Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.

1 May 2005

The Pint-Sized Tiger:

I decided to dig my Mac mini out of the server closet and see what it would be like to run Tiger on 256MB RAM. […]

Dashboard? widgets don’t have that neat “liquid drop” effect on the mini. They zoom in zippily enough, but I guess I’ll only have the full experience on my iMac. […]

Nevertheless, an unexpanded mini is, in fact, usable under Tiger (provided you don’t try running a gazillion apps at once). It even feels slightly snappier than Panther.

Like I said yesterday. However, I don’t understand this part at all:

Screen rotation works […], but you can’t fall back to a safe display mode. When I chose the rotation, the mini switched resolution and rotated the display without any warning, and my battered old monitor failed to keep up. No warning, no fallback by pressing Return or Escape. I had to power cycle the mini, unplug the monitor and have it revert to 800x600.

Huh? Why would the OS-managed screen rotation need the monitor to keep up? What does the monitor have to do with anything there? Shouldn’t the drivers just rotate the picture without changing the resolution? Otherwise, what’s the point?

Tiger Details: “Notes, comments, and observations regarding Mac OS X 10.4on Daring Fireball.

2 May

Must be the very first time I drive by night, on a deserted highway, without public lighting. Well, as it turns out, one gets used to it, and one could almost get a taste for it. Rennes here I come!

Trouble is, myopia doesn’t go well with night time at all. I need to finally get some glasses, but I don’t like booking appointments. Especially not with doctors of any kind.

The Miranda plug-in for Google Desktop is very nice — until you reach “Google Desktop Search has reached its maximum size. New items will no longer be indexed. You can still search for old items”… and have to reinstall without the plug-in. So I’ll wait for Spotlight instead (it does index iChat logs, doesn’t it?).

Life After Darth:

I’m not happy that corporations have taken over the film industry, but now I find myself being the head of a corporation, so there’s a certain irony there. I have become the very thing that I was trying to avoid. That is Darth Vader — he becomes the very thing he was trying to protect himself against.

Oh boo-hoo. I haven’t found the courage to read the whole article — I’m not really interested in six long pages about George Lucas.

3 May

Option 1: hesitate for three days. Option 2: write a 1,900€ check, quickly, before starting to think. Option 3: hesitate for a week. Option 4: buy a Mac mini, quickly, before I’m tempted. Option 5: grab an axe and break everything in my room. Ahhh the pain in my head, make it stop, make it stop!

What a fool you’ve got to be to have satellite TV in Normandy. Oh how odd, it’s raining!

Gayattitude 3.0

It took me a while, oh yeah did it take me a while — about a year and a half rewriting all the scripts. Not because it takes a year and a half, but for lack of motivation and, more importantly, because I couldn’t find anything satisfactory for the new interface — tired of frames, but nothing better at hand. And then Google arrived, and Ajax became the latest fashion (I hated the idea of imposing a cutesy nametag on a technology already known as XMLHttpRequest, but I have to admit that, when it comes to taking notes on paper, “use Ajax for the crossids” is more pleasant to write) and… here comes the future, a revolutionary interface, Javascript pioneers, too classy, I love myself and I love HTML when it works.

Nevertheless, now that I know how Ajax works and what it really does, I can’t help but laugh at how fashionable it has become. For years they’ve been repeating that frames are evil and… now everybody’s enthusiastic about what is nothing more than a Javascript-driven iframe system. Doubly evil. Mwah.

Oh, and while we’re on the fashion subject: I was dead set on making the new site with as few tables as possible (the only layout table was to be on the blogs, for compatibility reasons, because users are accustomed to uploading huge images that layout blocks have to adjust to) and I had to move back and add a bunch of them because Explorer was screwing up completely. I even tried adding a doctype (HTML 4 transitional, though) in case it’d work better.

Est-ce qu’en 2005 on ne devrait pas être capables de concevoir des systèmes qui ne jouent pas à la douche écossaise dès que quelqu’un se lave les mains à l’autre bout de l’appartement ?

Merci de prendre en compte 2-3 jours ouvrés pour la recéption d’un transfer bancaire et 6 jours ouvrés pour celle d’un cheque. Prévoyez 4 jours pour la constitution de votre commande. Prévoyez 3 - 7 jours ouvrables après départ de l’entrepôt pour sa livraison.

Mfff sgruh gneee.

Vous avez choisi de régler votre commande par carte de paiement à débit immédiat. Votre banque débitera donc immédiatement votre compte du montant de votre commande. Prévoyez 4 jours pour la constitution de votre commande. Prévoyez 3 - 7 jours ouvrables après départ de l’entrepôt pour sa livraison.

Well, that’s a step in the right direction.

I didn’t originally want to borrow my mother’s credit card because I was a bit ashamed of announcing I was buying a 1,900€ computer, but… I figure that shortening the delay by a whole week makes it quite worth it.

4 May

Merci pour votre commande passée sur l’Apple Store. Nous sommes heureux de vous adresser cette confirmation de commande. Votre commande sera traitée avant le 09.05.2005 Prévoyez 3 à 7 jours pour la livraison de votre commande à réception de la notification d’expédition.

No turning back now.

