Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What's a Blue Moon?

I was under the impression that "Blue Moon" refers to the second full moon in a single calendar month.  Actually, the original usage followed a different convention based on the seasons.  Usually, a season has three full moons, but when there are four, the third one is known as a Blue Moon.  It's probably too late to revive the original meaning. The history of the Blue Moon is explained in the following article.

At last we have the "Maine rule" for Blue Moons: Seasonal Moon names are assigned near the spring equinox in accordance with the ecclesiastical rules for determining the dates of Easter and Lent. The beginnings of summer, fall, and winter are determined by the dynamical mean Sun. When a season contains four full Moons, the third is called a Blue Moon.

Why is the third full Moon identified as the extra one in a season with four? Because only then will the names of the other full Moons, such as the Moon Before Yule and the Moon After Yule, fall at the proper times relative to the solstices and equinoxes.

As Hiscock explained in the March issue, widespread adoption of the second-full-Moon-in-a-month definition followed its use on the popular radio program StarDate on January 31, 1980.

Posted via email from miner49r

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mass Schedules

December 24th: Christmas Eve Mass at 10:00 p.m. at St. Mary's; Midnight Mass at St. William's.
December 25th: Christmas Day Mass at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mary's; 11:00 a.m. at St. William's.
January 1st: Holy Day of Obligation - Mary, Mother of God, Mass at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mary's.
Filipino Mass is the fourth Sunday of every month at 5:00 p.m. at St. Mary's.

Posted via email from St. Mary's in Edgefield

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Faith, the two-legged dog

Here's an inspiring story about a disabled dog that learned to walk on two legs. She's called Faith. The AP story talks about her visits to injured soldiers.

http://faiththedog.info/blogs/associated-press-article-about-faith-sue-manning

For more info, visit Faith's web site:

http://faiththedog.info/

Posted via email from miner49r

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daring Fireball: PastryKit

It ends up there is a company, however, that has developed an amazing iPhone web app framework which:

• Completely hides the address bar, even when running not from a saved-to-the-home app icon, but within a page in MobileSafari itself.
• Allows for fixed-position toolbars that never budge from the top when you scroll.
• And: sets its own scrolling friction coefficient, allowing you to fling long lists.

The company behind this web framework is Apple. And the framework is apparently named PastryKit.

Posted via email from miner49r

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Me and Tiger, the final word

As I wrote before, I got to see Tiger at the Masters in April.  Here's our picture again:

That seems like a long time ago.  Now that Tiger's personal live has gone out of bounds, I'm not sure I'll see him next year.  I had hoped that we might have a little get together with Stanford folks next April in Augusta.  It's very disappointing I'm sure for everyone, but in light of recent events, I don't see how we can have him as our guest of honor.  In any case, our place is not equipped to handle the paparazzi and tabloid press so I think it's best that we go our separate ways.  I'm just sad at this point.  I hope he straightens out his life.  I will not be making any more statements to the press about my relationship with Tiger.

Posted via email from miner49r

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Apple's Mistake with the App Store

http://paulgraham.com/apple.html

The way Apple runs the App Store has harmed their reputation with programmers more than anything else they've ever done. Their reputation with programmers used to be great. It used to be the most common complaint you heard about Apple was that their fans admired them too uncritically. The App Store has changed that. Now a lot of programmers have started to see Apple as evil.

Posted via email from miner49r

Apple's Mistake with the App Store

http://paulgraham.com/apple.html

> The way Apple runs the App Store has harmed their reputation with > programmers more than anything else they've ever done. Their > reputation with programmers used to be great. It used to be the most > common complaint you heard about Apple was that their fans admired > them too uncritically. The App Store has changed that. Now a lot of > programmers have started to see Apple as evil.

