no additives or preservatives

What He Said

Feeling sick this morning. Been getting ready for Saturday's party. Going over a bunch of music trying to find the right songs [or anyways, an assortment of "right songs" since I never know what's going to work until it happens.] One of the songs I have been listening to is a new one by David Holmes (isn't he just great? DJ/film composer --he kicks butt.) A found vocal thing. A bartender asks how someone is doing and he responds: "I feel like a bird turd rolled in fish hooks".

title track from Walkner.Möstl's "Heaven Or Hell" has a sample that sounds familiar, probably from a movie. Guy says: "I used to think if I die in an evil place then my soul wouldn't be able to make it to heaven. Now, f#ckkkkkkkk..."

first part is going a bit far to describe how I feel but there's something about the way that he stretches that last syllable that I'm relating to right now. Makes me laugh.

sunil||||5|3|29|2002|10|2|24|AM|dude, all i got to say is that we are all anxiously awaiting your performance at Balcony...will it be dance music/bhangra? John||||5|3|29|2002|10|23|50|AM|I'll have to refer you to my agent. He can setup a lunch deal where we can discuss this issue.

Yeah, I have been working on the bhangra thing. Usually when I play that stuff it seems like people don't know how to respond to it. Although it seemed to be the highpoint a few sessions back.

last time I DJ'ed I totally left out a lot of music that I would play before. I wanted to focus on just playing danceable music since my goal is always, always to get people dancing. It was my "beatmatching/groove experiment". Seemed to go over pretty well: learning how to mix.

experiments I've been doing lately indicate that bhangra mixes nicely with the downtempo and acid jazz that I tend to play.

range of beats are consistently between like 80 to 100 bpm. This seems to be the range where people get a serious groove on, so we'll see. I've been sifting through some other unexpected genres of music and finding some knuggets that integrate well. This time, I think it's about folding some of the other eclectic stuff back into what I've been doing. But it's only gonna happen if people dig it.

Last time, one of the complements I got was that the set was very eclectic. Hehe. Maybe it was, but I think the thing that made it successful was that it was actually less eclectic than usual. It allowed things to flow together.

I had intended to do an experiment where I had another computer setup and networked with my DJ box. Even several computers.

other machine would be in like kiosk mode, displaying each song's metadata as they are played (that's kind of geeky sounding, I mean like: title, artist, album, bpm, etc...) Many people have told me that I'm at a point now where I can start considering aspects that would make it more showmanlike (is that a word?) Nevermind the fact that this is something that analog DJ's would have a hard time doing (at best) but I think maybe this actually runs counter to what most of them would want to do. Part of being a DJ is having the "cool" music that other people don't have and many DJ's take this as far as not wanting to say what they are playing. Is there something inherently more democratic (for lack of a better word) about digital vs. analog?

I keep reminding myself that the revolution that we are undergoing isn't "the internet revolution". That's just an aspect of the digitization that we're experiencing.

Anyway, this is getting a little far out, time to sign off... ¿michael?||||5|3|29|2002|4|40|25|PM|That sample is from "Apocalypse, Now" John||||5|3|29|2002|6|32|17|PM|I guess that must be Frederic Forrest. I saw him a while back come into Norms when I was eating there with Anthony. It was about 1 or 2 in the morning. He passed by and I asked Anthony if he recognized him. He did but wouldn't say who it was. As if he was worried I was going to rip off my shirt, jump on the table and start screaming: "F#CKING TIGER!"

Balcony Five Year Anniversary Party

dancing (1k image)Five year anniversary party happening at the cafe tomorrow night (Saturday 30, March.) It starts at nine. Cookie said he's probably going to be closed during the day so don't bother coming any earlier. Unless you bring a sleeping bag. Don't forget your glowsticks.

Oh yeah... did I mention that I'm going to DJ?

Good Sound

Was talking with my buddy Mark yesterday. His wife Nancy has her birthday on the same day as mine (how does she do that sh#t?) He's been experimenting with the MAD plugin for winamp. Says he can't hear the difference between an MP3 and the original cd. If you were acquainted with how fussy this guy is about sound you might think: "hey, maybe I should check this out!"

I tried this plugin a while back and the result I got was really good. I had some ideas about using it when I DJ but it turns out to be completely not compatible with the DJ plugin. If you use winamp for listening to MP3s you might want to check it out. If you don't, you might want to start. Sounds sweet.

The Customer Is Always Wrong

NoComputer (2k image)Terrific editorial sums up the current conflict over digital media and suggests a solution. In one corner Big Media; in the other Hi-Tech. The rest of us? Gerbils in The Information Supertoilet. "...Remember in the 1970s when the movie industry was in a deep funk and ...Jack Valenti said that VCRs would kill it for good? As it turns out, the VCR revived the film industry..." How come a guy that was so spectacularly wrong is still around making basically the same policy? How does that work? Funny. I get pissed when I read about this. It seems so obvious [to me] how things should work. Is intellectual property ever going to get back to that ideal of creating a general benefit for society? Maybe that hasn't changed so much as some of the underlying assumptions have: society=stockholders. Shit man, that's it, I'm swearing off N'Sync. I'm serious. When are they going to stop telling us what we want, and start asking? (jeez, that's scary too --maybe nobody would know?) And when are they going to put me in charge of this stuff? Soylent Green... IT'S MADE FROM PEOPLE!!!

