Skip Navigation

Retraction

So maybe I was a little hasty, basing my judgment on that photo. It turns out (after reading that bio) that she’s actually kinda old… and looks a little more like this. Error admitted, let’s move on with our lives.


My CPU is a NeuralNet processor. A learning computer

If you don’t regularly read Wired, you should definitely check this out. It’s a robot baby fer chrissakes! If all goes well, this thing could learn and develop just like a human child.

Of course, it could just stop learning anything past “ooh” and “ahhh” and be a total flop… but I’m trying to look at this positively. You know how it is… the future being in our hands and all.


Thank God… or whatever

I just checked Curtin’s “Online Tutorial Signup” page (signup closes February 29!!) to make sure I’d been removed from a tutorial I was double-enrolled in (seeing as I requested the removal about a week ago and they said it would take 2-3 days). I’ve just got to say “Thank you Jesus/Mary/Joseph/Allah/Buddha/Mohammed/Eliza Dushku” for not letting Curtin get all pain-in-the-ass on my ass. I’m enrolled in the right tutorial, and damned glad about it too.


Feminem

More evidence that the world’s future is going to be one with a distinct lack of balls; I heard Eminem’s Superman, from The Eminem Show, last night on the radio and the degree of censorship in place is fucking ridiculous. Admittedly, this is a self-imposed censorship that Eminem and his producer, Dr. Dre, have decided is important for the success of the record (if releasing a “clean” version of the album means his shit gets airplay on Rick D’s show, or sold at Wal-Mart, so be it), but the lengths they’ve gone to are laughable.

Obviously, “fuck” get’s the usual “scratch it up” treatment, whereby the sound is distorted just enough to be indistinguishable, but when “bitch” gets swapped for “chick”, “bitches” gets switched with “women” and “slap” is replaced by “bump”, we’re living in a god-damn candyland.

With that in mind, it’s time again for everyone to be reintroduced to one of the world’s best (now defunct) webcomics, The Parking Lot is Full. Go. Now.


Bumped into Richard today… he's dreamy

I thoroughly recommend you go visit Richard right now, buy some of his formula, and join the “offical” fan club.


5am is not a good time to…

  1. be awake when you have class in four hours, particularly when one of those hours will be spent negotiating traffic.
  2. be coming down from a large dose of caffeine, given the aforementioned circumstances.
  3. try to work, particularly when your brain has made it clear that all it wants to do is hurt you.

Return to Vice City

I don’t know why, exactly, but tonight I fired up the much-neglected PS2 and popped Vice City into the slot. I just feel like a little mindless slaughter and organized crime.

This time, just for a change though, I’m starting again from the beginning and won’t be employing any of the “legalized cheating” methods I used to finish the game last time I played; whereby you save the game every time you complete a mission and, if you die attempting the next mission, load that saved game whenever necessary. I think it’ll keep my conscience cleaner… leaving me free to beat up hookers and distribute leaflets to my new porno movie in peace.


Maybe I should take him next time

My friend Mike, who I think is best known for his effect on the ladies (*cough* bastard *cough* *cough*), just recently signed up with Telstra to get a new T68i. We've discussed our shared desire for this phone on several occasions, and having heard that Telstra was offering them free with service activation, I had to get one. All of this is fine and dandy, but for the fact that I was told he scored a free camera attachment through a little sweet-talking of the TelstraShop staff. Emboldened, I stepped up to the counter and tried to put the moves on my sales clerk, Lisa.

No luck. I did, however, score a $20 discount on a USB Bluetooth adaptor. Huzzah. Though I can hardly begin to compare this to Mike scoring a $200 discount (ie- a 100% discount) on the camera attachment, it makes me feel like I have some limited control over women… sales clerks in particular.

Oh yeah, the reason I’m not bubbling with excitement over my new phone is because I don’t have it yet. Repeated computer failures at their store means that my application, although approved, wasn’t fully processed and I can’t get my phone until tomorrow. Maybe Lisa is trying to teach me a lesson about manipulating people for discounted merchandise. Bitch.


Sony Ericsson T68i

I’m not going to rant and rave about how great this phone is because, truth be told, I’m a little disappointed. Mobile phones nowadays seem to be incredibly slow to react to user input. Whether this is a limitation of the phone’s OS, or something more sinister, it leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. The whole thing smacks of poor usability, an unfortunate by-product of cramming so many features into a machine whose CPU is already on overtime, and the fact that user input is limited to just a few wacky buttons.

It’s only been a few hours in my hand and I’m already craving a new phone with some decent graphics. 8 bit colour pallet? Fuck you. Web safe colours my fucking ass. I know it may be years before I can afford a phone with a decent colour pallet (hell, I’m stuck on a 2 year contract for for this phone, thank you very much), but for now I’d just like to upload a picture for my phone’s desktop that doesn’t look like ass.

