Monday, June 28, 2004

Greetings from Germany

I'm writing this from a lovely place where I've been attending a conference with some high-falutin speakers. It's been quite interesting.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Fun with iTunes

A couple months ago, I wrote about using JuK and how "I've read rumors that it's similar to iTunes, but I have no experience with that". Well, I've been using Windows quite a bit lately, so I've installed iTunes (free download) and loaded my music into its library. It's pretty cool.

Down at the bottom of the main window it says: "1326 songs, 3.4 days, 4.36 GB" and yes, I own the CDs for all of these (or at least 1300 of them).

There's a "Party Shuffle" option. I've done no extra configuration on this, so it's shuffling through all my music. This produces interesting musical transitions such as this sequence:

  • A track from Mozart's Don Giovanni
  • "Born Under Punches" from the Talking Heads' Remain in Light
  • "Black and Blue" from Lyle Lovett's Pontiac
  • The opening number from Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods
  • "Roxanne'97-Puff Daddy Remix" from Sting's album 1997 - The Best Of Sting & The Police
  • "Purple Toupee" from They Might Be Giants' Lincoln (what kind of geek would I be without TMBG in my library?)
  • Variation 9 from Glenn Gould's recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations
That's fun for a while, but iTunes does make it easy to listen to more coherent playlists. I've created smart playlists for "Classic Rock" and other genres just by specifying the genre as the criteria. When I import another album in the genre, it's automatically added to the playlist. As I wrote with JuK, this is dependent on having good ID3 tags on the mp3 files. I used ID3-TagIT (freeware) to clean up some of my library. (This was especially important for some more recently ripped music since iTunes doesn't seem to recognize version 2.4 of ID3 tags and ID3-TagIT let me easily write version 2.3 instead.)

I don't use the iTunes music store and I don't have an iPod to sync this with. It's just a nice way to play music through my computer (and through my new noise-cancelling headphones).

Sunday, June 13, 2004

News on web stats

Since my post last month about gmail, I've been getting more traffic from more different people. This lead to requests for gmail invitations. When I started asking how they found my site, most responded like this one:
While I'd like to say it was something noble or a bit more interesting, I found it by searching on google for "gmail invitation." Your website was buried on page 39 I believe but I clicked on a lot of the links. I know it sounds like "he's only interested in gmail" and while I'm tempted to say "I'm an avid fan of your blog and just saw the post!" I'll be honest and just say I found it while scouring google for gmail invitations.
In order to get more information, I've since signed up for a free web stats account with Now I know that Cognitive Overflow has been found via searches for "lord's prayer in l33t speak slashdot", "kyte database independence", "i need a lot of money how", and, of course, many for "gmail", "gmail invitation" and the like.

Finally, check out this article at to read about VisitorVille, a service which displays traffic information in a SimCity-like way. Pages are portrayed as buildings, with the more popular pages being larger buildings. Visitors are shown as people and those who are referred by Google are shown arriving via the Google bus.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Al-Qaeda Planning Attack

"Those terrorists don't scare me. At least not without the help of my government."
  --from the What do you think? feature in this week's edition of America's Finest News Source(tm)