Thursday, August 26, 2004


What is Maxthon you ask? Well I'll tell you. Maxthon is a web browser...kind of. More specifically it is a shell replacement for Microsoft Internet Explorer. It adds many many features to Internet Explorer, most importantly (to me at least) tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, easy plug-in management, and lots of other nice features.
Unfortunately it still has the insecurities of Internet Explorer as well. I really like that my GMail and work Webmail work in Maxthon; they didn't work in Opera (another web browser I like).
Side note, Maxthon used to be called MyIE2 until recently. In any case it is still worth checking out, it is a free download after all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Maureen and I at the Trenton Thunder game. Posted by Hello

Me with Gail and Maureen at the Trenton Thunder baseball game. Posted by Hello

Friday, August 20, 2004

New Kid in Town

So I'm at the hospital visiting Beki and Ryan who just had a beautiful baby boy, Jacob. 22 inches, 8 pounds 11 ounces. Hopefully a picture will be added soon. Congratulations Beki & Ryan!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters

I can't believe that I haven't yet mentioned Slashdot. What *was* I thinking? Well I wasn't.

Slashdot has all the latest news on the tech front. Keeping up with Slashdot means that I have a really good idea of what is going on in the world of tech.

New software, computer security, new devices and parts, and other important stuff (video games) are all covered on Slashdot. I usually read it several times a day.

Slashdot is one of the original blogs, from before blogs were called blogs. I have been reading Slashdot regularly for at least 5 years. Thanks to Myers/Icepick for originally steering me to Slashdot.


The other day I learned that fresh ripe vanilla doesn't really taste like anything. Nope, it must be dried first during which time it turns from green to dark brown and develops its vanilla flavor. Then it is able to be cut and processed to give us the extract and stuff which flavors lots of stuff.

This was yet another thing I learned by watching Good Eats.


So there is this game called Uplink. It is not like other computer games. When you start it, it appears that you are using a computer program with a list of other computers you can connect to. If you connect to a specific computer you can get "missions" of varying complexity and difficulty where you "hack" into other computers to perform various tasks.

For example you may have to hack into the the criminal database and clear someone's record, or maybe hack the acedemic database and change some grades. Later on you may have to steal research from one company and send it to a competitor, or hack a bank and transfer money to another account.

Basically you have to successfully perform these missions, collect the payment, and get faster and better computer parts, which then you can use to do more missions, and so on. Your personal rating goes up as you complete missions which means you can accept harder missions.

This game isn't real hacking, nor does it look like it. It does however strongly resemble "hollywood hacking" - i.e. movies such as Swordfish or Hackers where the "hacking" is all with pretty graphics and such. That's what makes this a truly unique and fun game.

I can't wait to play this game in a public highly viewable spot with some paranoid people nearby.

BWAHAHAHA!!! [Evil Laugh]

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

If you are a Neal Stephenson fan (especially of Snow Crash), or if you like stories that talk about futuristic society such as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, then you will probably like Cory Doctrow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. It is relatively short, only about 140 pages or so but it is pretty good. You can buy it at Amazon or some other similar place in hard cover or paperback, or download it for free at the author's website.

Here is a blurb from the book:

Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the keeping of a network of "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

Now, though, the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents, and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.

Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war....

Anyway it is a good read so check it out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

George's Corner

George's Corner
A link to my own blog. So there.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Windows XP SP2 Troubles

So I downloaded Windows XP SP2 today. I installed it on a test computer at work; it worked fine. I don't use this computer often, so I played around and it worked really well. So I figured I was ready to test it myself since eventually I will have to recommend it to my organization. So I installed it. Ugh. When it got to the point where it was finished and needed to reboot, I let it. When the computer came back on it did seemingly nothing for about 10 minutes, then I just got a host of errors and it said
Installation Failed.
Oh geez. I restart again. Same thing. Again, a few times, no luck. I try restarting in Safe Mode. It starts doing its then, then nothing changes on the screen for about 10 minutes but the hard drive is churning furiously. Then it restarts by itself. Windows starts normally...or so I think. But it is not to be, most programs don't run, I can't run any MMC files (Microsoft Management Console programs - for administering the computer) and several other problems. This will not work. I gotta get rid of this Service Pack or I'll have to completely reinstall my computer from the ground up. Which I just did a few weeks ago due to other issues. Grrr.

