:Archive Of April 2001:

Monday, April 30, 2001 - 6:47 PM -

It finally occurred to me why the Viscount (the plane at the top) has such heavy dihedral on the tail (the upsweep). The engineers were trying to get the tail out of the turbulent propwash while keeping an otherwise excellent structural and aerodynamic attachment point. Smooth air has less drag, and the tail can be smaller than it would need to be to have the same effect in the turbulence, creating less drag again, and reducing weight. Reducing weight in an airplane creates a snowball effect. If you can make something lighter, then you can reduce the fuel and power loads needed to hit the design target. Which lightens things again, letting you reduce the structural weight, which lets you reduce the fuel and power loads...

Yes, I'm a geek in areas other than web code. People who stare at mechanical items aren't just watching scenery. They're reading a riot of design ideas. It's thick as an orchestra. You have to spend time to take it all in. Sometimes you keep going back for years. And, like orchestral music, if you've never had the introductory experience that lets you begin the language, it can just seem dull.

- 5:40 PM -

For those who care, Box Lesson got a light makeover and a bit of an explanation added. It doesn't say everything I wanted to say, but it should reduce the email a little.

Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 11:41 PM -

What would a cat box by Isamu Noguchi look like?

Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 10:21 PM -

Holy heck, lookit this! I keep thinking there should be a project of stamps; take them out of the world of mail and into the tiny world-windows that they are. And here it is. And it links to more and more .. I'm going to be a while absorbing all this. Go. Click and keep clicking. There is a feast for your soul here.

- 9:19 PM -

Vintage Elvis on the headphones (Costello, thank you) .. taking a break, surfing the watering holes. Is it the weather or is there a chill in the air? Blathering about some May day thing, other wot about turing TVs off, a slag here, a slag there. Come on now folks. It's like you think the web is full or something? Right now is going to look as vacant as '95 in even less time. Turn on the grooves and get a code on. Spin some pixels. Build. Sing. Space is large. You aren't going to fill it up, but it's fun to try. Exhale. Let's see your dreams.

And how is it any of you still have time for television? Wow.

Monday, April 23, 2001 - 3:03 PM -

Modern Living is always worth checking. And he always puts a special link in the News section. This week, Dance and Cellos.

Saturday, April 21, 2001 - 2:38 PM -

Every day gmtPlus9 puts up a handful of links to share wonderful things with you. Every day a special gift, hand wrapped. In today's box of joy, Tadahiro Uesugi Illustration. I'll never forget that bear now. Sweet.

- 1:42 PM -

I'm twitching. flashenabled.com/mobile. Flash for PocketPCs. Of course! Animated, tiny file-size, zoomable websites. This is the sound of the nut cracking. Mobile web devices are here. Just lookit those subway maps! Man, combine GPS or a walking map, make berliz/fodors collections for tourists ... Rough Guides be damned, this is the H2G2.

Friday, April 20, 2001 - 6:17 AM -

IBM makes graffiti in SF to advertise Linux. Like, real graffiti: they didn't ask, didn't pay for advertising space. The co-opting is working on so many levels here it's hard to begin to comment. Hey, Vincent? It's over. They didn't even have to say, "All Your Base."

Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 1:47 PM -

Things like this weird me out a little. When I was a kid, invisible playmates were invisible.


Referer logs: Box Lesson has been linked in French.

The architect in me can't sit down. I now realize the little boxes section is navigable without English, but the connection to the content placement problems would be missed.

Is that a good measure of navigation? Can you get around in a general way without knowing the language? Probably something I should think about more.


I've always liked webcams and I'm not sure why. A project I'll never get around to is to focus one on the park. A robot soul set to watch the seasons. Maybe make it into a bot that can crawl out into the trees with the squirrels. Return for recharges. A 24hr semi-autonomous watcher of the park. Nature photography.

Woz (yes, that Woz) has a cam in his home office that you can rotate and zoom. That brought me up short. He spends his day with a camera controlled by strangers quietly moving and focusing. He and his guests don't look up. They're used to it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 7:04 PM -

I'm in the middle of one of the projects where I'm not sure what time it is, whether it's AM or PM, or what day of the week it is. Months I can handle. It's spring right now. I can tell because the window is half open. (In fall, it's half closed.)

Haven't even updated the box width fudge in this page's css yet. That and many other post-it notes will get their turn.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - 4:38 PM -

Now that's a christmas and a half. Got gifted a shiny new domain name and real serving. Now I'm in the state associated with physical moving: excitement over decorating possibilities and exhaustion over the details. I hope I put the right redirects everywhere... ("Must sleep... must make fun flash things... must sleep...")

Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 2:24 PM -

Too cool. I am going to get nothing done today. Nothing at all. Oh man, I was addicted to these things as a kid. It all came right back. Was using the old technique in the first curve. (Nicked from the Invisible City.)

- 12:32 AM -

I know I've been at it too long when I see one of my scrawled notes reads, "Solve unsolved problems."