All that aside, recent software developments make this little bastard (lovingly named “Wiggles”) a somewhat useful trinket. Clicker and Romeo (whose functionality, hopefully, will converge some time in the near future) offer some pretty cool options. Clicker, for instance, runs AppleScipt commands from the phone — AppleScripts that can be written to do practically anything on the computer. Romeo, on the other hand, has a pretty cool “mouse mode” letting you use the phone’s joystick as a mouse, zooming in and out of the screen at will using other buttons on the phone. All of these functions, if you hadn’t gathered as much, are run remotely… on the phone. No cables, no line-of-sight, just pure Bluetooth goodness. I’m yet to test Clicker’s “proximity sensor” — allowing the computer to run commands whenever your phone wanders in or out of Bluetooth range — simply because the range is too great. I can control my computer from the far end of the house, through walls and furniture, so testing where exactly range drops out is a little difficult on my own. Oh well.


I just ate some marzipan

weird


Chest minus weight equals joy

Oh yeah, I broke up with Fiona today… a process that was far less emotionally taxing than I figured it would be. One of the great things about dating your bizarro-twin for a year and a half (Bizarro in the sense that she’s a female version of myself, not because she’s an evil version of myself) is that you’re almost always thinking the same thing. Breakups are a breeze! Everybody has the same complaints and nobody can be bothered fixing them. The final result? We’ve talked more tonight than we have in the last 2 weeks collectively, and we’re both happy about it.

The End


Soooo hot. Want to touch the heiny

If you hadn’t already noticed, it’s like a goddamned furnace outside, and even hotter inside if you don’t have the benefits of insulations and/or air-conditioning. Of course, if you do have air conditioning (which is true of my bedroom, thankfully) then you're probably relaxing in your very own private meat-locker of coolness.


RSS, RDF, XML

I never really understood the whole site syndication thing up until today. I thought it was more-or-less another arbitrary web technology… a fly-by-night implementation of the XML standard which, although sounds great in theory, never seemed to have any practical implementation to me.

How wrong I was

A matter of hours after download NetNewsWire my tune has changed completely, and thanks in no small part to Penny Arcade for getting me thinking “Hey, maybe these RSS feeds are worth a looksee”. The ability, the sheer pleasure, of having all my favourite weblogs and news sites scoured for new content automatically every freakin’ half hour, is overwhelming. No longer will I load up my browser and bring up a favoured site only to be disappointed by the complete lack of new content, for now I am empowered. I’m still generally a little miffed that most sites only syndicate summaries of their new posts, so if I’m interested in what’s available I do still have to fire up Camino and read it… but that’s a minor gripe. What is unforgivable is the number of sites out there who aren’t syndicating. What the hell am I supposed to do? Go back to my website-visiting-every-half-hour-ass days? Hell no.


Boobies

It’s been a while since I watched Sex & the City, so I figured it would be a good idea to watch it and catch up with what’s hip in New York these days. After all, they taught me that a Cosmo is the coolest drink in the world, right??? (Note: Cosmopolitans are the second most goddamned disgusting cocktail I’ve ever consumed. Right after Margeritas). Between The Secret Life of Us and Futurama, “City” (as HBO like to call it for some reason) is the perfect spacer… talking trash, sexual dysfunction, booze, broads, and tits.

In case you’re wondering where the tits came from (so was I), it would appear that Sex & the City’s “stars” (with the exception of Sarah Jessica Parker, what’s up with her anyway?) have all had their contracts recently re-negotiated, because suddenly their tits are all over the screen. I remember back in the day when Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) was the only one to go topless, but suddenly Samantha (Kim Cattrall) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) are out too. Personally, I couldn’t be happier for them… you know… a leap forward in their careers and all.

Clearly, television is the winner here.


My ex-girlfriend is the greatest ex-girlfriend a guy could want

Fiona
why won’t you call those women?
Fiona
i want to know the outcomes.
Chris
outcomes?
Chris
there are outcomes?
Fiona
i’m running out of gossip.
Chris
what exactly did you expect i would be doing with these women?
Fiona
calling them.
Fiona
then sleeping with them.
Fiona
then maybe calling them again.
Fiona
maybe.

Acquisition

I’ve never been the type to use filesharing clients, since you might say that I’m morally opposed to illegal music sharing (Good music and those that create it deserve my respect) and I’ve slowly become opposed to software piracy since migrating to the Macintosh platform, but today I downloaded Acquisition; an OS X file sharing app that connects to the GNUtella network, just like iMesh, Kazaa, Limewire, et cetera. Whether it was the shockingly poor software design of other clients that I’ve tested, or just the thought of spyware clogging up my system that kept me away from them, Acquisition totally blows all that away. No ads, no spyware, no shit. It’s a very clean, intuitive interface (this sounds like a plug, doesn’t it?) and it just works, which has been the drawcard of Mac OS X all along. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thoroughly opposed to piracy, but P2P filesharing is arguably one of the internet’s greatest achievements, and is thoroughly useful for tracking down hard-to-find stuff… like quality porn.

Speaking of porn, I downloaded Tatu’s Running Through My Head video clip (I sleep on Saturday mornings, there is no chance in hell of me getting up to watch Rage or Video Hits) after Amy told me it was thoroughly hot, sexual and lesbian-filled. Turns out I got the Russian version (Ya soshla s uma), which I suppose features the same girls and roughly the same sequence… but hot it aint. That blonde girl looks like Nikki Webster, for Christ’s sake!


