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deflexion & reflexion from nancy mcgough

Updated: 2010-05-02T00:51:16.988+01:00


muCommander for Local and Remote File Management


I use muCommander on my Mac and Windows machines to manage local and remote files. I like that it's cross-platform so my brain doesn't need to switch gears when I switch machines. What I mainly like is that it has side-by-side panes that each display a view of a directory and you can easily copy or move files between these two directories. My most common tasks with muCommander are:

  • copying files between a local machine and an SFTP server
  • copying files between two of my local machines 
  • copying files between directories on a single machine
  • editing files with my favorite editor, vim (but you can use any editor you like)
  • checking the MD5 (or other) checksum of a file

You can do lots more with muCommander, including run it on any platform that supports Java and access & manage files on servers running SMB, NFS, HTTP, Bonjour, and --  starting with version 0.8.5 -- Amazon S3 & Hadoop HDFS.

muCommander 0.8.5 was released on 2010 February 24. It's free/libre open source software (FLOSS) and it's free/gratis. Check it out at and

To run muCommander you need to have a Java runtime environment installed on your system. Mac OS X systems have a Java runtime pre-installed, but Windows 7 systems do not. What I did to install Java on my new Windows 7 machine was to go to and follow the directions on What is the offline method for downloading and installing Java for a Windows computer?

Note: You do not need to enable Java in your web browsers and I recommend that you do not (unless you need to run a Java-based applet inside a browser).

See also: and

History of Blogging


I've been thinking about how to redesign my web sites and this got me thinking about what exactly is a blog. There are lots of articles about this, but here's my take on it. In 1997 Jorn Barger coined the term "weblog" when he titled his site Robot Wisdom: a weblog by Jorn Barger. His site was a "log of the web" and this was the original meaning of "weblog" or "blog." Examples of this type of blog include:
  3. Open Directory Project (
  4. Social bookmarking sites such as
These sites record or log interesting places on the web. The main goal is to curate the web, to help people find interesting web pages and sites.

The word "blog" quickly evolved to mean both:
  • a log of the web, and
  • a log of activities, thoughts, notes, tips, essays, stories, quotes, and pretty much anything
"log" means "diary" or "journal" or "listing" or "notebook" or "record"
Today "blog" is used to describe almost anything on the internet that is periodically updated. You can even think of old-fashioned .plan and .project files, which are available via the finger command, as blogs.

This means that all the streams that I produce can be thought of as blogs. Here are some of my blogs:
  1. my Twitter timeline
  2. my timeline
  3. my Delicious bookmarks
  4. my Blogger blog
  5. my Tumblr tumblelog (which is not ready for public consumption)
  6. my Infinite Ink pages (which I periodically update, although it might seem that I've abandoned them)
The first two are usually called microblogs. The third (bookmarks) is sometimes called a sideblog, The fourth is always called a blog (except by people who refuse to use the word "blog" because they don't like it from a language perspective). The fifth is usually called a tumblelog. The last, my Infinite Ink site, is not usually called a blog, but if you believe what I wrote above, it is.

For more information about the history of blogging, see:

Testing Blogger's New "Read More" Jump Break


On 9-9-9, Blogger's Sean McCullough posted You Might As Well Jump!, which you can read at Blogger Buzz or at Blogger in Draft. This post is to test this new feature. Here we go...
Now I'm after the jump break and you should only see this sentence if you are viewing this on the permalink for this post or if you are reading this in a feed reader.

Update: Unfortunately, that failed. I've been reading the help and the discussion group and so far haven't figured out if it's possible to get Jump Breaks to work in an FTP blog that's using a classic template. If anyone knows, please post a comment here. TIA.

