December 16, 2004

Comments on Primordial Ooze

If you want to post comments on Primordial Ooze, you will need to register with TypeKey. The registration process is minimal and I’m hoping no one will mind the extra step. I don’t require you to provide an e-mail address so hopefully it will be a no-brainer.

If this is a problem for anyone, please notify me: and raise your objections.

I upgraded the site to Movable Type 3.121, which gave me significantly more control over comment management. I’m hoping my comment spam problem will go away. We’ll see.


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December 03, 2004

Max's Maddnes

A colleague’s new blog. Max's Maddnes at


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November 22, 2004

The Rock and Roll Geek Show

As I write this I'm listening to the Rock and Roll Geek Show, by Michael Butler:

Michael seems to play bass for the band and hosts a kick ass show that sports some of their music. He also plays some RIAA stuff (which he probably shouldn't), and all kinds of crap I've never heard before like string tributes (for AC/DC and Iron Maiden), various covers, and more. The show is so unprofessional and honest it's got me addicted. I'm lovin' it all.

He distributes his show via Podcast (of course) but you can just download a show and give it a listen if you haven't seen the light yet. Most shows are about 30 minutes. He's a fellow beer drinker, preferring Heineken, and is actively (and comically) seeking a sponsorship from them. He openly admits that all he's really after is free beer in exchange for his continued plugs for their product. Personally, I prefer a good Trappist Ale like Grande Réserve by Chimay (

If you go to the blog url for today, you can see a photo of his office which seems to sport a gorgeous studio display driven by a G5.



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November 21, 2004

Happy Birthday Primordial Ooze

The Primordial Ooze blog is exacty one year old today. When I started this grand old experiment a year ago I really was hoping it would last... unlike most of my adventures. It's been a year and the blog is going as strong today as it was a year ago.

I can see from my earliest posts that I was heavily interested in C# and .NET when I started this thing. Since then, it became clear that I had a lot to say beyond that subject and the topics covered here have wandered from programming to photo and video to movies, tv's, games, and of course nonsense! I even took a couple stabs at humor.

My next adventure will likely be taking photos of some of the twisted montages created by razor blades (or pocket knives), train advertisements, and some drunk passengers. Some of these are hilarious. I started bringing my camera every day so stay tuned. Also, I'd like to post some of my adventures with Adobe Illustrator and the Avalon build now available for Windows XP.

I hope the next year is even better than the last. Thanks for reading!


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November 20, 2004

Longhorn, Avalon, WinFX

Quick note. All of my posts on anything about Longhorn, Indigo, Avalon, WinFS, WinFX, etc. will all go under the mega-umbrella Longhorn category.

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November 19, 2004

New hard drive

I just got a new 300GB SATA drive that replaced my existing 20GB ATA dinosaur that served as my secondary drive. My motherboard supports both IDE and SATA standards so I wasn't forced to re-install my OS.

The drive took 1.5 hours to format since I skipped the Quick Format option (always a good idea with a new drive). I'm currently moving my iTunes music library and it looks like the file copy will take just as long.

I don't expect much of a speed increase for my system, though I will be sure to put a virtual memory swap file on the drive to get as much parallel disk access as possible. I also set my TEMP and TMP environment variables to a directory on the new drive called D:\TEMP. This should help Windows split I/O between the two drives.

Before this, I had an external USB 2.0 70GB ATA drive that kept my music, photo, family, and source code repositories. I should be able to move all of this onto the bigger drive and use my USB 2.0 drives as backup.

You know what bothers me? Windows doesn't seem to spin down my USB drives when they idle. Perhaps it does, but I'm pretty sure they just keep on spinning regardless of how long they're running idle.

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Black coffee

I'm enjoying a cup of Viennese roast coffee this morning. It's black as the line to the milk pavilion was too long this morning. The only time I normally drink black coffee is when I get a professionally made espresso based drink like an Americano. An Americano is basically a few shots of fresh expresso dumped into a cup of hot filtered water. In the case of an Americano the water was run through the espresso grinds so quickly that there is absolutely no bitterness in the drink and I don't feel the need to put milk in it to try and subdue any bitterness that might otherwise have been present.

Most of the time, regular coffee steeps in the grinds for so long the bitterness is drawn out like a snake charmed by a skilled flutist. I wrote about this a bit before.

This morning, though, the Viennese roast is surprisingly free of bitterness and I find myself glad that I didn't pollute it with milk.

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November 12, 2004

Kid Drawings

My son's artwork appeared in his school's magazine, which might better be classified as a pamphlet. It looks like he was forced to use pre-cut rectangles and triangles to serve as the bodies of what would later be his family members once a few limbs were drawn in. The spectacular results can be found below, we're so proud.

(Yes, we're all bald by the way)

Holy moley do I need to loose weight! Giovanni's picture is surely something to clip on the refrigerator, but not nearly as interesting as a beaut' skillfully rendered by one of his classmates. "Chris" seems to have a super-hero family who all have the power to turn invisible.


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Konfabulator pretty much requires Photoshop

So, it looks like Konfabulator is nothing like XAML and you basically need to use Photoshop to do anything that looks good. If you're not skilled at using photoshop then you're pretty much up the creek.

What they offer is a standard interaction interface, ability to fire off timers, handle events, and otherwise interact with the user. They also nailed transparency effects and image compositing which takes the alpha level from image into account when performing the blend. Finally, it looks like they provide scaling and rotation transformations (which is how the second-hand animates in the World Clock Pro.


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November 11, 2004

Dashboard: Everything you need in a dash

If you read my previous post on Konfabulator, you might be also interested to note (or already knew) about Apple's Dashboard. It's basically the same concept. For me, who uses a Mac G4 at home in addition to Windows desktops at home and at work, the cross-platform compatibility of Konfabulator is an obvious boon to someone like me.

However, John Gruber over at Daring Fireball had some strong words on Apple's Dashboard, saying,

Obviously, Apple ripped off the idea for Dashboard. Stolen wholesale, without even the decency to mention where they took the original idea.

