Jun. 27th, 2007 04:58 pm
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Okay, lesson learned: 2+ hours on the bike isn't bad, if you TAKE YOUR DAMN WALLET OUT OF YOUR BACK POCKET!!!

I should be in New London, CT by 6:30, and then it's just 50 miles to go. That should be a piece of cake.
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See, THIS is mobile computing.
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So, it's a commonly-known fact that at Sprint, Quality is Job #347,851,107. I've accepted this for a while, since Sprint also has a decent minute plan, cheap data, and there's that whole pesky two-year contract problem.

However, due to certain changes in the next few months, I saw a need to detach myself from any computer equipment that I don't own. This meant that it was time for a new computer. Something small, something light, something with Bluetooth, so that I could use my Treo with it to get online in a pinch.

Sadly, this was not meant to be, as the Treo's software was designed by a committee of braindead lemurs, possibly the same lemurs in charge of Sprint's customer service.

Simply put, the Treo 650 is a piece of crap. It can't handle voice dialing over Bluetooth due to a deeply flawed profile design, and it can't cleanly provide a Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking profile. This is, to put it mildly, bullshit. Since the Treo won't work at ALL with my new computer when other phones can, it was time to move.

So, now I'm looking at a data plan just for the computer, plus a phone, or just a phone with the right plan. I'm also sick of carrying my personal phone, and a work-issue Blackberry.



AT&T/Cingular, for once, ends up being the cheapest carrier available. One quick trip to the store, and I'm up a Blackberry Pearl, and down two giant clunky phones.

Long live the (new) Superphone.

P.S. Fuck an iPhone.
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Well, this is going to be a fun year. Anyone in NYC drinking tonight?
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Well, this is going to be a fun year. Anyone know of any junior-level Windows guys in NYC?
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Okay, we're reserving a truck for Saturday morning, and have to be moved in by 9pm.

If anyone can help, it would be much appreciated. The more hands we have to move boxes (and furniture,) the faster it'll go and somesuch.
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In exchange for helping me move, you can pick from some of the following fabulous prizes:

- A sleeve-mounted air conditioner (208v)
- IBM Model M keyboards
- A 6-year old aluminum Lian Li PC case, and some associated hardware (motherboard, power supply, etc.)
- A working microwave
- A metal 4-shelf rack (roughly 6' x 3' x 18")
- Beer (to be purchased after the fact, extending your options and ideal freshness!)
- A small George Foreman grill

There's probably more crap to unload, somewhere, but there's the basics. I don't want to bring some of this shit with me, and I'm rapidly realizing that I'll need help, and possibly a car.


May. 11th, 2007 11:55 am
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So, the move date is the 15th. Mind you, I've got an office rewiring that evening, an office relocation from midtown to our main office on the 16th, and a datacenter trip the Wednesday after that. Long story short, I can't take a day off until the 24th, and we're paid up in our current place until the end of the month.

We scored a decent sized duplex in downtown Manhattan, with the proper amenities and a decent commute to work for both of us, so now I just need to pack everything up and get the basics out to the new place already. How the hell that's going to happen with my current schedule, I have no idea.
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Dear Intertubes friends,

Hey, if you're going to SDCC, can you pick up a TF Alternators Rodimus for me? I love his deco with all of my body, especially my peepee.

See deco/pics here: http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=7521
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(Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] motorcycles, yeah yeah, it's a scooter, shut up Rob.)

So, here in New York, it was possibly the most beautiful weekend EVER. Sunny, light breeze, and just a smidge hot. That means that it's time to break out the following items:

1) Soap
2) Buckets
3) Wax
4) Perforated armor jackets!

I believe that the proper word was "whee."

However, that's only when the universe isn't preparing to mock you. As we're washing the bike, working out all the various scratches from the elements, and waxing the hell out of every last nook and cranny, the landlady passes by. The same landlady who has done the following:

1) Seen me on the bike.
2) Heard me out on my request for tips on driveway/garage space in the area.
3) Heard me out as to why I'd want such a thing, including jackasses moving my bike, and jackasses knocking it over.

Since I do have to park on the street, when I got home on Sunday, I left the bike *right* downstairs, in plain view from the front door.

Wake up today, get my gear together, and head down, and I hear construction. The front of the building (complete with driveway) is cordoned off, and there's some large construction equipment tearing up the driveway. My freshly washed and waxed bike is NOT in plain sight. It's been moved 12 feet or so to the left, and is COVERED in concrete dust. Thankfully, there's enough wax to solve most problems, and I'm able to cleanly wipe off the dust, but of course, I'm short on time, so I settle for a wipe of the dials, a quick T-CLOCS check, and a spin around the block when I see the landlady chatting a few houses down.

