November 2002 Archives

Scraper and Portal builder

Cheesegrater & the Portalizer, Cheesegrater for scraping to RSS then Portalizer to convert it all into a nice page.

Jetspeed Tutorial

Portlet Tutorial, for Jetspeed which is a Java web portal framework.

Happy Thanksgiving

Well a big happy Thanksgiving day to you! I really have one big thing to be thankful for this year, spending it with my family. See since I was in Canada for the past 2 Thanksgivings it is actually a big deal, something I have really missed.

Well gotta run, time to clean up and head to pick up Grandma and head to Aunt Pat's and Uncle Frank's.

Pot makes you crazy

Cannabis link to mental illness strengthened
Patton's team followed over 1600 Australian school pupils aged 14 to 15 for seven years. Daily cannabis use was associated with a five-fold increased risk of depression at the age of 20. Weekly use was linked to a two-fold increase. The regular users were no more likely to have suffered from depression or anxiety at the start of the study.
Now why does cannabis have this affect in teens? Also, what does it do to adults, ones whose brains are not already going through massive hormonal changes that teen brains recieve.

Fatty Acids reduce ADD

Dietary changes may help control ADD
New studies show that Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that have been linked to mental disorders are 10 per cent lower in kids with Attention Deficit Disorder. Omega-3 and -6 are essential fatty acids. Fatty fish such as salmon are rich in EFAs, as are polyunsaturated oils, such as canola oil, nuts, soybeans and flaxseed.

Cameron's mom believes is the changes in diet and the addition of fatty acid supplements is what now keeps him calm.

Almost Perfect, the Book

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The book, Almost Perfect, was originally published by Prima Publishing in 1994. It is the story of the rise and fall of WordPerfect Corporation from my point of view.
It is already providing facinating reading. Hearing about the recession of the early 80's and comparing it to the current one is rather theraputic.
Although I did not know it at the time, that $5 an hour part-time job would turn into a great opportunity. Somehow I had arrived at exactly the right place at exactly the right time. ... Like some rare astrological phenomenon when all the planets are perfectly aligned, all the necessary events came together at just the right time, and a new and soon to be successful company was born.
It amazes me how much computers have changed in 20 years and how little the whole buisness aspect of computers and software has changed in 20 years.

RSS via Email

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FetchRss for RSS via Email.

Developer Advice from the Trenches

Little Nybbles of Development Wisdom
In this document, I have tried to remember and distill my hard-fought 3-year experience as I evolved into a programmer capable of building a commercial product, . Naturally this is a not complete list of programming advice, but rather what I learned on this project.
Lots of good stuff in there, keep it simple, don't trust anyone else and test to name a few.

Zope is to ...

May have gleamed the significance of Zope to the Python community. It goes something like one of those tests in highschool:
Perl is to Python like CPAN is to Zope.
There is a similar connection between Java and the Apache Java community, but it doesn't seem to be quite the ralling point as CPAN and Zope, and Java is just such a different beast.

Recommended Reading

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Recommended Reading: and it already lead me to 8Bit Joystick and this great one What If Hollywood Made The Lord of the Rings which is oh so true.

Aggregation in Java

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Flock is an RSS aggregator written in Java. It is a server-side web application accessible with a browser, similar in spirit to AmphetaDesk .
Looks to do alot of what I'm looking for in an aggregator. But there are a few problems, Tomcat(Servelet Engine), JRE and the need publicly avialable sever that has previously mentioned to run it all on. The elguapo of the Java web app situation is there are many intresting Wiki, Blog, Gallery, Aggregator, etc., projects but the whole Java/Tomcat is a real PITA on a shared server.

Maybe when I get broadband and can go back to an always on connection it will be more fesiable. Well that is unless arcterex decides to but Tomcat on

Netscape Toolbar Totarial

What is a Just War?

I'm glad to have found St Thomas Aquinas' Conditions for a Just War which I first remembered encountering during the first U.S. vs. Iraq War baci in '90 and '91. At the time I wanted to go on the record as being a concious objector, simply put my religon had to all for concious objection and I had to be on record with some leader of my religon that I was one. Being Roman Catholic concious objection is allowed if the War was an Unjust War as defined by the above link.

More Tetris

Tetris.NET because Tetris in TurboPascal was what taught me the value of source avialable.

Get your MC Hawking on

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MC Hawking's Crib and the MP3z, jsut in cast they are new to you.

Perl can Try, Catch and Throw

Object Oriented Exception Handling in Perl, how to use to allow Perl to try, catch and throw like the Java anc C++ worlds.

What Christian Theologian are You?

"It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is."
You are Desiderius Erasmus!
You have great love for others and will do just about anything to show it to them. You are tolerant and avoid confrontations, so people generally are drawn to you. You are more quiet and reserved in front of strangers, but around some people you open up. When things get tough, you like to meditate alone. Unfortunately you often get things like "what a pansy," or "you're such a liberal."

