July 2, 2007

The iPhone iNsanity on 5th Avenue

POST #    2537

Friday evening, I headed up to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue to catch the insane scene surrounding the iPhone launch. There were tons of people in line and a huge amount of media on hand to cover it. The girl in the 3rd photo - who was 3rd in line - said that she knew what it was like to be homeless now. How would someone who bought two iPhones know what it's like to be homeless? Because she didn't shower for the several days that she was waiting in line.

Shocking as it may seem, I didn't get an iPhone. For now, I refuse to switch carriers for it. Once I play with it a little more, I wouldn't be surprised if I did get one though.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Tech at 8:51 AM



June 29, 2007

Wiimbledon at Barcade

POST #    2535

I keep forgetting to put these pictures up from last Saturday's Wiimbledon at Barcade. Shockingly, I did not play.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Sports, Tech at 3:17 PM



March 14, 2007

New tienmao.com - Now Live

POST #    2425

As regular readers may remember, there was a planned redesign of the website. Well, it's live now. There are still a few issues that we have to work out, but hopefully, we can fix those in the next day or so.

The images are now going to be even larger, which could prove problematic for people with smaller monitors. So hopefully you have your screen at the largest resolution it can do and you have a large monitor. If you don't, it might be time to upgrade. Just for me!

Feel free to comment here if you see any major issues.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 1:18 AM



March 6, 2007

Coming Soon: New Design for tienmao.com

POST #    2415

I've got my team of designers locked up in the basement designing a new look for this website. Here's a little preview. The photos are going to be bigger and the site is going to be 'heavier' (but that should be fine for frequent visitors). As you can tell, it will look a lot different (click the image to get a bigger look).

And no, I'm not quite sure what that 'Insight' tab will link to.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:21 AM



February 26, 2007

Proof of My Best Bowling Game Ever!

POST #    2403

Unfortunately, it's on the Wii. Also sad is that in real life I didn't manage to break 100 in three games this week. I'm so bad at real bowling. No photographic evidence of that, but why would I make something like that up?

But 10 strikes in a game and 9 in a row is pretty good, no? Of course I said I was going to go for 300 in the next game but fell short of the score pictured here.

And there's no way I can do this ridiculous feat (via Kottke).

Posted by tien mao in Sports, Tech at 7:48 AM



January 24, 2007

Death By Wiimote

POST #    2375

Check the new shirt that I got. Thankfully this has yet to happen.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 8:42 AM



January 18, 2007

Sorry, A Serious Error

POST #    2370

Nothing like getting this message when you're firing up Photoshop in the morning. It's all fixed now though. If I could only figure out why CS doesn't like installing its updates.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:43 AM



December 28, 2006

Shannan and Her Brother Throw Down in Wii Boxing

POST #    2349

If there's one thing that's more amusing than actually playing the Nintendo Wii, it's watching people play the Nintendo Wii. It's like any other video game (facial expressions, sounds of joy/frustration) except amplified and exaggerated due to the nature of the motion sensitive controller design. In the Wii Sports title, boxing is pretty amusing to watch. Shannan defeated most challengers in the ring, except for one match where she lost to her brother. She even managed to K.O. someone on their first knockdown. The key to Shannan's success seemed to be punching as frantically as humanly possible without breathing until knocking someone down, being knocked down, or the end of a round.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Sports, Tech at 7:53 AM



November 22, 2006

Advances in TechnoloWii

POST #    2315

Last night I went over to Matty's for some Wii action. It was really a lot of fun. The motion sensitive controls definitely takes some getting used to (scratch your head, it makes your character move). I think I enjoyed playing the Wii Sports games the most. The boxing game is extremely tiring as you're actually punching with both hands, protecting, and even moving side to side in some way. At least you're not actually getting hit. Though I was doing actual golf, baseball, bowling and tennis moves, I could see how eventually people will just play sitting down.

Matty also had Excite Truck, Zelda, and Red Steel. The driving game was interesting with the Wiimote (held sideways) as steering wheel. I didn't play Zelda, but it seemed seemed as painful to play as all the new Zeldas. I did watch Matty make several attempts at jumping onto small platforms though. Red Steel seems kind of like a Nintendo 64 Bond shootout game. You have to use the Wiimote and the nunchucks together to control your movement as well as the direction your body is facing. That was pretty difficult to get used to and something that I never did master while playing the game twice (I did DESTROY Matty though).

It's safe to say that I now want a Wii. It was fun to play and it will increase my physical activity fivefold. The sad thing is that I'm experiencing a bunch of Wii related soreness right now. Some might say that I'm a Wii sore.

It's crazy to think that just yesterday afternoon I was using a typewriter. Yes, a typewriter. Insanity!

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 8:28 AM



July 19, 2006

With Nike+, I Am a Running Machine!

POST #    2197

Immediately after hearing about Nike+, I knew that I would have to get it and try it out. The only problem is that I absolutely hate running. But, I also knew that if anything would get me to try and run, this would be it. After pre-ordering the shoes and kit you need, I finally got them yesterday. The biggest problem with getting them yesterday though was the insane heat and humidity. Nevertheless, I braved the weather and stepped outside after 9 p.m. when it was still 90°. While that might not have been the best idea, my goals were set pretty low. After all, I hate running and try to avoid distance running at all times.

So I ran one mile. Just one mile. While I wasn't dying or anything, I can't say that it was a pleasant experience. I think the heat and humidity played a big role in that as well as my obvious lack of fitness (though, that's improved a lot with kickball). My best mile pace was at the very end when I was on pace for a 8'45" mile. My worst was about 3/4 of a mile into the run when I had a pace of 9'42"/mile. Click on the image above for a very compact graph of my run.

I finished my mile in about 12'11" After further examination, it seems like I finished in 9'19" (with the nice voice telling me that I was half way done, had 400m left, 300m, 200m, and 100m left. If I only ended my workout before I stopped running, I might have had a more accurate idea of my time.

I also found that I need to refine my playlist for running. The same songs for walking around doesn't quite work for running.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, Tech at 7:36 AM



March 13, 2006

Hello Sudoku!

POST #    2065

So I was catching up on my NY Times archives (you don't need a library when you have the piles I have) and read an article on Sudoku's origins in a paper from last summer. As an aside, people say there is no reason to keep these old papers as I'm reading "history" and not news, but there are some articles that don't really have a timeline associated with them.

So after reading the August article, and completing the accompanying game, I determined it's quite fun. While I forgot about Sudoku for the rest of the day, upon returning home I was told that there was a Sudoku widget for the Mac. I've already played a few games and waisted about two hours of my life. I can see myself sitting in front of my computer for many, many more hours to come.

Stupid addictive games and widget developers!!

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:59 AM



December 5, 2005

Testing Out the New 50mm f/1.4

POST #    1969

Towards the end of last week, I got a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens and took some time to play around with it. One of the best things about it, besides its great speed, but its size. It's so much lighter than the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens I usually use. It almost makes me forget that I'm lugging around a huge camera. Almost.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Tech at 7:58 AM



November 30, 2005

New York City Transit's New R160 Car

POST #    1953

After work yesterday, I hustled over to Hoyt-Schermerhorn to check out the MTA's newest subway car, the R160. Scheduled to roll out next year for testing, the only feature that is obviously different than the R142 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and R143 (L) is the new FIND system (Flexible Information and Notice Display). The display shows the next stop, nine after that, five more "further stops" which vary along the line, and the last stop. Below each station, the display also shows transfers, if there are any, and it shows handicap accessible stations next to the station name. A screen also shows the line the train is on and any other information the MTA want's to put on it. During the open house, various videos were running, including one with a race car. The best thing about the FIND is that if the train switches routes, all the information can easily change, unlike the current trains which are stuck with one map no matter where they run. The MTA employee that was explaining the display said that there would be three per car so people in each section could see the coming stops.

