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Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year, One and All

2006 was a good year for me and mine, in many ways.

To all of my family near and far, to my ecclesia here and worldwide, to all of my friends new and old, close or distant:

New Year!

Hoping 2007 will be even better, for all of us...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jon Udell Using Flip's DesktopSweeper

Flip says:

Jon Udell (yes, the famous writer and analyst) shares my taste for distraction-free desktops, and shows how he achieves it in this six minutes screencast. The only part of the method he presents that's not implemented directly in OS X is done using my DesktopSweeper. Indeed, I've always thought that such a feature should be part of the OS.

Hey, that's very cool. Congratulations, Flip!

Jon Udell's book, Practical Internet Groupware, was a big inspiration behind the design of Conversant. Which has nothing at all to do with the screencast or Flip's DesktopSweeper, except that Flip used to work for me at Macrobyte and was a major contributor to Conversant. :-)

Friday, September 2, 2005

I Want a TactaPad, too!

Flip pointed to the TactaPad yesterday.

Ooh! I want one too! Very nifty.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

dbSpy: Database Analysis for Frontier

dbSpy is a new Guest Database analyzer for Frontier and Radio, by Andre Radke and Philippe Martin.

dbSpy is a low-level database analysis tool for Frontier. It provides information about the structure and the contents of a GDB, in the form of a Frontier hierarchy of tables (detailing used, free or orphaned nodes and other similar information) and optionally in the form of a graphical representation of the GDB.

Unfortunately, the web page doesn't yet say why you'd use it.

In late December, 2004, the Frontier-Kernel list was discussing problems with root-file (database) corruption and bloat. Dave Winer explained what he had been seeing on one of his machines. Andre responded with a description of a tool he had partially completed:

I wrote a Frontier tool some time ago that understands the low-level database format and knows how to scan through a root file by visiting all blocks either in sequence and also according to the table hierarchy.

I basically started out with re-implementing the window.dbstats verb in UserTalk. The idea was to be able to analyse corrupted roots and to eventually develop strategies to fix them even if doing a Save A Copy from within Frontier was no longer able to do so, but I never got that far.

dbSpy graphical overview dbSpy is a more complete version of Andre's tool, but now it includes a very pretty (and useful), html-based, graphical overview of the database. (It reminds me a little of the disk-overview image provided defrag tools like Norton Utilities.)

To paraphrase Andre, its purpose is to analyze the low-level format of corrupted or bloated databases, to help the operator (programmer) learn what went wrong and what might be fixed (or fixable) in the kernel to prevent it from happening again.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What is "Unfrozen Caveman?"

Flip, Jim, Greg, Steve, and Brent (update: and Apollo, Daniel, and Terry) have each linked to the story about the Firefox book. I really appreciate it... this is a very big deal for me, as most of you know.

Brent said that my description of the SOAP hack made him feel like "Unfrozen Caveman." If anybody has a clue stick, I need a beating. (Did it make him feel a bit behind the times? Out of touch with the tech? Really old? Maybe it thickened his brow and made him a good shot with a spear?)

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