Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more


It is now the end of the year, and so its time to reflect over the last year, and make new year resolutions.

One thing I have noticed over the last year is my changing in my regular internet habits. More and more, I get my news from blog sites nowadays, rather than other news sources. Engadget for tech news, Joystiq and it's subsidiaries for gaming news, Phoronix for Linux and video card news, and a growing collection of MSDN Team Blogs for Windows and programming news. I rarely venture to the aggregate collections such as Google News anymore, I just continually watch blogs for news. I've also become more involved, with this blog here of course, intentions on making the AnacondaSoftware DevBlog possibly the bulk of the main site, and commenting a lot more on blogs for communication.

The face of the internet changes, and things move forward. Onwards to 2008!

Mon, 31 Dec 2007 09:00:00 -0600

Merry Christmas! I am tired!

Merry Christmas! I'm in the giving mood, so I posted an update to Skewed as a present, after so long without anything but talk about it on here.

And it's an hour and a half past when I usually go to bed, so I will leave it at that for now, and comment more on it tomorrow.

Mon, 24 Dec 2007 19:00:00 -0600


Last week, Merriam-Webster voted 'w00t' as word of the year, and assigned it an official definition for their online dictionary.

w00t (interjection)
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word "yay"

An unusual choice, particularly because of its combination of letters and numbers, but it all the same goes to show how internet culture is influencing the ever-changing English language.

Thu, 20 Dec 2007 07:00:00 -0600

Timeless Archive

One of the unfortunate things about the internet is its ever shifting nature. Allows for always expanding amounts of information, but old information gets lost, possibly forever.

I was thinking over the evolution of the story for one of my oldest AnacondaSoftware projects, Spiral Island, while doing some experimenting with isometric tiles (I'll discuss that more on the DevBlog). It's storyline hasn't really changed much since a major storyline change in 2001, when I first conceived it, and I had to rewrite a good portion of it and almost completely change the cast. I have almost nothing of that original storyline, or much else from that time. The only thing I have is a unused resource file in the old 2D project's file folder with variables for the original characters and their names. Odd names, names I would really think twice about using nowadays, and for that matter I don't know how much to them were my contributions and how much was from default names from RPG Maker 95, which was where the whole idea began. These are those cut names: Ijange the Dragon, Fess Fesichi, Khar Kloem, Luts Orukeba, Slobodon. Several alliterate names which bug me to no end, and some really weird spelling.

I've kept a folder on my computers, called simply "Website", with the coding and design for each of the AnacondaSoftware layouts, as they're described in the Site History on the site. I don't however, have any archives of the news entries from there, so I can't track when the Spiral Island project started, or when it shifted to the current storyline. AnacondaSoftware was originally hosted on a free host called Virtual Avenue, which was bought, sold, abandoned, closed, and now again back up from the looks of it. I had to jump to a new host, NetFirms, which I used until I moved to my current location, JaguarPC, where I've been since 2003. In those moves, though, I lost my archival copies of the site, and don't have the news files that were there originally. So I don't have a very good documented history to refer to.

That's the purpose behind the Internet Archive project. They are a library, a database of the past, showing what the internet looked like in its younger days, as well as old video clips, sounds, and music. If you wanted to see what a site looked like at some time, you could look at it, going back to 1996. It shows Yahoo in its oldest recorded form (without images, though, as those aren't as often cached). It shows the Microsoft site in 1996 looking vastly different than it does nowadays, which has, though the styles have changed a little bit, more or less looked and felt the same as long as I've been working tech support. And Google, all the way back to Nov 11, 1998, with the simple text "Welcome to Google" and two links, "Google Search Engine Prototype" which was at the time still hosted on Stanford's servers, and another one titled "Might-work-some-of-the-time-prototype that is much more up to date." which links to an Alpha (not even Google's regular habit of Beta projects), and was still Stanford pages until five months later. And they have fragments of archives of the AnacondaSoftware site, but mostly broken due to the crawler not stepping past the splash page (it seems). While I can't see everything, I can at least see some pieces of the puzzle, touch some fragments of the past. Nothing yet for this site, though.

Concerning the title of this entry, it has a double meaning. The first one is plain, describing the Internet Archive's showing of the internet's past regardless of its current state. The second is the location I mentioned in Skewed by that name. the last remaining part of the island often referred to as Atlantis in that world, which was keeping a history of everything that happened. I'll go into it further later in that story, but at the crash of the internet as the plague spread and was killing most everyone, the entire Internet Archive database was transferred to that location by the assistance of a hacker group wishing to preserve the knowledge of the world.