ARTS & FARCES internet : When elephants dance

Aztecs Among Us

I like that picture that Rudy posted. A drawing by his son. Go check it out. I command you: AZTEC DRAWING by Rudy Jr.

get your war on

GetYourWarOn (15k image)A few people asked me about this recently. Chris at TokyoTales has posted another link to the site. Maybe that's where I saw it originally. Good example of a cartoon made from limited materials. An interesting subject for me since I have been trying to do the same thing with my cartoon synthesizer project. Yet to do a post explaining what that's all about though the results have been visible here.

Anyway, teriffic comic strip. Lots of profanity. If you might be offended by that you probably shouldn't bother. Very funny...|*|get your war on


kfc (8k image)Is there any advertising that is not hateful? Some people seem to thrive on it. To me it is pollution of our collective mental landscape. Mental litter. This one seems kind of cute, though a little bit of animation goes a long way. Maybe it's the japanese characters or maybe it's the contrast of seeing our consumer culture reflected back. What are we going to do when the world is one big strip mall? Is it too late to ask that question? Part of me wants to think that the japanese translates to: "Consumption is Happiness". The James Bond movie "Goldfinger" featured the screen debut of the Ford Mustang. There was a scene with a Kentucky Fried Chicken too. Did Oddjob eat there?

Adbusters: The Imperialism of Everyday Life

Vinyl Fetish

I keep thinking about what it means to adopt digital techniques to DJ. The whole thing started when I was watching my buddy Wilson spin records one night at the Balcony. It's fun to watch what DJ's do. I was speculating out loud --I told a few of the people standing around that you could do the same thing (or something similar) using a computer. This was soundly dissed by everyone. One thing that was said was that you need to have that tacile thing happening in order to do the DJ thing. Certainly it would be easier to get people to understand what I was doing if I did it like everybody else. The thing that interests me as a digital DJ though is exploring and finding the things that you can't do analog style. Maybe that's a negative way of putting it. What I mean is I want to explore the digital realm. Obviously the rules have changed a great deal. The entire music industry is coming to grips with what it means to be digital. I'm not dissing turntablism. I think it's great and I really dig a lot of the music that is made that way.

I had a discussion with Foster about this the other night. He had just seen that movie "Scratch". He was telling me that some years back he had a roommate that was a DJ and that this lead to a never ending stream of international DJs and non stop partying happening at his house. He also echoed the remarks of those before, saying that you needed some tactile thing happening in order to provide the experience. I think he is right --some work on the interface is needed. On the other hand it makes me wonder if it's not somewhat akin to what it was like when the first cars came on the scene. I can imagine some guy standing in the mud in front of his car turning the crank to start it. People gallop by on horseback (splashing mud on him.) They're laughing at him. He's shaking his fist and yelling: "just you wait until there's a paved road here!" Maybe that guy never drove on the Autobahn, but those horse never will...

¿michael?||||0|3|24|2002|11|14|48|PM|The age thang and the turntable thang is for the birds. You can do it. You have the young attitude. I think that the Djs all would be amazed by what you are doing. sunil||||1|3|25|2002|1|56|0|PM|here's a lik fyi: chris||||2|3|26|2002|12|32|17|AM|You might be interested in some Dutch (?) software called Final Scratch, as used by Richie Hawtin and a few others. It uses vinyl records with time-tracks rather than audio tracks engraved on them. The decks' output goes into a laptop which carries as many MP3s as you can squeeze on to it, any of which can be assigned to either deck and manipulated like standard vinyl. I've seen Hawtin do this using a Sony Vaio laptop and it sounded seamless. Monkisean!||||2|3|26|2002|3|12|49|PM|There is a lot of space to explore within the digital realm. The key is not trying to appeal to those that don't understand it's potential. Just keep doing what you are doing. Personally I think they both have their place.

I just went to a show last week and watched Panacea whip out his powerbook, and sit it on top of one of the tables, plug it into the mixer, and mix between the laptop and the 1200. People were going nuts, and no a sole cared that it was being played of the computer.

I would say make it more theatrical! Might as well have fun while everyone is watching you watch your screens.

Reminds me of everyone screaming when Mu-Ziq took a sip of water after pushing buttons for 10 mins or so. :O) I thought it was halarious.

-Sean ModuLR John||||3|3|27|2002|5|31|31|AM|That Final Scratch software is very interesting. I remember reading that article (and some others) back in October. There are a couple things about it that make me question whether I could get much use out of it:

  1. $20,000 (I think)

  2. it's a way of making it so you can use digital media in an "analog way"

For someone that cut their teeth mixing records it's a great thing. Plus any club you go in is going to be setup for mixing records, and I think most crowds might be disappointed if they didn't see that. We can speculate about that but it has been one of my concerns. Once when I DJ'ed a women came up to me after I had been doing it for several hours and said: "Oh! you're DJ'ing!" It's just not clear to people what I'm doing. I'm concerned about the showmanship aspect of it. Using something like Final Scratch would make it clearer to people what I was doing since they are familar with DJ's that spin records. So in that regard it would be a pretty good thing.

I asked Anthony to get some pictures of my DJ'ing. He'll take a few shots everytime I do it now. I was looking through some of the pictures he had taken and laughing because some of them just show me standing in front of the computer. I told him: "Don't take a picture unless I've got my hands on something" The mixer, keyboard or mouse. It's hard to see me as "doing something" since people are used to seeing records being manipulated --they know what that's about...