- SubText on the new train
- NY Times: New Subway Cars Promise All Kinds of Information
- R160 set on flickr

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Tech at 8:05 AM



November 16, 2005

AIM's New Movie Bot

POST #    1952

Below is a transcript of my "chat" with AOL Instant Messenger's new MovieFone bot. I'm not sure it's actually quicker than going to the site itself...but I suppose it could be useful. I also miss the days of calling 777-FILM mainly because I miss hearing that guy's voice. Rated 'R' was so much more exciting.

(09:10:01) MovieFone: Hi there. I'm the new MovieFone bot! I can find movies for you anywhere in the country in a fraction of second. All you have to do is give me part of the title, an actor or director's name. I can also send you alerts when your favorite films are opening. Type privacy anytime to review the policy. Type any movie you want to see or menu to get going.

======= Movie of the Week =======
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Movie Site

(09:10:12) tienmao: jarhead

(09:10:12) MovieFone:
- Movies for Today
1 -P- Jarhead: with Captions
2 -N- Jarhead
Type # next to movie to see showtimes, M to go back to the Main Menu or anything else to search again.
P=Past, N=New, S=Soon, F=Future

(09:10:43) tienmao: 2

(09:10:43) MovieFone: Enter a valid 5 digit zip-code.

(09:10:46) tienmao: 11222

(09:10:46) MovieFone:
- Showtimes for Today
Jarhead [opened on 11-04-05] is playing at
1 - New Center Cinema
2:05PM | 4:45PM | 7:25PM | 10:05PM
2 - Loews Cineplex Kips Bay Theatre
12:35PM | 1:30PM | 3:30PM | 4:25PM | 6:30PM | 7:20PM | 9:30PM | 10:20PM
3 - Loews Cineplex Village 7
12:05PM | 1:00PM | 3:00PM | 4:00PM | 6:00PM | 7:40PM | 9:10PM | 10:40PM
4 - Clearview First & 62nd Cinemas
1:00PM | 2:00PM | 4:00PM | 5:00PM | 7:00PM | 8:00PM | 10:00PM
5 - United Artists Kaufman Astoria Stadium 16
1:25PM | 2:35PM | 4:20PM | 5:30PM | 7:10PM | 8:30PM | 10:15PM

Type number to see all the movies playing in that Theater.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:11 AM



August 30, 2005

My New Toy, The Canon EOS 20D

POST #    1865


After playing with various Canon dSLRs for more than a month, it seemed like it was about time to get my own. What I settled on was the Canon EOS 20D. While I didn't really need a new camera, the S70 was working very well, when was the last time I got something I actually needed? But with this new camera, think of all the improved food and cat photos I can take.

So far, the photos of the blue wall, BBQ NYC, and Sunday on Coney Island have all been with the new camera. While most of those could be shot with the S70, I could only get so close with that camera. That's not to say that I'll be abandoning the S70 because a small camera can be very useful at times. I'm sure there will be times when carrying the huge 20D just isn't practical.

And because I've heard the kit lens is quite crappy, I also got the EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 with Image Stabilizer.

It's a downward spending spiral that I'm in now. Oh so many lenses. Oh so unnecessary.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 8:02 AM



July 26, 2005

Camera is Back

POST #    1814

Yesterday, I got my camera back. Back, you ask? Yes, back. I kind of broke it about three weeks ago when I essentially dropped it onto the floor from my shoulder. After that, the lens wouldn't come out of my Canon S70, the LCD wouldn't work, and there was this strange clicking sound when I would shake it. This wasn't exactly covered under the warranty.

So I sent it back to Canon with the understanding that it would cost at least $150 to fix and up to $350. With all that damage, I was thinking it would be on the higher end, but to my pleasant surprise, it only cost $150 for the repairs. What exactly did they do? Well, according to the service details, they "replaced dc/dc PCB, operate ass'y, switch ass'y, front cover, window LCD and finder unit, firmwear updated, cleaned, checked all functions." So they fixed that cover problem and the LCD and cleaned it! It really did need a good cleaning.

While the S70 was in the shop, Jake was nice enough to loan me his "backup" camera, the Canon Digital Rebel as I debated whether I wanted to get a digital SLR or not. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I have no need whatsoever for a dSLR, but I have this strange desire to get one. I don't need it for my food/cat photos or all the other I take pictures of, but I would certainly like one. The S70 is actually very useful for some of the things I take pictures of, like food. The macro function on it is really great and it's small enough to carry around every day without being a nuisance.

But...if I got a dSLR, say a Canon 20D, I would be able to...er...take slightly better photos, and funnel loads of income into unnecessary accessories like lenses and such. Wouldn't that be great? The downside, besides cost is the overall size and bulkiness of the dSLR. While using Jake's camera, I've determined that it's really not all that bad, but it's not great either. Since I already carry a bag, I'm kind of used to the weight. All I would have to do is thin out the useless crap that I carry around.

I've since calmed slightly from my "I want now" phase to more of a "I'll get it when the time is right" phase. I find this very surprising, since I'm a horrible impulse buyer. But to be realistic, I think I'll be splurging and buying the 20D in the next few months.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:55 AM



June 21, 2005

Thin is In...At Least in Wallets

POST #    1767

About a month ago after reading an article on thin wallets in the NY Times about a month, I decided to ditch the thick leather wallet I had and ordered a new wallet. In the article, the writer's husband eventually went with an All-Ett, so All-Ett it was! I wasn't discouraged by the reported crackle of the nylon material because the thinness was just too appealing.

One month after getting it, I have to say that it's nice to lose that inch off my left buttcheek. I endured ridicule from friends and plenty of looks, but I think thin wins. All I need is some velcro and the wallet would essentially be the same as one of those wallets you had in elementary school. One of the problems I have is that it's almost too thin. There are times when I can hardly tell it's in my pocket.

In case you're wondering, it stores a lot. I have 9 credit card like objects with about the thickness of 4 credit cards in each of the four compartments. In addition to that, I have receipts and minimal amounts of cash.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:56 AM



June 6, 2005

PSP - Powered by Windows 2000

POST #    1746

It looks like the giant PSP runs on Windows 2000 and it has issues. I saw it yesterday on Houston Street across from the Puck Building. With software like that, there's no way I'm going to buy a PSP. Besides, I have to spend all my money on wedding gifts and flights and such.

Oh, and sneakers...

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 8:07 AM



May 12, 2005

Stupid MP3 Ringtones

POST #    1698

People, people. Just because your phone can have a MP3 ringtone, it doesn't mean you have to subject everyone to that crappy one you actually select. I admit it, I have a MP3 ringtone, but it's not obnoxious when it starts up. There's nobody singing at volume 9 when someone calls. I've got that catchy song from The Life Aquatic that's really just beats.

Save us from your Destiny's Child with Beyonce singing when a call comes in. I can't think of any lyrical song that would sound good on a cell phone. And if you're going to have an MP3 ringtone, I think people should stick to instrumental ringtones (like me), but not God Bless America.

