See also Webfolio, Whimsy, + I Art Wert

July 31, 2000 +

Where one falls in one's opinion of the Napster issue depends entirely on how one has traditionally interacted with music. Personally, I actively trade and share my music, yet I am one of the most avid music consumers I know. So in my realm Napster is a godsend and a catalyst rather than an inhibitor.

Check out my music collection by the numbers. All figures are approximate.
  • How long I have been using Napster: four months
  • Number of MP3 files I have accumulated through Napster: 600
  • Number of CDs I have burned on my CD-R for free since April 1998: 100
  • Number of albums I dubbed onto cassette when I was younger: 300
Now then.
  • Number of albums I own overall: 1600
  • Number of those albums I did not burn or dub: 1200
  • Number of artists I discovered through a download, dub or burn: dozens
  • Number of times I have been directly influenced by an MP3 file to buy a CD or explore a band further: at least 10
And consider this.
  • Amount I have spent on LPs, cassettes and CDs, lifetime: more than $10,000
  • Number of CDs I bought from when I left Billboard until I started using Napster: 6
  • Number of CDs I have bought since: 17
For a passionate music fan, exposure to music leads to the acquisition of more music. For every CD I burn there are two I want to buy -- for the liner notes, for different tracks, even to support the band. Some people see this as a lose-lose situation. To me, keeping Napster alive is win-win.


August 25, 1999: Apple bears down on iMac knockoffs.

July 28, 2000: Pot, meet kettle. Is that a glass cube you live in?


July 27, 2000 +

Mark Hurst of Good Experience pointed me to his brother's rebuttal to my anti-Palm-Pilot essay this morning. I hate the redirect phase of a debate -- I proclaim, you rebut, I get my nanny-nanny-pooh-pooh in -- so I'll keep my response brief.

Kevin Hurst is basically correct. A PDA can instantly and easily be a useful tool at its most basic level. My commentary is more of a direct comparison to what it's replacing. Ostensibly, my Visor (which currently sits on my desk unwilling to turn on when I push the power button) can be a day planner and online toy at the same time. But my day planner works fine, my online access works fine, and in order to have the PDA do the same, I would have to tinker with it extensively. Which I did, for a little while, until I realized my life was not better off for my toying with it. And on that level, it still fails for me.

If you hate taking notes with a pen, need a laptop computer but don't want to lug one around, or are willing to start from scratch with your personal organization, a Palm may do the trick for you. But if you want to jump from Point A to Point D without driving yourself nuts, good luck. I'm still not convinced.

I plan on buying a WAP-enabled phone this fall to sample AT&T's free Wireless Internet service. I'll let you know how it goes.


July 25, 2000 +

The first problem with this is that unless you're a scientist you shouldn't be coining your own "laws." No matter how much of a self-styled "expert" you are, definitions not based in fact just make you look like an ass. What does that law really mean, anyway? It transcends obviousness and dives right into banality.


July 24, 2000 +

New essay today: Lucky Penny. It's a lonely man's lament, off-topic for this column but in touch with the journal side of my writings. You've been warned.


Introspective essays aside, London has been great so far. Commentary will restart when I return to the States, as I'm not keeping up with the news well while I'm here. My main observation has been that VH1's "Behind the Music" is not half as good a show when the narrator isn't the usual man that does the voice-overs in the U.S.


July 18, 2000 +

Off to London tomorrow. Expect infrequent updates through the 26th.


Got my first netWert T-shirts last night, and amazingly, they look great! Excellent print quality on Cafe Press' part, and somehow I didn't screw up the graphics either. Get yours today.

It's slightly off-topic -- yes, I do try and keep to some basic themes here; I even put up an About box today -- but I'm also picking up my Internet-ordered Boltz CD rack tonight: the CD-600, which I will be putting together myself. Cool stuff. I wonder whether I'll get any packing done for my trip or if I'm going to spend three hours rearranging my music collection instead.


July 17, 2000 +'s ad campaign seems, to me, to be ripe for parody. You know, "I registered my spittoon." "I registered my dead pet cat." "I registered my gallbladder." If there's a Quicktime whiz out there who feels like collaborating, give a holler.


