Every Techie needs to read something.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Additions to Port 16

I'm still working on getting the new blog, Port 16, squared away.

It is still looking pretty sparse, but today I posted an answer to a popular question, Why port 16? Also, for any new visitors, or any that never knew, I answered the other question, Who the hell is Mike Scott anyway?

Things are moving along, and I hope you'll come and join me at my new Blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The EarthCore Audiobook / Podcast was awesome!

Note: I moved most of this post over to my new blog, and you can find the migrated post here. What is listed below is part of a conversation with Scott that I didn't include when I migrated the post. I didn't want the comments hanging out there, and you wondering why all that was said. Anyway, come on over to my new blog.

Hey Scott, what a great story! Like I said, I can't wait for the Sequel. Thanks!

I do have one question though, everyone who has a military background served in the Marine Corps. Is there some personal tie-in there? I'm a Jarhead, so I was curious.

I caught that you kept referring to them as soldiers, even though it should have been Marines. I figured it was because they were all in civilian employment now. Next time though, since they have Marine backgrounds, you can also refer to them as Leathernecks, Jarheads or Devil Dogs. They can run around shouting Ooh-Rah!, and referring to things by their naval terms, like bulkhead, deck and scuttlebut.

Just a suggestion.

The Only Constant is Change

I was re-organizing the blog a little bit on Friday, so you may have noticed that I moved some things around. For the curious, here is what was accomplished.

Moved an Ad - First off, the large image add that was in the top right corner has been moved down under my "Some other Blogs" links and "Don't let Internet Radio be Crushed" banner. I put some text ads in their place, just for fun. (Art, you are going to have to scroll down now to see if the Helium ads have any new girls in it.)

The reason for this move was that although interesting, I wasn't getting any clicks on it. Even though it isn't that big of a deal, I figured I might as well try something new.

Added a Recent Posts Section - I get a good number of visits that end up deep in the archives. After that, they leave. I'm hoping that the "Recent Posts" section will provide some link bait.

Moved the Blog Archive - Since the "Recent Posts are in such a visible location, I moved the Blog Archive section because it seemed a little redundant. Between you and me (don't tell the Widgets), I think that the Technorati Widget is worthless, and I probably should get rid of it. I consider anything there or below to be in the "No one is ever going to see this stuff" zone of the sidebar.

Added some more Ads - Seems kind of pointless, but I keep getting this darn optimization report from AdSense stating that I should "Add more than one add unit on each page". I'm sick of seeing that, so I made the change and I hope they will shut up.

Maybe the next message will be "Post something that people will want to read" or maybe, "Find yourself a point, then get to it".

Asked my readers their opinion - Wait, I haven't done that yet.

What do you think? Feel free to let me know, you can email me (address is on my profile page), post a comment here, or ridicule my blog on your blog, and I'll see the link back. Heck, I may even give you a link back.

While you are at it, why not start a "5 things that Suck about The Bit Bucket" blog meme, tag your friends, and we could all have a good laugh. Some a little more maniacal than others.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Next Internet Millionaire

If you haven't had your fill of reality TV you should check out "The Next Internet Millionaire".

This is a web reality show, and currently, according to their blog, they are picking the 12 contestants. So far 3 have been selected.

New contestants are announced every Sunday and Wednesday, the list of 12 contestants can be seen here. The other contestants will be selected from this list of the top 50 contestants.

In my brief viewing of the site, I noticed that the competition is going to be in Colorado. I didn't see a mention of what city, but I'm sure it won't be Colorado Springs.

It looks like the contestants will be competing for prizes and money, while being taught by Internet millionaire "teachers", and the winner will be entering into a joint venture with Joel Comm.

According to the little bio on the about page, Joel has launched "dozens of online ventures", as well as writing "The adsense code", which was a New York Times Best seller.

Looks interesting, I may have to watch it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

June 2007's Most Popular Posts

Let me just say, I was shocked and amazed to see two entirely new posts make it into the top 5 last month. So, let us welcome them into the top 5. They are:

1. "Move over Nigerian email scams, make way for something meatier" - Which made it into third place. Posted on June 16th.

2. "Windows Live Writer Beta 2" - Which made it into fourth place. Pretty impressive, considering it was posted on June 24th.

It was nice to see some new posts make it here, and considering that they were both posted after the halfway mark in June, I was pretty excited.

Even though I numbered the two posts above, here is the official list, in order of popularity.