6 May

Mmh… is the stand larger than the previous revision’s, or have I only gotten used to the idea of a tiny stand like this supporting all by itself such a big and precious small computer?

P.S. After verification on Google Images, it looks like it’s just me.

But why did it take two days to reach “Sent to manufacturing” status?

7 May

Google Web Accelerator 666

Google Web Accelerator’s Obnoxious Pre-Fetching:

Google [Web Accelerator] is essentially clicking every link on the page — including links like “delete this” or “cancel that.” And to make matters worse, Google ignores the Javascript confirmations. So, if you have a “Are you sure you want to delete this?” Javascript confirmation behind that “delete” link, Google ignores it and performs the action anyway.

As a web developer, I never liked the idea of prefetching, but I just can’t imagine Google making such a stupid mistake — even on a beta version, knowing it’ll be immediately linked by thousands of bloggers all over the world. Google, for crying out loud, the makers of Gmail! They should know about web applications!

According to some, Google would even be caching, on its universal proxy, your private pages, those you access with personal cookies — giving access to them to anyone browsing the same site after you. But now that’s so unthinkable I just prefer to assume those guys have a very broken system.

Anyway, if they haven’t pulled the plug on this by Monday, Google’s popularity (and, more importantly, trust) rating will have to be seriously reconsidered. Well, it won’t have to — it will be, instantly.

P.S.: GWA is the new net SUV.

Cette semaine : la saison 2 de Carnivàle arrive sur Jimmy dimanche soir, alors que les américains ont dû attendre un an et demi entre les deux saisons, yay ; France 4 multidiffuse à partir de dimanche trois heures de Various Voices, festival (parisien, comme le nom l’indique) de chant choral gay et lesbien ; France 2 diffuse rien moins qu’une pièce de Sartre après les Molières, lundi, pour se la jouer “on aime trop grave le théâtre” ; je me demandais pourquoi iCal ramait, c’était le site de PinkTV en arrière-plan dans Safari ; Jimmy rediffuse la saison 1 de Scrubs après avoir rediffusé la saison 2, classique (mais je ne m’en plaindrai pas, je n’ai jamais vu les premiers épisodes).

Blueprint for a widget of mass destruction [via] (in short: Tiger users must uncheck the “Open safe files after downloading” option in Safari’s preferences):

Welcome to zaptastic. If you are using Safari on Tiger, thanks to the magic of widget autoinstall, combined with the tag, a slightly evil widget has been installed in your dashboard. It could be a lot worse.

The average user, who can’t find their Library folder with two mice and a spotlight, is stuck. It would take all of thirty seconds for me to pick out a nice porn image, make it the icon of a widget, drop it in your dashboard, and you’re stuck with it. It doesn’t even need any Javascript. Oh, hell, why not? Click on this: goatse.cx.wdgt.zip.

With one more line of code, the more evil version that I promised earlier takes you to GreenZap every time the widget is shown. This means that once you install zaptastic evil, every time you launch Dashboard, your web browser goes to the GreenZap site. Which has the side effect of immediately dropping you out of Dashboard, preventing you from closing the offending widget.

Even without root, though, there are some pretty interesting things you could do. A widget, for example, could use time when it is hidden to add <meta> tags to every .html page stored in the users home directory. If the user happens to be running a web server - or even uploading files to one — this could propagate a widget to other machines.

Slow Balls Take The Swing Out Of Young Ball Players [via]:

Exasperated parents practicing throw-and-connect skills with their young children will be relieved to know that their child’s inability to hit a slow-moving ball has a scientific explanation: Children cannot hit slow balls because their brains are not wired to handle slow motion.

By the power of SQL queries over several tables (I’ve had such a bad time with MySQL, at the time when we were hosted… uh… can’t remember where, that I had always stayed very clear from those sorts of things), here come the garoo.net galleries, in a blog format and with Flickr-like tags, for originality. Though I haven’t had the courage to make the HTML precompilation yet or the RSS feed — I even haven’t made the administration scripts yet. Later. It’s not like I upload stuff there often.

All that’s left now is copying the GarooSoft contents into my wiki, and the site will finally be whole.

P.S. And here’s the RSS feed.

8 May

I’d like it better if they said at what time it moved to “Preparing Shipment”, rather than say at what time it still was. Knowing it still is in one stage is less informative than knowing when exactly it entered that stage.

It wasn’t originally planned that Hayden Christensen would wear the Darth Vader costume. He asked the producers […] and they had to change the costume, put in shoulder pads and high heels… I think he sees through Darth Vader’s mouth.

It’s very cute and all (newsflash: I fall for tiny twinks), but IMDb measures him at 6’1. Has there been, like on gay chatrooms, an inflation over the last two years, and now everybody is over 6’0?

And when you think you’ve seen it all… now a wave of posts are blaming web developers for blaming Google for their websites being broken, because, don’t you know, it’s bad to use GET (that is, links) to trigger actions, and you should only POST (that is, forms — yes, I’m simplifying here, I know).

Damnit, those standardists have no lack of imagination when it comes to annoying people. I’d slam my head to the wall, but luckily I’m already too sleepy for that.

