Busy making things: tinycast, github, links, photos, @mc.

XML In Python and PyRSS2Gen

Posted: September 15th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Python | Comments Off

Uche Ogbuji  wraps up the current state of XML in Python.  There is an extensive list of XML software projects and their status, as well as a roundup of recent and current trends.

PyRSS2Gen is a new module for producing an RSS 2.0 feed in a pythonic way.

Choose Your Crichton Movie

Posted: September 15th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Wow, we’re flipping channels, and we can choose from THREE Crichton movies:

Geekzone.co.nz Bluetooth Guide

Posted: September 13th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Geekzone.co.nz has a series of useful end-user guides on using Bluetooth in various ways.  There are guides for desktops, laptops, mobiles, and for various ways of connecting them.


Posted: September 13th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Python | Comments Off

Rick points to WebEnvironment.py by Patrick Lioi.  WebEnvironment.py is a really simple way to use python as a CGI script.  the cgi module is easy enough to use as it is, but WebEnvironment.py allows you to worry about even less.  Writing content out to the client is as easy as server.write(content).  I also like the ability to write out the contents of a file to the user by using server.file("head.html").

XMLSpy 2004 and XML in Emacs

Posted: September 12th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I received an email this afternoon from Altova, announcing the release of XMLSpy 2004.  I evaluated the previous version, which seemed to make dealing with XML on win32 much easier.  It was also quite useful for evaluating XSLT.

It looks like XMLSpy 2004 has support for editing WSDL, which could be quite useful if applied to platforms with limited or nonexistant WSDL support.

Along those same lines, xmlhack (via Mark) mentions nXML.  nXML is an open source mode for Emacs that allows ”context-sensitive validated editing against Relax NG schemas.”

Intel is Wasting Time With 802.11a Centrino

Posted: September 11th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off


The introduction of the 802.11a version of Intel Corp.’s wireless chip, part of its Centrino mobile package, will be delayed past its expected arrival at the end of the third quarter, an Intel spokesman said Thursday.

Call me crazy, but 802.11a seemed to be desirable for about 20 minutes.

Can you use 802.11a at a Starbucks?  What about the thousands of other for-fee access points throughout the world?  How many 802.11a community (read: free) access points are there in the wild?  Does it interoperate With 802.11b or 802.11g?

I honestly think that Intel would be better off spending their time and money elsewhere, preferably in ramping up their 802.11g efforts.  True, the 5GHz spectrum is a lot less crowded.  However, 802.11a is going to be in competition with the newest cordless phones as 5GHz cordless phones become the next chic tech.  I’m sure other gadgets will find use for the somewhat lonely 5GHz spectrum in the near future.

This move (and plans to add 802.11g to the chipset) is also seriously diluting the Centrino brand that Intel has spent so much money on creating.  Last week, Centrino meant 802.11b (along with the required audio chipset and other baggage).  This week the wireless portion of Centrino means 802.11b + 802.11a.  Later this year, it is going to mean 802.11b + 802.11a + 802.11g.

Is anyone else confused?

Windows Server 2003 On The Rise

Posted: September 11th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: .NET | Comments Off

Netcraft notes an increase in sites hosted on Windows Server 2003:

Comparing the sites which are now hosted on Windows 2003 with their operating system in January 2003 shows over 42% of these to be new sites, 49% (153K) to be upgrades from other Windows platforms (mainly Windows 2000), 5% (16.5K) to be migrations from Linux and 1% from FreeBSD (3K) and 1% from Solaris (2.5K).

While the number of sites running on a Windows platform has decreased slightly this month, it is interesting to watch the migration of Win2k and older systems over to 2003.  I’ve found that overall Windows 2000 is pretty stable if you keep it at a production state.  That means NO THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE goes on there unless there’s a showstopping reason.  Windows Updates aside, a well-tuned Win2k box can stay up and running for quite some time.

I was pleasantly suprised to find that the beta of Windows Server 2003 seemed even more stable than Win2k.  Granted, I just played around with IIS and the other included software and kept it clean otherwise, but I don’t think I had to reboot it for any reason other than swapping out some hardware for the month that I ran it.  Not too shabby at all.

Now it’s time to switch my KVM and head over to my linux box…

Linux Kernel 2.6: An Embedded Perspective

Posted: September 11th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Linux | Comments Off

Brandon White at Linux Devices reports that many of the improvements being made to the 2.6 kernel are benificial to embedded systems.  From a glance, it looks like latency has been cut dramatically in the 2.6 kernel.  This is definately good news to developers of realtime and near-realtime applications.  There are many other improvements in the 2.6 kernel that allow it to operate on very lightweight hardware (MMU-less processors for example) to very high end systems (64GB addressable RAM on a 32 bit architecture).

The entire article is definately worth reading even if you’re not into embedded systems.  The 2.6 kernel will be good for all machines, big and small.

