gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Gaming - EatRads)
And sadly, it doesn't involve robotic killing machine from the future.

I am just having no luck with technology. Today alone..
  • The Facebook ap on my phone kept freezing as I was trying to post. Had to do a power cycle to get it back.

  • My Xbox 360 froze while loading a skills drill in Madden 15. Powered that off.

  • Just now when I tried to start Windows 10, I got a "Start Menu and Cortina (Clippy's evil daughter) cannot be found" error message.

  • Google Docs has been down most of the day. That's where I write. I mean, it's not like I don't owe a couple of articles and just started my NaNoWriMo project. Yes, I start early. I'm brain damaged!

  • The toilet is whistling. It's some weird valve problem. I need to clean in there so we can get the landlord in to fix it.

  • Not to mention that yesterday we found that one of the battery connectors on Kirsten's car had decided on a new career as a pile of rust.

Thank Halford I'm not on the O2 compressor. Or a pacemaker.

I think I need a Tech-Priest from the Adeptus Mechanicus to visit. Obviously, I have failed to properly appease the machine spirits in my cognitators and plumbing. Omnissiah, forgive me!
gridlore: The Imperial Sunburst from the Traveller role-playing game (Gaming - Sunburst)

I now own an iPhone 5. Gifted to me by Kirsten​'s coworkers, who cobbled together two phones to make this one. I've been playing with it.

Yes, I'm a generation behind the current standard. I don't care. I am not a power user. I do not need to the latest and greatest. But I am impressed.

Video quality is excellent. The camera has features that mean I'm going to need to charge it at Burning Man, like panoramic photos. Tons of memory. I have Siri, and she doesn't do pod bay doors. (First thing I asked.) All my apps work again, and I'm able to add more as needed.

My main needs are being able to contact people when I'm out, mapping/driver help, social media, and some games. One of the big things is using Swarm to mark where I've been. There is a non-zero chance that I could suffer another stroke or other event, and leaving a trail of breadcrumbs is extremely important. If we somehow get the money for a new truck, I'm getting a F-150 with Fleet Management so Kiri can track me as I drive. 

But as I look at the App Store I'm seeing there is very little my phone can't do. Really, it rivals my old desktop in many ways. I could dictate a story, edit it, post it to friends for commentary, convert it to .pdf, submit it, and manage the incoming payment. Then ask Siri to find me the nearest burrito place to celebrate. All from my phone. Pretty amazing.

Which brings me to Traveller and the dangers of predicting technology. One of the items available in the original edition of the game (1977) was the HandComp. A device with the power of a basic starship computer but portable (good thing, since starship computers weighed several tons and could run two or three programs at a time. Vacuum tubes and card readers?) In early illustrations the HandComp was shown as being this bulky thing strapped to a forearm.

Now I have more computing power in a device that can literally fit in my wallet.

Predicting the future is tricky. Although Douglas Adams nailed Wikipedia in The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
(Tip of the hat to Niece Prime for first calling me out on that.)

One of the things I've learned since starting at the YMCA is music really helps my 45 minutes on the bike go by much faster. I've had fun putting together work-out mixes, tending towards longer jams and good beat counts.

Today I was trying a new mix:

Metallica - ...And Justice for All (Live) 10:06

Grateful Dead - Help On The Way/Slipknot!/Franklin's Tower (Live) 18:58

Genesis - Domino: Part I-In The Glow Of The Night Part II:The Last Domino (Live) 11:21

Start pedaling, hit play on the playlist and . . . nothing. ...And Justice for All refuses to start. Go to the second track and everything is fine. But at the end of the music, I still have roughly ten minutes of work and a five minute cool-down. So I search for a good song. That's when I learn that close to 2/3rds of the music on my iPhone is on the cloud. I put it on my phone for a reason, not so I can be warned that downloading the song over cellular might cost me money.

This really pissed me off. It threw off my rhythm, really elevated my heartbeat, and cost me many spoons.

So I ask, on an iPhone 4, is there any way to force iTunes to actually put my music where I want it?

As a sign of how frustrated I was, I completely missed that I was lifting the wrong weight on the row station for my first set.
gridlore: A Roman 20 sided die, made from green stone (Gaming - Roman d20)
I was just reading a story about how 3-D printers are becoming far more common and coming down in price to the point where they might be household items in a few years, and my first thought was "this is going to make custom miniatures for RPGs incredibly easy to make."

