Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

February 24th, 2010:

Odd Lots

  • Here’s the best discussion I’ve yet seen on why Flash may never work well–or perhaps at all–on touchscreen devices like the iPad.
  • Most recent laser printers have Ethernet ports, and some older printers (like my Laserjet 2100TN) can accept a JetDirect network adapter. Installing a printer on a network port means you don’t have to worry about whether the machine it’s attached to is turned on. If you’d like to do this but you’re not a network geek, here’s the best XP-based step-by-step on the topic I’ve ever run across. Same tutorial for Windows 2000.
  • Bruce Baker passed me a link to a nice item on the issue of broadening publisher book production to allow all formats to be generated from a single master file. Follow and read the link to The New Sleekness as well. Pablo should take it down a notch; XML is not a markup language; it’s a general mechanism for creating markup languages, and what may happen eventually (perhaps in ten years or so) is a standard book-production markup language derived from XML and built into a new generation of word processors. Still, what nobody in either article mentions is the problem of pages verses reflowable, which is the 9 trillion pound gorilla in the business. If you don’t solve that problem, absolutely nothing else matters. (And it is not as easy to solve as some may claim–I’ve been thinking about it for several years now and see no solution whatsoever on the horizon .)
  • Kompozer 0.8b2 has been released. I just got it installed in a VM and will be poking at it in coming days. According to Kaz, most of the changes are code cleanups, but any progress on the editor is a fine, fine thing.
  • I’ve done model rocketry here and there over the (many) years, and I’ve seen some very odd things lofted on D engines. Back in high school, my friend George built a Harecules Guided Muscle (which was from the Beany & Cecil cartoon show) in the form of a big whittled balsa wood fist on a short, thick body. I’m amazed it flew as well as it did. Well, here’s a fire-’em-together pack of 8 rockets shaped and colored like Crayola crayons. The guy took his time (six years) but he did a great job–and created a spectacular Web page documenting the project.
  • We rarely go to WalMart, but last time we did, I picked up a bottle of Diet Mountain Lightning. It has nothing on Kroger’s Diet Citrus Drop, easily the best of all the Diet Mountain Dew clones I’ve ever had the opportunity to try.