Archived entries for geek

No silver bullet 2.0

Big Contrarian → Lies, damn lies, and the CMS.:

Beware the off-the-shelf system.

Amen. If I learned anything in my 10 years as a in-the-trenches corporate developer, it was that there is no such thing as an off-the-shelf system. Either budget to suck it up, spend the dough, and build it yourself or budget to spend a lot of time (and money) customizing, tweaking, and getting frustrated.

Applescript made sane

Graphing Your Favorite Feeds with NetNewsWire and Ruby :: dot unplanned:

After the election, my list of feeds in NetNewsWire became the source of some consternation. I’m still not completely recovered from the “must … know” paranoia that grips me, so I’m loath to unsubscribe to the political stuff: What if the world starts to end? How will I know?

mph has been doing some very interesting posts about using Ruby as a potent antipsychotic for Applescript. Here he builds graphs of attention scores for his feeds in NetNewsWire. I need to do this myself – too many damn feeds. Interesting and fun series. Check it out.

Cheesy fonts

Ecofont | less is more:

SPRANQ has therefore developed a new font: the Ecofont.

‘After Dutch holey cheese, there now is a Dutch font with holes as well.’

Appealing ideas are often simple: how much of a letter can be removed while maintaining readability? After extensive testing with all kinds of shapes, the best results were achieved using small circles. After lots of late hours (and coffee) this resulted in a font that uses up to 20% less ink. Free to download, free to use.

A simple, yet effective idea: take out most of the inside of the font while not actually becoming an outline, save a bunch of ink. Even better yet, make it free to download and use. From what I hear (haven’t tried it yet) printing it at smaller sizes is almost indistinguishable from regular fonts. Will definitely try this one.

(Via Providence Public Library Tech Blog.)

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Craig’s sekrit agenda

When I posted an item for sale to NY Craigslist this morning I got this captcha:


Note the phrase. So much for all that booshwah about how it isn’t “the internet vs the MSM.”

Update: Hey, this is the 150th post!

Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,

The wheel, reinvented

TidBITS Business Apps: BBEdit 9.0 Adds Something for Everyone:

Another related feature that has changed significantly, and for the better, is BBEdit’s Find Differences. In BBEdit 8.5, Bare Bones added the capability to display which characters within a line were different between two similar files. That was huge for us, since it enabled us to use BBEdit in conjunction with the Subversion version control system to work with TidBITS articles. Though code may have relatively short lines, a line of prose is a paragraph, and without knowing what within a paragraph has changed, knowing only that two paragraphs are not the same isn’t particularly helpful. In BBEdit 9.0, Bare Bones has enhanced the Find Differences feature such that it not only shows the changed lines, and the changed characters within each line, it also lets you see and replace individual spans of differing characters within each changed line.”

Ediff much? Every time a new BBEdit release comes out we hear how innovative the latest round of stuff they’ve stolenadapted from Emacs is. Def not coughing up the $30 for this, folks.

Via Gruberworld.

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Free as in “you can get it in black”

Free Microsoft tools for scholarly communication:

  • This is for real. Don’t mistake the Microsoft research division, which doesn’t sell anything, for the Microsoft product divisions. Tony Hey believes in open access and open data, and is putting Microsoft resources behind them. For background, see Richard Poynder’s interview with Tony Hey (December 2006), and my previous post on the Microsoft repository platform (March 2008).
  • The new tools are free of charge. The announcement doesn’t say they will ever be open source, but Microsoft encourages open-source tools in the open chemistry projects it funds. So it’s possible.

Not cross-platform, though. I can’t take any Microsoft division seriously on open anything until they make tools like this simultaneously available on Macintosh and other platforms. Till then, it’s all just marketing bullshit. Apple’s not perfect in this wise, either; but open from Microsoft usually means “loss leader.”

(Via Open Access News.)

Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,


Californian Ideology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“The Californian Ideology is a name given by two authors to a set of beliefs combining bohemian and anti-authoritarian attitudes from the counterculture of the 1960s with techno-utopianism and support for neoliberal economic policies. These beliefs are thought by some to have been characteristic of the culture of the IT industry in Silicon Valley and the West Coast of the United States during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s.”

I’d say that it’s more like simulacra of bohemian and anti-authoritarian attitudes. Silicon Valley “culture” has always struck me as deeply bourgeois and conventional, given to groupthink (ie avoidance of “negative” people), and sharing many triumphalist and millennialist attitudes with religious fundamentalists.

Google doctype

New developer resource from Google:


Doctype is a Google-sponsored open encyclopedia and reference library for developers of web applications. By web developers, for web developers.

* Open source
* Open content
* Open to contributions from anyone

Looks like a very useful resource and an interesting new application of social media. Not sure if it’s wiki-based, or whether this is something new from Google. Found via Gruber.

Obligatory upgrade post

Upgraded to WP 2.5.1, now with extry hax0r resistance. Go thou and blah blah.

Technorati Tags:
, ,

wuh pee too five

How lame has a blog gotten when the blogger only makes entries about upgrading the blog software? This lame.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Copyright © 2004–2009. All rights reserved.

RSS Feed. This blog is proudly powered by Wordpress and uses Modern Clix, a theme by Rodrigo Galindez.