What's New? 1998-10-31

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What's New? 1998-10-31

 Saturday 19 December 1998

My son Isaac is born. Now you know what's been taking up my free time (and what will occupy me in the near-term future).

 Monday 8 December 1998

It is with a very heavy heart that I note the passing of Bruddah Israel Kamakawiwo`ole, born 20 May 1959, died 26 June 1997. All the goodness and kindness that we know as Hawai'i could be found in his mellifluous voice. I never had the priviledge of hearing him firsthand, only on recordings of the Ma'ka'ha Sons of Ni'ihau. He will be sorely missed.

 Saturday 28 November 1998

Thanksgiving is over for this year, but in my turkey and cranberry stupor I'm able to dig some photos of Golden Gate Park from the archives for your enjoyment.

 Monday 23 November 1998

The 1996 Olympic Torch Relay passed through San Francisco on 4 May 1996, the torch-bearers running in shifts to shepard the flame through all 48 continental states before having it end up in Atlanta, Georgia. I was there with my digital camera.

 Saturday 21 November 1998

Consulting life has been all-consuming lately, but I found the time to dig up four photos that belong on The People's Café page. Added a panorama to the page devoted to an apartment I had on Eighteenth Street in the Castro. Put together three groups of photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, including those from our New Year's Day 1997 bridge walk.

Remember the profile of me that appeared in the autumn 1996 issue of ECIFFO magazine? No? Didn't think so. The article has been on this site for a while. I just unearthed photos of the interview process. Now you can see what it's like to have 5 reporters and 2 photographers - all from Japan - hanging in the Haight-Ashbury.

 Sunday 8 November 1998
Globe, animated

Dad's on the road, making stops in Lund (Sweden), Kiriat Bialik (Israel), and Alexandria (Virginia, USA). He's got one of my PowerBook 5300s with him, and we're able to stay in touch. Sometimes with Instant Messenger, but usually via email, since I'm not reliably at the machine for hours at a time.

It's been a few years since I visited, but Lund and Malmö are pretty, and Copenhagen - just a ferry ride away - is downright beautiful. I fondly recall the meal I buy each time I use the ferry: a sandwich piled high with fresh tiny shrimp and an espresso. The Danes usually camel up on alcohol from the moment the leaving bell rings, at which time they run around the boat to queue up at the café, to the arrival bell, at which time at least one Dane has passed out.

 Thursday 5 November 1998

It is with a heavy heart that I consider the news that DigiCash filed for Chapter 11 protection. The brainchild of David Chaum, DigiCash fielded a digital electronic currency called ECash. Unlike credit cards, which reveal your identity to vendors, ECash micropayment coins are anonymous as cash (and like real-world coins, can't be spent more than once).

Numbers That Are Money. A good slogan, but not enough to overcome a business plan that prevented the wide adoption of this superior technology. The gradual acceptance of consumers for using credit cards for purchases over the Internet didn't help.

We here at Digital Jungle were very early adopters of ECash in our EShop. We got a lot of people to use the free trial version in order to get the CU-SeeMe Reflector List we were maintaining at the time.

We pause for a moment to mourn the passing of an age. I fervently hope that something happens to allow this brillant technology to conquer the world, to give us a fighting chance against having our purchases tracked and catalogued in the same marketing madness manner that follows our online surfing.

 Sunday 1 November 1998
  fat man

I'm between contracts.

I've spent a bit of time tidying my résumé. In addition to the HTML version that I've had online for years, there's now a flat ASCII text version and a Microsoft Word version. Everyone needs something different, and everyone wants to reformat it (and introduce new and amusing errors) to make it more unreadable. This week someone presented my résumé in two horrible fonts. I was embarassed. I'm pleased I had copies of my résumé with me.

I've also been thinking about my relationship to work. Headhunters are always asking what I want to do, but it feels as though they're missing the point.

I'm a professional programmer, working as a consultant. I want to work. Give me the chance to work on any reasonably modern project and I'll seriously consider it. Don't treat a consulting gig as though it were a full-time one.

It's time for me to step off the soapbox.

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