May 29, 2004

Humanity pisses me off.

Yesterday morning our garden had a nice, tall, green, leafy hedge, and soft grass that was a couple cm high and was nice to walk on.

Then gardeners came, called by my parents because we'd received complaints that the outside of the hedge, which overlooks onto a path, was spilling too much over the path. Which was true - we'd already determined it needed a little trimming (a little trimming, mind).

So the gardeners came, and by noon, which is when I woke up (I had sleep to catch up on) and went outside to have a look, the hedge was... well. A non-hedge, really. Drastically reduced in height and depth, with only a few leaves here and there... basically just a bunch of sticks sticking out of the ground and looking dead.
The grass is pretty much gone as well - what yesterday morning was nice and soft and a couple cm tall, now has been cut down to maybe half a centimeter above ground, and if I walk on it I feel dirt under my feet, not grass.
I'm not particularly pissed off about the grass, since grass does grow quite fast and it'll grow back. The hedge on the other hand it'll take at least a YEAR to grow back to full without holes.

Meantime, I get to be uncomfortable inside my own garden, since the non-hedge allows everybody who wanders by the path outside to stare inside the garden, and of course everybody does, since they can. I spent 10 minutes outside earlier, trying to get used to the non-hedge, and I counted the people who went by - 17 people, and every single one stared inside the garden for as long as they could.


To the assholes who complained about our hedge and didn't even have the balls to do so directly (they told somebody who told somebody else who then told us), insisting we do something Right Now while having the luxury of remaining anonymous: thanks. Really. I hope you're really happy now that a bunch of idiot gardeners destroyed the hedge and ruined the garden. I cordially hope this happens to YOUR garden, too.

To the fucktards who can't help staring inside the garden while they walk on the path that's just outside it: fuck off and die. I know that the fact that the hedge is now just a bunch of sticks sticking out of the ground makes it tempting, but really, cut it out. Would you like it if I wandered by your house and stared at you? Exactly.

To the idiot gardeners: I hope you fall on your chainsaw / under your lawnmover / on a sharp gardening implement and die messily. That was my garden you just ruined, fuckers. And you also lied through your teeth to my mother who asked you specifically to make sure the hedge wasn't cut too much, because she didn't want people to be able to see inside the garden from outside, and you answered "no problem, we'll cut it just a little inside". Lying fucks.

To my father who was supposedly supervising the gardeners but didn't actually go outside until they were almost done: great job. Really. And no, I don't believe for one second that "within 15 days it's going to look much better than now already". Also: you always complain about the price of things, and how they're too expensive, and you've made a scene several times about the price of stuff - popcorn, a dinner out, whatever - and yet today you didn't breathe a single word, but instead were quite cheerful as you handed the gardeners the 700 euro they asked for as payment for butchering our garden. Way to go.

I want my garden back. :(

¤ 08:47 PM ¤ Comments (5) ¤

May 16, 2004

Oooh, shiny.

Well. I have a copy of Expression Engine. (THANK YOU, ScriptyGoddess - wouldn't have noticed in time to get one otherwise!)
I've been looking at pMachine and Expression Engine for quite some time now - especially since several people recommended them to me as an alternative to MovableType. But the fact that they cost money (which I didn't have, I'm still a jobless student remember?) and my inherent laziness prevented me from making the switch.
Now though... well. With all the hubbub over MT's new licensing system, I've been actively looking for alternatives. Expression Engine in particular stood out as a "if you're going to spend $150 on a blogging system, spend it on this" pick, mainly due to the fact that, for the same amount of money upgrading to MT3 would've cost me, it offered an unlimited amount of blogs and authors and many features MT doesn't have.
After the license adjustment, I was figuring I'd stay with MT, since upgrading would've cost me only $100 (if I even upgraded), which, being less than $150, was the obvious choice ;)
But, it's hard to beat getting a $150 product for free. Especially since I'd already been considering it, and it looks very, very good (and shiny).
So, yeah. I don't have time to install it and play around right now, being under deadline for my dissertation and all, but as soon as I have a free afternoon (it looks simple to set up, but I'm 1. tech-dumb, 2. very, very picky about how stuff looks) I'll do it. \o/

¤ 02:43 PM ¤ Comments (0) ¤

May 15, 2004

Movable Type 3.0 license adjustments

Now, that's much better. It clarifies some of the issues I had with the original license, and solves some problems I had. Though, in my opinion there's still room for improvement. Here's a few ideas.

