Monthly Archive for July, 2004

Summer Flu

I hate having a cold in the summer. This is my second one in a month, and I’m sure it’s some sort of flu: Headaches, body aches, sore throat, fever, congestion, ugh…

One thing I’ve been able to learn while I’ve stayed home the past two days (I want to get better faster and make sure I don’t get anyone else sick) is that day-time TV sucks more now than it ever has. I’ve been flipping channels all day.

My head generally hurts too badly to spend too much time on the computer, so I’ve been laying here listening to the stupid shit on TV. ugh… if I felt better I’d go do something productive, like work or mow or paint the house or something… anything would be better than this hell I’m stuck in with the TV on.

An idea just hit me: I’m putting a DVD in the DVD player as soon as I can get the energy to get up and do it. Maybe something fun like Time Bandits (which I haven’t seen in about 20 years and picked up at Target for $9.99).

Silver iPod mini on eBay

A buddy of mine is selling his silver iPod mini on eBay… bidding ends Monday afternoon. If you’ve been looking for one and want to score it at a great price, take a look.

My Best of Mac OS X Software

Since everyone else has a published list of their favorite software for OS X, I figured I’d post mine:

  • BBEdit – A truly fantastic text-only editor. Extremely powerful and yet also very simple. (you can still download the old free “lite” version if you don’t want to pay for it, but if you find yourself using it alot, I’d recommend buying the new full version) ($180)
  • NetNewsWire – RSS Aggregator. Bought version 1.0 as soon as it was available, and happly waiting for version 2.0 (currently in development). ($40)
  • Interarchy – FTP client (and more). I’ve been using Interarchy (and it’s parent Anarchie) for about 10 years now and I’ve never been unhappy with it. ($40)
  • VLC – alternative media player for when Windows Media Player won’t play the Windows Media files it’s supposed to play. (free)
  • LaunchBar – super cool launcher utility. ($20)
  • WindowshadeX – at it’s worst this little haxie brings back Mac OS 9’s Windowshade functionality to OS X, and at it’s best extends that old idea and brings it into the present with their “minimize in place” feature. ($10)
  • Fire – Great chat client for multiple different chat environments. Supports the two I need – AIM and MSN’s chat. (free)
       Close second: AdiumX. (free)
  • ClearDock – quickly and easily makes the background of your dock clear. (free)
  • Mailsmith with SpamSieve – a great compliment to BBEdit and a fantastic replacement for Mail. I’ve written about Mailsmith before, if you’re interested in reading deeper on this software.
  • Cocktail – A fantastic easy to use program to perform system maintenance on your machine manually. Thanks to Lon for this recommendation ages ago. ($15)
  • Quicktime Pro – Yes, I paid for this, so that I could easily and quickly download movies and/or edit them via copy/paste right in Quicktime after downloading. ($30)
  • SnapzProX – Great Screen-shot and screen-movie utility. Works as advertised and used to capture movies of other movies that I find in WMA format, or something else that’s non-quicktime friendly, as well as screen-shots. ($30 – $70 for movie capture)
  • SafariNoTimeout – Changes the default time-out for Safari when it has a hard time connecting to a web site. A must-have for web developers.
  • MenuMeters – Great little Menu Extra that I use to tell me how hard my computer is working and to monitor the connectivity of my internet connections all from the menubar. (free)
  • USB Overdrive X – If you’ve got a multi-button mouse, then I’d highly recommend you check this software out. I used it to get back the 5-button functionality of my MS Intellimouse Explorer. ($20)
  • TinkerTool – let’s you set a lot of preferences for your system that are just hard to find or totally inaccessible via normal means. (free)

And here’s a list of stuff I’ve tried, but couldn’t get used to using because they weren’t polished enough, didn’t offer a strong enough feature/benefit vs. performance trade-off, or just didn’t fit me, but might be good for some one else, based on their needs:

  • iTerm – tabbed Telnet/SSH client, that I’m sure does more than I understand, but it overkill for me.
  • MPlayerOSX – a capable Divex and Realcodec movie player for OS X (free)

This list will be updated as it changes.

New iPod Pictured

MacMinute has a picture of the new iPods from Newsweek, which they expect to be introduced this coming week.

update: Here’s a link to the actual cover story in Newsweek [hat tip to MacRumors.com’s forums]. And here is an article covering the specs.

RSS Feed Overload

I’ve got a lot of RSS feeds (518) in NetNewsWire. I’ve got so many RSS feeds in NNW that it’s made reading RSS feeds unbearable lately… you see, I only open NNW once a day (usually around 10:00 at night) and try to read all of my feeds before I doze off at night… but, I’ve got so many feeds in NNW right now, that it’s just not fun anymore, and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by all of the stuff I have to read each night.

It’s gotten so bad that I’m just not reading most of the stuff anymore, just skimming the headlines and skipping ahead to the next feed, ad nauseum…

I’ve stayed subscribed to a lot of RSS feeds because I guess I’ve felt that I might miss something if I don’t keep them in my aggregator, that I might miss something… but this past week, I realized that there’s no reason to have 1900 unread items in your aggregator, if you’re never going to actually read them.

So, this week, I’ll be cleaning out RSS feeds that I’m no longer reading… this will likely include a lot of the “a-list” bloggers that I just don’t feel like I connect with directly.

I do however have a solution that’ll make sure I don’t miss out on anything that should interest me from those folks: I’ve set up a good 10 or so keyword search feeds from Feedster.com, so, if something does get posted by one of the blogs or other RSS feeds I currently have subscribed, I won’t miss anything after I unsubscribe from those feeds. I’m also staying subscribed to Scoble’s aggregator-feed, as he’ll likely catch the important stuff for me. (Thanks Robert, in advance for that feed).

