Tuesday, January 30, 2007

hungry hungry tivo...

Have you ever noticed your tivo eating shows...like you see them with the little red circle that they are recording and then you look like 10 minutes later and they aren't there? This happens to me every now and then and just happened again today, reminding me how annoying this is. My tivo also decides to freeze about once every other month. I think my biggest problem with this isn't that it's not perfect, it's that I'm paying tivo $12 a month for this "service." And to me paying for a service means that it'll just work and do what it's supposed to. I was thinking tonight that if it were a box that I paid for once with no reoccurring service, I don't think I'd be as irked.

I can't wait until the new Comcast/Motorola/Tivo comes out later this year! Reports from CES were that it's pretty darn awesome!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

This American Life!

I'm going to see This American Life live at the Chicago Theater in march! I'm so excited! :)


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

wind power

Do any of you buy your electric power from a renewable source? I want to switch away from ComEd but don't know who is good or what to watch out for. Any advice would be appreciated!


conversation while checking out at dominicks...

Bagger: Woah, you makin' a pie?
Me: I am! :)
Bagger: What kinda pie you makin'?
Me: Well, it's actually a tofu chocolate "cheese" cake
Bagger: Well, you don't buy no cheese
Me: Well, that's just it, the tofu acts as the cheese. I don't eat cheese.
Bagger: What the heck kinda' pie is that? Why I never...
Me: [Walking away after paying] Thanks!
Bagger: [to cashier as I walk away] What the hell was that? Don't eat no cheese!

Yes, I am the freak of Palatine :)


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

HSDPA is amazing...

This post is coming to you live from the Metra train on my way home from IIT. My new work laptop has a built in SIM card slot and support for HSDPA, Cingular's new 3.6MB/s network covering most major metro areas in the US. That means that wherever you have Cingular bars, you have faster-than-dsl internet straight to your laptop! :) It's pretty amazing!

But why was I at IIT you might ask? A fellow MIT alum is teaching a class down there where students are implementing a project on mobile devices. They wanted me to come down and do my now-standard first class on mobile development, the platforms, the tradeoffs, etc. Anyway, a fun evening and it looks like they'll be using J2ME and will be able to use some of the resources I've posted for the MIT class. And I got some good practice on the talk before the first class of the term at MIT :)

OK...my laptop is going away and a book is coming out! This whole HSDPA thing might be detrimental to my on-train book-reading!!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

cantu vs. morimoto

I just finished watching the best Iron Chef ever! It was Chef Cantu from Moto restaurant in Chicago vs. Iron Chef Morimoto. As expected, Cantu brought all of his toys including a Class 4 laser, liquid nitrogen, an edible printer, and many laptops and cables running everywhere. With all of that, he made some really interesting dishes and, as is his style, made them all about presentation. The judges enjoyed the interactive eating experience!

If you missed it, you must check it out! Future show dates are here

And if you're in Chicago and want to experience a crazy meal of edible paper (including eating an escher drawing!), things with syringes and pipets, and laser-cooked food, definitely check out Moto!


Thursday, January 18, 2007


After the Pirate-themed MythBusters last night, this picture is especially relevant :)


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

tv and europe (unrelated)

So I just programmed my tivo to record The O'Reilly Factor for tomorrow (ahh!). It just seems so wrong, even though it's going to be Stephen Colbert on the show. I hope my tivo doesn't use this information to suggest crazy right wing shows to me in the future! :)

In other news, I'm going to be out in Europe mid-june! If anyone wants to meet up with me in the netherlands or in paris let me know!


Monday, January 15, 2007

What is the What

Last night I went to a talk down at 826CHI about Dave Eggers' latest book! Dave was there along with Valentino Achek Deng, the lost boy that the story is based on. The book is about Valentino's life trying to escape from war in Sudan and his journey that finally led him through Somalia to the US and to Atlanta. The talk was great with Valentino talking about some of his life's journeys and Dave talking about the writing process and how it all got started. It was by far standing room only though and even though I got there about 1/2 hour early I was still standing in the back. Definitely worth it though!!

So you should all get and read the new book! Although I haven't started it yet, if it's anything like the talk and the parts that Dave read, it's going to be excellent.