Hi From Windows Live Writer


I’m using a Microsoft Windows machine for the first time in a long time and I’m trying out Windows Live Writer. So far, it looks good. Here’s what I like:

Here are some bugs and wishes:

Writer seems better than all the other Blog editors I’ve tried and I’m hoping it will inspire me to start blogging again. It might even inspire me to switch operating systems (from Mac OS X to MS Windows)! Tags:

Tweeting Comments About Blog Items and Web Pages in General


Inspired by Faruk Ateş's The Killing of the Comments (Well, Almost), I've set up so that you can now use Twitter to comment on a blogitem. You can also still comment via the Blogger comment form or a backlink.The advantages of Twitter are that it's short & sweet, it isn't as intimidating as posting on my site, and it's easier to havean ongoing conversation on Twitter than on my site. If you use Twitter to comment, make sure that you include the following in yourtweet:

@nm #item-hashtag #Re

So a tweet about this blog item should include:

@nm #tweeting-com #Re

This will make it possible to search Twitter for tweets about my pages. For example, to find tweets about this blog item, search Twitter for @nm #tweeting-com. To find tweets about any of my web pages, search Twitter for @nm #Re.

It's not perfect, but I'm hoping it will make it easier for people to comment on my writing. I get a lot of private email comments about my writing and almost all of these should be public. I'm still working on this and here are some of my plans:

  • To Do
    1. avoid unintended hashtag collisions
    2. save my Twitter timeline
    3. display relevant Twitter comments on the page that's being commented on
    4. do this for my Infinite Ink pages
    5. add the relevant Comment at Twitter link in my blog feed (I'm not sure if this is possible with Blogger)
    6. maybe use these hashtags to create my own tiny urls (requires a solution to #1 above)

Please tweet any thoughts you have about this! (Or comment here if you don't have a Twitter account.)

Updated: 28.04.09 11:15

Reverse Bradley Effect


(image) As I mentioned in my last post, I'm in Seattle, in the USA, where I haven't been much over the last eight years . I'm here to vote, to catch up with friends, and to decide if I want to move back. I don't like talking about politics and, as you can tell from my blog, I'm much more comfortable talking (and blogging) about nerdy stuff. I have some Republican friends, especially small-government, fiscally-responsible type Republicans, and I've been dreading talking to these people about this presidential election. But, a miraculous thing has happened: Most of them are voting for Obama! This is completely surprising to me and seems to be an example of the Reverse Bradley Effect. For a good discussion of this, see The Reverse-Bradley Effect by Kathleen Parker. Here is an excerpt:
But equally significant this time may become known as the Reverse-Bradley Effect: whites who would never admit to voting for a black man, but do. And, expanding the definition somewhat, Republicans and conservatives who would never admit to voting for a Democrat, especially one so liberal. Whether these dynamics are in balance won't be known for a while -- or perhaps ever. That's because the crux of the reverse syndrome is a code of omerta.

[. . .]

I've received too many e-mails and had too many conversations that began, "Just between you and me," and ended with, "I wouldn't want anyone at work to know," to believe that this is an insignificant trend.
I, too, was told that this was "just between you and me." I'm optimistic about the future, thankful for my wise friends, and inspired by the Yes We Can Song. Yes, YES, WE CAN.

Rafael Nadal as Religious Experience


(image) I just flew from London to Seattle and during the 9 hours and 40 minutes flight, I watched movies, TV, and more TV.  As I posted in 5 Things You Might Not Know About Me, I basically never watch TV so it was random luck that I even looked at the TV options. One option was titled something like Federer, Wimbledon 2008 and I chose it because of David Foster Wallace's article Federer as Religious Experience.* I was focusing on Roger Federer and trying to see what DFW saw, but ultimately I couldn't keep my eyes off Rafael Nadal. To explain my ignorance, I had no idea who was going to win and had barely even heard of Rafael Nadal. This is remarkable considering that I was in Paris when the French Open was played in June and in London when Wimbledon was played in July. I was so mesmerized by this game, and especially Nadal, that I stopped watching the movie Baby Mama and switched back to the Sport channel and watched the game again. Over the 9+ hours, I think I watched it four times.

So thank you again David Foster Wallace for helping me to see something I was ignoring or forgetting about this glorious world we live in. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, read DFW and watch some Federer or Nadal, especially this greatest match ever.

*And/or, see a PDF of the print-version of DFW's Federer as Religious Experience.

