Misc. Ramblings

Week of 10 July through 14 July 2000
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Monday - 10 July 2000

Back in the Saddle. So last week Monday afternoon we checked in to our room at the Ala Moana Hotel. The hotel is next door to the Ala Moana Shopping Center (the largest open air shopping center in the US with over 200 stores). So of course, shopping was high on the list of things to do.

Tuesday was more shopping and then the fireworks on Magic Island of Ala Moana Park. The hotel overlooks the park so we just watched from our hotel room. This is much more convenient than looking for a parking space at 3:00 am in the morning (which is when they start letting cars park). By 7:00 am, the park was completely full (as far as parking). If you are getting the impression that the fireworks are very popular here you would be right. By the afternoon, the police closed both entrances to the park as the traffic had gotten so bad there were lines of cars a quarter mile long trying to get in to find a space, of which there were none.

Come 8:30 pm and the fireworks started. And a good time was had by all. And when that one was finished, the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel had their own fireworks show so we saw two for the price on none. We will most probably be back next year.

Wednesday was beach day. The cleanup crews must have worked overtime because by the time we hit the beach at Ala Moana Park, everything looked pretty much how it did before thousands of people descended on it the day before. The water was clear and cool and there was no problem finding an open spot to layout. I've always wondered why tourists crowd onto Waikiki Beach when they can go a mile or two in either direction and find open, clean beaches. Oh well, I guess if they knew about it, it wouldn't be so open anymore.

Thursday was checkout and the 10 minute ride home. We were both so tired we pretty much just relaxed the entire day. Friday was running some Cat 5 cable from the front of the house to the back (about 65 ft.). I had problems wiring the first connector as I mistakenly wired it as "B" instead of "A." But once I realized that, things moved along smoothly and I finished rather quickly after that.

ICANN Speaks Japanese. The next meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be on the 13th in Yokohama, Japan. Items to be be considered include (see the full agenda here):

1. The adoption of principles for the introduction of new Top Level Domains;

2. Approval of an implementation plan;

3. Definition of the application process and fees.

NT Blue Screen of Death Site of the Day. For those of you who are using NT, and aren't sure what all that debugging information is on the screen when NT goes belly up, then go to this site here. It may not explain everything that is going on, but it at least gives an overview which can give you a head start. Thanks to InfoWorld.com for the link to the site.


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Tuesday - 11 July 2000

Daynotes.com If you are able to read my posts it's probably because you either bookmarked my pages or used one of the Daynotes.com mirrors. How can I know this? Because the domain is being transferred from one location to another. And me thinks there are problems larger than just the time it takes to propagate a change between the root servers. I could be wrong, but it sure seems like a long time for this to occur. Too long.

Browser Wars IV. Well, here we go again. No sooner does Opera come out with a new version than one of the Daynoters, J. H. Ricketson, trashes it for the bookmarks or "go" type-button being different from what he is used to (see his Tuesday post here). Our mail is below. But I want to be clear that I don't care what browser you want to use. I use all three. And if that bothers you, then too bad. </rant>. Note that my comments are in bold italics.

----- Original Message -----
From: J.H. Ricketson
To: Dan Seto
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2000 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: MS.NET and Opera - Reply

At 09:32 AM 7/10/00 -1000, you wrote:

"I'm in 100% agreement. Are you aware that we, and Frank McPherson, are the only ones that have raised this crucial issue of dependency on a very frail 'Net?"

Ahem. May I add that I noted this problem on June 23rd (see my post for Friday http://www.seto.org/diary/2000/j20000623.html). I believe that is the day that MS announced their .NET strategy. I fully understand that there is a class of user, usually in "Big Business" that currently use dumb terminals, that .NET may make some sense (due to lower total cost of using, as opposed to cost of ownership). But, for the rest of us, we would have to be brain dead to voluntarily use such a service. YMMV

Sorry - I missed that. I am not one of your regular readers. Apology, retraction, and correction will appear in my next post.

Opera 4:
"I tried Opera 4.0 today. Sadly, I found I cannot use it. It lacks two things vital to me:

1. A collapsed hierarchical listing of my Bookmarks, as Netscape provides. Bookmarks are vital to me. They are my "Portal" a portal without ads or other distractions, organized for me by me. I have a lot of them. Scrolling all the way past every file from top to bottom simply wastes too much of my time.

