Archives » October, 2003

October 14, 2003

Moooving it back.

Longhorn is shaping up to be LooooooongTimeComingHorn. Mary Jo Foley in Microsoft Watch reports that 2006 is now the shipping date. And when you remember that Windows XP came out in 2001, a little bit of simple math gives us 5 years between Windows versions. Once upon a time, that same stretch of years brought us Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME and Windows 2000. A rapid fire release schedule like that shows a development teams that thinks what they’ve got out there isn’t good enough, and wants to get the next best thing released as soon as possible. That train stopped at XP, though, and aside from service packs there hasn’t been any stirring in the last two years. Maybe this is just further proof that MS feels XP is the conclusion of this particular Windows lineage, and so they’re working on making Longhorn a truly next generation product. Just like Windows 95 was a giant step away from 3.11. Or it could mean that the Windows team is disorganized and directionless, and Longhorn is a huge sinkhole that will drag the whole company down.

Your call.

October 13, 2003


Joel Spolsky: The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!).

October 12, 2003

Get out the tin foil!

Parents sue school district for Wi-Fi use:

Parents of students who attend an Illinois school district are suing over the use of Wi-Fi technology in classrooms, alleging that exposure to the low-level radio waves may be damaging to students’ health.

I’m trying to comment on this, but I can’t come up with anything sufficiently sarcastic and derisive. So I’ll let you write your own. Have at it.

October 10, 2003


Our three weeks of fall starts today. Yesterday it was sweltering. Last night the wind came in, and as it got stronger it also got colder. It’s like a big truck pulled up and dumped a load of autumn in our front yard all at once. Now the leaves on the trees are withering—around here they don’t turn and fall off, they stay green until a cold snap comes and then they wither and die. It’s our way of having a summer that never ends, but when it’s finally over it’s over.

By Halloween it’ll be freezing. And so our sharp slide into winter begins.

October 7, 2003

Technology addiction

From the “Just because it’s electronic, it must be new and dangerous”: department comes this study from a bunch of British psychiatrists.

More and more people are succumbing to so called “technology addictions,” spending hours tapping on mobile phones or surfing the Internet, one of Britain’s best known psychiatric clinics said on Saturday.

Sitting in a coffee shop talking with your friends and reading books for long stretches of time must then be equally addictive and dangerous, right? Because they wouldn’t be singling out certain activites based only on the technology involved, right?

October 6, 2003

$20 million bluff

It was all a bluff. The whole business with threatening to demolish the Ormsby House was just a bluff the owners pulled on the city to get some attention. And it worked. The city was panicked all week, and on Friday they met with the owners ready to give them whatever they wanted to continue with the project. The owners spelled out what they wanted, and the city caved. They gave everything. The red tape has been cut, the rough processes have been smoothed out, the roadblocks have been smashed. Three years the owners have been fighting with the city, and all it took was one little demolition permit to get them to fold.

Well played, Ormsby. Well played.

October 3, 2003


In today’s Nevada Appeal, a glimpse into what we could have had with a remodeled Ormsby House, that we’re not going to get if they tear the place down.

Arched windows and new contemporary features would adorn the facade of the resort, which would offer 127 suites. A sunken casino floor would be surrounded by a full-scale buffet on one end, a brewery and separate bar on another wall and coffee shop on the other.

Guests could check into luxury suites during their stays on the fifth through 10th floors walking out onto balconies overlooking the capital city.

Quite a change from the Ormsby of old, with fading carpets, peeling wallpaper, and a water main that burst, drenching people and slot machines on the main casino floor. The new Ormsby House would have been fun and vibrant, but now we’re just going to get another empty lot. I still hold out hope that they will tear down the building and then immediately rebuild, bigger and better than ever. But I’ve lived here too long, and I know better than that. This is the town that’s taken 40 years to build a freeway, and still isn’t finished. This is the town where the newer the buildings are, the worse they are architecturally. And things that are torn down don’t often get rebuilt. So I think we’ve got a first class empty lot coming up in our future.

Traffic master

One of the most popular pages on my site has always been my Samba tutorial for Linux. I don’t think it’s that fantastic of a tutorial, and I’m probably the last person you’d want to turn to with a Linux question. But somehow that page has gotten high ranking in a lot of Google searches. And I mean a lot. I scour through my referrer logs, and I see dozens and dozens of different Google searches for different variations on the theme of adding Linux to a Windows network. And all of them have my article on the first or second page of results. Most days that article gets the same amount of page views as, or even more than, this weblog. There must be something magic about that page that Google really likes. Either that or there’s just not a lot of tutorials on the topic.

October 1, 2003

Hardwood harmony

Yesterday’s project: new floors to replace the carpet I ripped out. Through the generosity of the landlord (my parents), we were able to get a load of hardwood laminate and try it out in the nursery, to see how easy it is to install and how nice it looks. And let me tell you, thumbs up on both counts.

We went for glueless laminate from Home Depot. Installing these planks is a snap, literally. They are built with a tongue and groove design, and you need a little rotating action to get them together. But once they snap into place the seams are invisble, the floor is waterproof, and they won’t come apart without rotating them back the way they came. And at the same price as carpet, you can’t go wrong. Installation is a little tedious, since you have to measure and cut each row individually, make sure the boards are staggered properly, and use a tapping block on each plank to make sure the seams are tight. But I was able to plow through a 10×12 room in about 8 hours, and that includes a break for dinner. Not bad for a first-timer, I suppose.

It seems to have passed the test, which means the rest of the house is destined to get the same treatment. I’m not looking forward to the work that involves, but after seeing the result in one room, I know it will be worth it.