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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I’ve hit my head against the virtual wall (whall?) more times than I can count over the past few years on something that I suddenly “fixed” recently, and I wanted to blog it for the masses.

In short,

If you’re running WordPress or any PHP-based application on a host that has both PHP 4.0 and 5.0 installed, append the following to your .htaccess file for that application:

Options All -Indexes
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

As an added bonus, I also detail how to upgrade MySQL 4.0 database to MySQL 5.0 on 1 & 1 hosting (see extended entry below).

I use 1 & 1 for my internet hosting, and have since, oh, 2003 or so. For the price I pay and the service I get, I’m very happy. There have been a few glitches, to be sure, and I’ve blogged about a few of them. But overall, I’ve been a happy camper.

I mention 1 & 1 because on all their shared hosting packages, they install both PHP 4.0 and 5.0. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had the dreaded “Internal Server Error 500” on a few things on my blog, like exporting my blog to XML as a backup, or similar tasks. Sure, I can always do the manual MySQL backup because I’m a geek, but it annoyed me that I couldn’t do the XML backup. Also, some plugins just wouldn’t work right, and auto-upgrade almost NEVER worked.

This inability to auto-upgrade also frustrated some of the people I host blogs for. Yes, I host blogs. For those special few in my life (heh) I will set up, install, configure and host a wordpress blog so they don’t have to worry about it. I typically only have them pay for the domain name ($10 a year or so) and I host the site for free. I host more than a hundred domains, including personal blogs, commercial blogs, non-profit websites, and I use WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and even raw HTML (the shock and awe!), wherever appropriate. It’s not a money maker for me, and I only ask that if someone I host gets wildly popular and makes millions of dollars, that they kindly remember me on my birthday.

On every WordPress blog I hosted, the authors weren’t able to consistently install or update plugins, or perform the auto-update feature inside of WordPress. It would either give that infernal Internal Server Error 500 or it would just hang. So, they’d email me, I’d procrastinate, they’d nudge, I’d forget, they’d ask politely a fortieth time, I’d promise to do it, and then eventually I’d manually upgrade their plugins a year later.

I’m happy to say that the above .htaccess file changes have completely eradicated the auto-upgrade errors, and I can perform the XML backups all day long without a problem. Not only that, but my blog actually seems faster. In case you care, the .htaccess lines tell Apache (the web server running on the host) to use PHP 5.0 to process all the files ending in .php instead of the default of PHP 4.0.

I’d do a happy dance if there weren’t so many adoring fans surrounding me, restricting my movements.

For the big WordPress 2.9 upgrade that I’ve been putting off, I was also challenged by the fact that my personal blog as well as a few blogs I host used the older MySQL 4.0 databases instead of the newer MySQL 5.0 databases. WordPress 2.9 required a later version of 4.0 than 1 & 1 had installed, and I was wary of diving into the “upgrade MySQL 4.0 database to 5.0” process.

Until last night.

The database upgrade went quite smoothly (this post was most helpful). In fact, I got it down to a science – take the values from the wp-config.php file (database name, username, and host name) and put it into the mysqldump / mysql commands to pull from the old 4.0 database and insert into the new 5.0 database.

My steps, for those interested and the inevitable Google searches that will land here, are documented in the extended version below.

Once I upgraded my MySQL Database to 5.0 and added the .htaccess lines at the top of the post, the WordPress 2.9 auto-upgrade was a cinch. Not only that, but several of the plugins that wouldn’t auto-update updated without issue. It was so easy and fun that I upgraded a few dozen blogs and their plugins as well.

Needless to say, I was quite pleased with myself. I’m celebrating by actually taking time to blog about it so you can be pleased with me, too!

If geekiness of this nature doesn’t please you, then maybe this Tom Tom Darth Vader behind the scenes video will.

Enjoy ūüôā


(more…)

Today I sent a support ticket to TechSmith, the makers of the incredibly awesome SnagIt tool.

snagit

I’ve been a user of this product for … shoot, probably 8 years now?¬† Love it.¬† LOVE it.¬† However, some time back, they changed this one little minor piece of functionality in the product and it aggravates me so.¬† SOOO much.¬† It’s like I can’t let go.