2. No "Go" option on the toolbar. I find this extremely handy in the navigation and surfing that I do. Its absence makes Opera just too clunky in operation to bother with.

Hmmm. Each person should use the browser that they feel most comfortable using. For some, that may be Navigator or IE. For others, like myself, I may use IE in the morning, Navigator in the afternoon, and Opera in the evening. Variety is the spice of life.

But to your specific points. I am not sure what you mean by collapsed hierarchical listing of your bookmarks. As far as I can see, my bookmarks look pretty much the same whether I am using IE, Nav, or Opera. Perhaps I have mine configured differently from yours?

See: http://www.warlock.ltd/op_bkmk.gif for the equivalent of what Opera presented as its bookmark screen - a vestigial rendering of the NS bookmark.html file.

Then see: http://www.warlock.ltd/ns_bkmk.gif for the NS bookmark screen - much, much easier and quicker to navigate.

Sorry. But none of your links worked when I tried clicking on them (at 6:30 am HST). I do not know if the server is temporarily not available or if it's the connection to it that is the problem. In either case, I will try again later today. [The problem is that the link is incorrectly formated. It should be www.warlockltd.com. - Ed.]

And as far as a "Go" option, again I am unclear as to what you are referring to. If you are talking about an option to go back to a site you had visited during your current session, Opera can do that by your clicking on the "down arrow" on the window that is displaying the current URL.

See: http://www.warlock.ltd/go_scrn.gif I use that to go directly to Daynotes Home, for instance, rather than cycle through four reload-and-back cycles, either with a "down arrow" or the more convenient "back button" (if Opera supports that). GO saves me a lot of time and patience in a crowded day, that I simply don't have time to waste.

By the way, there is a "back button." There's also a forward, reload, home...<g> As above, when I can get to your gifs I will try to show you the equivalent Opera buttons.

In either case, Opera is not for everyone. And if you feel comfortable using some other browser, then continue to use that. But be aware that Opera has all of the major features that any of the other major browsers have. While at the same time being faster to display most pages. So be careful about saying Opera does not have something, when in fact, it probably does. But perhaps in a location or way that is different from what you are using now.

Please don't waste your time in attempts to evangelize Opera to me. I do, however, thank you for your permission to use Opera, despite it being "not for everyone." Makes me feel like one of the Privileged Few.

Actually, I wasn't trying to evangelize you or anyone. And if I am wasting my time to point out areas which need to be clarified, then I plead guilty. Perhaps I should stop reading your posts.<G>

But as I thought I clearly stated, everyone has their own favorites. Usually, not because one is objectively "better" than any other, but because that's the one they first started using and don't see any particular reason to have to climb a new learning curve to switch to something else. And that's fine with me. I don't particularly care which browsers people use. And as I also said, I use all three (with IE as the system default). But I think we need to be clear that when we rate one over the other, we at least use due diligence about what we are saying. Otherwise, what is said may not be as illuminating or insightful as was intended.

I would be interested in seeing screen shots of Opera's features identical, or at least equivalent, to NS's GO and Bookmarks hierarchy, and the path to duplicate them in Opera.

I will do this as soon as I can view the files you linked above. Regards - Dan

Have a Nice Day.

JHR --

Aloha - Dan

PS Sorry for sending these comments so long after you posted yours but I've been on a short vacation and did not have an opportunity to respond until now.

I'll see your mahi mahi and raise you an opakapaka. The morning paper is telling the startling story of an Oklahoma City company that is allegedly saying they will build an underwater resort and casino off of Ka'anapali beach on Maui by 2002 or early 2003.

The paper quotes an article, in the June issue of Travel and Leisure magazine, which states that the company plans to build a chain of underwater resorts with Maui being the first location. If this were April 1st I could understand this story. But as far as everyone here can see, story is all that it is or will be.

***** Noon Update *****

More on the Opera front.

From: Dan Seto
To: J.H. Ricketson
Subject: Re: MS.NET and Opera -2d Reply
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 09:05:41 -1000

OK. Thanks. Those work [the corrected URLs - Ed.]. I did not notice the problem was the URL until after I replied to your earlier email.

