javawesome, baby

Site Update of the Moment
A few times now I've caught myself saying "Yeah! Go see my java toys! Err...just go to the search page and enter "<applet" and..." which really is a bit too much, so I made a stylish (if I do say so myself) java toy webpage with uniform screenshots and links.

I also rearranged the sidebar, adding a dumb coffe pun icon for the java page, and demoting Flap-Ping and Small Gif Cinema to "other things" from "features".

You're all on the edge of your seats awaiting my next site structure update, I'm sure.

Mundane Life Update of the Moment
I got one of those DVD/VCR combos to replace my beloved but ailing VCR, the one I've had since college. (Panasonic and 'til recently reliable...also the first time I saw a scroll wheel, years before they showed up on mainstream computer mice.) I mostly need a VCR in lieu of a proper cable box, and though I'm not crazy about the two-things-break-for-the-price-of-one aspect of dual units, it made my AV stack less precarious, and jived better with the inputs of my receiver.

Anyway, I was surprised to find out that they must be sticking more data in the vertical blank of a television image...I think that's where they've been putting in closed captioning for a while, but now many stations identify themselves there, and some even list the current program, which is nice when you don't have an online guide. And it was likely there all this time, and I just didn't realize because of my aging VCR.

Similarly, for us non-digital-cable, non-Tivo-enabled people is the best online tv guide I've seen since the now defunct

Article of the Moment on the differences between America and Europe's approaches to E-mail, the former seemingly evolved from how people use the phone, the latter from how people use business letters. The author says he's coming round to the Euro point of view, finishing with "I'm fed up with an inbox cluttered with rambling, barely cogent missives from friends and colleagues. If the alternative is a few stiffly written, politely worded bits of Euromail, then I say -- bring it on." Maybe he needs friends and colleagues with better writing skills? (Or more likely, needs to sound like a bit less of a snob.) I personally am fed up with the spam...the missives from friends and colleagues are generally always welcome, cogent or no.