Saturday, July 31, 2004

Star Destroyer: Build Complete!

This is a follow-up to my Father's Day present post.

After 225 pages of instructions, 3104 lego pieces, and 24 hours of build time, the Star Destroyer is finally complete!

I have to say it is my favorite piece in my collection, and you aren't a true Star Wars Lego fan without one.

Here are some final pics!

Elevated view. This thing is at least 3 feet long!

Side view. Check out the detail on the sides and tower!

Rear view. The engines are incredible.

Re-enactment of the Falcon chase in Empire Strikes Back. Wish I had enough to make a Super Star Destroyer...

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Friday, July 30, 2004

OSIS - "a common format for many visions."

I ran across this very cool project while looking for Topic Map projects. While this project is more related to a standard format (XML) for tagging Biblical texts, Topic Maps would be a great technology for Concordance, and other references works.

Steve DeRose and Patrick Durusau are some of the key technologists on the project.

What is the OSIS initiative? The mission of the Bible Technologies Group is to maximize production, distribution, access, use, impact, and preservation of the Bible and related materials from all time periods. Co-sponsored by the American Bible Society and the Society of Biblical Literature, the OSIS initiative plays a key role in meeting this goal by providing a common format to facilitate production, distribution, etc. of the Bible and related materials. Since people engage with the Bible at a number of levels - as literature, as a religious text, etc. - OSIS is "a common format for many visions."

If you are interested in getting involved, check out their site at:

If I can make the time, I'd very much like to help out with this project.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Windows upgrades

Check out these cool window upgrades:

My wife and I found them at Loew's, but on the web, I've found them at:

They're for the home classroom, which I think will improve the learning environment dramatically. Unfortunately, I can't put them in my home office, since it's got the escape ladder...

For the kids, it's way better than looking at steel window wells, and the worst part was cleaning out all the junk that's collected there over the past 5 years. The installation was quick and easy--about 20 minutes. If only Windoze upgrades were that easy!

Speaking of Windoze upgrades, my recommendation: Sun Java Desktop System or Mandrake Linux.

I've upgraded my old Pentium II 266Mhz machine with both JDS and mandrake. Both installs were a piece of cake. The nice part about JDS, is that it came with Star Office and Mozilla already installed. Mandrake was still the easiest, and I love KDE!

That old machine wasn't supposed to work with JDS, but it does. I've even used VPN and worked from home on it! I'm afraid it won't work on my original Dell 486 66Mhz machine that I still have. I've got Red Hat 6.0 running on that beastie, though!

I also have a Win98 box (Pentium III) and a BEAUTIFUL iMac running OS X. Our current favorite is the iMac, by far. And it's a great alternative to Windoze too.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It's Release Time!

Lot's of great developments on the DocBook front.

Norm Walsh and the DocBook TC have released the follwing this week:

Since I've created a variant of Simplified DocBook for use in my organization, I follow it's development closely.

Here's what's new in Simplified Docbook 1.1:

  • adds the subscript and superscript elements.
  • adds the anchor element and the remap attribute.
  • introduces HTML tables

The other interesting development, is the RelaxNG version of the DocBook schema. Check out the latest Drambuie release! Definitely the right direction for DocBook.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Politics in the workplace

Personally, I'd rather everyone just talk about technology and how to make better products for Sun and the world. That's what we're here for, and what we're paid for.Nuff said, right?

I really hate it when people wander the halls, liberally spouting off their personal political opinions. In the end, someone is going to get their feelings/beliefs stepped on: those that are silent (hoping not to offend), and those that challenge directly.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. --Pericles (430 B.C.)

Since it's an election year, I found this interesting tool. I'm not in any way endorsing or affiliated with the site, but it's still an interesting Political Party Platform Comparison tool (

Interestingly enough, it says I preferred Democratic for 1 issue, Green for 2 issues, Libertarian for 2 issues, and Republican for 2 issues. Now how is that supposed to help me vote? ;-)

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. --Edward Langley O'Rourke

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He's headed for that small moon.

This has been spotted in orbit around Saturn!
Good thing it's the moon, Mimas...

