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October 2004
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December 2004

November 2004

A User's review of the Motorola Razr V3

razor.jpgContinueing my theme of irrational technolust, I give to you the Motorola Razr V3. This very expensive phone is very cool looking. However, from what I have heard it is a little bulky, thin but bulky.

Here is a Motorola Razr V3 Review from a user:

I love this phone. Its thin, its light, its feature-full, and does its primary job better than my previous phone – the XDA II. I do wish synching would’ve worked better on my PC just so I could have tested that more and I do wish I had an easy to get to favorites contact list. But other than that, it is hard to find fault with this phone. The battery life seems good. Reception is great. The UI is great in most areas. The LCD screen on both the inside and outside is fantastic. And knowing that I can take this phone anywhere in the world is pretty nice too. All that said, you know you’re paying for the look of the phone and its size. Just like an iPod Mini. But just as an iPod Mini was worth it for my wife, the Razr is worth it for me.

He seems to like the phone a lot, hopefully he will write a followup review after using the phone for a while.


Thanksgiving 2004

Pepsi for the holidaysThanksgiving 2004 is over and done with, and overall it was a success. No arguements (other than the fact that my mother cannot understand that I find khakis comfortable), no fist fights, and no food poisoning.

I am not a fan of Virginia though, Manassas is one big strip mall it seems. I could never live there, and not only because I don't drive.

Here are the Thanksgiving 2004 pictures, including rare photos of my brother, and a few of yours truly.

Enjoy, and I hope your holiday (if you had one) was as good as mine.

UDPATE: Julie was kind enough to point out that I didn't share my brother and mother's reaction to my artichoke dish. My mother thought that the sausages were very good (and they were), and that the artichoke hearts were good (and they were), but she thought the leaves were a little tough.

My brother had some but didn't say anything, so he didn't like it.

I liked it, and will make it again.


Nintendo DS on airplanes?

nintendods.jpgThere are two kinds of video game people out there, Nintendo people, and the rest. I must say that I am a Nintendo person (though I am enjoying Halo2), mostly because I think the games that are available from Nintendo are just plain fun.

I remember playing Super Mario Brothers 3 for hours, and GoldenEye; the best video game ever, or at least a heck of a lot of fun. In fact, a few years ago I went shopping for the sole purpose of purchasing a new winter coat, and I ended up with no coat but a brand new Gamecube.

Therefore, I suppose it makes sense that I want a Nintendo DS, and for no good reason. I am not that much of a gamer, and I don't know anyone with one to multiplay with. In fact, I haven't even seen the thing in real life.

hello, nintendo, a Typepad blog, poses this question about the DS:

Is the Nintendo DS going to be allowed on airplanes?

Death is result of debate about God

I disagree with alot of people, about a lot of things, but as the Vulcans believe, 'Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations' is what life is all about, and it is what makes a stronger. At least one person disagrees:

A Taylor police dispatcher took the call at precisely 12:44 p.m. on Oct. 18.

A 49-year-old man said he'd just blasted a man with a revolver and a shotgun because the man said he didn't believe in God.

The dispatcher said the alleged shooter told him he'd just shot "the devil himself" and was still armed and standing over the body of the 62-year-old victim "in case he moved."

"I want to make sure he's gone," the alleged shooter told the dispatcher.

The dispatcher asked the suspect how many times he shot the victim.

"Hopefully enough," was the suspect's chilling reply, according to the dispatcher.

How can people who supposedly believe in a higher power act in such a way. The world is a crazy place.


