Saturday, April 26, 2008

She's One Tough Cookie

So, I've had this one iPod Mini for over three years now. I've dropped the damn thing more times than I can count. And I don't mean a nice easy fall to the ground, I mean ... WOW, I THREW my iPod HARD onto the sidewalk, the street, my garage floor (lots and lots of times. Its amazing how many times my iPod managed to fly out of my car.), and now the isle of a bus. I had gotten onto the wrong bus last week sunday and had, at the last minute, decided to get off at the same stop a man was getting on. I jumped up and flew out of my seat to the door and in the process, snagged my headphones cord on some part of the seat. My ear buds got ripped from my ears and my iPod was ripped from my back pocket and was whipped across the bus, slammed onto the isle and down almost to the driver. Ugh, it was painful. Just, so painful. I picked it up and hopped off the bus, leaving my 31-day bus pass behind that was worth $47.

Looking at my iPod, it was not good. The wheel was stuck inside the body. I could use the volume and I could move from song to song, but I could not press the wheel down to pause the music, which was still playing! Well, it played for a minute or two longer, then it told me there was no more battery power and died right there in my hands.

With the power gone and me thinking it was just plain broken, I wasn't afraid to get aggressive with the machine and pound on the wheel until it popped out. I let the iPod be until I got home later that evening and plugged it into an outlet, where it worked just fine.

The next day i unplugged the iPod from the power source, but it only worked for a few minutes before dying again. Not sure what to do with it and assuming it was just never going to work on its own again, I plugged it back in to the outlet where I was at least able to get SOME use out of it.

Lo and behold the next day, I tried it again and was able to get several hours of play time out of it and its been working pretty alright ever since, though today it pooped out on me pretty early. I was left to deal with the bus ride and walk home sans an appropriate soundtrack.

The point of this story, though, is my iPod Mini is quite the tank! My iPod has lasted longer than anyone else that I know and I have to wonder if anyone else has had this experience as well with their Mini. Every person I know who's had a Shuffle has had it break after a very short time. The regular iPods lasted for a time, but not nearly as long as my Mini, though ... I think my brother has his original iPod still and its either as old as my Mini, or its older. I think older, though his Shuffle went to hell. My friend Natalee has had two iPods. I haven't heard anything about the new Nano's or the old for that matter.

But I'd really like to hear from other people who have or had iPod Mini's and if their's lasted as long or stood up as well to the abuse mine did. I still see them being used all over the place. More so than the older original iPods or the older Nanos.

While my Ipod is still working, its not working well, so I will be getting a new one. I'm looking to probably get an iPod Nano and I'm excited to get a video one, so i can watch Diggnation instead of just listen to it, but I've been looking at the iPod Touch, which, if its as cool as it sounds, would probably be a better investment for me. I'm with out a laptop now and I have zero time or energy to write the emails I need to write. It would be lovely to have a device to to that with now. As tedious as it would be, it would be SOMETHING!

Ya know?

And I have more thoughts on Twitter, though I think I'll wait to post them until later. I need to refine what I think and come to a point. Twitter interests me to no end simply because ... it's kinda its own noun and verb. It came out and you really can't tell people WHAT it is. Its not email, its not a blog, its not a text message, it's not Myspace, or Facebook, its ... Twitter. Just ... Twitter. And you tweet. That's all, you tweet, not text or blog or ... whatever. You tweet.

And thank GOD for the "undo" button, because I just accidentally deleted this entire post and spent the past 60 or so seconds freaking out before I remembered to right click and "undo" what I had done.

Whew!

Good night!

Friday, April 25, 2008

And Then There Were 1,475,475,197,921.

So, as stated before, my new obsession is Twitter. I've been using it a lot of late for ... a purpose I'm not so sure of. Only two of my friends in Madison have Twitter accounts, but they never USE them. Both can't remember their log-in name OR password, so they are locked out.

I subscribe to some of my favorite tech journalists' feeds and a couple of "pen pals'," if you will. I have their tweets update to my cell phone and I get close to 30 in coming tweets in a single day. None of the information applies to my life, I'm not even 110% sure WHY i even follow them.

Maybe it's because I understand how cool Twitter can be when you have the right sort of network and I just really want to use it. I want to be a part of it.

There are however, some ... interesting things? maybe? That I see happening on Twitter. I say interesting because I think people are still trying to find their voice and function for twitter, so a lot of people are saying in their updates teeter on the ridiculous.

One particular conversation you see going on centers around the number of followers a person has. People constantly compare with each other how many followers they have, how much it jumps up every day and if the numbers are true and what they reflect.

As can only happen for any networking site, we're seeing the presence of spammers. I'm not sure what their purpose is, but they seem to think there is one.

With Twitter, you don't ADD people, which involves an APPROVAL step, you "follow" them, which doesn't include any sort of approval at all. So, this so called "spammer" can subscribe to your feed, but if you don't subscribe back ... you don't see a word they have to say. And if you look at their feeds, its always just news feeds and the only spamming you see is that the personal website they have listed in their mini profile is a website to buy or sell things.

