February 24th, 2010

Odd Lots

  • Here's the best discussion I've yet seen on why Flash may never work well--or perhaps at all--on touchscreen devices like the iPad.
  • Most recent laser printers have Ethernet ports, and some older printers (like my Laserjet 2100TN) can accept a JetDirect network adapter. Installing a printer on a network port means you don't have to worry about whether the machine it's attached to is turned on. If you'd like to do this but you're not a network geek, here's the best XP-based step-by-step on the topic I've ever run across. Same tutorial for Windows 2000.
  • Bruce Baker passed me a link to a nice item on the issue of broadening publisher book production to allow all formats to be generated from a single master file. Follow and read the link to The New Sleekness as well. Pablo should take it down a notch; XML is not a markup language; it's a general mechanism for creating markup languages, and what may happen eventually (perhaps in ten years or so) is a standard book-production markup language derived from XML and built into a new generation of word processors. Still, what nobody in either article mentions is the problem of pages verses reflowable, which is the 9 trillion pound gorilla in the business. If you don't solve that problem, absolutely nothing else matters. (And it is not as easy to solve as some may claim--I've been thinking about it for several years now and see no solution whatsoever on the horizon .)
  • Kompozer 0.8b2 has been released. I just got it installed in a VM and will be poking at it in coming days. According to Kaz, most of the changes are code cleanups, but any progress on the editor is a fine, fine thing.
  • I've done model rocketry here and there over the (many) years, and I've seen some very odd things lofted on D engines. Back in high school, my friend George built a Harecules Guided Muscle (which was from the Beany & Cecil cartoon show) in the form of a big whittled balsa wood fist on a short, thick body. I'm amazed it flew as well as it did. Well, here's a fire-'em-together pack of 8 rockets shaped and colored like Crayola crayons. The guy took his time (six years) but he did a great job--and created a spectacular Web page documenting the project.
  • We rarely go to WalMart, but last time we did, I picked up a bottle of Diet Mountain Lightning. It has nothing on Kroger's Diet Citrus Drop, easily the best of all the Diet Mountain Dew clones I've ever had the opportunity to try.