sxsw 2007 torrent

The South by Southwest 2007 organizers released an official torrent showcasing bands featuring 739 mp3s, 3.1 Gb worth. Free!

I started at AA Sound System and I’m going to listen to it straight through to Zykos. As far as I can see there are zero repeated bands and I’ve only heard of maybe 10% them. What a perfect way to discover new music.

Here’s the SWSX page and the direct torrent link. (I use uTorrent)

[via Waxy]


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I’m (not) linux

First of all, this picture cracks me up. For those that missed it the first time, the tron guy page is here: TRONcostume

And I would love to dedicate three pages worth of text regarding my complex relationship to Linux, but I’m in the middle of focusing here, and will offer just a couple of generalizations for now.

I would really like to be into an open source operating system. I would use it, I would donate, I would evangelize, I would blog tips, hang out in forums, the whole nine yards. Except I don’t really like *this* open source operating system. I’m not a fan of unix styles including commands, syntax and configuration; I have a philosophical problem with a macrokernel architecture; I think splitting the UI camps into Gnome vs KDE is idiotic. It just isn’t me — I doesn’t fit right.

I always hoped another competitor would emerge that I could get behind like Haiku, which is modeled on BeOS or ReactOS which is a Windows clone.

The counter argument is that someone like Ubuntu will come along and make it irrelevant, hide the terminal, support drivers, etc. Except that is just not plausible in the next five years. Being a power user, I’ll always need to get under that hood, no matter how glossy it may be. The beauty of the computer industry is though is that I’d be a fool to predict more than five years out. Anything can happen and I hope that the universe shifts around me to reveal my preferences in all things OS related.

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Notches announcement feed/subscription available

I created a feed for Notches (the startup I am building) announcements. Of course, you’ll probably find a majority of the content there is replicated or cross-posted here. 🙂

The idea is that this will be just for major announcement activity and separate from the company blog — which we are already drafting posts for btw.

The FeedBurner RSS/ATOM feed is here*:

If you prefer you can subscribe via Email with this link.


* I use FeedDemon (for Windows), but I hear very good things about Google Reader


many happy thanks – m200

When I bought my powerhouse Dell workstation laptop, I had to forgo my Tablet PC dreams.

Of course, doing development work and spending 12+ hours a day on it, I’m pretty happy with this beast. It is fast as heck, the screen is dense and gorgeous.

An opportunity to buy a well used/loved Toshiba M200 came up and after I was offered purchase terms that were extremely generous I went for it. Thank you Rajiv!

First thing I wanted to do was a clean Vista install. Except there’s no DVD drive. I tried a USB drive, but that didn’t work. I ended up following the absurdly involved steps outlined here InstallingVistaOnYourToshibaM200 to boot the computer over PXE (the LAN connection) and Windows PE 2.0. This was like a flashback to the old, hard days of computing when men were men and I had memorized the complete set of US Robotics modem INIT strings. AT & F B0X4 & A3 & C1 & D2 & M4 & H1 & K1 & B1 & R2.

But it worked and I have a clean Vista install.

LifeHacker quoted “A line in a William Blake poem inspired me to think differently about my day: ‘Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night.'” the other day. There’s something comforting about thinking about my time that way and I’ve been more or less doing that since. The tablet is perfect for the reading portion at the end of the day. I am able to sit on the couch and read my feeds in slate mode comfortably, not hunching over a keyboard. Technote: FeedDemon, my feed reader is set up backwards for tablet reading for right-handed people by default. Straight from the forums: “Well, apparently there is a fantastic, little-known, and well-hidden feature in FeedDemon that already allows you to do this!! * Go to Tools > Keyboard Shortcuts (stick with me here, I know this seems weird) * Look for an entry call Change Position of Subscriptions, and create a shortcut for it * Exit the shortcut screen and press the combination you just entered * PRESTO! The subscription tree changes sides! * You can’t get to this option through menu’s, but fortunately you probably will only have to do it once”

I decided that Emily is the 60% owner of it since she sold her G4 ibook a while back and has been sans-laptop since. We are setting it up to use as a photographer’s helper, checking exposure/color and whatnot during shoots.

Other technical notes about the M200 & Vista: There is a problem with the current crop of NVidia drivers. The 97 series driver has a bug that prevents the screen coming on after sleep mode. I googled for this and found that if you plug and unplug the machine the corresponding change of screen brightness is enough to wake it up. I can report this method works most of the time, but if it doesn’t you are stuck doing a cold shutdown and restart. Plus if you are rocking battery only you might be screwed. The 100 beta driver resulted in an unusable gray screen for me, and I had to roll back in safe mode.

Overall though, I’m thrilled with it.


Vista forgets certs

I’ve been running Vista for a while now and I only have two significant outstanding issues.

  1. A corrupted iPod thanks to Apple’s unforgivable lack of testing on Vista. Guys, the betas, release clients and RTM versions have been out for what, eighteen months? I’m in that “if they don’t release a fix for this that I can run, I’m not buying another iPod ever” territory. related link
  2. We are using a self-signed cert to use on our source control setup. I install the certificate manually into the trusted root folder and it works for between thirty minutes and a day and a half, then it just, poof, forgets about it. Google turns up zilch on the topic, yet I am certain I am not the only person this is happening to.

focusing means less blogging

Java printoutI mentioned a few weeks back that I was dropping as many distracting things from my life as to better concentrate and focus on building this startup.

The good news is I’ve doing much better on that front. I’ve been writing code again which has been doubly challenging on the focus front.

The bad news is that this intensity means that I’m blogging less.

Just a few quick observations on the state of web development in 2007.

  • Things have come a long way since the web 1.0 days
  • We made the decision to go with SubSonic and haven’t looked back. It is a .NET framework modeled after Ruby on Rails. I can’t imagine doing website development without this anymore. There are plenty of scenarios where you might want to roll your own database management layer, but building a feature based website isn’t one of them.
  • Visual Studio 2005 + Team Foundation Server = a really nice environment for doing this type of work.
  • ASP.NET 2.0 + C# + AJAX.NET = powerful stuff.
  • FireBug, the Firefox extension is handy for front end work.

I had forgotten the joys of coding. Seeing the site come alive under our typing fingers is an amazing feeling and one that reminds me daily of why I left my stable 9-5 job for this entrepreneurial life.