Still, I'm interested in exploring the things you can't do with vinyl. What does it mean to DJ digitally? One example would be that digital media has it's associated metadata. In the case of MP3s that would be the song title, artist, album and comments. The BPM and cue points that I use are stored in the comments. It's possible then to display this information while the song is being played.

I fell like I'm not really expressing what I want to get across. Head is a little foggy. I've been sick a couple days now. I'll probably post some more on this when I can think straight...

Happy Birthday to Me

gifts (1k image)Birthday today. I setup an experimental install of the latest moveabletype last night. Seems pretty nice. Might switch the site to it at some point. Haven't edited any of the templates that it came with, but the {{popup MovabletypeExample.png MovabletypeExample 1004x504}}default installation looks good. It has a lot of features that greymatter doesn't. One that I like a lot is the ability to post and the post stays on hold until it's reviewed by the editor (checking for spelling, grammar, bad words, etc.) When the editor releases the post it is put on the site. A built in spell checker would be nice. I don't have the greatest spelling myself.

I got a cold or something.

Richard "The Norseman" Lubrich||||2|3|26|2002|11|38|46|AM|H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y




UR FRIEND - richard sunil||||2|3|26|2002|12|3|10|PM|ready for the birthday bumps...tonight @ balcony at 8:00 pm?

Happy Birthday..may this year bring you a lots of luck, joy and blogging! Monkinut!||||2|3|26|2002|2|57|54|PM|Happy Birthday man! Your b'day is the day before my mom's.. for some reason that worries me. :OP

-Sean! Mike and Angela||||2|3|26|2002|8|43|43|PM|HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY! Jeez how old are you now?

Anniversary Party

cafe (1k image)

Overheard While Eating at Tito's

Not A Peep

peeps (8k image)"The Nightly Business Report" had a segment on peeps and how it's peep season again. Key things they reported on while showing video of peeps flying down a conveyor belt:

  1. over a billion peeps consumed last year

  2. people sometimes use peeps for topping on pizza

The newscaster couldn't pronounce the name right. She kept calling them peets.

An american institution somewhat akin to spam and velveta cheese. I mentioned this to Dan and he forwarded the following links to me: (this may be down, good when it's up)

The Big List Of Peeps Links

Peep2K--The Fourth Annual Sacramento Peep Off

Streaming Server

The reason for having mod_perl was so people could stream samples of me dj'ing from the site. You may have seen these MP3s laying around here. Now instead of having to download them to listen you can just stream directly. There is a permanent link to this on the sidebar.

sunil||||4|3|21|2002|10|5|13|PM|sweet interface and presentation.

Nightmare on Server Street

Wow. That was knarly. My web site is kind of complicated. Anybody that got a look at it this morning (before the Revlon went on) knows what I'm talking about. Come to think of it I still need to reinstall the cron jobs that do the midnight rotation of various elements (like page background.)

Anyway, the whole thing started when I was trying to install mod_perl... I upgraded perl to the latest version --from the source code. This is kind of a story all it's own. The upgrade made it so all my cgi quit working. There might have been a way to fix it all. Probably quite simple in fact but I couldn't figure it out. So I took the solution that one naturally associates with Microsoft products: reinstalled the server OS. Ran though this serveral times as a means of stress testing the power supply until it died. Then it was hardware fix-it time. I ended up replacing the power supply and motherboard, upgrading the ram and hard drive. The server is now almost half the size it was previously but with more ram and hard disk space. I'm thinking about putting it in a pizza box since it doesn't have a case. If I do, of course there will be pictures.

So after all that hassle:

  1. mod_perl installed and working

  2. upgraded the application that runs the burningman picture gallery

  3. changed the configuration of several sites I'm hosting for friends

  4. learned a lot

Speeding Tickets at The Indianapolis 500

Looking at Lubrich's Arts Journal and noticing that there seemed to be a lot of pictures on his frontpage. Wondering about load time. Then I was looking at that site I did for Dave and noticed the bookie picture of him is 60k. Way too big for a black and white image. Anyway all this reminded me that some people look at my site using a dialup connection. Was wondering how total page size affects load time.

Here's a comparison of famous weblogs:

Site:Size:Load Time:
preterosso.mine.nu18k4 sec
preterosso.dyndns.org20k4 sec
rudedog.mine.nu51k10 sec
knurdle.com53k11 sec
lizardspeaks.ath.cx58k12 sec
subminimal.org114k17 sec
kacked.com86k23 sec
lubrichs.mine.nu256k51 sec
(dl times based on 5k/second optimum speed of a 56k modem)
Usability guru Jacob Neilsen writes: "...the minimum goal for response times should therefore be to get pages to users in no more than ten seconds, since that's the limit of people's ability to keep their attention focused while waiting..."

