Sunday, December 09, 2007


Maddy's post


by madeline


Friday, December 07, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


When I was in the third grade computers came into my school, but they were really only for teachers then. I remember the screens were attached to the keyboards and the screens glowed with green text. They machines were white, and looked like something out a science fiction story...or something from Star Wars. They probably cost a small fortune. I think they had three machines sitting in a spare classroom in the fourth grade wing.

When I was in the fourth grade, my mother got involved. She was then and still is to this day the Elementary School's reading teacher. The administration wanted to get computers and wanted to use her Title 1 funds to buy a lab's worth of machines. Enter 25 Apple II e computers into the classroom directly across the hall from my mother's classroom. My mom's room was lucky number 3. It had high ceilings, large windows, upholstered chairs (for reading in comfort!), wooden floors, an honest to goodness pencil sharpener attached to the wall, large slate chalkboards, oak chalk trays, oak built-in cabinetry filled with art supplies, and good books to read. Everything was available to me after school from 3pm until 5pm. I'd sit and keep busy while Mom finished up her lesson plans and got things ready for the next day. And then the computers arrived. The school built large custom wooden tables 20' long with power strips down the middle and sitting just the right height for typing on the Apple keyboards. (They made a loud click sound, I recall.) With the machines came the high school kids and their 5 1/4" floppies filled with the latest games. I remember the first floppy I saw with a brand name on it's dust slip. "Verbatim" in red and blue. Bold. I had to have one. Mom bought a box of 50 for the school. Somehow I got one.

I started playing games immediately. Like Olympic Decathlon and Oregon Trail. My buddy in 5th grade, Chris, would end up programming his own games by the 7th grade. I never tried. No interest at all in creating the code to play. I just wanted to play. I figured out how things worked, but never under the hood. In the 6th grade I remember the pride I felt in being called out of class to help a group of teachers print a document. It was an original taupe Imagewriter, where you had to push the tall button in to get the two green lights to light up. I knew how to do it. Somehow. They were relieved. I was stoked.

When I was in junior high my mother would bring home the Apple II c. With it's CPU and keyboard fitted into the sweet bag slung over your shoulder, you had two arms free to haul that clunky monitor. The metal stand attached to the monitor was a real pain! I suppose Steve Jobs thought owners would buy two monitors? We didn't have that luxury. Only one other kid in my class could bring home a II c to write papers on. He and I ended up with the highest marks. I wonder if it had anything to do with the little white II c's? Last I knew he was working for a software firm out west somewhere.

Monday, December 03, 2007

New TV

new tv
Originally uploaded by Jrome
We got a new TV on Friday. I ordered it from Amazon and got free shipping. The delivery company (Eagle) installed it and made sure it worked fine. Easy process. Nice tv. (Samsung LNT3242H 32" LCD H... $729.99)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Social features

I happen to follow a few new applications closely, and this news is exciting from the Digital Editions blog. It seems to me that most applications these days should have a social component. Send an email, blog it, share it, IM a friend or collaborator, post it to, these are the features that enable an application to move well beyond the features it was designed for, enabling creativity and flexibility among users. Maybe Google's new Open Social could be used to spread the fun to the widest reaches. Eh?
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Digital Editions will be introducing new social features in the future that will enhance the use and enjoyment of user’s ebooks, such as sharing annotations and reading lists.
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Now the kids won't get any work done!

I loved SimCity as a kid. Wish I had it on my laptop.
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EA donates SimCity to OLPC

According to a weekend report on Ars Technica, leading game maker Electronic Arts has decided to give their pioneering game SimCity to the One Laptop per Child project for installation on every machine distributed to children in developing nations).

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Old office

In about a month, once the drywall and painting is done, once the carpet is down at least, I will move my office. Until then, the old office kinda looked like this...except normally the screens aren't just broad expanses of blue.

Here's me working...


Nice curly bamboo! (That'll be heading upstairs to the new office.)

Not too shabby... this is just around the corner from where my compadres work.

Monday, November 05, 2007

There go me lucky charms!

NY Times Magazine, Nov. 4, 2007
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Anastasia... and Billy?

I sat watching Anastasia tonight with my four year old on my lap. As the opening music played, I couldn't help thinking I'd heard another song with that same melody. Then it hit me, Billy Corgan's "Thirty Three" off Mellon Collie...

