Monday, November 5, 2007

Her co-worker didn't appreciate her artistry

LOL, these Starbucks chicks are such a crackup. I always enjoy an afternoon coffee break there.

Starbucks girls get creative again

Yes, that is a hand Turkey on my coffee mug.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Amazon has DRM free MP3s!!!!

Did you know that Amazon sold MP3s??? Until a friend from Church mentioned it recently, I had no idea. I had pretty much resolved that I wouldn't buy or download any more MP3s until there were a) more high quality options and b) more DRM free options.

Apple started doing this with iTunes recently, but the selection was pitiful and the prices were higher. However, Amazon not only offers a larger selection, but they offer it all @ 256 kbps, DRM free, and for cheaper than iTunes. Popular songs are $.89 and all others are $.99. Albums start at $5.99 and go up to $9.99. iTunes has responded by dropping their prices, but I say too little too late guys. Amazon is getting my $.89

I have been a bit disappointed when looking for certain artists, but I'm sure it will improve over time. I read that Amazon launched with 2 million tracks from both Universal Music Group and EMI. These are 2 of the "Big Four" music publishers with hints from Warner Music Group that more DRM free music may be on the way. Amazon currently shows 2,467,065 MP3 song results. With the iPod being the industry standard music player, the only way to get your music on your iPod other than iTunes is by using DRM free MP3s. This fact will continue to push the music publishers to a DRM free model.

While writing this article, I figured I might as well have a link for you guys to check it out, so check it out below. The link directly below and the one in the right hand column will both take you directly to the MP3 section of Amazon.

Halloween Wallpaper


Ok, I realize it's a bit on the late side, but I found this picture kinda cool and good for a decent Halloween wallpaper. I probably could have snapped a better pic if I weren't sneaking around my neighbor's yard to snap it! Hehe

Also, I guess I eventually need to get a better camera and learn how to use manual settings to improve low light pics etc... Any suggestions??

This wallpaper is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, modified or used for commercial purpose without my permission!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MOMA NYC Winter 2005 Wallpaper


Here's a photo I took during my first visit to NYC in the winter of 2005. I think I spent half a day there!

I grew up thinking I never even wanted to visit New York. Of course the New York of my childhood was the New York you see in shows like The Equalizer. (Remember that show?!?!) Anyway, now I want to move there. Crazy how things change.

As usual, full res uploaded but this one is smaller since I only had a 2.1MP camera at the time. Enjoy!

This wallpaper is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, modified or used for commercial purpose without my permission!

The guys @ Starbucks get creative

They're not the best artists though....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Why I didn't buy an iPhone....and why you should wait too

So today, in his best spoiled little kid voice, a co-worker tells me "I am buying an iPhone no matter what by December 25th!" I asked "Are you 5 years old?" "Yes, he is" responded another co-worker.

Seriously, a little bit of patience in this situation should prove to be prudent.

The iPhone has been marketed as a revolutionary device when in fact it is an evolutionary device. Almost every feature that has been touted on the iPhone as the latest and greatest already exists in some form on other phones. What Apple has done is taken these features, polished them up, and presented them in a very nice package.

The night the iPhone was released, I went to the Apple store and played with one for about an hour. The experience was definately intriguing and I was tempted to buy the phone; but the $600 price tag made it easy to resist. Then the price dropped and I was once again tempted, but again I was able to resist. So, how can a gadget junkie like me resist such a cool new device? Well, here are the reasons I have waited and I think you should as well.

1) Having used PDA phones with touch screens in the past, I have first hand experience at how frustrating it is to try to dial a phone when you can't feel any buttons. Many overcome this by using a Bluetooth headset and voice dialing. But @ $129, even Apple's own BT headset does not offer voice dialing. Even my $79 Q with a $30 headset supports this.

2) There's no native support for Microsoft Exchange. Being an IT Manager, my e-mail world revolves around Exchange. While you can use IMAP to sync e-mail, you won't be able to sync your calendar, contacts, notes, or tasks over the air. While you can manually connect your iPhone to your PC to sync your contacts and calendar, you will never be able to sync notes or tasks (the iPhone has no support for tasks.) Also, IMAP cannot push e-mail down, you must set the phone to check e-mail at certain intervals. Depending on the user, this could kill the battery faster than necessary by continuously checking for e-mail when no new e-mail exists. And for those used to carrying a Blackberry or Windows Mobile device with push e-mail, receiving an e-mail 15 minutes after it is sent can be thoroughly annoying.