What theologian are you?
A creation of Henderson

Lord of the Peeps

Lord of the Peeps, Fellowship of the Peep

Skin Chooser for MovableType

Moveable Style or Switchable Type, mucho coolness. Now to implement.


NewsMonster is a newsreader and manager for RSS content, news, and the semantic web.
It has an immpressive feature list, though doesn't claim to support RSS 2.0. It could be the basis for my RSS Reader nirvana with it's Repitle server component side.
[via Russell Beattie Notebook]

Update: NewsMonster *does* support RSS 2.0
One of the features I point out is that it supports *all* versions of RSS.

This is due to the miracles of XSLT ;)

- --
Kevin A. Burton (,, )
Coolness. Now if I could just get it to work on my box.

Mozilla Skinning

Creating a Skin for Mozilla, yet another fun to play with tutorial.

Sex does the Heart good

Shag Or DIE!! (says this book...)
Current research on the sexual lives of heart patients shows that more than half of heart attack victims have one thing in common: They did not have any sexual activity of any kind for the entire year preceding their heart attack.
ZGeek comes up with some great ones.

Serendipity of the Blog

Manufactured Serendipity
Serendipity is all about making fortunate discoveries by accident. You can't automate accidental discoveries, but you can manufacture the conditions in which such events are more likely to occur.
First thought, how my blog has recently connected me to a deceased friend's relative. How the previous sentence was the second most emotionaly difficult thing I have wrote on this site, the first being the above mentioned post.

Honestly I really have no idea why I do this. Many of the reasons mentioned in Manufactured Serendipity could apply.

Beats the Pregnant Nun

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[ original]
Now do I show this one to my cousin the priest or my aunt the nun? Don't think so!
[via Jeremy Zawodny's blog: Best Costume Ever]

Waypath Relates

iBlog, Yumm!!!

Dammit, wish I had a Mac just to play with iBlog. It appears to really do nothing new, except the .Mac tie in, but damm the screenshots make all the to be expeced in a blog desktop client so sexy looking.

Bush Lies

Bush Lies, Media Swallows
George W. Bush does not lie about sex, I suppose--merely about war and peace.
What I want to know is why this kind of lying is apparently OK. Isn't it worse to refer "repeatedly to intelligence...that remains largely unverified"--as the Wall Street Journal puts it--in order to trick the nation into war, as Bush and other top US officials have done, than to lie about a blowjob?
The heart of the matter of why I don't like Bush Junor, he lies about shit that really matters. The most unfortunate part is that Americans are believing his lies.

Apple Needs a Tablet

Late thursday night I caught Bill Gates being interviewed on a PBS station. Overall the interviewer, who I recognize as being one of the PBS regulars, pretty much was softballing it so the whole hour was pretty much a how great is Bill and Microsoft. The really intresting part of it all was the bits about the Tablet PC where Bill and the interview were both using Tablet PCs. Have to say it is pretty cool looking stuff, especially the Toshiba that was also a laptop.

But then the memory of Inkwell trickled into my fore brain and I began to wonder when Apple was going to do something with Inkwell and iBooks or PowerBooks. Well Apple I'm waiting stun us before Microsoft and the PC space bores another really intresting market.


Blogrouter a Mail to BloggerAPI router. Seems to be intended for Sidekick users but should work for anyone.

Interface for Aggregators

Excelent timing, Radio's XML-RPC Interface for the Aggregator looks like the interface a perfect interface to somethign I have been working on. I'm working on a RSS aggregator where the repository resides on a server, because I'm stuck in dialup hell. A missing part was a neurtal rpc for accessing the repository, which is now solved except for the code to implement it.

XUL Runtime Enviroment

The Future of XUL, An Introduction to the Elusive XRE. Damm cool idea, maybe a real write once run anywhere gui enviorment. Currently on the road to not being vaporware.

Jabber gets a Journal

Jabber :: Journal :: #1
We've needed a weekly news report about Jabber for ages. Finally someone has gotten organized enough to publish it.
Now where is the RSS feed? Ah, I guess it is just part of the Jabber News feed.

Friday Five: Elections

  1. Did you vote in your last elections? Yes
  2. Do you know who your elected representatives are? None personally but most of them, or the ones I voted for, yes.
  3. Have you ever contacted an elected representative? If so, what was it about? Yes. Lots of different reasons. Some were trying to get me to vote for them, one was trying to get me to read more, one even wanted me to get him a beer :)
  4. Have you ever participated in a demonstration? Yes
  5. Have you ever volunteered in an election? What was the result? Kinda. Once I was the driver for several poll workers. Clinton won the first presidenial election and I got 3 write in votes for president.
the friday five

Darkside Switch

In case you have not caught Dark Side Switch Campaign give it a looksee. Great parody and good for some laughs.
I got my arm cut off and that SUCKED!

Which Founding Father Are You?

