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{ personal log }

california license plate: the fray

sanfrancisco-sm (24k image)

{ more » }   { 7:24pm }

camera lust

Longtime Powazek readers will remember that I bought a Nikon Coolpix 950 way back when (and then did goofy stuff with it). I still love the camera and use it almost every day.

Since then, Nikon has come out with the 990 and the 995. Each added cool stuff (higher res images, popup flash), but seemed to make the camera more clunky. It went from matte metallic black to a plastic grey and got bulky in all the wrong places. So it was easy to ignore the improvements.

All that's changed with the upcoming Coolpix 4500. It's a thing of beauty. Smaller, sleeker, more powerful, woof. I haven't been gripped by camera lust like this for years, even if the US version gets the foo foo turquoise stripe instead of the manly red one the Euros get. (Maybe I could buy an EU one on eBay eventually. Hmmn.)

No price tag yet, but if it comes in at around what I paid for my 950, sign me up.

{ 5:38pm }


required osx shareware

I'm beginning to realize that talking about my OSX transition here is like when the guy at the post office corners me and talks about sports for five minutes. He's going on about stats and scores and players and all I can think is, "now, is this the game with the round orange ball or the small white one?"

But, hey, this is my site, so here are the top three required pieces of shareware for new OSX converts, based on my thorough week-long experience.

{ more » }   { 1:36pm }


dmp in mindjack

There I go, flapping my jaw again.

{ 12:30pm }

a thought on writing for the web

I was at a party this weekend, talking to a writer about the internet. Writers, professional writers, are always afraid of the net, because the concept of giving your words away for free is absurd at best and criminal at worst. But this writer wanted to talk, and I wanted to avoid standing in the corner looking at my feet, so we talked.

Anyone who knows me knows that I think with my mouth. It's as if my brain is only half capable of thought – it requires a dialog to finish the process. And in talking to this writer fellow (who was very nice by the way and knew, I think, a lot more than he was letting on), I had a thought I wanted to remember.

{ more » }   { 12:17pm }

save us stevie wan

We can only hope that this article is wrong, and Apple will whip up a browser of its own. I've been running in OSX for a few days now, and the one app that crashes consistently? Microsoft Internet Explorer. More than two windows open and bam - crash city. This is on an out of the box G4 that came with Explorer pre-installed. Sheesh.

The other app that keeps crashing is Microsoft Entourage, which is why I'm still using my trusty G3 for email (with Eudora 3, no less). Viva 1996!

{ more » }   { 11:45am }


booty shotz

After 7 years on the internet, I've decided to finally show you my booty. Enjoy.

{ 9:38am }


dmp in cnet

I am officially adding "usability rebel" to my business card.

{ 3:22pm }


it's here

itshere (20k image)

{ more » }   { 3:50pm }


come to papa

cometopapa (6k image)

{ 6:29pm }


dmp in sxsw

"There is something happening right now. Some kind of cultural hunger for unpolished, personality-driven content. I mean, how else can you explain The Osbournes?"

– Derek Powazek, in SXSW's Tech Report Interview

{ 4:13pm }


debt never felt so good

Woohoo! A new G4 is mine! I'll have to wait the A/V stuff out, but that's cool. So I should have a shiny new box sitting on my desk in a week! Which means, of course, that the G5 will be out the week after. Oh well. OS X, here I come!

{ 4:32pm }


any mac experts out there?

A call for advice from any mac-centric audio/video geeks out there....

Four years ago I bought a beige G3 Power Mac. I got the AV one that came with audio RCA in/out and video in/out. That allowed me to do things like:

-- Hook my tape player up to digitize taped audio, or make tapes of digital audio.

-- Hook my VCR up and make digital movies out of videos, or record VHS tapes of digital movies.

I'm ready to buy a new G4, but I'm concerned that I won't be able to do these things anymore. I know I can buy third party hardware to manage these tasks, but I'm swamped in options that are all too fancy for what I need. What I need is what I had: a few extra plugs at the back of my mac.

So my question for the experts: What is the cheapest, easiest way for me to add good old AV functionality to a fancy new G4 tower? All I need is simple RCA audio in/out and video in/out. Any advice?

{ more » }   { 8:22pm }

twenty nine and counting

I had a great birthday yesterday, in spite of my own melancholic tendencies. Brunch and beach with an old friend, dinner and a movie with my sweetie. And the new Star Wars pic, which was nice enough to open on May 16 just for me, wasn't even half bad (except for all the Proto-Darth in Love stuff, but, hey, nuthin's perfect).

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with well wishes, and especially to the two who made the day so special. And if anyone does figure out that stopping-the-world trick I mentioned, do let me know.

{ 8:09pm }


bah da da da da da da dah

Happy birthday to me.

Twenty-nine. Sigh. I wish I could pause the world today and finish everything I said I'd have done by now.

{ 1:06am }


if the apartment's knockin' ...

Congratulations to Heather and Cory on their first earthquake! The homeless guy I bumped into after the quake told me it was a 3.0 (and that he could feel things dogs and cats could not), but it was really a 5.2, all the way from Gilroy.

A little advice from a consummate Californian: First you think it's a large truck. Then you realize it's an earthquake. If you can say "Oh shit, it's an earthquake!" and it's still shaking, head for a doorway. (Usually it stops long before you finish the sentence.)

