Category Archives: Technology

Come to Jesus

I love walking around work the day after Mardi Gras.  All these people with ashes on their forehead.

But I’m loving the someecards that I came across my email yesterday.

People might find religion, or at least find it more interesting or tolerable if it were limited to 140 characters.

Song by: Mindy Smith


I’m loopt-ed.

It’s a little 1984-ish, but via your cellphone people you chose to track you, can track you.

I don’t think anyone can really tell if I’m at 7-11 or Popeye’s, just that I’m in the general vicinity. ….and it’s not like I have a ton of people who I’m following or allowing them to follow me. As you can see from the map below, I’ve got bi-coastal coverage (thanks Moby, thanks Brad).

Now, if you want to get really really personal, just team up loopt with my new most favourite (yet untested) iPhone application
Yes – use loopt to find which bathroom I might need to use at a moment’s notice. CREEPY.

Song by: the Bangles

Eat the Music

I don’t want to “iPhone” you people to death, but there are some really neat things about this little device. Clearly I’m still learning about this thing, as I will be over the next few weeks or months.

On the main screen, there are a number pre-set programs that come with the phone. One of those is an Application Store. Which means lots and lots programs you can install on your device. Some are free, some cost $$$$. Many are useless. I mean I stopped counting at 10, the number of Magic 8 Ball ones that are available.

Will I purchase it? Signs Point to Yes. My Sources Say No.

Some others are the flame of a lighter, that you can hold up in concerts for encores.

Seriously? This is what programmers do with their time and try to charge even $0.99 for it? Or the mug of beer that is full, but if you tip your phone like you’re drinking it, it disappears. Funny………………….ONCE! …if that.

Naturally there are games, news services, infotainment areas and the likes. Even a program that tracks where you’ve been and how you got to your end point. I guess it’s like GPS tracking. Orwellian for sure, but cool nonetheless.

That being said, there are some cool things on there too – none so far I’ve been willing to pay for , but some are no charge. But since I am a music weirdo, I am trying out some out – for free. DUH.

Shazam – hold your iPhone up to music that you don’t know (or even that you do) and it will bring back the song title and artist. Handy for those television shows/movies where they play music you like but they don’t credit it. Or the radio stations who wait 12 songs to reveal their play list, if they actually do. I have tried it on 5 songs and only one did it not recognize (Annabella’s “Fever”).

It will also link it to a YouTube video if it can. More 1984 for you.

Midomi – which bills itself as the “ultimate music search”. Lofty

But you can sing or hum a tune into your iPhone and it will bring back the song and as many possible versions it knows. Denton did it with ‘Moon River’. This will be perfect with Morty trying to figure out if the song is “Shout” or “Close to the Edit”. Oh – maybe the device isn’t that advanced.

It also does a music/artist search with a vast playlist that you can at least sample. I’ve tried lesser known artists and it has them in there. Not too shabby.

I promise to keep these posts to a minimum…….but I guess that’s all relative.

Song by: Kate Bush


Another birthday come and gone.  No biggie, right?  Right.

I got some nice calls.  Some good emails.  A few cards.  Even some folks at work seemed to know about the day – and clearly passed the word around.  That last part didn’t go down well with me.  Do I really want some guy from IT I barely know coming up to me and wishing me a  ‘happy birthday’?   I don’t think so.

I begrudgingly let a few of them take me out to lunch.  It was a good salad and I got a piece of cake out of it, so it wasn’t all bad. But I really don’t like making a big deal about the day – I think I’ve said that here every year I’ve had this blog.  I mean, I’m ok to do stuff with Denton, but I’m a low key guy when it comes to having attention brought to me that way.  Yes – even for a Leo.

I mean – I want attention, but only when I call it to myself.  I am a Leo. Not just because I got birthed.  Let it be for my superior dancing around the kitchen skills, or my way around an Excel spreadsheet.  Yes, I’m a dancing geek.

So, why the “Call Me” header?  Because Denton got me the present:  iPhone 3G (16 gig!), white back.   I was hoping, of course, but who knew?

Well, I did, kind of.  He calls me at work to tell me that ‘oh, your cell phone isn’t currently working.  I’ve had the service cut off.’   Since I have Sprint and theiPhones are on AT&T, I kind of figured out he had done something.

Don’t go thinking he was being completely altruistic,  he got himself one too (black back).   Now I just need to figure out how to use it exactly.   I mean  I know how to answer the phone and dial it, but I have to get my contacts moved over, load my music, set up my email, etc.

I’m quite excited, a little nervous and seemingly somewhat guilty for having such a device.  But I am thrilled to be getting rid of my Treo and Sprint.  The only two places I couldn’t use it:  home and work.   ZERO signal.  None.  It was so frustrating.

I know Becky and Andrew love theirs, so it must be good.

Oh, and I’ll be able to blog from it and Twitter away, I guess.   There will be no stopping me!!!!

Song by: Blondie (Spanish version, ‘natch!)
which btw, is comical because about the only two words they don’t sing in Spanish are ‘Call Me’.


I got my first text message on my work BlackBerry over the weekend. That makes me sound like an old-fogey, which I’m not.  I’ve texted.

It sounds odd in a way, but for my employment, texting has not been a standard form of communication. So, it wasn’t anything I was expecting – let alone on a Saturday.

Here is the message – in its entirety, and without any edits from me:

Hey ill be there @ 430 stevens in jail so im prolly move back to the house i dunno.

Ok – clearly this isn’t a work related message. Or, maybe it is not clear to any of you – why should it be? I’m assuming it is a wrong number, as the sender had a Columbus, OH area code and I cannot think of anyone I know of named ‘steven’ – nor was I expecting anyone in the late afternoon.

