Archive > June 2005

My Web

29 June 2005 » In Tech » No Comments

After trying to figure out how to keep my bookmarks shareable between computers (, various FireFox extensions and such come to mind) I was pleasantly surprised to see the unveiling of Yahoo!’s MyWeb2 – a hybrid of bookmarking, tagging, and sharing your pages within the community of your friends from Yahoo! 360. So, all it takes now for me to bookmark something is click on the little Save link in the search results or in my browser toolbar, put in a couple of tags, maybe a note, and set the access level. But the best thing is that when I do a search on Yahoo!, its MyRank algorithm rates the pages saved within my community higher, and also brings up a list of my bookmarks at the top of the page. And it’s dead easy to import your bookmarks or any other RSS feed into MyWeb2. Salvation at last.

Book Update

18 June 2005 » In Books, Reviews » 1 Comment

Finished: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. A fascinating, if sometimes shocking, look at what goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant business, specifically the kitchen. Bourdain does not pull any punches as he describes the rough and tumble kitchen crew, atmosphere, jargon, machinations, relentless pressure, and grisly details of every day of his profession in an eloquent and almost gleefully confessional way. His account is somewhat uneven and undoubtedly colored by his own history, but you will never forget why you should not order the fish on Monday.
Started: Blondie 24

Point Reyes and Hollister

18 June 2005 » In Bay Area » No Comments

On the Memorial Day my friend Simon and I drove out to Point Reyes, that remote and unique California landmark, taking some photos along the way. It’s a beautiful route if you take highway 1 after crossing the Golden Gate bridge and keep going along the coast and then the San Andreas fault.
And last weekend I finally went down to Hollister with Jeremy Z to go soaring in a glider. The weather could have been more agreeable, but it was great anyway. After being towed up to about 5,500 feet we were in the air for almost an hour, and let me tell you: it’s very different than flying in a big metal tube. I would liken it to riding a train versus a bike. Jeremy, who has been flying gliders for a while, took us through a couple of maneuvers, pulling 2 – 2.5 Gs along the way and giving me a glimpse of what fighter pilots and astronauts must feel. I had the front seat in the glider and managed to grab a few shots here and there.

age(PHP) = 10 years

07 June 2005 » In PHP » 1 Comment

PHP is 10 years old. It’s a big kid now, and it’s been a large part of my professional life ever since December of 1998 when I submitted bug #870 asking for a new language construct and then offered to help make PHP run better on Windows. Many words have been and will be written about this anniversary, but I would simply like to thank Rasmus for his friendship and for creating and nurturing PHP, and also his wife Christine for supporting Rasmus’ efforts throughout the years. May the next decade be ever more fun.

Shuffle My Queue!

04 June 2005 » In Hacks, Movies » 2 Comments

This is a random world. And people seem to like randomness: witness the popularity of iPod Shuffle. I am no different. I also watch a lot of movies: my Netflix queue has 72 DVDs in it currently. Recently I wondered whether it was possible to randomize my queue, so that the next DVD that comes in is somewhat of a surprise. After emailing the Netflix customer support and getting back a completely unhelpful reply telling me that I can re-order the queue by changing the priority numbers and clicking a button, I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands.
Input: GreaseMonkey, Javascript, and a couple of hours of hacking. Output: NetflixQueueShuffler. I know that GreaseMonkey scripts site already has a Netflix queue randomizer, but I think that one is lame, since all it does is change the priority numbers and click the submit button for you. Mine actually re-orders the table rows visually and lets you do it a few times until you are satisfied with the randomness.


01 June 2005 » In PHP, Talks, Travel » 1 Comment

Posting this out-of-order, but it couldn’t be helped.
A week before Cancún, I was at the International PHP Conference 2005 Spring Edition, held in Amsterdam. I gave an inaugural talk on the new Unicode support in PHP and also on the current state and development of PHP-GTK 2. This was my first visit to this city and I was determined enjoy it, despite the yawn-inducing 6 am departure time out of San Francisco and the three hours of turbulence after take-off. The good thing was that on the flight to Dulles airport the person seated next to me turned out to be the head of software department for Affymetrix, and we spent the whole time talking about DNA micro array, exons, TOUFs (transcripts of unknown function), and other such topics.
Continue reading “Amsterdam” »