I’m hoping my sense of humor helps them consider putting the feature back in.

At some point in the last year or so, one of the “upgrades” brought with it the incredibly annoying behavior of completely ignoring the ESCAPE key in Snagit Editor.

Here’s one of my extremely typical tasks, done a dozen times a day:

  • PrintScreen (or CTRL-PrintScreen or ALT-PrintScreen, depending on which profile I want)
  • I review the screenshot, possibly edit it, tweak it with arrows or highlights (nothing I want to save)
  • Press CTRL-A, CTRL-C to put it in my clipboard (sometimes I just want a section of the modified screenshot)
  • Press Escape to dismiss the Snagit Editor
  • Cuss up a storm because Snagit removed this wonderful feature
  • Go and find my mouse, manage to drag the cursor all the way over to the [x] on the screen so I can close the screen, and lament the time I just wasted
  • Switch to my other application (which varies), press CTRL-V and admire my handiwork.

Please either make this an option in preference or just bring the dad-gum feature back.

Why do you sometimes REMOVE features?

What do you think? Over the top?

I will now give all of you a Sneak Peek at what *I* think the next generation of iPhone OS, 4.0 should support.*

If you didn’t know, Apple is showing off tidbits of it later today, and if I know Apple, I know they’ll listen to me and maybe fit in my wishlist before they actually release the software.**

iphone-4

Ring/Alert Profiles

This is a biggie for me.¬† I’m a Blackberry convert, and while there are many touchy-feely things the iPhone is superior with, Ring Profiles is something it’s completely horrible at. ***

I depend on my iPhone to serve the following functions:

  1. Mobile Phone
  2. Calendar
  3. Text message sender/receiver
  4. Alarm clock
  5. Reminders
  6. Notifier of urgent things happening
  7. Silent companion for those “special times” when sound is an enemy

Like most humans, I have a schedule.¬† When I go to bed, I want to be able to turn off all the sounds the iPhone makes except for text messages, phone calls and the wake up alarm.¬† When I’m in a meeting, I want everything to be silent, and only buzz me on text messages, phone calls, and urgent email messages.¬† When I’m out working in the yard, I might want everything to be extra loud because it’s harder to hear.

The point? I want to be able to name my own profiles, then customize what that profile does.¬† The blackberry is vastly superior for this function, as one can perform all of these actions and more.¬† And even better is that there’s a convenience key or two on the outside of the case that you can program to bring up whatever you want – I had mine set to “Select Ring Profile”.

This seems soooo incredibly doable.

Convenience Button Support

I want extra hardware buttons on the front, back sides, top… wherever I want, so I can assign programs or functions to them.¬† I want to be able to select different profiles without having to navigate here, there, then there.¬† I want to be able to turn wifi on/off more easily.¬† I want to bring up favorite apps more quickly.¬† I want a quick-dial button that I can assign to either immediately call a specific number or bring up my “Favorites”.

I mention this as an iPhone OS 4.0 wish-list item because I want manufacturers like Mophie to be able to come out with a hardware plug-in battery case that also has extra things on it, like programmable buttons.¬† Maybe a LED light on the top, or possibly a flash that “knows” when the camera is about to snap a picture, and does the flash for the iPhone.

I’m guessing that Apple’s API for docks and such only work with the iPod-type of controls, such as Volume Up/Down, Stop/Pause, Next/Previous, etc.¬† If Apple does indeed support this functionality such as being able to launch an app via an API command through the dock port, then maybe it’s just vendors who are not coming up with good ideas such as these.

I expect royalties if so.

GPS-aware apps and settings

The phone knows where I am, most of the time, right?

The iPhone (and iPhone Apps) should therefore let me make settings based on location.

Example: when I’m at home or work, I want wifi to be turned on by default.¬† I want to have to turn it off manually.¬† Conversely, when I’m traveling in a car, I want wifi to be turned off by default, and I should have to turn it on manually.¬† I don’t want battery life to be used up trying to search for wifi networks when it doesn’t make sense to me (defined by my settings).

