By Mike | August 19, 2011
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By Mike | March 16, 2011
This is our new daughter, Emma Susan Bond.
Don’t let the cute exterior fool you. She is a vicious eating and pooping machine bent on world domination!
Other hobbies include making people walk around the house with her “A bopping and a walking,” reading Dr. Suess books on the iPad, and causing mild cases of sleep deprivation.
Emma Susan Bond:
March 9, 2011 @ 2:44am
By Mike | November 22, 2010
Its been about a year since our last update to this blog. Why? a little busy, a little lazy, a little tired.
Time for that to change though.
A lot has changed over the last year. We lost our dog Spencer (in the post below). We lost one of our cats, Katia. We’ve learned about a future addition to the family. We’ve started ripping up the floor and putting down Laminate. I’ve let my flying insurance lapse for the first time. We put in a shed, cleaned the basement, put in a new driveway. Katherine and I have spent 1 year together as a married couple, this coming march will be 4 years together total.
In the coming months I expect to see more posted here than before. We’ll have more to share, pictures and video to post. New pages to add. Pages to update. I’m thinking it might be time for a redesign soon as well.
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By Katherine | November 28, 2009
We put Spencer to sleep on November 17, 2009. In September he had developed a bloat. His stomach was filled with fluid. He saw multiple vets and none of them could tell us what was causing the fluid, but they all agreed that Spencer’s time was almost up. Almost all options for the cause of the bloat were terminal illnesses. When we took him in for a check-up on November 17th, the vet said that he was completely wasted – he had very little body fat and muscle left. Although he still seemed to have some good days, we decided to put him to sleep before he only had bad days. As it was, he couldn’t go for walks anymore, and car rides were started to be too much for him. He was a good dog, and we loved him, but it was time to let him go. The vet performed a necropsy (an autopsy for dogs) and found a cancer tumor in Spencer’s adrenal gland, as well as a large blockage in one of the main arteries that take blood back to the heart. It was unclear whether the blockage was a tumor or a bloodclot (the vet votes for bloodclot), but that blockage was causing the bloat. The vet said that he couldn’t have removed it with surgery because of the size and location. I’m glad we didn’t wait until Spencer got even worse. He looked very peaceful as he left us. Farewell Spency, you will be missed.
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By Mike | October 28, 2009
Wedding and Honeymoon are over and done with. Its time to start messing with all the media we have gotten!
I’m working on putting together a DVD Video of the event. We didn’t catch everything on our video camera and are waiting on a couple things to come in to finish that. If you want a copy of the DVD (or a link to download it), shoot me an email.
Here is a preview to hold you over, Our first Dance:
We don’t have any of the wedding pictures back yet. When we do I’ll post them. Here is a link to our honeymoon pictures (not organized as good as they could be, but, at least they are finally up, I’ll work on the organization later ).
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By Mike | September 16, 2009
We’ve had a couple questions about where we are registered. I added a link to the wish lists called “Wedding Registries” which will take you to the Wedding Info page section that has links.
We are registered at Target and Amazon.
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By Katherine | September 5, 2009
I have updated the information on our “Wedding Info” page. It now includes driving directions, information on hotel reservations (including that they need to be made with Lakeview by SEPTEMBER 10, 2009 to receive the block rate), and what formality of dress is required. You will also find links to our wedding registries there. We are registered with Amazon.com and Target. If you have not sent in your reply cards (both for the reception AND the rehearsal) PLEASE do so. If you have any questions, feel free to email us or call us.
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By Mike | June 19, 2009
Microsoft put up this “Get the Facts” page about IE8 recently: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/get-the-facts/browser-comparison.aspx
The gist of it is that Internet Explorer 8 is the most standards compliant web browser. Go ahead and check it out.
IE8 IS a much better browser than IE6 or IE7. I’ve had to take a lot of my Internet explorer hacks out to get IE8 working properly, which is great news. I highly recommend IE8 over any previous version of Internet Explorer. In fact, i would go as far as saying that IE8 is Microsoft’s first usable web browser.
But, is it more standards compliant than the others? Check out the screen shots below of the Acid Test Results.
Internet Explorer 8 (20/100):
Google Chrome (100/100, link test fail):
Safari 4 (100/100, no fails):
The Acid tests aren’t the end-all, be-all of standards compatibility. But they one benchmark for testing standards. Sorry Microsoft, IE8 is a great improvement over your previous browsers, but its still not the best.
I’m writing this post from Safari 4, giving it a spin for a couple of days to see how I like it .
