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February 27, 2003


While I was going through hell with my laptop today, I thought I would download my latest project at work to my linux workstation and see how well it ran. Class::Contract wasn't installed on it. Quick search of the Debian package archive and I found that it has yet to be packaged for Debian. So while my Powerbook was busy repairing itself, I decided to package it up. So you can now download libclass-contract-perl 1.14-1 from my unofficial Debian APT source:

deb http://paulbaker.net/debian stable main
deb-src http://paulbaker.net/debian stable main

Assuming my sponsor comes through it should be officially included in Debian Sid in the next few days. I'll keep you posted.

computing on thin ice

Well today completely sucked ass. Had a close call with my TiBook. Around 1 or 2 this afternoon, I was upgrading OmniGraffle by copying the new version into my Applications folder. At 28.1MB of 28.5MB copied, the copy operation decided to stall. Only "5 seconds remaining" it told me.

Well after 5 minutes I started to get a little pissed. Dock eventually froze and the only windows I had that weren't minimized or hidden were for Finder which was completely locked up too of course. So with a frozen Finder and a frozen Dock, and sshd turned off, you are pretty much screwed. You can't do anything.

Hit option-command-esc to bring up Force Quit window. It finally came up...ten minutes later. Meanwhile during all this my harddrive is making grinding noises quite pleasing to the ear. Took another 5 minutes for the Force Quit window to actually display anything though. Once it did I started quiting apps, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Trying to relaunch Finder did nothing. They really should put the Dock in there too.

But all that is moot since the real problem was that my drive decided to apparently just give up because it was tired. Well after 30 minutes of trying to see if I could recover without a reboot I gave up and did the three finger salute. I can't remember the last time I rebooted my mac. I guess it would have been the 10.2.4 upgrade a few weeks ago. So I started to freakout when after the ding all I got was a grey screen. The apple never showed up. What?! Panic! I haven't backed up my 7.22GB of mp3s anywhere!

A few more failed attempts at trying to reboot and I decided to break out the Jaguar install disc. Popped it in, boot, opened Disk Repair. Five minutes after clicking on the "44.71 GB IBM-" drive icon, Disk Repair finally responded and informed my that there was no data on my drive. No partitions, nothing! Fuck!

So I decided, well it seems to be pretty hot, how about I shut it off and let it cool down for 20 minutes. So I did. Booted back up with the Jaguar CD, and thank god Disk Repair now displayed my partition. Pfew. Ran Verify Disk on it. It found a "Invalid Available Sector Count. Should be 118356 (was 118234)" error or something like that. Yikes. Whatever that means. So than I ran Repair Disk. It took like 30 minutes although I wasn't really paying attention. One the Repair was done, I did a cold shutoff by holding down the power button. Booted back up in the Jaguar CD and ran Repair again. Took 30 minutes but found no errors. Rebooted into OS X.

Well long story short I'm typing this now from my TiBook so I guess things are okay. I of course immediately backedup all my mp3s to a Firewire drive. Everything else I have on here exists somewhere else. I guess I'll see how long before my drive flakes out again. Then it's time for a call to Apple.

February 26, 2003

never thought I would say this...

As much as I hate Microsoft, I do have to say I agree completely with Tim Mullen's article (archived) over at SecurityFocus about the latest "Windows XP Vulnerability." Microsoft really has been blamed unnecessarily for an "issue" that doesn't really exist. He really puts into perspective how it is a total non-issue and that most media outlets have blown it completely out of control. The first article I read about this "exploit" I believe was on CNet where it basically said that popping in the Windows 2000 install disk gave you immediate administrator control to the live system. It said nothing about the fact that you have to reboot the thing. Well duh, if you have enough physical access to reboot the machine, it doesn't matter what operating system it is, you can get in. Thanks for bring this to everyone's attention Tim.

February 25, 2003

Bill Maher's head

I'm watching Bill Maher's new show on HBO right now. It's being replayed from it's original broadcast last Friday. Is it just me or does his head seem to be proportionately too large for his body? I don't mean metaphorically "big head" as in big ego. I mean physically his head seems very big to me. Hrmm...