Maybe there’d even be a GPS coordinate stored with each “Favorite hotspot” so that when the phone was near the hotspot, it knew to look for them.

I can think of soooo many applications for GPS-aware settings.

  • Reminder to stop by grocery store on way home
  • Food deals to be aware of on way home
  • Gas tracking / mileage, and pointing out where mass transit options are, if close by
  • Carpooling options for those who want to share rides (can you imagine? instead of calling a Taxi, you load iShare or something, and anyone who’s driving and also willing to provide a ride, and also going your way, would stop and pick you up… you’d do the same thing if you have a car/van)

Transcription 24×7

The government’s doing it to us already.¬† We should also have the benefits.

I want to be able to have everything I say recorded and transcribed in real-time.¬† The iPhone has a microphone; it has network connectivity.¬† Dragon Dictation has this as an iPhone App, but I’m thinking more along the lines of integrated with the OS.

Sound that iPhone hears is streamed to a server in real-time, which analyzes it, transcribes it, and sends it back to the iPhone.¬† Most text is just stored as a daily journal (and the phone recognizes some voices, and for those that it doesn’t, I should be able to tag it as “Mary” or “John” and it remembers.)

Recently spoken audio is also analyzed and used by the Google Search App, so that if I’m talking about restaurants in the area, when I pick up the iPhone, it already has contextual information based on the conversation thus far.¬† It might key on words such as “I wonder if…<something>” and it takes the “something” and Googles it for you.

This would work with the GPS-aware app functionality I mentioned above. I’ll give an example: During the day, I tell my wife “ok, I’ll pick up bell peppers and cilantro on the way home”.¬† See, the servers this stuff is uploaded to are VERY smart.¬† VERY high performance.¬† It can tell that this text is my way of adding to my own to-do list.¬† It might even send me a request or notify tone indicating that it picked something up as a to-do item.¬† Or a promise I made.

I can’t wait for the first elected official to commit to using an iPhone in this way.

Screen brightness control by an iPhone App

I like my Flashlight app.¬† However, to save battery, my screen brightness is usually very low, and works well for me 98% of the time.¬† However, when I DO need a flashlight, the flashlight app can’t change the brightness of the iPhone itself.¬† So it’s a crappy flashlight unless I go to Settings –> Brightness blahblahblah.

When I need a flashlight, I’m usually in a hurry.

This also underscores the ability to have a case with a built-in LED flashlight that can come on with a button.

“Smart” VPN

Another are where BlackBerry still has dominance over iPhone is in the concept of VPN and back-office connectivity for mobile devices.¬† In the corporate world, I want to be able to connect to work resources automatically. I don’t want to go to Settings and connect the VPN, click, find, click, whatever blahblahblah.¬† I just want to be able to set the iPhone so that when it tries to go to corporate resources, it. just. works.

I would think that the Exchange ActiveSync platform might be a solution to this – it’s already connecting over secure ports to do email fetch/send/sync… why not modify it to do web page fetch/sync as well?¬† I would think the CPU overhead of using Exchange client on the iPhone would be less than an actual VPN client, and it could be brainlessly easy to set up if the Exchange setup just allowed it by default, depending on IT/Sysadmin’s policies.

Better support for multiple email accounts/inboxes

When you have work email and personal email requiring the same entrance point (the envelope icon App), and you have to back –> back –> back –> back –> email account –> inbox to go back and forth, it gets to be a pain.

I should be able to specify certain folders/mailboxes as “favorites”, such as Email Account #1 Inbox and Email Account #2 Inbox.¬† Then at the top, I just hold down the favorite list, a drop-down box comes up and I can hop between them without the tap, tap, tap, tap crap.

Other miscellaneous wishes:

  • I want to see phone calls, text messages and emails all in one view
  • I want to be able to update my Exchange “Out Of Office” alerts from the iPhone
  • When typing in an email address, it should be smarter about entry.¬† I should be able to hit “space” and the first time, it’s an “@” sign and the second and subsequent times, it’s a period.
  • It should learn how fat or thin my thumbs are.¬† Make me type in a few words so it can learn where I think the “S” key is and where “L” is.¬† I SAID “L”, NOT BACKSPACE!!!!