Posted via email from miner49r

Wide Finder in Clojure

Using Clojure to implement the "Wide Finder", parallel code for grepping log files:

http://technomancy.us/130#c

See the comments for the pmap version:
(ns my-wide-finder
"A basic map/reduce approach to the wide finder using agents.
Optimized for being idiomatic and readable rather than speed.
NOTE: Originally from:
http://technomancy.us/130
but updated to use pmap."
(:use [clojure.contrib.duck-streams :only [reader]]))

(def re #"GET /(\d+) ")

(defn count-line
"Increment the relevant entry in the counts map."
[line]
(if-let [[_ hit] (re-find re line)]
{hit 1}
{}))

(defn my-find-widely
"Return a map of pages to hit counts in filename."
[filename]
(apply merge-with +
(pmap count-line (line-seq (reader filename)))))

http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2009/11/18/Clojure-Parallel-I-O
> Conclusion first: It turns out that Clojure’s concurrency primitives > allow you, with a very moderate amount of uncomplicated code, to > take advantage of parallel hardware and outperform really fast > software when it doesn’t take such advantage.

Posted via email from miner49r

Wide Finder in Clojure

Using Clojure to implement the "Wide Finder", parallel code for grepping log files:

http://technomancy.us/130#c

See the comments for the pmap version:
(ns my-wide-finder "A basic map/reduce approach to the wide finder using agents. Optimized for being idiomatic and readable rather than speed. NOTE: Originally from: http://technomancy.us/130 but updated to use pmap." (:use [clojure.contrib.duck-streams :only [reader]])) (def re #"GET /(\d+) ") (defn count-line "Increment the relevant entry in the counts map." [line] (if-let [[_ hit] (re-find re line)] {hit 1} {})) (defn my-find-widely "Return a map of pages to hit counts in filename." [filename] (apply merge-with + (pmap count-line (line-seq (reader filename)))))

Conclusion first: It turns out that Clojure’s concurrency primitives allow you, with a very moderate amount of uncomplicated code, to take advantage of parallel hardware and outperform really fast software when it doesn’t take such advantage.

Posted via email from miner49r

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Go Programming Language

Google announces a new programming language: Go.

http://golang.org/

Posted via email from miner49r

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

John Lloyd inventories the invisible

(via daringfireball.net)

Nature's mysteries meet tack-sharp wit in this hilarious, 10-minute mix of quips and fun lessons, as comedian, writer and TV man John Lloyd plucks at the substance of several things not seen.

Posted via email from miner49r

Friday, September 25, 2009

Switching to posterous.com

I'm moving my personal blog to posterous.com.  They make it really easy to update via email (including pictures and videos).  They also can cross-post for you automatically to many other blogging and social web sites.  That make posterous.com the new headquarters for my web empire!

From now on, look for me at http://miner.posterous.com.

Posted via email from miner49r

McCarthy Presents Lisp (1959)

http://www.paulgraham.com/mcilroy.html
Just fifty years ago, John McCarthy circulated a notice that he would be giving an informal talk that he thought would be of interest. I drove up to MIT from New Jersey to attend this seminar of typical length in a typical classroom. But the seminar was anything but typical. It was a revelation. In one session at the blackboard, John introduced Lisp—all you could do with car, cdr, cons, cond, lambda, and recursion.

In the course of the lecture John introduced the usual basic list functions like copy, append and reverse (quadratic and linear), as well as tree manipulation. He went on to higher-level functions, demonstrating maplis and lambda. By the end of the hour he had put together a powerful little toolkit of functions which he used in his finale: symbolic differentiation of univariate expressions.

There it was—functional programming ex nihilo. McCarthy acknowledged IPL V and recursive function theory, but the elegant and practical face he put upon these antecedents was a work of genius.





