Contact Info - In case of an emergency

October 16, 2006

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Here's a good use of technology. Florida has a system in place now where you can go to this page and virtually add emergency contact info to your driver's license. You simply input the info on the site and if you are in an accident the rescue folks can call in your driver's license ID and get the contact info. Of course, there is a chance that this info will be leaked, hacked, or accidently publised on a web site, but it's probably worth it. Apparently, rescue workers also look on cell phones for any ICE (in case of emergency) listings. This probably isn't universal, but it would hurt to have an entry like "I.C.E. - Mom" in your cell phone.


Cocaine

October 15, 2006

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Eric Clapton's version of "Cocaine" came on the radio the yesterday. I don't often listen to the radio (thank to my mp3 player) and I hadn't heard the song in a long time. For whatever reason, it triggered a memory of the first time I remember hearing the song. I was in probably 6th grade and we were watching an anti-drug video in the gym one day. The video was trying to point out how bad drugs were and at one point talked about how you had to be on guard because there were songs that would try to convince you to use. To illustrate the point, they played a few bars of Cocaine while highlighting the lyrics on the screen. The point of all this was to show how dangerous the music was, but I distinctly remember thinking, "wow, I really like that music". Kinda blew their point saying that both drugs and the music were bad when my reaction to the music was that I thought it was really good off the bat. That's the first time I can remember consciously questioning what I was being told by "The Man". (For those of you who are wondering, No I've never done cocaine.)


Repartition Hard Drive

October 11, 2006

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If you ever need to repartition a hard drive and don't have Partition Magic, you can do it with a Linux LiveCD like knoppix using an application called "QTParted". Basically, what this lets you do is have one physical hard drive that shows up as two separate ones in your opperating system. (Note, I've only tried this with a Windows box. YMMV with Macs.) On my laptop, I setup the one physical drive to appear as a "C" and a "D" drive. This way, I can keep all my applications on the "C" drive and my data on the "D". This makes organizing and backing up a lot easier. Basic instructions for how to use QTParted can be found here. (The article describes using a different LiveCD, but any one with QTParted should work just fine.)


The Booth will soon be no more

October 09, 2006

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This sucks. I heard a couple of weeks ago that The Booth is closing. I frequented a fair number of the bars in Tuscaloosa, but The Booth was far and away the one I considered "mine". For a while, I was playing there just about every weekend with Hillside Harmony. Not to mention that I probalby sat in with a dozen other bands there including the first time I jammed with Planet Jive. I figured that bar would be one of the ones that stayed around forever while others came and went around it. Probably would have happend too, but it seems that the building got sold out from under them. Here's an article about it. I can understand it if a bar just looses it's clientel or the management blows it and the bar goes under, but this is a crap way to go out. One my short list of "if I won the lottery" items is: Move open a bar in Tuscaloosa and bring in as much live music as I can. With the closing of The Booth, that goal just got a little higher on my list.


ATL

October 09, 2006

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Incidentally, I'm in Atlanta right now. Sitting in the hotel lobby at the Sheraton Colony Square Hotel surfing on their free wireless. Technology is cool.


Monopoly

October 09, 2006

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McDonald's has done their Monopoly game on and off for years. I always wondered what were the key peices to get to actually win something. Well, thanks to the internets, now we know.


RSS Bandit

October 09, 2006

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I had a hard drive go out on me a little while back and am in the process of re-installing all the software on my machine to rebuild it. While it's a huge pain in the ass, I actually like being albe to completely start over a little. I just prefer to do this on my own time line instead of when the computer decides I should. I had been using Sharp Reader for my RSS reader, but am giving RSS Bandit a spin. It's an open source project that's hosted on Source Forge. You probably know I'm a big fan of Open Source software but that's less important to me than ensuring that the software I use is the best at the particular task I'm asking it to complete. I haven't been with RSS Bandit long, but there is one qucik thing that I like about it over Sharp Reader. In Sharp Reader, whenever a new article is picked up an annoying little message window pops up over the windows taks bar. There is no way to turn this off. Sometimes I like this, but there are times when I want the it off. For example, when giving a presentation from my laptop, I prefer not to have a message pop up saying a new story with the title "Increasing number of female college students forced to resort to prostitution to pay for college" has come up on fark.com. RSS Bandit lets you drop different feeds into categories that show up as folders. One knock against it is that each time you open the application, the folders are collapsed and you have to open them individually to see the specific feeds inside each. This is not good. It should remember the state of each folder and launch that way next time. My solution for this right now is simply to keep everything at the "root" level of the RSS feeds outside of any folders. Less organized, but it's the only way to see everything without having to open a bunch of folders. Anyway, it seems pretty good so far.


Noia Theme

September 29, 2006

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In Firefox, you can apply Themes to change the look and feel of your browser. I use Noia. I don't really care about the skin itself, though it is nice. The main thing that I look for is that the right side scroll bar touches the side of the desktop. This means that you can just slam your mouse up against the side of the browser and you will be able to click and scroll. A lot of themes that are out there (including the Firefox default) have a one or two pixel border on the side so you actually have to aim a little when you are trying to scroll. This doesn't make sense to me since you have to be that much more accurate with your mouse for a task that really doesn't reuire it.


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