Rants & Raves Archives
The Screen Savers is becoming even more deadly. Last time, it took them a day to crash Stella Marie's The Patrick Song web site. This time, it only took a few hours. Fortunately, NortonFans has posted links to three mirror sites. You people at Nortonfans are heros to the TSS fan community!
9-1-2001 Update: The free mirror sites seem to be going down quickly, but fortunately, Leo is now hosting Stella Marie's animations on his site, Leoville:
Quote of the Night: "There's a certain 'je ne sais queasy' to it." - Patrick, describing Scott's site of the night, Windows RG.
Posted by Christy at 10:48 PM
After a few too many "fluffy" segments last week, TSS has gone hardcore this week, thanks probably to the Linux week theme. I'm gearing up to install Linux myself, so I'm taking notes.
I wonder who's doing the shownotes lately. Even mention of the email about Patrick's punk rock music tastes made it in to last night's edition (I thought this sort of detail was only the province of obsessed fan web logs):
Patrick's punk proclivities have been mentioned several times before in the Daily Dish, including his tendency to break into a spontaneous rendition during production meetings. But no on-air recitals yet, darn it.
(I had to smile when Patrick mentioned Pennywise. Several years ago, they managed to get themselves banned for a time from the KROQ radio studio in Los Angeles . The drunk guitarist deliberately tried to throw up on one of the Loveline show hosts, causing a fist fight live on the air. Now's that's punk rock.)
Posted by Christy at 10:42 PM
An important point from tonight's interview with Crazy Bob Lee deserves repetition. Your computer can be infected with the Code Red worm even if you are not running a web server. Many people who are simply running Windows 2000 could have IIS installed without knowing about it. Check out Lee's article: Code Red Vigilante.
I didn't see a link in the online shownotes (though it was in the email shownotes and the tips archive) to the article by Woody Hughes about the new Linux journaling file system, Ext3. It's located it here: Alternatip: Ext3 -- Say Goodbye to Long Filesystem Checks in Linux
On tonight's show, we got another glimpse of Darci Wood, a TSS hardware hacking techie. She was dressed as a devil for the intro to the BSD Unix segment. So, when will we get to see her in an on-air segment?
Posted by Christy at 10:34 PM
Yay! Stella Marie has moved her Patrick Hunky Monkey flash animation feature to a temporary home while she looks for a better web host:
She also has a new flash animation about her ordeal with an inadequate web host:
Posted by Christy at 10:28 PM
The Daily Dish has another humorous entry from Aaron Pewtherer, TSS camera five:
Refering to all the dust on the set:
"After moving the set, stray cats were checking me out for my hairball turn and hack style."
I have got to learn not to drink anything while reading his stuff. My monitor screen is dirty enough already.
For those who are considering building your own computer, I've recently finished building my own new system. This was my first time building a complete computer on my own. I've posted a "diary" aricle about my experience, including the logical, and not-so logical, reasons for my choice of computer parts: Diary of a First-Time Computer Builder
Posted by Christy at 10:24 PM
Martin featured the Weirdest Searches on TechTV.com on his top five list of the night. It reminded me of some of the strange seach terms on Google that have linked to this site, so I'm going to be featuring some here. To start things off:
"illegal drug bitmap images"
Posted by Christy at 10:20 PM
Art from computer parts? Since when did Martha Stewart join TSS?
CGI Scripting - a really good segment that deserved more air time. Leo wrote a great article, Simple CGI Scripting, about it, including some information about SSI (server side includes). This was very interesting to me because the introductory book I used to learn Perl/CGI didn't mention anything about it. I've been using Perl scripts to generate entire HTML pages for a different site, and switching to SSI should make things a lot easier to maintain.
Did any of you notice the man in the blue-green jacket sitting on the couch today? That was Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple Computers. He currently has his own site at Woz.org.
If you're wondering why Megan has been saying "Math is hard!" lately, she may be referring to the "girl talk" Barbie doll released in the early nineties. It was a talking doll, and one part of its sophisticated repartee was "Math is Hard!" It created a stir in the news about how feminist groups were condemning it for perpetuating the stereotype that women are bad at math and science.
Posted by Christy at 10:16 PM
I got a great laugh from this comment in Thursday's Daily Dish by Aaron Pewtherer:
"My camera number is five and I predominately chase Leo around the studio wherever he may roam. I always have to be on my toes because he is very giddy and never stands still. Sometimes, I think hunting an epileptic duck that had a three-day head start would probably be an easier gig."
