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Friday, November 16, 2001


Reading Machines Back in Business

The makers of Kurzweil reading machines for the blind and learning disabled have managed to avoid being taken down by the felonious bastards at Lernout & Hauspie. The management team of the reading machine company (Kurzweil Educational Systems) has bought it back from L&H. Thank goodness. The reading machines folks are Good Guys. For example, their CTO, Steve Baum, is not only an excellent engineer, but is also truly committed to making life better for others. And there's no one I have more respect for than my cousin-in-law Mark Dionne who is a senior engineer there. More or less the opposite of Leg-Irons Lernout and Handcuff Hauspie.

8:55 AM


Our First Award!

Our blog has only been up for 8 hours and it's already won it's first award!

Well, we haven't quite won it yet. We've been nominated, but that itself is the real award, isn't it? Yes, we are proud to announce that our site has been nominated for the prestigious Deco-Website Awards!

The exciting news arrived be email just minutes ago. At first we thought it might be spam, but at the bottom it said explicitly :


And it was all in caps, the unmistakable sign of veracity!

The fact that we received the message twice and it doesn't quite mention which of our web sites has been nominated also made us a bit suspicious, as did the fact that the mail was addressed to "[email protected]" While I own the domain name evident.com, I don't actually have a site up. So, I'm sure they mean the award to go to this blog. After all, although I'm normally quite humble, it's clear that I deserve it. Well, not me alone, but the team of people who labored over the past 2 hours to build this site. I dedicate this award to the little people.

Paranoid me, I still thought it might be a scam or maybe some of my "friends" (you know who you are) pulling my leg. But the Deco Website Awards site tells you just who the Evaluators are. These three folks are Web heavys ("heavies" just reads too funny)!:

David Collinson
David is working as a freelance web designer in Japan and has an extensive experience in web design, HTML and Java programming As of his education, he is the post graduate in computers/ graphic design of a Tokyo collage and he is the Webmaster of this web site and the Award program.

John Roberts
John is an office worker as a Senior Programmer Analyst, but his important interest is the internet and web site design. He has excellent skill in HTML, Java, He has a very good experience by working in several countries like England, Holland, Japan, and right now living in Paris, France
He is a graduate in computer graphics and has more than 8 years of experience in Web Design and Programming.

Mary Richards
Is a graphics designer. The Deco Website Awards is a part time job for her, And in the new year planing to go to japan to study more.

(Keep it up, Mary. You're going to make it after all!)

Another couple of signs that these guys are the real deal: First, look at their URL: http://www.deco-websiteawards.co-inc.com. You can't get much more legally incorporated than to be both a Co. and an Inc. ... these guys must be rock solid! Also, when you go to the site, not one but three popup ads appear, each a vote of confidence.

Best of all, if I win, they're going to allow me to buy a trophy! Do you think I should put it on top of my monitor, or is that too ostentatious? Maybe I should just put it on a bookshelf and half hide it behind some old paperbacks so that when people notice it, I can be all humble like.

I owe it all to you, my readers. Without you, this blog would be nothing. This Deco Website Award is really for you.

8:39 AM

Thursday, November 15, 2001


I'm probably overdue to update this weblog since the last update was, let's see, November 20, 1999!

Yeah, I tried this weblogging thing two years ago. But it's not how I like to write. I like to let things sit before I show them to people. Yes, I recently finished writing a book in public, posting each day's draft at a public web site (www.smallpieces.com). But I was very uncomfortable doing it. The feedback made it worthwhile, but showing people what I'd written but not revised made me feel as good as getting a rectal exam in a Macy's store window. So, we'll see how this second attempt at blogging goes.

Let's try this. Here's the beginning of a column that should be showing up tomorrow in Darwin Online.

So, You Go

So, you can already tell I'm a webby type of guy. The giveaway was in the very first word of this paragraph. "So," I began, thus taking up an affectation of speech that is to web entrepreneurs what "what-ev-er" is to Valley girls and "On the other hand" is to philosophers.

It began on the West Coast, in Silicon Valley, but now is thoroughly transcontinental. Here in Boston, if you ask one of my neighbors — a software guy — if he's going to the kid's soccer game, he'll say, "So, I'm going to drive Rosie and Mark..." Ask him if he's read any good books lately and he'll reply, "So, I was reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay..." Ask him what he's going to do about the button hanging from his shirt by a thread, and he'll say, "So ... sew."

So, what are we to make of this, of this fake continuity as if your reply is picking up a thread already being sewn? There's a reason that some affectations propagate themselves and others don't. I know about this first hand. Nobody believes me, but it is the Lord's honest truth that I'm the one who started the ironic gesture of twice slapping the back of one's hand against the palm of another. I made this gesture up in 1986 ... more

10:06 PM


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