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March 28, 2007

Update on my hall of famers

My soccer team, christened the Great White Sharks, is now 2-0-1. I'm not sure how I know that, since we don't keep score in our league. By the way, I accept full responsibility for the tie.

My son Stuart has been our top scorer; he's the oldest player on the Under-6 squad. He's really impressed me a few times, like when he caught up to a breakaway ball and tapped it in lefty.

I've also got one player who's still 4. At one practice, I was lining the kids up to practice something (kickoffs, maybe), and he was a little distracted, so I went over and picked him up and put him down where I needed him. His eyes got enormous, and I thought, “Uh-oh. I've blown it -- here come the waterworks.” Fortunately, he was just momentarily stunned.

I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy coaching or not, but it's been a blast so far. It's hard work keeping practices interesting for kids that young, but it's easy enough to tell when you're not. Also good: They're running me ragged twice a week.

March 28, 2007 in Family | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2007

Hipster PDA knowledge base

Hipster PDA failure mode
Originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
Common failure modes:

• Washer

The Hipster PDA, like its electronic namesake, can suffer catastrophic failure from full immersion, especially in conjunction with tumbling until dry.

Where a traditional PDA is likely to be unsalvageable after a trip through the washer, the Hipster PDA loses only its data and storage. The clip is still 100 percent usable.

March 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2007

The more I use Windows...

So, my work laptop, which is only 3 months old, has been a little wonky lately, and got much worse when I installed MS Visual Studio today so I could, you know, do some work with it.

After the installation, it wouldn't launch applications from within Windows. I could double-click an app, or choose it from the “Start” menu, and the hourglass would appear for a couple of seconds, then turn back into a cursor.

So I decided to reinstall the OS. This was about a 3 hour process, interrupted once when I realized the “Dynamic Installation” step was hosed, but couldn't (despite the onscreen instructions) escape out of it. Finally got a clean install process, then Windows rebooted, and on reboot, “Windows Out-of-box Experience” threw a memory error (‘The instruction at 0x-hexaddress- referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be “written.” ’) Then it prompted me to log in, noticed that my copy of Windows hadn't been verified by the mothership yet, and launched the Windows Out-of-box Experience (msoobe.exe to its friends). Repeat as many times as you can stand it.

Frustrating thing 1: I already entered the 20-character key from the bottom of the laptop. Frustrating thing 2: It won't let me do anything until I'm “verified” by the boys in Redmond. Frustrating thing 3: There's very little installed on this machine that didn't come from Microsoft itself or from Dell. I find myself force-quitting two programs in particular every time I want to reboot: ipoint.exe (Microsoft's mouse driver for my MS mouse) and itype.exe (Microsoft's keyboard driver for their ergo keyboard).

March 22, 2007 in General computing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2007

links for 2007-03-18

March 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2007

links for 2007-03-15

March 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2007

links for 2007-03-14

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March 09, 2007

Frank's favorite podcasts

So the new job comes with a new, longer commute, and I'm spending an hour a day in the car. With local Atlanta radio only getting worse, the iPod has been a tremendous relief, and I find myself listening to mostly podcasts, and comparatively little music.

My favorite, linked above, is KCRW's Martini Shot, by Hollywood writer and producer Rob Long. This week's edition, “Writing for Free,” is especially entertaining, and touches on blogs, insulting writers, a new twist on the accounting game I've heard described as “Find the Hat,” and the online home of Ken Levine.

Another favorite has been the Penn Radio Show, an hourlong show by Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) and Michael Goudeau. Unfortunately, while loading last week's shows onto my iPod, I discovered they're pining for the fjords just when they got Eric Idle committed to an interview.

So, I've been shopping for new favorites, and can heartily recommend Leo Laporte's slate of podcasts, including This Week in Tech and MacBreak Weekly, whose latest edition had me zeroed in: Battlezone! The IIfx! HyperCard! Poopr!

Also unlikely to survive the day they get downloaded are NPR's This American Life and Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!, and HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.

I've been studying Cocoa a little bit, and so have also enjoyed Late Night Cocoa, by Steve Scott, a Windows developer stepping into the light, and finding his way partly by talking with experienced Mac developers about their areas of Cocoa expertise.

Does anybody have any other suggestions I ought to be checking out?

March 9, 2007 in Apple - iPod, Atlanta, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

links for 2007-03-09

March 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 08, 2007

links for 2007-03-08

March 8, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2007

My ticket to the hall of fame

So I'm coaching an Under-6 team at the Tucker Youth Soccer Association. We had our first practice tonight. I hope everyone reading will accept this as the unbiased opinion that it is:

This is the greatest soccer team ever formed at any level, professional or amateur.

Decades from now, soccer enthusiasts will still be lamenting that Pelé never had the chance to play for the TYSA Great White Sharks during their heyday in Spring 2007. I believe any of my players could take David Beckham one-on-one, including the two with no organized soccer experience.

I just hope I'm up to directing the power, grace, and athleticism they exhibit.

March 5, 2007 in Family | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack