PC vs. Mac

vista-dadmbp-dadMarch 5th, 2009 marked my father’s 75th birthday. On this day horror of horrors, he was experiencing yet another “computer problem.”

Over the course of time, I have found my father to be somewhat political so I picked an American looking theme for his blog. He being a former newsman, I liked the Courier font for him as well.

If you click on the screen shot on the left, you will see of what he was complaining. The screen shot is from my Windows Vista, and on the right, a screen shot from my MacBookPro. The CSS style sheet specified simply Courier as the leader in the font-family parameter. As you can see, it looked fine on my Mac, and that’s what I’m sure I used to setup his (and my) blog. In fact, I almost exclusively use the Mac for everything. Once you go Mac …

Also, look how sickly Courier looks on Windows Vista. What’s up with that? Looks fine on the Mac. I mean, Courier wasn’t deprecated, was it? Anyway, a simple change from Courier to "Courier New" made everything all better.

Poor Vista, and Happy Birthday, Dad!

Web 2.0 and oh, nice to see you …

Web 2.0: Gaetan sent an invite to my email address to follow him on twitter, so I signed up finally.  Honestly, I had actually been meaning to sign up with twitter and facebook … My older brother is terrified of facebook, he thinks Rupert Murdoch is after him … I’m particular in the information I share but let’s be honest, if someone like Rupert Murdoch wanted the goods on you, guess what?  He’s going to get you …

There are so many times that I think of something to blog, but I never get around to it.  I think of the situation, the story and everything, but then I don’t get to it.  Or, maybe the paranoia of what I would be posting and the opinion that may come of it, or too much information shared …  Blah, tough living in this day and age, isn’t it?  The age of immediate consequences from something you may post online.  The Internet is everywhere and immediate.  Anyway, here are the current events:

Hosting: There have been several instances in the hosting area that have devastated me. One, I had a disk crash on a machine that I never thought the disk would crash.  Like, I had it in my mind that that was a pristine machine and I didn’t have to worry about it.  It’s where all my stuff was and where I could just ssh in or sit at its console and update code on the fly … No backups.  Gone. Now I have everything important on RAID5 and my personal machines have Time Machine running.

Verizon is a huge thorn in my side.  My last mile is Verizon.  Verizon is copper.  Verizon wants to run FIOS (fiber) in Philadelphia.  Comcast rules the video market in Philadelphia.  Seems contacting politicians is the only way Verizon FIOS will come to Philadelphia.  There is nothing more than I want right now is FIOS to be in Philadelphia because my connection speed would greatly increase immediately.  How this affects me now is that Verizon doesn’t want to run any new copper, they only want to run FIOS.  I have had a terrible time as of late with my connection and this is the problem.  It happened the first time in May and was dormant until Christmas Eve, from then on it was daily bouncing until the last copper pair change.  Verizon has been on site over 3 times.  It’s too late, the customers that this affected the worst have already found other solutions.  Not cool Verizon, not cool at all.

Octane: Sound for Octane continues, but with almost every venue having house sound installed, I can’t rememer the last time I needed my PA.  For that matter, the last time I had the PA in the trailer, the trailer was burglarized for one bass bin and one monitor.  They took nothing else although much was in there as well as all the band’s gear that was strewn to just the outside of the trailer.  Makes absolutely no sense.  I still haven’t been able to sell the truck since replacing it with the van and trailer.  I should try that on eBay again.  While Octane remains booked fairly steady for a band in their position, there are weekend nights that I am sitting home.

Fosterchild: I have mixed Fosterchild a couple times since the lineup change and circumstances warranted it.  It was a welcome change from the norm.  Apparently we’re going on tour soon!

Out On the Town: I have started working with the paper again. This time I am doing the layout on the computer.  Another reason for my Mac purchase. (Still steamed about that one [previous entry], but I will survive.  I have rationalized some things away.)  Hopefully this will help with the ultimate goal of sitting on my ass the rest of my life.

Windows: I found out that MS Access doesn’t scale, or self sustain.  Don’t know how to put it, but left to its devices, a web site utilizing an MS Access database will cause ASP to hang on a Windows Server.  The database needs to be regularly reorganized.  I can tell you for a fact that this will not happen on any other platform.  Thanks again Windows!  Way to mess up everyone’s life on your server cause you can’t handle something and don’t report on it either.

Health: My health is getting better. I had my last cigarette September 27th, 2008 at 10:45pm.  This was right before Octane’s first set (acoustic) outside at The Whiskey Tango.  During the set, pressure mounted in the center of me chest and by the end of the set I was getting sharp pains.  I didn’t go out for a smoke after the set, I took it easy but sharp pains came and went and I generally didn’t feel right.  I was getting scared and I decided that I thought I should go to the hospital.  I spent the weekend in the hospital while they did all sorts of fun tests.  All tests were okay.  I then went back to have a camera shoved down my throat and that turned up acid damage in my esophagus, stomach and duodenum.  I was told to take 4 Prilosec daily.  The anesthetic for the tube test was wild, like snapping your fingers, test done and two and a half hours went by.  I haven’t smoked since and have started dieting and exercising.  I may get a Brazilian and wear a bikini or thong to the beach this summer?  … and everyone knows how I love the beach.