3) There are many other smaller reasons, but I'll cut to the chase....the complete and total lack of 3G! How can you surf YouTube, browse Google Maps, search the web for movie times, or browse my blog if you're tied to a speed barely twice the speed of a dial-up modem?!?!?! Sure, there's WiFi, and that might get you by when you're at home, in the office, or Starbucks....oh wait, you have to PAY $30/month for service at Starbucks. Talking to several people with an iPhone, it's truly a painful experience surfing the web using Cingular's EDGE network.

Here's a quick list of other issues:
Stuck with Cingular
No ability to edit your own ringtones
Only 8GB of storage
No removeable battery

So, why do I say wait instead of just saying not to buy? I still have to admit that overall the device is very slick and I honestly believe that several of these issues will be resolved in the next version of the iPhone. My biggest pet peeve of all, no 3G data has already been confirmed to be in the next version rumored to be available by March of 2008. If the next version can address the three main issues listed above, I may just finally give in. Until then, I really like the HTC Tilt or the Samsung i760. Check 'em out.

Another Wallpaper Photo from my trip to Chicago

Well, people seemed to like the last photo, so here's another you can use for your wallpaper. This is a close-up of the gate to The Lurie Garden's Boardwalk. I spent quite a bit of time lounging around Millenium Park since I had been abandoned by my ride from the airport that day. A really bad situation turned into a really beautiful day.

As last time, I'm posting the full resolution photo. Just download it and crop it to whatever size you need for your wallpaper

This wallpaper is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, modified or used for commercial purpose without my permission!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

First Photo / Wallpaper attempt

This is a picture I took in Chicago at Millenium Park. It's a really neat effect how the concrete appears to continue and curve up. It's actually a reflection of the concrete on "The Bean" or more properly named "Cloud Gate."

I haven't found a good tool to easily make multiple crop sizes for differing desktop resolutions, so I've uploaded the full resolution file. Just open it, download it, and size it to fit your needs.

Let me know in the comments what you think and if you have a specific wallpaper size you need. Have fun!!

This wallpaper is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced, modified or used for commercial purpose without my permission!

Hmmmm...where to go with this...

Well, I've decided that I'm going to put an effort into a website. This blog seems like a good place to start. So now, what do I do?

Some of you may remember that a few years back I had one of the first/top websites for downloading ringers and pictures to your Sprint phone when Sprint rolled out their Vision service. Well, I got lazy and let it slowly die. I want to keep that from happening again.

So, here are some of the subjects I've thought about concentrating on:

IT - I could blog about my daily struggles as an IT Manager. Perhaps posting problems/solutions/systems that I work with daily like the SonicWALL Spam Filter solution I just installed or the new Anti Virus Protection software I just rolled out.

Tech - being a technology/gadget junkie, I could blog about the things I tend to research to death. One week it could be about the pain I'm going through getting a new DirecTV HD DVR we got for our satellite, the new Samsung i760 PDA phone I've been wanting to buy, or why I didn't buy an iPhone.

Photos - I've been thinking about publishing some of my favorite photos (that I've taken) in differing resolutions to be used at computer wallpaper. Don't let the examples below serve as a sample...those were taken w/ a crappy camera phone. I've got a couple of great examples I took in Chicago's Millenium Park.

Virus/Spyware - Perhaps I could post a How-To on the removal of viruses and spyware. Or perhaps how to clean up an old PC full of junk software.

Ask a Geek - My buddy calls me Google Man. He seems to think I have this uncanny ability to find anything on the web. While I'm sure the title is a bit over-stated, I have to admit that I do have a talent for finding answers. So, if my geekiness isn't strong enough to answer the question right off the top of my head, I'm usually pretty good at finding the answer somehow. Perhaps this could be a blog answering questions people have e-mailed me.

I have several other thoughts floating around. Perhaps I'll publish a couple of sites. Guess we'll see how it goes.

I hope people will begin to comment and vote in the poll on the right. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Addiction

Grande Soy Latte w/ cinnamon
(truth is.....I hate Starbucks)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Black Thumb

I shouldn't be trusted with plants. I need a better camera on this phone as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My New Blog

Hey everyone, thought I'd share some thoughts and pictures here. I hope you find them interesting.