Revisiting my New Year’s Resolutions, just after the Ides of March.
1) Push weight down to 180 (currently 198)
Currently 187. Pretty close, considering I started the year at 198.
2) Read through the entire Bible (along with my wife)
Coming along nicely. I just finished I Samuel 8, which puts me right on schedule (actually, a day ahead). She’s ahead of me. A little friendly competition helps the motivation.
3) Finish rewriting my HelpDesk program in REALbasic and PostgreSQL (right now it’s in FileMaker Pro)
This is the toughest one. My REALbasic skills are coming along. I’ve kind of sidetracked into XML-RPC for a little while, but that’s OK — it’s all good. My PostgreSQL skills are probably fine for what I want to do with HelpDesk.
4) Move to Mac OS X full time (with no Classic on my machine)
I made strides toward this. GoLive 6, Office X, and QuickMail Pro 3 (as much as I just barely tolerate QuickMail Pro) help a lot. I tried the Corel Graphics Suite (native), and that’s OK for most jobs, but sometimes when I need to get down and dirty, I still need Photoshop and ImageReady, and I don’t have version 7 yet (and probably won’t until summer).
5) Renovate my bathroom (late 1950’s pink)
This will depend largely on what HealthGuard decides to do about Jen’s surgery. If they agree to pay it, which they absolutely should in my opinion, then we will have some money to put toward the bathroom.
When I first started at Etown, I was able to remember everything about every computer. Now I’m starting to slip. I can’t remember everything anymore. It’s just too much.
HealthGuard got back to us with a resounding “No” today. I suppose we’ll have to appeal it. Jen needs the surgery. If they won’t pay, I’ll have to get the money somehow. I guess I could sell a kidney or something.
Sibelius? Still sucks. I had more fun with it today. Although, today’s problems were more a result of problems with Opcode’s OMS. The OMS Setup just ate itself whole. It was sick and twisted, but I upgraded to the latest version and that seemed to fix it. My new favorite thing about Sibelius is that you can order version 2 for Windows, and it’s shipping, but the Mac version isn’t shipping and you can’t pre-order yet. According to the FAQ, the Mac version is taking so long because they want to support Mac OS X 10.1, and it “only just came out.” Yeah, whatever. It’s been out for six months or so, and they could have gotten even earlier if they were in Apple’s Developer program. Heck, I’ve already made several programs that run on 10.1, and I’m still learning how to program!
We have a MIDI Lab in our school that runs Sibelius. Hence my constant interaction with it. Here’s hoping we move to Finale soon.
Charles Haddad of Business Week thinks that corporate IT keeps choosing PCs over Macs because of job security, rather than the standard arguments of price and technology. Well, duh. One gem: Scores of IT managers and their underlings wrote in — most of them anonymously — to complain that their companies could save millions if they would switch to Macs. And another: I ask you, what’s more cost effective — buying a PC that needs a network technician and two support guys for $5,000 each a month, or a $2,000 Mac that requires just one support person? Excellent points both. That’s one of the reasons so many schools stay with Macs. We’re understaffed and underfunded. If we switched to PCs, we wouldn’t be able to keep up. We’d be buried very quickly.
I’ve chosen a name for my still-very-much-in-progress Blogger program: Frequency. Cool, huh? Kind of a reference to UserLand’s Radio, and also a reminder that you can keep your website more up-to-date by using it. I was pretty pleased with myself.
I’ve posted Technology Deism in the Articles section. It’s a piece I wrote about a year ago for the now totally-up-in-the-air website eTechNews. Enjoy! More to come soon as I continue to build up the site.
Sibelius sucks. I just can’t say it any plainer than that. The installation process is ridiculous (no imaging allowed) and the stability is, well, absent. If it starts to crash with a Type 1, 2, or 3 error, just trash the MIDI Preferences (Global) file. Then Sibelius starts back up with no problems. Well, it seems to me that this file doesn’t do anything but sit there and corrupt itself. When you trash it, there’s no loss of functionality or settings — it just starts working again. I don’t get it. This is version 1.4. “We’ll fix this in a future release,” they say. Well, the next release is 2.0, and you’ll never guess this, but it costs money for a major version upgrade!
I’m learning all about Server Side Includes right now. Very cool. CSS and PHP are next on my list of web technologies to master. Still working on XMP-RPC in REALbasic.
My voice is back. It came back as suddenly as it went away. I went to say something to my boss, and I realized I was talking out loud. Weird.
More of the web site is developed. The Music section now has some MP3s and lyrics for songs I’ve written.
Today I am voiceless. I woke up yesterday with no voice whatsoever. I can whisper, but it hurts a bit. If I shout, it’s downright painful, and it only sounds like a whisper anyway.
I’m fleshing out some more of this web site. I still need to upload some articles I’ve written and some MP3s I’ve recorded. I’ll probably do that at lunch today.
Just found out that Comcast named a date for cable modem access in my neighborhood – Monday. Woohoo! What stinks is that I won’t know if I can afford it now until HealthGuard makes a decision about my wife’s surgery. I’ve waited four years for high speed access at home, and now I have to keep waiting. Hrmmmm.
Saw Fellowship of the Ring again tonight. What an awesome movie. It’s even better the second time. Ian McKellan deserves the Oscar. He is Gandalf. I also thought that Viggo Mortensen was awesome as Aragorn/Strider.
Not to be one of those Tolkien snobs, but there were a few parts of the movie where I felt the story was marred. The first was when Frodo and Sam left the Shire. I thought it was a bit contrived how they just happened to bump into Merry and Pippin in Farmer Maggot’s fields. The “conspiracy” in the book was much better. I also felt that Lothlorien was a bit rushed. Lothlorien, and Galadriel in particular, were just “weirder” in the movie somehow. I don’t know. But I’m nitpicking – I thought the movie was absolutely wonderful, and definitely Oscar-worthy.
People that complain about privacy crack me up. You know what? These people obviously don’t have kids. Grace will be three in May, and I have no privacy at all, even in my own home. I can’t even go to the bathroom in private.
The flu/cold/virus/bronchitis/whatever I had seems to be on the way out. I’m going to try to start exercising again tomorrow. I feel like a sloth. I haven’t been on the NordicTrac since last Tuesday.
Mmmmmm . . . HTML parsing in REALbasic. I have a working prototype. It doesn’t do much yet. Grabs the title, and does bold, italic, and underline. Task for tomorrow: text color and background color. If time allows, font color and text size. If things go really, clickable links in blue, but that will probably have to wait until Thursday.
For what it’s worth, I’m still using my REALbasic blogger application to post to my weblog. It’s pretty cool, but it requires an OS X only AppleScript. I’d like to get XML-RPC working with RB native code so I can compile for OS X, Classic Mac OS, and Win32. That would be pretty sweet. And with my HTML parsing, I can even include a preview button. Yeeha!
Grace and I are both feeling better. Jen’s surgery is scheduled for April 9. Now for the fight with HealthGuard.
So I call my pharmacy last night around 4:15 to order a refill on my cough syrup. They have a special, automated hotline for just such an occasion. I type in my prescription number and my customer number, and then it asks me what time I would like to pick up my prescription.
I figure they close at 5:00 on Sunday, so I type 4:45. “That does not give us enough to complete your prescription,” says the attendant. “Please enter a time between 5:16 PM and 6:00 PM.”
Cool! They’re open until 6:00! Now I don’t feel like a putz for waiting so long to call it in. I type 5:30. “Your order has been accepted.” And I wait.
At 5:30 I go to the pharmacy, only to discover that they closed at 5:00.
Now I’m angry and confused, so I go home and cough myself to sleep.