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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

iTunes + iPod + Smart Playlists = Goodness

with 24 comments

I can’t believe that I’ve never used the Smart Playlist feature of iTunes before today! I’ve been manually managing my iPod for a while (long story, but it starts with “So, I’ve got a 40gig laptop, 30gig iPod”… this was before the HD Upgrade) and have found some major advantages to manually managing the synch process (how do I put this delicately…. umm… when you’re manually managing the iPod you can connect your iPod to multiple computers and “synch” their music to the iPod without really registering the iPod…. yeah, that’s a fair way to put it). The downside is that I’ve ended up manually managing a lot of playlists on the iPod such as:

  • Audio Books
  • All Music
  • New Music
  • I had a whole workflow going. I’d rip a CD (that I owned, of course) to MP3 via iTunes and add it to an Unsynch’d playlist. Next time I had the iPod connected to the Powerbook I’d copy the contents of Unsynch’d to the iPod and into their appropriate playlist. Then I’d clean out the Unsynch’d playlist. That was the old was of doing things.

    Now I’ve simply cleaned up the Genre tag of my music and created Smart Playlists directly on my iPod. Some examples:

  • Audio Books – Any song with Genre = Audio Book
  • All Music – Any song with Genre not = Audio Book
  • Highest Rated – Any song with Rating > 3
  • Un-Rated – Any song with a Rating < 1
  • These are all set to update automatically, so when I am listening my way thru the Un-Rated playlist and enjoy a song I can increase it’s rating and it moves into the Highest Rated list, in real-time, with no synch! Anyway, I thought this was super cool!

    At some point I will need to move all my iPods contents to somewhere (relatively) safe. I currently have about 20gb of music, so I forsee a weekend of using some shareware iPod Manager to move the songs to disc, then burning them to DVD.

    Written by jthurber

    October 31st, 2003 at 3:03 pm

    Posted in General

    Mad moving skillz…

    with 21 comments

    We got the fridge upstairs last night. It took us less than an hour, including removing the doors (on the ‘fridge) and taking the box off (at which point the only damage of the night occurred; a small scrape to the stucco on the entrance, not bad). We lifted the fridge over our railing which, even tho’ I knew it “should” work, surprised me by actually working as planned. Very smooth!

    Written by jthurber

    August 21st, 2003 at 5:16 am

    Posted in General

    Movin’ is Done!

    without comments

    “The Move” is complete!

    BIG Thanks to:

  • All the Friends and Family that sacrificed their Saturday helping us move!
  • Ryder Trucks – for being way better than U-Haul.
  • Jeers and Derision to:

  • Mountain View Garbage – for not picking up our moving day trash from the old place like we’d arranged.
  • Sears delivery – who screwed up an on-time arrival by not having enough guys to get the ‘fridge up the stairs.
  • U-Haul – for not having a 24″ truck, but having the audacity to suggest that I could move a few days earlier. Thanks guys!
  • All in all it was a very painless move. I’ll have DSL again around the 29th (oh yeah, and we’ll have a washer/dryer that same day, but that’s not nearly as important). Until that time all early morning/late night browsing is via the good graces of Sprint and the wonder of the WirelessModem for the Treo 300.

    Written by jthurber

    August 19th, 2003 at 5:22 am

    Posted in General

    I would buy one!

    with 25 comments

    The Tango is an ultra-narrow, reasonably high-performance electric commuter “car” that is under development right now. If the price is kept low enough (it seems like the sweet spot for these would be in the neighborhood of $10k) then I think these would sell really well!

    Sadly, no one to-date has been able to make the electric commuter-car thing work particularly well (witness Corbin Motors and the Saturn EV-1). Success in this market is definitely a mixture of pricing and performance (and not getting generally screwed by business partners). Hopefully these guys will fare better.

    “Why not Hybrids?”, you may be asking. To my mind here are a few problems with hybrids when compared to pure-electric:

  • No HOV lane access in CA for Hybrids.
  • More expensive to operate
  • Much higher maintenance (all the problems/maintenance of a gas-engine coupled with the life-span of a battery)
  • More expensive to development/manufacture (tho’ both electric and hybrids have this problem right now, the hybrids substantially more complicated powerplant setup should always be more expensive to develop manufacture than either pure gas or electric systems)
  • Found them via John Robb’s Weblog. I’d bet Alex thinks they’re ugly…

    Written by jthurber

    August 14th, 2003 at 2:39 pm

    Posted in General

    If Pirates are the new Monkeys…

    with 25 comments

    Pirate Monkey Image

    Written by jthurber

    August 13th, 2003 at 12:45 pm

    Posted in General

    I don’t know how to feel…

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    From The Filthy Critic:

    The Filthy Critic was killed in a
    bicycle collision late Thursday night.

    He died the way he lived–wobbling aimlessly in the slow lane.

    Is this the end of Filthy?

