Ordered: 13-port USB Hub!

I have a ton of USB devices and I’m am constantly running out of ports. I hate having to unplug one device to plug in another (much like Norm Abram has multiple routers so he doesn’t have to change the bits), but with only four ports on my Mac Pro and five on an external hub, that’s what I’ve been reduced to.

Until now. I just discovered Synchrotech’s 13 Port USB 2.0 Hub, which looks like exactly what I’ve been wanting. I just placed the order, and I should have it in about a week. This will give me a total of twenty-two ports, which should last me for a while. 🙂

Hoosgot? Yoosgot!

I’ve seriously gotten into Twitter, so much so that I’m using it from my shiny iPhone. Yesterday I noticed an announcement from David Sifry about his new service called Hoosgot. It’s the “return of the LazyWeb” whereby you can toss a question over the wall to Hoosgot, it will automatically pick it up and send it out “into the ether” where someone might know the answer might see the question and might answer it. I decided to give it a try.

I use Blosxom as my blog engine. I’ve used it since January 3, 2003, so I’ve got quite a time-investment in it. About two weeks ago I was trying to improve my Google-mojo when I noticed that all my story links that Google knew about all had the same title, “Joey Gibson’s Blog.” That’s fine if you are on the front page, but each story has a title that should be indexed with it. I set about figuring out how to get the story title to show up in the browser titlebar (which is essentially how Google titles articles when it indexes them), but after a few hours of trying to remember long-forgotten Perl, I failed. So yesterday when I saw the Hoosgot announcement, I gave it a shot. Within two minutes of posting a tweet directed to @hoosgot, I had a private tweet from Gavin Carr telling me the Blosxom plugin I needed. Within five minutes of that, I had my problem solved. That, my friends, is very cool, indeed. Hoosgot looks like something that could be very cool.

For those interested, the answer was to use the storytitle plugin. What’s also interesting about this is that Gavin told me he is a “happy user” of a Blosxom plugin that I wrote a few years ago called reading_room.

I Am Legend Sucks

I just saw I Am Legend and I seriously want my money back. The only two things it shared with the novella were the title and the main character’s name. My friend Tim suggested they should have included a disclaimer in the credits saying “Any similarity to a story of the same name by Richard Matheson is purely coincidental.” I agree.

You can hear my 30-second review of the movie, recorded as I drove home, using the widget below.

Incorrect Greek on TV

I was watching TV this morning, it being the first day of my end-of-year vacation, and noticed that “The Price is Right” was on. Since I hadn’t seen it since Drew Carey took over as host, I decided to watch. After a while, they went to commercial, and I saw a spot for a book by Franklin Graham called The Name that really annoyed me.

The spot features a sombre voice over a series of graphics showing the name of Jesus in various languages. I have no idea if most of them were correct or not, but I am certain that the Greek was wrong. Below is a photo of my TV screen showing what they put up as the Greek version of Jesus

It’s sort of hard to see, but what they have is Ιησούςν which is incorrect in a few ways. First, the iota Ι at the beginning of the word should have a smooth breathing mark, thus making it look like this . Strictly speaking if you write the Greek without accents, then you would also not have the breathing mark, but since they do include the accent over the upsilon, they should have included it. That accent is the next error. It should have been an upsilon with a circumflex instead of with an acute accent ύ. The next two errors are at the end of the word where you see a sigma followed by a nu, ςν. In Greek the sigma has two forms: σ for when it occurs inside a word, and ς when it occurs at the end of a word. Since they have the sigma here as the next-to-last letter, it should have been written σ. But Jesus name is not spelled this way in Greek. In the nominative case (as a subject), which is what it should have been based on how it was being used, it is written Ἰησοῦς. In the accusative case (as a direct object), it would be written Ἰησοῦν. It looks like the people who made the ad combined the two forms, resulting in a nonsense word: Ιησούςν.

Would it have killed them to get someone to proof their text before sending it out? Granted, 99% of the people who see the ad won’t know the difference; I wouldn’t have 2 years ago. To me, it just shows sloppy work. I have to wonder how many of the other names were misspelled. Plus the whole ad looked like it was hawking one of those awful “Left Behind” books.

Are My Local Krogers Blocking EDGE Data?

Since getting my iPhone, I’ve visited two Kroger stores near my house and in both stores I was unable to access the Internet over the EDGE network. In both stores I had 5 bars of signal, and in both stores I was able to place calls, so it wasn’t a signal problem. But in both stores, trying to access any website using Safari failed with a message about not being able to find the server. Now, in both stores the iPhone popped up its list of available WiFi networks and in both stores that list contained a single network called “nomad5.” In both cases the network was private, so I didn’t try to connect.

Am I seeing something nefarious where there is nothing? Is it just coincidence that in both of these Kroger stores I was unable to get on the EDGE network, despite the fact that I had a perfect signal? Is there some technical aspect that I don’t understand? I’d love an answer to this. There is a third Kroger that is about 5 minutes from my house, so I will try to get to it and run a test to see what happens there.

I Have iPhone. It Doth Rock.

FedEx man came to my house yesterday morning, bearing a box from Apple, via China, Hong Kong and Alaska. Inside it was my iPhone. Oh, yes. And I opened the box and saw the gleaming, black screen. Lust. I hooked it up and set about activating it via iTunes. After going through the whole process, I was told that it couldn’t activate it, and I needed to visit an AT&T store. Uncool. But, actually, we needed to visit an AT&T store anyway, because we needed to get my wife a new phone and switch her over to the AT&T network, so we could get a family plan. Thus, it wasn’t a tragedy that it couldn’t activate via iTunes, but it was sort of a downer.

So we went to our nearest store and got mucho help from a lovely lady called Carolyn. We got Tammy a new phone + accessories and got the account setup. Carolyn gave me a special code for activation, but since the account was already setup, iTunes didn’t need it any more. It still wasn’t instant activation; I got a message saying that my activation required “more time” and they would email me when it was done. It took about an hour.

So then it was activated and working. I got my number transferred from Verizon and I am happy. I played with it almost constantly for about three hours last night, whilst sitting in my luxurious, leather recliner. I was having DSL problems lat night, so it would switch between using my WiFi and the EDGE network without missing more than a beat. Nice. I love the integration between your contacts and Google maps, and the Safari browser is cool.

Now we just need Apple to give us a real SDK for writing real apps.

My Wife’s Getting an iPod Nano For Christmas!

I’m so happy! My wife is taking a ginormous step into the technology age: she’s letting me get her an iPod Nano for Christmas. In fact, she’s not just “letting” me get her the iPod. No, she actually chose the iPod over jewelry! This is huge news, people. You have no idea. She picked out the red one, which has the added bonus of helping people in Africa. Or something….

Tracking the iPhone

As I said yesterday, I’ve ordered my iPhone. This morning I had an email from Apple saying it was on its way, along with a FedEx tracking number. About 10:00 this morning, this is what FedEx told me:


and as of about 7:00 tonight, FedEx said this:


There may be a card in the box saying “Designed by Apple in California” but it’s fairly obvious that Apple’s products are “Built and Packaged for Apple in China.” But hey, as long as it gets here quickly, and it works, I don’t care.

I ended up at the Mall of Georgia today and to my surprise, there’s now an Apple store there. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have ordered the iPhone online. Oh, well. What was cool was that I actually got to touch one for the first time. Wow. They had five or six on a display table and they were all online and working. I was able to run Safari and play around with the multi-touch screen and the onscreen keyboard. It will take me a little bit of practice to type well with that keyboard, but I’m sure it will come to me. I’m looking forward to Twittering via SMS message like all the cool kids do.