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I'm taking a temporary break from blogging, mailing lists, news, Cocoa programming, and almost everything else computer-related in my life. It's nothing life-threatening, just a strong need for more focus on my research. This entry is here just so you don't think I've dropped off the face of the earth.

Haven't blogged in a while, and don't have much time tonight, so here's a somewhat stream-of-consciousness entry.

Last week my mother and I got her DSL set up in record time, and were doing an iChat AV conference a few seconds thereafter. She went to her first major league baseball game last night, courtesy of her company, and had great seats. So did Eric Soroos, apparently. The weird coincidence is that she just moved from Boston to Seattle, and she goes to a game where the Red Sox and Mariners were playing.

Also in sports news, today was the last Chicago Bears game to be played in Champaign; I'm so happy that only U of I football games will make parking impossible to find on Saturdays. In celebration (not really), we played a game of touch football to warm up at Kuk Sool today. Aside from a minor knee injury, I'm mostly back to my pre-Norway-trip level of fitness.

I'm still largely focused on research, not that it's making me work any faster. I haven't done more than a few minutes' on my Cocoa projects, still. The free time I have had, I've spent helping Steve move in, testing FontCard, and doing AFS/Kerberos stuff on the Macs at ACM. ACM is starting to get some content on their wiki I set up a few months ago (running Sakana, of course).

Ben's in purgatory between living arrangements at the moment, and he's loaned me his Yamaha S90 for a week (picture of my setup here). The feel of the keyboard is so piano-like, it's amazing—not that I'm much of a pianist. The S90 has a USB MIDI interface built in, as well as an mLAN (FireWire) option. There are so many MIDI channels on the S90 that Sibelius's MIDI setup window is impossible to use, because all the descriptions are cut off. I've managed to get it to work fine for playback, but recording has issues if I turn on the metronome. Not sure I want to delve into the huge impenetrable Yamaha manual for an instrument I only have for a few more days. :-)

I spent the night fixing my desktop G4, because apparently I forgot to seat my Radeon correctly and was seeing continuous kernel panics with accompanying disk corruption (journaled HFS+ only protects your metadata, not your data!) until I reseated the card. DiskWarrior 3's speed is really incredible on volumes with large number of files.

In the process of reinstalling the card, I managed to lose two screws under the motherboard—what a horrendous location the AGP slot's retaining screw occupies. I mentioned this to Steve and he said “this is why I have a magnetic screwdriver for computer work”. Indeed. I'm now in the process of restoring the files that I know were corrupted; hopefully there isn't any more corruption hiding.

This is a test of the new WYSIWYG Radio editor. This takes me back to Mozilla (not even Camino) for the first time in quite a while. Mozilla seems faster than last I used it, but the user interface is still clunky as ever, and some long-standing usability bugs, such as not being able to close an empty tab from the keyboard in certain cases, remain. It's Safari's great attention to detail, rather than any wealth of features, that continues to make it my preferred browser.

The editor itself lacks some important features, such as drag-selection by word, but it is fast, responsive, supports multiple undo (are you listening, Safari?) and is truly WYSIWYG, by default using CSS for styles.

nice, if cryptic

It's truly nice to see some new Radio features after a long drought. While Radio isn't the best tool in the world, it's a great value, even at the current rate of improvement, and I'm so used to it by now that I can't imagine switching.

Still enjoying the cable modem. :-) Last night, Steve brought over his OpenBSD firewall box, and within five minutes we had DHCP and NAT working on the wireless network, dumbing down my wireless router to a simple access point. VPN setup comes later. I was stunned that it worked the first time. The funniest part was when he plugged in the serial console, and it displayed "Login incorrect", then there was a huge pause before anything else displayed; as usual, it then looked like "login: login: login: login: login:".

Some feature requests for the WYSIWYG editor: I want <pre> and <tt> buttons on the toolbar, and the HTML source view to be displayed in a monospaced font. It'd also be nice if paragraph breaks weren't formed by <br><br>; shades of Netscape 4.

Tonight I help my mother set up her DSL in Seattle, and all of us will have broadband connections at home—much better for iChat AV.

I really am an idiot for not getting a cable modem until now. I only got it because Steve is moving in with me, but let's just ignore that fact for the moment… The productivity I've lost to modem latency and transfer speeds over the past four years is too much to think about it.

So, in conclusion, goodbye,

and hello,

Finally! Now, off to work.

Sorry, trackback should actually work now. Forgot to actually click the “enable trackback” checkbox. Oops.

Back to work…

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