{ 11:43pm }


star wars memories

"We had just made a daring daylight raid on Jabba the Hutt's headquarters, which had been located in the toolshed in Steven's backyard, unbeknownst to his parents all this while. We were, of course, victorious, and decided that Jabba needed to be brought to justice. By immolation, natch." – Peter in Star Wars Memories

What are your Star Wars memories?

{ 1:51pm }


question marks

Apparently these people think it's okay to reprint other people's words, so long as you translate them into another language first.

{ 3:06pm }


openwire --> jayallen

My friend Jay has somehow found the time to redesign and relaunch his website while staying in a hostel in Budapest, eating pig parts, and falling madly in love. I suspect he's given up sleep.

Give it a look and a read. It's enough to make a guy want to buy a plane ticket....

{ 2:39pm }


the world is one powazek richer today

Welcome to the world, Jonah David Powazek.

Jonah is my cousin, my Uncle Alan and Aunt Laurie's third child. He came into the world at 1:18pm today, all 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and 20.5 inches of him.

{ 8:11pm }

jaguar rawr

I'm looking at OSX a little more seriously now that my birthday is coming up (hint hint), and the new version (code named "Jaguar") is looking quite promising, with one glaring exception.

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the stupidest looking chat program ever! Little pictures and chat bubbles? Yeech. Have we learned nothing since 1997?

Aside from that, Apple's next version of OSX looks pretty sweet. Faster graphics, system-wide address book, integrated searching ... hell, I'd plunk down the cash for a G4 tomorrow if the new spam filter in Mail does what it says it does. (Long have I wanted to just teach my mail program what spam is when I delete it.)

But the one thing I'm confused about is the dueling design paradigms at Apple. Some apps have decided to look metallic (Sherlock, iTunes, Address Book) and some retain the gumdrop Aqua look (the new Photoshop and Word, for example). Do these looks mean something? Which is the default?

{ 3:20pm }


new in {fray}: homecoming

"I knew I was just passing through until the next part of life started. But all that changed one night in February, when I got a flat tire." Kate Cunningham has a bittersweet homecoming.

Huge thanks go out to the very talented Briana Bolger, who designed this story. If you like the look of it, check out her other pretty pictures.

And a super-big shout out to the baldies at K10k, who created the ultra-cool Matchmaker, which is where Briana found us!

{ 6:03pm }

because I never met a bandwagon I didn't like

Verisign is a company full of foul-mouthed bed-wetters. You heard it here first, kids. (Or here, anyway.)

{ 9:53am }


new in sfstories

Stories from the park: "The park changed from a faraway place I visited once a month to a daily haunt. And I changed, too."

{ 11:06am }


14 days until 29

Amazon wants me to remind all my close, personal friends that my birthday is in two weeks.

{ 9:01pm }

what copyright infringement are you?

My goodness but don't those "What Blogging Archetype Are You Most Like?" cards look familiar?

{ 1:38pm }

from yiddish kvetshn

Kvetch is today's A.Word.A.Day:

"Perhaps one should emphasize here that he (V.S. Naipaul) has gone out of his way, from time to time and far beyond the call of duty, to burnish his reputation as a cantankerous curmudgeon - truly the Evelyn Waugh of our age, right down to his squirearchal residence in the west of England - or even as a bigoted old barroom kvetch. Not long ago Naipaul anathematized Tony Blair as a 'pirate' at the head of 'a socialist revolution' ..." Geoffrey Wheatcroft, A Terrifying Honesty, The Atlantic Monthly (Boston), Feb 2002.

{ 11:02am }


the chase

Last night I had that dream again. The one where I'm running. We're running. This group. And they're after us. So we're hiding and fleeing and sneaking. Under cars and over fences and through the rough, hard ground. And finally I escape onto the street and a man with two shirts gives me one, and only then do I realize that I don't have one on. That's when I wake up.

This morning, in the shower, I could feel my feet. They were still tired from the chase.

{ 4:43pm }

hlr in dfc

Howard Rheingold in Design for Community:

Ultimately, I believe the complexities of the regulatory and political battles boil down to whether the people who use tomorrow's technologies will be smart mobs or marching morons, or, more simply, whether we'll be users (with the power to create not just content and markets but entirely new media) or consumers (with the power to choose between 500 brands offered by the same three vendors, with little or no power to create our own cultural products). More than ever, the real key is human knowledge that can lead to collective action -- how people appropriate or adapt technologies to their own needs, not just passively accept the default capabilities of the technologies and the needs of those who devise and sell them. Right now is the time to understand what is really at stake, to spread the word, and to use what power we still have to act intelligently on behalf of our own future.

{ 3:41pm }

{ news }
» Goodbye old friend.

» Don't miss the photos and audio from Fray Cafe 2.

» Psst. Hey kid. Wanna buy some swag?

{ me.elsewhere }
  My snail tracks on the web.
» DfC profile
» New Riders profile
» Amazon wish list
» {fray} is page
» Mirror Project pics
» FilePile profile
{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
{ new in fray }
  "I wanted to spend the 4th with someone who always knew the way back home."

Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
{ new in sfstories }
  the slow glimmering descent
I've been watching fireworks there for years, but last night was different. And not just because it was clear.
{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
{ see also }