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March 30, 2009

As happy as I'm going to get in the office

(Bottom of the coffee pot) + (packet of Swiss Miss) + (hot water to top off mug) = Mmmm

Posted by pjm at 4:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2009

A few browser developments

I’m writing this using Stainless, a new browser for Mac OS X. Stainless started as a “response” to Google’s Chrome browser, which isn’t yet available for the Mac. Stainless is up-front about lacking some of the features we’ve come to expect from modern browsers (there’s no built-in search box, for example,) but it does offer one feature I hadn’t realized I’ve always wanted: “single-session tabs.”

Single-session tabs allow users to have different tabs logged in to the same site with different usernames. Noah, for example, frequently has different browsers opened for his gmail address and his commonmediainc.com address (which we have hosted by Google Apps). In Stainless, those are two different single-session tabs. Being logged in to a site like eliterunning.com or La Cucina Italiana presents a slightly different view of the site than anonymous users see, and now we can check them both with different tabs in Stainless.

I’m not likely to give up Firefox as my primary browser just yet, if only because I’m professionally addicted to Firebug and personally fond of a few plugins I use. But Stainless is a disruptive presence in a good way: by addressing a problem which has been nagging me for months if not years, it has made me more mindful of my software choices. (I’m thinking more about this recently, but don’t have any thoughts coherent enough to write about.)

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve found an interesting approach to the problem of Internet Explorer 6. (Note that it’s a response to this more strident opinion.)

Posted by pjm at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2009

People say odd things when they're under stress

Last night in a rather blistering Skype IM exchange, a client (actually, not even our client, because we’re subcontractors on this job) actually asked someone, “please provide an earliest as possible ETA at the worst”.

The best possible worst-case scenario? I was so bemused I dropped right out of the discussion for a minute.

Posted by pjm at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2009

Unix commands which really should exist

Usually one uses the exit command to leave whatever context one is in, e.g. log out of a server, close a su session, etc.

Shouldn’t there be an exeunt command to just close everything?

Posted by pjm at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2009

People who say these things are usually lying

“Quick question for you…”

“One last thing…”

Posted by pjm at 4:20 PM | Comments (3)

March 3, 2009

A press release, or a taunt?

Somewhere along the line, I found myself on the press mailing list for the 2010 European Championships, which will be held in Barcelona. (I suspect there’s enough overlap between the Barcelona 10 organizers and the Valencia ‘08 committee that they simply grabbed the email addresses of all media from the World Indoor Championships last year.)

This would be eminently reasonable except that there’s no good reason for me to get any assignments to attend a European Championships. That and the Commonwealth Games are the two big meets I’m pretty much unlikely to see unless I go as a tourist someday.

(If I work a big meet in 2010, it’s likely to be the World Juniors, in Moncton, New Brunswick.)

There’s no way for the Barcelona team to know this, of course. After all, I came to Valencia, why not Barcelona, right?

Posted by pjm at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

March 2, 2009

Error message of the day

From Ruby, but otherwise without further comment:

undefined method `is_defined?'

(For the record, the proper usage is defined?(<variable>))

Posted by pjm at 6:46 PM | Comments (0)