I think the only ringtone I can accept with words is Baby Got Back. Because if you have that and the first sound to come out of your phone is "I LiiiKE big BUTTS and I cannot lie," then I'm all for it because that would be the ultimate MP3 ringtone. Imagine yourself sitting at dinner and BAM! You like big butts and your fellow diners know it. Sitting in your office meeting and BAM! Your manager knows you like 'em thick and juicy.

Posted by tien mao in Rants, Tech at 7:20 AM



May 6, 2005

Tiger Goes...Roar or is it Purr?

POST #    1691

(click to enlarge)

I don't really care what anyone else says. Macs are expensive, Tiger isn't great. Blah, blah, blah. Tiger is AWESOME! Can you boast a Hula Homer on your computer at your beg and call?? If I wanted, I could even have a Hula Jesus, but that's not nearly as fun because he doesn't have coconuts covering his boobs. I must have more widgets for Dashboard!!

Pictured above are the unit coversion, translation, yellow pages, dictionary/thesaurus, TV schedule, hula girl, alert level, stock tracker, Yahoo! local traffic, weather, and time widgets open. Must have more!! Will someone please develop a good Netflix widget?

Another great feature is Spotlight. I haven't had a chance to use all its powerful search features, but from what I've seen, it's going to come in handy.

I think I'll be having some fun playing with new features. Rock. And no, I don't know why I need local traffic data.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:04 AM



April 12, 2005

Because Being a Voyeur is Fun!

POST #    1647

Because I apparently have nothing better to do and because I just got an order of FreshDirect yesterday, I was chatting with Jen about doing a Flickr group. Originally, it was going to just be a FreshDirect group, but that might have been too exclusive, so Jen suggested "nyc groceries," which is obviously perfect.

Jen's description on her first group image:

After interrogating Tien about what he ordered from FreshDirect, I thought it would be funny if FreshDirect had a Netflix/Flickr-like functionality where you could see what your friends ordered, what they liked. He suggested I upload my Fresh Direct order. And there was talk of starting a group for all NYC grocery shopping. Let's see how this group goes.

We'll probably be bored of doing this in a couple of weeks, if not sooner. If you're on flickr, join on up! Plus, you know it's fun getting an idea of what people do with their time and what they buy.

My most recent order and my biggest order (really, not that big).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Tech at 8:00 AM



March 15, 2005

Damn, That Scott TP Lasts a Long Time

POST #    1611

Without getting into too much detail about how I wipe my ass, I've got to say that Scott Tissues (for your ass!) lasts quite a long time. When I had my housewarming way back in July, Necia gave me a 12 pack of toilet paper and I'm finally on my last roll. Originally, I was going to use them as emergency TP only, but to get through 12 rolls, you would need quite an emergency. Instead, I made a temporary switch, abandoning my trusty two-ply Charmin for the one-ply Scott. I've always been a fan of the two-ply as it gives you an extra layer of security, both mentally and physically, and it's so soft. The only problem seems to be the lintyness, as Kleenex Cottonelle once exhibited with some commercials.

Well, the Scott TP is nearly gone and I'm going back to Charmin. It almost seems like a normal Charmin roll lasts about 1/4 as long as Scott, even though I probably use two times the amount of Scott to compensate for the one-ply action.

Also, somewhat related, do you fold or just take a fistfull of TP? I remember having this discussion once during my freshman year of college. I'm a TP folder. You can never be too safe. What if you just bunch it up and you're not sure of where the TP actually is? Problems, I say, problems.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:59 AM



February 16, 2005

Camera Phone Back in Action!

POST #    1570


When I first got my new phone, I didn't have all the settings for it. I was happy with not knowing what they were and too lazy to set them up right away. But last night, I finally got down to it and set up my phone to send photos. Now, through the wonder of Flickr, those photos will have somewhere to go. The photo above is from January when I first got my phone. It's from a restaurant in Chinatown. I can't remember if one eventually became dinner or not.

To see all my camera phone pictures, check out my "cameraphone" tag. They include several photos from my old phone as well.

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Tech at 7:55 AM



January 10, 2005

The New Toy

POST #    1512

Last week, I got a new toy for myself, the Motorola Razr V3. I have absolutely no need for the phone, since I kind of just got one, but when you need to buy yourself a gift, you need to buy yourself a gift.

Oddly, Motorola flipped the green/red, on/off buttons from the V300, and I assume all their other phones. So just as I was getting used to the new positions, I get a new phone. I brought it upon myself. All I need to do to perfect this phone now is to enter all the T-Mobile settings so I can use every feature.

So, does anyone out there know the Razr settings for T-Mobile?

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:28 AM



January 5, 2005

When Did This Happen?

POST #    1503

Wow, when did this feature pop into Movabletype? Admittedly, I'm usually using Safari at home and not doing much personal blog stuff at work, but could it be the combination of Firefox and MT 3.14? I just checked out a MT 3.11 install, so it must be 3.14.

That said, I don't usually use any of the buttons I did see. I might use the blockquote and the upload file though.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 9:12 AM



December 21, 2004

Flickr, Crack for My Photo Empty Soul

POST #    1477

Flickr is nothing new at this point. For those with blogs or photoblogs, it's something you have probably seen or heard of at this point. And then there was apparently a Salon.com article just the other day (I say apparently because those Salon bastards are douche bags. Revenue model. Psh!). I signed up with Flickr a little while back, but just haven't done anything with it. What with my laziness and all.

But I'm here to report that Flickr is super addictive. An addictive photo sharing community. As addictive as I imagine crack cocaine might be. You can have friends and contacts (similar to Friendster, another black hole of productivity - they actually compared the two), and you can share your photos for all the world to see. I share plenty of photos here, but Flickr can be used by all, independent of blog constraints. All you need is a camera or camera phone. My parents could even use Flickr (hint, hint).

Uploading photos is a cinch, especially if you've got the Flickr Uploader. So why not create an account? Upload some files, leave some comments, or even some notes! Notes are maybe the coolest, yet potentially the most annoying feature ever. You highlight the area of a photo and write anything you want in that area.

I only started uploading pictures over the weekend, and I feel like I'm hooked. The only problem is, I am already going through a Flickr identity crisis. Do I make it camera phone only, picture only, or a combination of both? I'll probably go with both, with some overlap with this site's photos. There are certainly a lot of novel ideas out there, and people browsing the photos can find anything they want. Photos can be marked with tags, grouping photos with the same tags together. Example - pizza tag.

Looks like there's yet another way for me to be more connected to the Internets while not at a computer. Sigh...life...down...drain. As you will notice, the camera phone is kind of crappy, and my most recent Flickr images are in the right hand column.

- My Flickr photostream

Posted by tien mao in Photos, Tech at 7:52 AM



December 14, 2004

Kleenex Anti-Viral

POST #    1459

Woo, nothing quite like a new product!! At least I think it's new since I haven't been tissue shopping in quite some while. My mom brought over some of these new [to me] Kleenex Anti-Viral Tissues. They claim to kill 99.99% of cold and flu viruses. Fine print:

Virucidal against: Rhinoviruses Type 1A and 2 (Rhinoviruses are the leading cause of the common cold); Influenza A and Influenza B (causes of the flu); Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV - the leading cause of lower respiratory infection in children) In the tissue within 15 minutes.

