breadcrumbs and cat hairs
Thursday, June 2 2005
A mysteriously dysfunctional laptop in the village of Willow proved to be suffering from mysterious motherboard corrosion near the power jack. The corrosion took the form of a white powder similar to what you see on an aging automotive battery's terminals. I don't know if this had anything to do with the cat hairs and tiny breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout the laptop's innards. But I do know this: the client will be buying a new laptop. He expressed loyalty for the Dell brand (despite the fact that his old Dell had been done in by the aforementioned breadcrumbs and cat hair), but had I not found that the cheapest laptop at his price point was indeed a refurbished Dell, I would have urged him to change his mind. People who don't know much about Windows computers bring their advertiser-nourished love of brands into a retail sector that consists mostly of commodities. Loyalty to the Dell brand makes about as much sense as being loyal to a particular brand of heating oil. When it comes down to it, all these things are made by slaves in China and run Windows in essentially the same manner. If you're one of the few people who appreciates the Dell Tech Support Wizard, there's something seriously wrong with you.
Last night and into today I put a lot of work into a PHP file-based content management system I'm building. For the time being it is specific to a particular application (for a specific client), but I intend to make it general-purpose so I can deploy it on clients' sites and allow them to alter their own content without any intervention on my part. I've been building systems like this since 1998, and this one is a throwback to the old "Podbuilder" I wrote while employed at Collegeclub.com. The podbuilder was an ambitious stab at a fairly general-purpose content management system, but my programming talents and my then-limited experience with creating editors for the full range of web content weren't quite up to the task at hand.
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