Update: Ann Coulter is hot. I love her. And smart as a button too.

20 days to go

Finally logged into the new 1759 Society website. They have a screensaver you can download that counts the days until St. Patricks Day. It is now my screensaver on my G3 and TiBook. I love Guinness. I'm disappointed they aren't selling the pint glasses with the 1759 Society logo on them. I should have bought them years ago when I had the chance. Don't know why I waited.

Sleater-Kinney for President

Saw Sleater-Kinney at the Metro, Sunday night. Damn it was amazing. Definitely the best show of 2003. Better than Zwan at the Metro a few weeks ago. Show mostly comprised of songs from One Beat and The Hot Rock. The only thing off of All Hands on the Bad One was You're No Rock & Roll Fun. That's okay with me since One Beat and The Hot Rock are mostly what I listen to anyway. The encore was great and long. I could just watch them jam for hours. Very great.

Also got my hair cut on Sunday.

February 23, 2003

mmm...perfect competition

/. alerted me of a great article (archived) on Reasononline that talks about a paper written by a pair of economists and published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. I would love to get my hands on this original paper. It pretty much puts into words the idea I've had in my head that just throwing copyrights and patents out the door would lead to unprecedented amounts of innovation. Especially in industries like software where it is is so blatantly obvious how everything is supposed to build upon and improve what came before (1.0, 2.0, 3.1, 95, 98, XP, you get the idea). Imagine if the improving process was no longer limited to that one company holding a monopoly over their ideas, but anyone could do it. But how does this help in more tangible markes like pharmaceuticals. How can you expect to make the cost of your R&D back if the minute you let your product out the door others can copy it and start selling it themselves. Right now, a drug company may spend 5 million dollars in research to come up with the latest wonder drug. So what do they do next? The patent the formula so no one is allowed to copy it and product their own pills. Imagine it costs them $20 a pill to produce it. Do they sell the pill for $40? Hell no, they need to make back their R&D before someone comes out with a better pill, so they sell it at $200 a pop. Well in order to make back their 5 mil they need to sell 25,000 pills. And since it cost them $500,000 to produce those pills they need to sell some more. So to finally break even they need to sell a little less than 28,000 pills. But who wants to break even? So they need to sell roughly 56,000 pills to double their money. That may be a fine and good for the drug company, but it sucks for society. At $200 a pill only the richest will be able to afford it. Take away the patent. The minute they sell a pill, a generics company can copy it and start producing imitation versions of the drug for $40. The original company that invented the drug is screwed. But they don't have to be. You are first to market. Sell 10 pills at $1,000,000 each. These will be bought up by generic drug companies so they analyze them and start making their imitaition versions. But it will take time for these companies to do so. In the mean time you've already made back your R&D money plus 50% profit. Once all your competitors have bought the pills they will use to make copies, start selling it in the stores for $60 with your brand name. More people will be able to afford it so you have better initial market share. Once the generic versions are hitting the market you will already have a large customer base. Sure some of them may switch to the generic, but some will stay. And society benifits as well because $40 a pill is easier on the wallet than $200. It's perfect competition and I like it. I'm sold, when do we start?

February 22, 2003

that must have been some party

Got this in the mail tonight. Wow I must have been really wasted at Mary's party because I don't remember any of this. Didn't think I ever gave out my majordomo email address. But thank god JP remembered me and it's good to know Jerry is thinking of me after all these years. Too bad to hear about Willis though...

From: "Joseph Pugnalsi III" <jpugnalsi@frost.ws>
Date: Fri Feb 21, 2003 4:14:29 AM America/Chicago
To: <majordomo@paulbaker.net>
Subject: "Touching base"

To Bill Garbin,

Hello, this is Joseph Pugnalsi, haven't heard from you for a while, is this still the same e-mail address? Last time we talked was what.. Mary's party? I hope I got the address right! :-).. Jerry Brockheimer mentioned you might know something about estate handling and wills -- I've got a friend who is in dire need of assistance with his, he has been acting quite lagubrious (spelling?) lately. Things have been okay here. My contact information is still the same, or just contact me back at this e-mail address instead of calling me. Not even sure if this is the right guy, if it isn't, let me know.