However, John points out that the concept is much older of course. He claims that Dashboard and Konfabulator are different in that Konfabulator is:

Konfabulator = (Custom XML format) + (Custom JavaScript engine)

While Dashboard uses the built-in Javascript engine of  the Mac OS and renderes via HTML and CSS that's built into Safari web browser.

I hate to just repeat what John wrote so I encourage you to read his rant which was great for me since now I understand a bit more about how this is all built.

So, the essential difference is that Dashboard "gadgets" are simply web pages with some extra support for transparency at the edges. While Konfabulator constructs pages using the XML layout analogous to XAML and XUL. John rightly points out that the learning curve to write Dashboard apps should be lower than that of writing Konfabulator appls for this reason. Said another way, if you can write a web app then you can write a Dashboard app.

For me, of course, Konfabulator is more interesting because it's cross-platform. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this extra bit of detail.

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A colleague sent me a link to Konfabulator! The tagline reads, "whatever you want it to be" and this is certainly true. Konfabulator was out for Mac OS X for some time, I'm guessing 2 years based on the history found on the site. It's been available for Windows more recently, though I can't figure out when it was released.

What is Konfabulator?

Konfabulator is a system that allows you to create rich UI widgets that can appear like and do just about anything. You define the look and structure of the widget in XML and you program it via JavaScript. This is not unlike what Microsoft is doing with XAML, the XML markup Microsoft is developing for their forthcoming Longhorn OS release. In addition, it's not unlike the XML User Interface Language XUL developed by the The Mozilla Organization and which serves as the heart of the Firefox web browser

I'm not sure how XUL works, in terms of how you link between the XUL markup and your traditional sources (like C/C++ and Java). I do know a little bit about how XAML works, though I must warn you that I've never actually written a XAML application.

Microsoft XAML uses XML markup to define the UI structure of a program. More than that, you can define parts of your classes in XAML and combine them with classes written in C#, C++/CLI or whatever. Using the partial class features of the .NET 2.0 framework, you can spread a single class definition over multiple files, over multiple languages, including XAML.

What makes XAML powerful is that it's XML. XML is easily parsed and generated and you can use illustration tools like Adobe Illustrator to generate XAML markup and then decorate it with code and otherwise build our application around this model.

Konfabulator seems a bit different, but similar in spirit. Using Konfabulator, you define your widget in XML and you provide JavaScript code right in  the XML markup. You can point to external JavaScript files since JavaScript might be easier to edit in a dedicated JavaScript editor.


Konfabulator nailed some nice antialiased non-rectangular window code. If you specify the graphic for your widget as a PNG file with alpha channel, the edges of your application blend smoothly with your Windows desktop. Here is a sample widget. My desktop background is that brownish color you see.

This aint no Weatherbug!

It's clear that the text is antialiased as well but I'm not sure how you draw graphics but it seems like the graphics rendered with some of the widgets are antialiased and smooth as well. I'm also not sure if the graphic API you use allows you to draw vector-based graphics, though there is a lot of evidence t hat this capability is there. Here are a pair of cool world clocks. You have to see these in action as t he second hand bounces as it snaps from second to second... just like a real clock.

Tea time in London

Widgets, widgets, widgets

There are a lot of widgets on the Konfabulator gallery page. They have the world clock pictured above, an iTunes remote, RSS monitors (I'll shy away from saying they are full aggregators, though they could be), traffic monitors with real-time images, etc.

There are also a lot of application-specific and vertical market widgets like the smsOptimus Sender which sends sms messages to a particular type of cell phone or the adslTelepac counter which shows t he upload/download traffic information obtained in the ADSL Telepac management site (whatever that is! I copied that description).

It's possible that geeky employees could write cool little applications that can run on people's desktops. Perhaps a daily volume monitor with sound effects or a nightly build monitor that melts when the nightly test run posts miserable results.

The possibilities are, of course, limitless.

Write your own widgets

To create your own widgets it looks like you need to purchase Konfabulator. The list price of $24.95 is pretty low and certainly a bargain if you consider the cool factor of the application.

Check it out. I'm going to keep tabs on the gallery. Their forum section supports RSS so this should be easy.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Primordial Ooze!

Someone in india has another Primordial Ooze blog hosted by Blogspot. He started blogging on June 16, 2003 (based on the earliest entry). This date predates my first post of November 21, 2003 by 5 months. I hope there is room enough in the world for two Primordial Oozes. I'll have to send him an e-mail.




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Microsoft's Brand-new Search Engine... chokes

In classic Microsoft style, their new search engine choked:


If the search engine is like other Microsoft products, it will suck less over time and eventually take over the world.

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November 09, 2004

Tonight's Adventures

My wife and I went to my son's school for a parent-teacher conference. He's in kindergarten so this is a new experience for us. As we drove up to the school, we were wondering just what the teacher could tell us about our son that we didn't already know.

As it turns out she didn't tell us anything we didn't know and I guess that was good. Yeh, he's "floppy", yeh, he likes to hum the theme song to Superman: The Motion Picture, and yeh, he likes to draw even when the class is moving onto stuffing pine cones with peanut butter. But we knew this.

I was pretty amused when she showed us an evaluation she did on his reading skills. She held up the alphabet on two sheets. The first sheet had all of the capital letters and the second sheet had all of the lower-case letters. She didn't seem surprised that he could identify all of them. However, she was surprised that he knew the sound that each letter made. I bet she would be very surprised if she actually asked him to read something and he actually read it.

The way they teach reading in kindergarten is fundamentally flawed, in my humble opinion. In his class, they have "words" all over the place, usually accompanied by pictures. Students are taught to look at the picture, say the word, and then look at the whole word. Unfortunately, they are not given any skills to actually read the word... in a vacuum. When the picture is gone, they're basically lost.

About a year ago I started him on these really good beginner reading books called Bob Books First! He made some slow, painful progress through them and I eventually stopped because he was giving me so much trouble. Then, about three weeks ago a friend at work recommended a book called Phonics Pathways.

