From The Archives Site News

From the archives

When I originally launched this blog back in 2005 I published it using custom blogging software of my own design. I intended this domain to be a little more “professional” or at the very least, less personal than my previous experiments in blogging.

In a time before github (or even git itself for that matter), stackoverflow, composer, etc it was very common for any dev worth their salt to build every component of their website from the ground up as a means to demonstrate their skills.

In July 2007, I decided to relaunch the site on WordPress 2.6. At the time, I considered my previous posts too cringe to archive. After reading through them all, I believe they actually belong here. So I’ve gone through can copy & pasted roughly 30 blog posts from 2005/06. I’ve left them largely unedited, save for some spelling corrections (turns out in-browser spell check has done wonders for my ability to spell correctly).

If you’d like, you can read all the posts in the “from the archives” category. The cool thing about copy&pasting out of is that all the old links still work.

Here are a few highlights that give a glimpse into the state of the web and geek culture 16 years ago:

  • Internet Security – March 2005
    I talk about two-factor auth (without using the word) as a mythical technology that only the military uses.
  • Episode III: RotS (litterally?) – May 2005
    My Star Wars: Episode III review.
  • phpMyMP3s – May 2005
    phpMyMP3s is one of the coolest things I’ve ever built and I wish the code download still worked. Essentially it was streaming MP3 server written in PHP. I ran this on my home computer in conjunction with dyndns to listen to my home MP3 collection at work.
  • better bandwidth protection: revisited – August 2005
    “Bandwidth theft” is a problem that has largely gone away due to lowering bandwidth costs. But in a time before the likes of imgur random users would link other random users’ content (usually proto-memes) hosted on bandwidth limited servers/services.

    In this post I present a way to essentially timeout links to limit the impact of bandwidth theft.
  • Winnipeg Web Firms – August 2005
    A list of local web shops that existed at the time.
  • Podcasts: what’s on my iPod – October 2005
    The podcasts I was listening to at the time. Some of these even still exist.
  • Parachute Beta is live! – February 2006
    An interesting idea I had for some of an inverse social network for links and only links. TBH I still think this is a decent idea.

    Also, it looks like my original name for this project was “dropbox” – a year before dropbox launched.
  • Summer Styles ’06 – May 2006
    You actually have to look at the backup of this post to fully appreciate this. If you click the links in the sidebar under “style” (summer ’06, blue, red) you’ll see the the style of the page completely changes, even in the archive itself!
From The Archives Site News

Summer Styles ’06

As a programmer I’m not expected to have a good looking site, in fact i’m probably expected to have an ugly website. It took me a year to recognize this, but now that I have I can focus on adding kewl functions to my site, rather than stressing about how ugly it is. That said, I thought it was time for a new style. Here it is. Thanks to my lovely wife for the font suggestion and logo creation.

CSS is awesome. The only tools I used for this redesign where: the web developer extension for firefox and notian’s online CSS Tidy Tool (because the web dev extension doesn’t let me format my css very well); and photoshop for the logo creation.

You’ll note that the comment system is currently none-functional. It will remain disabled until I implement a Human Verification System.

That’s all for now folks, I’ll try to update more frequently.

Apps From The Archives

Parachute Beta is live!

I’ve FINALLY been able to sit down and complete dropbox (now PARACHUTE) code to a level I’m willing to release on a private beta basis. If all goes well, I’ll a release a public beta within a week. Sign Up Here.

Parachute? Am I jumping? What am I dropping? Links, sounds delicious doesn’t it? And it is, but with a twist, you don’t put in your own links. Parachute is designed so that you receive links from other people, right in your dropzone. Still don’t get it? Here’s how it works…

Let’s say Jill and Joel are best buds, Jill want to share a cool site about plants with Joel, but Joel has a job, and is working on something important so he can’t be bothered to read about plants, no matter how cool they are. He could accept the link from Jill and shove it in his favourites, or go to some other social bookmarking site, but he doesn’t want to divert his attention. Jill could always email it, but she doesn’t want to open her mail client and go through that hassle, so what do they do? Before Parachute they probably would forget about the stupid plants and carry on, foliagely unfulfilled. But now with Parachute, Jill can drop Joel the link, and then when he has more time on his hands, he can go through his new drops and have a leafy old time reading about plants.

