Tag Archives: tech

blackberry says no to sms

Blackberry Storm SMS NOLike most people in my peer group I use SMS all day everyday and it’s the second most important feature of my phone outside of the phone itself. So what do you do when your phone takes away SMS? Well I don’t know but here’s what I did.

I have the much maligned and hated Blackberry Storm (I regret it), I pulled it out of my pocket to send a SMS to my brother but alas it was in an infinite loop and so I rebooted the phone. When it came back the SMS app was gone….. I searched, I gnashed my teeth, and I cursed RIM & Verizon. After a process of elimination I determined that I needed to reboot the Storm once more and boom the app came back.

I would say when in doubt reboot the Storm, but the phone is so frustratingly slow (and buggy) only do this as a last resort, but that’s what worked for me.

iTunes Issues

We’ve all been there, been stuck with a computer error that seems to be exclusive to our machines.  We consult support forums, publications, friends and other computers to no avail and then resort to pulling our hair out and generally being mad that our exspensive computer has flat out died in some small way.

Well for the past week this has been me, and to make it worse it has been an issue with a mac, a system I am not extensively experienced with.  For no reason at all iTunes would crash within a minute of opening, and it was the only piece of software experiencing this issue.  I consulted another mac in our house, and it had no problems, so finally I resorted to drawing straws.

I tried rebooting with no positive results, looked at re-installing iTunes on top of the existing install and it didn’t change a thing.  I even removed iTunes entirely and installed it again without it helping things.  That is when I effectively gave up because I was out of ideas.

That is until it ocurred to me to try an old Windows trick, I copied the iTunes library files to the desktop and deleted them and fired up iTunes, and boom it worked.  I am not sure why this helped but I don’t care.

So if you have an issue with iTunes don’t fret and as a last resort no matter the OS, kill the library and restart the program, then paste back in the library so you don’t lose your library and hopefully you will be back in action.

mobile me should not be

I love apple, I absolutely adore my macbook and I think OS X is an extremely superior operating system to any version of windows or linux that I have used, however apple is extremely wrong. They continue to be wrong however. When upgrading iTunes they have forced safari onto windows users and while it is a better browser in my opinion it is still wrong, and even when they remedied that, they didn’t because safari was still auto checked in the update. I remembered these instances when I was on my vista machine today and noticed a new icon that I had never seen before.

mobileme shouldnt be

The icon for mobileme (or is it mobile me?), apples anticipated update to .mac, it sounds like a wonderful service in many ways just definitely not for me so I knew I didn’t download this. So who did? I know I have updated iTunes on the machine recently, and I think Safari may have been updated as well, either way I am certain it was apple who initiated the download and install without asking me at all (or giving me a way to remove it).

So what does it do? For those with mobile me, it’s an entry into the service and for those that NEVER WANTED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE well it’s an ad, so much so that the learn more button simply links you to apple.com/mobileme. It’s a bad move by apple, but hey maybe they will get a few more customers for mobile me, but it won’t be me.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to the products I received from apple today and monitoring the shipping of a new macbook.

I am such a hypocrite….

Time Warner stop sniffing my packets

roadrunner url redirect

Anyone who has used firefox has probably noticed that when entering a url without it’s TLD you are redirected to where you want to go. For example if I enter twitter into the address bar and hit enter I get twitter.com not a page of search results or a page not found error.

Firefox achieves this by sending the request to google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button which simply sends you to the number 1 result on your queries search page. For myself this all changed today.

Apparently between the time I left for work and the time I got home Time Warner’s Road Runner internet access instituted a change where upon they do some packet sniffing and instead of allowing my request to go to google they take it their page where they can serve up search results and advertisements. This is an easy feature to turn off (click on why am I here and then on preferences then when you see the question above click disable) but my problem is really what else Time Warner might be doing via this packet sniffing.

Don’t get me wrong I expect some form of internet history to be maintained by my ISP (for a very limited amount of time for various reasons) but to sniff into it without cause or court order is wrong period. Which brings me to my fear that this could be a beginning of Time Warner abandoning the idea of net neutrality.

For those who do not know, net neutrality is the basic ideal that all internet traffic should be treated the same whether I am searching for at&t internet or Direct TV service the speed of my connection should be the same as if I am searching for the same service at Time Warner.

If I call someone on at&t from a Verizon phone there is no discernible difference than if both were lines on the same network, and that is how the internet should be. All traffic should be treated the same without my ISP forcing me to opt out of their stupifying plans.

I have been prepared to switch away from Time Warner to FIOS once it moves into my area, now I might instead move prematurely.

Hands off my Internet Time Warner, please.

For more on neutrality please click here, it’s a very important issue.

In All Fairness … Internet Explorer Still Stinks

This is something many have said for quite a long time, and that I have been saying for just as long. It took me a long time to come around but now that I have my browsing experience has been much improved and the same can be said for anyone I know who uses a different browser, I prefer firefox but opera and others are incredible as well.

With all that said this is the story of how SitePoint tried to give Internet Explorer a fighting chance … and it lost anyway.

read more | digg story

Oh brother

So I am at my brothers place in Portland, Oregon for Thanksgiving, and with him being gone during the day I wanted to be able to print map directions or anything else necessary while he was at work. The printer is a Brother MFC-440CN and was a recent purchase so I figured it would easily work with Windows Vista, I couldn’t be more wrong.

I was going to install just the driver but ran into issues as I couldn’t find the actual driver file in what brother had available for download. So instead I tried to download their self installer that bypassed windows and also added their own software for managing ink levels and paper amounts. This while proving successful was also an endless amount of pain.