    Written by jthurber

    August 12th, 2003 at 7:01 am

    Posted in General

    Look at the Monkey! :(|)

    with 22 comments

    Set up a CafePress store selling quality “Look at the Monkey” gear…

    Written by jthurber

    August 5th, 2003 at 2:20 pm

    Posted in General

    Nice article.

    without comments

    This (The Soporific Manifesto) is great. Some highlights:

  • Q: What can you brush your teeth with, sit on, and telephone people with?
       A: A toothbrush, a chair and a telephone.
  • When someone says “I know this is a death march, but you will be rewarded well if you succeed or fail,” run (away) like the wind.
  • Usable interfaces should not be innovative. If it’s clever or tricky, then it’s probably confusing.
  • Found it here.

    Written by jthurber

    July 22nd, 2003 at 9:58 am

    Posted in General

    More tire news…

    with 21 comments

    How apropos that i just posted a picture of the cbr1100xx tire. I got a nail in the back tire on the way to work. Called Dad (who happens to be king of all field expedient MC repair). Three patch attempts later (including a trip to pick up a patch gun) the tire is still losing all it’s pressure in under an hour (I think there was some damage internally that was preventing the patches from sealing well). Pumped it full of air and ran down to Cal BMW Triumph who for the low, low price of $226 (OUCH!) put a new Bridgestone 180/55 BT020 on it (that’s right, just the rear-tire).
    No more posting about the bike for a while, I can’t afford it!

    Written by jthurber

    July 16th, 2003 at 4:54 pm

    Posted in General

    The 4th

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    Obligatory (crap) Fourth of July firework picture… It really is harder to take these than it looks:
    Firework Pic would be here is your aggregator or browser played nicely with others ;)
    Just rememember, dry ice and water should not be enclosed in a small, sealed container… unless you want the container to explode… in which case remember the DIY Explosive Makers motto “too much is never enough” (if that’s too hard to remember, you can substitute the “use it all” formula is most cases).

    Written by jthurber

    July 5th, 2003 at 5:44 pm

    Posted in General

    DIY-WMD

    with 24 comments

    An interesting article (in The Guardian) detailing a Pentagon project from the 60’s in which two Graduate Physics students designed a working nuclear bomb:

    You could have taken any number of classes at Beloit with Professor Dobson, until his recent retirement, without having any reason to know that in his mid-20s, working entirely as an amateur and equipped with little more than a notebook and a library card, he designed a nuclear bomb.

    Found this here.

    Written by jthurber

    July 2nd, 2003 at 1:11 pm

    Posted in General

    Da’ House

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    We put a hold deposit on a townhouse in Willow Glen yesterday. We’re both first time buyers and it’s both the upper limit of what we were looking to spend and about 4 months before we were planning on moving on something, but it’s a very cool place. Hope it works out. (NOTE: The railings will be black, and they said that they’ll take the stickers off the windows for no charge 😉 )

    The Kitchen Pic

    The House Pic

    Written by jthurber

    June 22nd, 2003 at 8:04 am

    Posted in General

    Howard Dean

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    This is a great interview with Howard Dean (Democrat candidate for Prez.). He’s also got an official weblog here. Hopefully this guy bears watching.

    Written by jthurber

    June 6th, 2003 at 3:12 pm

    Posted in General

    Moved domain!

    without comments

    Well, that was about 15min of work. Sweet web app’y goodness…

    Written by jthurber

    June 6th, 2003 at 12:36 pm

    Posted in General

    Discernment

    with 21 comments

    Alex is calling my aesthetic judgement into question over on his blog. This sort of unfounded personal attack is the reason that children shouldn’t be allowed to roam the web unsupervised (’cause they might side with Alex, while adults, with their more developed comparitive faculties, would side with me). Actually, I think he’s just mad about the whole Accord vs. Civic argument… 😉

    In any case, you should consider yourself morally obliged to comment on Alex’s blog (unless you’re siding with him, in which case, piss off).

    Written by jthurber

    June 5th, 2003 at 6:10 pm

    Posted in General

    Pvt. Lynch Resue

    with 21 comments

    This Blog links to this story on the BBC’s website. It’s an interesting read.

    Written by jthurber

    May 15th, 2003 at 11:04 am

    Posted in General

    Yeah!

    with 22 comments

    New Stephenson Book (for the uninitiated he’s the guy who wrote Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon)

    Written by jthurber

    May 9th, 2003 at 9:13 am

    Posted in General

    That was sweet!

    with 19 comments

    Written by jthurber

    May 9th, 2003 at 1:51 am

    Posted in General

    Test Blog from Tasks

    with 19 comments

    After losing about 2 1/2 paragraphs of blog as a result of a badly timed Command-Q this afternoon I decided to follow Alex’s advice and author my blogs in Tasks. That involved a bit of installation-type fun on the PowerBook, but it’s all working now.

    Save works so now I just click the blog button and…

    Written by jthurber

    May 9th, 2003 at 1:50 am

    Posted in General

    Off to the airport…

    with 19 comments

    It’s Sunday, in a few hours I’ll head to the airport, spend 14hrs on a plane and it will… still be _Sunday_. Seems wrong somehow. Finishing up the last minute shopping, then it’s time to return the rental car and settle down for some quality “seat time” with our friends at Air Newzealand. Here’s hoping I haven’t totally destroyed myself for left-hand drive.

    Written by jthurber

    April 26th, 2003 at 4:41 pm

    Posted in General