Me: Attending seminars by John McCarthy was one of the highlights of my undergraduate years at Stanford. For more on JMC:

http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/personal.html

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Mary's in Edgefield

After our move to Mount Vintage, I started attending Mass at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Edgefield.  It's a beautiful old church, dating back to 1860.  I recently volunteered to start a web site for the parish.  There's only a temporary home page there now, but I'll be working on it during the weeks to come.  StMarysEdgefield.org

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Learning Clojure with Project Euler


http://grok-code.com/367/learning-clojure-with-project-euler/

When getting started with a new language, I like to use a site that has excercises for programming practice. A great site for this is Project Euler; it gives you short problems to solve, and once a problem is correctly solved you are given access to the forum for that problem which contains hundreds of solutions written in different languages. Each of the problems are designed to be solved by some combination of mathematical insight and computer programming.


Google Has A Solution For Internet Explorer: Turn It Into Chrome


http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/22/google-turns-internet-explorer-into-chrome-yes-seriously/

Chrome Frame is a new browser plug-in developed by Google to give you a Chrome browsing experience inside of Internet Explorer. Let me restate that slightly to make it more clear: Chrome Frame turns IE into Chrome.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bwana, Bwana

My friend, Paul, recently reminded me an old cheer that we used to do at Bellarmine.  When I was a freshman back in 1976, we all had to learn this cheer as part of our indoctrination.  If I remember correctly, a crazy cheerleader named Damien taught it to a group of us.  I never knew exactly what it meant, but it sounded African to me.  I assume it's one of those tribal traditions that's primarily intended to perplex outsiders.

Cheerleader: Bwana, Bwana 
Crowd: Simba 
Cheerleader: Bwana, Bwana 
Crowd: Simba 
All: Sooey, Sooey, uh uh uh. 

My father (class of '57) says he didn't remember it.  I asked Paul what if he knew the history of the cheer. He has some good theories, but he's going to do some more research and publish an article in the alumni magazine so I won't steal his thunder.

The important thing is that next time someone googles "Bwana, Bwana", they'll find something useful!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the Ars Technica review



Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the Ars Technica review

Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard has landed. This time around, Apple goes light on the glitz in favor of some heavy work under the hood. John Siracusa dives deep into Apple's new OS offering to see what's new, what's still the same, and whether it's worth upgrading.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Connecting SLIME to a remote Clojure Repl


http://asymmetrical-view.com/2009/08/20/emacs-slime-remote-repl.html

Being able to connect to a remote running image can be useful – especially for times when you can't have your development environment present on the remote server and still need to introspect the running process.



Friday, August 7, 2009

Stanford Classbook - Class of '84 reunion

Steve Miner
Stanford 1984

now living in South Carolina

email: Miner[at]StanfordAlumni.org

Favorite Stanford Memories

  • Bringing a keg into the stadium to watch John Elway play football

  • Todd's shortcut to a party at Roble, ending with a splash

  • Midnight Mass before Christmas break

  • The Patio Grill: young entrepreneurs find a way to succeed only to be undone when a photo in the SJ Mercury News prompts unfair competition complaints from Casa de Fruta

  • John McCarthy's seminars



Major: Electrical Engineering

Residences: Donner, Mirrielees, Newman Center (off campus), Adelfa

Student Activities: Hasher, Newman Center (Catholics), B.Baggins@LOTS

Life after Stanford

  • Places: Menlo Park; Mountain View; Sunnyvale; Calabash, NC; Evans, GA (near Augusta); and Mount Vintage Plantation near North Augusta, SC.

  • Married Lisa in 1994. She's originally from England, has a Master's degree from Oxford (1982), formerly an accountant, now a landscape designer and horticulturalist, also mummy to two wonderful dogs.

  • No kids, several dogs who are truly members of the family: Bertie (Basset Hound) 1994-2006, Heidi (Belgian Malinois) 1997-present, and Cleo (Great Dane) 2006-present.

  • Software jobs: SRI International, Xerox PARC, Institute for Research on Learning, Price-Waterhouse, ParcPlace, Apple and Janus Research Group.

  • My mother thinks I invented the iPod, which is not strictly true, but it's a good story to tell at parties.

