technogeeky – Page 2 – akaemi.com
 

Category: technogeeky

computers, gadgets, games, scifi …

Is really kind of awesome!  At my new job, we get to work from home as long as we don’t abuse the privilege (i.e., when you have to sit at home during a 6-hour window for a 3-minute service call).

I had to wait for the not-blind blind man to come measure the basement sliding glass door so we can get new vertical blinds put up – which took him all of 37 seconds.  So I left work early this afternoon – which meant I was 2 hours behind on my workday.

But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to vpn into my work network and remote desktop to my machine.  And work for two hours! 

My tiny little laptop screen isn’t the best thing for juggling a java ide, two web browsers (gotta make my web app work in IE and FF …), an oracle ide, notepad++, and my services manager, but it works well enough.  Especially since now I’ll be able to have a regular-ol’ 8-hour friday tomorrow. 

back to work

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I headed back to work yesterday, which is good, because I really like spending money.  And buying stuff.  So a paycheck coming in really helps make that habit work.

Yesterday was filling out forms and learning about benefits and policies.  The boss man chatted at me for a few minutes in the afternoon to talk about what I was going to be doing, but since it was the first time in, well, 17 days that I had pulled myself out of bed before 7 am, it was mostly in one ear and out the other … 

This morning was meeting all the bigwigs and getting computer accounts.  And this afternoon was setting up my computer!  Eclipse and plugins (wtp and subclipse), tortoisesvn, tomcat, all the necessities.  I’m toying with the idea of buying a textpad license, I do so love textpad.  Even if you can’t edit hex in it.

I pulled down the code I’m going to be working on and determined it’s a spring-based web app.  With test code!  It does so warm my heart to see test code.

And, I get a window office!  It’s a 3 person office, but my desk is right in the window.  On the 15th floor.  Overlooking a hotel pool.  So when I get bored, I can look out and see little bitty peoples swimming.  (Seriously bitty – I can’t tell what gender they even are.  Promise.  So I’m totally not pervy.)

There’s no place on my desk for my batmobile, I have cupboards over my desk instead of open shelves like my last desk.  Which really is a shame, the batmobile is awesome.  And a half.  It should be shared with the world.

There’s also no parking garage … which I lamented as I got in my 100 degree car this afternoon to head home.

All in all, though, I’m still glad I took the new job.  🙂  I’m even looking forward to getting in nice and early tomorrow to buckle down and get to work.

All negotiations for the following junk-tronics must go through the husband.  He reserves the right to not part with any of the following:

  • Firewire card
  • Geforce 7900 Video card
  • 360 watt power supply
  • 16x cd-writer drive
  • Motorola Cable Modem
  • Netgear Wireless (G) Router
  • Kenwood car Stereo [kdc-mp8017, mp3 capable]
  • Alpine car  Stereo with ipod thingie [cda-9851 + kca-420i]
  • Directv receiver [D10-200]
  • 5 old cell phones

All this stuff has been sitting in closets for a year or more – which means we are most likely never going to make any good use of it.  Anything of value will eventually be ebay-ed, while things of no value will be recycled (the cell phones) or thrown away (directv receiver).

Any takers?  [This is meant for locals, specifically, the husband’s friends.  Or mine, if I had any …]

Fire pony, fire pony, I finally got my fire pony!

Years ago, the first time I ever laid eyes one, I had a conversation with the husband that went something like this:

Me: Wow!  How do I get a fire pony?!

The husband:  A what? 

Me:  A fire pony!  I just saw someone run by on a horse that was ON FIRE!

The husband:  Oh.  A felsteed?  You have to be a warlock to get one.

Me:  A warlock?  What’s a warlock?

The husband:  A warlock is one of the classes in wow.  You are a hunter.  You can’t get a felsteed.

Me:  Oh.  But you told me I could pick my mount when I got to 40.

The husband:  Yes …. within reason, though.  You can’t pick a felsteed.

Me:  Oh.  <pout>

But I rolled a warlock awhile back, and I finally got him to 40.  And now, I have my very own fire pony!

works with windows vista

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I got a new computer a few weeks ago, and up until this evening, it has been nothing but wonderful.  Vista works a little differently than XP, sure, but I was getting the hang of things.

With the advent of tax-return-season, the husband and I have decided to do some work on the basement.  It’s already finished, but we’d like to paint it and get some new furniture.  Which means I need my 3D house software installed on my new laptop, so I can arrange things virtually before we run out and buy desks and bookshelves that we end up hating.

No worries, the Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 7 has a sticker on the box:  Works with Windows Vista.  That means I can just insert my installation cd and be good to go, right?

Wrong.

I inserted the disk, and told it to autorun startup.exe when I was prompted.  And then nothing happened.  At all.  So I tried again.  And got the same results.  I opened task manager, and sure enough, there were two startup.exe processes running.  So I end-processed them.  And they didn’t end.  So I end-processed them more furiously than before.  They would not be ended. 

I hollered to the basement at the husband.  He told me to reboot my machine, and then try a little run-as-XP-compatible trick.

Telling Vista to restart yielded no restarting, so I held the power button down until it took me seriously.  Upon restarting, I was happy to see no setup.exes in the task manager.

I inserted the install cd, but this time didn’t let it auto-run.  I opened it in Windows Explorer, found startup.exe, and right-clicked on it.  I selected properties, and found the compatibility tab.  And I checked the run-this-program-in-compatibility-mode-for box.  And then I hit ‘OK.’

And then I ran startup.exe as administrator, and allowed the program to run when Vista tried to save me from myself.

And it installed!

It put a little icon on my desktop, so I clicked it to start the program.  And then it told me I had to be an admin to run the program and to contact my sys admin, k thx.  I am the sys admin on my box.  And my user IS an admin, thank you very much.

