Friday, December 30, 2005

keyboard shortcuts everywhere

am i the only one that expects "j" "k" to scroll a webpage, and "y" to close any window? (gmail 'cuts)

i also hit "esc" (vi) every 4 seconds while typing, sometimes screwing up popup windows, etc.

... maybe i'm just losing it. or using the computer too much.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

feed subscription problem - solved

hodang, how did i miss this?

the ancient problem of getting a crazy XML feed's URL into an arbitrary (supported) feed reader is solved (if you use firefox, of course):

Feed Your Reader

i have mine set up to use google reader. no need to copy paste, no need to have masses of "subscribe with..." buttons taking up screen real-estate and causing confusion. maybe people will start taking those down soon. maybe :-/

Thursday, December 22, 2005

excellent edit

wow. must.. stop.. watching.. googlevideo this morning.
Barney VS 2pac - Google Video

(note: strong, hilarious, language in above link)

double true

so. funny.
YouTube - SNL - The Chronic of Narnia Rap

makes me want to actually watch SNL again.
or, y'know, download it later.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

odeo shifts

everyone's favorite new app/service/site, Odeo, has undergone a minor (yet significant) change. they're changing from the site where you make and list podcasts to the site where you create "casual content" audio.

be sure to check out the blog post about the changes and what you can do with the site.

the point is, it's fun to make little recordings and send them to people. you don't have to post them to the world and have a weekly radio show and get popular. just talk to someone. you're busy, they're busy. this way everyone can catch up when they're good and ready.

record something during the holidays, send it out to your friends. haven't talked to someone in a while, only emailed? now you can use voice without having to make sure they're home or worry about interrupting them with a cell phone call.

send a message to your niece. maybe she'll even send one back to you. it's a lot easier (and funner) than sending cassette tapes in the mail. who ever did that?

real estate search

very cool. anybody looking for a home should use this. very easy to use.

Friday, December 02, 2005


thanks for the chai, Tris!
(pic taken with cool new camera phone)

le tigre

I just upgraded to Tiger (Mac OSX 10.4). The guys at work gave me a new image after I had backed up all my data, then I (slowly) pushed my data back onto the machine.
I found I was wasting a lot of space, I should really clean some stuff up.

As for Tiger, no real noticable improvements yet. Spotlight is neat, of course. So is Dashboard.

But what about Automator? There has been so much buzz about Spotlight and Dashboard, but Automator was supposed to be on par with those guys. What a slacker.
I'm guessing we'll see a surgance of neat Automator utilities in a while, once everybody settles down and finds a use for it. I love the idea of scripting applications in a sharable manner.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

ev hands down his tablet

ev writes up his Top Ten list for web startups. i'd love to be in the position to really listen to this, but for now it will have to sink into the back of my mind.
evhead: Ten Rules for Web Startups

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fire And Motion

Just read Fire And Motion - Joel on Software. It's good to hear other people (especially successful professionals like Joel) feel the same way about work that I do.

You think I could get away with the whole Noon to 5pm thing? That would be sweet. Just gotta get the shuttle to go along with this.

Friday, November 18, 2005

bloggin legit

In case you're planning on blogging about anything you think might get you in trouble, or if you know someone who is, EFF is your friend.

In particular, check out these new Blogging Guidelines for Students. They focus on the rights of student bloggers.

One high schooler recently received a settlement of $117,500 for the
violation of his First Amendment rights, but not before he was suspended for a week and barred from going on his class trip.

Not that this is a particularly good way to get some extra cash, its nice to hear that schools aren't getting away with blanket persecution (prosecution?).
So, don't let the man get to you. Keep on truckin' ... err bloggin.


How awesome is this.

Be sure to read the whole article. Basically, colored bubbles are real. They did it. It's done (a la seedless watermelons).

What's even more interesting is the idea that these might not be just for kids. Think orange and black bubbles coming out of Halloween cauldrons on every doorstep. Think NFL team-colored bubbles filling stadiums. Shoot, think primary-colored bubbles at every Google event ever again (check out the Labs logo).