(Expecting me to explain and argue? No point in doing that, I’ve already tried, and those people never listen anyway. — It’s bad because it’s bad. — Why? — Because it’s bad, the RFC says so. — So what. — So that’s the way it is, now shut up, you stupid kid. Yeah, right. Sorry, really, all my apologies for having a brain and using it for my own, personal decision-making.)

(Fucking lot of dumbasses.)

Voilà, the galleries are now completely functional, and I encourage you to subscribe to its RSS feed if you want to keep seeing my photographs, because that’s where the photolog will now be happening (if you don’t use RSS, you’ll see the latest images on the top right of my home page). Redirections are all set, and the GarooSoft section has been transferred to the wiki as planned. Now, just one last hesitation: do I adapt the layout to use sIFR?

9 May

Heeee.

Hawww.

*jumpity* *jumpity* *jumpity* *jumpity*

(Do I need to tell you I am really bouncing and giggling in front of my computer right now?)

Vous devriez recevoir votre commande sous 6 - 7 jours.

Veuillez noter toutefois qu’il s’agit là d’un délai estimatif, exprimé en jours ouvrés.

Wahhhh.

10 May

Tiger Details:

In just about any web page form field, you can use Command-Return to have Safari display the results in a new tab.

And why doesn’t it already work that way in Firefox? Huh, why?

Debugging Dashboard Widgets:

To minimize the number of times you show and hide Dashboard, you can place Dashboard in Development Mode. This allows you to keep a widget on screen at all times — even when Dashboard is not shown.

Uhhhhhh-hhhh?

Bloglines has been screwing up for a few days now. It’s about to be time to look for the best aggregator on OS X (although I’m afraid there isn’t much of a controversy about that).

P.S. And, as if that weren’t enough, no aggregator will accept to import Bloglines’ OPML export file. Grr.

P.S. Managed (I think — haven’t got the courage to check that every one of my 400 feeds is there) to salvage the Bloglines OPML export file by replacing <?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”utf-8”?> with <?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”ISO-8859-1”?>. Guess that one only bites people reading blogs with accents.

Lektora: a very well designed RSS aggregator for Firefox, recommended to anyone who doesn’t need to subscribe to hundreds of feeds (every time you launch it, every post from the previous session is marked as read, which doesn’t work for me — I keep certain feed groups for certain times of day, depending on my mood). And it even seems to be available in French (which I don’t care for, and you don’t either, but I just wrote this sentence in the French version of this post, and started translating it without thinking.)

11 May

What’s the point, really, of having package tracking on the web if the page is going to be completely blank?

Silence ça fist :

Qui a dit que la folle n’était pas représentée à la télé ? En oubliant bien évidemment les Queers et autres chroniqueurs de Pink TV, petit tour d’horizon des folles made in P.A.F.

J’avoue que, si j’ai du mal à tenir une émission entière de Silence ça pousse (j’veux pas dire, mais avec un titre comme ça d’origine, il n’y a même pas besoin d’en rajouter), le jardinier m’a toujours fasciné. Enfin… épaté. Enfin… euh… terrifié ?

Et j’ai bien sûr remarqué tout de suite, aussi, les bras du machin de Direct 8. (Que je n’ai plus regardée depuis le lendemain du lancement du flux web, tiens. C’est leur faute, aussi, s’ils n’ont même pas les moyens de faire des redifs à l’heure à laquelle je n’ai rien à regarder à la télé.)

Requiem for a Dream OST

I had been wanting it for a while, it was even on my wishlist, and it was on sale, and while I’m at it, if I’m buying books, why not records, and Amazon is a trap, you register in order to get some culture (except I haven’t read anything for months now, I’ve got a big pile of books waiting for me) and you end up buying lots of other stuff (I also took three DVDs, on sale as well, couldn’t resist the bargain, I’m weak and they’re taking advantage of me and the fact I have enough money not to resist, argh).

So now I have it. Tough break, it’s not really a record you can listen to (two dozen short, disconnected tracks, which is to be expected when you condense such an intense six-hour movie onto one CD). But I’m still happy I have the object and I’m able to play one of the most emblematic tracks when I’m down.

12 May

Getting closer. (Meanwhile, the tracking on Apple’s website still shows nothing at all. Really, what’s the point.)

Yes, I know, you (or at least the half dozen that cares) wish I posted something more interesting than my iMac’s journey, but these days when I’m not reloading the TNT page I’m making scripts. For Gayattitude (now with live chat — again, in hopes that it won’t overload again, third time’s the charm, they say, but the French say “never twice without a third”, meaning everything bad happens three times), for this blog, and for other sites. Trying my best to be done with it all by the time my Mac arrives so I get to be fully focused on nesting in it.

Oh, and I also spent two hours reorganizing my feeds in Bloglines, because all Windows aggregators are utterly, amazingly, unbelievably unusable, and because Bloglines had trouble marking items as read on my most populated categories, so I gather you have to make smaller groups. The problem being that every time you move a feed around the whole list has to be reloaded — all 400+ feeds, and 400+ fucking icons, and all the Javascript around (would you believe that all Bloglines pages are entirely made with document.write, which means they don’t only take time to load, they also make Firefox freeze for thirty seconds every time?). Two hours to reorganize.

