Archive for the 'About' Category

Note: I've reorganized this site to use tags; the category archive remains to support old links. Only posts prior to April, 2006 are categorized. Tag Archive »

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Two years ago, I tried making some resolutions. Last year, I even gauged my success for the previous year, but I never did get around to posting a new set of resolutions. I’ve never been a big fan of the New Year’s Resolution, but having that list a couple years ago did help me focus on getting some things done. In that spirit, I’ve decided to post a list of resolutions once again. Some of them aren’t traditional resolution fodder, but merely projects I’ve been planning for a while, to do “maybe after the new year, when things slow down.” Hopefully listing them here will encourage me to do them.

  1. Lose some weight and get in shape. I know this is everyone’s #1 resolution, but I need to focus on this. When I stopped smoking four or five years ago, I was out of shape, but within my ideal weight range. I gained alot of weight in the first year after quitting, and have lowly drifted up the scale in recent years. My goal is to lose 75 pounds by the end of the year… this will put me at the top of my ideal weight range. I know from experience that diets only work for a month or two. Instead, I intend to begin by using the gym at work at least 3 times per week, reducing junk food, and reducing portions at meals. If I don’t see some progress by the end of January, I can get more aggressive.

  2. Early to bed, early to rise. I’ve always been a night owl, and never a morning person. This often has a domino effect of a few days time, and I have more trouble getting up each morning. Fortunately my job allows me some flexibility in when I arrive, but I’d rather be leaving earlier. Also, while on vacation last summer, I somehow got into an altered cycle, getting up every morning around 7am (wicked early for me), and enjoyed being up before everyone.

  3. Write more music. I spent a litte time at the keyboard this past year, and came up with one piece I’m happy with. I’d like to find time to do more this year.
  1. New organization with tags. I’ve been feeling boxed in by my category hierarchy for a while, and tags (like make much more sense. This will require some planning, since I don’t want to break any old URIs. I’ll use redirects if I have to, but a system that doesn’t need redirects would be even better. This includes story URIs, category URIs, and date archive URIs. I’m considering a switch to WordPress like Douglas just did. This would also allow for drafts, something I’d really like to have.

  2. New Look and Feel. I’ve been working on this, very on-and-off, for months. I’ve about come to the conclusion I can’t do what I wanted to do, but I may do a scaled down version instead. I’ve got a picture Sean took for me that I’d really like to use.

  3. More Howtos. I’ve written a number of howto articles here over the past few years, and they tend to be among the most popular articles on the site, with lots of search engine visitors. I’ve found that I really enjoy writing them, so I intend to do more of them. I may even make a sub-site to house them.

  4. Post More. I did pretty well for the first half of ’05, but fell down during the second half. This post is #294, just shy of the 300 post mark I had set as a goal for the end of ’04. I’m going to target the 400 post mark by year’s end.

  1. Improve my email. I have a couple of different email addresses that I use; one for companies I spend money with, and one for everyone else. In addition, I’m subscribed to a bunch of mailing lists (which I need to reduce); all together, it’s a real pain to check my mail if I’m not at home on my primary Mac. I’d really like to setup to pop all of my mail into a self-hosted IMAP server. Alternatively, I might consider looking at gmail again, if I can make it work transparently with my email address.

  2. Improve my home network. I’ve got a couple of PCs around the house in addition to the iMac and Powerbook, and I’ve never gotten Printer Sharing to work as seemlessly as it should. I’m also currently using my old Desktop PC as little more than a printer share, which is a waste. I want to free up the PC for possible use as a server (see later items), and get the printer shared to all of the machines that need it, seemlessly. I won’t outline the issues I’ve had with this in the past, except to say that I’ll be getting started by upgrading the iMac to Tiger (which I got for Christmas).

  3. Automate Photo Distribution. I’ve been using iPhoto on the iMac to manage pictures from our digital cameras, but this makes it difficult to print them (Due to the issues above, I can’t normally print from the iMac), and for Sherri to access them from her Windows Laptop. I normally have to explicitly export a number of photos to the old Desktop PC (going away, see above), and then she accesses them via a file share. She’d like to have copies of all the pictures on her Laptop, so she can show them when we travel. I’m going to figure out how to automatically publish all pictures in iPhoto’s library to other locations (primarilly her laptop, but possibly also to a file server as a backup). The laptop is often asleep, so it will have to sync when ever it’s awake, automagically. Also, I want to use the iPhoto albums to provide some kind of organization when exporting. Ideas for publishing/syncing include creating an Atom feed and designing a custom aggregator, and/or using rsync. I’m hoping iPhoto’s album data is stored in XML so I can get at it easily. Also, once I upgrade to Tiger, I may find some use from Automator.

  4. Backups & Storage. I need a backup solution badly. If the iMac died today, I’d probably lose some photos, and alot of other data. Same for the other PCs. I’d really like to setup a RAID storage array somewhere on the network, and make backups to it. I’m considering a NAS Raid solution from Infrant, but I’ve also got a couple PCs that could become servers. Big storage on the network could also be helpful for number 5….

  5. Consider dumping TiVo and building a MythTV setup. This one isn’t definate, but I’m certainly considering it. If I do, I’ll probably have 3 to 5 TV sets connected, so it could make for some fun HOWTOs.

  6. Household projects. There’s a number of these which I won’t belabor. The biggies are cleaning and renovating the basement, and renovating the family room.

  7. Secret Project. I can’t say now, it would spoil a surprise for someone. I’ll tell next year, if it gets completed.

So, there they are. In the past, this has been a Monthly Blogging Challenge. I don’t think anyone’s posted one for January yet, so I’ll follow tradition, and challenge everyone to post resolutions/goals for the new year. If you did this last year, be sure to review how you did as well. If you participate, please post a comment here with a link, send a trackback.

