Archive for March, 2005

SG Awards

Saturday, March 5th, 2005

Voting closes soon in the Sam and Jack awards and nominations open soon afterwards for the Stargate Fan Awards. That’s the same as the Stargate SG-1 Fan Awards for you old-timers, but Atlantis is now included so they dropped the SG-1.

The Charlie Card

Friday, March 4th, 2005

According to the Boston Metro, the MBTA is considering doing away with the thirty-year tradition of free outbound rides on the Green Line. While this isn’t a surprising move financially, the reason behind it is. The T apparently believes that the new “Charlie Card” (along the lines of NYC’s MetroCard) will speed fare collection enough to resume charging those of us who have slipped though the cracks in the name of expediency all these years.

All I can say is, that’s the best joke I’ve heard since the fare increase.

[Update] Apparently the Charlie Card is more like the DC SmarTrip RFID-ish system than the MetroCard slot-sucking readers, in which case it may actually perform as advertised.

Movin’ on up

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

I finally got around to the MacOS X 10.3.8 upgrade. It installed fine, but it disabled uControl. I just downloaded the latest version, but I need to reboot before I have my caps-lock-as-control-key back.

On the fun side, I found a link to the Perturbed Desktop movie somewhere today (probably on /.) and checked out the associated essay about new PowerBook motion sensors.

Comment Copyright

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

iPod link of the day: Shuffle tips and tricks.
Bonus link: Playing audio books on a shuffle.

Phil Ringnalda linked an interesting post about who owns blog comments. While I agree that the commenter owns the copyright on their words, I think that by posting them in a public place commenters lose their control over that particular copy.

I think of this as the “bathroom wall” principle. If you write a poem on a bathroom wall, the owner of the restaurant isn’t obliged to erase it at your whim. Nor should he have to let you back into the bathroom to edit it yourself. He can stick a neon Guinness sign in the bathroom next to your poem. If he happens to hoist his double-wide restaurant onto the back of a trailer and move it to another city (or country), then the bathroom goes with him and he’s still not obliged to do anything about your poem.

The same goes for comments. Once you’re posted them somewhere, you’ve not only fixed them in a medium but also implicitly licensed that particular copy of your words to the owner of the wall where you wrote them for use as a wall decoration.

The Light Side

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

True T Tale of the day: We lost half the train at Arlington. The power went out, we sat there for a while, there was a big clunk, then the power came back and we were moving again. When the train went out of service at Park Street, only one of the two cars we’d started with were there. I wonder what happened to the people on the second car. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) It goes without saying that it was a Breda train.

Jerie forwarded me this tale of a mini-switcher. Mini-switchers think they’re only mini-switching…mwhahahahaha!

Ahem. So here are my personal software habits/recommendations, exposed for all the world to see and emulate:

  • Quicksilver ( for keyboard-based navigation. If you’ve used ActiveWords for Windows, it’s something like that. Technically it’s still in beta, but it’s wildly popular. Another popular program along those lines is LaunchBar.
  • NetNewsWire ( for news feeds.
  • OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle ( are hard to describe, but you’ll find something useful to do with them.
  • CandyBar ( for fun. The boxed version came with Pixadex for icon storage.
  • iTerm ( for a tabbed terminal.
  • CyberDuck ( is a free FTP client. There are good commercial ones, too, but I’m cheap.

I’ve heard good things about Keynote and the iLife/iPages/i-other-stuff, but I don’t need them enough to pay for them.

Everything else I use regularly either came with the OS (Mail, Safari, iChat, iTunes) and/or is standard Unix software (Emacs, LaTeX, the built-in Apache server). If you need additions to the standard unix stuff, the place to get them is from Marc Liyanage ( or with fink (, in that order.