Geek

Don’t Smash The Windows.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend a work training course today, along with the director of the department I work in. I truly enjoyed the experience, as it gave me the opportunity to enhance my skills and be a more integral part of the team. I even raised my hand and asked a question about the software we were being trained on.

“Does this application work on anything other than Internet Explorer?”, hoping that it would hum along nicely in Mozilla Firefox.

“No, it’s only been tested on IE.”

Ugh.

There’s no escaping the monopoly of Microsoft and the buggy Windows OS. As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, I am a very happy but recently converted Mac OS X zealot. I love my Mac. I love the flavor of unix that lives under the hood. It’s stylish, yet fully functional, and doesn’t bring the headaches of malware, spyware, adware and fsckware that Windows introduces to the party. And I don’t even want to think about the viruses!

As I type this entry I am simultaneously fixing a family member’s computer which has Windows distorted beyond all comprehension. I was able to double the length of my beard in the time it took to open Internet Explorer. After this little waltz, I have my sister’s laptop to diagnose, a computer to finish building for my mother (she’s getting converted to Linux whether she likes it or not) and that doesn’t include all the “Please Help Me” requests I get at work.

It’s not that I don’t mind working on computer, because I like it very much. With all these projects, the geek in me is getting his opportunity to shine. But admittedly, my frustration with Microsoft products tends to shine through as well.

“Windows has not detected a keyboard. Press any key to continue.”

The software package we use at work is all built on Windows. It only runs on Windows. It’s so Microsoft centric that it doesn’t even try to use any other mail program when its sending out an e-mail bulletin. It’s Outlook Express or it’s tough luck.

You’ve heard it before. Close your Windows, and open the door. There’s a whole wide world of easy computing out there waiting for you.

Photo Finish Quandry.

Back when I first started the moblog, I started it on TextAmerica based on a feature on the now defunct TechTV’s “The Screen Savers”. I loved the service but probably didn’t do as much as I could with it.

Now I’m finding Flickr much more interesting, as I have several other blog friends using the service. So I think I’m going to start using Flickr and kind of abandon my Textamerica account, though I’ll leave a link to Textamerica too.

The other question is, do I want to post my photos directly into my blog or do I want to have them on a separate page.

Decisions, decisions.

Looking Pretty.

My apologies if you find the technical talk boring, but I think I’ve figured out the stylesheets for my blog enough to get it to look good in all browsers, including Internet Explorer. If you find any pages that look odd, please drop me a line and let me know.

How Not iFriendly.

So I was ready to settle in and write my latest witty blog dialog. Not that anyone reads what I write but I amuse myself easily.

I grabbed the iPod, plugged in the headphones and was ready to jam to the last batch of music I downloaded.

Except they’re not on my iPod.

Spin the wheel, spin the wheel, click, click, click.

There seems to be *nothing* on my iPod. Whenever I plug my iPod in to synchronize with iTunes, iTunes closes and wants me to send a crash report to Apple.

OH MY GOD.

This is giving me flashbacks to Windows XP. Apple announced this week that they’re switching to Intel processors. We’re going to have Pentium Macs.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the dark ages.

My Apologies to Internet Explorer Users.

I was all proud of myself for tweaking my blog page last night and getting it just the way I wanted it to look. Unfortunately, due to Microsoft doing their own thing, it doesn’t render correctly in Internet Explorer. So my sidebar ends up at the bottom of the page, sans my smiling face. I don’t know if its been doing this for a long time or since I just made the changes last night.

Sigh.

Thank you for your patience, I hope to have it fixed soon. If you are currently using Internet Explorer and would like to see how this page (and the internet in general) *should* look, I highly recommend following my “Get Firefox” link to the right, er, below.

Addendum: If anyone can help me with the CSS problems I’m having with Internet Explorer, I’d really appreciate the help. Everything looks great in Mozilla based browsers, but IE is moving the floating sidebar to the bottom and I can’t figure out why!

Bright Lights.

In many respects, I’m a full fledged technology geek, eager to embrace the newest and shinest gadget known to man. I’ve had a Palm Pilot. I’ve done the satellite radio thing. I boast the latest in Apple innovations.

