Hello Planet!

Tags: , , — Jeff @ 23:48

Whee! I’ve “just” been added to p.m.o now, so the peoples of the Mozilla worlds should now be getting my posts. Even better, for those of you who hate having to subscribe both to a planet and to a personal feed to read all their posts, fear not! Every glorious word I write is delivered in full to planet, so no need to waste time on duplicated entries. You’ll be reading my every word in raw, uncensored form. For everyone else, I recommend the “next” or “delete” key in your feed reader.

(Aside: I’ve idly wondered whether or if Atom includes a globally unique id field which could be used to consolidate duplicate entries; it seems like an obvious addition if it’s not there already.)

Long-term, I’ll be posting about lots of things: Mozilla, politics, economics, law, and whatever else happens to strike my fancy. In the short term, relatively speaking, I’ll primarily be posting about my progress along the Appalachian Trail. Since graduating MIT a few weeks ago, I’ve been thru-hiking the trail from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. I expect posts will, through October, primarily consist of trail updates as I pass through towns along the way. (This will also affect comments, which I currently moderate if you’ve not posted before.)

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough by way of an introductory post — we now return to your regularly-scheduled Mozilla postings.


The rumors of this blog’s death have been greatly exaggerated

Tags: — Jeff @ 16:11

Wow, it’s been quite a while since I posted anything here. Since the last post I’ve been busy at work at MIT. I’ve taken classes in topics ranging from compilers to cryptography and security to the precisely-defined subject of software engineering. I’ve spent a couple summers doing internships with Mozilla, hacking on Firefox and the code within it (and continued to do so throughout the year as much as [and often more than] time permitted). I’ve written a web server in JavaScript. I’ve played intramural frisbeeultimate with Random Hall, my dorm, in the spring; I’ve played Scrabble with the nascent MIT Scrabble club and gone to a few Scrabble tournaments (although none of late, unfortunately). Posting here is one of few things I can think of that I haven’t done recently.

Starting now, I’m going to make an effort to change that.

Why now? First, hopefully I’ll have more time to actually post updates now that I’m not bogged down with classes, projects, assignments, &c. (Sort of. See reason the third.) Second, it can serve as a megaphone for my thoughts when I might want to disseminate them more broadly than conversation alone allows — a bully pulpit in the tradition of the better Roosevelt president. Third, in a few days I’ll start hiking the Appalachian Trail, and I know more than a few people interested in following my progress; I can think of no better way to allow that than by posting here as my hiking allows.

Anyway, with that, it begins anew. Expect likely-erratic posts, punctuated by my sharp sense of humor, on a variety of topics, pulling no punches in my opinions or topic choices. Before this blog and I were twain, but now we shall be one. We’ll see how things go.

P.S. — Find the pun in this post!


Gmail Invites Available

Tags: — Jeff @ 11:43

I have about 50 Gmail invites to give away. If you want an account, leave a comment with your unobscured email address in the email address box in the comment form. Your email address won’t be displayed on the page, so don’t worry about getting spam.

Also, I’m still hoping to get a Mini Mac for Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird development work and testing. If you feel like it, sign up to get a free Mini Mac, complete an offer, and get some friends to do the same. It’s only five minutes, and the offers are pretty diverse. (Being a student, I found the Citibank credit card option to be most useful – it’s hassle-free, costs nothing, and takes about 5 minutes to complete. I’ve heard others have had good results from the Blockbuster and eFax offers as well.)

Update: the number of invites I have seems to replenish itself every day or so, so just keep posting if you want an invite, because it doesn’t look like I’ll be running out of them any time soon.

Update: I fall behind too easily on responding to invite requests, so I’m closing this down.  You can get invites pretty easily elsewhere as well, so it shouldn’t be too big a loss.  😉


Get a Free Mini Mac!

Tags: — Jeff @ 16:30

Sign up to get a free Mini Mac!

It started with the iPod. Now, they’re giving away free Mini Macs. Do I believe it really works? I don’t know. I’ve heard from many people that the free iPods were legitimate. Logically I should believe this would make a free Mini Mac offer legitimate. Logically, however, how in the world can this scheme actually be profitable?

The Mini Mac

I had no real need for an iPod. However, I signed up for this promotion because I could actually use a Mini Mac (for Firefox/Thunderbird development and documentation work). Do I really expect to get anything? No, not really. Would I like to have one? Sure. I guess I’ll have to see whether this really works or not by soliciting people to sign up through me. After all, I only need 10 people to sign up through me and participate in an offer.

So, if you feel like helping me find out whether this is really legitimate or not, sign up to get your own free Mini Mac. I’ll let people know here whether it works or not (assuming I find enough people willing to sell their souls this way).


The Todo List

Tags: — Jeff @ 03:08

An ordered priority list:

  1. Fix my laptop (or rather, have Dell fix it for me) so that Windows works and so that I can use it without losing power any time I try something CPU– or hard disk-intensive, like building Firefox or Thunderbird
  2. Bug 253334 — Thunderbird needs a Help Viewer
  3. Bug 272841 — Accesskey mnemonics no longer working in help
  4. Bug 247595 — Use entities to describe menus and dialogs in help documentation
  5. Bug 251751 — Firefox Help window should not be alwaysRaised

Processes that can be run relatively concurrently with the aforementioned processes:

  • Really learn the building numbers and building layout at MIT
  • Explore as many halls, corridors, nooks, and crannies at MIT as possible
  • Participate in Mystery Hunt
  • Take a soccer referee recertification class
  • Teach myself the rest of the 8.012 book
  • Somehow catch up on sleep

Things that may interest me but may or may not get done, unordered:

But first:

  • Get through the rest of the fall semester
  • Study a lot, particularly for 5.112 and 18.022
  • Pass my classes

Edit: For the “will do” list, I also need to do a complete UI review of Thunderbird so that its UI can be improved. In particular I think the menus are rather heavy, although there are other parts that could be cleaned up as well. Firefox 1.0 was elegant – Thunderbird 1.0 is unfortunately not nearly as elegant.

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