Somehow I ran across some HD video shot by someone using a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR. The video was striking, and the depth of field (DOF) was not something you normally see in consumer HD cameras. A comment revealed that it was shot with the 5D Mark II, and thus began my search for other video examples of its use. And WOW are there some excellent test videos out there!!!
I thought I'd embed a few here, both to awe my readers, and to keep a quick link for myself.
I'm messing around with the look of this website, so please don't judge the mish-mash design too harshly ... just yet, anyways...
My last day at work was October 17th, and since then I've been spending my time sleeping in, browsing the net for job openings, editing and submitting resumés, and playing videogames. LOTS of videogames. On the Xbox 360, to be specific.
There've been a few awesome games released just recently, among them two RPGs (role-playing games, for the uninitiated), Fable II and Fallout 3. I had a blast playing Fable II, and finished the main quest after a couple days. But as I mentioned in a recent post, Fallout 3 was the game I have been super-eager to play.
A crisis was averted when, after our pre-order status said it wasn't going to get to us until 3-8 days after the release date, Erik went out to buy a copy in the stores, and return the mailed one when it finally arrives.
So I've been playing through - I've logged about 17 hours on the game so far (I expect to get up to about 200 hours when all is said and done). And then this morning, something terrible happened. The game froze up - which is nothing new, games do freeze up on occasion, just like software applications - but this morning the game repeatedly froze on me. And then, during one of the restarts, the game console showed us the Red Ring of Death, also known as "RRoD". Let me re-phrase that - the INFAMOUS RRoD.
Infamous because it's happened to a LOT of people who own the console. Microsoft has extended the warranty for this problem from 90 days to THREE YEARS because of it. And thankfully, we're still under that warranty period. So we're going to have to pack up our console and send it in for refurbishing. Which is wonderful. But it's going to take around three weeks to get back to us. THREE WEEKS!!!
What am I going to do with all my free time if playing videogames isn't an option?!? I have looked forward to this time off between jobs for SO LONG, so that I could spend time playing the games I was eager to play - but now that has been quashed. I guess I'll be doing a lot of reading. Or I could go outside ;)
I had heard about Hulu.com many months ago (at launch, actually), and sure, being able to watch an episode of Futurama on-demand was cool and all, but it quickly lost its appeal. For the uninitiated, Hulu is a site which offers free streaming video of TV shows and movies from major TV networks like NBC and Fox, along with smaller cable networks like Mojo HD and G4. "Free?" you say - yes, but it's ad-sponsored, so there are small "commercial breaks" - really small, like 30 seconds - hardly noticeable.
In this month's issue of Wired, there's an article about Hulu that shook my memory of it loose, and today I decided to give it a second try, to see what's been added.
After about a half hour spent watching the full SNL VP debate skit that I missed the beginning of last Saturday night, and last night's episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I went to search out what else Hulu had available -- and, OMG, lookee lookee what I found:
Yes, that, my friends, is a full-length episode of Elvira's Movie Macabre from the early 1980's... of which Hulu offers ten. Ten! Here's a list of television episodes they have available to watch, and here's a list of movies they have available to watch (full-length eps and films are indicated with a special icon).
Sure, the Netflix Instant Watch feature is pretty cool, and offers loads more film content, but the reason I'm so excited about Hulu right now is that I don't need to reboot my iMac into Windows Vista -- I can run this straight from my browser.
Time to go watch some more Elvira...
I don't know exactly how I stumbled into the world of videogame Role-Playing Games (RPGs) (it might have taken root years and years ago when I played "The Bard's Tale" on the Apple IIgs back when I was a youth), but last year's release of "Mass Effect" got me going bigtime. I played that twice through, and had a sudden insatiable urge to continue that sort of gameplay.
Erik mentioned that I might want to try something called "The Elder Scrolls", and while out on a trip to the local GameStop, I picked up "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion", the Game of the Year Edition. I played my share of Mass Effect, sure, but I spent some MAJOR time with Oblivion... well-over a hundred hours, at least. I mean, I managed to get all but one of the achievements (59 out of 60 of them) -- that's just preposterous!
Oblivion really lived up to its name... when you're playing it, there's really not much else you can think about. I remember being at work and just aching to go home to play Oblivion. It became a bit of a competition between me and Erik - to see who could finish the game and get all the achievements first.
And then, I don't remember when, I don't remember how, I learned about "Fallout 3". This is another RPG being produced by the same people who made Oblivion, but this time it takes place not in a medieval-style fantasy world, but in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Washington D.C. Your character is a "vault-dweller" -- born and raised in a large-scale underground bunker, and you're forced out into the wilds of the unprotected fallout zone in an effort to find your father, who has left the "vault" just as the game begins.
The gameplay looks startlingly (and tantalizingly) similar to that of Oblivion, but it takes that style of game which I have recently become so obsessed with, and paired it with a story and setting that hearkens back to one of my own favorite genres: post-apocalyptic sci-fi. It's a recipe for a LOT of fun, and a LOT of time spent at home, in front of the tv, staring at the screen.
Fallout 3 doesn't come out until the end of October, and the wait has been really excruciating. I've been wandering the websites, the fan forums, the game news sites -- all in search of any new info I can get my hands on -- yet trying to refrain from picking up information that might be "spoiler" material. It's a fine line to walk on.
A few weeks ago, Erik and his brother Bryce attended the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), a large gaming convention up here in Seattle, and Erik got the chance to get his hands on Fallout 3 for 10 minutes of gameplay. I was hella-jealous, but was indeed happy when he came home at the end of every convention day with new schwag from the game - a vault-dweller's survival guide, a limited edition poster...
