Radified News for November, 2001
- I heard rumors that @Home Cable services might cease today. Cox
@Home is my provider. So if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll
know what happened. The site will stay up. I just won't be able to access
Seems that Excite is going thru bankruptcy proceedings. Cox uses Excite as their Cable provider. Cox has provided excellent service & support since I signed with them a few years ago.
I made a few phone calls and found that (if you have Cox) you can get pertinent info at 1-877-832-4751. They recommend checking here. DigitallyImported is also following the situation. Life without broadband .. I don't even want to think about it (shudder). The most recent news is here and here.
I updated the FDISK guide today, with mostly cosmetic changes .. adding bullets, horizontals rules, and other organizational ploys to make it look pretty & easier to read.
Radified broke the 8GB barrier. This is the first month that the site has used more than 8 gigs of bandwidth. This represents ~35% growth over last month's bandwidth usage .. and there's still another day left.
- Updated the SCSI
Made mostly cosmetic improvements. Now that I know how to use things likes
bullets, ordered lists (numbers) and horizontal rules, I cleaned up the
text, making it more readable.
The SCSI guide is my biggest guide: 14 pages. It takes a while to review, so I don't do it very often. But it needed the attention. I feel better about it now. It looks much more presentable. Certainly more readable.
I also updated the SCSI PDF file (144kb), and the SCSI zipped PDF (98kb). These allow readers to either print out, or download the guide, and store it locally on their hard drive, for easy access, which is especially nice for those with dial-up connections.
- Traffic to the
Northwood Pentium 4 CPU
article increased dramatically over the past few days. Seems that the search engines
It always surprises me how much of a difference it makes when a popular search engine ranks a page prominently. [Try searching for Northwood Pentium in either Google or Yahoo and you'll see what I mean.]
Whenever traffic to a guide jumps dramatically, I always feel compelled to go back and review it for grammar, readability & organization .. which I just finished doing.
- Updated the
today. I give the most attention to the
most popular guides.
The Ghost guide has been surprisingly popular lately. It remains the site's
single most popular feature.
I also created a new PDF file and a new zipped PDF for the Ghost guide. These PDFs allow users print out, or store the entire guide, locally, on their hard drives, which is especially nice for dial-up users.
I tried to improve readability by using *bullets* to organize groups of information, and <horizontals rules> to divide large sections of text into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Altho the majority of changes are merely cosmetic, I did include several content updates, which came primarily from other Ghost users, who periodically write in to provide helpful insights.
- Radified broke the
for bandwidth used this month. That's never happened before. The previous
record was set last month, with
I still remember when the site broke the 1-gig-per-month barrier for the first time, and how I thought that was a major milestone. Now, 10-gigs per month seems inevitable.
All site usage stats have continued to grow. With a few more days left in the month, there's a remote chance that we might even break 8.
- Saw the movie
night, with Robert Redford & Brad Pitt. [Actually, I saw it with
who are visiting from LA. =) ] Wendy
to see an animated movie titled Waking Life, that I wasn't interested
in seeing, playing at one of those artsy theaters.
Spy Game was good, but not great. It's still worth seeing tho, especially if you enjoy those figure-out what's-happening action flicks. The movie consists almost entirely of flashbacks, which lends itself to a storyline that some people find clumsy.
Poor Brad Pitt gets his face punched for 24-hours straight. Great make-up job. In the end, it's really a love story. The theater was packed (downtown Laguna, 7:30 show). Even the upstairs balcony was full.
If you peruse some of the
Radified Guides, you'll see that I added
I read that some new types of search engines will scan your bookmarks, and rank web sites based on aggregates of pages found there. The theory is that people only bookmark pages that they feel contain valuable information. Buttons make bookmarking easier.
Speaking of high-ranking search engine sorts, The 546 Semester was recently added to the Google Web Directory. These are all hand-added pages that yield priority sorts for related queries (such as USC Film school). See => here.
I designed a video-editing system built around the Matrox RT2500 real-time editing card for Tony, and posted it here. Like me, he's also most interested in system *stability*. But when he asked me to build it for him, I said, "Show me the money." =)
Alex van Kaam sent word that he released an updated version of his hugely popular Motherboard Monitor. We've gotten to be (digital) friends, even tho I've never been to the Netherlands, where he lives.
Alex says that the Netherlands is one of the world's most densely-populated countries. I know that, here in the US, New Jersey is the nations most densely-populated country.