So I fiddle around and I'm finally able to start the Add/Remove Programs control panel (albeit very slowly), select Windows XP SP2 and click Remove. It goes through the process but strangely doesn't ask to reboot. No matter, I do it manually. But no, it didn't take; SP2 is still installed. Hrmm...I take a stab at safe mode and I'm able to start safe mode but again have problems running things and such but finally am able to again start the Add/Remove Programs control panel and start the removal of SP2 again. This time it works and goes through, then asks to reboot. When it comes back up it seems to be working again.

I have noticed a few leftovers however. For example the Automatic Updates tab on the System Control Panel is still the SP2 version, and at first I still had the SP2 Pop-up blocker on my Internet Explorer Tools menu.

My plan is to do a fresh reinstall and then SP2 before any other programs, but that will have to wait until I have some time to reinstall everything.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Yeah I've got to admit that I am a Stargate: SG-1 fan. I think it is a very interesting show. It is kind of like a mix between the good aspects of Star Trek and the History channel. This latest season (season 8) has been a little disappointing so far. It is still done well, but I think it is missing a lot with Richard Dean Anderson being mostly stuck in the SGC and not going on missions. It almost seems like they are using distraction tactics to draw viewers' attention away from that. We'll see how it goes in the next few episodes.

Next up is Stargate: Atlantis. This is a spin-off of SG-1 where a team of people go on a probably one-way trip to a distant galaxy and then deal with what's there, friends and foes alike, as well as ancient technology that needs to be discovered. It doesn't seem as good as the first couple years of SG-1, but I still like it so far. Again we'll see this how the next few episodes progress.

Oh and one last point - Christopher Judge (Teal'c) just doesn't seem as "Teal'c-y" with hair. I hope he goes back to being bald again. Of course it's up to him, but here's to hoping.

TiVo Man on my cube shelf. I got this for free from TiVo for filling out a survey. Very cool :) Posted by Hello

Friday, August 06, 2004

Cube With A View [2] - These two pictures are looking out from the window in my cube - [1] is up, [2] is down. There is a canal right behind the building, and the Deleware river right behind that.  Posted by Hello

Cube With A View [1] Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Palm Pilot

I have a Palm IIIc.

I used to take it everywhere, then I got a new laptop which is very light and has wireless internet and other nice features. Plus I have my contacts and task list on the laptop so I was able to use that for a while.

After a while I was ready to start using the palm again...but no. It went on strike. The battery will no longer hold a charge. I have no problem physically changing the battery (side note: the battery is rechargeable and internal, therefore I have to take the thing apart to change it. No big deal) but I am cheap...err frugal and don't want to spend $30 or so on a new battery. But if I did I could go back to playing games and futzing around on my palm pilot wherever I go. Aaah decisions...I will let you know what I decide.

Good Eats

I gotta admit that I am a Good Eats fanboy. I hate that word, fanboy. It sounds very sissy-ish. Anyway back to Good Eats, I think it is a great show - well written (usually), well produced, well shot (camera-wise) and just good overall on many levels.

If you aren't familiar with the show, it airs on the Food Network. New episodes are on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM (EST) but there are usually several repeat episodes several times throughout the day. It is hosted by the funny and talented Alton Brown.

It is a cooking show...but not a "normal" cooking show. They don't cook crazy things that you would never eat in an impossibly short time (i.e. caviar and oysters with every ingredient already chopped, prepared, measured, and the hosts uses three sets of already prepared food and you basically just watch them mix it). Instead they cook things that most people actually eat or probably would. It is presented in a such a way that anyone can understand: they explain the science and food interactions behind the cooking, how to choose the freshest/best food, how to prepare it, and what to do if (when) you screw it up. I have learned a lot about cooking methods, and even made a couple of recipes I saw on the show (the macaroni & cheese was awesome). I definately recommend watching it.

Check out the Good Eats Fan page too...

