CHAOS MANOR MAIL
Mail 34: March 22 - 28, 1999
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I try to answer mail, but mostly I can't get to all of it. I read it all, although not always the instant it comes in. I do have books to write too... I am reminded of H. P. Lovecraft who slowly starved to death while answering fan mail.
If you want to send mail that will be published, you don't have to use the formatting instructions you will find when you click here but it will make my life simpler, and your chances of being published better..
The new mailex pages are great, but a link error has slipped into these three pages...
The link Maildex 21-30 binds to Maildex1, instead of Maildex three, makinghttp://www.jerrypournelle.com/maildex3.htm inaccessible
On the three pages
FIND: the link text "Maildex 21-30" near the top of the page and CHANGE: the "1" in "maildex1.htm" to a "3".
Please be rid of that cold when I check in next weekend... if youve got a sore throat from drainage, you might as well take something to control the symptoms.
It's fixed, and my thanks. I am posting this as an example of the kind of correction that is a delight to receive.
Interestingly enough, the fix wasn't easy. I get MAILDEX from John Rice, who does this as volunteer work. When I brought up the Maildex pages noted above, and tried the fix the links, the fix would not "stick": that is, I could manually link that to the proper place, but every time it would revert to maildex1 and nothing I could do would change that. Eventually I deleted the line and retyped it, gave the new line the proper link, and when that worked, copied and pasted it to the other two. I have no idea why it was necessary to do that. Some quirk in Front Page 98 no doubt. I am about to change over to Front Page 2000, and that may or may not be an Adventure.
Subject: win98 sys file checker DEEPLY FLAWED
I just experienced first hand what I consider an incredibly serious flaw in Windows 98 that I had not read about anywhere, although maybe I missed it somewhere. Due to some minor issue (hyperterminal crashed on me), I ran the windows 98 "System File Checker." It told me a file called "user.exe" was corrupted and did I want to replace it with a fresh copy. I said sure. Ha.
Windows then went into a cycle of endless reboots, never able to get to the desktop.
I called my manufacturer, Sony. They were excellent and in the middle of the night no less. I must say 24-hour-a-day support is worth a premium.
Turns out its a known flaw in system file checker (seehttp://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q192/8/32.asp. The file checker compares some critical files to an incorrect list then overwrites them with a DOS version if you fall for its line (maybe it wants to sell me a bridge in Brooklyn too).
I was able to recover by booting to a command prompt and with the tech supports help using "extract" to get the real user.exe file back. Phew. But how can Microsoft get away with knowing about such a serious flaw (imagine all the mom &; pop users running the file checker) without posting an update or a warning or anything other than a single article buried in the knowledgebase. Ugh.
-- Aaron Pressman [email@example.com]
Thank you. I was not aware of this, and I expect many other readers were not as well. As to how can that happen, my suspicion is that the people who found the flaw had an incentive not to report it to top management, fixed it with the knowledge base article, and hoped no one would have the problem; and thus Microsoft as an institution isn't aware of it. This sort of thing happens. Given the readership here, it may work its way up the Microsoft chain of command now.
"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence." -- Napoleon Bonaparte
"Never ascribe to either malice that which is adequately explained by bureaucratic inertia, and always try to short-circuit the bureaucratic system." -- Jerry Pournelle
Sites that dont suck:
YOURS. I sent something on this a while back and it still applies: I read for a living and gain most of my knowledge that way. If I wanted a picture book I would go out to Powells Books and browse the childrens section. (Or visit one of those swell sites that dont suck). I could not help but notice that these ignoramuses (ignorami?) seem to be getting under your skin. Yes, I got a classical education including Latin but it has been a LONG time ago. Perhaps a good itch cream would help?
We finally migrated to NT4.0 at this Intel site and converted from CC: Mail to Outlook 98. Outlook does indeed have some serious warts and makes some things much harder to do than was the case with CC:Mail. (Should I include a picture of a screen here? Wouldnt want to offend those "sites that suck" devotees.) There are some niceties: inserting a live link into the message is one; being able to use long file names is another. I have archived some of my messages, created a new .PST file and cannot, to save my life, get it to open again. I suppose Ill have to copy it over to the active file, open it, read it, and then copy it back where it belongs. Going to Explorer and double-clicking the filename brings up the "what the heck is this anyway" dialog. Wonderful.