1. How to re-initialize the offline files cache and database in Windows XP - Our old friend, and particularly useful post.

2. Strange SharePoint Team Services 2 Restore Issue - What more can I say?

3. Move over Nigerian email scams, make way for something meatier - Do you grow weary of Nigerian email scams, well this scam was new to me, and it was from Kuwait.

4. Windows Live Writer Beta 2 - Not only is it new, but it works! I actually use it for all of my posting now.

5. Microsoft Access error: Compile error . in query expression - Couldn't be a most popular without this post on there.

The Bit Bucket is the Blog of the Day!

Well yesterday we were.

Jennifer made The Bit Bucket her blog of the day over at "The Life of a School Bus Driver".

Thanks a bunch Jennifer!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Summary of iPhone media coverage

Art posted a good summary of the iPhone coverage over on incoherentmumbling.

I haven't read PVP for quite awhile, but this strip had the line "Jesus has come back and he's a phone now" in it. I know that is how a lot of people were acting when the iPhone was just released.

It is interesting to see some of the "Oh my God! This phone completes me" coverage, and compare it to some of the more realistic iPhone coverage.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

Feedburner Pro is now Free

Way back in May, Google bought Feedburner. Even though I run into lots of people who look at me like I'm from another planet when I start talking about RSS feeds, I'm sure everyone reading this knows what a RSS feed is.

If you are one of those strange people who think that big, towering piles of money would be a really neat thing to have, reportedly Google paid $100 Million for Feedburner.

According to Tech Crunch, although you still have to "upgrade" to the "Pro", nothing is billed. If you already have a Feedburner Pro account, then nothing will be billed effective with the June billing cycle.

I have my feed through feedburner, but to be honest, I never do anything on their site. I will have to say, it works, and I haven't had to do much of anything with it since I set it up.

For more on the Google front, Google is continuing its buying spree, with the recently announced purchase of GrandCentral Communications. Of course, you already know that Google bought DoubleClick, and they really have been making some moves to build what looks like a health care network or portal (here, and here). Heck, if you are looking for a blog idea, you could probably have one that just reports Google stuff. Oh wait, there already are a bunch of those like Inside Google, The unofficial Google Weblog, Google Weblog, and too many others to list.


It just isn't the Fourth of July without some good old fashioned fireworks. We stayed at home this year, and fired off some of our own. It was really great because the kids were old enough to really know what was going on.

I live outside of the city limits, so fireworks are legal for me, so long as they are on the approved list. If fireworks aren't legal in your area, here are some pictures, courtesy of flickr, for your enjoyment. I would suggest that after you look at them, say "BOOM" really loud, and it will be as if you were there. As soon as I upload them, I'll try and post some of my, much less impressive, pictures.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Who not to choose if you want to pick somebody's pocket

Hint: a former Marine and Golden Gloves champion is probably not a good target. Even if he is 72 years old. The full story is on MSN here, but I found this YouTube video that is the actual surveillance. From a click on Detroit story:

"There was blood everywhere," said another manager on duty, Abby Ostrom, 25.
Barnes was a regional runner-up in Golden Gloves competition in the novice and open divisions before enlisting in the Marines in 1956.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Happy Fourth of July!

I love the Fourth of July, we get a day off work, cookouts, fireworks, and the celebration of our Freedom. I know that most Americans might forget what today is really about, but I don't.

Way back in 1776, our founding fathers unanimously declared that we aren't going to put up with Britain's crap anymore, we can do this better, and we can take care of ourselves.

I know that our country today isn't perfect, and lord knows we have made some mistakes, but it is our country, and if you don't like it, then change it.

That's right, I didn't say leave, I said change it. Hello, it's called democracy, if you want a change, get out there and try to make it happen. If you don't like the system, get off your ass, get out there, and make a difference. Your changes may not happen, but you can try.

A friend of ours grew up in East Germany, before the wall came down, and one of the big differences she noticed about America was that over there, and in other countries, although your basic necessities were taken care of, you couldn't dream. You were stuck with your lot in life, and what you could do or become was very limited.

Here in the US, we have the ability to try and make a better life for ourselves, and for our children. It isn't guaranteed, after all, it is the "pursuit of happiness", not "the achievement of happiness", or just plain old "happiness".

Enjoy today, have fun, shoot off some fireworks (where permissible by law), take some time to think about that today, what we are celebrating, and why it is so important.

Also, remember the people who decided they wanted to make sure that we can celebrate this day every year, and they were willing to risk their life to make sure that happens.