Listen to this.

After three weeks of going through 1-2 pages a night of Phonics Pathways, I thought he was ready to read the Bob books again. I selected the the first book of the last set of three. The Bob books are divided into three colors. Red (to be read first), Green (to be read second), and Yellow (to be read last... before you move onto the next series). My son read through it with almost no effort.

By the time his Kindergarten teacher "officially" evaluates his vowel pronunciation she should be in for a bit of a surprise. I can only hope.

After the conference, my wife and I went out to nice Japenese restaurant and relaxed to a nice dinner of assorted sushi, shrimp Gyoza, and a very fresh Sapporo beer.

When I got home I was hoping to work on a bunch of technology and did almost nothing. I caught up on my RSS feeds. Bloglines rocks for that. All the while catching up on Podcasts that built up over the weekend.

I just got through listening to some of the Bloggercon coverage and the Podcasting session led by Adam Curry was a good listen.

The one thing I did do involved Virtual PC. You may have read my earlier post on the subject. I wanted to install Suse on my home machine but my installation kept failing. Dangit. So, I installed it on a virtual PC at work and it installed and ran fine. I even got Mono running on it and I wrote, compiled, and executed (via mint!) my first Mono Hello, World program.

I then copied the VPC to my iPod, which was about a 2GB file, copied it to my h ome machine, double-clicked on the VPC and within seconds I was in the middle of my Suse session... the output from my Hello, World program still on the screen.

Now that fucking rocks.




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Thoughts on the Google Browser

David Weinberger wrote some fascinating thoughts on what Google might be preparing for their web browser. Go read it yourself here:

I wish I had more to say than, "fascinating," but I don't so there you have it.


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November 07, 2004

Virtual PC 2004

I'm playing around with Microsoft's Virtual PC 2004 tonight. You can download a 45-day Free Trial Edition and play around with it yourself.

I was kind of amazed at how well it works, but before I go into that let me explain what it is. VPC is an emulator for an entire computer. If you create a brand new VPC and you "start" it, you get a boot screen complete with hard disk detection, memory counting, etc. Of course, you can set all of these parameters and any drives you create are merely files on your hard drive.

Having a virtual computer like this has a few obvious benefits and a few more subtle ones. These are:

  • You can install multiple OS's on your machine and the management of them is far easier to understand and less risky than granting the Windows bootloader or GRUB the privilege of managing real OS installations on your real drive.
  • You can clone an OS install and evolve it separately from the original. This allows you to create a clean system and save that in case you want to go back to it.
  • You can work with an OS and when you're done, you can discard any changes you may have made to it. This allows, for instance, installation writers to test installation script against a clean system again and again.

The VPC you create is a real machine for all intents and purposes and this means that you need to physically install the hosted OS into the VPC. This means you have to "activate" Windows XP, for instance. The VPC 2004 license explicitly states that you need to purchase OS licenses appropriately.

Of course, once you "activate" a copy of Windows XP you can clone the installation as many times as your disk space will allow and no further activations will be necessary. I'm not sure how OS licensing applies at that point so tread carefully.

The performance of a VPC is better than I would have expected. I'd say a VPC runs at 50% to 75% of a real machine. For web browsing, e-mail reading, rss aggregation, general code editing, even light compiling the VPC speed is completely normal. Installations tend to drag on a bit and anything that is very disk intensive suffers more than tasks that are memory-based.

In the screenshot below, you can see that I'm installing Mandrake Linux 10.1.

Installation of OS's is supported by the ability to "claim" your real CD or DVD drive for use in the VM. It's basically mounted and used by the VPC. You can also mount an ISO image if you have one on your real disk. For the Mandrake installation above I had to pull down the CD menu and mount three separate ISO images as the installation required them.

The default VPC creates a virtual 16GB hard drive, creates a PC that reports 128MB of memory, and emulates a network connection, video, mouse, keyboard, COM ports, etc. The recommended memory allocation is only 128MB and I'm sure this is not too important a setting as your host OS' virtual memory system probably manages things better than you could. I should experiment with higher settings, but I feel this will only be necessary... when it's necessary and the reason is clear.

On your real drive, the VPC is a small file with a vmc file extension. The virtual hard drive file is the big one but is only as big as what you put into it. For instance, although the drive is 16GB, the on-disk utilization is only 1GB for a fresh XP install.

Once booted, a VPC can be pinged, connected to over TCP, shut down, suspended, and can do just about anything else you can think of.

The VPC isn't perfect. I failed to install Suse due to a hard disk error. I also failed to install Fedora Core 2 because I got a strange error that read as follows: "An internal virtual machine error (13) has occurred". Google says that others have experienced this error so I just moved onto Mandrake which was known to work well with VPC 2004. I'm not a real Linux user, so I had no allegiance to a particular distribution.

All in all, VPC seems like a good bargain at $120 list and a great way to geek out with alternative OS's.


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November 02, 2004

George W. Bush's Greatest Hits

What better day to post this...

George W. Bush's Greatest Hits

Get ready to laugh pretty hard.

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One Country

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October 29, 2004


Last night it took everything I had not to start writing my own iPodder software. I knew I would fail and I simply wouldn't get anything else done.

The stuff out there for Windows still seems to suck real bad even for a more advanced user like myself. I can't imagine how regular computer enthusiasts could survive.

No offense to  the dev groups working on this stuff, I'm simply speaking relative to iPodderX for the Mac, which rocks.

Here are my criticisms on i-podder.js, iPodder (Python), jPodder, and iPodder.NET.


The script seems to choke on feeds every now and then. This is an intermittent problem. If you read the code, you see that there isn't a whole lot of error checking. Even with this serious fault, I still use it. The other solutions simply seems to mysteriously stop working after a while.

iPodder (Python)

Where's the development on this? I listenened to the ipodder-dev podcast and Garth Kidd says something about a new release soon since not everyone gets the nightly CVS stuff. Well, I must admit that I did see something new last night and it simply didn't work. I got exceptions when it tried to manipulate iTunes and parts of the interface were disabled. Garth mentioned that they were concentrating on the engine and welcomed UI developers to help out. Hopefully someone will have time for that.


