Rapid Train, Dark Train

With much quick walking, stair jumping, and diving between closing doors, I squeeze into the C train that I couldn’t even see as I descended below 8th Ave. As the sounds of Departure by Akino Lee (possibly the best sounding GuitarFreaks song I’ve found), I reflect on a morning of cutting wires in our phone system like they were connected to a bomb. An afternoon of lugging iMacs and the Xserve around, and migrating bits of data from one to another. A dusk of again racking my brain as to why the store is faulting out, to discover the problem involved 1969, 11 years before I was born. The train arrives at 42nd Street, and I begin my underground race, as though I were playing Crazy Taxi and trying to pass as many people as possible on the way to my destination. Not The Same by Ben Folds makes me wonder where the usual horde of Jesus freaks with shouting voices have gone off to. The bum that I saw a few days ago, sitting sprawled out at the bottom of the stairs to the uptown N/W/R/Q line is back, still hoping that his mere inconvenience will invoke charity. There’s an R leaving and that doesn’t bother me. The W pulls up just a little later and I lean onto a pole, as the stifling heat in this particular car makes me feel just a touch more tired. A seat opens as we hit Lexington, and I’m more than happy to take it. Sadly, there’s no one remarkable on the train as we speed towards the daylight again. I realized (again) today that life is too short to get hung up on fighting other people for less than important causes. All I’ve seen as of late are rash decisions, hurtful words, and tears with so much emotion behind them that sitting here thinking about them nearly brings me to tears. My previous description of “daylight” is sorely wrong. What they say is true – it’s later than you think. What has happened to us collectively when so many people let rage consume them on a regular basis? I’m certainly not excluding myself here. Fights are dragged out for days, weeks, months. Fought across multiple mediums. We all seem to have endless amounts of drama baggage that goes back years and years. Why is it the only kind of baggage that never gets lost? If you think this post is about you, you’re wrong. It’s about everyone. I’m out for now.

I’ve Got Good News

You might be here hoping I can shed light on the recent drama on DDRFreak. Or maybe you just want some insight into the mod process behind Phrekwenci’s removal as a moderator, since he referenced me in his “announcement”. Unfortunately, this post is going to sadly disappoint you. Generally, the happenings of the “hidden board” of DDRFreak – the moderator board – are strictly off-limits to discussion outside of the board. Obviously, this isn’t always kept true, especially given the events of the past few weeks. There would certainly could be a positive effect if someone came forward and explained what had happened – but the chances of repercussions, or the potential for the facts to set off more firestorms (because you know someone will be pissed), are way too high to violate the moderator agreement. Since I became a mod a little over a year ago (has it only been that long?), I’ve definitely been through a lot of trials and tribulations. Every time I think I’ve seen the worst of it, there will always be a worse incident somewhere down the road. Regardless of whatever I try to keep the peace (and I try often), it never seems to last. VJ Army’s board, by comparison, is a refreshing cake walk. Eventually, you grow tired and want to move on with your time and energy. Don’t be surprised if that day comes soon for me.

Quicksilver – A Better OS X In Just 10 Minutes

Note: This tutorial is also available in O’Reilly’s OS X Panther Hacks.

Further Reading: I have also published an intermediate tutorial, with 10 steps to leverage more power with Quicksilver. There’s also Gold Trigger, which helps you understand the trigger system.

This isn’t Ronco. I’m not an excitable friend from across the ocean with red hair and a bowtie and a British accent. You’re not watching Amazing Discoveries. But I swear, if you give me 10 minutes and you follow my simple directions, you can go from merely using Mac OS X to owning it.

This probably sounds like bullshit, I know. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had I not tried this app and felt my jaw drop over and over again for the last year. So standby to win.

Before you start, you will need to have:

  • A Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 or better.
  • Data, in any of the following forms – iTunes library, iPhoto albums, Address Book entries, bookmarks in any browser, whatever.

Got all that? Let’s begin.

Please note this was originally written using Quicksilver Beta 19, and has been updated repeatedly. The information contained within is currently up-to-date through b42 “Corgi”. As development goes rapidly on Quicksilver, things may have changed since I last updated this.

Continue reading

Porn Day Recap

So, regarding Porn Day: – I did not win. – That honor was split between Steve “Art Guy” Tze and Ann “Support Girl” Binlot.

