A Daily Diatribe by a Pompous Git

A Sturm's Eye View

A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.

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Monday 26 February 2001

Still too busy to think...

Thought for the day:



Tuesday 27 February 2001

Yesterday saw the lifting of the large wall of The House of Steel. And the front wall. And the floor joists for the back bedroom/office. As of today, there are only five non load-bearing walls to make and erect. I also painted the poles at the back of the carport so I can clad it with corrugated iron tomorrow. I'm expecting the floorboards to arrive and don't want them exposed to rain and sun.

Including preparing the main meal for Thomas and myself, today was a 15 hour work day, much of it physical. And my back is intermittently troubling me. Not enough to require analgesia, thank goodness. How I detest the side effects of those drugs.

Thought for the day:

Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.

Benjamin Disraeli


Wednesday 28 February 2001

Too tired after putting the rear wall on the carport, but here're some funnies...

Depressing really.

A linguistics professor was lecturing his class. "In English," he explained, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However," the professor continued, "there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative." 

A voice from the back of the room piped up. "Yeah, right."

Thought for the day:

Let there be more joy and laughter in your living.

Eileen Caddy


Thursday 1 March 2001

Today with Michael and James' help, we lifted the last of the big walls into place. The House of Steel looks more and more like a house. At least I think so. Thomas said, "It looks more like a fucking warehouse!" It is big, that is high. Brewsters quoted me $A484 for a 3.6 metre (12 ft) stepladder. They apologised for the price, but it's a professional quality one, there being no domestic quality ladders taller than 1.8 metres. I'm hoping that She Who Must Be Obeyed will change her mind about the concealed downlights. The prospect of changing light globes that far away from the floor at age sixty four is not compelling!

It's convivial sitting in the shade of the carport, drinking beer, telling lies... Fran shows Michael his book of photographs of houses he has built and they discuss some of the issues in building them. I'm content to admire my house to be and just listen to the buzz of their conversation.

My neighbours have taken up my offer of half the contents of my dam for irrigating their apple trees. The sound of water splashing into their dam is pleasantly hypnotic. 

Thought for the day:

Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.

Benjamin Franklin


Friday 2 March 2001

A day off -- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thought for the day:



Saturday 3 March 2001

Found in my inbox this morning:

I'm getting an error on http://www.sturmsoft.com/Writing/Old_ephemerides/20010304.htm#Latest saying "Line: 234 Error: 's' is undefined"


Chris Ward-Johnson Dr Keyboard - Computing Answers You Can Understand http://www.drkeyboard.net Chateau Keyboard - Computing at the Eating Edge http://www.chateaukeyboard.com Magic Mouse - Computer Books for Children Even Grown-ups Can Understand http://www.magic-mouse.com

Mysterious. It renders in IE 5.0 under Win2k and passed the W3C HTML parser yesterday. Today it failed with an undefined charset error! So I changed the charset to iso-8859-1 from windows-1252 and the page validates. I've been using the same HTML header for my pages for months without problems. Very mysterious. I just checked last week's page and it too now fails with the undefined charset error. Aaargh! Means I'll have to modify all my pages, I guess.

Thanks for the heads up!

I have now fixed every page (correctly, I hope) finding many other little things to fix.


I found this interesting page on owner building. It seems that many others have experienced cost savings similar to my projections. What is really interesting is that owner builders rate such things as the feeling of satisfaction at completing the project as important, never the cost saving.


From Robert Thompson regarding this page at The Register:

Looks like you're out of business...

Given that I use no words or language that is not in use on Australian television and radio, the assessment that the parliamentarians are stark raving lunatics is entirely accurate! I will remain in business until they shut me down.

I will have to check with my service provider on what level of co-operation they will provide the Australian authorities in pulling my site. I'm hosted in the US.

Ah, well then you should be safe.

I didn't realize that Oz was a police state until I read this article.

-- Robert Bruce Thompson thompson@ttgnet.com http://www.ttgnet.com/rbt/thisweek.html

The Commissioner referred to in the following extract from an Act of the Australian Federal Parliament is the Taxation Commissioner. Interestingly, the Taxation Commissioner did not legally exist at the time the Act was passed! 

165-55 Commissioner may disregard scheme in making declarations For the purposes of making a declaration under this Subdivision, the Commissioner may:

(a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and

(b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as:

(i) having happened at a particular time; and

(ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity; and

(c) treat a particular event that actually happened as:

(i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or

(ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).

