Not that you asked...  
   

August 17, 2007

PowerPoint Rule

I've always been intimidated by PowerPoint. I'm just not good at organizing my thoughts and information in this particular medium. It is a bit frustrating. Fortunately I don't have to craft PowerPoint presentations often. When I do, I'm sure to ask peers to review ahead of time.

I came across this Guy Kawasaki blip on YouTube detailing his 10-20-30 rule for PowerPoint Presentations. He's addressing a specific circumstance - entrepreneurs pitching their business plans to Venture Capitalists - but the rule seems relevant generally as well.

See what you think...

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2007

40 Gigs Per Second...

If you know what that means, you are a geek for sure... If you don't know what that means, know this - with an Internet connection that fast, you could download a full-length movie to your PC (or Mac) in less than two seconds.

Yep.

Or how about enjoying 1,500 high definition HDTV channels - simultaneously.

That's fast.

Who get's such premier access?

CNN reports here that it is none other than 75-year-old Sigbritt Lothberg of Stockholm, Sweden.

Seems her son Peter, a network guru, set out to prove that there are no limitations to Internet speed. So he hooked up his Mom.

She's a brand new Internet user - using the blazing connection only to read the newspaper online.

I hope CNN does a follow up to see what she's doing a month or two from now, once she builds up some savvy.

This was also covered previously by Wired, Slashdot, and a local Swedish outlet.


Posted by gcrgcr at 6:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2007

I'm Finally Flickr'd

I know what you're thinking - welcome to the 21st century Mr. Bartel. Let me introduce you to this thing here, it's called "The Internet". Oh, and that "Web" thing, it is up to 2.0. Try to keep up okay?

Okay, so it is not that bad - but I am a pretty slow adopter when it comes to the Web 2.0, Social Freakworking type web services these days.

Flickr is one that is not overly scary. I've had numerous Flickr links sent my way, and I've never had trouble viewing the photos etc.

What got me Flickr'd? Yahoo! Photos.

Yahoo! actually handled this really nicely. I received the following notice this morning:

Dear Yahoo! Photos user,

For some time now, we've supported two great photo sharing services: Yahoo! Photos and Flickr. But even good things come to an end, and we've decided to close Yahoo! Photos to focus all our efforts on Flickr — the award-winning photo sharing community that TIME Magazine has called "completely addictive."

We will officially close Yahoo! Photos on Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 9 p.m. PDT. Until then, we are offering you the opportunity to move to another photo sharing service (Flickr, KODAK Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Photobucket), download your original-resolution photos back to your computer, or buy an archive CD from our featured partner (for users of the New Yahoo! Photos only). All you need to do is tell us what to do with your photos before we close, after which any photos remaining on Yahoo! Photos will be deleted and no longer accessible.

Of course, we hope you'll join us at Flickr (you can even use your Yahoo! ID), but we also realize that Flickr may not be for everyone. In the end, we want you to find the service that's right for you, and we hope you take some time to learn more about your options before making this important decision.

Please give us your decision by Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 9 p.m. PDT. After that time, any photos remaining in Yahoo! Photos will be deleted. Click here to make your decision, or review a list of our frequently asked questions.

Thanks for being a part of the Web's largest photo sharing service — we hope to see you over at Flickr!

The Yahoo! Photos team

So, I clicked the link and followed the instructions. Wow. Talk about organized. First I get the option to either migrate my Yahoo! Photos or let them be deleted. I chose to migrate. My migration options included Flicker, Photobucket, Shutterfly and Snapfish. I chose Flickr (even though I don't have a Flickr account).

Here it gets even cooler - my Yahoo! credentials have been ported over to Flickr, and I just confirm I want to use those credentials versus establish a new account.

Sweet. Literally two minutes later and I'm sitting in my Flickr account.

Now I get the option to migrate my photos. I click the request and it tells me to look for a confirmation email at a particular address. I check that account and there it is. I click the link and back to the site I go - your migration is in process we'll send you a note when complete. A few minutes later - "I've Got Mail!".

Couldn't be five minutes total and here I am:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/notthatyouasked/

So, it is a bit of a weak stream - um, I mean a weak PHOTO stream - at the moment, but now that I am Flickr'd, I'll be placing more photos here. Look for them in the future!

Posted by gcrgcr at 5:45 AM | Comments (0)

April 4, 2007

Intellectual Property on eBay

A friend and colleague of mine, Scott Galvin of X13, pinged me the other day and informed me he is selling some database creation code. Not so strange, but what struck me is how he's doing it - it is for sale on eBay.

Okay, I know this is 2007, and we are amidst a Web 2.0 revolution, and all, but this still seemed interesting to me.

I had never considered that someone might auction code, but according to Scott, Tucows once bought a calendaring startup for 250k on eBay. I suppose this is what gave him the idea.

So anyway, will be fun to watch the auction. So if you are just curious, or if you need a turn-key database creation and management system, you can see information about the code for sale and a link to the eBay auction at Scott's site - www.X13.com.


Posted by gcrgcr at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2005

Feeling Vulnerable

Every week I read my "Vulnerability Summary" from SecurityTracker. It amazes me the nubmer of major open vulnerabilities that are aggregated, summarized and presented. In a way it is a bit overwhelming and alarming.

We all hear and read stories around web security breaches and hacks. Most folks know someone who has been violated, or even is a customer of a major organization in the news for being breached, or losing data, or whatever. Hey, if it can happen to Fred Durst of Limp BizKit, it can happen to you or me.

We also hear tidbits around how quickly an uprotected machine on the Internet picks up dozens if not hundreds of viruses and spyware. Attacks commence within minutes and quickly number in the hundreds to thousands of attempts with numerous successes.

So, I guess I should not be terribly surprised, but each week as I glance through the SecurityTracker Vulnerability Summary, I'm fairly well amazed.

So, I'll close this with a sample snip from this weeks release. Additional information on each listed vulnerability is included as well as a link back to the Security Tracker site with more data.

And if you like or need this type of alert, signup is easy.



In This Week's SecurityTracker Vulnerability Summary

SecurityTracker Alerts: 49

Vendors: Adobe Systems Incorporated - Apple Computer - ATRC
- Cisco - Crossday - Druilhe, Marc - drupal.org - Easy
Software Products - ECW-Shop - EMC - ezUpload.org -
Gonafish.com - HAURI Inc. - HP (Compaq) - ivory.org - Juniper
- KDE.org - kernel.org - Microsoft - miniBB.net -
MoneyMakerGaming.com - Mutt.org - Nortel - PHP Group -
phpadsnew.com - phpfreenews.co.uk - PhpOutsourcing -
phpWebSite Development Team - phpxmlrpc.sourceforge.net -
tor.eff.org - Xerox

Products: Adobe Acrobat - AppKit - Apple Directory Services -
Apple Mail - Apple Weblog Server - ATutor - BBCaffe - Chris
Moneymakers World Poker Championship - Cisco Clean Access -
CoreFoundation - CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) - Discuz!
- Drupal - ECW-Shop - ezUpload - HIToolbox - HP Ignite-UX -
KDE - Legato NetWorker - Linksys Router - Linux Kernel - Mac
OS X - Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) - miniBB - Mutt -
Nortel VPN Client - PEAR XML_RPC - phpAdsNew - PHPFreeNews -
phpPgAds - phpWebSite - Ping - ...

Headlines:

1. HAURI ViRobot Input Validation Hole in Processing
Compressed Archive Contents Lets Remote Users Write
Arbitrary Files

2. Tor May Use Weak Diffie Hellman Keys

3. Chris Moneymaker's World Poker Championship Buffer
Overflow Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

4. W-Agora Input Validation Flaw in 'site' Parameter
Discloses Files to Remote Users

5. phpPgAds Multiple Bugs Permit SQL Injection and
Local File Inclusion and XML-RPC Bug Lets Remote Users
Execute Arbitrary Code

6. phpAdsNew Multiple Bugs Permit SQL Injection and
Local File Inclusion and XML-RPC Bug Lets Remote Users
Execute Arbitrary Code

7. ECW-Shop Bugs Permit SQL Injection, Cross-Site
Scripting, and Price Modification

8. BBCaffe Input Validation Hole in E-mail Field
Permits Cross-Site Scripting Attacks

9. Nortel VPN Client Entrust Certificate Profile
Implementation Lets Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges

10. ATutor Input Validation Bugs in 'login.php' and
'search.php' Permit Cross-Site Scripting Attacks

11. Whisper 32 Discloses Password to Local Users

12. Mutt Buffer Overflow in 'handler.c' May Let
Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

13. Juniper NetScreen ScreenOS Lets Remote Users
Determine Valid VPN Usernames

14. Microsoft 'msdds.dll' COM Object Lets Remote
Users Execute Arbitrary Code

15. PHPFreeNews Input Validation Bugs in
'SearchResults.php' Permits SQL Injection and Cross-Site
Scripting Attacks

16. Zorum Input Validation Hole in 'gorum/prod.php'
Lets Remote Users Include and Execute Arbitrary Code

17. ezUpload 'path' Parameter Include File Bug Lets
Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

18. Linux Kernel Memory Leak in
syscall32_setup_pages() May Let Local Users Deny Service

19. Linksys WRT54GS Lets Remote Users Bypass WPA
Wireless Encryption

20. Xerox Document Centre MicroServer Web Server Bugs
Let Remote Users Bypass Authentication, View Files, and Deny
Service

