I am posting this message from a Windows XP desktop machine using w.bloggar. There were a couple of wrinkles. I accidentally hit “post” when I really wanted “post & publish”. Also, I guess it prefills the title even if you want to leave the title blank. Let’s see, if I re-load the message in w.bloggar and then re-post, will it fill the title again? The answer is No.

Microsoft Architect Don Box talks about living without emacs. I find myself in the same situation. What I really miss is M-/. Inquiring minds want to know: does a VS.NET equivalent exist?

Dave, the early riser, has already written up a summary of last night’s weblog writers’ meeting. The discussion about weblogs and presidential elections was pretty inspiring. If you believe that news coverage influences politics, and that weblogging democratizes the news reporting process, then weblogging should give the average citizen greater influence to shape presidential elections. Chris brought to our attention the related idea of semiotic democracy.

Straight outta Conifer

I’m just back from a family vacation in Conifer, Colorado, where we took in the beautiful scenery and thin air.

What can I say, I kept thinking, “Hey, I’m in South Park!”.

The vacation house is way up in the mountains at about 9,000 feet. Now that I’m back I see the devastating effect of the lack of Internet access on my weblog. Four empty days, good gracious me. We need satellite access up there.

We had to change planes in Chicago on the way back. I can’t decide if it was good or bad. Sure, it makes for a longer travel day, but boy was it nice to give our little girl a chance to run around for an hour midway through the trip.

XmlDocument.Load()

Yesterday Simon Fell posted an ASP.NET OPML browser in response to Dave’s call to action.

Very cool. Looking over the code, I learned a few little tricks I didn’t know about.

I hadn’t realized that XmlDocument can load a remote URL, though it’s right there in the SDK docs. I seem to remember in the Aggie source code that they have a special wrapper to handle the Http fetch.

A little fooling around reveals that XmlDocument.Load() doesn’t handle 302 redirects gracefully. In fact, the resulting exception puts my HttpApplication into a permanently broken state until I restart the application :(

Update 2003-04-22: Simon is unable to reproduce this behavior. Neither am I when I point my code at his pingback url.

As best I can tell, the problem only arises when both documents—the code making the request and the code issuing the 302–are running on the same IIS 5.1 instance.

Sweet sixteen

Dave writes about outliners in his weblog today. While reading I found this page where I downloaded software that was released in 1987.

thinktank1.gif

Holy cow, it works on Windows XP!

The software runs fine and helps anyone scratching their heads to get an idea about what outliners are at their bare bones. Caveat: it did cause my copy of trillian to crash, and now neither trillian nor putty will run. All the same I’m in shock that this sixteen year-old software can simply be unzipped an launched.

E-commerce

I contributed $100 to WBUR today. WBUR is on constantly in our house. There is a prominent “Support WBUR” link at the top of the homepage, marked by a button in a contrasting color. The transaction went off quickly and easily, and I received email confirmation of my pledge shortly afterward.

I tried to contribute to WGBH today. Our toddler watches a fair amount of Sesame Street and Teletubbies. I had to scan around the page a while before finding the “Pledge & Renew” link down in the fifth row of the left-hand navigation bar. I filled out the form and hit the “Submit” button. Then the server dropped my connection.

The Hunt

I am hunting around for a news aggregator to guide me through my journey into the blogosphere.

SharpReader is looking good. It’s desktop-based and has a nice, responsive user interface. But I read news at more than one computer. Question: does or will SharpReader provide a way to synchronize subscriptions against a file out on the web?