The Job

Writing Again

by Michael Alderete on 2/16/2013

It’s been a while since I published much here (visibly), but to answer a popular question, yes, I’m still here. I’m taking this three-day weekend to restart some efforts, including writing here on the blog, and also answering mail that has piled up. It’s going to take a while, but I’m slogging through it.

What’s unfortunate, and ironic, about my break from writing is that I never published a post explaining that I’d updated every single page in Aldo on Audiobooks, bringing it up to date, both with the (then) current version of iTunes and with a few new tricks I’d learned. It also includes a greatly expanded selection of audiobook recommendations.

Of course, a month or two after I finished all those updates, Apple announced all new hardware, both iPhones and iPods, and previewed iTunes 11. I “took a pause” to wait for iTunes 11 before updating everything, and then Apple took a while to actually ship it.

Anyway, the goal is to sweep through everything this weekend, and if it’s not completely revised, to at least add a blog post explaining differences.

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RailsConf 2006

by Michael Alderete on 6/29/2006

RailsConf 2006Last weekend I was in Chicago for the first ever RailsConf, a gathering of about 600 people focused on developing web applications using the Ruby on Rails application framework. Other people are posting lots of details and thoughts (try clicking the RailsConf tag below), so I’ll just add a few deltas:

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Up and down, up and down…

by Michael Alderete on 4/18/2006 · 1 comment

That’s been my DSL connection over the last few weeks. And since I self-host this site, on a cheap PC sitting on a shelf, Aldoblog has been up and down, too. Very irritating.

The problem is the wiring. Our house is a 100+ year old Victorian, and all of our phone wiring (except for the actual phone jacks) is on the outside of the house. And it’s old, and it’s been abused, and so on. So with all the rain we’ve been having, apparently water is getting into the wiring.

We’ve had PacBell out, more than once, and about the only thing they’re consistent about is that it’s our problem, not theirs. Even thought it’s on the outside of the house, it’s “inside” wiring because it’s past the junction box, and so our responsibility.

Anyway, it’s sunny and working now, and it looks like we might be done with the rain for a while. In the meantime, I’m calling wiring contractors, because I can’t take it when we don’t have internet access. I must be a junkie…or then again, maybe I need to have internet access to, like, work and earn a living…

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Dell 20″ Flat Panel under $500 $400

by Michael Alderete on 5/24/2005 · 6 comments

A while back I took advantage of a special running at Dell, to get one of these 20.1” flat panel LCD displays. It arrived a week later, and I’ve been using it as a second monitor off my laptop since then.

The quality of the display is terrific. I dunno about doing color-calibrated print work, but as just extra screen space (which I’ve found I absolutely need to do web development productively), it’s spectacular, and makes the built-in screen on my laptop seem dingy by comparison.

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Desk chairs

by Michael Alderete on 4/25/2005 · 7 comments

Alex asks for recommendations for desk chairs. I was going to answer in his comments, but it got to be long, so I thought I’d post here instead. I have three data points about desk chairs:

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Neat Stuff: Sigalert

by Michael Alderete on 4/8/2005 · 1 comment

I’ve been a subscriber to the Sigalert service for a while. It’s a real-time traffic monitoring service that aggregates information from the sensors embedded in highways and major thoroughfares and CHP and CalTrans information about incidents like accidents, and combines it with mapping and routing functions, to give you a very complete picture of just how ugly traffic in your region is.

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Get back to work!

by Michael Alderete on 2/19/2005

OK, the new version of WordPress is going to get me into trouble. I’m having entirely too much fun playing with the new features, and finishing out the last few things that hadn’t made the transition. (I think on the public side, I’m 100% done. Still a couple of tweaks on the admin side, to make writing posts a little easier by bumping up the font size and so on for the editing form.)

At any rate, I need to get back to work, instead of continuing to fuss. Bye!

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Must. Not. Remodel.

by Michael Alderete on 2/7/2005 · 2 comments

It started innocently enough. Rochelle’s mother very generously offered to buy us a new range, after we complained about our current oven during Thanksgiving. And, if we could have just done that, it would have been a great kitchen improvement that would have cost us almost nothing.

But, we started looking into options, researching in Consumer Reports and in cooking and food resources. Rochelle eventually found this article, A Range of Options, by David Rosengarten, which blew away both the Consumer Reports mantra of low cost, high value appliances, and our gift budget.

But, once you commit to getting a centerpiece-style range, is it even possible to just do that? Not if you’re Rochelle or me.

The next obvious requirement is to get a new stove hood, because we currently have no ventilation in the kitchen, except opening the back door and window. And, well, looking at the wall it would be mounted on, it’s actually a fake wall, built (by the previous owner) to hide the brick chimney behind it. Let’s take that out!

And, when we measure the chimney in the basement, it’s clear we’ll be getting a lot of space back. And when you combine that with the need to conceal the ventilation pipe, you come to the inevitable conclusion that we need new floor-to-ceiling cabinets in that corner.

After doing all of this, is there any doubt that we’ll need to paint the entire room afterwards? Especially since we’ve been planning to take the over-sink cabinets off the wall for over a year? And that horrible fake tile siding that lines the lower half of most of the room?

And these are the plans we haven’t quashed. Because taking the cabinets off the wall is really the first of many things that should happen to that side of the room.

But, since we’re not really remodeling, those will have to wait. Hopefully…

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2004 in review

January 13, 2005

2004 was a decent year for us, and as always (at least since I started this blog), I like to take a few moments to reflect on some of the important things that happened.

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Personal survey of anti-spam tools

January 7, 2005

In the three or four years I’ve been fighting unwanted e-mail messages with better tools than the Delete key I’ve tried almost a dozen different tools. This is a quick survey of the ones I’ve used, and why I don’t (or do) still use them.

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December 3, 2004

I’ve been dicking around with WordPress on my test system long enough. LTFP.

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Cancel your Friendster account

September 1, 2004

Well, OK, I won’t tell you what to do, but I’ll tell you what I just did: I cancelled my Friendster account (Friendster is a social networking company), because they fired an employee for blogging (participating in social networks).

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