Live from the Oregon Coast

I've been enjoying four beautiful days and nights at a beach house in Neskowin, OR (about 15 miles north of Lincoln City). I don't have a digital camera (yes, I'm the last remaining geek without one. I'm also the last geek on earth who hasn't seen The Matrix: Reloaded), but there are some photos of the house and the view here. I was way overdue for a vacation; it's been delightful to relax, eat, drink and watch movies with a few close friends.

One feature of the house they don't mention on the Web site is the wildlife: a family of deer has been foraging nightly in our backyard, and a very precocious racoon has adopted us (our fault for giving him some food); he was peering through our patio door until I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. last night.

The only things that could make this weekend any more perfect are a broadband Internet connection and a smokin' home theater system... ;-)

permalink 26 May 03 3:50 PM · Comments (1) · Tags: Personal
True Confessions

OK, I'll admit it: When I read this, I feel like this.

permalink 25 May 03 6:54 PM · Comments (0) · Tags: Misc
More VS.NET Goodness

Here's another cool tip from Andy Smith: Don't like all those tool windows cluttering up your VS.NET workspace? Shift+Alt+Enter, baby!

permalink 21 May 03 3:40 AM · Comments (0) · Tags: Programming
Tabbed Browsing in IE

Here's a handy tip from Microsoft's Douglas Purdy: Use Visual Studio .NET to enable tabbed browsing with Internet Explorer! [screenshot] If it's not already visible, right-click on VS.NET's toolbar to display the Web toolbar. To open a new tab, right-click on a Web page and select "New Window." Thanks, Doug!

permalink 21 May 03 3:34 AM · Comments (0) · Tags: Software
I've Looked at Life from Both Sides Now

Often, while doing my daily reading on the Web, I'll end up with half a dozen browser windows open, containing articles I want to read after scanning my RSS feeds. (Or, I'll have a single browser instance whose history list contains the articles I want to read. Upon completing each article, I hit the Back button to proceed to the next one.)

Recently, I've read several favorable reviews of Mozilla, whose tabbed browsing feature sounded like the ideal solution to my browser proliferation issue. So, this past weekend I installed Mozilla 1.3 and gave it a try. Nice! It's every bit as usable as IE6, and has several features that I wish IE would "embrace and extend": In addition to tabbed browsing, I like Mozilla's popup blocking and cookie management. The forward and back buttons on my IntelliMouse Just Worked. And most important, with a single exception (my Radio Userland desktop page), every site I visited rendered just fine! The only feature I missed was the ability to drag a hyperlink from, say, an e-mail message into Mozilla and have the browser go there.

Mozilla hasn't replaced IE as my default browser just yet, but if you haven't tried it, I recommend that you do so.

permalink 21 May 03 3:27 AM · Comments (0) · Tags: Software
Life with nntp//rss

I've been using nntp//rss for over a month now, and overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I like it for the same reason people who live in Outlook love NewsGator. (I live in Outlook Express, because it lets me handle e-mail and NNTP newsgroups from a single app, and without a VPN connection to the company network. With nntp//rss, I can leverage that same app to monitor my favorite Web sites.)

I do have a handful of wishes (the program's author, Jason Brome, posted a comment the last time I wrote about nntp//rss, so perhaps he'll see these suggestions):

  • xhtml:body support. I don't keep up with Don Box's and Rebecca Dias' blogs because I have to follow a link to each article in order to read them.
  • dc:creator support. For aggregated feeds, such as that of dotnetweblogs, it would be nice to see the author of each post in my newsreader's From column, rather than the title of the feed. (Ditto for dc:date and the other Dublin Core elements)
  • More robust. After my system has crashed (don't ask), nntp//rss often fails to restart, due to garbage at the end of the nntprssdb.script file. I've been able to correct the problem by deleting the junk from the end of the file, but I'm never sure if that will cause data loss (not to mention that it's inconvenient).

Those are the biggies. Threading and "virtual newsgroups" would be cool, but they're not a big deal to me. It's unfortunate that adding a feed requires multiple steps (add the feed via nntp//rss' browser interface, then "subscribe" to the feed in your newsreader), but I like the fact that nntp//rss addresses most of the issues people have with other popular aggregators, such as SharpReader and RSS Bandit. If you're happy with your NNTP newsreader, you'll like nntp//rss.

permalink 21 May 03 1:35 AM · Comments (1) · Tags: Software
I'm Baaack!

Scoble laments:

This is a problem with writing every day. I only have something smart to say once a month.

I suggested that he employ the Spolsky method of only writing when he actually has something to say, but Robert says that reading his blog is "like playing the lottery." Hmm, OK, the Forrest Gump method.

At any rate, I have the opposite problem: Plenty to say, no time to say it. By the time I've worked all day, replied to my e-mail, participated in discussion groups, read the sites in my blogroll (on a good day I get to about half of them), worked out, and spent some time with family and friends, blogging is the last thing I feel like doing! How do you people do this?

permalink 21 May 03 12:01 AM · Comments (0) · Tags: Blogging