Personal

Vendor Client Relationship in real world situations

Monday, June 15th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

My friend Jarrod, at www.jarrodmichael.com, posted this video on his blog, and I wanted to share it with all of you web developers out there.  I’m sure you can all relate to these conversations:

Google Calendar Sync – Easy Calendar Backup

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 | Personal | 5 Comments

I run Microsoft Outlook 2007 as my main email / calendar application.  Say what you want, but I love it (I’m always open to suggestions if anyone has them).

The problem that I encountered last week, what happens when your entire calendar / datebook for the next year is lost to a computer crash?

How do you recover?

I introduce, Google Calendar Sync.  Yes, it’s meant to give you access to your calendar online, but a useful secondary feature is that it’s an online backup.

The Situation

My iPhone syncs with my Outlook calendar, my Outlook calendar syncs with my Google Calendar, and all data is shared.

Last week with my computer failure, I had to reinstall everything.  I knew having my email hosted at Google would make it easy to both access it while the computer was down, as well as let me sync up when the computer came back up.

I never realized how easy it would be to re-import all of my calendar information into outlook.  I thought it would be some combination of iPhone syncing (which has my full calendar) and exporting from Google Calendar.

The solution

After getting my empty outlook installed, I went to Install Google Calendar Sync.  It works in Windows 7 64-bit for me, even though Google says it won’t.  

It is an easy install, and seconds later my entire calendar was back in my Outlook!

I don’t have much to write, it’s just so easy.

The Conclusion

You have important data.  It is so convenient to have access to your calendar online, as well as on your computer, or on your iPhone.  It’s also a great way to backup and recover rapidly.

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Windows 7 – First Impressions

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

It’s been a while — life has been quite busy.  Drupal, WordPress, Blender, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Illustrator, Flex, Flash, Actionscript, Papervision.  Even got some bicycling and racquetball in there on the weekends.

In the past, wow, month.  I’ve been up to quite a bit, and will be posting things on here about them all.  Right now my main focus is on my new install of Microsoft Windows 7 (the Release Candidate) while it is still fresh in my mind.

Background, Vista Recovery

A little bit of background, last week on Thursday I woke up to my Vista (32-bit) workstation completely hosed.  After a lengthy chat session with a Dell support rep (I can’t say how happy I was with the Dell support guy, he was friendly, smart, and patient through an almost 6 hour long chat session), I managed to get access to the files on my disk to back them up.  Happily, I reformatted.  I really needed it. 

The most amazing thing was when I put the Microsoft Vista DVD in, and it actually got my system to boot into “windows’.  Of course I had no icons or anything, the system was actually fixed by the Vista repair actions (a first for me, usually the only use I have for those is to get a command prompt to see the extent of the damage).

While the machine was on, but with no desktop — I was able to map to the drives through another computer and backup information (\\{Computer IP}\C$, D$, E$ until I found drives K, L and M).  That took forever, but it was successful.

Windows Vista 32-bit Install

It took FOREVER to get all the updates installed.  I know updates just accumulate while software is out.  I don’t remember it taking this long to update my XP machine which I had to reinstall 3 or 4 years into the lifecycle.  Maybe Vista just has more updates, but it took forever to get my machine back in working order.

Once I was up again, things were much faster (as they always are after a fresh format). 

I want to note, I’ve never had many Vista 32-bit driver issues, or any performance issues.  The few issues I had revolved around a few pieces of software that didn’t have drivers or fully compatible version for a few months after the Vista launch.

Welcome to Windows 7, how Vista should have been – the first 24 hours

Wow.  I downloaded the 64-bit Release Candidate from the official Windows 7 page yesterday.  I want to take advantage of the 16 slots my machine has for RAM.  Who wouldn’t?

I have a lot of good, and some bad, things to say about Windows 7 so far.

I’ll start with the positive:

  • The install process was a piece of cake, I’m running a raid controller for my OS drive (raid 0, living on the edge) — and didn’t have to do anything special
  • Updates to the OS through windows update were painless.  I want to say it was less than 10% of the downloads required by my Vista install a few days earlier, though the software isn’t even released yet.
  • Hardware wise, I have had ZERO, 0, problems with Windows Live 7.  not like the handful of hardware issues Vista32-bit had at launch
  • Google Chrome is giving me some issues.  I can get it to work occassionally but it always ends up “crashing” somehow.
  • I actually am not minding IE8, but I miss Chrome
  • Faster.  It’s true, this runs faster out of the box than my tweaked Vista install
  • Clean and easy interface.
  • Lots of room for running applications
  • Most of my old installers worked, a few of the installers had 64-bit versions I had to download
  • Everything with regards to the network seems to respond faster
  • It’s free! (for now)
  • Cleaner Start Menu
  • Higher Windows Experience Ratings

The Bad:

  • IE8 (yes, I don’t mind it, but I dislike having to use it instead of my Chrome)
  • Google Chrome won’t work well
  • Things have obviously moved, and I”m not comfortable with the locations yet.  This is really just me being stubborn
  • It will expire in 2010, and require a purchase

Conclusion

I’m happy with the install and highly recommend it.  I have not lost any productivity.  I’m not sure I’ve gained any though. 

I will continue to report on my experiences.

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Bailey (a dog) plays Dead on Letterman

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 | Personal | 3 Comments

The girl forwarded this to me, and I wanted to share with whoever happened onto this site.

I got a good laugh from it — Bailey plays Dead, in her own way.

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Rant: Domain DNS Setup — not just www!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

A problem that some websites have drives me crazy: some websites don’t setup their domain to work without WWW for their websites.  

What brought this into mind, is the lack of being able to go to http://fdic.gov/ … while http://www.fdic.gov/ works just fine.  