PHP

I remember reading somewhere that PHP is a recursive acronym for “PHP Hypertext Processor.” Kinda stupid, huh? A little further reading tells me that PHP actually stands (or once stood) for “Personal Home Pages.” No wonder they figured that a “recursive acronym” was the way to go. Cover their unimaginative tracks.


Making the Switch

Time and time again I’ve been questioned as to why I switched to a Mac, and my standard, obviously well-thought-out response is “they’re just better”. I grew up with PC’s (running MS DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME & Windows XP, respectively). That's most of my life I’ve been using them. I bought a Mac running Mac OS X after spending a year using Macs at TAFE (they were running Mac OS 9, but that’s a different story), and I just haven’t gone back. There is nothing that you can do on a PC that you can’t do on a Mac, and there is a shitload more that you can do. You never have to worry about drivers, or conflicts, or whatever the hell it is that PC users complain so much about; it just works. They’re built from the ground up with the end-user in mind, taking in user feedback along the way, and it shows.

My eMac may have cost me double what my PC cost me, but I’m smiling about it.


What the world needs

Right now, I’d love to see some Bluetooth headphones. Not a headset, headphones, mostly just because I wish I could listen to iTunes from a household location other than my bedroom — seeing as how loud noises generally get muffled through the walls, and generally piss the neighbours off, maxxing the volume isn’t always the best option.

Then again, why the hell not a headset? It’d have to be stereo of course, and incorporate that in-ear-microphone shit that everyone is so excited about… but hey — it’s a headset for your phone, or it’s headphones for your mp3-phone, next-generation iPod, or your computer! Problem solvered.


Agree to disagree

Via LockerGnome:

The successor to Windows XP (due in 2004, and rapidly slipping to 2005) is currently code named Longhorn, and it will not be compatible with your existing software, hardware or methods. Microsoft has already stated that backward compatibility will not be a design feature.

Some expect the name Windows will be dropped completely. The antitrust agreement with the Bush DoJ specifically states "Microsoft Windows" throughout. By maintaining incompatibility (already planned due to design considerations), making it look different and calling it something else, Microsoft can free itself from antitrust oversight. "It's not Windows, it's a different product - the agreement doesn't apply."

It would seem (yet again) that Microsoft is taking its cues from Apple. Forfeit backwards compatibility for the sake of progress, you say? I hadn’t heard that before. I hope, at least, that MS has the nounce to include Windows emulation software in Longhorn (again, as Apple did with its “Classic” emulator) or about 79% of the world’s computer users will be finding themselves very, very pissed off.

One has to wonder whether the gambit will pay off. I’ve been thinking for a while now that the reason such a great percentage of users stick with MS Windows (aside from the fact that the hardware is cheaper and the OS is easily pirated) is familiarity. What happens when that familiarity is taken away? If, as the article speculates, Microsoft is removing all recognizable Windows trademarks from Longhorn to dupe the Department of Justice, what exactly will this OS look like? Will Alt-F4 still quit a program? Will there be a Start Menu, or even a Task Bar?

In the face of such extreme change, facing some hefty upgrade costs (new hardware, peripherals, and software), will the public stick with Microsoft? Or will they migrate? Linux and Mac OS could be seeing some major population growth in the coming years. I guess we can only wait and see.


D’Oh

Today I learned that although my phone will turn itself on to sound an alarm — a pretty cool function, so you needn’t leave your phone on overnight just so it can wake you in the morning — iCal events with alarms on them don’t wake the phone. This normally wouldn’t bother me, but I learned this the hard way. After setting alarms for all my morning classes and syncing with my mobile, I assumed I’d be woken with all the usual fanfare that a loud, vibrating, flashing phone can muster. No such luck 5 minutes isn’t what I’d call “adequate” time to finish the phone call I’d just received (from the house phone… which thankfully did wake me before class), eat something, get dressed, collect my gear and go. But hey, a hot-cross-bun and a bottle of coke is everything a busy student needs for breakfast, right?

It’s really a lot

In preparing my fantastic new Garlic Bread recipe, I’ve stumbled upon something grand… the fucktonne. Forget metric, forget imperial, the fucktonne is the measurement system of the future. It applies to such an array of measurable amounts (fluid or otherwise) that it can only be described as “amazing”.

I’m thinking that the general gist of the fucktonne is that if you’re utilizing any amount of any substance so great that passersby may say “Hey. Slow down there, <insert appropriate derogatory remark>!”, that is a fucktonne. For example, a fucktonne of…

Butter
“Hey. Slow down there, fatty”
Fuel
“Hey. Slow down there, turbo”
Prozac
“Hey. Slow down there, psycho”

In preparation for the widespread adoption of the fucktonne in common language and scientific texts, I am patenting the word and close variants of the word. In future, every time you say “fucktonne”, “fuck tonne”, or “fucked one”, you will be required to mail me a cheque for seven cents. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you, chumps.


Maybe it’s maturity

A week or two ago my roommate, in the face of rising petrol prices, introduced to me the practice of “driving like a Grandma”. Apparently he’s been saving up to 40% at the pump just through increased fuel efficiency, though this is to be expected when you compare “driving like a maniac” (Garth’s standard practice) with “driving like a Grandma”.

