Monday, October 30, 2006

Free at last!

Thanks to SharePod and MP3tag, I now have my iPod out of the iTunes silo.

Its great to be able to fully utilize it, the way it was meant to be.

It's VERY liberating.


Getting things in order

I noticed today that I couldn't drag and drop things on LaptopJenny... I investigated all sorts of things until deciding it was a device driver issue. I used Device Manager to remove the trackpad driver, and after two reboots, all was well.

I only realized after I was done that it had disabled both mouse buttons while the mouse moved... a supremely frustrating thing when you're used to them.

Next up, I just found SharePod, which will let me extract the music from the iPod Mini Noran gave me to replace the dead Shuffle, and I can use it without iTunes.

I hate iTunes... the stupid piece of shit always gets in the way, trying to connect to the iPod like a crazed Mother Bear protecting her young. Usually when I plug an iPod in, it's to charge it, or to transfer files in either direction.. NOT to put more overpriced crippled music in it.

iTunes is DefectiveByDesign!

I'm never going to fit the photos back in LaptopJenny... I've forgotten about music... I need my music!

Cest la vie


Sunday, October 29, 2006

The odd twilight at the end of Democracy

It's now 1:45AM in Chicago, AND 1:45AM in New York City... the one odd hour a year when we're still in Daylight Savings Time, and they've left it behind.

Our country is doomed.... the FBI's second raid on Christopher Soghoian's residence is a big RED FLAG. Chris is a security researcher, a "white hat". He has a long record of helping to solve security problems. He pointed out just how insecure the whole "you must have a boarding pass" requirement is when it's not actually verified, by creating a fake boarding pass generator.

Instead of actually doing something to improve security, the FBI falls back on its long, LONG tradition of trying to use intimidation as a substitute for hard work.

I'm now convinced that our Democracy is very likey doomed... the election will be nullified by Diebold, and the avenues of redress for our grievances will evaporate. Unfortunately, this will leave us contemptating the stark implications of words of President John F. Kennedy:
Those who make peaceful revolutions impossible
will make violent revolutions inevitable.

We deserve a better country, a bright future. The peaceful revolution that occurs in every just election saves us all more horror than one can imagine. Lets hope we can continue in our great tradition of true Democracy.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

LaptopJenny is back!

Now returned from her SECOND display repair is LaptopJenny... my HP DV5030US.

Unlike last time, I made a FULL backup of everything this time. This helped me greatly when, like last time, HP reformatted the hard drive. I'm very pleased with the way that Backup and Restore actually worked with Windows XP Media center on this thing. I've got all of my programs, desktop icons, network connections (VPN to work, etc).

I specifically haven't restored all the photos yet, because I can't. They just won't fit. I've got 18 Gigabytes of photos (1997-2003), and 10 remaing gigabytes to put them in. I've got too many picture.

I carry around, on a daily basis, some 80,000 photos. The common wisdom of photographers everywhere is that you can instantly double the quality of your collection by throwing away half. I've already done this, I have about 160,000 photos in the archive. (144 Gb!)

I did it the first time by just tossing out things that were out of focus, badly framed, etc. I wasn't all the way through, either... but I lost my place in the first HP format, so now I get to figure it out again. Not only that... now the pictures are ones I've already decided to keep once.

It's overwhelming if you look at the math. Reviewing them and making a decision for each photo might take 10 seconds each....800,000 seconds == 13,333 minutes == 380 South Shore commutes... yikes! If I focus on this, and spend most of my train commutes, I'll be done next year.

When I give out the number of photos on my laptop (Ctrl-T in ThumbsPlus)... I typically get a reaction of disbelief, and dismissal, which lasts only long enough for the slide shows to begin. (F8 in ThumbsPlus)... then a pleasant tour through some days events.... then thanks and appreciation... it's an emotional ride I've learned to enjoy taking.

It's a hell of a lot of fun to be able to pull out the laptop, and start a slide show for bored kids on the way to Chicago.. I do it about once ever other month. Now I'm showing a lot of photos of Virginia as well. In this way, LaptopJenny is a social tool, and not just a toy for playing RT3. It helps me to share a bit of my world with my friends and acquaintances.

I've been lax putting things up here... and on my Flickr account... I'm working on getting my life organized a bit more, so I'll try to get this going as well.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is a small sample size of a much bigger photo I stitched together.

Update - December 20, 2007 - More Chicago photos from me on this blog, and at Flickr.