Hopefully, this simplification of my RSS feeds will help me slowly return to more regular postings of my own.

It’s just one of those days

I hope this helps you get in the mood on Friday:

Its just one of those days
When you don’t wanna wake up
Everything is fucked
Everybody sucks
You don’t really know why
But want to justify
Rippin’ someone’s head off
No human contact
And if you interact
Your life is on contract
Your best bet is to stay away motherfucker
It’s just one of those days!!

Its all about the he says she says bullshit
I think you better quit
Lettin’ shit slip
Or you’ll be leavin with a fat lip
Its all about the he says she says bullshit
I think you better quit talkin that shit
(Punk, so come and get it)
Its just one of those days
Feelin’ like a freight train
First one to complain
Leaves with a blood stain
Damn right I’m a maniac
You better watch your back
Cuz I’m fuckin’ up your program
And if your stuck up
You just lucked up
Next in line to get fucked up
Your best bet is to stay away motherfucker
Its just one of those days!!

I feel like shit
My suggestion is to keep your distance cuz right now im dangerous
We’ve all felt like shit
And been treated like shit
All those motherfuckers that want to step up
I hope you know I pack a chain saw
I’ll skin your ass raw
And if my day keeps goin’ this way I just might break somethin’ tonight…
I hope you know I pack a chain saw
I’ll skin your ass raw
And if my day keeps goin’ this way I just might break somethin’ tonight…
I hope you know I pack a chain saw
I’ll skin your ass raw
And if my day keeps goin’ this way I just might break your fuckin’ face tonight!!
Give me somethin’ to break
How bout your fuckin’ face
I hope you know I pack a chain saw, what!!…

From the lyrics to Break Stuff on Significant Other by Limp Bizkit. That’s the kind of week I’ve had (that’s a good thing!)

Goal Oriented Marketing

I got this email today from a professional marketing group (emphasis mine):

Dear Marketer,

Please accept our invitation to participate in a short web survey for the American Marketing Association. As a valued member of the industry, we would like your opinions about ways to reach more marketers and increase our membership. Your answers will be kept confidential and will only be used to help guide our strategic planning and assist us in developing a member acquisition offer that is compelling and meaningful.

The survey should only take 5 minutes to complete, and should be fun. Simply click on the link below to visit our survey. If you can’t click on the text below, you can cut and paste it into your URL window.

Here is a link to our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?A=40825383E1760

Thank you for your participation,
The American Marketing Association
www.marketingpower.com

The problem I have with this email is that they committed the big sin in marketing. They told me:

1. I’m important to them (good)
2. Their goal is to increase their membership (bad)
… all while …
3. Asking me to complete a survey (why should I do this again?)

Why didn’t they instead:

Ask me to complete a survey and tell me what the benefits to completing that survey are to me? I’d probably have answered the survey had they told me what the benefits to me were, but instead, they told me what the benefits to them would be. I could care less about them… and I reckon the rest of you are just like me…

What’s in it for me?

Gotta love it when a professional organization can’t get it right.

Outsourcing

From wired.com:

Did you hear the one about the programmer who outsourced his own job? I read about it on Slashdot.org, the “news for nerds” Web site. A pseudonymous poster wrote, “About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 to do the job I get paid $67,000 for. He’s happy to have the work. I’m happy that I only have to work 90 minutes a day, talking code. My employer thinks I’m telecommuting. Now I’m considering getting a second job and doing the same thing.”

[via XPlane’s bBlog]

A Paratrooper’s Faith

Back when I was in the Army, I got a little blue book that was printed by the military for distribution at the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. I haven’t read the book in over a year, but, when I was reading it daily (generally when I was in the field), I copied a few quotes from the book onto my Palm.

The book was a reprint of a book that a family sent to George Bowler Tullidge III, a Sergeant in the 507th Parachute Infantry 82nd Airborne Division, who was killed on June 8th, 1944, while serving his country during the Invasion of France.

The book was a tremendous read, and I figured I’d post a few of the quotes I copied from it here for you to read:

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
— Proverbs 1:10.

The world makes way for a determined man.

He who is firm in will molds the world to himself
— Goethe

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, “Press On,” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
— Coolidge

Heroism is simple, and yet it is rare. Everyone who does the best that he can is a hero.
— Josh Billings

Because the task is difficult to many tire and quit,
But that’s the time to summon up your patience and grit,
And that’s the time to prove your skill.
So stick it out and work until
You justify your faith that you
Can do what any man can do.
— Edgar Guest

How do you tackle your work each day?
   With confidence clear, or dread?
What to yourself do you stop and say
   When a new task lies ahead?
What is the thought that is in your mind?
   Is feat ever running through it?
If so, just tackle the next you din
   By thinking you’re going to do it.
— Edgar Guest

It does not take great men to do great things; it only takes consecratedmen.
— Phillip Brooks

It is those who perform faithfully their appointed work day by day, who in God’s own time will hear His call, “Come up higher.”
— E.G. White

Sucess in life is a matter not so much of talent or opportunity as of perserverance.
— C.N. Windle

Interestingly, the book was compiled by hand by Sergeant Tullidge’s mother after his death and given to the Army to help other soldiers get through their days in the military…

Great read, if you find it somewhere. And because I can’t find a copy of the text online, I might just post the whole thing here someday if I can’t find a copyright on it…

Update: I finally posted the full text to A Paratrooper’s Faith online, so that the full text is posted somewhere, and Google can find it. Enjoy!