What does all this mean? A better world, and probably more work done in offices, except for the people who just spend their time refreshing their box, hoping for some new drops. Eventually we would like to see our parachute all over the web, instead of “emailing this link to a friend” why not drop it to their account with a click and a lot less typing? Plus with the Parachute your friends know that you’re not accidentally signing them up for spam.

thanks to notian for that copy, he’s a much better writer than i’ll ever be

From The Archives Review

Pandora and The Music Genome Project is amazing. If you’ve never checked out it i suggest visiting immediately. Pandora is a streaming music site similar to Yahoo! Music, and the like. It a services that creates a customized playlist for you based on your musical tastes, with one twist, it actually works really well!

The difference is in the way it selects songs for you. Services like yahoo! typically use an amazon style popularity system. “People who like X also like Y.” The problem with this type of system is the assumption that all good music is popular. Not to mention that it’s also completely unscientific, it doesn’t actually compare the content of music.

Pandora is different. Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project. The project was started 6 years ago to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level.” They use 400 attributes to describe each song, from the vocal qualities to musical make up to recording style and probably a bunch of other esoteric musician crap. For instance, some of the attributes describing IOU by Metric include “basic rock song structure, electronic influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony acoustic rhythm piano and extensive vamping.”

After about 8 – 10 hours I’ve tuned one of my channel very well. I’ve found myself listening to a lot of bands I’ve heard of, but never gotten around to listening to. I’ve also stumbled across few new bands I’m really digging.

The service is 100% legal – they pay royalties – and more or less ad free – there are a few amazon ads on the main page.

The only downside is the 10 song skip limit. Due to some retarded DMCA stipulation you are not allowed to skip more than 10 songs per hour, this apparently would be considered music on demand, which is illegal.

A message on the “subscribe” page threatens that they’ll soon start to advertise. If and when that happens I’ll probably pay the $4/mo.

Pandora is arguably the future of the radio. I’d love to be able to download 10 or 15 songs from my playlist, I wouldn’t even mind paying a few buck for them.

Check it out yoz.

Inside the Net 6: Tim Westergren of Pandora Media
Official Site

From The Archives Random

The Alphabet According to Google

I accidentally typed ‘s’ in my firefox location bar and found myself at, thanks to the built in google search redirect. This promoted me to see what the reset of alphabet looks like according to google. Some of these make more sense than others.

b B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in Occupied Territories – Kinda Random.
c C-Span
d D-link
e E! Online
f F-Secure
g Gmail
h H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online – “H-Net is an international interdisciplinary organization of scholars and teachers dedicated to developing the enormous educational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web.” I guess they’re doing a good job if they’re the number one result for H. Next I search for hydrogen I might be unpleasantly suprised.
i – Some sort of search portal. Their logo is an orange in the process of being squeezed. I don’t understand.
j Jennifer Lopez
k K Desktop Environment
l Europa – The European Union On-Line – there isn’t even an l in their URL.
m Texas A&M; University – check out the aggiecam.
n The N – This is one makes 100% sense.
p – (not to be confused with pee flag), Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays
q – The World’s Greatest Music Magazine Online – 2 observations here: a) i didn’t understand the site until i read the title, b) i guess “world’s greatest” doesn’t mean “worlds most well known” cuz i’d not heard of them before; and i used to work for an online music magazine.
r The R Project for Statistical Computing – “R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language…” good to know.
s McDonald’s
t AT&T;
u The University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona – why isn’t it pronounced “TUC-SON,” crazy americans
v VCOM – They appear to be a competitor of Symantec.
w The White House
x The X.Org Foundation – think x windows
y Yahoo! Messenger – “Now with voice” good to know
z A to Z Teacher Stuff For Teachers – FREE online lesson plans, lesson plan ideas and activities, thematic units, printables, themes, teaching tips, articles, and educational resources. It’s all there in the title.

Here are the numbers (these don’t actually work from the location bar in FF).
These make a lot less sense.
I suppose the software downloads could be in reference to specific versions.

0 Business 2.0 – they were 2.0 before it was hip. It’s actually a fairly decent magazine. I have a hard time believe this is the magazine’s site, it’s hideous.
1 Mozilla – A lot of references to firefox version 1
2 Shrek 2 – huh.
3 3Com
4 – A public service broadcaster in the UK
5 Macromedia(adobe?) Flash Player Download
6 Apple Quicktime Download
7 Netscape Download
8 Super 8 Motels, Inc.
9 Micheal Moore – I guess this has something to do with fahrenheit 9/11