Archive for 2004

Firefox 1.0

Nov 12, 2004 in Mac

In his Question of Two Days Ago, Erik Barzeski asked if we, the readers, cared about Firefox.

My answer is Yes.

95%+ of the time I’m browsing the Web, I’m using Safari or some other WebKit-derived browsing interface. However, there are certain sites I regularly visit which Safari doesn’t seem to enjoy.

When I first started using Gmail, the experience with Safari wasn’t all that good, so I downloaded Firefox and set Gmail as my homepage. Click the Firefox icon and pops up my email. The Gmail/Safari experience has improved since then, but it’s still not perfect — I still have problems with access keys from time to time — so I’ve stuck with Firefox.

Another problematic site is the Doxygen server we run at my office. Safari apparently doesn’t like the pages we construct and it really bogs down whenever I try to load a class definition. Firefox handles the pages like a champ.

Actually, I like to use Firefox for most, if not all, of my documentation viewing needs. Why? Automatic Finding.

Now, I don’t know if Automatic Finding is the real name of the feature, but that how I think of it. Basically, when I start typing, Firefox does an incremental search of the current page while keeping the keyboard focus on the browser window, not the Find bar. If I’m looking for a link, I just hit Return once Firefox matches it and the new web page loads. Alternatively, Command-Return loads the page in a new tab. This is such a timesaver when I’m trying to find out information about a the implementation of method X() in subclass Y.

For a while, I think this functionality was broken. When I would start an incremental search, I would lose the ability to open a link by hitting the Return key — it appeared that the Find bar had claimed the keyboard focus. Also, Firefox would interpret my Gmail access keys as a requests to do an incremental search. Suffice it to say, these problems severely decreased the usefulness of Automatic Finding. It was with great sadness (OK, minor disappointment) that I was forced to deselect the “Begin finding when you begin typing” option in the preferences (see, doesn’t Automatic Finding sound so much better?).

Now, though, my little productivity enhancer is back in working order, this maintaining Firefox’s place in my Internet toolbelt.

2004 Red Sox Menorah

Nov 09, 2004 in Humor

Earlier today, I received an email from mlb.com informing me that their holiday gift guide was now available. It’s actually organized pretty well — you can shop by price or by team or you can check out the Stocking Stuffer and Gifts for Her sections.
As you might expect, there are World Series items in the Red Sox category, including an ornament. Sadly, there’s nothing Chanukah-oriented. This is a tad disappointing, especially since the 2004 Red Sox had two Jewish players, Gabe Kapler and Kevin Youkilis, and a Jewish General Manager, Theo Epstein.

I’ve come up with a solution to this shortcoming. I don’t have the ability to make these, but if anybody follows-through with this, I’d really like one.

Without further ado, I give you the 2004 Red Sox World Series Commemorative Menorah.

This once-in-a-lifetime collectible features the starting lineup from Game 4 of the World Series — remember, it was played in St. Louis, so there was no DH — as the nine arms of the candelabra. Each player has their right arm raised victoriously above their head, where the Chanukah candles are inserted into the players’ Jack Daniel’s shot glasses.

Remember, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so act fast!

Happy Halloween

Nov 01, 2004 in My World

Here’s something a little festive for All Hallow’s Eve. My friends and I carved these two Saturday’s ago, around the start of the World Series.

All Three Red Sox Pumpkins

Two Three Red Sox Pumpkins

One Three Red Sox Pumpkins

The pumpkin featuring the pair of Sox was partly my handiwork (I admit that I deferred to one of more more artistically-talented friends for drawing on the pumpkin). I can’t remember the last time I tried to carve a pumpkin, so I was really psyched by how it came out.

2004 World Series Champs

Oct 30, 2004 in Sports

I think I’m finally ready to write about the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series. I still have a hard time being coherent, though, because when I think about it, I eventually get this really dopey grin on my face and start daydreaming. So, expect some ramblings.

I’m having a hard time putting into words what the Red Sox winning the World Series means. Without a doubt, I’m ecstatic about it. It’s not just that the Red Sox won, though. It’s what this victory means for the people I care about.

I started watching baseball around 1987. I started my path to diehard-om with the 1988 Morgan‘s Magic team. Since that time, there have been some disappointments. The 1988, 1990, 1995, and 1998 seasons coming to screeching halts with first round playoff sweeps. Roger Clemens loosing it in the 1990 ALCS and getting tossed in the second inning of Game 4. The phantom tags in the 1999 ALCS. Until last year’s ALCS, though, I’d never seen the Red Sox lose a close series. In ’88 and ’90, the Sox were swept 4-0 by the Oakland A’s. In ’95 and ’98, the Cleveland Indians swept the Sox 3-0. In ’99, the Yankees ended the Red Sox season with a 4-1 series victory.