Hmm...so if I blow my nose, the stuff inside will be killed in 15 minutes? What I should really do is cover my hands in this stuff while riding the subway and dispose of them afterwards with death to the germs in a mere 15 minutes!!

Pros, a blue dot pattern and 3 layers of softness. Cons, costs more than normal (how much? I don't know since I didn't pay!!). Also, I much prefer Kleenex than Puffs as I like the pull out type boxes more than the whole side open type box.

- Buy Kleenex Anti-Viral at Drugstore.com (apparently for $1.99/box)

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 8:04 AM



October 23, 2004

The New Toy

POST #    1363

Yesterday, I picked up a new toy, the Canon PowerShot S70. Why did I need a new camera? Well, my old one was falling apart so a replacement was needed. What do I plan to do with this camera? Hmm...more pictures of me eating of course.

I think this camera gives me more to play with, more flexibility after shooting - with cropping and such. Hopefully, I can take some better pictures with it, but it's never about the camera, but about the composition of the photo that makes the picture. There can obviously be a difference in the same photo when it comes to equipment, but in my mind, a lot of it is about the photographer's eye. So whether my eye will be much different remains to be seen.

Any why not a digital SLR? Well, I don't need it. For the lifestyle I have, a smaller camera is better. Even a camera the size of the Canon G6 is too big for me. Basically this camera gives me lots of options shooting with the flexibility to carry it around easily. Now, all I need to do is learn how to use all the features.

More information:
- DCRP review on the S70
- Steve's Digicams review on the S70

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:45 AM



October 17, 2004

Targeted E-mail

POST #    1347

Hmm, is this coincidence or is Network Solutions sending me this because they figure Tien or Mao is an Asian name? If so, maybe they should have refined it to include a Chinese dude instead of a Korean one. If it wasn't targeted, did they just use an Asian face because we're so geeky?

Okay, okay...as much as I love conspiracy theories, I'm sure this is a mere coincidence. Slow day in the mind of Tien. Then again, they might all be slow days.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:07 AM



September 15, 2004

The New Phone

POST #    1289

Yesterday, my period of cell phone torture finally ended when my new cell phone arrived. Gone is the week long state of being in the dark about who is calling and not being able to call people because I don't know their numbers. I can finally have a working screen again.

If you're wondering, I picked up the Motorola V300, which is a camera phone, but we'll see how often I actually use the camera. I got it from T-Mobile for $150 (including rebate) and picked it over the Samsung E105 for two reasons. First, it has a camera (yes, even though I might not use it) and my mom already has the E105. Can't be getting the two phones mixed up. That would be bad. Thanks to Halo for some initial research.

I had a Samsung before and had to get used to one huge change. The green phone button and red end button are on opposite sides! I guess when I switched to Samsung from Motorola, I had to get used to this too though. The number buttons on this phone are also a bit different than your typical phone.

What I'm really looking forward to is the Motorola RAZR V3.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:30 AM



September 11, 2004

More Changes at the Little Read Book

POST #    1274

As you may see, there have been some more changes on the site today. This is in addition to the upgrade to MT 3.11 earlier this week and then the updated look that essentially looked like the old site.

I struggled to get the comments working and MT Blacklist working. After pestering Corie and Greg Greenehouse about Blacklist, I finally figured it out. It wasn't misconfigured, it was just that I had my old version of it running. All because I wanted to make sure the new version worked. I'm still toying with the idea of requiring comment registration for the site and approval to non registered comments. So, if you want, go ahead and register with Typekey (it's free!) and you can comment at will on the site. If I'm making the changes, then unregistered people will have to wait for approval. Of course, this is only if I make that change.

Anyway, back to the changes in appearances on this site. The site is a little sleeker and a has a few more images, and a lot less white space. The biggest thanks go to Shannan, who basically redesigned my whole site. If anyone needs a newly minted expert in MT 3.11's stylesheets, let me know and I can put you in touch.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 7:26 PM



September 9, 2004

Upgrade Almost Complete

POST #    1268

I think my upgrade to Movabletype 3.11 is finally complete on this site. I still have to change the templates for the links section, but everything should be in working order. You'll see that when you click comment, there is no longer a pop up, but the whole page goes to the full entry. I can see both positives and negatives to this, but that's the way it's going to be now. Well, that's the way they built it and I'm too lazy to tinker with it enough to change it.

So test it out, play around. I'm still tinkering with the comments and wondering why I need to approve them even for people that are registered with Typekey. Strange. Drop a comment and let me know if you're experiencing any problems with the site as you are using it.

Another re-design of the site might be in the works as well.

If the site is looking very messed up, you might need to load the new stylesheet. Click here and then refresh the main page.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 12:18 AM



September 8, 2004

Movin' on Up to the 3.11

POST #    1264

Last night, I took advantage of some free time and upgraded this site to Movabletype 3.11. There seem to be a lot of new features, and I have yet to even scratch the surface, but so far, so good. I love the new, more robust, comment section of the Movabletype system. The same goes for the trackback section as well. Perhaps even better than both those features is that I can now schedule posts for the future. I can't quite figure out why that isn't working yet though.

Another new feature is the way comments are registered on the site. There is registration via Typekey, which I have yet to configure, allowing all comments or a delay for approval of comments. Right now, I've got it set for me , but if spam becomes too rampant, I can change that over. So if you comment and it doesn't show up, just know that I have to approve your comment first.

Posted by tien mao in Blog-ing, Tech at 7:24 AM



August 27, 2004

AIM - Why No Pop Under?

POST #    1198

I've used AOL's instant messenger for a long time, and it's made some nice improvements since I first used it, but there is still one glaring feature that's missing. Their message windows always popup over other applications. I've used Yahoo! messenger, MSN's, and iChat, which are all way less intrusive when you first get a message. Why can't AOL do the same? Is it that hard or bad to have your windows pop-under the screen?

I mean, how often does this happen? You're typing away, typety, type, type, type, and then bam! - a message pops up and you get some of what you typed into that message window. How annoying is that? Sometimes you can't even catch yourself, you're pressing enter for your excel sheet and you just entered 548 into your message.

I guess the way to counteract this is by having the message notification sound on, but that's not too suitable for work, is it. At least with the latest version, it makes a little click sound so if you're looking down you know something has popped up. Just because someone is on your buddy list, it doesn't mean you want their message popping onto your screen over everything else. I'm sure all it would take is a tweak or two of their software and they could make me happy.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:32 AM



August 13, 2004

Boom! Madden 2005

POST #    1217

Because I just love video games so much, I had to have Madden 2005 and NCAA 2005. They are two very similar games, and both awesome.

I pre-ordered the game from Amazon and it arrived today. Good to know that I got it on it's official release date too. The only problem is that I just saw EA's National Madden Vacation Day forms. With a choice of either chicken pox or a regular sick day, I probably would have gone with the sick day. Although, if I said I had chicken pox, then I could take even longer off.

Bill Simmons pretty much covered why it's an awesome game, which is true of pretty much every Madden. I've gotten through only one pre-season game and that was a 31-10 victory over the Chiefs, who the Giants actually play tonight.

My defense was suspect in the beginning, but then I got a little better. If the game is anything like real life, the Giants passing game should be pretty good. The only thing is, I was playing the Chiefs who have a porous defense - true to real life.