Think about it, fellow gamers. How often did you search for just the right figure? You needed a left-handed ranger with a sun-pattern shield. You settled for that right-handed dude in a cloak, and carefully sawed and glued bits to make him look sort-of right. But now? Now, given the right pattern making program, you can build your figure. Better yet, you can easily update your figure as the character advances. Pick up a +4 scimitar with awesome fire powers, but your figure is holding a long sword? Chuck that one in the recycle bin and build yourself a new one! Need an army of hobgoblins wield spears and roundsheilds, wearing conical helms? The first fifty will be done in 20 minutes.

Painting is still an issue, but from what I see the next generation of printers will include color options, so you can at least get the gross colors right.

It's a brave new world of geekdom.

In other news, I've picked up a stomach bug and am currently busy dying.
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
So, I have an iPhone 4 now. [personal profile] kshandra bought me a Giants case and a stylus (since I have clumsy fingers) and loaded me with a basic suite of apps.

But I'm curious. Since y'all know me, what apps do you think I'd find useful or interesting?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Bears!)
The Memory Remains.

Kirsten bought us new EMTEC flash drives yesterday. Mine's a cute little penguin. With 4gb of storage. I can remember when we were stunned by a friend's desktop with its massive 30mb hard drive. Now I can hang over 130 times the storage space on my key chain. Now I just need to get Mr. Bigglesworth back from his upgrade.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Science!)
One of the big hurdles to long range space exploration has been the need to bring everything you need along. That, and never knowing what you might need. We're starting to solve that. You need a tool, or a spare part? Print it.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Science!)
We finally got sick of Virgin Mobile and the semi-crappy phone I had. It was determined by [livejournal.com profile] kshandra that it would make financial and technological sense to add me to her AT&T account so I could get a more modern phone and cut down the number of bills being paid. Turns out that cost is a push, but I'm getting a lot more phone for the money.

But first a small suck. I've been home on disability, as most of you know, for the last two months. I spend the vast majority of my day here at the computer desk. Just over my left shoulder is our kitchen window which is right next to our front door. Anyone coming up to the door would be able to see me, or at least the active computer screen. So I was a bit shocked when I went out to check the mail yesterday to find the box with my new phone sitting right in front of the door. No one ever knocked or rang the bell, and I had been in pretty much the same spot for four hours. Our postal carrier is one of the worst I've ever experienced. This is the same person who would take the bundle of "Moved - No forwarding address" mail that Kiri would prepare and leave out and just stuff it back in our mailbox. Less than pleased.

But anyway, I am now the proud owner of a Pantech Impact p7000. You can read a pretty decent review that goes into some detail at phonearena.com. So far, I like it, even though I'm just starting to figure some things out. I do like having a full QWERTY keyboard (and not with micro keys) and being able to check my Facebook and mail while I'm out and about will be nice. Even happier that the phone fits nicely in my old carrying case. The camera seems good enough for my needs.. the photo linked to above was taken by the camera phone. I can also do video. Have to experiment with that.

I doubt I'll go mad with aps and customization. Honestly, I'm not that connected to a wide network. But having a phone that is also a useful mutli-tool for communication is very nice. Best part? This phone retails for a bit over $200 in just about everyplace I looked. We got it for free thanks to Kirsten's long tenure as an AT&T customer. Win!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • After the day I had, a pizza strike was in order.

  • Kirsten will be home about the same time as the pizza. She's picking up our tickets and pit passes for a monster truck rally.

  • Yes, we're going to a monster truck rally.

  • Yes, there will be pictures.

  • Hey, I drive a truck and listen to Heavy Metal! It's a natural!

  • Besides, my old big garish belt buckle is getting worn down.

  • You cannot kill it: After my surgery, my Bluetooth headset vanished. I figured it had been kicked under the bed or something.

  • Then I found it.. when it bounced out of the load of laundry I was taking out of the dryer.

  • Yup, full cycle in washer and dryer. Not overly recommended for electronics, yes?

  • But I plugged it in and it took a charge. Works just fine.

  • So be advised: the Jabra BT125 cannot be killed.

