Nullsoft WASTE on Linux?

Nullsoft (the Winamp people) today released WASTE, a secure, mesh-network IM/chat/file-transfer system. Looks kinda cool. They even GPL’d the code.

WASTE is initially available on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • FreeBSD
  • MacOS X

Notice a particularly popular operating system missing from that list? No, I’m not talking about Solaris.

BusinessWeek on Yahoo!

BusinessWeek June 2, 2003 - Cover Photograph by alanlevenson.com The cover story of the June 2, 2003 edition of BusinessWeek is entitled Yahoo! Act Two.

As an insider, the article seems pretty accurate to me. It does a pretty good job explaining what’s changed about the corporate culture since Semel came on board. Our stock price is up almost 70% since the day he became our new CEO.

In the past two years, things have certainly changed a great deal. To remind yourself of the old Yahoo!, read the BusinessWeek cover story from May 21, 2001.

Moving from Pine to PC-Pine

PINE - a Program for Internet News & Email I hate email almost as much as I hate the web.

I’ve found that I’m using my Windows 2000 laptop a lot these days, but I’m still doing my email on my 4.5-year-old FreeBSD machine (running a vintage 2.2.7 kernel, complete with the a.out runtime linker bug). Switching back and forth between the two has turned into too big of a pain in the neck, especially since I seem to be getting tons of resumes (and various other attachments) in Word and PDF formats.

So it’s high time to switch to a Windows email reader. What’s the path of least resistance? PC-Pine.

Yes, it still has an olde-school xterm-like interface. No, it doesn’t display HTML or graphics. But it’s what I’ve been using for the past 8 years, and I’m not about to switch again. I made the great leap forward from good ol’ /usr/bin/mail to Pine back in 1995 and it took weeks to get used to a new interface. I don’t want to repeat that pain.

Our corporate IS department doesn’t support IMAP (only POP3), so I initially tried to get an IMAP server running on my ancient FreeBSD box and use fetchmail to pull from our POP server. But I couldn’t really get UW’s imapd to work. Instead of wasting time trying another IMAP server (folks here have suggested Inter7’s Courier-IMAP), I instead decided to use Pine’s native POP3 support in conjunction with the Mail Drop feature.

Porting my pinerc file from Unix to Windows was pretty easy. I had to make a few tweaks (looking up names in our corprate LDAP server instead of getting them from /etc/password, switching forward-slashes to back-slashes in folder names, moving my filtering from procmail to Pine’s built-in filtering feature, etc.) After a couple of hours, I’m up and running in an environment that feels really familiar.

Economic cost of the support@microsoft.com virus

Those wacky virus people have done it again. The big@boss.com virus (W32.Sobig.A@mm) has mutated into the support@microsoft.com virus (W32.Sobig.B@mm).

Ariella and I were chatting about this over lunch. She suggested that if the government simply bought the rights to distribute Norton Antivirus and legislated that it be installed on all computers, we could do the economy some good. Congress would probably be a little reluctant to write a check for $8 billion (back-of-the envelope calculation: ~200 million Windows PCs times $40 a copy), but it would probably pay off over the long term. The Slammer virus alone apparently cost $1.2 billion in lost productivity. And that was just in the first 5 days alone!

Think about it. The US Postal Service checks our snail mail for Anthrax. Why shouldn’t the government check our e-mail for viruses?

In the meantime, perhaps we should invest in some SYMC.

TiVo upgrade

Hinsdale How-to TiVo upgrade After 3.5 years of using TiVo, I’ve finally decided to crack open the case and increase the recording capacity.

I purchased my Philips 14hr HDR112 TiVo (the first model ever manufactured) from Fry’s Electronics in Sunnyvale on October 22nd, 1999. Today, Ariella and I schlepped out to Fry’s in Woodland Hills to purchase a Maxtor 120GB hard disk for the upgrade.

I’m three hours into the process and am finishing step 8 out of 11. I hope to finish before midnight.

Update (11:47pm): Whoo-hoo! I’m done! Just gotta put the cover back on and bring it back into the family room…

My TiVo, post-uprade

163 hours, baby. Nice.

Dump the Junk Day

Yahoo! Mail Dump the Junk Day Today is Yahoo! Mail Dump the Junk Day in the United Kingdom.

If you’ve got a friend or colleague who bombards you with joke emails and “wacky” attachments, nominate them for the The Dump the Junk Award.

Apparently, you’ve gotta be a Brit to enter the contest.

The Caffeine Disadvantage?

My favorite drug: 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine JR Conlin: “Caffeine has become the new nicotine.”

Over the past 10 years I’ve kicked my caffeine habit twice but fell off the wagon both times. A few years ago we got an espresso maker as a wedding present, and I’ve been drinking a shot or two every morning. It turns out that a shot of espresso has about as much caffeine as a 6-oz cup of coffee, so it’s not like I’m a complete junkie. Some folks drink 6-8 cups of regular (drip) coffee a day!

Of course, I’ve been known to have a Diet Coke or two during the day as well, so my total daily intake is probably close to half a gram.

I’ve always loved the way caffeine has made me feel. I’m so alert and awake, and it lifts me out of the occasional blues. We stumbled across Weinberg & Bealer’s book in a bookstore last year and I’d love to find the time to sit down and read it.