Wed, 19 Dec 2007 17:00:00 -0600

Fulfilling A Request... Sort Of

As I mentioned in the last entry, I look at the statistics for the previous month each month to see what sorts of things come up. As I had mentioned, I look at the search engine results as well, and see the interesting searches that led to my site. It also shows which search engine the hit came from as well, so I can see how the different search engines give different results.

When looking at the statistics for last month, I had glanced at the results so far for this month. Interestingly, out of what has happened so far this month, the one search string that came from Yahoo will give you nothing on Google when using quotes to properly limit it, and 28 completely unrelated results with the string without any quotes. Interestingly enough, quotes or not have no effect on Yahoo, just two hits either way, an outdated index page result for here, and, even stranger, a log of the index page at that time with the calendar year of July selected. That makes little sense to me.

But anyway, since it's guaranteed whoever searched this will not find what they're looking for, I'll treat the search engine hit as a request: "untie my tongue jay goldmark lyrics", referring to the song I mentioned when I was talking about StoryLines. These are the lyrics.

Untie My Tongue
Jay Goldmark
As I work I watch her sleep
Snug and warm beneath the blankets and the sheets
I sit for hours
Waiting for the muse to speak
The words I seek

Untie my tongue
Before the morning comes
Give me the time
To free my mind

I lie beside her on the bed
Listening to her breathing
Her face a flower
My mind a barrel full of lead
A thunderhead

Untie my tongue
Before the morning comes
Give me the time
To free my mind

Can't tell her
Can't get it out
I can't seem to make the words relate
To the way I feel inside
The way I feel inside

It's 3 o'clock
And the town is still and peacefully asleep
Empty streets in the summer heat
She's so serene
Adorable, a vision in a dream

Finally I kiss her softly on the cheek
Before I sleep
And later, I wake to find her sitting at my feet
Watching me
Her eyes so deep

She hides a smile within her breath
She wants to tell me
But she likes to make me sweat
Then she says
"Last night I dreamt that
I wrote the lyrics for a song
You were working on
But now they're gone"

Untie my tongue
Before the morning comes
Give me the time
To free my mind

Can't tell her
Can't get it out
I can't seem to make the words relate
To the way I feel inside
The way I feel inside

The way I feel inside

Sun, 16 Dec 2007 15:00:00 -0600

Umm, thanks?

Usually at the end of each month, I check the statistics for my sites for the previous month. My host has several tools for doing this, but my favorite is AWStats because it is always neat and clean.

I do this for several reasons. The relatively simple use of seeing how many visitors I had the previous month, and the nowadays-almost-useless "hits" statistic. I say almost useless because as I'm aware, search spiders and other automatic traffic can trip that as well, making those slightly inaccurate. I usually pay more attention to a different statistic for that, "Unique Visitors". For a comparison, I had 771 unique visitors and 6249 hits last month, compared to 1272 unique visitors and 6976 hits in October. More individual visitors in October, 64% higher than November , but the actual hits is only a 11% difference in October compared to November.

What I keep an eye on more, though, is traffic, and more specifically, traffic anomalies. I first discovered both the comment spam and referral spam that plagued the AnacondaSoftware DevBlog not on the blog itself but in statistics, with sudden exploding in strange referrals from spam link farms. I also found the sudden rampant hotlinking of my forum avatars using up large amounts of bandwidth this way, which led me to implementing hotlink protection to that portion of AnacondaSoftware. Even with this blog too, the logs are filled with links referred by all sorts of weird sites, but with the forethought from experience with Pivot on the AnacondaSoftware DevBlog I knew what steps to take to prevent it from becoming an actual spam haven at setup, so it is somewhat hardened. It also lets me see what pages are accessed the most, so I can see what is being targeted, and if a hole did exist that was being exploited by a lot of things I'd see where the traffic was going to look into it. For references sake, the most hit pages were of course the main scripts of the system: the entry page script, the comment submission script (which appears to have gotten hit 1276 times, spam blocked almost every single time), and the index page, in that order. The highest accessed archive pages was near the beginning of the blog, Week 22, followed by a month later in Week 26.

I can also see what Operating Systems and browsers access the site, and the percentage breakdowns of those. But what I like watching the most is search keyphrases passed by the search engines as part of the referral data. Most often, on this site as I've noticed, it's predominantly linked by results related to the most recent entries. On AnacondaSoftware its more random, as all sorts of links can be referred based on the vast selection of terms on the forum, but here it seems to be more relevant to what I've recently talked about. The most frequent search results from last month are, in order, .hack (limited to this site specifically), and StrafeRight.

