Intel Jones Farm Evacuation

Intel Jones Farm Evacuation, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.

We had what I guess was an evacuation drill at Intel Jones Farm Campus a few minutes ago.

I was working in the cafeteria when the loud beeping siren went off, and the security staff came over the PA system saying “All Personnel. Evacuate Jones Farm Campus Immediately”. Everyone just kind of rolled their eyes and got ready to go outside – they do these evacuation drills at least once a year. But we never know if it’s a drill or there’s something real going on, and they never tell us, so we dutifully sheep outside. Yes, I just used “sheep” as a verb.

If I remember correctly, they usually do these evac drills one building at a time (there are 5 main buildings at JF, with other misc. stuff like the conference center, etc.). This is the first time I recall all buildings being evacuated at once. So there we were – all 8000 or so Intel JF employees, standing out in the parking lot. I bet the people who measure an employees value by how many productive hours they can squeeze out of them were freaking out at how much “money” it was costing to have that many of us just standing around. πŸ™‚ At least it was nice weather – kind of cool, but sunny.

Outside, I snapped this picture. I had no wifi, of course, but surprisingly, I also had no EDGE access on my iPhone. My guess is that a very large percentage of the 8000 people standing there were trying to do the same thing I was, and that we had a local overload of thousands of BlackBerries, Treos, iPhones, and other devices trying to get EDGE access on the same tower. Poof! πŸ™‚

I didn’t have SMS working with my jabancroft Twitter account, so my other options for posting to Twitter with the “news” were Jott (which worked great, except for a transcription error) and a Twittergram (which never showed up on Twitter). Score: Jott 1, Twittergram 0. And I’m reconnecting my SMS to Twitter in case that ever happens again (no EDGE or WiFi).

Once we came back inside, this photo I snapped uploaded via email, once I got back on the wifi, and I’m writing this post.

Another exciting day at Intel! πŸ™‚


Yesterday was this blog’s 4th birthday

My first post, on September 16, 2003:

I love gagdets. Pocket PCs and other handhelds, cell phones and wireless devices, GPS navigation, videogame consoles, PCs, ebooks, etc. You name it – if itÒ€ℒs gadgety in nature, IÒ€ℒm probably all over it.

Some things never change, eh? πŸ˜‰

It’s amazing how fast time flies. Seems like I’ve been a blogger forever, and at the same time, it feels like quite an accomplishment to say that I’ve been blogging for four years.

Happy Birthday! My, how you’ve grown! πŸ™‚


iPhone Screenshot to blog test

Sent from my iPhone, using Dock for the screenshot, SendPics to email the full size image, and Flickr to auto-post to my blog.

Some more info on how I’m getting iPhone screenshots:

Screenshots courtesy of the otherwise-annoying “Dock” application. Install it from It puts a little light blurb way down in the lower right corner. When you tap and drag on that just right, managing not to trigger whatever icon is also down in that corner, you get a nice scrolling rainbow “dock” with all of your installed apps. Scroll all the way to the right, and the last two icons are “Screenshot” and “Cancel”. Hit Screenshot, and a couple of seconds later, a screenshot is taken, and added to your Camera Roll with a filename starting with IMG_9000 (I guess so they don’t overwrite existing photos). Then I emailed the non-scaled version of the screenshot to Flickr using the “SendPics” app.

Simple, no? πŸ™‚


Dear Car Dealerships – Hire People Who Can Read

Rant ahead. Rachel and I are starting to look around for another car – we’ve been a one car family for a long time, and it’s worked well for us. Especially when we lived near the MAX light rail, and I could take it to and from work. But, since we bought our house, and since our kids are getting bigger and more involved in activities (Emma started preschool this week), we’re thinking it’s time to get a second car. We love our little 2002 Subaru WRX wagon, but we need something a little bigger – a full size sedan, or *gasp* a minivan.

Anyway, I was poking around the other night, and wanted to get some local dealer quotes on a Hyundai Sonata. happily offered to request a quote from 4 or 5 dealerships in the Portland area. All I had to do was enter my name, email address, and phone number. There was a selection to choose how you wanted to be contacted – I didn’t want to deal with talking to car salesmen on the phone, and we’re not looking to buy right away, so I checked the box for “email me only – don’t call”.

Here’s where the rant starts. And I know you’re all yelling at your computer screen “what did you think would happen?!” Or maybe not. I new what I was getting in to, exposing my soft white underbelly to the sharks at the car dealerships. But I figured, “hey, maybe they’ll respect my wishes, and only email.” Besides, I gave my home number, which I never answer because I’m rarely there (and we let it go to voicemail if we don’t recognize the caller ID).

Yet, within 12 hours, I started getting unknown callers on my cell phone (through my GrandCentral number, which is the one listed on my blog, and on our home voicemail message). Not only had the weaselly car salesmen not read or understood the option I checked for “email me only – don’t call”, they had apparently either written down my cell number from our voicemail message, or Googled me and gotten my number from my site (I HIGHLY doubt this is what happened).

I used GrandCentral’s “listen in while they leave a voicemail” option on the calls, like I do with all of my unknown calls, and got irate by the messages they were leaving. None of them left a quote, like I had requested. All of them said, in essence, “hey, give us a call, and we’ll get you what you need!” *shady crooked grin* The messages got immediately deleted, and I crossed the dealerships in question off of my “might ever possibly get my business for buying a new car” list.

Not all of them stalked me over the phone against my wishes. Two dealerships (I honestly didn’t bother to check the names of the ones that did and didn’t call me, or I’d be listing them here to shame them) actually contacted me by email, like I had requested. Strangely, the two emails I got were from women, while the phone calls were from men. Both emails were to the effect of “let us know what options, etc. you’re looking for, and we’ll get you a quote.” I responded to both. One replied back, quoting me MSRP. Thanks. I could have looked that up. Oh, wait! I DID look that up, along with invoice, and option pricing. What part of “dealer quote” didn’t you understand? Maybe they only sell at MSRP. I won’t be finding out one way or another, because they got crossed off the list.

Of the 5 dealerships from whom I requested a quote, only ONE of them actually gave me what I had requested – a quote of their price, with rebates. I guess the rest of them either can’t read, or don’t care enough about not being an idiot to get my business.

I’m kind of dismayed by the whole prospect, and I doubt I’ll be requesting any more dealer quotes from But if I do decide to buy a Hyundai Sonata, it’s going to be from the one dealership that didn’t ignore what I wanted, or treat me like they didn’t care.


I hate the car buying process. Why does it have to be such a pain in the butt? Does anyone know of a better way? Anyone have a cheap sedan or minivan you want to sell me? πŸ™‚


Really nice Google Reader theme – make it look like Mac OS X

I tried to install this a long time ago, but never got the Stylish Firefox addon to work. Now there’s a new version, that accommodates the recently added Search feature in Google Reader. So, I gave it another try, and I REALLY like it:

Google Reader Theme Screenshot

You can get the theme here, and it seems that you can install it without Stylish if you’re using Greasemonkey (see details at here). It’s just forcing replacement of the CSS stylesheet.

Give it a shot, and let me know if you like it!