You know what’s really great

You know what’s really great about personal sites? (and by extension what’s really great about weblogs with a personal voice)

It’s connecting with people. I post something about a program not working or my DSL line acting up and three or four people email me with similar tales and how they solved it. I post news of my engagement and 20 people post their well wishes and many more email with tips on how to plan for the big day. Last week, Meg posted something we joked about at lunch one day: combining the music of rapper Emenem and the new age stylings of Enya. Then someone reads it, makes the dream come true and sends her an incredibly funny song.

The power of the internet never ceases to amaze me.

I loved my DSL when

I loved my DSL when I got it, but now it’s really pissing me off. The installation went smoothly, but I’m getting these small reoccurring outages that are driving me crazy. Every 15 minutes or so, I lose all http (web) and pop3 (email) traffic for about 60-90 seconds. ICQ, IM, ftp, and hotline still work, but no web pages load and no email gets sent or received while I wait for the digital hiccup to finish. After some delay, everything suddenly starts working again, and then 10-15 minutes later, the whole process repeats. If you’re trying to work, or surfing a bunch of sites, it drives you batty because there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do until a minute or two of non-activity passes.

The most annoying part is that PacBell made me sign up for a year of service, with a $325 early cancellation fine.

I should have stuck with a trusty cable modem.

Man, I am tiiiiiiired. I

Man, I am tiiiiiiired.

I worked on a kitchen all weekend, tearing out the old cupboards, appliances, tile, and drywall until there was nothing but a bare house frame. Then we started replacing everything; new drywall, new flooring, new cabinets, new dishwasher. It’s fun to work on something that has some permanence, something that could outlast me. In the digital world, I can write one line of code to wipe out this entire server, so I’m used to everything being temporary. I also learned that I use very few arm, back, and shoulder muscles while computing, but you really get them moving (and straining) when you’re hammering nails overhead or ripping out drywall.

It sounds like jack should

It sounds like jack should be showing up in SF tonight. The travel weblog was a great idea, and jack and Jessica pulled it off with style. Jessica’s entries are especially moving, I’ll be interested in seeing her closing thoughts on the trip.

Jack will probably mention this soon, but if you’re planning a road trip, extended journey, or circling the globe, and you want a temporary travel blog at http://whatever_your_destination_is.orbust.org/, let me know and we’ll set it up for ya.

Guilty purchase of the day:

Guilty purchase of the day: a Rio 500 mp3 player. There were two guys behind me on the train this morning talking baseball strategy and statistics the whole trip, and I couldn’t concentrate enough to read a single page of a good book I just started. Never again though. From now on I’ll read while bathed in jazz instead of annoying voices.

XML and XSL are

XML and XSL are amazing technologies and both are Good Things. For the first time ever, I’m actually building web pages with content and presentation completely separate. It’s one of the original visions of the web, and it’s finally possible. Another great benefit of building pages in XML & XSL
is that they’re easily read and interpreted by other computers, which leads to a true semantic web. A semantic web is one where search engines work and data is easily shared and interchanged between servers. It reminds me of Tim Berners-Lee’s visions for the web, if you haven’t read this book, drop everything and pick up a copy.

Learning a new technology also reminds of the first time I programmed HTML. It’s like 1995 all over again, I’m learning new tags, debugging my bad code, and being amazed when pages actually work in a browser. And like learning HTML in 1995, there’s not a lot of information in print or on the web about it. I’ve got a growning bookmark list, but there’s little beginning information out there. Webmonkey has a good intro to XML and one on XSLT, but where are the plethora of tutorials like Justin’s and Dr. Web’s? It’s unbelievable that there are no books available at Amazon on XSL.

Maybe it’s the influence of

Maybe it’s the influence of my employers, but I’m really starting to get annoyed with client-side apps and craving more server-side solutions. I just formated the hard drive on my home computer and am trying to rebuild it, but restoring all my settings and history from IE, icq, AOL IM, and Eudora is a pain in the ass. Why can’t profiles, nicknames, address book lists, and settings be stored on servers somewhere? Why on earth are all my icq and IM friends stored on the client, and not on AOL’s servers? At least my bookmarks are back.