I don't know why, but suing Razorfish kind of amuses me. I'm not sure which side, if either, I feel sorry for. But talk about your lack of communication. This is why I don't want to work for an agency. Ah, all you IAM users should be on anyway.


July 14, 2000 +

Long accused of wearing my heart on my sleeve, I will soon be wearing my web site on my heart. (They're for sale at cost, like the other sites selling dotcom clothing.) Get your netWert swag today.


For web-publishing and -design firms, having a sitebuilder who knows good browser-sniffing techniques is becoming more and more necessary. Y'know, in the real world, without standards we couldn't talk on the phone, watch television, drive a stick shift....


July 13, 2000 +

Latest addition to the dumb URL roster: They capitalize the third E. What words did _you_ read? (via


That plus/minus-looking thing by today's date is my first "permalink." Not that anyone will ever use them besides me (and I've had hidden anchor tags on these pages for months) but hey, all the Bloggered sites are doing it, so now I am too.

I added permalinks to this month's journal entries, too. Which makes this a good time to note that the journal gets only 10 percent of the traffic this page does. If you're a fan of an Entirely Other Day and Carl Steadman's personal musings, you should check it out (but lower your expectations a little bit first, thanks).


July 12, 2000 +

This week the anti-MP3 debate continues with Lars Ulrich's technically confused Senate testimony against Napster and a new coalition called Artists Against Piracy. AAP specifically aims to "create public awareness, appreciation and understanding of the value of music."

I will refrain once again from exposing my aggravation at these movements and instead pose a few questions to the artists listed on AAP's promotional poster:

~ Why now? Where have you been?

~ Why weren't you complaining when I was making hundreds of cassette tapes of your music off my friends' LPs and CDs a decade ago?

~ Why can't you see the big picture? In my 1500-strong album collection, roughly three-fourths of them I paid for; of the 25 percent I "stole," many led me to buy other works by the same artist. Aren't you aware that a hard-core music enthusiast like me will buy more of your music as a result of hearing some of it for free?

~ Why are you so concerned about music privacy and so quiet about the RIAA work-for-hire provision that's about to be inserted into your record-label deals, which will make your music the property of your label, not yourselves, thereby making your personal concerns about piracy and payment moot, since you won't be the ones reaping the benefits anyway?

I'm all for artists' rights, but in today's environment, chasing music lovers who use technology to support their passion should be the least of a musician's concerns.


July 11, 2000 +

As any savvy surfer knows, the only way to travel comfortably is to make an alias -- forge your name in forms, have an alternate email address, visit hacker sites and ecommerce sites from different browsers. Because in the world of failing dotcoms, where ethics mean nothing when money is involved, it won't be long before the FTC stops trying to protect your privacy. Get used to it.


July 10, 2000 +

Strength in numbers: Automatic Media unites Suck, Feed, and alt.culture, bringing together a trio of content sites I have long respected but no longer read. Someone call Marisa Bowe.


Apparently, a lot of folks looking for jobs in the new economy need to learn how to go on a proper job interview. Personally, when I see such a lack of respect for a situation like a job interview, I equate it to a lack of self-respect, like people who gripe about train service while they absent-mindedly throw trash onto the tracks. (via rc3)


July 7, 2000 + fixed the cache/cachet gaffe noted here yesterday (see below). Score another one for the grammar police. Let me also acknowledge the unknown Ideapad reader -- a CNet employee? -- that took my observation a step further and got to correct its error.


July 6, 2000 +

The cache/cachet misunderstanding continues, this time on

"'eBay doesn't have the same cache that Sotheby's does,' Dykema said." (Fourth paragraph.)

Maybe someone at CNet should help eBay with its browser preferences.


July 5, 2000 +

Been a long time since I've visited the site, and now I realize why: Swoon is a terrible web site, especially considering how much Conde Nast could do with it but isn't.


Nifty URL discussion at Metafilter exposes the concept of using embedded-password URLs as advertising tools.

For example, if the Ideapad were password protected with ID werty and PW notablog, you could place werty:notablog@ in front of and get to the site without being password-prompted each time.

But since there is no password for my site, I could use everything ahead of the at-sign as free advertising, e.g. "Visit ideapad [at]" Or cool-as:fuck [at], which saves the trouble of having to register an isfuckingbrilliant domain.

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Copyright © 2000 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.