A Week of Random Thoughts

Volume 7, Issue 66; 27 Apr 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

A bunch of things crossed my desk last week. In the interest of publishing them before they’re totally irrelevant, here they are.

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.

Andre Malraux

A bunch of things crossed my desk last week, things I might have written about if it had been practical to do so. In the interest of publishing them before they’re totally irrelevant, here they are.

On Computational Horsepower

A 600Mhz machine with only 128Mb of real memory has just barely enough horsepower to process spam. And I mean just barely. I had to throttle spamc back so that it wasn’t doing them in parallel at all.

On Spam

Getting mail working on that desktop box meant rebuilding my procmail configuration. This time I found Nikos K. Kantarakias Yet Another antiVirus Recipe. Highly recommended. Almost all of that virus crap now goes directly in the bit bucket without even passing through my inbox.

Also on spam, I got this the other day:

This is XXX. I am running Spam Interceptor to get rid of junk email.
Please follow this link to verify that the message you sent me isn't
junk email.


Your email was intercepted because it got a spam rating of 0 and I set
Spam Interceptor to ask everyone who sends me a message rated over
12.7 to authenticate. When you authenticate I'll receive your email
and you'll never have to authenticate for me again, no matter what
spam rating your emails get.

I’m sorry pal, on the off chance that I actually sent you something and this isn’t just a bounce from some virus generated spam, there is zero chance that I’m going to take the time to reply if you can’t get the tool configured properly. Last time I checked, 0 was not greater than 12.7.

On cwm

Bill de hÓra dinged me for writing about cwm when I claimed to be writing about RDF. He’s right, and he pegged it, I picked the snappier title. I maintain that the issue holds for other tools too, though.

On B.D.

Trudeau finally took B.D.’s helmet off. And his leg.

I’m not sure what emotional attachment to cartoon characters means.

On Cool Lego Projects

A robot that solves Rubik’s cube. Made out of Lego bricks. Fantastic.

On the Fifth Sentence

Meme via Ongoing: From The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde: “'Blast!' he muttered, staring at the ground.”

Instructions: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 23, find the 5th sentence, and post its text along with these instructions. Point back to where you got the idea so that we can follow the threads.

On a Googleplex of Information

From a mailing list (you know who you are): consider the physical storage requirements of a googleplex of bits.

On XML Europe

Sebastian Rahtz presented A unified model for text markup: TEI, Docbook, and beyond, a paper that he, Lou Burnard, and I worked on. To be honest, Sebastian and I chatted about it and I tweaked the DocBook NG schema a bit, but I didn’t contribute a lot to the paper.

And then my schedule prevented me from even being there to help present it. Sorry guys.

On Words

Or the lack thereof. From another mailing list, art without words: The Untitled Project.