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I can't decide if I hate WHM/cPanel or not. I think I'd prefer to know how to administer a server without it. There are things that say they do one thing, and then they don't. For example, in Security Center->Apache mod_userdir Tweak, you can check the box to "Enable mod_userdir Protection" all you want but it won't work. If you go to PHP open_basedir Tweak, you realize that you have to somehow create a php.ini file in each user directory to get it to work if you're using SuPHP. I hate things like this. Either make me do things by hand and make them sticky, or have a pretty interface and have a means for me to stay in that environment to fix stuff. There have been only a very very few times I've edited a .plist file in OS X. It's pretty straightforward when you do; but, I can't really imagine a casual or even moderately smart user to have to touch these files. 

Mainly, I'm whining because I don't speak cPanel. I'm off to remedy that…

MT 5

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In an effort to test my client's upcoming move to a larger server, I've moved everything over to MoveableType 5. I haven't had too much trouble. Mostly ownership and permissions problems. Well, that and getting the bloody passwords and usernames corrected.

So, this is really just a test.


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iPad it is, huh? Let's get the good out of the way first: very nice screen, beautifully designed case (The bezel's a little big; but, I'll get to that.), impressive that it syncs with cameras (with a dongle), handles 3G (for $130 extra), and is, for Apple, reasonably priced.


  • The name!! Come on people?! What're they going to call v2, iPad 2, Heavy Flow
  • No camera front or back, probably front facing first, then wrap-around coverage in v3: Light Days.
  • No multitasking for third party apps. Contrary to what's said, the iPhone OS does multitask, it just doesn't allow things like Skype to keep running in the background. I can see where developers could beat the OS to death and tie-up the built-in functions; but, those apps that screw up would be ridiculed out of contention.
  • Adobe and Apple need to kiss and make up. No flash?! Don't get me wrong, I don't really like Flash much anymore, mostly because of the item above; but, though it's easy to hate in many respects, it has stood the test of time and enough people use it for their ads that Apple should be concerned about losing revenue.
  • Speaking of revenue, funny how iBookstore looks almost identical to Delicious Library, I do hope those devs got paid. Also, what about annotations, searching a book, extending the functionality?! Oh, right, you can't because you don't get to have access to the file system.
  • Speaking of restricted access, Apple has decided that users don’t deserve a first class file system.
  • No shell

I’ve heard many interviews of this guy, Jonathan Zittrain, on NPR and elsewhere decrying the world of closed tech. At first I was full-blown fan-boy mad at him; now, I'm just a little ambivalent. On the one hand, it's true that the internet did allow, and mostly, still does allow, open anyone who wants to understand it to read the source code and dive in. There are plenty of examples of how and why this is bad. I won't get into them as I must go put on my ballet hat.

If you’re in the market for an eBook reader, the iPad is for you; as you'll be able to do much much more than any of the competing devices, it will be gorgeous, and probably even fun. The name, however, must go.

An evening of bad parenting...

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Poor Tess suffered a conk to the head this afternoon when I plopped her on the bed after riding her around on my shoulders. Later, she was cleaning up her room and somehow her little fingers got underneath my knee as I was shifting weight. While I was out running errands, Tam was working out with some hand weights and bopped Tess in the face. When I returned Tess wanted me to tell her about Pegasus before bedtime; so, I dutifully busted out the Bullfinch's and proceeded to scare the bejeezus out of her with Medusa. So, I put Tess in the big bed so she can watch some TV to calm her down and in walks Tam in a green beauty mask to tell me that something's moving in the bathroom. Dear Lord!

There's a cabinet behind the tub that we keep closed because it has an opening to the crawl space under the house. I grabbed a flashlight and opened the door. Inside was an opossum huddled against the cold. $350.00 to have him removed tonight; so, we'll be hosting the little critter and check on him in the morning. I'm fairly confident he's the same guy that walks around the front yard at night. If I was certain that I wouldn't be bitten or have him play dead and stink up the house, I'd invite him all the way in and maybe show him to Tess. Or, not.

Well, it seems I was right about the Augusta Ballet Company. I have it through the grapevine that the Augusta Ballet Board has voted itself a presenting company only. This only formalizes what I’ve suspected since the ‘reorganization’ several years ago. I can’t find a link in the Chronicle, or other local news outlets because, I’m certain, the board would prefer to have this decision be somewhat quiet.

Supporting Ballet is so much easier without those costly dancers and artsy fartsy types living, working, and paying taxes in the community.

Augusta Ballet

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I wrote a fairly pithy letter to the editor at the Metro Spirit. Recently, the 'Augusta Ballet', announced a party celebrating the retirement of their debt. The first sentence uses the weak construction, 'Some people say...' without telling us who are 'some people'. This is a celebration of what exactly? Below is my letter:

Dear Editor,

I just read the news of the Augusta Ballet's emergence from debt. Indeed, operating in the black is laudable; still, I ask, at what cost? The sacking of the entire creative staff, i.e. the professional 'local talent.' What remains? A couple of folks occupying an office, conference-calling presenters to pick touring companies. Big deal.

Benjamin Westafer

You cannot view your actual account balance through online banking tools; you need pen and paper. You cannot view your bandwidth usage: you can flash your router and install bandwidth monitoring software. I realize we're in our infancy in the online world; but, I call shenanigans on the nonsense banks' and cable companies' "Services" and "Innovations". I also love how banks can extend credit to you, without your permission, after stacking payments in numerical instead of chronological order and somehow this is a 'service'. Heck, I hope you're not receiving Social Security checks through your bank! If so, the bank will happily perform the 3 Card Monty on your debits and garnish your check to cover any balance. I find this most discouraging.

Send me back to CPYB!

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I have until July 17th to come up with tuition and lodging for a teacher's workshop at CPYB:

It's $675.00 for the tuition and lord knows how much a week of hotel stay costs. I might be able to find a place to crash. Maybe. I have a book to return in Hummelstown.

Tess had a little inspiration this morning:


Interesting tidbit.

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I friend just asked me an interesting question: in Leopard, can you print a document without opening the parent application? The answer, it turns out is a conditional yes. Having never tried it, I thought; well, open the printer's queue and drag the document in and see what happens. I've only tried .xsl, .doc, and .pdf. The Microsoft documents immediately open the appropriate application and print immediately. With .pdf's it's a different story. Pdf's print without opening Preview or Acrobat. That's pretty cool.

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