When
· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · October
· · · · 31 (4 entries)

A Little Bit of Payback · I found out last August that the <a href='http://www.electoral-vote.com/'>the Votemaster</a> was actually <a href='http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/'>Andrew Tanenbaum</a>, shortly after I <a href='http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2004/08/03/EVoteRSS'>met him online</a>. I’d written him suggesting that Electoral-Vote.com needed a feed; RSS was new to him so I explained and helped debug his, it’s been a huge success (#79 on the <a href='http://www.bloglines.com/topblogs'>Bloglines top 100</a> as I write). Those readers who never studied Computer Science may not know that Andy Tanenbaum is one of the top CS authors in the history of the world. He’s also the author of Minix, the educational OS that helped motivate Linus to write Linux. I personally learned networking from his classic <cite>Computer Networks</cite> and once taught a course using Minix and his companion text <cite>Operating Systems</cite>. Which is to say, he’s one of my major influences and one of my heroes. It was very sweet, explaining a little piece of our discipline to one who explained so much to me. Kind of amusing too... his half of the conversation included something along the lines of “It can’t be that simple; you mean the whole world just polls this RSS thing to see if it’s changed?” Plus, it’s worth saying that Electoral-Vote.com is a very fine piece of work, up to Prof. Tanenbaum’s high standards. If you haven’t been reading it, dig through the archives and enjoy his erudite but amusing commentaries on the course of the election.
 
Rolling Out Roller · Back in September I had a lot of fun <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2004/09/09/Intel'>speaking with</a> the US Intelligence Community. Talking offline, they mentioned that they were looking into deploying blog infrastructure and I told them we’d based the Sun infrastructure on <a href='http://www.rollerweblogger.org/page/project'>Roller</a>, that it was working out well, and that we were hiring <a href='http://www.rollerweblogger.org/page/roller'>its inventor</a>. The intel guys said “Could he drop over and talk to us about it?” Seemed like a good idea, so Dave and <a href='http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/was'>Will Snow</a> dropped by “somewhere near DC” and it turns out that what they want is sensible and doable, so we’re going to do it and they’ll probably use it. We’re very interested in Corporate Blogging (this is an example, even if intelligence pros don’t incorporate). Is there anyone else out there thinking about deploying some enterprise blog infrastructure? Give me a holler.
 
PT Oozer · On last week’s trip to the <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2004/10/28/SoftwareSummit'>Colorado Software Summit</a> I had the misfortune, for the second time in the last year, to receive a PT Cruiser from Avis. This automobile is a misbegotten failure, despite its admirably idiosyncratic shape and ample headroom. Its ride is unstable and jittery on high-speed turns, its cargo space absurdly limited. Worst of all, it is the single most underpowered car I’ve driven in many years; taking it from five to nine thousand feet of altitude up US Interstate 70 was alternately maddening and terrifying. Clearly they repurposed a sewing-machine factory somewhere to build the engines. Steer clear, I’d say.
 
Window-Blind · In a Colorado hotel room.
 
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