This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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New World

Item 1: On Friday I was at a meeting at work. As is common, everybody had brought their laptops. There were more Mac OS machines around the table than there were Windows machines. I think that was a first for me in a corporate environment. From what I understand though, at least in the world of tech oriented companies, it is becoming much more common. Interesting.

Item 2: I have not yet seen my first iPhone in person. However, at 02:42 UTC today, 4 hours and 42 minutes after the iPhone first went on sale on the East Coast, and only 1 hour and 42 minutes after they went on sale here on the West Coast, I saw a couple with two iPhone bags while we were waiting to be seated at a restaurant for dinner. They were sitting at a counter near the window. Now, OK, this restaurant was less than a quarter mile from an Apple Store, so this shouldn’t have been too surprising. I kept a close eye on the pair that was there with the two iPhone bags, but they never took their iPhones out of the bags, let alone the boxes within. How could they do that? If I’d waited in line for an iPhone today, I’d have that thing home, out of the box and activated as soon as humanly possible, not sit calmly having dinner while my new iPhones were still trapped in their boxes!

Item 3: On Friday Matt sent me an email noting: “wow… if you post something tomorrow (saturday) then it’ll be the first month ever that you made a post every single day. good for you!” Yes. Indeed. Thank you for noticing. I have been trying to stick to one post a day. No more, no less. The last day I missed was May 8th. Of course, now that I have actually mentioned this, I’ll be sure to miss a day any day now. Or maybe I’ll start posting two some days. Either way, I’m likely to start breaking the pattern. But it has been a good run so far. I admit however that some days the posts have been rather weak, but hey, I posted something anyway!

Yesterday I Was Puzzled

DVD: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 2nd Season: Disk 4

imageSo I realized that while I had been watching DVDs from the various Netflix queues we have set up (one for each of us, and one with old Doctor Who episodes) it had been a long time since I had watched one of the DVDs I actually own but have never watched. So I’m trying a new way of determining which DVDs I watch at what times, and it now includes DVDs in that category, and it was time for one. So, the next DVD “in line” in that category was the 4th disk of Buffy Season 2. (I watched Disk 3 in March of last year.)

This disk has four episodes on it, I’ll say a little bit about each individually:

Surprise: This is the episode where Angel gets turned evil by his moment of happiness and all. This is one of the episodes I think I’d never actually seen on TV. Although I think maybe I’d seen the relevant parts of it. It was good to fill in that gap.

Innocence: This is the one where everybody actually realizes that Angel is now evil, and you see all their reactions to it. Kinda sad for Buffy. Poor Buffy. Oh well.

Phases: Now Oz turns into a werewolf. Cause of course Willow can’t have a normal boyfriend. Of course, the most striking thing looking at it now is just how bad the werewolf costume was. It was almost Doctor Who quality (old Doctor Who that is).

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: Xander causes a spell to be cast that makes all women (except Cordelia) want him and then Buffy gets turned into a rat. I actually found this one to be very amusing. It was the comedy of the four. I laughed.

Anyway, it was an OK four episodes, but not thrilling. Even though I’m not sure which of these episodes I’d seen before and which I hadn’t there was a familiar feel to them… rather than the fresh feel you get when watching something for the first time.

But they were OK.

iPhone Reviews

iPhone reviews are starting to come in:

They all pretty positive, but do point out a few flaws. (There is no way to cut and paste? WTF?)

One thing that would be critical to me that I haven’t seen yet is the ability to file email messages into folders after having read them / answered them / whatever you are going to do with them. All of the videos on the iPhone site show a lot of stuff that is super cool and makes any gadget hound drool… but it doesn’t show that detail. I’m sure I’ll hear plenty more about it after it starts hitting the street at 22 UTC on Friday.

So far the only ons with reviews are the big old media tech writers. I’ll be interested to see what the tech bloggers start saying when they examine every single tiny detail of the thing.

One thing I am noticing every time I see more about this is that as much as this blows away everything else out there in terms of niceness and slickness, what starts glaring at you after you watch it for a bit is what isn’t there… and you know COULD be there… full iChat support including audio and video (if only the camera was pointed the other direction)… GPS… open app development to get all kinds of other neat stuff on it… direct connect to iTunes music store over the phone… direct upload of video and audio and pictures to the web in a tightly integrated way… etc, etc. And of course full 3G (or better) support rather than this EDGE stuff.

Some of this I’m sure is just in the “not quite ready, just wait for version 2.0” stuff. Other pieces of it are probably AT&T saying “no, you can’t do that on our network”.

But if the initial reviews are any indication, this thing is indeed going to be a hit… if it does indeed sell a bundle then Apple will be able to dictate the terms for the next version and add more and more capabilities. Of course, if it is a flop… that would be different.

We shall see.

And I want my third party apps. I want a viewer for my SlingPlayer for the thing for instance.

I want one of these with a GPS and full command line access to everything so I can set it to automatically upload my location somewhere every five minutes and I can add a live updating google map of where I am and where I have been the last few days to my website. :-)

Well, because of our current lock in with Sprint, plus the fact that there are just tons of other priorities and I really can’t justify it… I won’t even be thinking about it for real until next year sometime. So bring on iPhone 2.0!