21. Cisco Clean Access API Does Not Use Authentication

22. Linux Kernel ptrace find_target() Lets Local
Users Deny Service

23. phpWebSite Input Validation Hole in 'Module'
Parameter Permits SQL Injection

24. MiniBB Include File Bug in 'includeFooter' Lets
Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Commands

25. Legato NetWorker AUTH_UNIX, Database, and
Portmapper Authentication Can Be Bypassed By Remote Users

26. Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader Buffer Overflow in
Core Plug-in Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

27. HP-UX Ignite-UX File Permission Flaw May Let
Remote Users Access and Modify Ignite-UX Client Data

28. Apple Safari PDF Link Bug May Let Remote Users
Execute Arbitrary Code

29. Apple Mac OS X Buffer Overflow in servermgrd Lets
Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

30. Apple Mac OS X Bug in servermgr_ipfilter May
Prevent Certain Firewall Rules From Being Enforced

31. Apple Mac OS X SecurityInterface May Disclose
Passwords to Authenticated Administrators

32. Apple Safari RTF Link Bug May Let Remote Users
Execute Arbitrary Code and XSL Form Bug May Disclose Data to
the Wrong Site

33. Apple QuartzComposerScreenSaver Lets Physically
Local Users Bypass the Password Mechanism

34. Apple Mac OS X loginwindow Fast User Switching
Lets Certain Local Users Access Accounts on the System

35. Apple Mail Does Not Fully Enforce Remote Image
Access Blocking

36. Apple Mac OS X Buffer Overflow in Traceroute
Yields Elevated Privileges to Local Users

37. Apple Mac OS X Buffer Overflow in Ping Yields
Elevated Privileges to Local Users

38. Apple Directory Services Lets Remote or Local
Users Execute Arbitrary Code and Local Users Create Accounts

39. HItoolbox May Disclose Secure Information via the
VoiceOver Interface

40. CUPS on Mac OS X Lets Remote Users Deny Service
By Submitting Multipe Print Jobs or Partial IPP Requests

41. Apple Mac OS X CoreFoundation Command Line Buffer
Overflow and Date Parsing Error Lets Local Users Execute
Arbitrary Code and Deny Service

42. Apple AppKit Login Window Lets Local Users Create
Additional Accounts

43. Apple AppKit Buffer Overflow in Processing RTF
and Word Documents Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

44. Apple Weblog Server Input Validation Hole Permit
Cross-Site Scripting Attacks

45. XML-RPC for PHP Nested Tag Parsing Flaw Lets
Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

46. PEAR XML_RPC Nested Tag Parsing Flaw Lets Remote
Users Execute Arbitrary Code

47. KDE langen2kvtml Temporary File Flaw May Let
Local Users Gain Elevated Privileges

48. Drupal XML-RPC Library Bug Lets Remote Users
Execute Arbitrary Code

49. Discuz! Board Input Validation Flaw Lets Remote
Users Upload Scripting Code

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2005

Really, what IS enough?

"You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough."
-- James Agee (1909-55), American writer, critic

Recently in commentary about privacy I noted some surprising statistics about the growth of internet-enabled devices. 10 to 1 these devices are now apparently outselling PCs.

While there are numerous issues created by this massively growing user base - here is where the rubber hits the road; These things are cool! And apparently, we can't live with out them - to the tune of about $243 per month.

I came acros the following sidebar in Wired Magazine today - the May 2005 editon - entitled Subscription Overload!.

The gist is that our evolving digital-lifestyles - Web, Music, TV, Movies, News, Phones, etc. - well, it comes at a cost:

• Cable/Satellite TV (Comcast Gold): $87.94
• Broadband Internet (SBC/Yahoo DSL): $19.99
• VOIP Phone Service (Vonage Premium): $24.99
• Mobile Phone Service (Cingular): $39.98
• Satellite Radio (Sirius Standard): $12.96
• Streaming Music Service (Rhapsody): $9.95
• Mobile Headlines (SPOT watch): $9.95
• DVR Service (TiVo): $12.95
• DVD Service (NetFlix): $17.99
• Online News Site (Salon): $2.92
• Online Game Service (Xbox Live): $4.17

Rough Total: $243.78

This doesn't even count costs related to the popular Blackberry/Treo fad, digital photo processing, and GPS services via handhelds and our vehicles.

Sadly, my personal monthly usage is not too dissimilar from the above. I don't have Satellite Radio - yet. I've considered it, but doubt I can get this past the wife, given all the other tech indulgences.

I've got satellite TV, Comcast broadband, VOIP phone service through Lingo, Cingular cell phone, avid TiVo junkie, ex-NetFlixer, and would love to have Xbox and Xbox live.

Enough about me, how's your list shape up? How's that make you feel? You're probably too busy with your "connectedness" like me to tell - but at this moment, mine makes me feel guilty. Cut back by 50% and save nearly $1500 per year. Insert standard financial blurb here about how much that becomes in 20 years.

My point, I suppose, is that the market here is real - it is you and me, and everyone else - it is global - and it is huge. Maybe you already knew this, but me - well, I've just noticed in the brief time today between my blog updates, digitial camera downloads and online banking where I took an "offline" break to read Wired. Okay, I'm not THAT bad - but you get the idea.

The gadget generation seems to be really led by babyboomers, followed by Gen X, Y, and Z. My kids don't know life with out a TiVo. Their future utility bills will likely include most of these things and who knows what other future services.

So, it is a fun and interesting tech-filled life we can lead. For today's technology and service businesses - opportunity abounds. For consumers, even in third-world countries, life is good.

See you online!

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

My Son the Spam Copywriter...

I've got three kids - two boys and a girl. Ages 7, 5, and 3. My two boys share a bedroom, and last night while getting them into bed I noticed this sign on their door. I'm not sure when it was made and how long it was there, but it took me a minute to "translate" it.

Ceep UTO, no Gerl's.  Only Boy's.

Once I read it, twice... Aha! Cute! Classic message for a bedroom door of two boys.

It reminds me of spammers attempts to only slightly obfuscate text of their messages in such a way as to avert textual spam filtering heuristics, but still be translated by a human upon reading it.

If you think about it, our minds translate simple typeos easly and quikly - sort ov on the flie. See whut I meen?

Anyway, AJ either has a career ahead of him writing copy for spammers, or he's slightly dyslexic and may have to hang back in 1st grade for a second time... :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 3:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2005

de.lay.ed on del.icio.us no more...

So, I wasn't sure what del.icio.us was for the longest time, other than some very clever sub-host naming on a domain for a URL.

Anyway, I saw this post by Whitney McNamara at SeaMonkeyRodeo:

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

You Old-fashioned "Web browser" People Can Stop Bugging Me

And that helped to clue me in. What is it? From the del.icio.us site:


del.icio.us is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only between your own browsers and machines, but also with others.

I'd say at this point, for me, I see it as a nice way to get my bookmarks:

• Published online so I (or anyone) can reference them via a browser
• Made available as an RSS feed as well, so I (or anyone) can use these in otherways than straight browser viewing
• Organize according to keywords and easily drill in topically - assuming I make decent use of the feature by labeling my entries appropriately.

I'm sure there is more, but I'm definitely a del.icio.us newbie.

Matt Blumberg's initial bookmark feed is off and running.

So far, I like the keyword tagging best, here you can see my initial attempts to build out my "Privacy" section, also tagged with a "Reference" lable as well.

Whitney has an extensive bookmark list, which in a way, the way he posts to it, is like a blog of its' own. A "blookmark" page? Blogmarking? Especially the way he now carries the latest 10 del.icio.us posts in a column on his blog - it comes off as a richer content area than just bookmark links.

Once I have some decent volume I may try the same thing.

Now, on the downside, I have a few hundred bookmarks in My Yahoo! that I'll have to convert over. On the plus side, the benefits of del.icio.us seem to be more than worth it, plus I can weed out the expired bookmarks, and achieve the organization I've been seeking for bookmarks for a long time.

Ah, geekdom. It just feels good. :)

Final thought: I wonder when del.icio.us will be bought by Google?


Posted by gcrgcr at 9:24 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005

Simple stuff... like online search.

This post by Whit McNamara made me think of a few articles I read recently in QUEUE Magazine. It was from the April 2004 edition (ok, so I'm way behind in some of my reading - I've got three kids, gimme a break...), but it is a great article Why Writing Your Own Search Engine is Hard. There are a few other great articles in that issue as well, so check the listing.

I agree with Whit - for as hard as the "simple" problems can be to solve - in business, new competition can always try to copy a businss model fairly easily - it usually just takes money.

But, for the "simple" problems, money doesn't always win the day. Granted, Google has boatloads of money, but to me, their assests have always rested on their innovation and culture that supports it.

And while many folks ponder the future of online search, and new players take stakes in the online search game - Google leads or at least inspires yet again with todays announcement of "Google Video Search".

As I understand it, Google has indexed offline, not online, content - in this case the Closed Captioning logs or databases of PBS, Fox News, and other networks. A search results in up to 5 still frames of original broadcast for each match. Google continues to apply the concepts of search to offline areas (via online means) which I find exciting and profound.