I'm embarrassed to say that, only recently did I learn that the Netherlands = Holland. They're the same country. Holland is where the wear wooden shoes. The Netherlands sounds cooler.
17nov2001 - Installed Avid Xpress DV 2.0 today, a professional video-editing program. It cannot find a compatible sound card (we have SB Live! Value). Other than that, everything appears to working. Still need to test all the features.
Today begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (more info here). Lennox Lewis & Hasim Rahman duke it out in in Las Vegas tonight for the world Heavyweight championship title. See here. Nobody seems very excited over this one.
16nov2001 - Updated the Guide to Hard Drive Partitioning Strategies today, since it's been receiving so much attention recently (from forums like this and this).
- Been working on improving the site's style. I've never been
very concerned with web design (style). Therefore it's always been a site weakness. Substance and content were always more important to me
than good-looking web pages.
Personally, I'd rather have a plain-looking Mercedes, that runs like a tank, than the flashy Ferrari that's in the shop every other week. But some of my web-guru friends insist that presentation is everything [outward appearances matter most].
Now that I have plenty of content (~1,000 pages worth), I've turned a critical eye toward style. For example, today I added *bullets* to the page containing the Guide to the Best Software Programs & Applications. This improves the page's readability and breaks up large chunks of text.
I try to do something everyday that improves the site, even if it's only something small. I have much work to do where style is concerned, but I'll get there .. eventually.
Speaking of people who don't place much importance on style .. I've been reading a book about the Taliban, the Muslin extremists who rule Afghanistan. It's subtitled: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. Hard to put down. Makes my hair curl. The book begins with a public execution, and proceeds from there.
- Three days ago I received an email from a reader who accused me of
supporting terrorists because I posted an
article that the Dog wrote about the Irish Republican Army .. after he spent the summer in
I traced the origins of the email to Southwark, England. So it appears legit. I posted a copy of the email here. The Dog's article on the IRA can be found here.
I responded to the sender by telling him that I know nothing about the IRA, and that, if he had a dissenting viewpoint, I'd be glad to publish it. I have not yet heard back.
13nov2001 - Posted another status-update to Wendy's adventures at USC Film school, the 5th of the semester. See here.
night in Las Vegas. Bill Gates gave the opening address at the
.. where he
admitted that PCs are a pain to use (tell me about it).
He promised to fix things over the next ten years, which he called the digital decade. 150,000 people are expected to visit COMDEX this week. Yahoo covers the story here.
Wendy posted a copy of her script for a (12-minute) film that she plans to shoot for her thesis project. It's titled Breakwater and is posted here. She'd appreciate any constructive feedback.
- Today is the 2-month anniversary of
that changed the world. The World Trade Center site is *still* smoldering.
When will it stop?
Deepak made a new, updated version of his popular PowerPoint Intro to Linux. It's posted here. Radified is flying the flag today in honor of US veterans of war. (Veterans Day here in the US).
- Updated the index pages for Wendy's Film school chronicles: one
Master & four sub-index pages .. one for each semester.
I tried to make them appear more 'presentable'. They were originally written for family & friends. Traffic to these pages has grown dramatically in the past few months .. ever since they started showing up in search engines.
If I would've known that they were going to become this popular, I would've made them neater to begin with. The Master Index is posted here. It contains links to the four sub-index pages .. along with several other kewl links.
World's fastest computer. IBM announces a partnership with the National
Nuclear Security Administration
to design & build a new supercomputer called Blue Gene/L. The 'L'
stands for Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory.
It will be at least 15 times faster than today's fastest supercomputer, and will have more computing power than the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world today. Dang.
It should be finished 2004 or 2005, and will be used to "simulate physical phenomena of national interest." Blue Gene home page is here. Yahoo covers the story here.
I never heard of the NNSA. They are part of the Dept of Energy. Their mission is to "increase public awareness of nuclear security and reduce the threat of global nuclear proliferation."
IBM is also building a supercomputer that will be 5 times more powerful than Blue Gene/L. It will be called Blue Gene/C, and is scheduled for completion ~ 18 months after /L is finished.
- Received follow-up comments to the page that I posted about
It's been interesting to hear the other side of this hotly-debated topic.
This page contains a reader's response to comments that I made about Rambus RAM in the Intel Northwood P4 article. The author, named John, is an engineer living in Florida.