There are some things that I just can not move to the latest and greatest with. One of those things is my alarm clock. I’ve tried numerous alarm clocks over the past 30 years or so, and many of them are neatly stored in my closet with no hope of seeing the light of day or the dark of night due to one simple reason.

They’re too damn bright.

I’ve got this thing for sleeping. It needs to be pitch black or very, very close to it. I don’t do well with lights in the room.

I have an alarm clock that I received as a gift from my grandmother in 1983. Its a digital alarm clock, in that it has little numbers that flip once a minute. Of course my OCD has kicked and I have it synchronized with the school clock collection throughout the house, so that the number flips exactly when the wall clock clicks ahead. I love this alarm clock. You can barely read its dimly lit numbers and its very retro in a General Electric sort of way. The trouble is that you can’t set the alarm to an exact time. The alarm has a dial that has time divisions for each quarter hour. You can set it at 6:00 a.m. and it’ll go off at 5:57 one day and then 6:04 the next. In that respect, it drives me crazy so it has earned a spot of prominence on my desk, where I only need to set the alarm when I’m sleeping on my desk during on call. If it goes off too late, I usually don’t give a damn.

I’ve tried the alarm clocks that display the time on the ceiling but it did nothing but fuel my fear of alien abduction. “I’m being attacked by the 2:42 aliens! Help me! Help me!”

For most of our relationship we’ve used Earl’s alarm clock from his bachelor days. (I don’t like to think of whom else has turned it off in the past before that fateful day in ’96.) It has dual alarms. It employs the good old red LED display from the late 1980s era. Another box of GE goodness. The radio reception sucks and the noise sends the cat flying every morning but for the most part it’s all good.

But once in a while I try something new. The latest addition to the nightstand is an RCA with a “warm, soothing” blue display. The alarm ramps up in volume, starting at a soft peep and working up to fire alarm howl at the appropriate time. Whomever wrote “warm, soothing blue display” on the box should be shot.

I feel like I’m sleeping in the middle of the Carrier Dome.

The first night of this clock I felt like I was drugged. Everything I dreamed was in a blue tint. Shadows of frisky felines danced across my eyelids. It was like sleeping in that boat tunnel on Willy Wonka, without the dead chicken. All that was missing was an Oompa Loompa. Then I read the fine manual, which led the way to a switch that turned on the “auto dimming” feature.

So much for that.

While I didn’t see as much blue, it still lit up the room enough to allow me the luxury of seeing what the cat actually does while we sleep. He paws Earl’s goatee, he jumps on my balls, he licks my toes and he takes a dump in the plant on the window sill. Well maybe I’m being a little demonstrative, but nighttime feline activities should be a secret and should not be lit by an alarm clock.

Back in the box you go, dear alarm clock.

So now we’re back on the bachelor clock. It’s not as sexy, but it works. At least I won’t wake up with a tan on my eyelids.

Picture This.

While I’ve been messing around with this blog, I’ve decided to move the moblog off of it and onto it’s own blog again. So if you’d like to see me cell phone pictures, head on over to TextAmerica and see what we’re serving up from the cell phone.

Welcome.

I’ve decided to move my main blog off of Blogger and onto an application call MovableType. Right now, it may look a little plain-Jane but I’ll be sprucing it up over the next couple of weeks. It’s a wonderful exercise in learning how HTML (the language webpages are written in) and CSS (the newer language used to describe how webpages look) interact and such.

Blogger has been a wonderful tool and I highly recommend to all aspiring blog authors. It’s free, it’s easy to use, requires little maintenance, especially when it’s coupled with the free blogspot.com web server and did I mention that it’s free. I’ve used it for over three years and it’s only recently that I’ve had issues with it. And to be honest, I’m not sure that the issues aren’t related to jpnearl.com instead of blogger. Blogger and jpnearl.com haven’t been chatting as much as they should be without a lot of coaxing. When I blog, I like to just write it and get it out there instead of trying and retrying to upload my entry. MovableType allows me that luxury, in that it all lives on jpnearl.com.

So this little entry serves as a welcome to an exciting future for “Life Is Such A Sweet Insanity.” There’s some housecleaning to do and a lot of sprucing up needed, but the content will be as interesting, humorous and dreadfully important as ever.