Interestingly enough one of the software experts here wrote some utilities to migrate CC:Mail archives and mailing lists over to Outlook 98. These worked great and have successfully converted everything. Its great to have the services of these kind of folks around: one of the benefits of working for a computer company. Im a chip expert and, while Ive been writing application software for the factory, am not a "software expert".
I did create a website for an organization that I do lots of volunteer work for: http:\\www.hillsborosoccer.org. I bet they think that site sucks too if they have ever seen it. I got paid NOTHING to do it so they take what they get and are happy to have it.
Regards (and keep it JUST THE WAY IT IS)
Detjen, Mike [firstname.lastname@example.org]
I am still learning about creating new PST files, and the care and feeding of Outlook 98, but we are about to switch to Outlook 2000. I anticipate adventures. Thanks for the kind words.
On the topic of column width, however, there really is a good reason why some websites use that extra empty column on the right to shorten the column width of the text: its more readable that way. This falls under the purview, in print, of a book designer, and being an author, Id not necessarily expect you to have banged your head on it before.
When you lay out a document, one of the choices that derives from your choice of type size is the line length. Theres a formula for calculating how wide a column ought to be for any given point size, although I dont recall it just now. The problem is that if your lines get too wide, a) you need to increase the interline spacing (leading) to avoid reader fatigue, and b) its harder for peoples eyes to track back to the beginning of the next line properly.
The smaller the text, the worse the problem gets, of course.
Now, of course, I could just resize my browser window, too, I suppose...
Well, yes, I know that lines too long are difficult to read, so I size my viewers and WORD and such like to what I like; I would suppose readers can do that too. I don't like overly narrow lines, which is what you often get with that empty colored column to the right. I suppose I could look into all that, but really, why can't people resize? I have readers with 640 up to some humungous width, and there is no way I am going to make this look just right to everyone's default settings. Is there?
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
You brought up the column width question, so I feel its fair game.
The point of making columns less wide is to make reading your site easier on the eyes. In a world of 17+ inch monitors, a full screen of text requires your eyes to move more than ten inches from left to right. Even if you sit a reasonable distance from the monitor, this is still a pretty big angle to swing back and forth several times a minute for a half-hour or more. Youll notice that publications that are meant to be read quickly invariably have thinner columns (e.g. newspapers, magazines).
Sure, and anyone who wants to make his browser full screen width is welcome to the problems it causes. So? I fear I don't understand your point. You can make mine pretty narrow if you like.
Since a poor attempt to reduce my font files 2 months ago, I have lost various symbols that go on the three upper right buttons and other places in the Windows graphics system.
I think reloading the missing font should fix the problem, but I have tried reloading Win98 to no avail. Any ideas?
My apologies for bothering you with this, but it has irritated me once too often and I don't know another way to solve it.
I have the problem that WORD won't keep the tool bar arrangements I like. This is largely because when I paste in mail from Outlook it often contains some kind of toolbar view different from mine, and things fill up so that some of the commands I like, such as the little paragraph symbol that causes Word to display hidden characters, is forced off and vanishes. I can usually muck around with WORD to get back where I wanted to be, but it's a pain. But I don't know about your problem; isn't there a systems font? Have you tried changing fonts in your display control panel? Go from small fonts to large or vice versa and see if that helps? I regret I haven't time to try to duplicate your problem.
And the solution:
Mr. Mackintoshs problem is that the hidden Windows 95 system font (as you suspected) "Marlett" is probably no longer in his Fonts directory.
Of course, since you cant see it even when it _is_ there, its hard to tell.
If you go, in a DOS Prompt window, to the Fonts directory, and temporarily rename "desktop.ini" to something like "desktop.hld", Windows will get out of your way, and actually allow you to _see_ what is in your Fonts dir. If marlett.ttf is missing, then find it somewhere, and put it back. Another machine, the install disks (if youre really brave), or possibly somewhere else on the drive.
Jay R. Ashworth, Designer
Ashworth &; Associates
Thanks. I was sure one or another reader would know. Marlett? I never heard of it. I presume I should have.
I'm a klutz at managing my appointments.