Now, her hired goons have clearly touched my bike, so I feel 110% justified in tearing into her.

"Hey, what's the big idea with moving my bike?"
"Oh, we had to get started on the work down--"
"They picked it up, it should be fine!"
"SHOULD BE FINE? Can I just move your CAR when I don't like where it's parked? Do you have any idea what it costs to repair anything that's broken?"
"Oh, nothing's broken, it's--"

Repeat ad nauseam, with constant explanations of the costs of motorcycle maintenance, mentioning that she had ample opportunity to warn me, and so on. Since I'm not one to really burn too many bridges, I held off from using words such as "incompetent," "lazy bitch," or "insurance."

That said, I'm wondering what to do next:

1) Find her van and key it.
2) Find as many friends as possible to TIP her fucking van.
3) Start chucking rocks at her property.
4) Move out without advance notice, since she's a tax-evading moron who doesn't see a pressing need for a lease.
5) Park on the sidewalk in front of her property at all times.
6) Grin and bear it, moving out with advance warning when conditions allow, and look for a garage.
7) All but option 6.
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With SD-card sized Wifi adapters, Bluetooth modules that I could lose in my pocket, and modern cellphones with EV-DO/HSDPA, Bluetooth and Wifi all built in, is it too much to ask for a cellphone sized battery-powered cellular data router? Something pocketable, with maybe four hours of battery life, that just hooks into a 3G network and spits it back out via a medium-range Wifi link?

(With a gadget like this, I probably wouldn't *care* what cell phone I have.)


Mar. 30th, 2007 02:58 pm
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You'll die from a Heart Attack during Sex.

Your a lover not a fighter but sadly, in the act of making love your heart will stop. But what a way to go.

'How will you die?' at QuizGalaxy.com
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Sprint's managed to keep me as a customer since early 2000. That alone is a miracle, if you've ever dealt with Sprint. However, their latest billing debacle has turned into the last straw. Basically, they migrated billing systems, neglected to tell their customers, failed to autobill those of us who use automatic billing, failed to note that said automated billing failed in the next invoice, and then immediately sent out a nastygram, which included a late fee.

Sprint's voice-activated help line wasn't much help either, misrouting me, dropping the call entirely, and finally driving me to the point where I executed the Universal Exit Code for a voice-activated PBX:

"Get me a *fucking* human, you miserable piece of SHIT computer! FUCK!"

It's not a commonly known fact yet, but voice-activated systems can detect foul language, and immediately reroute you to a human when possible. Of course, as soon as the rep was on the line, I was all sunshine and flowers. The Sprint reps don't need to take that crap from me, just their computers.

They cleared up the problem, removed the late fee, but didn't go the extra mile that other carriers have done in the past, such as issuing a minor credit, etc. for my inconvenience. I don't expect it, but at the same time, it's indicative of Sprint's behavior that they simply don't help out the customer anymore.

Then I hit the website to re-enroll for automatic billing, and it doesn't work, since they need some newfangled Billing Account Number, which is not my Sprint/Nextel account number, my checking account number, or my routing number. So now, I have to pay manually, like some kind of savage.

To hell with that, I'm moving to another carrier.

The other issue is that while I do like my Treo 650, it's a little long in the tooth, and I'm also required to carry a Blackberry for work. Between the two phones, I can tether my work-issued laptop (WinXP, no Bluetooth,) my personal laptop (PowerBook, Bluetooth via Treo, since it can't handle USB tethering to the BB,) and my Nokia 770 tablet (BT to Treo, no USB host ports,) granting me access to the Internet from any system that I'd need.

Ideally, I can chuck the work-issue Blackberry, and buy one for myself. Something smaller, lighter, more pocketable, and less of a giant clunky goddamned mess. I'm thinking, of course, of the Blackberry Pearl. Since I've got to carry one anyway, is there any reason *not* to go in this direction? Keep in mind that I will give up my Sprint phone number when they pry it from my cold, dead hands, since I'm not about to tell seven years worth of contacts to update their goddamned address books.

(Sadly, I will have to pay the cancellation fee to Sprint, since those bastards got me on a two-year renewal last March. Crap.)