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Thomas Paine
You walk a constant fine line between annoying and entertaining. And you'll get carpal tunnel syndrome someday from all that typing! You aren't a natural leader, but accumulate an audience because its fun to wtch you rant. You aren't a mover and shaker, but without you, nothing would ever get done.
Which Founding Father Are You?

Dell Will Sell Macs


A little prediction. In the 1 - 2 year time frame Dell will start selling OS X, probably of the X86 variety.

Now for the the big answer, why?

Well the most recent trigger for the prediction was Dell selling iPods. If this venture is successful, and it should be the iPod is the best of bread MP3 players out there, it will provide encouragement for Apple and Dell to continue and expand their partership. Dell is also good for Apple in the volume and buisness world exposure sense.

Dell and Apple have very similar problems. Apple really needs to be able to expand into the Windows world. The tea leaves say switchers are more likely to be from the Unix/Linux crowd than the Windows crowd which makes sense until Apple is able to distribut via a Windows channel like Dell. From Dell's angle Microsoft is getting to be a big PITA, both in price and in strong armatude. Dell really needs some alternatives like their FreeDOS adventures. Apple could definately kill Microsoft on the OS liscense margins.

The big killers in the prediction is if Apple just refuses to have a second architecture due complexities of managing or fear of killing the main buisness, selling boxes. Microsoft could also kill the prediction by going vicious with liscensing, which will probably happen given the useless punishment from the anti-trust trial.

Regardless my prediction still stands. In a 1 - 2 year time frame, probably in 2004, Dell will start selling boxes with OS X on X86 hardware.

Wiki, Bug Tracking, CVS oh my

CVSTrac is bug and patch-set tracking system for use with CVS CVSTrac is designed for low-ceremony development - it provides mechanisms for tracking changes and bugs without unnecessary restrictions.
It also uses the most escelent SQLite. Pretty cool simple open way to get the job done.


Lawyers are like Slinkies . . . not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

The other night I ate at a really nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Doctors can be frustrating. You wait a month-and-a-half for an appointment, and he says, "I wish you'd have come to me sooner."
[via email]


mod_blosxom module for Apache
The Apache module which builds the extremely lightweight Weblog environment.
Cool! that is all I got to say about that.

Toyota going Hybrid

Toyota plans all gas-electric vehicles by 2012, which should make engel happy.

LinuxJournal Blogging?

Linux Journal Blog beta site, how intresting. Now if the rest of the Linux Journal staff would join Doc and aggregate it into a master mega blog.

Geometry is Useful

When putting down a hard wood floor sometimes geometry, specifically Some Triangle Formulas, can come in handy.

Friday Five: Religion

  1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith? Raised Roman Catholic. Even spent 8 years going to a Catholic elementary and middle school.
    Accouding to Belief-O-Matic:
    1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
    2. Liberal Quakers (96%)
    3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (93%)
    4. Bah�'� Faith (88%)
    5. Mahayana Buddhism (82%)
    27. Roman Catholic (28%)
  2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not? Not currently practicing. There is no longer anything intresting to my spiritual or socail development occuring at any of the Catholic churches in the area.
  3. What do you think happens after death? I'm not really sure. One of those subconcious tests said that I thought the afterlife existed and was just a place of great peace.
  4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)? Confession, though strangely I have not participated in it for years. I think the draw is that the concept of total forgiveness just totally rocks.
  5. Do you believe people are basically good? I believe our default state is neither inheriently good nor evil.
the friday five

Liverpool's Labyrinth

The enigma of Liverpool's labyrinth, looks like it would make a good tourist attraction. Although it would also make a good reference for a Chuthulu or X-Files Story.
Another story puts the tycoon as a member of an extreme religious sect that believed that Armageddon was on the way.

Wikis need a Blog

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Bliki, Wiki, Chiki, Reeky? A good point about how a Weblog like interface to a Wiki does a good job of inviting, though the bigger point is the culrural issue. Wikis, especially the big successful ones, are really about the community where Weblogs are usually about an individual. Regardless a Blog interface couldn't hurt.

Now this tthinking raises a thought, what if Slashdot was more Wiki like with it's comments?

Update: There already is a Wiki Slash Plugin, SlashWiki, Slash's Wiki Plugin the article. It would probably end up as a "First Post" with lots of intresting stuff in the changes.


An Internet way of self-knowledge, Yet Another Why Blog, but this one is good.
The discipline of logging every web-article you find interesting and spelling out your reaction takes the journal in a very different direction, because unlike the private life-events of a diary, every weblog-reader can share the exact same experience of reading the web-article, and so know exactly what you're reacting to.
One for engel.
the dishonorable professions

Academia and the law often reward obfuscation as a way of making trivialities more impressive, and lies more credible.

But web-hypertext is useful to the degree that it resists obfuscation, instead laying out its insights as clearly as possible.

Intro to Subversion

Single-User Subversion
In this article, we'll cover the basics of Subversion, how to install it, and how to use Subversion for personal projects.

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