The FrankenPalm Diaries, continued

8/09/01 Baltimore

God, is it hot. My window a.c. is doing its best – which means
it`s about 89 degrees in my office. But for some, temperature
isn`t the only kind of heat that they're dealing with.

I called my ISP yesterday – to ask about the situation with
(Chapter 11)
. They alreay had a scripted reply to read from.

So maybe I cursed myself. I`ve been dead in the water for over
2 hours now-my Internet connection has fallen, and it can`t get
up, apparently. I`ve established that it isn`t Covad`s fault,
though, as I can`t even get in via dialup. I`m guessing my ISP
is aware of the problem, as their phone lines are all busy.

4 pm-

Okay, so maybe I`m not the only one having a bad day. WorldCom
apparently had a fire
at its Baltimore central office
, which has screwed a large
# of Covad customers (not to mention all the poor network managers
in the local office towers).

8/10/01 Kill Mario

Just as I was about ready to give up all hope of getting back
online in this lifetime, Worldcom managed to reroute my ISP's
connections and I was back in business.

Again, it's hotter than the plains of Dis here today. Of course,
it was 104 degrees F in NY yesterday, so I guess it's not as bad
as it could be here.

My eldest son has a friend spending the weekend with us. Two 10-year
olds can apparently be 8 times as maddening as one, especially
when you add a 7-year old brother for them to triangulate off
of–and when when the visiting kid brings along a Nintendo cartridge
for James Bond:Goldeneye as a host gift. Unfortunately, the game
(which I'm going to burn while the kids are gone–it's rated T
for Teen, and my 7-year old keeps talking about GL-40 grenade
launchers now) does not support team play past two players, which
means some kid ends up on the wrong end of the bazooka.

I am beginning to view Nintendo as a Satanic device.

8/12/01 Ape-ocylapse

With our three kids, a spare kid, and one of my wife`s female
aquaintanes in tow, we went to see Tim Burton's "Planet
of the Apes
" yesterday. I enjoyed it for the summer blockbuster
fare it was. Paula, who has an inexplicable aversion to monkeys
and such, was "creeped out" for most of the first half
of the film, but euentually was drawn into it.

Part of the appeal of the movie is Marc Wahlberg`s almost everyman
take on the lead role. He was never as bombastic or as over-the-top
as Charleton Heston in the original. Everything else in the movie,
however, is WAY over the top.

And then there's Chuck, president of the NRA himself, as an
ape. Ironically, his brief appearance could be taken as an anti-gun
message. At least, that is, if you're an ape.

Now I have to rent the original so Paula and the kids can get
the inside jokes.



The FrankenPalm Diaries Begin


I was doing an inventory of my IT assets the other day and
found I had two dead Palm IIIs. One was just DOA; its PROM was
fried, most likely. The other had a cracked touchscreen, but was
otherwise apparently functional

Now, mind you, I`ve hardly ever used a Palm (or any other handheld
computer for that matter) , mostly because I`ve always been a
keyboard kind of guy. Both of these broken e-scratchpads had never
even synched with a PC. The fried one had come that in that condition,
yet for some unknown reason, i had kept it in a drawer with a
collection of useless cables and ac adapters.

So, on a whim, I decided to perform open Palm surgery.

The fried Palm was much more cooperative in the process. The
broken screen Palm resisted; its tiny screws stripped out. I ended
up using a wirecutter to chop off the back of the shell.

In any case, the operation was a success. So I have decided
to put this FrankenPalm to work as yet another Blog entry device.
At a minimum, it will help me brush up on my Graffiti.
So this is my first entry, scrawled on the Palm .

On the Acela, 6PM

Bullet train, my ass. We`re
a half hour behind schedule leaving Wilmington, Delaware and I
think we`re doing all of 30 mph down this foresaken stretch of

I`m on my way back from my first staff meeting at Ziff,
as well as yet another encounter with The
. This time, it was in the company of Ed Cone, a colleague
of mine and a contributor to Wired who wrote a
profile of Dave
that ran this spring. We crashed Dave Winer's
dinner at Vincent's in Little Italy (there's evidence

Apparently, Dave didn't like the results of Ed's work. He greeted
Ed politley, but it was clear he wasn't about to get up and hug
him. We sat down at the far end of the table; Dave briefly came
over to talk (and find out, I suspect, what fresh hell had brought
Ed and I to work together).

Ed genuinely likes Dave, I think. And Ed himself is a very
likable guy It`s obvious to me that Dave may have taken that gregariousness
as a cue that it was safe to be completely open with Ed, that
Ed had only his,Dave Winer`s,interests in mind.

This is, I think, part of what makes Ed such a damn good feature writer. People let their guard down with him. Dave, however, already shares his feelings and thoughts so freely that he has no real
guard left to let down. And when he saw himself profiled in not
a flattering, staged light but a more neutral, journalistic one,
he felt betrayed. Ed was supposed to be his friend…

So they`re telling us that the train can`t run at full speed
because of the heat. I guess the tracks are expanding too much
or something.
Trains and brains are somewhat the same in that regard…

8/8/01 Baltimore

I went on the local public radio station today for a call-in
show, "The
Marc Steiner Show
". The topic, which I had sort of fed
him (Marc and I have a history) was the Digital Millenium Copyright
Act, Dmitry Skylarov, and the brave new world of intelletual property
law. I was the only non-lawyer on the panel; of course, one of
the lawyers was Robin Gross of the EFF,
so she was there more to represent their party line (DCMA is Bad)
than to be a lawyer. Not that their party line is wrong in this

Anyway, Paula told me I held my own. Of course, she is my wife,
so she may be a -little- prejudiced.

On the Palm front, apparently both of the HotSync cradles I
have are also not functional. Unfortunately, I can`t rip – them-
apart and built a new one.

So I went out and bought a new hotsync cable, and a USB adapter
for the Mac. And lo and behold, Sync worked. Of course, then I
realized that the screws I had put back on the Palm were a little
loose, and suddenly one of the cradles worked too….so now I
have a hotsync cable for my wife's Mk I Mod 0 Palm Pilot, which
I recently rescued from the oblivion pile. Whether she'll use
it or not is another question entirely…

It's supposed to be almost 100 degrees here again tomorrow.
enough for ya?