Home » Archive

December 2009

Written By: Gary on December 31, 2009 No Comment

I hope everyone has a great 2010!

Next year I’m hoping for a few things:

  • An Apple Tablet of some sorts.
  • A trip (or 3) to Costa Rica – It’s only been 8 months but it seems like years.
  • Better blogging – I really plan to post better/often next year.
  • More snow – We haven’t really gotten any this winter and do enjoy how it looks.
  • Tethering from AT&T for the iPhone.
  • I don’t think we’re getting:

  • World Peace.
  • A better economy – But at least it keeps my adjustable rate mortgage down.
  • Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on December 24, 2009 One Comment

    Have a nice Christmas everyone!!

    • Be nice
    • Be thankful
    • Be good

    And drive safe if you’re heading out anywhere!

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on December 20, 2009 No Comment

    I’ve got a little more information on the next two Doctor Who specials than when I mentioned it a few days ago.

    dwlogo.pngI spotted on the BBC America site that the End of Time part one will be on Saturday, December 26, 2009. Only a day after it shows in the UK. Part two will be on Saturday, Jan 2, 2010.

    I’m assuming this fits with my guess that part 2 will be on the BCC on January first, although I guess the BBC could be showing it earlier than that.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, the image is of the new Doctor Who logo.

    FYI, Amazon already has Doctor Who: The End of Time, Parts 1 and 2 DVD or Blu-Ray available for pre-order. Although I can’t figure out why the Blu-Ray is $1.50 cheaper than regular DVD…

    Written By: Gary on December 18, 2009 No Comment

    Only seven more days until the Christmas Doctor Who special The End of Time. This is the first of a two-part episode which would be the last episodes starring David Tennant. I’m assuming since that part two will be on New Year’s day (they keep saying he’ll be The Doctor until 2010). You can watch the first 3 minutes of the The End of Time here.

    drwho-xmas-2009.jpg

    While it’s the “Christmas Special” it’s not as special as usual since we didn’t get a 13 episode season this year with a special to hold us off until the next year, we only got a few specials for the whole year. But it is special as it marks the end of David Tennant’s reign as The Doctor. It’s assumed he’ll be dying and regenerate as the new doctor. I’ll miss his character, but maybe in a few years I’ll mix the stories up and not remember who was The Doctor in some of the earlier episodes…

    I also assume they’ll be a plethora of guest stars on the episode. To get everyone to fit in as a guest star I’m assuming it’ll take place a few years ago but I’m still not sure how that’d get Rose, Martha, Donna and The Master to fit in; although I’d guess the Master could have shown up here before Rose disappeared into the other parallel Earth, but from the preview it makes me think The Master regenerated after season three (Martha) so I’m just guessing.

    More wallpapers and images can be found here, remember the BBC won’t show video or audio outside the UK.

    I’m not sure when BBC America will be showing these two episodes. Traditionally the BBC has aired them weeks first, but I’m not sure why it matters these days.

    Next season, starting sometime next year, will start a new doctor and a new companion. Next year will be also be directed (and written) by Steven Moffat, I’m kind of excited about that. I’ve been a fan of Steven Moffat who has done a few doctor who episodes. He also wrote the Jekyll miniseries on the BBC a year or two ago which was pretty interesting. He also wrote the Coupling series (which got old after the first few seasons). I can’t wait to see what different direction he takes the new younger doctor and his new companion in.

    Written By: Gary on December 17, 2009 One Comment

    Here’s the trailer for the new Iron Man 2 movie. I like the beginning and the end; the middle is just so so, maybe if you’re a fan of the villain (Whiplash?) you’ll like the middle…

    Looks good to me. I thought the first Iron Man movie was excellent. I’m hoping for the same for this one…

    Here’s the direct link to the preview. If you watch it in HD, be sure to pause it when it starts loading and let the whole preview load before starting it, it’ll play better.

    Written By: Gary on December 12, 2009 2 Comments

    So it’s been six years since I started blogging. Sometimes I blog a lot and sometimes a little but I come really close to averaging one post a day (actually about 0.995 posts per day). I’ve really been slacking lately, all the vacation days when I’ve written more than a few help pick up the numbers, but I never like it when a week goes by that I haven’t posted. This year I only did a little over 200, so I’ll try and make up for it over the next year, if I could post five different days a week, I think I’d be happier about it…

    This post is a bit of a mish-mash of tech details and thoughts of blogging.

