Archive for category Geekdom
Just running a quick poll this morning to see what my friends are rolling with on their smartphone. Recently I’ve been considering ditching the case on the iPhone 4 because I’d like to appreciate the beauty of the product more. I am typically careful with my equipment (except for that one coffee incident).
So let me know, are you rollin’ naked on the smartphone or do you protect it with a case of some kind?
There are fewer things in this world that get my heart racing as much as my children and a special announcement from Steve Jobs. Like an excited Ralphie Parker waiting at the store window for a glimpse of the Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200 shot Range Model Air Rifle, I had been watching the interwebz like a hawk and listening to my sources long before the announcement on March 2nd. And because I listened, I wasn’t glued to the live updates of such iconic tech weblogs as Engadget or Gizmodo.
No, I had decided long before the Cupertino clock struck 10 that I would be sitting pretty with my 1st gen iPad just fine until such time that my desires were fulfilled. “What more could you want out of a tablet” you ask? Funny you should ask that.
Not that I need to review the list, but I’m going to anyways:
- Faster processor: dual core A5 chip – I’m sure it’s gonna be fast as hell and I’ll love it
- Dual Cameras: 1 on the front (VGA) and 1 on the back (5MP and 720p) – Yeah so, this was definitely on my bucket list
- Faster Graphics: I don’t have much to say on this one
- HDMI Output: This wasn’t a deal breaker
- New Design: 33% thinner, new audio grille, new colors and new cover – While these are all cool little things we look for, the new cover is what really grabbed my eye.
- iOS 4.3
Again, all of these updates and enhancements are good for the bottom line and will keep Apple in the tablet warfare (altho Android fans will disagree that these improvements hold a candle to devices like the Xoom), but at the end of the day…I just wanted more.
Things like the HDMI output and newer design, I could have been fine without, but dual cameras, faster processor and iOS 4.3 need to be on the list. Problem is, that list had a few more items. Some lists can be compromised on: “Yeah, I’ll take 2, 3, 5 and 6, but I don’t really need 1 and 4″…well, it doesn’t work that way in this case. Especially when I hear from reliable sources that the…wait for it….iPad3 (insert shock music)…is coming out in the fall. What?? 6 months later we’re getting a new iPad? Believe it folks. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of economic and business justifications, but the number 1 reason…they gotta contend. Apple rode on the top of that tablet wave for a solid 6 months with no competition. Now, they’ve not only got competition, they’ve got devices that could kick the ever-lovin’ snot out of the iPad1.
What do I want? It’s easy…everything up top, plus the below:
- Retina display: this will no doubt bring a completely new design as well, again
- Thunderbolt AND card reader: seriously Apple, please don’t expect me to transfer data with that dongle
- 4G: this is more or less a desire but not a requirement
- Flash: I realize you have security issues with Adobe’s popular web content platform, but you need to round up all your geniuses and figure this one out. Just because you want to lock stuff down and force people to use the App store doesn’t mean you can’t open the door just a little bit…it’s a give and take relationship.
So there you go. You most likely think I’m crazy, but like I’ve thought with everyone else whoever told me that…I don’t care.
I remember being a kid and always wanting my Dad to be a speaker for Career Day at school. I was proud of the fact that he was in the Navy and made a career out of it. Unfortunately, he was gone and out to see a lot. I don’t blame him; that’s the nature of the beast.
A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter’s counselor at school spoke with me and asked if I’d be interested in speaking at Career Day. At first, I felt immature and inexperienced, but I realized that I was able to do this. I’ve been in my field for 7 years now, and I think I’m qualified to talk to elementary school students about the perils of IT. I agreed to do it.
Today was the day of doom. It started off with an introduction to the Smart Board; which was a little embarrassing since the IT guy had no clue how to operate it. Eventually I decided against it since we ran out of time. I was scheduled for 4 classes to come in and listen to my presentation. I came prepared with 5-6 bullet point items, a poster board with some pictures, a router and an HP DL360 server. I was provided lunch by the faculty and staff, but quite honestly, I was looking forward to the cafeteria food. Today was taco salad. I was hoping they were having the rectangular pizza so I could dip it in ketchup; mmmm good. My daughter’s class was the last one to come in and turned out to be the least talkative. I had a hard time getting my daughter to shut up and an even harder time to get the other kids in her class to talk and ask questions.
I opened each class presentation the same way though. “Hi I’m Mr. Mills and I run the Internet.”
This past week, I went to New York for a business trip. I flew in on Sunday night and had some time to kill before the week started. It wasn’t difficult to figure out that if I was gonna be that close to @princessleah7x, then we HAD to meet in person. She picked me up from the airport in true style and headed into Long Island. She took me to this happenin’ sports bar near her house called The Main Event. Good burger and LOTS of TVs. At one point during the night, I decided to capture some video of Leah’s words of wisdom on vlogging. I happen to be self-conscious about vlogging because I think my face always looks too fat. Leah seems to think people would be interested. Check it out.