And the number one item on my wishlist?

BE SILENT WHEN I SAY TO BE SILENT!!!!

Recently, I went to my daughter’s Young Artists Recital, where she and a few other top flute/piccolo players did a formal presentation of their talents.¬† All the winners of the 2010 Young Artists Competition were invited.¬† It was awesome.¬† She sure is good.

So.

It’s a recital.¬† Flute and Piano.¬† Kind of quiet.

We all put our phones on stun/vibrate.

Right in the middle of Caitlin’s performance, while I’m recording video from my iPhone, THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE that it’s reminding me to take my vitamins, which is an iPhone Alarm item I set for twice a day.

I’m completely embarrassed.¬† I fumble with it to acknowledge the alert, but I think, whew, at least it was my own daughter and I didn’t ruin someone ELSE’s day.¬† Also, the stupid alarm stopped my video recording, so I don’t a record of the event (and by “event,” I mean my daughter playing, not me interrupting it).

So.

It’s a recital.¬† Flute and Piano.¬† Kind of quiet.

Next performer is on.¬† It’s Nine Minutes Later.

THE STUPID THING STARTS RINGING VERY LOUDLY WITH SONAR RINGTONE AGAIN BECAUSE I ACCIDENTALLY PRESSED SNOOZE INSTEAD OF DISMISS.

I ended up turning the iPhone off and not recording anything else.¬† This underscores the need for multiple profiles — there should be a “Always Be Silent” mode, a “Mostly be Silent” mode for keeping phone/txt/alarms on, and other modes.

And there you have it.

What about you?  Do you have any items on your wishlist?

* kind-of misleading titles don’t bother me
** I’m not saying I know Apple.¬† I said “if”.
*** Besides, I wanted to be able to have  a sentence that had two fragments that ended with propositions, because a sentence is a horrible thing to end a preposition with.
February
8
2010
9:46 am
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Really, I did.

Yesterday I was thinking about it as I was taking Zina and Tigger for the first of their twice-daily walks.¬† I even thought to myself “This would make a pretty neat blog post.”

I even know what I’d title it,” I continued, forming the words in my head as to what the title would be, and how it might show up in the various alerting mechanisms.¬† Some would see New Blog Post: <something cool> in Twitter, or they might use Google Reader to find out the title.¬† Still others not so much into the blog reading but more into Facebook ease would see the post and be enticed into clicking over.

At the time, I was feeling pretty good for myself because I knew it’d been days, wait, no… weeks… WEEKS since I posted anything, and probably years since I wrote anything worthwhile.¬† More than that feeling, however… more than the satisfaction of actually writing something, I felt good about the post itself.¬† It contained goodness.¬† It contained symmetry.¬† The concepts I¬†formulated in my head on that walk made me proud, and I knew just about everyone would like it.¬† I knew it would help ease the division between people.¬† Even my harshest critics would probably take a break on this post.¬† This post would reach people.¬† It was simple, it was good and it was right.

It’s hard to express the lightness I felt as I finished the walk.¬† I got back home, excited to type it all in, refine it and make the idea perfect.¬† I put away the leashes, then cleaned some carpet stains, hung up some decorations, played way too much time on the computer with video games, helped Jaden with his homework, watched the Super Bowl, and watched the 3rd episode of Torchwood off of Netflix/PS3.

The post idea was still there, although slightly faded.  I smiled a little at the thought of tomorrow.  Tomorrow Рthe day I would type it up.  I really looked forward to it.

But I’ve slept since then, as they say, and now I’m completely blank on what it was.

If you have any ideas, or can help me remember, please let me know.

microwave-oven

But sometimes they don’t.¬†

Although, there may be one lurking, if we extend “ondas” to be “Hondas”.¬† I can just imagine tiny little Hondas on shore leave.¬† Little horno de microondas.¬† bwahahaha.

In other news, I believe I found out what was causing the extreme delay in my Windows 7 Easy Transfer problem from my last post.  I watched and watched and thinked and thunked.  I pondered.  I perused.  I fell asleep, then woke up and thought some more.