Mar. 21st, 2007 05:00 pm
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Bonus: Earned.
Raise: Pending.
Debt: Clearing.
Misery: Subsiding.

Merciful crap, I think that whole adulthood thing just beat me over the head. What the fuck??
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You know the Bible 73%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

... I'm the most extreme case of lapsed faith, and even *I* got through this thing.

(Seriously, I haven't set foot in a church in over a decade, and I haven't read a single line out of the Old or New Testaments in closer to 15 years.)
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Back in 1999, I bought my second laptop, a Toshiba Libretto 110CT. With only a 266MHz CPU, a 4GB hard disk, and 64MB of RAM, it was far from the most powerful system on the market, but it wasn't exactly slow, either. With an 800x480 display, I was able to use it as a chunky MP3 player (this was in the pre-iPod days,) IRC, surf the web, keep up on email, and log into servers at work to fix any problems that cropped up. Of course, it had its flaws, and by 2003, it was showing its age for my purposes. I moved up to a 12" Powerbook, having sworn that I would get a Mac once they took the iBook's size and crammed a better CPU into it.

I've stood by both of these decisions, and been quite happy overall. Now, however, the Powerbook is a little long in the tooth, the Libretto isn't really capable of keeping up with modern computing demands (and I tried recently, getting a very trimmed-down Linux install in place,) and Microsoft started pushing the UMPC. Basically, take the Libretto's screen, add a touch sensor to it, bump up the specs to run Windows XP, and take away the keyboard.

I've already dabbled with a Tablet PC, multiple Palm OS devices, countless on-screen keyboards, and so on, and in the end, I've determined that I need, not want, but *need* a keyboard for my purposes. I can't be bothered tapping through submenus to insert a curly brace when editing a config file, and when I need to deal with key combos, on-screen keyboards suck. Half of the toggles are buried away, making my life more difficult than it needs to be, and with my typing speed having cracked 50WPM before I turned 10, I require a proper touch-typing setup. In the end, I'm okay with a Treo, but my recent handheld computer of choice has been the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet with a Bluetooth Keyboard. It's a bit unwieldy, but it does work. Since it's an ARM-based system running Linux, however, there's not a lot of software, and I'm not a programmer, so I'm stuck. It's also become more obvious that what I need, in addition to software, is instant-on capability.

There have been options, lately. There's the OQ model 02, a small Tablet PC the size of a pocket notebook with an active digitizer and a sliding keyboard. The keys aren't great, so instant-on is a bit of a problem. I can keep the system charged, and in sleep mode, but powering it up still requires password entry, and that's not easy on a chiclet keyboard.

The solution? Sony's UX180/280. Biometric authentication more or less solves the problem. And it's a great gadget, sure, but it's missing something significant. The keyboard still sucks, and it's just kinda... chunky. While functional, it lacks a certain sleekness that other Sony computers tend to have.

The final nail in the coffin, to be honest, is Windows XP. It's a very space-inefficient UI, having spent so much time in Mac world, with Palm devices, and toying with various UIs in Linux, many of which were far more compact and usable than XP, if they only had the software.

So, now I'm back to square one.

Of course, things change quickly, especially when CES and Macworld converge. The Apple iPhone, for example, is supposedly a cell phone with Wifi and Bluetooth. It works anywhere in the world. It has 8GB of flash storage, enough to hold the music and videos that I'd want at any given time. It fits in my pocket, it's got a touch screen, so I don't need an added mouse or an oddball pointing device, but it lacks... a keyboard. That's supposedly the point, they claim. It also runs at a paltry 320x480 resolution, which just isn't good for web browsing, or UNIX terminal emulation. It might work, given Apple's recent patent filing for resolution-independent interfaces, and the zoom gestures used on the iPhone, but I'll have to hold it to find out.

They claim it's a new phone. It's supposedly revolutionary. It's a phone, an Internet communications device, and a video-capable iPod. It can run desktop-class applications. It's also six hundred dollars, plus a contract on a cell carrier that costs a LOT for voice, SMS, and data services.

Do I want it? Of course. Can I afford it? Probably, once my existing contract expires. Will it fill the niche, letting me leave *two* gadgets at home permanently, and replacing the third? I don't know, and that's really the trick. How does one test-drive a $600 phone?
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Landing gear broken
Chik-Fil-A closed on Sundays
So fucking hungry
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Back Sunday.
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So, my birthday was on Monday. I'm not sure I even care, though I'll probably be drinking tonight as a belated celebration. They really do become less significant over time, don't they?
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