    I originally started using Movable Type for the blog in 2003, I had my blog in a subdirectory of GaryLaPointe.com and changed subdirectories a few timesand then in 2005 moved it to here at GarySaid.com and left it alone.

    If had a tech suggestion for anyone blogging, it’s pick a domain name and stick to it so that you don’t lose readers (and search engine links); choose something vague/generic so if you change what you blog about your web address can stay the same if you want it to. While I call my blog the same name “Gary Said…” I could easily change the title to “Lone Geek Blogging” (or whatever) but still have the same easy to remember address.

    I really enjoy blogging, it’s nice to reflect on parts of my life and have to think up semi-coherent paragraphs to describe whatever it is that I’m thinking about. I try to keep most of my blog positive and remember that I don’t blog about everything in my life, so sometimes it’s not always the easiest thing to come up with a topic.

    I never knew who would come read and while I’ve met a few people I really have no idea how many people I know (or don’t know) actually read my blog. The one thing I know is that I really enjoy getting feedback from people (even when it’s something short like “I thought the same thing about that”) and it’s extra special getting a link back from someone when they just mention my site or even a specific article (even if it’s just one of my money saving tips). I hope that feeling never goes away!

    Since I mentioned comments, here’s some comment info/stats and then I’m going to go (the day is almost over). On average, I actually get about 1.5 comments per post, but in actuality most posts don’t get comments. Of my 3,000+ comments I’d bet that 1,000 go to the same dozen posts over and over again (my bed has 454 comments, hacking iTunes has 91 and another ten have between 30 and 100).

    WordPress For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) Lisa Sabin-WilsonI almost forgot: I switched to self-hosted WordPress last December (I played with it for a bit before the switch) and have really enjoyed using it since then. I feel I can do more with WordPress with less work than I did with Movable Type. I’ve mentioned things like this in a few posts: WordPress vs. Movable Type and Things I miss about MT.

    FYI – Lisa’s book WordPress For Dummies is a great resource if you want to use WordPress.

    Thank you for reading!!!

    Written By: Gary on December 5, 2009 One Comment

    If you’ve thought about Scrabble for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) it might be time to try it, if you play Scrabble on Facebook it’s past time to try it!

    scrabble-push-sm.pngI’ve always been a Scrabble fan and on my Palm Treo I used to play Scrabble all the time. While this version by Electronic Arts is excellent, I think the Palm OS was a little better; I think because the stylus made it easier to play, on this version they zoom you in and then you have to zoom back out (which works much better than it sounds).

    They advertise that you can play with someone on the same WiFi network, but that’s no big deal to me, if they’re that close, just set up a board! The amazing part of this program is how it interfaces with Facebook, you can have multiple games going and it keeps track of them all and you can invite people to play and all that stuff, it works great. I did not play Scrabble on Facebook previously but I liked the idea of playing someone from a distance. I haven’t challenged anyone that I haven’t played in real life, but I will. The problem is that I don’t spend that much time on Facebook it’s inconvenient to keep checking to see if it’s my turn?

    scrn_iphone_scrabble02.jpgFor a while the game has been popping up with a tip saying it works with push notifications (but it didn’t). I’ve only been using the app for a week and the latest version (that I think came out yesterday) now supports push when it’s your turn. At least when it’s your turn on Facebook they’ll send a push alert to your iPhone or iPod touch (I’m not sure about playing someone on the same WiFi network). I also noticed if that it’s alerted you that it’s your turn when you launch the app it takes you right to the game board!

    This is great but it’s a little odd, there are three kinds of push notifications: alerts (text pop-up), sound and badges (alters the app icon, see below) but they chose to not to implement the text alert; while they may have had a reason to think you don’t need them you do have on/off options for all the different notifications. I can see how it would be overwhelming for those who are playing 20-50 games at a time, for me, I’d like the text alert since if I don’t hear the sound (not likely) I have to keep peeking at the app icon/badge (which is way better than having to launch the application). The push alerts aren’t perfect (they don’t always show up), but I’m think that might be an Apple thing and not a Scrabble problem.

    scrabble-badge-notification.pngI’ve not played with the computer much, but some people complained that it’s too easy (the Palm OS version had 3-5 levels) and I’ve had no one to play with on WiFi but I suppose it’s probably similar to Facebook play.

    Available on SCRABBLE

    Written By: Gary on December 4, 2009 One Comment

    The iPhone eats battery power. The more you use it the more it eats. As a result, the more you use it the unhappier you get when it dies.

