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QotD: Richard Nixon

Question: If you could have asked Richard Nixon one thing, what would it be?

My Answer: I would ask him what the best thing about being the President of the United States was. I can imagine many of the downsides. What I think is interesting is what motivates people to go after the job in the first place.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

Common Folk: Me Too

Jamie takes issue with my off-the-cuff entry about the differences between "common folk" (I'm going to continue to put those words in quotes) and "computer folk" (those too).

I disagree with a bit of what she's said, and given that she and I had discussed the entry in person, am a bit surprised she's so drastically misunderstood the tone and overall nature of the post. As such, here are some clarifying remarks and a bit more on my opinion of "nature vs. nurture" as it regards "talent" and "gifts."

HipTop Desktop Sync

I noticed while filling out this HipTop desktop syncing software survey (go fill it out if you've got a HipTop, err, SideKick!) that I had to choose the "25-34" popup for "Age." Bummer.

The "Web Desktop" thing is crap.

So said I. Go fill out the survey, even if you haven't got a HipTop, because you know you want one. :-)

Gimp and PS 7.0 Upgrade Woes

I tried to install Gimp today. I installed Apple's X11 (beta 3), I downloaded GIMP. Then I downloaded gtk. Then I downloaded pango. Then I downloaded glib. Then I tried to ./configure everything. Then I downloaded some pkg-manager or something. I tried to ./configure and ./make it. Twenty minutes later I gave up.

This wouldn't be a problem if I could somehow figure out a way to install my (legit) copy of Photoshop 7.0 (upgrade version) on my 12" PowerBook. It won't boot into 9 and 7.0 Upgrade doesn't take "insert a version 5.5, 6.0, or 6.5 CD" as valid proof of previous ownership. This machine doesn't even have Classic on it. I'm not sure what to do.

Developer Tools

A short while back I wrote about the impact of free developer tools. Lately, however, I've been itching to spend $250 or so on a truly professional IDE. One that doesn't quit as often as Project Builder likes to quit because CVS updated a file it had open (or whatever causes it to tank). Itching!

Jeff writes about Eclipse, citing previous posts by Buzz Anderson and Michael Tsai (whose article is little more than a quote from Buzz Anderson, but with a good discussion tacked on).

Company Policy

I saw this somewhere, and I've had it for awhile. Where better to archive it than my blog? Cuz currently it's a text clipping floating around my hard disk.

It starts with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage hangs a banana on a string with a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.


I'm doing some work with SQLDatabase from Blackhole Media, which interfaces with the lovely SQLite embeddable database. Everything so far is working quite well - it's been compiled with UTF-8 support, and so on.

However, I'm continually frustrated with the CLI tool. It is the most rudimentary thing I've seen, and it's quite annoying. This is a bit of a rant, but I'll try to be constructive.

QotD: Platonic Marriage

Question: If you had to marry someone you know un-romantically, and spend the rest of your life as their spouse, who would you choose?

My Answer: Naked Weekend Crystal. That one was easy. :-)

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

Accessor Methods

Not to start a holy war, but I came face to face with one of those little things about which some people get pretty uptight. While looking through the CURLHandle example, I found that Dan Wood had implemented his setter accessor method in this way:

- (void)setThing:(id)newThing
    [newThing retain];
    [thing release];
    thing = newThing;

The Common Folk

I recently joined a mailing list for Aztek owners. It was my first "non-computer" (i.e. not cocoa-dev or macosx-admin or ui-development) in awhile. As the messages began to roll in, one thought struck me:

"Regular people are stupid."

That was the thought, and I'm just being honest in writing it. It's since changed to "Regular people are different." While both are far too simple to be true, what is true is that there remains an odd discordance (did I use that word right?) between us "computer" (and largely programmer or developer) types and these "common people."

The SARS Genome

Saw an entry on Core/Dump today with the SARS genome. I copied it here, but I encourage you to click his link and pay him a visit. I'm archiving it here for my own amusement.

OneWord: Bowl

Bowls are for soup and also bowl cuts. Nobody gets bowl cuts anymore. I think much faster than I type so even though I only have sixty seconds I'm on about three minutes of typing already in my head and it's only been fifteen seconds or so. But I keep typing, trying to catch up, and sometimes I brain break and just talk about the new topic. I wonder how stupid I'll sound when I go back and re-read these sixty-second doohickeys after a few months or so. Probably pretty sily really, someone's knocking at my door!

This 60-second entry was brought to you by today's word from OneWord™.

Asking Questions

One of my sig files says "there are no such things as stupid questions, only stupid people who ask questions." Though I don't find that to be true (not all the time, anyway), it is fairly humorous.

However, I have noticed that people like to ask questions, and that's a good thing. That people are lazy is not. Unfortunately, the two often collide when lazy people ask questions - questions to which they could have found the answers had they not been so lazy.

Mark Pilgrim talks about this in an article titled "Why We Won't Help You." That reminded me of a long-ago-written article by ESR called How to Ask Questions the Smart Way.

Both are good reading for anyone who's inquisitive, but especially for those who are inquisitive and lazy.

Great Artists… Copy?

I'm working on a sub-site for a client, and after delivering a design that matches his (upcoming) site, he sent me a URL to another site and basically said "copy that." Ugh.

I'm fine with it. It's his site. The time I spend waffling on designs I don't bill for anyway, so this will save me all of that time. The part I hate? Looking through another person's code. This site wasn't too bad - it wasn't created by GoLive or FrontPage or anything - but ugh. Different spacing tactics, naming tactics, etc. Ugh. I spent three hours just cleaning up the code for one page.

And don't get me started on their over-use of images instead of text. I'm not going to spend 20 hours reproducing their images in a new color scheme, no sir. Much easier to delete 1k of text and replace it with a textual link that's styles via CSS. Much easier.

I'm taking a break. I can't seem to force Mac OS X Server's copy of Apache to not cache pages, resulting in even more frustration. Upload new picture, flush browser cache, super-reload, and… see old version? Load just that image, see old image? Delete image from server, flush browser cache, super-reload image… see old image? The one that doesn't even exist on the server anymore?

Ugh. This may be my last entry for the day.

OneWord: Smooch

Smooch is what you do with someone you like. Wooo baby! Death to Smoochie was supposedly a very bad, bad movie, but I like Edward Norton. I need to rent the Robin Williams (he's also in the movie) thing where he splashes water on himself. Live on Broadway is it called? I don't know. It was pretty funny stuff. Robin's stuff is hilarious, and normally I'm not a fan of his type of humor, but when he and Whoopi or Bonnie Hunt or whoever start going off about stuff, it's freakin' great!

This 60-second entry was brought to you by today's word from OneWord™.

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