The Eight Cent Rut

Posted: September 10th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

I caught a few minutes of the Jim Lehrer News Hour last night on the radio.  They happened to be discussing the RIAA and music downloaders when I scanned by, so I stayed for awhile.

What disturbed me is that the arguments do not seem to have changed a bit since I attended a Cato Institute debate on the subject.  On one side of the argument was John Flansburgh (of TMBG).  They’ve been giving away music for free since before mp3′s existed.  On the other side was Chuck Cannon of the Nashville Underground.  He writes music for a living.  He doesn’t tour, so he really can’t afford to give away his music for free.

Let’s talk about those eight cents for a bit, shall we?

Did you know that every time a record is sold, the person who wrote it is entitled to eight cents.  If they cowrote it, they are due four cents.  If the song gets published, they get two cents.  I already knew this, because those eight cents were invoked extensively at the Cato debate.  Now you know about those eight cents.

12 year olds are stealing Mr. Cannon’s eight cents by downloading his music for free rather than paying for it.  We’re going to ignore for a second that music downloaders also tend to purchase more music.  That must not happen in real life, it certainly cannot.

Eight cents!  Eight cents!

I’ll admit that it’s at least a halfway valid argument.  Mr. Cannon has got a mortgage to pay.  If I ran into him on the street and heard his eight cent story, I’d probably feel pretty bad for him.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard the eight cent story before, and I’m rather bored of it.  The argument isn’t working, can we move on?

Chuck Cannon:

I’m definitely interested in a business model that competes with free. That would be really interesting. I’d like to hear John address that.

Wait, I’ve heard this one before too.  How the heck are you going to compete with free?  99 cents a song seems to work pretty well.  I hear that they sold over 10 million songs in about 4 months.  The legit way.  The songwriter gets their eight cents.

As consumers, we’re dying to download music in a legitimate way.  We dislike the RIAA and the recording industry.  We’d like a better way to get straight to the music that we’d like to hear.  We don’t like your many middleman business model.  We don’t like getting ripped off.  We know that downloading is probably the business model of the future, we’re just waiting for you to catch up so we can give you our money.  We’re not going to give you as much money as before, but if you figure out what’s going on, we’d love to give you some.

I’m actually quite suprised that the debate seems to be almost identical to a year ago, yet the landscape has changed significantly.  It seems to have degraded into your typical Mac vs. PC, nobody is ever going to budge type of argument.

Well, that’s just my eight cents.

Creative Commons Upgrade

Posted: September 10th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Creative Commons has made their license selection process even easier.

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Posted: September 8th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source, PHP, Python, Web Services, Weblogs | Comments Off

It must be Monday again.  Here’s a collection of links from the weekend:

Netflix Queue

Posted: September 8th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Queue is up to 27 77 82 84, though the first three have already shipped.


Posted: September 6th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

We caught the Netflix bug today.

We went from zero to 17 in the queue in just under 10 minutes.


OpenMosix 2.4.22-1 Released

Posted: September 6th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source | Comments Off

Newsforge notes that OpenMosix 2.4.22-1, which coincides with the 2.4.22 kernel, has been released.

I’ve plugged it before, but OpenMosix is by far the easiest way to experiment with clustering without having to dedicate a set of hardware to it.  It’s really simple to install and ‘just works’ in migrating forked processes to other machines in the cluster.

It is simple.  It is beautiful.  It is OpenMosix.

The Squirrel Programming Language

Posted: September 6th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source | Comments Off

Suddenly I want to master the programming language Squirrel.  If I were to design a programming language, it would be called monkey and would be LOAF-enabled.  Yeah.


Posted: September 5th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Yep, I get to increment my age today!

You should have Weird Al’s version of Happy Birthday stuck in your head too.

[ Spooks ]

Posted: September 4th, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Spooks Series 1 showed up today.  Minirant to follow.

The World Has Fewer Choices Today

Posted: September 2nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Web Services | Comments Off

Reuters via Yahoo News (link rot warning):

U.S. television network NBC won Vivendi Universal’s marathon show-business auction on Tuesday with a proposed merger to create a new entertainment industry giant valued at more than $40 billion.

This sets the scene for Godzilla XXI: MSNBCVivendiUniversal vs. Clear Channel.

This scares the crap out of me, what about you?

My PythonToolbox

Posted: September 2nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Projects, Python | Comments Off

I have posted PythonToolbox, a list of modules and resources that I use quite often with Python.  It includes modules that I commonly use for database access, markup, XML input/output, templating, searching, and classification.  It also has a section on resources that I always seem to be turning to.  Russ also helped out by adding some additional resources.

As always, it’s a wiki page, so if there’s something that you think should be in my PythonToolbox, feel free to add it.  Enjoy!

A Collection of Links

Posted: September 2nd, 2003 | Author: | Filed under: Open Source, Python | Comments Off

Yet another weekend offline.  Here are many links that are currently cluttering the taskbar:

I had more yesterday, but I lost a post somewhere in the process.