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Testing, testing

Seeing if this fixes the STUPID pagination problem on STINKY OLD Internet Explorer.

Update: No, it doesn’t. What the hell is this bug? It just appears out of nowhere, shoves the main page below the right-hand sidebar for a few hours, then disappears again. I have IE at work, and it looked fine before I left. Meh.

On a related note…twenty two years of brain dead software: screen caps of all the Windows versions beginning with 1.01. I’m not sure if that’s where I came in, but we had a 1985 Windows machine. It drove our camera, I think.


Update: got it. Or it went away by itself. I put an


tag in the CSS for the right sidebar just as it vanished, so maybe that did it. Good thing; I was just going to take up strong drink. As a last resort, that fixes everything. Now I can celebrate with a dram of spirits.

June 12, 2007 — 4:26 pm
Comments: 12

Like a bison


O.E. weosule, wesle “weasel,” from P.Gmc. *wisulon (cf. O.N. visla, M.Du. wesel, Du. wezel, O.H.G. wisula, Ger. Wiesel), probably related to P.Gmc. *wisand- “bison” (see bison), with a base sense of “stinking animal,” because both animals have a foul, musky smell (cf. L. vissio “stench”). The verb “to deprive (a word or phrase) of its meaning” is first attested 1900, so used because the weasel sucks out the contents of eggs, leaving the shell intact; the sense of “extricate oneself (from a difficult place) like a weasel” is first recorded 1925; that of “to evade and equivocate” is from 1956. A John Wesilheued (“John Weaselhead”) turns up on the Lincolnshire Assize Rolls for 1384,
but the name seems not to have endured, for some reason.

— 2:05 pm
Comments: 4


Click to enlarge. It’s worth it. Basemap by that XKCD guy (if you’re not checking his site a couple times a week, you’re a nincompoop) based on relative size and purpose of various ‘online communities’ as of Spring, 2007. I added the star. That’s us. We’re under it. In open water. In a canoe.

Primates are tribal. Drop a bunch of us on the savannah, and we promptly coagulate into angry screaming monkeyclumps and start a war.

It’s been fun watching this play out online. I’ve been here since the mid eighties, from local bulletin boards, Fidonet and PCPursuit, to Prodigy, GEnie, Compu$erve and Arbornet, from USENET to IRC to online games to Web bulletin boards to blogs. I sat down a decade ago and started to write down all the groups I’d been a part of and handles I’d posted under and I got well over 50 of the one and 100 of the other before I lost interest in the question.

The internet is particularly well suited to tribal warfare. It is a slippery place; only a “place” at all in the most metaphorical way. It’s a suitable place for anonymity, intrigue and imposture. It’s a billion timbreless voices whispering to each other in the dark.

The thing I most loved to read on USENET was the sputtering indignation of a newbie who suddenly realizes that, yes, that other guy damn well can talk to you that way and no, there’s not a thing you can do about it. But, of course, this is why internet arguments never die: they don’t have to. There is no mechanism to declare a winner and go home.

Except when there is. And moderated groups and bulletin boards tend to generate the hardest feelings of all. Moderation is a job almost impossible to do gracefully. Most places it’s like romping through a toe factory with a hammer.

I have hung out in happy places and cranky places and contributed as lavishly as I was able to the happiness and the crankiness thereof, if not always the right way around. I’ve been so busy identifying and supporting my online tribe, it totally snuck up on me, that point where I came to identify more with the online tribe than the meat tribe.

Oh, I trim my hedges and say hi to my neighbors. I vote. I shop. If the Redcoats ever come back, I’ll run to the barricades with my carbine (getting tired of keeping up my marksmanship skill in preparation for that glorious day, in fact). But if you ask me where I live, work and play, the answer to all three is on the computer. And, pretty much, online. I blame broadband. What’s satellite wifi going to do?

Leave a mark on the genome, is my guess.

— 1:52 pm
Comments: 14