...I've got it bad. I want to play this game! The game is released on October 28th, and we've already got our copy pre-ordered online (the Collector's Edition, which comes with a Vault-Boy bobblehead figure, an artwork book, a "Making of..." DVD, and even a Vault-Tec lunchbox!). Recently, a new interactive site came online for the game -- Prepare For The Future (.com)" -- and that's helping me get by, but October 28th can't get here fast enough! My last day at WizKids is October 17th, and I'm eager to find another job to, you know, help pay the mortgage and all -- but I'd be lying if I didn't hope that my next job didn't start until a week or so AFTER the Fallout 3 release. :)
So before then, I will catch up on some reading, try to catch up with my friends and family, give Zippy a lot of playtime -- because who knows how many hours (or days, or weeks, or months) I'll be unavailable!
For now, the countdown continues...
So about a year ago or so, I thought about getting a new computer. I purchased my G3 800MHz iBook back in 2002, along with my G4 iMac 800MHz. It was a banner year. I've heard it said before that three years is the standard refresh period for a new computer. And for me, it's been five years. It was about the same before that: in 1997 I purchased my (used) PowerMac 8500.
Right about when my interest towards a new computer was piquing, so were the rumors about Apple making a new iMac. Wonderful! At the very beginning, I had thought I'd upgrade to a Mac Pro system - but that was when I was down in L.A., working at Universal, taking a career-interest in the art of digital encoding. But up here, an iMac would probably suit my needs just fine.
But when the new "Aluminum iMacs" were announced/released a few months ago, I was a bit let down. The thing I didn't like about the newest iMac's predecessor was the large "chin" at the bottom of the screen. I much preferred the look of the Apple Cinema Display - sleek, hardly any bezel. And the new iMacs went and retained that chin. And look! A glossy screen! Yuck! I never got into the idea of a glossy display on the MacBooks. I thought they made the unit look cheap. The glass look of the iMac looks sleeker, sure - but what of the reflections?
So I've gone back and forth and back and forth again about a hundred times about buying myself one of these new iMacs. The power bump I'd get is insane. But with all the extra hard-drive space, I'd also need to invest in a larger backup drive. And while I can get a copy of Microsoft Office on the cheap, purchasing a program like Adobe Photoshop, which I use for my web stuff and the occasional LOLcats joke, would be quite an expense. I'm running a friend's copy right now on my current machine, but I don't know if it would work on a new one. I'd kinda like to start fresh with all perfectly-legal copies, ya know?
So, argh. Do I need a new computer right now? ... no? Maybe? I don't know. My computers are functioning, but not much above that. They're not really that fun to use anymore, but do I really use a computer for fun anymore? I spend more of my time watching tv, or watching Erik play "Half-Life 2". Is a $2500+ computer purchase right now what I need?
This is not an easy decision.
Slowly over the past few months I've been thinking about getting a new computer. Currently I own a G3 iBook and a G4 Flat-Panel (or, "Lamp-Shade") iMac. I use the iMac as my in-room television, and manage my music and photo libraries on it; and my iBook is used for browsing, working on my blog, chatting, etc. I don't think either of them are nearing the end of their complete usefulness, but there are some things that are bothersome. For instance, my iBook can't install the newest iLife package, and my iMac is WAY too loud. Hard drive space is okay for the time being, as I have an external drive where my "expensive" iPhoto library resides, and I have an either larger backup drive that I backup the three other hard drives (internal and external) to.
So why do I need to upgrade? Well, I think I need more power. I bought both of these around 2002, and four years is a long gap in computer-time. I know I won't be able to install Apple's upcoming OS (Leopard) on my iBook, and it may not even run well on my iMac. I'd also like to be able to manage my media libraries from a larger internal drive and use the externals for backups, and the 30gigs on my iBook and 80gigs on my iMac just don't cut it.
So, do I go out and buy a top of the line MacPro and a pair of 30" Cinema Displays? Of course not. I 'm not doing THAT well, financially. But I've been hearing rumors of Apple releasing an updated (and re-outfitted) iMac that will have a
brushed anodized aluminum chassis, much like that found on their fantastic Cinema Displays - and the new Santa Rosa Intel chipsets. Sure, that may not be at all true, but Apple, if you want my money, here's what I want (that you don't already offer):
- An updated Intel Santa Rosa chipset-outfitted iMac with:
Brushed Anodized aluminum chassis that maintains the frontal visual "footprint" of the existing Cinema Displays (so I can have a fancy-looking dual-monitor extended desktop setup while maintaining a clean visual line)... maybe something like this:
That's it! Not a tall offer. For this upgrade, I'd be willing to not only spend money on the iMac itself, but I'd also buy a shiny-new 23" Cinema Display, and a cable so I can hookup my Cinema Display, and maybe even Final Cut Pro, eventually. That's a lot of money. Money that I'm not ready to spend right now with the current offering. Sure, the current Intel iMacs look neat and all, with the glassy white surfaces, but that extra space below the monitor isn't appealing, and it doesn't look "natural" when matched with the Cinema Display. You're so close to getting into my wallet, Apple. Make me happy soon!
The Crime: Talking Erik into us buying an Xbox 360 on a whim while looking for a shooter game for the Wii.
The Punishment: A fairly miserable couple of days with some sort of respiratory problem. *cough* x ∞
The Excuse: Hey, when your boyfriend tells you that your idea is "totally hot", you go with it.
One slight obnoxiousness that I've just stumbled across are its use of the same guest actors coming on to play completely different characters. Case-in-point: actor David Thornton (Cyndi Lauper's husband!) playing a lawyer on a couple episodes of "SVU" and a murder suspect in an episode of "Criminal Intent", and a few other characters on the o.g. "Law & Order" series. Any die hard is bound to have trouble with suspending their disbelief, especially when the conflicting episodes are aired within a week.
