Back to FF

So apparently the Firefox browser has me hooked more than I thought. After trying out the latest Safari 1.3 update last night, I wound up switching the default back to Firefox already. Not that the improvements in Safari weren’t good – they were most welcome. But there were some workflow features in Firefox that I am not ready to give up on yet. One big one is Firefox’s type-ahead-find feature. I am so used to typing a few letters from the link I’m looking for, having Firefox select it, and then just pressing Return to activate the link. It’s often more convenient than using the mouse. And I’m missing some remaining CSS features with form elements.

But that’s not to say that I won’t still continue putting Safari through it’s paces. As far as web browsers go, Safari is top notch. I am definitley a flip-flopper when it comes to browser technology. I will use whatever I feel is best at the time and have no problem migrating over to another browser if I feel it’s going to work better for me.

Safari time

Dave Hyatt just mentioned a new release of Safari, v1.3. The update includes improvements in page load time and JavaScript performance, more standards support, and improvements in extensibility, compatibility, and security. Cool!

I was reading Hyatt’s blog this evening because of the engagement he’s taken with solving the acid2 test. Acid2 is a torture test for CSS rendering, and none of the current browsers got it right. Excellent to see both the rapid progress of solving acid2 and the new update in the meantime. I may switch back to Safari for a while…

Update: Well it indeed seems a bit faster. Rendering is a bit odd in the WordPress admin section though. Why does the Categories fieldset look too high? And the final g in the Save and Continue Editing button is kind of clipped.

Yet another update: The WordPress rendering stuff was easily fixed with some tinkering with the admin css file.

Need more storage

I have too much crap on my computer. Again. This happened last time.

If I want to install Tiger, and iLife ’05, I am going to need several more gigabytes of space. I am hovering between three and four available GBs right now, but I keep having to clear out dead wood, archive old projects, and force myself not to succumb to the sins of Halo and World of Warcraft

And so again we get to delve into the process of selecting a new replacement hard drive and installing it.

Since I’ve already been inside the PowerBook, I am sure it’s going to be a pain. The foil covers, funky screw gaskets, popping off the F keys, and odd screw lengths are going to be fun to keep safe and sorted out. At least since I’ve been there before, I know what to expect.

I am thinking of either an 80GB or 100GB drive at 5400RPM to replace the default 40GB 4200RPM drive that this machine currently has. Toshiba has one with a 16MB buffer. I have no idea what that would translate into in terms of real world performance increases, but it sounds like at least something to research. My last replacement drive for my old 500 MHz PowerBook was a 40GB/5400 RPM IBM TravelStar, and the performance increase over the old default 4200 RPM drive was immediately noticeable – I’d say a 10% to 15% boost right away. It was quieter, too.

Incredibles Authentication

After watching The Incredibles today for what seems like the five hundreth time with my son Max, I realized a funny thing about the way they present polar opposites of good vs. bad authentication.

The good authentication scheme is presented in the scene where Edna Mode escorts Elastigirl into her lab. She proceeds with a numeric passcode, a biometric handprint, a biometric retina scan, and a voice analysis. On success of the credentials, a robotic weapon appeared out of the roof and was trained on the supposed intruder until Edna cleared it. The only thing missing from it was a cryptographic key token. The chance of unauthorized access is almost nil.

The bad authentication was in Syndrome’s computer room. Wall of lava yes, but nothing else really seemed to monitor who was coming in and out of the room. The computer system was protected by a dictionary password (“KRONOS”, which is a wonderful reference to a 1957 film about a robot sent to destroy earth), and that’s it. And it seemed from the dialogue that this password controlled systems outside the secure area, which would make it about as effective as guarding a bank vault with a squirt gun.

I loved the polarity. One was so perfect in it’s implementation, the other deeply flawed and exploitable. Would make a nice intro clip for an info security class.

Quoted in Bay Area Living

Yingwen has a quote in Bay Area Living, which may or may not publish in the Oakland Tribune this weekend:

Yingwen Lewis, a piano teacher in the Danville and San Ramon areas, agrees.

“I think that when you have taken piano lessons your whole childhood,from Living 1

it leaves a lasting impression on you,” Lewis says. “Playing piano again can bring back many deep feelings, in the same way that a familiar place, a food or an activity can give you a feeling of nostalgia.”