Dear Adobe Reader Safari Plugin: Die.

If you’re anything like me, you have a strong dislike for all the stupidity that surrounds the Adobe Reader (formerly known as Acrobat Reader.)

I won’t go into the details here (though this guy can explain it in great detail), but because I very occasionally need features of Adobe Reader, I still keep it installed on my Mac, while I use Preview for all my other PDF needs. I’ve gone so far as to install the Firefox PDF Plugin for Mac for when I use Firefox, just to avoid Adobe Reader. And, really, there’s no point in Adobe Reader for most cases where you just want to be able to view or print PDF files. Doubly so, since Mac OS X lets you print any document to a PDF file as a default feature of the OS.

There are, though, edge cases where having Adobe Reader installed and available are useful. So I have it installed, but I refuse to use their web plugin. Adobe doesn’t care, though, and will periodically, sometimes randomly, and sometimes even without my consent, re-install the plugin. Even though I’ve told it not to. Adobe Updater, I’m looking at you, here.

Sadly, my solution is heavy-handed. I created a launchd task that will forcibly remove the Adobe Reader plugin from /Library/Internet Plugins whenever it’s created. It’s fast, efficient, and works.

And, as soon as I can figure out the new wordpress theme, I’ll post it here in a legible form

UPDATE: Thanks to Lynne and Chad on Twitter for suggesting the Preserve Code Formatting plugin!

And now, the Launchd config. Save this as:
"/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.unnerving.RemoveAdobeReaderPlugin.plist"


Label
org.unnering.RemoveAdobeReaderPlugin
ProgramArguments

rm
-rf
/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/AdobePDFViewer.plugin

QueueDirectories

/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/AdobePDFViewer.plugin

WatchPaths

Dear Adobe Reader Safari Plugin: Die.

Analogies for IT

I was trying to help explain to someone on IRC (yes, I know, I know) how HTML wasn’t “programming” while javascript was, and the best I could come up with was:

HTML is like bolting a wing onto your trunk lid. Javascript is like bolting a blower onto your motor. One is just decoration, and the other actually does something to your machine.

I amused myself, so I share it with you. Aren’t you so much happier now?

Analogies for IT

The Little Things

A true mark of good design is the little details that the user discovers over time that reminds them why they picked your product in the first place.

What made me think of this today was the stop-and-go traffic in the rain. The rain was light enough that I had my wipers on long-delay intermittent. I noticed, at first, that every once in a while the wipers would go an extra time, out of cycle with the pauses. A few more times, and I realized what was happening: if I let off the brake at a full stop, the car would trigger the wipers, regardless of where they were in the intermittent cycle.

The car was purposely ensuring that the windshield was clear when you started moving the car from a dead stop.

This may seem like a small thing, but damn, it’s a nice touch. I have to hand it to the Acura people. It’s been six months now that we’ve had the 2009 TSX, and I’m still telling people how much I love the car.

The Little Things

We’re going to be parents!

My lovely, absolutely amazing wife Lea is pregnant!

I’ve been wanting to make an announcement ever since we had the first ultrasound, but I’ve been biding my time until we were safely into the second trimester.

So far, everything has been going well, and the first ultrasound showed us a healthy, active, alien-looking baby dancing around. Hearing the heartbeat the first time was truly awe-inspiring. Lea positively glows brighter every day, and as excited and happy as we are to have a child on the way, we’re both a bit terrified of this dramatic change coming into our lives.

We don’t know gender yet; we’ll find out next Monday when we get a detailed ultrasound. Who knows, I might actually have imagery to share with the world after that appointment.

Baby is due on (or about) May 1st, 2009.

I suppose at some point we’re going to have to plan a baby shower.

I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever been this happy.

We’re going to be parents!

Bittersweet

Overall, I have to say, the election results are nearly as good as I could have hoped, with one major blemish: California’s Proposition 8 to constitutionally define marriage as being between a man and a woman appears to be passing as the final votes are tallied. As one person on Twitter said:

The state of California has decided that our food has inalienable rights, but our fellow human beings do not. That is sad and shameful.

Apparently, however, nearly 41% of the ballots in California are absentee, which could make for some interesting results as those are tallied. See this Sacramento Bee article for details and more election-related information.

Bittersweet