  • Volunteer firefighter in Calabash (2004 - 2006)

  • Volleyball: My volleyball highlight was playing with Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Fonoimoana on the beach at Turks (see picture). I played in the IVL rec leagues for many years in the Bay Area. I'm now the oldest guy in the gym in my Augusta league.

  • Golf: I'm a duffer, but I'll keep at it. As P.G. Wodehouse says, "Sudden success in golf is like the sudden acquisition of wealth. It is apt to unsettle and deteriorate the character." I had the good fortune to attend a practice round at the Masters last year.



Favorite quote:
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
-- Ronald Reagan

Bertie and me at 3:00 AM 1994




Firefighter gear 2004




Beach Volleyball with the Pros 2003




Steve, Cleo, Lisa and Heidi 2008


Friday, July 31, 2009

Still Alive, not (D)

Stanford informs me:


It has just come to our attention that there is a misprint in the front of the '84 Class Book. The notations indicating which classmates are deceased in the freshman dorm listing are incorrect, so please disregard the (D) notations that appear after classmates names. For an accurate listing (to the best of our knowledge) of deceased classmates, please refer to the In Memoriam section at the back of the book. We realize that this kind of misprint may have caused some alarm, but we hope that you'll still enjoy reading the rest of the book and catching up on your classmates' lives.

In case anyone was wondering, I'm still alive. I plan to attend the
25-year reunion in October.

This mixup brings to mind the '84 yearbook, "The Quad", featuring
Milner and Tudmala. I wonder whatever happened to those guys?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule



One reason programmers dislike meetings so much is that they're on a different type of schedule from other people. Meetings cost them more.

There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you're doing every hour.

When you use time that way, it's merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you're done.

Most powerful people are on the manager's schedule. It's the schedule of command. But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started.

When you're operating on the maker's schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That's no problem for someone on the manager's schedule. There's always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker's schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UPS is having problems finding 83 Beaver Pond Court. Google Maps doesn't have it yet, but I hope Google will find this link.

iPhone Development Emergency Guide

Nice summary by Matt Legend Gemmell
http://mattgemmell.com/2009/07/14/iphone-development-emergency-guide



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jazz Guitar & Cabernet Celebration



MinerBenedettoPostcrd2009.jpg


Jazz Guitar & Cabernet Celebration
Saturday, August 15, 2009, 8 pm at
Miner Family Winery
7850 Silverado Trail
Oakville, California 

Join us for an evening of fine wine and live jazz featuring "The Benedetto Players" -Featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden and Howard Paul in celebrating the release of the 2006 Miner Benedetto Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon and Benedetto Guitars' 41th anniversary.

Follow the link for more info...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Use OpenSSL for Base64 encode and decode

This hint came in handy today...

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030721010526390

To decode from Base64:

openssl base64 -d -in <infile> -out <outfile>
Conversely, to encode to Base64:
openssl base64 -in <infile> -out <outfile>

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Clojure 1.0

Rich Hickey announces Clojure 1.0

http://groups.google.com/group/clojure/browse_thread/thread/1e661d16bd910ddd?hl=en#


 (dosync (alter congrats conj (System/getProperty "user.name")))

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Basic Clojure Setup - Part 1: Installing Clojure


http://yusupov.com/blog/2009/basic-clojure-setup-part-1/

These series of posts describe how I setup Clojure development environment on my system. Even though these instructions are geared towards Mac users, they should work for other Unix-like systems with small (if any) changes. I hope it saves some time to anyone new to Clojure.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Standard order for adjectives

Interesting tidbit on a rule of English that I had never noticed...

http://blogs.csmonitor.com/verbal_energy/2007/05/rules_no_one_te.html

Wendalyn Nichols, editor of Copy Editor, responded, "There is indeed a standard order for adjectives, and you'll find it described in dictionaries and textbooks for learners of English as a second language."