The ’03 ALCS was different experience for me. For a while, it looked like the Red Sox were ready to vanquish the Yankees and go the World Series, only to have the victory snatched away by the bat of Aaron Boone. That was the type of loss my parents and my grandparents grew up with — 1947, 1967, 1975, 1978, and 1986.

This World Series victory wasn’t just the first on I witnessed. It was the first one my dad witnessed. It was the one my grandfathers didn’t witness. The day after the Sox won, I saw both my dad and my uncle and both of them said they didn’t expect to see this day. The day after the Series ended, I spoke with an old college roommate, who happened to be a Yankees fan. As we talked about those who waited their entire life to see the Red Sox win and those who waited and never saw the Red Sox win, he noted that the room seemed to be getting a little dusty.

I loved the Patriots Super Bowl victories, but the Red Sox victory just means so much more because of all the history.

OK, time for random thoughts…

The “See Red Sox win World Series” item on my mental checklist has been marked complete. The “Buy Theo Epstein a beer” item has been added to the mental checklist.

Derek Lowe: The man has been everything during his time in Boston. Failed Starter. Setup man. Stud Closer. Failed Closer. Stud Starter. Maddeningly Inconsistent Starter. Mental Gidget. Male Bimbo. Over the past two regular seasons, DLowe has been the most inconsistent starter in baseball. When he’s good, he’s nearly unhittable. When he’s bad, he posts perhaps the worst ERA among full-time starters. However, when the playoffs roll around, Derek Lowe is The Man. Last year, he shut down Oakland in the clinching game 5 of the ALDS. This year, he won the clinching games of all three playoff series — coming out of the bullpen in game 5 of the ALDS and shutting down the Angels so David Ortiz could hit the walk-off home-run and starting the clinchers of the ALCS and World Series, shutting down both the Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals. Not included in those victories was Lowe’s game 4 appearance in the ALCS where he held the Yankees in check and allowed David Ortiz to win another game with a walk-off homer.

DLowe likely pitched his last game for the Red Sox on Wednesday night. There have been times when he was the guy I wanted on the mound. There have been times where I’d hoped his teammates would duct tape him to the clubhouse mound. Right now, none of that matters. When I think of DLowe, I’ll think of the guy who won the clincher of the 2004 World Series. If you gotta go, I can’t think of many better ways to do it.

Pedro Martinez: Another guy who could be gone, pending contract negotiations. The Pedro of old is certainly gone. It used to be you expected a victory when he was on the mound and you hoped for something spectacular. Today, there’s some question when he takes the mound — will Pedro be mortal or will there be a spark of the old brilliance? Game 3 of the World Series could be his defining moment. 7 shutout innings where he and Jason Varitek out-thought the Cardinals hitters.

Curt Schilling: What’s left to say? If you have any question about his toughness, read Will Carrol’s Triumph of the Schill. If that’s too long, just consider this quote from Will Carrol’s weblog: “Everything [the sutures] attach to is tearing away from the bone.”

Keith Foulke: When the A’s has a 2-0 lead in the 2003 ALDS, I mentioned to a coworker that he would be a free agent after the season and wouldn’t he look good in a Red Sox uniform?

Granted, I think pretty much any stud free agent would look good in a Red Sox uniform, but I’d like to think I was particularly prescient about this one :) He doesn’t throw 100 miles an hour; he just gets guys out.

I don’t really have a problem with Manny Ramirez winning the Series MVP. Unlike the ALCS, there was no one guy who stood head and shoulders above everybody else. I do wish Foulke had gotten more consideration. Like Adam Vinatieri on the Pats, he’s not the guy who gets the headlines but he is the guy standing in the middle of it when the game’s on the line.

I could probably write something about every member of this team (though I don’t know much about Sandy Martinez or Adam Hyzdu), but then this could end up being longer than the last thesis paper I wrote, so I’m going to cut this short.

Thank you Theo Epstein, John Henry, Terry Francona, and all of the members of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox.

Unbelievable

Oct 28, 2004 in Sports

Unbelievable. Sox win. Conscious thoughts later…

Let’s Go Red Sox

Oct 26, 2004 in Sports

It’s the 9th inning, the Red Sox are leading the Cardinals 4-0 in Game 3, and a faint chant of “Let’s Go Red Sox” can be heard at Busch Stadium.

That last part’s gotta hurt.

Does This Brushed Metal Stuff Really Even Matter?

Oct 23, 2004 in Mac

John Gruber:

This is not to say it can’t be discerned when a metal window is in the
background. The title text is lighter, and the close/minimize/zoom buttons are
dimmed (as is the scroll bar, if there is one). The point is simply that it’s
much harder to tell at a glance whether an unobscured brushed metal window is
active or not.

