Pretty uninteresting week so far. I had a good weekend. Not much else to add. I'm working on a few different things in my spare time, and trying to log a few extra hours at work this week to make up for the two days off. Not getting paid for the holidays is the one thing about being an independent consultant that I am still not quite used to. Having said that, the benefits of being independent have outweighed the negatives. I like leaving work at the office, not feeling compelled to work a ton of extra hours without additional pay, and the fact that the current office is less than a mile from my house is a big plus.
I am loving my hiptop more and more the longer I have it. Unfortunately, in the basement office I have been given where I am currently consulting, I can't get it onto the network. Elsewhere, I have found it useful to be able to send email, especially reminders to myself, from wherever I happen to be. I've also found that the ability to AIM people from things like meetings is both useful and a pleasant distraction during boring lectures. I haven't explored bloggin with it, and I'm not sure that I would write my best entries that way either. Finally, being able to check things on the Web from wherever I am is a useful tool that has already settled one argument very quickly.
Well, today is Friday. This week has just flown by on me. Notable music this week included the new Audioslave cd that I had been waiting for. As a longtime Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine fan, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from the cd, and I haven't been dissapointed at all. The songs tend to be a mixed bag, with some sounding to me like they were written by Chris Cornell and others sounding as if they were Rage songs that he was just singing over. Only once in the whole time that I have been listening to the cd have I thought that a song sounded like Zach should have been rapping over it rather than Cornell singing over it. Some of the other artists that I have been listening to quite a bit these days are Neko Case, who's dark brand of alt-country I can't get enough of, and matt pond PA, who are playing here this weekend. The surprise of the week is how much I love the new Pearl Jam CD. I hadn't completely written them off, but I have to admit that while I like their music, I've never been their biggest fan. The new CD is different somehow, and I have been listening to it quite a bit while working this week. It may also be that, in my emotional post-breakup emotional condition, that this type of music appeals to me more.
So, my hiptop just stopped working over the weekend. It wouldn't connect to the network for either phone or data. It kept telling me its sim wasn't ready. So I took the sim out and put it back in, and reset the device. Still no luck, I did the same thing again, no dice. I started to get frustrated, and finally, I went to the T-Mobile store where I bought it yesterday. They tried the same things I had already done because I clearly couldn't know how to do such things properly. They then told me to call customer care because I would need to request a replacement device. So I called customer care, and they informed me that someone had made a mistake on their end that had knocked all of the hiptops off of the network. So, if your hiptop is not currently working, all you need to do is find someone else with a T-Mobile phone, put your sim card in their phone, wait for a text message, and then put the card back in your hiptop. I'm annoyed that T-Mobile doesn't have better communication with their retail outlets about problems like this.
Well, so much for the rumored AMD/Apple thing. This Infoworld article is the only one that I have found so far that mentions the keynote from today.
I am finding that I often do not do a good job of composing email for the particular person that I am writing that email to. I was thinking about this subject this morning. Thinking that I spend a lot of time writing each email message, crafting the sentences, and then reading and re-reading the message to make sure that I have been clear in what I am attempting to say and that there is little chance of misinterpretation. I was then mentally complaining to myself that people do not read nearly as carefully as they should. It seems every day that someone misreads something I have written in an email, and I am forced to send additional email messages attempting to more clearly explain what I was trying to say. A couple of hours later I realized that I was composing each email as if I was writing it to myself, not to the particular person to whom the email was going. It's my careless writing, not your careless reading. Sorry everyone.
- Ninjas are mammals.
- Ninjas fight ALL the time.
- The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.
Mac Observer is reporting that TechTV reported that Apple and AMD are going to make some sort of announcement today last night. They also point out that Darwin x86 does not currently run on AMD processors, and that this may be an announcement that Apple is going to start supporting them. Of course, if that is the announcement, it could also be Apple hedging their bets in public to send a message to Motorola.
The rumor I am hearing this morning from Comdex is that Apple and AMD are going to make some sort of announcement at this morning's keynote address. I guess you could speculate somewhat as to the nature of the announcement, but with the obvious processor differential between the current line of PowerPC based Apple hardware and stadard Wintel PC's, I can only think that this means Apple will be releasing machines based on AMD's Hammer processor line. I'm surprised, based on how I heard about this, that I haven't seen any coverage in the Mac OS community yet. Perhaps it is because Comdex is not normally an Apple event. Update: AMDZone has reported that there is a large Apple presence at the event. This is the first other report about this topic I have been able to find.
Yesterday, I went and played paintball with a large group of people. I really enjoyed it, and I think I will be playing on a semi-regular basis in the future. My team played well throughout the day, and I think I had about a dozen kills.
They were playing Christmas music at Starbucks this morning. For some reason, this depressed me. It's only November 15th.
Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the start of this site. You can go back and read the original postings up on my Radio space. My life has changed in a lot of ways in those five years, and throughout those changes I have been sporadically posting about them here. A thank you to my family and friends, to the weblog community, and to everyone who has read this site in the five years it has been up.
The Play of the Year. There is hope yet for sports in our country. For every crybaby superstar poser, there is a story like this somewhere else. It's easy to forget that sometimes.
I fear to close my eyes now,
Entering that realm of bliss,
You stand there smiling,
And I see it all before me,
Forgetting for that moment,
That lasts for days,
You are still gone.
Entering that realm of bliss,
You stand there smiling,
And I see it all before me,
Forgetting for that moment,
That lasts for days,
You are still gone.
Well, I got my Danger Sidekick on Friday, and I have had a few days to evaluate the pluses and minuses of this device versus a Palm OS based Device or my PocketPC. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the stellar deal that Amazon was offering on the device, that is definitely the way to go currently if you are considering buying one. In short, I really like the device, with a few minor things that I would like to see changed in an update. First, I will not be able to get rid of my regular cellphone because the current plan that is available for the device is very sparse on minutes. Of course, it makes up for the lack of minutes with unlimited data. The device is very easy to use and to learn how to use. I still haven't gotten the T-Mobile Web Interface for the device to work properly for me, which means I'll have to write that up another time. While it is larger than a regular cellphone, it is still smaller than I thought it would be. Using it as a phone, I had no complaints about clarity or reception using it either as a regular handset or with the provided hands free attachment. I used AIM on the device extensively from various Atlanta locations this weekend, and I found the keyboard to be very usable for this purpose and for typing email. The Web browser works well enough with the limitations of the small screen, but it seemed to have a much harder time working with CSS loaded pagesthan regular table layouts. Overall, the data service experience of the device was very good. However, I live inside the city of Atlanta, and it seemed that the coverage for the data network was very spotty. Your mileage may very there depending on the city you live in. More later....
I went to a T-Mobile store near the office I am currently consulting out of and checked out the Hiptop that they are now offering. I have been thinking about getting a device like this for a while now, and the only real options are this device and the PocketPC Phone Edition, which is much more expensive. After playing with it for a little while, I wanted to purchase the device there and then. However, in accordance with my new policy about technology purchases, I then entered the one day waiting period that all purchases less than $500 require. (If it is more than $500, the waiting goes up to 5 days.) So I believe that, unless I change my mind, I will be purchasing said device after work this afternoon. My first impression of the device was that I wanted it to be a color one. I guess they are going to come out with a color version at some point, but who knows what the price will be, and what the implications for battery life will be.
Out yet again last night. I really have to stay in tonight because I am just exhausted. Some sushi as per the normal Thursday night routine, and then pool playing with friends of my family who were passing through town on a cross country journey. Today, I'm mostly musing about my current recovery status, and pecking away at work. It's very hard to judge where I am at in terms of my healing process. I'm very impatient to get through the negative part of this, but I think I understand that it's not a good thing to rush in order to heal myself properly. I think that I also am sort of struggling with what to share here and what not to share. It definitely helps me sort things out when I write about it here, but I also run the risk of alienating you folks reading and of having the wrong person read this stuff. Then again this is my site, and these are my feelings, which are valid.
Considering the fact that I eat a lot of fish, (I don't eat any other kind of animal.) I guess I need to be more aware of where the Salmon I eat comes from after reading this CNN article. It seems that farm raised Salmon has all sorts of issues that wild Salmon does not. I wonder how Tim Salmon feels about this?
Laura Cantrell opened up for Elvis Costello last night. I really enjoyed her set, and she has an absolutely beautiful voice. Don't take my word on that though, she's smart enough to have MP3 downloads of several of her songs on her site. Go there and check them out for yourself. It's odd to me how much I have warmed to music with a heavy country influence over the last few years. It's good to expand your horizons.
I had every intention last night, after several nights in a row out on the town, of staying home and resting. I have laundry that needs to be done, and various household chores that I have neglected for the past few days. On my way home, I stopped for a cup of coffee, and a kind soul in the record store next to the coffee shop offered me two free tickets to see Elvis Costello that night. When someone offers you free tickets to see Elvis Costello, you take the tickets and go to the show. So I did. In my heartbroken condition, listening to Elvis live was cathartic. Elvis knows just how I feel, the scorned lover, the angry bitter ex-boyfriend. Thanks Elvis.
