Radified News for October, 2001

Radified 31oct2001 - Happy Halloween .. I hope. We're hearing rumors of more terrorist tricks, involving a possible nuclear treat. With a nuclear power plant right down the road, Wendy is all upset. 

I updated the
PDF for the SCSI guide today. I've been meaning to do that for some time now. When I saw that nearly 300 copies were downloaded yesterday, I knew it was time to get busy. The SCSI guide is the only one that serves more PDF versions than the original HTML

There's also a new
zipped PDF of the SCSI guide (113kb) available for download. These PDF versions allow Radified readers to easily print out or store the entire SCSI guide (all 28 pages) locally, on their hard drive, for easy access & reference. 

The
Norton Ghost guide & the Asus CUSL2 User's guide also have PDF versions available. Since it takes more work to update an entire PDF file, I don't do it as frequently. I'm also considering creating one for the Guide to Ripping CD audio & MP3 encoding.

***

Radified 30oct2001 - I recently subscribed to Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day (a tip from the Dog). I usually loathe mailing lists, fighting tooth & nail to get off them, but this one has been worthwhile. 

Not only do they give you the definition of each new word, but they also include a brief description of the word's history & usage .. something I find especially helpful. 

Words for this past week: nefarious, virtuoso, petulant, nyctalopia, Valhalla, omnibus & epithet. A robust vocabulary is a valuable commodity. Reading one small snippet each day is a painless way to build your vocabulary. 

Each email they send contains a link to unsubscribe. Begin radifying your vocabulary
today.

***

Radified 29oct2001 - We saw the movie K-PAX last night, starring Kevin Spacey & Jeff Bridges. Mom & Wendy liked it; Sidney & I didn't. Mom picked the movie. 

I wouldn't say it was bad, cuz I like Kevin Spacey. But some parts seemed contrived .. like when Jeff Bridges' bar-b-q friend conveniently happened to be an astrophysicist, who was one of the few people in the world who knew about a particular, dual-sun solar system 1000 light-years from earth (yeah, right). 

It would've been more realistic if Bridges had *called* an astrophysicist. There were numerous other (distractingly) unrealistic story elements like that. Some parts were cool. Spacey rocks despite the contrivances. Wendy cried at the end. 

The theater was comfortably full (8PM screening). Somebody sitting near us had gas. Like clockwork, every 15 minutes, my eyes started tearing. Incredible hang-time.

I did however, see a couple of promising trailers.
Spy Game, starring Bratt Pitt & Robert Redford looked interesting. Of course, most trailers look good. I dig high-tech, spy thrillers. Interesting site design when you click the [ENTER SITE] button on the Spy Game site.

***

Radified 28oct2001 - Updated the About Radified and Rad Files pages. Also created a Master Index page for Wendy's Film school updates (an index page for index pages).

***

27oct2001 - Radified broke the 5GB bandwidth barrier yesterday. This is the first time the site has used more than 5 gigs in one month. See here. With a few more days remaining this month, there's a even a remote possibility of exceeding 6 gigs.

Posted a brief primer on
Anthrax. Seems like the fashionable thing to do. What's a web site without an Anthrax article?

I received feedback on the Guide to Ripping CD Audio & MP3 Encoding from folks more knowledgeable than myself (Beni & Gian-Carlo). Particularly on the section dealing with alternative, non-MP3 encoders. More specifically, on the section dealing with the new open source encoder that everyone is talking about: Ogg Vorbis.

Beni filled in my knowledge gaps regarding the workings of Ogg's psycho-acoustic models. I posted his page of enlightenment ->
here. Gian-Carlo reviewed for accuracy both Beni's page & the entire page covering all non-MP3 encoders. His input has already been incorporated.

Feedback & input from those more knowledgeable than myself is a main reason why this and
other Radified guides continue to grow in popularity.

***

26oct2001 - Posted 13 images from 9-11-01, the horrifying day that changed the world. See here (warning: some of these images are disturbing). In less-disturbing news, Alex (Netherlands) released a new version (5.1) of his hugely-popular Motherboard Monitor today. See here.