I tried it myself, and though I’m yet to have any quantitative data on the matter, I’ll tell you right now that taking corners at a reasonable speed, and not pushing your car to its acceleratory (is that a word?) limit makes the simple act of driving to the supermarket not only safer, but more relaxing. No wonder Grandmothers live for so long.


the Drunkening

We should really invest in a keg more often.


Garlick

Garlic Bread. It’s one of those things that everybody loves, but only ever eats when Pizza Hut is offering it for free. So I thinks to myself “I want some freakin’ Garlic Bread. I have garlic, I have bread, and I have some other crap around the place. Let’s roll.”

Ingredients

Method

  1. Thoroughly mix the fucktonne of butter with the garlic and Italian herbs, preferably in a bowl.
  2. Spread the garlicky paste onto the bread, thickly. Very thickly. So thickly that passersby may remark “Hey. Slow down there, fatty.”
  3. Place the slices into the oven for 7 minutes. Maybe 8. Definitely not 10 though, that’s too much.
  4. Enjoy!

The good and the bad

I missed the Apple Developer seminar yesterday; which pisses me off to no end, since there was word of showbags to early attendees… and given that Apple handed copies of Keynote to everyone in the crowd at Steve Jobs' speech at MacWorld earlier this year, one would assume that said showbags would be reasonably generous in their offerings. Damn.

Then again, my absence from the seminar meant that I could spend the evening at the GBT watching Blueshift (friends of mine), Four Times Jimmy (Ten Foot Pole impersonators extraordinaire!) and Tantrum (sometimes moody and heavy, sometimes upbeat and pop-punky. Their lead singer resembles a young David Bowie, incidentally) do their thing onstage. Somehow a very late night segued into a fantastic day; a matching of perfect weather with enjoyable classes and pleasant conversations with attractive women in university cafeterias. Oh, and Chicken & Avocado croissants. Nice.


You people are sick

To the people googling “free grandmother porn” and “nikki webster mp3” and finding your way to my site, I am truly sorry. You will find none of that here, now go back to your shanties.


Oh, the ugly too.

Addendum to today’s post proclaiming today “practically perfect in every way” (Mary Poppins style): Kylie’s Confide in Me (from the album of the same name) came on the radio today, which is a good thing in my opinion. Sure, I may not be a fan (detractor would be a more accurate term), but this song is easily her best work and ranks as the only Kylie Minogue song I actually like. I’m guessing that this one-off appreciation of her music has something to do with the fact that she didn’t write most of the stuff on that album… so it isn’t tediously poppy.

Somebody at Nova clearly shares my opinions on the matter, since I hear Confide in Me probably twice a week, which is twice more than anything else is Kylie’s back-catalogue. A practice I wholeheartedly endorse.


Refreshing

Hit “refresh” in your browser window any time you like and there’s likely to be changes to the look of the site, since I decided that tonight was the night to scrap Movable Type’s default style sheets and start afresh. At this moment I’m toying with a variety of things, most notably the page heading.

Those of you that viewed the “returning soon” page at this domain over the last few months may have noticed that the “pretty spiffy” titling of “decaffeinated” was completely text-based and CSS–controlled. Then again many of you may not have; particularly IE5/Mac users, who saw nothing at the time and are currently experiencing some pretty funky layout errors, too. Never one to begrudge a browser (ha!), I’ll surely identify those problems in good time and perform a few Windows browser tests while I’m at it. For now though, I’m still toying and testing in Camino.

In reference to my pure-text heading (a styled <h1> element, with a similarly styled <p> laid atop to give the impression of shadowing); I’m wondering what the semantic impact of this technique is, exactly. Probably negligible, in which case it only reflects 2 things:

  1. That I am relentlessly anal about semantics, particularly when it comes to the old-school-favored method of using images instead of text.
  2. That text-shadow needs to be implemented by many browsers, pronto! Else I am forced to torture myself over minutiae forever.

Less refreshing

Disappointingly, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.2.2 (for Mac) fails to render this site properly… and I’ve barely implemented one tenth of the CSS I was planning for the coming days. For some reason, IE takes it upon itself to utterly disregard the natural flow of the page, having the paragraphs of my entries sit right on top of my “masthead” <div>. Even adding superfluous CSS statements to my <div>’s and <p>’s like position: static; (which I shouldn’t need to implement) does nothing to slow the shitstorm of misrendering this page experiences under IE5/Mac.

UPDATE: IE5 feels that once the <h1> (for which the “masthead” <div> is a container) is taken out of the flow of the page using position: absolute; (a necessary evil, unfortunately), that it’s open season on that <div>. As far as IE5 is concerned, that <div> is empty and serves no purpose, so it’s free to render right over the top of it. It feels like I’m copping out by playing IE5’s stupid little game, putting a non-breaking space in that <div> just so it doesn’t freak out, but too many people use this trashy browser for me to disregard it altogether.

Safari (Beta 60) fares even worse; it doesn’t even load the page before it crashes. But to be fair, it is only in beta and it doesn’t actually crash… it “stops responding”. Dave Hyatt (though I can’t find the entry… which makes me wonder whether I imagined it all or not) reported other CSS-engine crashes earlier this week when some “web freaks” tried using a few CSS3 pseudo-selectors they knew worked in Mozilla… I guess I can only wait for beta-64 and beyond.

