Monthly Archive for January, 2005

Backups

a Flickr photo shareHaving read a few recent posts from Andy Budd and Jason Kottke, I’ve grown suddenly worried about the prospect of losing my Powerbook’s data. For the past couple of years, I’ve manually backed up critical files to CD, but I was lucky if this got done once per year…

After briefly flirting with DVD archiving (thanks for your help Jason), it was clear that this would be only slightly less annoying than CDs. And, web servers offer even less disk space…

No, I decided that it was time to set up scheduled backups, to hard disk.

First, I started with an old Dell Desktop, which we set up in our litter-box closet. We bought a USB Wi-Fi “G” adapter to connect the PC (and our printer) to the network. I should also mention that I added an 80GB internal drive…

With the hardware in place, I decided to use Déjà Vu to run the backups — this app does everything a backup app should do, but I like the way it is integrated in System Preferences, as a preference pane. It’s lean, clean, and fits well into the OS.

After an hour or so of Setup, I’ve got scheduled weekly backups of my user directory, starting tonight at 3am…

I know that I’ll sleep more soundly!

links for 2005-01-30

links for 2005-01-29

Weighted Category Lists

After a few site tweaks earlier in the week allowed me to implement new categories in this weblog, I decided to add weighted category lists, much like Flickr & Technorati.

I modified an example given by hitormiss, which looks like this:

<?php
$minfont = 1;
$maxfont = 5;
$fontunit = "";
<MTCategories>
$catlinks{"<$MTCategoryLabel$>"} = "<$MTCategoryArchiveLink$>";
$counts{"<$MTCategoryLabel$>"} = <$MTCategoryCount$>;
</MTCategories>

$spread = max($counts) – min($counts); if ($spread <= 0) { $spread = 1; };
$fontspread = $maxfont – $minfont;

$fontstep = $spread / $fontspread; if ($fontstep <= 0) { $fontstep = 1; };
foreach ($counts as $catname => $count)
{
$catlink = $catlinks{$catname};
print "<a href=\"$catlink\" title=\"$count entries\" class=\"cat".
ROUND(($minfont + ($count/$fontstep)))."\">$catname</a> &nbsp;\n";
}
?>

[You can also download it in a text file]

Put it in your Moveable Type archive template, and you’re good to go. It will write 5 CSS classes — cat1, cat2, cat3, cat4, cat5… (of course, you’ll have to define those in your stylesheet!)

You can head over to my archives page, to check out the implementation. (Notice that the 5 largest categories are the original 5… i will be classifying old entries in the next couple of days…)

(I apologize if not all the code is viewable here — I suggest you highlight and copy/paste to a text editor, which should work)

links for 2005-01-28

The Bravery @ TTs

“mic stand 2”, posted by nedward

On Tuesday, we checked out NYC’s latest hyped offering, The Bravery, at TT’s, and it only cost $8. Labeled by the BBC critics as the Sound of 2005, it looks as though they have a shot at living up to the hype.

Usually a staid Cambridge crowd, TTs was absolutely electric… check out my photos.

links for 2005-01-27

8-year Anniversary

Just a note of thanks to Stef & Nobuko for recommending Dali’s for our anniversary dinner.

Presley and I have been together now for 8 years, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a finer experience. Because of the blizzard, we had to delay one day, but it was worth the wait… (a couple of photos of us… gag!)

Tapas items that we ordered:

  • Mejillones con Aguacate (Green-Lipped Mussels w/Avocado)
  • Queso de Cabra Montaña (Baked Goat Cheese w/Tomato & Basil)
  • Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)
  • Vieiras al Azafrán (Scallops in Saffron Cream)
  • Ravioles de Mariscos (Lobster/Crabmeat Ravioli w/Langostino Sauce)
  • Solomillo en Tostada (Beef Tenderloin w/Pimento on Toast)

And, for dessert:

  • Filloa al Licor (Fruit-filled Dessert Crepe accented with Chocolate Sauce and Orange Liquor)

Some Anniversaries past:

links for 2005-01-26

Fast Food Nation

Is it wrong to look at mothers in the mall food court, and wonder why they let their kids eat McDonald’s and Pizza?

(There are limited culinary options near my workplace)

Facelift

It was a long time coming, but I gave this weblog yet another design tweak, converting the horrid image map navigation to CSS-styled unordered lists.

