It’s the most wonderful time of the…

The holidays are upon us again. Finally getting everything organized and finding the time to do stuff like blogging. Anyway, Toby has only had a couple run-ins with his new feline companions so far. I thought it would be worse, but thankfully, he’s made friends out of the deal.

I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out all this Android device modding. I think I need to find a few books that will help me a long the way. Once I understand the structure of the file system and how it all goes together, I should be ready for some happy experiments 🙂 Don’t know that I’m ever going to try to develop apps, but I have some ideas stirring.

Building to Something Big

So, I’ve been silent on here for quite some time.  I haven’t been completely devoid of the Internet, but I’ve been working on something big.  So, if asked “What have you been doing lately?”, my answer would be “learning”.  I am learning so much where I am at.  Not the technical stuff, that was always easy.  I am learning what it takes everyday and I am better off everyday.
Steve Jobs’ passing away had an impact on me.  It was a kick in the ass to get things started.  Listening to the Stanford dissertation again was quite a motivator as well.  My favorite part of it was when he described evaluating his tasks everyday and whether it was what he wanted to do.  I want to learn right now.

One Month With The Kindle

I recently received a Kindle Wifi and have spent the last month exploring the features of the device and how to incorporate it into my life. Planning is of course necessary and an understanding of how to to format documents became critical to avoid having to constantly zoom in to read.

This is a brief list of the uses I have come up for it:

Cooking – The Kindle is great to take the place of the netbook I use to read recipes while cooking. If not for the simple fact that I just reduced the chance of spilling hot liquid on a computer, it is more portable, lighter, and energy efficient. It made sense.

Relieving boredom – The simple fact that I have access to a huge library of books has made it easier to pass the time by learning instead of staring blankly at a TV or (ahem) Social Networking sites. I have turned my less productive times of day into reading about Irish History, keeping up on the news in my favorite parts of the world, and checking out new tech I wouldn’t normally learn about.

Bedtime stories – This has to be my favorite use. I ask my daughter what she wants to read tonight and it isn’t a scheduling project to go to the bookstore and pick out one title, which she may or may not like. We have been reading together before bedtime since she was two.

Avoiding paper – I will admit it: I hate paper. I think everyone does. It piles up. It takes over. The Kindle has reduced the amount of paper I have to keep around. I like being green and everything, but the fact that I don’t miss papers lying around is much more important in my mind than saving the world. The unclutter factor is huge with this device. It will be interesting to see if Amazon comes up with additional software to go after the mailbox. I could see a potential for secure documents that replace mail eventually.

This does not begin to scratch the surface of the potential for the Kindle. If you have a great idea that I missed, feel free to hit me up in the comments.

New Years Goals

One might ask why I refer to my resolutions for 2010 as goals instead. It’s simple, really. The more I think back to 2009 the more I realize that resolution isn’t the appropriate word for what I want to do. There is a process to meeting goals, resolutions are immediately assumed to fail. Resolution implies that what I want to do is reactionary and also that the first time I slip up, I might as well pack it up. So, with that said, here is my list of the things I want to reach for this year:

  • LESS FACEBOOK –  Social networking has gotten ugly.  It is a good tool, but not an art.  There is nothing artistic about “Liking” everything I see, getting nagged to take care of my fake fish, and finding out which president my personality most closely matches.  I enjoy connecting with people, but Dailybooth is more fun in that regard: Add a daily photo, any photo, and people comment and interpret it.  It is so much more interesting.  Not sure if I will ever really delete my account with FB, but it is certainly getting less of my attention in 2010.
  • MORE WEBSITE – I need to add more content to my sites.  2009 was the year of digging down into the nitty-gritty of WordPress, messing with constant upgrades and doing SysAdmin and Developer stuff.  This year, I am going to blog more and have fun with it. SourceTX.com is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites to work with and I want to start hammering out a lot of content.  The idea is simple.  I am going to start offering a place for authors, artists, and musicians to post one-off content and I am considering interviewing in the future.  Kind of think of it as an online art magazine that never claims to be.
  • GO CORP – The romanticism of being a part of a fledgling company that stands against all odds has kind of taken a back seat with me of late.  I am going to focus on practicality in job offers this year and not delusions of grandeur in regards to being the next big thing.  No companies that are buyout-bait or refer to their service options as “solutions” to add marketing value need apply.  I’m ready for something real that clients really want.

These are the things I am going to work on.  2009 is done and gone.  Time for a new decade and a new year.  Wish me luck!

On a Quest for a Universal Remote

I am thinking it is time for change.
I am thinking it is time for change.

It is time to simplify things a little. I am on a quest for a universal remote. This is the assortment I currently use on a daily basis, and it is driving my six year old absolutely crazy. That’s not mentioning the fact that it is driving me crazy trying to keep them all in one place with a six year old.

From left to right, you have two Wii Remotes (for the Wii and also the Media Center), a Roku Player, the Magnavox DVD Player, the Philips TV, and the DirecTV Tivo Series 2.

I am very skeptical that I can find one universal device for all of them. The Wii Remotes will have to stay and are pulling more than their share of the load. I have my Media Center computer connected with them over Bluetooth as well as using them for normal gaming. The Roku Player is fairly new. I am hoping I can find something compatible, but might have to manually program it for that. The DirecTV, Tivo, DVD Player, and TV should work with most devices.

I am going to look at the Logitech Harmony and see what I can come up with. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Scion Sponsored Events

Whether you love this kind of music or not, you’ve gotta be impressed with how close Scion is to the third rail in social media. If only GM would go out on a limb like this, they might make a turnaround.

Scion Metal Show Presents: Municipal Waste & Trap Them from Scion A/V on Vimeo.

SCION and VICE present:

SCION METAL SHOW JUNE

Featuring

MUNICIPAL WASTE
TRAP THEM

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

KNITTING FACTORY
7021 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

8PM – 11PM (All Ages)

The event is FREE WITH RSVP at www.scion.com/metalshow

RSVP is strictly required. Early arrival is suggested as space is limited. Entry is not guaranteed. Line up subject to change.

Home Theater 1.0

hometheaterds I’ve added yet another ongoing project to my long list. I have been debating the idea of incorporating a computer into my “Home Theater” setup for a while now. I decided to tear down my office and grab the GQ desktop that has been running for no reason and take the plunge into setting up a home media server. The first step is out of the way, getting the thing hooked up to the TV. Initially, I was piping the audio through the TV, but that wasn’t cutting it for music. The Creative Labs Dolby 2.1 PC speakers came into the mix this morning. I will get a proper surround sound system when I can, but for the time being, this will do. Enigma sounds a lot deeper than through the TV.  I am happy to say that I can now blog through the TV! ( I am such a geek!).
Anyway, I will add improvements as I go. That usually is the best way to go for me, get the basics installed then improve over time. I really need to start pricing some better hardware, but with the economy the way it is, I want to do that slowly. For now, I get to play with Ubuntu on a 27inch screen and test things. I’m leaning towards MythTV as an interface, but XBMC and Boxee might be worth the memory upgrade someday.