Archive for the 'technology' Category

Sending an iPhone into Space… or at least 1312 feet closer to Space

November 10, 2008

I met Michael Koppelman a million years ago in the Bitstream offices discussing hosting rates for a ridiculous online dating service project I was on (the client eventually chose Protocom across the river). He came off as not so much of a nerd. He’d worked with some pretty cool bands and the vibe at Bitstream made me not want to leave.

Turns out, Michael Koppelman is a nerd — of the highest caliber. He’s into astronomy, iPhone programming and model rocketry. Dan Grigsby interviews him on his latest launch over at in T-Minus ten, nine, eight, seven…


Twin Cities Code Camp: MVC good. SharePoint sent me packing.

October 12, 2008

I attended the bi-annual Twin Cities Code Camp yesterday for I believe the 4th time. It was decidedly less Ruby-ish as it has been in the past — which is good and bad. 

SharePoint is something I used to spend an awful lot of time thinking about early in the millennium. I wrote some courseware that got cancelled at the burst of the first internet bubble, and really knew the ins and outs of the first version and a half of the product. It was messy then — and messy now.

The SharePoint presentation that I attended was filled with all sorts of hacks just to get basic functionality working. Yuck. The presenter had all sorts of lines like, “Create your classes as text files and then change the extension. Not sure why, but you’ll get errors if you don’t.” I’m sorry, but eight years into a product lifecycle that shit needs to be fixed. It didn’t make me want to jump in with both feet again. Even BizTalk looks like a blast in comparison.

On the other hand, Chris Sutton gave a nice presentation into ASP.NET MVC and using it with jQuery and Yahoo! UI. This preview release, alternative to traditional ASP.NET web forms is clean and very attractive. I’ve been doing my own hybrid MVC for years with ASP and ASP.NET. I’m definitely interested in unpacking this and using it in a real-world project. 

All-in-all, it was worth going, but not enough to hang around for the end.

Of course the weather dudes blew the forecast too, so within an hour of leaving to enjoy the rest of what was promised as a “glorious fall day”, the thunder started — about a minute after I got the fire going in the fire pit out back.

Is Twitter Killing Your Blogging Muse?

October 5, 2008

I’ve been Twittering pretty seriously for the past few months and I wonder if it’s having an effect on the blogging. I’ve never been more productive on the blogging front, so that part of me says no — at least not a negative impact. 

On the positive side, I’ve gotten quite a bit of inspiration from a number of the people I follow and who message me directly. On the negative side, I hear the voice in my head reciting any of my creative writing professors warning of “telling the story before it is written.”

I think the key to all of this is to hold back the really great stuff — the bloggable stuff — for any of the various blogs and use Twitter to filter out the quick hitting stuff and to bitch about general items.

Overall, as silly as I thought Twitter was to begin with, I think it can be a positive if you let it.

Follow me — if you’d like.

iPhone GPS Issue?

September 1, 2008

Thought my phone was defective. Turns out it’s not.

My GPS went AWOL and wouldn’t come back no matter what I tried (rebooting, turning “Location Services” on and off and on and off and on and off, wandering around in the middle of a football field on a cloudless day staring at the heavens, cursing at the phone…).

I dug through every menu and just before setting up the appointment with those smug bastards at the “Genius Bar” I went through the menus again and found the “software reset”.

Where is it?

Settings –> General –> Reset –> Reset All Settings

Fixed the GPS issue for sure. I get the reticle bounce and then five to ten seconds later the little blue dot appears. Apart from fixing the issue I’d hoped it would, it doesn’t seem like it affected much besides shuffling all of the application icons insanely. I’d seriously love to know the algorithm they used for that.

I’m hoping it helps with the absolute abysmal battery life I’ve been getting too. Something clearly was not right.

iPhone off the interstate? Oh the impotence you’ll feel.

August 31, 2008

I love my iPhone. I waited for the second generation in hopes of 3G (and waiting out my T-Mobile contract). I went with a Blackjack for the past year for email and rudimentary web browsing but it sucked like an Oreck.

When the time came, I knew there were going to be some growing pains. Battery life is pitiful for a phone — but I wasn’t looking for a phone. My professional life happens online. I needed an internet device that could also be phone when I needed it to be.

I got that in the city. I got that on the freeway. I’ve got a fancy iPod this weekend.

AT&T is worse at this outstate thing than T-Mobile and T-Mobile was monumentally shifty at it. Five minutes after leaving I-94 in Western Minnesota, I was doomed to my current unconnected state for 3 days.

I even drove around the hinterland today looking for bars — on my phone (there are no shortages of the other type). I got A bar once in the shadow of a huge cell tower, but it went away less than a half mile up the road. Lest you question the terrain, I am not exaggerating when I tell you this is one of the flattest places on the planet.

I don’t know how much blame belongs with AT&T and how much goes to Apple, but regardless, it’s been an extremely frustrating few days.