Even more interesting is the application of the dye beyond bubbles. The dye is essentially temporary color. Honest to goodness temporary. Not washable, but "just goes away." Temporary paint for your walls, anyone?

They say its never been done before. That's awesome. But I'm just wondering how Zap-it worked. Am I the only one that had a Zap-It?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Apple vs MS :: holiday smackdown

You know what would be a great ad this holiday season?

iPod vs XBox360

"Why get your kids an XBox360, when you can get them an iPod nano?"
"Half the price, 100x more portable"
"Share the experience of music with your kids, leave the video games at the arcade"

All the kids that want an XBox360 want an iPod, too. Apple just has to convince the parents that an iPod is a better buy.

Maybe these two products aren't exactly in the same category, but when you're thinking about holidays, every (reasonable well-off) kid gets one big present, regardless of category. Will it be an apple or a MS product?

Apple would be smart to address this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


With feed readers becoming more prevalant and people getting their blog on via one clean interface, one has to question: "Why bother with design?" (if you've seen this blog "in person," you know I've asked this question quite clearly)

So: is there any way to maintain some design in an unformatted, aggregator-wrapped, structured-data blog post?


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It's been a while since I really subscribed to a new blog. I just figured out why: I was subscribed to both Boing Boing and Slashdot.

After removing those two behemoths from my reading list, I discovered that I was only reading good stuff, and I was actually running out of things to read. Hence, new subscriptions.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Ya, I've used that"

On the bus today, I met the person who developed the UI to the original Netscape Mail/News interface. She just joined the company (into the UI group) a month ago.

Pretty cool.


Every morning, I leave the house at 6:30am. I drive to the shuttle stop, and if there isn't much traffic, I'm early enough to make a stop at the bagel shop (strawberry bagel with chocolate milk, mmm) or Peets (Chai Latte, anyone?)

The ride in takes anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. During which, I've been known to:
- Sleep
- Watch a NetFlix
- Listen to Audible ("Atlas Shrugged" is lasting a looong time)
- Email (we have wireless internet, thanks to JunxionBox)
- Dork around, reading "news" off my aggregator (NNW or GR)
- Work on a personal project (reminder: start work on Rails again)
- Do Real Work (especially when on-call)
- Plan (nod to HBN agan)

It's really a pretty good system. I get in before just about anybody else in the office. At which point I am often ready to get right in my game, without the standard "sit around, check email, wake up" hour most people go through every morning.

The best part is that I have an ending time. 5:00pm sharp, every day. If I'm sorta working on this project, sorry, gotta go home. I like to think it's helping my home life. Of course, if i *have* to stick around for some important deadline, there is a later shuttle (7:30pm).

Normally I get home about 6:30pm, making a 12-hour day (3 of which are on the road), every day. I can take it.

So, there ya go. In case you were wondering.

Pimp My Shuttle

Last night and this morning, the commuter shuttle was replaced by a stretch Expedition. Blacked out windows, champagne glasses, "bar," (14") flatscreen TVs, etc.

Too bad we're going to work.

stupid vaccines

Flu season is upon us: "Dr. Taraneh Ravazi, M.D., Staff Doctor

Who shouldn't get one?
- People with severe allergy to eggs


Monday, October 31, 2005

organization and chores

So I've reached this point where I feel like I get overwhelmed at work from time to time. I go from Moments of Amazing Productivity (coding for a few hours straight through) to Eons of Churn (start one thing, get distracted, start something else, get nothing done).

Now, this is probably a very common thing to happen, especially to someone early-on in their career, like me (I consider this my first "real job"). But what really bothers me is that it makes me think I'm inheriting my Dad's most annoying habit: never finishing what he started.

