August 31, 2004
Idle Minutes

If you waste no other four minutes and 20 seconds of your life today, at least if you waste them here with Maciej (or go for the speedier version referenced therein....), you'll enjoy the loss.

You'll never get those minutes back, by the way. Like a bad business meeting with excessive flowcharting, they'll be gone forever.

Posted by esinclai at 09:53 PM
August 30, 2004
London Transport

When I was 18, I went off on a brief trip to Europe with a friend of mine. Our plan was to backpack and hostel our way through for 5 weeks or so, a trip that eventually took me through the UK, France, Germany, Brussels and the Netherlands.

It was a break away between High School and College, a little seasoning that improved my shaky self-reliance into a (barely) manageable level for my move away from home.

Along the way, I fell in with a different person in each town of my now solo travels - my travelling companion having decided, 4 days into the trip, that canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota was a better way to spend his summer. Hostels were - and I assume are - friendly environments to meet new people, temporary friendships that only last a day or two, unless you meet in the next city down the road.

In Amsterdam I fell in with two guys who were a bit older than me - mid 20s. Affable to a fault, we wandered through the city for a day or two - I remember a couple bars, some excellent Indonesian food, and (out of character for me) a tour of the Heineken brewery there.

Meeting people briefly, you take away quick impressions, snatches of humor, the cast of an eyebrow, an aside.

One of the guys, a Londoner, was a conductor for one of the double-decker buses. At the time, Thatcher was in, of course, and cutting her swath through the working classes. Or, as my more clued in counterpart (a Scotsman, at least in my memory) put it "so, you're the end of an era, eh?"

That's stuck with me for years, as I've ridden busses in London with only the driver present, and seen my local Chicago Transit Authority do away with the train conductors and platform attendants in the few years since I've lived here. The era keeps ending, eroding, bit by bit.

So I was both unsurprised and a bit taken aback, to read that the London Transport is still doing away with the classic buses and their two person crews. This piece from the Graunaid captures some of the story nicely - a largely immigrant population, jobs in limbo. But at the hands of Ken Livingston no less.

Removing the few human touches, in our travels and in our daily life, is difficult to quantify. Certainly more difficult to calculate than a redundancy check or the money saved in a articulated bus. But as Barbie said... "Math is hard"

Tom of has a nice man on the bus view of some of the simplification as it phased in last year....

Posted by esinclai at 09:38 PM
August 25, 2004

A nice piece about John Peel is run in the Independent this week.

I can sympathize with his concerns about DJ's houses that have no music - what about those people who have no books or magazines, either? What do these people do, watch TV all night?

Posted by esinclai at 10:11 PM
New Millenium

Hint... Don't forget to add 1900 to your @date[5] values.....


Posted by esinclai at 09:39 PM
That didn't stop Jesus!

AZ turned me on to I'm her Hume Cronyn, she my Jessica Tandy, aka Bubble Gum and Taffy, a weblog by an indie-popster and schoolteacher. For the summer, she's been undertaking an experiment to do interesting things people have suggested to her. Most of her adventures take place in NYC, but she's now travelling in Wisconsin for the past few entries.

The most recent entry, And then we'll quietly grow old, is her most recent instance, and is a poignant recollection of some of the delights of childhood.

And the source of the title of this entry. Read on, and read back into the archives.

Posted by esinclai at 06:50 AM
August 24, 2004
Missed (ed|ing) Conferences

Two conferences I'm sorry I missed and will have missed...

World Wide Newton Conference: I'm not going to be on the proper side of the ocean until later that week (so close, yet so far), though I doubt I could convince AZ that two days looking at technology, even in Paris, was a good investment of our shared time away... Still, having just repurchased (and needing to fix jaggies on already) a MP2100, it really is a lovely piece of technology. The user community surrounding it is impressive as well.

The Community Wireless Summit looks to have been a huge success, inspiring and informative. I'm looking forward to the digitization of the media to happen so those of us stuck only a few short miles (or hundred) away can get caught up in the fever.

Posted by esinclai at 07:04 AM
August 23, 2004
Reading Notes

Tracking back EuroFoo information, I come across Phil "Pepys' Diary" Gyford's Reading Notes page.

