Thursday, 15 May 2008
I've spent the past couple days, off and on, editing a manuscript on my Mac using the Pages application that is part of iWork '08. I've been editing a Word .doc file, which pages can open and deal with. Sort of. In the end, the way Pages handles Word docs... FAIL.

Formatting issues have resulted in a badly-hacked mess of a document that probably barely passes for acceptable when I return it with edits. I feel pretty terrible for the recipient.

So, frustratingly it's time to buy a copy of Mac Office '08. I was afraid it would come to this, and I guess I'm not really surprised at all. It was wroth a try, and I get Keynote so that's cool (as long as I don't have to use it for PowerPoint files that is).

Meanwhile, time to go up in the office and grab that Windows laptop with Office 2007 and get back to work...



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Apple | Tech | Things that Suck
Thursday, 15 May 2008 15:26:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 14 May 2008
I'm going to have to try this one next week when I fly...

Apparently Gerald Buckley was able to successfully scan his boarding pass bar code, which was displayed on his iPhone screen as a PDF image. I have to assume the scanner was most likely an image-scanning type since a laser scanner like you see in many places probably wouldn't "see" the barcode. Although, I have noticed in bright sunlight that the iPhone screen almost looks like the text is printed on the surface right under the glass, almost like it could have a shadow. But regardless, it's pretty cool.

Buckley describes his experience on his blog.



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Apple | Mobile | Random Stuff | Tech
Wednesday, 14 May 2008 22:24:48 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Those of us with a "jailbroken" iPhone can take advantage of a new beta software release from Intelliborn called "IntelliScreen." Intelliborne is the same company that brought us Vonagent, which is another app I have on my iPhone for voicemail integration.

The app allows you to have a single, quick view from the standby screen of news, email, your text messages, the weather forecast, your calendar - lots of great info, all on one screen and scrollable.

Each of the sections are finger-scrollable and the screen show up whenever the iPhone is locked. The configuration app lets you specify basically everything you'd want (with the apparent exception of specifying your own news feeds - you have to choose from feeds at Yahoo, CNN, Reuters, Fox, etc.).

Rumor and real-world activity happening right now sure looks like a new, 3G iPhone is just around the corner, and with that should come the new apps store sanctioned by Apple. But until them Jailbreaking your phone (which is a relatively harmless software change) is the only way to get this app. In the Installer application on the phone, go to the Sources list, then click the Edit button, then the Add button. You'll need to add this as a new app source:
http://www.intelliborn.com/repo/Intelli.plist
If the Intaller refreah seems slow to finish or respond, just be patient.

Features:
  • View Calendar, Email, Text Messages, News, Sports, and Weather from your iPhone "Slide To Unlock" screen
  • Smooth scrolling across each item to quickly glimpse at your data
  • Auto-Checks Email when you view the unlock screen - no need to "Refresh" from Mail.app or wait 15 minutes
  • Go directly to the application of your choice with a "Swipe"
  • Precise International Weather (by Zip) provided by Weather Underground.com
  • News Feeds include Yahoo!, CNN, Fox News, and Reuters (more coming soon!)
  • ESPN Sports Feeds include MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA Men's Football and NCAA Women's Basketball
  • Customizing your IntelliScreen is easy! Choose which content you want to view and where
  • Mail and Text Messages can be shown only if new items are available
More info at http://www.intelliborn.com/


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Apple | Mobile | Tech
Wednesday, 14 May 2008 19:28:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 13 May 2008
An artist named BLU has created what can only be described as an amazinly interesting and fun short film using stop-action animation and walls on public buildings. Check out more information about the film at the artist's BLUBLU.ORG web site.


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Found via Jeff Atwood on Twitter - thanks!



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Movies | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 08:39:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 12 May 2008
In June I'll be attending the Microsoft TechEd IT Pro week in Orlando. the TechEd conference has been reworked into a two-week event this year, much like they have done in Europe in the past. The first week is focused on developers and the second week on IT professionals.

I'll be working that secpnd week with my RunAs Radio podcast co-host, Richard Campbell. We're going to be running some panel events and speaker contests as well as putting together some new shows.

If you're there, please drop by and say hello!



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Random Stuff | Tech
Monday, 12 May 2008 21:03:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 26 April 2008

I'm pulling my hair out (what I have left, anyhow) trying to find a good home/home office wireless router that includes all the features I need. Granted, I'm a bit of a power user, but I'm honestly a bit surprised I can't find what I want out there somewhere. You'd think someone would build it. My list of features and performance requirements includes:

  • Gigabit WAN and LAN ports - and needs to have four LAN ports
  • VPN capability that I can use cross-platform - an SSL VPN might be the best option, but whatever works well and lets me connect with Windows, Mac, etc. is what really matters to me
  • Working, reliable and effective QOS - routers I have used in the past have either been terrible or mediocre at properly shaping and allocating traffic for VoIP and other services
  • Reliable and full-featured administrative capabilities in firmware
  • Quiet, reliable hardware
  • IPv6 support
  • Wireless-N

Until recently, I have been using a D-Link DIR-625 router, which has been stable and reliable. But it's a 100-megabit device and the QOS is marginal for VoIP traffic in my experience. Plus the firmware has not been updated recently and there is no VPN capability. It's rock-solid at what it does, though. I've only had to reset it a couple times since I have had it.

I've looked at the D-Link DIR-655 router, which is their currently-touted gigabit version of the 625 model. It's still on my list possible solutions, but with no VPN it doesn't meet all my needs, and D-Link doesn't seem to have one that includes all the features.

Yesterday I picked up a VPN router with gigabit and QOS made by Linksys, the WRVS4400N. It's not cheap and honestly I'm not sure why I allowed myself to buy a Linksys product after all the headaches I have had with them before. The net result of the past 12 hours of use is that I'm going to return it today. Between the slow reboots required with every other change I make and the lack of capabilities in the software (and some stuff that just doesn't work), it's already frustrating me. D-Link has seriously spoiled me in the Admin interface/firmware capabilities department, even without releasing any updates. Add to that the high-pitched whine the Linksys router makes and the heat it generates when plugged in and there's just no way. The whine is pretty awful, and gives me a serious headache within minutes if I am near it. Back to the store it goes.

So, I am left without a solution that meets all my needs. I may just have to pick up the D-Link DIR-655 and live without VPN and then find a separate VPN solution, but I don't want to if I don't have to. Any ideas anyone? Is there an option out there that will meet my needs and expectations?



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IT Security | Tech
Saturday, 26 April 2008 13:36:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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