Alertbox: The need for download speed

michael||||2|3|19|2002|3|27|23|PM|The Horror, the horror... sunil||||2|3|19|2002|6|58|54|PM|The data is intrinsically flawed. The results should be depicted in a statistical format. Mean and Standard deviation information should be included. Basically the load times should be checked throughout the day and over a period of a few days, and then the results should be averaged out sunil||||2|3|19|2002|7|3|39|PM|In addition to my previous post, the reason for my suggestion for statistical measures is that internet traffic is intrinsically bursty in nature. Please look at one example of the nature of internet traffic in the following paper published in the IEEE Trans. on ACM:

Mark E. Crovella and Azer Bestavros, "Self-Similarity in World Wide Web Traffic: Evidence and Possible Causes", in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 5(6):835--846, December 1997 John||||2|3|19|2002|7|13|58|PM|That might be true (it might also not be relevant... heh!) My intention was to stimulate discussion and try to promote understanding of the experience of the dialup user. Certainly for today the results are valid. Tomorrow (if I post and that 16k blockheads graphic scrolls into the archives) the results will be different --but not by that much. You're welcome to take the time for a complete statistical analysis, however, I'm more interested in your day to day experience and impression of load time as a user of these sites. That's where the real data is, since other factors besides page size must be considered, such as: server response time, server downtime, etc. Since there is no easy way of getting or approximating this information the best thing is to garner the impressions of the users. What I'm trying for after all is a favorable impression with my readers, so why not just ask? I guess I wasn't being clear but that's what I was after.

So. That being said, what's your impression of the relative speed at which these pages load? I'm assuming that sometimes you browse these sites using a 56k modem... sunil||||2|3|19|2002|7|29|40|PM|The data that you supplied otherwise is quite interesting. I tried loading yours several times and I am getting 10-11 sec now! Quite a difference, and I am using 56K modem. But definitely this stuff you posted is really quite interesting! sunil||||4|3|21|2002|3|22|7|PM|BTW I am still wondering as to why my computed numbers (optimal and non-statistical) don't match those numbers that you posted (so it is still meaningful)...see my post at the next topic

Restoring the Server

Had more problems with the power supply for the web server. I'm taking the opportunity to do some other changes. Meanwhile the result is as you see...

Should be back to normal later today or tomorrow.

Lizardspeaks and the burningman picture site are down until I get time to bring them up --also today or tomorrow.

The Lizard||||4|3|21|2002|7|48|51|AM|And just when I was gonna post. Doh! sunil||||4|3|21|2002|8|22|0|AM|make it so number one michael||||4|3|21|2002|1|25|56|PM|As you probably know:

Your header banner is not there.

There is an error on all your links in the sidebar. John||||4|3|21|2002|1|55|39|PM|Anthony: yeah right. And later "monkeys will fly out of your ass". sunil||||4|3|21|2002|2|0|2|PM|Come on....get it to work, we are still waiting. BTW, at 56K and 114K size shouldn't the "optimal" load time be 114/56=2s and not 114/5=23s?? I am getting load times (non-optimal), using statistics, of the order of 10 sec. sunil||||4|3|21|2002|2|7|38|PM|With regard to my previous post, let's do some analysis:

(i) 114Kbytes=114*8Kbits=912 Kbits

(ii) modem speed "optimal" = 56 Kbits/sec and NOT 56 Kbytes/sec

(iii) Thus, optimal load times=912/56=16 s.

There needs to be some metric conversions to get this right, eh? John||||4|3|21|2002|2|38|42|PM|Like I was telling you at the Cafe: The modem compresses the data that it can so the text data gets compressed. This accounts for the faster download times that you are observing. I'll bet that if you add up the size of all the images (since they are already compressed ) to 10% of the value for text size that the estimation comes much closer to the observered values. John||||4|3|21|2002|2|47|8|PM|btw, you should be putting these comments with their asscociated post. Once this scrolls into the archives it's not very meaningful to have them under a post about how the server was down... in fact --hey! it's not very meaningful now!

Try to remember that other people are reading the site and that --being the web, there's no telling when or in what context they will do so. They'll understand your comments if they are connected to the post that you are commenting about. sunil||||4|3|21|2002|3|21|20|PM|I understand. Just so that this "new+hot" information be made available immediately to the general public I thought of putting it at the top of the site (just my 2c of reasoning for placing it at the top of the site). Next time it'll be placed at the appropriate the boss :) (see this post + additional info at the appropriate topic

To Die For's Last Supper?

bookie (3k image)Backed up a site I did for Dave some years back. His ISP The Loop (used to be my ISP too) is turning their customer base over to Earthlink. Not sure what he's going to do about hosting it. Maybe he'll end up hosting it at his new Earthlink digs. The backup is here if you want to take a look: I still like that banner though it seems a bit amateurish now. Good composition and choice of colors. A little too busy --I got carried away. I would do that site totally different if I were doing it now. That's true for so many things though eh?

michael||||2|3|19|2002|3|24|23|PM|It must have been a few years back you made that banner. The Grassy Knoll has been gone for years.

