« March 2009 | Main | May 2009 »

April 2009 Archives

April 5, 2009


Keeping the tradition of random quickies…

  • Google Voice is taunting me. I’ve been a GrandCentral user for quite a while (over a year?). Supposedly, GC users were going to be upgraded to GV before the public availability of GV. As such, I’ve been waiting for my GC account to be upgraded to GV. I login every few days and check my messages. It still says “Your account will soon be available for upgrade to Google Voice. Thank you for your patience.” Sigh. Even John S., who got his GC account after I got mine, has been upgraded to GV. But not so for me. “Thank you for your patience.”
  • I’ve co-hosted a bunch of podcasts recently. The series is entitled “Research, Computing, and Engineering.” It’s hosted by Brock P., an HPC system administrator at a large midwestern university (I won’t mention his affiliation because he’s been careful to keep the university out of it, so that we’re a bit more free to do whatever we want). The topics have been able HPC and related subjects; it’s been pretty fun so far talking to a bunch of different people from different kinds of projects. We do a taping about once every 2 weeks.
  • I was on a pair of panels at the OpenFabrics Sonoma 2009 Workshop a few weeks ago. The first panel was on MPI/OpenFabrics topics; the second panel was on challenges of OFED adoption.
  • Open MPI had a brilliant April Fool’s announcement. I might have had a little hand in it. ☺
  • I swear we’ve done more research on which Kindergarden our munchkins will attend next year and Tracy and I did for choosing a college (combined). Whew.
  • PLPA v1.3 was released recently. Yay.
  • Yes, Cisco (the company I work for) is now selling servers. But it’s actually much more than that — lots of companies just sell servers. See the marketing web pages for all the details.

April 9, 2009

Foil-lined tin hats

I finally had my GrandCentral account upgraded to Google Voice. Woot!

It’s a bit nicer than GC and much more Google-like (its UI is similar to — although not exactly like — Gmail). Some random notes:

  • I lost my custom ring-tone that is played to callers. Bonk.
  • GV transcribes voice mails and SMS/emails them to you. Surprisingly handy.
  • SMS to my GV phone number now works. Woot!
  • …but there’s complications with SMS.
    • I like to have my home phone, work phone, and work cell hooked up to GV for the whole “single number reach” thing (stealing a term from Cisco’s VOIP solution)
    • But since my work phone also has single number reach (paired with my work cell), if someone calls my GV number, then my cell phone effectively rings twice (once because GV is calling it, and once because my Cisco work phone is calling it) — which results in Badness
    • So if I disable my work cell in GV, then my work cell rings once (yay), but then SMS doesn’t work (bonk)

What would be great for GV would be if you could have a cell phone registered that does not receive calls but does receive SMS messages. This would be great for me, and I can imagine that others might want that as well (but probably for different reasons).

I also tried to use my GV phone number to activate a Google App Engine account recently and it didn’t work. I.e.,

April 10, 2009

O. M. G.

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

I’m speechless.

April 12, 2009

Who needs a stinkin' entry title, anyway?

Per a prior entry, I got my Blackjack Bold. In general, I’m much happier with it than I ever was with my Crapjack. It has one or two annoying “features”, but in general, it’s great.

My wife has a Blackberry Curve, so I’ve been able to compare the two models pretty closely. For my needs, I’m much happier with the Bold. It’s a little bigger and thinner — meaning that it has a bigger and brighter screen (IMHO). The keys feel a bit more natural to me, too. And the GUI on the Bold is definitely more “modern”.