In his latest comments, John touches upon the factors influencing Rambus' [RMBS] stock price. Investors & speculators may find it especially interesting.
I also posted a fun page: The Two Cows Explanation of Political Science. I'm not the author of this either (altho I wish I were). It's one of the many fun e-mails that we receive. You probably receive similar 'funnies'. The 'Net is full of them.
Not sure why I like this this one enough to post it .. probably cuz it's closer to the truth than we'd like to think. Jan sent it. [Jan is Lani's godmother.] Not sure who the author is.
07nov2001 - The site receives more traffic from queries made with Google than any other search engine. The greatest number of hits comes from queries for force aspi, * norton ghost, * cd ripping, * hd tach, * fdisk guide, * usc film school, * scsi guide, * mp3 encoding, and partitioning guide. Yet referrals still account for the majority (2/3rds) of site traffic.
- Redesigned the main page slightly. Moved things around. Kind of like
furniture, without the sore back.
My newest website fetish is using [brackets] to identify links that aren't part of a sentence .. like the kind you find here. I saw this somewhere & thought it looked cool.
Worked the Intel Northwood P4 article. After assembling the information, I try to present it as clearly & concisely as possible, and seem to have a knack for this type of editing. It's almost as if someone works thru me, reworking the text, moving paragraphs around, deleting sentences, adding clarifying words.
Tied the site bandwidth usage record yesterday: 300MB. Couldn't quite break it, tho. It wasn't that long ago when Radified didn't use 300MB for an entire month. Still looking for the ASPI guide to break the 1000-per-day mark. It keeps getting close, but no cigar yet.
- Every once in a while I stumble across a site that I really enjoy.
is one such site. Lots of great photos, with excellent image quality &
composition. Don't miss the Half Dome series, especially the link
labeled The Cables. Check out the photos labeled humongous.
Makes me feel like I'm on vacation. With options for humongous-sized images, it's best if you have a broadband connection & large monitor.
04nov2001 - Tomorrow, on the night of November 5th, thru-out Britain, bonfires are set alight, effigies are burned, and fireworks are set off. The people do this to commemorate their country's most notorious traitor: Guy Fawkes.
- I received a response to comments I made about Rambus RAM in the
Northwood Pentium 4 CPU article.
This reader makes compelling points, and includes a brief history
of RAM development.
Admittedly, I have not researched Rambus RAM very much. All I know is that it provides performance comparable to that of DDR RAM, yet costs ~4 times more per MB. I posted the response and included a link to it in the Northwood P4 article. It can be found here -> A reader's response to comments about Rambus RAM.
Input from those more knowledgeable than myself is one of the main reasons for the growing popularity of Radified guides. Speaking of which .. I noticed that, for the last few days, the ASPI guide has been flirting with the magical 1000-requests-per-day mark. It hasn't reached there yet, but is getting close.
The Ghost guide is the only one to break 1000-per-day. The current daily record is 1754 copies served, which averages to more than one request every minute for all 24 hours (set on 22oct2001).
- I resized the 17 images contained in this
series of family photos. This is the very first series ever posted at
Radified. Back then, I was merely beginning to learn how web things work &
made many mistakes.
The photos were too big. Most exceeded 150kb (bandwidth decadence). I sometimes forget that not everybody has a broadband connection, or runs their desktop at 1280x1024 resolution.
This series sees a lot of traffic cuz the prominent Photo link, in the upper right-hand corner, takes visitors there. Since trimming the fat with Photoshop, the images are now a svelte 25-65kb .. less than half their original size, yet maintain respectable image quality.
I also added image tags. A descriptive bit of text now pops up when your mouse rolls over an image. I recently read an article on good website-building practices that says *every* image should have a descriptive tag. If that's true, much Radified work remains.
I also updated the article on the Intel Northwood Pentium 4 CPU (including images tags), and broke up the FDISK guide into two pages. It's been growing slowly with continued reader input, and became unwieldy as a single page.
- Goodbye October, hello November. It gets dark so early now that
daylight-saving time has arrived. I feel like going to bed at 7PM.
Nothing of note to report. Several people here have mentioned having an intuition that something (real) bad is about to happen. Could this be the calm before the storm? I hope not. September 11th began as a beautiful day .. just like today.
Radified used 6.38 gigs of bandwidth last month .. a 50% increase over the previous month, and a new site record. A list of the site's 20 most popular destinations is posted here.
Linkage to -> [News for October, 2001]