This is the first entry I’ve actually personally made in pMachine. I’ve finally gotten around to updating the templates on everything, and while there are several color-related CSS things I need to finish, I think I’ve got things pretty well taken care of. Now I just have to figure out how to import my stuff from Greymatter, and I’ll be good to go.
Today’s a hurry-up-and-wait sort of day. I’m supposed to get my product demo all compiled up and burned onto CDs for everyone, but I have one piece that I’m waiting to get from another guy and he’s having Visual SourceSafe problems, so I don’t think I’m going to make my 11:30a deadline.
Oh, just got another email. I guess it’s back up. Maybe I’ll make it after all.
In the meantime, I’ve got everything set to go, ready to burn the CDs and distribute this thing once all the pieces are in place. A nice close to a good project. At least I’m not running around frantically trying to get things to work.
At 12:30p I’ll be heading down to the semi-yearly coding “competition” they refer to as “Boot Camp” around here. Each time they have a different problem to solve and you get assigned to a team and your team has to come up with a program that solves it. Previous problems have included creating an online auction system and solving a business problem of your choice (your app had to be the “most used” at the end of two weeks to be the winner). This year it’s the “Puzzle Challenge” where we have to write an app that will solve… a puzzle of some nature. It’s a surprise, so I don’t know what it is yet. We’ll have eight hours to solve whatever it is. Should be fun.
Plus, you can win prizes for good coding. I plan on winning.
So I’m waiting. Waiting for the other guy to finish his part of the demo project. Waiting for 12:30 to roll around so I can go kick some coding ass. Generally waiting.
I think that’s hella better than scrambling around madly, don’t you?
Yesterday was packed chock-full of shit for me to do.
At 7:00a I had my usual once-every-four-weeks haircut. By 8:00a I was at the allergy doctor’s office getting my weekly round of allergy shots. 9:00a I got to work.
Got a lot done at work. I’m still working on the product demo, but it’s getting closer to the deadline and I’m almost done.
Okay, I just now got a sales call and I have to throw it in here because it was just dumb.
Sales Guy: Hi, my name’s Carl and I’m calling from [some web company I don’t recall the name of] and we’d like to build you up a web site and send you the URL to it so you can look at it and see what you think for 15 days. Me: You’d like to build us a web site? Carl: Yes, we would. Me: That’s interesting, Carl, but building web sites around here is my job. Thanks, though. Carl: We’re not looking to replace you or anything, we just want to build you an additional site. Me: Carl, why would we need another site? Carl: The more sites you have, the more people you reach. [Does this guy know what he’s talking about?] Me: Riiight. I don’t think so. Sorry. Carl: Are you sure? Even if you don’t use it, maybe you could get some ideas from it. Me: Somehow I’m thinking not. Thanks anyway, Carl. *click*
I hate sales calls.
Okay, back to yesterday.
At 3:00p the company had a cosmic bowling event I went to. It was hella fun, even though I don’t know half the people who showed up. (I’m not too social at work. Go figure.) I ended up bowling with Chris, our CTO, who, as it turns out, is a pretty cool guy on a social level. I think he was sharking me at bowling, though, because he’d bowl two or three gutterballs, then get like six strikes in a row. Huh.
They had a Monte Carlo bowling thing going for a while, too, and I won $25. Not bad for an afternoon at work, eh?
My average ended up around the 130 range and my high was 180. Can’t complain about that, except today my wrist is a little sore and my left ass cheek is killing me. (Get your mind out of the gutter [bad bowling pun not intended] - I’m a right-handed bowler, so I slide on my approach with my left leg.)
I was supposed to get together last night with Gerb, a friend of mine who I hardly saw when he was away at college and now I hardly see him and he only lives like 20 blocks away. We planned to get together like a week or so ago and then he ended up working late instead of coming over. I guess that’s just the way it goes.
Instead, I spent the evening networking the new computer to the old one and migrating documents and settings. I haven’t got the modem for the new computer yet so I had to run Internet Connection Sharing (sucky sucky) so the new one could download and install patches from Windows Update. That alone almost convinced me I need DSL or cable modem. There were like 80MB of patches and things to download, which means it’s probably still going. I know it was this morning. Bah.
I also settled in and watched my copy of The Matrix Reloaded in preparation for my viewing of The Matrix Revolutions next week on the company outing. After watching it for the second time (first time since the theater), I think it’s starting to grow on me a bit. You really can’t look at it from a standalone movie point of view; you have to look at it not only in its context in the trilogy, but also from a “what points are they making philosophically?” standpoint. Entertainment-wise… eh. But raw analysis? Very interesting. I definitely picked up on some stuff I didn’t catch the first time because I was too preoccupied with the suckiness factor.
It’s still not as good as it should have been.
Oh, and I’ve decided after researching it and talking to some folks that I’m going to stop ripping my CDs in to 320kbps MP3 and instead use 256kbps AAC/M4A. It’ll save some room on the ol’ iPod without really giving up much in the way of quality, and that’s the happy medium I’m going for. Am I re-ripping my existing stuff? Probably. I haven’t really ripped too many of my CDs anyway. Ideally I could rip them all into a digital, lossless format and then have a conversion program that encodes them into whatever format of the day I’m using. But I don’t have a terabyte drive to store all the originals on, so screw it. 256kbps AAC it is.
I was just looking at this guy’s blog when I noticed something happening, and it was so subtle at first that it sort of took me by surprise.
As you sit there reading it, the entire site changes its colors. Slowly, but constantly. Watch for it. It’s pretty messed up.
Problem: The GEARSecurity service won’t start up automatically. This can result in the inability to read/rip CDs as well as the ability to burn a CD in iTunes for Windows. You may get a popup window when you start iTunes for Windows that says something like “You have no compatible hardware for CD reading/burning” or “The iTunes service for importing and burning CDs and DVDs has not been started. Please restart the service to enable burning and importing.”
Solution: One of two things could be going wrong here. First, check to make sure the service called “GEARSecurity” is set to “Automatic” startup. You can do that by right-clicking the “My Computer” icon, selecting “Manage” from the options, and selecting “Services” from the tree on the left-hand side. In the service listing, find “GEARSecurity” and make sure it’s set to “Automatic.” Chances are it is.
The other thing could be that iTunes for Windows 4.1.1 distributes an old version of the GEARSecurity service that doesn’t work quite right. You may need to download and install the latest GEAR driver set. That’s what fixed my problem, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have to search deep in the forums to find it.
If it still doesn’t work, you’re hosed.