When I was barely a year old, my mom realized that there was something not quite right about me. Sure, laugh it up chuckles…I know there’s something not quite right with me. She however, could see something else, a pattern, a deficiency in my learning and speech. It wasn’t until I was nearly 3 that she got an ENT to finally see me, and then all was brought to the surface. I had a hearing impairment. 30 years ago though, things were different. My eustachian tubes didn’t grow right when I was born; they grew flat and narrow, not round and open. For years the doctors just threw sets of tubes in my ears. Eventually, it turned into more complex surgeries, prosthesis and implants, reconstructions, and just about any other procedure you can throw at broken ears.
At the age of 8, the doctors wanted me to start using hearing aids. I adamantly refused; by 14 I said yes. And as my Mom drove me home that afternoon, with ears filled with miracles of audiology, I stuck my head out the car window like a golden retriever; my eyes, closed, but my ears, open…to a brand new world.
Over the years, I’ve gone through many hearing aids. For about 10 years though, I went without a hearing aid in my right ear because of an extreme case of cholesteatoma. It completely disintegrated all the bones and my ear drum was nothing but a lifeless flab of flesh. Fortunately, an awesome doctor in St. Louis at Washington University named Dr. Joel Goebel, was able to bring new life back to that ear; and now coupled with the experience and talent of audiologist Jennifer Listenberger (again, of Washington University), I can now hear in my right ear with the assistance of a hearing aid.
When I first got the new hearing aid for my right ear, I had the option of picking a color for it. A color? Hearing aids are flesh color aren’t they? Jennifer asked me if I was going to grow my hair out. I said “Hell no!”. “Gimme the blue one” I said. And since then, I’ve been asked, no less than twice a month, by someone, if whether or not my blue hearing aid was some kind of a new bluetooth headset.
The day has come however, where I can answer that misguided person, “Why yes…it is bluetooth…but it’s a hearing aid too”. As of today, I’m now the proud owner of a Phonak Versáta SP for my left ear; along with the iCom communication accessory. In short, I can talk on my iPhone, via bluetooth, without ever picking up the phone, putting on a headset, or plugging in an ear piece…it all goes right through my hearing aid. I can even listen to the iPod on the iPhone through the iCom. As I sat in front of the TV tonight, with Rhyen leaning over my shoulder and Dylen laying against me, I was able to pair my bluetooth hearing aid and iCom with the MacBook Pro and listen to videos…yep…right through the hearing aid. I’ve already paired up with my Cisco phone at work too…worked flawlessly. In short, I’m happier than a puppy with two peters that I can hear.
The other night, myself and @ibeemi (Emily) went out for awhile. Dinner at Fridays, Apple Store at West County, hoosier hunting at Wal-Mart, Mill Stream, an exclusive Gentlemen’s Club in St. Charles, and then finally back to Mill Stream. It was a rather eventful evening, and most fun!
While at the Apple Store though, we made a quick video. Wouldn’t ya know it though….the damn mic was turned off on the particular iMac we were using. So while the video is mildly humorous, you can’t hear a dang thing. Enjoy.
My friend @mdhugo and I decided to take our cameras to Firebird in St. Louis this past Friday night in order to work on our low-light photography. Of course we were also there to be entertained, but mostly just to be geeks. @donhead also joined us but was without camera. I tried and tried, using my Nikon D40 with 55-200mm f/3.8 lens to get good shots, but it just wasn’t happening. Out of 176 images taken, only a few actually came out with any kind of clarity. I’m going to try and find a reasonably inexpensive 50mm f/1.8 lens (I think that will make a huge difference).
You can check out the other 6 photos that I thought were semi-worthy enough by looking at my Flickr page.
*UPDATE: Check out @mdhugo’s post with his pictures.
For years now, my obsession with even the most ridiculous of techy gadgets has gotten the best of me. I’ve found myself even scraping by with a few coins clinging in my pockets for the mere satisfaction of holding yet another invention of post-modern evolution. Over that past few years though, I’ve grown; matured if you will. I’ve learned that I have responsibility and my love of these purely inanimate objects can ruin my financial well-being…and so I’ve foregone many new creations.
When the “netbooks” came out, I was all but too unimpressed with them. Nothing about an 8.9″ screen bedazzled me. After months of reading of their hackability and ultra-über mobility, I started taking them a bit more seriously. After all…they were cheap; dirt cheap!
I finally reasoned with sanity and thought, “Well if nothing else, my kids can use it.” So I sold an old iBook I had that was laying around, and now I am the proud owner of an Asus EeePC Model 1000H. For the moment, I’m strictly running the pre-installed Windows XP Home Edition (SP3) but may sooner than later, dual boot Ubuntu as well. I have wrestled with the idea of hacking MacOS X on here as well, but given that my current MacBook is completely successful in all it’s day-to-day activities, why bother. I will be using this pretty much strictly as a work laptop. No, it’s not replacing anything, but when I’m at home, it will be used for work functions with the often necessary loafing-while-surfing function. At $329, it’s cheap enough to toy with and at worst, I’ll claim it for business use and be done with it. Plus my kids will enjoy it since the keyboard is just perfect for their tiny little fingers.
Newegg.com has gratiously provided me with a 2GB RAM stick to upgrade from it’s default 1GB (associated with a $21.99 cost of course). I’m not much for reviews (mostly because I’ve never done one) but know that I’m highly happy with the lil booger in it’s first 4 days.