personal comments edit

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.

blog comments edit

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.

music comments edit

This is something that I think should go in the user-written FAQ area for iTunes on the Apple site, but they don’t have one for iTunes for Windows, so I’ll just post it here.

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.

personal, halloween comments edit

Or, more to the point, new blue computer. As in, IBM. But first, a quick rundown of the other events of the weekend.

Friday night (Halloween) I went to the Winter Hawks game and watched what essentially amounted to a colossal game of Pong. I wasn’t into it, the nonexistant crowd wasn’t into it, and the team wasn’t into it. They really kicked it in gear for around five minutes there, but that just wasn’t enough to hold my attention too well. I flipped through a magazine for some of it because I was irritated and bored with the poor hockey. The goalie now makes stupendous difficult saves but will watch the puck travel slowly through the five-hole like there’s nothing he can do about it. Maybe time for a trade?

Saturday morning I took my car for an oil change (Acura “free lube for life,” baby!) and helped out my parents at their garage sale. It was maybe 40 degrees Fahrenheit out all day long but buttloads of people showed up. I was taking the money and I couldn’t keep up with it! It didn’t help that my parents didn’t have half of the stuff marked.

When all was said and done there, I got rid of a bunch of crap and raked in around $20. Not the most colossal haul ever, but it’s more room in my apartment and $20 I didn’t have before. Maybe I can buy, like, a Coke at the hockey game.

Saturday night I went to a Halloween party over at my friends Jason and Tracy’s house. Their parties always rock. I was much more happy with my costume this year than with my costume from last year, and folks were suitably impressed. Played a little air hockey, played a little pool, and generally hung out. I look forward to the next one. I’d have parties at my place but I don’t know enough people who’d show up (I’ve tried that before).

Sunday I spent most of the day hooking up the new computer. I got an IBM ThinkCentre M50 with a 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 1GB RAM, 40GB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 video card… it rules. I hooked that up and was finally able to plug in all of the devices I’ve got because of the miracle of USB. Plus it recognized them all automatically, which is exactly what it should do. It just doesn’t get better than that. It’s so much faster, so much better, I don’t know why I didn’t upgrade before.

Oh, yeah I do. Cost.

I got a good deal on this, though, and it works like a charm. Love it. I only ran into two problems, both related.

First, I wanted to put my modem from my old computer into this new one. So I took the modem out of the old one, popped open the case on the new one and… saw that all of the cards in the new computer are low-profile. Which means they’re half the size of the full-height cards. Which means my old modem is two times too high to fit in the new computer. Dammit. So I’m searching for a new modem.

Second, I wanted to hook my scanner up to the new computer. The scanner is a SCSI device, which means I need to move the SCSI controller from my old machine to my new one. Which means I need to pull that card out of the old machine and… yeah, that’s right. It’s two times too big, too. So I’m searching for a new SCSI controller.

I went to Fry’s and picked up a USB 2.0 160GB external hard drive so I have loads of space to store all of my media files and documents. Why didn’t I get another internal drive? Only enough room for one drive in the low profile box. I got it for $200 after rebate, though, and that’s not too bad considering the price of 160GB drives and the price of external drive enclosures. It even comes with different faceplates so you can customize the colors and stuff on it.

Today I ordered an external USB 2.0 DVD+/-RW/CD-RW drive from Best Buy. $200 after mail-in rebate and I’m good to go. That should be here in the next couple of weeks.

I’m kinda digging this whole low-profile-and-external-drive-combo thing. Makes it easier to use the hardware elsewhere, take it to a friend’s house, etc. Or if you don’t need it, but you’re taking your computer, you don’t have this full size tower case to lug around. Pretty cool.

Oh, I also finally bought a car power charger for my iPod. I’ve been caught too many times without battery power in there. No more!

halloween, costumes comments edit

[Grammaton Cleric... or Neo from The Matrix (6k
image)I wore my costume to work today because we have a company Halloween costume contest. Plus, I figured I went to all the work of making it and I’m only going to one party, so I should make some use of my effort, right? So I did.

Went to the contest at noon and found that about 11 of us dressed up, with varying efforts. People all morning had commented on how cool they thought my coat was and they were pretty impressed that I had made it myself. I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with myself and with how it turned out - it’s a good looking deal. Even though nobody’s seen Equilibrium, so I just copped out and said it was Neo from The Matrix. Same difference, right?

Anyway, the contest had four categories - funniest, most original, scariest, and coolest. Of those four, I got the scariest costume. Scariest? You know what? I didn’t question it. I don’t win anything ever, so I wasn’t looking the gift horse in the mouth on this one.

I walked away with a bag of M&M’s and the DVD The Sixth Sense, which is a great movie that I don’t have yet.

Amazing how a small reward and getting recognized for your accomplishments and hard work can make all the difference in the world.

It looks really rockin’ with the wind going on and all.