The real story can be found at:

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Monday, July 26, 2004

Star Wars Topic Map

I've been working on a Star Wars topic map for over a year, practicing with the technology and using the free Ontopia Omnigator to view them. I've also used the open source TM4J tools, which are also very cool. I've been trying to auto-populate the topic map using the data from the Official Star Wars databank, but a lot of the work is still manual, and the map isn't complete enough to publish (this is a spare, spare time project...)

For all I know, someone may have already done this work...

I've actually met the Topic Map spec creators, Michel Biezunski and Steven R. Newcomb several times at the IDEAlliance XML and Extreme Markup conferences. I've also met Ontopian Lars Marius Garshol and TM4J's Kal Ahmed at the same.

Topic maps are powerful, easy to learn, and very cool. I've tried to drive their adoption in my organization for several years, but I guess I'm not high enough on the food chain.

Topic Maps are an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 13250 []).

Here's a summary of the technology pulled from various sources, including Ontopia's whitepapers on the subject (No plagarism is intended.):

RDF and OWL are similar technologies, but Topic Maps can describe relationships between topics and ideas that are not tied specifically to a URI (a limitation of RDF). RDF contexts are also application specific. There is no standard way to specify contexts of assertions. Topic maps are more flexible and powerful than simple taxonomies, thesauri or controlled vocabularies. Topic map semantics, however, can be expressed in RDF triples, allowing RDF engines to query and navigate topic maps.

With topic maps you create an index of information which resides outside of specific documents or databases. The topic map takes the key concepts described in the databases and documents and relates them together independently in a neutral envelope, hospitable to any existing or future schema for knowledge representation.

Topic maps thus provide a common layer for managing interconnected sets of information objects. The result is an information structure that is uniquely different from a traditional information hierarchy. A topic map usually contains several overlapping hierarchies which are rich with semantic cross-links. This solution is perfect for all sorts of portals, catalogs, site indexes, and so on. Since a topic map can represent knowledge about the things it describes, topic maps are also ideal as knowledge management tools.

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Official title for Star Wars: Episode III

There have been rumors for several months about the title for the last installment of the Star Wars films. I personally thought "Rise of the Empire" was the best title.

The title is now on the official Star Wars site: is pleased to announce that Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith is the full title of the next Star Wars film, scheduled for release on May 19, 2005.

Guess I'll need to update my Star Wars topic map now.

I can't wait for May. My son will have just turned 7 by then, and I can't wait to take him to the first Star Wars theater release that he will remember. We took him to Phantom Menace, but he was barely a year old back then, and won't remember that. Clones was too scary to take a 3 year old, so this next one should be just about right. Hope it's not too scary, since this one is all about the fall of Anakin and the rise of Vader.

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Friday, July 23, 2004

Farewell, Jerry Goldsmith

Trek Today reported that Academy Award-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith passed away at age 75 yesterday.

Among Goldsmith's Star Trek scores are Star Trek: The Motion Picture, whose title theme he adapted for Star Trek: The Next Generation; the music for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis; and themes used most recently in the Star Trek: The Experience show Borg Invasion 4D.

He also did the music for Planet of the Apes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Total Recall, and more. I'm a huge fan of all of those films.

Too bad he didn't get a chance to re-write the theme song for Enterprise...

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

One Giant Leap For Mankind: 35 years later

Unfortunately, I was born too late. Too late to be involved in the historic Apollo program. Too late to even remember seeing any of the final missions on TV...

There is a great feature on the Apollo 11 program at:

You can also check out this cool site: Which features digital pictures:

a result of recent work by Johnson Space Center to digitally scan original Apollo film. The process involves removing each original film roll from a double-freezer, allowing it to thaw, then digitally scanning each frame using an Oxberry adapted HR-500 long roll film scanner.

I've been to Kennedy Space Center twice now, and it chokes me up every time I go there.

I still hope to work for NASA some day. I think the project would be a great fit!

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Accelerate your transforms

If you do frequent or repetetive transfoms of XML content, you should look into translets.

I've noticed dramatic performance improvements using translets for some forms of content (haven't collected exact metrics, though). The DocBook XSL stylesheets, along with a complex document are the best way to stress test translet performance vs. your favorite XSLT parser. (I like Saxon for most of my transforms).