Some details I've enjoyed and noticed already in one game:
- Kate of the Indianapolis Colts welcomed me to my first session with Madden 2005. There was some torso shaking going on, so I'm hoping I see Kate a few more times.
- The game is detailed enough that you can see tattoos. I'm not sure if this was in last year's version. I guess I don't remember.
- The hip-hop soundtrack that Simmons enjoyed so much also has some non hip-hop stuff. One of those is a song by Franz Ferdinand. Something Grambo would surely find displeasure in.

The only problem is that I don't know what I want to play more, NCAA 2005 or Madden 2005. Why do I feel like I might not see the sun this weekend.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, Tech at 7:10 AM



July 31, 2004

Damn, Video Games Have Come a Long Way

POST #    1188

I was just playing NCAA 2005 and blowing out the Washington Huskies. With little time left, I scored another touchdown to run up the score (hey, the called time outs), they did a "shot" of the UW crowd. Four Husky fans together and three that decided to leave the game. They made gestures like, "forget about it" and patted their other friend on the back.

Nevermind the graphics, but games have really made some progress. We've come a long way from Tecmo Bowl and it's 12 teams. From four plays on offense and four on defense. Guess correctly and you stop the play. That is unless you're playing with San Francisco and hit the end on the crossing play. And Lawrence Taylor with his uncanny ability to block any kick. And if you had the NES Advantage - forget about it. You could break any tackle in about 2 seconds.

I suppose progress is expected, but I want my next video game console to have some mind controlled action. Just slap on some helmet and I can transmit what I want the game to do. All this for $300 or less.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, Tech at 10:38 AM



July 16, 2004

Mao Enters the 21st Century

POST #    1159

Say goodbye to AOL dial-up and connection speeds of 28.8 kbs; say hello to DSL via an Airport Card. To say that this is one of the best days of my life would be sad, but I don't know, I was pretty excited to finally have this connection up. After some issues in getting DSL service through Verizon, I'm finally connected.

My next door neighbor has DSL (yes, he does and I don't) and he was nice enough to share it with me. Even after moving my computer here and installing an Airport Card, I was unable to connect to his network. Except for a brief one hour period, I wasn't even close to picking up a connection. the instructions for the wireless card called for me to plug in an antenna that came with my G5, but I either never got it or misplaced it during the move (guess which). Thankfully, Apple sent me one after I called them and said it wasn't included with my computer and I just got it today - only two days after talking to them.

Never have I been so happy to be connected to the Internet - okay, there are times when it was better, but this was a damn good feeling. So sad, but so true. You don't know what you're missing until you try life on a dial-up connection after years of broadband.

What does this mean for you? Probably very little, except maybe some better, more thoughtful blogging.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, Tech at 9:57 AM



July 12, 2004

Ack! I Have an Amazon Plog

POST #    1151

I went to Amazon.com last night looking for an antenna for my computer so I could try to share my neighbor's Internet connection. First thing I see is my Amazon Plog. Apparently it's a personalized blog for my shopping needs.

From the Amazon Plog page:

The Plogô Service is a personalized blog. A blog is a straightforward and now widely adopted method of posting a reverse chronological diary on the Internet. Here's a list of some of the best and most popular blogs:

- Boing Boing--A directory of wonderful things

- Gizmodo--Reviews and charts the latest gadget trends

- MobileWhack--Energetic discussions of mobile technology

- Megnut--Evolving communication through blogging since 1999

- John Robb's Weblog--Thriving on rapid change

- Jeremy Zawodny's blog--Daily ramblings on life and technology

- www.lileks.com--The Institute of Official Cheer

- Gina Smith's BIOTECH--Tech/biotech journalist and author

- defective yeti--The musings of Matthew Baldwin, Pretty Okay Guy

- InstaPundit.com--The Blogfather

- Talking Points Memo by joshua micah marshall--A thoughtful contemplation of current affairs

- andrewsullivan.com--A respected intellectual columnist blogger

- Intel Dump--Near-real-time military analysis

- Daily Kos--Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

- Six Apart--Six Log is the weblog of Six Apart, the company behind TypePad and Movable Type

Your Amazon.com Plog is a diary of events that will enhance your shopping experience, helping you discover products that have just been released, track changes to your orders, and many other things. Just like a blog, your Plog is sorted in reverse chronological order. When we think we have something interesting or important to tell you, we'll post it to your Plog.

Hello?!? Where is the Mao love? I know it would be impossible to do, but how about saying, "We've noticed you have a blog, here's a plog for stuff you might like." Admittedly, that would be creepy, but it still would have been cool. Now that Amazon is telling the general public what people a blog is, maybe they will understand what they are.

Incidentally, I never did find that antenna, so if anyone has a recommendation for an antenna for my G5, I would appreciate it.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:33 AM



May 25, 2004

Woo, a Nice Safari Feature

POST #    1063

Over the weekend, I stumbled upon a feature in Apple's Internet browser, Safari. Spell check! How great is that? For someone with poor spelling, and the occasional typo, like myself, it's a great feature. Too bad it doesn't have grammar check or anything, because I'm sure there was a run-on sentence up there somewhere. I don't think I've ever seen this feature before in any other browsers, but I could be wrong. Feel free to click on the image above for a slightly larger image.

If you're looking to turn it on, go to edit, spelling, check spelling as you type. Or you can select one of the other options. It seems like I stumble upon features a lot, the last one being the search function in Netscape/Firefox.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:46 AM



May 18, 2004

Obscene Cupcake Photo & Technical Note

POST #    1045

I guess this picture was just too precious not to post, so here it is. There are other pictures out there where I'm doing some pretty bad things with food, but we'll just let those go. This picture was from last week while celebrating Christina's birthday.

The technical note is that I'm going to start having my pictures at a 450 pixel width. I've previously had them at 400, but I took a look at some site stats and I think very few of my regular readers use 800x600 resolutions. If you do, I'm sorry that the site might get messed up for you. I think my only concern is that eventually the images will take up more space, but I'm not even close to that yet.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Tech at 7:37 AM



May 3, 2004

Cell Phone Call-Back Standard

POST #    993

Can we come up with some sort of standard for the return call on cell phones? With all the dropped/disconnected calls, aren't there too many situations where people will call each other at the same time, both getting voicemail? There needs to be some sort of accepted standard, so there can be less confusion. I suppose everyone can get a Nextel phone like their commercials suggest.

I propose that the person placing the call should be the first person to make the call-back attempt. They were the original person to call, so if the conversation continued, the call would have been on their minutes anyway, so that makes sense, no?

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 12:04 PM



May 1, 2004

Neat Feature in Netscape/Firefox

POST #    991

I think there might be five people out there that use Netscape and/or Firefox, but I'm one of them - at home I use Safari. Anyway, I stumbled upon this feature where you can search for either a link or text within a page after pressing one key and then typing what you are looking for.

If you press the ' key and type a letter or word, you find links on the page you are looking at. By pressing the / key, you can search the words on the page. Very nice features for the few users of Netscape or Firefox.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:36 AM



April 20, 2004

Camel Toe Cup

POST #    960

(click to enlarge)

This may have already made its way around the Internet, but I have yet to see it. Pretty damn funny if you ask me. For those afflicted with camel toe, it would make a great gift. Maybe an accompanying gift can be the Magic Cone. And if you need one of these, maybe you can meet up with this guy.

Thanks to Christina for sending this along.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 5:04 PM



April 19, 2004

Report: "Tens of Millions Americans Are Fools!"