  • I think I placed 3rd with about 4 positive hits. – It’s rather fascinating how many things Google is ineffective at filtering with SafeSearch on – like “creampies”. – My boss now knows what the previously mentioned term refers to. – I believe he emitted a loud “UGH” when he found out. – There are a handful of sites on the internet that are really, really hard to block. You couldn’t tell from the meager HTML source it was porn. – I’m happy to report that BumperCar is very effective at blocking kids from evil things at the default settings. – I added ICRA ratings to the root of my blog today – I figure that now that there’s a browser on the Mac that supports them, it’s not a horrible idea. I got a strange satisfaction from checking the “Content may set a bad example for children” button. That’s all I’ve got for now; we’re probably doing another quick check tomorrow before we hopefully GM.
  • Email From Pat Kiernan

    This morning, I received an email regarding my NY1 post from Friday:

    Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 05:43:28 -0500
    From: Pat Kiernan
    To: Dan Dickinson
    Subject: NY1
    We got a good chuckle out of your review of Friday’s newscast … mainly because the Gary reclining in the car report was a surprise to us (back at the station) the first time he did it. Pat

    I’m curious how the post made its way to the NY1 office, but no matter. NY1 has once again made my day! (I’m sure a number of you want details from Porn Day; I promise I will post some tonight.)

    Porn Day

    As you might know if you’re in the cross-section of my readers who know me primarily through my work, we’ve been working on a kid’s webbrowser called BumperCar. It has been an interesting change of pace from the usual games, and has led us into directions we’re not used to going. We’re currently in late beta, nearly ready to go Final Candidate. But we haven’t internally really beaten on the protection lately, and we’ve certainly been curious as to how it would fair against a kid desperate to see boobs. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Ian declared that Monday will be porn day – where we all sit down with the browser and try and find as much porn as possible while under kid protection. Prizes may be awarded. Sometimes I wonder how on earth my life can be so weird. This is one of those times. NOTE: I know some people will take it upon themselves to send me some links. I must politely decline on two grounds. One, it defeats the purpose of me trying to find it. Two, I know the kind of stuff some of you look at and it creeps the hell out of me.

    I Love NY1

    One of the perks of living in NYC is getting NY1, a Time-Warner run all-NYC-news, all-the-time channel. While it’s barely live (and they are careful to label their field reporters with “On Scene” instead of “Live”), it has some interesting qualities.

    For instance: Pat Kiernan, who normally anchors in the weekday mornings, can be a little silly in a dry way, and isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself. Here is a man who, after hearing a long-winded explanation of why the new Time-Warner building was not a mall but a “vertical shopping experience”, shrugged his shoulders and plainly said “Well, it’s a very nice mall.” Here is a man who referred to himself (in reference to an article about a lawsuit he had filed) as “some lunatic”.

    And as for why I’m bringing this up today – Gary Anthony Ramsay is a reporter for NY1 who has been notable over this winter because he’s always stuck outside (always in Queens) whenever there’s a segment about the weather. Yesterday, he looked absolutely miserable as the snow was piling up on his head, although he tries to stay chipper about it.

    This morning, it’s still snowing, and since not much newsworthy happened in the city yesterday, it remained the top story. But as I watched Gary’s segment come on, I noticed something a little different…

    They let Gary report from a car! Not only that, but look at him – he’s reclined!

    And then they took time out for banter! This is at 5 minutes in to the half-hour news “program” (they operate similarly to Headline News). Normally such a slot is reserved for, you know, news.

    Even the field reporter after him took a dig at him, saying that he was “really earning his money today, unlike Gary”.

    I have grown weary – and who hasnt? – of droning news reporters, or the EVERYTHING IS THRILLINGLY SERIOUS! style of reporting. And shows where the primary device is “Hey, we’re all sitting around a living room, come join our family” reek of insincerity. NY1, on the other hand, stays just serious enough while not acting like the world is crumbling, and they stay smiling through all of it. It certainly comes across better than any other news show I’ve ever watched, and I’m saying this as someone who used to watch Today in the morning.

    And let’s not forget the other perks – the triple entertainment reporter whammy of George Whipple (how can you not love those eyebrows?), Neil Rosen (who does surprisingly balanced movie reviews), and Dalton Ross (of Entertainment Weekly snarky-tv-summary fame). Weather reports every 10 minutes. Restaurant and Broadway reviews. Live event coverage of all the major things in NYC, including seemingly minor things like the Village Halloween Parade.

    All in all, it’s a fantastic station – so if you’re ever visiting NYC and in your hotel in the morning, turn on NY1. It’s a good time.

    This Is Absurd

    From Time Magazine, via Pandagon:

    Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration’s efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month.

    That’s one hell of a priority for the Department of Homeland Security. I thought they were supposed to help deter terrorism. Silly me! Spread the word.