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Sunday, December 31, 2000
It was good to see some of the neighbors at one of the few gatherings we have here, re-introducing ourselves again since some of us never see the others, mostly those of us without kids. The families with kids all seem to be buddies, kids and parents.

Posted some Florida pictures that I took earlier in December. They were taken with the Canon Powershot A5, one of the earliest really small, 1M pixel digital cameras. Of course soon afterward the resolution doubled and the price halved, and a zoom was added, but it's a great little camera. One of those Christmas gifts that bounces back.

Cleaned up my homepage by removing some links that I never use and adding the link to the Florida photos. Really need to redesign the page but haven't taken the chunk of time necessary. Maybe next week.

Stopped reading the Naipaul book, Among the Believers. While interesting, a good editor was needed as Naipaul seemed to repeat every conversation verbatum, whether it added to the book or not. Learned a little about Islam, but just got tired of the pace of the book. Starting Night Train by Martin Amis, a writer about which I've heard a great deal but have never read.

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Saturday, December 30, 2000
Dodged the big snow storm that hit NY and most of the northeast. Finally watched Sixth Sense, having missed the opportunity to see it in Blythe, CA when our cross country group spent the night there last year. Thought it was well done and the ending was a surprise.

Planning on attending a neighborhood open house tomorrow afternoon, then a country dance tomorrow night, one of our rare New Year's Eve outings.

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Friday, December 29, 2000
Added to the left column a couple of the blog-like sites that I visit on a regular basis. Was going to add Al Young's around the world bike trip site but the trip will be completed in a couple of days, so it will be old news. Al uses a Pocketmail device as well, and posts messages on an almost daily basis, similar to Southern Tier Bike Trip logs. Blogger would have been a good way to update the log, but I mailed HTML formatted reports from my Pocketmail device to K who edited and posted them to my web site.

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Opened the Washington Post today and found my letter to the editor on the Editorial page. It was my small way of voicing my outrage over the number of pedestrian deaths in the past several months in the DC area, over 10 in December alone. And most police quoted in the papers or on TV blame the pedestrians for not walking in crosswalks, never about drivers speeding or running red lights, which happens constantly around here.

Updated the Hunter Mill District web site that I created and maintain. Unfortunately it only takes a couple of hours a week, so I don't work as many hours as I would like.

Spent about an hour yesterday writing a short Perl program to convert my Netscape addresses to a format that can be entered into my Sharp TM-20 Pocketmail device. It should have taken about 15 minutes; it's a real short program that doesn't do much. I'd rather spend the hour messing with a program than typing in the addresses.

# Program to read addresses exported from Netscape as comma-delimited file and reformat for input to
# Pocketmail address entry application.
# Bruce Wright, 12/28/00
if ($ARGV[0] eq '' || $ARGV[1] eq '') {
die "Usage: ns2pocket.pl infile outfile\n";
$infile = $ARGV[0];
open (IN,$infile) || die "can't open $infile: $!"; # $! is error string var
$outfile = $ARGV[1];
open (OUT,">$outfile") || die "can't open $outfile: $!";
$i = 0;
print OUT "Sharp TM-20 Data V1.0\nA\n";
print OUT "\"Index\",\"Visible\",\"Last Name\",\"First Name\",\"Company\",\"Position\", "Home#\",\"Office#\",\"E-mail 1\",\"E-mail 2\",\"E-mail 3\",\"Fax#\",\"Address\",\"City\",\"State\",\"Zip code\",\"Country\",\"Note\"\n";
while () {
# remove end of line with chop
chop $_;
# split out variables using tab (\t)
$fax,$home,$org,$nickname,$cell,$pager) = split(/\t/,$_);
print OUT ++$i,",1,\"$lastname\",\"$firstname\",\"$org\",\"$title\",\"$home\",\"$work\",\"$email\",\"\"\,\"\",\"
close(IN) || die "can't close $infile: $!";
close(OUT) || die "can't close $outfile: $!";

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Wednesday, December 27, 2000
Read good reviews of three CD's, Morphine's Like Swimming and Cure for Pain in a Razor Magazine article and J. Mascis and the Fog, More Light in Pitchfork. Initially read about J Mascis in Wired. He's the guitar genius behind the group Dinosaur Jr. Morphine consists of a 2 string bass, saxophone, and drums and play a mix of various jazz styles including fusion.