POST #    957

Over the weekend, I was watching the news, which reported that 40% of Internet users in the United States were using a high-speed connection. Today, a Times article looks at some whackos that refuse to change to high-speed connections. When I first read the headline, I thought, "What the hell...given the option of switching, who the hell would use a dial-up?!?" After reading the article, I still think that.

The Times says these people are "consumers content to pay for a service that is less than optimal, and at times even frustratingly slow, because they say greater speed is not worth the trouble of starting over with a new telecommunications provider and getting a new e-mail address, even if the added cost is small." I read that and I see them as lazy. I mean really, getting a new e-mail address? Is it that hard to send all your friends an e-mail, saying you've joined the 21st Century? And the "trouble" in starting over with a new provider really isn't that much trouble (saying that is going to jinx me when I am getting DSL for my apartment).

If you don't upgrade your connection, think of all the things you're missing: illegally downloading music or movies, streaming porn connections, online casino games, and all the reading of news articles, sports columns, and of course blogs.

It's one thing if you're poor, and can't afford the connection or if they don't have it in your area, but if you can afford it and don't get it, all I have to say is
"People, people...get with the times!"

- NY Times: In a Fast-Moving Web World, Some Prefer the Dial-Up Lane

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 2:27 PM



March 27, 2004


POST #    893

I've read all about it, and now I have it installed on my computer. What am I talking about? Quicksilver. Quicksilver is "an evolving structure for manipulating any form of data. The current modules include a launcher, a clipboard recorder, and a shelf." In English, it's a excellent way to find files on your computer that you need to use. Unfortunately for PC users, it only works for the Mac and only for OS 10.3.

How does it work? Essentially, all you do is use your hot key and then type what you are looking for. Files, applications, websites. It's just great. Any Mac users meeting the requirements should give it a try.

- Quicksilver
- Dan Dickinson's Quicksilver guide

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 11:12 AM



March 13, 2004

Google, the New Kabbalah

POST #    847

The NY Times has a great article today about Google, everybody's favorite search engine (or at least the most hyped). Google, which is the most popular search engine, logs about 200 million searches a day. The Times reports that Google is different things for different people, "a dictionary, a detective service, a matchmaker, a recipe generator, an ego massager, a spiffy new add-on for the brain." Whatever it is, Nielsen/Net Ratings reports that 60 million people used it in January. That's more than 20% of the U.S. population, not even Internet users (I used Google to find the U.S. population, which was 281,421,906 in 2000 according to the Census).

The article includes crazy Google "miracles", like when Orey Steinmann found out that his mom abducted him when he was a young child. Or like Robert McLaughlin, who found his stolen guitars on an online auction a day after they were stolen.

Of course, there are many Google detractors as well. Google indexes web pages by popularity, not accuracy, so the more links a page has, the more popular the page is. The Times gave the word "apple" as an example, saying that a person would have to pass dozens of results before finding anything relating to the fruit.

While Google may not be perfect, it provides users with results, accurate or not. There is no intrusive advertising, no pop-up windows, no clutter. While people may have to sift through the results or refine their searches before finally finding what they need, it's a great resource. People just have to know that Google isn't the be all end all.

- NY Times: In Searching We Trust

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:36 AM



February 12, 2004

Serious Camera Envy

POST #    761

Last night, my dad received his recently ordered Sony DSC-T1. He wanted a smaller digital camera since his other camera was "too bulky" to carry around. Damn, now I want a new camera as well. Lucky for me, he said I could borrow the new and old camera when I want.

Some specifications on the camera: 5.1-Megapixel, 3x optical zoom, 2.5" LCD display, and a mere 0.4lbs. More specs and photos at Steve's DigiCam and Dynamism.

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, Tech at 9:24 AM



February 5, 2004

Oh, Sim City...So Addicting

POST #    747

I recently got Sim City 4, which is the latest edition of the über-addictive Sim City series. The last Sim City I remember playing was Sim City 2000, and I'm not entirely sure how many years ago that was. There are two types of games, computer or console, that I tend to play, ports or simulation. I'm not really the type of person that will eagerly anticipate the release of a simulation game, but if it's out and I have it, I'll play it.

The problem with Sim City is that I'm just not very good at it. I don't give it too much thought, I tend to spend a lot of money, go into debt, and then give up on my city. Lucky for me, the Sim City website has some tips for the game, which I intend to explore. The other thing with games like Sim City is that I totally lose track of time, which only makes matters worse. Playing Sim City until 2 AM on a weekday is not the best idea.

If anybody has any tips for making my cities any better, I would appreciate it.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 11:37 AM



January 24, 2004

Happy Birthday to Apple and the Mac

POST #    721

On January 24th, Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh. And you saw why 1984 wasn't like "1984."

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Mac. With it's introduction to America via a Super Bowl ad, millions of fans were born. I haven't been using an Apple for all that long really. I've only used them since 1996 when I was at U of M. Since then though, I have been quite an Apple devotee. I'm on my third Mac now (I wish I could have afforded more) and own an iPod as well. Sure, there are many things wrong with Macs, like their cost, but would I rather support Microsoft? I think not.

So happy birthday to the Apple and the Mac.

- Updated "1984" ad with iPod"
- Macworld: Steve Jobs on the Mac's 20th Anniversary
- Macworld editors: Happy Anniversary, Macintosh
- CNN: Apple's core: The Mac turns 20

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 5:31 PM



Big Apple Blog(ger) Bash

POST #    720

The requisite name tags.

Jen, yes, the Jen. Filling out that name tag.

Jake, yes, the Jake. Snapping photos of unsuspecting people.

Jen and Rachelle.

Jake again.

Karl and Dahlia at Siberia.

Last night, Rachelle and I hit up the Big Apple Blogger Bash, organized by Paul Frankenstein. The festivities were originally scheduled to take place at AZ. Not only does AZ have an ugly website, but they apparently don't take kindly to unnanounced parties, so we relocated to Siberia.

While there were plenty of people at the bash, I had already met a few of them at Dahlia's party last week. I finally got to meet the people behind the sites for Bluejake and Gothamist, two sites that I read fairly often. Jake and Jen/Jen and Jake. The one thing I can report is that Jake has this nasty habit of taking photos of you (usually about five in a row) while you are making a silly face. It's just going to take a little getting used to.

More on the party (I imagine this will get updated often as people write their entries):
- Bluejake on "Blogger Bash" (check out the gallery as well)
- Rachelle on "Geek Party"
- Gothamist on "Bloggerati"

More from a bunch of people that I didn't meet (I'm a horrible mingler):
- Amy on "Blogging AZ"
- Belle on "A good night"
- Bill on "Blogger Bash"
- Brian on his night's festivities
- Stephanie on "blogger bash at siberia"

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 2:15 AM



December 22, 2003

I'm #1!!

POST #    663

Search results for "tien" on Google.

I'm not sure when this happened, but if you search for "tien" on Google now, the first result you now get is the "little read book." Sure, this isn't too important in the grand scheme of things, but now if you click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, you are directed to this site. Woo!