And now, back to viewing and coughing and temporarily lamenting the fact that the Xbox is with Erik instead of with me.
Unless this is your very first time here, you may have noticed that the site looks... a bit... different. Tonight I got another one of those rare bursts of creative energy and decided to make some changes. I wanted the whole page to look cleaner. I was proud of all the previous versions, but I always thought they were a wee bit cluttered.
Heck, I still think this current version is more cluttered than I'd like, but I don't know how to make it cleaner... yet. Goodness knows that tomorrow during work, or while driving somewhere over the weekend, or in the middle of the night a year from now, I could have that "eureka!" moment and you'll reload to find something completely different.
So, what do you all think?
I know the web is buzzing about the new Apple iPhone announcement by Steve Jobs at this morning's Macworld Keynote, but even so I have some comments. I've been salivating at the idea of an iPhone since I heard the rumor months and months ago. I have a crappy old Samsung mobile phone, and while the urge to upgrade it has, at times, been overwhelming, I held out hoping for the rumors to be true.
And they were! The iPhone presented this morning lived up to almost every expectation I had. The design and user interface are so fantastic that just seeing still photos from the keynote in progress had me jumping up and down in my chair, smiling like a crazy person. For those of you who haven't kept up, the new Apple iPhone (which will be released this June) is a combination of three products - a cellphone, an iPod, and an "internet communicator" (meaning it can access the internet, get email and all kinds of other fun stuff). It doesn't use a keypad or buttons, but a touchscreen interface to navigate. I'll have a difficult time trying to describe it here, but checkout the demos available on the Apple site. Way cool.
Now I'll explain why I probably won't be buying one when it's first released.
Firstly, it's just too expensive. The initial release will have two offerings: a 4GB ($499) and an 8GB ($599) version. Those prices are WITH a 2-year contract with Cingular... so no markdown with a contract, unfortunately. While I wouldn't call myself frugal when it comes to tech purchases, I don't always need to have the first gen of the newest, hottest item.
Plus, if I'm going to spend $600 on a cellphone/iPod, it'd better have more than 8GB of space on it. My music library alone is almost 20gigs, and I'd also want to put all my favorite photos (probably around 5gigs) on it. Not to mention the fact that I can also download videos to watch on it. And movies can be near the 1gig mark. I'm not saying I want an 80GB lugger of an iPhone. But I'm sure that, just like the original iPod, Apple will be able to get more space onto it eventually.
Thirdly, I'm a bit hesitant on the network it's being released on. Sure, it has Wifi connection, and Bluetooth, but in terms of cell service, Apple has tied with Cingular on their EDGE network, as opposed to their newer, faster, better(?) 3G network. I'm sure it will evolve and have access to other (better) networks, but the first gen won't. If I'm going to pay for unlimited data (which is bound to be an expensive monthly toll in itself, I'm sure), I want it to be FAST.
All in all, I'm super-excited about the new iPhone. Barring the very few inadequacies I listed above, this handy gadget has so much promise, and is sure to be highly desired. I know I will have one eventually, just probably not in June.
Yeah, so - since I started just before 9pm, I've changed my website's layout almost completely. I'm no expert at the CSS and HTML, so it took some trial and error, but I'm quite fond of the revisions. I've added some nifty buttons to the right that give you all a quick way to contact me in a variety of ways, I've gotten rid of the 3-column layout in favor of a cleaner (I hope) 2-column layout. I even used some (gasp!) tables to make better use of the horizontal space in the sidebar.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased. And pretty tired. Good gosh. I've spent these last few hours with the same song on repeat - "I Heard The Bells on Christmas" by the, alas, now-defunct band Pedro the Lion. It's a really soothing song. I recommend downloading it (linked to in my MP3 of the Day section in the sidebar).
Anyone have any opinions? Anything you totally despise? If so, feel free to comment - but know that I probably won't heed your bad taste. Heh.
So for some reason, I've decided to take the plunge and start implementing some changes I've been thinking about making to my site. They're going to come in small changes - the layout of the various parts first, then maybe some color & font changes, and who knows what else. Maybe I'll get all fancy and add some totally Web 2.0 rounded corners, though I make no promises.
So please bear with me. Parts of the content will disappear for while, but I've been conscientious and have made a copy, so all destruction can be undone... or redone... or whatever.
When iTunes 4.9 was released in 2005, adding support for podcasts, I was really excited about all the sorts of free content I'd be able to garble up. Unfortunately, nothing really popped out at me with the initial release.
It wasn't until last December, when The Guardian UK's Ricky Gervais Show podcast was released, that the awesomeness of the podcast really hit home. And then, due to the overwhelming popularity of said podcast, after their initial twelve episodes, Ricky, Stephen and Karl decided to switch to the paid-subscription model. Hence, the podcasts took on a foul flavor for awhile.
Today was one of the very few days I've had pretty much all to myself. I took an extra day off work after the Mammoth trip, and I spent it sleeping in, reading, napping, having a quick lunch with my sweetie, and then more reading, browsing, napping, etc. The overwheling boredom I felt late this afternoon led me to check out some of the available podcasts through the iTunes Music Store. And what a goldmine I discovered!
Did you know that they now have university course lectures available online... for free? That's amazing to me. What a fantastic idea! UC Berkeley offers 59 separate course podcasts via iTunes. Fifty-NINE! I don't have much hard disk space left on the iMac, but that didn't stop me from downloading almost 500MB of audio podcasts (I'm still reticent about getting into the whole video-podcasting thing - my computer doesn't seem to want to play mp4 files, for some reason).