Economic Deflexions


As I posted in when things fall apart, I'm fascinated by what's going on in the financial world. To help me keep up, I'm collecting a list of blogs and sites that seem good at explaining what's going on. Here's my list so far:I'll keep updating this list until economics is no longer interesting to me, so keep checking back if you're also interested in this.Also, here are three videos that I recommend:These videos are all very good, but the last one with Nouriel Roubini is amazing. Fast non-stop flow of clear deep analysis - wow!

Test post from Flock 2b2 -- ignore


Checking out the latest Flock. I wish it displayed my existing Blogger labels...

test - please ignore


the goal: blog item looks good in email, feed reader, and tools that may not support css. i want to be able to use default HTML tags like

(paragraph) -- why doesn't blogger let me do this?this is also a test of the new 'Show HTML literally' compose setting

Zimbra Desktop, IMAP, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google


The big news today is that the latest release of Yahoo Zimbra Desktop can be used to access YMail messages via IMAP. For details, see Zimbra Desktop Beta 3’s New Features in the Zimbra blog. Here is an excerpt:
Yahoo! Mail users rejoice - There’s now IMAP access through Zimbra Desktop to all free, plus, and business accounts. You didn’t read that wrong. Normally only Plus accounts have POP access, but as a perk when using Zimbra Desktop the mail is synced via IMAP; which is a much better protocol for keeping your mail organized - and yes it’s available to free accounts as well. . . .
This release makes Zimbra Desktop available to a quarter-billion Yahoo! users with support for 20+ languages.
As always, Zimbra Desktop includes these features:
  • Email, contacts, and calendar all in one application
  • Available for Windows, Apple, or Linux desktop computers
  • Any POP or IMAP email account can be added to Zimbra Desktop
  • Zimbra Desktop is free for anyone
Lots more Zimbra Desktop features are listed on the Zimbra Desktop features page.

This is big news because it means that Zimbra Desktop -- and its soon-to-be millions of YMail users -- might have a real chance of overthrowing the Microsoft desktop email clients (Outlook, Outlook Express, Entourage, etc.) and eventually maybe even Exchange. This might be one of the reasons that Microsoft was so eager to buy Yahoo.

The surprise for me is that Yahoo beat Google at doing this. On 27 January 2005, in a comp.mail.imap thread titled IMAP for Gmail, I predicted Google would do something like this. Here's an excerpt of my post:
I bet that Gmail is creating their own desktop IMAP client and that they are going to release Gmail server-side IMAP simultaneously with the Gmail IMAP client.
I still think that Google is going to do something like this, probably based on Gears. I discuss Gears, Prism (which Zimbra Desktop is based on), and rich internet applications in general in my blog item titled The Cloud, WebApps, and Desktop Apps.

To learn more about today's release of Zimbra Desktop, see:

Blogger's New Embedded Comment Form


Last week Blogger released a number of useful new features at Blogger in draft. This post is to see if the embedded comment form works with an FTP blog (a Blogger blog that is not hosted at Google).

For details about this and the other new features, see these Blogger in draft postings:
If it works, please try out the comment form and leave a comment.

Update: It worked! Comments are still welcome.

NetNewsWire and Animated Sorting


Ever since NetNewsWire became gratis on 2008-January-09, I've been using it as one of my desktop feed readers. I just noticed something very cool. First, go to the View menu,  choose Sort Subscriptions By, and make sure Animate Sorting is checked. Then change your Subscriptions sort order and watch your subscribed feeds float up and over and around each other until they settle into their new position. This is so much fun that I've been clicking the Refresh All button way more than I used to!

In my preferences, I've  set my feed subscriptions to refresh "Manually only." I chose "Manually only" because I only wanted to look at feeds about once a day and then do the refresh at that one time each day (different time on different days, but only once a day). A positive side effect of refreshing manually is that I get to watch the animation. A negative side effect is that I'm refreshing about ten times a day now because it's so much fun to watch the animation. So beware of a possible new addiction/time waster.