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 12:10 PM



December 19, 2003

Spitzer vs. Spam

POST #    656

Not only is Eliot Spitzer my attorney general, he is my favorite attorney general. Yesterday, Spitzer filed suit against three companies that are accused of sending spam. He's looking to drive them into bankruptcy, which sounds a little evil, but I'm down with his tactics. While I support the rights of marketers to send email, there have to be some limitations and an ability to opt-out of those emails. I'm not sure this will stem the influx of spam, since there are so many unscrupulous people out there, but anything that can reduce spam is a good thing. While one may think, "Spitzer has no chance," you have to keep in mind that Spitzer is a man that took on the brokerage houses and their shady practices. Why do I feel that Spitzer will be getting flooded with spam touting great investment ideas and hair tonic?

Oh, and if you read the Times article, notice how on of the interviews was conducted - over instant-messenger.

- NY Times: New York and Microsoft File Suits on E-Mail Spam
- Spitzer's office: State Lawsuit Attacks Spammers' Fraudulent Emails

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:05 AM



November 25, 2003

Number Portability Begins

POST #    589

"I read that so many people are going to switch back and forth there's going to be a market for phones on eBay. If I get $20 for the old phone, that's beer money to me." - Doug Lhotka on buying a new phone after switching providers.

Yesterday, number portability for cell phones began, causing stores to be inundated with customers looking to switch providers. Some people even lined up to switch right as the stores opened. With number portability, you can take your cell phone number from carrier to carrier, where previously you would lose your phone number if you switched providers. (That was for those of you who still don't know what number portability is.)

Despite my carrier being the much maligned T-Mobile, I don't think I'll be switching providers. I have a good plan, they have nice fancy phones, excellent customer service, and they use GSM. All these overcome the occasionally poor reception that I get.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:11 AM



November 13, 2003

More on Number Portability

POST #    565

More information about phone number portability is starting to come out as we get closer to the day that it becomes law (previously mentioned earlier this week). In another NY Times article about portability, many more details are discussed.

Apparently, most of the cell phone companies (except AT&T) are using one company to handle the transfer of numbers. Since it seems unlikely that rival companies would work together to work this out, one company handling the changes is obviously a big help. Despite this, changing a number between carriers is still not the easiest thing to do. Human error on the part of the consumer or customer service along the way could slow down the process. They also have no idea of what kind of volume to expect once the law takes effect.

There is a handy website that has almost everything you need to know about number portability. It even has a map and list of the top 100 metropolitan areas where the law starts on November 24th (based on the 2000 U.S. Census). The rest of nation gets number portability in six months.

For me, the list of the top 100 metropolitan areas is quite fun to look at (yes, I am aware of the geeky-ness of this). Who knew that, Grand Rapids—Muskegon—Holland, MI (population 1,088,514) was the 60th largest metro area in the country? And Ann Arbor - home of my favorite school? It made the list at 93 (578,736 people). Vallejo, CA and Fort Wayne, IN got lucky. They were not on the top 100 list for 2000, but were for 1990 and the FCC's requirements extended to any city in the top 100 for 1990 as well. I guess they won't have to wait until next May.

- EasyPorting.com
- Gothamist with more coverage on portability

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 12:26 AM



November 11, 2003

Number Portability - Coming Soon to a Metropolis Near You

POST #    558

Starting November 24th, people will be able to keep their phone numbers even if they switch cell phone carriers and switch their land line numbers to their cell phone (if that sounds a little confusing, just read the article). The pessimist in me thinks it will be pushed back, but I do think it's cool that consumers now have options. I don't think I'll switch from T-Mobile though. I like them well enough and I love their customer service. It would have been cool to have a 212 cell phone number though. Too bad I gave up the number already. Number portability starts in the 100 largest metropolitan areas on the 24th, but rolls out for 6 months later in the rest of the country. Lucky for me, NYC barely makes the top-100 largest metropolitan areas.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 1:23 PM



November 5, 2003

Roar...Panther Makes Itself Known

POST #    550

(click image for larger version)

After getting home, I did one thing before installing Apple's newest version of OS X - pee. Panther (10.3), is a significant upgrade over the last version of Apple's OS (10.2). The whole process took a scant one hour to complete. I must say that I'm very happy with the results. Exposé is possibly the coolest feature that I have seen on a computer. It moves all the windows of your computer and shrinks them, so you can see everything that is open at one time. So nice. I really look forward to using this for a long time.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 8:37 PM



October 30, 2003

Hmm...What is the Problem?

POST #    535

The other night, I ordered a cable modem for my aunt's apartment, but got the self-install kit since I didn't want to wait for an appointment. So after stopping at Radio Shack for some supplies, I come home to install it. First step, cut cable, TV goes silent. It's a shame, but the right step. Next step, strip some cable. Done. I then try to affix the coax connectors. Those donít actually fit, minor problem. By the time I go downstairs to my parent's for dinner, everything is working. It doesn't look nice, but it works. When I get back, the Internet connection still works, but the cable box seems to have reverted to basic service. Strange. It's okay for now, but I will have to address it at some point.

On the plus side, Jacques Torres is making some sort of pumpkin Halloween dessert.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:51 PM



October 29, 2003

Ahh, I Feel SO Speedy

POST #    512

Mmm...new computer.

Just like the advertisement for the G5, I have been blown away. Not that I've really done anything that has taxed the system, but I feel like it's going fast none the less.

Everything about the computer was great (well, except for the price). From the packaging, to the looks, even the smell. I'm obviously crazy, but so far it has been a great experience. As soon as I get Panther (I've ordered the upgrade) and a high-speed internet connection (Thursday), then I will be set.

To break the computer's maiden, I watched the original version of The Italian Job.

Another note about the computer - it is really really heavy. Or I'm really weak. Possibly a combination of the two.

The monitor is cool too. There are two buttons on it. The right one turns the computer on or off and the left one brings up the monitor preferences. And they both light up when touched. Oh how I love bells and whistles.

This is the second time that I have felt that the computer I purchased from Apple was the coolest one they had. My Powerbook G3 with the bronze keyboard was the first. When I got my first Mac, the Powerbook 190cs, it was already dated.

Things to get used to:
- A new keyboard.
- No more trackpad.
- 70 GB hard drive
- Speed. Speed. Speed.

So bright (the monitor - the photo is obviously dark).

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 9:11 AM



October 28, 2003

No Way! That Fast?

POST #    511

Super Saver shipping is usually ass-slow. The early estimate was Nov. 3rd.

This morning, I got an e-mail from Amazon saying that my computer and monitor shipped. The site and the e-mail both said that the items shipped today, but after finally going to the site and tracking them, it appears that they have arrived at their destination. I guess brown does a lot for me. Gotta love brown. Too bad I don't really have a speedy connection where I'm staying. That will be remedied soon. Now, I can't wait to get home. But first a stop to pick up some basketball tickets.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 5:34 PM



October 25, 2003

To Hell With This, I'm Getting a New Computer

POST #    504

My current computer, a Powerbook G3 (bronze keyboard) is more than four years old now. It is soooo slow, no joke. I'm so fed up with the lack of memory and its slowness, that I've determined that I need a new computer. I only have 4 GB of hard drive space for crying out loud! That's less than my freaking iPod. I'm going to take some of the money from selling my apartment and use it on a new computer. Apple Store, here I come. Online or in the store, you're about to get $3000+ from me.