I can't wait for the release of "Google Brain" search around 2050, when Google comes out with an implant that I can "install" and subsequently index my own memory. I'm not sure I can wait that long for something like that... :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

MovableType Comment Flaw Exploited

Spammers discovered an exploit in MovableType's (blogging software - which is used on this blog)
comment feature yesterday and started hitting all servers with MT
installed hard, causing large slowdowns in http requests and mysql
processing (if the MT install used MySql).

The exploit is similar to the old FormMail exploit in that it allows
the spammer to cc/bcc others thru the comment script to send out spam
thru the server hosting the blog. MovableType has issued an updated
release (v3.15) that closes the security hole along with a patch
that's tested for backwards compatibility back to v2.661 (and it may
also work with v2 versions before that but they haven't tested that).

Anyone currently running MT or hosting someone using MT should disable
the mt-comments.cgi file and/or upgrade to v3.15 or install the patch
and then the mt-comments.cgi file can be enabled again.

The updated version and the patch are available here:
http://www.movabletype.org/news/2005/01/movable_type_315_release.shtml

I had been battling comment spam for some time, and took some measures against it. I renamed my version of the comments script - but that only reduced the amount of abuse. Then, I disallowed comments from unregistered users. Spammers hate having to register - and they lie about it anyway.

I'll probably download this patch later tonight and run it - will post as to the results - level of effort and difficulty etc...

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 17, 2005

How's it linGOing?

Allright, I'll probably stop trying the cutesy play on words in the blog entry title on these posts - I can't seem to do much as much with "lingo" as I'd like...

Alas, however - this is the update to the great voip broadband phone service test. In my last post on the topic, I had successfully signed up for Lingo's Unlimited Home Plan - $19.95 per month.

On Saturday, the required appliance arrived. Setup took a modest 10 minutes or so - and that includes unpacking the various components. Not that there are a lot.

Essentially, there is the voip appliance itself, which looks much like any cable or dsl modem. A power adapter for the device. One RJ45 ethernet cable. Three standard RJ11 phone cords. That's it.

There was no software to install. I just followed the "Advanced Installation Instructions" which applied to my network configuration - "Computers connected to a router or wireless router with a free port on the router":

  1. Turn off your computer, cable/DSL modem and router
  2. Plug ethernet cable into the "WAN" port on Lingo adaptor
  3. Connect other end of ethernet cable to free port on router
  4. Take any standard analog phone and plugh the phone cord into the Lingo appliance phone jack (there are three available)
  5. Reconnect and power up cable/DSL modem - wait 2 minutes
  6. Reconnect and power up router - wait 2 minutes
  7. Plug power cord into Lingo appliance - wait 5-10 minutes
  8. Turn on your computer.
  9. Pick up phone - if dial tone present - installation successful.

Easy sneezy - as AJ, my first-grader, would say. Setup went without a hitch. Two minutes later I was placing long distance calls - testing the service.

While researching alternaitves to Vonnage, I had come across reviews of that service by some folks who clearly had some trouble. Dropped calls - poor quality, etc... I'm sure this is not specific to Vonnage - I get the feeling that they offer a great service. Users with all providers are likely to have various experiences. Those comments didn't lead me away from Vonnage - I couldn't use Vonnage for other reasons - they just helped set my expectations for performance. I wasn't sure if I should expect some weird nearly-synchronous conversation, or some asynchronous walkie-talkie like performance, or just like what I get from my current telco.

That said, our initial testing - while minimal - has been solid.

Joie called her Grandma and after the conversation told her about the new service and asked her about the quality. Grandma thought the call was clearer than normal. That's one good test. Otherwise, I've had a lenghty conversation to St. Louis as well as one to New Hampshire. Both of which I didn't mention Lingo, and tacitly take the fact that they heard me clearly and I heard them clearly as evidence of good performance. No static. Very clear. No delay or echo.

I did also purchase a new phone for use with the service, a GE 2.4GHz model with two handsets. This was to make it easier for Joie to use the line for her long distance calling as well. Neither of us will be hunting around for a single handset this way. I mention this only because Joie's only "complaint" so far is some "echo". As far as I can tell, this is the phone and not the service - I think the phone mouthpiece catches a lot more ambient noise and the user gets that feedback. I've noticed it a tad, but not too much.

So far, I'm giving the service an "A" grade, only because we haven't used it enough to really put it to the test. I had high expectations (A grade or better) and nothing has occured to demerit our experience at this point.

Oh, and the payout? Well, the Lingo plan I'm on is a flat $19.95 per month, as mentioned, and includes unlimited long distance in the US and Canada. It also includes about every feature under the sun - voice mail, call-waiting, call-forwarding, etc... My last Qwest bill, just for the convenient "second-line" at my home office, including long distance charges: $52.40. This months bill, with no long distance charges: $32.95. So, even with no long distance, I'm saving ~40% off my bill! I can't wait to see the long distance charges drop on our primary phone line when Joie uses Lingo for a month!

So far so good! Broadband voip could just be the revolution we think it is, we shall see. We'll keep you posted here on our experience.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 8, 2005

And away we linGO...

In a previous post, Bon Voy-Vonnage, I wrote about my quick introduction and research into Vonnage - a big player in VOIP - broadband based phone service.

After Matt Blumberg ethused over it, I was ready to go. Unfortunately a few key things fell through for me with Vonnage - most specifically not being able to transfer my number (not necessarily Vonnage problem - probably Qwest) but having to change area codes from 303 to 720.

But, over the past several weeks, I've slowly picked around at alternatives. There are many - including the traditional telcos themselves - with hats in the broadband phone service ring.

I decided to go with Lingo . They seem to have put together a solid service which matches feature for feature the Vonnage offering. But, with Lingo I was able to get a temporary 303 number, and am told this is temporary and my current 303 number should "transfer".

So, I'm signed up and awaiting my Lingo appliance to arrive via post. Once it is here and I get up and running, I'll report on our setup experience and initial service use and experiences.

So Bon Voy-Vonnage and Away we linGO!

By the way, I notice that there were many comments to Matt's post regarding poor service and/or quality with Vonnage. If anyone has any experience with Lingo, please comment or let me know, good or bad.

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 23, 2004

Gmail redux? Not likely...

This blog post by Matt Blumberg caught my attention - regarding AOL's announcement of a free webmail offering.

I find the AOL news to be a "who cares?" as well - so far as their announcement details - which is not much other than intent to enter the free webmail space.

THe last high-profile entrant, Google, really seemed to change the webmail paradigm with their unique offering of 1 GB of storage space. Notice how the market was forced to respond competitively. Microsoft was forced to up the storage limit on free Hotmail accounts from 2 MB to 250 MB. They'll probably have to go higher.

At least Google's web mail entry stirred the market place and brought innovation. Open source programmers are using Gmail as a backend for file storage, photo galleries, and even blogs!

Gmail takes advantage of the same "all you can eat buffet" gamble. The average person eats only so much food. It is practically impossible to fill 1 GB full of text email.

One company has even offered to give the first user who is able to fill up his inbox with legal content and without spam a dedicated server with a Petabyte (PByte) of space. That will be one to watch!

Google also added innovation to the webmail wars in other ways as well. They introduced a unique user interface to email, sorting mail by conservations and threads (though Outlook now does this also). They group things in sense of time and space - new, old, older, oldest - small, big, bigger, biggest. Their intent on filtering mail and serving up relevant ads stirred up privacy controversy everywhere, but generated significant buzz. Finally, their viral method for introducing into the market place - uber geek bloggers bestowed with first generation Gmail accounts and earning invitations to others. A user base that feels blessed, cool and chosen. Lot's of lessons here already, and a tough act that AOL is choosing to follow.

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The eyes have it...

I had LASIK two weeks ago. I'm filing this under "Geek" because I think the technology behind LASIK is phenomenal. It is amazing how ubiquitous using a laser on eye tissue to improve vision has become.

My eyesight was not terrible - though I've worn glasses since high school. My correction in each eye was no worse than -1 diopter of correction with some astigmatism. In other words, not coke bottle lenses - even vision that someone who does wear coke bottle lenses might envy.

While not terrible, or even bad - by any standards, my vision made driving difficult, especially at night. Enjoyment of movies, outdoor activities, and many other things always were dependant on my having my spectacles along. In general, it negatively affected my quality of life, so I decided to do something about it. LASIK is readily available and well tested - so I felt comfortable taking the risks.

I found no shortage of facilities locally. A few important criteria to me:

  • Experienced surgeon in terms of number of patients operated on and procedures performed with a quality laser machine they know intimately
  • "Wave Front" technology - that is instead of programming your LASIK correction to your ophthalmologist derived prescription - computer analysis of your eye, cornea, etc... determines your correction. The accuracy and results seem to be much higher
  • Close in proximity. I wasn't willing to drive far, even to Denver from here, for the various consultations, procedures, etc...

