends who work for other community stations in Chicago.

WLUW is a campus/community oriented station, my favorite kind. AZ and I both worked at these stations (with the same (though smaller scale) funding struggles...) over the years - for years (between us, over two decades). So there's a certain avuncular condition that sets in when I hear something that could be improved in the medium I love.

At WQAX, the older announcers had a systematic mechanism to satisfy this avuncular urge and help the younger crew improve - after the first couple shows, you submitted an air-check tape for review by your peers, and in a week or so comments would come back to you for improvement. Then you were encouraged to resubmit periodically, and to provide feedback to your fellow station members.

On WLUW, the morning shows are, as a rule, great. Lots of good music, a mix of familiar and strange. But when I listen to one of the announcers, Ray, I confess I find myself wondering about changing stations. Ray knows a lot about music. He knows what the band released in the last few years, how the tracks he just played compare to the other tracks on the album. He was probably at their last gig at the subterranean or hideout or bottle. He knows they used to record with a different lineup, and that one wasn't as good as the new one. He also thinks you should know that this album has some other tracks on it that are also very good, and you should probably go pick it up at your local independent record store.

This is great information, background that helps Ray pick the music that makes a good show. But it also makes for announce breaks of 5 to 7 minutes as he tries to share all of it with us explicitly. Yesterday morning, rather than ranting at the radio through my shaving cream, I thought I'd pass along a tip I'd received in the past. During a review of one of my own airchecks, someone said I should really consider timing my announce breaks, to raise my consciousness of their duration and focus the content more sharply.

Thankfully, WLUW has a handy AIM access - or perhaps, unthankfully.

I passed this idea along to Ray. Maybe it's because IM can create distance as much as reduce it, but Ray's response was "With all due respect to your sage advice, when you get a radio show, buy yourself a stopwatch and have at it".

Which, clearly, wasn't my point.

So Ray, in the unlikely event you egosurf yourself and come across this, here's an offer for constructive criticism. When you next do an aircheck and you're happy with it, I'd still like to kibbitz. It's in my nature. Give it to me (cassette,cdr, minidisk, whatever digital audio format you prefer) and I'll give you a few (because I think there are only tweaks needed) notes.

And if you aren't doing airchecks and listening to yourself speak.... Give it a try.

Posted by esinclai at 06:48 AM