One thing I would love to see in the Calendar portion of Outlook is a reminder, (in red) that you have events or appointments forthcoming on the next working day, and on any intervening days as well. I put it that way so that you'd also get a reminder on Friday of Monday's appointments, as well as any birthdays on the weekend. Same deal with public holidays or rostered vacations.
Perhaps this, as well as any appointments for today, could be semaphored as unread mail is, by an icon on the toolbar which you click to acknowledge and go to calendar.
Ideally, they could optionally give you a precis of what your appointments are, but that might be too hard, and desktop real-estate is limited. The simple reminder that there are appointments ought to be fairly simple.
Good start. Others? I'll pass these along.
Having worked with computers since before I was sentient, I was hoping you could shed some light on something.
I first cut my teeth on a Kaypro II CP/M box when I was a wee lad of seven years. Besides fiddling with BASIC and playing games, I also sat down and learned how to use a word processor by the name of Select. Thanks to Select, I never became a fan of Wordstar. Rather hate it, in fact. :)
Ive grown since then (Im 22 now), and Ive been thinking that Select would be a great text editor / low-level word processor if it was ported to Linux. I was also thinking that if the source code was made available, it would be useful for teaching others how to program their own text editors and word processors.
My question is, who made Select in the first place, and do they still exist? If so or if not, would you happen to know if anyone has a copy of the source code for it?
Ed Powell, Fledgling SysAdmin and 100% RDA of Dementia
I don't recall it but perhaps one of the readers will.
On the Tuesday Mar 23rd, view, I notice that the howstuffworks link isnt. It looks like a link, but its really just an underlined bit of text with a font tag to set the color.
Ive noticed "links" of this sort on your site before, and I cant decide if youre exercising some editorial control by making people enter some links by hand, or if Frontpage is doing something weird. If this isnt purposeful, perhaps you could look into it and pass it to the frontpage people?
Alan Shutko <email@example.com> - By consent of the corrupted The most common form of marriage proposal: "YOURE WHAT!?"
I've fixed it, and I don't know what causes that to happen sometimes. Usually Front Page takes anything that looks like a link and makes it one. Sometimes, probably due to the cut and paste operations I do, the link vanishes, although why it should continue to look like one is not clear to me. I'll add that to the Front Page complaints and wish list.
Regarding your aphorism at the end: alas, when I was a lad, men did in fact offer to take responsibility for pregnancies they had caused. Now, all too often, the response is "Well, tough luck, baby, see you around," and the "ethical" response is "I'll pay half. When do you get the abortion?" But women were not liberated in my day.
Wednesday March 24, 1999
As interesting as the discussion of font sizes versus line lengths is, I think it misses the real reason for the narrow pages on many web sites. Neither of us much cares about "page request" counts on our sites because were not trying to earn advertising revenue. But sites that are have a vested interest in keeping their pages narrow and short for two reasons:
I noticed something similar over on anandtech.com the other day. I accidentally refreshed twice in quick succession and noticed that his "visitor count" incremented by 20 visitors. That seemed a bit high for the second or two between refreshes, so I sat there and refreshed over and over for a minute or two. Every time I refreshed, the count incremented by exactly 20. Sporadically, it incremented by 40 instead, which told me that thered been one actual visitor in between my refreshes. I went into the HTML and started counting elements that would open a new HTTP session, and I found twenty of them, as expected. Today, he must have fewer banners ads up or something, because the count is only 6 "visitors" per refresh.
Of course, we could break our articles up into ten pages each and automatically increase our page request counts by an order of magnitude as well, but why would we bother? More to the point, since were not after ad revenue, why would we use narrow pages, whose real purpose is simply to make room for more ads? It aint broke.
Fascinating. I have never given any thought to any of this. Thanks.
We do this all the time here, the trick is to make sure that the IDE CR ROM drive is set as Master on the secondary IDE channel and that there is no other device on the channel. If you have any other device on the channel it will break up the flow from the CD ROM when you are attempting to copy from it to the SCSI CD-R device.
Yes; and I suspect that is the problem here, and I need to check the arrangement of those drives. Of course the system is working and changing anything will cause Windows 98 to break it. Or usually does.