Rebirth of Cool

cool (2k image)Power supply is still cool. This indicates that the fault was completely in the original power supply. Might be the reason I had trouble burning cds too. If the power supply was that hot it could have been discomfrabulating the thing-a-ma-jig. Better burn a few to test it out I think...

sunil||||2|3|19|2002|1|20|7|PM|A bad power supply is bad for the components in your system. Especially if the fluctuations in DC voltage are large, they'll kill your CPU, audio+video cards! Not to mention those flames! Dude, do me a favor and don't burn your house down :))

New Weblog

tunnel (2k image)Setup a greymatter weblog for my brother to experiment with: /daniel/ It's using the "tunnel aftermarket template". I think it looks nice. Michael pointed out that it looks kind of screwy in his browser. I'm assuming he means Netscape 4.76 since that seems to be the one he uses most and it seems to have trouble with stylesheets. The cascading style sheets the template uses might need some adjusting. I wish there was a really great browser for the Mac. That's another story though. Take a look at my brother's weblog and leave a comment if you see any strangeness as far as how your browser renders the page. Don't forget to say which browser you're using...

sunil||||2|3|19|2002|8|38|3|AM|looks fine to me

Back In The Saddle! (part two)

fire (3k image)Just as I was getting ready to go to bed I saw sparks/flames inside the power supply of my Linux desktop machine. I wouldn't have minded that so much but then the computer shut off. Naturally I couldn't wait till tomorrow to replace it. This new power supply is too big for the case so it's hanging out of the side. Looks like something from Frankenstien's lab. Now --going to leave it running all night and see if it's going in the morning. The case of the power supply is cold to the touch even though it's running for a while. I think that's a good sign --I could have cooked on the other one. Get a smaller power supply later (like when I have a job and some money...)

Back In The Saddle?

Got the new Mandrake Linux 8.2 install on my desktop machine. It's nice. I think I fixed the overheating problem with the power supply. I'll probably be experimenting with installing this version of Linux and I want to try a few of the BSD OS's too. But for now --I'm posting this from the new Linux install. I'll leave this machine running over night (like I usually do with all computers.) Let's see if it's still cool and running in the morning. I think I need a database server to experiment with. I got to have enough spare parts around here for that...

Oops. Hang on, just saw some flames inside the powersupply. Bummer.

anim0304-1_e0 (5k image)

Mandrake Linux 8.2

mandrake82- (4k image)Mandrake Linux 8.2 was just released for download. I was watching the web site and started my download within minutes of it becoming available. According to the estimate of my ftp program it's going to be more than 12 hours before I get the first disc image. Guess I'm not the only one downloading this...

sunil||||1|3|18|2002|1|28|2|PM|neat OS. Why not just buy it (I am sure it's cheap to buy) instead of taking 12 hrs od download. dude do you have a dsl line? John||||1|3|18|2002|1|46|17|PM|Buy it? That goes counter to the philosophy the internet is founded on. Ha! I killed that download cause I found a faster one. I should have all three disks in about an hour. I'm on cable buddy! John||||1|3|18|2002|2|38|31|PM|Well... I was getting great throughput until someone posted on Slashdot that Mandrake 8.2 was available for download. Now my ftp clients are estimating that it will be a couple of hours. I'll live. John||||1|3|18|2002|4|55|45|PM|Got it all. Only took 2 1/2 hours to download all three iso images. Now I'm burning them. Having some problems with the power supply of my Linux desktop machine overheating. Maybe it won't stay cool long enough to burn the discs. hmm. sunil||||1|3|18|2002|8|49|21|PM|Yuo should prbably get a larger wattage power supply with some serious fans!

RSS News Aggregator

Trying to come up with something that puts all my news in one spot. All the news I get off the web anyway (is there really any other source for news?) Probably going to end up using a combination of the following tools:

Peerat: this looks like the winner so far. It's cross platform --runs anywhere Python runs. The results can be integrated into my web site, though I'm not sure I will be doing that. Guess I'm looking for my own version of Userland Radio which I find difficult to setup and use. Maybe all this will be easier when there is an Internet Exploder for Linux...

Amphetadesk: (Windows and Mac only) this is pretty cool. Kind of a poor man's Userland Radio. The blurb from the frontpage:

"...AmphetaDesk is a news aggregator - it sits on your desktop, downloads the latest news that interests you, and displays them in a quick and easy to use (and customizable!) webpage. With thousands of channels for selection, AmphetaDesk can shave hours off your day..."

One thing that bugs me about it is there seems to be no way to get it to automatically update the news. It does it after you start the thing up. No big deal if you're only looking at a few web sites but since I'm trying to get a snapshot of the entire web while having my morning coffee... well, it's a bummer! I would recommend this one for people that are stuck using Windows (I guess that would be most everybody.) I did run across another tool: Newzcrawler. But couldn't test it. Apparently it uses some Internet Exploder components and since that's not installed here it wouldn't work. Maybe the Linux challenged among you can check it out and report back?

Sitescooper: been using this since I had a Palm Pilot (now Visor) to scoop all the news and make it portable. I'll probably continue doing so. Nothing like reading the news on you handheld. Many scoff at this but someday (sooner than later) they'll be reading their news on a similar device.

RSS Syndication

Experimenting with rss syndication. Added slashdot to the sidebar. I probably won't keep it there. It looks weird and makes the page load slower. But it's done automatically.

sunil||||1|3|18|2002|10|28|25|AM|this additional piece of information is causing more load times. i think it is irrelevant information. tops you could post a link to slashdot. most people already know of slashdot and are not coming to your site to get the latest timely highlights in slashdot. we want more info on you, your life, your interests, and maybe references/links to interesting articles that you found on slashdot. John||||1|3|18|2002|10|37|22|AM|I know. It's an experiment. There's a way to do it where it doesn't add to the load time. The purpose of my experiment is more about how to get slashdot to put ME on their site than the other way around. I'm not sure I can think of anybody that wants an rss feed of my site on theirs but I'm going to have the link on for it on my site. I want to be as big as Matt Drudge. Not.

