Archive for the 'Internet Hell' Category

Remember blogs?

Saturday, January 30th, 2016
IMAGE: here is the point where one always used to insert an image in one’s blog post, relevant or not, in order to “drive traffic.”

IMAGE: here is the point where one always used to insert an image in one’s blog post, relevant or not, in order to “drive traffic.”

Blogs are a pain in the butt. They’re too easy to start, too hard to keep going. And they’re needy; they always pester you to visit them, moderate them, update them, and upgrade them. You can’t ignore them, either, because Estonian penis-enlargement spam blooms on them like mildew if you blow off all that labor for more than five minutes.

I recall catching just a glimpse of a glorious future in which everybody on earth had their very own blog, and we hooked all the blogs together, elbow-in-elbow, and became a free and open society of independent self-publishers. But then Facebook happened, and now everything sucks for blogs. The internet is littered with abandoned ones. Soon they’ll be like compact disks, or flash drives smaller than a gigabyte: piling up in giant wind-swept mounds in the street, clogging the gutters when it rains, making your basement flood.

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master exit time has arrived! (re: outbound messages stuck on OS X with Postfix)

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Nerd bulletin! If you’re an OS X user, and you’re using the version of Postfix that came with your operating system, and you are seeing log messages similar to this one once per minute in mail.log:

Jul 21 16:08:39 snowy postfix/master[6565]: daemon started -- version 2.4.3, configuration /etc/postfix
Jul 21 16:08:39 snowy postfix/qmgr[6567]: DE1D92E78E75: from=, size=3602201, nrcpt=9 (queue active)
Jul 21 16:09:39 snowy postfix/master[6565]: master exit time has arrived

… then you’re not alone! Many people are reporting the “master exit time has arrived” messages, which seem to be just unwanted log noise. But if, between “daemon started” and “master exit,” you are seeing the same e-mail message logged over and over, then you and I are partners in digital miscommunication. Outbound e-mail is getting stuck.

Today I suffered from, investigated and solved this problem. Here’s a quick fix you can try:
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Everything needs a name, deformed things moreso. “Wuholic” is what I’m calling the new theme on Gesine Kratzner’s website. It’s a fusion of Jeff Ngan’s lovely Wu-Wei theme for WordPress and the Flash-based design of her old site, courtesy of . It launched today, just in time for Gesine’s big TV moment.
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Zenbe Lists Is Dead

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

About 18 months ago I started using Zenbe Lists, a nifty list-manager system available for free from  I liked everything about it: it was clean, fast, beautifully designed, and allowed me to organize and consult my many lists both on my phone and on my laptop.  I began to put more and more of my personal organization into it, but eventually I hit a wall: I found it didn’t scale well.  Furthermore it has a few bugs that I have trouble working around, and I slowly became aware that the developers have stopped developing it; it exists in a sad limbo of the nearly-awesome but dead.  So it’s with deep regret that I announce it’s time to jump ship. Read the rest of this entry »

Message to the Citizens of Not Yet Named City

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Dear citizens of Not Yet Named City,

Every single morning at 5:45 AM, you beseech me via Facebook Notifications:

The citizens of not yet named city want you back because they miss you! Their happiness is now at 100%. Check on your city now!

I’m sorry, I’m not coming back.  Never.  Give it up.  Please stop calling me.

I know you miss me, I know it must be rough for you.  But I don’t miss you at all.  Fortunately, your happiness is now at 100%, which tells me a) our virtual relationship is maintenance-free anyway, and b) missing me is one of those simulated-friend things you only do in simulated-friend-land because you are bored with your non-existence.  You don’t really miss me, you just e-miss me.

I thought about checking on my city, maybe for the weekend or something, I thought I might just show up and say something like “Hi, sorry I didn’t call, but I figured if you actually miss me you’ll drop whatever you’re doing and hang out with me for the length of a pint of cheap beer or so.” But then I realized that was selfish and manipulative, and wrong.  I’ve got to stop treating my friends like that.  And also, you don’t exist.

My people, you do look fabulous, not existing like that.  They say you can’t be too rich or too virtual.  You color-coordinate well with the avalanche of status symbols and nominal Facebook clutter spring-loaded in my toolbar, that seething tower of festive to-dos that threatens to leap out and crush me if I dare click near it.  Crammed into this virtual glovebox are three melting snowballs, five urgent questionnaires, two flat beers, three stale donuts gone uneaten for months, the festering underpants of Batman’s sidekick Robin,  and a li’l green patch that died.  None of these things are real, but all of them were gifts, so I am forbidden by ethics to ever throw them away.  Non-existent gifts from absent friends, on Facebook.

Loyal Unnamed-ians, please understand: I am mortal, human; there’s only so much of me to go around.  I cannot be upgraded to faster hardware just because my hit count has risen.  And I am busy, with real things in the real world … if you can call writing real … well, hmmm … but I also have yardwork!  Yes, yardwork is real, and I am behind on a whole lot of it! Pruning, weeding, mulching!  The happiness level of the Citizens of Mykle’s Ostentatiously Large Yard never seems to rise above 85% or so, and is now hovering near 50%.  Being vegetables, those citizens don’t so much miss me as they die like flies the minute I ignore them. If you, Citizens of Not Yet Named City, could come out of Facebook and visit me for once, just to help me out with the landscaping, or maybe clean the chicken coop once a week, or turn the compost, then perhaps I would be inclined to visit you too.

I also have a family to care for and support, although they are somewhat more self-sufficient than my yard.  But they too crave my attention, and deserve it.  They are real.  I can touch them.  I like to touch them, smell them, see them, jump up and down next to them, yell at them, drag them to boring events.  They are physical.  You are just one more source of typewriter cramps and numb butt.  I know you can’t help it, I know the Facebookverse has its own physics and limitations.  I’m not mad at you, I’m just tired.  And you don’t exist.

Is that offensive?  Is it rude for me to judge you on the basis of your reality?  Am I a close-minded bigot of an existentialist?  Many people are happy, proud even, to dote upon the citizens of their Already Named Cities, cities with names like Gingeropolis, Kevinlandia, The Isle of Shanelle.  Civic pride thrives in these hip, humming, fictitious towns.  They are the virtual cities of the internet future.  Have you considered moving there?

Citizens of Not Yet Named City, I beseech thee: get a life.