First, the easier one. The "GO" button is as I suspected, the same as the down arrow (see http://www.seto.org/images/opera_go.jpg). I am sorry that the image is very large, even though it is a .jpg (about 150K). But it does look almost exactly like how Navigator displays it.

Now as to the bookmarks. Navigator (or I guess I should now refer to it as "Communicator") saves its bookmarks as an html file. Conversely, Opera saves its bookmarks as a plain text file with a .adr extension. Hence, each displays them slightly differently. However, the paradigm is the same (see http://www.seto.org/images/opera_bookmark.jpg).

My point is that whatever IE or Communicator has, Opera probably has (note I said probably. I can't say for sure whether it does since I have not done a point by point comparison). And while it may not look exactly the same as either of those, it does seem to match them feature by feature pretty darned closely. YMMV.

Aloha - Dan

And then finally, this.

----- Original Message -----
From: J.H. Ricketson
To: Dan Seto
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 12:17 PM
Subject: Re: MS.NET and Opera -2d Reply - Again

At 09:05 AM 7/11/00 -1000, you wrote:

Dan -

You're right. I could use these. I bow to your wisdom. My apologies for ever doubting you.

As to whether to continue to read my post: No one is under any obligation to do so. Do as you deem prudent.

Have a Nice Day


From: Dan Seto
To: J.H. Ricketson
Subject: Re: MS.NET and Opera -2d Reply - Again
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 12:39:29 -1000

Thanks for the kind words. And of course, I will continue to read your posts. I have much to learn from all of the Daynoters. Especially about how to express myself in a neutral manner better (Matt and Tom do a great job of this). Or perhaps to make my point using humor, as Dan Bowman is terrific at. In either case, I was not trying to be antagonistic in any way, shape, or form. Unfortunately, I guess that's how I come across sometimes (perhaps like RBT?). I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your point of view.

Aloha - Dan

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Hump Day Wednesday - 12 July 2000

Daynotes.com II. I still can't get to the daynotes.com site so I have put up my own mirror to the index page (see it here). It is very much a "chopped and channeled" version of it for fast downloading. And it is only the index page. So you won't be able to get to any of the other pages that are there. Sorry for the inconvenience but the dog ate the MX records.

Frederick's Future Sagging. Frederick's of Hollywood, lingerie company to the stars, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court on Monday. It seems sales have deflated due to the success of Victoria's Secrets.

New Euro notes make good scrap paper. Millions of newly printed euro bank notes could be worthless (in more ways than one). The European Central Bank press release (see it here), indicates that one of the security features on the notes is not up to spec. Hence, they will not be released into circulation. Other reports add more information. Namely, over 320 million 100-euro notes, or roughly $32 billion in US dollars, may be worth less than the paper they are printed on.

Fox Guarding the Hens. The morning paper reports the arrest of a man who may be involved in the burglarizing of as many as 10 homes over a period of a month-and-a-half. So what you say? Well, the common thread appears to be that many, if not all, of the homes had a burglary system recently installed. And, you guessed it, this man was the installer. Thus, he knew how to defeat the systems and where all the valuables were.


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Thursday - 13 July 2000

Long Day Into Night. Today is going to be a very long day. SWCNBDO is going in for a CAT scan (no, not to check if fur balls from salem are hiding inside her stomach). This is related to her continuing pain in her abdomen. If this doesn't show anything, then it's exploratory surgery next. The scan is set for 5:45 pm this afternoon so we won't get home until later tonight.

Sun Rays. The Mayor of Maui, Kimo Apana, announced yesterday an ambitious effort to network all of the public school classrooms, libraries, and youth centers on the island of Maui using 1,400 Sun Microsystems Sun Ray dumb terminals. Ahem, I mean Enterprise Appliance. Sun officials said this will be the largest installation in a school system in the US. The cost of installation and equipment is expected to be about $2.5 million USD. And what's best about this is that all of the funding is coming from private donations.

