Twenty Nine

Yesterday was quite an amusing afternoon. Immediately after work I hit the mall to treat myself to a used Xbox so I could finally play my copy of THPS 2X (think of it as the widescreen director’s cut of 1&2) that had been sitting around for months. Andrew planned a little surprise party at Satchel’s for me and the pizza was brought out with candles that merely fell over when blown upon

[Steve w/ 29 crown on playing guitar]
Steve at Satchel's 2003 | photo by Andrew Chadwick

Andrew, Josh, Tanya, Lynn, Tricia, Jeremy and Juliet made it and I wore a Lynn-crafted construction paper 29 crown…with red glitter spots! Two older gentlemen played various songs, mostly from the 40’s/50’s, on banjo, piano and trumpet, and it added the perfect amount of ridiculousness to the evening. Before leaving I rushed up in front of them for a photo op and ended up being cajoled into playing a song. I played You Belong To Me and goofed most of the lyrics. As we got up to leave I made one of my best/worst puns. They said something about church music and asked if anyone wanted to hear Olivia Newton-John, to which I remarked, "Let’s get hym-n-al".

We went back to my place and Andrew had secret pie! of banana cream, no less. I’m sorry all my friends couldn’t be there and apologize to those I didn’t tell. You’ll be excited to hear I already opened the disco level and, thanks to Natalie, we’ll be seeing Airplane on DVD soon.

Don’t Sing Love Songs

[pic of the Caravelles]the Caravelles  

"Don’t Sing Love Songs" (mp3)—here sung by the Caravelles—is a traditional American song called "Silver Dagger" dating back to at least 1907. The reverb-heavy production on the Caravelles’ version is creepy enough without the lines "you’ll wake my mother / She’s sleeping here, right by my side / And in her right hand, a silver dagger". This was to be on my Halloween mixCD that I never got around to making…

The Caravelles also sing one of my favorite pop songs of all time: The Other Side of Love (.wma clip at It appears on Volume 8 of the terrific "Here Comes the Girls" compilation series. I just ordered volumes 8 and 10 from since the girl group comps seem hard to come by in the US. "The Girls’ Scene" has another one I’ve been looking for: Lulu’s "Try to Understand," so I couldn’t pass it up.

Don’t sing love songs, you’ll wake my mother
She’s sleeping here, right by my side
And in her right hand, a silver dagger
She says that I can’t be your bride
All men are false, so says my mother
They’ll tell you wicked, and sinful lies
And the very next day, they’ll court another
Leave you alone to pine inside
Go court another fair, young maiden
And hope that she will be your wife
For I’ve been warned and I desire
To sleep alone all my life
All my life

Multiple versions of IE on Win2k/XP

Joe Maddalone, with a little help from Roger Ly, has made quite a contribution to Win2k/XP-using web developers by discovering how to install two older versions of Internet Explorer (5.01 & 5.5) as standalone browsers without altering IE6.0. Particularly, this allows developers to test CSS rendering in these older browsers without installing multiple version of Windows in emulators like VMWare ($300) or Virtual PC.

Roger discovered the last two files needed to truly enable the older HTML/CSS rendering engines (without these the browsers were returning their respective user agent strings, but using IE6’s renderer).

A few helpful additions to Joe’s technique

  • The source installation files are available from Download IE5.5 and 5.01 (both SP2)
  • I recommend using Power Archiver 6.1 for nag-free archive handling comparable to (and very similar to) WinZip’s “classic mode”.
  • Extract the .CAB files all into the same directory—certain files depend on more than one .CAB file.
  • During extraction it’s OK to let the extractor "overwrite all files".
  • It may turn out that many of the other files are unnecessary as well. We have them running with only eleven, but certain functionality—like the ability to selecting text and type in forms—is disabled).

The resulting browsers, as you’d expect, can be quite buggy/crashy beyond their inherent CSS limitations, but arguably still quite useful. Also keep in mind that this could be considered mild Windows hacking and Microsoft could potentially refuse to support an installation with such files present (although there’s no overwriting of OS files involved). In short, be careful. For everyone’s convenience, I hope will consider hosting .ZIPs of the resulting files, as surely everyone would rather download/serve a subset of the 80MB.