I don’t know of any good reason for this.  Maybe it’s easier to load balance with a subdomain, than try to handle “fdic.gov” while there are emails going to “fdic.gov”. 

I understand that the mail server is a different machine, great.  Reroute traffic depending on the ports, it’s not hard to filter potrs 25, 80, 443, 110, 143, 465, 585, 993, 995 to the correct machines.

I feel better now.

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iPhone OS 3.0: Update on “Copy and Paste”, on Tuesday 3/17/2009

Monday, March 16th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

According to Macrumors.com, Kevin Rose (of Digg fame) revealed details about “Copy and Paste” functionality during a taping of Diggnation at SXSW.  

Watch the video of Kevin’s description of the functionality.  You just double click the word, it highlights, then you use the magnified view to drag quotes before and after the word to select your target.  You can then cut or copy it.

Additionally, the Apple event announcing details on iPhone OS 3.0 is actually on Tuesday, not Monday like I had reported last week.

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iPhone OS 3.0 – Apple to preview on March 17th, 2009

Friday, March 13th, 2009 | Personal | 1 Comment

iPhone OS 3.0

Apple will be previewing the new iPhone OS 3.0 on Monday March 17th, 2009 @ 1pm EST (10am PST) at the Cupertino Apple Town Hall. 

This has been repoted by quite a few various sources including Engadget, Macrumors, etc.

As far as “What” will be presented, it is known that this will be a developer version of the operating system only.  It will show off an updated SDK (for developing for the iPhone OS 3.0).

Rumors are running rampant on the net with regards to what the new OS major revision will contain.

Widely held to be true, are rumors of:

  • MMS (Multimedia text messaging)
  • Tethering via Bluetooth and USB (we’ve been talking about tethering on the iPhone for a while now, this isn’t a big surprise — after all it already worked almost a year ago)

More “out there” options, that have no confirmation, but seem likely are:

  • New Home screen app (SpringBoard) – we all now have too many apps to efficiently manage with the 16 icons (+4 static) per screen
  • Push notification to apps
  • Background processes
  • Copy & Paste
  • Flash support
  • Magnetometer support (digital compasses, as in the Android G1)
  • Syncing of notes
  • Better bluetooth support (headphones, car kits, etc)
  • Horizontal Keyboard
  • Video Conferencing (ok, we’re stretching it now)

In my opinion, we’re likely to see MMS, as  well as tethering.  Don’t get too excited, I’m sure tethering will come with a clause from ATT (most likely a monthly fee just like the blackberry).

Otherwise if we get just 1 or 2 of the wishlist items, I think we should be happy.  We’ve been looking for Copy / Paste, Flash, Push notification, and background processes for a while.  I know push notification is working for “MobileMe”, but I mean the type of push notification Apple was touting last summer (here’s a hint, its the same as the original Exchange push notification that Apple NEEDED to have in order to somewhat compete with blackberry).  

Let’s hope there is good news on Monday for us all.

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Virtual Water: An Interactive Installation

Friday, February 27th, 2009 | Personal | 2 Comments

The video below is an interactive installation by Mike Burton (couldn’t find a link, let me know if you have one, he deserves it) called Waterboard. The interactive artwork lets participants manipulate the flow of water on a wall. Of course the water is digital. Water reacts in a handful of ecologically logical ways (putrid water, plants growing near water, life forms forming in fresh water, etc.).

This is the kind of stuff that makes you think about the future of technology, while it may only be an art demonstration.  

 

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Inspiration: New York Slow Motion Video Montage

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

Some things must be shared.  I’m not that into video editing, or shooting video traditionally, but this video makes you want to be involved in art.  There are some beautiful textures, scenes, and colors in this video.  It took the artist to put it together so we can all see what he sees.  I have very high respect for the artist.

This video is by Vicente Sahuc and blows me away.

I initially saw this video on Procrastineering.  He mentions that this video was shot on a Casio EX-F1 at 300 fps and edited at 24 fps.  The artist used a skateboard (how great is that) and a Steadicam Merlin for the smoothing.


New York 2008 from Vicente Sahuc on Vimeo.

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iPhone on Verizon

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 | Personal | No Comments

Last week I was at a Verizon store (don’t ask) and I heard an employee say that the iPhone was coming out for Verizon soon (prior to the current leak).  The current leak is being sourced to “deep throats in Apple claim that Iphones for Verizon Wireless will be announced soon” – taken from Apple to allow verizon connections.  

I doubt verizon would trust a store employee with this type of information unless it were to happen in a few days.  I’m skeptical about the information I received myself (or that it was based on more than a passing rumor).

Recently I’ve seen a few postings about the iPhone on Verizon such as iPhone on Verizon?  5 Reasons to be Skeptical.

The 5 reasons JR Raphael points out to be skeptical:

  1. It’s been reported before – Yeah, so has everything though.  I don’t think this invalidates the truth, just means we should put the rumor in perspective.
  2. AT&T likely still has an exclusive contract – Don’t you think Apple is really trying to get out of that contract?  I don’t think the iPod Touch was really that much in tune with the contract — why not find some other way to release an iPhone or renegotiate?
  3. The rumor ties to the supposed progress wiht the deal directly to Steve Jobs’ absence – This wouldn’t surprise me actually.  Steve Jobs’ was one of the reasons Verizon didn’t want the original contract.  Maybe there was a personal issue we don’t know about.
  4. The EVDO engineer jobs are no longer posted at Apple – Wouldn’t you hope if the product were announced soon, those people were already hired a few months back at least?
  5. Verizon passed on the iPhone once before – yeah, but look at the change to Apple’s revenue stream the iPhone has made?  I’m happy to admit I was dumb before, if it means more money now. 

Lets hope.  I’m not sure if I’d ditch my AT&T contract or not.  It’d be a tough decision.

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