I know full well I could have exported an OPML list, made the changes in a local aggregator, and import the new OPML back in. But I’m stubborn that way. (And Windows aggregator disgust me.)

Garoo elsewhere (Re: Queer as Folk 3.01–3.02):

I just discovered Bob & Rose on satellite TV, and it made me realize that, even though Queer as Folk UK blew to pieces in the end, it had something that QAF US cruelly misses: characters.

The American characters have no consistency, and the writers make them do whatever makes their plots advance, without any consideration for psychology.

Ted and Emmett? Bullshit. (Season 3 just started here.) Mel going all macho? Bullshit. Mike and Justin making up? Bullshit. Pretty much everything else? Bullshit, all of it, with a very few exceptions.

Until now I was keeping my subscription to PinkTV (the French gay TV network with lame-ass programming) for QAF and out of militantism, but QAF is annoying me more and more (and I was counting on the two-eps-a-week schedule to make it shorter, but now they switched back to one per week, probably just on account of people like me), and giving nine euros per month to Pascal Houzelot (head of the network, main investor, and former TF1 staff — that’s the Fox News level of evil) isn’t exactly my ideal of militantism.

The way it’s going, I can see my Mac sleeping for the whole week-end less than a hundred kilometers away from my home. I’m gonna scream.

13 May

— I’m sleepy.

— Already?

— Yeah.
But I don’t wanna go to sleep.
If I go to sleep, next thing I know it’ll be tomorrow 12:00pm and I’ll be in the corridor and I’ll see there’s no Apple box with my name on it.

Like I said. I’m gonna be in one hell of a mood for the whole week-end.

Which is the key word? “Onforwarded” or “delivery”?

P.S. Looks like it was “onforwarded”. (Which indeed isn’t a word. Why do we have to suffer so?)

Tiger for Panther-users suffering from Triskaidekaphobia:

The Roman numeral X represents the number 10, and since Panther is the third iteration of OS X, ten plus three equals 13! Also, a Panther is a black cat! It’s bad luck. Get rid of it. Get 10.4 Tiger, and move on to a luckier life.

If you make the switch today, perhaps you can successfully cancel out the bad luck of the day, you superstitious weirdo.

14 May

The ly detector (Javascript adverb detector), comments section:

have you ever noticed how often people use the word “the”? how overdone it is? does the word “the” have any substance? does it enhance the language at all? is it endlessly repetitive?

then yes, it should be banished from the language just as adverbs should be.

Me dig adverbs. In any language.

Garoo elsewhere:

As a reader I like the idea of having a comment feed per post, but as a blogger, and developer of my own CMS, I can’t get used to the idea that each reader would load a dozen (or thousands if they’re greedy) of feeds every hour (or ten minutes).

I’d rather not imagine the load a Wordpress site has to endure if you activate that functionality :)

 

In fact, I’d rather blogs published one comment feed, with a specific tag attaching each comment to its specific blog post, and let RSS aggregators do the math. Makes more sense to me.

My point being, you know that some aggregators will be poorly programmed, and will fetch your feeds every ten minutes and ignore the cache or http headers; and the more opportunities to abuse your site you give them, the more they’ll take. Whereas making one and only comment feed is not rocket science — and it degrades nicely: it’s pretty usable even if the aggregator doesn’t explicitly support it.

I’m unfortunately a little burned in regard to the particular category of bloggers who’re liable to weigh on the evolution of standards, so we’ll have to wait until someone more respectable has the same thought.

15 May

In fact, BelAmi makes splending photographs and pathetic videos, right? How can people spend fortunes on those things?

16 May

You could have warned me that my blog’s thumbnails looked horrendous on a decent LCD screen. (And I intended to keep my PC as the main graphics workstation… maybe I’ll have to reconsider my options.)

Oh, and, also… bllllllllllllll gahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Dalloway

Holy crap, how big the thing is. A huge white block — when I’m in front of it, I feel like I’m not in my room anymore, that I’ve fallen the rabbit hole into an IT showroom. Every time I enter the room I can’t believe there’s thing big, beautiful, clean, smooth, shiny thing on my desk. A modern-day monolith — only much, much cooler than 2001’s.

If I had been to check out iMacs in a store before ordering, I’d probably not have dared buy the 20-incher. Needless to say, I’m terribly glad I didn’t.

 

*drool*

Nothing happens when I try and open Image Capture Scripting’s AppleScript dictionary and my script returns an odd error message, even though all I did was copy and paste a straightforward command to determine the width of an image. Is there a connection? (Considering that width is displayed in the color of variables rather than recognized words, I’d suppose it is.) And, if so, is there a way to get and install the correct dictionary? I’m going to spend time in front of this Mac (euphemism alert), so I need the blog thumbnail system to work.

17 May

Dear Stevie:
Maybe you’ve been told before, but I never read it on the blogs, so I’ll tell you: iTunes is a super music library management tool, but as the OS’s default media player it sucks. Am I the only one annoyed that, every time you want to play a file in iTunes, it’s added to the library, and you have to remove it manually if you only wanted to listen to it once? That’s counter intuitive to the max, and it’s unacceptable from a system component that offers to install itself as default handler of all sound files.