Ok, one more Mac commerical

As a sort of follow-up to this post, I point you to MrBarrett.com on the state of Windows:
I am now absolutely certain that I don't have the patience to be a Windows technician. This exposure has sullied my already low opinion of Microsoft's operating system and browser. Their monopoly in the market has allowed them to propagate incredibly insecure software around the world with little or no competition. Microsoft claims to be making inroads in enhancing security, but evidence of this seemed pretty nonexistent this weekend. The cold hard truth is that there are no viruses for Mac OS X yet, and likely aren't going to be many soon. Apple's been quite excellent in quickly providing patches to discovered security holes. They have a browser that does not have the insecurity of Internet Explorer. And spyware is virtually unheard of on the Mac platform. For years, my advice to friends and relatives has been to "get a Mac." But it was mostly because it was what I knew and liked. Now my advice is the same, but for some additional and obvious reasons. No viruses. No spyware, No popups. Take back control of your computer and browsing experience. Get a Mac.
Why aren't you buying a Mac right now? Hmm?

The Complete U2 Liner Notes are stored within iTunes

This is very cool:

The 42 page PDF book that comes as part of the box set (it does seem strange to call it a box set since there is no physical box) is contained within the iTunes Library. iTunes knows how to deal with it just fine. I wonder if it's just a matter of the PDF being in the iTunes Music/U2/The Complete U2 folder that lets iTunes know that it's part of the album or if there's a bit of metadata stuffed away into the PDF that helps the process along.

And it makes sense. Now, Apple, you should bundle every album you sell on the iTunes Music Store with the liner notes. That would be, as the kids say, "rad."


Another Fine Tip from 43folders

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, The Forehead Ticket Trick:

So, you’re going to a ticketed event, like a concert or a ball game. It’s out of town. You’re carpooling with four other people. How do you ensure that everyone in the car has their ticket with them?

The car doesn't move until each person takes out their ticket and holds it to their forehead.

Been doing it for 20 years, and you’d be amazed how often it saves the day.

Genius, I tell you, genius!


Technorati Cosmos Favelet

The good folks at Technorati have introduced a Technorati Favelet:

(also known as Bookmarklets) are hyperlinks you can drag to your Links Toolbar that let you access Technorati from your browser, no matter what page you're viewing. Note: In some browsers, the Links Toolbar has another name. It's called "Favorites Bar" in IE/Mac, "Bookmarks Toolbar" in Firefox, and "Bookmarks Bar" in Safari.


You can use the Technorati This favelet in three ways:


Select some text on any web page. Click the Technorati This favelet and it will search over 4.7 million weblogs for that text.

While browsing any web page, click the Technorati This favelet and it will show you what bloggers are saying about that page right now.

If the browser window is empty when you click the Technorati This favelet, it will ask you for a keyword or URL to search for.

This is very cool, and best of all it works with Safari.


I get paid to do Windows

Sometimes Switchers switch from a Mac to a PC:

I just wanted to properly eat crow, and admit to all of you that my Windows experiment was an abject failure.  A combination of crappy hardware, inelegant programming, in-your-face alerts, and a few other insurmountable factors have led me to eBay my windows laptop, and, since I already sold my 1.5Ghz PowerBook (for $100 more than it cost me… Yay developer discount and eBay craziness!), I’m writing this from my 1.2Ghz 12” iBook, which I will be delighted to use until the G5/Freescale (whichever comes first) PowerBooks arrive.

I have to say, I am now officially platform-biased.  I was nearly there before, but I am SEVERELY so now.

In this case, the switch didn't work out so well. I am biased, of course, but I think everyone who is reading this and hasn't tried a Mac in a few years should go to either your local Apple Store, or your Local Apple Reseller and give an iMac, a Powerbook, or a Power Mac a whirl.

Just think about not having to deal with spyware, viruses, or arcane system settings to make your machine secure. Plus, Macs run Office (and some say that Office for the Mac is better than the Windows version).

Ok, end of commercial.


Happy Thanksgiving, via dial-up

Hello all! I am sitting here at my mother's house, typing on my trusty powerbook (Ambrose is his name, computing is his game), and just basking in the after glow of turkey with all the trimmings.

I thought I would send my holiday wishes (a little late) and share the message that was on the Gmail splash page:

A Gobble approach to email.  

