DAT Stuff

Random thoughts and observations from DAT

Archive for the category “General”

Writely test

This was entered as a Writely document (now part of Google Docs), to test Writely’s ability to post to my blog.

It can! However, the following features don’t work right:

  • it can’t unpublish the entry
  • posting updates adds an entry instead of updating the original one
  • when I finish editing this document, then edit again, it doesn’t seem to know that it’s been posted to the blog. It would be nice if it kept that history (which would probably require fixing the previous two problems).

The entries themselves have some problems:

  • no title
  • they are not tagged (they default to the General tag, instead of picking up the tag I assigned on Writely)
  • the “comment” link (under the entry) and the “view” link (on the admin pages) don’t work. The relative url of the entry was /2006/08/30//. There should be an entry name between the last two slashes…

In summary, Writely might be a nice editor to use in place of the built-in blog editor, if these problems are fixed…

Verizon *228

I learned a new trick yesterday. Apparently if you dial *228, you can update the software on your phone (option 1?). I’ve seen people advocate doing this update every month to keep up with the latest changes. I don’t know if this is unique to Verizon, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. I’ve had a LG VX4500 since 3/2005 and have been very unhappy with the network coverage. Maybe if I had known about this I could have updated the software and maybe it would have helped. But now it’s too late to tell. I dropped the phone in the lake a couple weeks ago and it hasn’t worked since. It fell off my belt (clip and all) into 2 inches of water. It was only there a few seconds, and I pulled it out in time to see it’s dying words before the screen faded. I tried to resuscitate it, but to no avail. I took it apart, without undoing any screws, and let it dry out for a few days; I even tried charging the battery after that but it never came back to life. I’m currently researching to find out how to replace it. The most likely candidates at this point are the Samsung i730 and Verizon XV6700 (made by HTC).

Here is a story about another feature of *228 that might help as well — updating the roaming information on the handset that should be done regularly.

On their FAQ, Verizon suggests doing the “Preferred Roaming List” update every three months or whenever you change pricing plans

Cubicle Art

I’m not sure it really qualifies as art, but over the course of a year at work, my coworkers and I had a constantly changing display of action figures on top of our cubicles. Some days were more creative than others, with the scene changing several times. Other days were fairly static, with the figures hardly moving at all. Mike Martindale got some pictures to give you an idea, as did James Collins. I know several of the scenes were my creation, but I’m not sure I can take credit for all of them.

The eyes in the background are those of my daughter Serena. They were enlarged using The Rasterbator (originally here).

Many thanks to James and Mike for capturing the images and adding the narrative.

Wacky Wiki

I have a much longer post in the works (mentally) on a related topic, but I had to get this thought out…

One of the main things I look for in the software that will run my web sites is something that (once installed) I can completely manage through the browser. I’ll accept that software upgrades may require working at the command line, but if I want to change content or layout, don’t make me edit files or muck around in the code.

For that reason, I think my use of MediaWiki may come to an end. I need to check out the new version (I’m using 1.4.x, and 1.5.4 is available), but from what I’ve seen in the few configuration changes I’ve made, I can’t imagine it being satisfactorily improved in the new version. The latest frustration point (changing the contents of the navigation sidebar) has been fixed in 1.5, so we’ll see…

Sysinternals Freeware

I’ve been looking for a replacement for the built-in task manager, and I just found a good (free) one called Process Explorer. The Sysinternals Freeware site looks like it has a number of other good utilities as well.

My candy is trying to tell me something

Just now I ate a few Dove dark chocolates (very tasty)…

On the inside of the wrapper, they have quotes. The first one said “Find your passion.” I didn’t think much of it until I opened the next one, which said “Live your dreams.” Does my candy know something I don’t?

I better not read too much into it; the next one said “Be mischievous. It feels good.”


I found an interesting store that has Remote Control Cars Trucks Boats Nitro Gas Electric – Airsoft Guns, Magic Tricks and more!

Fab Lab

Fab Lab” is an abbreviation for Fabrication Laboratory. It is a group of off-the-shelf, industrial-grade fabrication and electronics tools, wrapped in open source software and programs written by researchers at the Center for Bits and Atoms.

Christmas lights

Check this out: Christmas lights (you need sound to get the whole effect).

Grrr…. comment spam

Some wise guy(s) decided to slam my blog with comment spam. Fortunately I had it set to require approval for all comments, so none of them made it to the site. However, so I don’t have to be bothered with deleting it all, I’m requiring registration before you can comment.

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