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Lesson learned today: Photoshop is a pain in the ass when you've got only a trackpad. Years ago I used a trackball to limit my RSI, and using Photoshop with that was tough enough. Only a mouse (or maybe a graphics tablet) provides the fine-tuned cursor-movin' abilities I need. The trackpad is either too sensitive or not sensitive enough, and your fingers contain far more jittery muscles than your arms. With a trackpad I worked on four images in forty minutes. With a mouse another four images took thirty.

FTPeel, the Sweetest FTP

ftpeelicon.gifI hate marketing, so I won't do it here. I'm putting this in the "software development" category for a reason. Today, Freshly Squeezed Software has released a public beta (free) version of FTPeel, our FTP app. Yes, there are a lot of FTP applications out there. No, none of them have our MagicMirror in them.

FTPeel was a long time coming. It was pushed aside to work on MailDrop and some other products, so I'm glad to see its release. It's a Public Beta, so we've got a list features to implement and bugs to squash, and we're hoping our customers give us a bunch back as well. Feature-adding and bug-squashing in Cocoa is often a joy, and it's typically as simple as an appropriately placed NSLog();. FTPeel is highly modular, so updates should hit our CVS pretty fast-n-easy.

Hmm, fast-n-easy. That's the way software development should be. That's the power of Cocoa. Damn, looks like it turned into marketing after all. 🙂

West Wing 2003 Finale

The West Wing season finale was last night. My watching buddy Dave freaked out when he saw John Goodman. Is Sheen being forced out for his political activism? I sure as hell hope not. However, I haven't heard anything to the yay or nay, so I'm not going to worry about it until I see it. However, I can say fairly safely that I can't imagine anyone but Martin Sheen doing as good a job. And John Goodman? That guy was married to Roseanne and has "starred" in how many lame comedies. I'm all for giving a guy a chance to bust out of a typecast, but c'mon! That may be stretching it just a bit.

Aside from American Idol next week, well, I guess all of my TV shows are going to be in rerun. Ed, Fastlane, West Wing, Boston Public, Mr. Sterling. What the hell am I gonna watch this summer? I don't like a lot of TV, but a few good shows here and there are nice.

QotD: Haircuts

Question: How many different haircuts (styles) have you had in your lifetime?

My Answer: I've had about one. There was an MC Hammer-inspired time that I got "steps" in the side of my head, near my ears, but otherwise my hair has pretty much been the same way since I was born. And when it's cut short, it still sticks up in the back. You think it'd learn!

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

QotD: Favorite Alcoholic Beverage

Question: What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

My Answer: I like amaretto sours. I like amaretto with chocolate milk. I like amaretto in nearly everything. Sometimes, though, I drink a drink I invented in college (it has a somewhat inappropriate name, I may post it in the comments). Mmmm, amaretto… How often do I drink? Once every few months.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

OneWord: Hold

I love how when you call somewhere they say "can I put you on hold?" and oftentimes before the "s" of "yes" escapes your mouth you hear the soothing Muzak of Enya or somebody who you'd really rather not hear Muzak-ized. So you "hold on" while "on hold." Perhaps you even hold yourself. Or a can of Coke that you drink. You're holding on to the hope that you won't get disconnected.

This 60-second entry was brought to you by today's word from OneWord™.

QotD: Phone Sex

Question: Have you ever had phone sex?

My Answer: I dated a girl for five years that lived hours away from me, so, uhhh, do the math. Yeah. I know some people are against it, but I tell a good story, and I'm descriptive, and I'm going to stop talking now before I share any of my secrets. Feel free to call me to discuss it more, though. The number is 1-900-HOT-ERIK. Hee hee.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

Programming Languages

Here's a good overview of various programming languages. Nothing earth-shattering. The list at the end is cute and all, but the rest of the stuff is pretty generic information. Nearly any reasonably intelligent developer thinks the same, and it boils down to a few things:

  • Different languages are better at different things.
  • Some programmers are zealots for one language.
  • Learning new languages improves your skills in the ones you previously knew.

Ho hum.

American Idol: 3 Contestants

We're down to three. I'm eating ice cream (Breyer's mint chocolate chip) while I watch, so I probably won't be typing a whole lot. Plus, there are only three contestants. Let's get to it.

Wow, wait, next week is the last show. And three songs each this week? Wow. A randomly chosen song?! Chosen today? Hmm. Ahhh, May sweeps. 🙂

My Brush with Identity Theft

I scored very well on the "Identity Theft Quiz from March, but today that world almost came crashing down on me: I got a statement from both MCI and a collections agency for a well-overdue account. The amount was only $158.89, but the number was certainly not mine.

I called MCI, explained myself, and was asked if I lived at 414 Some Street. That ain't my address. I confirmed that I do have an MCI account at a different phone number. The woman then "filled out a form" and told me I'd get a letter confirming that my name, credit rating, etc. had been cleared of this weird charge.

I asked the customer service rep "this happens so often you have a form for it?" She said roughly every 100-200 calls (she takes about 50/day) is a case like this. I'd say something like "wow" but that factoid is fucked up enough to make its own statement.

Endings and Beginnings

I met a girl a while back, and we became fast friends. We hung out, we watched movies, we took walks, we talked until 4am. We tried new things together and had a lot in common. We smiled, we laughed, and we cried laughed some more. I was as happy as I've been in months to have this new friend.

Then I kissed her. It was an intimate night, as I lay in bed with her, and our emotions were running quite high. It was the right thing to do - it was what I felt at the moment - and she later affirmed "it just felt right." She later asked me "where did you come from?" in that amazed "wow, maybe I found the one" sort of voice. We talked about how we don't get into relationships unless we think there's serious potential for a long-lasting relationship. I'm not afraid to admit that I was thinking long term: marriage, white picket fence, and a few little geeks running around. Not seriously thinking it, but thinking about it all the same. I was happier than I'd been in years.

It was a great two and a half weeks. Then it ended.

The Color of Money

In an effort to thwart counterfeiters, apparently we're going to have new money soon. I like them.


I've had run-ins with counterfeiters before.


hydra.gifToday Andy and I used Hydra. As others have written, it's a pretty damn spiffy collaborative typing tool. You share a document, others join, and everyone types. Hydra keeps track of who's written what with colored backgrounds. Nice! I could say more about Hydra, but others already have. It's nice.

However, Hydra is lacking one thing: chat functionality. We found it annoying to have both a Hydra document and an AIM chat room going on at the same time. Perhaps version 1.5 or 2.0?

Learning C

I taught Jamie a little bit of C yesterday. Just a little bit. She's a smart girl, so I know she felt like I whipped through some things, but that's part of my plan. Soon she'll begin wondering just what in the hell a pointer is and whether she can do int i = foo(j++); or something, and she'll look it up. That's where the real learning will occur. I am just a guide.

For whatever reason, I've decided to post the code we created. It is a simple random number guessing game.

OneWord: Torch

For some reason when I saw the word torch and started writing, Butch, camp, and whatnot from Survivor popped into my head. That place got torched pretty good. Those were some serious flames. Now I'm thinking of extinguishing torches at tribal council, which actually makes more sense than the fire at camp did, because those are actual physical torches (noun) than torching (gerund/verb/etc.).

This 60-second entry was brought to you by today's word from OneWord™.

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