Windows Upgrade

No, no, no! Not that kind of windows.

I’ve just begun the process of updating the windows in my house, not the Windows on my computer.

Don’t worry, it’s a common mistake.

Had a guy out who did both my dad’s and sister’s houses; they were happy, the price was less that I expected…hey, we got a winner!

They probably won’t go in for a couple of months, but the process is begun, and next winter the house should be a bit warmer.

Hopefully the house won’t crash after the windows upgrade…

Isn’t It Ironic

I dunno; I just thought this odd…insightful..ironic.

Below are snippets from (left) my Gmail account, and (right) my host for this site and other things. Look, using the exact same disk space:

  • Gmail cost = $0
  • Host cost = $20+/mo

Yes, my host has CGI and other stuff, but it’s basically (beyond Perl) an e-mail and post stuff site. PHP is run as a CGI (ich!), mySQL is recent and extra cost…

Sure, does more than Gmail….but look at the cost, and the functionality. I’m using Gmail instead of my site as a “file server in the sky” to digitally transfer stuff back and forth between work/home and so on.

I have a 100M limit on my site (site and e-mail).

I have a 2,000M limit on Gmail.

Things are getting interesting…..

New Gallery

I’ve begun a new image gallery today, Evidence of Things Not Seen. Right now, it’s just a collection of current images that I’ve pointed toward, but I will gather up some of the bazillion pics I have laying around here that fit this category and slot them.

Basically, the title means images that reflect – in one way or another – something normally not seen in an ordinary sense. I.e., not skyline pictures or photos of bunnies.

More along the lines of macrophotography showing bugs (beetles, bees….) and flower reproductive parts. And, sure – we’ve all seen a computer keyboard – how about the same with funky light and a, for example, fish-eye lense? Stuff like that.

I love this type of photography, always have. Sure, a picture of a glass of wine can be artful. How about a 0.5×0.5 inch closeup of a curved edge of the glass, the miscus of the wine raising it up the glass?

Things like that. Stuff that makes one – for at least a second, at least – go, “huh? What’s that?”

Then my job is done.

While I always had this bent, I’m obviously influenced by artists such as Edward Weston – he of the green pepper series, the cabbage leaf, the Mexican toilet, Ansel Adams – who is best with grand landscapes, but can take one’s breath away with the Alaskan trailside photos, and – especially – Georgia O’Keeffe, who took making the mini mighty in a grand (some would say erotic) manner.

Still – in a way – nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t time – and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time.

About Myself, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1939

Tree All Gone

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we got the news that the large Norway maple in the backyard had to go.

On Monday, it went…

Left to right, the pictures show the following:

• The problem. A rotted-out trunk.

• Before (in the spring, right before leaves appeared)

• After. Wow. Naked backyard.

Oh well, will have a lot more sun now.

SCO Boomerang

There’s an interesting article in CIO Today titled The SCO Boomerang and the Strength of Linux.

It’s written by Pamela Jones (PJ), of Groklaw fame, who is well suited to write an article detailing some of the results of SCO’s litigation against, well, the world. In this case, PJ outlines how she believes Linux is getting strong in spite of SCO’s litigation; in her opinion, SCO’s lititgation and general bad behavior has helped Linux and the GPL.

Sorry Darl. I think she’s right.

The Papal Process

Well, the mourning period for Pope John Paul II ended today, and on Monday the process of picking the next Roman Catholic leader begins.

The (weak) picture here is from the public audience with the Pope I attended back in July 1979. No private audience – I don’t have that kind of pull – but I was seated a couple of rows ahead of Merv Griffin, so I had some inside connections.

This was less than a year after his election to the papacy (October 1978), and before the 1981 assassination attempt that seems to have begun the decline of his health.

I’m a fallen-away Catholic – and I was at the time, as well – but it was still a great experience. The helicopter comes in, the pope-mobile rolls in, and then there is an address the Pope gave in several languages. To a packed house in the middle of the colonnade in St. Peter’s Square.

More on RSS

Dave Winer – love him or hate him, he does have a lot to say about this subject – wrote a short essay the other day about Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and RSS.

Basically, he says Yahoo and MS grok it, whereas Google seems to have its head up its ass in this regard.

