I accidentally stumbled on a great example of government privatization yesterday. I was coming back from a trip to Columbus around lunchtime. I missed the exit where Arby’s is, but the next exit showed a Hardees, Waffle House, Wendy’s, and Chik-Fil-A. So I pulled off. When I got on to the ramp they had a sign saying which way each place was. The two I might want (Wendy’s and Chik-Fil-A) were 2.8 miles to the right. That wasn’t much less than if I had turned around and gone back to the previous exit to go to Arby’s. I ended up going down that road anyway and it seemed like I was out in the country. After what seemed a very long way I came across some restaurants, though I didn’t see a sign pointing out which way the places I wanted to go. I ended up giving up and went to Taco Bell.

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Bulletin Board

After doing a bunch of research on different types of discussion boards, I went ahead and decided to try out PunBB. It got good reviews as a small and easy-to-manage bulletin board system. I thought it would be a real challenge, but actually it wasn’t bad. Even the installation was fairly simple. The file itself was under 300k. I had to create a MySQL database at my host first, and I wasn’t sure what to use as the database server hostname (I left it as “localhost” and it seemed to work). It went surprisingly smoothly and I had a discussion group before long.

Also, in the control panel for the website I set up a subdomain so that visitors can go to:

Right now it is very plain. And I don’t think it has a lot of options. One thing I wanted to do was to approve members manually so that I don’t get interlopers or robots visiting. It seems the only thing I can do is require a confirmation e-mail. That should help anyway.

I got kind of mad at first because I told it not to show my e-mail address in my posts, and when I went to look, there it was plain as day. But it turns out I could see it because I was a moderator. When I logged out and viewed it as a guest, I could not see the e-mail address.

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When I moved the website from the old host, the old CGI Perl web counter stopped working. Because the new host supports php, I decided to try some php web counters. I found a simple one and had to do a couple of things to make it work. First I had to add a file to my www root called .htaccess that enabled php code on html files by adding this line of text:

Addhandler application/x-httpd-php .html .php

Next I had to set the CHMOD permissions for the file containing the page count to 777 or else it would read the file but be unable to increment the number and generated a bunch of error codes.

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My New iPod

Today FedEx left my new nano under my doormat. nano.jpg The box was very small, about the size of a thick paperback book. Inside was a clear plastic box about the size of my old iPod but thicker.

And there, floating behind the clear plastic front, was my black 8 GB 3G nano. It isn’t much bigger than a book of matches. It is just very, very tiny. It definitely looks better than in the pictures. The screen is very crisp.

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New iPods

Well, I’ve waited for a long time and they finally announced new iPods today. Unfortunately, I didn’t get what I’ve waited for for so long: a high capacity widescreen iPod. Instead they have a really high capacity iPod classic (160 GB) and a really low capacity widescreen iPod (16 GB). I still hope Apple will introduce what I want, and I see no reason they won’t introduce such a thing by January anyway.

So in the meantime, I’m thinking I will get one of the new fat nano’s in either red or black (I don’t like the light blue and light green colors!). I like the engraving Claire has on hers, so I will probably order directly from Apple so I can get that. Maybe even this week.

The Dark Side of Cheese

Last week I heard a piece on NPR about alpine cheese. In particular they were talking about a cheese producer in Vermont who was making Beaufort cheese, which is typically made in France. They also talked to some French cheese makers who said it was getting harder to make their cheese due to global warming. In addition to the pastures growing different types of plants for the cows to eat, the hotter weather has made the cows thirstier, meaning they drink more water, and the milk they produce is less concentrated, requiring more milk to produce the same amount of cheese. Stupid global warming.

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One Thousand Google Dollars

At the very end of August, I passed $1,000 in lifetime (just over three years) earnings from Google. I had already broken that with Amazon, but I’m halfway through a 4-month hiatus with them, so I won’t start earning from Amazon again until November 1.

I was crazy to make note of how regular Google is because immediately thereafter monthly earnings dropped way off and it took me 4 months instead of the normal 3 to earn another check.

New iPods come out on Wednesday . . .