June 30, 2005

In case you didn't notice it...

Blogger launched a neat tool for easily uploading images into your blog, and you get up to 300mbs of storage! So good job, Blogger folks!

Check it out: Blogger Help : How do I post pictures? (Image of the slug from my trip to Hakone Gardens.)

June 29, 2005

Maps API Launches.

Coolness! I'm working out how to add it to a blog here on blogspot, which has a lot of stuff in the editing system to avoid xss attacks. more on that topic later.

June 26, 2005

The End is Nigh.

From NBC: I Want To Be a Hilton. You do? Well, that's it. Gonna get my Rutan on and fly me and the family into space. Have fun destroying the planet!

June 21, 2005

IMAP, GMAIL and Workflow..

I was reading Jeremy's post about IMAP and I thought about how happy I was over the last three weeks with email.

When we launched the Summer of Code, I got a lot of mail that fell into three rough categories:
  • Greg Stein set up the form processor to send me a copy of the applications as it was dropping it into the data store.
  • I got email from the Summer-discuss and mentors list.
  • I received emails to code at google.com and cdibona at google.com directly about the program
  • The first, I filtered into its own label quite easily and spot checked them as they came in. There were about 9,000 emails received this way.

    The second, I wanted to see every one of. There were about 4,000 of these. I refined the FAQ from this and the third set...

    The third I read all of as well, and replied to a great number. This amounted to another five hundred or so.

    The only way this worked was with our internal version of gmail, which is roughly the same as what you use. The threading made it so easy to track the course of the discussion that I really don't know what I would have done without it. After the first 7 days, I had handled over 12k emails about the program from the categories, this on top of my regular load of work and personal email. At one point we were getting 4 to 8 applications a minute, which was pretty remarkable.

    The last time I handled something like this was when I ran the VA friends and family program, and it was -way- more brute force. I used pine to process over some 30k emails over the 3 month period I worked on that, which was a lighter load, but was my previous bout with email deluge. The only really awful day was the day before, the day of and the two or three days following the IPO. Chaos was kept in touch by me and 20 or so people at the investment bank.

    There are a few tricks for dealing with so much email. The most important is learn your keyboard shortcuts. VI folks will be very comfortable with gmails navigation keys I had a number of boilerplate paragraphs that I drew from in a nearby vi window, and I got a little curt on the discuss mailing list, but I don't think to any ill effect. So, thanks again to the gmail team, you guys rock. My friends who are MUTT heads are likely chuckling, but I have to say I -love- not really running my own mailservers. Like Jeremy, I post a copy of the email to dibona.com into it's mbox file, archive it monthly and bounce a copy to gmail. I don't use spam assassin, I let gmail do it. My gmail spam filter is good enough for me, although some still get through, due to the fact that I get a lot of stranger mail and I want to see it. I honestly don't cull the spam filter for false positives anymore, I figure if someone really wants to find me, they can email my Google email address or IM me. It ain't rocket science to figure out how to find me.

    When I got my gmail account, I formailed into the account email going back to 1999. This was when the 1gb limit was in place. I need to still formail in the stuff going back to 96 that I have left to import. Then it'll be all done. One day, should gmail support domains, I'll just point the mx record at Google and be happy to do it.

    To think I only got the gmail address shortly before I went through the interview process at Google. I thought it would be smart to try to use the tools of the company I wanted to interview at.

    Ring Tone Humor...

    I was watching the Bike Tech at the shop working on my deraileurs when I heard a cell ring. Sounded, familiar.....

    "Hey...is that the Law and Order theme?", I asked.

    "Yeah, it's the one I picked for my girlfriend.", he replied.

    So there you go.

    June 18, 2005

    What about Hardware?

    I actually mostly agree with : Mark Fletcher's Blog: Stealth Start-Ups Suck, except for one caveat... His post is accurate concerning software startups, but with regards to hardware, I can think up some very good reasons for keeping mum.

    I'm sure others will talk about this, but one thing I'd like to parrot from the post is that there is so much bogosity around the protecting 'ideas'. There is value in ideas, but the real value is when you can combine imaginagtion and execution. I happen to not value 'ideas' as highly as execution, but that's me.

    June 17, 2005

    The Summer of Code 400...

    We just announced the expansion of the Summer of Code to 400 people. Yay!

    June 13, 2005

    The Country Distribution of The Summer of Code.

    This stuff is so cool: Summer Of Code Country Distribution. I mean, I didn't expect Ukraine to be such a powerhouse.

    It's like the geographic guide to the future of software. No, I'm not kidding.

    June 12, 2005

    Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

    I wish all criminals were this clever: Dalek 'kidnappers' demand Doctor. Found this via Boing Boing. I had this going through my head: "But, I ....am....alone...."

    If you've seen the latest visit from the Daleks in the recent Dr. Who (all hail Chris Eccleston's Dr!) then you'll know what scene I'm talking about and well, how sad it is, and how funny it is that it is sad. Sympathy! For a Dalek!

