Jason's Blog

Archive for December, 2003


by on Dec.29, 2003, under News

Thought I’d post this link to an inquierer article. They tend to be fairly biased on some issues, but it was an entertaining read, and they bring up some good points: The IT industry is shifting away from Microsoft . Personally, I think switching to Apple’s OS X on the front end is a great idea, while using linux as a database server ROCKS. Linux still doesn’t have the interface it needs to be a good home user desktop system. OS X does have that. Course, OS X works pretty well on the server side as well, but it doesn’t have quite the industry support on the server side that linux does. But, we’ll see how long that works smile

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Music fans, revel in the glory that is…. iPod

by on Dec.29, 2003, under Reviews

Ok, I have to say Apple has really outdone themselves here. I requested and obtained a 40GB iPod from Apple for Christmas. Figured I’d do a review of it, post some thoughts. Here’s the positive points:

  1. First, 40GB of space. That’s a LOT of extra storage. You can use part of it for mp3’s/AAC files (iTunes music store format), and part of the drive as just general storage – it’s up to you.
  2. it is TINY. The whole 40GB iPod fits in the palm of my hand.
  3. It is one of the most well designed little gadgets I’ve seen. The buttons are all pressure sensitive, there’s this really cool pressure sensitive scroll wheel, there’s a backlight for the buttons and song display, everything looks and feels really solid. Further, the accessories are pretty nice too. The docking station (an additional accessory that really only provides a line out to a set of speakers, and a convinient storage spot) is cleanly formed, well designed, the remote is an even more impressive item (although the clip is near useless), etc. I’m just impressed overall with the design – it’s beyond engineering, it’s near art.
  4. Battery life definitely has to rate on here. I love the fact that the battery is built in, rechargable, is long lived (I swear, I think I got more than the 8 hours advertised while I was letting the juice run down on it), and for long trips, it rocks. Further, you can get a car adapter for those trips that take longer than 8-10 hours. Now, this is without the iTrip running, so I’m not quite sure how that’d change things. Further, I’d imagine if you ran the backlight, or did any other number of things, your battery life would drop. But, for the most part, it ran great. HOWEVER, there have been reported problems with battery life after a period of a year or two, so we’ll just see how that goes.
  5. Can we say extras? For those with an apple computer, you can transfer your calendars, including alarms to the iPod. You can also transfer your contacts, notes, and a lot of other information. Further, it has a nice little alarm clock, some games played with the scroll wheel, and a lot of expansion accessories that are constantly being developed.
  6. Some additional niceties are the included options and interface support. iTunes as I’ve said before is one hell of an application. The integration between iTunes and the iPod is amazing, and makes life much simpler. The ability to manage your library, sort music, etc. just rocks. The firewire or USB2.0 support, and just design of the software interface on the iPod itself all speaks of smart thinking.

Ok, we’ve got lots and lots of positives. Let’s add a few negatives (and they are few).

  1. The first and biggest problem is price. An iPod isn’t cheap, particularly for the larger sized versions. Of course, getting all that space with the features on a tiny object is a bit difficult, but overall, it’s still on the expensive side. I think it’s worth it for what you get, but that doesn’t change the price. However, it’s possible that soon price won’t be too much of an obstacle. Keep in mind that this is pure rumor, and also that these new “iPods” won’t have as much storage (and thus reducing the price), but for a basic mp3/aac player, that’d be a nice base system. The last comment on price – think about how many CD’s you’d have to burn to take your mp3 library with you. It’s a heck of a lot handier to have it all with you in one simple little device.
  2. Another gripe of mine is that there should have been some kind of sleeve included. i.e. some sort of protector for the iPod. There’s several after market versions that work pretty well, but it would have been nice to have one out of the box, particularly one with Apple’s engineering ingenuity behind it.
  3. Finger marks. The iPod is a beautiful piece of equipment, but good grief! You can’t hardly touch anything on it without fingerprints everywhere. It’s pretty easy of course to wipe them off, but it makes me wish there was some other metal or something else that could have helped with this.
  4. The earphones stuff. They work pretty well for the most part, but they feel kinda on the flimsy end. Hard to say on this one, and it’s more nitpicking, but if I’m going to rate the iPod as art, damn it I’m going to nitpick. A simple thing – the left vs. right icon gets hidden by the bud protectors. That’s bloody annoying.
  5. Recharging – you have to have the firewire cord to recharge the iPod. The dock doesn’t include a separate connector. You have this “ipod connector to firewire” adapter that is absolutely critical. WIth the dock, you plug the connector into the dock, the iPod into the dock, and the firewire end either into a laptop or a “power” adapter for an outlet. You can bypass the dock with seems only to really provide a resting point and a line out, and plug the connector straight into the iPod. The connector itself is relatively flimsy, which makes me nervous when traveling with the connector in my bag. Further, you have to have it even though you have the iPod dock. The dock doesn’t have a built in “connector” cord, which means you really need to connector cords. I’d almost have recommended that instead of a dock included.
  6. This isn’t related directly to the iPod, but to an accessory I bought – the “iTrip”. The iTrip is an accessory that lets your iPod play to a selection of FM radio stations. It works ok for the most part, but you’ve got a VERY short range on it, the selection of stations is kinda funky, and overall, it’s kinda so-so on the quality. I don’t have any other FM transmitters to test, or I’d have something to compare to. I just feel this one could have been a bit better.

