November 10, 2002

Sunday Stuff

Thanks to Jeff over at Alphecca for the kind words. His words (along with Eric S. Raymond's essay on SF) got me to thinking about my politics and my occasional rants, especially when it comes to gun ownership.

I've had a statement of my politics incubating in the back of my head for a while now, and I think it'll be ready soon. My writing process resembles that of Stephen Den Beste. Something will get in there and get processed in the background until it's ready. Once it's done, it just flows out, with my conscious brain doing little more than managing the mechanics of spelling and grammar (and the physical medium; keyboard, pen, etc).

Of course the background subprocessor only works when given time. My better writing is all done this way. I use it a lot for work, and I plan for it when giving estimates for the design phase of a project. If I force myself to write something the result will usually be suboptimal. This also occurs when I get ticked off and go on a rant. Reading over these things later can be kind of uncomfortable because the text doesn't flow very well (and there may be some nasty typos, especially with the rants). With design documents, I can usually correct it somewhere along the way (there will be a number of reviewers for the document who will point out problems). But I've made the decision for this weblog that I will not make substantial revisions once I've hit the "Save" button in Movable Type (I may go back and fix spelling errors or add an update, although the update will be marked).

And now for something completely different....

My CD ripping party is still underway, but my CD-ROM drive has given up the ghost. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since that drive has been powered on almost continuously since May, 1999 (I think it's only been down for a couple of weeks during that time). The only time I take this system down is to modify the hardware or if there's a power failure (one of the joys of Linux). So I popped down to Best Buy and picked up an ATAPI DVD-ROM drive. I also picked up a copy of SuSE 8.1 Professional. I've been meaning to upgrade, and now I won't have to mess with 6 CD-ROMs. As a purely geek-driven activity, I may have to see about getting DVD movie playback working under Linux, although I might have to break some laws to do it (but if you don't tell, I won't :) ).

Someone once described a boat as a hole in the water into which you pour money. For me it's computers and guns. I guess one could make similar analogies for them, but I'll spare you (I started to, but it seemed kind of lame).

My next site upgrade will be to fix the picture pop-ups in my guns section. They're kind of lame right now (they just reference the JPG file directly). It should be a simple but interesting exercise to whip up some PHP that'll wrap the picture with some appropriate HTML (and to size the window to fit the picture). I suppose I could hard-code that stuff, but that wouldn't give me a chance to play with PHP's image library and learn something new (why hard-code something in half an hour when you could spend 3 or 4 hours writing a program to do the same thing :) ).

Posted by Aubrey at November 10, 2002 10:23 PM
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