Archive for August, 2007

More Inbox Cleansing

Still working on this project but so far today I tossed 1,300 emails and moved to more permanent archiving scheme about 800 messages

I noticed that a lot of what was clogging the inbox arteries were subscriptions to newsletters, online order receipts and other flotsam that should be archived but mixed in were some important items I let slide and then forgot about. I could have probably finished the cleaning task today but I took time to do several of the more important jobs. Some dated back 9 months and more! Soon, my pretty, we will be in clean mode!

Currently my Inbox has 8 folders that filters route mail to for different businesses or tasks At this point 6 are completely empty and staying that way. There is one that has about 500 messages left in it that I am currently working on and a final 3,286 message monster that I am leaving for last because I am sure it has the most work to pare down. I will likely DMZ this one just to get a head start on a clean new box. Correction, I DID DMZ it just now. Feels better just thinking about it! This way I can give priority to new messages while working towards killing off the DMZ box. So, I guess like everyone who adopts this strategy, if you sent me an important message and did not hear back from me, now is the time to re oil the wheel.

The Beginning of Taking My Inbox Back

More on this soon but I started a campaign, even an all out assault, on my Inbox to get some control over it instead of it over me.

Using some of Merlin Mann’s advice from his Inbox Zero series I began the arduous task today and am happy to report that I trimmed over 3,200 emails from Inboxs and outright deleted over 1,800 emails! This puts me about a third of the way to my goal of 0 in the Inbox.

So, after this I’ have to start on the 15,000 plus archived messages! Oh well, gotta start somewhere.

Nikon DSLR Lust – The New D3 and D300

Nikon recently made my DSLR lust kick into high gear by introducing the D3 and the D300. Both cameras are coming in November. The D3 looks like it will go for $4999.95. The D300 at $1799.95.

I’ve had my D200 for quite a while now and it is serving me well. I have about 7,000 images from it and I’ve even been playing quite a bit with my D50 that I got almost exclusively for my Aerial Pole Camera set up but with a new 12.3 megapixel sensor and seeming emphasis on better low-light capabilities (the only real Achilles heel I’ve discovered in the D200) I will have to seriously consider the D300. Frankly, the D3 is still out of reach for me.

There are a lot of sites out there with all the techie stuff like here, here and here but one cool feature, if I understand it correctly, will be the “LiveView” shooting modes that let you frame photos using the built-in 3.0-inch LCD display. That seems handy to me.

Oh, and the new self-cleaning sensor unit that vibrates the optical low-pass filter in front of the image sensor to shake particles free could be a great too. i shoot outside in the wind a lot and that makes for a dusty sensor at times. If this feature keeps me from having to clean the sensor as often as I do now, Whoopie!

I am sure I’ll replace the D200 someday, maybe even this November when the D300 comes out. I am going to be anxiously awaiting the first round of low-light tests to hit sites like DPReview or Ken Rockwell’s site and if the D300 is markedly better than the D200 maybe I’ll spring for one.

In addition to the new bodies Nikon is bringing out some new lenses including 14-24mm and 24-70mm wide angle lenses, both f/2.8, and 400mm, 500mm and 600mm super telephoto lenses. That 400mm f/2.8 may be tempting! Yeah, right at $8,799.95? Wowzers! More info here.

Schlick Cycles Shark Website

schlick sharkI did a bunch of work to get the Schlick Cycles website for the Shark upgraded to a WordPress powered deal, redid a bunch of content and finally got some photos up. More work on the theme and some graphics stuff to go but the main content is there.

We are expecting our debut in Playboy Magazine with the Shark in the September issue. Hope it makes the presses this time. Originally scheduled for May!

iTunes Web Widget

I got all excited there for a minute when I saw this new iTunes Widget thingy. But it doesn’t do the one thing I’d like it to, List currently playing songs on MY iTunes. It shows album/songs I recently purchased, albums/songs I’ve reviewed (none) or my Favorites which is merely a list of the artists I’ve purchased most at iTunes. It would be cooler if this was actual data from MY iTunes listening.

If you look in the sidebar to the right you will see a heading called “iTunes is Playing”. This is a near realtime list of what I am listening to right now. The only lag is that is is a very bandaged together system that uses the old KungTunes to publish locally and then an Interarchy mirror to upload because KungTunes stopped being able to directly upload a long time ago, like at iTunes 4 or 5 and development stopped back then (2004).

Right below that is a Last FM widget that does even more. Not only does it list tracks scrobbled from iTunes but it lists songs that I listen to right on the Last FM radio stations.

I liked my band-aid solution because it serves MY interest, not Apple’s or Last FM’s by automatically generating a link to Amazon where you could grease me a bit through the affiliate program if you bought the album there. Obviously both Apple and Last FM want you to go to there sites and spend your rupees there. I guess we are all self serving!

If the iTunes Widget let me make coin from my iTunes affiliate account maybe it would be more useful to me. Also, I went through my library and of the nearly 5,000 songs about 250 have been purchased at iTunes. the iTunes Widget is hardly representative of my total listening habits.

Anyway, here is what my Apple iTunes Widget looks like:

Oh, if you looked at the “Songs” section and noticed “That’s What Friend’s Are For” in three versions, don’t hate me. My daughter had to sing it for a 2nd Grade project so I got those for her to practice with!

Pix from Superweek 2007




Superweek 2007

Originally uploaded by gasmith

I posted a bunch of photos to Flickr that I took at the Whitefish Bay Classic, a part of the 2007 Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic that took place July 13-29, 2007.

Office 2008 for the Mac Delayed

Well I’ve seen several stories that the Office 2008 update will not be out until January at the earliest. Bummer. The Office Suite is the last set of apps that I use regularly that is still not native. Heck, even GoLive 9, possibly the last GoLive update is Universal now. 2 years from when the Intel processor Macs were introduced (and Microsoft had to know before that) and before the release of Office 2008 it will be very close to 4 years since the Mac saw an update to Office. That said I guess 2004 does run OK in Rosetta so either I’ll keep plugging along or maybe look at that switch to Mail/iCal etc. I’ve been considering for a while.

Just Got My New MacBook Pro!

This is the first post from the new machine. So far so good. It is snappier for sure. Right now the configuration is very similar to the MacBook Pro it is replacing, Same 2GB of RAM and 7200RPM drives although the old Core Duo 1.83 has a 100GB drive while the new machine, a 2.2GHz version, has a 160GB drive. Very soon though the new machine will have a full 4GB of RAM.

Why a new machine? After all the old one is only 18 months old. Well here are some reasons:

1. I run a lot of apps at once and some, like Aperture, Photoshop and Parallels can chew up the RAM. Whlle the old machine was maxed at 2GBRAM, the new one will have 4GB of RAM. I am expecting that to help quite a bit when I am running a lot of apps.
2. The old 100GB drive only ad about 8GB of free space and that was often eaten up by Photoshop or with temporary exports from Aperture. Sure, I could have replaced the drive but that would not have solved the RAM issue. Also, I want to install a BootCamp partition to run a flight simulator called RealFlight 3.5 that will not run under Parallels. (The only app I tried so far that doesn’t!)
3. Core Duo2 vs. Core Duo. at least 10% more speed for equivalent clock speed plus the new machine is 2.2 instead of 1.83.
4. The original MacBook Pro was a first-generation machine. I reckon a few generations newer has worked about a few more bugs although I have to say that the old MacBook Pro was SUPER reliable, just getting a little long in the tooth.
5. I love the smell of a new computer in the morning. That fresh, electronic smell. There is nothing else like it in the world. It smells like, productivity!