Pat's Arrest Information

The L.A. Sheriff's web site has some information on Pat's arrest, court date, etc. For those that arrive late in this story --Pat is a friend of Dan's that has been arrested and charged with first degree murder. Notable details include: bail of one million dollars and April 9 is his next scheduled trial.

Dan has a couple of stories about Pat posted on his weblog.

01/23/2002: Verdict Watch

12/23/2001: Merry Xmas, Happy New Year... Pat Killed Someone

sunil||||6|3|16|2002|6|33|37|PM|Sad....many a times decent people are swept by the forces of destiny....and it can happen to anyone at anytime. Just goes to show how fragile we all are

Famous Cafés Seen From Space

satellite3 (4k image){{popup balcony.png balcony 536x445}}Café Balcony Los Angeles, Ca.

{{popup novel.png novel 533x438}}The Novel Santa Monica, Ca.

{{popup CafeTrieste.png CafeTrieste 530x437}}Café Trieste San Francisco, Ca.

{{popup gerlach64.png gerlach64 531x439}}Center Camp Black Rock City, Nv. {{popup gerlach4.png gerlach4 529x439}}Gerlach

Satellite photos courtesy of Terrafly.

sunil||||6|3|16|2002|8|59|5|AM|interesting...I wonder when the images were captured, they don't seem to be dynamically updated.

Much Ado About Blogging

blockheads (16k image)More thoughts about why I'm doing this weblog thing...

I look at different news sites everyday. Been doing that for years in fact. I find stuff that I think is interesting all the time. Sometimes I forward an article to a friend. Sometimes I add some comments about why I think they might want to read it and what I thought about it. I guess this is a habit that a lot of people have. At some point I realized that I was polluting my friends email boxes. Who am I to decide what they need to read? A lot of the stuff I would send them they have either seen already or someone else is going to send them anyway (can you say "meme"?)|*|For example: I got a cute {{popup godkills.png meme 476x357}}picture emailed to me the other day. Something I had seen somewhere and thought was cute but decided against forwarding. My thinking has changed a bit. Now, the question isn't "is this something I want to email to friends?" it's: "is this something I want to put on my web site?" If my friends are interested in what I have to say they'll come around and check it out. I'm putting my friends on a low email cholesterol diet. I can be a fat head right here on my site.

I'm not saying I don't love Michael and Lubrich for sending me that picture. This isn't intended as a criticism of anybody --other than myself. Just thinking out loud about the process of weblogging.

I like posting to my site. I try to do it pretty much everyday, or more frequently as the mood strikes me. I have been slowly coming around to the idea that weblogs are a type of collaborative filtering system. That's a fancy way of saying that I now consider that it's ok for me to read articles on other sites then summarize, spin (add my two cents) and link to these articles on my site. I had been resisting this notion of a weblog (see below for why), but now my intention is to embrace it. The point is to actively think about what [for me] are the newsworthy events of the day. The process of writing about it --putting my spin on things may help me understand my own thinking better. Hopefully fun to read too.

Reasons I thought it wasn't ok to link to stuff on other sites:

  1. if people want to read about it they can just go there and read about it, what do I need to have it on my site for?

  2. Could be construed as arrogant and self obsessed.

  3. Who gives a crumpet about my opinion? (other than me I mean.)

  4. I can't stand advertising so I use a system of filters to avoid it. When I link to other sites, I'm sending people to go look at ads...

  5. that's what everybody else is doing on their weblogs

  6. you see the same links on other weblogs

In the words of Mr Pink in discussing why he doesn't tip:

"f*ck all that."

Weblogs: What's It All About?

Richard "The Norseman" Lubrich||||5|3|15|2002|2|30|25|AM|eh john - didn't even realize u had sent that link - thought it was pretty funny though myself . . . ¿michael?||||5|3|15|2002|6|35|23|PM|I once went to a wrap party of a show I worked quite a while on. During that party I became aware of a video that was playing. It was of an Area 51 set that we had shot on stage. It was then that I became aware of what I think is a general principle. I had been on that set, with all the activity that causes a sensory overload. But the video camera filtered all that input. As I sat and watched with the Unit Production Manager the video that was taken by one of the producers, the really interesting things that were going on were focused for me. That which had been mudane for me at the time I experienced it became new and fresh and genuinely interesting. I think that art is like that. Sure a blog can be: Today I picked my nose. But I think that any human endeavor can be art. Even a bloomin' blog. Art, IMHO, is essentially choices. And in a blog a person makes choices. He chooses subject and content and words to paint the situation as he sees it. That is interesting.

I also think that friends care about what a friend thinks and feels. It has value, intrinsic value.

But the links that appear on a page are a type of camera that focuses our perception. The internet is a huge forest. When someone puts a link on the page we come to see where the waterfalls and lakes and caves are in that forest.

I know that my opinion is valuable to me. But I don't think that it is arrogant to expect that my well formed thoughts should be interesting to my friends. I'm not saying that they should accept them but that they should want to know them. Otherwise we are just isolating ourselves. And that is real poverty.