Robert G Brandon

It has been a long time, way too long, since I posted an ancestor. Recently I have been spending more time working on Amy’s ancestors as I have a big stack of materials from Brandy’s mom and one of Brandy’s cousins on their family that I’m slowly going through. I’d been going through those as a priority. But it had been long enough since I’d worked on my own that I’m switching to a mode where I’ll alternate a bit between mine and Amy’s. In any case, time for another of my ancestors.

This is #24 in my ahnentafel. That means my mother’s father’s father’s father Robert G Brandon. This is another ancestor I do not have a huge amount of information about at the moment, although I suspect there is more in the files of various relatives I just haven’t gotten copies of yet.

He was born in 1845. He was a farmer in Ohio most of his life. He eventually retired to the small town of Versailles, Ohio and died there in 1912. He lived in Darke County, Ohio all his life. He married Mary Ann Mendenhall and depending on the source you believe, they had either 10 or 11 children, 7 of which lived to adulthood. David Clement Brandon, my ancestor, was their 3rd child.

And that is about all I know from a biographical perspective. For more details, click through to his Abulwiki page.

Curmudgeon’s Corner 2007-06-24

Yesterday the 4th Curmudgeon’s Corner of 2007 was released. This time the title is “Politics, Politics, Politics… and Beeps”. Ivan once again joins me and we blab about a variety of things for the longest CC so far of the new era, clocking in at just over 26 minutes. As the title would indicate, this time the topics were almost all politics related. Next week I’m thinking we’ll go for a more tech theme. But this week… politics.

Sam and Ivan talk about:
* Rogue Cheney
* The Beeping Thing
* Executive/Legislative Balance
* Erosion of Civil Liberties
* Conservative Reaction to W
* Ron Paul
* Declarations of War
* Bloomberg
* Overreactions to Terrorism

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Antihypersyllabicsesquipedalian Revisited

Back in 2004 I posted about the word “antihypersyllabicsesquipedalian” which means, roughly, “a person who hates long words”. I was advocating that the word needed to be used a lot more than it is. Back at that time, a Google search would not even return a single result. That needed to be changed.

Following the link from the thumbnail above you will get to the page where I am now tracking the success (or failure) of my campaign to popularize the word.

The word is not doing as well as I would like. So once again I appeal to all my readers… please use this word as often as possible, both in daily conversation and on the web.

Thank you.

Flutterby

Klutzes

Brandy and Amy are quite a pair. Over the winter Brandy misplaced a foot going down some stairs and was in a walking brace thing and crutches for weeks. In April Amy forgot to put her feet on the ground before the top of her got off the couch, and her hand was in a brace for several weeks.

Earlier this week Amy was coming up the stairs and did something to her toe. When Brandy and Amy went to the Doctor the Doctor suggested that they order some crutches for Amy. “No, that’s OK, we already have two pair at home.”

And thus, now it is Amy’s turn to be on crutches for a couple weeks probably.

Nothing major, but a “just stay off your foot for a little while” sort of thing. Nice.

I just don’t quite understand. The one time I hurt myself badly enough that I probably SHOULD have had my arm in a sling (although I didn’t, and so it still hurts to this day years later) I was at least attempting (badly) to ski down an icy slope that was a bit too steep for my skill level (or lack thereof). These two seem to be able to break bones just walking on a flat surface.

Just as long as I don’t get a knock on the door from social services. I’m not doing it! I’m not beating up my family! I swear! They are just klutzes! :-)

AbulShuffle

On Monday Amy gave me an iPod Shuffle for a father’s day present. It says “#1 Dad You Are” on the back (intentionally Yoda style).

I’d been wanting one of these for a long time, but had been holding off cause I didn’t really have a good reason for one. And yes, I’d been more wanting one of these than a full iPod, although I guess that would be nice in a different way. But I almost always listen in shuffle mode, and I don’t tend to have much in terms of video content on iTunes, so this is perfect.

I need to have a little AppleScript run as an hourly cron to make sure that Podcasts get included in the shuffling though, because by default they are not, and Apple has no preference to change that.

How I listen almost all of the time these days, both on my computer and on the new shuffle is as follows.

I have a smart playlist containing the 10% of my music library which has been listened to the fewest number of times. I have another smart playlist of podcasts which have not yet been listened to. I have a third smart playlist which combines those two playlists.

When on the computer, I always Party Shuffle out of that third playlist.

And I autofill the new shuffle out of that same playlist.

Only (very minor) annoyances so far… I have to manually press the “Autofill” button to refresh the iPod shuffle instead of it doing it on its own as long as it is docked. Also, when you redock the shuffle after having listened to it all day, the “last played” date for all the songs you listened to is time stamped to when you sync, not to when the songs were played. I guess unlike full size iPods the shuffles do not have internal clocks, which kind of sucks. But I guess it isn’t too bad.

Then finally, less than 30 hours after I got the thing, I had it plugged into my car with a cassette adapter, but still clipped to my belt. Of course when I got out of the car it went flying. And then I did the exact same thing again about 3 hours later. So the poor thing already has a bunch of dents and bruises. You can see several of the blemishes in the picture above. I was very upset about that. I like my toys all pristine and shiny, but I can never manage to keep them that way very long.

But I am still loving it. Using it in the car to and from work every day, and also at work at my desk occasionally. It is looking like I’m averaging listening to about 20-25 tracks a day off the shuffle.