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Unplug the Hardware Defunctionalizer

I was complaining a while back that I couldn't get my Logitech M-BA47 rodent's fourth button to do anything but be an alternate second button. I went out and bought an Apple Mighty Mouse, which I'm pretty happy with.

Mighty Mouse Returns!

I recently complained about my troubles in getting my Apple Mighty Mouse to scroll horizontally on my Linux box. It works now! Nothing to it…

Mighty Sad Rodent

So I bought me an Apple Mighty Mouse for my Linux box. $45 (with the academic discount) is a lot of money for a mouse, but it seemed pretty cool. And it is pretty cool—except for the little matter that the horizontal scrolling doesn't work…

For those of you not familiar with the Mighty Mouse, it has this funny little mini-trackball on top useful for scrolling, and these really funny little side buttons (or pressure sensors or something) that you can squeeze to…I dunno.

Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers

I have, inadvertently, plaid a cruel joke upon a friend on the occasion of her birthday. I purchased her a copy of The Firesign Theatre's Don't Touch That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers…

More Controls, Please!

While I was at Microsoft last week, I was using my laptop as my computing platform, and using it pretty much 18 hours per day. After spending a week messing around with the "Trackpad" on my IBM T41, I finally got it to work as designed in the last couple of days. In the meantime, I was using a little mini-wheelmouse as my primary pointing device.

Although I've had a scrollwheel on various of my mice for perhaps 5 years, it's never really been something I used or wanted to use. Now, for some reason, I'm all over it…


Done Camping At Microsoft

I really intended to blog the rest of my Microsoft visit. Somehow, though, it didn't get done. The MS folks kept us busy dawn-to-dusk, and any spare time I had was spent getting work done and catching up with things…

I'm pretty excited about where the .NET languages and runtime teams are going—except that the lack of implementations for my platforms will probably continue to keep them irrelevant except as design examples. I'm also interested to see what Windows Vista looks like when it comes out—there were some interesting technology demos.

How To Get an OOo Bug Fixed?

When there's a bug in an open source program, there are about 6 approaches to getting it fixed:

  1. Upgrade: it's already been fixed.
  2. Find a fix online.
  3. Get the source and fix it.
  4. Use an official issue-reporting mechanism and wait for a fix.
  5. Contact the responsible developer and ask them to fix it.
  6. Flail around asking for help from "the community".

With my bug, I have rapidly exhausted the first five options. So…

Who's gonna help?

Camping at Microsoft

I'm partway through spending a week at Microsoft for two conferences, "Academic Days on Trustworthy Computing" (ADTC) and the "Microsoft Technology Summit" (MTS)…

ADTC (now concluded) was a sort of security conference—all of the speakers save one were Microsoft folks, and almost all the attendees were academics. There was a lot of really interesting policy and requirements stuff, but less interesting technical content.

I thought I was so clever

A while back, I built a little emacs + shell hack to prepare attachments for MH. The usual borkage applied…

When I moved my hack to a Solaris box at my institution during testing, it didn't work; turns out they didn't have an /etc/mime.types file installed. So I put code in the shell script to use a personal copy if needed.

Later, I got annoyed that the whole thing lost horribly whenever the file extension of the attachment wasn't in the mime types file. So fixed it to default to "text/plain".

The Land of Emacs Weblogs is not a happy place

Back in February, I got tired of losing blog posts. I decided it was time to figure out how to post to my Drupal-powered blog site using BlogAPI and a blogging client. I hate GUI text editing, though; I just wanted to use emacs. Josh pointed me at an emacs weblogging client, and off I went…

Don't go.

First problem was that Drupal had just reported a bad security bug in its BlogAPI module. Attempts to fix it were only moderately successful; the whole Drupal 3.5 BlogAPI still didn't seem to work well. Ultimately, I put the whole thing off until I could upgrade the site to Drupal 3.6.

The investigations, however, were interesting. There's a lot of half-eaten breadcrumb trails to emacs weblog client software—lots of different styles and versions. I finally ended up with the attached version of weblogger.el, which contains a minor fix of mine and some editing of the instructions for correctness. It relies on xml-rpc.el for proper operation; I've also attached my version of that.

The emacs blog client works, after a fashion. It doesn't really get a lot of things right with Drupal, though. I suspect changing the Drupal Blog API configuration might help, but I think I'm about done.

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