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Journal Journal: Thanks, rodgster 2

Slashdot user rodgster sent me 1000 slashdot subscription pages because he likes my comments. Thanks, rodgster!
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Here, fishy fishy!

What's kind of scary about this cartoon is that I've actually had that conversation about the fish at work, only we were serious. One of the things we've been talking about doing is working with state agencies and commercial fisheries to get better data to monitor the fish populations off the coast of NC and SC. In a meeting where we were talking about this someone brought up the issue that this could cause overfishing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rolling Back to a Previous Version in CVS

I'm making a note of this so I'll remember how to do it next time:
  1. Select the file you want to roll back. Right-click, select "Graph selection" (or hit Ctrl+G)
  2. Right-click on revision you want to remove. Select "Admin options > Delete revisions"
  3. Click around to get out of graph view. You'll notice the file is still at the wrong version. Right-click on the file, select "Update," check "Get the clean copy," and it will revert back to the correct version.

I tried the command-line options I found via a Google search, but that just generated weird syntax errors in CVS. This way actually worked.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Raking in the Buck 2

Have you seen the stories about bloggers making piles of money with Google AdSense? Back in March, I decided to see what would happen if I put text ads on my blog, which nobody reads and which is rarely updated. Today I am happy to report that my ad revenue has finally passed the $1 mark! W00t!


Journal Journal: Blogging Software Syndication Formats

I don't like to blog about blogging on my blog, so I'm putting this information here for my own reference.

I want to start a podcast. I have the idea and the content all lined up, but originally I was going to wait to get started until Odeo came out. From everything I've heard and seen, Odeo will make podcasting much easier than it is now. But the beta testers told me two months ago that it would only be about two weeks. I've now decided to stop waiting and just use regular blogging software jury-rigged for podcasting plus a bunch of helper apps like everyone else seems to do.

The essential thing that makes a podcast a podcast is the enclosure tag in the RSS 2.0 feed. So I took a look at the most popular blogging software to see what kinds of feeds they offer. This information was surprisingly hard to find out, so this may not all be 100% correct, but it's the best I could do:

  • Blogger - Atom
  • Blosxom - RSS 1.0
  • Moveable Type - Atom, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0
  • Radio Userland - RSS 2.0
  • TypePad - Atom, RSS 1.0
  • WordPress - RSS 2.0

Of course, any feed can be converted to any other feed format using feedburner. But I think it might be nice to have an RSS 2.0 feed automatically - I'm going to have to jump through enough hoops as it is to set up this podcast.

So far, I'm not sure whose software to use: Moveable Type (too complicated & expensive), Radio Userland (not customizeable enough), or WordPress (generates incorrectly formatted RSS 2.0). I've used Blogger for my other blogs, and like the fact that it's simple, customizeable, and doesn't require me to install crap on my server. But am I willing to go through the hassle of generating then hand-editing an RSS feed every time I post?

I'm going to finish getting my content organized, and should have a software decision within a week.


Journal Journal: Adobe + Macromedia = :( 2

I am not happy to hear that Adobe is buying Macromedia. Over the last several years I have used more and more Macromedia software and less and less Adobe.

Macromedia's software is better-suited to the purposes for which I use it. Fireworks was made to create web graphics; inside it, raster and vector formats work side by side in harmony. Photoshop is bloated and has tacked-on web and vector features that are really hard to understand and use.

But most importantly, Macromedia wants my business. I can skip every other upgrade cycle and still get an upgrade discount on their products. Lately, though, I've bought both Studio MX upgrades because the price was so reasonable.

Adobe acts like I should be grateful they let me buy their precious software. If I skip one of the yearly Photoshop upgrades, I have to pay full price. And there was no discount for people who owned older Adobe products who wanted to upgrade to Creative Studio. So Adobe CS would cost me $1000 while Studio MX cost me $400 with Macromedia's generous upgrade policy. This is why I'm still using Photoshop 6.0.

I really wish this were happening the other way around. Macromedia buying Adobe could only be a good thing. I'm afraid Adobe is going to take away all the software I like best and replace it with expensive bloatware.


Journal Journal: One ERP to Rule Them All 2

The University where I work has just announced a major IT initiative. It sounds like the plan is to buy a commercial ERP system to replace all the software from various vendors and homegrown systems the University has been using to manage its information so far.

I've helped create some of those homegrown systems, so I may be a little biased, but this sounds like a disaster in the making. Wouldn't it make more sense to just have a couple of consultants determine which of the software we're already using people like best and then make that the standard? I'm a little concerned about how well a top-down mega-system implementation is going to go over.

Information sharing is important, and it sounds like that's a major consideration in the ERP plan. But it's been my experience that information can be shared between disparate systems if people are willing to share it (the politics of info sharing is more difficult than the technology).

Maybe I've heard too many news stories of major software implementations gone wrong. Anyone have any stories of something like this going well and saving the company/university thousands of dollars?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Going to the Ball

In the past, I've just read about it, but this year I'm finally going to SXSW Interactive myself. I hope to learn a few things and meet interesting people.

If nothing else, it will be nice to be around other people who have jobs similar to mine, to talk shop with people who have different perspectives.

Networking (Apple)

Journal Journal: OS X - Windows Networking Problem Solved! 2

For a while now, I've been having trouble connecting to the Windows fileserver here at work with my iBook. I thought that some change made to the Windows server was to blame, but it turns out that it's Panther 10.3.3 that's the problem.

When I tried to use the Finder to access servers in my workgroup, I'd click on a server alias, get a login box, and then get the message "The alias 'X' could not be opened because the original item could not be found." Searching on the error message with Google brought me to this page, which explains the problem and gives a solution.

Now I'm back on the intranet and able to use the iBook productively again!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Giving the Gift of Tech Support 3

It's time to go home for Christmas, and time for the annual overhaul of my relatives' computers. Used to be that it was just my mom's ancient Mac that needed an annual going over to make sure it could lurch along for another year. My husband, Mac genius that he is, always handled that.

Then my mom got a nifty new iMac at work which she brought home over Christmas break for a tune-up and Q&A session as well. Not long after, my dad got a Dell laptop so he could work from home. My grandfather also got a Dell. Since George doesn't do Windows and my brother doesn't do tech support, I ended up supporting those by default.

So I'm heading home with a CD loaded with goodies: Windows XP SP2 (just in case), Ad-aware, Spybot, Firefox, and Bruce Schneier's recent article on PC security. (Grandpa's internet connection is glacial, so I don't want to make him download anything more than necessary.) Dad's laptop is going to be a breeze, but Grandpa's desktop is going to be a challenge. Who knows what junk has accumulated in there since last year?

I'm happy to do it, though, if it means that Grandpa is still willing to use his computer. Technological progress always comes at a price.


Journal Journal: Best free places to advertise jobs online?

In trying to advertise a couple of job openings recently, our research group has run up against high prices and low response rates for traditional help wanted ads in the paper, and on large sites like CareerBuilder. The university job listings are of course free, but don't seem to get a very good response, either.

Where are the best places to advertise an IT job opening that are free or low-cost and are likely to get a good response? I have so far suggested Craigslist, and I'm thinking of suggesting Geekfinder. Can you think of any others?

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