I'm Sorry Jim I'm Afraid I Can't Do That

clueless (2k image)Newsblaster is an automated news summarizer that tracks current events by following stories on several different web news sites. It looks for key phrases and uses artificial intelligence to "boil down" a story into a single paragraph. It then provides links to each of the stories the summary was generated from. I find this type of thing very interesting --machines that think for you. Seems to work reasonably well too, until you check out one of the summaries (see below) that mixes up three different guys: Jim Brown, H. Rap Brown, and Willie Brown (hey, all you black dudes look alike to Newsblaster.)

Newsblaster: Former Black Power Radical Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing Deputy

copy of original (in case they fix it)

Christian Science Monitor: 'Newsblaster' software scans, summarizes news

Online Journalism Review: When Machines Become Writers and Editors

Bagend Down

mobo (5k image)Bagend was down this morning (yeah, my server is named Bagend.) Maybe a power glitch related to the Santa Ana conditions. Power cycled the server (got to remember not to do that) and it wouldn't reboot until after manually repairing some inodes on /dev/hda8 (I realize I'm like totally geeking out here...) Someday maybe it will have a UPS. Heh, right now it's not even in a case. It pretty much looks like the picture on the left.

Richard "The Norseman" Lubrich||||4|3|14|2002|12|12|2|PM|what is the 'pic' on your post - can't tell from size - seems like it's a motherboard from what i can tell??? by the way - your site is great - i like reading all of your sites in this 'greymatter' - keep up the good work john - richard

Search Engine and Weblogs

Found a couple of interesting articles about the power of weblogs to influence search engine results. I was looking in my logs and found a bot that reads my site anyway (I have search engines blocked from reading my site, at least the polite ones are blocked.)

I like reading articles about weblogs when I can find them. I'm still trying to figure out what the phenomenon is about. I have several good articles in my Visor that I have read through more than a few times. The thing with that is that I can't really share them with anybody that's not Visor/Palm enabled. If you run across any good articles related to weblogs please let me know. I think I'm going to start keeping a list of links to good articles.

Google Blogs: How Weblogs Influence A Billion Google Searches A Week

Google Time Bomb:

Will Weblogs blow up the world's favorite search engine?

How much ass does Google kick? All of it.

sunil||||3|3|6|2002|3|23|29|PM|Weblogs are cool, they are especially good for people who form the social circle around the blogger. It gives a sort of a forum for those people who share similar interests to discuss/debate and talk about current issues.

But, I am still unsure as to how this form of communication on the net is going to generate sufficient revenues to garner some real interest as of current. I think weblogs are a more general form of expression of forums that you typically find (for example, forums for computer games).

However my vision is that weblogs may have a strong potential in the future, even from a financial perspective, when virtual environments (VR) become a reality! This will then allow people to participate in virtual environments set up by the blogger. The better or more "interesting" the environment at a site, the more the people sharing common interests going to that site, and higher the revenues collected by the site owners for participation.

Set it up John!

Balcony Anniversary Party

The first time I went to The Balcony cafe was on the night of the 1 year anniversary party. The 5 year anniversary party will be Saturday, March 30. I will be DJ'ing. If you have to ask where the cafe is you're probably not invited --hah!

Last time I DJ'ed was for the chinese anniversary party. The way I went about doing it was pretty different from other times and the result was good [I think.] I'm planning to add another experimental layer to what I have been doing. Working on it right now; to see what I'm talking about you'll just have to be there.

sunil||||3|3|13|2002|1|58|8|PM|is the music going to be experimental or just the presentation style John||||3|3|13|2002|2|14|51|PM|I'm going to perform naked.

Extended Skin

truenames (5k image)Walking around yesterday pondering Marshall McLuhan's observation concerning non-verbal awareness of external objects (spurred by me not having the benefit of my car...) He pointed out that when we drive --our cars become part of the mental image we have of ourselves. Vernor Vinge extended this with his science fiction novel "True Names" --pointing out that the internet can be seen [in a very real sense] as an extension of the user's nervous system. The fact that he did this back in the days of the Arpanet is amazing. His book is back in print as part of a "collection of internet visionary tales". The complete text is also available at the fan site linked below. I don't read a lot of a science fiction. When I do it tends to be books that I read more that once. This will be one of those (as in I will be reading it again.) I can't recommend this book enough. Check it out.

tao | thinking | texts | marshall mcluhan

Vernor Vinge: True Names (fan site)

True Names: And the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier (Amazon)

"Email to a Friend"

Experimenting with a hack to the site software that adds a link at the bottom of each post. The link allows you to email a link to the archive of that post to someone directly from a form on the site. Seems to be working, though it's giving some errors. Check it out as I correct them. Do I need such a feature? hehe.

sunil||||3|3|6|2002|3|52|50|PM|keep it, especially some of the links you have can generate some interest sunil||||2|3|12|2002|2|1|57|PM|dude...I was having withdrawl symptoms! glad to have your site back up and running. When you going to post stuff though ...waiting patiently

Server Configuration Issues

Brought the burningman picture site back up. Also upgraded the software that it runs on to the latest version. The main reason I upgraded was because people were having trouble uploading photos. The newer versions of gallery can use a java application for drag n' drop style photo uploads (only for windows right now.) Another new feature is the ability to do slideshows in the galleries. Kind of cool.