Ms. Nichols reproduced a version of a chart showing a hierarchy of modifiers: determiner, quality, size, age, color, origin, material. She gives some examples: a colorful new silk scarf; that silver Japanese car. I've just been looking over a couple of other such charts, and I find that the hierarchy they list goes like this:

Opinion :: size :: age :: shape :: color :: origin :: material :: purpose.

Not all noun phrases have adjectives from each of these columns. But this is the order they should be in. Thus "little old lady" or "angry young man" are set phrases in the language that illustrate the idiomatic order. "Little" (size) comes before "old" (age). And "angry" is an example of what the charts call an opinion adjective – one of the modifiers that seem less essential than those referring to age or origin, for instance.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spokane to detonate squirrels tearing up parks

"Caddy Shack" in Spokane...

http://www.katu.com/outdoors/news/42963927.html

The Finch Arboretum is being overrun by ground squirrels, and Spokane Parks and Recreation is bringing in some special artillery.

The agency is using a special machine called the Rodenator Pro to detonate some of the estimated 100 to 150 squirrels tearing up the grounds.

The Rodenator Pro pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels - but in a humane way, the agency said.

I hope they invite Bill Murray to push the plunger.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Paglia responds to my complaint about "enormity"

It's an honor to have my letter printed, even if Camille Paglia disagrees with my point on the proper usage of "enormity".  Apparently, many Salon readers are on my side.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/04/08/bow/index3.html

You wrote: "Two weeks after my return, I am still trying to process the enormity of my experience in Salvador, which was staggering on every level."

I understand that usage is subject to change, but I feel a duty to my old English teacher, Fr. McFadden, SJ, to use "enormity" with the traditional sense of "great wickedness or evil." I hope that you will agree that the standard definition of "enormity" is worth preserving. The president has been misusing that word for a while, and I fear that without the help of respected writers, it may soon be lost.

Steve Miner

Well, I certainly got an earful from Salon readers about this one! I appreciate the grammar protests from everyone who wrote in. But I honestly have never accepted that sharp distinction in English. In French, one can use enormité in either sense, and it seems to me a very useful duality. I was certainly signaling that the carnival in Salvador had both a physical and a spiritual dimension; neither "immensity" nor "enormousness" (which other readers suggested) would have been quite right.

From the swaying top of Daniela Mercury's cruising trio elétrico, I was reminded of many things -- Wordsworth's sonnet about sleeping London at dawn as a "mighty heart" and Baudelaire's spooky poem about beauty as a goddess-like stone sphinx with bruising breasts. With apologies to irate English teachers everywhere, "enormity" with a French twist really nails it!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday at the Masters

Lisa's friend graciously gave us tickets for Wednesday practice round at the Masters. I was wearing my TW hat and my Stanford Alumni shirt. We got there early and were lucky enough to follow Tiger for a few holes. As Tiger walked by I shouted "Go Stanford" and he replied "All Right". We didn't have to time to chat, but it was nice to get a response.



This was Lisa's first time at Augusta National so we spend most of the morning walking around and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

We saw a number of famous players, but perhaps the highlight was Gary Player (age 73), playing in his record 52nd Masters. He had previously announced that this would be his last time as a competitor. He had a fun time with the crowd. He's a great ambassador for the game.

We didn't get to see much of the Par 3 Contest because the crowd was so large. We had to get home to take care of the dogs anyway. I watched the end on TV and got to see Gary Player make his last shot on number Nine. It would have been a hole-in-one except he had dropped one in the water on his first tee shot, so it was actually a par, the hard way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joe Hewitt: Three20 project

via daringfireball.net...

Open Source classes for iPhone developers

http://joehewitt.com/post/the-three20-project/

BSG Is Over


http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWIwNzkyMmZkZTc0Y2NiZDAyZDkyNDkzYWIyZTVhMjg=

In fact, going by the series finale, Ron Moore is the sci-fi equivalent of a creationist. God is in every gap. Every unexplained detail can be explained by the fact that God says so. In theology, there's an argument somewhere in there. But in screenwriting such deus ex machina punting is letting writer's block substitute as demiurge. 