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By Mike | May 28, 2009
I’ve always been unhappy with launching applications in MacOS X. When OS X first came out, I thought that I would love the Dock, great idea but in practice it doesn’t work so well. It looks like the Front Panel that CDE had on Unix that I DID love. XFCE, a linux window manager, has something similar these days which is also full of awesome.
In OS X 10.5 Apple tried to make the Dock more useful using stacks. Problem is, their implementation sucks. Most notably, for me, is that stacks have to be on the right side of the dock (where minimized applications go), and you can’t define an icon for them, without some trickery. And even then, the icons don’t look the way I would like them too. Stacks have some real potential for organizing documents, but when you have a lot of applications to organize they can be cumbersome.
For a long time i used a product called Overflow to handle my application launching. It works really well, and I highly recommend it for people that are looking for a better way to organize and launch their OS X Applications. My only complaint about it is that it isn’t always on the screen. A hot-key combination, or clicking on its icon, brings it up. Works well, just not what I’m looking for.
Enter DragThing. I’ve used Dragthing as a dock replacement in the past. I always gravitate back to the dock though, because it tends to be prettier or offer some features that I want (such as badge updates on mail clients). Last week I set out to try to come up with a Dragthing desktop that was pretty enough to hold my attention AND useful enough to be, well, useful.
These are the results, clicking the images opens larger versions:
Background is one i put together last week. The Picture of Katherine and I is my favorite of us together, and was taken by my brother in May 2008 at Fort Myers Beach in Florida. The other Picture of Katherine is my favorite of her by herself. The others were shots I grabbed at the Cleveland Air Show in 2008.
I’m using Dragthing to create several drawers along the bottom (lower left hand corner), and to move the Trash icon to the desktop (lower right hand corner).
Geektool is being used to put the Date and Time in the lower right hand corner.
From left to right, the icons in my menu bar are: Dragthing, Mail Unread Menu, NNW Unread Menu, Adium X, Dropbox, Time Machine, Battery Life, Wireless, Quick User Switching, TunnelBlick (VPN Software), and Spotlight.
Minimized applications go into the minimized drawer that lowers from the upper left corner of the screen.
I like to have my applications organized by category. Hovering over, or clicking on, the drawers in the lower left corner cause them to pop out. Moving the mouse off them causes them to retract.
HUD theme for adium which fits well with my background.
I spend a lot of time in my terminal, so I took some time a couple years ago to make it a little nicer to work in (Scripts Documented Here).
The bird is just some ASCII art that I found years ago that I’ve kept using, not attached to it, just haven’t found anything better yet. The line expands and contracts with the window so it is always the width of the window. Username@Current Directory, ~ for home. Other side is current time. The Smiley face changes between a green smiley and the red frown pictured below. Green face means the previous command exited successfully. Red face means there was an error code/state returned from the application.
Error state was returned from the previous command.
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By Mike | April 30, 2009
There has been a lot of talk lately, in both my personal and professional life, about how social networks fit into our communication work flows. Why use facebook? What’s the point of Twitter? Should we text? What should i post on these services?
I’ve done some thinking on the subject, and have come up with the following on how *I* will use various social networks.
I am going to be distributing the URL to this blog entry via Facebook, Twitter, and Email. Not only is it serving as a “this is how i think these networks should be used” for all the world to see (and possibly ignore), but it is also serving as a “This is how i prefer to communicate, get with the program” message for people as well.
This is, to me, the Modern BBS system. I wish it had more robust group features and more robust status features, which you can find in my wish list below.
This is where I expect to see, and want to see, short updates about your life and what you are doing. Stupid comments in your status, sure, go ahead.
But Facebook is much more than that. It is also a great place to see updates on friends/family that you don’t really keep in touch with otherwise. Having health problems? let us know that you will be in the hospital. You don’t need to share the details with the world, but let those of us that care know.
I’ve turned on notifications of status updates to my cell phone via text for everyone that is local to morgantown that is on my friends list (well, most everyone that is local … not people from work, or people that i hardly talk to). I’ve also turned it on for Family, so that if something important or interesting comes up I will know about it quicker. I’m working on fine-tuning my list of people that i get SMS status updates from, but so far it is working out very well.
I wish facebook took better advantage of Friends lists though. So that I could post a status to my “Karate” friends list and only people in that list would see the update. Likewise, i could have a “Local” group and post that I am going to be jogging and if anyone would like to come.
Facebook also provides some fun games, similar to BBS Door games of old. They have a long way to come, but they are fun time wasters that take 5 minutes at a time to get through.
I used to think that twitters status and facebook’s status were the same thing. I don’t think so anymore. I am, instead, using my twitter status to ask questions and reply to other people’s questions. I’ve gone through and cleaned up most of the crap that was in there and left only the stuff that I felt was useful to someone searching twitter. The number of tweets that i post is going to go way down. At the same time though, the number of facebook updates will likely go up.