Details on XSLTC translets can be found at:

As an alternative, Jacek Ambroziak has written an XSL transformation accelerator called Gregor. Information on Gregor can be found at:

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has tried either of these on complex documents, and your opinion on their performance!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Flattening DTDs

As with most software, what you get out of the box is never exactly what you want, so you have to tweak the preferences, settings and if you're a hacker, maybe even the code.

With DTDs, it is also the same. Thankfully, Norm Walsh designed DocBook with modularity and customization layers in mind. The problem is that many XML editors don't like DTDs with external parameter entities or entity references, and want them flattened.

Here are a few DTD flatteners you can try, should you need to create your own customization layers, or need a flattened DTD:

Hopefully this will give you some options. I've had the best luck with the dtdflatten and programs on Solaris.

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Docbook template for Word, StarOffice, OpenOffice

There was a posting to the docbook-apps list at Oasis about a standard word template where the styles map to a docbook element (even if not 1:1) so that only one stylesheet need be written to convert the output to Simplified Docbook.

Dan Gilleland replied that even though it's for Simplified, it can be extended to full DocBook. He posted the link to O'reilly's site, where you will find:

Microsoft Word for the PC or Mac, tagged according to our paragraph and character style template that is available at Note that you should also be able to use this template for programs such as OpenOffice and StarOffice.

Thank you to Uratsuki for the link correction:

I've got to try this in OO, and will report back...

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LEGO Star Wars Video Game

LEGO Star Wars Video Game

The Official Star Wars website reported that Giant Interactive Entertainment and Traveller's Tales will be creating a Star Wars action-adventure video game using the Star Wars Lego universe!

I'm a HUGE fan and collector of the Star Wars Lego series. In fact, I think I'm missing only about ten sets. For a complete list of available sets, check out my favorite Star Wars Lego website: From Bricks To Bothans (

Along those lines, here's the latest update on my Star Destroyer build (pics to follow later):
current build time: 20 hours
estimated time to completion: 4 hours
I've got the main body and engines complete. Now it's a matter of finishing the main tower...

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

category info for blog entries (revisited)

I blogged a few days ago about my desire to have additional category information wrapping each entry in Roller.

Thanks to a very helpful comment from Dave Johnson, I have been able to apply styling per category entry in my blog!

You will notice I've added color coding, and some "category tagging" to all of my entries.

Here's my browser test results:

Firefox 0.9Solaris 9Beautiful. The way browsing should be.What? You haven't downloaded this amazing FREE browser yet? Get it here: Nuff said.
Firefox 0.9Mac OS XDitto. See previous result.
Mozilla 1.6Win 98Ditto. See previous result.
Firefox 0.8Win 98Ditto. See previous result.
SafariMac OS XClose, but not perfect. It's putting my end tag style (div.after) following the first para, instead of at the end of the div.+1 point for effort
MSN browserMac OS XWhat a hunk o' junk. Nuff said.
Internet Explorer 6.0Win 98I got the colored boxes, but it obviously doesn't know about .before and .after properties. Outdated hunk o' junk.

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More 80s

Here's today's playlist, exported as XML from iTunes, and transformed using my playlist stylesheets:

Mostly 80s tunes, but with some 90s thrown in for fun and variety.

Scott's Fav 80s 2

Track Title Artist Album Genre
If I Ever Lose My Faith In You Sting Ten Summoner's Tales Rock
Sussudio Phil Collins Serious Hits ... Live! Pop
Easy Lover Phil Collins Serious Hits ... Live! Pop
Glastonbury Song The Waterboys Glastonbury Song Rock
Kiss Me Sixpence None The Richer Sixpence None The Richer Gospel & Religious
Lessons In Love Level 42 Level Best Rock
Private Eyes Hall & Oates Rock 'N' Soul Pt. 1: Greatest Hits R&B
Maneater Hall & Oates Rock 'N' Soul Pt. 1: Greatest Hits R&B
Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel So Rock
Big Time Peter Gabriel So Rock
What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) Information Society Information Society Pop
New Sensation INXS Kick Rock
Need You Tonight INXS Kick Rock
Englishman In New York Sting Fields Of Gold: The Best Of Sting 1984-1994 Rock
The Right Time The Corrs Forgiven, Not Forgotten Pop
Toss The Feathers The Corrs Forgiven, Not Forgotten Pop
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It Will Smith Big Willie Style Hip Hop/Rap
Men In Black Will Smith Big Willie Style Hip Hop/Rap

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Chop, Cut, Rebuild

As much as the title sounds like code slinging, I'd like to wish my cousin, Brandon Solomine, a very Happy Birthday!

