Saturday, 24 June 2006

The Dock, a survey

Mac users. A simple comment survey.

How is your Dock currently set?

  1. Position: left || bottom || right
  2. Magnification: on || off
  3. Auto-hide: on || off

I’ve been experimenting with left and right vs. the default of bottom. Left has its problems in Photoshop. Right has its problems when on the desktop. But has one setting, even the default, turned you into an evangelist of that position?

I’m back to "bottom/off/off," respectively, myself.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:35 PM in the mac bloc

Friday, 23 June 2006

Setting your shell in Mac OS X

I thought I would note to the readers that setting your shell is not as simple as editing /etc/passwd on Mac OS X.

While /etc/passwd exists on Mac OS X, it is not consulted, normally; I cite the file comments:

# Note that this file is consulted when the system is running in single-user
# mode.  At other times this information is handled by one or more of:
# lookupd DirectoryServices  
# By default, lookupd gets information from NetInfo, so this file will 
# not be consulted unless you have changed lookupd's configuration.
# This file is used while in single user mode.

’nough said.

So, you have to set your shell, as an Admin user, in /Applications/Utilities/NetInfo Manager.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:42 AM in kaffehaus

Geek notes

ZSH on Mac OS X

You might recall that I’m making a switch to zsh.

Its going swimmingly, though I find myself envoking tcsh often only because my zsh rc files are not as mature as my tcsh rc files. Okay, my zsh rc files are almost empty, but that’s not what this is about.

Mac OS X provides the zsh, but nothing in etc for system wide initialization. Where to start, then?

Linux. Fedora Core 5. Or any BSD heritage OS with zsh will probably do. I just scp’d my FC5 etc/zsh* files to my Mac, and I was off, enjoying immediately some defaults of zsh.

Correcting my domain name misspelling

The touch points for this were many, but implementation was straightforward.

The most significant hurdle was testing. I wanted to continue answering requests on the old, misspelled name so I went with a combination of ServerAlias and mod_rewrite. My virtual host looks something like:

<VirtualHost ###.###.###.###:80>
    # real name
    # other names including misspelled domain
    DocumentRoot /path/to/document/root

   #some logging options

    <Directory "/path/to/document/root">
        # some options

     <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
        RewriteEngine on
        # test the HOST name for the misspelling then rewrite and redirect
        # pretty basic stuff right out of the Apache manual for mod_rewrite
        RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?anothercaffeniatedday\.com [NC]
        RewriteRule ^/(.*)$1 [L,R]

    #some mod_jk options


All of this of course requires the proper DNS settings too; left as an exercise for the reader…but if your reading this, you probably have a good understanding of what that requires.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:24 AM in kaffehaus

Thursday, 15 June 2006

Why I never entered a spelling bee.

caffeinated, C-A-F-F-E-I-N-A-T-E-D, caffeinated.

Not caffeniated.

How this went 6 months I don't know. And no one told me. You laughed and said nothing. Told your friends, laughed some more, and still said nothing. :D

Anyway I found it by accident. My employeer is hosting a World Cup of Coffee. A inter-department coffee tasting. In signing up, I had to actually spell it in an email. Apple Mail kindly prompted me that caffeinated was misspelled. Alarms went off and here I am today blogging about it.

A misspelling like this has some repercussions that go deep into server configuration. Apache handles this easily enough; ServerAlias or mod_rewrite, even mod_alias, will get the job done. Email is hosted, so I'll be correcting that as soon as the new domain propagates.

Remember how I said I need a blog tool that highlights my misspellings? I need that tool. ~o)

Posted by caffeinated at 9:14 AM in kaffehaus

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Zarqawi safehouse on Google Earth

Set your pointer to 33° 48'03" N 44° 30'48" E.