Maureen sleeping. She'll love this picture :) Posted by Hello

Yes, this is a picture of my feet. I was bored and playing with my digital camera. Enjoy! Posted by Hello


This morning driving on the way to work I had one of those "WHAAA???!!!..." moments. I heard on the radio that there was a NAAFA conference going on in New Jersey. What is NAAFA you ask? It is of course the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.
Not only is there such an organization, but they were uttering all sorts of nonsense such as denouncing a connection between obesity and health. There is no connection according to the lady on the radio. Not only that, but then they went so far as to say (paraphrased) "We [Americans] are getting fatter and fatter, but we are also living longer...coincidence?" Again, I say "WHAAA???!!!..."

It's likely that the person speaking on the radio did not represent the entire organization, and looking at their website they do have some noble goals, but still c'mon people. Lose some weight, do not revel in your fatness.

Verizon Part 2

Well, I came in to work this morning and the phones appear to be working, so that is a good thing. We'll see if they stay that way...wish me luck :)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

My TiVo

Yes, I have a TiVo, I love it. It is one of the greatest TV enhancements invented to date.

I want to get more into hacking my TiVo. I'm a little concerned about voiding the warranty and/or the unit no longer working (ok more about the unit no longer working) but I think it is worth it, plus I've done stuff like this lots of times (removing IDE hard drives I mean). The benefits? Well, upon successful modification I can telnet/ftp/http to the box and run commands, and modify it further.
One pretty cool hack I saw somewhere online was a program that displays the caller ID of a phone call on your TV screen when the phone rings (provided you have caller ID and your TiVo hooked up to a phone line), but I don't think that particular hack will work with my model; it was for a DirecTiVo and mine is a standalone unit.
There are other benefits as well, such as adding extra hard drives for more recording time, adding a web interface, and a few other neat tricks.

Side note on TiVo: a really great feature of TiVo is not turned on by default. [See the TiVo Remote picture below] The yellow button close to the middle is pause; to the right of that is fast forward; below that is a button with an arrow and a line on it. By default this button skips to half hour increments when playing back a program, or sometimes (usually) right to the end of the recording. IMHO not very useful. However, by doing the following you can make it much, much, much more useful:
  1. Bring up any recorded program. (You have to be watching a recorded program rather than "Live TV" in order to enable the feature.)
  2. On your TiVo remote, key in the following sequence:
    [SELECT] [PLAY] [SELECT] [3] [0] [SELECT]
  3. If you've successfully entered the code, you should hear three "bings" in succession to inform you that you've successfully enabled the 30 second skip.
Now that button skips forward by 30 seconds instead of to the end of a program. You can almost instantly skip through commercials in about 10 seconds or less. I love it. Everytime the power goes out or I have to reset my TiVo, you will need to do this. I usually forget until the first commercial break of the next show I watch, but I figure it out pretty quickly.

What I really wish is that there was a feature that would just automatically skip commercials. I know that this feature got ReplayTV into trouble (a now defunct TiVo comptetitor) but it should be able to be "secretly" turned on like the button sequence above. Maybe it can already? I guess we'll find out sometime...

TiVo Remote Posted by Hello

Maureen & George's Wedding (Old Picture) Posted by Hello

Cell Phone Test

This is a test to see if I can post from my cell phone...and I can!

Note: No subject though (I added it later)

Fun with Verizon

At my job I handle the IT and Phone related stuff (or as the Managing Director puts it, "Everything with a cord coming out of it), so of course when people lose the ability to dial out they come to me to fix it. One person tells me first that when she dials she gets the error message:

"Doo doo doo; We're sorry The number you are calling from has been disconnected. For assistance, please contact your customer service center. Thank You. K-P-R R-D-D" (Last letters spoken aloud).

OK, WTF??? The number you are calling FROM??? I call our main number to check if it is disconnected; it's not. I call Verizon and some other folks to get it taken care of, and we are still waiting to hear back. Stuff like this happens occasionally, but the number you are calling FROM? Hrmmm...

First Post

I have been a blog reader for quite some time now; I read a few occasionally from friends ( and a some favorite celebrities ( So...I figured hey this kinda looks like fun. I doubt anyone will have enough interest to read about me but who knows? At least I will have something to do when I am bored.