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HD DVD Cracked; firestorm of controversy ensues.

A huge legal battle is forming around the HD-DVD crack posted on numerous websites, including Many sites have pulled the crack (which consists of nothing more than a series of hexadecimal digits making up a decryption key) under legal duress - It appears that started to comply but has reversed its position, citing pressure from the reader base.

So, it appears that a legal battle is brewing, and may be the one to challenge the vastly hideous DMCA in court.

My Favorite Source Code Editing Fonts

Here's my shortlist of fave fonts for editing source code. Some of these are built in to MS Windows, others were supplied with Corel Draw 8 (my favorite illustration tool.)

I prefer monospaced, but some times I switch to a proportional font for variety - modern editors do a pretty decent job of dealing with them.

Microsoft's marketing message is as clear as mud.

What is Microsoft? What position does it occupy in the consumer's mind? When you think of Microsoft, what's the first image that pops into your head?

In my mind (as a software developer) Microsoft is a company that provides the Windows OS, and software development tools and APIs for it.

My mental image of Microsoft does not include:

Apple Spin Cycle

Herb Greenberg's blog at has some funny, albeit harsh observations about the recently-announced Mac OS and iPhone delays - doing a little 'spin translation'.

Silver Plastic Is Ugly

Not long ago, every notebook computer, every bit of stereo or A/V equipment I owned was painted black or charcoal (or was made of a black or charcoal plastic).

Now, everything is silver. Matte or satin silver. Spray-painted silver.

For some reason, silver has become the most popular car color. (Click here if the preceding link is broken.)

Silver seems like a nice color for some cars... and I even have one car that color (but that car is a 1970 Pontiac, so it was not so trendy when the color was put on the car). But there is a vast difference between a quality, glossy automotive paint finish and the chintzy look of a dull, matte silver finish painted on my notebook computer, my camcorder, my DirecTV receiver, my television cabinet (I could go on...)

I can just imagine the product design meetings held in consumer product companies everywhere: "Silver is most popular! Silver is the way to go! Let's make it SILVER!"

Quality Without a Name

I like to cook. Especially using quality utensils.

I was making mashed potatoes and gravy to go with one of our favorite dishes: 40 cloves and a chicken.

I was peeling a pile of potatoes, ripping through the pile with my trusty peeler. I started thinking about just how nice it is to use a really good peeler.


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I have been thinking about building timeline-based modules for Drupal, in order to present alternative views of time-based data present in every Drupal system.

Well, Arto Bendiken beat me to it. First, the timeline module and now, a timeline-based RSS aggregator that displays any RSS feed in a timeline.

It's based on an existing tool, SIMILE Timeline.

Great stuff!

List of PayPal buttons - cheat sheet

Here's a list of PayPal buttons to help avoid wasting time filling out forms on Paypal's site.

I find PayPal's site to be cumbersome at best, and if you are not on a fast internet connection, browsing through all the "user friendly" pages to find the information you need can take a long time.

So, this page contains a list of all PayPal checkout buttons I can find, and I include a link to each button so you can copy and paste it in to your own web pages with minimal fuss.

What time is it?

Name that offset

This page shows various time values and conversions to other units. I find this useful when programming in PHP and other languages.

Often, I want to run a SQL query to update a time value in a Drupal db table, and I need to know the delta to add to an existing unix timestamp value to push a value out by 24 hours, 90 days, etc. and would rather not whip out a calculator or do the math on paper...

Keep your icons out of my system tray!

Related topic: System Tray Scan Utility - identify programs that have icons in the tray.

I don't know about you, but I am saddened whenever I use a non-techie friend's computer and see more than two or three active tray icons in the Windows taskbar "system tray"*. (Usually I see six, seven, eight or even a few dozen!)

Why does it bother me? Because, most of the time, the computer owner has no idea what those icons are for, or how they got there.

It means that third-party installers (or worse, computer integrators or 'manufacturers' like Dell) have hooked more stuff into the auto start chain, which also means: more memory used, longer startup times, another prime opportunity to break the user's system with even more bloated, buggy software.

Brand new Dell 1501 system tray loaded with with an obscene number of running tasks

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