OmniWeb has no trouble with the page, Gecko browsers (Mozilla and Camino) have no trouble with the page, Opera has only a little trouble, and iCab… well let’s just say that iCab does its best, shall we? I’ll be testing Windows browsers tomorrow when my roommate gets up (my PC resides in his room nowadays, since it doesn’t get any use in here), and I can only hope that they fare better.

The most thoroughly disgusting thing about this whole mess it that the only CSS I’ve really implemented is working on the masthead of the page. What the hell is going to happen when I work on the rest?


Oh my noodle

It’s past 6AM, I’ve been coding for nine hours straight, I think I’ve hit “refresh” about a hojillion times tonight. The page is a long way from finished, but at least it’s looking decent and is reasonably useable. It’s time for little boys to go to beddy-byes. Good night.


Cynthia is a total slut

According to Jay Zee, Cynthia goes down every 60 seconds, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. Apparently she wears clean underwear too, something that’s hard to find in a girl like Cynthia.


Minutiae

Added a tedious workaround to the “elevated header” problem reported in Gecko browsers, even though other browsers (OmniWeb, Opera, Internet Explorer, Safari) fail to float the headers within the blog entry anyway. The quest for semantic correctness and supreme accessibility continues…


War?

I’ve taken a fairly hardline stance on ignoring this war, since I am entirely self-involved and do not believe that the events unfolding on a global scale will affect my tiny microcosm to any substantial degree. Therefore, do not expect my comments on the matter; with the exception of fuel-price complaints.

That said, I think Richard Stevens 3 is a genius, and implore you to go and read Diesel Sweeties


Load upon load

The astute amongst you may have noticed that this little site of mine has matured rapidly over the last few days. I speak, of course, with reference to the ongoing work I’ve been putting into its style sheets and the mountain of bugs that process has presented me. If you're using IE/Win, things are probably looking a little broken right now, so I wholeheartedly suggest any Gecko browser (Netscape, Mozilla, Camino, Phoenix…) or even the illustrious IE5/Mac for your viewing pleasure.

Trust me for one second when I tell you, IE/Win users, that your time will come; I’ll be tweaking plenty more CSS in the near future with you in mind. The general plan (though far-off as it may be) is to implement a style switcher with “low grade” sheets as an option for the shitty-browser-inclined community. Those of you using Mozilla, I encourage you (right now) to click (in your browser) View > Use Style > Basic Page Style; then ooh and ahh at the semantic correctness of it all. Go. Now.

The “elevated header” bug I reportedly fixed sometime in the wee hours of this morning is back. Why? Because IE6/Win suffers no such error in its implementation of the “header-in-paragraph” style I’ve been working on, so I figure it would be ridiculous to work around a bug in one browser only to create a problem in another. O! What a tangled web we weave!


Wow

A little Windows browser testing (yes, I do that too) tells me that most modern Windows browsers render this site flawlessly. When I say most, I’m talking popular browsers. Specifically:


Obviously, this makes me very happy… but Internet Explorer 6 is still behind on its CSS support and is holding a 53% market share right now (with IE5x holding an additional 38%). That pisses me off. Catering to shitty software normally isn’t my bag, but when we’re talking about the majority browser on the majority platform (bundle a browser… win a browser war) I suppose I have to make an exception. Prepare for fun fun fun!

In other news, I’m hosting a kegger tomorrow night, which excites me to no end. I might not sound excited, since I’m still a little pissed about Internet Explorer, but the thought of a drunken orgy is blowing my mind. Really.


Gasp

All things considered, I had a purty darn tootin’ good night last night. The beer ran out, which is something I only barely considered in the lead-up to the party, but all was well. Incidentally, our house is a little trashed.

Tweaks here and there on decaffeinated.org has improved browser support overall… but the site is still plagued by brower inconsistencies. I’ve converted the top-left “calm blue ocean” graphic from PNG to JPG to better accommodate Internet goddamn Explorer’s shoddy PNG-24 support, while also halving the filesize. Everybody wins. Something else I’ve changed in the last day or two has improved IE/Win’s rendering of the site to no end, while simultaneously degrading presentation in Opera 7 (Windows). I wish I knew exactly what was causing that, but I guess only time will tell. A lot of browsers are having trouble with the whole display: inline thing, particularly when it comes to the list of links at the top of the page (currently only linking my blog and Fiona’s). Gecko browsers are still peachy.

Safari continues to enrage with its “Screw you Clarko, I can crash whenever I want” attitude and whatnot, so I plan to spend the next few hours combing through the code and finding exactly what the cause is. After that (or maybe during) I’m gonna go get some pizza.


Oh yeah

Since “combing through the code” for Safari’s problem requires fucking with the style sheet to a major degree, don’t expect this site to look even halfway decent for the next hour or so. I’m wiping the sheet clean and introducing style rules one by one until the browser-crash-inducing rule is rooted out. Have a nice day.


