Even More Beautiful After 5 Years

Even More Beautiful After 5 Years, originally uploaded by JoshB.

Rachel and I had a late lunch at Mo’s in Cannon Beach, Oregon, when I took the day off last week for our 5 year anniverary last week. She just got a sassy new haircut. Rowr! πŸ™‚

I love eating at Mo’s, and we go there almost every time we go to the coast. It’s literally right on the beach, and the view is incredible. Waves, birds, beachcombers, kites, and all kinds of cool stuff you just don’t get in the city or the suburbs.


State of My Home Office Desk

My Desk, originally uploaded by JoshB.

In the office/studio in our new house. Not 100% set up yet, but most everything is here. I need a mic stand for my fancy condenser mic, so I can start using the fancy Behringer mixer. Right now, it’s not hooked up to anything. πŸ™‚

I really don’t spend much time here, since I’ve gotten spoiled with laptop/tablet usage. Why go to a separate room and be alone when you can still geek out on a laptop, and stay downstairs where everyone is. Be a geek, and somewhat social at the same time! It’s best when Rachel and I are on the couch, each with a laptop, “watching” TV together. πŸ™‚

See the notes/mouseovers on the Flickr page for this photo for some details on a few items.


Migrating to the X41 Tablet PC

I’ve been spending today getting files, apps, etc. migrated over to my new X41 Tablet PC. I already had Firefox, Skype, etc., and today, I’m setting up my VPN, Office, and everything else while I’m in the office. I’m already loving the fact that the X41 is so much smaller and lighter than my 15″ T42p. I’m considering moving to a smaller bag, and “travelling light”, rather than keep lugging around the moderately loaded Kensington Saddlebag Pro I’ve been using.

On the software front, Steven Hughes of left some helpful tips in the comments to my previous post, with lots of apps to try. I’ve got many of them already, and I’ll be looking into others.

I was going to put Office 12 beta 1 on, but for some reason, the MS Beta site says that I’m not enrolled. I could swear I enrolled when the beta opened, using the invite code I got at PDC05, but I guess not. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to wait to get my hands on OneNote 12 and all its cool new features. That is, unless someone out there can invite me (back) into the beta. πŸ™‚

Any other killer tablet apps out there that I should check out?


Some of us have been reading only ebooks for years

Kevin Tofel comments that some of us have been reading ebooks exclusively for years. Welcome to the 21st centuty, WSJ. πŸ™‚

I’ve been reading ebooks exclusively (bought from Peanut Press/Palm Digital Media/eReader) for years now, too. Nice to see the world catching up. πŸ™‚

That said, the new Sony ebook device is intriguing. I played around with Phillip Torrone’s Sony Librie from Japan that he hacked to show other ebook formats, and the display was incredible. The eInk really is impressive, and I’m presuming this is the same technology in the device they showed off at CES, and plan to bring to the U.S. this year (from everything I’ve read, it is).

I definitely wouldn’t mind having a dedicated ebook reader like the Sony unit, and will probably pick one up unless the price is too high. I wouldn’t really want to pay much more than $100 for a single purpose device. If I’m going to pay $300 for a device to read ebooks on, which is the price they’ve been floating around, I’d buy a Dell Axim x50v with a VGA screen that can do a whole lot more than just read books. I hope Sony doesn’t price themselves out of the market on this one. It will only give more ammo to those that say ebooks will never catch on.

It will also depend greatly on the formats that it can read. Text, HTML, and PDF are a minimum. I also want to be able to read Palm Reader’s PDB format – that’s what most of my library is in, and when I buy new books, that’s the format I use. It’s the only one with sensible DRM – you unlock the book using the credit card number that you used to buy the book. If you’re going to illegally share a book you bought, you’ll have to give out your credit card number along with it.

Also, I feel kind of dirty thinking about buying another Memory Stick device. πŸ™‚


2006 Lotus Exige on Hwy 26 En Route to Oregon Coast

Thursday when I took the day off for our anniversary, Rachel and I drove to the Oregon Coast. Traffic was a light as I’ve ever seen it – we went long stretches without seeing any other cars, which is unusual.

This is one of the first cars we ran into, and was quite suprised to see it. I didn’t even know that this car was out yet – a 2006 Lotus Exige, the hardtop model of the Lotus Elise. Small, light, and fast, this is probably the most “pure” sports car you can buy today for under $50,000.

As you may or may not have guessed, in addition to other things I’m geeky about, I’m also a sports car geek. πŸ™‚ You can check out most of my car photos (part of the reason I carry a camera all the time is to take pictures of cool cars, funny vanity plates, etc.) under my “cars” tag on Flickr.


Got an X41 Tablet, Again, For “Keeps” This Time

A while ago, I had to give the Lenovo Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC that I received back, because a customer who was headed overseas needed it. So, he got mine, and I was to get the one that had been ordered for him. No big deal.

I got a call from the guy who was in charge of all this on Friday afternoon, asking me what I was doing this weekend. I said nothing, and he corrected me, saying that I’d be playing with my new tablet all weekend.