***

Ever since the events of 9-11-01, a core of family & friends here in Southern California, one of the most culturally diverse areas in the world, have been trading emails containing opinions and (often heated) debates about the war, its causes, & the direction that people think the government should take.

I would like to post some of these emails, but many are inflammatory, and I wouldn't want anyone to hack the site or torch the house. But I can tell you that people are fired up over what they view as the cause(s) behind the current crisis, and what should be done about it. 

The most recent incarnation of these "discussions" centers upon the Israel - Palestinian issue, which is at the very heart of the Middle East conflict. Admittedly, I knew very little about the history of this ancient conflict, but I'm learning very quickly. 

Some links that you may find interesting are
here (The Origin of the Palestinian-Israel Conflict). This piece goes back thousands of years. Another is here, titled The Algebra of Infinite Injustice, a view from Deepak, who who lives in India. Another is here, titled Outrage: Palestine 1945-1948. An article titled The 1948 War is posted here. I have many more if you're interested. =)

***

25oct2001 - Microsoft releases its latest operating system today: Windows XP - for the Windows eXPerience. WinXP (code name Whistler) is based on Windows 2000 code, which is more stable than either Win98 or WinME. But it's really just an upgrade to Win2000, not an entirely new OS.

XP comes in two versions: Home & Pro. I've been using a beta (test) version of the Pro version during its entire development phase. 

I find XP to be both elegant & professional, once you eliminate the
default lollipop interface, and return to a standard Windows theme. The default interface looks more like a child's toy than a professional operating system, and it runs ~20% slower. 

Much as I like XP, I have no plans to rush down to the local CompUSA & purchase a copy. Microsoft's
new product activation program requires me to buy a separate copy for my laptop & another for my home PC .. even tho I don't use them both at the same time. 

That ain't gonna happen, not with this economy. I would buy XP if I could use the the same copy on my home PC & my laptop (are you listening,
Bill?). More XP info can be found here (Paul's supersite). 

***

24oct2001 - Wendy had a horrible day yesterday. She spend 8 hours being deposed

That's where you sit in a smelly room full of lawyers who interrogate you with questions designed to make you look like an evil liar, while a stenographer records your every word, so the lawyers can later take your words out of context and use them against you in court.

When she got home, she immediately wanted a drink. I thought she should first have some food in her stomach, so I took her to Ti Amo's restaurant in South Laguna, her favorite place. We even had our favorite waiter, Philippe. 

[>Note: you can view a short video of us Ti Amo's, along with Phillippe
here (scroll down to file labeled Broface). Broadband users can stream. Dial-up users must first download (2MB file). See here if you have problems... 

...a little background on the video -> two kids had just been hit by a car in front of Ti Amo's while running across PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy), while we waited for our table. My brother, a doctor with training in Trauma, responded. Only one survived. I'd never seen anything like that .. mangled bodies laying in the middle of the road, so close.<]

Anyway, Wendy inhaled a couple
lemon drop martinis and said, "You know you had a bad day when you drink two of these and don't even feel it." She started crying, and the people there looked at me like I was some big meanie. 

She cried so much that she gave herself a headache, and had to take Advil .. that she washed down with a lemon drop. =)

She said, "The lawyers had the fattest 3-ring binder you ever saw. It had my name on it and was full of questions. After 8 hours, we only got thru one third of it." She has to return next week for more lawyer loving.

While crying, she said, "When I was growing up, I had the idea that life was like
dancing with a scarf on the beach. Now I can see that it's more like wrestling with a gorilla in the mud dancing with a scarf on the beach. Now I can see that it's more like wrestling with a gorilla in the mud." =)

***

23oct2001 - Today's is Lani's 21st birthday. She's a Drama major (drama queen) at UC Santa Cruz, home of the Banana Slugs, in her junior year. Now she can buy her own beer. =)  Jan is Lani's proud Godmother. Happy birthday, princess (<- email).