Bugs noted

Since this is, after all, a weblog I’ll commence my code-combing and document all the problems I run into. Here goes nothing:

  1. Complete disregard for the extremely simple a:link pseudo-element when an id is attached. Explicitly- a:link#header1{color: #FFF;} does nothing to style the link in question. It is quite possibly the only browser I know of to neglect this style.
  2. text-transform: lowercase causes an all-out Safari clusterfuck. That statement, and that statement alone, is the cause for my Safari headache. In fact any use of the text-transform style (with the exception of text-transform: none) causes the same problem. I’ve worked around the problem (ie- I changed “Decaffeinated” to “decaffeinated” on the site), and though it destroys much of the semantic correctness I hold so dear I am prepared to forfeit my capital D for now.
  3. Margins aren’t being applied to inline list items. This doesn’t really bother me so much, considering many browsers fail to display inline lists as being inline… but in this case a half-assed implementation is probably more crippling (to the user) than no implementation at all.

After all that, decaffeinated.org now displays in Safari! No more crashes, and only a few appearance glitches. Bugs have been reported to Apple, and I’m looking forward to future beta releases. Still… Safari won’t make its way into my heart until it loses the god-awful brushed-metal look, and since that’s not going to happen I’m sticking to Camino. Now for that pizza…


In Inverno

The days certainly are getting shorter, and I’m unsure of how to react to the approaching Winter. It’ll be my first in this house, a house without a fireplace or heater of any kind, so I’m a little apprehensive. Woolen blankets will be greatly appreciated.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, the Cricket World Cup Final is on TV at this very moment. This doesn’t excite me greatly, since I have no appreciation of the game, but there are five or six extremely loud drunken yobs in my living room right now; chanting and yelling at the TV every few seconds. Winter, of course, will put an end to the cricket season; but then begins football season. I’m amazed that someone as weedy and particularly nerdy as Garth (who played D&D and Warhammer when he was a kid) is so sports-crazy. He’s not your typical Aussie bloke either (considering he’s English… by birth at least) so I really wonder where the influence comes from.

Now, I go to pick up my large deep-pan Meatlovers pizza from the ‘Hut.


Taking a leak

I was a little disgruntled to hear that Apple is pulling the plug on its Safari seeds, simply because the developers that received said seeds (well, obviously not all of them) saw fit to leak them to the general public. Apple, didn’t you ever learn that the secret to keeping a largely-unimpressed public in thrall is to release early, release often? Sure, you got the release early part right with Safari Beta 60, but why stop there? Your public craves updates, give them what they want!

After grabbing a copy of the aforementioned leaked beta (Beta 67) my argument is only strengthened. This is a piece of software that is at least twice as good as the original Safari public beta… yet Apple is still playing coy. Sure, tooltips are still conspicuously absent, but tabbed browsing has been implemented reasonably well (that “loading” animation gets tedious real quick, though) and the autofill feature almost had me thinking twice about my previous Safari-hating tendencies. Most of my complaints from previous posts (ie- CSS rendering complaints) are fixed here, and my only time-transcendent bitch is (again) the brushed metal finish. All in all we have a winner, but still no public release. And now with the plug pulled on developer seeds; the door is closed to us until the official 1.0 release.

Humbug.


No pants Sunday

Note to self: going without underwear for a day might make you feel like a revolutionary or a dandy of some kind; but ultimately you just end up looking like a dirty hobo or worse, a pervert. Wash underwear soon, lest you be tempted to don a pair from the dirties pile. End note.


Nudity

Following in the wake of the “no pants” fiasco; I’ve taken to complete nudism. Seeing as I’m the only one in the house between 3PM and midnight, I can’t imagine a better setup. I only wish my chair were more comfortable and that the stove didn’t spit oil when I’m trying to cook. Yow.


Charity

An hour to spare between my NET103 tute and my haircut had the potential to be extremely boring, so I spiced it up with a little blood donation. Quietly chuckling over Fiona’s frustrations at her inability to give blood (she has herpes… wait, no. She was ”a very sick baby”) I stepped up to the mobile blood clinic and began filling out the forms. Been to England any time during Mad Cow season? Nope. Had any man-on-man action lately? Nope. Been “accidentally” stabbed with a bloodied needle any time lately? Nope.

“How wonderfully charitable I am”, I thought while sitting and draining blood into a bag. “How lucky the recipient of this A-Grade O-Positive blood shall be.” Upon arriving home I received an email from the Red Cross informing me that after testing; my blood was certainly not A-Grade, and that I appear to have contracted syphilis. This, of course, is not true at all; the email was from the Curtin psychology department requesting my participation in an experiment. Apparently it’ll only take 50 minutes and I get $5.00 for my participation. Wow, five bucks! That’s even better value than all that candy and juice I got to eat in the blood van. “Sure, why not?”, I thought, and replied to make an appointment.

All this volunteer work had better be putting me level on the cosmic-karma-counter scales, or I’m going to be extremely pissed.


Back end

Ah, Movable Type. There probably isn’t a better web publishing system on offer, nor is there a more ridiculously complex one (at least for people who aren’t familiar with it… which up until recently was me). Screwing with MT for several hours in conjunction with Apache’s mod_rewrite module has finally given me what I have wanted since starting this site: pretty URLs for MT’s machine-generated archive files. You’ll notice that the titles of each post on the main page now provide permalinks to that post… a default MT feature for sure, but when you’ve stripped the MT templates back to their bare flesh you sometimes remove such features inadvertently.