I've had about a week to process the information avalanche I experienced at Devcon. I took a lot away from the conference. Much of it was technical in nature, coding techniques, the use of the new technology in ColdFusion MX and Flash MX. Some of it was soft information, and relationships with incredibly smart people I would never have met otherwise. I would say, however, that the one thing that will stick with me the most is the concept of Rich Internet Applications. That is Macromedia's term, not mine. In my mind, what this is really is the natural evolution of Internet technology in a way that it now supports true client server type interaction. Now I should say, before you start sending me email that says I am wrong about this and that it is possible to create client serverish interactions using the DOM and DHTML, I know about that stuff. I know it really well because I have been working on the browser based rewrite of a manufacturing ERP system for the last six months. There are a ton of limitations doing this stuff with DHTML, not the least of which is that HTML based UI's just are not the best way to visually display some kinds of information, or the best way for users to interact with that information. Flash and Flash Remoting will give us the ability to do much of this stuff in an easier way. Cold Fusion Components will allow us to create objects with methods that are reusable, and this will lead to a more object oriented approach to our system development. I just wish we were using the MX platform now as I struggle with the creation of a manufacturing item creation interface. So that's what I took away in a nutshell.
Apple released new portables today. Mmmm 1 Ghz. Mmmmm Superdrive. Too bad Robert does not have the money necessary to purchase one of these items.
The Democrats got stomped yesterday, and the Republicans are now very comfortably in control of the country. While I choose not to directly associate myself with either party, I've always been more comfortable with the way our government was being run when each party had control of one of the major entities. I think that, from my perspective, the stomping the Democrats took has a lot to do with the lack of leadership and coherent messages from the Party itself. There were openings that they definitely did not execute on. The Republicans also seemed to outspend the Democrats. Perhaps they will get their shit together now. I doubt it though. I still find myself wishing for a legitimate third party. The barrier to entry makes this task a near impossible one.
After exercising my right to vote last night and taking a brief nap, I headed out, by myself, to the Amon Tobin show at the Echo Lounge in East Atlanta. Bonobo was the first DJ up, and he rocked. His internationally influenced jazzy hip hop style got my feet a tapping. Next up was Strictly Kev of DJ Food fame. I don't know if I have ever seen a DJ who kept himself busier, lining one mix up after another and knocking them all down. Then there was a set, which was more scratching oriented, from P-Love. I wasn't familiar with him prior to the show, but he was really good, and technically solid. Finally, Amon Tobin hit the stage manning his Final Scrath Pro setup. He was great, creating these beat driven soundscapes that are really hard to describe. I had to leave before the end of his set, it being a school night and all, but I left wanting to stay.
Picture from the Halloween party this weekend. Obviously, I'm in the back row on the right.
The thing about it is, when you have been with someone for 20 percent of your life, and then you aren't with them suddenly, you really don't have many stories or anecdotes that don't contain some reference to that person. You suddenly have to do a mental search and replace every time you tell a story replacing that person's name with "my ex-girlfriend." At first, it seems incredibly unnatural to be doing this.
I went to see The Flaming Lips last night at the Variety Playhouse. It was good and zany, I was happy to get to see some of the amazing new material live. They had tons of fans onstage dressed in animal costumes. I know they were fans because I got my ticket for the sold out show from someone who had been chosen to wear one of the costumes. I guess they are touring with Beck, and this was the only non-Beck show they were doing on this tour, which worked out well for those of us in Atlanta. I used to like Beck a lot, now, not so much. Tonight, I'm off to see Amon Tobin.
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys responds to the Washington Post article about their battle over a sample with James Newton. More copyright goodness in the response for those who can't get enough of that stuff these days.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned in others' coverage of Devcon was the presence of Wi-Fi throughout the conference area. Macromedia had set up at least two Cisco wireless routers, as far as I could tell from using my Stumbler, that covered most of the session rooms even for my range limited TiBook. During the General Sessions, I discovered that other people using Mac OS X 10.2 were logged into the network and had their iChat apps launched with Rendezvous enabled. This meant that we all had the ability to discuss the keynotes with other people who were in the room without actually having to know who else in the room had a laptop and wi-fi. This was very interesting to me, even though the actual communications weren't terribly useful this time.
A busy weekend on the heels of my trip to Orlando. Friday night, I got a chance to see one of the most innovative DJ's I have ever heard, Z-Trip. He mixes music that you would never expect to hear a dj mix, and I think you just might have to see it to believe it. Saturday night, it was a Halloween party where the four amigos were the life of the party. Sunday, another trip to the Georgia Dome to see the Falcons win followed by the chance to see a friend perform some hilarious inventive comedy. The moral of the story is that I am trying very hard to stay busy, with limited success. The quick back story is that things ended recently between the woman I have been dating for the last seven years and I. Try as I might, I can't stop thinking about her, missing her, mourning what has been lost, and wondering where life is going to take me now. I know that, with time, the pain I am in right now will pass, but while my mind is ready to move on, my heart just isn't yet. It's very sad. I thought that going away to Orlando would help me take my mind off things. Somehow I managed to forget that the last couple of times I have been there for pleasure it has been with her. It seemed that, everywhere I went, memories kept popping out.