Archive for September, 2011

iPad vs M.D.

Friday, September 30th, 2011

The WebMD app on my iPad has given me what seems like a reasonable diagnosis and treatment plan. We shall see what the human doctor comes up with. I suppose I can bring a gold-paint pen with me and put the rating stars on his forehead by hand.

The Fratellis – Costello Music

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I think the album title caught my eye in a is-this-an-album-of-elvis-costello-covers-i-see sort of way, and on Rhapsody, all the music is ‘free’, so download I did, without bothering to look beyond the track titles enough to see they weren’t Elvis songs. Turns out to be a fairly decent rock album, very peppy and energetic, without a single song skipped so far, and every one a toe-tapper even on first listen.

Recommended – Costello Music

Case Study for Geographic Separation

Monday, September 26th, 2011

In one of those coincidences that make you wonder, I was just the other day discussing with a friend, how having a duplicate of all my music and photos at work didn’t do much for proper disaster-recovery-style-off-site-backup, since the two locations are less than 100 yards apart, and any disaster likely to physically destroy my home would destroy work as well….and Sunday, just after the cable-man came and got me 90% up and running, the power went down in my neighborhood, killing machines at both locations. Thankfully, everything is coming back online without issue, so far.

It occurs to me, I now know for certain that you can power off the scanner before the PC is done post-processing.

What to think?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

The chair massage woman at work just told me my face looks all swollen on one side, but when I look in the mirror, I don’t notice anything. I would feel kinda weird going around to people at work and asking if I look funny today. Like, do I amuse you funny or about to die from alien invasion funny?

Upgrading Java on Solaris

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

You’d think that the people who originally came up with java would have a decent automatic updating mechanism for their own operating system, like happens for Windows. You’d think wrong. Instead, they provide some instructions with vague lines that imply hours of additional work (“make sure all applicable updates have been applied before starting…“), and give zero guidance that I’ve found so far, on make the transition from a JRE to a JDK. If I’m reading my pkginfo results correctly, there are literally dozens of java pkg’s that make up the JRE, and even more for the JDK. Oy vey.

Differing Perspectives

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I was talking to a guy yesterday, a bit down on his luck and scraping by, who had hitchhiked to Seattle from Alabama with no real plan for what he’d do once he got here. When I asked where he was living, he said he’s renting a room at the gay bathhouse. I had never even considered people might do something like that. I suppose the staff doesn’t care, as long as you pay every 12 hours. It does make me itchy just thinking about the ratio of room-turnover to deep-cleaning opportunities, but I suppose if you’ve been sleeping outside for weeks at a time, it’s still an improvement.

No Regrets

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

After 15 years and one bank failure, I finally finished the switch to the credit-union-lifestyle, and closed out my account at Chase, formerly Wamu. There were two people working the branch, but only the guy who already had a client could close accounts, so I just sat there waiting, while the other teller twiddled her thumbs. When it was my turn, the guy made no attempt to retain me a customer, nor ask why I was leaving, a simple “cash or check?” and it was all done.

Ever Growing List

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

It’s funny how things work out. I get a new toy with a specific project in mind, but maybe 10% into that project, discover the tool is even more suited for a completely new project, and so now where there was one, there are two.

Caveat Kickstarter

Friday, September 16th, 2011

I’ve been a big fan of Kickstarer, ever since I first heard of them. It sounds like a great idea for putting together the people with ideas, and the people with money, be those ideas business or art. After bonus season, I funded several projects, and slowly they are starting to finish up. Given that 90% of the stuff I ended up funding was musical in nature, I’ve been expecting things to take their time arriving/completing. So I didn’t notice right away, how far behind schedule one of the projects was. A band wanted some funds to go on tour, and it wasn’t a big investment for a cover-song-request-reward, so I joined in without looking beyond the info they’d given on their kickstarter page.

Flash to last week, and it occurs to me that they said they’d be sending out stuff back in June, and a quick bit of surfing reveals the last message from a member of the band is a thanks-and-goodbye; they broke up as soon as the tour was finished. Oh well, it was only $25. But my curiosity is piqued; there are some projects with investment/reward levels in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, so I emailed Kickstarter support and asked them what happens when a project doesn’t send out the rewards.

“Because projects are primarily funded by the friends, fans, and communities around its creator, there are powerful social forces that keep creators accountable.”

So it would seem that kickstarter doesn’t intend any sort of implied guarantee that they will actually make sure you get what you’ve paid for. It’s up to you to harass their friends and family into shaming good behavior out of project members. Fair enough, I’m sure they’d have to take a larger cut of the funds if they were going to keep a reserve to give refunds out of their own pockets, and it’s not like they can make the musicians get back together and record. Still, it puts a damper on any interest I had in some of the more expensive and involved mechanical projects.

It also suggests that every project I’ve ever seen on the site has an audience completely different from how the kickstarter developers intend the site to be used. It makes me wonder why they have a “Discover” button, if their assertion is sincere about expected usage patterns.

Buzz versus Plus

Friday, September 16th, 2011

I don’t get why google has both buzz and plus, or at least hasn’t integrated them better. Then again, I’m still trying to figure out a way to have the autonomy of a private blog, while somehow integrating it into the whole facebook/g-plus social sphere, without simply reposting everything three or more places each time. As is, I upload hundreds of photos to my flickr account, pick the perfect shot to make a wordpress post here, plus a facebook post, and it all seems so makeshift.