Archive for February, 2004


What was I thinking?

I wrote the other day that I was considering using PowerPoint. It must have been very late or something when I wrote that, because it’s just plain foolishness. I cannot stand PowerPoint. Now I have another reason.

Last weekend we bought a copy of Microsoft Office v.X. I kept hoping to find a reasonable alternative to Word for Kiara to use on OS X, but nothing else really cut it. Word is the standard for a damn good reason: it’s very good. And now that Microsoft offers teacher/student price of $150 (which includes licenses for three computers in your home!), we went ahead and bought it.

Installing it caused all sorts of problems. First of all, unlike other Mac OS X software, the installer didn’t prompt me for an administrator password, so I couldn’t install it in the /Applications folder without manually changing the permissions. That’s bullshit. There’s probably a fix for it somewhere, but since Kiara’s the only one using it, I just installed in in her home directory and figured I’d wait for the Office 2004 upgrade to address it again. I fired up PowerPoint about long enough to remember that I want nothing to do with it (simple enough, I’ll just use XHTML or maybe Flash). At that point, for some reason I shut down.

When I booted up the next day, everything seemed fine until the login screen didn’t appear. Aaargh! I ran Disk Utility a few times, but no good. I booted into single-user mode to run fsck to no avail. A page on Apple’s support site suggested deleting my preferences file, but on a lark I just deleted the PowerPoint prefs, and bam! Booted up just fine.

So no, I don’t think I’ll be using PowerPoint anytime soon.


Conference Proposals Accepted.

Woo-hoo! Both my proposals for an upcoming IT conference have been accepted (the conference is internal to our system, though there’s been talk about someday doing a joint conference with the U). I’m psyched.

I’ll be doing a session on web application security, which will be solidly founded on the OWASP Top Ten. I’ll also be doing an introductory tutorial on regular expressions. I find too few people who know about regex, and it’s just far too useful a tool to ignore. That session will also complement the security one, as regex are a Good Thing when doing input validation.

I had started to write a proposal to talk about unit testing and test-driven development but decided that two were plenty. Heh.

Now I just need to get working on the presentations. I’m actually considering using PowerPoint, though I would prefer to do it in XHTML (and so probably will). Most of my presentations in the past have been pretty much off the cuff, although I’ve thrown together slides to tie it all together. I want these to be a little more polished: I need a clear structure to do a tutorial, and something to keep me reined in to a time frame when I start talking about security.


Sun Hires Back Employee #1

Which I link to solely for this line:

Out-of-control nanomatter was not, we understand, considered a design constraint…


Another Scene from my life with Kiara

6:30 p.m. I toss a load of cloth diapers in the wash.

7:30 p.m. Done with dinner, I take Owen upstairs to try to get him to sleep.

7:38 p.m. Owen & I are both sound asleep.

11:00 p.m. I wake up and go to bed.

11:02 p.m. Kiara comes to bed. Conversation ensues:

Kiara: I just made lip balm!

Kiara: And ginger bread!

Kiara: And I treated the stains on the diapers and rewashed them.

Sam: Huh?

Seriously, people, that’s how it happened. Now for contrast, let’s reverse roles and replay that scene.

7:30 p.m. Kiara takes Owen up to nurse him and put him to bed.

8:00 p.m. With luck, Owen finally drifts off to sleep. Kiara goes downstairs to sew.

11:00 p.m. I’ve long been askeep, after a couple hours tinkering with the computer and reading.

2:00 a.m. Kiara goes to bed. She kinda loses track of time when working on a sewing project.

Now, I don’t want to come off as a lazy ass, but next to my super-motivated beloved wife, I just can’t help it. I mean, lip balm!


Quick Links

I’ve had these sitting around awhile. So while I’m working on a few other, hopefully more interesting things…

I think that’s it for now. Back soon, I hope.