posts to days old
of topics
with text


zong (3 Nov 2004 16:45): what's next in the script?
m (9 Nov 2004 9:30): a "browse by subject" button
ability to see prior posts when replying to a topic
Paul (9 Nov 2004 16:07): after a day of coding at work, I don't have much drive to upgrade mancalablog :( Which is too bad, because I had good ideas for upgrading it...
m (10 Nov 2004 12:52): you could always wikify it
or add some sort of scripting features

I guess both of those are pretty significant upgrades themselves.
Grant (12 Nov 2004 8:12): Wiki is two-years-ago. Everybody who is 'with it' uses wakaba/futallaby now.
m (12 Nov 2004 16:25): maybe I'm confused - I assumed that wiki merely meant pages freely modifiable by their user base
Grant (12 Nov 2004 20:26): I think of Wikis as being those webs of content being built traditionally of WikiWords.
Paul (5 Dec 2004 9:27): Have Americans been numbed? Or was it always like that?...
G (7 Dec 2004 22:52): I think it's gotten worse, personally.
Somewhat off-topic:
AWOL U.S. Soldier Seeks Refuge in Canada
"Hinzman applied for conscientious objector status before his unit was sent to Afghanistan in 2002, but the Army told him it lost his application." D'oh.
G (8 Dec 2004 0:19): What It Means when a Crowd in a Faraway Nation Takes a Soldier Representing Your Own Nation, Shoots Him, Drags Him from His Vehicle, and then Mutilates Him in the Dust.
G (8 Dec 2004 0:23): Don't miss the previous entry, either:
Tales of Erotica: Chuck Norris and Me
carla (3 Nov 2005 19:13): where are you now?
G (7 Nov 2005 17:34): Carla is talking to me, right?

I'm in Japan! Still in (near?) Takamatsu, although currently in Shimokasai, which is a ways out. This winter vacation, though, I'll be heading out to Vietnam.

I don't know where Paul is. I thought you had him! I was going to ask you.
carla (8 Nov 2005 18:44): ha : ) no...unfortunately not. enjoy Japan and Vietnam!
m (12 May 2017 21:59): Has 'ask' always been a noun, or is this something relatively recent?
Paul (16 May 2017 17:13): Hm...there should be easy ways to answer this question. Can we think of common examples and check their Google n-grams? What is a common use of ask as a noun?
G (17 May 2017 10:12): I've only heard it used with 'big' (and related synonyms). I guess we can blame the 90's.
Google n' Gram data is available to the year 2000, while google trend data is available starting in 2004... but 'trends' don't really seem like a good indicator of usage to me anyway.
m (17 May 2017 17:26): The google results are a bit of a mess, but not totally useless. Seems to have come from Australia, lots of use of the phrase there starting in the early 90s.
G (17 May 2017 18:50): Obviously, I support the use of 'request.'
m (22 May 2017 20:57): Ugh it's spreading. From today:
But, according to the report, the intelligence officials turned down the ask, "which they both deemed to be inappropriate."
Paul (29 May 2017 21:38): Well, here's the Ngram for "the ask," showing some use since early 1800s with a takeoff since about 1980...
m (30 May 2017 12:18): No, ngrams isn't as good as you want it to be. Sample early use. They're all bad like that. I couldn't find a single one from before 1998 in the google books results that looked reasonable. (Well, there was one, but it's quoting non-native speech.)

And I'm not even convinced by the apparent uptick in 1980. I see a these more modern patterns in the books results (and nothing like what we mean by its usage, synonym of 'request', until the Australia examples of the early 90s)
m (30 May 2017 12:48): This poses a real problem! I can't figure out a way to factor this stuff (horrible misparsing, weird phrase fragments, ocr failures) out of our ngrams results to get some reasonable data. And the google books results that they show me are just a fragment of the ngrams corpus (right?), and I don't know how representative they are of the whole thing.
Paul (31 May 2017 4:32): Hm. Then Ngram remains useful for obscure words but not for obscure combinations of common words, it seems.
sam (5 Jun 2017 20:39): I aksed her for the ask but got the axe instead.
m (6 Jun 2017 6:57): Gimme the Ax


