Monthly Archives: January 2005

Life at Google

A guy called Mark Jen is blogging about his life at Google. A couple of his early posts included a bit too much financial info, and were pulled, but are quoted here. Didn’t look that compelling to me, but then, I’m not a stockbroker.

Unlike the official Google blog, he gets a little critical of the company at times, such as taking a swipe at employee benefits.

then look at all these other fringe “benefits”: on-site doctor, on-site dentist, on-site car washes… the list goes on and on with one similarity: every “benefit” is on-site so you never leave work. i’m not going to say this isn’t convenient for us employees, but between all these devices designed to make us stay at work, they might as well just have dorms on campus that all employees are required to live in.

One to watch.

The Google blog has announced they’re starting to index TV, by the way.

Google desktop search

So I finally got around to downloading and installing Google desktop search (I admit it, it was when I needed to find something in Outlook) and I discover it’s incompatible with Vet anti-virus. Oh. There goes that then. So I’ll check out LookOut or Copernic, I guess.

Oh. I found what I wanted. Another time then!


ABC Radio blog feature (Real or Windows media).

Pregnant women probably shouldn’t listen to part two.


As everyone knows, the web is the best place for finding and viewing high quality pornography in the comfort of your own home. Or internet cafe.

Pornzilla is a collection of tools for surfing porn with Firefox. These bookmarklets and extensions make it easier to find and view porn, letting you spend more time looking at smut you like.

I love the tools including the one that allows you to “… find galleries similar to one you have open without using the keyboard”

They need funding:

“Since nobody has contributed to our testing budget, these tools have only been tested with free porn sites.”

Is it good that they’re being kept off the streets? Perhaps you’d like to give the authors jobs?

Office Object Library problems

One of the machines a program of mine runs on is still NT4 and Office 97. It seemed to keep working okay when I was on Win2K/Office 2000, but now I’m on WinXP/Office 2003 it’s crashing when calling the Excel object library to open an XLS.

MS have documented that this can happen after re-compiling with the Office 2000 libraries or later (though I’m sure it didn’t happen with Excel 2000).

“This behavior is by design.” Application errors by design. Yeah. SURE.

Excel application error

Apparently the solution is to use that normally-considered-evil late-binding; DIMming as an Object and using CreateObject.

But it didn’t seem to work for me. So I dug out an old copy of Office 97, installed it into a separate directory to Office 2003. Removed the reference to Excel 11, added Excel 8 instead (EXCEL8.OLB), recompiled and all is well.

The joys of .htaccess

For those who merely dabble in Apache, .htaccess seems a little like black magic. Yet it’s so useful… it can do default (index) documents, redirection, password protection, custom 404s, blocking image stealers… everything! This set of pages serves as a useful tutorial for doing it all.

Ta Da – It’s A List

As announced on 37 Signals blog they have created a free on line task list at The lists you make can be public, or private or you can specify email addresses of people you wish to have access to the list.

It’s simple, easy to use, cool and the killer feature is you can view your lists in RSS. I just wish I could think of something to use it for.

CSS rocks, design can suck

I love what CSS can do, the power it gives you to make a pretty page and the power to change that without changing the underlying page. Zen Garden changed my understanding of what could be done.

Then, I saw this CSS horror, and I truly understood the power.

No auto whiteboard

Butchers paper photoWhen you’re away on a weekend for a workshop, at a location off the beaten track with no provided technology other than 240 volts… and your IT resources are limited to what you bring yourself — a couple of laptops — and your group spends 48 hours scribbling notes all over butcher’s paper…

The way to capture that in its pristine, messy, original form is to bring along a digital camera with a decent resolution. Put the papers on the floor in the light, turn the flash off to avoid a strong reflection, and snap away. Worked wonders. Rotate them all to face the right way, rename them to something sensible, burn to CD. Presto, all the scribbling, to accompany and cross-check with the notes typed-in as it went.

Doesn’t help people’s messy writing though.

Gatesy-baby! Argh! My eyes!

Well, I think we now have proof that Bill Gates is not a crazed megalomaniac billionaire. If he was, he’d have had all copies of these pictures destroyed, and anybody involved killed.

Bill Gates in Teen Beat, 1985Bill Gates in Teen Beat, 1985

Apparently these pics were taken for a magazine called Teen Beat, around 1985.

(Via Monkey Methods, whose commenters are debating whether it was 1983 as first claimed, or if the fact that there’s a Mac in the background means it must have been after 1984.)

Update 19-Oct-2005: Snopes says these were publicity shots taken for the release of Microsoft Windows in 1985.