Check it out. The similarity is profound.
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Friday, September 28, 2007

evhead: Twitter Track

evhead: Twitter Track

This is an interesting development within twitter. Now you can be informed when folks twitter something you want to hear. Rumor mills, gossip queens, and eavesdroppers can now put their proverbial ears to the tracks and listen for what strikes their fancy.

I thought of a possible use, if a bit ultra nerdy: I wonder if the OED people know about this? Could be a nifty way (or a hard way) to grab citations - at least in short bursts up to 140 characters - for known net neologisms. Just Twitter Track a set you want to collect and voila! Examples come to you.

Uncle Junior was his flight attendant

I would ask Junior for a club soda with a lime and tip well.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tagging on Live Search... probably not in our Livetimes

I'm a fan of tagging. I'm also a fan of social bookmarking and responsible networking features for certain web services. I would hope that this remark isn't the official stance and is just out of context or wrong. Maybe MS knows something we don't about these new fangled web 2.0 features? I rather doubt it. Perhaps MS needs to hire some 15 year olds as product managers. Get some green interns. New life. New ideas. New something.
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4. Speaking of subsequent releases, Microsoft is sticking to its plans to do a major spring and a fall release every year of Live Search, with incremental updates coming in between. The spring release, according to Live Search General Manager Derrick Connell, will bring enhancements around “community.” (He wouldn’t elaborate.) This doesn’t sound like tagging/social bookmarking kinds of stuff, as Connell told me that Microsoft decided those features appealed to too small a percentage of the potential user base. Maybe we’ll see more peer reviews/recommendations across areas beyond shopping…? Just a guess…. And what about rumors I had heard regarding Live Search allowing users to search their Outlook e-mail? “There’s a tie-in there,” Connell said, and Microsoft will have more to say about it later.
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fearless Flyer

Fearless Flyer, originally uploaded by Jrome.

I took a flyer today and rode to a store where I saw this sign. Loaded up on good stuff then went home and hung out with friends. Life is good. This weekend was great. Can't beat the weather.

Friday, September 21, 2007

World Carfree day

From a recent email... quoting wordsmith's daily.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. -Iris Murdoch, writer (1919-1999) [World Carfree Day is Sep 22:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Money making, money money making

One business that could create a nice Facebook application and make some money out of it: Wowio.

Any major publisher could pump the long tail into Wowio and catch a windfall in Facebook. At this point in time I severely doubt a PDF version of a book is going to dissuade any reader from buying a paperback for that long holiday weekend coming up at the end of November. But a PDF... might be handy to try out those couple dozen titles that always seemed really interesting in the bookstore, but just never on payday. Know what I mean? Or maybe test drive a few books on the ole notebook on the transcontinental flight home on break.

Now, in this paragraph, if it wasn't clear above, I clearly exhibit signs of smoking crack (aka thinking outloud with the mute button disabled): A link to Wowio downloads on book pages. For instance:

A link to the Wowio download on Google Book Search or Windows Live Book Search. A link on publishers' book store pages for every out of print book. (Why not list them? Even if POD pays somebody's salary, couldn't Wowio buy that guy a sushi lunch every week? I think so.)

What Wowio lacks: 1. better site search and 2. much better browse functions. (It's almost like they don't want people to see everything they've got.)
3. Dreamy content. They lack it. (Example: Computers & Internet category.) They've got some good stuff, but not awesome stuff. It's like a used paperback store in some small town north of Tampa, FL. Everything is a dollar, but it's hard to find what you're looking for, and it's all kinda ho-hum. Like it left the shelf of someone who never really cared what they read... and then died... then someone had to get rid of it, but couldn't throw it away... 4. A social network of readers. Maybe not enough people actually read the titles they download...dunno. Wonder if they keep stats on that. Then maybe they could really do something in Facebook. Oh, wait, Facebook could provide the social network... hmmm. Now you see how I got to the top of this blog entry.
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The real IQ test, of course, is figuring out how to create an app that takes off and makes money. So what defines a killer Facebook app? Senior platform manager Dave Morin says the stickiest applications are those that tap into the "social graph." That's Zuckerberg's oft-quoted term for the web of connections between users and their friends. "Most apps are only interesting if there is much more content below that widget," Morin says. "It needs to take you someplace different, do something more."