Neat proprietary install (is lzPack standard in the Java world?). Very iPodderX-like interface. Neat capability to browse the podcast directory. This one seems actively developed and I am a bit surprised to see how much it has come in the past few days (week) since I got my first negative impression.

It's nice that they allow you to pull down an OPML and use that. However, my OPML is behind www-authenticate at so I can't specify my OPML.

I may write a follow-up if I plan on using it.


Very primitive interface and the development seems kind of slow. Feeds have to be added manually and are maintained in the standard .NET config file. Having the feeds in this file makes it difficult for me to use by Blogroll extractor since I have to insert a fragment into the XML file. Not a terrible technical feat, but more than I am inclined to develop right now. (I actually refactored my extractor last night to generate the proper format via a nice generic command-line parameter, but I still have to write the capability to insert the fragment into the app config file).

To sum it all up

The whole revolution is still in its infancy so it's not surprising that the tools are still broken to a certain degree. The way I see it, these are  the key features for me:

  • Browsing of podcast feeds
  • Auto-synchronizing with feeds you want if maintained on something like bloglines
  • Solid integration with iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.
  • Better overall detection of already-downloaded files (lots of ways to attack this)
  • Allow applying rules to Podcasts and possibly auto-insert tags. This is important as long as iTunes doesn't allow me to say "Genre is 'Speech' or 'Podcast' or 'Comedy' AND PlayCount = 0" Currently iTunes only allows all conditions to be AND'd together or OR'd together.

Lots more to discuss on this topic, but I don't have a lot of time to flesh out a whole white paper on the topic.


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October 28, 2004

Video of the Lunar Eclipse October 27, 2004

I created this rather large video of the awesome total lunar eclipse. You may want to stream it). While the fidelity of the video is only so-so, it was a lot of fun to capture.

I had to keep running in and out of the house because the earth kept moving on me and I had to constantly reset my camcorder. The nerve.

This video should come in as an enclosure, so it might get pulled down by anyone using ipodder on this blog.


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October 27, 2004

All things coffee

A friend sent me a link to Whole Latte Love.

Mmmmmm. I read ani article in Scientific Magazine a while back by what I think was the Chief Scientist/Chemist over at You can get the abstract over at the Scientific American web site.

What I learned was one bad bean in a pot can spoil the whole pot. All about Crema and why it tastes so good. What happens to beans when you roast them. And a whole lot more.


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October 22, 2004

Lookout didn't see Google coming

The Google Desktop Search isn't new, it was out last week. What is new is that I've uninstalled Lookout Search for Microsoft Outlook since I really don't need two search engines for my e-mail and files.

As I created the hyperlink to Lookout (above), I see that they came out with a new experimental version. All I see are bug fixes and minor feature updates (" Added option to display full folder name in search results").

I think it excellent that the original authors of Lookout sold out to Microsoft before their market was commoditized.

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October 21, 2004

Sox win

I wonder what it's like to be living in Boston right about now...
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October 20, 2004


I created a batch file so my can be used to write a feeds.txt needed by i-podder.js (available from

The batch files is trivial:

@echo off
echo %IPODDER_DOWNLOAD_PATH%> feeds.txt
python >> feeds.txt

I schedule this to run every few hours. Feel free to tweak it to your liking. I'll be more than happy to help you if you have any trouble.

This has only been tested under Windows XP.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bloglines Podcast Extractor

Over the past few hours, I hacked together a simple Python script which pulls down my Bloglines 'Podcasts' OPML folder and copies them to favorites.txt used by iPodder (the yellow lemon one, not Adam Curry's version). This script frees me from manually updating my new podcasts in two places (Bloglines and iPodder).

Centralized administration baby.

I originally thought that Bloglines didn't supply OPML for their blogroll but that's because I only looked at their BlogRoll API (which are just simple http links and javascript). Stupid me, I should have looked at their SyncApi.

I am posting this immediately after I got it working on my setup so expect it to be very buggy or at least very inflexible for your situation. I have only tested this under Windows XP.

You can download the script here. To run it, follow these steps:

  • Install Python 2.3
  • Download the file and put it in he same directory as iPodder. Please backup your favorites.txt.
  • Change to your iPodder directory (usually C:\Program Files\iPodder) and execute this command:
    • C:\Python23\python > favorites.txt

That's really it. If you want to schedule it, that's fine, but you should realize that iPodder doesn't re-read your favorites.txt until you exit and restart. I can work on a solution to that but perhaps I'll send a note to the iPodder dev team so they can listen for manual changes to the file... or perhaps they can support this natively.

One tip on scheduling. File redirection doesn't work unless you use cmd.exe /c. So, you might see this in your scheduler:

Run: C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe /c "C:\Program Files\iPodder\" > favorites.txt
Start in: "C:\Program Files\iPodder"

Good luck and let me know if you find this script useful. I would be thrilled if someone actually wanted to use it and wants me to improve it somehow.


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October 19, 2004

Bloglines and OPML

I finally got around to organizing my blogroll on Bloglines. I'm really diggin' bloglines lately and I'm totally sold on the idea of a server-based aggregator. At least for my digital lifestyle. There are so many solutions out there that it took me a while to find something that seemed natural and causes me the least pain.

I was a die-hard NewsGator fan and I thought it insane to read blogs on anything but Outlook. There I was with a solution that brought everything right to my doorstep. Until I was home. Sure, I could login to my corporate VPN but this was an extra step that I started getting annoyed with. Sure, I could read my blogs offline with NewsGator (since Outlook provides that) but I eventually found that it was too cumbersome to have my laptop out on the train.

I tried to use bloglines and newsgator simultaneously, but my list of feeds kept getting mismatched. So, I made the switch to bloglines and I can't see myself going back.

For one, bloglines downloads the latest blogs at the server so I never have to wait for a feed poll to finish. A handy client notifier application allows me to get alerted whenever my feeds get updated.