While playing around with this, I discovered the sort by Last Update option, which is now  my preferred sort. I wish my email client let me sort my incoming mailboxes by Last Update. Actually, I wish that NetNewsWire were an IMAP client as well as a feed client! But for now I'm quite satisfied using it as a feed reader and as one of my web browsers. It's a pretty good web browser too.

Note: NetNewsWire 3.1.5 was released today, 2008-April-15.

The Cloud, WebApps, and Desktop Apps


Cloud computing has been around since the beginning of the Internet and actually in the beginning it was just the cloud. Back then you telnetted to a host in the cloud and ran apps on that cloud-based host that accessed cloud-based data. For example this is how email, Usenet, and ftp worked. Let's call that Web 0.0. The revolution that brought the Internet to the masses was the creation of desktop apps that could access the cloud. Let's call that Web 1.0. With Web 2.0 there was a lot of excitement about moving apps off the desktop and onto the cloud. These web-based apps made it easy to run your apps and access your data independent of what desktop computer you were using. To me this was pretty much the same as Web 0.0, except instead of living in telnet windows, you lived in browser windows. Now people are getting excited about moving their web-based apps to the desktop. For example, look at all the desktop-based Twitter apps. And look at all the excitement about rich Internet application platforms such as Adobe AIR, Google Gears, Microsoft SilverlightMozilla Prism, all of which bring WebApps to the desktop. So are we back at Web 1.0 or is this Web 3.0? Or maybe Web 2.5?

Comparing Social Bookmarking Services


The last post about my Procmail Quick Start being bookmarked 300 times at inspired me to look at other social bookmarking services and see how popular the Procmail Quick Start (PQS) is elsewhere. Here's what I found. It seems that is where the nerds hang out and it makes sense that every time I look around for a better bookmarking service, I decide that is the best choice for me, at least for now. Of the alternate bookmarking services I just looked at, Simpy looks the most interesting, especially the link history page, which includes a graph.

What do you think? What social bookmarking service(s) do you use and why?

Procmail: Still Popular After All These Years


My Procmail Quick Start, which started out as part of the Filtering Mail FAQ in 1994, is still popular after all these years. This week its primary URL was bookmarked for the 300th time at The top of its history page currently looks like this: · Procmail Quick Start: An introduction to email filtering with a focus on procmail by Nancy McGough
this url has been saved by 300 people.
Thank you to everyone who has bookmarked it, sent me feedback, or participated in Procmail discussions over the years!

htaccess excerpts and notes


Here are some excerpts from my .htaccess files. I'm posting these because I often need to remember the syntax of these commands and it's easier to look at the commands here on my blog than to ssh to my DreamHost or Verio web-hosting account and look at them there. Also, I hope these excerpts and notes will be useful to others.Note: In the code below, a line that begins with a single hash (#) is code that is commented out and a line that begins with two hashes (##) is a comment about the code.Used Everywhere## Block viewing of .htaccess files order allow,deny deny from all## Do not let IP address access (GET) the site## Uncomment these 5 lines if someone or something is abusing the site## Note: 'GET' can be replaced by 'GET POST PUT'# # order allow,deny# allow from all# deny from ## If a directory is requested, do not list the files in the directoryOptions -Indexes## Next is sometimes needed, but might already be set in the server configuration# AddDefaultCharset UTF-8## Next is needed if you use Rewrite rules## (examples of RewriteCond and RewriteRule are in the sections below)RewriteEngine On## Next Rewrite option is often already set in the server configuration## Uncomment if Rewrite rules don't work# Options +FollowSymLinksThe next sections include examples that use the Apache mod_rewrite module. If they seem confusing, it's because they are! As Brian Behlendorf, one of the primary developers of the Apache web server, said: “The great thing about mod_rewrite is it gives you all the configurability and flexibility of Sendmail. The downside to mod_rewrite is that it gives you all the configurability and flexibility of Sendmail.”This quote, along with some other good quotes, is on the Apache Documentation mod_rewrite page.Used at Specify the MIME type of unknown file extensions## This is needed because I use extensionless URLs at If default is HTML, use:# DefaultType text/html## If default is PHP, use:DefaultType application/x-httpd-php## If URL points to a directory, serve the first of these files that existDirectoryIndex index index.php index.html index.atom## PHP include files are located in this directoryphp_value include_path "/path/i/do/not/want/to/publish/on/my/blog/_shared"## If '' is requested, remove 'index'## The goal is to get people & machines to link to 1 & only 1 URL for this page## Details at Wikipedia's URL normalization (aka URL canonicalization)## Another examples of URL canonicalization is in the Infinite Ink section below## Note: '^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /' matches GET POST PROPFIND etc, followed by space slash## This RewriteCond avoids infinite loopsRewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\ HTTP/RewriteRule ^index$ [R=301,L]## Redirect this URL-path to the current URLRedirect permanent /messaging/blogs/ For details about these RedirectMatch lines, see## Twitter, TinyURL, Dots, Dashes, and My htaccess File## Note: The order of these 5 RedirectMatch lines matters!RedirectMatch 301 ^/(2008/../[^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)$$1-$2-$3-$4-$5-$6RedirectMatch 301 ^/(2008/../[^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)$$1-$2-$3-$4-$5RedirectMatch 301 ^/(2008/../[^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)$$1-$2-$3-$4RedirectMatch 301 ^/(2008/../[^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)$$1-$2-$3RedirectMatch 301 ^/(2008/../[^.]*)\.([^.]*)$ http://deflex[...]