I am still following friends, but i’ve turned off notifications to my mobile device for anyone that isn’t in the same town as me (Which is everyone, since twitter hasn’t really caught on in Morgantown yet). I’m using it more as an “Instant” RSS system. I’ve got the CDC and CNN and other news services in my feed. Those are still coming to my cell phone as Texts.
If my local friends ever start using twitter, I may start doing things like http://twitter.com/ryanabrams does and announce when I am going to lunch or other invites that pertain to local people. Groups would help this. This of using it this way as a “Broadcast text message”
I consider this the Instant Message of the mobile world. IMs are great on the computer. I love them, and have been using them since the early 1990′s. SMS on your phone is the same thing, just more mobile. It works great in the same capacity. “I need you to see this, but it isn’t as urgent as a phone call”
Its also a great way for web applications to let me know that I might be interested in something, without having to drain my battery life to go on the internet and look at each web application.
Instant Messages (http://www.the-forgotten.org/about/contact-info/):
Instant messages are great, when you are in front of your computer with the application open. I’ve been IM’ing with people on various networks since the early 1990s. Most of Katherine and my initial talking was on IMs, up until we moved in together.
At work a good number of people use AOLIM and IM me throughout the day. In most cases i greatly prefer this to a phone call. I can glance at the message and determine if it needs my immediate attention or not. Much more productive than a phone call for me. Its quicker than an email, and if there is no “information” that needs to be saved some where its often better than an email so that i don’t have yet another email sitting in my inbox taking up space.
I find myself using this less and less in my personal life these days, though with a select number of friends it is still the only real way to communicate with them because they are not on facebook, twitter, etc …
Most people that know me know that i absolutely HATE email. Its antiquated and doesn’t provide the features that I want in a sane way. At the same time though, I don’t like being restricted to using facebook’s address book or email interface.
I generally strive to have absolutely no email in my inbox, though it is often hard just because i get so much. I’ll read it and let it sit then find an afternoon to wade through my email and delete everything that I don’t actually need (which is 99.9% of my email).
My full rant on email can be read here: http://www.the-forgotten.org/2008/02/19/email-in-daily-life/
Phone calls are the “this is really important and i need an answer right this second” type of thing. I generally hate talking on the phone and usually only do it with people that aren’t immediately available via another form of communication, if i am driving, or if the topic is urgent.
For example: I had to ask a friend of mine the other day a question about gravel. In particular I wanted to know the name of a good gravel company and what type i should get. I know he doesn’t like testing (and doesn’t have a text plan, so each text costs money), so i gave him a call. which required me to have a pen and paper handy, which i then put into my pocket and lost. Texting would have worked better for this situation. I didn’t need the information immediately, but i wanted to ask while I was thinking of it. Also, in a text the information would have remained in my phone so i didn’t have to write it down. Email could have also worked, but it would have been slower and there was no guarantee that he would have seen it before he went into work on monday morning, which is when i needed the information by.
So how do blogs fit into all of this? Blogs are for longer posts, like this one. People can see updates via RSS feeds, or when you post the URL to different services (such as twitter and facebook and mass emails). Blog posts are open to the public, which facebook profiles are likely not. So people can find them via google, and you can email a link to people that aren’t on other services.
While blog posts are less useful than they once were for the average user, i think they still hold their place. Most people would rather not post a full on entry, but “microblog” using their status message on facebook.
The blog on The-Forgotten.Org is likely going to go away. I’m likely going to replace the useful ones with static pages over there and it will just be a “website” and not a blog. I’d rather only blog to one place and I think i would like it to be this site.
1) Take advantage of friend lists when posting status message updates.
2) True message forum support in groups.
3) Notification of changes in groups to your facebook home page
4) Photo integration with other services, such as SmugMug and Flickr
5) Better interface for managing mobile communications, based off Friends lists in particular.
6) A way to mark the importance of a status update, and only see importance of X or greater on your mobile device.
7) Sync with my local address book
Imap support for inbox
1) Built in group support, without having to use multiple accounts.
2) Be able to see “digests” of tweets instead of receiving individual tweets to your mobile device.
1) Be able to “log into” my wireless providers site with my IM client and send/receive texts via my Instant Message client when I am at my computer. Text still go to the phone as well, but it would be nice to not have to carry my phone to see them when i am at my computer. Also nice for when I am at work and there is no cell reception.
2) Better, more obvious, integration with Mac Address book so that I can easily text someone from my email client or IM client.
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