Brandon and I practically grew up together (we were born 40 days apart), and is the closest I have to a brother. Even though he moved to Paso Robles, CA (site of the major quake earlier this year) in junior high, we've remained very close.

He's going to a film school in LA to be a camera operator (hopefully for ESPN). His internship is with "Chop, Cut, Rebuild" (CCR), a car remodeling/hot rod show airing on the Fox Speed Channel (FXS).

I think his season airs beginning in February.

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Monday, July 19, 2004

Imperial AT-ST captures mini-golf park

The Force.Net posted a story about a Life-Size AT-ST about to take out a mini-golf park in Nags Head, N.C.

I'd love to go see it. I've seen the full size AT-AT walker at Star Tours at Walt Disney World, which is also impressive. There's also a Speeder Bike you can pose on...

Anyone know of any other Imperial outposts in the real world? They would be a cool place to put GeoCaches, too.

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More pics with the Chief

I often try to get a picture with Scott McNealy, when he comes to Broomfield to talk to the troops.

This first pic is at the official opening of the Broomfield campus. I really like the fact that the Teamwork banner is just behind us.

This next pic was taken at an All Hands that featured Denny Dent painting a portrait of Larry Hambly. I saw Denny Dent when I was a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This also happened to be on St. Patrick's Day, so I decided to wear my kilt to work. Scott's comment to me was: "Nice kilt."

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Friday, July 16, 2004

80s for today

Temps might be in the 80s, too, but that's an entirely different scale... ;-)

Here's today's playlist, exported as XML from iTunes, and transformed using my playlist stylesheets:

Scott's Fav 80s

Track Title Artist Album Genre
Self Control Various Artists Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Flash FM Rock
Axel F Harold Faltermeyer Hits Of 1985 Soundtrack
West End Girls Pet Shop Boys Discography Pop
Domino Dancing Pet Shop Boys Discography Pop
Come And Get Your Love (Single Mix) Real McCoy Come And Get Your Love (Single) Electronica/Dance
Fresh Kool & The Gang The Very Best Of Kool & The Gang R&B
Real Love (Album Version) Mary J. Blige Real Love - CD-5 Maxi Single R&B
Disappointed (Single Mix) Electronic Disappointed Alternative & Punk
Honey (LP Version) Mariah Carey Honey (Single) R&B
Nu Shooz I Can't Wait Rock On 1986 Rock
Heart Pet Shop Boys Discography Pop
Terrace Duet Original Broadway Cast Recording Chess [Original Broadway Cast] Soundtrack
Automatic The Pointer Sisters Grand Theft Auto Vice City: Fever 105 Rock
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) C&C Music Factory Gonna Make You Sweat R&B/Soul
This Is the Right Time Lisa Stansfield Lisa Stansfield: Biography - The Greatest Hits R&B/Soul
Everybody Have Fun Tonight Wang Chung 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Wang Chung Rock
Rhythm of the Night DeBarge 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Motown '80s, Vol. 1 R&B/Soul
I'm Coming Out (Single Version) Diana Ross 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Motown '80s, Vol. 1 R&B/Soul

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category info for blog entries

I'd posted this question to the blog alias back in June, but thought I'd post it here to see if I'd get any comments.

It looks like Roller outputs some information around individual entries:

<div class="entry">
      <a href="/roller/page/shudson310/20040630"><img
       title="Permanent link to this day"
       alt="20040630" /></a>

  Wednesday June 30, 2004</div>

Is there any way to modify Roller to insert the category information around each entry, so we can do additional CSS styling? perhaps wrap the entry in another div wrapper like:

<div class="DocBook">

There are links for the WeblogCategoryChooser, so the app is tracking it, just not outputing it for each entry.

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Set DVR for Fridays. Engage!

According to Trek Today:

Star Trek: Enterprise officially moves to Fridays on August 6th with a rerun of the episode "Hatchery." ... No fall season premiere date has yet been announced.

That's great news. Hopefully the show will benefit from the better timeslot.I've been a huge fan of the show, except for that stupid theme song. I love the visuals, but the song needs to be re-done for the new season. PLEASE!