I reckon clarifying what counts as a weblog ("a single Web site viewable at a single URL (Uniform Resource Locator), consisting of one or more weblogs as generated by the Software via the "Create New Weblog" function of the Software" - in other words, multiple sublogs to make a single weblog don't count towards the limit) and that only active weblogs and authors count towards the limit will help a lot of people feel better about this. I know I didn't want to have to pay extra for my test weblog, which only goes through sporadic layout changes and is otherwise dead meat, or any weblog I might decide to close down and just keep archived.

The idea of $10 addons is excellent. Another thing I was personally worried about was the jump in prices - if I had 5 weblogs and want to add a sixth, for instance, I'd have to spend an extra $50 to the $100 I was already spending. Adding just $10 is much more manageable.

I'd push the addon idea a bit further, though. Here's my suggestion:

  • The Personal license should be not 5 weblogs and 5 authors, but 10 between weblogs and authors.

    What's the difference?

    Well, it'd let you trade in authors for weblogs.

    Let's say I have a single group weblog. I'm not using the other 4 weblogs and I have no plans to use them, but I could use 4 extra authors. So, 9 authors, one weblog.

    Then let's say I have several weblogs, one of which has three authors. I'm running out of weblogs though, and instead of those two extra authors I'm not using, I'd very much like to have two extra weblogs. So, two authors, 8 weblogs.
  • Break the $10 addon down into two separate bits.

    Leave the $10 for one extra author and one extra weblog; add a $5 addon for an extra weblog, and a $5 addon for an extra author.
This would very much help people feel they're getting the full value for their money, if you aren't going to decrease prices to be slightly more reasonable and affordable. It wouldn't feel like a waste of money if, say, I don't use the extra authors in the personal license, nor if I need an extra weblog and have to purchase an extra author along with it that I know I'll never use.

Otherwise, I like the new terms much better. I might even end up paying the full $100 for a personal license when I actually have the money to do so, especially if the amount of weblogs and authors in the license is made a bit more flexible, like I've detailed above.

In the meantime, I'm staying with my 2.6 version, since I can. And I like MT, I'm not changing to another blogging tool if I can help it :)

¤ 01:17 PM ¤ Comments (5) ¤

May 14, 2004

What the hell, Hotmail?

Yesterday I had 100+ messages, some dating from years back, with info I still need and can't replace, in my Hotmail inbox. I just checked my email, and there were only 18 messages in my inbox. Anything older than February 2, 2004? Well, gone. Not gone gone: ended up in my trash folder.
I know I didn't accidentally delete them (how do I accidentally select 80+ messages and dump them in the trash, ffs?); I know nobody else had my password to get in there and do that; the only explanation is that Hotmail itself somehow put them in there.
Good thing that I checked my email, too. I don't check that particular Hotmail account all that often anymore, and the trash is emptied once per day... if I'd noticed this tomorrow, they would've been completely gone.
I think it's time to dig up that site which had instructions on how to transfer mails from Hotmail to Gmail...

¤ 11:42 AM ¤ Comments (0) ¤

May 13, 2004

Excuse me?!

Update: Six Apart clarified the license terms and changed them slightly. Here's my take on that, for those of you who are coming in via links or trackbacks and don't see my full weblog. :)

[EDIT] Ok, I was probably a bit too vehement in the below rant / outburst. My point still stands, though.
To sum it up - following the pricing guide on the MT website, my current MT installation would cost me $100 to upgrade (I'm not counting the discount, as by when I get the money to pay for MT, it'll likely be gone). If I go ahead with my plans for this summer, and move a lone weblog I still have on Blogger to MT like I've been planning to do, and move a site to MT to make it easier to update and create the couple extra weblogs I've been considering, MT would cost me $150. That's way too much for a smallish personal site like this is. It doesn't get that many visitors, and I'm not making any money from this. It's a hobby for me.
I'm not opposed to paying for MT - hell, I was planning to donate when I got a job and started earning money (as well as registering a bunch of software I use and love, such as Opera, paying for a few webcomics, etc) - it's the fact that the prices are so high that is making me angry. $20 or even $50 I could justify paying... when it starts getting in the neighborhood of $100-150, though, it's way too expensive.
At the same time, I'd feel bad using the free version (whether I stay with 2.6 or upgrade to 3.0, which, I'm told, doesn't have limits hardcoded in, so it's a honor system how many blogs / authors you actually have) for, well, free, without the ability to give anything back to the company (since the cheapest license is $100, which is too much).
Bottom line? I'd love to give Six Apart money for MT, as I was planning to. It's a great tool. But they're making it quite impossible for me to do so. [/EDIT]

MovableType 3.0 released, with new licensing structures in place. And well... what the hell? No really, what the hell?