If you have a broadband connection &
Real player, you can stream a video about Lani's acting career that Wendy assembled for a Documentary class at USC Film school. It contains two parts. See here (off-peak hours are best). 

I make a cameo appearance in the video, hamming it up as usual. If you have problems viewing the video, see
here. You can also view the video if you have a dial-up connection, but it will take some time to download.

***

The site used 400MB of bandwidth yesterday. That's a new record. It wasn't that long ago when Radified didn't use 400MB of bandwidth for an entire month. Currently at 4.20 gigs, it looks like the site will break 5 gigs for the month (maybe even 6).

Another new Radified world record to report .. for both Unique site served (2,839) and Total visits (3,932). That calculates to over 100 unique visitors every hour, for all 24 hours. If you consider that Radified first
broke 1,000 Unique sites served less than a month ago, you might say that the site is experiencing explosive growth. See here.

The lion's share of this growth comes from the
Norton Ghost guide, which served 1,754 copies yesterday (another Radified record).

***

22oct2001 - After researching possible CPU upgrades for the Rad rig, I settled on the upcoming Northwood P4 from Intel as the best option. It's scheduled for a January release (which prolly means February). I wrote a brief summary of my findings & posted it here -> Intel Northwood P4 CPU.

Intel is sneaky about the way the name their CPUs. The most obvious name changes do not correspond to major design changes. Rather, the most dramatic design changes are often obscured by subtle name changes. 

This means you have to do your homework if you want the best CPU option to power your behemoth. 

***

I researched password protection today, and posted a password-protected page here. If anybody is able to defeat this protection, I would appreciate you letting me know. I have posted a secret word on the page linked above, along with a link to send me an email.

If anybody is able to get thru, please tell me the secret word, and how I can improve protection to individual site directories. I am new to this. 

***

21oct2001 - Jahmar drove up to Santa Cruz (8-hour drive) to spend the weekend with his sister, for her 21st birthday. This is his first big trip, driving by himself. Wendy was worried, but he called earlier to say that he had arrived safely, and was going surfing. 

Wendy shot a scene today for her
Advanced Directing class with Nina Foch. The actress (Amanda) drove down from LA. She called from 5 miles away to say that her transmission just died, and that a AAA tow truck was on the way. Wendy felt bad for her, especially when she learned that repairs were estimated at $2,000 (ouch). 

The shoot was held at an outdoor sculpture garden here in
Laguna. Everyone who visits Laguna from LA wants to move down here. 

The shoot went well. Wendy will post a copy of the final, edited version on
her web site some time next week. 

***

20oct2001 - Updated the PDF for the Norton Ghost Guide today. Yesterday the site served over 600 copies of that particular guide, a new daily Radified world record.

I periodically update individual web pages as necessary. The Ghost guide, for example, contains 9 separate pages. But it takes more time to assemble a PDF file for an entire guide, so I only do that once every few months. The previous Ghost PDF was created in early July, so an update was overdue.

I discovered that the
white links in the Ghost guide didn't show up in the PDF (which has a white background). So I had to change every link back to blue before I could update the PDF. Dunno what the heck I was thinking when I changed those links to white.

That was a painful lesson. My arm is sore from clicking the dang mouse so much.

The PDF provides readers with a printer-friendly version of the guide (22 pages). A
zipped version of the PDF can also be downloaded  (94kb). This allows readers to store the guide locally, on their hard drive, for easy reference .. which saves the site some bandwidth, and saves online time, especially for dial-up users.

Back in July I also created PDF files for both the
SCSI guide and the CUSL2 Motherboard User's guide. But I'm gonna wait a few days for my arm to recover before updating those PDFs.

***

19oct2001 - Walking thru the neighborhood last night, on my way down to the local pizza joint, I heard the word Anthrax emanate numerous times thru open windows from various blaring TV sets. I overheard the name Osama bin Laden a handful of times. The words US special forces were used several times.