Site Browsing Stats, January 2005

Time once again to look at the browser stats on the ol’ weblog. Here’s the final numbers for January:

Browser              Hits      %age
-------              ----    ------
FireFox             49976    40.5 %
Internet Explorer   32787    26.5 %
Safari              12953    10.5 %
Unknown             10642     8.6 %
Mozilla              6224     5.0 %
NetNewsWire          4086     3.3 %
Netscape             2372     1.9 %
Opera                1868     1.5 %
OmniWeb               805     0.6 %
Konqueror             526     0.4 %
Others               1027     0.8 %

As compared with last month, Firefox has crept up slightly (.4%), while IE has lost over 4%, in bits and pieces. For example, NetNewsWire (+0.7%), “Unknown” (+0.7%), and even Netscape(!) (+0.7%). Not sure what it all means.

Of course, the numbers are likely to be skewed due to comment and referer spam; but nearly all of that shows up as IE. I’ve been trying to fight that stuff more actively over the past month, which might explain why IE has fallen off a bit, allowing smaller browsers to increase a bit.

Site Browsing Stats, December 2004

Last month, I posted my browser stats for November 2004. It was so much fun I decided to do it again. No fancy graphs (yet), but maybe one of these days. :

Browser              Hits      %age
-------              ----    ------
FireFox             36593    40.1 %
Internet Explorer   28143    30.8 %
Safari               9464    10.3 %
Unknown              7236     7.9 %
Mozilla              3490     3.8 %
NetNewsWire          2453     2.6 %
Netscape             1106     1.2 %
Opera                 936     1.0 %
Konqueror             549     0.6 %
OmniWeb               462     0.5 %
Others                774     0.8 %

Of interest- while Firefox usage is up from 37.9% to 40.1%, IE usage is also (slightly) up, from 30.4% to 30.8%. Safari usage dropped just over 1%, and Camino disappeared. I guess Mac users just get it . However Windows users are still 59% of my December stats.

One caveat- while the above stats don’t include errors (like the 403’s I’m handing out to abusive bots and a few spamtastic IP addresses, they do include all the spam that isn’t IP banned- whether my comment filter catches it or not. Maybe I’ll work on that this month.

Resolution Wrap-up: 2004

Last January 1st, I decided to break with tradition and make a few resolutions. Last night at midnight, time ran out. So how did I do? Let’s check the score. I’ll also give some thoughts for the upcoming year’s resolutions, but that will be a separate post, after I think it out a bit.

  1. Spend a little extra time with my kids. I don’t think I do too badly at this now, but why not improve anyway?

    This one’s an unqualified success.

  2. Have at least one weekend getaway with my wife… and no children. We’ve been planning this forever, and never seem to get it done.

    Another success. Sherri and I spent a weekend at a B&B near Lancaster, PA last winter. It was wonderful; we’re hoping to do it again this year.

  3. Play more Chess (and hopefully improve).

    A qualified success. I definately played more in the first quarter of the year, and I think I was even starting to improve. Since that time, however I’ve played next to none.

  4. Write some fiction.

    Utter failure… never found the time or inspiration. A good goal to keep for this year, however.

  1. Finish every last piece of the Client Reporting project.

    This turned out not to even be plausible, as business needs changed. This was a poor choice of resolution, in the future I’ll keep any professional resolutions project-nuetral.

  2. Make the whole thing obsolete with a ground-up rewrite, using no VB (build directly in XML via Office 2003 native XML formats).

    This turned out not to be possible because Micro$oft once again over-promised and under-delivered; this time promising a native XML format for Excel and delivering a crippled XML format with no support for graphs.
  1. Add timestamps and notifications for comments.


  2. New design. Something a bit less… understated.

    Failure. I began work on a new deisgn, but couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I still want to redesign for this year.

  3. Hit the 300 posts milestone.

    70% success. My first post of 2004 was number 100, so I needed to write 200 posts. I managed to deliver 142- in spite of a lengthy blogging hiatus over the summer. Big thanks to dugh for the October Blogging Challenge which helped get me back on track.

  4. Re-organize the categories. Use permanent redirects for moved posts.

    Success. For 2005, I want to think about restructuring the blog… moving away from strict categories, and using a ‘tag’ system like uses. This may mean a move away from Blosxom. Also, whatever I do can’t break existing URIs. Still some planning to do.

  5. Add a second, topic specific blog. Potential topics are astronomy, chess, or writing.

    I cancelled this one. Having less time for any of my other interests, let alone less time to write for this blog, convinced me of that. Instead, for 2005, I want to start writing some more personal, daily-summary/thoughts posts in addition to the more topical stuff I usually post. More on that idea in another post.

All in all, not a terrible first attempt. Later today, or during the next few days, I’ll post my 2005 list.

Site Browsing Stats, November 2004

In honor of the November official launch of Firefox 1.0, and because I happened to be looking at my site stats tonight, here’s the breakdown of the browser usage for this site, as reported by my stats package, awstats. Unknown is anything the package has never heard of, whereas Others are known browsers, too small to list separately. This includes things like wget and curl, and even 57 hits from a pre-Firefox copy of Firebird. :

Browser              Hits      %age
-------              ----    ------
FireFox             34868    37.9 %
Internet Explorer   28008    30.4 %
Safari              10536    11.4 %
Unknown              6080     6.6 %
Mozilla              4103     4.4 %
NetNewsWire          3253     3.5 %
Opera                1744     1.8 %
Netscape             1525     1.6 %
Camino                518     0.5 %
Konqueror             362     0.3 %
Others                861     0.9 %

I’m very proud of my readers for using Firefox far more than Internet Explorer. As to the 30.4%, and you know who you are, go on. Try it. All the cool kids are doing it.