Growing up in a Scottish household, you do chores. Outside. Rain or shine.
[to my siblings reading this: yes, I did chores too. Just because you weren't there, doesn't mean it didn't happen. And enough with the Pop-Tarts jabs. It's not my fault they loved me most.] [Just kidding about loved thing] [maybe]
When I would help my Dad outside, the standard routine was:
1) Start two-man Job.
2) Make some progress.
3) Dad sees something else broken/dirty/misplaced. Leaves without saying anything.
4) Dad pulls me away from job before I can finish to start other job.
5) Darkness Falls
6) 23 Jobs started, none finished.
7) Repeat tomorrow, Dad gets mad about "getting nothing done"

So maybe I'm just sensitive about doing chores.

But my point is, I don't like it when I find myself doing the same thing.

If I want to "go somewhere," especially in this company, I've got to Get Things Done (no, I haven't read the book, but I dig the concepts).

Google Reader

If you haven't tried Google Reader (GR) yet, you're missing out. If you're a non-geek, you've probably never heard of a "News Aggregator," which is essentially what GR is. So let me break it down for you.

Do you have an interest? Someone is blogging about it. I don't care what it is. I was showing GR to my sister-in-law a while back and she said "try 'Childbirth Education'" ... how obscure can you get?
There were hundreds of blogs. The top few that we looked at were excellent. There are entire communities devoted to the topic, as well as related topics (preganancy health, child rearing, how to pick a babysitter, etc). It's crazy.
I haven't ventured far from the nerd-ville of gadgets and info-centric news sources, so I never knew there was such diversity out there. Such depth.

Each one of these blogs we could subscribe to. Have all that knowledge in one place. No more hunting around, remembering sites, using bookmarks (I hate bookmarks, but that's another post), etc. It's all just there.

My point: Reader is for more than just nerds. I didn't know it, but it's true. You can subscribe to blogs, news sources, photo albums (Flickr comes to mind, obviously), and more. Any website that provides a "feed" (sometimes called RSS or ATOM), you're set.
The whole deal with feeds is still crazy young, its gonna blow up soon. Trust me, you want to be there.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Steve's Plane Notes

- sit near the front, so you can get out quickly
- bring earplugs (dangit)
- have something to do (book/ipod/laptop) (don't leave in bag you had to check in)

Best Parts:
- a virgin bloody mary. good stuff.
- takeoff
- that part when you go from flat flying to decending

- Announcement volume. Mild heartattack every 20 minutes.
- The opening speech.
- Attempted jokes not-so-subtly buried in opening speech.
- TSA (don't get me started on the shoe thing)
- No electronics rule

About that last one: I actually had an attendant once make me turn off my laptop when I had it shut in the pouch in front of me. She saw the "heartbeat" light. I tried to explain "its asleep," but apparently she's never used a computer in her life. I wasn't about to explain the negligable amount of magnetic flux going on when there is just enough power running to keep the RAM in line. You Must Obey.

sitting in the airport

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:27:45 PM
Andria and I are waiting for a plane in OAK airport. The plane is 45 minutes late and I'm playing with Hog Bay Notebook, so I've decided to start doing blog drafts in here. How organized of me.

So, I'm an idiot. I forgot that you can't bring sharp things onto the airplane. I packed:
1) Some little scissors (because I'm trying to keep this attempt-at-a goatee slightly well-trimmed).
2) The leatherman from our wedding (with my name engraved on it).

They said I could either "lose" my stuff or check in my bag. Normally it would be no big deal, but the leatherman was kinda special and we were like an hour early. I was a little pissed at myself, but a really kind woman working for the airport walked me to the desk, checked in my bag (past the lines) and then got me through security (past the giant lines). I lost, maybe, 10 minutes. Awesome. Go Oakland Airport (or at least that one worker).

So, what was the point of this story? Oh, right: That I'm an idiot. "That's not so bad, Steve," you might say. The idiot part was that I left my wallet and cellphone in my bag, which was now checked in. No way to tell Andria's parents that the plane was 45 minutes late or call them when we landed. No way to buy dinner.

Good thing Andria was loaded (she had pizza for us both by the time I made it to the gate). Ain't she grand.