Also for your DVR, Stargate: Atlantis premiers this Friday!

I grew up on Star Trek, ever since my mom let me watch the show when it started in syndication. You can tell from my blog title that I'm a Trekker and a geek.

My favorite series in order are:

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation
  2. Star Trek: The Original Series
  3. Star Trek: Enterprise
  4. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  5. Star Trek: Voyager

Granted, I never really got into DS9 or Voyager. I thought Babylon 5 had a much more compelling storyline, so I'm a huge B5 fan.

On the topic of favorite SciFi shows, I wish the SciFi channel would rerun:

  • Space: Above and Beyond
  • Buck Rogers
  • Battlestar Galactica (original)

I'm hoping for the Battlestar series on DVD for my birthday, but I've already pre-ordered the Star Wars Trilogy, so that might have to wait.

In other Sci-Fi DVD news, I got The Day The Earth Stood Still/One Million Years B.C. in a two-pack from Costco yesterday for $13!

And on the gaming front, keep scanning for Destroy All Humans! coming on PS2 soon. It's supposed to have a soundtrack similar to Bernard Herrmann's (The Day the Earth Stood Still)

See also:

Mastering DocBook Indexes just published a terrific article from Jirka Kosek on building document indexes using DocBook.

You can read the article here:

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Jazz Favorites

Here's today's playlist, exported as XML from iTunes, and transformed using my playlist stylesheets:

Scott's Fav Jazz

Track Title Artist Album Genre
Chicago Song David Sanborn The Best Of David Sanborn Jazz
Slam David Sanborn The Best Of David Sanborn Jazz
Lesley Ann David Sanborn The Best Of David Sanborn Jazz
Maputo Bob James/David Sanborn Jazz & Blues Heritage Jazz
Breezin George Benson Jazz & Blues Heritage Jazz
Love Theme From Spartacus The Earl Klugh Trio Jazz & Blues Heritage Jazz
Stormin' Norman Brown Just Between Us Jazz
Love's Holiday Norman Brown Just Between Us Jazz
Juju Marcus Miller The Sun Don't Lie Jazz
101 Eastbound Fourplay Fourplay Jazz
Max-O-Man Fourplay Fourplay Jazz
Havana Club Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra The Hours Between Night + Day World
Smooth Operator Sade The Best Of Sade R&B
Never As Good As The First Time Sade The Best Of Sade R&B
She Likes to Watch The Rippingtons The Best Of The Rippingtons Jazz
Joy Ride Spyro Gyra Stories Without Words Jazz

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Ways to improve metadata

​ ​​​​The metadata our current blog entries publish with is extremely limited. If we are trying to drive the web towards the Semantic Web, we need to get better about adopting and publishing standard metadata, like the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

I work on the Sun System Handbook, and if you look at any of the Full Component List or Service View and Component page sources, you can see what I'm talking about. Here's an example:


<head profile="">
<title>Sun Fire V880 - Full Components List</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8" />
<link href="" rel="schema.DC" />
<link href="" rel="schema.DCTERMS" />
<meta content="en-US" name="DC.language" />
<meta content="Full Components List" name="DC.type" />
<meta content="Sun Microsystems, Inc." name="DC.publisher" />

<meta content="Sun Parts Repository (SPRuce)" name="DC.creator" />
<meta content="text/html" scheme="DCTERMS.IMT" name="DC.format" />
<meta content="US" name="DC.coverage" />
<meta content="©2003 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved." name="DC.rights" />
<meta name="DC.title" content="Sun Fire V880" />

Depending on how easy it is to modify the Roller software, we should be able to at least put some of the category/keyword, title and other information to help with more accurate search results (if not now, certainly in the future).

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iTunes XML revisited

Thanks to some useful comments from Norm Walsh, I was able to make some major strides in transforming iTunes' pracically useless XML.

Due to the way Apple chose to structure the iTunes XML playlist export, I ran into some problems with Norm's approach: I kept getting invalid QName errors on some of the elements. Turns out, it was trying to create element names based only on the track number.

I hacked around and here is the resulting stylesheet: itunes.xslt

I still need to set up the XML pipeline, as Norm suggested, but for now, here is a simple output stylesheet as well: playlist.xslt

I plan to handle most of the formatting with CSS at a later date.

