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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.

new_20_front.jpgnew_20_back.jpg

I've had run-ins with counterfeiters before.

Hydra

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™.

iWipe. Do You?

iwipe_icon.jpgToday Freshly Squeezed Software is releasing iWipe. What's it do? Basically, nearly everything that this thing does. The only thing it doesn't really do is offer as much customizability because, frankly, we think it's pointless.

We overshot my initial $8 estimate. Brad spent a lot of time working on the thing, and the Unix commands given in that entry are much simpler than the functionality provided in iWipe.

We still wanted to charge $8, actually, but then we weren't sure if people would regard it as a "serious" app, so we settled on $14. It's "less than half the cost" of the $30 previously mentioned without being "less than half as serious."

Plus, it's metal, and we felt we should discount the price at least a little because of that. 😀

Yes/No Dialogs

MPT has long hated Yes/No dialogs, and I must throw my hat in the ring. On the Mac, developers typically do a good job of applying the HIGs (which, in part, state that you should use a verb for button titles). Entourage, it seems, doesn't:

yes_no_dialog.gif

This is the worst dialog box I've seen in a while. Instead of saying "emails" it calls them "items." Instead of having "Open" and "Don't Open" buttons, they say "Yes" and "No." Instead of telling me why it's warning me (i.e. what the downside to opening 19 "items" may be), it tells me nothing. The dialog box would be three hundred percent better if it said:

You are trying to open 19 emails. Doing so may cause one heckuva mess. Are you sure you'd like to open them? (Don't Open) [Open 'Em]

But hey, that's just wishful thinking. :-)

QotD: Breakups

Question: What is the best breakup you've ever had?

My Answer: I've "broken up" with all of one person. It took me a month to figure out how to do it (I'd dated her for five years), but in the end it basically came down to "I can't make you happy anymore, I haven't been able to make you happy for awhile, and I'm not sure I can in the future." In other words, I blamed myself, even though I really felt she had a lot of issues. We tried to be friends but she eventually decided "I can't get over you if we still talk all the time." So, the best and the worse.

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

Survivor 6.eof();

What began as a battle of the sexes ended as a battle of the sexes: Matt vs. Jenna. Sanity vs. Insanity. Brawn vs. Beauty. 6 to 1? Nobody in our group predicted Jenna to win let alone to walk away with it so easily. What follows is a random smattering of parting shots before I wrap things up.

QotD: Jenna in Playboy

Question: Will Jenna pose for Playboy? Will Heidi?

My Answer: There's a good chance that one or both will. She won't need the money, I guess. Grrrr. I'm irked.

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

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