Twitter, TinyURL, Dots, Dashes, and My htaccess File


After a number of experiments and reading & participating in the twitter-development-talk mailing list, I can now tweet about updates to my pages without Twitter converting my URLs to TinyURLs. First, here's what I've learned about Twitter and TinyURLs:
If a URL path in a tweet contains only forward slashes (/), dots (.), and alphanumeric characters, Twitter does not convert the URL to a TinyURL.
I plan to start tweeting about pages when I update them and if a page's URL contains dashes, tweet it with the dashes replaced by dots. For example, the tweet about this blog item uses this URL:
The .htaccess file on my server includes this line:
RedirectMatch 301 ^/(2008/../[^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)\.([^.]*)$$1-$2-$3-$4-$5-$6
which redirects the URL to this:
which is the actual URL of the blog item. This way I maintain control of URLs that lead to my pages and TinyURL does not get to track and profile people who visit my pages via my tweets.

If you have a suggestion for a better way to do this, please post a comment. For example, I'm wondering if it would be better to use RewriteCond & RewriteRule rather than RedirectMatch in my .htaccess file. Some thoughts about this are in WhenNotToUseRewrite in the Apache Documentation Wiki.

Using Alpine in an X11 Terminal


Alpine is my primary IMAP, NNTP, & ESMTP client and for years I've used it without a mouse. Using the keyboard is usually an efficient way to navigate, manage, and write messages, but sometimes I dream about being able to use a mouse. With the release of Alpine 1.10 on 2008-March-18 and my recent upgrade to Mac OS X Leopard, I decided to try using it in an X11 Terminal again. In the past I've failed to get it to work well, but today I succeeded! Here are some details about how I got it to work.Important: These instructions worked on Leopard, but will probably not work on Tiger (or earlier) because the X11 configuration is significantly different in Leopard than in earlier versions of OS X. Details about X11 on Leopard are here and here.Install the latest Alpine. For details, see my blog item titled Building and Installing Alpine (Apache-Licensed Pine).In a window, run xterm -e alpine &In Alpine, go to Main > Setup > Config (MSC) and set this feature:[X] Enable Mouse in Xterm Read Alpine's built-in Help about Enable Mouse in Xterm (by typing Ctrl-G or ?), but note that in Leopard you should not explicitly set the DISPLAY environment variable. Instead, it will be set automatically when xterm runs. This is one of the changes in Leopard.Read the built-in Help about the following two features and decide if you would like to set them. Here are the settings that I use: [X] Enable Newmail in Xterm Icon[ ] Enable Newmail Short Text in IconIn Alpine, go to Main > Setup > Kolor (MSK) and setColor Style Set Rule Values --- ---------------------- ( ) no-color ( ) use-termdef ( ) force-ansi-8color ( ) force-ansi-16color (*) force-xterm-256color After you set the color style, use the Space and - keys to navigate the SETUP COLOR screen and choose colors that you like.Save your settings and quit Alpine.Quit X11.In a window, run xterm -e alpine & and check that the mouse and colors are working.If you plan to run Alpine in an X11 Terminal regularly, set up an alias in your ~/.bashrc (or ~/.bash_profile) that you can use to launch xalpine with the xterm settings (fonts, geometry, etc.) that you like. For example, here is the alias that I'm currently using: alias xal='xterm -fa DejaVu\ Sans\ Mono -fs 18 -geometry 116x32+0+0 -e alpine &'Tip 1: The DejaVu fonts, which include the DejaVu Sans Mono font that I use in my 'xal' alias above, are libre and include many Unicode characters. To see if the DejaVu fonts are installed