Of course, within two weeks of receipt, I put my Blackberry through the laundry. DOH! And I did it the day before I left for a week-long trip. Yoinks. It was quite painful to be traveling and not have a phone. So I had to buy another one. Yuck. :-( But I finally got my replacement, and I’m being much more careful with it…


  • It’s much more reliable; I haven’t seen it randomly reboot, for example.
    • UPDATE: I’ve now seen plenty of random reboots…
  • The interface is much more modern (which is really a subjective point, but I still like it much better than the Crapjack interface) and is much more internally consistent than the Crapjack interface
  • Easy things are easy on the Blackberry. I don’t feel like looking up my old entry, but it was many, many clicks just to send a text message on my Crapjack. From the start screen, it’s 2 clicks and trackball 2 rolls (excluding typing characters to type the name of the person I want to SMS) to send a text message (or call or MMS or email). Much better.
  • There are keyboard shorcuts in the email index screen. For example, you can jump to the top of the index, bottom of the index, to the previous/next day, etc. You don’t have to scroll scroll scrooollll to get to where you want to go.
  • There’s a Google Mobile app that works on the Blackberry (it didn’t work at all on the Crapjack because of weird Java issues). I love getting both my work and home email on one device.


  • There’s no way to lock the keypad. It’ll “lock” the device, but then any keypress will start entering the device password.
    • UPDATE: Holding down the “mute” button on the top will lock the device. Handy.
  • It appears that the Blackberry Enterprise service installs some software on the back-end Exchange server that monitors your INBOX. Any time a message arrives or changes state (e.g., you reply to a message), it deletes the message, processes it, and then puts it back in your INBOX. Some of the processing includes making every message be a multipart-mine message — it adds an HTML-ified version of every plain-text message, for example. This is highly annoying to me for two reasons:
    • I receive my work email via IMAP on the OS X Mail application. Apparently, Mail is fast enough to see the message before the Blackberry service deletes it. So a mail will arrive, appear in my INBOX, then disappear, and then re-appear. Very annoying, because it changes focus, “blinks” the index pane, etc.
    • I send and receive mostly plain text email (because I am a programmer and communicate mostly with other programmers). Since the Blackberry service adds an HTML version of the mail to each message, the Apple Mail application assumes that you want to see the HTML version (there’s no way to tell it “I prefer the plain text mail”). So I’ve effectively lost the ability to see plain text mails. Arrgh!

Hopefully, the above Exchange integration item can be fixed in the not-distant future (unfortunately, I’m not holding my breath — there have been reports of Blackberry doing this for several years). Other than that, though, I’m pretty happy with my new device.

April 18, 2009

The prodigal son returns

After having been missing for nearly a year, I found my MacBook Pro keyboard protector the other day. It’s a rectangle of soft cloth that just barely covers the keyboard when you close the MBP lid — it protects the screen from getting an imprint of the keyboard. It’s small, light, and easily misplaced.

I suspect that it was off seeing the world, sowing its wild oats, getting into trouble, etc. (perhaps a mid-life crisis?). Or perhaps it was off wherever socks go. Maybe it didn’t like the fruity drinks wherever it went.


Regardless, it’s home now. We’ve reconciled, and have mostly moved on beyond this incident (although the “rebuilding trust” therapy will continue for a while).

April 25, 2009

Argyle serving platter patterns

My iMac mightly mouse finally died. May it rest in peace.

By “died,” I mean that the horizontal / vertical scrolling button wheel thingy on the top finally quit working. I’ve read lots about this on the net — I knew it was just a matter of time before mine stopped working. From having cleaned on many trackball mice, I can see how gunk just accumulates in the mechanism and that is probably what makes it stop working. Shrug.

I got a cheapie optical Logitech scroll mouse to replace it. Works fine.

In other Mac news, Anna A. face-dialed me with her iPhone the other day (meaning: it’s like pocket dialing, but with your face. She was on another call, holding the phone up to her ear and talking, and her face pushed enough buttons on the iPhone to call me. Awesome. ☺ )

April 29, 2009


I saw Burn After Reading recently. Bad. Bad bad bad. It is supposed to be a dark comedy, but it certainly failed to deliver the “comedy” part. It was just dark. And bad. Bad + dark = “bark”?

With all those stars in it, how could it be so bad? I give it (at least) 15 feet.

About April 2009

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in April 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2009 is the previous archive.

May 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34