So, there it goes, Stevie: by the time iTunes 4.9 is released, I’d like you to play nice (as if) and add a “Temporary Files” source where files would automatically land unless they were explicitly added to the library, and have it be (optionally) purged on every launch, or every n days. There. Sounds simple, right?

While we’re at it, you could also consider the switchers’ interest and make sure they can easily transfer their iTunes library from Windows when they fork over 2000€ in order to enter the select G5 club. But it’d be too late for me anyway.

Oh, and I almost forgot… is it a Tiger functionality to have iTunes relaunch every other time I quit it? (It’s an exact figure, not an estimate or an exaggeration.) It’s a bit… disconcerting. Oh, wait, scratch that, it was a widget’s doing.

P.S. A quick search-and-replace in the Library.xml export file, and my library is on the Mac, complete with ratings and playlists. There are 11 songs missing out of 4,500… so I guess we’ll just assume they have a pretty good reason not to be there, and leave it at that. Some day I might try and do a diff on song lists — when I can be bothered to check out how that works.

Am I dreaming or doesn’t Mail.app have an option not to automatically mark messages as read? It’s really sad to make a mail client whose inner workings would allow it to better Opera, and completely miss the mark by refusing to add an option — and such an elementary one.

Let me remind you how the best mail client in the world works: there’s no proper inbox like in the others, and the user never needs to move a message from one folder to another. There’s a special “Unread” folder (a magical folder, à la Spotlight), in which all unread messages arrive, and they stay there until they’ve been marked as read. Then, they’re no longer there — but they’re everywhere else: in the “Received” folder, in the sender’s folder, in the free-form searches. No tedious drag and dropping the messages to sort them, no unsorted 10,000-message inbox, all you have to do is click a button (or press ‘K’) once you’ve read / responded / processed a message — that is, when you don’t need it in your inbox anymore. And Mail.app could do the exact same thing, if only it didn’t insist on marking messages as read without asking me what I want.

Not sure that was quite clear, but it’s very hard to explain, and all you can do is try. I already converted my stepfather, so why wouldn’t you follow?

So, in the end, maybe it won’t matter a bit that it doesn’t manage to import my mail from Opera. Anyway, considering how some experts have criticized Mail.app, I’m probably not missing much. I can only hope Opera will work well on OS X.

P.S. There it is, all transferred in a few seconds (well, more like ten minutes to compress my gigabyte of archived mail, and one minute to copy the zip file) from Opera to Opera. And they were kind enough to use the native OS X theme as a default — although nobody uses those kinds of tabs, so I’ll have to check their site for a better, more modern skin.

P.S. Multiply the migration time by two, because it’s substantially better if I import the right mail archive, the one that’s up to date. Go figure why Opera 8 ended up storing my mail in the Opera754 folder.

18 May

The joy of Spotlight: importing my gigabyte of archives mail (from my Eudora mailboxes, which I kept up to date all this time because I feared Opera would hold my data hostage), the computer lags, CPU load is 100%, iPulse indicates it’s all in the system layer (which means it isn’t Mail.app per se hogging the CPU, but Spotlight running behind), the CPU temperature is 77°C (that’s 170°F according to Dashboard — exactly when is the fan supposed to start spinning like crazy and sounding like a jet taking off?). Accidentally quitting Mail.app (which doesn’t bother to ask me if I really wanted to, and I should be glad it wasn’t while it was importing one of the biggest mailboxes), putting the computer to sleep, and as soon as I wake it up the CPU is at 100% again, and it’s still Spotlight, catching up.

Of course, it isn’t such a big deal for me, as it’ll only happen once, but I wonder how Spotlight must make your computer crawl if you have subscribed to one of those big, chatty mailing lists.

P.S. Spotlight a Stoplight for Video Pros:

Both 10.4 and 10.4.1 are causing problems for video work, and a vast majority of these problems are caused by Spotlight’s insistence upon indexing hard drives. As the post notes, “You can manually tell each drive to not be indexed, but that’s EACH TIME you mount them or reboot. That’s no good.”

The glory of white-out:

An enduring drawback of correction fluid is the solvent vapor. That could be fixed, but not without damaging the psyche of faithful consumers, said Mr. McCaffrey of Liquid Paper: “People who have grown up using a product tend to equate its smell with quality, and you don’t want to change that – whether it’s crayons or correction fluid.”

Darth Vader Superstar: Vader’s blog has had a few weaknesses near the end — or rather, missed a few opportunities for interesting posts, probably because the author wanted to meet today’s deadline — but the finale more than makes up for it.

19 May

Okay, enough playing around. In Opera, I have to press a key to make an email disappear from the active view, and I only have to type in the little box below in order to send a quick reply, in Mail.app I have to… click everywhere, all the time. I like Mail.app, I like my Apple mouse (like I expected, I don’t miss the right button all that much — unlike the scroll wheel), and it annoys me that Opera doesn’t support AppleScript and doesn’t display a mail count in the Dock, but all that is far from enough reason to justify enduring Mail.app. So, yeah, I spent almost a full day importing my old messages, sorting them, removing spam (because I was importing the Eudora copy, the backup, the one I don’t bother to remove spam from), all for nothing — so what? Besides it’s not actually for nothing: I’m going to keep the Mail.app setup and make it download a copy of my mail every so often, so that Spotlight indexes them. Until Mail 5.0 becomes a real, worthy mail client.