Now let me be clear when I say that I actually like the idea of turning to religion and, for want of a better word, the supernatural. But it still needs to make sense. [...] Ron Moore [...] thinks letting actors explore their characters and work out morality tales [...] makes for more compelling television. I think that what made the first couple seasons so great is that he was able to contain or restrain this tendency within the larger storyline. Once that blew up, the show squandered its greatness.

I thought the first two seasons of BSG were great.  I didn't particularly like the third, but I figured the writers' strike had caused a lot of problems, and I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  I watched this season without much enthusiasm.  The only thing that kept me going was that I wanted to see how they would wrap everything up.  Let's just say I was unsatisfied with the Starbuck explanation.  She should have been a replicant created by the last great computer left on the old Earth, who had to sacrifice his own power source to save Starbuck's soul with some sort of human cloning mechanism.  Work in some of that old-time prophesy to connect it back to the Colonial Gods.  The musical stuff was fine, but that could have been the computer's universal programming language.  Everybody together: "I'd like to teach the world to sing..."

It's totally crazy to think that you can get thousands of people to return to the stone age in search of a better way of life.  Maybe Ron Moore is channeling Al Gore and the Global Warming alarmists, but I'm not buying it.  Would it have been so difficult to let a few hippies follow Apollo in going native while the rest of them conquered some unpopulated continent?  Then maybe their ship could have accidently exploded leaving only a handful of Colonials to mix with the proto-humans.  Similar result, but with a slightly more tragic and understandable ending.

Oh yeah, the Chief should have been shot by a Cylon when he choked the other one during the resurrection technology seance.  It didn't make sense for him to survive and become the first King of Scotland or whatever.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

‘Star Trek’ Fans Put Kirk’s Command Chair in Their Homes


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/garden/19trek.html?_r=1

Serious Trekkies have long fashioned copies of their favorite costumes and props, and, back in the '70s and '80s, a few even put together homemade knockoffs of the captain's chair, using reference materials like the "Starfleet Technical Manual" and "U.S.S. Enterprise Bridge Blueprints."

But lately fans like Mr. Veazie have been building or buying more sophisticated versions of the command module from which James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner, ordered "Ahead, warp factor six." Moreover, they are making them the centerpiece of their homes, thus conquering what is for them a final frontier of domestic décor.

Not sure my wife would approve.  Maybe for my office?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Apple a Day: Prediction: Snow Leopard release date is June 8



Prediction: Snow Leopard release date is June 8

The prediction is based on his research about when WWDC might be.  Maybe, but WWDC could be a setting for a beta rather than a final release.  I suspect that the ship date will depend more on Mac sales than anything else.  If Mac sales are down, they'll figure that everyone is waiting for Snow Leopard so they'll have to ship something.  If sales are OK, they'll hold off on shipping the OS until they need a revenue bump.

Personally, I want to buy a new iMac, but my practical wife is making me wait until Snow Leopard ships.  She simply doesn't understand the coolness of buying a new Mac on the day it's announced.  She also won't let me have an iPhone just because we can't get AT&T service where our new house will be.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Microsoft boss Bill Gates bans his children from using Apple products... but his wife admits she'd like an iPhone | Mail Online


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1158905/Microsoft-boss-Bill-Gates-bans-children-using-Apple-products--wife-admits-shed-like-iPhone.html

She told Vogue magazine that the couple's three children Jennifer, 13, Rory, 10 and Phoebe, seven, are not allowed Apple products.

'There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household,' she said.

'But iPods and iPhones are two things we don't get for our kids.'

Like any forbidden fruit, however, Mrs Gates, 44, admitted that some Apple products do have the power to tempt her.