Friday, April 6, 2001 - 11:48 AM -

Very, very cool. Should be made into a poster and be alongside that one of the universe with the little "you are here" arrow. Love to see it on a wall screen with a tiny date/time in the corner. Watch it grow. Spin it back through the years. Rotate, zoom. Neat. Bring on the Information Astrophysicists.

Via Vizbang.

- 11:02 AM -

Whups. It's all back. I must have peeked in on Google when they were adjusting their skirts. "This month in British Plastics & Rubber" is back too. The world is well.

- 12:12 AM -

I have been ... removed.

Google has done one of its periodic updates. It's been fun to read sites that link to mine (@home doesn't have referer logs), and amusing to see how high the site sections rate. Don't know how they gauge that, but it's certainly not my traffic. I do know they put more weight on sites that get linked by high traffic sites, but even that's out of line; Stay Awake or Inflight would come up in the top ten for searches of the most basic phrases. Like even "stay awake".

Well, they've uh adjusted this. Not only do I not show up in any search results, neither do I show up as being linked to. I don't exist.

I feel so unloved. This is amusing as hell. What are they doing now? Did they just eliminate everything to do with @home? How truly curious.

Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 9:48 PM -

Updated Box Lesson again...

Since the new ie6win screws up on the previous box width trickery to deal with ie5xwin's failings, I've changed to the interesting fix by Tantek Çelik. Eric Costello adds that if you need to use the voice-family attribute, putting it in Body where it would normally go would cascade into the box div, so there shouldn't be any trouble.

But does anyone know if you use this fix alone, and someone with a voice browser surfs your page, does the fix trip the voice browser in any way? I'm wondering if we should then always add a real voice-family in Body.

Next step is I'm going to dig into the nice light syntax A List Apart is using. Also they're not using this trick of Çelik's. They've got something else working. If it applies, I'll make a parallel box set in the slimmer syntax. Think I'll leave the current one up because it's more readable when you're struggling to get the hang of it. Also, BL is for when you need to fix things to the pixel. ALA's letting things be more fluid, so like I said, it might not apply. But that's my next chunk of the learning curve.

- 1:17 PM -

No cherry tree.

About this time of year the view past my monitor would be filled with cherry and dogwood blossoms. Last summer, city workers came by and removed all the bushes beneath the trees. Their reason was to stop voyeurs from staring into the lower suites, but the reality was they were clearing places the homeless had hid. I came home in the middle of this, stood on the porch and remarked to no one, "The cherry's gone...." The city foreman looked up and launched into a pathetically defensive pre-made spiel about the voyeurs, and that the cherry was "rotted right through." I looked down at him, standing beside the pieces of the cherry, sliced in neat rounds, each one clear, perfectly solid wood. I guess the lying bastard decided he wanted firewood. Funny how they didn't load the rounds onto the big truck with the bushes, but put them in his.

Goodbye Sakura.

Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 1:07 PM -

Uh-oh. From Eric: "IE6 beta has thrown a wrench in the CSS layout works. The CSS2 selector workaround for dealing with IE PC's broken box model has been proven deficient, and so we're now using and recommending a different workaround proposed by Tantek Celik. "

Tuesday, April 3, 2001 - 11:15 PM -

Man, I was tired when I wrote that last post; I'd already fixed that problem but forgot.

Box Lesson just got a major update. Content Placement Blues provides the fixes to the remaining problems. The whole thing could use a massage (I could use a massage) and a pleasant overview but the hard information is all there. Enjoy.

- 5:33 PM -

But why didn't somebody TELL me? In ie5win and ie5.5win, on a floating box, the side margins are doubled. No reason. Nothing else seems to conflict, and no change of declaration style makes a difference. All you can do is set to 0px and use the body side margin.

I'll add it to the Box Lesson later. Still struggling with content placement. Just bludgeoned ie5win ie5.5win into submission. It's a really nasty fix but it works. Going to take a break to celebrate.

- 3:42 PM -

Just coming up for air... Getting any elegant workaround for the content placement issue within boxes is proving somewhat insane.

Monday, April 2, 2001 - 11:09 PM -

Holy [really disturbing and graphic language not heard in any schoolyard deleted] -- What the [yes more of the same] does Netscape think it's doing? Version 4.77 for mac? This [just be glad you're not in the same room with me] better be a joke.

- 12:58 AM -

Opera likes to say they have the fastest browser. I dunno. Opera often serves up pages without an image, or images, or the css file even when being served from my own harddrive and say it's "done".

Seems I have to hit Reload an awful lot.

I also find it disturbing that there is nothing at all about its CSS1 failures on their website. I don't believe I'm the first one to find these. And I don't believe they found none of these themselves when they built the browser.

Anyway. It's dark out. Quiet. I'm working on the content placement woes for the Box Lesson. Starting to see patterns form. Think I can provide a fix for this.

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