November 30, 2000
Eight fifty?

I went to the movies last night. It was the first time in a long time that I bought a single ticket. Normally I am buying for a group and the cost of tickets is blurred under the pile of $20 bills you hand over.

I was completely shocked at the price of an adult ticket. $8.50. Last I seem to remember the actually price of a ticket it was $7. Am I really getting to be an old man and getting shocked at the price of things? Heaven help me, I'm becoming my grandfather.

The movie is saw was Unbreakable. I love all Bruce Willis movies, including Hudson Hawk (yes, I have the DVD). The movie was good. Not great, just good. The writer/director is the same guy that wrote the Sixth Sense. He had a lot to live up to and I doubt any movie could have compared favorably as a sophomore film. If this was his first film, I think people would have liked it more. The people I went with, Mike, D.J., Joe, & Craig, all agreed that we spent much of the movie waiting for the 'big secret'. Sixth sense worked well because you didn't know there was a big secret.

I think upon viewing another time, I will see more in the movie since I won't be waiting so much.

Overall, the movie tries to say that people cannot be truely happy unless they are doing what they are meant to do in life. Kind of goes hand in hand with his ideas in the Sixth Sense that to move on in life and death, you much have closure and accept the reality of things.

I'll be buying the DVD, but I won't see it again in the theater.

Posted by michael at 11:10 AM
November 27, 2000
Comdex 2000

I went to Comdex this year and wandered about for a couple days.  Boy, there is a TON of stuff at Comdex.  I thought I'd write up a list of the things I saw on my trip.  I'm not the head of an IS group, so I didn't have a  big agenda of must see items.  Here is a list of the things I found interesting.  The list is in no particular order

FICA Aqua web pad - A nice little net connected web pad.  If you have an application where you need to walk around while connected to the web, this would do it.

QBeo image processing software - The Photogenetics software does an 'instant fix'  on digital photos.  No more need to futz around with Photoshop filters and effects to make the pictures look good.

computers & cases
- EUPA had a wide assortment of interesting cases in the various shapes.  They also make the U-Stylish,
a compact computer that combines the LCD screen into the CPU case in an upright position. 

- This card turns your computer into a Tivo.  Not only does it let you record TV programs, it allows you to burn them as VCDs with your CDR. VCDs can be viewed on almost any DVD player.  If only my Tivo could do this...   Hauppauge also makes a HDTV reciever for your computer.  With the WinTV D, you can watch HDTV for under $300.

PocketPC - I had heard the hype on Microsoft's PocketPC before I went to Comdex.  The hype was right.  This PDA blows the doors off a Palm.  It has built-in Outlook, Word, and Excel.  You can basically take your desktop
with you in a PDA.  With full Outlook compatibility you can see the same basic info as you see in your office. You can read attachments and edit documents if you really need to.  If you are in the market for a PDA, you need to check out this thing.

Synctalk - Synctalk is an app that runs on your PDA to convert data into XML.  You can then IR beam the XML data to another PDA of a different type, where Synctalk converts the XML into that PDA's native format.  Simply put, you can beam
your business card from a Palm to PocketPC or a Psion.

Raritan KVM
- They make keyboard, video, mouse switches that let you control many computers from one set of monitor/mouse/keyboard.  They make everything from a box that controls 4 PCs to a system that let's you control
2048 PC's from 8 different keyboard/video/mice.   Solves a lot of problems for us operations people.

Linksys -
These people seem to make everything you need to get your home or small office up and running smoothly in a data sense.  They have wireless LAN stuff, DSL routers, hubs and every other type of network hardware you might need.

EDP - They make various types of rackmount equipment consoles.  They have some interesting fan units and reconfigurable desks.

PoinTech -
The PoinTech system is a combination of a wipeboard and a
projector.  What ever you right on the wipeboard is reflected on the computer feeding the projector.  Conversely, the projector allows you to display any computer image on the wipeboard.  The coolest thing is that you can bring up an internet browser, and by touching the wipeboard, you can link to other pages simply buy touching the link as it's displayed.

Qbe Tablet Computer - These people make an actual tablet computer.  With a PCMCIA wireless LAN card, you are ready to walk around the facility.  I'll probably be picking up one of these for testing.  Seems like they would do will in areas with little available desk space.

Biometric Authentication - When I saw the first fingerprint scanning keyboard, I was blown away. 
Imagine no more passowords.  Just put your dumb on the glowing red spot and you are logged in.  After about the fifth booth of biometric tools, I realized that biometrics was big this year.  I really can't think of a downside.  A few of the booths with fingerprint scanners were identix,
SecuGen, and ethentica
I think we'll be seeing these in short order.

Cypherus - These people deal in file encryption technology.  These days, it's not the actual laptop that's important, it's the documents and email that are stored on it.  The Cypherus software provides a simple way for documents to be encrypted on a laptop computer.  If the computer is stolen, the thief cannot access the files since they are
encrypted at 4096 bits.  

Comdex was chock full of stuff, but those are the items I felt important enough to drop a brochure into my bag.  I was in quite a daze this year.  Perhaps next year I can write a more cohesive report.


Posted by michael at 03:11 PM
November 23, 2000
Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Team,
Yes, I know I've been slacking.  The good news is, here's another post. First of all, I rule in Quake 3.  Here's another sweet victory for your enjoyment.

I dodged the dog owner bullet.  My wife & daughters saw a stray dog in the street and put him in the backyard for 'safety' reasons.  I was pressed to go buy dog food, but I refused. The easiest way
to end up with a dog is to feed it.  The girls had already named the dog Daisy.  I was in danger of adopting the stupid little dog if I did nothing.  I made a big 'We found a dog' sign for the front yard. 
Early the next morning, a girl stopped by and said it was her friend's dog, Chu Chu.  In a few short minutes the mother and daughter appeared to claim Chu Chu.  All was right with the world.

Chu Chu the minidog in my backyard

More later.  My arm hurts from too much Quake.

Posted by michael at 01:30 PM
November 16, 2000
Angry Person

I recieved this email. I quote it completely

From: "Buck O-Nine" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2000 9:16 PM

youre a fuckung idiot pibb isnt an imposter
of dr shit...its a complete different drink. all dr
pepper is is spiced prune flavored soda, mr pibb is
spiced cherry flavored soda, get your shit right
before you go around saying mr pibb is the closest
thing you fucking bitch. i hate every idot like you
and i hope that satan him self rips your penis off and
shoves id down your throught and drowns you in mr pibb
o you have a painful death, and i am not jealos of
shit and only a stupid ass would be you should all die
and dr pepper is going to fucking go down, ill see to

I think this person has a few issues. What do you think?

Posted by michael at 02:45 PM