'Every now and then I look at my friends and say 'Ooh, I wouldn't mind having that iPhone,' she admitted.


If Guy Kawasaki still worked at Apple, he'd be dropping off a free iPhone for Mrs. Gates this morning, and free iPods for all the kids.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

App Management in iTunes ~ concept

Great idea for how iTunes could let you organize the apps on your iPhone or iPod Touch...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wfv0OJ1oMQ

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fotonauts beta

I'm trying out Fotonauts. Here's a widget that displays an album from Fotonauts...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wanted: Layout System


http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2009/02/17/wanted-layout-system/

All this is why the old "only use tables for layout" argument keeps coming up over and over: strip away the overheated rhetoric and obvious link-baiting, and you find the core of a real need. Because as powerful as CSS can be, table cells do certain things very easily that CSS makes very, very hard. Cells stretch vertically, keeping equal heights as a matter of their intrinsic nature. They stay out of each others' way, while still being allowed to sit next to each other and use any sizing dimensions. They tie their layout to their parent elements, and vice versa.
There are no equivalents in CSS. There have been various very clever attempts to replicate bits and pieces of those capabilities using CSS. What CSS does, it does very well: if you don't need equal-height layout blocks, then no problem. If you do, it's a massive pain. Clever techniques provide substitutes, but can't replace what tables already do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

P. G. Wodehouse's short story: Ordeal By Golf


http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/1471/

How few men, says the Oldest Member, possess the proper golfing temperament! How few indeed, judging by the sights I see here on Saturday afternoons, possess any qualification at all for golf except a pair of baggy knickerbockers and enough money to enable them to pay for the drinks at the end of the round. The ideal golfer never loses his temper. When I played, I never lost my temper. Sometimes, it is true, I may, after missing a shot, have broken my club across my knees; but I did it in a calm and judicial spirit, because the club was obviously no good and I was going to get another one anyway. To lose one's temper at golf is foolish. It gets you nothing, not even relief. Imitate the spirit of Marcus Aurelius. "Whatever may befall thee," says that great man in his "Meditations", "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card. For there can be no doubt that the man was a golfer, and a bad golfer at that. Nobody who had not had a short putt stop on the edge of the hole could possibly have written the words: "That which makes the man no worse than he was makes life no worse. It has no power to harm, without or within." Yes, Marcus Aurelius undoubtedly played golf, and all the evidence seems to indicate that he rarely went round in under a hundred and twenty. The niblick was his club.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

rumor: Apple Store coming to Augusta Mall

Consider this a rumor, but they're usually right...


Augusta Mall - Augusta (GA) - The General Growth Properties mall has 1.1 million s.f. and 134 shops along I-520 and near I-20. The mall just finished an expansion area, which may be where Apple locates. Job listings appeared Dec. 12, 2008. The store could open by July 2009.

PeachMac opened a shop in Evans last October.  We're becoming a Macintosh hot spot!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl review

Great game! I was hoping for the Cardinals to win, but it was a fun
game to watch. Congratulations to the Steelers. That 100-yard
interception return was the longest play in Super Bowl history.

At half-time, Bruce Springsteen sounded like he had just made that 100-
yard run. His voice was gone. He skipped the refrains most of the
time, apparently trying to catch his breath. I think he's getting too
old to be bouncing around the stage. "Glory Days" was a fitting
finish to the show. They've passed him by...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Macintosh 25th Anniversary Reunion: Where Did Time Go?

Guy Kawasaki writes:

On January 24, 1984 Apple introduced Macintosh. Many of us who worked in the Macintosh division are now asking, "Where did the time go?" The Division had a reunion at the home of Alain Rossman (software evangelist) and Joanna Hoffman (the division's conscience and first marketing person) to celebrate this occasion, and these are pictures from the event.

Great pictures at the link.

Click to Flash

Excellent WebKit plug-in to prevent automatic loading of Adobe Flash content (which means eliminating a lot of ads):

http://github.com/rentzsch/clicktoflash/tree/master

There's a link for an installer at the bottom of the page.