I have four blogs on this installation of Movable Type, was planning on adding at least two more this summer when I had some time (migrating one that's still on blogger, as well as adding a new one, possibly more). So I'm supposed to hand over $70 (if not more... the pricing structures are very unclear) if I want to have at least my five blogs? (That's also the "introductory price" - the basic personal license is $100 not discounted.) What if I want to have a group blog with a bunch of friends? - oh look, the price goes up even more. Sure, there's a free version, but limited to one author and three blogs, which is simply not enough for me.

I'm a student right now and always broke, and even after I graduate, I'll have more pressing things to spend my money on - like saving up for a house and a car of my own, for instance. Yes, of course that's my choice - spending money on real life stuff rather than on a web application - and I understand they're a company, not a charity association, and they have to make money - but this is most definitely the wrongest possible way to introduce a non-free version (and rhetoric about "committment to a free version" and suchlike doesn't help at all). Adding more features that are only for pay users would've even made me consider buying the version with more features - hell, back when I was with Blogger and they had Blogger Pro, I was considering getting it just because of the extra features it would've given me. But stunting the free version rather than adding extra features to the non-free version? And making the non-free version absurdly expensive for basic features such as increasing the number of allowed blogs and authors? I'm not seeing myself upgrading anytime soon.

I'm staying with MT - 2.6, that is - for now, because I'm used to the program. :P But I'll definitely be on the lookout for a new good, free platform that will not stunt the amount of blogs or authors I can have, and that will not give me something and then go "oopsie, you know the thing we gave you for free? you'll have to pay for it from now on" later. Seriously tempted to just go back to Blogger, their latest upgrade looks good...

I feel guilty about recommending MT to so many people. :|

¤ 04:06 PM ¤ Comments (8) ¤

Opera 7.50 out

*points* What the post subject says. Dissertation is still chewing on my brain, but that I needed to post, since this upgrade kicks ass. It includes a (rudimentary, granted, but good for casual chatting) IRC client and a RSS reader. Here's the changelog if you want to know what changed; otherwise, what are you waiting for? Go and download!

I actually had it 15 minutes or so before it was officially released - the install file was already on the ftp, so (fighting against the horde of other Opera lovers who had also realized that) I went and fetched it. Hehe. Soon after the release announcement, the Opera site was actually unreachable for a bit due to how many people were connected to it.

¤ 02:43 AM ¤ Comments (0) ¤

May 02, 2004

"We're sorry, but we don't seem to be compatible."

Bah. Gmail doesn't seem to be compatible with Opera. No fair.

It's nice, though, for what I can see. *pokes at it* Might start using it as my primary webmail account, redirecting my non-webmail account to it when I'm away from my own computer (on holiday or what have you)... my hotmail accounts are half-choked by spam and always on the verge of overflowing. I tend to be a packrat with email, I still have messages from years ago because "you never know when they might turn out to be useful", so I'm always just barely under the 2mb limit plain Hotmail has. So Gmail might suit me just fine.

Now if they made it work with Opera... I'm grumpy at the idea of always having to open IE to use it, I barely ever use that browser. Ah well.

(If you're wondering how I got a Gmail invite - Blogger. I'm no longer an "active user" of Blogger, having migrated to Movable Type, but my mother is - and she logged in today to find the invite, decided she didn't need it, and let me use it instead.

Of course, if you're really, really anxious to use Gmail, and you're worrying your username will be taken by when it gets out of beta, you could always buy an invite off Ebay. That'd put you in the "sad geek" category though - come on, paying for an early look at something that will be free anyway? Just to make sure you get your unique email address before somebody else can nab the username?)

¤ 04:45 PM ¤ Comments (3) ¤