Monday, March 18, 2002

I told you this was boring!

If you're reading this because Mark Gibbs mentioned it in his column today, I meant it. I, like most bloggers, just write my blog for friends and family to read, and only because the space is free and easy to administer. When I ran a blog precursor on my own website (about 5 years ago), I eventually stopped writing it because updating the page and all the links that went with it was a pain in the kiester.

Blogs are fun, but generally meaningless. If you're interested in what someone has to say, they're a neat way to get a little insight into them (lord knows what people who read mine think), and an occasionally entertaining diversion. Que sera, sera.

By the way, I didn't know Mark was giving away any prizes (I'll update this when I get whatever it is). I just responded to him because I like the column and thought a comment was in order.

Catch-22 (the joys of site certificates)

I tried to renew my company's main SSL cert recently. The one that secures our intranet site. When I registered it 2 years ago, I was the admin and technical contact. It seemed obvious, as I was the one who managed the domain and both built and ran the server.

In the meantime, the CA had changed their policies, apparently. They now require separate people in those roles. So when I tried to renew, they bounced it, because our application lists me in both roles.

The problem, as I see it, is that they already accepted me once, the schmucks. I could give them two contacts, but that's defeating the point of me being the admin, now, isn't it?

So meanwhile the discussion is heating up, the deadline for the cert is approaching, and odds are I'm going to be finding a new CA for my SSL certificate. This sucks.

On a brighter note, I actually felt our baby moving last night. Wow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

My Apple comment du jour

Five years ago (nearly), I wrote a little piece for my since-deprecated rant pages that threatened doom and gloom for Apple based on their apparent decision to kill the cloning business that had sprung up under the previous regime. I actually had a few very animated e-mails pass back and forth between Steve Jobs and myself over the topic (once upon a time, I had a very tiny bit of juice in the Mac biz). Needless to say, he won the argument - it was his company to run, after all. I predicted that Apple would fizzle out to nothingness as people like me replaced Macs with Windows NT boxes.


Well, I got one part right. I did replace Macs with NT, but it was because I went to another company that had never seen a Mac before. All we had was Windows. No biggie. What did I get wrong?

Well, I made a big mistake. I forgot the passion that Apple owners have for their machines (well, I didn't forget it, but I discounted it). I forgot about the installed base of everyday users - not the corporate types and power users who went to the cloners. But most importantly, I forgot about the Apple X factor - Jobs himself. The guy just has a knack for producing boxes that capture the imagination of users.

Just when it looked darkest for Apple, as they looked like they would be resting on the ho-hum beige G3 towers that weren't even as nice as the aborted G3-based clones, Apple brought the iMac out of nowhere (a Jobs skunkwork project) and hit a home run. And Apple went from being a lame PC company to a superstar of industrial design and the trendsetter of the PC industry (in a return engagement).

Since then, they have kept the press fawning over the comeback story, and product after product has emerged to acclaim and sales success. They did have some missteps - the polka-dot iMac was lame, and they kept the second generation model around a little long, the Cube was a fiasco, and they are having all sorts of trouble getting fast enough chips built by Motorola, but they are out of the wilderness and making money again. Even Slashdot now covers Apple news (at, and OS X is getting props from all over.

Go figure. No pundit is perfect, especially not amateur ones like me.

In other news, we now have our baby registry on-line through (Amazon, actually - it's a fulfillment deal). Just over three months to go!

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Rhinoviruses suck

Granted, this is a no-brainer. But I am currently in the thrall of one (day 3) and quite annoyed by it. I suspect that rhinoviruses are a conspiracy led by the tissue companies.

However, I did not get it as badly as my wife did when she had it last week. As much as this cold is bugging me, it's a lot tougher on a woman who is late in her second trimester. Pregnancy seems to supress the immune system enough that colds have a nastier impact while they last.

So I'll write more stuff in this journal in a few days once my head is out of the rhinovirus fog...