I learn what I think when I read what I write.
matthew's picture

Avast, ye scurvy dog, an' have at thee!

In case ye be not knowin' it, 'tis Talk Like A Pirate Day. The honorable Wil Wheaton has posted himself one of them weblog entries in honor of tha celebration.

So, shorten yer mizzenmast and pander ta yer bilgewater, folks; foreshorten the yardarm and polish yer sideiron! Learn ta talk like a pirate yerself, and join the "festivities", missy! Land Ho!

Or something... I don't do that very well...

matthew's picture

Orson Scott Card on copyright

Many of us are probably familiar with Orson Scott Card through his fiction works, such as the immensely popular "Ender's Game".

Well, Orson has something to say on copyright, that rings true to most of us. The RIAA was launched from the obscure agency that gave away annual "gold" and "platinum" album awards, to being the vocal opponent of peer-to-peer file sharing several years ago as it received more money from the record studios it represented. It is now turning into a blatantly profiteering, slanderous, and anti-competitive organization bent on destroying any technology that might endanger its current profit model.

Copyright owners are speaking out. I join my voice with Card's in support of this essay:


Timpane's picture

My Dirty Little Secret

On a nondescript evening I went into Border's bookstore and nonchalantly made my way past the cappuccino swilling intellectuals and toward that one section of the store I know so well. Looking left and right I pretended to be looking at one, more respectable thing.. when in deed I was looking out of the corner of my eye at another. When no one was looking, I darted my grubby left hand outward and grapped my prey. I placed it on the counter face down, hoping no one would see I was buying it. I rushed the salesperson to put it in a bag, and nonchalant;y said, "some light reading".. chuckling, but ever aware of the judgmental thoughts in the middle aged woman's eyes. "He's one of THOSE" she must have thought.

matthew's picture

Sunday Sermon: Fixing the wrong problem

The sound of crying echoed down the hall, jolting my ears with the harsh harmonics natural to the vocal folds of your average one-year-old human child. For a few scant moments, in half-awake state, I reflected on how interesting it was that Nature has provided us with such a stimulus-response pattern, engendered in our forbears and, with rare exception, honored by parents, to force action to the distress of an infant. Equally remarkable are the changes to the tonality of their cries, such that even by the age of three years, their tone is not so tuned as to arouse paternal responses in strangers, but instead engender annoyance.

matthew's picture

Matt's Music Page

I created this Music page in hopes that it will help visitors find the music I've recorded without having to wade through years of weblog entries. You should be able to reach it through the "music" link permanently anchored now at the top of all barnson.org pages. Enjoy!

matthew's picture

Found an old friend!

I found an old friend's web site. Jenny Gagne! I'm pretty sure the name means nothing to most of you, but her site looks interesting and promotional of her artwork. Which reminds me, I need to get a "listen to my music" and "buy my music" link up here some time so people don't have to dig through months of old blog entries to find the songs that are going to show up on my CD in December.

Anyway, she keeps up with her weblog, I look forward to catching up on her life. We met back at Ridgeview Jr. High School. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly how we met. I think it was just through a class or something. There are some stories that are incredibly vivid because they were so weird (like meeting Jon Brusco on the bus, that was a very odd encounter), but in Jen's case... darnit, I can't quite remember. I remember her little brother, Stefan was fun, but incredibly, incredibly brainy. He's pretty active in developing modules for Neverwinter Nights, a game I used to play more than I do now.

The older I get, the more I need friends who knew me when I was young.

matthew's picture

WWDN Memorial

Wil Wheaton's Web Site looks a little different today, September 11 2003. Check it out.

I'd totally spaced on what day it was today. Glad Wil's part of my tribe of humans.

matthew's picture

mod_gzip and barnson.org

I just enabled mod_gzip for barnson.org, brusco.org, and outlanders-outfit.org. I hope you notice a really big speedup! gzip compression is supported on newer versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and other browsers.

Setting it up was a really straightforward process on this FreeBSD server (as root):

  1. # cd /usr/ports/www/mod_gzip/
  2. # make
  3. # make install
  4. I then edited /usr/local/etc/apache/httpd.conf and removed the pound sign from the front of these two lines:
    • LoadModule gzip_module libexec/apache/mod_gzip.so
    • AddModule mod_gzip.c
  5. Then I tacked the following lines onto the end of the httpd.conf:

    # [mod_gzip configuration]

matthew's picture

How to use WebCalendar

I noticed with interest that, although the product WebCalendar has an excellent installation guide, and decent on-line help, it has no real basic description of how to do things.

Since I work at a bank with non-technically-skilled co-workers, I felt we needed something that would gently introduce them to how to use WebCalendar. You are free to copy the below text for use on your own Intranet or wherever else; as usual, my blanket copyright at the bottom of this site covers this document as well as others. All I require is a prominent link back to the URL from which you initially copied the text.

If you choose to use this as an introduction for your users, won't you please leave a comment? It's not much, but it is encouraging.

I made one code modification to WebCalendar: I changed the includes/styles.php file, in the ".navlinks" section, to:

text-decoration: underline

My users are not very technically competent, and although the default css causes "hover" actions over links to glow, they still have trouble finding the links unless they are underlined like everywhere else on the web.

And away we go!


The WebCalendar program is remarkably simple to use, yet has some very powerful features if you choose to take advantage of them.

Timpane's picture

What happened to Summer Movies?

I would never have the wherewithall to create my own blogging page, so I joined the ranks of Barnson.org, just to state my humble opinion. I have in one way or another contributed countless hours to debating matt on this here website, so I figured I'd step forward and introduce myself.


That being said, I've been enjoying a conversation with many of my friends and family about the Summer Movie Saeon this year, and have been lamenting the lack of excitement present in this movie season.

It was only a year ago when STAR WARS came out 2 weeks after Spider-Man and kicked off one of the most successful summers in Movie History. After a summer of Men in Black, Austin Powers, and the like, I was already prepping for a year or fun fun fun.

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