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Indulged in one of my compulsions yesterday when I should have been looking for a Christmas gift for my nephew. Stopped at BJ's Books in Warrenton under the guise of getting a book for Tommy, and discovered a great collection of quality used paperbacks. Bought Night Train by Martin Amis, Winter's Tales by Isak Dinesen, Notebooks 1935-1942 by Albert Camus, and a book of old master drawings, Swiss Drawings, all for $8.50. Now, what 4 books do I surrender?

Trying to figure out how to re-partition the hard disk and re-install Mandrake Linux on the P100. When I initially created the partitions, I think I screwed up and made on that isn't being used, and now I don't have room for any additional software, such as StarOffice. All instructions relate to installing it from Windows. Guess I'll have to read through one of the Ebooks that came with the software to dig into the guts of the system.

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Monday, December 25, 2000
Low key Christmas Day, opened a few presents that we picked out during a shopping blitz, mostly for some essentials that we never have time to buy for ourselves. Trying to avoid some of the gluttony of the holiday, as well as the stress of picking out that one of a kind useless gift.

Made a pinhole eclipse viewer for the partial eclipse today. Then fired off a letter to the editor of the Washington Post about the rash of pedestrian deaths recently, over 10 this month alone, several of which were hit and run. Time to stop the insanity of blaming pedestrians for not using crosswalks.

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Sunday, December 24, 2000
Now that I've received several holiday cards it's time to send out a few of my own. One of my few holiday traditions is to make my own holiday cards, so I got out the watercolors and slapped together a few mediocre cards. Maybe I'll get them sent before the new year.

The other day slashdot pointed to a good article on the size of Linux distributions. Of course it set off a round of rants from the Linux faithful, and it shows how limited their perspective is. The tone of most of the entries I read was that Linux is so modular that ANYONE should be able
to load the core and then add whatever packages are needed. The point of the article was that MOST users don't want to figure out how to do that, they want to use a computer to accomplish some basic tasks as simply and cheaply as possible.

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Thursday, December 21, 2000
Since XML is the next big thing, I've been looking for articles and software to learn more about how to encode and view data using it. Happened across a good article on A List Apart about converting XML to HTML. Atl least the first page looks informative. Guess I better read the entire article...

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Just learned not to change the size of this window while editing a post, as the post disappears when the screen is refreshed.

Learned today that the National Atlas project received their second Hammer Award, this time they were the sole recipient. It's moderately gratifying to see some of my work be recognized, although I was far from the driving force behind the project, at lot of hard work went into it's creation.

Holiday party with the office group at Paolo's restaurant. Too bad I couldn't hear half of the conversations due to the poor acoustics.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2000
Finished reading the January Wired and found a reference to the guitar god J. Mascis and a new CD, More Light on which he plays with The Fog (see above link to review). In the same section, Street Cred, there's a reference to blogger.com. Didn't remember reading about it but it's probably why I started this blog when I did using blogger. Also came across a reference to blogger on the camworld.com blog in which the Jeffrey Zeldman article on site maintenance is referenced. It's all so connected...

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Later today...In order to enter new blogs after logging off, need to log back on to the blog site, not just return to this url. Posting and publishing, and just about everything else at the blogger.com site, is very slooow. Maybe it's due to other connection problems they are having.

In order to update the html of the template, click on the template button above.

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Just signed up for service from blogger.com to test the use of an online journal. Not sure if a date is needed above (it isn't, so I took it out). Also wondering if this edited entry will be duplicated after having posted an earlier version. Created a shortcut to the blog editor on the Netscape toolbar.

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