CNN doesn't archive

I’ve been working on not only migrating my news to be CSS compliant, but migrating all of the links found on this site to my new link manager. What I’ve recently found is that doesn’t keep the news posted there live forever. My migration spider has found quite a few dead stories thus far. This makes the caching mechanism of of my link manager even more of an asset to the people who may browse this site in the future. The good news though is that PHP’s fopen function evidently reads headers, because it treats 404’s as invalid documents.

Link Management

One of the problems I’ve noticed while going through my news archives is that there are TONS of broken links. These broken links vary from pages I’ve had in the past that have since moved to other people’s pages that have been moved or deleted. I’ve been throwing around the idea for a while now to create a link manager. Basically I’d add any link to a central database and then reference those from within my news entries. I’ve begun the main part of this, which is the caching mechanism. It’s pretty complete thus far, even caching css files. I’ve tested it on, YahoO!, this site, and a few others without incident. Since the caching script can be ran from a shell I might release it open source. This compounds my migration efforts to Version 5, but will pay off in the end.

With no one in second who's first?

People who have college degrees earn more over a lifetime than those who don’t (over $1 million more). The article says the researchers would like to use this tidbit to get more students to go to college. My question is this: if everyone went to college who would be left over to do menial labor? In recent years we’ve seen a surge in college enrollement, while the job market has declined. Who’s the first to be laid off? High paid consultants usually. This reminds me of one of my sayings “If there weren’t losers we wouldn’t be winners.” Think about it – who’d clean up the bathrooms? I sure as hell wouldn’t if I was sitting on a degree. Does this mean colleges will offer “Janitors 101”? It’s really dumb. Some people aren’t meant for college – everyone should just let them be.

Long night

It’s been a LONG night and day for me. It was just one of those days where you are feeling at odds with the world. Lauren and I had a great chat before bed tonight, which was nice. I also played around with Google’s API’s. They use SOAP, which is a fancy way of saying XML, to communicate. It took me about 30 minutes to get it working in PHP. I’ve also been working on another project, which until it’s ready to launch, will remain nameless. For the last few days zebulon might feel sluggish, this is because I’m FULLTEXT() indexing 1.5 million rows of data. Also on the geek front is an application I plan on creating for this site, a timeline. I’m going to go through 500+ entries and add ones I feel are significant to a “timeline”. If I feel spunky I might integrate PHPTalk as well. Archives are up to your left.


I was recently looking through some of my old backups and found what was my very first version of It didn’t last long and the code was about as ugly as it comes. But what was a real gold mine where the old SQL backups, which had about 40 postings from about 2.5 years ago. I’ve imported them into the latest You can view the oldest one here, which is from January of 2000. You can see a screenshot of the old (and my oldest known screenshot) here (164k). Funny stuff.

Chatroom Etiquette

I’ve spent a great deal of time helping others learn about computers. Whether it’s the large number of posts to various PHP lists/discussion boards, or the hours I spend trolling #debian on I’ve recently had two experiences in chatrooms that have soured my outlook on helping others.

First off an experience I had in #e – the chatroom that is devoted to the window manager Enlightenment. Apparently it’s not the place to ask questions about the window manager, despite being listed in various incarnations of their website as a place to go seek help. I asked a question about e17, which has yet to be released. The answer was simple (as I later found out on my own), but was answered with a barrage of RTFM’s and “u r dumb lam3r”. This leads me into a whole other argument that Open Source developers, in general, could care less about what the users of their software want (a clear case where demand does not alter supply). I’ll save that rant for another time. My only question is this: would it have been so difficult to simply be nice? Possibly just say “This isn’t a help chatroom – check out the lists, etc.”? *Sigh*

My second experience had me on the other side. I run a small chatroom called #zebulon on that is basically a room for my close friends to come in and chat about whatever fits our fancy. It is, by no means, a QA or HOWTO room. Evidently a new kid in the room didn’t know this and kept asking inflammatory questions in our room – like “Don’t you think ASP kicks ass all over PHP?” (not a good question to ask in the middle of an Open Source focused chatroom). Or better yet “Doesn’t it make sense to program EVERYTHING in JavaScript?” – um no. Anyways, I ended up banning the kid. I guess the fact that the room went totally silent when he showed up wasn’t a big enough clue (or the multiple times I kicked him for asking dumb questions). Usually I’d just smile and hold hands, but the simple fact is it was the wrong place and the wrong time.

I guess I should think differently about scenario one after being on the other side, but in reality I had read #e as being a source of help. They should probably promote that it’s not a little more to the public.

The uninformed media

You would think that CNN would understand that IRC (aka Internet Relay Chat) is not just a protocol that lets users “copy files at high speed from other computers on different networks.” In fact the only thing that allows you to copy anything at high speeds is having a high speed connection. Plus, as the story indicates, IRC is a CHAT PROTOCOL!