Spoiled by Gmail

2008/01/04 at 15:54

I use Gmail for my personal email and Outlook 2003 at work.
Once I’d been using Gmail for a while, I started displaying my work mail in Outlook by conversation, which is somewhat similar to Gmail. One difference, however, is that in Outlook sent emails are not added to the conversation, only received ones. So, at work I still find myself frequently digging through my ‘Sent Items’ folder to find emails that I contributed to an email thread.
In Gmail, I use tags for organizing my email. At work, I organize my email by putting it into folders. But in Outlook, if a new reply comes in for a conversation that I’ve moved to a folder, the reply goes to my Inbox and is not displayed with its entire conversation until I move it to the same folder. Frustrating.

If I had a dollar…

2007/11/21 at 04:30

…for every time I’ve helped someone sort out domain registration and web site hosting issues (explaining how name servers work, how to get the domain registrar to change name servers, etc.), I’d have, well, at least $20. What a pain for a non-geek to manage. (I just did it again, if you couldn’t figure that out)

My iPod annoyance–the intended solution

2007/01/11 at 09:46

Back in October, I blogged about one feature of iTunes/iPod that I didn’t like, in regard to podcasts. And then, a month later, I blogged about a solution, which was really a workaround.
Today I received an email from a new iPod owner who had run up against the same problem. He found my original post in his search for a solution. After he ran across the intended, solution, he emailed it to me:
On the iPod’s ‘Podcast’ panel in iTunes, I had totally overlooked the options in the “Sync … episodes of” dropdown. The solution to my problem would be to select on of the “X most recent” options. Since this is one setting for all podcasts, it might result in more podcast episodes being synched than I need for some podcasts, but at least it avoids the issue of an episode being removed from my iPod as soon as I’ve listened to any part of it.

Living la vida Dilbert

2006/12/12 at 12:14

When I walked into the office kitchen the other morning to get my coffee, several of my coworkers were huddled in front of the snack vending machine, talking excitedly. It seems that one of my coworkers, let’s call him Ray, wanted to buy a Pop Tart for breakfast, but the Pop Tart in the front had slid to the side and looked like the coiled steel thing might not push it all the way out.
The group discussed whether they thought “Ray” could shake the machine enough to make the Pop Tart fall if it didn’t come out, whether he could possibly get his arm through the slot up into the machine, etc. I thought they were going to take bets.
Finally, “Ray” deposited his coins. There was a tense silence in the room as the Pop Tart moved toward the edge but not all the way. “Ray” shook the machine a few times and it fell. The group cheered.
That drama was the highlight of our day at the office.

Annoying iPod behavior

2006/10/25 at 09:59

I’ve owned my iPod Nano for almost a year, but I’ve just recently started listening to podcasts. I’ve found one annoying behavior. I have my iPod settings for podcasts set to ‘Sync unread podcasts.’ But as soon as I start to listen to a podcast, it gets marked as listened to. So, the next time I sync, this podcast gets removed from my iPod. Apple mentions this issue and suggests a workaround:

Once an episode is finished downloading, a blue dot appears to the left of the podcast, indicating that it has not yet been played. As soon as you begin to play the podcast, the blue dot disappears. When the blue dot disappears, it’s a reminder that the episode will be automatically removed from your iPod the next time you sync it with your computer. If you want to make sure the episode stays on your iPod, right-click it and choose “mark as unread”.

OK, that gets the job done, but every time I sync, I have to remember which podcasts are partially listened to and make sure that they don’t get deleted from my iPod. I wish there were some way to indicate “Only sync podcasts that I’ve listened to to the end”
Update January 11, 2007: Please see the solution to this problem.

The (inadvertant) power of buzz marketing

2006/09/20 at 09:16

Sprint sends a free mobile phone to well known geek blogger Joel Spolsky, in hopes of generating some positive buzz. Joel tries out the phone and then posts his review: he rips it to shreds.
After his shredding, Joel concludes that maybe the phone was just not designed for an alpha geek like him, rather for a younger audience–he says 4 year olds, more likely for teens. But if that’s the case, then why in the world did Sprint send it to him, not to some well known teen (or four-year-old) blogger? I suspect that this morning, someone at Sprint marketing is dreading the request from his boss to come to the boss’ office.

OMG! Death by exploding battery!

2006/08/23 at 11:07

I’m the guy who always points out how irrational many people’s fears are. Fear of terrorists while flying? You stand a far greater chance of dying in your car on the way to the airport. I’m the life of the party, I tell you!
Anyway, along those same lines, Christopher Null has compared the chance of dying because your Dell laptop battery caught fire to other common risks. Long story short: if you’re hysterical about your battery, don’t get out of bed (though, according to the post, your chance of dying by falling out of bed is higher than dying due to laptop battery failure).

Has anyone ever bought WinZip?

2006/05/24 at 09:20

So, whenever I get a new computer, one of the first things I do in setting it up is to install the evaluation version of WinZip. I’ve never run across anyone who has ever bought a WinZip license. If you have done so or know someone who has done so, let me know. I’m doubtful that WinZip has ever sold a license.

Google ate my web site!

2006/03/29 at 10:32

If this story is true, it is a case of astoundingly poor application development.
This is why you need testing, people!

I told you so

2006/03/21 at 14:48

I’m no great technology predictor, but I’ve been saying for some time that flash-based drives will be replacing traditional hard drives in portable computers soon. Well, Samsung has introduced a 32 GB flash drive that’s being positioned as a challenger to traditional hard drives. I can’t wait for a laptop with one of these things!