Monday, 25 September 2006

One of the original purposes of this site was so I would have a place to post CD reviews. In an attempt to return to my roots, as it were, I’m going to start actually posting the reviews — at least once I actually write them.

It’s possible you will notice a tendency toward positive reviews, and there’s a reason for that: these are CDs in my collection; stuff I actually buy. I try to stay away from music that sucks, but one or two are bound to skip through on occasion.

If you’d like me to review your CD, drop me an email and I’ll give you the mailing address. While I can’t guarantee that I’ll like your music, I do promise to review it in a timely manner. In all fairness, I’ll be sure to mention it when the review is based on a CD that someone sends.

Thursday, 21 September 2006

I try to keep informed, so one of the first things I did with my Crackberry was set up an RSS reader. I removed it a couple days later because it was just too much available all at once. Before my digital retreat, I happened across an interesting story stemming from the latest shuttle mission.

It seems that one of the astronauts let a couple bolts escape while they were performing a few repairs: Spacewalkers Lose the Darndest Things

The article goes on to say that NASA and the Air Force track objects larger than about 4 inches. Four. Inches. This are items whipping around at 15000 MPH some 1200+ miles away. They can track stuff that is smaller, but at 90000 pieces, it’s just too much.

The funniest part, to me at least, is when they talk about SpatSat. While I’m sure it’s just an ordinary tool, I can’t help but wonder what they’re doing with a spatula in outer space — and if pancakes are still light and fluffy at zero-g.

Holy Crap! NASA even has a newsletter about this stuff!

[AP article found via CNN]

In what has to be a first for me, a spam subject line actually made me laugh today, so I had to share:

ancestor hurling

No, I don’t know what it means and I’m not sure I want to find out.

Thursday, 14 September 2006

For someone that works in high-tech, I’m not exactly known for having cutting edge personal tech. A couple buddies like to call me a Luddite, mostly because I’m usually the nay-sayer, the voice of temperance and prudence when it comes to gadgetry, but also because they like how I cringe every time they say it.

It’s not like I’m completely hopeless: I did drop my home phone service in favor of using my cell phone exclusively. It wasn’t too much of a leap since I’d been telling friends for a few years to try my cell. The only thing I really kept the analog line for was to support the Series 1 TiVo. The modem in it got fried by an electrical storm last September, so I finally put the thing to rest, both the TiVo and the phone line.

I used a Nokia 8200 series phone until it wore out. I liked its size, small bordering on tiny, so I replaced it with a second one off eBay even though I hated its address book. I kept the 8200 for another year or so, then switched to a Sony-Ericsson T610 (again through eBay). I picked it mostly because the address book didn’t suck, but it also had Bluetooth and voice dialing. Late to the as usual, the T610 had already been out for a couple years by the time I bought it.

This is all to help you understand why it’s a big deal when I say that I bought a new cell phone on Tuesday. Not just new to me, but new as in not used. And not just any phone either…

I bought a Blackberry Pearl. Yes, the day they came out.

Mainly I chose it because I’m doing a lot more text messaging than I used to (this is the start of a short rant, but I’ll save that for another time) and the SureType keyboard on the Blackberry will make that less gruesome than it was on the T610.

What do I think of it so far?

It’s sleek. It’s sexy. It has a built in Web browser (not a big fan of it), can do IM via Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo, and their kin. I don’t have it completely set up yet, so at times it can be a bit frustrating as I try to figure out how it works and tune the thing to my liking. It’s even got a camera, but only 1.3 megapixels which means I’m unlikely to use it for much of anything.

The good folks at Opera have released a mini version for smart-phones so I installed that, plus an RSS newsreader, a couple extra games, and a few ring tones converted from MP3 files. The Internet access has already come in handy, so it’s not the fourth horseman I thought it to be, but it still takes getting used to.

Wednesday, 06 September 2006

A long time ago I wrote a piece about the coolest job description I had ever seen. I think that one has some competition in this: Stephen Hawking: Help Wanted.

Found via Patrick and BoingBoing