Thursday, September 29, 2005 tools: Software - Net - Bookmark Management

Social bookmarking at is a tempting waste of time! (See also You can use to avoid a trail of bookmarks, never where you need them, on different machines and between different browsers. Even better, you can assign tags to each bookmark for grouping into like categories. Of course you can browse all, browse by tags, and search. And as icing on that cake, you can explore what other people bookmarked who bookmarked the same link.

Cocoalicious 1.0b36, BSD open source, is an OS X (Cocoa) application interface to your account. You can create and browse your bookmarks. Since it caches the data locally, you can save some rendering time.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

ClamXav: Software - Utility - Anti-Virus

ClamXav, donationware, is a graphical OS X front-end to ClamAV, the open-source command-line virus scanner. Free virus checker, open source goodness, 'nuff said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cisco VPN client won't launch

Software: Cisco VPN client 4.6.03 (160) and probably other versions, on OS X 10.4.2 through 10.4.4 (at least, and so far)

Hardware: PowerBook G4/15"/1.5GHz (probably not hardware-specific)

Problem: Sometimes after reboot, sleep, or network connection change, my Cisco VPN client will refuse to launch with this error message:

Error 51: IPC socket allocation failed with error ff ff ff ff ff ff ff fch. This is most likely due to the Cisco Systems, Inc. VPN Service not being started. Please start this service and try again.

Solution: The easiest solution is to wait for your network interface to be ready before launching the VPN client. However, Quicksilver makes it too easy to launch before the NIC is ready. Sometimes that isn't the problem, though. When I need a stick instead of patience, I run these commands on the command line, and then the GUI client will work.

cd /opt/cisco-vpnclient/bin

./vpnclient autoinit

If that doesn't work, try reloading the VPN kernel extension.

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext

Monday, September 19, 2005

Growth Charts: Software - Niche - Child

Growth Charts 1.2.2, free OS X software, lets you enter your own data on the CDC growth charts so you can compare at a glance to the U.S. distribution. Sure, you could download the PDFs to print and plot by hand, but this is so much tidier. It's also a reasonable place for me to log all those stats from each pediatrician visit. You can track more than one child (charts go up to 20 years of age). One of my pet peeves for software is locking me into a proprietary file format, but these data are stored in easy-to-read text files. So it's niche software, but if you're interested, Growth Charts is nicely done.

Prenatal Vitamins and Stress

My sample size is 2, me and a friend, so this isn't statistically sound, but it's not a bad idea in general and it worked for us. Professional women in high stress jobs occasionally (weekly?) need to race to the bathroom. It could even be diagnosed as IBS. However, I notice that it doesn't happen if I take my prenatal vitamins. I think the mix of B vitamins must be just right to combat stress! (I don't feel stressed by my job, but it's not a low-stress job either. But if I miss my vitamins one day, and there's any work tension, bye-bye lunch.) Here's the mix I like ...

Vitamin A 4000 IU (as Vitamin A acetate and beta cerotene) or less

Vitamin C 120 mg (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin D 400 IU (cholecalciferol) or less

Vitamin E 22 mg (dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, at least 10 mg)

Folic Acid 1 mg (up to 800mcg without a prescription)

Vitamin B1 1.84 mg (thiamine mononitrate, at least 1.5 mg)

Vitamin B2 3 mg (riboflavin, at least 1.6 mg)

Niacinamide 20 mg (vitamin B3)

Vitamin B6 10 mg (pyroxidine hydrochloride, at least 2.6 mg)

Vitamin B12 12 mcg (cyanocobakamin, at least 2.2 mcg)

Calcium 200 mg (calium sulfate) or more

Copper 2 mg (cupric oxide)

Iron 27 mg (ferrous fumarate) or less

Zinc 25 mg (zinc oxide, at least 15 mg)

For comparison, here's the USRDA recommendations for adult women, with values for pregnant or lactating women in parentheses.

Vitamin A 800 mcg RE where 1 RE=1 mcg retinol=6 mcg beta carotene

Vitamin C 60(70) mg

Vitamin D 5(10) mcg, 10mcg cholecalciferol=400 IU

Vitamin E 8(10) mg

Vitamin K 65 mcg

Folate 180(400) mcg

Vitamin B1 1.1(1.5) mg Thiamin

Vitamin B2 1.3(1.6) mg Riboflavin

Vitamin B3 15(17) mg Niacin

Vitamin B6 1.6(2.2) mg Pyridoxin

Vitamin B12 2.0(2.2) mcg

Calcium 800(1200) mg

Phosphorus 800(1200) mg

Magnesium 280(300) mg

Iron 15(30) mg

Zinc 12(15) mg

Iodine 150(175) mcg

Selenium 55(65) mcg

If you eat reasonably well, you probably get Vitamin A in your diet, and you don't want Vitamin A toxicity. Likewise, if you see sunshine without sunscreen, you probably don't need to worry about Vitamin D, so I don't mind having less of those in my multivitamin. Also, some of the trace minerals, like Selenium and Molybdenum, aren't good for in large quantities and do occur in "real" food. So I prefer not to have trace minerals in my multivitamin because I love green salads and Farmers Market produce.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Washington Post Limericks

This blog entry contains three highly inappropriate limericks from the Washington Post's Style Invitational that I found hilarious. Not for young, innocent, or sensitive types.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Second Month


Now that he drools often and spits up on occasion, hand towels under the baby are essential. Waterproof pads are also useful, but I'm sure less comfortable for him so I use towels more often.

For the parents, hearing protectors. I can reduce the ringing in my ears, and still comfort my baby. We really need the hearing protectors for bath time! Hooded towels, soft baby washclothes (which can be regular soft washclothes), and a baby tub complete the bath time essentials. We got the well-reviewed Primo EuroBath, and it seems too big for this little fellow, so we're borrowing a smaller baby tub for a while.


Boppy is less useful now that he prefers to nurse semi-upright, but it's good for tummy time and supervised naps. I'm considering Pollywog instead. Sometimes he even wants to nurse fully upright (!), straddling my leg, which shocked my mother.

The PDA and laptop (with wireless networking, external keyboard, and padless mouse) are great! My favorite nursing bra turns out to be the cheapest one I tried, a Bestform B355. (I assume it's now discontinued, since that happens whenever I decide I have a favorite bra.) Breast pads are necessary, and I soak through occasionally.

I started using my breastpump, an Ameda Purely Yours. My mechanical engineer husband looked at it and a Medela Pump In Style, and said the Ameda design was better. And what's the point to marrying someone with these skills if I don't follow his advice? Pumping means bottles! Larger nipples allow my baby to use the same wide-open mouth for bottle feeding as for breast. Angled bottles are easier to position. I think a vented bottle to reduce air bubbles in the baby also helps since we don't have to burp him that often. We have the best luck with Playtex Natural Shape VentAire bottles, which has larger nipples, angled bottle, and vented bottom. To pump directly into these bottles, I also needed the adapter ring from the OneStep Breast Milk Storage Kit (get two kits if you want to pump both breasts at once). I really like hands-free pumping.


Sleeping? Even less this month! He was hungry about every three hours in the second month, and he cried a lot more. In the first month, if he cried at night, he was hungry; in the second month, who knows? Still using the SwaddleMe and the Pack n Play bassinet with changing station. He's now strong enough to shift the SwaddleMe to less helpful configurations, so we'll need to move on.


I added spare breast pads (dispo) to the diaper bag. He switched from riding in the Baby Bjorn face-in to face-out this month. He also likes to practice standing, so I'll look at exer-saucers.

Total weight loss: down 7 pounds.