Then I decided to look at the external hard drive where¬†my user profile¬†was stored.¬† Since Windows didn’t give me any specific details during the transfer, I went ahead and canceled it and saw that it had copied some of the profile but not all of it.¬† The external hard drive supports USB2 and firewire, and because firewire is faster, I initially chose it for the supposed speed increase.

firewire cable

To help figure out if I had a performance issue, I set up a standard file copy from the laptop to the external drive.¬† When I actually checked the file transfer speeds of this external firewire drive (which you CAN see when you expand “Details”), I saw that it was getting less than 1MB/sec transfer rate.

I had mentioned that the profile itself was more than 140 GB.  GIH. GUH. BITES.  A gigabyte is a thousand megabytes, btw.  In my world, anyway.

Let’s do the math on that, shall we?

Actually, let’s not.¬† Math is hard.¬† Let’s just say it would take¬†a LOOOOONG time at that speed.¬† So I connected up the USB cable, did the same copy and was able to get between 11-25MB/sec transfer rates.¬† Ahhh.¬† The sounds of packets flowing across the wires.

A bit of googling showed that other people on Vista and Windows 7 64-bit had similar firewire problems due to drivers and what-not.¬† So I’m sure it’ll get resolved eventually with an updated driver, but for now I can stick with USB2 and get’r done.¬† The laptop also has an eSATA port (which is even faster), but the data isn’t on an eSATA-capable drive at the moment.¬†

There was one other problem I found on the computer, but I fixed it fairly quickly:

I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love Windows 7.¬† I liked XP well enough for about a million years, embraced Vista when it came out, and adopted the Windows 7 Beta back in January of this year.¬† I was on the beta for a few months and then went to the Release Candidate Microsoft made available and have been on it since recently.

I was worried when I switched jobs that I might lose some of my Windows 7 accessibility.¬† I was IT Director of a large ISP, in charge of technical things like Operating Systems and our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and bypassing the Internet logging… so not only was I in the know, but I had access to everything.¬† In my new job, however,¬†I’m not IT anymore – I’m a dreaded and lowly “user”.¬† Now *I* have to create helpdesk requests and wait for things to happen instead of laughing at users waiting for things to happen.

Fortunately, the IT crew at the new job is cool and let me use Windows 7 even though they hadn’t prepared on rolling it out yet.¬† In fact, I’ve been testing some of the various apps like virus protection and the new game and I’m glad I can help.¬†¬† I especially like testing out games.¬† WOO to the HOO.

I have Windows 7 on my work desktop and I just recently loaded it on my work laptop.  I already have Windows 7 on my home desktop and loaded it last night on my home laptop.  Is that enough computers for you yet?!?!?!

While there are many cool things about Windows 7 I could expand on here, I’m going to specifically mention Windows Easy Transfer.¬† I will mention it, and then I will trash it publicly.

Normally, this tool is incredible. It’s awesome.¬† It’s so much more than “Files & Settings Transfer” was in XP.¬† It’s better than USMT (User Settings Migration Tool) if you’ve used that on the Enterprise side.¬†¬† It’s so much better than ‘Cats’.

What it does is take your files and settings (and in some cases, applications, but only in certain situations) from one computer and transfer it to another computer.¬†¬† This is¬†a fantastic boon for people who customize their computer a lot and have more than just a couple directories of files to transfer.¬† I, for example, and one of those people.¬† In fact, I customize my laptop so much I’m more like three of those people.

For the first¬†four or¬†five times I used it, it worked flawlessly and quickly.¬† However, in my most recent quest, transferring from a Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 laptop to a Windows 7 Enterprise released version laptop, I’ve been having issues.¬† HEadsup – I might need a hug.

Here’s some eye candy fer ya to help ‘splain my issue.

easy transfers
(click to embiggify)

Note the transfer time.¬† btw, “Transfer time” indicates how much time is LEFT. ¬†btw also,¬†I started this transfer Monday morning and here it is Wednesday and it’s still chugging along.¬† Also, that “transfer time” sometimes says “1 day” and sometimes says “8 days” and everywhere between.¬† The disk lights on the laptop and the external firewire drive are still blinking, and the green bar is advancing some every few hours, or so it seems.¬† Just in the time it took to write this blog post, it’s changted from 2 days, 10 hours to 1 day, 9 hours, to 6 days, to¬†2 days 14 hours.