I heard no movies or sit-coms. Seems that everyone is focused on the news .. at least here in
Laguna Beach.

Found a big, hairy spider in my
headphones today. Nothing like the sensation of something furry crawling over your ear when your trying to listen to some energetic trance. Now I check them first. =)

Updated the
Links page. Replaced dead links with new, valid ones. I try to do something everyday that improves the site, even if it's only something small.

***

18oct2001 - Amazing that smoke is still rising from the World Trade Center site .. some 5 weeks later. Will it ever stop? 

Reminds me of the movie
What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams - the part where he went to hell (..to rescue his wife). Likewise, images from the still-smoldering ruins leave a diabolical impression.

For the first time today, I became quasi-bored with the TV news of war, bio-terrorism, and the like. It has become routine & all too familiar. And for the first time since Sept. 11th, I finally feel like I have a grip on the new world in which we live. Or perhaps I'm just no longer in shock. 

Wendy & I have watched several old movies the past few weeks. Each time I find myself thinking, "Those were the good ol' days." 

Anything pre-911 seems like a dream, a fantasy - how we wish things were .. with no threat of
Anthrax letters or suicide hijackings. But that's not reality. Sadly, that world is mere fantasy. Welcome to the brave new world.

***

17oct2001 - New Radified world record for both Unique sites served (1501), and Total visits (2063). This is the first time the site has broken 1500 Unique sites served and 2000 Total visits in one day. See here.

That's more than one unique visitor every minute, for all 24 hours (1440 minutes per day). The usage growth rate seems to be accelerating, at a time when many sites are
dying

All Radified Guides have seen increased traffic lately, but the
ASPI guide in particular has seen a dramatic increase. It has actually overtaken the Norton Ghost guide at the top spot as the single most popular destination for Radified readers. 

Never thought I'd see the day when the Ghost guide wasn't #1 at Radified. It has always maintained a significant lead over all other guides .. for as long been the site has existed (17 months). 

If the ASPI guide maintains its lead for another week, I'll revise the
popularity page. It will be weird not seeing the Ghost guide at the #1 spot.

I originally posted the ASPI guide as almost an after-thought. Much of its newfound popularity comes from
this page (Flexion), which is the source of ForceASPI

If you click the red-lettered link at the top that says destined to wander the Internet forever, you'll see where a good chunk of that popularity comes from.

The
Guide to Software Programs & Applications has also seen a dramatic increase in traffic. It also began meagerly. I added to it slowly, as my experience with new programs grew. 

Radified referrals come from sites like
these

***

16oct2001 - Special forces commandos should drop into Afghanistan soon .. if they aren't already there. 

I remember playing
paintball one Saturday with the guys from work. The day began cool, but soon became hot & dusty as our team was getting slaughtered with every color of the rainbow. 

The first time I got hit, it was in the mouth. Even tho I wore a face shield, most of the paint filtered thru the protective mesh. Felt like someone punched me square in the mouth. Hurt like hell & gave me a fat lip. Woke me up faster than a double espresso. I was spitting blue for 15 minutes.

I learned later that some guys had brought along little screwdrivers .. that they used to crank up the pressure on their guns .. to unsafe levels. 

Two Marines from nearby
Camp Pendleton showed up shortly after noon. They replaced two guys on our team who had to leave early. The Marines brought their own equipment. They didn't use the crappy stuff that we rented there. 

Both of them had played the
courses before. They knew all the hiding places. With their help we proceeded to wreck havoc on the other team the rest of the afternoon. I followed the Marines around. They showed me a bunch of strategies & taught me some tricks. 

I learned that a few guys can kick ass & make it look easy if they (1) know what they're doing, (2) have good equipment, and (3) are familiar with the terrain. Hopefully this will be the case with our boys in
Afghanistan

***

15oct2001 - Sidney sent a link to a paper titled, Palestinian Nationalism and the Struggle for Self-Determination. If you're interested in the political forces driving today's world, it's an Interesting read. See here.

