Monthly Archives: August 2003

Columbia Accident Final Report

Today the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) released the final report on the cause of the Shuttle accident on 2003-02-01. The press release says in part:

The CAIB report concludes that while NASA's present Space Shuttle is not inherently unsafe, a number of mechanical fixes are required to make the Shuttle safer in the short term. The report also concludes that NASA's management system is unsafe to manage the shuttle system beyond the short term and that the agency does not have a strong safety culture.

The Board determined that physical and organizational causes played an equal role in the Columbia accident – that the NASA organizational culture had as much to do with the accident as the foam that struck the Orbiter on ascent. The report also notes other significant factors and observations that may help prevent the next accident.

The full report is available in PDF format on the NASA Columbia home page. It's a long report (almost 250 pages), but I'm going to skim through it to see what can be learned. It's good to see the government putting so much information available online, including a long list of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Bookmarks Erased

Returning to the office today after vacation, I was greeted by the complete erasure of my browser bookmarks. I've been using SyncIT which was a handy way to synchronize bookmarks between different computers.

Early on I also used it with Netscape, but it couldn't keep track of different profiles and kept merging everything (my wife's plus my own at home). Then, they implemented a “one-time” registration which was $50 I believe. But still, no improvements, no changes, nothing. To top it off, today I submitted a support request and it replied that the database is not working, please try again later.

I think it's time to find a new solution for bookmark sync. I can safely say: Don't use if you can help it.

On the plus side, it's kind of refreshing to have a clean slate. I never used 95% of the bookmarks anyways.

CityDesk 2.0

FogCreek Software just released CityDesk version 2.0. As I've mentioned here previously, I used the beta and first release of CityDesk for a couple of sites, including this one. I eventually moved to MovableType, but still use CityDesk for one site. It's a nice client-side solution that doesn't require any special server software (just an FTP publish location).

Trying TypePad Photos

As a beta-tester for the new TypePad web publishing service, I'm going to test out their ability to manage photo albums. This might be a good way to post samples from our upcoming vacation.

To start with, I posted some pictures from our July 4th trip to the mountains. So far it looks like a pretty easy service. I like the ability to title and describe each picture. Doing so probably means it's best to limit to just the dozen or so best pictures from an event rather than dumping 30-40 up there.

Update 2003-08-11: Because these pictures were mostly of my kids, I decided to password-protect this album. Please e-mail me for the password (assuming that I know you of course…).