Saturday: December 1, 2007
- A new verbose post? Really?
A semi-quick little update as to why I haven't posted much of anything to this section in recent weeks months. It can all be summed up pretty quickly actually. I moved, and I'm still on the hunt for a new place call my own. Combine that with other factors like work projects, adjusting to our new temporary residence, holidays, interest rates, the position of Venus in the third house (ok that was really dumb), etc etc. Basically, there a host of other reasons that would just bore you. But never fear dear readers, things are looking up.
I just recently purchased a brand new MacBook (daily grind readers already know this). But what's so special about this purchase? The fact that I can now run Windows on a Mac, that's what! I previously owned a PowerBook G4 (still do, it's just not getting much use anymore). Trouble was (and still is), by day I work in a Windows world as an ASP, ASP.net programmer / web developer. Having a PowerPC Mac just doesn't allow to run the kind of software I need to do any kind of work in my free time while say, commuting home from work or watching television (I like to multitask). And yes, I've heard of Mono, and no it couldn't work for what I need to do for job related tasks.
My new sweet little MacBook, which is both lighter and smaller than ye old fifteen inch PowerBook G4 of yore, is a great little machine. Plus, now I can get back to coding my nerdy ASP and SQL stuff whenever I want to. So basically, things should start happening around here soon. I'm cooking up some potential new features and designs as well as working on other projects that have been sorely neglected.
What's in the pipeline? Well, I really should get back to making some new comics for this site- another sorely neglected section of this site. There is also a project that was supposed to be included in this last iteration of GeekLikeMe that didn't make the final cut. It's going to be spun into it's own little project to see how it fares in the big wide world of web. More on that later when I have something more, uh, well coded to show.
One last note, going on a much needed vacation next week so links will be sparse. My superfluous linking skills will be back on schedule when I return.
Tuesday: October 9, 2007
- McDonald's customers are a dedicated people.
'I'm sorry sir, we're not selling four piece packs of Chicken McNuggets at this location anymore.'
The man then became irate, demanding why this particular Manhattan McDonald's location did not sell his particularly favorite item. He was so mad that he began cursing out the woman behind the counter who had a distinct 'what the fuck' look in her eyes.
'But it's still up on your menu up there,' he pointed to the large legible line where the four piece item he wanted was clearly labeled. 'I want four piece McNuggets!'
'I understand, but as of today we're not selling them anymore.' replied the cashier.
More obscenities flew, people started to stare. 'This is bullshit, I want my four piece. Why can I not have my four piece. I see you making them right there. Just give me a box of four and charge them to me.' Followed by obscenity, obscenity, something I couldn't quite make out and another obscenity.
Right then the cashier decided to alert the irate customer of an astonishing fact.
'We still have the six piece McNuggets sir.'
'Are they fried the same way? Do they taste the same?' the man questioned.
'Yes sir, there's just two more nuggets than the four piece.'
'Alright then, I take one of them.' he replied calmly.
I love people.
Thursday: October 4, 2007
- It's a flesh wound.
I don't know why but talking skeletons seem to make me laugh over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Silence!
Monday: September 10, 2007
- Give your iPhone a touch of the new iPod Touch.
Like that slick Leopard-ish style dock found in the new iPod Touch? Want to add it to your beloved iPhone? Well, now you can.
First things first, you need to grab Installer.app and get it running on your iPhone. A lot of people consider this a 'hack', but in all honesty hacking should not be this easy. This app is an absolute must if you are an iPhone owner. Installing it is an absolute breeze and it will give your iPhone many, many additional options to add more fun and productivity to your mobile life. To get started, just install the disk image and plug in your iPhone to get going. The application takes care of the rest. Install the Community Sources plugin and then make sure your list of applications is up to date (hit the refresh button on the bottom right hand corner).
Once you have that up and running install DockSwap from the list of applications. DockSwap enables you to change the image thats resting behind the bottom dock of your iPhone - it's just a PNG file. While there are already a handful of background images to use (that is of course if you install the DockSwap extra images app), there's nothing that really takes a crack at emulating the iPod Touch dock. To accomplish this, I decided to make my own background in Photoshop. It's not a true representation of the iPod Touch, this is what I could come up with just by eyeballing and testing out the image multiple times. If you have a better PNG file please post a link in the comments section of this article.
Download the above file to your desktop. Now comes the tricky part, we're going to have to get this file onto the iPhone for use with DockSwap. Actually, I take that back. This isn't really all that tricky. First you'll need to install a couple more applications from the Installer.app program. The ones you will need are BSD Subsystem and OpenSSH. The steps are pretty well outlined over at Gizmodo, except we will not be uploading Nintendo ROM files.
In summary, grab a copy of CyberDuck. Get the IP address of your iPhone (you'll need to be connected via WiFi to do this by the way). You can get this information by clicking on Settings > Wi-Fi. Then click the blue arrow to the right of your network. Write down the IP address and populate that for the Server field in CyberDuck. As for a username and password use 'root' and 'dottie'. Upload the touch.png file to the Library/DockSwap folder on your iPhone. Last step is to just fire up your iPhone, launch DockSwap, choose the new touch image and your good to go.