I selected Insight Lasik - voted Boulder County Best Lasik in 2002, 2003, and 2004. So how did it go? Here's the whole thing:

  1. Initial consultation - this consisted of several evaluative tests on my eyes. Determining my dioptic correction, corneal mass, pupil diameter, and other visual aberrations among other things. Bottom line - I was a good candidate.
  2. Decide to spend $$. LASIK is not cheap. It is cheapER than it used to be, and the "Wave Front" technology is extra.
  3. Schedule surgery.
  4. Pre-Surgery Appointment - More evaluation and intensive measurements taken in preparation for the surgery.
  5. Surgery
  6. One Day Post Surgery Appointment - vision test, how do ya feel, etc...
  7. Ten Day Post Surgery Appointment
The surgery is the cool part. You get numerous rounds of eye drops. Numbing agent - antibiotic - moisture. Pop a valium - no anesthetic of any kind - just a general relaxant. They need your cooperation when your under the laser, so you must be aware and in control. Once you are under the laser, they tape open your eyelids - so you can't blink. Then, they place a suction device on your eye - this sucks the cornea up in to a tube to present it for an incision to be made flat across the surface of the cornea. Pretty ingenious method and fairly strange to experience. Once the flap is cut the surgeon opens it and moves it to the side. It is like having your eyes open underwater, you can't see anything.

Now the laser starts. What is interesting is there is no heat - there is no burning. The laser breaks the carbon molecules - just destroys the tissue - so no smoke, although since tissue is breaking up there is an odor. Sort of like hair burning.

That's it. Flip the flap back down. Rinse, lather, repeat other eye. Done. I had about 36 seconds of laser time on one eye and 44 on the other.

Just after, you can't see a thing and your eyes are fairly sensitive to light. Star bursts around all sources of bright light. You wear protective goggles from that point and the whole next day. Walk around your house like Kareem Abdul-Jabar. You sleep in the goggles for 3-4 nights. Don't rub your eyes - even accidentally.

My day after appointment my vision tested a solid 20/20 in one eye and 20/15 in the other. Over the 10 days after, my vision fluctuates. The eye tissue operated on can swell for several weeks. Keeping the eyes moist with drops makes a big difference - but there is really no pain or irritation. Aches the next 24 hours or so, but minor. I didn't even take a Tylenol after surgery.

Overall - I'm amazed. Despite the moments of fluctuations in vision I still have as my eyes continue to heal, for the most part, things are flawless. I keep waiting to wake up and find that "it didn't work" - but that simply isn't going to happen. My eyes are reshaped, and the light refracts with miraculous exactitude into my eyeball. Friggin' awesome!

There are of course risks - including significantly worse vision than what you started with or even blindness. Many won't be candidates for one reason or another, but, I recommend the procedure. The benefits for the cost for me has been more than worth it.

I spoke to folks I knew before my surgery who had it, and now that I'm in the club, I understand what they meant when they said it changed their life. For me, a minor change, but a positive change none the less. I love it!


Posted by gcrgcr at 8:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2004

Tools Update

This is more stuff for the geeks - I've come across two new very useful tools.

First, Tom Sather clued me in to "Regex Buddy". Right away you should either know what "regex" is or not. If you do, then you will find this tool useful. I've often struggled with building regular expressions for pattern matching. Having a tool that let's you visually buind regex's and easliy test them is an invaluable time saver. From their site:

RegexBuddy is your perfect companion for working with regular expressions. Easily create regular expressions that match exactly what you want. Clearly understand complex regexes written by others. Quickly test any regex on sample strings and files, preventing mistakes on actual data. Use the regex in your source code with code snippets automatically adjusted to the particulars of your programming language. Collect and document libraries of regular expressions for future reuse. Integrate RegexBuddy with your favorite searching and editing tools for instant access.

Amen to that! This was a well-spent $30.

The other tool recommendation comes by way of Ross Carlson. He showed me this very cool and useful Color Scheme Generator. I've always struggled with developing "harmonious" color combinations, or contrast, or whatever interaction with colors you feel like you are driving towards. Other Graphic Artists I know always referred me to some Photoshop plugin, but it is Mac only, and I'm not Mac.

Color Scheme Generator even has several dropdowns that mimic various types and levels of human colorblindedness. For those into extreme useability, this is above and beyond. I suppose the folks at

Visibone has some great reference charts on HTML, various web-related programming languages, and colors - but only HEX and RGB codes for colors. Nothing about appropriate combinations of primary,secondary, and tertiary colors.

Looks like Visibone does have some great charts on colorblind aware web colors. My site seems to pass the first colorblindedness profile.

The Colorblind Web Page Filter, let's you view your site in real-time as it would be seen by folks with various types of colorblindedness. Very cool.

The color scheme generator is a big win for me, and it's free!

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 5, 2004

Bon Voy-Vonnage

Matt Blumberg had a great post the other day about VOIP (Voice Over IP) phone service from Vonnage.

It was great timing. I had just finished paying some "home office" bills - including the local telco - Qwest, for my POTS line for my office, AT&T for the basic Long Distance service, as well as reviewing the same for our regular home line. We easily shell out $100 - $150 total per month with moderate long distance use.

Reading Matt's post, Vonnage is a perfect solution.

  • Quality is solid.
  • Multiple numbers per account
  • Works with Tivo
  • You can keep your old phone number.
  • No minimums and no contracts.
  • No one has to come install anything.
  • 911 and 311 service.
  • Voicemail
  • Call Waiting
  • Call Forwarding
  • Caller ID
  • Domestic and Long Distance in USA and Canada included
Wow. Why wouldn't you do it? As Matt said, you do need Cellular as a backup, should your Cable Modem or DSL service which carries Vonnage go down. Ours hasn't been down in 3+ years (knock on wood) so that doesn't put me off. Still, it feels strange to kill the land line.

I was already to sign up, but hit my first road block. Vonnage can not "transfer" our particular 303 area code numbers. It would be ideal to keep our numbers - still I'm so keen on trying this service, I opted to test it out with a newly assigned number. Wrong. Vonnage can not assign me a 303 number, only a 720 - the newer exchange in Colorado.

This is a bit more of a road block - most of our friends/family could deal with a new 303 number, but would probably complain about a 720 number - I don't know a single person with that area code.

So for now I'm stuck and will have to think about it. Bon Voy-Vonnage for now. If anyone knows of any alternatives to Vonnage, I may give those a try. That or if you know the CEO at Qwest who can release my 303 numbers, that'd be great too. ;)

Posted by gcrgcr at 1:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 12, 2004

Geek Toolbox

Every Geek or Geek wannabe should have unix emulation tools on their Windows PC.

I am one of those folks who is jammed between my Linux and Windows PC's. On the Linux box, I run Perl, code prototype applications, whip scripts together for file processing - quickly and efficiently at a command line.

I've tried "Gnome" as the xwindows client, but can't really get into it. My UI sensibility has been overrun in the last 10 years by Microsoft. There are lots o' things I can complain about with Microsoft, but on UI, I have to say, I'm conditioned.

That's the other side of my world. Office Productivity. Email. Presentations. Spreadsheets. Word docs. Graphic Design. Sure, I could do all these things with free, opensource projects on Linux - but, really, honestly, I just can't.

Today's world, for me and I suspect many like me, require both. Or maybe I'm the odd duck. Either way, I recommend merging your OS environs just a tad.

I'm not even sure who to credit for these - a wise old geek gave this to me years ago - most of the commands are dated 1995, some 1993.

http://www.tombartel.com/unixemulator.zip

There are some downright handy Unix commands in this zip. On a windows system, just dump these in /winnt/system32 or /windows/system32 or somewhere in your %path%.

Just today, (with Robert's assistance - thanks Robert) I piped grep to uniq to sort to garner some numbers out of a massively borked file a client sent over. A 32 MB .rtf file that had malformed CRLF's in it, once I converted those with EditPlus (another geek requirement, WELL WORTH the cost - $30 bucks or so) and ran some formatting regexes, I used my handy unix ems to get the numbers I needed.

Didn't even have to shove this 32 MB file back and forth between Windows and Linux machines (Meanwhile Outlook 2003 choked to death on a 7MB text email because of he @#%$# preview pane - lost 45 minutes on that one, but that's another story...).

Had an answer to client in a jiffy. Go ahead, download and play and geek out a while. There are lots of fun commands in there.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2004

Rotate and Balance Regularly

It has been a while since I read this post Financial Fitness for Entrepreneurs by friend Brad Feld.

Just by reading the title and before reading the post, I thought it might be something regarding physical fitness for entrepreneurs. Brad has become what I would call an accomplished runner and as I'm always interested in advice on the sport, I was disappointed when I realized I missed the word "Financial". Doh!

I guess my thought was that anybody, but especially entrepreuners and start-up types, should take great care to have physical and mental balance in their lives. As any entrepreneur or start-up venture participant can vouch, it can easily consume too much of your life.

As a Speech Communications major at Colorado State, I studied some classic discourse on rhetoric, argumentation and eloquence. I enjoyed samplings of Plato, Socrates, Cicero, Quintillian among others.

One professor lectured on the Greek concept of "arete". As I loosely recall, this is the idea of living your life with a balanced mind and body. The analogy was that of a chariot - this was you/your life. Your chariot is guided by two horses - one represeting physical the other emotional/mental elements. In order to most efficiently move your chariot through life, one would make sure each horse was evenly paced. Simple and makes sense. Probably other analogies from other cultures as well.

Of course this is no epiphany for many but for me it proved useful. It took several years, but I actually had reason to apply the concept to better my life.

At one point after we had taken Email Publishing from startup and through several mergers and acquisitions, becoming MessageMedia and then DoubleClick, I had definitely become much to focused on work. I had seriously lost any sense of work/life, physical/emotional balance. I was stressed all the time, eating the rest of the time, not exercising at all and going no where fast. It is amazing how when you spiral down, momentum carries you further away from achieving any success. No matter how much you "work", if you are out of balance, your "quality" of output probably sucks pretty bad. Mine was probably hurting.

