Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in April, 2005

Erika Fuchs died recently at 98. She was a major influence on contemporary German culture, mainly by translating Walt Disney’s comics into German from 1951 (the year I was born!) to 1988.

Her translations were original, literary, funny and often memorable; it’s common to hear her phrases quoted in everyday conversation in any German household. They often contained subtle parodies of German classic literature and poetry, as well as ingenious wordplay. I taught myself to read on her work, so she was a huge influence on me. When I finally found some of those comics in the original English, it was a huge letdown. This is certainly a case where the translation far surpasses the original…

Thanks to the Schockwellenreiter for the link.

Golly gee…

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Says this article:

A WEST NYACK, N.Y. MAN was found dead at his computer apparently the victim of trying to keep up with too many professional forums. Childress H. Wanamaker, 54, an account executive at a New York-based new media company, died of starvation according to the West Nyack coroner’s office. Wanamaker’s emaciated body was found by Loraine, his wife of 26 years, who told MediaPost she had been bringing her husband meals on plastic trays for weeks, but that he never took the time to eat them.

“He was glued to his computer 24/7,” she said tearfully. “He was so afraid he was going to miss an opportunity to contribute a comment or start a discussion, that he just stopped eating.”

In what must be a record, Wanamaker was linked into to over 15,250 other community members, many of whom he exchanged notes with daily. He also contributed to 375 blogs and was expected to start an online column about the impact of interactive communications on health, when he died.

I was quite believing this until this last sentence. Hm.

Still, I’d better prune some of the 244 items off my RSS subscription list. Better safe than sorry!

By the way, Dan Wood just said some nice words about RBSplitView on his own weblog. Thanks, Dan!

RBSplitView 1.1

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Well, it took over a month, but version 1.1 of RBSplitView is now out.

Originally I was calling it 1.0.5, but several people made so many good feature requests it became clear that 1.1 would be more appropriate. Special thanks to Dan Wood, Steve Gehrman and Brad Miller for their input and help with debugging.

When I began coding on XRay 2 some months ago, I ran into severe limitations with Cocoa’s NSSplitView. After a couple of frustrating weeks to make it behave like it should, I began looking for alternatives, to no avail; so I started coding my own version.

Then, as I realized that many other people were having similar problems, and that numerous Apple applications also seemed to have their own handrolled extensions to NSSplitView, I decided to publish my source. It has been a great learning experience.

With my recent decision to attend WWDC, I think the time has come to stop fiddling around with RBSplitView and return to XRay 2, in order to have a working alpha to bug the Apple engineers with. This will be fun!

Re: Furthur

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Now some real news. Contrary to my own expectations, I’ll be able to make it to the US this year, after all. But it’ll be to WWDC, Apple’s worldwide developer’s conference, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, from June 6 to 10.

I’ll actually fly into SFO early on June 2nd and leave on the 13th. So there’ll be time to meet with people, drive a little around the Bay Area, and visit the bookstores. It’s been 5 years since my last visit! So if you’re in SF during that time, feel free to set up a meeting.

Following a suggestion from Dori Smith (thanks Dori!), I’ve made reservations at the Mosser Hotel, where I’ll be splitting the room with HyperJeff, my co-author in a forthcoming ADHOC paper. Buzz Andersen of SciFiHiFi is setting up a Weblogger Dinner on June 6 and I’m attending. It’ll be my birthday too, so there’s a good excuse for partying!

Further details later…

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‘Am I in it?’

So Rainer’s French.

Épatant, ça!

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Been some time without reporting test results here, so here’s one which surprised me a little:

Your Inner European is French!
Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything – at least, *you* think so.


I’ve been playing around with the stats available on DreamHost, and the results are interesting.

Fully a quarter of site visitors now come from Google and from VersionTracker.

Over a third of visitors, unsurprisingly, use Safari. The next popular browsers are MSIE (hm), Mozilla derivatives and NetNewsWire, that last one with about 10%. The number of bots is higher than I expected; some bots even download .dmg files, I can’t imagine what for.

The failure reports are the most interesting part. Fully 12% of accesses over this month so far seem to be various forms of attacks, mostly the tired old attacks against phpbb forums using one of the published scripts. A few people try to run one of the awstat scripts (which I don’t use), or some Microsoft-server-specific thing (which I don’t use either). For the last 3 days, about 60% of all requests have been phpbb attacks, like in the peak days in January, when the Santy worm was going around. Don’t these people have anything better to do?

At the same time, this weblog has been hit daily with comment spam, referrer spam and link spam – the latter by people registering with fake web addresses which redirect to some gambling or porn site. I’m not accepting any such users – they’re very easy to spot – and their links would be tagged with “nofollow” anyway. I don’t publish referrer lists, so referrer spam doesn’t work either. If comment spam volume grows, well, I’ll have to install a little modification to have posts wait for moderator approval…

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