December 13, 2005
Rather than use your laptop, desktop, or (gasp) drain the batteries on your camera itself, check out this handy device from Kodak, the Easy Share picture viewer. You plop in the SD card and can view the photos, independant of your camera or any other device. Pretty neat, and it's heavily discounted at Tiger Direct, reduced from $99 to $29.
Yeah, it's a funny name, but it makes sense. I haven't signed up yet, but am thinking
about it. Managing information is a hot topic right now, from personal information managers to calendars and now to to-do lists, there's new stuff popping up lately.
Be sure to check this one out. It looks promising.
December 02, 2005
September 22, 2005
And that's how it starts. The dreams of summer. Those of us who are lucky get to realize all or most of those dreams. Other people get mired down in their day to day routine and only get fleeting glimpses of their intentions. The dreams of summer can be a mighty powerful temptation, and a cruel mistress.
Summer ending marks an end to all that. An end to the warm weather, or at least the beginning of the end. The days have been getting shorter for a while now already, and it will only get worse.
It means an end to all those dreams. It means that all the cool things you've been doing, such as hanging out with friends, doing things outside, going bicycle riding, swimming, and whoever knows what else, is now...
At least for another 272 days. <grin>
Whatever else it means, I hope you enjoyed it and it was good to you.
Welcome now Autumn 2005. Official as of 6:23 PM today.
September 20, 2005
September 16, 2005
September 11, 2005
September 01, 2005
August 31, 2005
August 24, 2005
August 23, 2005
August 22, 2005
August 21, 2005
Pretty funny actually. "Here's our product. Now buy it." I think that's the message they're sending.
August 15, 2005
while I do have my trusty Palm Tungsten E to play MP3s on the go, I think it's just not the same as what an iPod
would give me. For one, the form factor is quite a bit smaller. The Tungsten E needs a case and then where do I store it?
If it's fall or winter, it might fit in the pocket, but right now with temperatures in the 90s every day, there are no such luxuries. And forget about putting it in my pants pockets. Without the case, maybe, but with the case, no way.
The iPod however, is much smaller; from the Shuffle which would positively disappear in any pocket to the Mini which, although larger, would likely do the same. Both are better travel companions and smaller than the Palm. Then there's the hardware and software issues. While the Palm is OK in that department using a 5-way naviagation switch on the front and the Real Music player to play the songs, it's by no means on the same level as the iPod. The unique click wheel on the front does it all,and with the shuffle itself there's no screen to mess with. Heck, even the Mini allows better browsing and selection of songs than the Palm.
I remember a few times trying to select the song I wanted on my Palm while driving -- mistake. There's just not enough time to do it while driving; but the iPod makes it so easy I feel like I could use it in the car.
So enough rambling. I want one, not sure when I'll get one. I'm torn between the 1GB Shuffle ($129) and the Mini ($199). I think for the extra $70 the Mini may be the clear winner.
Although there's always this bad boy from Creative, the Zen Vision, another entry into the mp3 wars.
It also seems Microsoft wants a better piece of the mp3 pie, and has started unleashing the lawyers. Fun.
August 05, 2005
I imagine 3+ hours of frantic storytelling, and when you leave the theater you feel like you've just run a marathon. It will feature very good storytelling, much like the book did.
August 03, 2005
While you're in the process of downloading stuff, check out the new functions of Flickr. Seems like data organization is becoming a new buzzword these days.
And finally, related to photos, comes video, which Flash 8, due to be released next month, looks to take over. I know for sure if Flash starts doing video, I'd rather use that that some other proprietary format.
August 01, 2005
July 29, 2005
Really, it's not as bad as that sounds.
The concept is to put diners in the restaurant and have them play games, alone if they want, or in ad hoc competitions. Bushnell says that people are social animals and need the interaction with other people, equating the notion of this new restaurant/video game parlor with another successful venture: the martini bar. While it's true you could have a martini at home (and far cheaper) most people go to martini bars to socialize with others, espeically others who share the same interest -- even if the others are strangers.
This notion seems to have some merit. While it's true that people can play video games today on any number of devices in their home, and can even challenge strangers via online play, most of this is anonymous. Bushnell's new venture puts the social aspect back into it, by having the venture involve a night out, and by having you actually able to see the other person you're playing against.
You know, this concept just might work. If there were one near me, I'd try it out.
Update: Hmm...I just did some poking around and there is one somewhat inexpensive unit that has everything I want: the Palm Zire 72 Special Edition. Just something to keep in the back of my mind.
I think it was all the dirt and grime inside the case and on the components, including the motherboard, which was to blame. Here's some hints and a video from CNET which discuss this.