Plus, my blogroll is accessible via JavaScript or through direct http. This allowed me to include my blogroll in my blog's right panel (go see).

I find that I don't need the offline capabilities of NewsGator on the train since I've been listening to a neverending playlist of Podcasts.

Next up, I want to write a client application that will pull off my Podcast folder from my blogroll and insert it into feeds.txt or favorites.txt file that i-podder.js and iPodder use. Unfortunately, the blogroll is in an XHTML fragment. To manipulate it I'll have to parse it which  won't be nearly as much fun as parsing OPML.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Deprecating RSS 1.0 Feed

This is the last post to my RSS 1.0 feed. Please re-subscribe to my RSS 2.0 Feed.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 07:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2004


I donated $10 to BitTorrent today. I think I'll pass on the t-shirt, but I'm glad I gave my share.
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Monopoly one, meet monopoly two

How funny is this?


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September 25, 2004

Let's abolish pencil and paper arithmetic

Now that my kids are entering the public school system, I'm starting to think about how they should be educated. After reading A Different Kind of Teacher, by John Taylor Gotto I can no longer afford to trust the public education (nay, schooling) system to the education of my children. The problems in that system range from the inconvenient to the malevolent.

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to fully home-school my kids nor am I convinced that the premium I would pay at a private school would offer any significant advantage to my childrens' education.

While my first son is just starting Kindergarten, I've spoken to enough parents to realize that I'll be helping them with a whole lot of homework in the coming years. The thought that keeps coming to my mind is just how much will I be fighting with the cirriculum of the teachers.

After reading a paper written by one of my old professors from college, I can certainly see the signs of war on the horizon.

In a paper entitled, Let's Abolish Pencil-and-Paper Arithmetic, Anthony Ralston argues, essetially, that long division, multiplication of large numbers, and most manual methods of computing results to high precision without the use of a calculator is an outright waste of time.

He says

Not only does being able to do long division have no practical value whatever but, in addition, the time required to teach this algorithm to students is far, far in excess of any benefit which might accrue from learning it. Of course, students must learn what division is, when to apply it, what remainders are and how to do simple division problems mentally. But teaching long division is pertinent to none of these aims; it is as nonsensical as teaching the square root algorithm which was staple fare until recent times. I cannot help but believe that those who favor teaching long division in elementary school (and these include some research mathematicians [Klein, 1998]) are in the grip of some fantasy about what is important and useful in school mathematics6.

He stresses the need to develop mental arithmetic skills, say the multiplication of 2-digit numbers together:

...many children aged, say, 10 or 11 would find learning to multiply $46 \times 83$ mentally hard and would require many days, weeks or months to learn to do such calculations accurately. But does any reader of this paper believe that you can't teach as many children to do this as you can, say, teach to do 5-digit by 5-digit multiplication with pencil-and-paper. (Of course, it is simple madness to try to have anyone become effective at 5-digit by 5-digit multiplication; such calculations should always be done by calculator.)

At the end of the paper, he outlines what seems to me the right way to teach math skills. Hint, it heavily relies on in-memory arithmetic and calculators.

Alas, he concludes toward the end of the paper that even if, "A detailed curriculum could be developed, textbooks could be written, lessons planned etc... let's even be optimistic that politicians, parents, mathematicians - all those antediluvian groups - could be convinced of the rightness of abolishing PPA," that elementary school teachers are probably not ready to teach using the new methods. He calls for specialist math teachers, like those used for art and music.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:43 PM | TrackBack

Back to Mp3 (for now)

I've gone back to mp3 as my audio format of choice. I'm still an avid iTunes fan and iPod owner but the Apple AAC format simply isn't accepted widely enough.

For one thing, my Dell doesn't run iTunes. I blue screen. Sure, it's probably some hardware issue that I could probably deal with. I could reseat all of my cards, update my drivers, and spend a whole weekend tweaking my machine so it would work again. But I could also use Windows Media Player 10.

The big deciding factor came when I installed WMP 10 and saw that it could rip to mp3 right out of the box. Obviously they realized iTunes offered this capability and they had to follow suit. WMP 10 is an incremental improvement over Windows Media 9 Series, but iTunes is still a better application.

Additionally, my video editing applications don't understand AAC.

A friend of mine likes the ogg format over at sicne it's open source, which makes it free, and it has some technical advantages over mp3. However, my video editing programs don't understand it, iTunes doesn't understand it, and neither does my iPod.

So, mp3 it is.

The conversion to mp3 was pretty painless. I used iTunes to do most of the conversions. I buy a lot of songs from Apple's Music Store but the protected AAC files don't convert to mp3. That is, not until you strip the DRM from the files with a nice program called hymn.

So, now I can share all of my music with my coworkers via the music sharing feature of iTunes and I don't have to give them access to my raw media files, nor do I have to "authorize" their machines to play the files I buy off the iTunes website.

On another level, my motivation to convert seems to parallel, in my mind, to the motivations of people supporting free software (as in freedom, not cost). Although mp3 isn't a free format (someone owns the patent), it feels free and all of my tools work with it. If I were a purist, I suppose I'd go with ogg. I'd use ogg-compatible software, buy an ogg-compatible mp3 player (hah, I mean digital music player), and I'd have to find video editing software that would support the format... or I convert to WAV (temporarily).


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:19 AM | TrackBack

September 22, 2004

A visual history of spam (and virus) email

Raymond Chen has been collecting e-mail for a long time. Microsoft must not be working him hard enough because he was able to create a pretty spectacular graph that maps trends in e-mail SPAM and viruses.

Watch as he takes you through the finer features of the map. Very cool.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:22 AM | TrackBack

September 17, 2004

Tracking Ivan's path

Click on the link to a animated view of Ivan's path of destruction.