Now anyone can browse decaffeinated.org’s archives at their leisure; even GoogleBot, who I’m sure was feeling neglected with no archive pages to spider. Pretty, aren’t they? Thanks, I do try.


Peer pressure strikes again!

Mike Pinkerton has caved to pressure and removed Camino’s sidebar bookmark/history manager in the latest nightly builds. This makes me cry, especially since it’s a step in the direction of Safari.

*Sniff*

Admittedly, a lot of programs misuse the Cocoa sidebar but I’ve always felt that Camino wasn’t one of them. Farewell, sidebar. Some of us will miss you. Clearly, Pink isn’t one of them.


What or Not?

I was contemplating the rash of “Rate my [whatever the fuck]” sites that exploded onto the web a few years ago. Am I This or Not, Rate my Poo, Am I Bear or Not, Rate my Boobies, and the piece that started it all: Am I Hot or Not? Many of these are in poor taste, and unsurprisingly many of them are sponsored by Rotten; but I think the web is in need of some really poor-taste sites right now. So I present to you: Am I Shot or Not?

Photos of gun wounds (lifted from Rotten’s archives, obviously) are racked up and rotated for viewing and rating by the millions of weirdos the internet has to offer. How about Do I Clot or Not? Where people guess which of the old geezers on show has had a stroke, or Am I Bot or Not? — the cyborg rating site?

If only I’d thought of these at the height of the hot-or-not madness. www.shotornot.com isn’t even registered for chrissakes.


Attention surfers

Stopping to get petrol on my way home tonight, I felt a little hungry and decided on a “Surfie Pie” to fill the void in my stomach. As it would turn out, a Surfie Pie is barely fit to be called a pie. A Surfie Pie is a goddamned quiche. Don’t get me wrong, I like quiche as much as the next guy (possibly moreso, particularly when apparently “real men don’t eat quiche”) but when I want a pie, I want a freakin’ pie!

Aside from that it’s been a rather lazy, stress-free day. I separated decaf’s colour/image schemes from it’s layout styles, thus creating two style sheets. This allows for a little more flexibility in the site’s appearance; so expect a new “theme” in the next few days. I figure I could add a new theme every month or so, just to spice things up.


Alternate style

I’ve been working doggedly at this whole “theme” deal this afternoon and have reached several conclusions:

  1. Though Gecko browsers and Opera 7 for Windows offer built-in style sheet switching capabilities, this ability is useless because the styles don’t stick. Refreshing the page reverts back to the original theme.
  2. Paul Sowden’s excellent Javascript Style Switcher fixes this problem through clever DOM manipulation whilst simultaneously enabling in-page style switching for people without the above browsers. Unfortunately, the javascript falls flat when the user doesn’t have it enabled. At first I thought that it just didn’t work in Opera 7 and couldn’t work out why… then I remembered that I’d downloaded the much-lighter “non-java” version of Opera 7. In other words, I’m a dick. But it proves my point about Javascript and justifies the ill-will I feel towards it… at least in my mind.
  3. My own PHP switcher has the unfortunate problem of only working for in-page switching. In other words, it’s not as seamless a function as the Javascipt solution (to Gecko and Opera users) because it doesn’t communicate with the style-selection menus that those browsers offer. This shits me.

So what is a concerned webmaster supposed to do? For now I plan to sit on my hands, that’s what. The new theme will launch on Tuesday (the first of next month) without a switcher for anyone. Such is life.


The soul of wit

As a sidenote, I’d like to point out that my original PHP Switcher was riddled with security holes and I thoroughly recommend Rob Ballou’s adaptation of the code instead. Why would I willfully shun my own code? To be perfectly honest, the hook of that article was the “just five lines of code” mentioned in the blurb. I can assure you that a more secure, more thorough script takes much more than five lines of code; but every article (like every song) needs a hook. The brevity of code in my switcher was mine.

Brevity is, after all, the soul of wit.


Psychobabble

In non-site-related news, today I participated in that psych. department experiment I mentioned on Thursday. It was, by and large, a tedious exercise involving riding an exercise bike and testing the effect that the increased heart rate had on my eyes. Invigorating.


Retraction

It turns out I was wrong (what, again?). Opera’s failure to work as expected with the JavaScript Style Sheet Switcher had nothing to do with the “non-java” version I downloaded. Actually, it’s quite capable of handling Javascript. As it turns out, my testing of the various abilities of the JSSSS wasn’t uniform. I hadn’t removed enough variables. It was downright unscientific. Take Jay Zee’s site (that’s Jeffrey Zeldman to you); it uses the JSSSS to switch between its white and orange styles, as well as a different JavaScript function for “Toggl(ing) Externals”, and Opera does a stand-up job handling it. Hit “Refresh”, though, and the style you chose is gone. Blammo.

This is startlingly inconsistent with A List Apart’s use of the JSSSS, where the fonts are controlled. The fonts stay on their selected setting, even through a refresh. This is especially puzzling considering that they use the same JSSSS code. Again, I abandon all hope of JavaScript offering any real functionality in life. My dilemma is solved; PHP switching will be installed come Tuesday.