I had been having trouble updating my site because access from my lan to the server was really slow. Took me a while to realise that the problem was related to the web server doing reverse dns lookups everytime someone accesses it. This is a cool feature that allows me to see what domains people are accessing the site from (usually access is logged with just the i.p. address of the machine accessing the site.) It created a problem though because when I access the site from my lan the ip address is for internal consumption only --in other words my isp's DNS server has no idea what to respond with to a reverse dns lookup request for the ip address 192.168.0.*

This address space doesn't exist on the net. It's reserved for internal networks. My web server was waiting for the DNS server to timeout on the request before serving me my own pages. No wonder it took so freaking long. Fixed pretty fast by adding an entry to the server hosts file. Like so:

192.168.0.* localmachine|*|While I was doing all this I found out that email notification of comments was working all along. I went through some gyrations about this when I switched Linux server distributions. Trustix Linux uses Postfix rather than Sendmail for mail agent because it's much more secure. Anyway, it was working all along --it was my "fixes" that had it screwed it up. Repeat after me:

"the same key opens both locks...".

sunil||||3|3|6|2002|8|23|24|AM|From my understanding what you are saying is this command will return the server name (e.g., That's a nice feature. But isn't 192.168.0.* localmachine kind of a static mechanism to identify the server.

What if someone new comes in? Do you have a shell program running that recognizes that the server can't do a dnslookup and then applies this additional command (.localmachine) to the end of the address? John||||3|3|6|2002|11|59|12|AM|That line 192.168.0. localmachine is like an entry in a dictionary. The server goes to the host table saying: someone coming from 192.168.0.* and then gets the entry that says localmachine. The result is that only "localmachine" appears in the logfile. Used to be the 192.168.0.* i.p. address would appear there --after the dns server timed out.

All i.p. addresses are resolved to names. If there is a name. For many i.p. addresses there isn't one. For those just the i.p. address appears in the log. I wonder if they are experiencing the timeout problem too?

Email Notification?

I'm thinking about adding a new feature to my site. It's possible to set it up so that email notification is sent out each time I post to the site. I'm not sure anybody gives a rat's booty.

I could have set this up before now but I'm concerned about the potential flood of requests that I might get. I'm kidding of course, but the thing is that adding and removing email addresses would require the editing of one of the cgi files on the site. Not a big deal mind you but it's something that I wouldn't want to have to do everyday, or even every other day...

sunil||||3|3|6|2002|11|36|21|AM|Linux in all it's glory:)

The Key

Looking out the window while working in Hollywood I saw my ex-girlfriend's picture covering the side of a building. It wasn't her of course --it was Marilyn Monroe. It had not occurred to me until then how much Linda looked and even acted like Marilyn.

Early in our relationship Linda gave me a key to her place "this key is for the deadbolt" she said, "whatever you do, don't lock the bottom lock. I lost the key for that lock."

Some months later as we were leaving I shut the door and locked it. As we were getting in the car Linda remembered something and went to get it. She returned saying "John, you locked the bottom lock." I apologized and we resolved that she would spend the night at my apartment and deal with the situation by asking the landlord for another key when she returned.

The next day she called me at work and said: "John, the same key opens both locks..."

Shark Skin Man And Peach Hip Girl

SharkSkin (7k image)More good japanese cinema. A stew combining some of the best elements from "Twin Peaks" (seriously tweaked characters), "Pulp Fiction" (dialog) with the frenetic pacing and camera work of "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". The story goes nowhere --it's just about this guy running from gangsters who are all so weird it's like watching a superhero comic strip brought to life. Very funny.

KFC Cinema: Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl

sunil||||2|3|5|2002|11|54|23|AM|looks they have this at the local 20/20 or do I have to visit some specific video store? John||||2|3|5|2002|12|25|29|PM|Available on VCD:

$11 John||||3|3|6|2002|1|36|56|AM|testing comments feature...

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I had to stare at this for a while before I got it. Maybe it won't take you as long...

What's Wrong

Hot Night

meshell4 (16k image)After seeing Meshell Ndegeocello at The Conga Room I couldn't really talk to anybody till the next day. Couldn't listen to music for a while. Heh. Some music is personal.

Had some laughs with my buddy Damon at the show. We were wondering about the demographic of the crowd. He suggested that they would be the KCRW listeners. When I objected by saying: "we both listen to KCRW" he responded: "yeah bro, but we don't subscribe..."

Meshell Ndegeocello "Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape"

sunil||||0|3|3|2002|9|31|49|AM|well get a subscription you. It pays, I keep going to these really cool restaurants that give you 10% off if you are KCRW member....there are othe rbenefits too, think of KCRW as the Linux of PC and all the other commercial stations as MS OS's. John||||0|3|3|2002|1|20|23|PM|hehe

No Sweat

qt (50k image)

sunil||||6|3|2|2002|7|54|43|AM|how about before the last slide, "Do you carry shotgun's?" John||||6|3|2|2002|1|59|49|PM|More fun to make it work with real dialog.

OS X Secret Diary

Andrew Plotkin is a pretty familiar name for people that are into Interactive Fiction. Since most people are not I'll bet you've never heard of him (hehe.)

"...To get tools in command-line OS, use Lynx. (Have already deleted (blech) IE. Strict no-MS-software policy in home. Not interested in discussing this. Morally, Netscape counts as MS software. Not discussing this either. Read on.)..."

I know what he's talking about, but I'm not interested in discussing it.

OS X Secret Diary

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