Right now I'm listening to the introductory lecture from a UC Berkeley course called Phil 7: Existentialism in Literature and Film. And before that I listened to some of Sandra Tsing Loh's commentary on her NPR weekly, "The Loh Life". And before that I spent about an hour listening to last week's episode of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me". And somewhere in between those I listened to an "episode" of an educational podcast brought to me by The Princeton Review called "LSAT Logic in Everyday Life".
I'm very excited about some of the other podcast subscriptions I have on deck: Cal courses including Physics 10: Physics for Future Presidents, Psych 119: Drugs and Behavior, and Psych 156: Human Emotion -- as well as another Sandra Tsing Loh NPR offering, supported by CalTech, "The Loh Down on Science", and NPR's ever-popular "All Songs Considered".
I'm so glad I got that free 60GB iPod Photo (though I'd be remiss to not confess a desire for one of them new 80GB iPods with video), because my commutes to and from work are certainly going to be more interesting... for at least a few weeks before I get bored with podcasts again. :P
...Oh, and just because I'm feeling all happy and excited and stuff - here's a little token pic, taken by the always-wonderful Erik (btw - thanks for letting me post this without your advance approval, sweetie!), on our recent Grand Canyon road trip...
Last night I took a visit to the Wayback Machine and browsed through some of my old web stuff. I really liked reading through some of my earliest blog posts when I used Blogger instead of Movable Type, and realized I had never migrated those posts over here. I had some time on my hands this morning, so I did just that.
So if you browse through my "Old Blog" category, you'll find all my original blog posts. Unfortunately, it looks like I've deleted some of my image files, but hopefully I have them backed up on one of my computers at home, and I can bring them online once again, as well.
One really needs to be on the ball to maintain one's website. I have been lax for the past several months, only casually checking for published spam in my comments. So when I really buckled down yesterday to get things in shape, I encountered a number of frustrating stumbling blocks.
The removal of the published spam was the first issue to contend with. Upon logging in, I was greeted with nearly 9000 comments, about 8500 of which were junk. This is pretty straight forward. I can remove about 1000 of them at a time, and just need to make sure I don't delete any REAL ones. Because I had kept up my spam-removal when I was actually actively posting, I just deleted them all past a certain point.
Then I decided to figure out a new way to avoid all of these unwanted comments. Because most of the spam gets posted to older comments, I figured if I closed comments on all the entries from further than a month back, that should take care of it. This worked, but what was involved in doing so took WAY too long. Basically, I had to go into each individual entry (over 400) and uncheck the "Allow Comments" boxes. I knew of a script that can be used with Movable Type to do this automatically, but I was *ahem*
at work unable to access my ftp (I have figured out a way to do this online, as of today!).
As much of a pain in the ass that was, it couldn't contend with the next fiasco. Movable Type has two comments folders -- one is for the published and questionable comments, and the other set includes comments that have been filtered as junk. Now, I setup the blog to automatically delete the junk comments after 5 days. Unfortunately, I was not aware of a specific action one needs to take to trigger this cron job. So I had to contend with 136,000+ junk comments.
I had to sit and brace myself for a moment before trying to tackle something that large.
So I got started. 1000 at a time just wasn't going to cut it, so I tried to set it to delete 5000 at a time. This worked -- veeeerrrryyyyy sllloooooooowwwlyyyyy. And the scripts would hang. And I would have a nervous breakdown and throw the mouse at my
cubicle wall um, room. Wait, that didn't happen. So anyways, I quit. I knew I'd return to it eventually, but I didn't want to have anymore to do with it at the time.
So this morning I decide to post a link to the Elsewhere column, but something is wiggy. My page won't load. The template's all jacked. Entries aren't appearing as they're supposed to. Again, I have a nervous breakdown, cuss out the internet gods and throw my monitor at the nearest passing
co-worker sibling. Wait, that didn't happen, either.
After a deep breath I decide to check my server stats, and I learn that my disk usage is over the limit. Somehow I'm using over a Gig of space. So I call my lovely hosting company, and they promptly offer to raise my disk space by a couple of Gigs so I can work out my issues without having my site down. Go them! Within a few seconds my site was back to normal.
Shortly thereafter I'm navigating through my cPanel and take a look at the disk usage itemizations. Two files in my Movable Type folder are VERY large (over 100 and 400 Megs, respectively) - and they are (dun dun duuuuun!)
Upon further investigation I discover that I can simply delete these files, as you only really need to keep them if you're some Perl programmer and want to geek-out by trying to debug, and need them as a reference. With my system being all healthy again, I decide to try to re-tackle the junk comments deletions. I lower it to about 1000 at a time, and figure it's just going to be taxing. I get their numbers down to about 33000, and decide I want to
Anyways, I try to perform the action that triggers the Auto-Delete, thinking maybe it won't hang with 100,000 fewer comments, and - TA-DAH - it worked! At that point I figure all is well with the world again. And everything is. Well, except that whole global warming thing - and all the wars going on - and the starving children - and our current administration... I could go on, but what's IMPORTANT is that MY site is fine, my junk comment problem seems to have been alleviated, and my boyfriend is awesome. Go me! *wink*
It's been awhile since I've been really, really, really, really REALLY excited about purchasing something, particularly something in the gaming world, but the new details coming out about the Nintendo Wii console have me hoping December would hurry up and get here fast.
I haven't played any videogames in - gosh - too long, specifically because I don't have a television right now. But I think I need to make purchasing a new, nice television an end-of-year goal - to be able to do some serious gaming once the Wii comes out, if for nothing else. I'm thinking somewhere in the realm of a 42" Plasma HDTV. Too much? I get an employee discount on Panasonic products through work, and they have a nice looking one for just over $2000. Gosh - that's about three months of savings.... perhaps I need to rethink that.
