Archive for January, 2005

I am my iPod

This Wired News story was a little scary for me to read. I was selected as a random winner from a Business Objects survey I completed a while ago. I had a handful of choices for a prize, one of which was an iPod mini (silver).

The iPod mini arrived at the office while we were out of town for Christmas. Since I’ve had it, my behaviors have changed. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you they weren’t all good changes.

I have ripped every CD in our music collection onto our hard drive. Because our collection of music won’t completely fit on the mini, I’ve created a smart playlist to randomly select albums that I haven’t heard in a while. Using this playlist, I plan to regularly cycle through all of our music collection.

I now listen to the iPod all day at work. I used to occasionally listen to CDs when I needed some isolation from my surroundings. Now I have my headphones on the majority of the time.

I plug the mini into my car radio. I listen to the mini while I’m reading the newspaper. I listen to the mini while watching some of my favorite sports teams on TV. I even tried listening to it while eating (that wasn’t warmly received by my wife).

In short, the iPod mini has caused me to adopt behaviors of a teenager. I’m not swapping files online or purchasing songs from the iTunes store (they don’t have Tokyo Kosei Wind Ensemble, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Cleveland Symphonic Winds, etc), but the mini has become somewhat inseparable.

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Monster tools

When I saw Richard Tallent’s post, my mind filled with all the potential (mis)applications of this tool.

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Maintaining fitness

Congratulations to Duncan Mackenzie for sticking to a workout and diet that has helped him drop a few pounds and maintain a reasonable weight. I went through a similar experience about 5 years ago.

My wife (then-fiancee) thought we should go to a gym. She didn’t need to lose weight, but she wanted to build up some tone and muscle before our wedding, which was 8 months away. I averaged between 190-195 at the time, which is a little heavy for somebody who is a couple inches shy of 6 feet.

We started after Thanksgiving, we endured through the busy season, when workouts take a lot longer just because you wait for machines, and we both achieved our goals.

Like Duncan, I keep my weight around 176-177. This is not fat, even though the BMI index indicates that I am still overweight. I want to encourage Duncan to keep on with what he is doing. People sometimes don’t realize that working with weights will actually increase your weight because muscle is denser than fat.

I could probably weigh what I did when I graduated from high school, but I didn’t have the same muscle strength then that I do now. Now, I could probably stand up to the bullies. 🙂

If you find that going to the gym starts to become a chore, change your routine a little. Instead of spending time on the treadmill, try out a class. Try a different class every six months. Our community opened a small outdoor skating rink this winter. We bought some skates and we’ll go there some days instead of doing aerobics at the gym. If you make an effort to skate quickly, it can be as effective as the StairMaster or a treadmill.

So why is this message categorized as programming? Because programmers have a sedentary work environment. We all need to find a means to burn calories. Some are doing it. Others just need to take that first step, literally, and just do it!

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A Rocky history of Windows

Rocky Lhotka reminisces about how we moved from VAX to Windows. I wasn’t programming during most of that time period, but I was doing tech support for my employer.

We had to deal with many similar choices that Rocky faced. Our product was on a proprietary hardware system from the early 80s. Eventually, we were able to port the code from the propietary hardware to UNIX systems. Then we went with a VB6 app (from scratch). That’s when I started programming full time.

For us, the next big decision will be whether (and how) we “port” to .NET. I hope that when we do, we give serious consideration to implementing a version of Rocky’s CSLA.NET framework.

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Mark Cuban is wrong about Randy Moss

Mark Cuban comments about the simulated mooning that Randy Moss executed in the playoff game against Green Bay. To paraphrase, Mark asks “What’s the big deal?”

I have to disagree. If Randy Moss had given the finger to the crowd from the end zone, the NFL would certainly have fined him.

Our words and actions all carry meaning. It’s the meaning that is important. Sometimes the meaning is implicit. Other times it is very explicit. Jake Plummer’s action carried an explicit meaning. The meaning was derogatory and inappropriate for the context.

The meaning behind Randy Moss’ action was exactly the same as Jake Plummer’s. It was derogatory and inappropriate for the context. Randy should be disciplined in the same manner.

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