links for 2008-06-28

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Under New Management

Friday, June 27, 2008

This blog may be temporarily unavailable as I switch it to blog.slaunchaman.com.  Be patient — it’ll soon be back up and all of your old links (including RSS subscriptions) will still work.

links for 2008-06-27

Friday, June 27, 2008

Car Troubles

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I took my car to the shop this morning.  It was having a few problems—the A/C wasn’t blowing cold air any more and there was a distinct squeak coming from the right front side—and needed an oil change and a new serpentine belt, so I figured it was time for it to go in.  I took it to P.A.T. and they were pretty cool about it.  Not only did they give me a free taxi ride from their shop to my office and a free return trip, but (because I made an appointment) they also had my car finished at around 4:00 PM.

Of course, just because I got my car back doesn’t mean it was all good news.  The air conditioning system seems to have a leak that they couldn’t find today, so they added dye to the coolant and we’ll find out when the cooling stops being so good where the leak is.  The squeak is gone, but in its place is a diagnosis: all four ball joints need replacing.  Not only that, but all four wheel bearings need replacement.  The shocks are also going bad, and all four of them need to be replaced, along with four tie rod ends, two adjustor sleeves, an idler arm, and a CV joint boot (this feels like a mechanic’s “12 Days of Christmas”).  If you know what half of the parts in that section are, congratulations: you know more about cars than I do.  On top of that, there are mysterious noises coming from the rear parking brake and the A/C compressor clutch.

So, all told, it would cost more than $4,000 to fix my car.  Fun, huh?  Considering that it just went over 150,000 miles and it’s a 1999 Blazer, I think I’ll be talking to the dealership and getting a new car pretty soon, depending on what they want to give me for a trade-in.

Anyone want to buy a Blazer?

Waiting For My iPhone

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Maybe it’s the two-hour infomercial in California I attended. Maybe it’s the half-dozen times each night last week where one of us would say, “If I only had an iPhone, I could look up…” Maybe it’s all the cool iPhone applications that are going to come out. Or even the $200 price tag. Whatever it is, I really want an iPhone.  Watching Steve Jobs’ Keynote address (from an overflow room, as I hadn’t spent the night outside Moscone West in order to secure a good seat), I held out hope for him to say, “…and it’s available now!”  Alas.  Not only could I not get one at WWDC, but Apple has deigned not to allow Internet pre-sales.  I can’t even say that I will get an iPhone when the new version comes out, as I have to go to the store to get one, and they might be sold out by the time I get there.

More news also recently cropped up lately, saying that AT&T might not deliver on the $200 price point for people (like me) currently in a regular AT&T contract before the 2-year phone replacement cycle is over.  That’s pretty bad news, and it raises one obvious, but absolutely vital, question: how much is it going to cost me?  Inquiring minds want to know.

links for 2008-06-20

Friday, June 20, 2008

WWDC Impressions, Day 1

Monday, June 9, 2008

The big thing at WWDC is always the keynote address. Steve Jobs inevitably riles up the crowd (mostly composed of Mac geeks) by some groundbreaking announcement. This year’s keynote, while not as feature-rich as previous years’, at least gave me a month to wait for the iPhone 3G that I’ll inevitably have on pre-order as soon as that’s an option (does anyone want a black Razr?). The other big announcement at the keynote, aside from all the presentations by iPhone software engineers, was Apple’s replacement for .Mac, “MobileMe”. I’m of two minds about this service. First, I think the idea of the service is great. I sync my iCal, Address Book, etc. with Google right now through Spanning Sync; MobileMe is more expensive but also does photo albums and a 20 GB iDisk. I imagine I’ll try the 60-day trial and either not use it or enjoy it enough to subscribe. The part I don’t like is the name; Apple’s marketing department is usually top-notch, yet the logo for MobileMe is eerily reminiscent of Windows ME. Hopefully the two products won’t have the same “success” stories.
Time to go to my first session (which I can’t legally talk about here).

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