I have a new DVD drive and I may install that instead of the CDROM (or in addition to); or I may just get a SCSI CDROM drive and put it in. I do need reliable copy capability.
Thursday March 25, 1999
I have been informed that the blimp breaks Linux Netscape. I wondered why, which led to this reply:
On Wed, 24 Mar 1999, you wrote:
Update - just looked at the page source. FrontPage puts the following in:
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">. Unless the browser strips the leading part of the link, the "mailto:" portion will generate an attempt to jump to a non-existent target in most browsers that attempt to parse the HTML correctly. Netscape for Linux doesnt appear to handle this non-existant target correctly.
Tom Genereaux [email@example.com]
which explains what is happening but not what to do: for almost everyone the mailto: works fine. Perhaps now that it is known the Linux community can do something? Because I certainly do not want to discourage Linux peole from coming here -- I intend to have this whole site on a Linux box real Soon Now -- but I cannot spend my life accommodating particular systems either. That sounds more harsh than I meant it. If Linux can't handle what most systems can, then it's a Linux problem, not mine, no?
Subject: Linux Navigator bug
Tom Genereaux [firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:[email@example.com>] wrote:
<a href="<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>">. Unless the browser strips the leading part of the link, the "mailto:" portion will generate an attempt to jump to a non-existent target in most browsers that attempt to parse the HTML correctly. Netscape for Linux doesnt appear to handle this non-existant target correctly.
Huh? "Mailto" has been a formal part of the URL specification since at least 1993. See RFC 1630, "Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW: A Unifying Syntax for the Expression of Names and Addresses of Objects on the Network as used in the World-Wide Web" for details. Theres nothing wrong with that link. Netscape for Linux is apparently choking on a perfectly valid URN. So, as you suspected, the cause lies with Netscape for Linux, and is not your problem.
I cant understand why anyone continues to use Navigator. Its slow, buggy, crashes frequently, and is extremely picky about handling anything even slightly out of the ordinary. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, is much faster, much more stable, and usually makes sane decisions about how to handle anomalous situations. IE certainly has its flaws, but its head and shoulders above anything Netscape has available. Of course, running Linux kind of limits your options.
One wonders if there will ever be a Linux version of Internet Explorer
On your Current View page I saw:
Hmmm ... Id like to know WHAT version of Linux Netscape theyre using. Ive had no problem with the blimp and Netscape 4.5 or 4.51, and I dont recall any trouble with the 4.0x series.
As with most reported linux bugs this one is really a netscape/user error bug. It happens when you have an outgoing SMTP server defined in your Linux Netscape setup but dont have a username for the SMTP server defined. I just tested it both ways and it consistently crashes with no username entered and works (thats how Im sending this) with a username.
On Wed, 24 Mar 1999, you wrote:
Here is a link to the Linus Torvalds chapter in the new OReilly book "Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution". It is a good look into the development and design methodology of the Linux kernel. Regardless of the hype over Linux, I am gaining a good measure of respect for Linus. He seems to be a modest and pragmatic engineer/programmer. Not a bad person to be running the show.
Hope you are feeling better.
Robert G. Wright [email@example.com]
Nationalistic Conflict -> Ideological Conflict -> Ethnic Conflict (The 20th century in a nutshell)
Thanks. I agree with your assessment.
Friday March 25, 1999
In my experience (5 years or so with the current breed of browsers), Netscape may be bloated, buggy, etc., but Explorer will eat my system resources in a heartbeat. My system isnt top of the line, granted, but even today its not shabby - Pentium 200MMX, 32 MB RAM, 8 gig HD. But just last night it started to meltdown within 5 minutes of opening it. I know now why America Online bought Netscape - yes, you can set AOL up to work with Explorer, but then you (at least, I) cant multitask between the two. Im interested in trying Opera thoigh...
Interesting. Many have not had that experience. I am about to try IE5 with Office 2000 and we will see what it does to me. This is a tad bit frightening, of course.
From: Robert Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As I write the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is bombing Yugoslavia in an attempt to force Mr. Milosevic to leash his dogs of war in Kosovo. I don't intend to debate the issue of whether President Clinton's decision is correct here. I hope to broadcast an idea.