The only problem with this XSL, is that I've now lost the order of the original playlist. I imagine this could be solved with keys and sorting, but I just don't have time to mess with this further.

Hope you enjoy this! I'll be posting my playlists much more easily now.

BTW, I used Michael Kay's Saxon 8.0 for the transformations!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Do you know Jack?

Usually, I just watch the Star Wars fan flicks on, but this is really funny.

Check it out:

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iTunes XML practically useless

I wanted to do some cool XSL styling of my playlists that are exported from iTunes in XML.

Upon looking at the export file, however, I can't help but wonder why Apple, the king of usability, so poorly structured the file, that it's not very useful.

Here's an example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" 
<plist version="1.0">
<key>Major Version</key><integer>1</integer>
<key>Minor Version</key><integer>1</integer>

<key>Application Version</key><string>4.6</string>
<key>Music Folder</key><string>file://blah</string>
<key>Library Persistent ID</key><string>A1A1A1A1A1A1A1A1</string>


<key>Track ID</key><integer>44</integer>

<key>Name</key><string>Axel F</string>
<key>Artist</key><string>Harold Faltermeyer</string>
<key>Album</key><string>Hits Of 1985</string>

<key>Kind</key><string>AAC audio file</string>

<key>Total Time</key><integer>183228</integer>
<key>Track Number</key><integer>8</integer>
<key>Track Count</key><integer>12</integer>

<key>Date Modified</key><date>2004-01-30T04:46:44Z</date>
<key>Date Added</key><date>2004-01-27T03:15:52Z</date>
<key>Bit Rate</key><integer>128</integer>

<key>Sample Rate</key><integer>44100</integer>
<key>Play Count</key><integer>3</integer>
<key>Play Date</key><integer>-1134773809</integer>

<key>Play Date UTC</key><date>2004-02-21T13:31:27Z</date>

<key>File Type</key><integer>1295270176</integer>

<key>File Creator</key><integer>1752133483</integer>
<key>File Folder Count</key><integer>4</integer>

<key>Library Folder Count</key><integer>1</integer>

The key and integer pairs aren't terribly useful. If you have a standard set of data you are tracking in these files, why not make them elements and give them useful names?

For example, why not export it like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE play_list PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" 
<play_list version="1.0">


    <track_title>Axel F</track_title>

    <artist>Harold Faltermeyer</artist>
    <album>Hits Of 1985</album>

    <format>AAC audio file</format>






Now that wasn't so hard was it? Now how do we get Apple to change the format?

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Hangin' with the Chief

Every year, we get the pleasure of hearing Scott McNealy give a State of Sun address in person in Broomfield.

Usually, it is just before the 4th of July shutdown, in conjunction with the John Elway Celebrity Classic. We also get the pleasure of seeing some friendly competition between John Elway and Scott McNealy.

One year it was a furthest golf chip, then furthest football pass, and a most accurate hockey shot.

No competition this year, however. Elway must not have wanted to try the bowling challenge. ;-)

I was able to get a pic with the Chief after today's talk:

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Who is Scotty?

To describe the image: I love Lego, Boba Fett, was married in a kilt, and have always wanted to be an astronaut. They didn't have an image of a tornado on, or I'd have added that too. Sure, it's weird, but I'm reasonably complex. :-)

I've lived in Colorado all my life. Some on a ranch in southeastern Colorado, some in Fort Collins (while at CSU), but most of it in Colorado Springs, and now Boulder/Denver.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 3 kids, church, and storm chasing!

I've worked at Sun for almost 9 years now, in a variety of roles.

If you want the specifics in my Curriculum Vitae, check out my profile on LinkedIn.

Basically, I started out as a technical writer and document conversion specialist for SunSoft at the Rocky Mountain Technology Center in Colorado Springs, CO using a SUN4/50 SparcStation IPX. I worked on various products including Solstice Backup, Solstice Job Scheduler, Solstice AdminSuite, and the Solaris 2.4 and 2.5 Administration Guides.

After the Broomfield, CO campus was built, the folks at RMTC were relocated and the site shut down. Some moved to the Bay area, some to Burlington, MA, and some lucky folks rigged it so they could stay in the Springs.