Seems like the dirt inside, if it gets on the case, can actually create a short in the board, and then the board and the whole system short itself out. I'm pretty sure that's what happened.
Also, here's a page detailing a similar computer problem in a machine shop.
July 28, 2005
He brought it to me and last night I worked on it. Got it to boot up once, then as a test i knocked the case a little. It immediately shut down and started to reboot.
But it never came back.
I worked on it until 1:30 in the morning, removing wires, checking connections, trying to identify the problem and bring the system down to it's least common denominator. In the end, I had everything unplugged except the power supply to the board and I had the CPU and it's fan still installed, and the RAM. This is the minimum configuration, and I should have at least been able to get to the BIOS. No good. It still won't come to life.
So then I took one step further: I removed the board from the case itself, thinking the board was getting shorted out somehow. I put it on a magazine to keep it from sitting on the metal case. Still no good.
I'm running out of tricks. Today I'm looking at it by hooking it up to a different power supply to see if that's the problem.
This thing is a pain in my ass.
July 26, 2005
July 25, 2005
While I do think this is a credible threat, I'm not too worried. For the most part, this attack needs to be done in person, at the actual computer. When I'm not using my PC, it's in locked state, and if anyone comes up to it and tries tampering with it, they'll get my password screen and nothing else. Inserting a USB memory drive won't change that. Physical security is often the most overlooked, but easiest way of securing your data.
July 24, 2005
Tonight though I put in the time to find the fix. Turns out there's a Services category of Windows that I really hadn't played with much (Start / Settings / control panel / Admin tools / Services).
There you can turn various things on and off. Guess what? One of them is the CD Burning ability, marked as IMAPI CD-Burning.
On my system it was turned off, and set to Manual. Damn! Well, at least I know now and can re-enable it.
At the moment, I'm happy.
July 20, 2005
As stated in the story referenced and linked above, the lure of the cheap music found at the online music stores sometimes doesn't work out in your favor. Sure, you've got the music, but can you play it where and when you like? For my part, I've pretty much gone back to physical CDs. Oh yeah, and then I rip them into MP3s and use them as I please.
July 19, 2005
The movie is basically good. Fans of the comic will definitely want to see it, since it naturally brings their favorite heroes to life. What it also does, and which will irritate fans of the comic (the yin the yang) is that they've messed up the origins just a tad. For one, they've included Victor Von Doom on board the space station (yes, it's a space station now, not a rocket as in the 1960's original story) and he gets clobbered with cosmic rays along with the rest of the FF. In the original comic, Doom was an old classmate of Reed Richard's who had a laboratory accident that terribly scarred his face and became bitter and bent on using his knowledge for evil. Not so in the movie. He's in space with the rest of the crew, and he's the financier to boot, paying for the whole thing.
Another change is the whole Susan Storm thing. She's immediately made out to be Von Doom's love interest, which to my recollection, NEVER happened in the comics. There was a love interest who was also a villain, and it was Namor, the Sub Mariner.
As the movie goes on, it becomes more and more apparent that the love interest was one-sided, with Von Doom having feelings for Sue, but not having those feelings returned. She eventually sides with Reed Richards, the way things were always meant to be.
So, what's good about this movie? Just about everything else. The acting is OK, but not great. Hey, it's a superhero movie. Deal with it. You want oscar-nominated performances, go see Cinderella Man (it's great).
The transformation from Ben Grimm into the Thing is well done. The whole Invisible Woman thing is played tongue in cheek. Perhaps her true power will be more played up in the sequel, as will the stretching ability of Mr. Fantastic. The Human Torch is played very well and gets lots of screen time, being the charismatic, hot head this tends to work well toward lots of good action and tension. A nice touch is the bickering between Ben and Johnny, who certainly had their share of fights over the years in the comics. This is portrayed well here, such as when Ben crumples up and hands Johnny's Porsche to him in a big metal ball. Funny stuff, and taken right from the comics, in spirit if not from an actual story.
Also taken straight from the comics is the conflict in Ben Grimm. He's the only one of the group that was adversely affected by his newfound powers. The rest all kept their normal looks but gained new abilities. He changed completely, both in abilities and appearance. And the movie, as did the comics, spends much of it's time delving into that.
One of the shockers of the movie is when Von Doom himself starts changing. In the comics he creates his suit of armor and mask to hide himself from the outside world because of his scarring. In the movie he slowly changes into Doctor Doom, his skin oozing out a metal substance that slowly becomes his skin due to the cosmic radiation. A small change but one which made the film feel less true, in my opinion.
