# Friday, February 20, 2004

I'm just pages away from finishing Drop City, by T.C.Boyle.  This is one of the more riveting novels I've read in quite a while.  It's been hard for me to put it down.  It portrays two completely different sets of people who really have the same goals, but come at it from two totally different perspectives. 

It's set in 1970, and the two groups of people are a hippie commune from Sonoma County and the residents of Boynton, Alaska, 150 miles from Fairbanks where the roads stop.  The health department shuts down the commune, which decides to relocate itself to Alaska. 

The focus of the story is really around how the long term residents of Boyton, and the surrounding bush, are just as "dropped out" of mainstream society as the hippies are.  They too are looking for personal freedom, and escape from the rat race and rapidly plasticized society of the late 60's early 70's.  The difference between them is in their approach.  Libertine vs. Libertarian.  Peace love and brotherhood vs. live free or die.  It's a very interesting and original juxtaposition, IMHO.

I grew up in Marin in the early 70's and I remember first hand what the peace love and brotherhood crowd was like.  Boyle does a great job of capturing not only the ideal of hippieness, but also the factors that inevitably crushed it. 

If you remember the hippies, are into Alaska, or just looking for a diverting read, check it out.

Friday, February 20, 2004 1:58:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Friday, February 13, 2004

As I'm sure you've probably heard elsewhere, SourceGear has released a new version of their Vault SCC tool.  The single user version is now free, lot's of cool new features, etc. 

I was just looking through the list of new features, and this one has to be my favorite

 Blame: Displays an annotated view of the file showing which user last modified each line.

That'll come in handy. :-)

Friday, February 13, 2004 3:55:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, January 29, 2004

I've been hearing a bit of hype around Skype this week, which sounds like a pretty cool idea.  Free download, make free phone calls, etc.  Being a bit of a paranoid, I decided to actually read the license agreement, and found this paragraph interesting

6. Payment.

You acknowledge that certain functions in the Skype Software are only available to paid subscribers after a free trial period of the Skype Software and Services (the "Free Trial Period") ends. After the Free Trial Period ends, you will be presented with the option to subscribe to the Subscription Services. If you do not wish to subscribe, you acknowledge that you can not access functions and services only available to paid subscribers. To subscribe to the Subscription Services you must agree to the terms and conditions of the Subscription Services.

It's interesting (although not surprising unfortunately) that I couldn't find any mention of this bit on their website, like what parts aren't free after the trial period.  So this would be free phone calls as in free sample, not as in free beer...

TANSTAAFL I guess. (If you aren't a big enough geek to grok that, ask a friend.)

Thursday, January 29, 2004 12:57:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, January 28, 2004

For one reason of another (dang HTML) the NPerf graph didn't come out in that last post, and I don't want to spend the time fixing the HTML, so here it is.

XML
Wednesday, January 28, 2004 11:28:55 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  |