I got a job as the webmaster for Sun Educational Services, which relocated to the new Broomfield, CO campus. I worked in that group for 3 years, with only 1 manager (my most stable position at Sun). My desktop was an Ultra 2, and was one of the easiest boxes to swap out hardware for. Our webserver was hosted on an E450, also a beautiful machine.

Looking for new opportunities, I moved over to SunSolve.Sun.COM to work on the next-generation features of the site. We tried to move the site to be XML-based, until the net bubble burst.I got upgraded to an Ultra 60 for my desktop, which I used until June 2004.

I've worked on various XML-based projects since, in a variety of sub-organizations in Sun Services, including content management, metadata management, and knowledge management. I'm also proud to work on the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee, along with Steve Cogorno and the great Norm Walsh (both from Sun). I also greatly respect the other members of the DocBook TC, who are very active in the DocBook and technical writing community.

My favorite project to date at Sun, has been working on the Sun System Handbook. It's got the best information on supporting Sun hardware, and a great team of folks to work on it.

Now I'm on a SunRay with remote access to a dedicated blade on a SunFire B1600 in a lab. This setup is working pretty well, so far.

I'm not sure what the future holds, but I hope it continues to be bright here at Sun!

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Brag about your dog!

I've been working on a website (outside of working hours) with a buddy of mine for a client, and it is now live!

If you've seen the movie "Best in Show", you will realize that some folks can get a little crazy over their show dogs. Unfortunately, most dog shows don't come with a cash purse, and you basically win "bragging rights" for the year. gives show winners a place to showcase their dog! There isn't any requirement that your dog has to be a show winner, or even a show dog, to have a page. The site does organize listings by breed, breed category, and activity. You can also opt to get custom artwork of your prized pooch, for a very reasonable rate.

Pass the word, and get your dogs listed on the site!

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Friday, July 09, 2004

Life with twins

Today, we celebrate our twin's 3rd birthday! I can't believe they are so old now. These last three years been a blur.

Twins are a lot of work, but tons of fun. We have fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. That makes it pretty easy to tell them apart.

Collin is a lot like me. The boy even likes Star Wars, with very little encouragement from me! :-)

Caileigh is a lot like her mom: almost too adventurous for her own good! She always brightens up a room when she walks in, and is a bundle of energy.

They both adore their older brother, Connor, and they all play very well together.

I also found out that I'm going to be an uncle again! My sister will be due next March. We are all very excited!

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy Birthday, Jason

I've known Jason since 7th grade. We also roomed together at Colorado State University, and he is one of my closest friends. Unfortunately, I don't get to see him very often because he works for Motorola in Chandler, Arizona. I don't know how anyone can live and work in that heat! Not to mention the tarantulas and worse: scorpions.

Jason is one of the smartest guys I know. He's also blessed with a wonderful wife and two sons. I would also have to echo my comments from an earlier post: a friend is "someone who knows all about you and likes you just same."

Happy Birthday, old man!

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Friday, July 02, 2004

Games of James Bond day

Happy Birthday to my very good friend Paul, creator of the Games of James Bond website!

Paul and I started in the same tech pubs group in SunSoft at the Sun Rocky Mountain Technology Center, and have been friends ever since!

We enjoy gaming, primarily Star Wars CCG, Lord of the Rings CCG, various board games, and Talisman.

If there is anything you want to know about James Bond, though, he is your man. The website covers Savage Worlds, other RPGs, custom CCG, and more!

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Congratulations, Cassini-Huygens

Today, Cassini became the first spacecraft to enter Saturn's orbit.

Primary Mission: Four-year tour to study Saturn, its rings, moons and magnetosphere

Launch: October 15, 1997 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Arrival at Saturn: July 1, 2004 (Eastern time)

Distance Traveled: 2.2 billion miles (3.5 billion km)

Huygens probe Titan descent: January 14, 2005

More info available from the NASA site:

I would guess they aren't using Java on this one, though, since it launched in 1997...

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How's your Latin?

I took Latin in college, and am a big history buff of the Roman Army.

Being an Xnut (without the Java), I found this quote that ties my Latin and XML loves...

"Si Exorditur ab 'X' Bonum Esse Oportet"

Anyone care to translate (without using the above link or Google to cheat)? :-)

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