Posted by Christy at 02:13 AM
Patrick has started a trend with his kilt. There was Scott in a skirt on the show today (shudder), and in today's User Friendly comic strip, Pitr appears in a kilt.
Uh-oh, looks as though all of us Patrick fans managed to overwhelm Stella Marie's
A caller in the bootcamp segment had a problem with the picture on his monitor being off center after reboot. Another thing to try is to make sure you've installed the drivers for the monitor. Some monitors don't need them, but others do.
Posted by Christy at 10:02 PM
Here's a link to the Patrick hunky monkey flash animation mentioned on the show. Pretty strange and a little racy, and hilarious.
There have been several calls recently to the show about Athlon DDR motherboards, several of which have been installed in UGM 3. TSS has finally found hapiness with an MSI (VIA KT266) motherboard. Amdmb.com specializes in reviewing AMD motherboards, and gave the EpoX 8K7A (AMD/VIA chipset) a rating of 9.5 out of 10. They gave the EpoX 8KHA and MSI K7T266 Pro (all VIA chipsets) 9 out of 10 ratings. I've ordered the 8K7A for the system that I am building now, and will post back later on how it worked.
Posted by Christy at 10:59 PM
Cool shirt Megan. #!/usr/bin/girl is actually a play on the #!/usr/bin/perl command. It's used as the first line of a perl script to tell the server what the path to the perl compiler is. A very appropriate play on words since it is often refered to as the shebang line (sharp #, bang !). It's also known as the pound bang hack. If Leo had been there, he could have told you all about it: Simple CGI Scripting
Posted by Christy at 10:56 PM
It was a slow day at work today (idle minds too, are the devil's playground) so I came up with a new idea for my rants. I've really enjoyed Chris Pirillo's appearances on the show, starting back in the spring via netcam. I've figured out that what I really enjoy about him is his ability to trip up Leo. Owing to Leo's years of experience in radio and TV, our lovable cohost is very smooth on camera (okay, minus the coke spill and eating the toasted apple). Add to this his natural energy, and you have the occasional unstoppable force that others on the show can have difficulty keeping up with. However, Chris has more than once managed to bring Leo to a momentary halt. Two examples are the "Leo, I am your son" comment from a few months ago, and Chris's more recent unplanned appearance where he instructs Leo about how to face the camera.
So, in the same theme as my "quote of the night" feature, I will be instituting a "Trip Up Leo" award for those on the show who manage to bring Leo to derailment, however brief it may be, because Leo can't be thrown off for more than a few milliseconds. The first recipient of this award is of course, Mr. Lockergnome himself Chris Pirillo, for his past achievements.
Leo's Bootcamp tip: Moving the "My Documents" folder.
Posted by Christy at 10:51 PM
A caller to tonight's show said that Megan was his favorite on the show, and it's no surprise to me. According to The Screen Savers' latest Supergeek Challenge,
In the opening news segment, Patrick mentioned a group in Berkeley that wants you to send them your AOL CDs so that they can deliver them to AOL headquarters in protest. In case you would like to contribute, and that address flew by a little too fast, here it is again: http://www.nomoreaolcds.com/. This reminded of a site from several years ago, "AOL Disks: A Modest Proposal", that displayed one guy's art made from AOL floppy disks, before AOL switched to CDs. He basically got fed up with how many AOL disks he kept getting in the mail, and the fact that the disks were so cheap that he couldn't even reuse them for saving his own data. So he got out that favorite geek item, a Dremel tool, and some paint and went to town. My favorite was the one where he slit the outer case open, and painted the inner disk to look like an egg being broken. I believe it was called "Your brain on AOL", and was the inspiration for the animated gif that can be found at the bottom of this site's humor page. Unfortunately, it appears that the site no longer exists.
In Leo's Bootcamp segment, a caller asked about the difference between an 800MHz Celeron and an 800MHz PIII processor. For those of you who want the technical low-down, the first difference is that the Celeron only goes up to a 100MHz front side bus speed, which limits how fast the processor can communicate with the rest of the computer. Most PIII processors sold today use a 133 MHz FSB. The second difference is that the Celeron has 128K of L2 cache as compared with 256K for the PIII(E). The L2 cache is the area of the processor where recently accessed, or soon to be accessed, information is stored. A larger L2 cache increases the amount of memory that is more quickly available than that from RAM. Interestingly enough, since the Celeron uses the same manufacturing die as the PIII, the extra cache is still present on the chip, but it's been disabled. Anandtech has a good article describing the recent Celerons: Intel Celeron 800: The first 100MHz FSB Celeron.
