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Most Recent (Last update: 1500 02/02/03)

Coupla' things to think about on a Monday... The first is that never-to-be-sufficiently-reviled DCMA. Yeah, that blasted thing. ...but take a moment and have a read here: Cold Marble and the Thief. Yep, I saw the original page: thirty some odd images linked back to John's server with commentary from the thief about most of the pieces. John contacted Lycos/Angelfire with a complaint under the DCMA and the results are in his follow-up. It's almost sad to be able to say that's the first time I've seen that work. Historically, a copyright complaint gets the brush off from the hosting service; and it's only after either an massive email barrage from friends or image replacement work (as outlined in one of the comments to John) that the offending party backs off.

...and that leads me to the second and related thing (listed in that manner in case Dave's buddy Steve is parsing my drivel <g>): I haven't had much of a problem with my images from the blog; but as the galleries expand, I imagine I'll have to be more clear or even embed copyright information in the images. Personally, the game plan here is simple: my words belong to me; if you'd like to quote an excerpt, feel free. Images ditto; but if you'd like to use one, just contact me and I'll likely send you a version that is a higher resolution than the 45% that I usually use for web work. ...and as for coding and such? Well, things like that Trackback Ping form I mentioned Friday fit nicely under the Creative Commons license (the version allowing non-commercial use and derivation with attribution). Hmmmm. I guess that's as much a policy statement as you'll find here...

That's enough, you don't need legalese on a Monday...


Done. Let the painters arrive! Brad's room is no longer "Dad's Library"; it's now a fresh canvas for both the professionals and the not-so professionals (that would be Shelley and me) to use to create a fresh, new look.

The schedule as of an hour ago: painters Wednesday, fan/light/X-10 remote installation this weekend, and carpet next week. After that, we'll move both boys into Brad's room while Daniel's room gets the same treatment. ...and finally, we'll split Daniel back to his room.

In the midst of all this action, sundry pieces of furniture will be arriving (with no particular place to put them <g>) and I'll have a computer to build up for the Brad (why there is no argument on this completely puzzles me: normally they'd be fighting like two pups over a bone, but they're not. I suspect each thinks he is outsmarting the other, with Daniel thinking he gets to keep the 'good' computer while Brad gets one of Dad's castoffs, and Brad thinking of all the crosslinked files he's created on that WinMe box and betting I'll build him a hot gaming machine).

Stay tuned for further developments...


Someone asked half-jokingly (?) about "light-sensitive blinds or curtains that close themselves at sunset and open at the first crack of dawn."... Hmmm... Yeah, we can do that easily enough. ...and without getting too far into home automation (not that I mind going there <g>).

I think I'd start with this unit from Smart Home; it seems to have a better interface for working directly with simple controllers. Trigger a remote from a unit that can sense dusk and dawn, and you're golden. 'Course, I think I'd pull down those pdf manuals they have and crosscheck things a bit, but that should be workable.

Personally, I'm partial to the Stanley unit (with the flood lamps stripped out) to trigger the dusk and dawn events here; that's actually a bonus as I use the motion sensor to trigger security events for the front drive area. ...and yes, I do use a intermediate system to handle sequences like Shelley's Nightswitch, but I don't think that's essential for a basic system.

Good thing Mr. Sami doesn't read my pages...


Since I'm evangelizing again, we'll go with some visuals for those who want to see the difference between a Blogrolling update and a news reader update...

The service provided by Blogrolling involves checking the RPC feeds (or their own form) and allowing you to add a flag next to a link on your links list if a site has updated within certain parameters:

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In the example above, the webmistress uses red lips or hearts in her Valentine's Day motif to indicate which sites have updated recently. ( uses a similar polling system to produce a listing not unlike what you see on the Weblogs update page...)

Contrast this with a news feed from, say, Amphetadesk:

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With a decently run rss feed, you get a linked headline and a description of each article. The downside is that poorly designed feeds can overload you with too much information. Still, I find it advantageous enough to prefer the rss feed for my update information. ...and no, I have no personal interest in Amphetadesk; I do think it is a nice program.

...and Friday is here!


Charlie has a nice article today on RSS feeds, linking both a Mark Pilgrim article on dealing with the problem of loosening XML feeds and perhaps the definitive reference on RDF. ...and he mentions some elements in the evolution of handcoded web sites, things like adding permalinks (here since the beginning and evolving on the blog) and RSS feeds (hand coded for the entire domain into one feed {and I didn't know there was a validator}). It's a good read if you're interested in this stuff <g>.

...and then there's TrackBack, another element I hand code and use rarely (but certainly for Charlie's article). Sue Bailey, another independent sort, and I were discussing the functionality of this feedback loop earlier in the week and more or less declared it a great solution in search of a problem. Today she showed me this piece wherein the author implements a very nice version of the same trackback element he was questioning a few days before. Yeah. I like his style. ...and I track things like that as I evolve this domain. Yeah, these pages may or may not go to a database at some point, but the blog is already past due for a database for the pictures alone...

Is Moveable Type or b2 or even a home brew like Sue's in the future? Sure. This domain has been evolving since day one and yet another plateau seems to have been reached... So yeah...

Onward, ever onward...


On the agenda for a little later today: the ceiling fan installation in Brad's room. Unfortunately, the stock ceiling box won't support a fan, so there's some attic work to do. The support brace and the new electrical box will just take time. ...and all the X-10 remotes and controls came in yesterday, so that's more time up in the land of insulation and heat. ...but by the evening, it should all be handled.

...and that may let me move on to moving Tux back inside. Once I make sure that motherboard will play nice with the KVM switch I'm using, I'll add another HDD and maybe change out the video card and bring that machine back up under a newer distro.

We'll see how it goes...


Done! ...and not moving all that well today at all <g>. ...but Brad's fan is up:

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Shots of his wall controller and the attic box with the remotes:

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...and Himself 'assisting' with the coding for the nighttime settings:

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Also knocked out while I was up and down the ladder: the track lighting from his room is now installed above the electrical workbench in the garage. Sweet!

...and I am soooo done <g>!

The Conjuror
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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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