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Thursday, May 09, 2002

Thanks Dave!  Yes, I'm Writing the Radio Chapters for the O'Reilly Blogging Book

Hello.  As the title says, I am writing 2 chapters in the upcoming (September) O'Reilly book on blogging.  The topics are pretty much what you'd expect with a focus on some of the more advanced stuff like UserTalk.  I took advantage of a Radio novice to review the outline and he clarified a bunch of topics like "What if I don't use Internet Explorer".  Thanks go out to Guy Haas!  I'm waiting to see if the chapter outlines can be posted or not.  I've never worked with O'Reilly before and I have to say that it is nice to work with a publisher that really understands this stuff.  Nat Torkington, the poor, poor soul who has to pull this all together, is doing a kick butt job.  Send questions / suggestions via email or comments here and I'll answer what I can.

Shelley or Burning Bird has more (and she got the permission to talk about this, so Thanks Shelley!) here.  I'm also writing a 3rd chapter about the Weblogging Community covering tools like BlogDex, NewsIsFree, etc. 

Other news:

  • Look for an article that should come out tomorrow on that is basically a reprint of my "What I would do if i was Scott McNealy" (Sun's president)
  • And, today, I got my first consulting client for paying Radio work.  Why say's Thursday isn't a good day.
  • I managed to avoid Microsoft products for most of the day
  • Following the lead in Dave's excellent piece on blogging, I put together a "Who is FuzzyBlog" piece.  It's here as a Radio story.
  • I learned how to do iFrames in Internet Explorer from Ethan at
  • I actually got in a bunch of quality PHP coding with some help from Brent.  Thanks Brent!  It's cool to work with someone else who really, really understands incremental, bottom up development.

comment [] 9:23:14 PM    

Too Funny: BossKill

If you're a unix geek this is too damn funny:

Thanks Thierry!

comment [] 7:01:55 PM    

Thanks Thierry!  Now my resume is RTF!

Well, I'm a little embarassed.  Even after adding the JSNTD button to my website I forgot to update switch my resume from .DOC to .RTF.  Thierry called me on it and now it's done.  Cool.  And if you think that RTF can't handle complex formatting here are two examples:  (USE ONLY FOR COMPARISONS!  WILL GO AWAY SOON!)

comment [] 12:24:40 PM    

And Here's the Before and After JSNTD (Just Say No to .DOC) Buttons!

9:37 -- Comments, thoughts??? Which one do you like better?  Which would you put on your blog?


Thanks.  Feedback to

10:16 -- Update: We now have 3 buttons!  Thanks to Dewayne & Shelley for this.  They're a talented two person web development shop called Active Info out of Charlotte, North Carolina specializing in HTML, ASP, SQL Server and Graphic Design with a specialty in data driven websites.

More info:


comment [] 9:37:51 AM    

Things Happen Fast Here in BlogLand!

Wow.  About 2 hours after I posted my "JSNTD" rant, I get an IM from a reader who says: "Can I have the original icon so my artist can do a better job on it?"  Just amazing.  So I popped him the url and gifted him with the url to my entire web development images collection and now he's on the case.  Thank you Dewayne!  Go read Dewayne's Blog:

comment [] 9:01:00 AM    

If I was Scott McNealy and Had Responsibility for Open Office...

An easy to implement solution for improving the file format support in Open Office.  And a real web service that businesses would pay for.

==> Read Story <==

comment [] 6:27:14 AM    

Just Say No To .DOC or JSNTD!

I had an awful experience yesterday.  I posted a request for somebody out there to send me a screen capture of my opml stuff running under IE 6 since IE 5.5 doesn't work with XSLT (at least for me, no matter what Microsoft says).  Wouldn't you know that about 5 minutes later an IM popped up from a reader who said "Here ya go!".  Wow!  You know that bloggers are friendly but this still surprises you.  His blog's a good read and he's a KM guy if you're into Knowledge Management (I'd pass it on only my IE bookmark seems to have vanished -- no matter, I'll tell you more about that next week, stay tuned).

Anyway, Dewayne sent me the screen cap as a word document.  And for the first time since I've been getting email w/ attachments I was scared.  Yes, I read his blog and I think he's smart.  I think it may have been yesterdays's "Eating dead aardvarks is more fun than using Microsoft Word" fiasco or maybe it's the recent Klez virus stuff (and I don't even know if Klez uses .doc).  I'm not sure.  Either way I really thought twice and then twice again before opening it.  Anyway, it was fine and I was very glad that he sent it.  But this got me to thinking and you know what happens then...

Yup.  An idea.  Or JSNTD!  "Just Say No To .DOC"  If you think about Microsoft Office, the single most dangerous application, without question, is Microsoft Word.  Here's why:

  • Word documents are passed around as frequently as air in most companies
  • Word documents can contain macro viruses
  • Word .DOC documents are unbelievably proprietary at the file format level.  I know this because a company I used to own wrote our own .DOC reader in pascal (don't ask) and then C++.  We spent tens of thousands to decipher the arcane nature of Word "sprms" (sperms).  And, yes, we had the official Microsoft docs.  And, yes, they're wrong.  And, at the end of all of it, we had this horrible code base that had been hacked on and special cased beyond belief (although there is something to be said for the "elegance" of a 5,400+ line switch statement).

So here's the idea: JSNTD -- Switch your copy of Word from .DOC to .RTF.  RTF supports, as far as I can tell, the same formatting options including embedded graphics, etc., but it doesn't have macro viruses, it's ASCII and it can be opened in Star Office (Yes, I put my money where my mouth is and downloaded Star Office last night). 

So... Here's what I ask you to do:

  1. Read this: ==> Story with Pictures on How to Make Word 2000 and Word XP Save as RTF <==
  2. Set Word to Save as RTF
  3. When someone emails you a .DOC file and they're not in your company, send them this link and ask them for a .RTF file
  4. Tell a Friend and give them the links
  5. Perhaps add a mention of this to your Email sig.
  6. And, if you really want to make me very, very happy.   Here's the button that I added to my Blog template:

Feel free to add this button to your blog template and your website.  And if anyone out there has better design skills than mine (which are pathetic), feel free to make a better button and I'll switch it in a second and give credit.

Think about this for a second:

  1. Is there any disadvantage to saving to RTF?  Not that I can see.  If there is then someone speak up.
  2. Is it a bad thing to eliminate a source of possible viruses from your system?  NO!
  3. Isn't making fewer proprietary files a good thing?  Whether or not you stay with Word, isn't it better to know that you have options?

Am I just nuts?  Whenever I write one of these essays about MS troubles I get great feedback so I don't think so...

And, in case anyone's curious, I do tilt at windmills...

comment [] 5:09:59 AM    

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