When all is said and done you will have successfully given your iPhone a little bit of the iPod Touch.
Update: There is a new update in Installer.app for DockSwap images. There are now multiple options for emulating the iPod Touch dock as well as some brand new options. Pretty much makes the whole process above ten times easier. Happy skinning.
Thursday: August 30, 2007
- Five demotivational tactics to keep your blog stagnant.
Are you a blogger? Do you have something to say? Below is a handy list that will outline how to keep your blog boring, uninteresting, and certainly not entertaining. Refer to it before hitting the submit button for new posts.
When writing a blog post keep in mind that nobody cares what you have to say. You are not important. Stop crying.
While you may think your post is fresh and original, chances are that someone has already posted the same blog post about that particular topic you wanted to write about. Give up.
- Writing skills
Your blog writing is probably not as good as that other blogger, and less funny too. The truth hurts.
Get a generic blog template that looks like everyone else (plus one for polka dots). This way people who happen to visit someone else's site will mistake it for yours.
Don't update your blog, ever. And certainly don't keep an RSS feed of your scribblings either. You don't need the traffic, but you probably aren't getting traffic anyway.
Note: writing a blog post about demotivational methods is a healthy way to keep your blog fresh and exciting.
Tuesday: August 21, 2007
- Rowan Atkinson YouTube Medley
And thus began another verbose post about a VHS tape I used to own that can magically come back to life thanks to the power of YouTube. Behold, the comedic genius of Rowan Atkinson (aside from Mr. Bean).
Welcome to Hell
The Amazing Jesus
A Final Bash
Tuesday: August 14, 2007
- Google thinks I have bipolar disorder.
I recently installed some new ads here and there across my site. The intent being to make a little pocket change to cover hosting costs of this site. In all honesty this site has never made that much money in terms of advertisements. Of course, I have no problem with that - I don't continually update this site for monetary gain (slight OCD). Anyway, basically all of the ad spots you see are Google referrals. You sign up for something, I get a small cut (very small). But here's where it gets interesting. While updating my beloved daily grind section, I noticed a peculiar ad:
Usually these ads are determined by relevant content on page (at least I think they are, I though referrals didn't follow this logic). Can Google really tell that I'm talking to myself? And I'm not bipolar. Really, I'm not.
Thursday: August 9, 2007
- 2 minute Photoshop tip, blurring with blending effects.
Want to take an uninteresting photo and spruce it up a bit? Here's a quick tutorial that can provide some interesting results for your images using Photoshop. The best part of this method is that it's really easy and doesn't require a whole lot of Photoshop experience. Those who already have Photoshop experience will know that this technique is old hat.
First let's grab a photo. I chose the one below taken with my FujiFilm FinePix F40fd. I like the colors and abstract patterns but I'd like to do something more with it.
Open up your copy of Photoshop and duplicate the 'Background' layer. You can do this easily by dragging the background layer onto the new layer icon (it looks like a page - see diagram). After that you should have two identical layers.
Next we are going to choose Select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur from the top menu. Set the radius to be about 5.0 pixels for now (you can play around with different radius amounts, they will yield different results). Hit OK to apply the blur to your image.
Now you should have a blurry image layer on top of your normal unblurred layer still beneath it. This is where the fun begins. Select the drop down menu located directly above your layers (circled in the diagram to the left). This is the Layer Blend Mode menu, by default the setting is Normal. Choose another setting other than Normal from this menu, like Multiply, Screen, or a Linear Burn. You should start to see subtle variations that will give your photo or image a different look. Some of these effects may brighten up the overall colors or bring out parts of the image for a fresher look. For even more refinement and fine tuning adjust the opacity of your blurred layer by moving the slider to a different percentage.
This effect can be repeated to provide even more interesting results. Hit CTRL+E to merge the two layers you just created and start the whole process over. Get creative, try adding in a different kind of blur such as motion or radial from Filters menu. Happy photoshopping.
Tuesday: August 7, 2007
- Lazy cereal box marketing.
I did a double take while munching on my favorite breakfast cereal this evening (yes, this evening). See photo below and look at the key marketing feature.
What ever happened to the free toy inside? Better yet, even a coupon to get some kind of free toy by mailing a specially marked package to some place that is probably run by elves. This is just lazy. Cereal boxes used to hand out all kinds of free stuff.
Now with better taste? I am to believe that the old taste was far worse? Stop lying to me, Post Cereal. This box of sugar still tastes exactly the same. Thanks to you I now have a sugar headache when I should be sleeping. Instead, I'm writing a blog post about crappy cereal box marketing because I'm hyper from said sugar. And wipe that goofy smile of your face Flintstone, you corporate whore.
Monday: August 6, 2007
- Vegas Photo Spread
Below are some quick snaps I managed to take on our recent trip out to Las Vegas. I really don't consider myself much of a photographer but I was happy with how most of the photos below came out. Most of these will probably end up in the photoblog at one point or another.
Outside Paris perspective.
Outside LOVE theater at The Mirage. Reminded me of The Matrix.
Entrance into LOVE theater at The Mirage. Trippy.
Macro attempt at Bellagio Conservatory.
Shape patterns and colors at Bellagio Conservatory.
The glass ceiling.