Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • Maybe I thought of it first. I don’t care. This guy did a great job. What He Said.
  • I was wrong about the Alice programming environment: There is in fact a version for Linux, though the developers admit it’s a little buggy and largely “proof-of-concept.” (Thanks to xuwande on LiveJournal for the tip.) To me, Alice looks a lot like the primordial Alto-based Smalltalk environment described in the seminal 1977 Xerox publication, Personal Dynamic Media, and I’ll install and explore the product (probably under Windows) as time allows.
  • And even though this is mostly a research project (with no promises or even strong hints that it will ever become a product) the Microsoft Courier looks mighty good to me from an ebook reader standpoint. The interface is a little busy for my tastes, but we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it would be a waste of the device to use it for nothing but reading ebooks, but I consider it my prerogative to waste whatever part of a device I don’t consider useful.
  • Maybe it’s not just me. As much as I like the Kodak EasyShare pocket cameras (Carol and I each have one) the EasyShare software is hideous and has given me nothing but trouble. This seems to be a trend. Can you imagine a new Mac app from a major vendor that still needs PowerPC emulation? Egad.
  • I guess it’s better for a church to be full of books than empty of prople, and these guys did not do a bad job.
  • Suddenly we have not one but two large sunspots visible at once, a situation not seen for over a year. Alas, I spun the dials earlier this morning, and 15 meters isn’t any livelier than it usually is here, which is to say, dead.
  • The Google Books Settlement may well be dead on legal grounds, something that doesn’t surprise me at all. What Google needs to do now is just publish an open invitation: “Anybody who holds rights to a printed work and wants the work to be posted on Google Books under the terms below, fill out this form. We’ll handle the scanning.” I’d be first in line in what I’m pretty sure would be a stampede that would sooner or later bring in all the the stubbornest skeptics. The key: I’m willing to admit that my out-of-print works aren’t worth much. 1% of a loaf is still better than no loaf at all.
  • ADDED 9/24/2009: Here’s a guy saying something that isn’t often said: Google Books is a fantastic research tool, and far from being evil, the Google Books settlement was just the first (now aborted) effort at something that simply has to be done.


  1. Bruce C. Baker says:

    That 30s-style plug and cloth-covered power cord is the perfect added touch! 😀

    1. Carrington says:

      I hadn’t noticed that! Thanks for pointing it out.

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