I found another interesting link about Islam, a religion about which I know (knew) squat. See
here.

***

14oct2001 - The bio-terror buzz made me reminisce about my military inoculations, and wonder whether they're still valid. 

In boot camp (Florida), we marched to a medical facility, where they lined us up like cattle. Instructing us to step up, one at a time, & put our toes on a red line, two doctors, one on each side, held silver gun-like things, connected to many different-colored tubes.

They asked how much I weighed & adjusted a dial on the gun. One doc said, "These guns contain 3000 pounds of pressure. If you flinch, they'll cut you." Each gun made a ka-gink sound & shot 8 tiny streams of different vaccines - one in the left shoulder, & one in the right. The shots didn't hurt as much as an actual needle. 

Black plague, yellow fever, things I couldn't even pronounce - 16 killer blights entered my body .. all at once. Then they sent me to stand out in the hot sun & wait for the rest of the company (80 guys) to get their shots. 

While standing there, after a few minutes in the hot sun, with all manner of exotic disease coursing thru my bloodstream, everything began to get bright and my head got super-clear. I felt like I had the brain-power of
Einstein, as if I could discern the meaning of life. Then I felt giddy & started giggling. 

The chief barked in my face, "What the hell you laughing at, boy?" I honestly didn't know, but couldn't stop. Then he studied my eyes for a moment and said, "Damn, I think they shot you up with too much of that shit." I couldn't stop grinning the whole way back to the barracks. =)

***

13oct2001 - Everything pales in light of current events. For example, Wendy came home distressed yesterday. Her hard drive crashed, the one she's using to edit Tania's thesis film (Seahorses). Tedious days of recapturing clips will be required.

Then we watched a
National Geographic Explorer special on Afghanistan, televised on MSNBC. Death & famine were everywhere. One guy stepped on a land mine. His leg looked like hamburger. Wendy said, "A hard drive crash no longer seems so tragic." 

If you get a chance to see this special, it's most enlightening. The folks at National Geographic produce nothing but top-quality stuff.

***

12oct2001 - All this talk of weapons grade Anthrax made me curious. I found that it's is a rapidly-progressing infection caused by spore-forming bacteria (Anthrax is *not* a virus) . Spores are odorless, colorless, tasteless, and resistant to desiccation. Dry spores can survive for many years. Some say indefinitely. 

If inhaled, the infection that results from bacteria contained in these spores can kill within a week, usually by respiratory failure. The incubation period for inhaled Anthrax spores is 1-6 days. 

Anthrax is difficult to diagnose before terminal symptoms are present. If symptoms occur, you're screwed. Even with the most powerful designer
antibiotics, the death rate is still 80%. But it's not generally communicable.

Anthrax occurs most commonly in the ground of agricultural regions, populated by domestic herbavoires such as goats, cows & sheep. Altho Anthrax can be transmitted thru a break in the skin (cutaneous) or by ingestion (under-cooked contaminated meat), inhaled Anthrax is the most deadly.

Symptoms are similar to a wicked case of the flu. Breathing quickly becomes difficult. Once in the lungs, spores migrate to lymph nodes, where they change to bacterial form. There they multiply & produce toxins. These toxins cause the lungs to bleed until complete respiratory failure occurs. Doesn't sound very pleasant. 

Since laboratory Anthrax is being
distributed in powdered form, I'd expect the cocaine trade to rapidly dry up. Now that Anthrax has been found in letters sent thru the mail. I'd expect the popularity of electronic communications such e-mail to grow dramatically.

I can't understand how government officials can say that they have no reason to believe the current Anthrax cases are related to terrorism. Puh-leeeze! The stuff was first found less that a mile from the place where one of the known terrorists (Atta) was asking about crop-dusters. What's the odds of that occurring?

Learn more about Anthrax
here (the disease, not the heavy metal band). More info here.

***

11oct2001 - Today marks one month since the worst terrorist attacks in the history of the planet. Posted another Film school update, 4th of the semester. See -> here. Yet another new world record for Unique sites server at Radified: 1441. See here.