It seems to me that as much money as possible should be spent on developing this kind of software. Lives could be saved.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 03:03 PM | TrackBack

September 14, 2004

Mozilla Thunderbird supports RSS

As of version 0.8, anyway. The support seems remedial right now. I can't seem to view feed entries as HTML. I can check the "Show article summary instead of loading the web page" checkbox as shown below:

I even installed the latest version of FireFox, thinking the HTML viewing components needed updating. Now that I think about it, it was foolish to think that way. The FireFox and Thunderbird installations don't share anything... that would be very DLL-hellish... something that I think the Mozilla stuff doesn't suffer from. Am I correct?

Of course, it does say that it's installing "Cross platform COM" during the install...


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:25 PM | TrackBack

August 19, 2004

Developers are either morons or assholes

Dive into Mark made this great post, saying, "Most developers are morons, and the rest are assholes. I have at various times counted myself in both groups, so I can say this with the utmost confidence."

To that blog entry, I'd like to add:

...another group of developers that I'll call motherfuckers. Motherfuckers question every line of the spec and don't even start coding until it makes sense to them. Motherfuckers typically send the spec writer home crying. Sometimes the spec writers are sent packing with a look that says, "I hate spec review meetings with that motherfucker." I suppose motherfuckers are like assholes with the heart of an angel.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:27 AM | TrackBack

August 18, 2004

It's Just the 'internet' Now

Wired News: It's Just the 'internet' Now

Effective with this sentence, Wired News will no longer capitalize the "I" in internet.

At the same time, Web becomes web and Net becomes net.


The reasons for doing this seemed dubious to me. I thought, you don't go around saying "the radio" and "the television" when you're speaking generically about the medium. It seemed right to capitalize the Internet because it was always preceded by "the". However, I then thought, you don't capitalize television when you say something like, "the television sucks honey, we need a widescreen HDTV." So yeh, I guess it makes sense.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:43 PM | TrackBack

August 06, 2004

Disabling comments

I'm disabling comments on my blog for a while. This is mostly because John Mayer, of all people, keeps command-spamming me with his casino links. I didn't even know he was involved with casinos!

Truth is, this blog is a mostly one-way operation so I figure I'll just force it to be that way. Please send me e-mail with your comments and I can always add those comments to the blog, much the way other bloggers do (like Jon's Radio).

You can also e-mail me and say how you think I'm such a damn coward for disabling comments.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2004

Cool Fractals

I just downloaded a trial version of Ultra Fractal 3. Why? I happened upon it and I can't remember how.

It's written in Delphi, of all things, and I must admit I'm impressed by the feature set. The programmer basically created a fractal program that does everything you would expect a fractal program to ever do. From a high level, the Ultra Fractal 3 has these impressive features:

  • Renders fractals in true color.
  • Renders fractals on layers, which can be freely mixed.
  • Renders to PNG, Adobe Photoshop native format (for layers), JPEG, etc..
  • Renders fractals based on user-defined formulas, including a bunch of pre-made formulas.
  • Connects to a user-formula site on the Internet and can download new formulas on the fly.
  • Distributes fractal rendering using a Ultra Fractal Server process that can be placed on machine on your network.
  • Complete control over color gradient, layer transparency, zooming (up to 1040000!), and lots more

So, what's the big deal? Check out what the community has produced:


After googling further, I was more and more amazed.

From what I understand, fractals are created by testing whether an arbitrary point satisifies an equation. I think this means whether a point is within the set or outside of the set. It's possible that the first test is indeterminate, so a more precise test is performed. This subsequent test can also be indeterminate and the process continues until the point is found to be in or out of the set (satisfying the equation, or whatever). Depending on how many increasingly precise iterations are performed, the color is defined within a gradient spectrum.

I've seen ray traces that used each iteration as an elevation point and some spectacular results have been produced. Here are a few images I found on the web:

(written with POV ray tracer)

Then you can get really crazy with something called Quaternions, which are more sophisticated than simple height-models like I described above. Check this out

Check out these videos and this amazing gallery.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)

July 22, 2004

Look out Luna, Royale is here!

I downloaded a leaked version of Microsoft's Royale XP theme, which was originally developed for their Media Edition 2005 beta. This all happened almost a month ago, but I'm just about that far behind on my blogs. More information here, here, and here (random Google links).

Anyway, it seems like the horrid over-use of gradients in Office 2003 is not  the fault of Office 2003 after all, but of the default XP theme, Luna. After installing Royale, Office 2003 looks like this:

My task bar looks like this:

If anyone has used the latest Yahoo! Messenger, they'll be familiar with this glassy look as Yahoo! went and used the Theming API's to make their latest offering look, well, delicious.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004

Shadow on the rings of Saturn

I like to see pictures taken of the planets that could not possibly be taken from an Earth-based camera.

Read more here:

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 22, 2004

Greetings from Emerald Island, N.C.

My family is on vacation now in Emerald Island, N.C.. I am literally hearing the ocean breeze, smelling the ocean air, and feeling the sunburn from yeterday’s overexposure as I write this entry. The weather has been perfect, the ocean has been perfect, and our stay here has been very relaxing.

You may be asking why the heck I’m sitting in front of my laptop and writing a blog entry? Well, the kids are still asleep and I had to post a few pictures. Here’s one:

(UPDATE: Are you wondering how I got this angle? Waterproof camera!)

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 12:57 PM

June 10, 2004

Archives by category

I created archives by category for your amusement. I did this using a nice blog entitled Learning Movable Type. Specifically, they had a blog on Displaying Categories which I found most useful.

I may start shuffling around the categories for my posts over the next few days, eliminating categories and adding new ones until I’m happy with the organization. Not that anyone cares, but I wanted to make this entry more than a single sentence, so there.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2004

Visual Blogger

I’m using using BlogJet to make this post. I just heard about a new blogging tool called Visual Blogger by Interscape technologies.

Both products are early, but Blogjet is further along. Actually, that’s not fair. BlogJet is “finished” since it’s non-beta version 1.0.0.  Visual Blogger is still in beta, which is a good thing since it’s so rough around the edges.

Visual Blogger seemed to spend a lot of time making the UI look like an Office 2003 application and not enough time implementing features that bloggers need.