I should point out that there are a few quirks in my particular set up.

  1. Different versions of Windows
    I am using a migration file taken from a¬†Release Candidate version of Windows 7¬†and importing to¬†a Released version of Windows 7.¬† I don’t know if that is supported – who knows, it might not be, or it might be buggy.¬† I can’t blame Microsoft for that part if it’s true.¬† In fact, they go out of their way to put in disclaimers on their beta software.
  2. The migration file is huge:
    My migration file is 127.5GB and the user profile itself is > 140GB.¬† Maybe it’s supposed to take this long?¬† I don’t have any hard data to compare to on this front.¬† Perhaps I can blame Microsoft for that? Nahh.
  3. I’m changing domains.¬†
    The profile was taken from a domain that doesn’t exist any more, and I’m importing to a new domain.¬† The docs show that this is supported (yay Microsoft for adding this!) but who knows, maybe it has a problem too.¬† If so, that’s Microsoft’s fault.¬† But we don’t know yet.
  4. Power interruption on the first try
    The first time I tried the import (last Friday), there was a power interruption to the USB drive and the migration failed.¬† So I blew away the profile on the new laptop, rebooted again, removed from the domain and re-added, and then tried again.¬† While that shouldn’t be a problem, maybe there’s something wrong.¬† I did notice that when I logged into the account after the failed import and before blowing it away, there was about 90GB of files in the profile, so at least it did something.¬† There could be a problem on the external drive, or there might be some setting on my account somewhere from that failed first try.¬† Anyone feel like helping me blame Microsoft for the power interruption?
  5. Domain account locked interruption
    There were some domain account issues on the new domain, where the account got locked for other reasons.¬† Since the process has to authenticate as that user during the migration, maybe it’s stuck somewhere and can’t do anything.¬† This was on the current try. (more specifically, I started migration the 2nd time on Monday morning, and the domain got locked twice Tuesday afternoon).¬† Stupid locked domain accounts! ALL MICROSOFT’S FAULT AND BUSH’s TOO!

I’m thinking that if it doesn’t get somewhere today, I’ll have to interrupt it again, blow away the profile, do a disk check on the firewire drive (due to the power interruption) and try it again.

Hey.¬† Now it says only 1 day, 10 hours left.¬† Maybe it’s worth waiting for?

While I wait, I think I’ll compose a lolcat for the situation.¬† Wait.¬† Dang Office Assistant got in the way.

I tweet a lot.

A lot.

facebook-wall

Because I have Twitter cross-posted with Facebook, this means my “wall” (or as I like to call it, my “whall”) fills up quickly.¬† For those who don’t know about “cross-posting”, just know that it’s basic integration betwen social networking systems.¬† It’s a way for the different social mediums to work together, like Twitter, Facebook, Utterli, ping.fm and a hundred others, so that none of them hog you all to themselves.¬† In fact, the more a social medium shares (ie, cross-posts) with others mediums, the more likely people are to use it as their primary interface.

It’s like love.¬† The more you share, the more you have.

Or fire.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a couple of comments a few times from my Facebook friends that I’ve spammed up their news feed, or that my status updates have hogged up their home page.¬† For that, I apologize.

I’m not likely to reduce my twittering, however.¬† So, I’d like Facebook to listen up and see if they can come up with a way to solve this.¬† I have two ideas in this area:

@replies should be a comment, not it’s own update

When I put in “@username” in a status update, I’d like facebook to make my a reply in that person’s status update, if they also have a Facebook account integrated with Twitter.¬† It takes up so much less real estate and helps promote that person’s facebook page as much as, if not more than, my own.

If they don’t have a Facebook account, then maybe they could just make it look like the following example, but instead of “status” say “tweet” and have it link to the actual tweet.¬†

      facebook-comment

Threads should be recognized and put into comments

This is very similar to the first one, but is different enough.  If I do a status update, then someone replies to me on Twitter, then I reply to that reply, I want Facebook to figure that out and put BOTH updates as comments on my original status update. 