This design has served me well for the past 2+ years… a major re-design has been in planning for more than a year, but I almost enjoy tweaking this one more. There is value in constancy.

The real motive for doing this, is that my category choices for posts have been limited to the same 5: books, music, movies, features, and posts… I couldn’t add new categories, because the image navigation, and complex scripting behind its display wouldn’t allow for it.

Stupid right? Designing with flexibility is something that I am learning… pixel-perfect, heavily-graphical sites can turn out to be a pigeonhole.

Maybe I just needed 2+ years to strip away, and un-design it to the point where the content becomes the most important component.

Anyway, everything is a bit in flux at the moment, so there might be further changes to come.

links for 2005-01-25

links for 2005-01-24

Blizzard of 2005

Brookline Ave

I just came in from shoveling the driveway of our next door neighbor, where he kindly let me park the 9-3… more than two feet of snow, blizzard conditions, and very cold temperatures—reminds me of the Buffalo blizzards of my youth…

Everything is closed, and I’m waiting to hear if I have to go in to work tomorrow morning… in the meantime, i put some photos on “Flickr”:.

Also:

links for 2005-01-23

Pauly Shore is Dead

Pauly & Snoop, in a promotional photo.

Pauly Shore is in Boston this weekend, to show and promote his film, Pauly Shore is Dead, at the Coolidge, and we braved the 2 degree-cold to wait in line for the midnight showing last night. During a Q&A before the showing, Pauly spoke very eloquently about the project, which he wrote, directed, produced and financed (from his stand-up earnings).

I think we came for the kitsch value of seeing this fallen icon from our youth — the Wiez… but left having thoroughly enjoyed the film, for what it was.

Ordinarily, movies that feature numerous cameos are quite a drag to watch… (Bruce Willis in Ocean’s Twelve comes to mind). But, not only does Pauly manage to coup some really funny people, he also wedges them into his plot. Rico Suave selling oranges on the side of the highway, Todd Bridges playing the part of spiritual mentor and cellmate, Tom Sizemore & Michael Madsen with young girls, and Kurt Loder playing “diva” during his MTV News updates… all of these are pretty funny.

Go see Pauly & the film, tonight at the Coolidge, 12am. And, the DVD comes out on tuesday, january 25.

links for 2005-01-22

links for 2005-01-21

Brick

“brick”, posted by nedward

I love the space inside the Enormous Room, in Central Square — especially these steel lanterns (which I hit my head on…)

links for 2005-01-20

Flickr Struggles

Flickr is having problems again… Stewart swears that they’ll have it up and stable soon. In the mean time, what to do with my photos? I’ve got 3 birthdays worth of material here, folks…

links for 2005-01-19

Saab 9-2X

Saab 9-2xThe 9-3 is again in the shop, (needed a new thermostat), but this time my loaner story is a bit more interesting that the Kia Rio of last week. You see, I was given a 2004 9-2X loaner – albeit, the base model. What’s funny, however, is that I came away from the experience feeling once again that Saab is harming its brand. Why you ask?

First, this is not a Saab. I don’t care if it has a 9-3 front-end, and griffin logo slapped on the wheel… the overall character of the car screams Japanese. Based on the Subaru WRX, Saab supposedly added a few stylistic and performance “enhancements”.

I should note that it handles well, (AWD is standard), and was fun to hit the MassPike exit ramps at a high velocity. But, as an automatic, and lacking Turbo, (which Saab invented), I felt like I should have a couple of kiddos in the back seat.

The interior was surprisingly sparse – the displays were old-fashioned gray LCD, and the radio knobs was pretty low-end. In short, is lacks the Saab experience. When I first test-drove my 9-3, I felt as if I was in an airplane cockpit, with its short windshield, ignition between the seats, (rather than on the steering column), and the way the controls lit up. By comparison, the 9-2X feels very much like all the other cars you’ve ridden in.

Overall, it is a fine car – though I’m not sure why one wouldn’t just go buy the Subaru version. GM, (Saab’s parent company), is probably trying to attract a lower-priced market segment – 20-somethings who are attracted to the Saab brand, but who aren’t looking to spend $30k.

It was a risky gamble, toying with the unique character of Saab… that said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 9-2X on the road, though there are a glut of old 900s and 9-3s parked in my neighborhood.

links for 2005-01-18

links for 2005-01-16