Morgan Information Systems, Inc.

old school

Saw old school tonight. I think the average age of the people in the theatre had to be no more than 16. How is that possible at an R rated movie I might ask? The kids next to us were actually drinking. Anyway the movie itself was funny in that it's so stupid why bother do anything other than laugh way. If you want to see a movie where you don't have to do any thinking whatsoever, this is it. Don't get me wrong, that's no necessarily a bad thing. It slowed a bit at the end when the "conflict with the dean" [played by Jeremy Piven] came to a very Back to School type ending. And the huge fat guy does a triple over a gymanstics vault. Why? I would think they could have gotten more laughs from a basketball game instead of crappy gymnastics meet. The girl who plays Nicole was pretty cute in a Renee Zellweger sort of way. Go see if you have nothing better to do, otherwise watch anything else with Vince Vaughn over again.


My blog is not even 24 hours old and already controversy abounds. My last post actually provoked a response from the man himself. Sorry I was only kidding and you are actually very right. I promise to make an effort to convert over all my px font size usage to em as I clean up css on all the sites that I touch. I was very vocal at my company about using percentages in our css but was beat down. It's now been over a year...time to make another stand.

February 21, 2003

that's so hixie

Hixie today is complaining about people using px for their font sizes. As one who uses px in almost all places out of laziness to go through the effort of using em or % I have this to ask of Hixie. What is the point of running at such a high resolution if it forces you to increase your front size to above normal? Why not just lower your resolultion to the point where normal font size is readable to you? Yeah I told him!

i'm only 8

I love that everyone at work is on chat. Had this exchange with Hillary today when I heard her commenting on my whiney response to Margaret about something she wanted. :-)
(04:14) pbakerw2gi: are you talking about me?
(04:15) hweberw2gi: yes you whiny baby!
(04:15) pbakerw2gi: hehe
(04:15) pbakerw2gi: i'm the youngest
(04:15) hweberw2gi: no shit!
(04:15) pbakerw2gi: you have to develop your annoy/whine talents to get by
(04:15) hweberw2gi: oh right.
(04:16) hweberw2gi: well i guess since i am the oldest it's my job to pick on and make fun of you ceaselessly
(04:16) pbakerw2gi: that sounds about right
(04:17) hweberw2gi: cept i outgrew that behavior about 17 years ago
(04:19) pbakerw2gi: yeah but i'm still the youngest here
(04:19) pbakerw2gi: well except for brandy
(04:20) hweberw2gi: yes but the point is, you aren't a child anymore.
(04:20) hweberw2gi: wait, are you?
(04:20) pbakerw2gi: duh
(04:20) hweberw2gi: haha

it's like summer out

So it's like 51 out today. Damn it is awesome! Drove to work with the sun roof open. Had Jesus I (off the new Zwan album) cranked and on repeat the whole way in. I think I blew out one of my speakers. I guess this message (archived) makes all the more sense now.

that meal was the worst

Came home tonight hoping to cozy up on the couch and watch this weeks episode of 24. Nope! My ReplayTV fucked up again. This is the second 24 episode that it crapped out on recording. Basically when you try to play it, the RTV "locks up" and it just sits on the Replay Guide screen. Eventually at some point it goes to a blank screen. Then after who knows how long, it suddenly starts playing the episode. Only problem is, it's now 40 minutes into it. DAMNIT DAMNIT DAMNIT!!! I love 24. I don't want to put up with this shit. I think I'm going to sell my ReplayTV on eBay and get a Tivo instead.

Since I couldn't watch 24 I decided to set up Movable Type on my website. Not too hard to set up, but I'm surprised they don't write some kind of install script to do it for people. Certainly easier than any other web apps I've tried to install. I also broke up and inserted all the old news on my website and my slashdot journal entries into the archive.