Thursday, May 31, 2007

Street View on Google Maps!

Curt forwards a note announcing...

Google snuck a new feature into Google Maps this week, no official
announcement yet but I stumbled on it this morning.

Do a search in one of the following places:

Las Vegas
New York City
San Francisco / Oakland / Silicon Valley

...and then look at the buttons in the upper right of the map. There should
be a new button marked "Street View". Click and enjoy.

Sorry, no coverage in Atlanta yet.

This is quite fascinating. The note goes on to acknowledge that A9 (shown to me by Jim K at the time) had done something similar previously. Of course the Google interface is more cool…

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yahoo Mail Cancelled

Well, I've finally done it: I cancelled my Yahoo! Premium email and personalized email address (domain name). I'd actually transferred the domain name to a different service some time ago. I believe Yahoo was still charing $35 a year for the DNS name when most services charge between $5 and $10 (sometimes free). Gmail has far surpassed my premium email account, which also had an annual fee.

I deleted all of my folders, filters, and such and popped down all the email I wanted to keep. Now the account is a plain old Yahoo mail account with ads.

In the mean time, Google just keeps adding services to Gmail. The latest is 20-MB attachments.

Yahoo! certainly set the pace for a while, with the best web-based email service around. There are a lot of people that still prefer it and I'm not planning to cancel the free acount. Their services are more impressive now and the new, fancy email interface is impressive in some ways. However, I simply prefer the Gmail interface. It's incredibly powerful but simple to use.
Gmail is truly a new way of doing mail whereas Yahoo has basically copied Outlook Express, et al.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Since just posting about a blog entry from SmugMug, I looked at their About Us page and found the brief account of their story compelling!

Going with Sun

Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug, blogs about selecting Sun. I think most of his experience and description resonates with our experiences.

Monday, May 07, 2007

150k Layoffs for IBM

Robert Cringley in his column I Cringely writes that IBM may be laying off 150,000 US workers!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Ack!! Okay, I'm learning more Python. I have to admit, it seems fast to write, and the code is more brief. Or maybe more clean. It's notably different looking from Perl.

I've been at it for less than three weeks and have already been able to write a Notification class and have almost finished a DBnc (named-column database) class. Very soon I should have a fully functioning HostDB class (which I just finished writing in Perl last week). With those in hand a production host monitoring script in Python should be ready, maybe today. Again, I just finished the Perl version of it last week.

I feel like I know most of the core of the language but there are some subtleties I'm still not clear on which will probably jump up and grab me at some point. I'm not sure I understand the difference in double- and single-quotes around strings. I'm not sure the meaning is the same as in Perl (or ksh).

I also have the logging and csv libraries pretty well in hand, now, along with mapping dictionaries (which are like Perl hashes). Handling command line args, file I/O, and regular expressions are working in my code.

I'm also trying to figure out how to write class modules, particularly in the area of comments in the code, author fields and such, and I need an expression to pull the CVS version number into the version field.

I've started using the three-double-quote comments/documentation in class and method definitions but I'm not sure how much decorating and such I can do---another thing I need to check into. I want to draw borders around the comments to set them off, using underlines and verticle bars, but I wonder if any tools want to reformat that text.

Learning how to use the code to install and how to make a distributable package are next on my list. I've already done a couple of installs (and found out you need to apt-get install phython2.4-dev or whatever version you are using, for setup to work correctly).

I've been able to learn almost everything from the Tutorial and the Library Reference. I did spend 20 to 30 minutes in a bookstore reading some of the O'Reilly book at one point (while waiting on the customer service desk to find a reserved book). I've gone searching on Google for the answers to a couple of questions but typically the trail led back to the above two documents.

An any event, I'm having fun with it.

Cool Stuff on Shared Google Reader

Don't forget to look at my Shared Google Reader. It's over there in the right hand column, near the top. A lot of articles and such I would previously have put here in the blog are there on the shared reader, since it's a single click. I add items from time to time here in order to include comments, but most of what I read that I think is interesting, and that I read via the Reader, is over there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Check out this video of BumpTop, yet another physics-based desktop paradigm. Things are getting interesting, weird, and more weird. There is also more Beryl demon in this post.

I guess this is the actual bumptop site: