October 25th, 2005

yes! moblogging with wordpress rocks! and the site is even palm-friendly.

Google Maps Mania

October 21st, 2005

Just read about Google Maps Mania on the NYT site. It’s crazy how quickly things can become the new hotness, and it’s a good example of how complex things can be made easy to use with the web. There is super-high-tech software behind google maps, but because they have a pretty simple way for someone to use it in their own web app, creativity blooms.

Once they start asking money for it, of course, a lot of that will stop, and something else will take its place. Several more of these cycles will have to happen before somebody finally finds a way to make money off of web services.


October 18th, 2005

As you may have noticed, this is on WordPress now. I have been technically violating the Movable Type terms of service with too many weblogs and too many users, so it’s time to go open source.

So far I give it a big thumbs up. Easy to install and set up. Importing my old entries was simple. That’s all I ask…

happy birthday, enzo

October 6th, 2005

Dear Enzo:

Happy Birthday, my son. I feel like we’re getting to the point now where you progress and grow faster than I can record my incredulity. You are SO BIG now. You can do many things by yourself, but you’re still not sure if you want to give up the cozy feeling of having mommy and me do it for you. And that’s fine. Soon enough, I’m sure, you won’t let me do anything, so I’m glad that you still want me to help you get dressed, even though if you felt like it you could pick out all your clothes and put them on all by yourself. When you want to do that I am be appropriately enthusiastic and proud. But when you ask for help, I’ll confess I’m secretly pleased.

I have to admit that sometimes you try my patience. Most of the time that’s not because you are really doing anything out of the ordinary for a young child learning proper boundaries. In fact, it’s mostly because I see myself reflected in you, and not everything about me is perfect. That’s very frustrating, but by being so innocently reflective like that, you help me be a better person. I want to set as good an example as possible, so I strive to overcome my shortcomings. You make me appreciate your mother more and more, too. I see you reflect her, and I realize that I’m glad that she and I are different enough that hopefully between the two of us we can give you lots of complimentary personality traits.

And what a personality you have! You’re very charming. You’re reserved enough around strangers to be intriguing, but friendly enough to not turn people off. And you’re so cute that many are instantly captured by your look alone. You play for longer and longer periods, and sometimes you get so absorbed in things I’m surprised at your focus. You love to whisper stories to yourself (entire books, with total recall), or songs that you just learned. I heard you singing along softly to one of your favorite CDs in the car recently, and I wonder if you realize that I do that too.

Your eyes are big and brown (where did that come from anyway? Mimi’s got a wicked strong recessive gene, it appears), and your hair is always tousled and cutely messy.

In short, it has been an absolute pleasure watching you grow these four years, and I am prouder than you will ever know to have you as my son.

Happy Birthday, special boy.

enzo has a good memory

September 29th, 2005

The other night Enzo and I were doing our nightly reading, and he said, “I’m going to read you a book.” So he pulled out Stella, Queen of the Snow, a library book we have gotten a few times, and proceeded to recite every page, from memory, almost exactly as written. And we don’t even own that book. If I read to him from one of his regular books and I say something wrong, he will correct me. He’s got them all in his head.


September 28th, 2005

Contrary to what you might think, most of the horsepower of the computer you’re using right now is probably sitting unused. Most tasks take only a small fraction of the CPU’s computing capacity.

It used to be that this idle time would just be wasted, but nowadays there’s a way you can use this extra power to help cure diseases like alzheimer’s and cancer.

Folding@home is a project at Stanford University that basically breaks very large problems into little pieces and distributes the pieces to people like you and me. We install a little program that does computations while the computer is on. When the computations are done, the program sends the results back to Stanford and gets another piece. Stanford assembles all the pieces into solutions for big problems, and science gets advanced a little bit.

What problems are they working on? Well, I’m no molecular biologist, but it has to do with protien folding, which is just a specific kind of biochemical reaction involved in many important bodily processes. They think that some diseases are caused by protiens misfolding for some reason, and if they can understand the mechinism of it, they’ll be able to devise preventions and treatments.

So how can you help? All you have to do is download and install the client program. They have three kinds: one that will run as a screensaver when you are not actively using the computer, one that runs as a normal application window, and a no-frills version. The first two will show you visualizations of the molecule you’re working on, while the last will simply run the calculations with no fancy visuals.

There are decent installation instructions on the dowload page, but if you want to do it and run into troubles, post a comment here or write me and i’ll help you out.

football timeshift

September 20th, 2005

As I was watching Monday Night Football last night I realized that I was seeing Mark Brunell and Drew Bledsoe play against each other, just like I had in the Apple Cup, Washington vs. Washington State, way back in the 90s when I was in college.

Bledsoe and the Cougars won the game I remember, but Brunell and the Redskins won a thrilling game last night, scoring two touchdowns in the last minutes of the fourth to pull it out.

enzo’s dreams

September 1st, 2005

Today when Enzo woke up he said he had these dreams:

“I dreamed that Santa came, and I saw him. It was Sal’s first time seeing him.”


“I dreamed I touched a sunspot. I went way up in the sky and then I floated back down with it in my hand.”

burton.com splash page

August 14th, 2005

Been working on the burton.com site this weekend, which will go live on Monday.

Make sure to check out the temporary splash page that’s up today…it’s a funny/scary story from burton syndicate friend adam (aka panda), who is hiking the pacific crest trail right now.

installing software and my own laziness

July 8th, 2005

Since getting a new computer I’ve been psyched to try out new software on it that I never had the disk space before, like mono. I’m not really knowledgeable enough to know if the whole CLI paradigm is really better than Java, as some claim, but it’s a pretty great idea. Anyway, since I use .NET at work it’s an interesting thing to play around with at home.

So installing mono itself is really easy. But it’s still Linux-oriented enough that there aren’t any installers for monodevelop, the IDE for mono that runs on mono. I tried to install it from source, using the only partly helpful mono os x page, but I had to figure out a few things for myself that weren’t on there. For one thing, the scripts couldn’t follow the symlinks that mono put in /usr/bin, so I had to put /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/Versions/Current/Commands in the PATH. After that I built all the dependencies with fink that page talks about. Then I got to the point of downloading the actual source for monodevelop,and realized I had installed the wrong version of gtk#. Argh. It so happened that I was perusing the fink package database then and saw listings for mono and monodevelop, so I decided to just bite the bullet and remove my existing mono installation and do it from fink.

Now, I have no idea if I got rid of mono properly. There’s no documentation about it, and google didn’t help. So I just deleted /Library/Frameworks/Mono.framework/ and all the symlinks to it that were in /usr/bin, and called it good. I was ready to just install mono through fink.

Then I made a pretty major mistake and learned a lesson, one that I will repeat to you now: if you are running a fink install through an ssh session and the session dies, not only will the build fail but the package dependencies will get totally fucked up, to the point where after an hour or two of trying to follow the directions in this FAQ entry, you’ll get pissed off and just

rm -rf /sw

and start over, since there was nothing you cared about in there anyway.

So now fink is rebuilding everything, and from now all fink builds will run inside of a screen session.