In any case, the Nintendo Wii looks HOT, and I'm sure either Erik or myself will be picking one up close to the date of its release. Now, I've never been one to get caught up in all the new gaming console hoopla. I couldn't care less about the PS3, or the Xbox 360. I didn't even pickup a GameCube until it had been pretty well established. But Nintendo seems to really have gotten this console thing right this time. What's so interesting about it?
Well, the controller, essentially. Gone seem to be the days of the regular thumb- and occasional pointer-fingerplay of your typical, average, old school controller. The Wii controller is wireless and, more-curiously, has motion-sensing action which will enable more creativity in movement during gameplay. It can be held like a regular television remote, or can be turned sideways and held like a steering wheel. The addition of the optional Nunchuk controller attachment takes it even further. First-person shooters are going to be SO MUCH FUN!
Speaking of the games themselves, the announced titles so far sound, well, awesome. Some of the titles that seem to have caught my fancy already include: Disaster: Day of Crisis, Super Mario Galaxy, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Excite Truck, Red Steel, and Wii Sports (includes tennis, golf, and baseball gaming).
*Sigh* I'm nearing age 31, but I'm still obsessing about videogames like a 14-year-old. Maybe it's because that's where my emotional growth ceased. But it's so much FUN - and I miss it so. But I've been so disciplined in my savings thus far, the idea of spending $1500-2500 on a television, and another $500 (my guess) on a game console and several games to go with it doesn't sound like the smartest thing I should be doing right now. I should be focused on saving for a place... and maybe making extra payments towards my MINI... but the entertainment... it calls to me.
Updates (all links to YouTube:
- The Nintendo Wii Demo video. OMG - the "Red Steel" sword-action looks AWESOME! (approx 3mins into video).
- Here's some video of a girl testing out Super Mario Galaxy at E3.
- Here's some demo footage of Wii Sports - Tennis.
- Here's an extended preview video for "Red Steel".
Okay, Apple-geeks, get your Kleenex handy, because this well-crafted rumor about Apple getting into the plasma HDTV business could make you splooge all over the place. And yes, I apologize for the grossness of that previous sentence - I couldn't think of any other way to put it without understating the awesomeness. And I have the writing skills of a 13-year-old boy.
Oh, and Happy New Year, I guess.
UPDATE: Alas, this rumor did not hold true. All we got were Intel-based laptops and iMacs. Le sigh.
So, the comments on this site are STILL not working the way I'd like them to. I guess, somewhere in the MT upgrade, some little setting or tag got jinxed and now all comments are automatically going to "Pending" status - then I'm required to go through each and every comment (spam and not) to delete or publish. And, of course, after one posts, the system isn't telling the poster their comment is pending, so it just looks like the comment post didn't go through at all.
This kinda bums me out. But I'm working on it. In the meantime, keep commenting (or not commenting, whatever), and I'll keep publishing them as soon as I see 'em.
Hello, everybody! I just upgraded to Movable Type version 3.2 and I couldn't be more frickin' proud of myself! Now time to go build fifty-million more blogs!
Oy. So, thanks to Erik, I now am the proud user of Apple's newest operating system, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. And it's awesome. Awe-some. But after a few days of use, I have a few issues/requests:
-My Airport is not logging into the normal network I usually join. This was not a problem before the install. I have checked the AirPort configuration, and I have the "Automatic" selected for the default join setting. I've tried joining preferred networks as well - also, no workey! I actually have to CLICK on the AirPort icon and select my network - that's laaaaame!
-Safari's new RSS feed thingamabob: Awesome in theory, but there's one practicality not included that just seems like a huge oversight. First, there's no option to "Update feeds now" - you should be able to electively check for updated feeds. Secondly, they really need to have Safari check for updated feeds ON LAUNCH! Right now, after opening my laptop up after it's been at rest all day, I'm having to wait 30 minutes before anything updates. What's the point? The first thing I want to do is check all my favorite websites!!
Those are really all my nagging issues. Spotlight is really cool - and I've already used it to find stuff that I thought was long gone from my drive. The widgets are also cool. I'd like to see a working Gmail notifier. If I had the option to have Safari check for updates every five minutes, it wouldn't be a concern, as you can get an RSS feed of your Gmail account!
Yeah, so, is my system just buggy? Or is anyone else having these issues?!?
Update: Oh, and another thing. The small font I used under the screen capture displays all wiggy - not smoothed out - works fine in Firefox, USED to work fine in Safari, heck it even looks fine in Internet Explorer! WTF??
So for the past few months, I've been waiting for 10 people to successfully sign-up and complete an offer to help me get a free iPod photo. Well folks, I have 7 of 10 so far, so that means I only need three more people to go and complete an offer!
Many, many people have signed up, and may have, indeed, completed an order - but the trick to this free iPod photo system is that you have to be really proactive about getting them to confirm your order. Both myself and a co-worker had to login and start a help-ticket to get them to confirm our orders.
From what I've seen, instant offers are the best. I ordered the Sunday NY Times delivery, but that took forever to confirm. They have some other offers available, if you're looking for a credit card offer, or to join that Blockbuster Online dealio, or need teeth whitening, etc.
1. Purchase Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner at Borders on the way home.
2. Start reading Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner.
3. Download & try to install Python on my iBook.
4. Curse my inability to configure Python on my iBook.
3. Sigh profusely, wait for weekend.
Sweet jesus on a pogo-stick, this is terrible. I barely have a handle on controlling the massive quantities of annoying and (mostly) lewd comment spam - now they have to go and start spamming in my trackbacks. Fuckers.