BlogJet wins this round hands down. Blogjet isn’t enormously feature rich, but they took the features a blogger needs and nailed each to perfection.

Visual Blogger may improve over time, but for now I’m totally into BlogJet.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PCI Express

I don’t usually comment on hardware news, but I found this Infoworld article on the new PCI Express bus very intriguing. Looks like AGP8x is going away in favor of a newer slot that will be fast enough for every high-end graphics need, plus Gigabit Ethernet, 10-Gigabit Ethernet even!.

Over the next few years, these new slots wil appear side-by side with their PCI and AGP counterparts, but will eventually dominate all slots in new PC’s.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2004

Great new blogging tool

What a cool tool!

UPDATE: Changed title, sorry for the extra entry in my feed.

I’m taking a new blogging tool called BlogJet for a test run. It offers a pretty basic HTML editor, which makes somewhat complicated posts somewhat easy to publish. Also, integration with the blog publishing system is very good. The UI is clean and modern. I can access multiple blogs on multiple sights, pick multiple categories per post. Font formatting is a cinch!

Some recent photos of our trip to Disney… 


Antonio spazzing outAntonio
GiovanniGiovanni submerged
Marco in the skyMarco
PoolPapa and Giovanni

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2004

My take on Movable Type's change in licensing

Simply, I want my $20 good-faith donation back before I pay for a license.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 03:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

New IE features comment

Holy Cool Feature Batman!

A colleague sent me a link to a blog entry! written by Brendan Tompkins. He has an idea for enhancing the history view of IE to allow navigation back to and into past histories. A must read.

After reading it, I had an idea of my own!

I’d like to search the text of pages I’ve visited recently. Ideally this would be in realtime. Perhaps something like this is an ideal problem for WinFS to solve?

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

USB 2.0 External Enclosure

I recently bought external enclosures for two 250GB drives I bought. These drives store my home video collection.

The drives are very attractive and the construction is solid. The casing is aluminum, which should dissipate heat well. However, after running two drives stacked for 8 hours, I was sure I could have fried an egg on the top drive.

So, I unstacked them and put their flush side on top of a meat and fish thawing board I own. The drives have been running for 16 hours and they are merely warm. I wanted to avoid a fan, but I suppose a fan combined with this setup would cool the drives rather well.

You can see my setup here:

A somewhat brief review of the enclosure I bought is shown here:

I wish they would have went into more detail about cooling scenarios. Anyway, one thing I noticed about my rig is that the drives never seem to spin down. Perhaps they do and I’m not aware. Under Windows XP, the drives do become offline after a period and I have to go into “Administrative Tools” to “Reactivate” the disks since the drive letters disappear. I would expect the drives to cool to room temperature when they go offline, but this does not seem to happen. So, I assume the drives are not actually spinning down. Any insight from anyone?

UPDATE: Someone on a newsgroup informed me that these thawing boards are merely aluminum with a black surface. From the feel of the board, I would say this sounds correct. In any case, I also found that having a single drive on allowed the drive to stay room-temperature cool, which is better than searing hot!

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2004

Back from Disney!

Fantastic trip. Much video and tons of pictures to sort through. Kids were great, weather was great, theme parks were great, it was all just great.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 22, 2004

Off to Disney!

I won’t be blogging for a while because I’ll be in the Sunshine State (or whatever they call it, “Where the Oranges Are”) for a week-long visit to Disney.

See you all in a week.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 07:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2004

Good tips on debugging Windows installs

Lars Olofsson over at Microsoft’s Channel 9
asks for everyone to Give me your best Windows diagnostics tips!”.

Some of the resulting tips are quite good and one of them might just prevent me from re-installing Windows the next time I feel the need to do so ;-)

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mozilla Firefox now supports search into text boxes and text areas!

I just learned that the latest trunk build of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser can search the contents of forms when you hit Ctrl+F. This “bug” has been pissing me off for months. Anyway, I’m so happy it’s now fixed!

I just tried it, and it works!

Read more about it on the Mozilla Blog

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 07:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

Fascinating navigational tool...

Go here to see a fascinating navigation tool.

The applet takes about 30 seconds to load, but it’s worth the wait. I was referred to this site after reading an article on, where Bill Venners talks to Luke Hohmann on the difference between technical and marketing architects and why these two people should work closely together. You can check out the article here:

As a side note, the article invents the terms tarchitects and marchitects, which kind of makes me want to puke… but that’s just me.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2004

Know which site you're on

Jon Udell talks about What website is Aunt Tillie really on?. As you know, it’s fairly easy to be misled to the wrong “neighborhood” of the Web, as Jon puts it. A new plugin called Spoofstick adds a new toolbar that makes it clear which domain you’re surfing in. It even adds the toolbar to popups! Read Jon’s entry for more details. Here is a screenshot:

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:33 AM

March 23, 2004

Off to VSLive!

I’m off to VSLive! in San Francisco. I’m looking forward to the trip and possibly meeting some old buddies from my ActiveX days. I intend on blogging about the event… I guess, if anything interesting happens.

Otherwise, I’ll be back on Friday…

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2004


I was reading Jon’s Radio, specifically a post wshere he talks about Standards versus customization.

He talks about a few things in that post but his points about one-click subscribe for news feeds caught my eye. First, one-click subscription is a reality, albeit not a well-known reality. I noticed Jon had a neat way to allow readers to one-click subscribe to his blog. It turns out that his mechanism is publicly available and is called quickSub. I was able to install this in 5 minutes.

My own aggregator NewsGator has another means of doing this via a neat IE plugin that squats down on your toolbar. Unfortunately, this toolbar doesn’t work in my primary browser, firefox.

Check out my syndication section of my sidebar and hover your mouse over the “one-click subscription” link.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

Earth, taken from Mars

This picture, released by NASA today, shows Earth (160 million miles away) as seen from the Mars Rover:


More information can be found on

(I first heard about this on the Digital Photgraphy Review forums)

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 10:46 PM

March 09, 2004

Improving your memory

Wired News just ran an fascinating article on the recent 7th Annual U.S. Memory Championships.