Da Vinci Code Trailer Reviewed:

I read and loved the book but don’t believe it will translate well to a film — and this trailer doesn’t give me any more faith in the project.

What, is it the cleverness, the intelligence, the philosophical reflection, or simply the literary quality of this piece of shit of a book that won’t translate well to film? Ok, granted, there’s no way Ron Howard could really, faithfully translate the book’s quality. But, now, the question is: why am I reading the blog of someone who loved Da Vinci Code?

The indispensable plug-in that makes my rant against Mail.app obsolete (well, except for the lack of a Quick Reply box, but that I can live without — after all, I did consider it evil until I got used to it with Opera): Mail Act-On [via].

Forget about flags and Spotlight folders: Mail Act-On is an add-on designed for just my kind of people — geeks who like their software to obey them by the keypress, and want to manage their information and organization flows in the most efficient possible way — by allowing them to assign any kind of actions to an elementary shortcut (and as I describe it I realize I might have thought of looking for something like this before ranting). As a bonus, it’s configurable directly from within Mail.app, just by adding personalized rules.

A simple rule to send my personal mail to an “Incoming” folder as soon as it arrives, followed for instance by another simple rule to archive messages when I press ‘<’ and ‘W’ (I changed the default Act-On key to French keyboards better), and there you go. Message organization at your fingertips. It’s one keypress more than in Opera, but it’s very much worth it this time (and this way it’s less prone to accidental triggering, too). Yippee!

You can’t not install this. (Together, of course, with Mail Fixer Cage Fighter in order to get rid of the horrible Mail 2.0 toolbar.)

P.S. The drawback is that it’s an interface-less plug-in that doesn’t even install any example rules, which means that, if you didn’t already know you needed it, nothing will tell you. Unlike Opera, Mail Act-On doesn’t create reveal the need. But, believe me, you do need it — a little like with Quicksilver, but QS starts working right out of the box.

P.S. Thanks for everyone who’s linking to me as an example of Mail Act-On usage. Considering how useful essential this plug-in is, I can’t believe there aren’t more link-worthy detailed blog posts about it.

Oh, and the overlay from the screenshot above (which appears when you press the Act-On activation key, as a reminder of all available shortcuts — and is also clickable, of course) got prettier since.

Synergy: a configuration text file to edit, and you can control all your computers from the same keyboard and mouse. It’s completely free and open source, runs on Windows, OS X and Unix, and, more importantly, it just-works, immediately, no trouble at all, in the background, not even preventing you from using each computer’s keyboard and mouse when you need to.

Except, of course, it’s not so pleasant having to control a Windows system with a Mac keyboard (and vice versa, presumably), and I’d rather the control could be reciprocal rather than having to define a client and server, but it’s still impressive and useful.

Probably not advisable for university dorms and some cable networks, however, since there isn’t even the most basic password system.

How ugly will you be in high-def?

Most people know that Hollywood celebrities have extremely large heads (well, no, I didn’t) — because it helps their features stand out when they’re on TV and, to a lesser extent, the silver screen. […] Michael J. Lewis wrote a fascinating essay explaining how the shift from black-and-white film to color movies to pixellated DVD-player and laptop screens have changed the nature of who’s considered hot.

Studio Magazine, May 2005. And to think that a couple days ago I stumbled onto this documentary as I woke up, and I changed channels.

20 May

21 May

It’s been quiet in here for the last few days. Okay, I can understand you wouldn’t care about my Mac talk (although should — with the revision 2 of iMac, PBook and soon iBook, and OS X finally coming of age, 2005 is the year for switching), but if nobody comments when I post a young Romain Duris picture there must be something really wrong.

Why doesn’t any of the iTunes menu bar programs I tried offer a real volume control? I’m not asking for much, just a slider like the system volume’s — I can’t possibly be the only one wanting that, and it can’t be so hard to do.

24 May

What do you know! EFREI, my post-graduate school, finally has a real website. Ah, memories… not that they were particularly good, but as I wrote before I give in easily to nostalgia.

It amazes me not to be able to find a single one of my co-students on the web. I know, someone looking for me wouldn’t find me either, but still… I should be an exception! (And I probably am, not in being hidden, but in being on the web at all.)

P.S. Ah… I’m not the only one from my promotion to turn bad!

Write down your passwords:

A Microsoft security expert said banning users from writing down passwords compromises security because it results in rarely-changed weak passwords used across multiple systems.

For once, a Microsoft expert says something smart.

25 May

I don’t know if it’s an addition that nobody noticed yet, or an older functionality I didn’t know about, but the way Safari 2.0 intelligently shortens page titles to fit them into tabs totally fascinates me. (And not only when it’s four in the morning.)

Morse coders faster than SMSers:

In a competition on the Leno show, a pair of Morse coders kicked the asses of two SMSers for speed.

So how about telephone or PDA keyboards using morse code? You learn Graffiti to use a Palm, so why not morse?

