Tag: technology



Rainy day today.  As planned, Karl, Todd and I headed to the house during lunch.  They helped me bring the grill up from the landing and into the living room (where I can more easily maneuver it toward the kitchen) and then we spent an hour or so playing Wii.  It was a lot of fun.  They wanted to see what Wii Fit was like, so we played some of that, too.

I’m trying to reduce the amount of paper I use and so today, I downloaded a demo copy of DevonThink to see if it will work better for me than paper in collecting notes from reading and other things.  It is supposed to be very good at collecting and organizing this type of information.  How well it actually works depends on how well you can hierarchically organize your information, and last night I got started playing around with it a bit.  If it turns out to be a useful way of capturing and finding information, I’ll end up buying a license for it.  It only works on Macs, but I could end up using it at work also, since I have a Mac there, too (on which I run Parallels).

Last night was TV night.  We lazed around when wegot home.  I watched new episodes of Smallville, The Office, and Life on Mars.

Today’s reading: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (through page 88.

eReader for the iPhone

Since I mentioned upgrading my iPhone to the 2.0 software today, I should also mention that I downloaded the eReader application for the phone. I have always been on the fence about eBooks, not for any particular reason other than I like turning pages and having the book in my hand. But even with all of the space in the new house, I am out of shelf room. I got to thinking I should at least give the eReader a try.

So I bought 2 books and 1 story today. First, I bought Charlie Stross’ latest novel, Saturn’s Children. I also bought the book that I’m currently reading, The Count of Monte Cristo (the Fictionwise version was $3*). And I bought mabfan‘s story, “Cosmic Corkscrew”, just so I could taunt him and tell him that I can read his stories on my iPhone. 🙂

I’ll let you know how it goes. The interface is simply and intuitive and the text is clear and readable.

*One thing I’d mention: eReader did not, in the case of The Count of Monte Cristo distinguish between abridged and full version. The first version I bought turned out to be abridged. Because it was so cheap, I’m willing to overlook it this time, but I hope someone over there gets a clue and corrects this.

Now you see it, and now you don’t

We were up pretty early this morning. Kelly had to go into work, but I stayed home because I needed to be here for the cable guy. I made good use of the time. I got my books unpacked. There are 36 boxes of books and I managed to get most of them unpacked and on shelves. Not in proper order, you understand, but in rough alphabetical order. I will need to go back through and do some rearranging, but it’s good enough for now.

The cable guy arrived at 9 AM. He got everything setup. HD cable downstairs, regular cable upstairs in the guest room/office. High-speed Internet (yeah! we have Internet again), phone service. I got the wireless working, and even have an extended WDS network going so that we can do remote wireless printing. When the cable was set up, I saw HD on my TV for the first time. I watched a portion of Sunrise Earth, and a portion on some show about Dracula on the History Channel. It was pretty cool!

I turned in our move-in checklist, noting all of the damaged items when we took possession of the townhouse. I was careful to note everything, not matter how small. The most significant things were (1) the ice maker does not seem to be working and (2) there is a loose tile in the kitchen floor. Once that was turned in, we got our mailbox keys and I emptied our accumulated mail. My replacement pilot certificate was there from the FAA. Way fancier than my original!

I headed into work at about 11:25 and was in my office at 11:35. Not too bad. It was a busy, hectic workday, despite it being only a half-day, mainly because of some software problems I’m dealing with.

After work, I went home (6 minutes) and did more unpacking. Kelly got home from work and wanted to rest for a while. She napped and I continued to do some unpacking. Later, I showed her the new HD stuff from cable.

We headed out to Target in the evening to do a bunch of shopping. When we got home, we decided to take it easy and relax in front of our new HDTV. And that’s when we discovered that the cable wasn’t working. Turns out that the box was bad, and to make a long story short, after talking with the cable company, and getting a $5 credit for the lost day, we have to swap out the box tomorrow. I was annoyed to no end, but what can you do?

I got the book I’d ordered for the writing workshop, James Gunn’s The Science of Writing Science Fiction.

This post is brought to you in HD

It was kind of hard to sleep in for some reason. I think both Kelly and I were anxious to get started with the settling in and unpacking. Dad, Jen, and Jason went to breakfast while Kelly and I got started on some unpacking. Then we drove over to Sarah’s, dropped off my car, and picked up her SUV. Sarah had somehow manage to slice up her ankle at an OAR concert the night before, and hobbled down to greet us. Meanwhile, Michael was cleaning out the car for us.