The printing worked and all seemed fine with the world as I trekked off today to visit Multnomah Falls and Mcminville Dam outside Portland. Upon returning my plan was to take a few pics, resize them in photoshop, maybe edit them a little and then put them up on flickr, but alas photoshop wouldn’t respond. I tried restarting, no dice, I tried checking everything I could think of and still no dice. I sat staring at the task manager and deciphering memory usage for 5 minutes, and could not figure out why the processor and memory were both hovering in the 95+ percentage range.

So I went over in my head, what did I change on the machine? The previous night I had removed the Firefox 3 trunk build for the actual beta build but I figured that would cause no issues. Then it dawned on me, I had installed the printer software and I decided to remove it, figuring what the heck I still had the install information I could make it work again right?

Well upon removing the software presto!, everything worked again and so I figured the printer must have some kind of issues with resource usage or just some kind of odd conflict internally that I don’t have access to fix.

So in closing I have photoshop working, I just can’t print any photos. Now though I need to fix my brothers computer it is having wireless issues.


multnomah falls


multnomah falls

Oh and if you wanna see the photos you can click the above picture or visit the set here.

freelancin’ wordpress default

Now I understand why people use pre-built themes in wordpress and don’t develop their own, its time consuming or requires knowledge or skill sets you don’t have, and to be honest themes are one of my favorite things about wordpress, next to the open source nature of the software and the extensive amoutn of plug ins.

However what I don’t entirely get is the love of the wordpress default theme, sure it’s nice, gets the job done and is somewhat sleek, but it shows no imagination in my opinion, no drive to strike out and make something unique or at least different.  I like the theme a lot, but personally it is too plain and ubiquitous for me to want to use it on my own site outside of the initial set up process.

That is not to say others should not use it, heck I am helping to set up a blog using it right now, which I guess sort of makes me a freelancer in a way.  If you want to check it out you can head over to brittanymarchelle.com, mind you it is no where near done at all, but that’s the joy of tweaking a pre-built theme and not building one from scratch.

the night after leopard

gmailimap

It’s the night after the leopard launch and google actually gave me a present, just before bed I noticed that finally at long last (a week) my gmail has been IMAP-ified, now for the moment this means no change for me. Also, for most people this will mean nothing, and considering I needed to be in bed a while ago I won’t go into details, but I will say this, this is a vast improvement over pop.

So thank you google, and for you leopard people, I am jealous as all hell.

browser set up

As anyone who knows me at all will tell you, I am a firefox devotee, and since the other day I had portable firefox issues and lost all add ons. With that in mind, and since I am stuck on my homework for the moment I figured I would detail my firefox set up on my laptop, so not only will I have a reference as to what I use in case I need it at work, but also so anyone else can see what I use and possibly adopt these extensions as well.

So now without further ado and in alphabetical order are my themes and add ons used.

themes

super mario bros 3 theme

add ons

I use adblock plus not really to block ads, although I will use it to block really annoying ads but rather I use it to block annoying flash apps, I know there are other great flash blockers out there but since this add on works so well I stick with it. cooliris previews is something I have considered getting rid of actually, it is a great add on but something that at times can be annoying, it allows you to see basically a floating frame when hovering over a link and in that frame is the page the link would send you to, it is a wonderfully well done add on but I find myself asking, why do I really need it?

I use del.icio.us classic to tag my links and upload them to my del.icio.us account and once I finish editing my bookmarks I might switch to the regular del.icio.us add on.
download statusbar is honestly something I rarely use any more, I keep it around because at times when downloading large files it will keep me up to date on how far along the download is and how much time is left. farkit is a site specific add on, used on fark.com in their commenting forums, if you don’t visit the site you don’t need this, but if you do then this add on is invaluable. forecastfox is used to track the current weather conditions and the 5 day forecast, it also is a great resource when weather warnings are issued.

fotofox, I honestly don’t know how I got this add on, I think I saw it in a list, but since I have the flickr uploadr I don’t need fotofox and I am sorry to say that beause it looks like a strong add on. The foxmarks bookmark synchronizer allows me to keep one set of bookmarks on any computer I use that has firefox and the add on installed, I use it constantly with my work copy of the aforementioned portable firefox. I use the gmail notifier to keep track of my emails and it has proved to be an invaluable and highly customizable resource.

google preview brings image previews to google search results via a small screenshot next to the result on the page, I honestly can not imagine google without this I use the add on so often. For those pesky sites where Internet Explorer has to be used IEtab allows you to easily load a page inside firefox using the IE engine, I use it often for way too many reasons to mention, but it proves especially invaluable when designing a web page and I want to see how it will appear in IE. I use the screen grab! add on to take screen shots of the current web page, and I absolutely love it. I can take shots from the whole page, the visible portion of the page, or just a certain selection of the page then redirect the output to the clipboard or to a file. Simply put it does a small task extraordinarily well.

smart digg button is a site specific extention that allows me to submit a new site to digg or simply digg an article via a box in the firefox status bar, I don’t use it a ton but I do find it to be very useful. tinyURL creator can be used on any web page to quickly convert the current webpages url to a tinyURL link, it takes a mundane task and makes it seamless, simple and easy, I like it. tweetbar is a firefox sidebar extention that allows viewing of tweets and posting of new tweets all from the firefox sidebar, I don’t use it a ton but it is well done, and if you don’t mind here is my twitter account.

That’s my firefox set up, exciting isn’t it?