Finally an encounter with my good friend Andrew Currie set me straight. After a friendly visit, Andrew finally looked at me and said simply, "You should really get some exercise". I think the comment referred to my chubby shape as well as my overly stressed demeanor. Andrew actually coached me at that point about managing stress, etc... It may be the best advice I ever received.

I took to the treadmill and found a wonderful way to relax (yes, while running), exercise, think, disconnect, reconnect, tune in, tune out, get in balance - all told vastly improving the quality of my life. Work output improves, home life improves, lifespan improves. How many other ways can you possibly win?

The difficult part, as with anything is maintaining. Since then I've found several other things to keep my life balanced. I have three wonderful children, AJ, Max and Jesse, ages 6, 4 and 2. They alone give me countless "todo's" that help separate work from home. I play pickup basketball in my church (pretty low competitive level, but good exercise value). Friends and colleagues George Bilbrey and Paul Buster got me into Ice Hockey. What a blast! I read for business and for personal pleasure, and so much more. The folks at ReturnPath are a well-balanced, optimized bunch that make it easy to keep on your balance game.

It helps to have friends who will tell you when you need help. You can't fix any problem you are not aware of. It is not like I have this mastered - I'm an extremely busy person, and I go up and down with things. But, as I said, knowledge is power - and the people you know can help make you accountable to yourself. Balance in and out of the office is ongoing, and you need good friends and family to help keep you in tune.

You should always look for ways to optimize your entire life - not just your business todo list. Yes, as Brad blogged, there is Financial Fitness for Entrepreneurs. And there is also Life Fitness as well. Practice them both.

Posted by gcrgcr at 7:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 20, 2004

Bloggers don't do it for the money

No kidding...

Read this in my Schwab Internet Daily email alert last week:

Few of the writers of the estimated 3.8 million Web logs on the Internet are making money. Sreenath Sreenivasan, professor of
new media at Columbia University, said that while bloggers' visibility has increased this summer, their incomes have not. "There's a very tiny percentage of people who are making anywhere close to a living from blogs," he said, according to an Associated Press report. Henry Copeland, whose Blogads.com places advertising on a network of Web logs, said some of his publishers make $120,000 a year from ads, but he did not identify them for the news service. "Dozens" he said make $1,000 a month. But Andrew Sullivan, whose politically oriented Web log is among the most popular, said freelance writing and speaking engagements pay his bills. "I couldn't live off the blog alone, and I see no prospect of that happening in the near future," he said.

So why do we blog? I find it interesting to think about. I took to blogging mostly because I'm the type of person that would, given ample time, likely keep a paper journal of some sort. I have at various times in my life - my journal from high school and college eventually migrated from paper form to electronic. As computers became more and more a part of daily life, I looked for opportunities to "journal" with the computer. I never went so far as to use "diary software" or some such thing - I kept a large running text file.

Back in 1999, friends Derek Scruggs and Tim Thiessen separately had turned me on to Blogger. This seemed like the way to go, though not for totally private journaling. In an obvious way "blogging" is a very public diary. Because it is public, we don't necessarily write about all the intimate and personal things which a private journal would keep - but instead we write about things in between.

Bloggers are simply writers, looking for an opportunity to muse - present their thoughts on minutiae in their lives. It fills a desire for communicating - fitting somewhere in between writing a sentence and an essay. Not all your thoughts can be novels, in fact very few of them can. At best, one day we may in fact see published works based upon a collection of blog entries. Then, maybe one can imagine being "paid" ultimately for blogging.

How cool would that be?

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2004

Nickel and Dime

Micro payments. Supersized. Traveling to Seattle this week, I was surprised at how many opportunities I was presented with purchase opportunities - not nickel and dimes, but $5's and $10's (and $15's).

First, apparently wifi access is commanding anywhere from $6 - 10 bucks per 24 hours - in airports and hotels specifically, but other venues like Starbucks and more.

I was not aware of this at all. Part of it is that I've not had a wifi enabled device until recently. A few weeks ago I purchased a very cool Acer TravelMate Tablet PC. It has Intel Centrino built in. One of the enjoyments I've had in using the machine has been the ability to just walk within range of open wireless access points and be instantly connected.

Of course this happens primarily in two places, my home on my own network, and my office - where in both cases I'm an authorized network user.

Recently, at a friends house, I found myself connected to a wireless access point - and he has no wireless network. With the help of NetStumbler, a wireless signal sensing application, I could see that there were 7 different home networks available to me from this one location. Sweet! We're in!

I guess at this point I expect wireless piggy-back access to be free wherever I go, but again - as I found on this one trip, I was presented with payment barriers from using wireless access points.

First in DIA, upon opening a browser, I was abruptly redirected to an AT&T wireless access purchase page. You can browse no where else. The payment option included billing directly to my wireless phone account (though I entered my number and was told that method was not available at the moment). I think it was $9.95 for a 24 hour session at DIA - like I'm going to sit there for 24 hours - it is really more like $10 formaybe an hour. Power travelers could pay $49 per month.

Next, at the W hotel in downtown Seattle. Here I thought I would be instantly hooked up at no additional cost. I spent time last month at a Holiday Inn with free wifi access. At the W I'm paying $200 a night for my room, but upon connecting wirelessly at the W, again, the payment barrier appears in my browser - $15 a day. Yowch. Still, to most business folks with a critical need for access, this is a drop in the bucket. Probably a pretty good revenue stream for hotels.

Next, on the way home, at Seattle's SeaTac airport, I hook up and get the same thing - so I shell out and pay $6.95 for about 30 minutes of use.

Lastly, on my Frontier Airlines flight home, being mentally fried from the business day, I gleefully swiped $5 onto my Visa for the priveledge of zoning out on inflight DirecTv service. Very cool. I would have paid more.

A couple of thoughts. First, was it valuable to me when I paid for each? Yes. Even in the airport for wifi Internet - at the calculated rate of $14 per hour relative to the actual time I used - with just a few emails I saved alot of time that is much more valuable to me than 14 bucks.

Micro-payments - where are they? I'm not sure where the technology and need for payments online for values in the low cents for fractions of a cent stand. It seems like over the past few years, I've read about efforts in this space, but it has not been introduced - lack of demand I suppose? Not enough financial opportunity for providers?

Maybe the future of micro-payments are just not at the near infinitesimal level - maybe the future has us ubiquitously debiting our accounts at the $5, $10 or $15 dollar level. Maybe the new test in payments on the internet is facilitating payments in the $1 to $5 range. It sounds like this is just PayPal and existing credit card merchanting. Regardless, I expect to be peppered further with purchase opportunities at this level, wherever I go. I'm sure there is more happening that I'm not aware of.

What have you been "nickel and dimes" with lately?

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2004

Big Brother

My friend Andrew Currie dropped by the other day - he noticed a book at my desk-side shelf, Web Security, Privacy, and Commerce - by Simson Garfinkel. First, let me say that I like Simson alot - I've read this book as well as his monthly column in MIT's Technology Review. Additionally, you have to like a guy who's name is 1 degree from Art Garfunkel - Simson actually looks kinda like Art too! Seriously, check out Simson's blog if you are interested in technology and security.

I'm a privacy advocate, and it is a superbly comprehensive view of the existing landscape of privacy and security on the Internet. Looking at it now on Amazon, I'd say the second edition is out and I need to get it.

This book is a great read for fundamentals on biometrics, authorization, authentication, exploits in secured systems, applied technologies for security and privacy and more. As I find with many O'Reilly books, save for the programmatic reference books, reading the first chapter or two tends to provide an encompassing overview into a topic area.

Privacy and "Big Brother" has been on the mind lately - two things I've heard recently that can imaginatively be combined. First this quick hit from Frank Barnako's Internet Daily for Schwab on July 20th:

Internet addresses for all - The organization that oversees the allocation of Web site addresses says new technology has made it possible for every person, printer, computer and other Net-connected device to have its own Internet address. Vinton Cerf, at a meeting of the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, said, "This is a big, big step," Reuters reported. Before the development of the new technology, known as Internet Protocol V. 6, almost two-thirds of the available Internet addresses had been used. With IP Version 6, the available number is multiplied "25,000 trillion times," Cerf said.

25,000 trillion is a big number. It strikes me that more than every person on the planet having an IP available for their printer, computer, and IP connected devices - by today's standards - but that the future might hold that all a persons belongings become an IP connected device.

Consider the implementations of RFID technology. RFID, for those who don't know what it is or how fast it's coming to a shopping center near you:

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects. There are several methods of identification, but the most common is to store a serial number that identifies a person or object, and perhaps other information, on a microchip that is attached to an antenna (the chip and the antenna together are called an RFID transponder or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can then be passed on to computers that can make use of it.

The above comes from the "RFID Journal" FAQ page. RFID is seen as "the next bar code" - a supply chain advancement for the new millennium, allowing retailers and others to track inventories with small radio frequency embedded labels. Wal-Mart has consistently been in the news regarding RFID for a few years, having delayed trials initially due to the privacy uproar that ensued following indications that they would be tested. Most people now get the fact that this is a useful technology for consumers as well as retailers. I guess if there are savings in supply chain management, Wal-Marts prices for one thing should come down further, right?

