O'Reilly Safari

Wow, O’Reilly has Netflix-for-eBooks! Safari Online lets you rent electronic books from publishers such as O’Reilly, Addison-Wesley, New Riders, Prentice Hall, Que, etc. For $10/mo to $30/mo you can have 5-30 books in your “bookshelf” and have full-access to them as long as you want (and pay the subscription fee). They currently have 1,251 books in the collection. Given that these are all technical books, reading them at your computer is not a bad thing. Just brilliant!

I seem to have lost my copy of Knuth’s Searching & Sorting, but unfortunately, it’s not in the set (yet?). Otherwise, I’d sign up right now!

Linux Desktop still sucks

I just “upgraded” to Red Hat 8.0 on my dual-boot Windows machine. Linux on the desktop is still a long way away from matching Windows. Windows, of course, is about as klunky and confusing as you can get, but Linux is just trying to match it, warts and all. Gnome even uses Windows’ illogical Alt+F4 to close apps! And then it doesn’t use the Windows key to bring up the Start, ahem, Red Hat menu. Is anyone thinking? And my Palm V doesn’t work with it either, although it did work with Red Hat 7.2.

But the most frustrating thing was switching resolutions; Red Hat 7.2 did the “test” to make sure my monitor and video card actually worked before finalizing the new resolution, but 8.0 just says “okey dokey” and then the next time you reboot (or logout or restart the GUI) you’re left with a resolution you can’t use. I had to reinstall to fix this. Backwards.

On the bright side, it includes the great file manager Nautilus that, in my opinion, is even better than the Mac’s Finder (not surprising though, since Nautilus was built by Eazel, which was founded by ex-Apple people). And “BlueCurve” is not the ugliest thing in the world, definitely a step up from the grotesque Gnome GUI and you don’t feel like a 3-year old like you do with XP’s PlaySkool GUI. And it’s just jaw-dropping how much faster Linux is than Windows… on the same (600MHz PIII w/ 256MB RAM) machine, Windows XP chunks away at even the most trivial of tasks while everything pops up instantly on Linux.

I love Linux on the server, it simply can’t be beat there. But the Mac is still light years ahead of anything else on the desktop.

The question

Recently read this. Po has his faults as a writer, and this book has many. I actually feel like I have this question answered (for now), so I was really looking for the sound of others who have made “the choice” and how they knew it — I certainly didn’t at first. Can’t say the book provides what I was looking for (or what I think most who might be asking the question) but there are a couple of good nuggets: Like how the values of the business we work become our own unconsciously, and…

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What to do in case of attack?

My friend Steve’s friend Bill sent out (by way of our friend Terri) this very helpful “legend” to the “what to do in case of attack” brochure at Ready.gov. There must be a design company somewhere that specializes in the “emergency instructions in the back of airline seats”.

Don’t get so preoccupied with biological weapons that you forget to put on deodorant.

Update: found the real source of this. brilliant idlewords blog

Editor Search

When I used Windows I loved TextPad, because it does everything I need for writing code and html for . Since I’ve been on the Mac, I’ve been looking for a replacement. BBEdit Pro does what I need — though not as elegantly as the simple TextPad — but $150 seems like a lot to pay for an editor (the free Lite version does not do syntax highlighting). I thought Web Design was the answer but despite Preferences which suggest you can set extensions for appropriate syntax highlighting, I can’t get the darn thing to open any file with an extension other than html/xml/php. Troy uses vi, but I know this much about vi, which is just good enough to get my cvs comments in and it drives me nuts. UPDATE…
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