I propose an alternative strategy which won't help in Kosovo because the technology is not ready, but might help in future trouble spots. I know the technical solution I'm proposing won't change human nature, but it might play upon human nature to reduce the number of systematic atrocities.
If you read recent aerospace industry journals, it is clear the US Department of Defense is engaged in several attempts to develop small, airborne surveillance devices. These devices are primarily intended to support the ground troops by providing organic (carried and used by the troops who will initially get the data) scouting assets with greater flexibility and expendability than sending a man to gather local (over-the-hill) reconnaissance. These devices are proposed to be as small as an insect, reusable and replaceable. For this discussion I propose to call these devices "insects."
My thought is to have the human-right watch organizations buy large numbers (which would help with economies of scale) of these devices and send them to the more troubled parts of the world to watch and record what is happening, and provide the data to war crimes tribunals, truth and reconciliation commissions and the news media.
I forget where I read it, but one of the factors in reducing the incidence of crime is surety of being caught. Another factor I read (which I'm not sure I believed) was the moderation of the punishment, but that is another subject. I believe it is evident being caught requires detection of the crime (which often comes too late). Punishment under a just system of laws requires proof of the crime and clearly linking that proof to the accused. Listening to National Public Radio recently, I heard an article on the difficulty of building atrocities cases, mostly from lack of data.
If "insects" gather data as atrocities are committed, it seems to me the requirements of the previous paragraph would be met. Also, if the criminals suspected their actions were being watched and recorded they would have at least two choices: not commit the crime or attempt to hide their actions. If the crime is not committed, then we can claim at least one small victory. On the other hand, forcing criminals to look over their shoulder in hopes of avoiding something as small as an "insect" would also be a deterrent.
In the age of digital imagery, no image should be taken as Gospel (your articles on David Emm's work point out the possibilities). I believe it would be useful to have competitive "networks" of insects inspecting crisis areas. "Who watches the watchers?" Other watchers, of course.
Respectfully Submitted, Robert Peters
Good points all. I thought about putting this in alt.mail and I may yet, but you raise some interesting questions worth considering. Some of this matter was briefly touched on by Niven in "Cloak of Anarchy" a very long time ago, and other science fiction novels. I will probably move this and responses to alt.mail but for the moment let's see if we get any discussion.
It was a good day for links on the local Linux mailing list I think youll find these two interesting:
Todays mail also brought this cautionary tale. Apologies for its length, but its worth it.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom not far from here, a King summoned two of his advisors for a test. He showed them both a shiny metal box with two slots in the top, a control knob, and a lever. "What do you think this is?" One advisor, an electrical engineer, answered first. "It is a toaster," he said.
The King asked, "How would you modernize and computerize it?" The advisor said, "Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple program that reads the darkness knob and quantifies its position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white to coal black. The program would use that darkness level as the index to a 16-element table of initial timer values. Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the timer with the initial value selected from the table. At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat and pop up the toast. Come back next week, and I'll show you a working prototype."
The second advisor, a software developer, immediately recognized the danger of such short-sighted thinking. He said, "Toasters don't just turn bread into toast, they are also used to warm frozen waffles. What you see before you is really a breakfast food cooker. As the subjects of your kingdom become more sophisticated, they will demand more capabilities.
They will need a breakfast food cooker that can also cook sausage, fry bacon, and make scrambled eggs. A toaster that only makes toast will soon be obsolete. If we don't look to the future, we will have to completely redesign the toaster in just a few years. With this in mind, we can formulate a more intelligent solution to the problem.
First, create a class of breakfast foods. Break down this class into subclasses: grains, pork, and poultry. The specialization process should be repeated with grains divided into toast, muffins, pancakes, and waffles; pork divided into sausage, links, and bacon and poultry divided into scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, and various omelet classes."
"The ham and cheese omelet class is worth special attention because it must inherit characteristics from the pork, dairy, and poultry classes. Thus, we see that the problem cannot be properly solved without multiple inheritance. At run time, the program must create the proper object and send a message to the object that says, 'Cook yourself.' The semantics of this message depend, of course, on the kind of object, so they have a different meaning to a piece of toast than to scrambled eggs."
