News for August 2002


Radiation tri-blade symbol 11aug2002 - We'll be gone the next few weeks, to get out and enjoy some of this summer before it's gone forever. I'll leave the site up for you to peruse at your leisure while we're away, so you can continue to indulge your technolust. See you in September. Adios.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 09aug2002 - Saw Triple X, xXx, today. James Bond with an attitude and heavy metal music. Better than I expected. (I wasn't expecting much.) Made me laugh out loud a few times. The acting was pretty lame in spots. Even Samuel L. Jackson's lines seemed unnatural at times. Good stunts. Anti-establishment. Occasionally imaginative.

Pro gaming. X (Vin Diesel) actually uses the words First Person Shooters. Nobody but gamers would know what a FPS'er is. It's obvious that the writers are familiar with gaming. Can't give it an official recommendation, but I was actually entertained despite the contrived, patchwork plot.

The other new film being released this weekend is Clint Eastwood's Bloodwork. But since Triple X was being shown on the giant screen, I opted for that.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 08aug2002 - I periodically receive requests from software developers to evaluate their programs. Usually they want to see if I'll include it in the Guide to the Best Software Programs. This week I received more requests than any other.

Most of the time, I have no interest in evaluating software. It takes a long time to run thru the list features and make sure everything works as described. But this week I was sent some cool applications.

They don't send me cash, but I get a free serial number with the deal. So I may have some cool software for you to look at soon. I usually like to use the program for a couple of weeks, under a variety of conditions, before giving a recommendation.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 07aug2002 - The ASPI guide finally made to the first page of a Google search for 'ASPI' (at the bottom). When the guide was first posted, over a year ago, it debuted on Page 8. It's been climbing slowly ever since.

People who know a lot about search engines claim that you need to be on one of the first three pages in order to get any query traffic. But once you show up on Page 1, the traffic gets heavy.

That's exactly what I've noticed. I've seen increased traffic for months, ever since the guide hit Page 3. But soon as it hit Page 1 > blammo. Traffic jumped exponentially. The ASPI guide actually has more requests this month than the site's traditional leader, the Guide to Norton Ghost.

Like the Ghost guide, the ASPI guide is also available with a black background, which many find easier on the eyes. There's also a downloadable PDF version (33KB) for folks to store locally on their hard drives for quick & easy access, and a printable PDF version (57KB), with the shaded backgrounds removed to conserve toner/ink.

The term 'ASPI' has become one of the top search queries bringing S/E traffic to the site. Only the terms force aspi and norton ghost and cd ripping generate more S/E traffic. I'm still waiting for the term fdisk to reach the first page. Currently, this search yields the Radified FDISK link on the second page, third from the top. It too debuted on page 8.

Before the ASPI guide moved up in search engine rankings, all traffic came from word-of-mouth (so to speak), such as this (linked to: Absolute Best page I've seen), and this.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 06aug2002 - For those living in or near Southern California, there's a cool exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum, titled: Surf Culture. It consumes all three museum levels, and focuses on the intersection of surfing, art & culture. I checked it out yesterday: $7 to get in. Would've had some photos for you, but they wouldn't let me bring in my camera.

Too many items to describe, but they have stuff like the world's oldest polyurethane surfboard (made in 1956). Photos of all the legends of surfing. Workshop on how boards are manufacturered. Famous boards used in famous movies. Videos at every turn. Videos of guys surfing monster waves, and old Gidget movies.

Speaking of surfing monster waves, the movie Blue Crush is being released next week, on August 16th. It's about chicks surfing monster waves. Review by surf chicks posted here. A couple of quicktime trailers posted here. Bad as it sounds, I heard it's actually a decent flick. Hard to imagine.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 05aug2002 - Today is the first site update made with Dreamweaver MX: Macromedia's latest incarnation of their popular web design software. They've changed the program's layout quite a bit, so I'm still getting used to it. Most web gurus agree that Dreamweaver is the best web development tool. This professional software is capable of far more than I use it for.

