GMail’s Lead Engineer

Comments on e-mail and Gmail from the lead engineer, Paul Buchheit. Our family has migrated to Gmail from Lotus Notes. Spam was getting awful, and because Gmail offers so much storage, I decided it made sense to outsource the whole problem of e-mail (technical) management to a company that is not likely to go away any time soon.

The “Conversations” concept is a real improvement in keeping track of the back-and-forth around a thread of e-mails. The new auto-save mode is TERRIFIC, especially given the problems with losing what you’ve typed in a web browser. Gmail saves whatever you have typed every minute or so. Your message sits in draft mode in the event you lose a connection.

Official Google Blog: Guess what just turned 34?

I Sing The Body Antenna

finger-antenna.JPGWade borrowed the idea from Walt:

I sing the body electric

I celebrate the me yet to come

I toast to my own reunion

When I become one with the sun

Wade Lassiter, soundtrack to the movie Fame

I SING the Body electric;

The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;

They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,

And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul

Walt Whitman

I knew the line from the song in the movie Fame, but not remembering that, I stumbled on the original by Walt Whitman. Or rather, a revision, by Walt Whitman. The 1860 original version of the poem started off “O my children! O mates!” He changed the first line to “I SING the body electric!” in 1867.

I ended up searching for the line because I thought of it when I used my finger in place of my broken cell phone antenna. I was only able to get good reception if I pressed my finger into the antenna well where it had snapped off. This created an indention in my finger, but I was able to get 5 bars instead of 2.

The body makes a good cell phone antenna in a pinch.

Hurricane Names Go Greek

Hurricane Center May Run Out of Names

Only 21 names are reserved each year for hurricanes. The letters q, u, x, y, and z are not used.

The same list rotates every six years, so names are reused. The names of historical storms like Hugo and Andrew are retired. Katrina will certainly be retired.

When the names run out (which has not happened since alphabetic names have been used) they will use Greek letters: Alpha, Beta Gamma, up to Omega The cited article above does not say what happens if they ever have to retire Alpha.

Lights of America Model 2005A

I had previously concluded to not buy Lights of America lightbulbs, but one problem with blogs is that they are not readily available as you are standing in Wal-Mart. (I suppose they will be some day.)

I leave a 25 watt bulb burning outside of our basement door to discourage unwanted visitors. Because I don’t routinely go to the basement, it often ends up being on continuously. While 25 watts is not a lot, switching to a 5 watt (25 watt 215 lumen equivalent) compact fluorescent makes me feel less guilty about leaving the light on.

We’ll see if it is still burning 6,000 hours later. That’s on June 16th, 2006.