Saturday, January 13, 2007


This is possibly the coolest picture I've seen recently! This guy has a mac mini installed in his prius and is running Front Row :) I wonder what the fine line is between legal and illegal here as I know it's illegal to have video in the sight of the driver while the car is in motion...but a touch-screen iTunes? :) Anyway, totally crazy and whoever this guy is deserves major credit...especially if he integrated the touch screen part too!

EDIT: Here's more info. Looks like he did get the touchscreen working as well as the apple remote!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

search stats...

Courtesy of Google's personalized search history, interesting graphs about my searching over the past 1.75 years...

Interesting how much more I search during the week, and how little I search after 11pm!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

thoughts on the iPhone...

Everyone has been asking me all day what I think about the iPhone, so I thought I'd give my opinions. First of all, I have to say that I'm really amazed...to build a unix-based PDA-type device takes a lot of work and it looks like they really got it right. The sensors are pretty amazing with the display switching from widescreen to portrait as you turn it and the proximity sensor that turns off the display when you bring it up to your head and the light sensor that makes sure it won't pocket dial. Very nice touches. And it seems that they have the finger-sized interaction down unlike the a1200. But all that said, there were 3 things I was disappointed with:
1) It's only on Cingular. An unlocked GSM phone would have totally broken open the market and led to much better phones reaching the American market and lots of choice for consumers.
2) It's only 4GB or 8GB. If this is really an ipod replacement, I'd hope for more than that.
3) It's super expensive. You have to lock into a 2 year contract with Cingular and it's still $600 for the 8GB version. That's a bit much for a phone that I might lose, scratch, break, etc.

In the end, I think it's a pretty incredible little device, but it doesn't look like I'll be buying one due to the three reasons above. I'm still waiting for a simple nano+phone to use as a second phone when I go running.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

robots, robots!!

So after two years of missing out, I decided this morning to help out with WildStang, the FIRST robotics team from Motorola and my old high school. It's always a lot of fun (although a TON of time) and I really love giving back to it since it was the activity that introduced me to the field of engineering and honestly totally changed my life. There's no way I would have ever even heard of MIT much less gone there if it hadn't been for Dan and Raul and everyone on the team in high school, and if I can help one other high school student see all of the opportunities that are out there, then it's totally worth it!

The team is also a lot of fun since it's basically all of the people that were on it 11 years ago :) The main team mentors are the same, and the 8 or so students that were on the team that now work for motorola also help out quite a bit. It's fun that 11 years later we're all still together building robots :) Although it was weird to walk in the RMHS cafeteria today and into the theater and be like, wow, this was 11 years ago that we started this team.

Anyway, if you don't see me around much in the next few weeks, you know where I am :)


Thursday, January 04, 2007


Carnivale now has vegan food! Yay!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

RunCHI 07!

You can now register for the two most fun races in Chicago for 2007! The Shamrock Shuffle 8k and the Chicago Marathon!!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

wired science...

Wired Magazine has a new TV pilot on PBS on new technology and applications of science and technology to real life. The first episode was interesting and if they can keep them up, this looks like it'll be a good/interesting show! You can check out the first episode on their web site or on your local PBS station. In Chicago that's tomorrow at 8pm on WTTW 11. Note also that one of the co-hosts is an MIT alumna which is cool :)


Monday, January 01, 2007


This sort of makes me sad. A recent poll of Americans about what they expect will happen in 2007. Someone please tell me that this is an early april fools joke...

60 percent think the U.S. will be the victim of a terrorist attack

35 percent predict the military draft will be reinstated.

35 percent predict a cure for cancer will be found.

25 percent anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ.

19 percent think scientists are likely to find evidence of extraterrestrial life.



So many of you often note that when I get interested in something, there's nothing stopping me :) Well, I recently found out about the canceled tv show Firefly and the resulting movie that was created called Serenity. And man, I couldn't stop watching! Over my little break this past week, I've made it through the entire tv show and the movie!

For those not familiar, the story is about the crew of a spaceship that refuses to play along with a newly created universal government formed by the US and China and makes a living by performing various crimes around different planets. There are a million little side stories including a girl on board who can see into the future who is wanted by the government. Anyway, it's all highly highly recommended and you should all go out and watch it, or at least add it to your netflix queue! :)