To sum it up without giving all the plot points away, it was a good use of less than 2 hours of my time, and I walked away feeling pretty good about it. I definitely see room for improvement, but it was nowhere near the slog-fest I thought it would be from reading all the negative reviews. If you're inclined and on the fence about going to see it, my advice is give it a shot. It's not that bad.
July 14, 2005
July 13, 2005
More details on www.nasa.gov.
Oh, by the way, I seem to be the first site to carry this news. I've even beaten the official nasa site, referenced above. Nice!
Under a deal with Yahoo, there is a live streaming feed of everything going on with the space shuttle, in both RealPlayer and Microsoft Media Player formats. It's like being a fly on the wall; you're able to be a witness to all the preparations and see the astronauts getting ready. It's great. And, of course, this then leads directly into the shuttle launch at 3:38 pm today.
Join me and see for yourself.
July 12, 2005
July 09, 2005
Tonight I'm to see The Fantastic Four. It was an idea that was presented to me, so I agreed. Do I care about the crappy reviews? Yes, but it's still a night out. I'll just see how it is. Seems appropriate since I posted yesterday about the reviews it's getting. I'll post my own review later tonight or tommorrow morning.
July 08, 2005
July 07, 2005
Update: Another site has this story and the pictures to go with it.
July 06, 2005
Hmm...after yesterday's Jurassic Park mystery solved and now this tidbit, maybe I should change the tag line of this site: (loud booming announcer voice) "The Revision Bar - explaining the mysteries of the universe, one blog post at a time".
OK, maybe not.
July 05, 2005
Well, the mystery can now be solved, as the filesystem shown in the movie has been allegedly identified as belonging to Silicon Graphics.
So, that's one mystery solved. Now if only I can get my hands on that video game shown in The Last Starfighter, I'll be all set. I hear that there is a musical, which is kind of funny in itself.
And while you're surfing around, check out this blog: Casual Friday.
June 30, 2005
Hmm...couldn't you just use Firefox to begin with?
June 29, 2005
One thing bothers me though. In moving this site to Blogger, it's lost it own unique look and feel. The old site used to have one. I designed it. I loved it. It was functional, cross-browser, and loaded fast. It was done with tables. I've since moved on to the big wild world of cascading style sheets (CSS) and love them too. Much easier to create and update a page than tables. Clean coding. However, I've found that style sheets are interpreted different in different browsers, and that is a royal pain. The page will look fine in IE, but not in Firefox, for instance. So then I moved the site to Blogger and adopted one of their templates. At first it was fine; I was happy just to get everything working and able to post. Blogger has a lot of nice advantages, such as automatic archiving and the ability for readers to post comments. These are features that would be extremely hard for me to code into the site on my own. So, it's great that Blogger provides it and it makes Blogger the tool I'd like to use to update the site. However, I've become less enamored lately of the template. I've seen many other Blogger sites that use the same template, and you know, that's not great. You never want to see a site that looks the same as yours. Individuality and all that, you know? Plus, when you actually know HTML and CSS, there's no reason for it. So, my big push now is to a) come up with a newer design for this site, something fresh and great, and b) get that site to work with the specific tags used by Blogger. That way the comments feature remains intact.
I'll keep you posted as this progresses. No doubt you'll see the changes when I push them live. Stay tuned.
June 28, 2005
June 22, 2005
June 21, 2005
Internet Explorer seeks to become more secure. Microsoft has bought up a leading spyware-busting program and rebranded it under their own name. If this makes IE a better browser, so much the better. It would still be hard to beat Firefox though.
Some good insight on what makes a successful blog. For now, I've turned my back on Blogger (-sniff-, wipes away tear) opting for full control via an editor and manual FTP. However, Blogger does offer most of the things mentioned in this article, such as user comments and RSS feeds. As Yoda would say, "consider this carefully, you must". Indeed, I will.
June 17, 2005
June 15, 2005
June 14, 2005
June 13, 2005
June 10, 2005
June 09, 2005
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends....it just kinda putters out every now and then. It's been a long time, but it's definitely time to get back into this. Thanks for hanging in there, or just for coming back today and reading this. Truthfully, I missed it. There's been so much good stuff happening in between the last post and now --- the end of the Presidential race, the whole Michael Jackson thing heating up, Martha Stewart getting out of prison, and then, of course, Star Wars Episode III. Good stuff to blog about, all of it. With that in mind, I'm going to jump us back into the thick of things and just start posting.
Interesting/Odd: Man with chain saw let into the United States. Full story + picture. This dude is really freaky looking. Apparently there was a chain saw and a hatchet in the trunk of his car and they were covered in blood. Yep, c'mon in to the US. Welcome. Bah.