31 Jul 06
The Wireless Mighty Mouse is everything I’ve ever dreamed of.
You want this mouse. Image from Apple.
It only took a year since they released the wired version, but Apple has finally found us worthy of the Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. And what a mouse it is!
My biggest worry with this new one was that it would suffer from the same weight issue that plagued my other Apple mouse. Batteries are heavy! Apple realized this too, apparently, and so the new mouse can run on one or two batteries. With one in (my current setup), it’s not noticeably heavier than my wired version at work, which makes me extremely happy.
The laser tracking was the other big surprise, and works incredibly well on my desk, which isn’t so optimal for an optical mouse. My old mouse survived, but that was about it. There was some disappointment from Abe’s side of the office (since he also bought one) that you can’t actually see the laser on the laser mouse. But it’s there, it works, that’s what I care about.
There was a moment of panic during setup though. I paired the mouse up and adjusted the tracking using the current mouse driver. Then I put the CD in to install the new drivers, went through the restart, and suddenly it tracked dog-slow. I went back into the menu to find it was where I’d set it previously (2 notches from the top), and worried that I would be stuck with a mouse that didn’t move as fast as I’d hoped.
Fortunately, I needed to turn it off and replace the battery with a rechargeable one from the old mouse. Turning it back on, it was back to it’s speedy old self. I think what happened is it reset itself to the midline setting after the restart, and the mouse was stuck on the midline while the OS continued to show the 3rd fastest setting. Turning off the mouse and turning it back on caused it to check back with the computer to make sure it was set to the right speed, and now it works great.
27 Jul 06
I wasn’t always this smrt.
Back when I was in high school, maybe freshman or sophomore year, we had to do these daily grammar exercises that involved a nearly incoherent sentence being projected on the board that we had to copy and correct. Most of the time this was an uneventful and simple task but there was one time that I was totally stumped. The sentence read something like this:
Noone said we were going to her party.
Obviously there’s not much wrong with that sentence; picture one with more errors. However, I just went ahead and glossed over the word “Noone” because I thought it was a girl’s name. To me she sounded kind of pushy and not like someone I’d want to be friends with, but whatevs. I had a whole back story in my head for her, how her parents were both hippies who choose the name Noone because that’s what time it was when they met while naked at Woodstock (the original Woodstock). To each his (or her) own.
Turns out it was no one. Yeah.
Anyway, wizard on a bike:
25 Jul 06
Writing about things that write about other things.
Abe has been a subscriber to a magazine called Cargo since close to its inception a year or two ago. It was an interesting magazine, though I didn’t like how it evolved from being a shopping guide to another celebrity-driven publication. It also didn’t seem that there were many actual… articles in it. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I could have lived without it.
Last week a copy of GQ showed up, with a note about how Cargo is no longer so we’d be receiving this instead. I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I’ve never really read GQ before. As it turns out, it’s better. Way better. GQ manages a nice medium between the list-ridden Cargo, the bitchy details, and poor, bi-monthly, ad-stricken Complex. Those other magazines were all fine, but I actually quite enjoy GQ‘s selection of content and sense of humor.
We also seem to accumulate Metropolitan Home magazines in spite of the fact that neither of us is a subscriber. I’ve grown to like them quite a lot as well since they also strike a good balance of content, photos, and actual real information (floor plans, etc). Unfortunately, while our home is rent-controlled it is neither metropolitan nor open for modification so the ideas we see are doomed to occupy the back burner for now.
One such idea was in an article about a pair of guys in a Boston loft. They have two dishwashers, and the space from each is adequate for all of their dishes. As a result the entire array of dishes resides in the dishwashers and gets shifted from one to the other as they get used, which struck both of us as quite a brilliant idea. Considering that cabinetry for dishes probably costs nearly as much as a second dishwasher it seems to be a clever solution especially if you’re lazy or your cabinet space is limited.
Volvo Saved My Life: A powerful and ingenius marketing campaign featuring slideshows narrated by Volvo-driving accident survivors.
The Features have some new stuff. Big surprise: it’s awesome.
22 Jul 06
I asked this question in November and then forgot to answer it.