In 1621, a few hundred Pilgrims and Native Americans sat down to celebrate a bountiful harvest. The feast lasted three days, and included fowl, venison, fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, and plums. There was no pumpkin pie, however. There was also an alarming lack of user-friendly webmail services.

Now, 383 years later, it's once again time to celebrate what has come to be known as Thanksgiving—a time to gather with family and friends and give thanks for all that we have. We have many things to be thankful for. But mostly, we are thankful for you—our users—who remind us of why we work so hard all year and why we love what we do. That's better than all the dried fruit and clams in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for making our approach to email yours.

Gobble gobble,
The Gmail Team


So the pilgrimage begins

Ha, get it? I am going to Virginia to spent Thanksgiving with my mother and brother, so I am making a 'pilgrimage.'

See what I did there? I'm a comic genius.

Anywho, my mother is stuck in the land of dial-up, so I am not sure if I will be posting until I return. I will most likely post some pictures from my phone, but other than that posting will be light.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Froogle Wish Lists

For those of you who don't know, Froogle is Google's product search engine (you can search to get the best prices on lima beans or what have you). According to the Google Blog, which is run by Google, Froogle Wish Lists are here:

We release a lot of stuff here at Google, but this one I'm particularly excited about. Every year near the holidays my Mom starts asking me to tell her what I would like for Christmas. I'm usually bad at getting her a list, and more than once I've received argyle socks, but now I'll be happy to point her to my Froogle Wish List.

Want one of your own? Just go to Froogle, search for a few things from thousands of online merchants, and click 'Add to list' for any item you want to add to your Shopping List. You'll need to sign in to your Google account or create one if you haven't already (if you have a Gmail account or Groups 2 login, you already have a Google account). If you want to share items, just click the 'In Wish List' checkbox and whammo, you now have a web page of your holiday wish list to share with friends and family. This year maybe I'll get iPod socks instead of argyle!

The most interesting thing about this story is not the service itself (been there, have it at Amazon), but the fact that it introduces the idea of a 'Google account,' which looks an awful lot like MSN's Passport (which seems to be dying a slow death).

I wonder what other Google services I will be able to access with my Google Account.


For the U2 Fan in your life

completeu2.jpgThe Complete U2 is now available from the iTunes Music Store. 445 tracks for $150, isn't a bad price at all. The real question is, does anyone need 445 U2 tracks?

Don't get me wrong, I like U2 as much as the next guy (unless the guy I am standing next to feels that he does need 445 U2 tracks, then not so much) but it does seem like an awful lot of music. That is roughly 30 hours of U2.

That's more Bono than even Bono could want.


Welcome MacSurfer Readers

For some reason it appears that MacSurfer's Headline News™ has linked to my post about Apple getting some good news.

I don't know how they select what they are linking to, but it sure sent a heck of alot of people to that site, so feel free to link to me any time, MacSurfer.

And, hey you MacSurfer readers, take a look around, I have some interesting posts here and there that may tickle your fancy.


Hi, I'm Julie and your train is late

The New York Times (my paper of choice) has a great article about Amtrak's Julie, an automated voice application that handles a quarter of all customer service calls to Amtrak, and has saved the company $13 million:

mid long lines and frayed nerves typical during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, roughly 600,000 rail travelers nationwide will squeeze on and off trains, with one-third passing through Pennsylvania Station.

Through it all Julie will remain unshakably courteous and tirelessly chipper.

Julie is the computerized" voice of Amtrak" who helps callers navigate the railroad's electronic answering system. But Julie is more than just an automated ticket agent. She offers a sympathetic ear and reassuring guidance. And during what is Amtrak's busiest time of year, she goes a long way in helping the railroad quell the impatient masses.

Pretty cool stuff, huh?

I, myself, will be on an Amtrak train tomorrow hurtling towards Washington, DC, so I hope my train isn't late. Julie, what do you think my chances are of an on-time arrival?