  • Had to inform someone at work that $VENDOR does not operate like we do. They take four hours to process order paperwork, and their model is for orders to be ready the day after the order is received.

  • So sending me to $VENDOR 45 minutes after you faxed the order in is going to cause problems.

  • Luckily, they were dead slow and able to help me.

  • Still did close to ten hours without a break.

  • Why is it the short weeks seem to last the longest? I'm freaking exhausted and feel like I've worked two straight weeks.

  • Unlike Godot, pizza has arrived.

  • Cleaning begins again tomorrow.

  • Early to bed tonight.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Music - Grateful Dead)
I was just reading, and commenting on, an article about Rolling Stone magazine closing it's office in San Francisco.

Back when we were active Deadheads, there were any number of amateur newsletters that floated around the parking lots, Dupree's Diamond News is the one I remember best. Started in the mimeograph days, Heads quickly migrated to desktop publishing when it became available. DDN was usually one page, with tour updates and news of interest to the Dead Nation.

Remembering that made me wonder what tours today would have been like if Jerry had lived? Twitter feeds from backstage? (Hell, I can see Phil stopping the show for five minutes to send out a Tweet: "stop chanting, we did 'Box of Rain' last week.") Facebook pages for tour groups? A big part of the Deadhead experience, like a big part of being a SF fan was the social networking aspect. Wer had some of that in the tape traders, but back in the day that required expensive equipment and being in the know. today? I can see the Dead setting up a site like LiveMetallica.com so fans could get and share shows.

Ah, what could have been...
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Space -  Shuttle)
The Space Elevator

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/25907397#25740647
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Work - Truck)
Surprisingly sane day at work today. Except for one thing.

I had made my way up to Oakley (about 70 miles from the warehouse) and needed to, for the first time today, call a customer. It was a big site, and I had no idea where the guy was.

Sprint phone: "Bleeble.. Bleeble.. Bleeble.. Bleeble.. Bleeble.. BEEEEP!" Call failed.

OK, I type in the boss' direct connect number to report the problem...

Sprint phone: "BEEEEEEEP!" No error message (usually it will tell me that the other phone is on a call, or in direct connect, or off. Nothing.)

Getting confused, I try Adam. Same result. I get out my cell and call Tim. Goes to voice mail. I'm beginning to suspect something...

I call our main switchboard on my cell. Get put through to one of the warehouse guys. Yup. Sprint (at least our end of it) has gone tits up. I get my pick ups and let purchasing know my cell number (just in case) and drive on. The system came back an hour or so later, but I can imagine it was hair-pulling time at the office. Of the seven drivers out, only two of us thought to call the office number.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Tesla lightning)
For no reason, just because it would be cool.



Anybody else get reminded on Animusic by that?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Gotta post!)
I've owned and enjoyed my iShuffle pretty much since the time I started with Lord&Sons. Conveniently enough, the 512MB memory (just as an aside, I can recall oohing and aahing over a friend's new desktop computer with a whole 30MB hard drive!) gave me about 7.5 hours of music. Given the amount of time I spend in the truck listening to the news, this was just right. Except for one thing. With the shuffle, you got the music in either an order set by how you have iTunes set or at random (hence the name.) Some days, I don't want to hear Iron Maiden, or really want to listen to Billy the Mountain.

Seriously, there are few joys in life greater than driving along in a big-ass truck while singing "a mountain is something you don't want to fuck with" at the top of your lungs.

But now my problems are solved! Kirsten picked up a beautiful red 8GB iPod Nano from [livejournal.com profile] captivatinglove (Thanks!) at today's Baycon staff meeting.

I just loaded the thing. 6.05 GB later (plus 52.7 MB of other information like album cover art) and I've got 4.1 days of music here. 1,274 songs.

So, in summation: my music device is cooler, my phone is way cooler, I have a Bluetooth earpiece, and Mr. Bigglesworth is not as powerful as her laptop, but it is like the MiniCooper of Laptops.. people love them even if they can't do as much. So still cooler.

She's getting a new phone in a week or so. I'm a bit frightened of what she's going to come back with to even the score.

In other News of Science! A story on the SFGate led me to begin reading about SmartCars. Since all I want a car for is going to and from work, and occasional runs to the store and the like, this might be the thing for me. It's either this or a truck bought at a public auction with 98,000 miles and 23 Carfax reports on it.

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