Friday, October 28, 2005

first shareware purchase

i blame it on the whole employment thing, but i've just gone and paid actual money for software. i bought the full version of:
Hog Bay Notebook

it's an outliner, and a pretty darn good one (albeit with a horrible name (which they are changing to "Mori" which is Japanese for "Forest" .. much better) )

within 10 minutes i had gotten to the shareware limit, and i decided that i should step up and actually get it, as it is a real-life "grown-up" piece of software. i certainly wouldn't be caught paying for a game or something, would i? (doh).

so ya, i'm trying to get more organized. ya, that's where this all started. i figure, if i'm gonna keep up with 20 different projects at work, i might as well have all my notes in one place. HBN seems like its gonna help do the trick.

other software i've seriouly considered purchasing lately:
NetNewsWire (not so much anymore. Lite works well enough for me)
Aperture (:sigh: ok, not really)

i'm also on edge to buy (well, its a book, but it comes in PDF, so thats different):
Agile Web Development with Rails
(learning rails is even in my HBN todo list)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

for tris

or whoever.

Blogger Help : How To Get A Book Deal With Your Blog

not CGI

a few months back, people were blogging about how some ad company was dumping hundreds of thousands of bouncy balls out a window in SF.

now we see the result:
Sony BRAVIA - The Advert

more here and even some video about the video

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

made whole

Originally uploaded by gfixler.
i know. i said no more MM posts. but i warned you about the pictures.

anyway, be sure to check out the rest of this photostream for more real-life-pixel art (click the pic, yo)

8 bit what?

android. y'know, like a robot.

this little fella is MegaMan. you may remember him from the NES (aka pretendo), an 8-bit computer gaming console.
hence: 8bitandroid.

this blog isn't gonna be about how NES is so great, or how i want to become an android (not saying i wouldn't). i just thought it was a catchy name. In fact, i doubt i'll talk about MM anymore. but i might post more pictures. cause they're so tech-tro (techno-retro, i coined that just now). it will probably be more about what i do day-to-day, interesting things i read about online, etc. yes, a very novel use for a blog. (for a sample check out the "old blog" in the sidelinks).

so there. thats it.
im so deep.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

odeo 0.2

my odeo account was upgraded last night. i feel special.

so andria and i tried out the whole make-a-podcast-for-someone-and-email-them-instead-of-
publish-it-for-the-world-that-way-it's-private-but-is-it-still-a-podcast deal
... and now im publishing the link on my blog, making it public, blowing the whole privacy thing. oh well. perhaps they will have some kind of invitation deals worked soon.

but at least its not a "channel" .. or something.

but checkitoutthough:
Odeo: Audio Note for Gabby and Maddy

i dig it. its not that useful in the fact that nobody is gonna use it to get real work done, but it *is* useful in the same way eVite is.

i say "thumbs up"

(more reading on the topic)

Frozone Shrugged

I'm listening to Atlas Shrugged right now (well, for the past few weeks, really. its a *really* long unabridged work. we're talking dozens of hours).
So this article was pretty interesting to me. I'm finding AS pretty intriguing (if repetetive) and I happen to really like (and own a copy of) The Incredibles.

Far more intriguing, however, are the movie's points of view. Balking at attending his son's 'graduation' (from fourth to fifth grade), the mothballed Bob lets it all hang out: 'They're constantly finding ways to celebrate mediocrity, while someone who's truly exceptional....' When he later balances a globe-shaped robot on his shoulders, should we be thinking Atlas Shrugged?
Laissez Faire Books

fishmeal on shoes

shipley is a pretty funny guy. he's a nut, but he's eloquent about it. that and he writes some nice software.
I'd been asking everyone where I should buy a nice pair of hand-cobbled Italian shoes while I was there, because everyone said the shopping is great and I have a brown pair that need a friend in black. One lady actually had the temerity to say, 'Nordstrom's' to which I replied with a whithering, 'I am from Seattle.'

Call Me Fishmeal.: Drunk and Blog

Sunday, October 23, 2005

back to blog

After almost a year hiatus, I'm back.

(cue applause)