From the Spychips.com site:

A number for every item on the planet - RFID employs a numbering scheme called EPC (for "electronic product code") which can provide a unique ID for any physical object in the world. 6 The EPC is intended to replace the UPC bar code used on products today.

Unlike the bar code, however, the EPC goes beyond identifying product categories--it actually assigns a unique number to every single item that rolls off a manufacturing line. 8 For example, each pack of cigarettes, individual can of soda, light bulb or package of razor blades produced would be uniquely identifiable through its own EPC number.


Once assigned, this number is transmitted by a radio frequency ID tag (RFID) in or on the product. 10 These tiny tags, predicted by some to cost less than 1 cent each by 2004, 11 are "somewhere between the size of a grain of sand and a speck of dust." 12 They are to be built directly into food, clothes, drugs, or auto-parts during the manufacturing process.


Receiver or reader devices are used to pick up the signal transmitted by the RFID tag. Proponents envision a pervasive global network of millions of receivers along the entire supply chain -- in airports, seaports, highways, distribution centers, warehouses, retail stores, and in the home. 14 This would allow for seamless, continuous identification and tracking of physical items as they move from one place to another, 15 enabling companies to determine the whereabouts of all their products at all times.

The "Big Brother" concerns are when these types of technologies meet each other. IPv6 provides IP addresses for me and everything I own, even each piece of currency in my wallet. Now there is a minute chip that could be IP enabled in every product I own. If I live in Portugal, the government is already RFIDing my dog.

So, does it mean that the government will monitor every action of every person, or use such knowledge as leverage to control its people? I dunno - not likely, but once someone has any kind of power, it can be used any way they like - regardless of the intent.

And, the masses themselves have their own police power via technology over the government. E.g. these types of technologies, once common place can be used by the people themselves, possibly to monitor corporations or the government. George Orwell's 1984, which sadly I admit to having not read, at least since the 5th grade - so I'm putting it on my reading list - pushes forth the idea of government monitoring and control. A monitor in every citizens home, spewing control propaganda and monitoring what citizens do. This hasn't happened in 1984 or in 2004 - instead, technology has enabled citizens to poke government with technology.

Recently, the US military has been investigating dozens of allegations of prisoner abuse - Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq being one of the cases. This was not a case of the US coming clean with a Press Release on their own. This was a case of ubiquitous technology - digital cameras - being used by the soldiers accused of abuse themselves, enabling photos that were taken to be quickly distributed via the Internet to the world. Seriously, in all of 5 minutes, one solder/person could snap a picture, email it to a friend or news agency and bang - the US has a major issue on it's hands.

Food for thought.

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

Ubiquitous Demise - I don't think so

Earlier today, Matt Blumberg of Return Path, posted this discourse on the "state of email" in response to the following opinion column by Mark Hall of Computerworld.

Interesting article and response. Mark declares the "End of Email" - based mostly on the rising inconvenience and hassles that come with using email. Namely, spam, corporate privacy, virus and other security issues.

He additionally contends that just as personal computers and other core technology that evolved and collectively allowed email to be born to us - and ultimately supplanted the poor "selectric typewriter" of yore - IM and other technologies will do the same to email.

My first thought is that there have been numerous predictions throughout history, many proving to be ridiculous in hindsight.

  • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olsen, founder of Digital, 1977

  • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, Chairman, IBM, 1943

  • "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

  • "The 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876

Will Mark Hall be the next to make the list?

Email is a particularly easy thing to pick on. I'm not sure that anyone has ever been willing to actually declare it a "killer app" - yet I believe it to be so.

Email nestles comfortably in the spectrum of human communication. Not quite a phone conversation, it is more than an Instant Message or a post-it note. Despite the costs of email - hard costs of Internet access, server hosting, etc. as well as soft costs of time spent filtering out irrelevant messages and responding to the many emails I receive - it is difficult to imagine managing without it.

While I agree that IM has an important place in the communication spectrum, I can't see it replacing email outright. For one thing, Instant Messages are only good when the other person is there. Still, one could imagine the IM infrastructure replacing that of emails - say storing IM's that you missed for you, so you can read them when you return, in chronological order. Then they might add a way for you to compose multiple emails, send immediately to one or more recipients - but wouldn't that still be email then?

Is the "End of Email" really just the end of email's current technical facilitation? That I might agree with - but the mechanics of communication - what email really is to me - that I don't see an end to.

Matt provides a compelling rebuttal - mostly based upon popularity metrics that show positive trends for email. List subscriptions for well-managed, content rich offerings are prosperous. Many businesses in the "email space" continue to find and mine niche opportunities in email.

Anecdotal evidence abounds as well - just ask any business professional if they can live without their email. In line at Starbucks this morning, the fellow behind me is on his cell phone. I didn't intentionally hear his conversation, but I do hear him say "... hey, did you see that email from Chris? Yeah that one, just forward that to everybody - it settles this..." or something to that effect. There are millions just like them - dependant to ludicrous degrees on email.

Finally, my wife Joie - "was" a technophobe. Aside from some collegiate course work where she was essentially forced to use computers, she's always avoided them. Over the past several years I'd often profess the benefits of various types of technology - including email. Finally, last year I set up an email account for her and convinced her to give it a whirl. As a stay at home Mom for the past several years, she found it immediately impacted her ability to plan, communicate, and connect with the "mommy network". In short order - several weeks - I was fielding urgent phone calls during the day for tech support. "Help, I can't get my email!". A good case study in many ways, though not empirical, I can certainly state that she's not been deterred in the least by spam, viri or the like.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

Google buys more innovation - Picasa

I read this on Slashdot recently - about Google's acquisition of Picasa.

I've always been a fan of tools for organizing photos, online and off. A few years ago, as a sample project for learning Javascript, I wrote "SOD - Son of Dypicgen". This was basically a web-based image gallery tool. I had written a Perl version, but got interested in writing a JS version, first to have something better than "Hello World" to program to learn JS and second, to see if it were possible to write a completely client side image gallery tool.

You can see SOD in action on my site - I use it for presenting graphic designs to clients as well as for my personal photo galleries.

In short I've found that JS is a great language and there is a lot of capability enabled through using it. There are benefits and costs to having all the processing done on the clients side. SOD is not so feature rich because of the trade-offs.

I take a lot of photos - and over the years I've struggled with the compiled photo organization software that is available. I probably have 6 or more different applications, that have come bundled with various purchases - my digital camera, my Dazzle video input device, my webcam, and others. None of these seem to do everything I need, or are somewhat deficient in at least one manner or another such that it is not extremely useful.

So today, when I read that Google acquired digital photo software Picasa - I went ahead and downloaded and installed the tool. WOW. This is undoubtedly the most intuitive and useful image management tool I have seen. If you struggle with managing your digital imagery like I have, you must give this a whirl. I'm still playing with the configurations, features and add-ins - but to this point I am very impressed and almost giddy with the tool. Google continues to impress me with their internal and acquired innovations.

Posted by gcrgcr at 4:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 8, 2004

Tavern Trove Part Two

I'm still compiling the stats and photos from the big 2004 family vacation, so I'll close that out in the next post or two.

Meanwhile, I found a great surprise in the pile of bills, junk mail, and magazines awaiting me after arriving home.

In a previous entry, maybe the shortest blog entry I've ever done, I put a quick shout out about Tavern Trove. Tavern Trove is self-proclaimed as the online site where Where collectors buy and sell vintabe breweriana worldwide.

Now first of all, I have to say, this is the first time I ever heard or saw the word "breweriana".

Now this is a curiosity to me - I like words, though I'm not overly skilled with them, I like to learn and new use words. Often, I'll look up words in my handy Yahoo! dictionary search. Zip results on "breweriana". Same here at Dictionary.com.

Hmmm... did they make it up? Not necessarily, a simple Google Search returns a ton. My apologies for the digression, but there is an answer here somewhere. Or not. Shut out at Merriam-Webster.com, yourDictionary.com, onelook.com and dictionary.cambridge.org. I wonder if this is a more recent, emerging market/cultural term that is yet to be abridged into some keen, progressive dictionary.

Instead, my new friend at Tavern Trove answers it clearly, where I should have checked in the first place:


Breweriana is simply beer advertising. New or old, expensive or inexpensive, if it has a beer brand on it, it is breweriana!


So, back to my original point, somehow the way I stumbled upon traven trove, I took to searching surnames - specifically "Bartel" to start, and was surprised and impressed with my probably relatives "brewerianic" ambition. I spent some time searching for additional names of those I know, though was surprised that many search results yielded little to nothing.

In any case, Erik who runs the site somehow took notice of my link to his site, and as a token of gratitude sent me one of the actual "Bartels Beer" coasters! The very same one pictured in my previous and very short post on the subject.

So a few lessons learned:

  1. Blogging can pay dividends
  2. There are genuinely generous people whom you've never met who will give you something of value (in return for something of value - I suspect there were at least some click throughs on my link, but I don't track such things)
  3. Remember to update your Links Page once in a while too (I've done this now and added Tavern Trove in my appreciation for the cool coaster).
  4. Breweriana is a cool word, not yet in a dictionary - I'll vote for it if there is a nomination

So thanks Tavern Trove and wishes for continued success to you in the breweriana industry!

Also, if you actually like breweriana type stuff, this site has some very very cool items. Be sure to check it out!