If the idea of spammer being able to subscribe to your feed bothers you, you can block them. Twitter does, indeed, have that feature.

I had a bittersweet evening with Twitter a few days ago. The New Pornographers came to town with Okkervil River, whom i love, but I had decided to skip this show in favor of saving my money for a macbook I am in desperate need for. My phone started to update with the tweets of a guy in town who I follow who went to show. While I enjoyed reading his updates about the show, things started to turn for the worse when he mentioned Chris Pirillo was at the show and they were going out for drinks later that night. !!!!!!!

Fun to see play out on my phone, buuuuuut ... I was a tad jealous.

Another fun thing to see go on happened with one of my all time favorite tech journalists, Leo Laporte. His son made a snide remark about not believing his dad had some 10,000+ followers on Twitter, so Leo POSTED HIS SON'S CELL PHONE NUMBER ... on Twitter and said "go ahead minions! Show the kid just how much you love me!" Aaaaaaand ... they did. Almost instantly Hank's cell phone was flooded with text messages. It got so bad, they had to turn the phone off and I'm going to assume that entire line. Hank probably has a new cell phone number now.

It'll be interesting to see how this Twitter thing pans out. Its useful, addictive and just down right interesting. I'm in love with the idea that all the TWiTs talk to each other and the their conversations come right to my cell phone.

I honestly, just really wish more of my friends would give it a try. They all pretty much down right refuse. I've been trying for weeks now. My brother doesn't like it. His friends wouldn't use it either, so there's just no point.

I can't wait to see how it all pans out though. Clearly Twitter is just another step in the evolution of social networking on the internet. It'll be interesting to watch this grow into something else that we adopt and make our own.

Until then, Twitter on kids. Twitter on.

(follow me at www.twitter.com//ministeph )

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

tweet tweet twitter!

Sssssoooooo, I have this new addiction and it's Twitter. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but it's sort of like quick fire blogging/text messaging/emailing with a sort of Facebook wall/Myspace comments sort of feel to it.

See, you make an account. You up load one small picture. You can tweak the back ground a bit to personalize it, you can add a URL and give yourself a one or two sentence bio, but that's it.

Then you start updating.

You've got 140 characters to work with and that is all you have. The whole update idea centers around a single question: what are you doing?

Your friends then "follow" you on Twitter using their account. They can either check your "tweets" via the web, or they can assign cell phone and have the tweets text them directly.

And you don't have to have everyone you follow update your phone at all. Pretty all of mine do, but there are two people who are ... just out of control. So, i had to turn them off.

You can update what you're doing by texting messaging Twitter, there are applications for Face Book and Mac users specifically and there are others. Lots of others, I just haven't looked into it. My Facebook app doesn't work at all. I hate it, but I almost never log into Twitter, I text everything I put.

This whole Twitter thing is pretty cool because the more people you follow, the more follow you until you're part of a large web of communication.

A perfect example of just how powerful Twitter is happened at SXSW when an interview being done by BusinessWeek's Sarah Lacy and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg took a turn the audience didn't approve of. They felt Lacey was soft balling Zuckerburg and flirting with him, so they all jumped on Twitter to express their frustration. Everyone saw everyone else's negative remarks and the interview ended with the audience literally "heckling" Lacey in real life and taking over the interview to ask questions they felt were interesting and important.

What makes this whole thing even more interesting to me is my favorite podcast, This Week in Tech, was being recorded and they picked up on what was going down at SXSW as it was happening ... all because they could see it playing out on THEIR tweets.

Its amazing to me. Social networking blows my mind.

Twitter is ... just so much fun! A quicker more evolved myspace. Try it out! If you do, be sure to folloe me, I'm ministeph.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's Not Much

Well, today I worked - ohhhhhhh, so hard - on getting my Google Reader back up and running. It was pretty exciting! I think one of the most amusing things that came out of it were the recommended blogs they had for me. One being DAVID JAFFE's blog aaaaand, another being a comic strip about ... math and love.

Yeah, math and love.

I looked at it with much excitement and was proud to be deemed "nerd" enough by Google to have them think I could handle a comic strip about math, buuuuuut ... when I started reading it, I quickly realized it was way, way, way over my head.

I should have subscribed to it anyway. I may be terrible at math, but I'm a smart girl. I catch on pretty quick, but ... I clicked "no thanks" anyway and now I regret it, if not to at least just post the link here.

If I can find that site again, I'll link to it on my blog, until then ... c'est la vie my loves ... c'est la vie.

Friday, April 11, 2008

let it be stated,
here and now,
that i have lost myself
in world of possibilities.

BUT -

in other news,
its time to fire up the electric blanket.

i'm an old lady.
my hip hurts.
i'm too tired to party and rock out
tooooonight.

i'm going to bed.
i don't care that its 9:15.

a nice cup of hot tea,
last week's episode of This Week in Tech,
the blanket pre-heating at level 6,

who needs a party?
i'm falling asleep.

good night.