Tag Archives: technology

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It was kind of hard to sleep in for some reason. I think both Kelly and I were anxious to get started with the settling in and unpacking. Dad, Jen, and Jason went to breakfast while Kelly and I got started on some unpacking. Then we drove over to Sarah’s, dropped off my car, and picked up her SUV. Sarah had somehow manage to slice up her ankle at an OAR concert the night before, and hobbled down to greet us. Meanwhile, Michael was cleaning out the car for us.

We headed back home (our new home!) and picked up Jason, and then headed over to Costco, arriving there right at opening time, 10 AM. Kelly managed to find a parking spot right in the front. I had scoped out the TV we wanted on Friday and knew exactly where they were. We picked up our Vizio 42″ 1080P High-Definition TV–the first for both of us–and were on our way. Well, almost. I had forgotten the checkbook and when I tried paying with my American Express card, it kept saying “Call Center”. Not knowing what that meant, we tried our debit cards, and for some reason those didn’t work either. Fortunately, Jason came to the rescue. He used his American Express card, and it worked just fine. I wrote him a check later.

After we got the TV back to the house, Jason, Kelly and I loaded up the truck with stuff we wanted to donate to Goodwill. We then headed over to Goodwill, dropped off the stuff, then headed to Kelly’s place to pick up another truckload of stuff to donate, and then back to Goodwill. After the second dropoff, we stopped at KFC to get some Extra Crispy Chicken, as Jen was having a pregnancy craving for this. We got enough for everyone and this was lunch.

Jen, Jason and Dad left sometime around 1 PM. Kelly and I headed back to Sarah’s to return her truck and pick up my car. We then headed to her old place to do the final cleanup. On the way there, we were caught in a sudden and torrential thunderstorm the likes of which I have only rarely seen. I crept along the highway at 25 MPH, not able to see much more than a few feet in front of me.

By the time we got to Kelly’s the rain had stopped and the sun had come out again. We were at her place for a few hours, cleaning up. I had to run back to our place to get a set of keys that Kelly forgot. When we were done, we headed to Whole Foods to do some grocery shopping, and finally, finally back home where we could relax a bit.

We don’t have cable until tomorrow, so tonight, I hooked the DVD player to the new TV and we watched a few episodes of M*A*S*H. I am taking half a SAB-day tomorrow because the cable guy is coming in the morning to get us all set up.

The cats finally met today. I think Zeke was very good about it. Maggie hissed at him once or twice, but Zeke, not having really been around other cats, didn’t seem too phased by it. They are all cautiously curious of one another at the moment.

No home Internet access until I move

When I came home today, my Internet access wasn’t working. There was a single blinking light on the cable modem. Cable TV was fine. I did some basic troubleshooting and decided it was hardware but called Comcast anyway. The customer service person I spoke to agreed it was hardware. She suggested I bring in my cable modem and get a new one. I did that and the new one appeared to work. At least, all of the lights are flashing properly.

When I connected to my wiewless network, it seemed like it was working. I was redirected to Comcast’s site to configurey modem. I installed the configuration software and things stopped working. After more troubleshooting, I simply gave up. My rationale: I move in 2 weeks. I’ve got a lot to do and I waste a lot of time on the Internets. I’ve got my iPhone so I can get and send email and browse if I have to. Meanwhile, I can read and write and pack and not be bothered by the Internet. I probably should cancel everything now but Dad will be here next week and he’ll at least have tv. Plus the bill is already paid. When we move, the cable people are coming out to set everything up so I’ll be back in business then. Meanwhile, I have access at work and at Kelly’s.

I’m fine with it.

Five hours later

Five and a half hours since the Apple Store opened and at least in Pentagon City, the is still wrapped around the third level of the mall, above the food court. I saw Apple employees handing out water bottles to people in line earlier. It takes some dedication to stay in on (ugh!) in line for so long. You’d think Star Wars: Episode VII was premiering or something.

Who said no lines at the Apple Store?

I read in some reviews of the new iPhone that people wouldn’t be flooding Apple stores the same way they did for the original phone more than a year ago. I don’t know why the reviewers thought this would be so, but they were definitely wrong about it. The picture to the right was taken from my office at about 8:30 AM. I circled the location of the Apple Store, which is right across the food court from my office, but you can click on the picture to see the full-sized image.) Note the long line that comes away from the store and curves through the center of the picture? And that’s not all. Here is more of the line winding it’s way through the second floor of the Mall. I can’t quite tell how far it wraps way around, but it seems to me there are more people than there are phones available.

At this time, I have no plan to get the new phone, although I do plan to update the software on my iPhone to the 2.0 software this weekend some time. However, Kelly is thinking about getting the new iPhone since she is going to be changing cell phone providers (to get on my plan). Maybe when the initial fuss has passed and the lines at the Apple Store are back to normal.

At any rate, it makes me wonder: if the reviewers were wrong about people not lining up for the new phone, I wonder what else the reviewers can be wrong about?