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

Mozilla Firefox - The Browser, Reloaded

Mozilla Firefox - The Browser, Reloaded

Got this from Derek the other day:


Tom -

Mozilla Firefox (formerly Firebird) - http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

It's excellent for development and very stable.

I had used Firebird on my Linux machine previously, but I had no
idea there was a Windows version of the the latest "FireFox". It is
very very cool. Try it out!

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 7, 2004

April's Most Abused Spam Subject Headlines

FrontBridge Technologies Exposes April's Most Abused Spam Subject Headlines

This was interesting to see today:

Top Ten Spam Headlines for April 2004

1. Here's the tech stock analysis I told you about
2. Your equity news update
3. Discover natural beauty care
4. Fill up on gas and pay nothing
5. Guaranteed offer ending
6. Get a refinancing quote in 60 seconds
7. Citibank security update
8. Free Dog Treats
9. Work with EBay
10. Take a moment to protect yourself

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:34 PM | Comments (0)

May 3, 2004

Tavern Trove Search

Taven Trove Search

This was a pretty cool find. Give it a search, maybe your ancestors and relations have beer in their blood as well!

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2004

Senate OKs four-year ban on Net access tax

The New York Times - Technology - Senate OKs four-year ban on Net access tax

So did you catch this yesterday? SENATE OKs FOUR-YEAR BAN ON NET ACCESS TAX. Whew! You need to register to read NYT Online, but here is the story and the link to more:

By a 93-3 vote, the Senate adopted a compromise proposal favored
by state governments, which argued that a perpetual ban would deprive
municipalities of vital tax revenue and amount to an unfair subsidy for telecommunications companies. Thursday's vote promises to lead to tense negotiations in a conference committee with the House, which
overwhelmingly approved a permanent ban in September. The ban on access taxes, initially enacted in 1998, expired late last year. It does not affect sales taxes on items purchased over the Internet. President Bush entered the debate Monday by implicitly endorsing a more extensive tax ban.

Full Story...

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2004

MSNBC - Advertisers face up to Tivo

MSNBC - Advertisers face up to TiVo reality

I guess it was only a matter of time. It seemed to me more likely that
Tivo (and other PVR (personal video recorder) devices would get stomped out by an industry fearful of the devaluation of their advertising.

Much like the RIAA versus online music downloaders and the movie
industry versus the same. Instead it seems many advertisers may just yield to the growing Tivo masses and advertise less.

Advertisers face up to TiVo reality - Most companies will cut
spending on TV commercials, survey finds A majority of national advertisers plan to cut spending on TV commercials by 20 percent in the next five years, when they believe ad-skipping devices like TiVo will take hold in households, according to a new survey.

Read the full story here

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:01 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2004

Googleized Images

CBS MarketWatch

Ever wonder about the holiday special Google logos? From Frank Barnako's CBS Marketwatch update I receive from Schwab daily:


The artist behind some Google whimsy
Dennis Hwang could be the most-viewed artist in the world. In history,
even. He's the guy who draws the colorful themed logos that highlight
Google's pages on holidays. The 26-year-old art major "marvels" at the
number of people who see his occasional work, according to The Mercury
News. He started by "dabbling" with doodles created by an outside
contractor. When his talent became obvious, a small committee was
organized to decide which holidays would get the art. Google decided
some untraditional observances would also get the treatment, including
the anniversary of flight and the birthday of Albert Einstein. An
archive of Hwang's logos is available.

Check them out here at the ARCHIVE.
Enjoy!

Posted by gcrgcr at 3:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 4, 2004

Bill Gates' Web Site

Bill Gates' Web Site - Home Page
Mr.
Gates has his own site. Who knew? I guess it makes sense, the leader of the computer geek free world, or not so free world I guess - Micro$oft - ought to have a web page. I just really wanted to think that he'd put up a personal "geek" page himself, but this just reeks of staff and marketing polish. Too bad. It would have been cool.

Still, the articles and such are probably "mostly" authored by Bill,
maybe just very carefully screened and gleaned by an army of marketing
militant protectors - ensuring that another "iLoo" incident doesn't
occur unexpectedly.

Dan Bricklin on
the other hand has a site too. Why is this relevant, well in a couple
ways. First, Dan is an old school geek from the same era as Bill. Dan
wrote (with a friend) Visicalc, one of the first successful computer
apps, and pretty much the first spreadsheet application. Okay, maybe
I'm not totally on the details, but hit his site up and read about it.
That's the other relevant part to Bill - Dan's site is purely his own,
clearly this is a personal geek effort. I like that. And his links
section is cool. It's actually how I learned Bill had a page...

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2004

Buy some NOTHING!

Buy some NOTHING!

Nice, this guy, sells nothing
on ebay. Now why couldn't I think of that?!?!? Anyway, it's not like
he's doing great, yet... but think of the add ons - air, space (area),
blackholes... there are dozens of "nothingness" to sell. I'll have to
work on a list...

Posted by gcrgcr at 7:49 AM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2004

You say "referrer", I say...

You say "referrer", I say "referer"....

There has always been a curiosity in CGI scripting (with Perl in my
case) with a standard Environment variable - Referer. The issue has
been that it is misspelled. Referrer is correct - as far as the
dictionary goes, but in CGI standard Environment variables, it is
missing the second r - referer.

This doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but if you have ever programmed on the web and needed to access this variable, it's one of those things you always forget, can easily miss, and never remember which way is right. You can count on burning extra time getting it straight.

Finally, I see that the dictionary at reference.com validates the fact
that this is an oddity.

This is the standard definition for "referrer".

For "referer" we are given:


referer

(world-wide web) A misspelling of "referrer" which somehow
made it into the HTTP standard. A given web page's referer (sic) is the URL of whatever web page contains the link that the user followed to the current page. Most browsers pass this information as part of a request.


I'm a geek - what can I say... I'm somewhat satisfied to know this
"error" is documented outside my knowledge. Thanks to whomever made
this entry!

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:42 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2004

Mike Rowe Forums

Mike Rowe Forums

This was too good... I guess it has been going on for a while, but I just caught it due to the settlement.

Mike Rowe settles The Canadian teenager who launched MikeRoweSoft.com, much to the dismay of Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's legal team, has reached a settlement with the software giant. But he didn't get the $10,000 in cash he had initially sought after receiving a threatening 25-page letter from Bill Gates and the company's lawyers.

Rowe will, however, get an Xbox game console, some Microsoft
certification training, a free subscription to its developer
forum, a few bucks to cover expenses and a trip, with his
parents, to the company headquarters for a tech festival.

I wonder if there are other "phonetic" type parodies - certainly
there are... we'll have to try and find them. Let me know if you find
any or know of any...

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2004

MTV.com - News -Remixers Make

MTV.com - News -Remixers Make Howard Dean's Scream Funky And Danceable

I missed the original, but the remixes are pretty funny. Overall, just
the audio, I didn't think Dean was that over the top. I didn't see the
video though. Still, pretty funny stuff!

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:00 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2003

Free File Difference Viewer

Free File Difference Viewer - FreeDiff

Bilbrey makes the blog! George has proven to be a great business mind,
a stats phreak, a hockey nut, jerky boy, and more - but now - having
found this great, free, utility on purpose

I think George is knocking on the door to Geekdom. There was a somewhat obscure IDE at MessageMedia that Steven Langmuir had a license to - I could never get one from Matt Campbell in IT - that did this. Nice, color coded visual comparison. Now, of all people, Bilbrey brings this to me. Welcome George - to geekville!

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2003

The Zumabot's Tale

The Zumabot's Tale

This was too good of a story to not post. Though, if you are low on the
geek'o'meter you may not like it. I thought it was pretty funny. I
guess that puts me somewhere beyond "low" on the geek'o'meter. Sigh.
Well, enjoy fellow geeks and non-geeks...
More later...
Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:18 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2003

Welcome to Spam University

Welcome to Spam University

This was just too good to pass up. Spam University. I love the
athletics section. This is stuff we geeks play during our workday as
breaks... The privacy policy is particularly humourous... to privacy
guys like me I guess.

Posted by gcrgcr at 3:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2002

Intuos - The professional tablet

Intuos - The professional tablet system

Cool tool. I got a Wacom tablet system today... pretty cool. If you don't know what it is, then check out the site.

Bascially,
it's an input system for your computer that allows you to use a "pen"
or "stylus" so you can "write" and "draw" better. It's great for
graphic work. Here is my first test image in Photoshop, just goofin
around. Click it to see it larger.
This week at DCLK has been busy. Tons of last minute migration work
going on. Projects were forced because our co-location contract ran out
and no one noticed. To avoid the very expensive auto-renew, numerous
servers had to be moved and some are staying off. Therefore many client
apps / web pages / etc... needed conversion / storage in new places.
All I can say is UGH. Glad it's over.
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2002

Super Tivo Well, I finally

Super Tivo

Well, I finally "superTivo"'d my Tivo... what's this mean? Well, my Sony SAT T60 Receiver
is a dual tuner receiver... what this means is it is capable of
recording not only one, but TWO different channels AT THE SAME TIME.
Unfortunately with the setup in my house I had to purchase a special
splitter to create an additional input, so we've been living with only
one tuner Tivo for months... but now... boy, we have Super Tivo! If
Joie needs to watch live or record some foofy girl show, I can still
watch live/record something else... or Tivo two live thing at once and
watch a previously Tivo'd show... For those of you without Tivo, this
seems strange... but Tivo is very cool and will change your TV viewing
life... it doesn't help you watch more TV, just the TV you want to see
when you have time...
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2002

subterrane.com - lorem ipsum This

subterrane.com - lorem ipsum

This may not make sense to many of my non-geeky friends, and my non-graphic-designy friends, but this is a very
cool tool!
Basically, there are times when you need to drop text into a graphic as
an example, and this "fake greek" text is typically used by graphic
artists. This "greek" generator is a handy time saver.
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 3:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2002

Society Against Frivolous Email This

Society Against Frivolous Email

This is an old classic. An email thread at work reminded me of this Dilbert... originally appearing May 5, 1995.