Well, that’s about it for my comments. I’ll just sum up by saying, WOW. I like, am impressed, etc. If you’re looking for an mp3 player, I’d HIGHLY recommend looking at an iPod. If price is an issue, and storage isn’t, wait till probably after January, and you should have some more options. Sometime soon, if I get my digital camera working again, I’ll post pics in action, along with other details. Now, to listen to some more music….

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Testing for another site

by on Dec.24, 2003, under General

Sorry about this, but posting a “test” ad for another site as a test. For those interested, the site is userfriendly.org – a great online comic strip. I’m trying to get rss support so I don’t have to check their comic daily.

Anyways, here’s the test:

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To get in the spirit of things.

by on Dec.24, 2003, under General

Just thought I’d toss something out that isn’t depressing or messed up. More in the nature of the time of year. So, here it is:

A site dedicated to christmas –

Merry Christmas, happy holidays everyone.

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Well, I almost died…

by on Dec.23, 2003, under News

My car is a wreck. Literally. The rear is pretty much gone, caved in totally. There are pieces falling off all over. I had to climb out the driver side window, the door is shoved out, but then crunched inwards, the front slammed into some pylons. The whole car was smashed into itself. But, I’m alive, and my passenger, Joe Cosas, is alive. So, I’m thankful for that.

What else. I was getting onto I270 off of Olive Blvd. I’d sped up to about 55-60, was going to merge into traffic. I lightly tapped on the brakes, and then all of a sudden the car started swerving. The brakes felt like they’d locked up. Next thing I know, the car had spun out, to the left, facing oncoming traffic. Fortunately, no one hit us, and no other cars were in the accident. The transam went across 270 and the rear slammed into the pylons in the middle, spun around then the front hit the pylons.

Not much else to report. I’m still waiting to hear from my insurance, State Farm. I’m kinda out of it, dazed, my neck hurts like hell, and I feel like shit. Other than that, not much to say.

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Life hits the shitter

by on Dec.22, 2003, under General

Ok, let’s just say life fucking sucks right now. For those who couldn’t guess from the previous post, girlfriend of about 1 year and 7 months and I broke up on Thursday. Now, add to that, over the weekend, someone did a hit and run on my car. They managed to do from what I’m guessing thus far several thousand in damage, but it’s hard to tell as I’m not an expert. No note, not a decent sign of them. So, I’m pretty well screwed, and my car which was up for sale now has a lot of problems.

When it rains, it pours. For some reason, the shit is pouring down right now. Anyone wanting to blow up my house, shoot me, hit me with a sledge hammer, etc. – wait in line – life’s doing it for you right now.

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How do you stop feeling?

by on Dec.18, 2003, under General

Please, if someone knows, let me know. I once wondered how much I feel, or how often, or something along those lines. I know right now I feel, because I feel a great deal of pain. Someone whom I loved dearly is gone from my life, and it’s like part of my soul or part of me being ripped out, cut apart, and like any deep wound, the pain is great, the scars deep, and you’re never quite the same.

Linda, I will always, always love you, and wish that things could have worked. I’d hoped that maybe your schedule would ease up to a point where we could see each other more, or that perhaps you’d be more comfortable going out or doing things together. I’d hoped that maybe we’d be more comfortable talking, or who knows. I know I’d just hoped, and part of me will always hope…..

I dated you for a year and a half. Well, more actually, April 30, 2002 was when we started. Minus one month where we broke up, that means we’d dated for 1 year and 7 months. In that time, we shared laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, movies, time, and our hearts. I will always regret we couldn’t share our lives. And I am as much to blame as you.

So, as I work on trying to stop crying, I say now, I love you, I always will, and will always be here, and will always miss you being a part of me, and being a part of you…

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This is dedication to an extreme…

by on Dec.12, 2003, under General

I’ve seen the lines for when Star Wars or Lord of the Rings have been in the theatres and I was impressed at their length. And its not hard to imagine some longer lines for things like bathrooms, tickets for the last lord of the rings midnight showing, autograph by Steve Jobs, people waiting in line to do various sundry things to Bill Gates, but now I’ve seen one of the largest lines ever. No words can quite describe this, so you’ll have to see for yourself. Video of the line for Apple’s store in Japan. Be patient, it’s a pretty large/long download. But, if you want to be awed by some people’s dedication, watch.

As another note, this entire site was programmed on a 17″ powerbook running Panther. It’s a pretty sweet system, and one of the best all around programming platforms I’ve worked on. I’ve definitely gone the way of the jobs, and switched from being an PC/Winblows/Linux users to an OS X users.

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Car anyone?  How about a DJ?  Need computer help?

by on Dec.09, 2003, under General

Thought I’d toss a few quick notes out. First, sadly, my car is now up for sale. This is a very very beautiful black Trans Am WS6 Convertible. Take a look, and feel free to drop me an email if you’d consider buying it. It’s in MINT condition, and I love driving. Just can’t stand the payments right now, need to get out of debt.

On another completely different note, I’m starting to do professional DJ work. So, if someone in the Central Missouri area needs a DJ, also feel free to contact me. My rate right now is $200 an evening, depending on travel or other considerations. I do offer discounts for certain things (i.e. church retreats, church dances, etc.).

Last note, I haven’t incorporated or done an LLC or anything like that, but I’m doing side business work for computers. Primarily desktop support, but I also do website design and programming, plus other computer services. Again, drop me an email and we can talk smile If you want to see what I can do, take a look at my resume on the about page.

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Hmm, I think that’s a good definition :)

by on Dec.08, 2003, under News

I found this quite entertaining smile. Go to google.com and type in “miserable failure”. Then, click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. The results speak for themselves. Have to say they’re probably the most accurate I’ve seen in a while….

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