Gruber has a bit more info on DaringFireball.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes medical leave


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/apple_jobs;_ylt=AqvGpqs.GftwGuQR8LEMTKbk4Z94

Apple Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobssaid Wednesday he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June — just a week after the cancer survivor tried to assure investors and employees his recent weight loss was simply caused by a treatable hormone deficiency.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bellarmine Football Nationally Honored


MaxPreps and the Army National Guard will present Head Football Coach Mike Janda and the Bellarmine football team with its Tour of Champions National Rankings Trophy in honor of the team's 20th ranking out of 15,000 high school football teams across the country.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Analysts: Macworld "underwhelming", "evolutionary"


http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/01/07/analysts_macworld_underwhelming_evolutionary.html

Apple watchers on Wall Street are weighing in on Tuesday's Phil Schiller-led keynote address at Macworld, which they found disappointing but somewhat reassuring when it comes to the continued role of Steve Jobs as the company's primary spokesperson.

Kaufman Brothers' Shaw Wu and PiperJaffray's Gene Munster both termed the event "underwhelming" in their reports, although they still maintain Buy ratings on the Cupertino-based company.

"Even though expectations weren't that high (especially with Steve Jobs not giving the keynote), we still found the announcements somewhat underwhelming," Wu wrote.  "This was arguably among the weakest product introductions we can remember over the last 10 [Macworlds].

Steve Jobs is known for his famous Reality Distortion Field.  Phil Schiller will be remembered for his "Aura of Disappointment".  In past keynotes, Phil "The Shill" has come off as a buffoon, with his over-enthusiastic fanboy response to everything Steve said.  Maybe it was calculated to make Steve look even better by comparison, but it always annoyed me. He seemed to be playing a part in a high school musical production.

My impression (from reports, I haven't seen the video yet) is that he did a reasonably good job with what he had.  During my Apple years, I was in a couple of meetings with Phil and Steve. I have to say that Phil's off-stage personality is quite different than you might expect from seeing him at Macworld. At the time, I was a bit surprised by how arrogant he seemed. Phil was definitely in command of the numbers regarding competitors' offerings, prices and sales projections. I imagine that Jobs likes him because he doesn't compete with Jobs' style and he does a good job of sticking to the talking points (presumably whatever Jobs wanted him to say).  As a software engineer, I've tended to look down on sales and marketing types who didn't know anything about technology.  Now, I realize that those guys really do run the company, and they get to keep a lot of the money.  Technology is important, but it's only the first step towards success.

Here's to Phil!  You've done a lot better than I ever though you would.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Letter from Apple CEO Steve Jobs


http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/05sjletter.html

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I've already begun treatment. But, just like I didn't lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple's CEO during my recovery.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

50 years of the Bellarmine-St. Francis rivalry

I played cornerback for Bellarmine during the 1979 season. The 1990 team dedicated their victory to the memory of my brother, Mike Miner '81, who was a teacher (and basketball coach) at Bellarmine when he died suddenly of leukemia in September of 1990.  Bellarmine won again this past season, taking the CCS Championship.

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/hssports/2007/10/02/50-years-of-the-bellarmine-st-francis-rivalry/

1979: Bellarmine 8, St. Francis 6. At St. Francis, Matthew Ramirez ran for 164 yards in 32 carries and scored on a 4-yard run. Mike O'Donnell passed to Rich Martig on the decisive 2-point conversion try. Bellarmine ran out the clock with a nine-minute, 17-play drive before 5,000.

1979: St. Francis 6, Bellarmine 0. At San Jose City College, Tom Neylan scored on a 1-yard run with 27 seconds left in the second quarter of the CCS Region I final. In the fourth quarter, Bellarmine had first-and-goal from the 4, but Greg Harmon stopped the drive with an interception before 5,500.