January 13, 2005

Movable Type grumbles

One of the sillier things I've managed to do in Movable Type is delete myself as a superuser while attempting to fix a typo in my email address; logging in as another user was something of a shock. Movable Type will let you do this; afterwards you're stuck trying to regain access from the ordinary user you created as well, and simply renaming the ordinary user to match the name of the superuser doesn't work. Other silly things include creating a login containing a space when setting up MT originally, where everything after the space gets ignored -- though creating users with spaces later works fine.

It looks like this Movable Type implementation is toast. Well, I need to upgrade MT to deal with comment spam anyway -- and it seems I'll be installing that in yet another directory.

I swear, I spend more time fiddling with reinstalling and upgrading blogging software than I do using it to actually blog. (A bit like how I spent more time ten years ago reinstalling and upgrading my Macintosh computer than actually using it to compute.)

Posted by Lloyd at 01:00 AM | 0 in comments

December 16, 2004

Conversation by video.

Posted by at 11:02 PM | 0 in comments

December 13, 2004

There ain't no such thing as a free book.

Today I read a couple of online books by John Scalzi: Agent to the Stars and Old Man's War, which is rather like Starship Troopers with aspects of Rogue Trooper, and more enjoyable than John Varley's or Keith Brookes' more complex pastiches of Heinlein.

Little green men. Bug-eyed monsters. Bug on out.

Posted by at 09:22 PM | 0 in comments

November 05, 2004

There are no firsts.

Here's a partial and very incomplete history of the operation of Internet-connected computers in space.

In 1996, an experiment onboard the STRV-1b satellite, conducted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, gave the satellite an IP address and communicated with it.

In 2000, a TCP/IP stack was uploaded to the UoSAT-12 satellite, and some simple experiments were run by NASA Goddard. SSTL, who built UoSAT-12, went on to adopt TCP/IP for satellite control and telemetry in their Disaster Monitoring satellites. The first of these satellites, AlSAT-1, was launched in 2002.

In 2001, SoftPhone was used on a laptop PC onboard the space shuttle, talking VoIP the Internet way across a local Ethernet LAN that was connected to the shuttle's custom equipment that communicated with NASA Johnson Space Center. The laptop was orbiting, and commercial laptops had been used previously onboard the shuttle; the laptop was a node on the Internet.

The reason I mention all of this is that Jim Benson of SpaceDev is continually on record as saying that CHIPsat is the "first orbiting node on the Internet" -- yet CHIPsat was launched in January 2003. CHIPsat's launch delays aren't significant; all missions have launch delays.

And CHIPsat was built for NASA, an organisation that appears to have achieved the first orbiting node on the Internet a number of separate times. Still, those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by at 01:59 PM | 0 in comments

Video changed the AAC store.

The iPod Photo, combined with iTunes, can give you tiny colour pictures of the artist or album to look at while you listen to a song in AAC format that you've bought from Apple's online music store. That hardly seems worth it.

This iPod may not be suited to watching hours-long cinema, but if you do want to watch something for three minutes or so while listening to a song you've bought... iTunes should also sell pop videos for playing on the iPod Photo.

(Having said this, I don't like iTunes and I don't own an iPod. But I did get into the habit of buying CD singles also containing digital video, because that content is unrestricted by digital rights management.)

Posted by at 01:20 PM | 0 in comments

November 01, 2004

Evils of the age.

Last night I watched both The Corporation and Fahrenheit 9/11. After all, it was Hallowe'en, when monsters come out in the open.

Near the end of his film, Michael Moore quotes George Orwell. Fitting, and perhaps the film's intellectual peak.

Internet Veterans for Truth entirely trumps p2p-politics for finding related content, by the way.

Posted by at 12:19 PM | 0 in comments

October 30, 2004

You're my favourite waste of time.

First there was Bubbles. Then Squares. Horribly addictive.

In an age when even Lemmings can be redone in dynamic HTML, it's not suprising that early online games have evolved into something far, far better.

But the simplest ideas still seem to be the most fun.

Posted by at 03:29 PM | 0 in comments