The Friday Grab Bag on a Monday

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Adobe AIR installation Process

Originally uploaded by sogrady

This belated Friday Grab Bag on a Monday is coming to you live from the Westin Waterfront in Boston. While there’s very little of the waterfront about it, it’s a good place to stay.

Of the dominant hotel chains, in fact, the Westin is fast becoming my favorite. It’s not as nice as a Ritz Carlton, of course, but then we can’t afford to stay at those anyway. It’s not even as nice as your average W, to be honest, but I feel far less out of place while walking through the lobby. There are nice Hiltons and Marriotts, to be sure, and I a fan of the Kimpton properties more often than not, but the Westin is an excellent default choice.

At worst, the beds are tremendous.

Anyhow, a grab bag of items that may or may not deserve their own entries, but aren’t getting them in any case.

Adobe AIR

As many of you know, I’ve been a frequent critic of Adobe for their lack of a Linux iteration of the AIR platform. It’s not that I expect every ISV to produce a Linux version of their clients – far from it. I merely expect ISVs who describe their software as “cross-platform” to do so.

Which Adobe is beginning to do, fortunately. Several weeks back, I was granted early access to the Adobe AIR for Linux alpha client, and played around with some popular applications like Twhirl. A few, including the aforementioned Twitter client, were impressive and compelling.

All of that was the good news. The bad news is that after a period of uneventful usage, activating AIR applications now kills the window decorations (which include the top level menu) within Ubuntu, requiring a restart of GNOME.

Which is suboptimal. Still, when the Adobe guys make it work, the applications – if not mission critical – are pretty damn cool. Here’s the bug, for the curious.

Georgetown DSL

In this week’s edition of news that excites me and is of no relevance to you whatsoever, I’m pleased to inform you that Georgetown, my summer destination, is now eligible for DSL installation. This is big because it saves me the need of having to invest in a summer office, and because it means that I don’t have to spend months shackled to EDGE speeds.

To say that I’m excited is tremendously understating the case. Given that Georgetown is technically an island, I was not optimistic that we’d ever see broadband, let alone this quickly.

iPhone Applications?

With the pending release of the iPhone SDK and application library, a number of people have asked me what I’d desperately like to see from an application perspective. My answer? I’m not really sure. I’m strangely unopinionated when it comes to the potential for native applications for the platform.

An ssh client would be nice, for those occasions I need to perform some crucial if irritating system maintenance. But beyond that? I’m more or less ambivalent.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m quite sure there are applications that I’ll want and that will be compelling. I just don’t have any idea what those are at the moment.

sogrady’s Mini

According to one of the fine Team DTrace gentlemen, there is someone driving around San Francisco with a red Mini plastered with license plates reading “SOGRADY.” So here’s the bounty: $5 to anyone who gets a picture of said car, and $10 to anyone who steals his or her plates for me.

Kidding, I’m kidding.

As far as you know.

The Ruins

I’ve made it a point over the last year or so to stock up on real books prior to travelling (The Master and Margarita is excellent), so that I’m not forced to pick between the latest Danielle Steele/Dean Koontz/Tom Clancy and clawing my own eyes out. This trip, however, I’ve been gone long enough that I did run out. Fearing the worst, I reluctantly picked up The Ruins at JFK. Apparently it’s a current movie, which I wouldn’t know given my horrifically low TV consumption.

I’ve got no idea how the film is – bad, would be my guess – but the book itself is non-terrible. It’s nothing spectacular, mind you, but for the genre, it’s reasonably well executed.

Just in case you find yourself similarly out of something to read.


Senor Aqualung – AKA Ric Hayman – crystallized for me the reason I use Twitter the way that I do with a comment over on Lauren Cooney’s blog. When she asked about using Twitter, he said:

Something to keep in mind – it’s a river of stuff, not a lake. If you miss something, or let it go by unnoticed – that’s OK. If it’s important it will usually come by again.

It’s interesting for me because this is, in fact, exactly how I do not use Twitter.

I’m not (really) obsessive about consuming every last update posted by the folks that I follow, but I try to nonetheless. Which is why I cannot subscribe to high volume Twitters or many more folks than I am at present (112); either would reduce me to following the river, as opposed to the individual streams that I’m interested in.

But that’s just me, and frankly I appear to be in the minority with my approach.

Update: added a link to the bug I filed against the Adobe AIR issue.


  1. You use Twitter just like most people use Planets — off- or on-topic information from the people you care about, not necessarily the topics you care about.

  2. I can’t remember if you’ve already said why you don’t have a Kindle BUT GO BUY ONE RIGHT NOW. You are the perfect customer and the Kindle rocks…


  3. Who would possibly accuse you of obsession, Steven? (Did somebody just mutter “MLB”?) But that’s the joy of Twitter’s simplicity – there’s a multitude of ways to use it … and there’s no one ‘right way’ or ‘best practice’ – it’s what works for you. So how interesting do I have to be to get you to follow me?

  4. master and margherita ++
    bulghakov totally nailed it with that book. it takes Dostoevsky’s ruminations on Good and Evil, as represented by God/Devil/Inquisition forward quite delightfully. and that’s saying something.

  5. […] different strokes for different folks. Ric had it exactly right, in my view, when he said says, “there’s no one ‘right way’ or ‘best practice’ – it’s what works for you.” […]

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