I may have to close my trackbacks if this continues. It's not like they're put to much use, anyways. But it's the principle of it. These bastards are basically vandalising my webspace. It's as if somebody tags your wall. Sure, you can get it cleaned/painted off, but it's a huge pain in the ass. These guys who do this for a living are scum of the earth, so far as I'm concerned.
It's the slowest it's ever been for me at work today. No one has any extra work to pass off to me, so I've been trying to keep myself busy otherwise. My iBook has been keeping me company here at my desk - very useful for listening to iTunes through the headphones and watching the cool screensaver photos.
I've just finished loading all my digital photos into my iPhoto library - all four THOUSAND of them. I was thinking that I might go through each of the photos to give them key words, but that prospect just is not sounding fun right about now. Applying the keywords is a piece of cake - though it's the entering and saving of new keywords that causes the little beachball to curly-cue for a few seconds each time. Not. Fun.
I think I need to get rid of a lot of those photos. Not as in "delete them forever", but burn them to backup CDs and clear up the library to just the favorites or most current. Not the most monumental of tasks, I'm sure, but enough to seem like a pain in my ass.
Also, in working with iPhoto, I've noticed my system has seemed a bit sluggish. I have a G3/800mHz dual-USB iBook with only 256MB of RAM, and I'm running the Jaguar OS. I'm thinking that replacing my extra 128MB chip with a $100 512MB one and upgrading to Tiger (whenever that ends up being released - ideas? anyone?) I might get a bit of a boost. Plus, I really want to start using the Delicious Library, so an operating system upgrade (to Panther, at least) is crucial.
(Sigh.) Again, this all goes back to my theory of how Apple is constantly depleting the pockets of its loyal users. But it's not their fault, it's our fault... for being suckers. Is it time to go home yet?
Who am I kidding? I am a rather firm entry into the Cult of Mac. It started with an Apple GSII years and years ago. Then, after the “dark ages” with a Radio Shack Tandy-brand PC, I re-entered the Mac-fray with a used PowerMac 8500 in 1996 – which I took out a $3000 personal loan for (which I ended up paying $7200 for, all-told - yeah, I was a smart inverstor!). But it came with everything: pre-loaded software, a 17” monitor, a HUGE flatbed scanner and more SCSI cables than I knew what to do with.
And I stuck with it until 2002. Why? Because I was a poor single girl workin’ for a livin’! I didn’t have wads of cash to go out and blow $2000 on a new computer… at least, not until I blew my wad on a 1st generation G4 “lamp” iMac. My boss ordered one and had it shipped to the office. When I first saw it online I thought “whatever”, but when he booted up and showed me the “Cosmos” screensaver, I just HAD to have it!
So I took money leftover from a vacation combined with a tax refund and bought myself a G4 iMac with the SuperDrive. I thought: “THIS will be my opportunity to do all those nifty creative things I always wanted to do!” But of course, to do those things I needed a digital camcorder ($1200), and a USB scanner for my film photos ($300), and, ultimately a digital still camera ($800), because scanning just takes too long. And then the SMALLER digital camera, to keep in my pocket ($300).
And then I had to have an iBook. I had always wanted an Apple laptop. I remember, in high school, driving down to the local Apple Reseller to look at their $3000 portable notebook computers. The black casing, the little trackball… with my drool all over them… I digress.
My new “hip” digital lifestyle meant getting out and documenting my travels and travails with these new tools. And a laptop would aid that in so many respects. Just think: I could watch DVDs while flying over the Atlantic! Or, I could type in a trip journal while parked on the side of a dirt road in Monument Valley! Or I could load and edit video footage while on holiday. So I went and picked up a G3/800 12” iBook ($1300).
Don’t even get me STARTED on the iPod. I purchased iPod minis for my siblings this past Christmas. Why? Because they didn’t have them… WHY WOULD I DENY THEM? A couple years back, I even bought my little brother an iMac because, well, he needed a computer, and I wasn’t about to let my father buy him some $600 Dell Desktop.
You can now see how entry into the “Apple digital lifestyle” can suck the money out of someone. The draw to consume newer, faster, cooler Apple products is growing within me. I can feel it. I can feel myself asking myself: “But why can’t I buy a G5 tower with a 23” Cinema Display?? I have a savings account I can surely dip into!”
And that, my friends, is why Apple is hurting the youth of America. I need to be saving for a condo, and for retirement. I can’t keep throwing thousands of dollars into equipment every other year to keep up with the fantastically-fun features it allows. I thought I was fairly reserved in my spending, but I've probably spent over $15,000 on Apple-related stuff since 1996!! It’s pretty safe to assume that there are young adults out there sacrificing their savings for photo iPods, G5 towers, 30" Cinema displays, and software-galore; spending money they should be saving.
This desire to consume all-that-is Apple plagues me to this very moment. The digital photography thing has me now wanting to upgrade; to have more processing power, and maybe a larger monitor. But I’m going to deny myself this for the time being… I need to save up for when Tiger is released!
After making it to Target this evening to shop for gift wrap and the like, I nestled myself in my room, preparing to spend hours wrapping gifts. I wanted to listen to some music, so I propped open the iBook to listen to iTunes.
All seemed okay, until I tried to switch the track. Nothing. No action. The song just kept playing. Oh, the mouse was moving, but it wasn't able to "click" anything. Just like a dumb person does, I clicked the mouse a couple of times over the "next" button - to no avail.
And then the beachball of doom appeared, and soon after, my screen went blank. The computer was still on, but the screen was totally dark. Okay, time to reboot! Uh oh, the computer doesn't want to reboot. Time for some drastic measures. I unplug the power cable and jimmy the battery free. That should do the trick. Power=off.
I replace the cord and the battery and try to boot up again. That comforting Macintosh "Bing" comes on, the hard drive starts cycling, and shortly thereafter, the boot screen comes to life. Whew!... wait... what's that noise appearing on the screen?