Ever feel like you get emails like this way too much? I think the worst ones are replies to all that say "Thanks." Uggh.
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 4:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2002

the "new" hp - yeesh....

the "new" hp - yeesh....

Well,
here is closure on the HP support issue. The good guys lost. I still
can't believe I received no help whatsoever. Anyway, after receiving a
phone call from an HP support technician (on day 8 after being promised
a call within 6-7 business days), I had a good several minutes to plead
my case. It fell on deaf ears. Humorous as it seems, I was referred to
Carly Fiorina, the CEO, as the next person in the escalation path! :) I
think she's busy with the merger, but I will probably write the letter
as that's what I was told. Anyway, here is the email I fired back after
the phone conversation where I was told I was out of luck. BTW, email
support did respond to the below indicating it had been forwarded to
the appropriate people for review. Okay. Too late. I spent my $25. Now
we'll see if the product arrives on time. Note my revised HP Logo over
here ---->

I
just want to respond to indicate that I did receive a telephone call
from an HP support representative.
Although I'm sure this thread will simply be closed, and my opinion
will forever be archived away as meaningless, I wanted to indicate my
resolute dissatisfaction.
Despite what I believe to be a reasonable scenario where my recovery
cd's should be replaced, at HP's cost - not mine, due to HP's error -
not mine, the HP support representative has made the final decision to
deny this support.
I was told his name was Claudio Salazar. While Mr. Salazar did
maintain a professional demeaner, his stance and final decision to not
support me is extremely disappointing.
As a Computer and Web Consultant I can not in good faith ever purchase
or recommend any HP product. This is tremendously disappointing. I'll
probably fix this HP Pavilion and sell it... or give it away.
Mr. Salazar provided me with Ms. Fiorina's physical mailing address as
an escalation path to further complain. I will in fact probably take
the time to craft a letter, only because Mr. Salazar indicated that
this is an appropriate path.
Email support has been much better - and responsive, but unfortunately
unsatisfying if only because they seemed un-empowered to actually make
the call and help me.
Good luck in the future HP. You now have $25 more of my hard earned
income. I hope it helps. Thanks.
Tom Bartel
> Hello Tom,
> > Thank you for contacting the new HP.
> > I understand that you resent the fact that you were not
called > within the mentioned time frame, to alleviate the issue of
the > recovery CDs. That apart, you propose to have the current
recovery > kit exchanged with the right one for your system as well.
> > I understand perfectly the anxiety that you are going through
and I > appreciate the restraint and patience you have had. Kindly
note, I have
> reviewed the status of the call due to you and have confirmed that
> you shall receive one quite shortly. As for the exchange that you
> have proposed, I suggest that you could have a word over the same
> with the technician who speaks to you about this issue.
> > If you need further assistance, please reply to this message.
You > may also find technical and troubleshooting information along
with > software updates, on our HP Customer Care Web site at:
> > http://www.hp.com/support/personal_computing
>
> Best regards,
> Jean
> Customer Solutions support agent for the new HP
>
> * Our advice is strictly limited to the question(s) asked and is
> based on the information provided to us. Problems and solutions
> may depend on the nature of your system environment and various
> other parameters that are unknown to HP; therefore, HP cannot
> assume any responsibility or liability. Please be advised that
> technical information changes as new data becomes available,
> therefore, HP recommends that you regularly check our Customer
> Care Web site for possible updates at:
>
> http://www.hp.com/go/support
>
> HP shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special,
> incidental or consequential damages in connection with the use of
> this information.


--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2002

Random Yahoo! Link Ahh... it's

Random Yahoo! Link

Ahh... it's
back... the Random Yahoo! link... this has provided me with plenty of
web surfing satisfaction through the years. It actually disappeared for
a while... It used to by on Yahoo!s Main Page but then it disappeared.

In fact, these dudes used to keep track of it, friend of Yahoo!s founders. Check out this Statistics for Yahoo! Random Link
page... it's from 1996, notice how they mention the tens of thousands
of sites in the Yahoo! database! HA! :) Internet history is hilarious
in ways... Anyway, the best way to enjoy the Yahoo Random Link
is to bookmark it, because once you enter it in your browsers location
bar and it redirects you, it's not really stored in your history (since
it never "lands" there). So visit my blog and click from here a few
times and try it out. Later! Tom
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2002

HP Boycott??? I've not been

HP Boycott???

I've not been
well supported -- and no, that's not a jock-strap complaint...
The issue is basically this. A few years ago I bought an HP Pavilion
desktop PC. I got it from an online distributor. It was factory
refubished from HP and came packaged accordingly with software and OS
included. After the USB nightmare, it became clear I needed to
reestablish the OS on the machine. Using the Recovery disks included
with the Pavilion would theoretically allow me to replace the OS and
the basic disk image built specifically for this Pavilion and all its
internal circuitry. Theoretically....
is the key word... There is one broad assumption -- and that is that HP
included the "correct" Recovery disk in my package. They did not. The
Recovery Program starts and indicates it is wrong for that hardware.
HP's customer care site SELLS the correct disks for $25. Can I afford
it? Yes. Should I have to pay for it? Absolutely not. So, I'm like 12
days into email support He** and am two days into expecting a phone
call from escalated support, which they indicated would occur in 6-7
business days... Wow. Thanks Carly. Good luck with that merger /
lawsuit thingy. I'll blog the results of MY issue as I have updates...
Meanwhile I am laptop bound, and getting by, but not overly happy about
it. Later...
Tom
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2002

TiVo! Thank goodness for Tivo!

TiVo!

Thank
goodness for Tivo! We are not really a TV family - in terms of
addiction. The boys are allowed to watch limited amounts of certain
things, like PBS Kids shows, usually in the morning or before bed. The
big screen was a purchase for the adults in the house, and primarily
for sports entertainment. We are big sports fans - College and Pro
football, Hoops, Hockey, Baseball, etc...
Tivo is a life saver for me... because I really enjoy viewing said
sports. I also have a family that would rather have me participate in
other activities with them rather than glue myself to the TV.
Take last night... the Avs started around 8 PM. That's right when I get
the fellas ready for bed ... baths... books... jammies... etc... So, I
can begin to watch the game, and hit pause as needed, occasionally
catching a moment or two when I pass back through the room... I can
also simply record the entire event... So around 9 PM, when the boys
have been put to bed, without being pressured or hurried, I set down
and begin to watch the game. In real time it is probably into the
second period, but for me it's early in the first. No problem, as I
have no idea what the score is - the drama is very much alive for me --
and this is the magic of Tivo.
After about 40 minutes of viewing, Jesse is up and ready to play and
eat a bit... so no problem... simply pause! Tivo is a life saver. I
finished viewing the Avs victory at about 11:15 PM. Probably about a
good 30 - 45 mins after the real game finished, if not more. Oh, AND I
got to fast forward through commercials! Talk about a bonus!!!
:)
--------

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2001

Asimba: Because Endorphins Feel Good

Asimba: Because Endorphins Feel Good

Well, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill again... 50 minutes worth. I've made good progress since January. Back then I started at 30 minutes for 2 or 2.5 miles. Slowly I've ratched things up and now I'm approaching my 10k goal... basically I considered running the Bolder Boulder this year, but my training regime didn't get me far enough along to feel comfortable with it... within a few months I hope to be running two "Bolder Boulder's" a week on the tread mill (6.2 miles or so). Then next year I should have it nailed.

Anyway, Asimba
is a cool site for tracking workout information. There are many fitness related tools and lots of good info (such as the differences between running outdoors and on treadmills). The down side is it's a slow site (probably IIS with ASP dynamic pages). I hate updating the workout calendar, each transaction is SLOW. Oh well, check it out! -- later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

Artwork FaceTheJury

Artwork FaceTheJury

Found this site last week... the regular www.facethejury.com site is like Rate your Face or whatever... no chance I'm doing *that* heh...

Anyway, the Artwork site lets you upload photos, sketches, paintings, sculptures, etc and other folks collectively rate your work... After a few weeks I'd say I'm not totally happy with the ratings... not that I expect to get 10's but the stuff I think is bad rates better, and the stuff I think is good rates worse... well, we'll see how it goes. --

later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 1, 2001

Got Blogger?Welcome to Tomhoo! Blog

Got Blogger?

Welcome to Tomhoo!

Blog and the inaugural blog posting... boy sure wish there was spell check with this blogger interface... it's pretty trick already, but "inaugural" was tough to spit out there and not sure if I got it right... okay, enough with the first Blog entry... later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:41 PM | Comments (0)

 

 

 

 
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