    Maximal Power External Battery for i-Phone, i-Phone 3G, and Ipods (Black) Maximal PowerSo I picked up this 1900mAh external battery and it was a great investment.

    I keep it in my bag and it’s great when I need it. It’s not just powering your phone, it’s charging it! So once you remove it from the phone, it’s been charging your phone in the meantime.

    Honestly, it doesn’t snap on very well, so it’ll fall off if you place it in a jacket or suit pocket and aren’t careful, but it won’t fall off if you’re using it for most non-gaming applications. It seems to fits well with my Seidio case (review).

    For $14 (at Amazon), this is the best stocking stuffer you could get the iPhone enthusiast in your life (or iPod Touch or any iPod device I guess); if only it came in colors!

    It always seems to have a charge whenever I need it. Although it’s rare more than a few weeks go by when I need it.

    It you plug in the battery into a charger and the iPhone into the battery it’ll charge both. This brings me to my biggest complaint: I wish that when it was on the phone and plugged into the sync cable it’d charge both devices and pass through the data so I could sync at the same time.

    This works with the current Amazon bonus of $5 worth of MP3 downloads with purchase (I think this is good only once per cart, not for multiple items in the same cart).

    Written By: Gary on December 4, 2009 2 Comments

    Would you rather live somewhere where the you see significant changes in the seasons throughout the year, or where it pretty much stays the same? What is your ideal daily temperature? from Friday Question #91.

    I like the changes in weather. While I’d rather have winter shorter, Michigan weather isn’t too bad, but then again I’m used to it. I need more sunshine though! Give me more below freezing days but with sunshine I’d be a happy camper.

    My preference would be the nice weather of Costa Rica every day (75-95° F) but I can’t have that here if I have to wear a suit every day. Plus, when you get something like the nice weather of Costa Rica you get the ultra-rainy season to be the down side (and when it stops you can’t get around due to the flooding).

    So I think I’d choose Costa Rica. GIve me the hot weather and if I complain in the rainy season just remind me that I live in paradise.

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2009 No Comment

    Here’s a free download to the soundtrack of Disney’s and Pixar’s Up Up Walt Disney Recordsbe sure to use the code latimesdisney when it asks for it.

    This promotion has expired.

    The soundtrack was nominated for “Best Original Score” but I’m not sure which award (Oscar, Grammy, Academy?). It was done by Michael Giacchino who did Ratatouille, Lost, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Alias, Fringe and more.

    This offer is only supposed to be good until the end of Thursday.

    Please let me know in the comments if this works for you (or more importantly, when it stops working)…

    Written By: Gary on December 1, 2009 No Comment

    So Fring lets you do video calls via their Skype connection. The software is free so it’s worth trying out.

    iPhone_video-fring.jpg
    The problem is you can only receive video. They say it’s because the iPhone doesn’t have a camera on the front, but I’d rather send video to the other person. I’ve got the portable device, I’m probably somewhere more interesting then they are, right? (Unless they are on their phone too).

    I could still be filming where I am while watching their face (or whatever their camera is pointed at) so it seems silly to me. Or send my video when I’m talking (and vice-versa).

    The other downside is that it only works over over WiFi, not cellular (no surprise there) another reason to consider a MiFi instead of paying AT&T for tethering.

    Here’s the direct link.

    Two other things:
    If Apple has the API open, it seems like they could check the sensor that detects if the phone is near or away from you (the one that checks if the phone is by your face and turns the screen off) and figure if the camera is facing you or away.

    The Fring App uses my BlueTooth headset (which also does A2DP) for sound effects but when a call starts it only uses the regular phone part.

    Written By: Gary on December 1, 2009 One Comment

    Amazon is offering one free Christmas song download each day for twenty-five days.
    free-amazon-christmas.png

    Of course for offering the free music to you, they’d like you to check out their other Christmas album sales, considering buying an Amazon Gift card or some of the best music of 2009.

    These are all affiliate links, so if you do buy anything from Amazon, please consider following these links before any kind of purchase at Amazon.com and I’ll get credit. Thank you!

      Copyright ©2003-2013 Gary Said…, All rights reserved.| Powered by WordPress| Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates

    http://GarySaid.com/2009/12/ generated Tuesday, December 12th 2017 at 10:33:20 pm EST (in 166 queries in 0.643 seconds).