Weblogging Feb 19 2002

Through this incestuous circle of weblog linking with which we find ourselves, I found PageCount – Into the Lake of Fire, a blog created by Mike Golby from South Africa.

Mike trips fantastically over a wide variety of interrelated subjects, from Jeneane Sessum’s review of Chris Locke’s Bombast Transcripts to yesterday’s touching weblog posting that Chris made, dropping quotes from the bible equally with ones from Bob Dylan and Pete Seger. Sometimes dizzying but never dull — and that’s about the best thing you can say about a weblog, isn’t it?


Uh, oh. We’re going there again — you know where.

Jacob from FuzzyBlogic is weighing in on the you know what. And this was picked up by Doc, which was then picked up by Dave.

There’s a hell of a lot of *POP* going on in weblogdom today.

BTW, who all thinks I should offer to host Mike Sanders Keep Trying weblog on my server? Because I keep trying and keep trying and keep trying, but the site is inaccessible…a lot. At least, I’m having a lot of problems accessing the site.


I got tired of looking up people’s current times so I’m printing out my “home base” time in California, and then showing the hour difference between me and my favorite webloggers. This effort is a work in progress and times will be filled in as I find them for folks.

Small world, isn’t it?


Hey! I’m a faction!

Now I feel like I should get my gang and go beat someone up. Wait a sec…I did this already, yesterday.

I guess the scam now is to put the word G**glewhack into your weblog and try and steal Google hits according to Andy, who found this at Richard’s and Dave.

I also found out that there’s now an official G**glewhack site.

Why am I using the asterisks? Because I don’t want more hits for G**glewhack. This weblog isn’t about G**glewhack. As it is, I’m getting too many for Z*ldman because I mentioned him a couple of times.

No G**glewhack here. No Z*ldman, either. Just barbie’d chooch…and friends.

Update: Oooh. I’m so excited. I checked my referrers and found the following: – – [16/Feb/2002:17:41:24 -0800] “GET /weblog/index.php HTTP/1.1” 200 42823 “” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.13; Mac_PowerPC)”

I guess I’m in.


I was thinking of dropping the TechBlog. I was spending more time weblogging than working on my “regular” web site content and those babies are getting rusty.

However, I am addicted to weblogging — I am a blogaholic.

Instead of dropping TechBlog, I’m dropping two of my web sites: SolarLily and NetJetter. Thanks to my handy dandy PostCon (Post Content Management) system, it will be easy to merge their content into my other sites without 404 errors slipping through.

And I’m going to tie my P2P Smoke website into the TechBlog, since the latter focuses primarily on P2P anyhow.

BTW, I heard from Oracle about a possible position working on Financial software. I don’t know — am I an Oracle employee type of person? Can you all picture me working at Oracle?


Mind the email virus

I’ve had an unusually high number of email virus attempts to wreck havoc on my tender little system today. My quarantine area of Norton is beginning to resemble fly paper in a particularly hot, moist, and odorous climate. (This is where you all go “Ewwww, yuck!”)

Of course you all know not to open emails (not even for review) that don’t have a subject line, right? And you all know not to have email preview/review turned on with Outlook, right?

Ah, I love the coming of Spring. Green leaves, flower buds, warmer winds, and fresh, happy little computer viruses digging their busy little way through the Internet, chipping away at each node like it’s a particularly tasty little tender tree root…

…that it then STRIPS of all nutrients, leaving it withered and dessicated, brown, and crumbling in the hot noon day sun before moving on like a RAVENING HORDE to the other trees in the forest until the whole damn Internet is just one desert with us as pack animals HOWLING in the night desperate to find each other in a system that’s no longer functioning!!!

Ahem. Ah. Well. Hmmm.

It’s okay. I’m all better now. Just a little posting to say “Mind the Email Virus.”


Visual C++ helper function

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I popped over to bumr for a minute and came face to face with this Visual C++ code. Whoa! Work!

And yes, as noted in the comments,  _bstr_t and _variant_t are darn handy. Almost make VC++ palatable at times. The problem with Microsoft’s Visual products isn’t that they aren’t powerful. The problem is you have to really dig to find the nifty helper functions to make your life easier.*

Users shouldn’t have to dig for information about how to use a product. This is equivalent to “if you have to ask directions, you can’t afford to use it” in attitude. Arrogant.

*Another problem is that going Microsoft’s way usually implies total buy-in to the MS way of doing things; I still own my soul, thank you very much.



P2P Networks

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I checked out Circle as well as Chord as P2P networks. These are excellent efforts and should be note to anyone who is interested in P2P systems. As with KaZaA, much of the P2P cloud is transient and located on the peers themselves. The folks at Userland should look at how this can be done with Radio 8.0 if they want a true, distributed backend to the product.

I have a feeling the cloud part isn’t the issue — it will be the Radio backend and this assumption of one controlling application per weblog. At least, that’s what I found when I started peeking around a bit. Perhaps folks more knowledgeable about Radio will have a better idea.

Back to the P2P systems: aside from a key entry point (and all of these systems need this and there’s a reason why) the P2P clouds are without iron. Aside from the key entry point.

Why is the entry point needed? Because each P2P circle is too small (yes it is) to make it efficient to send a bot out into the open Internet, knocking at IPs looking for a specific node of any one of these systems. All P2P systems are too small for this to be effective, Napster, Gnutella, and so on. Think about it — how many nodes are online now in the Internet? I wouldn’t even try and guess the number but I imagine millions and millions. Now you have a P2P network with about 200,000 nodes. Needle in haystack. Right?

Well, not necessarily. Depending upon the dispersion level of the nodes of the P2P network, it might not be that difficult to find an entry node into the network. So with a bot and a handshake protocol implemented at each node you could have a golden gateway — an entry point totally without iron.

However, the problem with this approach is you then have to have a bot for every system you want to join: Groove, Gnutella, Circle, and so on. What a pain.

Wouldn’t it be better to have all these systems provide a common form of identification as well as a common handshake and direction protocol and then have one type of bot that’s smart enough to tap on the door of the nearest P2P system and say “I’m looking for so and so”? And wouldn’t it be better to have each system learn about the others when contacted, such as when a bot returns to a node with a connection into Circle, it also happens to have information about the nearest golden gateway node to Gnutella?   And would it be such a resource burden to have the node check every once in a while to make sure it’s neighboring nodes are still online? So that when our bot of discovery comes calling, it’s given up to date information?

What’s the cost of a ping?

You know, I have so many bots crawling my servers that I’m amazed it’s still standing at times. But none of them work together. If they did, and if they were smarter, and if our sites had something a bit smarter than just open ports, firewalls, or web servers — then maybe we could do without DNS and centralized repositories of information such as UDDI.

Just some more grand ideas to throw out and see if people think I’m full of little green beans again.