The satellite image was taken prior to the precision application of the remodeling compound Tritonal1

meta-footnote-1=Tritonal is the explosive primarily used in the GBU-12 and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). The total warhead weight of both devices is approximately 500 lbs.
Posted by caffeinated at 9:54 AM in 0xDECAF

Friday, 9 June 2006


I’m reading Disneywar by James B. Stewart, finally, having purchased it as a gift for my wife. Since she had yet to turn a page, I picked it up instead.

Prior to my life as an internationally known blogger, Java code monkey, and Linux/web/server admin, I worked in film and tv as a location manager, scout, and producer; it’s also where I met my wife, hence my presupposition that Disneywar would be of great interest.

Freelance film work is brutal by the way. Long hours, long weeks, and high-stress; and location management can be a balancing act of doing the right thing by your employer and the people you’re working with on any given shoot day. The Simpsons episode where Radioactive Man comes to Springfield, is spot-on satire of what a location production is like.

Burnout is common, hence, in part, my departure. Notwithstanding that I was a geek at heart, exploiting some of the first, and expensive, laptops to manage the reams of paper and data produced by a location manager.

Anyway, by way of that background, I wanted to say that Disneywar is good reading and I highly recommend it. While the stories told are generally common knowledge to anyone that goes to the theaters, how Eisner’s Disney ever found it’s stride and produced anything of mention is amazing. Stewart’s telling is described as Shakespearean, and I will concur, adding that it is shaping up to be both a comedy and a tragedy.

If you should get Disneywar, consider also Final Cut : Dreams and Disasters in the Making of Heaven’s Gate by Steven Bach. Apparently, Final Cut has been republished as Final Cut: Art, Money and Ego in the Making of Heaven’s Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists. I read the first printing, and admit curiousity about how this new edition expands on the original, and great, story.

Posted by caffeinated at 3:22 PM in 0xDECAF

Slowing down the typing, review more for typos

Many moons ago I dived into learning how to touch-type, adopting the Dvorak keyboard. It increased my coding output and increased tension between my wife and I when I use her laptop—“wha? You didn’t switch it back to QWERTY you freak typist!”; yet the words I think while banging out another blog missive are not the words the my fingers type.

Examples: is v. in, shrill v. shill, heavyily v. heavily.

I think I need a blog editing tool, one that interfaces with the Apple Dictionary API that does so well at underlining mispellings. I suppose it would not do me much good where the spelling is right, but the word is wrong.

Posted by caffeinated at 7:58 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Old news in is new news?

Why did J.D. “Illiad” Frazer publish a comic about news I posted two months ago? Why did /.—read “Slashdot” for the not-so-geek among us—chose to publish this user submission on the same topic?

The topic: choses IIS for parked domains.

Old news in is new again I guess when we see that GoDaddy’s earlier move settled into the statistics engine at Netcraft. A close look shows March spiked, April was flat, and May spiked again, the former and latter both at the expense of Apache.

I suppose if you’re a lover of all things Redmond this is good news. But the deeper reality is in the numbers of Apache servers over IIS servers in Fortune 500 back offices. I’ll counter the Microsoft shills with those numbers over unused, parked, domain numbers any day.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:32 PM in kaffehaus

Friday, 2 June 2006

Buzz cuts, or how to market gin

Picture the following billboard:

Four blue tinted silhouettes of three men and a woman in a nondescript room. The three men are sitting; the woman stands, giving a haircut to one of the men.

The tag line: snip. snip. sip. sip.

Not one known to be politically correct, let me further expand and note the silouettes are clearly black (“african-american.” ).

Now I need to ask, how does this scene sell gin to the targeted market? What is the scene’s message—is it simply “When getting a haircut, drink gin?” How are the colors, the setting, and the scene action selling gin? Is there some aspect of getting a haircut that makes you want to drink…gin?

These are important cultural questions that need answers. I’m a just a white guy trying to understand, because I’m usually not drinking gin during my haircut, and wondering if I should start looking for a place that sells gin and gives haircuts.

To be fair, and having just went to the gin producer's site, it is clear that this product is marketed directly, and heavily, to the hip-hop/rap population.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:26 AM in 0xDECAF