It's a decent idea, creating marginalia and then sharing it. Phil's ExternalScaffolding page explains it better than I can in this nutshell.

Probably a LifeHack to steal, adding the saving and likely sharing of reading notes along with conference notes.

Posted by esinclai at 06:47 AM
August 22, 2004
No One Receiving

From AKMA, So Weirdly Wrong

A few minutes ago, a police officer passed the bench where I was sitting outside the Athenaeum, enjoying the mild temperature and the wifi signal, and he said, “Sir, you can’t use the Internet outside the library.”

So begins a not-quite Kafka-esque (but certainly confusing) tale of access points, radio waves, and polite seminarians...

Turns out AKMA may have been in the wrong, or at least in the grey area on the edge of signal range... Shelley turns up this piece about the patchwork of applicable laws.

Thankfully, our man has learned something from our current, near Spiro, veep:

posted from a secure hiding place near an open access point. . . .
Posted by esinclai at 08:40 PM
My Tabs

So Safari, man... It has the nice tabbed interface for browsing, but (unlike Opera) you lose the tabstate on shutdown (Saft probably fixes this, but that hasn't happened in my life yet...

Maybe after this next restart. I've put off the last mega-round of system updates, thinking I was just around the corner from doing my OSCon days 2 and 3 (rough notes are available, of course, but incomplete), but it's been weeks and it hasn't happened.

So a set of tabs to be logged lest I forget to finish reading them - other stuff is slowly being pulled together at my page. Integrating all this should be a fun project - add it ti 'the list'.

Tabs left open probably reflect a state of mind. So here goes, a peek into my own state of mind....

The above page. Well, I needed it here, didn't I? It's proving to be an interesting service, especially once I added the nutricious bookmarklet which Joe Blaylock pointed me to. Makes addition and tagging just a smidgen easier. The one drawback on is whether use of it violates information boundary policies - if I post a bookmark from work, am I leaking information?

MacFixit on 10.3.5 upgrades. I need to do the upgrade, just get it over with. But looking at my Software Update pane, I'm perplexed... I mean, how did I miss multiple iPhoto updates? Will upgrading expose some corruption in the state of SWUpdate's database? Didn't I install iLife 04 when I did my rebuild? That might explain why I had such slow reimport.....

SW Update Screenshot

Bruce Sterling: When Blobjects Rule The Earth. I like Bruce Sterling's speeches - ever since I first saw him at CFP in the mid/late 90s. I haven't finished this one, but should come back to it...

. Danny O'Brien is making headway on the LifeHacks project, slowly. Others are contributing. From here I seem to have added more tabs, including

  • C2 Wiki page on Logbooks. I do this, but have become entranced by the shareability (with my team lead and further flung colleagues) of using a weblog as the logbook. But now the web server's down after a powerdown weekend, and I've been overbooked on getting it fixed. So the text files languish. Clearly a risk in the AntiPattern of ElectronicLogBook.
  • C2 Wiki page on ProgrammersNotebook. Closely related to the above, indeed. Some good guidance on TODO handling.
  • Getting Things Done When You're Only a Grunt. Joel on Software oldie about how to manage your time and projects when you don't always own your time and projects.

Snowbooks : The London Scene. Out of print (and one previously unpublished) set of essays by Virginia Woolf on, of course, London. Anne and I head off for our next trip in just over two weeks. This will be purchased and reimported. Pesky VAT included.

Fifteen Restaurant : Reservations. While in London, I can't decide if we should try and go to Fifteen or not. I mean, I enjoy Jamie Oliver's show (simple food, briskly prepared with fun). But does the restaurant live up to the hype? Will we just be another tourist? And will we have time to go anyway, what with trying to hit Sissinghurst, et al.?

Saft. See above.

Graham School : Condo Board Members and Owners Forum. I should really attend this in October. The condo stuff takes up increasing amounts of time and complexity in my thinking. Indeed, one could argue that my preoccupation with it (on a subconscious level when I'm not thinking about it actively, disturbing my sleep...) has been a contributing factor to the lack of posts here. Oy.

Well Then. There it is. My tabs are closed. Time for the upgrade to begin!

NP: Helpless.mp3 from the album Exit/In, Nashville, TN 10/28/99 by Ryan Adams with Gillian Welch

Posted by esinclai at 11:16 AM