m (24 Mar 2005 16:56): Philip Greenspun talks up something which, at first glance, I can only think of as dubious at best. I'm skeptical of anything with "AOL" tattooed across it (with the exception of my penis (tm)), and rightfully so. The problem is, I think Philip Greenspun is pretty smart, I've grown quite fond of tcl (in the context of ns-2) and scariest of all it looks good, in the not-evil sense of the word. Clearly it's not the case that AOL has turned over a new leaf. But what happened?
Grant (24 Mar 2005 19:16): Wow. Stupid. On many levels.
Grant (24 Mar 2005 19:17): Wow. Stupid. On many levels.
Paul (24 Mar 2005 19:43): Well, Tcl looks a lot cleaner than CF at least (compare below). And I don't see how AOL's use of Tcl contaminates Tcl itself...
set a 7
if {$a > 4} {puts "a ($a) is more than 4 in Tcl"}

<cfset a = 7>
<cfif a gt 4>
<cfoutput>a (#a#) is more than 4 in ColdFusion</cfoutput>
m (25 Mar 2005 1:05): sorry -- confusing pronouns. Anyhow, assume that AOLServer, not tcl, was the appropriate antecedent for most of them. my question: is AOLServer the shit that I intuitively expect it to be, or actually good, the way it seems like it might be?
Paul (25 Mar 2005 20:36): AOLServer is probably better than, say, MS Personal Web Server, but I'd still put my money on various Apache/Tcl efforts...
Paul (24 Oct 2011 18:41): finally, a better explanation of git

Wildy Off-Topic Microsoft Bashing

Grant (30 Nov 2004 21:20): DWP Kills Sixty Thousand Computers.
As reported on As the Apple Turns. Note their current poll!
Paul (9 Feb 2005 19:24): What? The blog's broken? It must just be your browser.
m (10 Feb 2005 0:16): oh, I see - you were demonstrating a weird spoofing problem with ie that uses html character entities.
which also seems to be a problem with my 20041107 Firefox 1.0

m (10 Feb 2005 0:23): OH! ie is the only one that _doesn't_ get spoofed. Everything based on gecko is vulnerable.
Paul (15 Feb 2005 16:48): Finally someone has explained a way to disable IDN in Firefox.
Paul (15 Feb 2005 20:47): I'm afraid I've found a hole in how mancalablog sanitizes things. not sure how to close it, though. hmph. Maybe it's not that bad that you can assign arbitrary javascript events to your it?
(15 Feb 2005 21:44): Remove all tags with semicolons.
Better yet, remove all posts with semicolons.
Grant (15 Feb 2005 21:51): This page has some good sample code (find for "trexx") that seems to do what you want. Stealing sample code 4 lief, bro.
Paul (17 Jan 2006 11:26): You know how LaTeX-generated pdf files often suffer from ugly-font? like, almost unreadable... I now find this can be fixed by \usepackage{pslatex}. I would blame TeX for this, but perhaps it's more Adobe's fault. At least there's a fix...
Grant (17 Jan 2006 20:25): I didn't really follow - why would this be Adobe's fault? They don't make TeX, and as far as I know they don't even make what you're using to view the PDFs with. I know I don't use Acrobat anymore. Linux, X11 and company are kinda famous for their poor fonts.
Paul (20 Jan 2006 13:55): Well, perhaps I'm just casting innuendo against the man. Here is a better explanation, but I still don't get why TeX's default font looks fine in DVI and PS files, and becomes ugly in PDFs...
Paul (22 Feb 2006 11:45): this has to be a joke, right? I hardly believe aol would dare this, but even if they do, and even if aol users do get corporate spam, does anyone care? talk about political organizations being on a hair trigger...
Grant (6 Mar 2006 22:22): I probably said this before, but hehehe.
"I picked up a Magic 8-Ball the other day and it said 'Outlook not so good.' I said, 'Sure, but Microsoft still ships it.'"
Paul (4 May 2007 20:15): If this is true, that would royally suck. I currently count Yahoo among the fairly-nice-and-only-slightly-spooky powers on the net, and it's all threatened.
Paul (28 Nov 2007 16:39): Microsoft Aquarium 3.0 (as told by xkcd)
Paul (2 Dec 2007 8:13): "Don't give up on Vista"
Paul (1 Feb 2008 9:35): Doh! just when I thought yahoo was a nice refuge from Microsoft brokenness and Google megalomania...
m (1 Feb 2008 14:05): that post doesn't actually make sense
m (3 Feb 2008 19:59): it seems I was a couple days behind the news...