"Reviewing the process so far, we see that the analysis phase has revealed that the primary requirement is to cook any kind of breakfast food. In the design phase, we have discovered some derived requirements. Specifically, we need an object-oriented language with multiple inheritance. Of course, users don't want the eggs to get cold while the bacon is frying, so concurrent processing is required, too."
"We must not forget the user interface. The lever that lowers the food lacks versatility, and the darkness knob is confusing. Users won't buy the product unless it has a user-friendly, graphical interface. When the breakfast cooker is plugged in, users should see a cowboy boot on the screen. Users click on it, and the message 'Booting Windows 98' appears on the screen. Users can pull down a menu and just click on the foods they want to cook."
"Having made the wise decision of specifying the software first in the design phase, all that remains is to pick an adequate hardware platform for the implementation phase. An Intel Pentium III MMX with 128MB of memory, a 1.2GB hard disk, and a SVGA monitor should be sufficient. If you select a multitasking, object-oriented language that supports multiple inheritance and has a built-in GUI, writing the program will be a snap."
The King wisely had the software developer beheaded, and they all lived happily ever after.
No comment. None. None at all. Zero.
Are you familiar with the X-Prize? It is a $10 million award to the first team to fly a three-person aircraft to a height of 100 kilometers (62+ miles), twice in 14 days. They have a Web site atwww.xprize.org.
Over a dozen people/teams, including Burt Rutan, have registered to try for the prize. Rutan designed and built the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross to win prizes. They were human-powered aircraft; one was peddled across the English Channel. He also designed and built the Voyager, the airplane that flew around the world non-stop.
About six months ago, Rutan said he expected to earn the X-Prize sometime in the "2000-2001 time frame".
My whole point here is: if $10 million can impel someone to invent a practical spaceship, that is an astounding use of money. Could this sort of thing work as a motivation for other kinds of research?
I know about it. I wasn't aware they had their $10 million. I proposed prizes for a Space Station and a Lunar Colony (Congress directs the Treasurer to pay to the first American owned company that keeps 31 Americans alive in orbit around the Earth for a period of one year and one day the sum of $5 Billion; no other money shall be paid to develop a space station and no money shall be paid until the goal is achieved) back in about 1982 or so. I do wish someone had paid attention.
I wanted a similar $10 billion lunar colony prize: keep 31 Americans alive on the surface of the Moon for 2 years and a day .)
Saturday March 27, 1999
Since I don't post anything in slashdot, can anyone tell me what this is about? I presume the Linux people have decided they don't like me.
You have probably gotten lost at the Drudge Retort. The name is Rogers Cadenhead with no i, but Im pretty sure you are referring to Michale Sippey as the author of the attack on Katz and the aside about your cute ways. http://www.theobvious.com/ I do agree with him on this. Its not a problem for me as the mighty / is customizable and I dont have to even know if Katz has posted another self serving piece, and you .... I keep you in the humor section.
What is the Drudge Retort, and my apologies to Mr. Cadenhead for misspelling his name. If Mr. Cadenhead did not write the piece in question, then I do not know why I sent him mail about it and he answered it. The piece is signed by Rogers Cadenhead, and I would suppose he was its author. Of course I am not surprised by the scholarship here. I am a bit astonished at the sentiments; I would have thought myself to be a friend of Linux. But perhaps not.
Carnegie-Mellon CERT reports that this is actually a much more serious security problem than thought. In addition to simply sending mail, it may capture whatever Word document is open at the time and forward THAT as well. It is now rated a substantial security problem for corporate and military users and expected to be a major problem come monday morning.
Sunday March 28, 1999 Palm Sunday
today I followed the recommendation on your pages and visited the new BYTE site. I read your March column and also clicked on the RealAudio link to listen to your interview.
That brought up a problem I often had and couldnt solve as of now - maybe you know a solution to that, or at least you could ask your readers.....
The problem is that I cant find a way to capture downloaded RealAudio data to disk.
Connecting from Germany, I have more "net congestions" than I can stand - I had six of them listening to that interview!
I would like to save that data to disk and listen to it offline later, and I want to replay it to somebody else later without having to connect again, finding that the link is now outdated etc.
Also, I sure dont want to sit before the computer for half an hour in order to listen to a 5 minutes interview.