Even if the other person isn’t on Facebook.

Yes, I know facebook would have to go searching for the tweet.  But computers are good and fast.

For example, I might have the following conversation on twitter (shown in reverse chronological order here)

   tweet-example

In Facebook, this would typically turn into five (5) different status updates with my picture and everything. (actually, it appears as though maybe it’s not doing that anymore – is Facebook blocking @replies as status updates now?).

Instead, I’d rather it show up like a threaded conversation.¬†

   facebook-2

I see that there’s a facebook app called “Selective Twitter” that allows you to add a hashtag (#fb) to tweets to determine whether or not to actually update facebook.¬† I think that’s a good first step, but I’ve noticed tools such as TweetDeck (my desktop and iPhone tool of choice) allowing me to specify, per tweet, if I want to update facebook as well.

Once my ideas are implemented, hopefully I can be nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.¬† I could use the $1.4 million dollars.¬† Oh wait, the government normally taxes at least 50% of all “winnings” so I guess the prize isn’t that high. I know the prize is tax exempt in Hungary and several other nations, but I don’t know if it’s tax exempt in the US.¬† Anyone know?

I’m going to take a little time right now to declare my gratitude for technology.

Watching old stuff

Today, I took Jaden to Extreme Fun, one of those unlimited-bouncy places where he actually gets a ton of exercise and loves it.

extreme-fun

While he pumped up his adrenaline, made friends and sweat it up like a 7yr old should, I was able to watch episode 3 of The Fantastic Journey on my laptop.¬† I’ve written about this old 70’s TV show before, and I’m FINALLY making the time to catch up on it. ¬†There were only ten episodes made of this show, and I remember it from my childhood.

I’m thankful that technology lets me do this kind of reminiscing.

iPhone video

I’ve mentioned a few times the lack of mobility my wife has due to recent knee surgery.¬† It still sucks, but she’s healing up about as fast as you can from that kind of thing.¬† Because of this temporary mobility impairment, she can’t see everything she normally would, like Jaden having fun being a robot.

Jaden is a robot on 12seconds.tv

 I was able to take all sorts of video with my iPhone of Jaden sword fighting, lazer tagging, robot-ing, and a bunch of stuff like that.   My wife would never get to see those moments, and it was kind of special, laying in bed that evening and me showing her a bunch of video of Jaden having a great great time.

I’m thankful that I can share these memories with my wife.

Online school things

Our school district gives us three cool online things – GradeSpeed, MyMealtime and Transfinder.

GradeSpeed gives us a login to see our kids grades and homework.¬† I can interact with their teachers, see what test scores are, homework scores, and evaluate everything that makes up my kid’s report card.¬† I can nip problems in the bud, and there aren’t any surprises come report card time.

MyMealtime allows me to deposit money in their school lunch account and get alerts when it runs low.  I can also set limits.

Transfinder is the online bus routing system that gives me reports, notices, weather and alerts about our kids’ bus.¬† We can even get notifications for late arrivals.

I’m thankful that our school district is ahead of where I thought they would be by this time.

What technology are you thankful for?

 

August
21
2009
12:05 pm
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You know how yesterday I came up with a neat little blog post title that essentially said what I was thinking?  That was fun.

I think I’ve finally “made it” in blogging when I don’t blog for an entire week (coincidentally after blogging and parodying Dave2 taking a break) and I still get comments on the first post I come up with.¬† I never would have imagined that response when I started blogging four years ago.¬† Yes, I have a blogiversary going on too (I call them whalliversaries).¬† What I’m trying to say, but failing, is that I’m very appreciative of what my blog gives me in terms of community, an outlet for creativity, and a stroking of my very needy ego.

So, thank you.

I’m going to splurge a little on my lazy trend and give you, in the extended entry, the contents of an email I received that I thought worth the time to read.¬† I LOL’ed a few times.

Let me know if you agree.

Or not.  You can be lazy too.

(more…)

August
20
2009
12:27 pm
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Title says it all, except for me having to point it out here.

Discuss.

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