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May 24, 2001


Saw a link to a fascinating exhibit of photos from a survey of Russian life around 1910-1915 that are hosted at the Library of Congress. Prokudin-Gorskii used colored filters in developing his black-and-white glass-plate negatives so they could be presented in color. The Library of Congress scanned and adjusted the negatives to create color images from them. There's a bit of cognitive dissonance going on when you realize you're looking at color images from a time when you didn't know that such things existed.

We're accustomed to black-and-white and/or faded color (and funny clothing) as indicators of things that happened when we were very young or even before our time. I think of color photographs becoming common sometime in the late fifties, but that's just me. Events in black-and white are obviously older than ones in color, but as you approach the age of the people in the pictures, the differences seem smaller. An example: We have pictures of our parents, soon after they were married, on our bookcase next to our wedding picture. Lisa's parents' picture is black and white, taken soon after they were married in 1947, and their clothing has a definite post-war feel to them. The picture of my parents is in color and was taken in 1965, apparently at a party.

Looks like Apple's going all-LCD for their monitors. I'm really not surprised. I think the Cube was meant to be paired with one, and who's really buying Apple CRTs anyway? Perhaps the margin on the Cinema Displays are higher. What this means for the rumored next version of the iMac (a flat-panel version or something more Cubelike, not the 17" one that's been rumored forever) remains to be seen. The 22" Cinema Display has dropped to $2499. I've seen it in person several times, and it's the ultimate display. Wow.

Apple's shipping OS X with new machines, about two months ahead of when they said they would. Apparently, it'll be shipped as a boxed product rather than preinstalled, from what I recall. No better way to put the pressure on application developers than to increase the installed base.

In more mundane news, found a site for a magazine for Mexican restaurants.

May 17, 2001

Music & Philosophy

Heard South Side of the Sky by Yes on the radio today (a personal favorite). I can't honestly remember ever hearing on the radio before. (That is, when I wasn't playing it on WRHS back in high school all those years ago.) Heard a little bit of the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock as well, but on another station. Quite the eclectic listening day.

I've been listening to Massinova almost constantly at work the last couple of days. That's quite the online station. The last couple of nights I've lost a lot of time trying to play Marathon: Rubicon. I haven't lost track of time like this in a game since Myth/Myth II and SimCity 2000.

Forgot to mention: at the parents' last weekend, my mom (who always has a collection of old things for me to take back to the apartment) gave me an old blue book from college: my Analytic Philosophy final. I knew my way around Ayer and Wittgenstein (he of "A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes. " fame) well enough to get a B. I remember that I liked the class, but with only two classmates and Dr White, there was no place to hide in two and a half hours of lecture.

May 15, 2001

News Bits

Two new iBook ads online; "Middle Seat" is pretty funny, and a good example of showing how your customers might actually use your products.

Also, Apple finally announced retail locations (one of the worst-kept secrets in recent years). The Chicago one will be pretty much around the corner from where I work.

Wow, six entries so far this month. Must be some sort of record for ivory-tower.org. Even updated the colophon page with a couple things.

May 11, 2001

Random Notes

There's a review of the new Olympus C700 at dcresource.com. 10x? Now that's a zoom! If I were in the market for a camera, it sure seems like the right way to go. Wonder what it'll be selling for at the end of the year?

At around 10 this morning, got to see the fog roll in from the lake like smoke pouring over and around the buildings here downtown. Very cool.

Saw this today: Will the Newton be returning in some form? I'm a big fan of the later Newton models (the 120 with OS 2.0, the 130, and the 2X00 series), and I own a 100 with 110 the ROM and a 130. The handwriting recognition worked for me, but after the Palm came around, the were just a bit too big.

Man, Sinfest is one funny strip. Ninja Theater's back this week.

Stumbled across a nice article on the PowerBook 500 series at MacOpinion, which reminds me that I really need to spend some time updating the links on my PowerBook 500 page.

May 9, 2001


Woo! After fussing around with character codes, I've managed to get this page and the other on the site to validate as HTML 4.01 Transitional. Using style sheets and character codes for stuff in the counter URL, I've managed to make things work. Next stop: XHTML validation.

May 8, 2001

New Update

Wow, only a week since the last update. I'm getting better.

Bad Customer Service Department: Went to look up what restaurants fall under the Lettuce Entertain You umbrella these days, and what better place to go to than their main site.

According to the message on their index page, they're closed their site for renovations, and have been closed since April 26, but "We will be up and ready to serve you soon." Uh....OK. First: Taking down you site's just about the dumbest way to serve your customers. Second: The whole page, text and all, is a jpg with an image map over the "text" link for frequent diners to check their points. No ALT text. Third: No contact information, no, "please visit our restaurants' own sites," nothing.

Since I'm somewhat resourceful, I just typed in the restaurant I wanted, added ".com", and finally got the info I was looking for.

Did some birthday shopping for Lisa over lunch at a little vintage place some coworkers tipped me off to. Nice stuff.

May 3, 2001

Took a picture at lunch and on the way home:

Michigan Avenue and the Fading Tulips

The tulips in the median planters have almost given up all their petals in the wind.

Walkin' Home

A shot down the street where we live. Quite a contrast since the last street shots.

Saw in the logs today that somebody found the site by searching on my last name. Someday I'll beat out that golf course my brother got a hat from in the Google rankings. They hold us in high esteem in Norway.

Remember, readers: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Impress your coworkers/friends/acquaintances/fellow tequila drinkers with the correct answers.

HTML coding music at work: The new (unreleased) Orbital album, Los Lobos Live at the Fillmore (Feb 26-27, 2000) CD-Rs.

Posted by jim at May 3, 2001 01:51 PM

May 1, 2001

Analog 5 has arrived, with pie charts. Now to figure out how to move my analog.cfg on my iMac over to Analog 5 for the Mac.

Woo! The new iBooks have been announced. This is really what I've been looking for in a portable (small & not that expensive). Although a good deal (I'm really interested in the base model, I can add my own CD-RW), they'll be a better one when Mac OS X ends up preinstalled this summer. Looks like they'll ship in mid-May. Video mirroring looks like a nice addition. Will there be colors in the next revision? They'd probably come next year then. Ah, I'm way ahead of myself.

Pictures from our road trip to Niagara Falls and Boston are now online at jimandlisa.org. Quick, act now before all of they cutesy vanity domain names are gone!

The weather's been getting rather nice, even downtown by the lake where I work. Usually, the cooler-by-the-lake effect takes over, and the fog will roll in if the wind's right like it has done much of April. Time to visit the bookshelf and grab something that I can take down to the lake and read during lunchtime, maybe Banana Yoshimoto's Asleep or Lizard.

Added a little navigation header to the left column, and I'm coming up with things to add to both the right and left columns of the page. Gonna try to update the site three times a week this month. No, I'm not becoming a blogger or a journaler, I just need to do more writing.