To all of our Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors who aren't  home today to celebrate this day on American Soil, thank you, stay safe, and we hope you come back soon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Get some Free Music, but hurry.

Over at TechCrunch, they have a promotional offer to celebrate Amie Street's birthday. The first 5,000 unique signups get $2.50 in free credit, and 5 free song recommendations. Details here.

If you aren't familiar with Amie Street, the songs are sold in DRM free MP3 format. The songs also start out free, and go up in price as they become more popular, all the way up to the extremely expensive price of $.99. Apple made a big deal when they started selling DRM free music for $1.30 a song, and Amie Street has been doing if for quite awhile now.

I signed up, and received my credit. Woo-Hoo!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Burn Notice

I just watched the premiere of Burn Notice on USA last night, and I'll have to say, I like it. Now, the show isn't as action packed as 24, not that I watch it, but it was quite entertaining. As a disclaimer, I am a fan of Jeffrey Donovan, who plays Michael Westen, the main character, ever since he starred in the ill fated "Touching Evil" series.

Although I watched the premiere last night, it actually premiered on Thursday June 28th, so you if you are interested in it, then you may want to check your TV listings to see when they are playing the episode.

To summarize the storyline, Michael Westen is a spy who works for some government agency, possibly the CIA, but through a contractor, or some other arrangement like that. One day, his employer decides that they no longer need his services, and they issue a "burn notice". Kind of like a pink slip, except not only does he no longer get paid, but they also suspend all of his bank accounts, drop him off in Miami (his hometown), place him under surveillance, and put his name on all of the FBI's watch lists. He is told, although not directly, that if he leaves Miami, there will be state-wide manhunts for him.

Not to spoil too much, but there were just some really neat things it in, like the timing of his burn notice (first 10 minutes of the show). He is making a deal with a wannabe warlord, where his agency pays the warlord $750,000 to provide security and "protection" for a refinery. The warlord agrees, and Michael gets on the phone to arrange the transfer, while the warlord gets on his computer to verify that the funds get transferred.

In the middle of the conversation, halfway through the account number, the person on the other end says something to the effect of:

I'm sorry, but there has been a burn notice issued for you.

After which, the line goes dead. Needless to say the warlord isn't particularly happy.

After escaping the warlord, and being dumped off in Miami, Michael is basically forced to take some private investigator work, just to earn money. In the process he gets to use some of his spy expertise, as well as take up the fight for the little guy. Almost an A-Team type of plot.

Although there is fighting and shooting, there isn't a whole lot of it, at least not for a spy show, but there is some pretty funny parts, as well as just some neat ways of doing things, like the whole bullet proof door work around.

I'm glad to see Jeffrey Donovan in another series, and hopefully this one will last. Like many of USA's other original series, this one is going to air in the summer, which should make sure that there is at least some audience willing to watch it. I really get tired of some really good shows just dropping off the face of the earth because they weren't popular enough to go up against American Idol.

Burn Notice Official Web Site

More Vista Ultimate Extras on the way

This was really a "no update" update, The Ultimate Extras team posted an announcement that they are in fact still working on the extras that they talked about in January, specifically Dreamscene (animated wallpapers) and 20 language packs for the multi language user interface. Basically, they will be ready when they are ready.

Of course they should wait until the extras are stable and work properly, and I don't want you to think that I am giving them any grief. If the extras are delayed because they aren't stable, then I think that is a good decision.

Although I like eye candy, I usually turn it off after a little while. You see, I use my machine to do work, and I don't particularly care about windows animations, etc. So Dreamscene isn't something that I'm holding my breath for. I do have some hope though , because the article says:

We also intend to deliver additional Extras in the future. In addition to Windows DreamScene and the remaining Language Packs, we plan to ship a collection of additional Windows Ultimate Extras over the next couple years that we are confident will delight our passionate Windows Vista Ultimate customers.

So maybe they will include something cool, like a backup utility that lets you specify what you want backed up. Kind of like every version of Windows since NT has had. (I know that you can copy the backup utility from XP over to Vista, look in the more reading section).

More Reading:

Windows Ultimate team provides an update on Extras - Nick White on the Windows Vista Team Blog.

Installing Windows XP Ntbackup on Windows Vista - Petri IT Knowledgebase

Restoring NTBACKUP files to Windows Vista - SearchWinComputing.com

Vista Ultimate's promised add-ons just broken promises? - NeoWin.net