Not much in the way of notable or creative costumes among the trick-or-treaters that came to our door last night. Then again, maybe it's just that my memory is failing.

I finished reading Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford this morning. I've been reading a lot about the military lately—Breakout: The Chosin Reservoir Campaign by Martin Russ and Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden come to mind—but this account stands out for its, well, humanity. Other chronicles portray soldiers as somewhat no-nonsense; they don't necessarily like the job they're doing but they do it because it's their job to do it. Jarhead shows us that it's possible to intensely hate the service and intensely love it at the same time.


Here's an interesting discussion. Apparently, Mac OS X 10.3 defragments files as it reads them. (That's a simplistic synopsis, but there's only so much you can put in a hyperlink.)

For my part, I'm inspired to put ASCII graphics and sound effects in my source comments.

Hard to believe nothing worth blogging happened yesterday. It must be true, though; not only did I not blog anything, but I frankly can't remember much of yesterday at all.

Note that I haven't mentioned anything that happened today, either. That's okay; the interesting stuff comes later tonight.


Drive-by linking: The Roasterie

This seems like a big omission: the URL class in JDK 1.3 allows you to get the various pieces of a URL, but not to set them individually. So, if you want to add a query parameter to a URL, you have to do it manually, which means checking for existing parameters. Maybe I'm just missing something.

In case you didn't notice, I'm starting to rework the layout for my blog. Props to Jason Kottke for providing the inspiration.


I've been having all kinds of problems with my ISP lately. This time, DNS names aren't resolving, as if they've misconfigured a router and big chunks of the backbone are no longer accessable. Unfortunately, my upstream DNS servers are in one of those chunks, so I couldn't even get to the ISP's support website or Google.

("So, how are you blogging this now?" I hear you ask. I phoned a coworker in the Washington DC area, got the IP addresses for some DNS servers from him, and hacked them into my local DNS server config.)

("So, why aren't you using your ISP's DNS servers?" Full of questions today, aren't you? :-) I'd like to, but nowhere on their website do they give the IP addresses for those. I can't pick them up from the DHCP lease, because I've got a firewall between my computer and the ISP, and it has the DHCP lease.)

Add to this the fact that the activity lights on my cable modem are going nuts even when the firewall is powered down, and I'm starting to think that I need to start shopping for a new ISP.


8-0, baby!


I'm still reading Kim, but I worked in two other books this week. One was the calculus primer; the other is Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins. He's something of a guilty pleasure for me—I rarely end up caring much about the characters, but the prose is a hell of a lot of fun to read.