General

Hanselminutes Podcast: On Empathy with Leon Gersing the Ruby Buddha

Scott Hanselman recently published a really great podcast on his always-good Hanselminutes show, “On Empathy with Leon Gersing the Ruby Buddha”. They discuss how important it is to maintain empathy when dealing with others on the Internet as well as in real life, and the importance of keeping a direct connection to your end customers and colleagues in your community. It is a good listen for anyone in the software industry.

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve brought a lot of greatness to the world. I remember buying my first Apple computer back in early ‘82. It was an Apple II-Plus and I remember how cool it was that it did color graphics with a TV output. My brother and I were playing the Swashbuckler game right after we got it out of the box. It was also fun and easy to program in Applesoft Basic. Then along came the Apple IIc which was small and easy to haul around, although it wasn’t a true laptop.

Clipboard Printer App

Sometimes you might want to print a small section from an email that has 30-embedded replies or just a snippet of code from that big class file. The Clipboard Printer Windows app makes it easy to do by copying what you want to print into the clipboard (CTL-C or right-mouse “Copy”) and then print it to your printer. I built this small app for this purpose a couple of years ago and thought I’d share it here in case someone else needed to use it.

Magic Pen and Paper

I bought a magic gadget from Best Buy called the LiveScribe smart pen and paper after watching a colleague using it for making notes during a meeting. Technology The smart pen is really a small computer with an infrared camera analyzing a series of micro-dots in a matrix pattern on paper (originally invented by Anoto in Sweden). You write as with an ordinary pen on special notebook paper and the pen also optionally records audio.

Tropical Storm Hermine Over Driftwood

We were visited by the “dirty” (west) side of Tropical Storm Hermine on September 7 which dumped some significant rainfall on us. The main density of rainfall walked right up I-35 in what the weathermen call a “train” effect. Then again on September 8 a second load of rain was pulled up from the gulf by the tail of the storm. Unfortunately the ground was still drenched from the previous rain and it resulted in some flooding in our area.

Tuesday Morning Hotroddin’!

I previously wrote about how much I like wild rides, and my friend Mike was kind enough to take me out for a fun ride in his newly rebuilt ’72 Nova hot rod this morning. And by rebuilt I mean the engine has been transformed to a monster, as in “It’s aliiiiiiive!!“. The engine’s displacement is 496 cubic inches and horsepower has been estimated at 700 BHP. When started it often sets off car alarms and scares any nearby kids and elderly.

Remember Heroes Not Monsters

One thing I noticed about the tragedy at Virginia Tech is that the media constantly played the monster’s video and kept mentioning the monster’s name. They were playing right into his hands and should have just left that video with law enforcement agencies. This kind of notoriety only encourages copy-cats and zeros that want to gain a sort of immortality to their name (also see Kennedy’s assassin and the Columbine scumbags for other examples).

XM Radio – Update

This is an update on the XM Satellite Radio that I wrote about earlier. I was able to improve the installation in the Matrix by adding a bracket that mounts it to the right of the radio and angles it toward the driver. Also, I wired the power inside the dash so I wouldn’t have to keep using those bulky power plugs. The Sony dash unit was useful in that it has an Aux input that allows the signal to go straight from the XM Radio into the Sony unit.

Rehab Nation

There’s been an interesting trend lately to turn any adverse publicity into an opportunity to absolve oneself from responsibility by entering into a rehab program. Historically that was limited to drug or alcohol use, but lately rehab has been a “cure-all” for public relations disasters such as rants about ethnicity (Gibson) or sexual-orientation (the guy from “Grey’s Anatomy”). Of course there is still the usual parade of Hollywood stars going to rehab for the classic reasons.

XM Radio – Song Stories

Cheryl gave me an XM Satellite Radio player for my birthday and it’s been one of those gifts that keep on giving. It was pretty easy to install in the car, the only trouble was running the wire from the antenna (placed on the roof near the back hatch) to the dash area. It has quite a few news, sports, and talk stations but I was mainly interested in it for the music and it thankfully that makes up the majority of the stations.