So I right-clicked the shortcut icon and made it XP compatible.  And tried again.

It let me start the program.  Finally!

So don’t believe it when you see that little ‘Works with Windows Vista’ sticker. It might just mean ‘Works-with-windows-vista-when-you-install-as-XP-and-then-run-as-XP.

I love my phone.  Or, should I say, my cell phone-pda-camera.

I’ve had a cell phone of some sort for the last 6 years.  Flip phones.  Camera phones.  Clunky phones.  Phones with difficult interfaces.  Phones that tried to do too much – and ended up not doing much of anything at all.

But the phone I have now is heaven.  It does so many things – and it does them well.  I was really wary of purchasing a smart phone, but the husband talked me into it.  He got the beefier Palm Treo, while I stuck with the entry model Palm Centro.

And I love it!  I got the black one, but it has a fun glitter in it.  It’s not so much that people think you have a child’s phone – but it’s enough to keep it from being a boring black. 

I love the size of it – it fits nicely in my hand when I’m using it as a phone.  It doesn’t look like I’m just holding a pda to your head – it’s a reasonable phone size.  It is the most adorably tiny pda you will ever see.  Granted, it’s probably too small for power-pda users – but for someone like me who uses a phone to a) make phone calls, b) send the occasional text message, and c) kill time while waiting in lines, it is perfect. 

I love that it runs the Palm OS.  There are so many Palm applications out there – Quicken, Office, games galore.  If I can imagine something I need, it’s there.  Also, since Palm has been around awhile, they have had time to polish their OS for hand-held devices.  They know what works, and how to keep things responsive on a mini-computer.

I love that it has a touch screen!  Whether surfing the internet, playing sudoku, or entering contact information, the touch screen adds an intuitive way to let you do it all faster.  I did replace the tiny little plastic stylus with a slightly more sturdy metal and plastic one, but the upgrade only set me back $7, so I’m not complaining.

I love the tiny little keyboard!  Most grown adults would probably find it too small, but it works for me.  I was blessed with wonderfully strong thumbnails, and I find that the corners of my nails work perfectly for it.  When I want to send a text message or write a note to myself, I have a little keyboard which is wayyyyy faster than phone-typing.  I’m not 14, so that whole phone-typing thing is beyond my ability.  I haven’t had a chance yet to IM on my phone, but it’s got all the different IM clients on it – and with a full keyboard, I could actually keep up with a conversation.

I don’t really use the camera much, but it’s actually pretty impressive for a phone-camera.  There’s no flash, only a 2x zoom, but the pictures aren’t half-bad.  It’d certainly do in a pinch, to capture pics of a wreck in case the other guy tries to change his story later, or an unexpected celebrity sighting.

The thing I like the most, though, is that every time I see it, I think, “oh, I LOVE my phone!”  I’ve never felt that way about a phone – there was only one other phone that I thought was cute, but cute isn’t enough to make a great phone.  I love the way it looks, the way it feels – and most importantly – the way it works.

So, I made myself a facebook account.  Cuz all the cool kids were doin’ it.  I even made myself some friends, people I knew from the neighborhood, people I knew cuz they were my husband’s friends, a college roommate, even a few people from way back in high school.

It’s kinda neat, connecting with all these people.  And doing quizzes, super-poking, playing games with them all.  I’ve made it to my first stop on Oregon Trail, I lost a Scrabulous game that I sooo totally cheated on (how LAME am I??), I’ve sent strawberries to people, accepted their karma, and updated my status.  I’ve written on people’s walls, and invited them to play silly games with me.  Oh, and begged them to read my blog …

I logged on the other day, and in my news feed, saw that my neighbor was playing poker with a guy I went to high school with.  How DARE he??  I had dibs on that guy!  I dunno if I was the link that brought them together, or if they managed to find each other on facebook through some other route.  Either way, it was a strange feeling to see those two worlds collide.  I mean, really – he was my friend first …

The husband and I caught part of X-Men 3 on tv this weekend, and I was surprised to recognize some of the mutants.  Before they were Juno, Maya, and McSteamy, they were Shadowcat, Callisto, and Multiple Man.  (And I have to say, good call on the beard, McSteamy.) 

I’m sure there were more recognizable mutants in the mix – X-Men 3 pulls out all the stops, there’s a billion characters in the movie – but we didn’t watch the whole thing.  I’ll have to keep my eyes open next time I watch it!

even more pics

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I’ve put up several more pics, and tried to organize the gallery a little better.  There are still some more pics I haven’t put up yet, the husband is holding them hostage on his laptop.  Ok, so maybe not really hostage, but they aren’t on any of my machines, so I’ve put them off till last.

None of these new pics have descriptions yet, but someday I’ll get to that.  🙂

Ok, so I haven’t gotten around to actually adding any more pics to my gallery – but I did go back and label the pics that are already there.  I also tried to trim the galleries, but I don’t think I was very successful at it.

And, for the husband’s family, I do know your names.  I made a conscious effort to not put names in, I instead used relationships.  (i.e., ‘the niece,’ ‘the mother-in-law,’ etc.)  I made this decision because while I don’t have a problem with my name being ‘out there’ on the ‘internet,’ I realize that not all people feel the same way.  I don’t want to make anyone feel exposed.

Using relationships in lieu of names also serves a double purpose: for people who don’t know the people in the pictures, relationships serve as a better description.  The husband’s coworkers, for example, have no idea who ‘mildred’ is or how she might connected to me – but they do understand step-great-aunt-in-law.  Er, well, maybe not that relationship, I’m not entirely sure what that one means …

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