    Yes, I know how random this post looks. Go watch Dr. Who. All of them. See you in a month or two.....what, you say you have a job or family? Okay, see you next year :-)

    June 9, 2005

    This Joke is just too easy...

    I was reading this post: Clarifying Low-Rights IE (which sounds like an interesting baby step towards a slightly more secure browser) and I couldn't help thinking, "Low Rights" within the context of Microsoft's "Thought Thieves" and I read the head line as something along the lines of: "IE! Now with fewer rights! Surf only the sites we want you to!"

    I kill me, I'm so funny. But seriously, almost anything Microsoft does to fix IE is good for the internet, so it's a good thing. Would I rather you use Firefox? Yes. Do I think you'll be happier with firefox? Yes. Do I think Firefox loves you? But, yay Microsoft for going down the road a bit.

    June 7, 2005

    The new Doctor Who: Brilliant!

    I've been watching the new Doctor Whos (which I freaking love, but that's not what this post is about) If you check here: BBC - Doctor Who - The Series the BBC has arranged to screen the episodes in front of 4 children and asked them to rate how scary they are, from 0->5, with 5 being -extra- terrifying. I think this is pretty smart. Dr. Who, this season, has been somewhat dark, and probably has the best writing of any season to date. And yes, I'm including Tom Bakers episodes.

    I'm mildly pissed the Eccleston is only doing one season. That just stinks. He worries about always being known as the Doctor. If I -promise- to not think "Hey, it's the Doctor" when I see him in other shows, do you think he'll stay? Lord know he doesn't read this blog. Anyhow...great stuff.

    Geek? Damn right!

    June 6, 2005

    The problem with Changing to x86

    Again, referring to the news of the day "Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips", I gotta say it. The last transition, from the motorola chips to the PPCs...sort of....hmm....sucked. Lots of crashing.....like way past windows crashing type stuff. Eeee.

    I hope it goes better this time, and I hope they have enough cash to weather the lack of sales until first customer ship. Lots of others have comented on the osborne like potential of this thing. A rocky road ahead for Apple.

    You know, now would be as good a time as there might be to change their name, now that they are a music company and all. Maybe something like the imusic corporation. Or imac or isomething. iJobs? iSteve? iSteverino?

    June 5, 2005

    The 4th Codex

    My friend, Mike Dringenberg introduced me to the Codex at a rare book shop in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had the original Italian version of the book, of which only 4,000 were made and signed by its creator, Luigi Serafini. These go for a lot of money in the rare book markets. One specimen from the original printing is listed currently on eBay for over $18,995, but who knows if he will get his price.

    A quick search of the internet after I first saw it found the American version (one complete volume, not two shorter, better leather bound, volumes) online for sale in the $300 - $500 range. This was past what I was willing to pay. During trips to New York and othr cities, I'd visit rare book rooms to try to find it. I was never successful.

    My wife loves thrift stores, and this week, she came home with both the Codex and another amazing find (A collection of David Goines prints), both for way lower than she ever expected to find either. The book was had for $25.

    If you haven't seen the book, it is best, and often, described as an encyclopedia of another, strange, place. Word has it, that the book is in print again. I don't know if they use the same quality printing or paper. (The one I have is a very beautifully made book from the first American printing) I can't imagine them printing this book on crap paper though.

    Why is the Codex so desireable? It isn't because of the difficulty of finding it. It is a remarkable book... complete revelatory nonsense. The pages, written in a language that some have attempted to decipher are filled with words and imagery (see here for some scans that do not do it justice) that are really amazing. Beautiful and evocative, they catalog a fanciful world, but one whose fancy, as it were, derives from our own. If you know me, you should ask to see it. Anyhow, back to work. The Summer of Code compels me :-) Thanks Christine, you're terrific! (as usual)

    Oh, and in case you are wondering why the title "The 4th Codex", when I typed in "Codex" into Google, it was the 4th result returned.


    June 4, 2005

    Why I love the Apple x86 Story...

    I picture Bill Gates saying.. "Crap....forget Google, we have a real problem now!" Anyhow, the funny thing about the "Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips" story is that Apple is about to find out exactly what it feels like to be shut out of a hardware platform and partnership deals.

    It's a good thing Apple likes to make its own hardware, that's all I gotta say. The montage before a fight scene from some awful movie is going through my head. How will Microsoft leverage its vast monopoly power this time? If Apple really takes the x86 version of OS X and pushes, things are going to get -very- interesting.

    But why do I -love- this story. It could be complete bunk and it still has people yelling "fight! fight! fight!". What a schoolyard high tech is.

    Cnet: "Steve, Bill said you are a big jerkwad!"
    InfoWorld: "Bill, Steve said he wanted to date your girlfriend"
    Gartner: "I heard you guys are going to fight, are you going to fight?"
    IDC: "Steve, Bill said you were a chicken and wouldn't fight." etc...
    Bloggers: I told you! I so predicted this in 1983.

    Linux, by the way, runs great on both platforms :-)