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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

The house of outlining on Comanche Trail Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named thanks.gifI got my hands on an old Lowell George album I haven't heard since 1980 or 1981 when I lived on Comanche Trail in Los Gatos. It was a wonderful time, although I wasn't so sure about it then. I was young, and reaching my peak of creativity. I was hanging out with smart people at Personal Software and some shady people too. It was at this time that we created the expand and collapse display for outliners, and move-by-structure. Outliners for personal computers were being invented at the house on Comanche Trail. With Google Maps I can almost go to the exact house. Maybe at some point they'll send their car down that street and I'll be able to find the house itself. Those were great times!

All of it brought back by listening to an old album! Music is great that way.

BTW, the sound system I'm listening to Lowell George on is a billion percent better than the one I listened to then. I also smoked then and did a lot of drugs. I don't do that no mo, although gotta admit sometimes I wish I could. ;->

So far my favorite two songs on the album are 20 Million Things To Do and Cheek To Cheek.

IRC for the last debate Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The last debate is tomorrow night at 6PM.


Once again we are having a gathering to watch the debate at the Hillside Club in Berkeley, 5:30PM, suggested contribution $5.

New UI for Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named blowfish.gifA new user interface for was deployed last night.

Two disclaimers: 1. I am part owner of 2. I participated in the initial design of the product and this redesign. They surprised me by making the new implementation public, so I made my comments public.

1. Only error messages should be red. Confirmation messages should be green or black. Prefer green.

2. I'm still using the old bookmarklet. It should work the same as it used to. Shorten the url parameter and put it in the Twitter box. This violates Rule #1 -- no breakage.

3. When you ask the user for a new password you must always ask for the password to be confirmed. This is not necessary when you ask the user for a password to another service, e.g. Twitter, because you can confirm (and do) confirm the password with the other service.

4. Why are there two bookmarklets? What's the difference betw the two? The description is very vague and cryptic. Much better just to have one bookmarklet to start.

5. There must be a place to leave a comment. Strongly suggest using Disqus. I want to be able to see the comments other users provide.

6. Since I can post to Twitter from, which of course is good, I want the posts to show up in my "Recent" list. I also want an RSS 2.0 feed of all the items I post to Twitter.

7. The new tagline, Shorten and share your long urls, is very good.

8. On the whole I am pleased with the new design. ;->

I need a server strategy Permanent link to this item in the archive.

First accept as given -- my server must be, at least for now, a Windows machine. Most of the server-side software I depend on is written in either Frontier or the OPML Editor, which are not reliably running, as a server, on any other OS, as far as I'm concerned. I know some people use the Mac versions as servers, but I don't have the time or patience to carefully redeploy everything one step at a time looking for incompatibilities.

I am basically happy with the service provider I use, they're certainly not the cheapest, but they're reliable. But last year they got acquired. And they keep sending me emails saying they're running specials, and the prices keep going down, and that only means one thing to me -- I should be worried.

A picture named car.gifIf I were to look at my vulnerabilities, from an online perspective, my guess this is the weakest point. If they were to fail, I'd have a big problem. I'm making sure my backups are good, my backup process was pretty flaky. But it would still be a major dislocation and a huge pain in the ass if I had to switch to a new ISP without the old one on the air and available to copy stuff from. I'm trying to do that as much as possible in advance.

So when Amazon announced that they were going to offer EC2 with Windows -- I was practically elated. As soon as it's available I will switch to that. I sent an email to Ray Ozzie thanking him for this, along with Werner Vogels at Amazon, but Ray responded saying that what Amazon was offering and what Microsoft would offer are two separate things. Now I'm really confused!

All I know is that this service is very much needed, at least by this developer, and it can't come too soon. Whoever provides it first is likely to get my business and attention (and they might not want the attention, btw, that seems to be Microsoft's approach).

BTW, one of the reasons I want to accumulate Asuses is that I feel intuitively they would make good servers running at the house. If neither Amazon or Microsoft's services are usable (it's conceivable they limit Windows in some way), my fallback is to get a T1 line for the house and centralize my entire presence. If the power goes out, or the house burns down, so be it. At least there would be one less thing to fail, to worry about.

But outsourcing the cloud is much more sensible. Let's hope Amazon and/or Microsoft will open their services very very soon, there might be a Depression coming, so stability is something many of us will be looking for.

I would buy an Apple netbook Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named asus.gifIt's October and I still love my Asus Eee PC 901, purchased in July. I use it all the time. It turned my 17-inch MacBook Pro into a desktop, podcast downloader and Hillside Club video projector. When I leave the house, even to cross the country, the only computer I take with me is the Eee.

The Great Depression 2.0 has yet to be felt here, except on paper in my brokerage statement, but I sold almost all my stock in January, fearing the meltdown that eventually came, so it's not as bad for me as for others. I didn't get a wacky mortgage, mine is fixed-rate, at a rather high rate for now but I'm too lazy to refinance. My luck has been pretty good, why tempt fate?

So I would make an impulse purchase of an Apple product if they had one I wanted, even a little, and don't already have. But today's announcements, if the rumors prove true, just don't do it for me. I'd much rather buy a new Asus or MSI Wind, perhaps one with a built-in EVDO modem and a real hard disk. Maybe a teeeny bit bigger so it could have a slightly more comfortable keyboard. But I wouldn't sacrifice battery life for any of that. That, and the incredible convenience of it, size and weight-wise, is what I value most. I also love the intelligence of the product, its got the perfect arrangement of ports and slots. It's as if it were designed by someone who not only used a netbook, but took the time to understand it.

These are the qualities I admire in Apple products, but they haven't been willing so far to make a product that sells in the $400 price range and has the sensibilities of the netbooks. Until they do, it's hard to imagine that I'll buy a new Mac anytime soon.

Update: I just watched the video brochure for Apple's new MacBook. It's amazing how they get people to care about the manufacturing process -- even though the product is missing the excitement in today's laptop market. Imagine if Apple had decided to make a MacBook that was priced like an iPod. That's what Asus is doing.

Do you know anyone at Biogen? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

If so, read this plea from Andrew Baron.

His father is dying and desperately needs a drug.

Thanks to TC for pushing this.


Last update: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 8:37 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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My most recent trivia on Twitter.

My Wish List

On This Day In: 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

October 2008
Sep   Nov

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.
19.Mobs of the blogosphere.
20.Advice for Campaigns.
21.Social Cameras.
22.The Next Big Thing.
23.It's time to open up networking, again.
24.Am I competing?
25.Time to shake up conferences?
26.Bloggers working with journalists.

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

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