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've never seen anything like this. Slalom used to be guys in tight pants on 210s on a double black diamond, or those skater dudes who used to (probably still do) line the road up past the conservatory of flowers in GG park with little orange cones. Except they would knock them all down to the reggae beat. This is different. Watch.

Amazing Freestyle Slalom On Rollerblades - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I never surprises me that an animal should recognize signs that are otherwise imperceptible to us humans. Anecdotes of this sort can't be rare. Can they?
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A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat

Oscar the Cat awakens from his nap, opening a single eye to survey his kingdom. From atop the desk in the doctor's charting area, the cat peers down the two wings of the nursing home's advanced dementia unit. All quiet on the western and eastern fronts. Slowly, he rises and extravagantly stretches his 2-year-old frame, first backward and then forward. He sits up and considers his next move.
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Monday, September 10, 2007


I've probably commented on this camera before, but I should mention it again. Cheap as it is, it's fun to haul this little thing around and shoot where you are. It's so much easier than a $100+ digital camera. I toss this in my bag without thinking. No case? No problem!

I just bought another one to use in my home office with Tokbox, which I'm giving a try. I'm on the cheap webcam plan, since my corporate-issue Dell lacks the built-in. I told them a MacBook was the way to go....
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Mini PenCam 1.3 + Free Webcam AccessoriesMini PenCam 1.3 + Free Webcam Accessories

Quantity in Basket: none

: More Photos

: Color Option - Blue

The new Mini
PenCam truly is the smallest mega pixel camera on the market. At just over 1
inch x 1 inch x 3 1/2 inches it can easily be completely concealed in the
palm of your hand. It's also light enough for you to wear around your neck
with the included lanyard. It's a fashion statement and digital camera
all-in-one! Marvel at the technology of this amazing new gadget.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

eBooks almost ready for prime time

There's a solid intro article on some fancy reading materials coming soon to the computer nearest you. Or that handheld device you've got. Or that phone. Or that new e-Ink device. Or that print out. Or that web browser. Or that toothbrush. Or that car stereo. Or that iPhone. Or that...
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Monday, August 27, 2007

What's on my laptop screen this evening
Rachelle Goh's senior thesis at Tufts entitled "Mainstream Media Meets Citizen Journalism: In Search of a New Model"

Friday, August 17, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Twitter and Time

10x and Real Time

Biz Stone in a video podcast with Robert Scoble, "Yeah, our API was really important. We released it early on and as a result we like see ten times more traffic through our API than through our website."

Ten times. The future lies with API development.

Other quote of note: "not like the standard RSS thing, which is just awful, because it sucks for them -because they have to wait and only check every once in a while- and it's bad for us because we're constantly getting hit by these guys: 'what're you doing, what're you doing, what are you doing?' So we'll have this real time thing..."

Real Time. What's coming next. Move over RSS. We will hardly have known ye when the next wave of tech comes out of TwitterHQ.

Apple TV, RSS, and My Prime Time

When I was in NY last week, I headed to the Apple Store in Soho to check out the new iPhone and "other stuff." The iPhone, which I've held before, continues to amaze. It really is a super slick device. I'd run right out and buy one if I ever did that sort of thing, but I don't so I won't. I tend to use the tools I'm dealt. In OUP's case, the ubiquitous Blackberry 8700. Still, I'm envious of at least one story I've heard through the pipes.

But more than the iPhone what blew me away was the AppleTV, all alone by itself in the far left hand corner of the store. (Or is it a museum?) "YouTube on the old flat screen tube. Hmmm. That's something," I thought.

But this morning, I read Steve Lacey's post and nearly spilled over my morning coffee - RSS and video on Apple TV. Brilliant! RSS, which has been my favorite flavor of the month is firmly in the running for flavor of the decade. Steve's little guide allows me to pump content I want to see into my TV. Or even discover content I might deem useful. Is it really so easy?

What about pumping in feeds generated from a search by tag? DIY videos on unclogging a sink or installing kitchen cabinets, getting stains out of wool rugs, or case studies in cloth diapers? (I've got a baby on the brain.)