I realized this evening that it had been quite a while since I’d done a full backup of my data. I do regular incremental backups to my iDisk, but I hadn’t done a full data backup in a long time. I did one tonight and I feel much better.

Protected: A practical side to video chats

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For those who like maps and charts, this is too cool to pass up…

(Via New York Times)

Helpful tip for anyone trying to build collection objects in PHP using the IteratorAggregate

If anyone out there is trying to build a collection object in PHP using the IteratorAggregate, here’s a tip that will save you hours of debugging and online searching:

Return an ArrayObject from getIterator()!

What finally worked for me looks something like this:

class Collection implements IteratorAggregate
private $items = array();
private $count = 0;

public function getIterator()
return new ArrayObject($this->items);

public function add($value)
$this->items[$this->count++] = $value;

public function count()
return $this->count;	

All of the documentation I could find online seemed to indicate that the object returned from getIterator() should be the class itself (e.g. Collection), but that didn’t work. So through some searching and a lot of trial and error, I finally figured it out. And it only took me a couple of hours to figure that out!

Kitchen juggling and other miscellaneous stuff

Happy March!

Last night I prepared the most complex meal I’ve ever done so far. It was not complex in terms of ingredients or anything light that. I made ravioli with pasta sauce, and steamed broccoli, which I suppose is fairly simple. But I had three burners on the stove going at the same time, and managed to plan it well enough so that all three finished cooking at about the same time. (And while doing this, I was also checking some work email.) It was the perfect amount of ravioli, enough for a bowl full for me and for Kelly. And the sauce was a spicy sauce with just a bit of a kick to it. It was very good, and I was pleased with my ability to juggle multiple tasks in the kitchen.

For the second time in a couple of weeks, I accidentally texted he11o_sunshine in response to a text from someone at work. I’m not exactly sure how I manage to do this. I can only suppose that so much of my concentration is taken up by other things that I simply don’t pay attention to what I’m doing. Fortunately, Jen has been through this before and takes it patiently and with good humor.

We watched The Martian Child on DVD last night. The movie (starring John Cusack) is based on David Gerrold’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning novelette of the same title. We both enjoyed it, despite it being sad at times.

This evening we are heading over to A.J. and Denisse’s for a Peruvian dinner, which should be fun. We’ll probably end up playing some games too. Denisse asked me to bring Apples to Apples with me for that very purpose.

I have to work tomorrow. Since I am a fast writer, I agreed to write a significant portion of the user documentation for an application that we’ve been developing for a while and is close to a beta release. It will probably take me several hours tomorrow afternoon, but at least I can do it from home.

Website and reading list updates!

I’ve spend the last couple of nights revamping my website and my reading list pages. They are finally at a point where I have once again made them public. So what has changed?


  • Transformed to simple HTML
  • Reorganized content
  • Brought content up-to-date

Reading List

  • Complete rewrite using PHP and MySQL
  • Simple HTML
  • Dynamic queries to the database
  • Improved summary page
  • Dynamic list pages
  • Search capabilities
  • Progress/pace for current reading

There’s still more to do. In the not too distant future there will be links to LibraryThing, RSS feeds, and advanced search capabilities. In the meantime, after about a year of manually maintaining my reading list and associated statistics, the site is once again automated.


My brain is chock full of object classes, inheritance, polymorphism, data collections, assertions, loop invariants, capital-I interfaces, generics, sessions, caching and hashing and no more will fit. I’ve literally filled up that portion of my brain that thinks in programming terms. Nothing new will go in. And I’m not really sure what to do, so I’m going to do what I always do when this happens.

Something else.

I’m stylin’!

Last night was another early-to-bed evening. I think I was in bed sometime after 6 PM, but read until just about 8 PM. (At present I’m 516 pages into Our Oriental Heritage, deeply immersed in Hinduism.) I fell into a deep sleep until nearly 2 AM. Then I felt like I was wide awake, so I read for about an hour before going back to sleep. As usual, I was up before my alarm went off at 4:19 AM.

The temperature stayed above freezing last night so there was no ice to scrape from my car; even some of the snow had receded. Between 4:30 and 4:45 AM I finally figured out how to alter the base-styles in LiveJournal in order to customize then. (Simple styles can be put into one of the preference screens). I made a custom style for <blockquote>’s so that they appear a bit more nicely formatted on my pages

Like this one!

Small successes like these seem to get me on a roll. I made some excellent progress on my ASP.NET application this morning. I’m wrapping things up. All but two of the logged bugs have been fixed. Things are looking good. I even figured out why some of the post-back code was behaving oddly. (It wasn’t; it was my understanding of how post-backs work. Go figure.)

For some reason, I had the theme song to The Love Boat in my head for nearly an hour this morning. I couldn’t figure out why until I projected back to a conversation I overheard at the local sandwich shop last night. Two women were talking about old TV shows and one of them mentioned The Love Boat. Am I that suggestible?

Going out for beers tonight after work. Tomorrow, Kelly and I are going to hit some of the art museums off the Mall. Next weekend, we head up to New York City.