***

10oct2001 - Another new world record for Radified Unique sites served: 1383. See here. It's strange cuz it took well over a year to break 1000 (per day), and a week later, it's close to 50% more. Growth rates used to average 20% per month. Now they're over 20% per week

Not sure of the reason for the surge in growth rate, altho the
ASPI guide & the Guide to Programs & Applications have both been getting hammered lately.

We saw the movie Hearts in Atlantis last night, with
mom & Sid. This was the first time we went to the movies since the attacks of Sept. 11th. We had the whole theater to ourselves (7:30 show). It's hard to beat the War for excitement.

Mom & Sid both liked the movie but
Wendy & I didn't, even tho we love Anthony Hopkins. At one point, Wendy stuck her finger down her throat, giving me the gag me sign. 

The idea was cool, but the acting (other than Hopkins) too often seemed forced & the dialogue unnatural. They also convey too much of the story thru dialogue (called exposition), which comes of as un-engaging. (I'd rather figure out things for myself.) 

I wanted to see the thriller with Michael Douglas (Don't Say a Word), but it was Wendy's turn to pick. We saw previews for a new movie from Martin Scorsese, titled New York Gangs, starring Leonardo. Looks very promising. 

Wendy posted a 5-min film she made two semester's ago, titled Liliana. Originally shot in 16mm film, b&w, no sync sound dialogue. Posted
here (link at top of page). If you have a broadband connection, you can stream it (Real video). If not, you'll first have to download it (9MB). If you have trouble, see this page. 

A chronicle of the semester where she made this film is posted
here. If you searched for USC Film school in Google, you will find this chronicle on the first page .. so they have become quite popular.

***

09oct2001 - My web hosting provider, Communitech, is physically located in Kansas City. Those wanting to launch their own website, with their own domain name, can get 350MB of space & 25GB of bandwidth for as little as $23/month.

I've been pleased with the quality of service (
QOS) that Communitech (CT) has provided over the last 16 months. After researching various web hosting plans, CT was clearly clearly the best option. They provided triple the space & bandwidth, compared to other plans.

CT hosts an
affiliate program that allows you to earn cash by recommending them. I don't participate myself, but they are still worth recommending.

It's a good idea to develop your web site before actually signing up for web hosting services. Setting up your own web site is easier than you might think. It's similar to creating documents with a word processor. Then you simply upload your web pages to your server with an FTP client, such as
CuteFTP

The plan's details are posted
here. They host a comprehensive bulletin board where go can ask any question you might have. Establish your own global presence in the virtual world of the 21st century for less than a buck a day.

***

08oct2001 - Posted a piece written by the Dog, following his visit to Ireland this summer. It's titled: The Irish Republican Army - Blamed for Starting the War; Blamed for Not Ending It, and begins like this:

ďIn Ireland, we donít discuss politics in the pub. Letís go outside,Ē said the man. I briefly felt foolish and scared. As we stood outside, talking on the street, a single file line of 15 British soldiers, spaced ten yards apart, trudged by us, automatic weapons in hand.

Also posted a PowerPoint
Into to Linux (661KB), authored by Deepak. Sit back and learn about the history of Linux from a 13-minute slideshow presentation. Deepak is a 19-year old Computer Engineering student, living in Bangalore, India. His homepage is posted here (Geocities).

After
downloading the file linuxppt.zip, unzip it to a directory of your choosing (Linux_intro, for example). Double-click the file labeled linux-bgmusic-net.ppt. This should automatically launch PowerPoint (if you have it installed). From PowerPoint, select Slideshow from the View menu (or hit the F5 key instead). Deepak included a ReadMeFirst file in the zip.

After posting info today from people living in places as diverse as Ireland & India, it's clear that the world indeed is becoming the global village referenced by so many people. 

***

07oct2001 - Less than a month after 19 suicide terrorists hijacked & crashed our own passenger planes into the WTC & Pentagon, American warplanes streak across the Afghan sky, raining retaliation on strategic targets below. 

