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07 February 2005 Monday


slated in as so at 4:03 am

i’m not really in the immediate market for an iPod, since i’m quite happy with my iAudio M3..
but with the realization that there is such thing as “Anapod” out there, it is now reasonable for me to ever consider getting myself an iPod (or recommending one to anyone whose life isn’t strictly Mac)..
in case you don’t already know, i despise iTunes. i despise mostly the Windows version, but for many of the same reasons, i don’t love the Mac version—though i do understand and believe that it is a very happy program when run on a Mac. but it’s very exclusive about formats and limits all choices… the fact that it’s well-designed in most respects doesn’t really excuse those deliberate limitations ..for me.

in any case, there’s the Anapod. i’ve not used it, cuz i’ve not an iPod.. but from the looks of it, this would solve most of my problems with the iPod/iTunes. :) anyway, i was happy to make this discovery.. maybe someone else will read this and find it happy too.

15 June 2004 Tuesday

Inventor of the Unpatented Internet

slated in as so at 10:48 am

That guy in Dilbert can think he fixed the Internet (I often hold similar sentiment in my house), but who would be ridiculously cool enough to be able to say (honestly), “I invented the Internet.”
Apparently, that would be Tim Berners-Lee. Mr. Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, is finally being awarded for his thoroughly world-changing contribution. His prize is apparently $1 million. Of course it’s not just about the money. I’m glad he’s being recognized. I’m pleased he was awarded knighthood. About that money, though… $1 million dollars? He, and those who (like Robert Cailliau) contributed to the founding, growth, and maintenance of a free, worldwide internet, deserve $100 million and then some! People owe their billionaireness to the Internet. We owe useful Wikipedias and door-opening CMSs and looking up homework answers with keyword searches and accessible TV reviews to the Internet. If Mr. Berners-Lee is responsible for the invention of the Internet/the decision to keep it free, ….then thank goodness gracious for him.

In the New York Times article, he spoke about the ‘out of control’ patenting on software these days:

“What’s at stake here is the whole spirit in which software has been developed to date, “ he said. “If you can imagine a computer doing it, then you can write a computer program to do it. That spirit has been behind so many wonderful developments. And when you connect that to the spirit of the Internet, the spirit of openness and sharing, it’s terribly stifling to creativity. It’s stifling to the academic side of doing research and thinking up new ideas, it’s stifling to the new industry and the new enterprises that come out of that.”

What a lovely lovely man.

10 June 2004 Thursday

Choosing a Carrier: Verizon, AT&T, and Cingular

slated in as so, consumed at 12:23 pm

Current mobile phone plan: Verizon Wireless
I’ve been with Verizon Wireless for almost two years now. America’s Choice plan: $39.99.. 400 minutes per mo., free nights/weekends, 1000 mobile-to-mobile (other verizon cell phones) minutes, free nationwide wandering and calling.
I’ve had a few minor scuffs with them, but they’ve been pretty reasonable and usually offer me a reasonable solution. Their coverage has not been perfect, but better than any other U.S. cell phone I’ve been exposed to. Their website does not always work, but it usually does, and it keeps pretty thorough track of all ones’ information and allows for easy online payment/adjustment of features. And I can easily check my minutes from my phone, etc.

Choosing our wireless carrier in the beginning
When we (my family and I) were in the market for a cell phone plan, we found that most cell phones were unable to catch a signal at our house (we seem to be in a pocket of sorts.. wireless signal is strong around it, but not in our house). The only cellular services that worked at our house were AT&T and Verizon.

AT&T or Verizon?
So that made it reasonably easy.. We looked into AT&T and Verizon, and their plans were comparable and their coverage was similar.. but Verizon had a good family share plan going, and a trusted friend explained that Verizon currently had the strongest signal network in the country. So Verizon it was, and it has been well.

Stay with Verizon, or go?
Now it’s time to either renew with Verizon and get new phones and upgrade our plans and sign another one/two-year contract, or switch over to AT&T. We weren’t looking at any of the others, since we know only those two will work for us.

Cingular bought AT&T
Except that AT&T recently put themselves up for sale, and Cingular bit, and now owns AT&T, and all AT&T wireless towers. So.. Cingular and AT&T should be the same now, right?

AT&T will give it up to Cingular
Except that AT&T does not fully merge into Cingular for several more months. (I’m thinking the end of this year at earliest.) At which time, I am told, AT&T wireless customers will all be receiving phone calls suggesting that they turn over their AT&T cell phones to acquire new ones from Cingular to fully integrate them.

The Cingular-AT&T merge has begun
Btw, Cingular is apparently already using AT&T towers in the Washington D.C./Maryland/Virgina area, wherever the one’s signal strength is stronger than the other. This will be exercised on a national scale in the next few months. But this being the case, Cingular’s service should, then, work at my house now. Those currently on AT&T though, and expecting mobile-to-mobile calls to be free, see this.

