2009-11-06

Now You're Square (Again)

I haven't been poking at this particular part of the internets for a few weeks, since I got back from Seattle. Couple of updates (because I know the minutae of my domestic life is earth-shatteringly relevant to what is an Important Internet Blog).

Tech

I went and bought my first copy of Windows since XP, and got Windows 7 Home Premium. Reports advised me that it's 'not terrible', and that seems to be the case so far. It hasn't made me angry, it's a native 64-bit windows that's not atreated as a red-headed stepchild (like XP-64 was) and doesn't appear to have slowed things down significantly (although it has a teeny bit, lag from games seems marginally worse).

Like an idiot, I installed the 3.1.2 iPhone firmware, which everyone of course told me not to. It appeared to have two effects -- attempting to move the cursor around with my giant man-fingers got easier, and I coudn't unlock it to work with a vodafone SIM (work is switching to Vodafone). That last one got fixed this past tuesday with the latest unlocky-thing, so 3.1.2 has been just great so far. Great great great. Take that, internet.

I have a pretty high bullshit-filter when it comes to new useful websites (Brizzly doesn't pass it, since I ony use twirssi and Tweetie on the iPhone for twitter). However, I was trying out FourSquare and Tripit for the various travels I was on recently.

FourSquare is great for what it is, which is a useful app if you're in one of a few US cities. It doesn't work at all outside those, which is extraordinarily lame -- it should just let users build the network organically without having to have cities 'enabled'. Although I suspect that may be a capacity-planing measure. I hope it starts working in Dublin soon, because it's extremely useful when it does work. Basically (and this is just me describing my use case), it uses your iphone/android to find out where you are, you can 'check in' there, and view tips about the location. So, I can stand in a certain landmark in a city, and it says "Look out beyond this otherlandmark and you'll see amazing thing X you might otherwise miss", or "There are two cafes, one is shite, the other has great ice cream" or whatever. It also tells you if other foursquare users are nearby. In Seattle it was invaluable.

Tripit, on the other hand, is useful pretty much anywhere. How it basically works is that you register with an email address, then forward on flight and hotel confirmations to a tripit.com email address. It then build an itinerary and presents it on the site (or in an iPhone app), with useful info like maps of areas you're going to be in, presents all your confirmation numbers so you can just show your phone to the flight/hotel person, etc. It even does cute things like calculates the amount of time you'll need and tells you when to leave your hotel. It has a paid service, which might actually be worth it if you do enough travel. There's lots of other really cool widgets in it, too, which are well worth a look if you travel with any degree of regularity.

The only other iPhone app I've been using recently is for C25K, which is a useful running program if you're into not using your brain to decide what amount of running to get to.

Life

I've been trying to get back into training lately. The last 2 months or so have been a writeoff due to travel, being out of the office, and sheer laziness. I did pretty much 100% of my training in the Gym before, so I guess a big step is making it so I can do so at home (i.e. go running outside, etc.). This is, of course, all very easy to say, but it's November, and it's been pissing down for a solid week.

Speaking of November, I used to laugh and scoff at those affected by November's annual malaise. I actually objectively like this time of year (apart from the rain). It's cold, it's insular and its closer to chrismas (which I still love in a corny way that YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND). However, for the past week, I've been suffering from varying degrees of depression, irritability and downright anger for no good reason at all. I'm going to see if it goes away when/if I adjust before I acknowledge it as a doctor problem. For the moment, I'm going to be grumpy, and remember that there is a nice lady that makes me a lucky boy.

I've also been making best-laid plans to keep my at-home in order. I think a large part of why I'm annoyed has to do with the cleanliness of my living space. However, I don't take the time to keep it tidy. Constructive, no? I recently got a big ol' shed installed out back, and am gradually bringing stuff out to it, so it's not taking up a room in my house. Next step is to get a lockable door for the armoury (i.e. the spare bedroom where I keep my airsoft stuff) and hire a maid. Some peope smoke or drink, I have a clean house. That's my rationale and I'm sticking to it.

That is most of what I am up to these days. I will possibly do a post soon on something I've been thinking on for a while. Possibly when I'm less temporarily addicted to rage-ahol.

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