Archive for October, 2007

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Tinted glory

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Yesterday was great – a lazy day playing Portal (more on that in a future post) and waiting for Mirrorworks to tint the windows on my A6. The tinting looks great – it will help keep my car cooler in summer, warmer in winter, and the darkened windows look a lot better with the rich green paint job. I’m finally almost done modding my car – at this point all I have left to do is finish up the paint work to give it a ‘like new’ finish, and get some decent subs installed for a little extra kick on my tunes.

Like father like son: dental edition

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Yesterday was another long day at the Vet getting Skype’s tooth socket checked out. The past couple of days the socket has been getting red and swelled and the vet agreed that it was infected. He’s on antibiotics again in the hopes that it will finish healing properly. If the antibiotics don’t help it’s likely there is a tooth fragment or bone spur in there and some surgery will likely be required.

Funny (and sad) that Skype is so much like me in this respect. Our bad teeth will be our undoing someday!

72 hours

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Hump 3

A lot can happen in 72 hours. Since Friday night I’ve:

Busy weekend – I need a few more days to finish it up!

Google Reader has replaced NetNewsWire in my life

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Since discovering NetNewsWire shortly after (re)discovering the Mac platform I’ve been a pretty vocal advocate of the application and its slick swiss-army knife approach to tackling mountains of information piling in via RSS. When NetNewsWire was purchased by Newsgator I started using the sync features which greatly simplified my multi-computer lifestyle.

Strangely enough I think NetNewsWire has just left my life as suddenly as it came to it. More and more I found myself using Newsgator as a reader rather than NetNewsWire. I really like the slick interface NetNewsWire offers, but the overhead of opening and syncing it with Newsgator combined with the fact that I don’t always have a Mac handy combined to limit it’s use to a single big post reading session in the evening to drive my unread count down to zero for the next day. I mainly read RSS in tiny chunks I squeeze in here and there throughout my day as I can spare the time, so entirely web based solutions make it easier to do from whatever computer I happen to be sitting at without having to worry about clients, syncing, or application state.

Google Reader

I just discovered my new reader of choice Google Reader (yeah – I know, I’m really behind the times) and I have to say I’m 100% impressed. Just like Google revolutionized the concept of web-mail using a fresh new Ajax approach Google Reader has done the same for RSS. Reader dynamically loads your stories in the background and provides a configurable view including my all time favorite – the never ending scroll of articles that I can slide through as I get the time.

Google Reader performs a great little trick by automatically marking posts as read when they scroll up the screen leaving me with fewer actions than with Newsgator where you see 50 articles at a shot (not configurable) and have to click a link to mark them as read and to pull up the next batch. Another nail in the coffin of Newsgator was that some of the Javascript they used had issues and would occasionally fail to respond to clicks and have to be reloaded.

To seal the deal Google Reader has amazing keyboard shortcuts. While in the application simply hit the ? key to bring up a semi-opaque cheat sheet. The keyboard shortcuts are intuitive and make navigation, triage, bookmarking, and reading very efficient. After less than 20 minutes of use Google Reader became an entirely keyboard based application for me, and one rivaling the functionality of most thick-client RSS readers.

At this point my only gripe with Google Reader is it’s iPhone experience. Newsgators was worse, but the iPhone version of Google Reader is very static and really fails to capitalize on the rich Javascript capabilities the iPhone bestows to offer a experience that matches the desktop browser experience in functionality while being tailored to the user interface limitations of the iPhone.

Sorry Brent – I still love NetNewsWire and have a special place for it in my heart, but the cloud is calling!

Skitch: reviewed recursively

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

meta-skitch

Shortly after putting the finishing touches on my glowing review of Skitch for Gear Live I was fooling around and created this meta-skitch recursive image. Oh the idle joy’s of modern computing! Seriously though – check out the Skitch review, it’s one of those apps that you likely haven’t heard of yet won’t be able to live without once you try it. If you want a beta invite follow the instructions on the review for an opportunity to win one from me. You might also want to check out the Skitch website or my expose-screengrab experiment with Skitch.

meta-skitch” by sparktography

Love your Roomba?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Roomba

The Seattle Times writes about a new study that finds people love their Roombas. The headline would make one think they enjoyed the functionality the robotic vacuum offers, but as the study found a far more anthropomorphic relationship present in many owners who go so far as to name their Roombas and worry about them while they were in the shop for repairs.

I’m all for robots and find this to be a step in the right direction. Until recently a lot of people have feared the idea of household robots, and the jobs they would take but apparently the public opinion is shifting for the better. As the personal robotics market evolves over the next few years it will be interesting to watch how the public opinion changes as they see more and more household tasks made simple through technology.

iPhone: Context over consistency

Monday, October 1st, 2007

37signals, the makers of Basecamp, Highrise, and my favorite: Backpack just blogged about the iPhone’s user interface and Apple’s conscious design decisions which favor context over consistency. Personally I trend slightly more to consistency because I’m mildly OCD about organization and repeatability, but the article is an interesting read that rings true.

To-to-too mmuuuch caffeine

Monday, October 1st, 2007

iTunes WiFi Music Store

I just got done blogging the rollout out their new Starbucks WiFi Music Store here in Seattle and I’m aquiver with coffee as a result. This morning I happened to stop into the Starbucks for a latte when I remembered that the new partnership for free iTunes access at Starbucks retail locations was lighting up in Seattle this morning so I whipped out my iPhone to check it out. The new Starbucks review is a good sister article to they soon to be posted in-depth review I did of the new iTunes WiFi Music Store.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me in the morning so I had to come back to review it over lunch about 90 minutes later. Between the quad shot earlier, and a triple over lunch I’m completely wired. *Bzzzt* *Bzzzt* *Bzzzt* *Bzzzzzzt*

Luckily I don’t have anything left on my to-do list for today so I’m pretty much free to lay on my couch watching movies with Skype. Finally getting a long weekend is really helping me feel a lot more relaxed from all the activity at work recently. Now for the rest of The Matrix Revolutions and then perhaps a little Lord of the Rings to continue on with the epic feel.

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