The GSM difference
Another note.. the main difference betwen Verizon and AT&T right now, by my understanding, is that Verizon does not operate with GSM, while AT&T/Cingular does. (Verizon uses CDMA.) This basically means (to me) that AT&T/Cingular GSM phones use SIM cards/chips.. If you’ve spent some time outside of the United States, you probably know that most of the rest of the world seems to have been using these SIM cards forever. They’re tiny (cardboard?) cards that fit somewhere near your battery, that are easily removable and changeable. They are the identity cards for your phone. If you put a different card in it, you’ll be operating with a different phone number and can be on a different plan. So you can travel the world with one of these phones, buy a local temporary card or borrow your friend’s card, and use your cell phone locally. Apparently the AT&T GSM phones are locked so that the phones will not work with other SIM cards, but if you pay a one time fee ($50?) you can have the phone unlocked; Cingular, it seems, automatically unlocks its phones once you’ve been with them for a period of four months.

A note about T-Mobile
I actually have no experience with T-Mobile. Catherine Zeta-Jones is hot and she does their comercials. That’s about the extent of my knowledge about them. Read this for an interesting brief, though.

Cingular, then?
So… Cingular is looking pretty good right now.. what with their rollover minutes, too.. And you can apparently pay an additional fee (boo!) each month to have your night minutes start at 7pm (yay!) rather than 9pm. And I guess their phone I’m looking at is the Motorola V400 GSM phone, with built-in speakerphone (I’ve become quite accustomed to that feature on my current Kyocera QCP 3035), color-screen, and built-in camera.

In-network calling
And of course, there’s currently unlimited ‘in-network’ calling for all Verizon, AT&T and Cingular customers.. Simply meaning if you’re on a Verizon plan, you have unlimited calling to and from all other Verizon network customers, and AT&T customers have unlimited with AT&T, and Cingular with Cingular. And that’s all really good… but that deal’s not going to last forever, for obvious reasons.

So at the moment I’m thinking Cingular’s mobile phone service is probably the way to go. —Though I’ll be sorry to leave Verizon behind. They do have the highest growth rate right now of all the wireless carriers in this nation.. that whole “bring your phone number” thing has really made the market interesting. If anyone else has suggestions/ recommendations/ corrections on any of this, I would be glad to hear them. I’ll be making a final decision probably next time next week.

01 June 2004 Tuesday

how to raise $40,000 in 4 days

slated in as so at 6:07 pm

it’s been (well-)said, so i don’t have to: “TextDrive, or How To Raise $40,000 In 4 Days”: the photodude rendition, by VC115 :) go read it.

Today is born TextDrive

slated in as so at 1:12 pm

and TextDrive is up. all the VCs are anxiously awaiting their confirmation emails. meanwhile, they’ve we’ve of course gathered in the new TextDrive Forum. what a cute community :)

27 May 2004 Thursday


slated in mainstream, as so at 6:48 pm

..referring to the previous entry
i am quite excited about this. how not to be? read a page or two from the textpattern forum about the TextDrive VC200… the open enthusiasm and eagerness and faith and trust and appreciation and camaradarie… i think i paid the money just to be a part of all that, just as much as (if not more) for the fascinating idea of a paid host* for life. —life of the project, anyway. but with the integrity and capability and humanity of the people involved..surely it will be made to succeed. *smiling* my appreciation to everyone in that forum, and i am looking forward to all of it coming.

*a reliable and friendly host, that is knowledgeable and compassionate and simply smart. this whole thing keeps enthusing me more everytime i think about it.

05 May 2004 Wednesday

freedom in MS Word

slated in as so at 9:37 am

I learned the best new trick in Microsoft Word today. I’ve always been frustrated with the limits of MSWord formatting, because of the very specific grid it lays out (invisibly, usually) to which everything—text, table lines, graphics—tightly snap to. Recently I figured out how to turn on gridlines and also change the intervals (to .02, for example, rather than .05 or whatever the default is). But that is a still a bit of a hassle, though definitely improvement. But today, I accidentally (oh happiness) discovered that, when dragging a table line/border by holding down the left mouse button, if you also hold down the right button, then the object you are moving is free from all gridlines. Free! Free from all gridlines! Hurrah! :) :)

03 April 2004 Saturday

i am not an island

slated in as so at 1:36 am

your feedback is good. thank you.

19 February 2004 Thursday


slated in as so at 10:03 pm

mozilla firefox is a vast improvement over firebird. i still maintain opera (at the moment, i’m on version 7.23) as the best of current browsers, tho.

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