If This Then That

I used to have Twitter post automatically whenever I updated my blog or web pages.  This suddenly broke and I have been doing it manually for the more "important" posts.  Now there is a web site called ifttt.com which stands for If This Then That.  It allows you to write simple one line programs to do things like send you an email if the market goes down 400 points or post to Twitter based on an RSS feed or send you an email or SMS if it is going to rain tomorrow.  


Bookstore: A Love Story

CNN had an arcticle timed to coincide with the closing of Borders' main stores.  Only a few remain open.  I went to my local Borders on Sunday to see employees stripping the last few items before giving the key back to the landlord.  The store had closed on Saturday.  Somebody had placed a Borders sign next to a History sign and placed Is in the middle to spell "Borders Is History" in the display window.  I snapped a few photos and hope to have them uploaded soon. In the meantime, enjoy reading the CNN article "Bookstore: A Love Story."

Farewell Bingo

Perhaps you remember about 2 years ago I wrote about our dog Bingo who had suffered a stroke.  He made a remarkable recovery but he continued to get weaker and weaker.  Today we had to have him put to sleep.  He suffered hip displasia which means that his hind legs were no longer in their sockets and it was painful for him to even move.  I gave him two doses of canine glucosamine a day but he gradually declined to the point our vet asked us how long we were going to let him suffer.


Bingo came into our family before 1997. I know this because the oldest dog license tag he wore was dated 1997.  Both kids grew up with him but he was really my dog.  He followed me everywhere.  He used to run so fast it was incredible. You see he was golden retriever mixed with greyhound.  To this day I can't stomach the way the Humane Society insists on neutering every dog because Bingo deserved to father an entire breed.  



Enabling Ftpd In OS X Lion

Sometimes I just don't know what Apple is thinking.  There are millions (thousands? well hundreds anyway!) of customers out here who have "scan to ftp" enabled all in one printers.  Apple quietly removed all the GUI support for ftpd from OS X Lion which means when I hit "scan" I got "could not connect".  I installed Lion weeks ago so you know I don't scan that often.  

I've created an app to do this here.

This is version 0.3.2 of the app. For other versions, visit www.troncept.com/lion-ftpd-enable. There is one app to enable FTPD and or disable it. Simply run the app and pick enable, then scan your document to ftp.You can then run the app again if you would rather not leave FTPD running.  A timed dialog pops up to let you know ftpd was enabled or disabled and you don't have to click for it to go away.   Version 0.3.2 is now tested under OS X 10.7 and 10.7.1 and is known to work.

More info on the app here.

But if you want to do it by hand, Here are the steps I used to enable ftpd:

iOS Gets an Essendial Game: Cross Fingers

 Every smartphone has its essential game.  It's that one game that showcases something unique about the OS, helps the user learn to use it and is a lot of fun.  On Palm OS it was Graffiti.  An alphanumeric space invaders, many hours were spent entering letters and on higher levels even symbols to stop them from crashing into the bottom of the screen and costing the player a life.  On Blackberry OS it was Nintai. Nintai was positively the most intuitive game playable with a trackball or trackpad.  Moving the thumb to the left caused the game piece to tumble to the left.  Brilliant.  Now iOS has such a game: Cross Fingers.  

You know this game was gonna be something different when in order to win you had to have multiple fingers on the screen and complete specific gestures to get off the first level.  Brilliant.  Brilliant and a lot of fun.  And best of all, it's FREE!  

In Giraffe, the letters fell from the top of the screen and you had to enter them using graffiti before they hit the bottom.  Simple, fun and still a learning tool.  There were multiple levels of difficulty but essentially only one board.

Giraffe Screenshot 

In Nintai, you had to tumble the piece around the board, sometimes activating switches until you got to the empty spot on the board where the piece would glide down into the board letting you know you could move on to the next level. There were multiple levels of difficulty and multiple board layouts, all very colorful.  It was possible to complete all the levels in one sitting.


Nintai Screenshot

Cross fingers looks like a wooden puzzle with sliding pieces.  You grab a piece with your finger and it lights up and you can slide it around the board.  The object, similar to Nintai is to get all the pieces over the "bare spot" in the board.  When you do, the pieces "fall through" and you move on to the next level.  In the shot on the left, you must use five fingers at a time to solve the puzzle.  You must hold the 4 reddish pieces out of the path of the light colored piece long enough to slide it home.  

Cross Fingers Screenshots

American Pie

American Pie

It's no surprise that Michgan can get 3 cities in the top ten... Dying cities. But the folks in Grand Rapids aren't taking it lying down.

Roger Ebert calls this the greatest music video ever.  I concur...

Ipad 2 - First Thoughts

Ipad 2 was announced the other day and while it has me interested, I think I'll only be buying 2.  I'll be picking up one for each kid but I will be holding on to my "old" one.  I have an iPhone 4 so I already have the cameras. I don't need iMovie or Garage Band so I think I'll do just fine keeping my iPad.  If money were no object, I'd be picking up one for myself but as it is, I think I can use the one I have and get new ones for the kids who have been doing without one long enough.

There has been some press saying Apple found a way to sell us something we do not need.  I must agree to an extent, but I think it is more accurate to say the entire computer industry has been getting away with selling stuff we do not need for years now and Apple has finally come along with an appropriate form factor for a home computer.


Things I like:

The new "cover".  I have Apple's case on my iPad 1 and I trust Apple to come up with a decent cover for iPad 2.  I also like the fact it powers on when you open it.  

Cameras.  This is the one reason I'm tempted to get one for myself.  I would really like facetime from an iPad better than facetime from my iPhone.

Speed.  Faster is always better.  I'm not unhappy with the speed of my iPad but I'd appreciate a faster one nonetheless.

Form Factor. I like the thinner lighter iPad even better than I like my iPad 1.  Well done, Apple.  Well done.

Space Station Completed

NASA just posted a video of the installation of the last US module on the space station.

Motorola Super Bowl Ad

I really enjoyed the Motorola Xoom Super Bowl ad.  Finally a real contender to iPad appears on the horizon.  This is actually good for iPad users because Apple must react by adding goodies like camera, etc to its next gen iPad. Last quarter, Android managed to take a 25% bite out of tablet market share and that was without Android 3.0 so things are bound to get interesting.  Now what did I do with my white hoodie?



Verizon iPhone 4

Well it's official.  Verizon now has the iPhone 4.  Only a few months after I went to At&t. I've waited this long, why not a few more months?  Well At&t lowered their data pricing if I was willing to deal with capped data.  I need to see what pricing VZW will offer before I consider switching back.


Photo courtesy of Engadget live blog of the VZW iPhone event...

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