Pick a good password, part III:

One system that I read about years ago was to customize passwords for every site in the same way. So, for example, if your name is George W. Bush and your favorite number is 43, simply incorporate that into every password. Also use a certain number of letters from the site. I use 5. Want to login to Yahoo? Maybe your password is gwb43yahoo. How about Hotmail? gwb43hotma. Lifehacker? gwb43lifeh. It’s worked for me for years.

Oh, that’s all fine if you trust every site you subscribe to. I wouldn’t ever think of using the same, easily figurable, password convention on every gay chatroom, where gay webmasters and sub-webmasters and their friends are liable to know me and hence have a reason to take advantage of it (even the paranoid have real enemies — and Im not even paranoid, only pragmatic). And even the bigger sites… do you really want the whole technical staff at Yahoo, and anyone they know, to get your password to every other site you have subscribed to?*

Not to mention I would even less think of bragging in public.

* : but then, you already do use the exact same password on every site, so… forget I even talked about it (for a change).

26 May

Lucas’ idea for new Star Wars Prequel?

It seems George Lucas told a scooper that he has an idea for another add-on to the Star Wars movie series: a prequel to The Phantom Menace. The story would follow the Jedi regaining control of the universe from the many Dark Lords some 88 years before Anakin Skywalker ever graced the earth. Yoda, who, according to Lucas, was instrumental in the effort, would apparently have a headlining role. However, Lucas, now age 60, says he won’t be captaining such a ship if it ever happens.

Where are lightsabers when you really need to chop someone’s head off?

Alors, pendant toutes ces années, le petit Nxxxx Sxxxx n’était donc qu’un pantin, et ce n’étaient pas ses dents à lui qui rayaient le parquet ? Vingt ans pour passer d’un animateur-star à un jeune politicien plein d’avenir à un publiciste d’importance mondiale à même d’organiser ses congrès de campagne en 2012, c’est une carrière rondement menée, quand on a commencé tôt. Je dirais bien que ça manque de subtilité mais, non, si on en croit la couverture médiatique, ça passe comme une lettre à la poste.

Est-ce que, si je suivais plus assidûment les actualités (voire les peoplités), je verrais que je ne suis pas le premier à remarquer qu’elle a comme par hasard fait sa première émission de télé en solo il y a quelques semaines ?

N’empêche, c’est quand même attendrissant que quelqu’un qu’on décrit comme l’homme politique le plus ambitieux de France (enfin, en ce moment il doit être ex-aequo avec Fabius) puisse se retrouver à annuler un passage au JT parce que sa femme a fait ses valises. Avouez que vous ne vous y seriez pas attendu.

(Evitez les noms propres dans les commentaires, ou ils risquent de passer à la trappe.)

27 May

If I were Steve Jobs, I’d be upset to death about this. Actually, I’m not Steve Jobs, and I have an iMac, and yet I am pissed off. Why do the dumbasses who design (which isn’t quite the word, considering how much work it mustn’t be) USB hubs for the Mac mini make sure they copy the form factor, the style and the material (and with mixed success at that), and then add LEDs and logos everywhere? How stupid do you have to be to think your customers will want a hub that’s assorted their mini, only without the subtlety and sobriety that characterize Apple’s, and particularly the mini’s, design?

Please, don’t tell me people actually buy this crap, I don’t wanna know…

Morpheus is Dead:

Morpheus has been eliminated during a live event in the series’ massive multiplayer online game, The Matrix Online. As the story goes, after The Matrix Revolutions, man and machines lived in peace (but what do game players have to do then?) but Morpheus became obsessed with recovering Neo’s body from its AI-controlled machine captors. The machines didn’t respond, pushing Morpheus to set off a number of virus-encoded bombs throughout The Matrix. The machines retaliated by sending an Assassin after him.

Are the Wachowskis better game designers than filmmakers, or does it only sound good in press clippings?

Sciences et Avenir, June 2005.

28 May

If I hadn’t waited to gain twenty pounds again before I started exercising, right now I’d be able to sell my body on the escort sites. But if ifs and buts… uh… something something… then I’d have a life.

So it took a promotion on air conditioners for me to travel all the way to Rennes, the closest real city. One hour on the highway, sixty minutes having nothing else to do but watch the little needle on my speed dial — do they really expect people to believe you’re better drivers when you’re bored and focusing all your attention on your dashboard? Anyway, it was as boring as expected, although just a little quicker. And I didn’t even take advantage of the trip to visit the city… after I spent one hour walking around the store to try and phone my parents who weren’t reachable anyway, then another hour trying hard to collapse the car’s damn backseat, not to mention that I hate driving around in a city with my rearview mirror blocked by a couple of air conditioners, I just wasn’t in the mood (and the smell, and the cleanliness) for a tour of gay Rennes. I did try out the rest area on the way back, but it was deserted (though, considering the poor, lonely truck driver who got his hopes up when I went to piss, I clearly got the place right). Fucking Saturday, fucking countryside. I almost felt like crying as I was visiting the local Centre Leclerc — a real hypermarket! I had forgotten what that was like!

What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

Did you, too, get the “0% fat” Chupa Chups ad? That’s pathetic and ridiculous, right? Ha!