This in turn makes it easy to mistakenly invoke the wrong keyboard shortcut.
Here’s one I’ve run into personally. Let’s say I have a Safari window and an
iChat window open side-by-side, with no overlap. I think the Safari window is
active, but it’s actually the iChat window. I type Cmd-T to open a new tab in
Safari, but instead, I get the Font Panel in iChat.

This is definitely one of my pet peaves about metal windows, especially with regards to iChat and Safari. Personally, I think there’s a better example than Cmd-T to exhibit the problem of not quickly determining the frontmost application: Cmd-L.

In Safari, Cmd-L is the shortcut for the Open Location… command (it selects the address bar and highlights the text in the bar. In iChat, Cmd-L is the shortcut for the Log Out of AIM command. Slight difference.

I’ve received more email this week from brushed metal aficionados than I have
from gloating Red Sox fans.

If I’d known you were collecting emails from gloating Red Sox fans…

:-)

Sox Win!

Oct 21, 2004 in Sports

Johnny Damon wakes up in a big way. Derek Lowe with the performance of his life. David Ortiz and Mark Bellhorn go deep. Sox win 10-3.

I’m officially out of things to say. Bring on the NL.

Sweet Redemption

Oct 20, 2004 in Sports

Sweet Redemption. Capital S, Capital R. That’s the story of Game 6.

Curt Schilling went from the edge of the operating table to the center of the world, giving up 4 hits and 1 run over 7 innings. An insanely guts performance, as we were constantly reminded when Fox insisted on showing the red substance on Schilling’s ankle. Was it blood or Marcaine? The Fox announcers weren’t sure.

(Terry Francona just said the Schilling’s ankle was sutured. I’m guessing it was most likely blood.)

(Yup, Schilling confirms it was blood.)

Sweet Redemption for Curt Schilling after his injury shortened Game 1 performance.

Mark Bellhorn provided the margin of victory with his 4th inning 3-run homer. He’s been swinging the bat much better over the course of the last two games (even if he can’t lay down a bunt :).

Sweet Redemption after all of his strikeout problems in the beginning of the series.

No team in history has won a playoff series after trailing 3-0. Then again, only one team in history has managed to tie a series after trailing 3-0.

Sweet Redemption.


I have to think the Red Sox are in better shape, pitching wise, for tomorrow’s game. For both teams, it’s going to be all hands on deck in the bullpen, with tomorrow’s started TBD.

It sounds like the Sox will pick between Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield, both of whom have pitched well over the last 3 games.

The Yankees apparently haven’t made any sort of decisions about who’s pitching tomorrow, but Kevin Brown is easily the most rested of the Yankees pitchers. Javier Vazquez might be available on three day’s rest. Neither pitched well Saturday night. If the Yanks hadn’t exploded for 19 runs, the story of Game 3 might have been the Yankees two big off-season pitching acquisitions tanking.

If it is Brown, Yankees fans have to be concerned about the fact that the Sox can send up 6 left-handed hitters (Damon, Nixon, and Ortiz are lefties, Varitek, Mueller, and Bellhorn are switch hitters). It seemed like lefties really raked Brown during his abbreviated start.


I am so unbelievably pissed at ARod right now. Not only did he wind up and take a swing at a pitcher’s arm, but he had the temerity to argue that he did nothing wrong.

< start adult language warning >

Bullshit. He wound up and took an open-handed slap. Thankfully, it was Bronson Arroyo‘s left arm and not his pitching arm.

< end adult language warning >

ARod needs to have a chat with the young lady in left field who admitted Bellhorn’s ball left the yard in spite of the fact she was a Yankees’ fan. At least somebody knows the value of truth.


I’m watching the umpire’s press conference and it’s amazing. Randy Marsh, this evening’s first base umpire, is talking about the umpires’ review process. Saying the Francona requested the meeting after Bellhorn’s home run. Admitting that the umps have come a long way in trying to make sure that the call’s correct. Admitting that he had no view of the ARod slap because he was screened by Doug Mientkiewicz and that Joe West had the best view of the play coming up the line from home plate.

Marsh just gave a wonderful press conference. He explained everything clearly and concisely. I am extremely impressed.

Granted, there are still some issues with strike zone consistency, but the quality of the umpiring has come insanely far over the last few years. Kudos.


Here we go again.

Paste and Download

Oct 19, 2004 in Mac

Here’s a neat little trick — in Safari, you can add URL‘s directly to the Downloads window.

If you have a URL in the clipboard and the Downloads window is active, pasting the URL will download whatever’s at the specified location.

You can also drag URL to the Downloads window.

I know many apps automatically make links clickable, but this tip could be a bit of a timesaver when dealing with the odd application that lacks such a feature.