We headed back home (our new home!) and picked up Jason, and then headed over to Costco, arriving there right at opening time, 10 AM. Kelly managed to find a parking spot right in the front. I had scoped out the TV we wanted on Friday and knew exactly where they were. We picked up our Vizio 42″ 1080P High-Definition TV–the first for both of us–and were on our way. Well, almost. I had forgotten the checkbook and when I tried paying with my American Express card, it kept saying “Call Center”. Not knowing what that meant, we tried our debit cards, and for some reason those didn’t work either. Fortunately, Jason came to the rescue. He used his American Express card, and it worked just fine. I wrote him a check later.

After we got the TV back to the house, Jason, Kelly and I loaded up the truck with stuff we wanted to donate to Goodwill. We then headed over to Goodwill, dropped off the stuff, then headed to Kelly’s place to pick up another truckload of stuff to donate, and then back to Goodwill. After the second dropoff, we stopped at KFC to get some Extra Crispy Chicken, as Jen was having a pregnancy craving for this. We got enough for everyone and this was lunch.

Jen, Jason and Dad left sometime around 1 PM. Kelly and I headed back to Sarah’s to return her truck and pick up my car. We then headed to her old place to do the final cleanup. On the way there, we were caught in a sudden and torrential thunderstorm the likes of which I have only rarely seen. I crept along the highway at 25 MPH, not able to see much more than a few feet in front of me.

By the time we got to Kelly’s the rain had stopped and the sun had come out again. We were at her place for a few hours, cleaning up. I had to run back to our place to get a set of keys that Kelly forgot. When we were done, we headed to Whole Foods to do some grocery shopping, and finally, finally back home where we could relax a bit.

We don’t have cable until tomorrow, so tonight, I hooked the DVD player to the new TV and we watched a few episodes of M*A*S*H. I am taking half a SAB-day tomorrow because the cable guy is coming in the morning to get us all set up.

The cats finally met today. I think Zeke was very good about it. Maggie hissed at him once or twice, but Zeke, not having really been around other cats, didn’t seem too phased by it. They are all cautiously curious of one another at the moment.

No home Internet access until I move

When I came home today, my Internet access wasn’t working. There was a single blinking light on the cable modem. Cable TV was fine. I did some basic troubleshooting and decided it was hardware but called Comcast anyway. The customer service person I spoke to agreed it was hardware. She suggested I bring in my cable modem and get a new one. I did that and the new one appeared to work. At least, all of the lights are flashing properly.

When I connected to my wiewless network, it seemed like it was working. I was redirected to Comcast’s site to configurey modem. I installed the configuration software and things stopped working. After more troubleshooting, I simply gave up. My rationale: I move in 2 weeks. I’ve got a lot to do and I waste a lot of time on the Internets. I’ve got my iPhone so I can get and send email and browse if I have to. Meanwhile, I can read and write and pack and not be bothered by the Internet. I probably should cancel everything now but Dad will be here next week and he’ll at least have tv. Plus the bill is already paid. When we move, the cable people are coming out to set everything up so I’ll be back in business then. Meanwhile, I have access at work and at Kelly’s.

I’m fine with it.

Five hours later

Five and a half hours since the Apple Store opened and at least in Pentagon City, the is still wrapped around the third level of the mall, above the food court. I saw Apple employees handing out water bottles to people in line earlier. It takes some dedication to stay in on (ugh!) in line for so long. You’d think Star Wars: Episode VII was premiering or something.

Who said no lines at the Apple Store?

I read in some reviews of the new iPhone that people wouldn’t be flooding Apple stores the same way they did for the original phone more than a year ago. I don’t know why the reviewers thought this would be so, but they were definitely wrong about it. The picture to the right was taken from my office at about 8:30 AM. I circled the location of the Apple Store, which is right across the food court from my office, but you can click on the picture to see the full-sized image.) Note the long line that comes away from the store and curves through the center of the picture? And that’s not all. Here is more of the line winding it’s way through the second floor of the Mall. I can’t quite tell how far it wraps way around, but it seems to me there are more people than there are phones available.

At this time, I have no plan to get the new phone, although I do plan to update the software on my iPhone to the 2.0 software this weekend some time. However, Kelly is thinking about getting the new iPhone since she is going to be changing cell phone providers (to get on my plan). Maybe when the initial fuss has passed and the lines at the Apple Store are back to normal.

At any rate, it makes me wonder: if the reviewers were wrong about people not lining up for the new phone, I wonder what else the reviewers can be wrong about?