I agree. Google (and Sun) have wasted too much time on Atom – RSS has reached the tipping point, and – whether or not it’s the best system – it is the syndication system. The old Betamax vs. VHS arguement. Get over it.

At the same time – as I’ve said repeatedly this year – I expect big things from Google this year. I’m hoping some sort of RSS concession will be part of this. Why not?

Update: 4/19/2005 Another story on same subject – be sure to read the comments.

Death and Taxes, and the Death Tax

OK, today is tax day (submitted your return yet? No? Hurry!).

Seems like a good time to revisit something I mentioned in my post of over a year ago re: the so-called Death Tax.

I guess it’s getting close to passage, as this Business Week article notes.

My position on this has not changed. As one who will probably never have to worry about this (the current Death Tax affects only 2% of estates; I don’t think I’ll die in that rarefied air…), I’m probably a good spokesperson.


Because elimination/reduction/tightening of this law will affect me adversely: Since the dead billionaires are taxed more lightly, I (and the other 98%) will have to either suffer loss of government services or personally have to pony up more tax dollars to keep the status quo.

I still think the Death Tax sucks. You’re being punished for dying. And for having been successful while alive.

Wow. Double whammy. Actually a triple whammy – whatever you leave, you’ve been taxed on before. (Income, property and so on.)

Some liberal types think scaling back the Death Tax sucks, but I don’t, and I’m more liberal than the average bear.

Did the rich bastards get the dough illegally? Prosecute the mofos while they’re alive; don’t tax the dude in the coffin.

Is this rich bastard issue really an issue? We’re talking 2% of the population (currently; the new laws would trim that percentage). Doesn’t seem to be an issue beyond money management.

When Congress fixes all (OK, some) of the asinine loophole and other cost-ineffective measures it has in place (sometimes for all the best reasons; usually to get re-elected), then we can talk about things.

Happy Tax Day – just remember, your tax dollars are partially going to something you absolutely disagree with – abortion clinics & abstinence requirements; tobacco farmer subsidies & litigation against tobacco companies; calls for smaller federal government intervention & intervention in politically photogenic issues such as steroids in baseball or Terri Schiavo – that’s what the framers meant:

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.

– Voltaire (who helped Ben Franklin during the 1770s)

It’s an interesting country, this USA…and so relatively young…

mySQL Gotchas

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve upgraded to mySQL 4.1.11 from 3.23.58.


However, there were a couple of surprises I’ve run across in the testing of that change that – to me – shouldn’t have been a surprise: It should have been very clearly stated up front in the changeover docs from mySQL.

  • Change in timestamp behavior: – it’s now (v4.1+) just like a datestamp. So any code written against this will have issues. That’s a HUGE issue. Fortunately, I had only one timestamp, and it was referenced in the front-end code only once, so no biggie. Could have be a huge pain, however.
  • Subselects: Yay! Subselects! Unfortunately, only sorta true.

The mySQL documentation says the following about subqueries (i.e. subselects):

A subquery is a SELECT statement inside another statement.

Starting with MySQL 4.1, all subquery forms and operations that the SQL standard requires are supported, as well as a few features that are MySQL-specific.

— mySQL documentation; subqueries page

Sounds great, doesn’t it? ALL subquery form and operations that the SQL standard requires are supported….

But you scroll to the bottom of the same page (before the user comments), and you see this limitation: “One restriction is that currently you cannot modify a table and select from the same table in a subquery. This applies to statements such as DELETE, INSERT, REPLACE, and UPDATE.”

In other words, for same table subqueries, all you can do is SELECT. I.e. one of five possible statements, or only 20%. What a letdown. This limits the functionality of the subquery tremendously.

If they had said this up front, it wouldn’t have been that big a deal. Underpromise, overdeliver.

Oh well. Still better than was preceded it…

MySQL Stuff

Upgraded my mySQL server from 3.23.58 to 4.1.11 – all in one fell swoop.

Except for a white space I inserted in a config file that I should not have, an unbelievably simple and not complicated upgrade. Swap out the engine, change some config files…don’t touch the data files (MYD,MYI,frm) – yep, kept ISAM tables.

And it worked. Huh! I like that…

And now I get sub-selects! *Shrug* Again, this is why people flame mySQL – this should have been in there l.o.n.g ago.

To me.

But now I’m a happy pseudo-DBA.