No planes reported lost, but we missed
Osama. His comments are posted here (CNN). President Bush's statement is posted here. Read what people are saying about the retaliation here.

Several (rad-looking)
B-2 bombers (another photo) reportedly took off from Whiteman Air Force base (more info), some 60 miles from Kansas City, where the Radified server is (physically) located.

Saw a 3-hour PBS special on Islam today, subtitled
Empire of Faith. I liked it so much that I ordered the 2-tape set. Fascinating. I've always been interested in other cultures .. their traditions, and how other people view the world.

***

06oct2001 - I reviewed many of the Radified Guides today to check the integrity of links contained therein, and to fix (or delete) any broken ones. It's surprising how fast links deteriorate, colloquially referred to as link rot. I use a lot of links in my guides, so normal link rot affects me more than it does most other sites. 

The
Rip & Encode CD Audio Guide needed the most work. This isn't surprising as technology in those fields is developing (changing) the fastest. 

I don't know why some webmasters insist on continually redesigning their sites so that their URLs change. I never do anything to break links to pages here. If a site
links to a page at Radified, that link will *always* be valid. 

I sometimes add *additional* links to some of my guides, but I never nuke the original. This is why, for example, you can now access the (same) ASPI guide from any of the following seven (different) URLs:

http://aspi.radified.com/
http://aspi.radified.com/index.html
http://aspi.radified.com/aspi.htm
http://radified.com/ASPI/index.html
http://radified.com/ASPI/aspi.htm
http://radified.com/SCSI/Screenshotz.htm
http://scsi.radified.com/Screenshotz.htm

It takes a little extra effort, but this is how I ensure that links to Radified will never rot away. Each & every one of them are nuclear-grade and indestructable. 

Speaking of eternal, Radified links .. yesterday witnessed another new world record for Unique sites served at Radified. Nearly broke the 1200 mark. Broke 1000 only a  few
days ago. That calculates to a growth rate exceeding 10% per week. Wish my money market account provided a rate of return like that. 

***

05oct2001 - The Laguna Beach Film Festival opens today & runs the entire weekend. Wendy missed the deadline to enter her film, titled Liliana, but we're going to go & check out the talent. Maybe we'll see you there. General info on Laguna Beach is posted here.

Films are being screened at Laguna (South Coast) Cinema, on PCH, in the heart of downtown, barely a mile from where we live. It's a funky, old theater that gets flooded every year when the heavy rains come. 

If you're looking for a nice place to eat afterwards, I can easily recommend Sorrento Grille, which is only a few blocks (2-min walk) from the theater. They make great martinis, and their signature specialty is pork chops. You never had pork chops like these. My mouthing is watering just *thinking* about them.

Right next to Sorrento Grille is La Sirena, where
Jahmar works. They have the best blackened salmon fish tacos you ever tasted (we had some today). Laguna is full of funky places, and La Sirena is no exception. Girls call it 'charming'. Funky is a better description. 

I posted other good places to eat in Laguna
here

***

04oct2001 - New Radified world record for Unique sites served in one day. See here. These numbers continue to grow at ~20% per month.

***

03oct2001 - I don't understand why so many government officials keep strongly recommending *against* the purchase of gas masks. I mean, they can't hurt, can they? And there *could* be circumstances under which they might actually help (like a crop-duster spewing a glowing green mist over LA, for example).

Seems that even the smallest possibility of protecting ourselves from a chemical or biological attack would be prudent & encouraged.

I also don't understand why the government has purchased a supply of gas masks for members of Congress .. if they deem them worthless. Seems like a double standard. Or maybe they'd feel obligated to buy one for everyone in the country if they publicly recommended them. I dunno.

I just feel funny about the government purchasing gas masks (with my tax dollars) for members of Congress, but advising me (& the general public) against doing the same (scratches head).

