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Jeremy's journal

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

John Stuart Mill

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Friday, April 25th, 2003

🦋 Here it is:

My inaugural post.

posted afternoon of April 25th, 2003: Respond
➳ More posts about Programming Projects

🦋 Getting my link out there

I believe the next week or so I will spend, fleshing out my list of links so it has all or most of the sites I want to link to; and making some posts. Then I will e-mail a couple of my fave blog authors, and see if I can start having other people look at my journal.

Also, I want to add a "Daily" section to the list of links, which will show only for the current day pages that I am reading.

posted afternoon of April 25th, 2003: Respond
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Monday, April 28th, 2003

🦋 Blog Progress

This morning I put in date formatting -- it still needs more testing but all in all seems to work pretty well. Places I want to go in the near future: Archives, subject filter, view by date. Long-term goals: comments!

posted afternoon of April 28th, 2003: Respond

Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

🦋 Motivations

So why did I create this journal? The reasons are severalfold. I've been pretty fascinated by the blogging phenomenon since last summer, when I discovered a couple of the sites I've been reading regularly since -- Calpundit, Talking Points Memo, and Body and Soul are perhaps the "big three" for me -- and have been wondering if I could sustain such a steady level of posting and keep it interesting, and how it would sound if I did.

I started my first "web log" before I knew that term, back in 1999 with the READIN book diary; but page generation was manual, not automated, and maintaining the site was a hassle, and I never really got far with it. Although, take a look at the page for Faulkner's The Hamlet to get an idea of where I wanted to go with it.

Once I found out about ASP it seemed like the perfect fit -- I just had to learn how to code automatically generated journal pages and good things would come of it. Two things I wanted to learn to do formatting-wise; expressing dates and times in human terms, and displaying links in a hierarchical format. All the m/d/yyyy dates and hh:mm:ss times you see on web pages don't do it for me. They are over-determined and difficult to read. I wanted to express recent dates as "Yesterday", "Last Sunday", and posting times as just "morning", "evening", etc. I think I have come up with a pretty coherent way of doing this! And the hierarchical links, well, take a look at the left hand side of this page, I think they are good.

Update: Thinking about the two formatting goals above, I realize they are both concerned with limiting the amount of information presented in order to maximize the amound of information communicated. Funny... And the archiving system I have vaguely in mind could be thought of along the same lines too.

posted morning of April 29th, 2003: Respond
➳ More posts about Programming

Thursday, May first, 2003

🦋 Site maintenance

Well I came up with a cool idea for how the site data should be physically organized -- a script to put that organization into effect -- ran it and bang, it deleted all my posts! So I'm trying to get them back, meanwhile the links are not going to be there, sorry.

posted afternoon of May first, 2003: Respond

🦋 Site maintenance

I've got things pretty well back into shape. The links were all lost so I will have to rebuild them by hand, not too hard to do but a pain anyway.

posted afternoon of May first, 2003: Respond

Friday, March 12th, 2004

🦋 The Scales Fall from my Eyes

Yesterday one of my batch processes stopped working. I was a little baffled. The batch downloads some files from an ftp site, then expands them using pkunzip, then sends them to a program for processing. Pkunzip was telling me that I needed version 4.5 or later to expand the files -- never a problem in the past. I thought maybe the vendor had changed zip formats, which struck me as pretty bizarre. Everywhere on the web that I could find pkunzip, it was the same version as the one I was using (2.03g).

And then I thought to try opening the files in WinZip. That worked of course; and I was very happy to discover that a command-line add-in is now available, along with a new version of WinZip. So... problem solved! (And into the bargain, wzunzip is way faster than the pkunzip I was using.) But what was the problem? It hit me when I was reading the "What's New" page in the WinZip 9.0 help file:

In addition to supporting the original Zip file format, WinZip 9.0 also supports the 64-bit extensions to the Zip file format. The extended format lets you store all the data you need in Zip files of virtually unlimited size.

The original Zip file format limited the number of member files in a Zip file to 65,535, and the maximum size of both the Zip file itself and any member file to 4 gigabytes. For all practical purposes, the 64-bit extended format eliminates all these restrictions. Using the extended format, the member file size, Zip file size, and number of member files you can add to a Zip file are limited only by your system's resources.

So I checked and yep, the file size of the download is now a hair over 4G!

posted afternoon of March 12th, 2004: Respond

Friday, October 5th, 2007

🦋 And, we're live!

Hi everybody, this is my new blog. I realize it looks largely the same as my old blog, if not indistinguishable. But it's quite different under the interface, and I have got lotsa plans for ways to enhance it and improve your user experience. (Hopefully they will come to fruition sooner than the plans expressed in the last paragraph here.)

posted evening of October 5th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about php

🦋 Linkrot

So here's what I did, see: There are thousands of links all over the internets pointing to my blog, with the address Well I wanted to write the site in PHP; but what to do about all those old links? As it turns out I just kept the same url and told my http server to send .asp files to php:

AddHandler php5-script asp

I'm pretty sure the new script is able to handle all the parameters the old script was, and to give back quite similar results for nearly any set of parameters. So hopefully all those old links are going to continue to work.

posted evening of October 5th, 2007: Respond

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

🦋 New features

OK so it's a little corny... I spent last night and some of this morning writing code to administer and display at random different images and quotes at the top of the blog. This is fun, but I think I am doing it mainly for the sake of getting better at writing SQL queries and PHP scripts. The administrative pages are set up pretty nice and clean, I think.

...And guess what I have now!!! -- The ability to delete posts, something I have never been able to do before; and an automated backup script for the whole site, databases and scripts and all. Currently all my data zips up to ¾M.

Ok, so instead of putting up new posts every time I add a feature, I am just going to update this post for a while. (Hopefully I will get out of programmer head sometime and be able to think about anything besides updating the site...*) Just now I wrote a really cool addition to the database which handles categorization of posts with SQL joins instead of dumb text searching. This will eventually, I am thinking, allow me to include lots of interesting (?) information in the sidebar about what category of post is being displayed, which will involve some pretty sophisticated programming.

*This morning I was trying to read Other Colors and I couldn't stop thinking about database tables! How annoying.

posted afternoon of October 6th, 2007: Respond

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