A nice compliment

January 29, 2007

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

Oh yeah. Something a friend saw that was a nice compliment is this post on the Smart Mobs blog. I'm the one who conceived of and designed all the functionality on the leaderboard that the post talks about. I'm generally not one to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty proud of the leaderboard design and it's nice to see something like that writing about something you made. (Incidentally, the leaderboard doesn't operate quite as smoothly as I would like and doesn't work in everyones browser. But it was the first version and, to my knowledge, the first time anyone has create a leaderboard anything like it. Also, I provide an alternate version for those folks who can't get all the bells and whistles on the main one. All that is to say, that I'm going to be making changes this year to make it even better.)


... like a dog

January 29, 2007

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According to this page the etymology of working like a dog isn't that exotic which is a little disappointing. Never the less, I feel like I've been a pretty good example of the statement for the past several months. I think I've mentioned here before but at the end of 2006 we transitioned to Turner Networks as a new partner. I would have loved to have had eight months to a year to do this. Six months is probably about the minimum any sane organization would try it in. We did it in a little over three. Of course, for the tech guy (that would be me) still got to put in about six months worth of hours. We got the site rebuilt mostly from scratch and managed to make a few improvements along the way all without any more than the few bumps and bruises that you would expect when you pick-up, shuffle and move literally millions of files and data points. Unfortunately, the pace didn't let up in Jan. as we were patching the minor issues and tweaking to make sure things line up right. The good news for me is that I'm starting to get to a point where I can let off the gas just a little. Of course, this means that I'm starting to have a chance to realize exactly how exhausted I am. With luck, nothing major will happen in the next couple months and I can continue to throttle back and recuperate a little. It was a hell of an effort to get to where we are, but I managed to get some things setup that should make my life easier down the road.


Consumer Search

December 23, 2006

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I've been doing a little research on free firewalls and virus software and came across Consumer Search. They act as a clearning house and digest service for reviews. You can learn a little more about them on their about us page. The best thing is that they aim to keep their reviews fresh. Looks like a very handy page to have bookmarked.


Trying new Open Source Software - RSSOwl and MusikCube

December 16, 2006

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I'm trying out two new peices of software that I read about on this blog posting. The are RSSOwl and musikCube. RSSOwl is a java based RSS reader and MusikCube is an MP3 player. So far, I like them both. I think I like the setup of RSSOwl better than RSS Bandit which is what I had been using. As for musikCube, the biggest thing I like about it is that the system tray has player controls like "next" and "previous" available directly. Winamp, which is what I had been using keeps these under a secondary menu in the system tray which is a pain to get to. As with a lot of other software that I use, I'm a big fan of the fact that these are open source.


OpenDNS

December 16, 2006

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The DNS service of my local ISP sucks. It looses itself quite often which is a bad trick. I've just found OpenDNS and am going to give them a shot. I don't know if I'll actually notice an improvement, but hopefully there will be less down time.


The last Sunday at Reimer's

December 14, 2006

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For the past five years or so there has been a Jacksonville tradition called "Sunday at Reimer's". A bunch of folks get together on Sundays to hang out, have some drinks and watch football. In general, we've settled down a little from the early days when there would be multiple beer pong tournaments during the day and a better the 75% chance of ending up at a bar to do karaoke, but it's still a really good time. Sadly, this past Sunday was likely to be the last one. Reimer is moving out of his beach pad that has been host to the event for the past couple years. This isn't the best photo, but here's the basic setup:

Sunday at Reimer's

Then you walk out onto the porch and see this:

Reimer's view

I'm gonna miss that place.


"Take it to the Bridge" Fire Escape

December 14, 2006

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Another example of poor design at The Omni. This time on the In Case Of Fire wall plaque. Normally, these signs have dotted lines that show how to get from where you are to an exit. In this case, you only get to the bridge. This bridge is a few stories up and you'd need to go down another flight of stairs to get the ground floor, and I'm not sure where the closest exit is. Kinda scary.

Fire Escape


Complex alarm clock

December 14, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

I've been staying at The Omni in Atlanta while working on transitioning my work site to a partnership with Turner. I'm "The Tech Guy" at work and am fairly handy when it comes to most things electronic, but the alarm clock in my room is beyond me. It looks like this:

F-ing Alarm Clock

I spent literally 5 min. trying every possible combination of button presses that I could think of and I don't think I ever got the alarm to set. I might have, but if I did whatever indication it was trying to give me didn't make sence to my brain. I managed to turn the radio on and off several times but that's about it. This is wonderful example of very poor industrial design. The phrase it brings to mind is "designed by an engineer". I'm sure it probably makes perfect sense to the person who put 26 buttons one it, but you really shouldn't have to have an instruction booklet to set an alarm clock. Especially when you are in a hotel and there is no instruction booklet to be found. I just unplugged it (cause I had a nagging feeling it was going to go off every 15 min. starting at 2am) and used my cellphone's alarm.


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