on your system, view this DejaVu Testing page in your web browser.Tip 2: Cmd-double-clicking anywhere on a URL in an xterm will send it to your default web browser.Tip 3: To select text in xalpine, you need to hold down the Shift key while using the mouse to select the text. After the text is selected, Cmd-C can be used to copy the text.Tip 4: To paste text into xalpine, you need to first type Ctrl-\ to turn off Alpine's Xterm mouse tracking, then middle-click (Alt-click) at the location where you would like the text to be pasted. Note that in order for this to work you need to go to X11 > Preferences > Input and check 'Emulate three button mouse'. Please post any tips, suggestions, or questions you have about using Alpine in an X11 Terminal. [...]

Using MacVim Almost Everywhere in Mac OS X


MacVim 7.1 snapshot 24 was released on 2008-March-14 and includes built-in [*] support for the ODB Editor Suite protocol. If you activate "External Editor" in the MacVim >Preferences > Integration panel, a menu item named "Edit in MacVim" will appear in the Edit menu of lots of Mac OS X applications, including the apps listed here. This is fantastic and has made Mac OS X much more fun for me. For example, I'm currently editing this blog item in Blogger running in Safari. If I want to mess around with the HTML of this blog item, I can do this: 
  1. Click the Blogger "Edit Html" tab.
  2. From the Safari Edit menu, choose Edit in MacVim.
  3. Use MacVim to edit the HTML and then use the Vim command :wq to write and quit.
  4. The focus returns to the Blogger blog item text box, which now contains the text that MacVim wrote out.
This makes Blogger blog editing infinitely easier and possibly means that I can stop my search for another blog editing tool. And maybe I'll start blogging more!

Tip 1: To tell  MacVim that you are editing an HTML file, you can either use the following command within MacVim:
:set ft=html
Or put this line in your .vimrc:
autocmd BufRead *.safari setfiletype html
This autocmd works because Safari uses the extension .safari for the name of the temporary file that is read by MacVim.
Tip 2: For more HTML+Vim tips, see the thread HTML editing and tag completion that I started in the vim_mac mailing list.

[*] In Snapshot 23 and earlier, the ODB Editor could not be activated in the Preferences panel but instead needed to be activated via a complicated sequence of commands.

A Blogger And Twitter Experiment


This is step 1 of an experiment, the title is currently A.Blogger.And.Twitter.Experiment. Details after I find out what happens...

Update 1: Step 2 is to change the title to A Blogger And Twitter Experiment (dots replaced by spaces).

Update 2: Here's what I learned: If you change a Blogger blog item title, the original URL is preserved. You can use this trick as a way to create a blog item URL that does not contain the dash character (-) and thus won't be TinyURLed by Twitter. The URL of this blog item is and I link to it from this Twitter item.

But, I'd rather that Twitter gave users the ability to turn off TinyURLing!

Subscribing to a Google Group Without a Google Account


I just subscribed to the Twitter Development Talk mailing list and it took me a while to figure out how to subscribe without signing in to my Google account. To make it easy to remember how to do this, I'm posting the details here. The first step is to go to the About this group page and look for this line:

Group email
Next, use your email client to compose a message like this:

Subject: subscribe
where the From: address is the email address that you would like to receive the list mail, and the To: address includes the string -subscribe before the @ symbol. After you send this subscription request, you will need to confirm the subscription request.

