Thursday, January 20, 2005

Today is Inauguration Day, the official start of George W. Bush’s second
term as President (which puts him one up on his father). Washington, D.C. is
crammed with parades and parties (officially known as ‘balls’,
which doubtless will inspire a load of juvenile humor), as the Republicans
celebrate four more years in power.

I voted for Kerry.


Looked at MoinMoin (http://moinmoin.wikiwikiweb.de/)
for a bit this afternoon, thinking it might be useful for the wikilog
project. It’s a huge mass of Python code, plus a great many other random
files of unclear purpose. The installation instructions run for forty-six
pages.

Quite an enthusiasm-dampener, that was. Anything needing that much
explication can’t be what I’m looking for.


Cold today (30°), with heavy overcast. The weatherdroids have been
saying freezing rain, sleet and/or snow Real Soon Now for the last
twenty-four hours; no sign of it yet.


The sump pump drain pipe is still frozen. I’m inclined to take the
hacksaw out and lop off a bit more.

[Woe is me: I struggled for twenty minutes to lop off
two feet of pipe, only to discover that there was three feet of ice inside.
Looks like our only option at this point is to wait for a warm spell. Too
bad there aren’t any in the forecast.]


Got a wrong number on the cell phone this evening: somebody in Indianapolis,
looking for Jenna. Sorry, no Jenna here.


More impulse buys from the iTunes music store: King Tut by Steve
Martin, and Dead Skunk by Loudon Wainwright III.

I’m still working up the courage to buy an entire album. Digital music,
like e-books, just seems too ephemeral. I have CDs that I bought twenty
years ago that I still listen to. Will my iTunes purchases remain viable
for as long? It seems unlikely (especially given Apple’s traditional
disregard for backwards compatibility).

I was reading about the iTunes DRM just now. It’s a bit like the
Microsoft Reader activation scheme, but with one big difference: iTunes
allows you to de-authorize your computer. As you buy new computers, your
music collection goes with you. MS Reader, on the other hand, has no
notion of de-activation. Once you’ve activated your fifth computer,
you’re done. Buy a sixth computer, and all your DRM’d e-books go offline
forever.

Apple understands its customers; Microsoft does not.