Stuff from April, 2004

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on April, 2004.

Google’s GMail

Suddenly, I am hearing all sorts of rumors about this GMail. I originally read about it at Good Morning, Silicon Valley and immediately went to go check it out. Apparently, Google’s service will focus on archiving messages and then applying their search technology to it. The cost? Free. The space? 1000 megabytes. Yes, 1000 megabytes of email. My Hotmail account contains pretty typical sized collection of emails, and it has stored 317 messages in 930 kilobytes. Thus, 1000 megabytes would store around 340,860 email messages. For free! There has also been a rumor going around that this is an April Fool’s joke. A pretty good joke, if it is.


Internet Explorer is Worthless

Think about it; is it acceptable for text-highlighting to work unbelievably poorly (if at all) in CSS designs rendered in Internet Explorer? If not, why wasn’t this fixed two cycles ago in the development history? This, of course, begs the question: why do bad products sell well? When do marketing and perceived worth trump intrinsic value? A possible answer: when you are Microsoft, and you have massive business deals with massive companies, you can throw your weight around and compete in whatever market you choose.


Gary Jules, EBay, Minneapolis

Certainly, I am not the first person to fall in love with Gary Jules’ cover of the 1982 song “Mad World” and I am certainly not the last. I hope you are the next. A native of San Diego, Jules is a refreshing mix of pop, country, and alternative. At times, his musical style (and certainly his thought-provoking lyrical lines) makes me think of early Simon and Garfunkel. I certainly do not know enough about the music industry to say, “This guy is one to watch,” but I do think the entire album “Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets” is a good listen.


Food at the Binz (Part 1 in a Series)

I am not a picky eater. I never have been. Eating at a college cafeteria, however, has brought about the realization that critically analyzing one’s food prior to consumption can be a good thing. In fact, I have come to realize this analysis can save a person from eating what they would not.


Part of Life

Melissa was a kind, mature, and thoughtful person. She was in my classes both last semester and this current one. She disappeared about two weeks ago, and I foolishly assumed she joined the ten other people that had dropped out of this semester’s Physics class. Academics, however, were not the reason for her departure. Melissa’s mother recently died of cancer. I had no idea until I read the news in a campus-wide email. It brought me back to an issue I hadn’t encountered in a long time: death. At the college age, everyone feels indestructable. No one ever considers the possiblity that, next year, they might have much bigger problems to worry about than how to finance their education. This event reminded me of priorities. It should remind us all that people come before anything else in our life. It should remind us that our time here is fleeting. It should remind us to love while there is still time to love. I ask you, as did the email which was sent to us, to keep Melissa and her family in your thoughts and/or prayers.

My First Time (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Concerts)

Can a person go from being a virgin to an addict in one short night? I think so. I did. Yes, The Quest was that life-altering. We tried to get John his t-shirt but it was only in small. “Bah” I said, or yelled, or muttered (or at least got the point across somehow) after we waited in line for a half hour. “I knew that would happen,” said John, just as frusterated with the wait as I was. “Still, I’d get the hoodie,” I mimed, and we waded into a sea of people.


Growing Pains

What you are looking at is not a finished product. Indeed, the design of this site is standards compatible, fairly well structured, and CSS based. Despite this, there are some major flaws. Please allow me to elaborate.

Use of Space
Horizontally, tumbledry v12.2 is a very efficient beast, comfortable fitting all horizontal content into a 800 x 600 monitor space. Vertically, however, it runs into problems. Notice the header. It does an excellent job of establishing the identity of the site, but does so at the cost of some very valuable space. The area where Content would normally live is filled with an empty yellow box as this site loads on a dial-up connection. If I am going to deliver what people come here for (to read), then I will have to reduce the massive billboard header and establish the identity another way. Next, you may have noticed the lists for quotes, links, inspirations (pretty much anything) waste copious amounts of space. This should be remedied by forming a double liquid column that flows down the page. Side by side, the headings will use half as much space and look better to boot. Finally, navigation is currently horizontally oriented and thus limited to a set number of sections. Navigation should be made vertical to stretch and change with the site over time. That brings us to the next point.