The Whiskey Tango: I went back to work at The Whiskey Tango May 20th 2008 to fill in the open nights with Octane and to do the off nights.  Ronnie quit to go work for Spellcaster down the shore for the summer with more nights.  Since then The Whiskey Tango changed ownership and management and those off nights aren’t happening anymore.  Status there is up in the air right now.

Coding: I recently updated some old ASP pages I did way back in the day for the Bigg Romeo site.  That was fun.  I am progressing on new web development projects and I am very excited about that.  Also thinking of ways to further promote the hosting through a better interface.  The new trickles in slowly anymore and Verizon isn’t helping with the departed.  Here’s hoping FIOS comes through.  They are sure to support that endeavor more than they’ve helped me now, right?

OH! and the biggest thing about all of this is that anything new will be in a new location!  All the servers, routers, switches, computers, etc. will be moved to a brand new location.  We will be moving but still don’t know when yet.  I am hoping for A.S.A.P., but that’s me.

That’s all I can think of right now.  Any questions?

Changed it again

So, I decided to change the look of the site again …  Went a bit darker this time … I also saved the old format so if I ever want to go back to it, I can …  I changed the fonts around too … If you feel like it, you could let me know what you think of it …  Is it too small?  Is it too dark?  Is it just right? …  How the heck would I know …  I decided to give up on trying to make MSIE happy … It just does weird things that come so easy to Firefox …  If you’re not using Firefox, you’re not seeing the WWW …

With coding comes satisfaction

I’ve been coding an update to a web application I developed in mid 2001. I originally wrote it in ASP and since I’ve scrapped that proprietary language for the more versatile PHP, this is the direction I’ve taken … Along the way, cleaning up the code is happening as well as adding more features to the application … I’ve already implemented a completely new user authentication system … While working on this code as a whole, other things have come up that required me to implement them into other projects, so I go off on tangents a bit … The overhead flourescent got turned off and I’m back in reflected off the ceiling incandescent bliss … My kids and wife came to the dungeon and asked why I had shut the light out … Each one of them individually … I told them that I didn’t shut the lights out, just switched which lights were on …

Anyway, I have already begun using the application although not finished … Handling receiving of payments has been completely rewritten so it is much easier on me … This is normally what held up the completion of each month’s cycle in the past … Due to this update, that should not ever be an issue again … I also merged the application … Whereas I used to log into a system separately and let the registered users into their own version of the code, I am merging the purposes of the files to serve those privileged and those that are not … I am also asking for input from the wife as I hope she can start to get into doing things on the computer rather than the occasional lookup on the web for driving directions or something … Would like to get her into full fledged email and computer understanding …

Finally what will happen is that I will write system level scripts to be run automatically by the computers … This way things that need to be run at a certain time or date will happen … I will also add the running of these scripts to run more often and I will start bugging people more often than I have in the past … This should help me in many ways … Along with those scripts revolving around this application to be run on a scheduled basis, I will also have the scripts within the application leave breadcrumbs around for other scripts that will be run on a schedule act according to those breadcrumbs … This should take a bunch of administration out of my hands and automate it for me … I should have done this a long time ago … How crazy I get with it has yet to be determined … I don’t know what snags lay before me …

Jeffrey Zeldman

WARNING! If you’re like me, when you go to this site, your day will be over … Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report … each time I go, I can get lost in links and readings for hours …

I bought this guy’s book from Amazon a while back, and I frequent his site from time to time to see what’s going on … His latest post “10 years” talks of when he originally worked on the batmanforever web site and was using HTML to accomplish this and how far he’s come in the way of development, etc …

I was originally going there to look at his mug picture as a comparitive for us techie people who have some sort of need to post our picture on our site, but we must distort the image so that it doesn’t look like us … I guess it’s also being that we want to post an image, but why post a flower or a computer monitor … surely the only thing we can post is an image of ourselves, but it must not actually look like us …

I can only speak for me in that I personally don’t like looking at images of myself … Regardless of the image, it doesn’t matter … Doesn’t matter if it was professionally done, or a candid … I don’t freak though … I can have images of myself plastered all over the place … but the one place I can have some control, I decided to distort the image as it is to the top right there …

Then there are the images that I find acceptable, and that I would use on a consistant basis, but I no longer have the long hair, so those images are useless to me … I now have to wait through the taking of many painful images of my current self whether I will find a current pic that I find acceptable to use in its unaltered state …

New Forum

I have posted a forum application for use here on my site … If you’re interested in starting a little online community, please sign-up for the forums and begin to forge what is ours … The link to the forum is under the links section on the right … I like having web applications such as these, and maybe it will stimulate more of a conversation than what this bLog actually does or doesn’t do …

Heavily working …

There haven’t been many updates to the bLog here cause I’ve been working on many web designs … It takes a lot of time especially when I am working on them from 3 different sources at two different locations … On a couple I have the idea of what needs to be accomplished … On others I am guessing … I have one where I am guessing and the site owner is asking me for suggestions … Very difficult situation … They want the world, but they don’t know what they want … On others I create what I think is best, and then I have to go through the rejection or acception process … Who ever said this was easy? Then there’s been the updating of the other sites … I made a list the other day, and I was amazed at how much I had accomplished … There are other days that seem to drag on with nothing productive being done … very frustrating … So, I drone on … I would share some links to a couple of these sites, but most seem to want to be all secretive until they’re ready to launch … Oh well, that’s cool I guess …