While throwing some songs together for a CD to put in my car, I was curious as to what would happen if I took a video and added it to the playlist. iTunes wasn’t so sure about this and asked me if that was really what I wanted to do? I continued on my way and when I clicked the “burn” button, everything continued as normal.
So then I was curious as to whether they could be imported like a normal track, especially since I don’t have just the audio for this particular song. Again, the answer is yes (since after it goes on the disc it’s just another generic song).
I’m not totally sure this will work with videos purchased from the Music Store (though I don’t know why it wouldn’t), but it works with the video that just came off my hard drive and was in the iPod format.
21 Jul 06
Because $25 seems like a lot even if it isn’t.
As I loaded up Flickr the other day, I was thinking about how much money I’m spending on near-useless internet stuff. The pro account in Flickr is only marginally worth it, though now that I’m well past 200 photos I needed to spend the money so my initial uploadings didn’t disappear. It’s kind of like the mob, if you think about it that way…
On that note, I started to wonder if there was some way to have the benefits of Flickr pro (unlimited photos) without having to pay the full $25. I figure that the brunt of the cost is for a) hosting and b) bandwidth, and I wonder if Flickr could remain profitable by offering a third choice between the free and pro accounts. It could allow people with decent hosting (like me) to upload their photos to Flickr’s service still, but instead of living on Flickr’s servers they would live on the user’s, leaving us with only one hosting/bandwidth bill instead of two.
There are only two potential issues that I’m aware of. I could see Yahoo! being concerned at the loss of too many Flickr pro customers, and I don’t know how valid that is. It depends on what kind of hosting they have set up on the side, if any. The other concern is how much bandwidth my photos actually use on a monthly basis. I can’t imagine it’s a ton, judging by the number of views that are recorded, but who knows. That’s one argument to remain a full-on pro user for some of the more popular people.
I have second thoughts about this idea already, and I know that part of me is just wanting to stop spending so much damn money. Is this a valid idea?
Weightshift relaunch. I am still a sucker for dotted lines.
This is the best thing I’ve ever seen today.
As I mentioned earlier, I was eagerly awaiting some new components. They came yesterday, but the installation was not without its setbacks. I am apparently 0 for 2 when it comes to choosing pieces that fit my bike, and here’s why:
So sue me. I didn’t realize there were two different diameters for handlebars, and that Titec makes both sizes. So while the stem attached to the steerer tube just fine, the bars themselves weren’t clamped in place when the front part of the stem was put on. A quick trip to my favorite bike shop (not an easy feat, considering both cars were in the shop at the time and my bike was in pieces; I ended up taking Abe’s scooter) solved my problem by giving me a shim to equalize the size of the bars. Unfortunately, the shim is intended to slide onto the handlebars. Since I didn’t feel like taking all my components off my bars, I instead bent the shim open and stuck it on that way. Success!
Okay, this one was not my fault. I ordered a 27.2mm post, a common size. I specifically checked Giant’s site before ordering to confirm it would fit.
It didn’t. Checking the numbers on the posts (something I wasn’t aware of previously) revealed that the Giant post is actually 30.8mm, which I believe to be a non-standard size. Fortunately this doesn’t seem to be a non-standard problem and Rib Mountain Cycles pulled through again with yet another shim.
The result? My project that should’ve taken half an hour took most of my evening. Whatevs though, the bike is done (for now), looks better, and is more comfortable to ride.
It just so happens that the indie designer who works in our building is way into biking, which means it’s easy for us to get lost in our hopes and dreams for future and current bikes.
I want to build a bike, some day. I always tell myself that, but I can’t really narrow down what I want. I think I’ve established so far that (currently) I want a road-warrior looking thing. Some days this is not a road bike because I worry about the damage I could do to road bike rims with the way I ride.
Some days this is a road bike though that means no more spontaneous off-road excursions when taking the long way home. There are other factors that make me doubt the logic of this route as well. Whatever it is, it’s going to have disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes. I have them now. I love them. I need nothing more. Except for roundagon rotors.