Unlicensed to Kill. Hawaii drivers rank number five in improperly (i.e., suspended, revoked, expired, or in the case of hit and run drivers - undetermined) licensed drivers involved in fatal crashes according to a AAA Foundation study released recently (see the 362K pdf file here). About 23 percent of Hawaii drivers involved in fatal crashes (note the term crash, if you are unlicensed and driving, it is not an accident that you kill someone) have an improper license. Only Arizona, California, New Mexico, and DC had higher percentages.

The data indicates that improperly licensed drivers tend to be male (4:1 ratio), aged 18 to 34, DWI, involved in hit and run crashes, and had their license suspended or revoked at least once in the previous three years and probably more than three times in that same period before the fatal crash.

Short Shrift Mode. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the paper today but I have to prepare a report on Drug Courts for a meeting next week so I need to get around to it Real Soon Now. See 'ya tomorrow (or at noon if something really interesting comes up).


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Aloha Friday - 14 July 2000

It's Friday!

So the CAT scan appointment yesterday was for 5:45pm. But when we walked into the office at 5:30, we saw a sign saying they were running 45 minutes behind schedule. Hmmm. Apparently, this is not a rare occurrence. But the receptionist checks her in and then promptly leaves for the day. Hmmm. Not a good sign since additional people begin to arrive for their appointments.

But what can you do? So we wait. And wait. We get a little excited when someone comes out at 6:00pm and calls my wife's name. But she's back in less than five minutes. Apparently, she has to drink some kind of concoction before they can do the scan.

So we wait some more. 6:30 comes around (45 minutes after her appointment) but no one comes out to call her. And so we wait. 6:45pm. 7:00 pm. Finally, at 7:15 pm she is called in. A little before 8:00 she comes out. We will have the results on Monday.

That was the easy part. Getting home was an adventure (copyright Brian and Marcia Bilbrey). The only freeway between the hospital and our home is being resurfaced. They do the work at night. Guess what time they start (no points for guessing)? You, back there with your hand up. What say you? Do I hear 8:00 pm? Right you are. So we have to take surface streets all the way home since they close the freeway when they do this.

But, since SWMBO had to fast three hours before the scan, she quite logically is very hungry. So, on the way we try to find a drive-in that is still open and has food we like. The first, Rainbow Drive-In, is closed. Okay, switch to plan B. Yes! Success, L&L Drive-In is open. We both order the beef stew and head home. We get home at 9:00pm. Eat dinner and fall asleep soon after.

Thanks to Dan Bowman for the kind thoughts and prayers. Much appreciated.

Alert 1! Alert 1! Emergency Action Message Follows

Steve Gibson's newsletter is raising the alarm about some spyware programs that as many as 14 million people are already using. I can't find anything on his web site yet about this, although I assume he will be posting something soon, so you will have to settle for what he is saying in his email newsletter below:

A SERIOUS New Spyware Threat ...

NetZip's "Download Demon" was purchased by Real Networks and renamed "Real Download". Then Netscape/AOL licensed it from Real and called it "Netscape Smart Download."

By watching the "packet traffic" flowing in and out of one of my machines while downloading a file through the Internet, I verified the rumors which you may have heard regarding these programs: All of these programs immediately tag your computer with a unique ID, after which EVERY SINGLE FILE you download from ANYWHERE on the Internet (even places that might not be anyone else's business) is immediately reported back to the program's source where it is logged and recorded along with your machine's unique ID. They also have the opportunity to capture and record your machine's unique Internet IP address.

This information is then compiled and used to create a detailed "profile" about who you are based upon the web sites you visit and the files you have downloaded.

Perhaps you don't mind being watched and tracked as you move around the Internet ... and then having every file you download logged and cataloged and used to assemble "your profile". But the idea of this seems extremely invasive to me, and unless you have carefully read the program's license you might not be aware that this is going on or that "you agreed to it" when you accepted the terms of the license!

More than 14 Million people are already using the original NetZip Download Demon. NetZip knows the exact number, since every copy of their program "phones home" to report on what their users are doing! And I'm sure people are downloading Real Network's ReadDownload and Netscape's SmartDownload like crazy.

End of Message.

Gibson goes on to say that he will be updating his OptOut software (download it free from here) to scan for these programs but no date has been announced yet.

Have a Good Weekend Everyone. Aloha!

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