Posted by Christy at 10:44 PM
Favicons: In the bootcamp segment, Leo said that the custom favorites icons for IE5 were something that you can only do for your own site. This is not strictly true. As with any file in Windows, you can change the icon to whatever you like. If your favorite site does not use favicons, and you would like something other than the default explorer web document icon, use My Computer to navigate to the C:\Windows\Favorites folder. Right-click on the favorites file and select "Properties". Under the "Web Document" Tab, click "Change Icon". You can change it to one of the Windows system icons or one that you've made yourself. A good program for creating your own custom icons is Microangelo. You can also find many custom icons available for free on the Internet.
If you are like me, then you are no fan of how Internet Explorer handles favicons. It stores them in the Temporary Internet Files folder, which means that the favicons disappear when you delete the temporary internet files. A great way to solve this problem is with a free program called FavOrg from PC Magazine, which was featured recently on Call For Help. The program looks at all your favorites, goes out to the web, downloads the favicons and stores them in a separate folder so that they won't be lost the next time you dump the temporary internet files. Favicons may seem frivolous to some, but they actually make a long list of favorites a lot easier to scan.
Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton model tech fashions.
Posted by Christy at 10:35 PM
(Muttering to myself) Look at his face, not at his legs. His eyes are on his face, not on his knees...
Quote of the night, Leo, referring to another cow-themed fridge picture featuring a hybrid cow/motorcycle called the Cow-asaki:
"And it runs on corn!"
So does the show's humor, quite often. :)
The Exploratorium demonstration using the light and dark colored sand does have a benefit to humanity! It's a demonstration of fluid and particle dynamics, with endless applications. Even in pharmaceuticals (encasing a drug in a large particle changes how it is distributed by the bloodstream).
Personally, Leo, I prefer my apples flavored with peanut butter, not lighter fluid.
Leo learns what a lighter fluid soaked apple tastes like.
Posted by Christy at 10:16 PM
Since the TSS crew seems to be hitting their marks, or else covering stuff that I don't know much about, I will digress over to Call For Help. CFH is traditionally The Screen Savers' sister show, meant for the less sophisticated computer user. It was Leo's former, other job, before being promoted (pushed, crow barred?) to Tech Live, and is the current habitat of the Lockergnome, Chris Pirillo. Even though I consider myself a fairly sophisticated user, I still like to watch it on occasion. They have great tips (they recently featured a program that keeps your favicons from disappearing), and they find ways of explaining concepts that I can use when someone asks me the same question.
I've heard rumors, courtesy of TechTV Fanatics, that CFH will once again become a separate show. This is great because, in it's current form, the show isn't aired outside of its 2 pm (Pacific) time slot. CFH is a great gateway program for people who otherwise wouldn't be interested in a technology channel. Having CFH repeated during the evenings or weekends might increase the chances of that happening.
Quote of the day, Chris Pirillo discussing the connotations of the term "geek":
Posted by Christy at 10:12 PM
Bucky balls! I love it when the hosts talk about drugs (see my entry for 5/8/2001).
I like POW, which was Megan's download of the day today, but it is not as effective against the X10 ads as I would like. POW works by having the user tell it which windows are pop-up ads. The program then remembers the window title, and closes any future windows that pop-up with the same title. X10 has gotten smart and regularly changes the titles on it's pop-under ads, so that someone using POW has to "train" it for each and every different title. However, I still prefer to use POW because it's the least likely to accidentally kill a legitimate non-advertisement window.
Here's a tip for those of you who want to know what will be coming up on TSS episodes. TSS does post a weekly schedule on the main page of it site, usually on Monday, for that week. But if it's the weekend and you want to know what will be on for the coming week, Yahoo TV listings usually has the info ahead of time.
Easter Eggs. Tonight's segment featured easter egg programs on the Palm, but my favorite easter eggs of all time have to be the ones featured on this scanning microscopy site: Molecular Expressions. This is a collection of easter egg pictures buried in the etchings of processor chips. It something like what chip designer turned comedian Don McMillan described in his interview on TSS: Chip Design is Hilarious-- Really. (Check out the video highlight)
I loved Megan's superheroine bit tonight. She must be taking lessons from Leo and getting in touch with her inner spaz.
Posted by Christy at 10:07 PM