Yay! πŸ™‚

I don’t have everything completely set up on it for work stuff yet, but all I really use for blogging and non-work related stuff is Firefox (I always at least have tabs open for Bloglines, Flickr, Gmail, and TinyScreenfuls) and a few extensions (Bloglines Toolkit, LiveLines, Performancing, and ForecastFox). I’m trying an extension called GeckoTIP, which is getting raves from the Tablet PC community for finally allowing good pen usage for text input in Firefox. It basically does “scope guessing” – if you’re in the address field, it knows you’re trying to write a URL, and interprets pen input accordingly. Does the same for email and other fields. So far, so good.

Anyway, you’ll be hearing me talk a lot more about my new tablet as I get my work data migrated, and start using this as my main machine. Let me know if you have any cool tablet tips or suggestions! πŸ™‚


My Camera Came Back to Life

Remember how I had posted about my camera dying? Well, it came back to life. Let me explain…

I have two little Nikon digital cameras – an older Coolpix 3200, and my newer, slightly smaller 5600. That’s the one I carry everywhere with me in my cargo pants pocket – the 3200 stays at home, and is basically Rachel’s camera.

When my 5600 died, I started carrying the 3200 with me, until I replaced the 5600. The batteries in the 3200 needed changing (I use rechargeable AA “RadioShack IC-3” brand NiMH batteries – great 2200 MAh capacity, and they recharge in 15 minutes due to special circuitry in the battery itself). So, I swapped them with the pair that was in my (presumed dead) 5600.

The 3200 wouldn’t power on, or do anything. It was acting as dead as my 5600. Out of curiousity, I tried the 5600 with the batteries that had been in the 3200, and it powered on just fine. It wasn’t dead after all.

Now, before you start snickering, I DID swap a fresh pair of batteries into the 5600 when it died, to make sure that wasn’t the problem. What I’m suspecting at this point is that one of the 6 IC-3 batteries I have has something screwed up in its circuitry, or is just plain dead, and whatever camera had that battery in it was acting accordingly.

On the bright side, my trusty Coolpix 5600 is working again, and back on duty. The down side, of course, is that I had gotten all excited about replacing it with a sleek little Coolpix S3, and now I have no justification whatsoever to do that. πŸ™‚

Maybe I can hold out long enough, until some decent cameras with WiFi are available. The current offerings from Nikon and Kodak just don’t meet all of my needs (size, open software, etc.). Of course, I stand my my statement that I’ll buy the first digital camera that allows me to upload photos directly to Flickr from the camera via WiFi.


Vonage (Mostly) Installed

I ordered my Vonage package (Wireless Router + the unlimited $24.99 package) last week – thanks Mike for the referral that got me a free month, and two free for him. The package arrived the other day, and I got everything set up in preparation for the folks over at Verizon to finally realize that I exist, and release my number to be ported to Vonage *sigh*. That’s a long story you probably don’t want to hear.

Anyway, the router is here, and when I plug a phone into the jack I can receive calls at my “temporary” number – the one they gave me until my real number is ported. However, I can’t make any outgoing calls. I don’t know if it’s the phone I using, or something to do with the fact that the number hasn’t been ported yet. I’m not going to start worrying about it until the number’s supposed to be ready. They say it could be up to 20 days.

Vonage customer service has been great so far – they’re very communicative through email, and I even get quick responses from real people via email. That’s a good sign so far, and something that Verizon could take a lesson on, for sure.


TinyScreenfuls Podcast 2006-01-11 – Portland Podcasting Presentation

Here’s a podcast that I’ve been meaning to post for a while – the audio of a presentation I gave at the last Portland Podcasting meetup group. The topic was Podcasting from Mobile Devices, a reprise of the session I did at Podcast Academy back in October.

You can download the MP3 file directly (14MB, 27 minutes), or subscribe to the TinyScreenfuls Podcast RSS feed in your favorite enclosure-aware aggregator to receive this and future podcasts automagically.

I had a great time at the meetup, as you’ll be able to tell by the audio. I love getting up in front of people, and telling them about something I love to talk about, crack jokes, etc. If you’re in the Portland area, you should join us for the montly meetups. Check out for the details. We’ve got such an awesome community of podcasters, listeners, and enthusiasts here. I love it! πŸ™‚


Blog Break

Tomorrow (Thursday) is my 5 year wedding anniversary. Rachel is coming with me to a conference in Australia in March (more on that sometime soon – ooh, suspense! :-)), so we didn’t plan on doing anything big for our anniversary besides that trip.

But, it’s a special day, so I arranged to have the day off on late notice, and we’re going to go “play” tomorrow. Dropping Emma off at the cousins’, and headed to the Oregon Coast (the parts of it that aren’t flooded, anyway).

So, I’m going to be offline for most of the day (although you can bet I’ll be checking how far out EVDO coverage goes as we head west from Portland :-)). Don’t miss me too much – I’ll be right back!