May 16, 2008
Do you want to win a HP HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook? There is, or has been, a chance to do so every day this month, thanks to HP, its 31 Days of the Dragon promotion, and the participating web sites. Each day, a different site hosts a contest.
Today it’s the turn of last100. To enter, leave a comment there (not here, I have no prizes to give out) “listing your top five digital lifestyle products and/or services.”
I found it difficult to pick just five. Then I reflected that there are satisfactory substitutes for many of the products and services I use. For example, I use Google search and Reader a lot, but wouldn’t be too upset if I had to switch to competing products.
In contrast, here are five products to which I’m attached in one way or another.
- WordPress: this blog lives at WordPress.com.
- Rhapsody streaming music.
- Flickr: here’s my photostream (or at least the public part of it. If you’re a regular reader of this blog or its feed, and like looking at photos of kids, please drop me an email).
- Canon PowerShot A540 6MP Digital Camera.
- Sandisk Sansa Clip 1GB MP3 player.
Each of the first three is a software product for which I pay, even in this age of free stuff. For example, I have a Pro account at Flickr. That is of course where the photo lives. It shows the Sansa clip, along with its friends, the ridiculously good value Koss KSC75 headphones.
April 23, 2008
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is: a book on careers; a blog; the work of Dan Pink (writer) and Rob Ten Pas (artist). I’ve read, and highly recommend, one of Dan’s previous books: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.
The blog/site for the book has a WTF? page rather than an FAQ page. One of the question and answer pairs is “Why write a career guide in manga?” and:
… What they want in a book, or so people tell me, are what they can’t get from Google. They want strategic lessons – and they want it presented in an accessible, to-the-point way… You can read this book in an hour.
Now for some fancy multimedia stuff. There is a widget, but the WordPress.com version doesn’t seem to work. It turned up in the original version of this post as a link to the widget page at ClearSpring and a link to the book site. But I can embed the video trailer.
April 20, 2008
A nerdy aside: one of the ways in which the WordPress.com interface changed recently was in the way we can include images in posts. This thumbnail is generated by WordPress. It’s rather smaller than I like images in posts to be, but the medium size image generated is rather larger (400 rather than 128 rather than the just-right 240 of the small image size at Flickr).
April 17, 2008
Most of the time I play music these days, it’s on a PC. That sometimes means lousy built-in laptop speakers. So it was time to get something that plays the music through our stereo.
So far, I’m pleased with it, without being blown away. It is very quick and simple to set up. There’s no software to install, just a transmitter box that connects to the PC by USB and a receiver box that plugs in to the back of the amplifier. The receiver also needs to be plugged in for power. All cables are supplied.
There are some quibbles, but they’re not sufficient for me to wish I’d lashed out the extra for the Squeezebox or Sonos. For example, the music is delivered to the amp at low volume, so that I need to turn it up higher than for any other input. But for less than $100 delivered, this is good value.
April 8, 2008
Every now and again, I see something about how old physical media, such as paper, will outlast newer media, such as the disc that this post will be stored on. There was such an article in yesterday’s Boston Globe.
The confusing thing is that digital memory offers the illusion of permanence. Even when people would like to see a file disappear, for instance, delete just doesn’t seem to last forever – whether it is on social networks like Facebook, or e-mails or text messages that surface years later.
The article refers to services to convert analog music to digital. I shed my last vinyl records the last time I moved, a few years ago. Next time I move, it’ll be time to shed my cassette tapes.
The ones I took care to keep during the last move are the tapes of Richard Thompson live shows. Perhaps I should convert them to digital. But I haven’t played them in years, and I can probably find the same or similar stuff on the web.
By the way, I read the Globe article on paper, and I paid money for it. And some of you were thinking that owning cassette tapes marked me as a dinosaur…
March 7, 2008
Clinton looked at me for a moment… and said, “I think Macbeth is a great play about someone whose immense ambition has an ethically inadequate object.”
It was actually Bill, although recent events might lead you to think that it was Hillary, or that Macbeth is about the Lady of the family.
March 7, 2008
The problem with the money-saving scheme described in the subject line is that you need to have an almost-dead laptop with a 70 GB drive. Well, I did.
So I bought a disk enclosure, opened up the laptop, pulled out the hard drive, plugged the drive in to the enclosure, connected the now-external drive into a USB port, and saw that the drive in question was a 70GB. It was very easy. Thanks to:
- The many sources of $10 disk enclosures.
- Prime Electronic Components, who sent the enclosure right away.
- Microsoft Windows, which recognized the external drive right away, with no need to quibble about drivers, ports, etc.
Some of us come out of the episode with more mixed reviews. FedEx got confused because I combined my work address with my home zip code, and that cost us a couple of days. The Cirago Mobile Storage USB 2.0 Hard drive enclosure is rather shoddy. The scary thing is that I chose it in part because it lists for $15 (and was on sale for less). I dread to think what the enclosures that list for less than $10 are like.
The dying laptop was bought, reconditioned, from Dell. It wasn’t in particularly good condition when I first got it.
But the hard drive lives on. I plan to make it my music drive, and, with 70GB, it can handle the job pretty well.
March 7, 2008
… I would give it to Clinton. So I just asserted at Reddit.
February 29, 2008
The web isn’t short of stuff about Getting Things Done (GTD). For a recent example, or a starting point, you could do worse by this post by Merlin Mann at 43 Folders.
But for many of us, GTD is a lot less relevant than PTO (Putting Things Off). That’s one of the reasons why I created a PTO site. I’m pleased to say that I got the URL iamdis.org.
Another reason, and perhaps a better reason, to set up the site is that I wanted to play around with Google Sites. That aspect of the site deserves its own post. But feel free to relax at this post, while Sandy Denny sings you some PTO-appropriate music.