This is just the beginning. It's probably already been done by geeks more powerful than me. But the simplicity of AppleTV and iTunes. That may be a winning combination.

If you've done this sort of thing, pimped your ride sort of speak, throw me a bone.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I like gmail. Plain and simple. Then I installed the Better Gmail Firefox extension. I'm liking it more. Give it a try.

Download it from Lifehacker here.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Saw this linked on Beth's Blog. So much with so little.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Reading books is great fun. But I've been spending too much time on Google Reader! What to do?

Never fear. DailyLit is here. Now with RSS!

Check out my progress in the sidebar.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Eco echo

Reminds me... more people need to see Chris Jordan's work.

Here, check it out:
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Bottled water is healthy water -- right?

That's what the marketers would have us believe

Bottled water isn't a good value

No healthier than tap water

Bottled water means garbage

Bottled water means less attention to public systems

The corporatization of water

What can you do?

In reality, bottled water is just water.

In theory, bottled water in the United States falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration. In practice, about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight.

there's very little empirical evidence which suggests bottled water is any cleaner or better for you than its tap equivalent.

Consider taking Food and Water Watch's No Bottled Water Pledge. Conserve water wherever possible, and stay on top of local water issues.

Want to know more? Start with the Sierra Club's fact sheet on bottled water.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Power Tuesday.

Like Evhead.

Digital Editions comes of age and going mobile

I applaud Sony for supporting Adobe's Digital Editions. A wise move. I think I need to pick up one of those Sony Readers...
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For those publishers who require DRM capabilities, we have also debuted a new hosted service for content protection, Adobe ADEPT. More later on ADEPT and all the issues around DRM. I also want to highlight the Flex-based development of Digital Editions, which in many ways is Adobe's first AIR (aka Apollo) style application. But that will also have to wait for another post.

The 1.0 release is available for Mac (PPC & Intel native) and Windows (XP, Vista, and Windows 2000). And today at the O'Reilly Tools of Change conference we are also demonstrating a desktop Linux version that will be in public beta soon. Mobile/device support is also coming, as evidenced by our announcement today that Sony wil be incorporating Digital Editions capabiliities, including EPUB and Adobe DRM support, into the Sony Reader product line.

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The importance of Metadata

The service itself is about making diner reservations online, but the value is really in the details.

Friday, June 08, 2007


I missed this in the times the other day, but thank goodness for gmails innocent web clips, eh?

Feed Education with Robert Scoble

Saturday, June 02, 2007

zoho via scoble

On the train now, but can't get enough tech. I like how robert's posts are all twitterish. Short sentences all filled with the moment. It's clear he was doing somethings more than once...and so he mentions things, in slightly different ways throughout the post.

Maybe I'm just tired.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Widgets = little web tubicles
Widgets = weblets
Widgets = wee web
Widgets = tiny little TVs that only show you what you want to watch
Widgets = the new internets

Carbon Footprint reducer = powder detergent

I hadn't thought of this one, suggested on the Arico Blog (they make cookies):

Save Water with Powder Detergents
Switch from liquid detergents to powders. Laundry liquids are mostly water (approx. 80%). It costs energy and packaging to bring this water to the consumer.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Remember when you were 7?

7 year old kid (me) talking about Apple IIs back in '82 from natdefreitas on Vimeo

I remember taking a class one summer at the old Radio Shack on Erie Blvd around this same time.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Marketing specific feature-sets, landgrab mechanisms, and the internet

Ethan Kaplan writes about the additions of social networking features on his great blog. I agree with what he wrote, but my brief comment here is solely on his composition style. Kudos all around. For instance: "I don’t as of yet understand why the concept of “social” and “community” needs to be so semantically defined through marketing specific feature-sets. It should just be there."

Thursday, May 10, 2007
What is up with gasoline pricing? After reading this account, I want to ride my bicycle and never set foot on accelerator again.

If need for a car comes again, I'm going greasecar. A nice used Golf TDI... filled with biodiesel and running down to the local Mickey D's for some SVO fillup.

Mr. Clean is the man behind that shine!

JPG mag guru Derek Powa-to the people-zek has mopped the floors with other templates after creating a squeaky clean template, appropriately named "DePo Clean WordPress Theme."