Note that not all Google Groups support email subscriptions.

See Also: Google Help > Google Groups Help > Getting started > The basics > How do I subscribe to a group?

Hi from ecto


I'm still searching for a desktop blog editor. Today I'm trying ecto 3 βeta 24, which is $18 and runs on Mac OS X and MS Windows. Today is day 1 of my 21-day trial and so far it seems pretty good.

BTW, Happy New Year, Gung hay fat choy, Sun nien fai lok, Xin nian yu kuai, Godt Nytår, Gelukkig nieuwjaar, Aide shoma mobarak, Bonne année, Aith-bhliain Fe Nhaise Dhuit, Gutes Neues Jahr, Hauoli Makahiki Hou, Shanah tovah, Nyob zoo xyoo tshiab, elamat Tahun Baru, Buon Capo d'Anno, Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu, Godt Nyttår, Maligayang Bagong Taon, Szczesliwego Nowego roku, Feliz ano novo, La Multi Ani, S Novym Godom, Feliz Año Nuevo, Wilujeng Tahun Baru, Gott Nytt År, Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

when things fall apart


I'm fascinated by what's going on in the financial world right now and just exchanged email with a friend who has given me permission to post his thoughts (anonymously). First, some background thanks to MetaFilter: To me, the comments from Malor are especially insightful. For some technical background, see: Now, here are some excerpts of our email conversation. I said, among other things:
I think what's going on with my psychology is that when things are going up, I'm just waiting for the turnaround, and dreading it. When things are going down, I feel better because I'm no longer holding my breath waiting for the crash. ... I wonder what it says about me that I feel better once the pop happens. What about you, are you feeling better or worse now that this pop is happening? How did you feel when the dotcom pop/crash happened?
Here is my friend's reply:
when things fall apart there is a bit of, what's it called, schadenfreude, I think it is. Usually, though when things come apart it pretty quickly becomes scary and painful, even if one really disliked all the dumb-a** stuff on the way up. These big waves, like the dot com thing and now the real estate thing made me feel as though everyone is living in some weird other reality.... it is like the whole run up to the Iraq War too... it's like, "what's happened to reality?" "is everyone mad?" and so on. It's very uncomfortable... and I suppose if it were not, then market waves wouldn't have such power... It's group-think and since we are all social animals it is very hard to resist unless you've been dropped on your head at an early age. I certainly didn't feel happy about the Iraq War outcome, even though I feel I pretty clearly anticipated just how it would go and alas continues to go... and in this crash, I guess I'm glad to see the crazy excess begin to get driven out of the markets and maybe too out of the neighborhood too! but, lots of perfectly nice people get ground up in these things as well, so one can't go around feeling that being a little bit right sometimes is doing anyone much good. But, too, it is easy to just be too pessimistic all the time and so to miss the upside and to really profoundly also to miss what is going on -- so, balance, insight, intuition and so on....
It's nice to have wise friends.

Blogging with MarsEdit


(image) I'm still searching for a good desktop tool to manage my blogs and today I'm trying MarsEdit. I've resisted MarsEdit because it's not cross-platform (it's Mac only) and it costs $30. In a perfect world, I'd use only cross-platform FLOSS software. I want cross-platform because it makes it easier for me to switch platforms and it also makes it easier for me to support people who are not using one of the platforms I use. I want FLOSS because I think that's the way software in general is moving and I think it's more likely that a FLOSS app will be around in a few years. Also, it helps that FLOSS apps are usually gratis! But, I'm not very happy with Bleezer, which is cross-platform, or Flock, which is cross-platform and FLOSS, so I'm trying out this single-platform non-FLOSS app.

So far I like it. I especially like that:
  • I can make the MarsEdit post editor window font whatever size I want; this is not the case in Flock.
  • I can launch an alternate editor, such as vim, from the MarsEdit post editor.
  • Assigning labels to a post is simple -- just check them off in the Options/Categories sidebar.