Category Archives: Technology


Take a look at the incredible images coming from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. These images are not so incredible for their inherent beauty but because of the technology that makes them so.
Scientists and engineers had to target this small craft to reach the surface of Mars after traveling 300 million miles — not a misprint. One scientist noted that not only was the launch of the initial vehicle important but so were issues like the molten lava at the center of Earth, plate tectonics, and how “plasma in the atmosophere delayed radio signals to and from” something called the Deep Space Network, a series of antennas that connect interplanetary ships to the folks in “Houston.” The craft itself, entering the Martian atmosphere, will be as hot as the surface of the sun, yet it does not melt. It’s all incredibly sophisticated science and it makes the wonder of the Web, my usual concern, seem almost feeble.
The truly beautiful imagery available on the same site is that of the graphic artist who illustrated how the craft made it from here to there. Look at this one and this one, for instance. Is it odd that the digital work of the NASA illustrator is more fascinating than the near realtime photography of the Rover robot? I think not. The engineering behind the wondrousness of the project is what is astounding. In the end, the beauty of Mars is only as deep as its human counterparts.


The other side of what I posted below is revealed in Eric’s Archived Thoughts, which speculates that Microsoft truly is seeking to undermine open standards for Web development. XML, the generally accepted new lingua franca of the Web, may be soon (2006 or 2007?) challenged by the company’s XAML, a proprietary system designed to work best with Windows systems.
Put inexpensive, unaccountable programming together with top-down standardization and you’ve got a new Web that’s built to fracture.


On Sunday, I ordered the new operating system offered by Apple (v. 10.3), called Panther. All the message boards and all the breathless technologists nearby (well, near enough) have agreed that this is the coolest thing since sliced Swiss cheese. The operating system has some flaws but it’s fun. I’m all for fun. But I’ll give the same reason that I voted “no” yesterday, against the idea of non-partisan elections, as I would for putting Panther on my box. Change is not always good, though I’m an advocate of change. The black and silver box came to me on Tuesday from California via UPS and I left the whole damn thing in its box.


I’m so tired right now, having had a crazy-odd day and now possibly coming down with a crazy-odd cold. But I saw this little camera that I’d like to get and I wonder if this desire has something to do with being tired, as taking pictures is the laziest way to remember — and also the most earnest. I do love photography but it always seems just to simple to record a place in time and let it sit in time again. There’s no work involved and perhaps that’s why we love photography.

Working Type

It’s here. Movable Type is installed. I know it’s not a big deal, but I’m happy with the install and more than thrilled that three years of posts are now happily residing on the server. I still have a tremendous amount of customizing to do, so bear with me as I learn how to rebuild the Titanic.
Thanks goes out to Mark Paschal, who via the beauty of screenshots, shows how to import Blogger content to MT. More thanks soon.

Moving Type

Speaking of movable type (see below), I’m slowly moving to Movable Type instead of Blogger (which has been great — no real complaints) and a new host so that I can more powerfully and less expensively post my arcania to the Web. Please bear with me over the coming weeks until I work out the numerous kinks.
My apologies for advance for not being a good enough designer, technologist, linguist, or Internet protocolist, and all other things.
My apologies to my nervous system as well as, until an hour ago, I thought I had lost 3 years of Deckchairs posts to the Internet wilderness, as I hadn’t backed it all up in over one year. This means, that I would have lost 1 year of posts — but, well, it would feel like 3 years to me.