Whilest I'm a blogger dweller for the foreseeable future, I will admire thy template from afar. I like it because it's neat and tidy. I'd like to see it in black though. (Smaller carbon footprint and slimming.)

PS Everyone who has picked up the JPG issue in my living room has loved it. Everyone, including my 70 year old blogging mother and our lovely 90 year old neighbors, gets caught reading, many cover to cover. If you're reading this, get ye to the JPG mag site and subscribe...or participate.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I've been listening to Sufjan Stevens a lot lately.

I felt the same way hearing this song on the train from NYC as I did twenty years ago when I heard Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill or Zepplin doing Going to California.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Omlette Patrick

Omlette Patrick, originally uploaded by Jrome.

Omlette, a three year old neutered male bobtail cat, whose full name was Omlette Patrick (he came home from the SPCA as Patrick, but the kids dubbed him Omlette), died Monday.

He was a lovely cat. Everyone always stopped to look at him and pet him. He was affectionate, loved to follow people down the bike path, trotted around with his female companions, played with the kids, and was the most adored creature in the neighborhood.

I already miss him.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dec 2005 ... tagging comment

I found this comment on the blog, on the post where Joshua announced the acquisition by Yahoo:

"Joshua, Congratulations! Yahoo sure does get tagging I see.

Posted by: Michael Arrington | Dec 9, 2005 1:58:14 PM"

Who really does "get" tagging though? Has tagging been monetized yet? Or is it just a feature of the web that we're all cuddly with now, a year an a half later?

Finding out...about

I hit the links this morning when I should have gone golfing. That rain we had has let up and my roofers are up top shingling away. Anyway, I came across a statement I thought I'd share on a widely Dugg article about Google and a recent whoopsie it had with personalized homepages, "Google scrambles to restore deleted homepages."

The part I want to share has really nothing to do with the story. It's the editor's note that followed: "Editor's Note - This story is a perfect example of how we learn about new features in software and technology during our workday. We've always seen the personalized homepage option inside of Google, but never bothered to play around with it until we started writing this story. We made a brand spanking new Google page in about 3 minutes, complete with Tom's Hardware Guide, Engadget and Digg feeds. We also included a Gmail feed."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Enjoy yourself

April 2007

Dear Jerome,

As Grandpa G always said First, "enjoy yourself, it's later than you think" Second, "Health, good health is wealth." I feel this year has been prosperous for us all!

I love your ideas for your kitchen and how you have followed through with your ideas.

Happy Easter, son, much love,


When's the next rocket out of this dump?

Sweet. I'm packing my bags. X marks the spot.
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Scientists find most Earth-like planet yet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- European astronomers have spotted what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet outside our solar system, with balmy temperatures that could support water and, potentially, life.

They have not directly seen the planet, orbiting a red dwarf star called Gliese 581. But measurements of the star suggest that a planet not much larger than the Earth is pulling on it, the researchers say in a letter to the editor of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

"Its radius should be only 1.5 times the Earth's radius, and models predict that the planet should be either rocky, like our Earth, or covered with oceans," Udry said in a telephone interview.

"Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extra-terrestrial life," Xavier Delfosse, a member of the team from Grenoble University in France, said in a statement.

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Memories of Youth

I had a bunch of Griffey cards. I think I have that Upper Deck one. Jason's comments remind me of a ton of things from my youth that influenced my eye for design. (And a ton of things that led my professional career away from it.) I'll post some images at some point.
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Ben says:
My first thought was "Griffey, he's still just a couple of years into the majors," and then I realized it's been 18 years! Probably has a lot to do with my hording his rookie cards back in '89 and then losing interest in the whole baseball card thing a year later.
» by Ben on Apr 25, 2007 at 12:35 PM
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jkottke says:
Yeah, the only reason I even noticed his home run total at all is that 1989 Upper Deck card of his, which card is burned into my brain as a highlight of my youth and, come to think of it, the first bit of graphic design I remember noticing/studying/coveting.
» by jkottke on Apr 25, 2007 at 12:44 PM
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I may read this book.

I heard about this book, oh, a couple three weeks ago. I put it on my back burner and it has since stewed itself into what seems to be a tasty little morsel. I may even buy the ebook.
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Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
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