The white and grey boot screen exhibits horizontal line distortion - flicker flicker. Whoa. It looks kinda cool, if it only didn't come with that sinking feeling in my heart. The mild distortion was followed by a bevy of speckly noise in all sorts of primary colors across my screen.
This is bad. Very bad.
I try, unsuccessfully, to reboot the iBook every possible way I know how - but nothing seems to work. I put it out of my mind and decide that I'm just going to wrap my gifts. I spend the entire time worrying about the health of my little laptop buddy.
After gifts are wrapped (in that trademark clumsy style I like to wrap my gifts in), I make my way back to the iBook, and give it a go again. Nope. Nothing. So I get on my brother's iMac and go to the Apple support discussions site, where I astonishingly-quickly stumble upon the answer to my silent prayers... it's a logic board problem - my iBook has the serial number of the batch of iBooks affected by this problem - and Apple is allowing them to be fixed for free... yay!
Tomorrow, on my way to the grandparents' house, I'll stop by the nearest Apple Store and drop it off for repairs. Hopefully that does the trick. Merry Christmas.
Okay, I'm officially looking for a printer. And I need to purchase one ASAP (by this weekend). I'm only looking to spend up to $300.00 or so. I'm looking for something that can print out CD labels/covers etc with good resolution. I'd also like to be able to print out digital photos, obviously. Nothing larger that 8x10, really, and I'm not really dead-set on being capable of printing up to that size - 5" x 7" would be sufficient if it allowed for all the cd-printing. I work on Macs at home, so obviously it would need to be compatible.
Does anyone have any ideas? I haven't really ever owned a printer, so I know NOTHING about what to look for spec-wise. Any help is encouraged and treasured!!
It's not often you can take an everyday, mundane activity like flossing and turn it into a fun and exciting romp in the bathroom. I had such an experience this evening while utilizing, for the very first time, my brand new REACH® ACCESS™ flosser.
Sweet baby JESUS, my gums fell in love instantly! Instead of sticking my fists into my mouth with old-school dental floss, cutting off circulation to each pointer finger while aiming for proper alignment between some out-of-reach molars, I get to use this handy, aesthetically-pleasing tool. Just look at how cute it is! (And it matches the colors on my new MINI perfectly!!)
Plus, they offer a freaky-looking Power-Flosser, for those of us who just can't be bothered to move our arms to and fro a couple of times... can you say "scary"? But there may be some brave souls out there who like that sort of stuff.
Anyways, I highly recommend the Access flosser - it will make your daily flossing ritual that much more tolerable. And I don't work for REACH®... I swear.
so, i haven't been happy with the way the three-column layout has been working on this site. the center "content" column never sat absolute like i wanted it to, and would sometimes, in certain browsers (*cough* IE *cough*), would disappear under the right column.
so i'm trying to make it work. forgive me if you visit and the right column is down at the far lower right. i know. i'm working on it. if you can proffer any advice on how to make it stick where it belongs, i'll take it! (aim: weezgrrl).
update - 5:16pm
i figured it out! it seemed to have to do with the order of the sections in the main index html file. all solved. i'm ecstatic.
I thought I was close to the end. I swear, I thought I was. I had been playing XIII on my Nintendo GameCube for many, many hours over the course of several weeks, and was stuck on a particular level. So many levels seemed to pass before me, and this section was so difficult I could have sworn it was the penultimate level, and completion of the game was only perhaps one or two levels away.
Alas, I was so, so wrong.
I set up my GameCube at the new Simi Valley residence last night, popped in SSX Tricky, and had some snowboarding fun for about an hour. The thought occurred to me to pop in XIII, but the battle against that particular level has stuck with me, and left a bad taste, so I had immediately decided against it.
Today, at work, in contemplating what I may do tonight after work, I started to mull over tackling XIII again. I decided to find a walkthrough or some sort of strategy guide online to give me some ideas or hints. Bingo! But...
According to the walkthrough, I am up to the middle of Part II. And that wouldn't be so daunting if THERE WEREN'T SEVEN PARTS TOTAL! Holy crap, I must be a really bad gamer!
Yes, it makes me sort of sad for my own abilities, but the knowledge of many, many more levels and sub-levels is rather exciting, actually. So I think I will pop that game back in tonight, keep my laptop close by for searches of various gamer forums for help with that particular part, and see just how far I can get - it may take me months, it might even take me years, but god damn it, I am going to finish this game!
so, i'd like to learn to program. i really enjoy working with html and css, but want to get more info on non-internet related applications of coding. i want to start at the very beginning. basic? c? i don't know, see, 'cuz i'm a beginner.
anyone have any tips or info on great resources? i thought about taking a class at the local college, but being a working-girl, my schedule just is not that flexible right now. oh yeah, and i have a mac. anybody? anybody? bueller?
Okay, Apple's Mac OS X v10.4, codename "Tiger" looks pretty cool. I never had any intention of upgrading to Panther. After spending the $130 to upgrade to Jaguar, it just didn't seem like the upgrades were "big" enough. But with the new Airport Express coming out, it changes the climate for me. And of course, you need Panther or newer to utilize the "AirTunes" feature, which is the main selling point for me
I started to drool as I was looking at the new "Dashboard" feature. The widgets look really cool, very sleek. And did ya notice that on the appointments list it says "1:45pm - Lunch with Winona"? Funny.
Also, the iChat AV upgraded functioning looks pretty awesome. While I've never video-conferenced myself, the idea of doing it with such a cool looking 3D interface makes me wanna get more friends who are tech-savvy. (Sigh.) More friends, that would be good.