Side note: I did not know that Avid, as well as Rock Shox and Truvativ, were part of SRAM. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The frame, I think, will be steel. Steel frames are less rigid than aluminum, and while this sounds like a bad thing, it makes for a softer ride. This is why the bike will more than likely not even have a suspension fork. I want a white frame. Matte white. Matching fork, unless it does end up being a sprung fork – then it should be red. At this point, I’m thinking all hardware (seat post, stem, handlebar, crank, wheels, etc) should be black. The pedals will be some variation of these or these. The stem will be either a 0Âº rise or negative rise (meaning it gets lower as you get farther from the steering tube). Flat handlebar.
Finally, I’m becoming more and more tempted by single-speed bikes, thanks in part to the coercion of my office mate, who just picked up his second, an ’05 Bianchi S.A.S.S. Maybe I should just get one of these, since it pretty much meets my criteria, except for that pesky color issue. I wish it came in this color.
This should be a good week:
- I’ll hopefully see my car again.
- I should have the new stuff for my bike.
- Abe will get his new toy registered.
- I maybe get to drive Abe’s new toy some more (hee!).
Good stuff, and it’s all vehicle-related (my favorite kind of stuff!).
If you were to wander over to my Flickr account looking for pictures of the Chicago Auto Show, you’d be out of luck. It seems I’ve hit the cap on the 200-photo limit provided to holders of free accounts, and so my earlier photos are slowly disappearing into a black hole.
Flickr says this doesn’t delete your photos (as evidenced by the fact that you can still access individual photos), it just removes them from your photo stream, meaning they’re no longer available to people browsing. Any tags associated with those photos disappear if they’re not found elsewhere in your library as well.
One consolation is that if your photos have been added to pools or groups, they remain there. I find this kind of surprising, but at the same time it makes sense for the sake of other users.
I wasn’t really planning on buying a Pro account in the near future since I’ve had no problem staying under the monthly alloted bandwidth (for uploads) so far, and I don’t have a huge need for more than three sets. But this restriction kind of clinches it and I’ll probably be upgrading shortly.
It’s like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report had a 3-minute (giant) baby.
When I bought my car it wasn’t long before I started researching possible connectivity options for my iPod. I was directed to the Trollpod by a member of one of the boards I was on. It was in development at the time, so I browsed around a bit, signed up for the mailing list, and promptly forgot about it.
Last week I got an email from the dude saying that he was planning to start shipping in August and the Trollpod is now available for pre-orders. I’m still trying to get some more information before I make the decision but it sounds pretty promising. It’s basically a small adapter that lets the iPod plug into the CD changer port on the back of the Saab’s factory head unit. I’m not sure if it lets you control the iPod through the radio controls (which would be cool) but it at least provides a line-level input and charges the iPod.
The Trollpod will sell for $150 and works with early 9-3′s (when they were still cool) and most 9-5′s. Like I said, I’m not planning on buying one right now, but I am quite interested in seeing how well they work.
On a slightly related note, hopefully I’ll have my car back soon so I can finish another project.
The Rabbit is back, featuring music from the unmissable Patrick and Eugene.
Stuff that’s been happening:
Things I did buy
Clipless sandals. So much better than the shoes I have because there are no socks required. Considering if it’s not warm enough for me to be wearing sandals I’m not going to be going biking either, it all works out pretty well.
Also, some parts for a thing for my car.
Things I won’t buy
For the last two months I’ve been thinking pretty hard about getting a digital SLR camera, namely the Canon Digital Rebel XT. It came highly recommended from a number of people and I really think it’s a nice camera especially compared to the others in its price range. As a bonus there’s a hefty rebate going on through one of my favorite companies. That brings the price down to under $700 for the whole kit, and it comes in black:
But I don’t think I’m going to jump on it for a number of reasons. I don’t know that I’d really use it enough to justify the price, regardless of how affordable it is. I’ve also noticed that I’m not even taking my small camera with me everywhere (even though I should). And honestly, I know that if I really wanted it I’d already own it. So that’s delayed, for now. I’m still thinking a larger one would be nicer just because of how grainy everything is with this tiny lens.
Things I saw
Finally, Cars, like every Pixar film before it, was a great movie. I can’t often say this about movies I watch, but there was absolutely nothing I didn’t like about it.