Ripple

Some time ago I downloaded Fluid, an OpenGL screen saver module that I can only describe as tres cool. While I wasn’t overly impressed with the array of default themes provided (they’re cool, but not what I was looking for), there is so much room for configuration in this thing that it only took about five minutes to twiddle and fiddle and come up with the theme that has been my screen saver ever since: ‘Ripple.’ ‘Fluid’ screenshot

Now that is cool. If you don’t think that having your computer look like there's water flowing all over the screen (with warping effects!) is cool you’re obviously fucked up.

Download Ripple (24k)


Amusement etc

LockerGnome linked a FireWire/USB2.0 shootout today. It’s funny because Firewire (rated at 400Mbps) routinely outdoes USB2.0 (rated at 480Mbps) and because the successor to Firewire, FireWire 800 (any guesses as to what the speed rating is?) was released by Apple not that long ago.

Elsewhere, at NSLog, we’re getting the kind of pre-release rumor-mongering that I’ve come to expect from my fellow Mac users. It seems like every time there’s word of a new this or that; the rumor mill goes into total overdrive. Not that I’m complaining, I find it all very amusing. I remember back just before Steve Jobs’ last MacWorld keynote speech (the one where he announced the 12" and 17" Powerbooks) there was wild speculation over a possible iPod2 (with video playback!) and an iTablet. That shit was getting press, in real magazines. Personally, I can’t wait for Mac OS X 10.3, whether it has a new filesystem, textured interface, or a big fuckin’ dogcow on startup.


Kill

When I hear music from Vice City on my car stereo (specifially, “Pump Me Up” by Trouble Funk) I don’t know whether to be excited or scared. I was half expecting Super-Rockin’ Mister Magic to announce the next song. I’ll tell you one thing though, when that little brat came ‘round trying to sell me a $5 box of cookies again I almost took my hammer/golf club/samurai sword to his ass.


Uhh.. Chief?

Trying to install Netscape 4.08 (for testing purposes, what else?) on my PC resulted in the computer rebooting itself. Baffling.


Stinky

Tonight at work one of the guys at work that we like to call ‘Stinky’, for reasons that would become obvious if you met him, walked past some bins of rotting pigflesh and commented “Does it stink around here or is it just me?”

I almost bit my fucking tongue clean off.

Attempting that Netscape installation again revealed one thing: Windows is terrible. Installation ran fine. Don’t ask me what the hell happened the first time.


I en tipi

Perusing Erik’s site convinced me that a little Meyer-Briggs personality testing may be in order for yours truly; and I’m only marginally surprised (read: surprise absent) to see I am an INTP (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinker, Perceiver).

How to Spot INTPs tells me that I’m private, selective and reserved; cool, detached, and unemotional; logical, intellectual, and analytical; and casual, calm, and adaptable. Considering that I see all of those things as virtues it’s difficult to disagree; but here I was thinking that I was just a stony-faced hermit with a superiority complex! Amazing what wonders wording can weave (and alliteration).

As far as my best suited careers go; I only take issue with “Strategic Planner” — since INTP’s are supposed to be disorganised, messy, and always-under-deadline. But yes, I’ve been known to be a Computer software designer/developer, a College professor (if tutoring my entire HTML class in college on the aspects of HTML that our real lecturer failed to cover doesn’t qualify me; then I guess I’m lying), a Musician, a Web site designer, an Investigator, a Network integration specialist, and a neurologist.

Some of the above may be lies (well, Neurologist, to be specific), and several of them embellished (since my experience in all of the above fields is largely limited to personal experience and rarely equating to a “career”) so I suggest you take my words with a grain of salt. A big one.

In any event, with my personality type now clearly mapped out and “hints on interacting” with me well-defined, I can take control of my life and do… well, exactly whatever it is I’ve been doing all along. Bravo Meyer. Bravo Briggs. You’ve saved the day again.


Finally

After weeks of mental struggle I have finally decided on a research topic for one of my core units at university. The topic is divided into three assignments:

  1. Assignment 1: Research proposal
  2. Assignment 2: Information bank (basically, an annotated bibliography. This is where we do our real “research”)
  3. Assignment 3: Research presentation

The “Research presentation”, interestingly enough, doesn’t require us to actually present anything. We need to produce all the material that a presenter would need in order to give a presentation; but we don’t need to present it.

It’s strange how complete freedom of choice on an assignment like this has only confounded my classmates and I, seeing as we’re normally told what to do, but (literally) weeks of thought has produced this (suitably dorky) topic:

The business community has been largely polarized by the advent of the internet: some embrace it as the future of commerce while others reject it as unstable and dangerous. How have the strategies of both these camps succeeded or failed, and how can things be done better?

Yes, I truly did come up with that topic on my own. It lets me comment on the policies of the music industry, Amazon, Google, news providers, and so many more; so I’m pretty happy with it. So now that I’ve decided on a topic, I have to actually do the assignments.

Crap.


Ahoy

Time flies when you’re being semi-productive. This afternoon withered away whilst I adjusted the two spanking-new pages now available at the top of your screen: downloads and contact. Tonight at midnight I will, as promised, put up the new style sheet and switcher for your amusement.

Heck, once I have my archives properly organized and accessible, this place might resemble an actual web site. Exciting times.