Anyways, I imagine myself spending more than a few bucks on Apple products in the next 8 months. I, of course, need to aquire a new iPod (preferably a blue or green iPod mini) to hook into my new MINI Cooper (via the "iPod your BMW" connector available later this year), and the new Airport Express, and the new operating system. Gosh, I hope that I will be able to upgrade to Tiger on my 800 MHz G3 iBook!!??!!
...as if I needed one more reason!!
And, of course, it's going to work with the MINI as well. Hell yeah! Now the only question is: do I spring for a matching blue mini iPod to go with my electric blue MiniCooper? Or do I just stick with the old-skool 5GB White iPod?? Mo' money gone. Geez, will it ever end?
Hot Damn! This is very, very, very cool. I've been wondering how I might be able to bypass my wiggy iMac speakers and output music from my iTunes to my stereo at home, and Apple's new AirPort Express seems like it will fit the bill perfectly. Bravo, Apple, for making it easier for the average user to utilize their media in their home entertainment systems!
As I've been browsing my daily batch of blog-reads today, I've noticed that almost all of their link lists are missing! It seems that BlogRolling.com is down. At least right now.
I don't use BlogRolling. I had a very brief encounter with it when trying to sign up a little over a year ago, but promptly decided that it was too much trouble - having to sign in and all. So I decided to manually type in all my sidebar links - which is why they are often out-of-date, and don't necessarily reflect what I'm reading most of the time. I know, I know - my Blogging Evolution Score isn't very high at all.
At some point soon, I will be updating my links, removing some that are now defunct, and adding a number of really excellent reads. Heck, I may even decide to use BlogRolling - but for this minute, I get to revel in the brief superiority of having a complete links list while everyone else has none! (razzberry.......)
"Queeny, a six-month-old female cat with different colored eyes, looks into the camera in the Indian city of Bangalore September 23, 2003. The cat is a mixture of Persian and Siamese and has one brown eye and one blue. Vets who have checked Queeny, say she has perfect vision in both eyes. REUTERS/Jagadeesh Nv"
"Lying on your front with your hands around the pillow, and your head turned to one side. Often gregarious and brash people, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don't like criticism, or extreme situations." -- according to Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory ServiceWell, the nervy, thin-skinned, criticism-fearing bit may well suit, but brash and gregarious?!? Come on!
I saw this, um, interesting product offered up on an infomercial sometime yesterday. I was blown away. What is it? The Karma Chameleon phone! I can only guess that it is sanctioned by Boy George, what with the use of the actual song when the phone rings, and that Boy George was giving testimonial to the phone's coolness on-air. And how much were they selling the phone for? The price was something ridiculous like US$70 or $80. I was shocked at the price of the phone. What could be a fun, $19.95 novelty gift item has turned into something of a faux-collector's item. Shame!
The future of transportation or a head-turning golf cart? You decide.
I wanted to post to share my experiences with the new Apple Music Store, available via iTunes 4. The idea is really cool - the implementation is even cooler. Having the store run through iTunes was a stroke of genius. Searching for tracks is fast and easy. Downloading is a snap. One you have an Apple ID and your credit card info registered with them (which of course, takes mere minutes), you never have to worry about re-entering your credit card info again. When you find a track, you click they "Buy" button next to it - it asks you for your Apple ID and password, and voila, your track begins downloading. And it downloads directly into your iTunes library, the track is inserted into the correct Artist and Album folder, without any of the hassle of finding where you've downloaded it to, and then picking a place to store it.
The files come as 128kbps AAC files, so the file sizing will SEEM the same as equally-lengthed MP3s, but apparently the quality is supposed to be strikingly higher. I cannot confirm this, however, because I have not listened to the tracks other than through iBook speakers. With the files comes the COVER ARTWORK from album a track is from. This is something I think is super cool. I'd be even cooler to, with the purchase of an entire album, to also get the liner notes and other album artwork, in slightly larger sizes so as to be readable, but I'll leave that for the future.
The AAC format first sort of freaked me out, because I was concerned about not being able to burn audio CDs from them - because the AAC files come "protected", meaning, they supposedly cannot be converted. I quickly overcame this fear after burning a CD of both AAC and MP3 files directly from iTunes, and having it play in every CD player at my disposal.
I also learned, from the iPoding website, that you can drag the AAC files into Toast Titanium while the app is on the Audio CD selection, and the files will automatically convert, and you can then save the files again as AIFF files, and then of course use any plethora of other apps to further convert at will.
Overall, I'm quite enthused about it all. The ease of finding and downloading the tracks, along with the slickness of the interface, is quite alluring - but I am cheap. $0.99, to me, still seems like a bit high for the price of a track - especially having been spoiled by the likes of LimeWire. But slowly the idea is gaining on me. LimeWire can be slow and unproductive sometimes, and I'm never really sure what the end result will sound like, really.
My one big problem with the Apple Music Store at this time is the available selection. I know Apple is working to get in cahoots with more of the music companies, and adding to their products every day. I've browsed for many an artist where no result was found. I realize they are working on this, though. But I wonder - are they ever going to get bands like Minor Threat up there? Are they ever going to have the available catalog of, say, what Amazon is able to sell?
I guess it's been announced that Sprint will be carrying this new CDMA Bluetooth-enabled phone. Yee haw. After 3 years with an old-school flip-phone, I yearn for a mobile with downloadable ringtones! This phone may just be slick enough for me to shell out for the upgrade.
Apple has announced their newest iPods, which boast larger hard drives, slimmer chassis and new firmware complete with support for on-the-fly playlist creation, AAC playback (!!!), and even Solitaire. I'm still pretty happy with my old-school 5GB version iPod, and thankfully, those players are still supported and are able to take advantage of these cool new upgrades. I just hope this trend continues.