One expert on terrorism (representative from Connecticut) stated that a chemical or biological attack wasn't a matter of if, but rather when and where. Again, if they cede a chem/bio attack as imminent, why advise against the purchase of gas marks? .. even if the perceived benefit is small?

Government help will arrive after an attack, but it might be too late for some by then. All the stores here in California are sold out of gas masks, so it doesn't seem that people are listening to government officials.

***

I had basic gas mask training in the military (boot camp). They marched all of us out to a remote, one-room, cinderblock building. A single submarine-type watertight door served as the only means of access. About 50 of us were instructed to don a gas mask, check the seal, then file into the building. 

While lined up, a buddy who had already been thru it, pulled me aside and whispered, "You want to be the last one in. Pay attention so you can get back out without opening your eyes. Take a big breath before removing your mask and hold it." 

I was the 3rd-to-last man in. After everyone was inside, they battened down the door (real tight), and dropped a few pellets of tear gas into a stone bowl, sitting on a pedestal. Then they made us touch our toes, turn our heads from side-to-side, recite patriotic poems, & stuff like that. 

Then they made us remove our gas masks and hold them over our heads. He wouldn't open the door until he saw that everyone had removed his mask. 

Then he opened the door & let us out. I never opened my eyes. I just held onto the guy in front of me. But I forgot not to breathe. When I tried to take a breath, it felt like a 300-pound gorilla punched me square in the chest. I couldn't breathe - at all. Not a pleasant feeling.

I was okay once I got out, in the fresh air. But it took 2 or 3 mins for everyone to get out. The guys who were first ones in got pushed to the back of the room. They were the last ones out. Poor bastards. Some guys rubbed their eyes, which is a big no-no. They got it bad. 

It took some of them over an hour to recover. One guy had the longest string of snot I've ever seen. He was bending over, and this thing hung from his nose, all the way to the ground. Must've been 3-feet long. Never seen anything like it. Wish I had my camera. He would've been in the Guinness Book of World Records. =)

***

02oct2001 - The film Wendy worked on (edited) last semester, titled Echo, has been entered into the Internet Music Database (IMDb). See -> here

She's stoked about that - her first movie to be recorded there for all posterity. She intends to have many more films listed as her filmmaking career progresses.

A chronicle of the semester during which Echo was made is posted here, where you'll find a detailed account of the trials & tribulations associated with making a graduate-level student film at USC.

***

01oct2001 - First day of October. Traditionally my favorite time of year, when the air is brisk, but not yet chilly. I grew up in New England (Connecticut), where people came from all over the world to watch the leaves turn color - something I miss here in Southern California, land of eternal summer.

Radified broke 1000 Unique Sites Served yesterday (for the first time). See ->
here.

Sundays are typically low-traffic days, but thanks to a link from raye at
LinkUnited, (see Guide to the best software programs & applications, listed under Sep 29), the site managed to break the magical 1K-per-day mark - on the slowest day of the week. 

The day before, Saturday (another normally low-traffic day), saw a record-breaking 975 unique sites served, so I knew it was just a matter of time. Site
traffic continues to grow at ~20% per month, at a time when many sites are packing it in and closing their doors. (Tweakfiles and 3dfiles are the latest casualties.) 

Since Radified doesn't depend on advertising revenue or sponsor support, there's nothing to make us go away - except maybe lack of
interest, but that doesn't appear to be a problem. The current Internet climate, with all its troubles, actually makes it easier for the little guy to host a successful web site. 

Later today we're going to celebrate the one-kilo milestone. Perhaps some day you'll be able to look back say, "I remember when Radified was just a fledgling site."

Speaking of firsts,
Jahmar got his first car this weekend. Actually a truck, a '94 Toyota. He's so happy with it. It has a slow radiator leak and one headlight is burned out, but otherwise it runs good. So if you're driving thru Laguna, be on the lookout for a white Toyota pick-up with over-sized tires and dented fenders. =) 

***

Linkage to -> [News for September, 2001]

Linkage to -> [News for November, 2001]

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