XP and VNC
Mar 17, 2002

The title article is causing a brouhaha about MS licensing practices. Given my reading of the license, I'm wondering if it really means what people are interpreting it to mean. Looking forward to the MS correction, which is likely to come sometime this week.;-)

You might want to see what VNC is. It's a very useful tool to know about. Also, there's rdesktop for various UNIX flavors that allow connection to RDP servers, including the one in XP Pro. In fact, I'm using it to post this message.

(Interesting Google tidbit... a while back I searched for "terminal services client linux" looking for what rdesktop is, but I had the hardest time finding it. iRights is no Yahoo.com, but Google does appreciate it, so I gave it a link, hoping to boost the rating so it would come up sooner. It seems I was successful, rdesktop.org is now the top hit for that search string. Look at the reverse links; only one higher. Another Google success.)

More Jabber news
Mar 17, 2002

I've definately decided to go with the Jabber stuff I described earlier. A few more advantages:

Threading issues are simpler. If the users are responsible for re-establishing connections, there's a nasty time while the system is logging in, but the server will reject any other messages, like I said. If I take control of the re-establishment, it's easy to block these messages. There are also a few misc. places where I could construct a multi-threaded scenario where something bad happened; this reduces, and I think eliminates, those. (I need to double-check the elimination claim, but even if it's false, the consequences of being incorrect are not that critical.)

Production quality. The .7 release is suitable for playing, but because disconnections are such violent events, it's not suitable for production use. .8 will be the beginning of production quality, at least in theory. ;-)

As for anyone who may be playing with the framework and wonders if their code will be useless later, the answer is no. In fact, you'll find you'll need to make very few changes .7->.8; it will mostly be removing calls to "openConnection", and the connectionReference parameters. Feel free to play, and let me know what you find.

The last issue I thought about is the callback approach versus a registerHandler function, as I currently use. Radio uses a callback system throughout, where you drop your script/address-to-script into some table, and everything works. I can't *quite* do that for Jabber, as scripts need to give a little more information about what they want to do. For instance, for an iq tag catcher, I need to know what namespace you're interested in, which I'll store in a table by that name. However, if you know in advance where your script will go, if you put it there manually, everything will work, so in the final analysis, the registerHandler function is just a convenience.

I think I can get .8 out this week. Coding is fairly easy, but there's a lot of testing ground to cover; every capability of the system must be re-tested.

Proof that technology is getting us somewhere
Mar 17, 2002

I just filed my taxes. It took me and my wife half-an-hour, included no redundent steps, and was not at all stressful. (Except at one point where we had to go look up the meaning of "homestead".) The return was zapped off to Michigan and the IRS automatically, and the refunds will be direct deposited to our bank account. I didn't even go to the store to buy the tax software! I did it online with Turbo Tax for the Web, and I even did it all for free because I qualified for the Quicken Tax Freedom Project version.

Compare this with ten years ago, and tell me technology is useless. It may not produce nirvana, but it just saved me several hours.

(Interesting history of the federal income tax.)

Women and men
Mar 17, 2002

A frequent correspondent, a man, writes: "Do you really believe those myths about men and women being different?" [Scripting News]

No, I believe in the truths that men and women are different.

Ask your local psychologist whether men and women are different. One of my psychology professors gave that as a benchmark to use about whether you should trust someone's psychology theories: If they claim that men and women aren't fundamentally different, then you can safely ignore their theories! This from a clinical practicioner. (And a women, normally not relevent, relevent in this sort of debate only.)

To those who knee-jerk in the PC direction and assume that it's evil to say there are differences: Shame on you. You perpetuate a damaging myth, and are trying to 'correct' people who need no correction. (The danger comes from relative value assessments, which are impossible.)

(example: Sex differences in the brain, with very real and observable effects.)

Mail from INS stuns flight school
Mar 15, 2002

'Six months to the day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Florida flight school where two of the suicide hijackers trained received letters from the Immigration and Naturalization Service indicating that the men had been approved for student visas.'

And people wonder why I'm not willing to turn control of things like, say, what websites out children can and can't see, over to the government. Everybody's winging it...

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