Computer in mind? The Powermac G5. I'm salivating at the thought of it.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:13 PM



October 9, 2003

i need three of these to buy mediterranean avenue

POST #    441

the new $20 bill is out today and the government has a spiffy new site with everything you need to know about the new money that is rolling out. still there are the security thread, the color shifting ink, and the watermark. they have also introduced new features, including some added background colors, "symbols of freedom" (calling anything that is crap in my opinion), an enhanced portrait, and small yellow 20s on the back.

i can't wait until they release the new $50 and $100 (the $5 and $10 are still in consideration) so i can have my full compliment of monopoly money.

**updated 10.10.03 - gothamist's take**

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:49 AM



September 27, 2003


POST #    407

i finally installed mac's os 10.2.whatever, aka jaguar. so now i'm using safari, which is nice, but i find there are somethings that are missing. i have issues with some sites and cookies and there is no password storage. this has proved to be very painful right now. there is probably something i'm missing, but if there is no way to remember the passwords, i might have to go back to netscape. on the other hand, ichat seems is pretty. not quite as functional as aim, but so pretty. if anybody has any tips, they would be appreciated.

this all comes as they are about to release panther. great, just great. i think i'll try to buy a new computer in the coming months. maybe a g5?

and the install took pretty much the whole night.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 1:43 AM



September 4, 2003

madden 2004? it's in the game.

POST #    344

i just love madden games.

last night, i bought madden nfl 2004 and ran home to play it right away. after a brief trip to the bathroom, i inserted the game into my ps2, and started playing with this year's version of the greatest sports game around (ea's ncaa football comes in 2nd in my book). the gameplay is pretty much the same as it's always been, but there are some changes.

the game has some new features including something they call "playmaker control." with this feature, the user can control various aspects of the game they couldn't before. before the play on offense, you can change the play by just moving the analog button. during the plays on offense, you can tell the closest blocker who to block. before the play on defense, you can shift safety coverage to the "strong" side, while during the play, you can call out pass or run. it sounds kind of confusing, but it's pretty easy to pick up - except for the blocking part, which is difficult because you have to point in directions that you aren't necessarily running in (yes, that sounds confusing). even nicer though, is that melissa stark (congrats on baby) is in the game, with actual video footage of her explaining how playmaker control works.

the game also has a new feature, owner mode, which allows the user to control almost every aspect of team management. you can control everything from hot dog prices to parking prices, and you can even design a new stadium. this is on top of the standard season end draft.

i think it's safe to say that i will be spending a lot of time with my new game.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:23 AM



August 11, 2003

everybody and their mother is on friendster

POST #    289

an article about online dating services offers a little insight to friendster's future revenue stream and the number of members they have:

Still, many customers of the big online dating services could be lured by a cheaper and entirely different dating company that has amassed 1.5 million members in a little more than three months, without any marketing. Friendster, a start-up company based in Sunnyvale, Calif., helps users meet friends of friends, by encouraging social networking.

On Friendster.com, which will remain free until its official kickoff sometime in the next few months, users sign up and post a picture and a list of interests. They also provide e-mail addresses of friends, who are invited to join. Users can search the service for their friends, then contact their friends' friends for dating or simply for socializing.

According to Jonathan Abrams, Friendster's chief executive and founder, "this is more reflective of reality."

Mr. Abrams said users would always be able to browse the site for free, but after the official rollout, Friendster.com will charge subscribers "less than one-third of what Match.com charges" to contact other users.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 12:17 PM



July 19, 2003

finally, the iPod arrives

POST #    235

the iPod is now in my possession and it is quite possibly the most beautiful piece of electronic that i have ever had. yes, that is a bold statement considering the fancy stuff that i usually buy. the specs for the iPod says that for a mac, you need an internal firewire card. well, i don't have one of those, so i thought i would have to sync the music at my friend's place, but that didn't work out. after returning home, i tried it out, and it worked!! woo! it seems that the only reason that the internal firewire is "required" is because when connected, it also charges.

even the box is cool.

where's my iPod? oh...there it is.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 2:31 AM



July 18, 2003

the iPod awaits

POST #    233

Delivered on: Jul 18, 2003 2:21 P.M.
Signed by: ACOSTA
Delivered to: US
Shipped or Billed on: Jul 11, 2003

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 4:02 PM



July 17, 2003

grrr...july 17th, no iPod to be had

POST #    229

you may recall that i was tracking my iPod and that it was supposed to arrive today. but noooo, now it is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. and i just put all my work mp3s onto 6 cds, make that 7. damn ups. yet another company on my shit list.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 5:23 PM



July 16, 2003

tracking the iPod

POST #    224

i have too much time on my hands so i decided to make a map tracking my iPod. the last update (last night) on the ups site showed the iPod in atlanta.

(thanks again to shannan for more photoshop help)

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 12:02 PM



July 9, 2003

lunch with warren

POST #    209

if anybody wants to have lunch with warren buffet, the world's 2nd richest person (worth about $30 billion in 2003, which is down $5 billion from '02), you can have lunch with him by bidding on ebay. for those of you who don't know, he runs berkshire hathaway, a huge holding company. subsidiaries include: fruit of the loom, geico, dairy queen, johns manville, and see's candies among others.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 4:12 PM



June 25, 2003

okay, i'm way too impulsive

POST #    18

so i just ordered an ipod from dell's site. why dell's site? it was 10% off with free shipping. it should be noted that i dont have usb 2.0 or an internal firewire. i guess i'll be going to my friend's apt to put all my music onto the ipod.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 1:38 PM



April 30, 2003

movin on up...?

POST #    161

so i think i'm going to upgrade the operating system on my computer when i get back from san diego.
apple claims that my computer can support their fancy os x which they have named jaguar. i'm excited. i hope i dont mess up my whole computer when i upgrade.


Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:34 AM



April 29, 2003

okay, i think it might be time for a new computer

POST #    159

i guess the main reason that i need one is that my keyboard is starting to fall apart. the "-" on my keyboard has become detached. its actually been like this for maybe a week and has happened before. last time this happened, i used some generic crazy glue to stick it back to the mechanism that makes the keys so springy. this time, that didnt work so well and i tried to glue another part, but that didnt work. maybe i can get another key from the apple store to replace the broken one. but i guess the real way that i know that i need to replace it is that my computer will turn 4 this summer, which is pretty old. its also been crashing a lot recently (mostly due to eudora). apple has also been introducing tons of new products that dont really work with my computer since the operating system is out of date. now they are selling music too. not that i would buy any, but i cant even run the program that they use to put it on your computer. sure i have i-tunes, but i dont have os-x! d'oh! and i cant afford a new computer right now (damn those mets tix). plus, i just plopped money down on a cd-r drive and firewire card...sigh. okay, shower time.

oh, almost forgot...the battery on my laptop doesnt work either. so its essentially a slow desktop with a missing key.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 7:50 AM



April 25, 2003

inspired to be a better person

POST #    150

last night in one of those whims that i get (i get a lot - very very bad. usually ends up with me spending some money), i bought a digital camera. i dont really need one, but do i really need anything besides food and a place to sleep? so now i can take all sorts of pictures and stuff. how exciting. i can take pictures of my trip to san diego next month. that should be fun even though its for work. speaking of work...i should get back to it.

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 1:14 PM



April 18, 2003

go google

POST #    139

check this out - go to google and type "french military war victories" and then click "i'm feeling lucky."

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 11:12 AM



March 11, 2003

oh how i love my aim

POST #    99

check this article out. its about instant messenger services in the workplace. it requires registration (free registration, but if you are reading this, you are probably registered).

Posted by tien mao in Tech at 10:01 PM


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