Play It Again, Backwards

Reversing songs is my new favorite hobby. The process is fairly simple, really. First, you create a *.wav file of the song you would like to reverse. Then, you open it on up in your favorite sound editor (I used Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder) and reverse the file. Then, you save it. If you like it, you can recompress it. These simple steps lead to better understanding of the music you are listening to.



For what it’s worth, tumbledry can now backup its claim to “since 1999.” While I do not have, and do not intend to get, a catchy “tagline,” the phrase stating the year this all began has become the closest thing I have to a single-line representation of what is here. In my estimation, it is worth something that, in some form or another, I have been adding posts to the online world for five years. Granted, not with the consistent quality of a person like kottke, but let’s face it — I started young — like 13 years old young. I have much to learn, and to do. I intend to categorize all of the old updates so you can browse by category — a method infinitely more useful than browsing by date. Thus, I present to you the lost years of tumbledry. See the archives for details. And yes, that really old picture of me is still online (in a very obvious place) for those who know how to find it. No, I do not wish very many people to see it. No, I do not know why I put it online then. Shut up.


For Always

The “here and now” is currently overwhelming. My projects include repairing my 838, catching up in Calc III, attending offices and the dental convention for the pre-dental co-op, finding time to return the multimeter that Professor Mowry so generously loaned me, finding new weight gloves, finalizing my school schedule for next year and this summer, polishing this catchy new piano riff, supporting Katy in her search for an apartment (she’s going to the U — yay for my sister being a graduate math student!), photographing South Campus for Katy’s memories, finding new lifting shirts, finding a summer job/internship, keeping my room clean, sleeping, and ending world hunger.


Five Questions

For some time, I have been thinking about how to do this project. And here are the results. I’d like to give you loyal tumble readers a chance to voice your opinions and thoughts. Before I set up comments for each post, however, I would like to try something else. The name of this game is Five Questions (and yes, it is slightly inspired by the Late Late Show).


Five Questions Answered

The poll for questions went quite well. Next time, I realize that I will have to be more direct with the directions, so you can look forward to that. Here are the questions and “the answers that love them.”


Compartmentalizing, Organizing, Filing

Going through and categorizing nearly 300 old entries from my past online years, I realized how much I write about what is going on in my life. The “life” category holds, by far, the greatest number of updates. I also realized how incredibly unfocussed and random some of my posts were. For this reason, I think I need to do two things. First, I need to focus my posts and narrow them down to at least one broad topic. Scattering random bits throughout each post makes them exceedingly difficult to categorize. Obviously, the life category is pretty broad so I split it up into three different categories. “Life” contains daily happenings whereas “event” contains landmark moments, holidays, and large life changes. That way, one can easily browse the ordinary and the extraordinary events in my life. Finally, there is a “contemplation” category in which questions are explicit or explicit. These contemplation posts that find me grappling with big questions occur with surprising frequency. Other categories, like technology, website updates, and webdesign have been added as needed. Shortly, you will see an option in the archives to browse all old updates by category.


Food at the Binz (Part 2 in a Series)

There they were, just chilling on my potatoes, like everything was normal. Sure, they looked and smelled like pine needles. I knew they couldn’t be though - that would be too exotic and expensive. Investigation proved that they were Rosemary. On potatoes. “It’s supposed to go on meat,” I wanted to scream, but restrained myself, sullenly scraping the offending weirdness from my otherwise normal dish. “I suppose this isn’t bad enough to count for part 2,” I muttered under my breath as I looked around for something with which to cleanse my mouth. That’s great: offending food that’s just bad enough to make a boring story. I shoved the spuds aside and made myself a white bread and American cheese sandwhich. Yum, processed goodness.