I also don’t know if it was truly two separate messages: “I’ll arrive at 4:30 because Steven’s in jail”. Or “I’ll arrive at 4:30 – oh and by the way, Steven’s in jail”.

And is it because Steven is now incarcerated that the sender will be moving back into the house? Is it safe now to go home?

I considered replying back that the sender prolly sent this to the wrong person, but I then opted not to get involved into their drama, or to delay a 4:30 arrival time.

Song by: the Cardigans

Give a Little

Tis the season – no?

For the last few months, or even a year, we have been hearing about One Laptop Per Child.  Or at least I have.  Have you?

The idea is to provide each and every child who needs a laptop – regardless of the socio-economic status, but clearly focusing on the underprivileged.

The idea is the brainchild of an MIT professor.  Knowing that many of the places these folks live do not have internets access or even electricity, the laptop is built with a generator that kids can wind up to well…..generate power.   It also has an built-in antenna for folks to get on-line.  The casing isn’t indestructible, but they make it as much so as possible.

The other idea was for each laptop to cost no more than $100.  They are not quite there yet – but it still is at the somewhat reasonable price of $400.  BUT….get this……purchase one for donation, and they send one to you also. So, that makes them like $200 a piece.  Wicked!!  …..but in a good way.

Denton ordered/donated one.  Mostly because he wants to play with it.  We need another computer/laptop around here like a hole in the head.  I am hoping we only play with it for a bit, but then send it on its way to a family in need.  We’re not that family.

But I think it’s a great idea.  Give the gift of education – if you can.

Song by: Nicolette Larson

Can’t Stop the Music

Well, actually you probably can.  And it probably will.

I know it’s a flimsy excuse for a site and probably no basis in reality – but it’s out there: the iPod Death Clock.  I found it via a tech webiste called CrunchGear.

Though I’ve had my Nano for over two years (and still lovin’ it), it seems it would only have about 204 more days to go before it hits the expiration date.

I always knew there is some kind of shelf life for these things, but kind of amazed (if it is true) that three years is what is expected for it’s longevity.

Granted one can have a longer existence for it – and the calculations are based on how often you use it and how many times you may have dropped it (too many to count!).  There is a placeholder for ‘where you normally use it’ which kind of – and kind of not – makes sense.  I assume using it during extreme sports could harm it more often than when you use it sitting and doing nothing.  But on the bus?  Are the chances that it gets dropped and stepped on greater?  Or getting stolen?   There are no explanations.

But I do use mine on planes, trains and automobiles… well as when I’m in the kitchen cooking (hooked up through the Bose radio), when I bike, cut the lawn and shovel the drive.  And even sometimes in the office.  It was a great little purchase that I don’t regret  – even if the new video Nano’s are $100 cheaper for the same storage.   ….but that gives me something to look forward to in 200 days or so.

I think the most disconcerting thing about this site was the need to find the serial number on the back of the iPod.  Even with bifocals, I had a very very difficult time distinguishing an S from a 5.

Forget the iPod Death Clock – what about the Blobby Death Clock.  I’m gettin’ old!

song by: The Village People


Who knew that Steve Jobs was such Star Trek: The Next Generation fan?

Who knew that all the time on the USS Enterprise, Geodri La Forge was just watching downloaded episodes of Lost and The Office instead of doing is engineering job?

The Prime Directive?? Fuck that! I just bought The Incredibles!

Jon pointed out the text in the Apple ad: ‘hands free’ and that is must be so you can eat popcorn at the same time (yes, plant tongue firmly in cheek!). I suppose ‘hands free’ is just in case they decide to allow iTunes to carry Romancing the Bone or Beetlejism.

“I pass the test……. I will diminish, and go into the West.”

Call it buying into the hype. Call it curiosity. Call it wanton lust.

I had to see the iPhone. Not wanted to. HAD to. I’m such an Appleophile, I felt the need to check them out. I was hoping that’s all it would be. I know I’ve said I wouldn’t get a first generation and was irked a bit at the price for only 4 or 8 gig. But as the release date came closer and the press started really going ape-shit, I started doubting myself. I know me and that “seeing” isn’t always enough to satisfy my curiosity. I brought Denton with me as the voice of reason. HA!

The Apple store was P-acked. Seriously, there is always someone in there, but not to this degree. And there was barely anything in there that didn’t shill for the product: posters, flat screens, and all macbooks had iPhone screen savers. As if it needed anymore market saturation. They had two or three dozen on display for demonstration purposes. Oddly enough, we had no trouble playing with them. People milled, but not a lot were doing the hands-on thing.

I do have to say this – it is fuckin‘ slick! Good size. Feels good. Easy to handle. Easy to navigate. And just some real neat navigation features – both traditional and very non-trad. The screen resolution was incredible. I watched part of an episode of Lost and the picture was great. Using the touch keypad was challenging, but I’m sure with time, patience (if I had any) and practice it would be ok.

As Denton continued to play, I wandered around to check out availability….but without having to ask. If I can avoid those Apple store worker-snobs, I’m more the better. For all the hype, the camping out, the crowds – there were still a few dozen visible behind the register, both 4 and 8 gig – and this was day two. I bet there were more in the back too.

For good measure, I brought up my blog on the browser (damn, I should have turned it and have the phone automatically landscape it) and snapped a pic with my now crappy cell phone (click image to enlarge) which I’ll have to live with for almost another year……unless I just pay the fee to get out of the contract.

I fully admit to wanting one. But as Galadriel did with the one true ring (yes, I am a major geek), I held it and was able to return it. Lothlorien and Middle Earth are safe………for now.