So - is there any tool capable of downloading RealAudio data to a file, or at least "capturing" the data while the player is running? It would be a VERY VALUABLE tool for me - and I guess for many others too!
Maybe you could bring up that issue in your "mail" column. You may mention my email address in case somebody likes to help:email@example.com.
Peter (Nidderau, Germany)
I do not know off-hand, and as you will learn in View, I am running out of time; but if there is an answer, I would bet someone will have it for you with a copy to me in rather short order. This is an amazing place for collecting information. [And we have it already...]
Thumbing through the NYT today, I came across a wonderful definition of how the United States appears to the bewildered recipients of globalization:
"To the rest of the world, American Gothic [the famous painting of the farm couple in front of their barn] is actually two 20-something software engineers who come into your country wearing beads and sandals, with rings in their noses and paint on their toes. They kick down your front door, overturn everything in the house, stick a Big Mac in your mouth, fill your kids with ideas you never had and cant understand, slam a cable box onto your TV, lock in the channel selector to MTV, plug an Internet connection into your computer and tell you, "Download or Die"."
-- or to summarize, the future is heading your way from the San Francisco airport, ready or not.
This was sent for Alt.mail, but it has enough truth that perhaps it belongs here where it is more widely read. Of course it is an exaggeration, as was the book The Ugly American (which if you read it is about what you think it is, but the ugly American is the good guy who isn't trying to dominate his clients). On the other hand, the Roman motto of state was "To protect the weak and make humble the proud." That translated into Empire, including the right to reduce everyone else to client status. Of course eventually they also conferred citizenship on everyone. It was an experiment in world order, but it is not clear that it is one the United States ought to repeat. We are, of course, well on the way to that kind of empire.
Perhaps it is for the best, but surely some of us will be permitted to mourn the Republic, with cheap self government?
something for your "Links" page and quite worth a recommendation - not for the web site itself, but for their shows.
I have been to "Saltimbanco" and "Alegria" - definitely the best shows I ever saw!
If you ever get the chance - go and watch their show!
Take your wife and your best friends - you wont regret it!
Mit freundlichem Gruß / Kind regards,
I have only seen the "Mystere" show presented at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. I have been privileged to see it twice, the second time as a guest of Microsoft (along with about 500 other press people; it was their launch party for Windows CE) and I couldn't agree more that it is enormously worth seeing. As I recall it wasn't cheap (we had an agency arrange tickets the first time; I always try to see one show in Las Vegas when I am there for COMDEX or NETWORLD which are the only times I ever go there). I'll put the link into my links. And perhaps they have changed shows since I was last there?
To save the realaudio file to disk. In MSIE right click on the link and from the popup menu select save target as ...
Netscape has something similar but I dont know what it is.
I thought it was something like that. Thanks. [SEE Correction below!]
Ward Gerlach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm sure you know this, but it bears repeating.
NORMAL.DOT is the default set of settings that is used by Word. It is loaded each time you start Word. It is also a favorite target for viruses. Here's what I do to minimize problems:
1. Make the settings that I like for Word for fonts and such.
2. Backup NORMAL.DOT to some other file name - NORMAL.BAK, or some such.
If I have the slightest suspicion that my working NORMAL.DOT has been infected, I shell out to a DOS prompt, I rename it to NORMAL.BAD, then copy from NORMAL.BAK to NORMAL.DOT.
If I suspect that NORMAL.BAK is hosed, I delete all copies of NORMAL (.BAK, .BAD, .DOT, .ANYTHING!), then launch Word, then exit from Word. This will regenerate NORMAL.DOT from WinWord's internal defaults.
Yes. Precisely. I do much the same thing. Thanks. In fact I keep a normal.dot set up the way I like it on another drive on a networked machine. I can always recover through that, too.
What Peter wanted to do was save the actual audio stream not just the link to it. What John suggested just makes a short cut that links to the Internet address where the stream comes from. Click on it and your RealPlayer starts up and tries to log onto the Internet and find the site. Sadly, the free RealPlayer has no record capability built-in. The $30 RealPlayer Plus can record at least "selected" audio streams.
Record Favorite Content
Ah. Another good thing about this place: it tends to be self correcting as well. Thank you.
contents copyright 1999 by Jerry E. Pournelle. All rights reserved.