But the oddest one from last month is a little strange, and I'm not sure whether the context of the search was meant to be a compliment, a insult, or what. That result was "the anaconda lol".


Wed, 12 Dec 2007 17:00:00 -0600

For Speaking Only

One of the moderators on Notebook Forums is a truck driver, and operates his computer in his truck using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and his cell phone for the internet. This following cryptic line was sent to me by him over Messenger:

" a loan and Noah was soon to loan south well I could beat Olivet Baugh I like to know may see in so I can be the will and the new zone is made nine AL"

Apparently, my window had focus. His microphone wasn't turned off, so when he started singing Dragon picked it up and sent it to me. From what I can tell, this is the proper line, from the song "I Wanna Know" by Joe:

"I wanna know what do you want / So I can be all that and more / I'd like to know what makes you cry / So I can be the one who always makes you smile"

As he continued trying, these following lines proceeded... I don't even know where to look anymore:

"facing high you knock me off my feet and examining them around me I gave me nobody ever made me feel this way since then you take my breath the away slow I wanted now alone on and know what turns you on so I can be all that she blown I like the new may refute that so I can see the move appeared to raise mates used nine

everyone I got into to please you may be anything you say how you can buy only one I made you happy the bottom of my heart in strip tell me what I've added you to please you say be anything you say I'll do cause I only want the May you be

from the alma mater as Juliusstudio are mine always tried to tie a day and alone I took it as an view Bohne Shea of alone in our view a DVD and no fair so

to these new a.k.a. Angus armed on I pay you at the run-up I'm not on its journey though I bear I got the German company's new a.k.a. Angus on third will not on a wide a.k.a. at the from the eye out artist or to yeah"

Perhaps its best Dragon NaturallySpeaking doesnt yet work under Vista x64... Who knows what litter would end up in my documents when I'd randomly start singing something.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 12:00:00 -0600

Another Voice

I don't watch may US television programs, I mostly watch movies and Japanese anime. One of the shows I do watch though is the medical drama House MD, starring Hugh Laurie playing the doctor of the shows namesake.

One of the more intriguing things to me, however, is off the camera. Hugh Laurie is British, but he is playing a character that is American, so he has to alter his speech to mask his accent. I had never heard of him before House, and I wasn't aware of this fact... Until I saw him in passing on one of the late night talk shows, where he was talking as he would normally. It sounded, honestly, like it was someone else entirely. Not only was the accenting on the vowels different, but the way his consonants are pronounced as well, and even the normal pitch of his voice was different than as Gregory House. It was very surreal the first time, and honestly didn't sound like the voice was coming from Hugh at times.

If you're wondering, here's a link to him talking to Dave Letterman. It's quite interesting the way accenting can be affected and masked.

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 17:00:00 -0600


I don't really have much time, so I'll keep this fairly short for now, and go more into what I had wanted to talk about tomorrow.

This blog - and it's older sibling the AnacondaSoftware Devblog - are run on a software called Pivot. As I've mentioned before, I've expressed desire in having more than just this blog on this site, I've wanted to move my writings over from AnacondaSoftware and have them branch off of this blog. One of the biggest things that has been holding me back on that is I wanted a way to smoothly integrate it with the blog side, so the site kept an overall congruent feel to it, not different things stitched together.

A few days ago, the first alpha of the new version of the software - now called PivotX - was released. I installed it into my test server to play around with a bit, and it has exactly what I'm looking for: a feature it refers to simply as "Pages". The Pages live in categories called Chapters, and are listed in a specific order, rather than an archival order like the normal blog system. They aren't bound by dates or time, and are listed in a simple Table of Contents allowing access to any page. They also allow for arbitrarily assigning any template to any individual page, so it can look like whatever you want while not affecting any other pages. This is the perfect platform for me to add writing to this site, so I'm watching closely now the advancement of the software in anticipation.

As it appears so far with the alpha, the first thing it looks like I'll have to address is the actual look itself. The blog is switching to a new template system, and some of it's commands are a little different. As of current, dropping in the template files unedited, the actual text of the template shows up in the right places, but no images load, and the entries aren't inserted into the page. I'll have to look into how the new system works, and update the templates accordingly.

Tue, 04 Dec 2007 17:00:00 -0600