Thought for the day:

When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen, and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble.

Joan Didion


Sunday 4 March 2001

From Paul Thurrot's WinInfo newsletter:


Eventually, they all come around, even the famous ones. Former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, he of the Macintosh-based self-help books, is now shilling for IBM and this week used an IBM ThinkPad to deliver a presentation at an IBM trade show. "This is a historic moment," Kawasaki said. "If Steve Jobs could only see me now." Indeed. Kawasaki's move to the dark side began a few years ago when he started the Garage.com venture that was funded, in part, by, yup, you guessed it, Frank Stallone. Actually, Microsoft partly funded it; Stallone is still hording his "Hudson Hawk" millions.


The Australian confirms The Register regarding upcoming net censorship in South Australia. The report suggests that other states will follow suit. Since my website is hosted in the US, I'm hoping I am beyond the reach of these loonies. The concept of prosecuting content providers without providing a mechanism for predetermining whether material complies with the legislation or not is of course entrapment. A pox on all politicians!



I read in your Saturday journal that you were reporting about the "defection" of Guy Kawasaki to the IBM Thinkpad.

While it is true that Kawasaki did use a Thinkpad for his presentation to the IBM group, he has not abandoned the Mac. I am including the text from a website called "As The Apple Turns" <http://www.appleturns.com>. I have also seen validation of this in posts from Shawn King of "The Mac Show Live" <www.macshowlive.com>, who contacted Kawasaki directly.

It may make for good copy, but not good journalism, to report that Kawasaki has given up on the Mac.

Thanks for listening, and I enjoy reading your journal.

Ken Scott

>From As The Apple Turns <>:

> How The Mighty Have Risen (3/1/01) > > We're not entirely certain how we feel about ambivalence, but one thing's for > sure: we don't mind trading in a little hair-pulling melodrama for the > knowledge that Guy Kawasaki hasn't abandoned the Mac after all. While it's > true that Apple's former Head Evangelist and de facto spiritual leader of the > Macintosh Faithful did in fact use an IBM ThinkPad while delivering a > presentation at a Big Blue shindig, and while it's also true that Guy called > attention to that fact and quipped "If only Steve Jobs could see me now," it > turns out that the ThinkPad in question was little more than a prop. > > Faithful viewer Rohin Hattiangadi was first to note that MacCentral's revised > coverage of Guy's apparent defection claims that "Kawasaki's use of a ThinkPad > was apparently due to problems in getting his PowerBook to interface with the > audio/visual system at the conference hall and not because he has personally > switched to a Windows-based laptop." That info found its way to MacCentral > courtesy of our buddy Shawn King of The Mac Show, who called Guy's people to > find out what was up. So Guy's office told Shawn who told MacCentral who told > Rohin who told us, and now we're telling you. > > What's that? Six degrees of separation is too much to squeeze past your > carefully-constructed walls of skepticism? Okay, then, let's take it down a > notch; faithful viewer Hugh decided to email Guy directly and get the story > straight from The Man Himself. And because Guy is such a nice... uh, Guy, Hugh > got this personal response: "My use of a ThinkPad reflects the fact that IBM > asked me to use an IBM product when speaking in front of 7,000 of their > customers. Considering this was a paid speech, I didn't think that was > unreasonable. :-) (My T4 was backstage, resting.)" > > We knew he was a titanium man at heart! And apparently that story about his > PowerBook not working with the A/V system was just a cover, too-- after all, > what's so tough about hooking up a projector to a VGA port? It seems that IBM > just didn't want the coolest-looking laptop in the world distracting its > audience, especially with the Apple logo displayed prominently on its > enclosure. So there you have it, people; you can take the Evangelist out of > Apple, but you take the Apple away from the Evangelist when you pry it from > his cold, dead fingers. (Or, uh, pay him to use something else for the > duration of a speech.) We feel much better now. Carry on.

-- <>< Ken Scott ken@optikos.net http://www.pcisys.net/~kscott

This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it -- Psalm 118:24

I note that Guy's diatribe of December 1994 is still available on the web. Some of us thought he may have gotten a little tired of waiting for his suggestions to be heeded.

Thought for the day:

You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken - unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! - of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.

Winston Churchill


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Jonathan Sturm 2001

daily musings on Life, the Universe and Things Computerish.

Jonathan Sturm 2001