I don't know what the MX stands for, but Macromedia has labeled it version 6.0 .. which is confusing, cuz I don't recall them ever releasing a v5. Anyway, I like the new intergrated design. Version 4, which I've been using for the last several months, sports a layout with floating toolbars, kind of like Photoshop.

I especially like Dreamweaver's split-window design, cuz it helps me learn HTML code, which appears in the top window, while the corresponding page design appears below. You can actually watch DW code the page (in the upper half) as you design your site in the lower window. It looks like this (165KB, 980x784).

Dreamweaver FAQ posted here. Download a free, 30-day trial version here. Forums are here. Check out the Radified Guide to the Best Software Applications for more Rad-approved programs.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 03aug2002 - Saw Signs last night. Walked away somewhat disappointed, but could see how some folks might enjoy it. Everybody I know wants to see it. The last 20 minutes were good, but most of the story moved too slowly for me. At one point you catch a quick glimpse of an alien's foot before he/it disappears into a cornfield, and that was supposed to be a big deal. Friends of mine have scarier looking feet than that.

I was surprised to see so many people there. The theater was packed, and the Big Newport has a huge auditorium. Only a few rows down in front remained empty. The best part of the film was its humor. It certainly wasn't very scary. I will however, cede that the plot was richly layered. By that, I mean a story is contained within a story, within a story.

I can see now why they didn't use Bruce Willis: cuz Mr. Die-Hard himself ("Yippie Ki-Yay mother #&%@!") would've never made a believable priest. Heck, I had trouble with Mel Gibson being called 'Father'. This film is more about faith than aliens. Like I said, the ending was cool, but it wasn't worth the wait.

I thought Joaquin Phoenix turned in a superb performance. I've been impressed with just about everything he's done. This film was no exception. I'm not recommending it, but this movie isn't bad (just slow). It's worth seeing just to see what all the hype is about.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 02aug2002 - For all you espresso/latte/breve lovers out there, I found the answer to the meaning of life on planet Java. After picking up a new espresso maker last month, I've been searching for the perfect roast, and finally found it at Illy, an Italian company. Should've known the Italians would know how to do espresso right.

The mojo comes to you in a sealed tin. You can smell that this is the shiznit soon as you pop the top and break the vacuum seal. I did some research on the 'Net and discovered people saying things like: Known throughout the world as the "coffee of choice" for those that love coffee (linkage here). I can see (taste) why. I used to always leave a little in the bottom of my cup. Now I drink every last drop.

Everybody knows that espresso and overclocking go hand-in-hand. A good, stiff espresso allows you to overclock you metabolism & brain. =)

In related news (not really), Signs with Mel Gibson comes out today. It's a film about crop circles & aliens. I've never gotten into that kinda of thing, but have met people who talk about nothing else.

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan: same guy who did The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. On the cover of this week's isue, Time magazine just called him The Next Spielberg. I think not. I thought The Sixth Sense was very cool, but Unbreakable disappointed me. Maybe I expected too much. M. Night's directing signature is to present the audience with a piece of the puzzle at the very end that ties the story together, and makes you slap your forehead and say, "Duh! How did I not see that?"

The big question is why M. Night didn't use Bruce Willis for this film, since he used him for his last/first two. Reviews for Signs are posted here (at Rotten Tomatoes). Maybe I'll check it out later today and let you know what I think.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 01aug2002 - Welcome to August, one of the raddest months of the year, when the water is warm and the weather is nice-n-hot (here in southern California, anyway). If I had to pick one month to live in for the entire year, it would probably be August (or maybe September, as traffic in Laguna is insane during the summer).

Site usage statistics for July are posted here. RADIFIED set new highs in all measured metrics last month. Bandwidth usage is posted here. The next major milestone to break is 1 million hits per month.

I want to take this opportunity to send a shout-out to my web-hosting provider: Communitech.net. I've been pleased with the quality of service they provide and their professional approach. I use the UNIX Standard plan, which gives me 350MB of web disk space to work with (only 60MB remains). I signed up back when they offered unlimited bandwidth. Easy to recommend them to someone looking for a good web-hosting provider. (No, I don't get kickbacks.)