When I saw the ad for Fruitella Light, I wondered how they could have made that — knowing the regular Fruitella, I couldn’t see how they’d make them dietetic without losing the taste. Even I can get naive sometimes.

Ingredients: sweeteners, cream (4.2%), vegetal oil, …

Of course… the texture doesn’t come from sugar — it’s all in the fat.

29 May

Boing Boing:

Merriam-Webster has published a list of favorite non-words, w00t! is number three. w00t!

1. ginormous (adj): bigger than gigantic and bigger than enormous

2. confuzzled (adj): confused and puzzled at the same time

3. woot (interj): an exclamation of joy or excitement

4. chillax (v): chill out/relax, hang out with friends

5. cognitive displaysia (n): the feeling you have before you even leave the house that you are going to forget something and not remember it until you’re on the highway

6. gription (n): the purchase gained by friction: “My car needs new tires because the old ones have lost their gription.”

7. phonecrastinate (v): to put off answering the phone until caller ID displays the incoming name and number

8. slickery (adj): having a surface that is wet and icy

9. snirt (n): snow that is dirty, often seen by the side of roads and parking lots that have been plowed

10. lingweenie (n): a person incapable of producing neologisms

I had seen “ginormous” around, understood the notion, and hadn’t realized it was a non-word.

PVP Online:

I watched Episode 3 again this week and one thing I wish we could have seen was a prototypical Darth Vader killing Jedi. We know that Vader hunted down and killed them all, but we never really got to see it.

Imagine instead that Episode 1 opens with a teen-aged Anakin as Obi-Wan’s padawan. He meets Padmé and falls in love only to be chastised by the Jedi since it’s against the code.

In Episode 2, Anakin’s lust for all the Jedi code forbids starts to turn him, and Palpatine does the full court press to twist him to the dark side. Obi-Wan and Anakin fight near a volcano and Goosh! we got Vader by the end of Ep 2.

Episode 3 could be an all Vader-episode. With a sleek, young Vader hunting down and destroying all the Jedi.

On the one hand, that could be Lucas’s plan for the TV show that’s supposed to bridge the gap between both trilogies. On the other, I can’t quite imagine American networks, or Lucas, making a show about all the good guys being sliced and diced one after another.

30 May

I forgot a detail: are all Rennes guys particulary metrosexual (which is an actual possibility, considering it’s a students town), or do countryside queers usually go to the DIY/tools stores on Saturday afternoon? I can understand the dyke couple, but guys in tight t-shirts and jeans… I had eye contact with one of those (and a very well built one, but too old), but what about the others?

I feel like I’ve already read a pédéblogueur’s post on the same topic, but I won’t be bothered to look for it. (Or maybe it was on my own blog. I don’t try and remember what I write.)

31 May

A piece of seasonal advice: if you’re going to buy an air conditioner, don’t base your choice on the lack of noise it makes in the store. You just don’t realize how the ambient brouhaha hides the tchiling-tchilings and, more importantly, the big BANG!s every time the compressor starts and stops. Trust the decibels instead — or, better yet, the price. 150€? Yeah, right.

Now all I can do is get used to it. Last night I got woken up a couple of times by the BANG!s mentioned above, with the impression that someone had just slammed my door shut (probably on their way to come and kill me, because who else than an assassin would slam my door in the middle of the night, when it’s locked shut?). Fortunately, unlike the old air conditioner I had borrowed from my parents in order to test the whole concept, this one makes a perfectly regular, smooth noise apart from the starts and stops (at least for now, but no doubt it’ll get old and clunky very soon) so I have no trouble going back to sleep. Or not — I did get awake enough to remember it afterwards.

Thanks to my satellite network’s mosaic display, I learn stuff from TV. I had always wondered why the Spanish Civil War (which is only called Guerre d’Espagne, or Spanish War, in French) wasn’t part of the history of France. Or, rather, why it was called the Spanish War — why a war that could lay the grounds for a fascist regime that’d last until 1975 right on France’s doorstep (and I can’t still quite fathom that one, either… a military dictatorship so close to my home, and to my birth date? is the Spanish language bad luck, or what?) could have only involved Spain, why nobody had stepped in. Thanks to a random well-lit interview shot in the middle of the mosaic, I finally figured it out.

What, you expect me to explain? Do you really think this is the kind of blog that discusses history?

Well, okay… (No, actually, I’m writing this down because I’ll have forgotten tomorrow, and by the next winter I’ll remember mentioning it and I’ll search the archive to find this post back.)

<SPOILERS>

So the Popular Front had just been elected on the promise of peace, and they were scared that an intervention would cause a duplicate civil war in France, or that it could even trigger a second World War (can you imagine that?). In short, the country already didn’t have any balls left, years before Germany invaded it. Oh, and Hitler dies in the end. Or does he?

</SPOILERS>

Visual Design in Prose:

Proportion is important. Of this much the Ancient Greeks were sure. They started making buildings modelled after human anatomical relationships, and people liked the buildings. They’d stumbled on to something big: human beings can recognise patterns familiar from nature in any media. (It’s the beginning of the road that leads history to Phi.)

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