Monthly Archive for June, 2004

Job Pointer: LJWorld.com is hiring

Are you a web developer looking for a rock solid job with a great team that you’ll enjoy being a part of?

Apply for the job that Adrian has told the world is open:

Job: Web developer for World Online in Lawrence, Kansas

Alas, my friend and co-worker Simon Willison will be completing his year-long job placement and leaving our company in a few months to go back to school in England. We at World Online are officially looking for a Web programmer/developer to fill his position — as soon as possible.

I can’t tell you enough how impressed I am with the development coming out of Lawrence… these guys are definitely pushing the envelope, and if I could pull of selling them on the idea that I knew more than I know about development, I’d apply for the job myself…

The competition for this position is sure to be tough, but fight for the job if you’re at all qualified… you’ll thank me in a few months/years for alerting you to the job if you get it.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid reference… Adrian didn’t ask me to post this (nor did anyone else at LJWorld.com). I’m just a big fan of what they’re doing. I also haven’t actually met any of that team in person, just talked to them over the phone or by IM/email a few times. Their reputation precedes them in the online news arena.

iTunes Music Store has changed my music habits

I was driving home today, listening to Guster on my iPod and I started thinking about how much iTunes, the iTMS and my iPod have changed my music buying habits.

Over the past year, I’ve slowly moved to buying all of my music online through the iTunes Music Store. In fact, in the last 2-3 months, I haven’t purchased a single CD or single offline except for a CD that I bought at a concert (and paid $20 for because I wanted the artist’s autograph on it).

iTunes tells me how much music I’ve purchased since I started buying music on it, and since last October, I’ve purchased 182 songs (on this machine). At the standard $.99 per track, that means I’ve roughly spent roughly $180 on music (there are a few free songs in there, so that’s not 100% accurate) since October through iTunes. That may not be a lot for most of you, but for me, it’s a lot. You see, I bet I’ve barely spent $180 in music in a store in the past 3 years.

iTunes has changed the way I buy music so much so, that I now buy it on impulse, from the comfort of my own couch. Fully 1/2 of those 182 tracks I’ve bought were bought in April, May and June, so it seems that I’m slowly getting sucked in by the ease of buying iTunes tracks.

I used to buy CDs on Amazon.com, but it really was a chore then. I had to buy three CDs or so to get free shipping, so I had to think about what I wanted, add it all together, and then buy it, wait a few days for shipping, then rip the CDs and sync my iPod.

Now, I buy music just because it sounds like a good track to buy… and if there are 3 or 4 tracks that sound good on an album, I buy the whole album. I turn to iTunes while watching Saturday Night Live if the band sounds good, and I buy their album. I have found myself looking for iMixes a few times and buying certain tracks off them (like the recent SSX iMix I found that sucked me into buying a few tracks from the game). I boot up the iTMS at least once a week now to find out who the new “free single of the week” is from. If I like the single, I check out more songs from that artist, and have bought a few more tracks that way too.

It’s great. I love the iTMS. Sure there are things they could do better, but that can be said about just about any record store, but one thing that’s important is that I’m buying more music all the time and my 20GB iPod is full of great music that I keep at my side all day.

(Yes, I know this post is about 6 months behind the times, but it took me that long to realize the impact that the iTunes Music Store has had on my music consumption habits.)

If you could buy cool…

Great quote:

“If you could buy cool, Bill Gates would be The Fonz.”

[seen in the comments at /.]

Business Casual: A Question

I’ve got a question for all of you (all four or five of you):

When wearing “business casual” attire, is it appropriate to wear a crew-neck t-shirt under a dress shirt or polo-shirt, or should a v-neck undershirt be worn?

I have been wearing a military uniform for too long to answer this question, as in the military, we always wore a crew-neck undershirt in all uniforms.

Answer via the comment form, please. All answers and opinions appreciated…

Fischer FVD-C1 CameraCorder and the Apple Store

The wife and I visited the Grand Opening of the Barton Creek Apple Store today, and while there, we spotted a Fischer FVD-C1 CameraCorder. The CameraCorder is an amazing little piece of engineering and swayed me with it’s tiny form-factor and great specs.

The machine is small (very small). It’s less than 3 inches front to back, 4.3 inches tall and 1.3 inches wide. It weighs about 6 ounces (about a third of a pound)

The specs from the sales website look like this:

  • DVD-Like quality video resolution (VGA:640 x 480; Full-motion 30 frames per second)
  • True 3.2 Megapixel digital still images
  • 3.2-Megapixel CCD
  • CD-Quality stereo sound (AAC Audio)
  • Up to 30 minutes of DVD-Like quality recording or 80 minutes of VHS-quality recording (with supplied 512 MB memory card)
  • Up to 491 pictures in high 3.2 megapixel resolution (2048 x 1536) mode or up to 3931 pictures in normal 0.3 megapixel resolution (640 x 480) mode (with supplied 512 MB memory card)
  • 5.8 X Optical zoom lens; 10 X Digital zoom
  • Lithium-ion battery and AC operation
  • Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD, with 110,000 pixels of resolution

The specs and manual say that the battery should last an hour under normal video shooting conditions, and the 512MB SD card that came with the CameraCorder should shoot anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes of video, depending on the quality setting being used (actually, it says it can shoot a lot more than that, but I don’t anticipate shooting at the worst quality setting available ever). It also supports USB 2.0 transfer of data, so it shouldn’t be too slow to use (I was afraid it might be USB 1.1 or slower at the store). So, I’ll play with the CameraCorder this weekend and see what I really think about it.

The Apple Store will take a return for a 10% restocking fee, so even if I only use the thing for a week and take it back, I figure it’s a great price to test it out for a full week.

If I like it alot, I’ll turn to Amazon.com to buy a bunch of 512MB SD Cards for ∼$75 each, and I’ll start looking for an extra battery for backup use.

Here’s what’s funny about the whole purchasing process. While at the Apple Store, I was able to go to Fisher’s website, Apple’s website, Amazon.com (and any other shopping site I wanted to) to research the product and the price at different retailers for the CameraCorder and the SD cards that it uses. I found the CameraCorder at Amazon.com for $40 less than Apple was selling it (and $140 less than Fisher was selling it directly). The 512MB SD Cards for $75 at Amazon, while the Apple Store was selling 256MB SD Cards for $99, so I waited on buying that at the Apple Store, while buying the CameraCorder for a slight premium, because it’s easier to return something to Apple than it is to Amazon.

It’s interesting to me that Apple allowed me to price-shop and compare other retailers while at their store, knowing that I’d still choose to buy things there if the benefits of doing so were worth it to me. Granted they lost a SD card sale, but they didn’t even have the 512MB card I wanted, so they’d already lost that sale.

Anyways, the new CameraCorder is charging now, and we’ll test it out this weekend to see how we like it.

Here’s a review from ZDNet.

Austin Apple Store opening around the corner

June 12th is the date that Andy gave me a while back for the Grand Opening of the first Apple Store in Austin and ifoAppleStore just posted this tidbit today:

“The Barton Creek (Tex.) store is finished, but the shelves have not yet been stocked. The store will occupy space R8 in the Nordstrom wing of the mall, according to an updated version of the directories at the mall. The mall’s marketing staff says their telephone is ringing off the hook with questions about the Apple store. The grand opening announcement should be posted on Apple’s Web site this week, as tipsters say it will open June 12th.”