Hmmm. This was an interesting read, made better by the light humor of the author, Michele Delio.

My favorite part is where they say that anyone can do this stuff! All you need is practice! They recommend (among other things) doing crossword puzzles, learning another language, and taking a different route to work. They even say you should do daily chores with your non-dominant hand. That’s an interesting suggestion.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 11:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2004


Many of you may not know, but NASA sent a spacecraft to Saturn called Cassini in 1997. There was a lot of controversy at that time since the spacecraft packs a bunch of plutonium for fuel and NASA decided to use the Earth’s gravity to slingshot the baby toward Saturn.

I used to track the progress of the spaceship using NASA’s Solar System Simulator (try it!). However, since the flight took like 6 years, I lost interest.

Anyway, Cassini is orbiting Saturn now and is taking some amazing shots. Here’s one, with credit to the JPL.

Real Saturn

Wow, that recent picture looks just like this one generated (for today) by the Solar System Generator… neat!

Fake Saturn

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 10:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blogging for memory

Update: Category changed

Most people that know me know that my memory sucks ass. I’m finding my blog a useful way to jot down links and ideas that I’d like to revisit at some point. This represents a synergy between keeping a tab on a topic and letting my readers know about what I’m interested in. Granted, I think I have about two readers, but I won’t be deterred! That’s why I just posted my link on how to submit an article to MSDN. I may want to do that someday. Eric Gunnerson (A C# blogger) just posted a link to a Warthog game on Bungie’s Web site. In case you don’t realize, Bungie is the Game developer for Halo, best game EVER. The link is dead, so I’ll have to try it in a few days. How convenient the link is now on my blog.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

Minor site enhancements

I recently upgraded to Movable Type 2.661. The installation was a snap. I even set up a blog for my brother Tom. Although we share the same Dreamhost web server, his blog is running off a completely different Movable Type installation.

I added the permalink to the header for each entry, so it’s a cinch to see the archive page which is a nice full layout with full comments. To do this, I simply edited my Main Index template. I changed this:

  <h3 class="title"><$MTEntryTitle$></h3>

to this

  <a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>">
  <h3 class="title"><$MTEntryTitle$></h3>

I also added some accessibility features, such as language (English) as recommended by this Dive Into Accessibility interesting online book.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 12:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

Robert Scoble on Cloud Nine

I read the Scobleizer every day and I wince every time he makes it clear that he spends a third of his day writing blogs, the next third reading them, and the remaining third hitting google a technorati to see if his status changed. It all makes me kind of ill, but I kind of ignore it since he’s such a good source of news.

Then, yesterday, he used his fame in an attempt to get a new Motorola MPx cell phone. That’s seems so wrong to me.


Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 25, 2004

How to organize .NET

Eric Gunnerson asks How do your organize .NET.

He offers two suggestions and each suggestion is applicable to different groups. Picking one over the other is probably going to be a problem for someone.

I guess I’d suggest the documentation be documented in such a way that each new item is assigned categories or attributes so customers can view the information in a way that’s appripriate for them.

In this way, it should be simple to show a look at what’s changed in C# by finding all new items with the C# attribute. The results can then be categorized by the other attributes. Likewise, you should be able to, for example, view enhancements for the IDE, either showing both C# and VB.NET enhancements, or narrowing the changes to a single language.

I saw dynamic filtering like I describe on the MSDN site, where you can filter the sample code by language.

Anyway, that’s my two cents.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Testing movable poster...

I’m writing this entry with movable poster, a Windows application. If you see this post, seems like it’s working fine.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

HTML in RSS Feed!

This took me much longer than it should have, but basic HTML formatting is now available in my RSS feeds. What a pain that was.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No more RSS with comments

While a cool hack, it doesn’t seem like a common thing for blogs to offer so I nixed it. If you feel this was a mistake, let me know about it…

Please redirect to either the: RSS 1.0 or RSS 2.0 links.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2003

EditCSS, what a timesaver

My last entry saw about 50 revisions as I desperately figured out how to beautify my source code snippets. I enumerate the packages I used in my earlier post.

My problem was basically a malformed comment in my CSS file. Bummer. I found this out by using a great plugin for Mozilla Firebird called EditCSS.

EditCSS allowed me to override and modify the CSS for any page, in realtime. Every character I typed into the EditCSS side-bar caused the page to re-render. Once I removed the comment, the page immediately rendered properly. Wow, cool stuff.

Using EditCSS proved a more efficient edit-save-try workflow when compared with the normal way I would edit a stylesheet via Moveable Type’s template editing interface.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2003

Code formatting blues

I just installed MTCodeBeautifier by Sean Voisen, which leverages the Beautifier code written by Mike Jewell and which required the MTMacro plugin by Brad Choate. I also installed Brad Choate’s MT-Textile plugin, which helped me with eliminated literals from appearing in my code segments. Finally, because I’m a complete geek, I installed John Gruber’s SmartyPants plugin which converts regular quotes to smart quotes (among other things).

To get C# code formatter properly, I had to hack the and download a from the Twiki project Web site.

Here is a sample formatted for C#. It didn’t originally look right in Mozilla Firebird (my default browser), but that’s because of a dumb mistake I made with a malformed comment. Argh!

 * EnumVideoModes
public class EnumVideoModes 
     public EnumVideoModes() 
          s = "Hello";

An anonymous-language block:

    int i = 10;
    String message = "hello, World";
Posted by Nick Codignotto at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2003

First Blog

Well, this is my first blog. I suppose I should use this time to enter in a fantastic manifesto about what I plan on doing with this thing but, alas, I'm not that poetic.

I'll be attempting some C# programming, probably using Managed DirectX. I'm new, so perhaps my pains will be documented for other newbies to enjoy.

For some reason, the blog is giving me the opportunity to enter text in an "Extended Entry" section, which is what this is. I have no idea what this means, but since I'm putting text in here, I'm sure I'll found out soon.

Posted by Nick Codignotto at 12:05 AM | Comments (4)