Sling 3g for iPhone, Just in Time for March Madness

Posted on 17 February 2010 | No responses

Slingbox on the iPhone

Slingbox on the iPhone

This morning I noticed a new update was available for my iPhone in the App Store for Slingbox.  I about fell on the floor when reading the release notes which simply said “enables 3G”.  Over the past several months AT&T has enabled (allowed Apple to enable) MMS on the iPhone and now has given their blessing to stream audio/video over their network via Sling.  So today on my drive to work, I streamed television onto my phone not necessarily because I wanted to listen to it as I drove down the road, but because I could.  Technology is a wonderful thing when it’s allowed to be an enabler.

For those that don’t know, Slingbox is a device ($150) that you can install in your home, that allows you to access your television lineup from your computer or phone.  In 2006 I spent several weeks in South Africa during the month of March and it drove me nuts that I couldn’t watch any of March Madness from my computer.  When I got home I did a little research and discovered Sling Media.  Over the next three years I pretty much lived the life of a consultant out of a suitcase, and the purchase of the Slingbox was a no-brainer.  In the summer of 2009 Sling was added to the App Store, the gotcha however was that AT&T/Apple only allowed media to stream via a Wi-Fi connection.  Today’s update now allows the phone to stream video via Wi-Fi or 3G.

How to make Trudy’s (like) Mexican Martini

Posted on 11 February 2010 | 2 responses

When I lived in Austin I was exposed to Trudy’s Mexican Martini and some very fine Tex-Mex.  Trudy’s is a wonderful Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin, TX (they currently have three locations).  The original location, situated just four block north of the University of Texas campus, in my opinion has the best atmosphere.  When I left Austin I knew that I would need to find a recipe that did the drink justice, and this one is quite close.

Ingredients

  • 2  ounces Herradura silver tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau liqueur
  • 1.5  ounce Sprite
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • rim salt
  • olives
  • ice

Directions

Shake all ingredients and strain into glass rimmed with salt; add stuffed olives.

Enjoy!  If you like this, you might also like my favorite margarita recipe.

Mom, If you are Reading This

Posted on 20 January 2010 | 2 responses

For the past several years whenever my mom replied to an email that I sent her, the reply was always at the bottom of the thread.  It was sort of annoying, yet I just always accepted it as my mom’s weird way of replying to emails.  Today I discovered that it’s not actually my mom’s fault for such strange behavior, she likely must be using the guidance of default settings and Thunderbird as her email client (email clients aren’t a topic of discussion at my parents when I am home for a weekend).

Being involved in a startup, sometimes you need tools that are “just good enough”.  There is no reason to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on software licences so that you can be like the corporate guys – there is an open source alternative for almost every tool you might need out there.  Here is a great reference (open source alternatives) for searching for said tools.

So, Mom, if you are reading this there are two default settings changes that I want you to make to Thunderbird so that it performs in a manner similar to the accepted norm.

First, I want you to make the following change so that  when you reply to a thread, it places your reply at the top of the thread as opposed to the bottom:

Thunderbird Reply Above Quote

Thunderbird Reply Above Quote

Step 1. Open Thunderbird and select “Tools”

Step 2. Select “Account Settings…”

Step 3. Under your email account select “Composition & Addressing”

Step 4. Under composition, make sure that “automatically quote the original message when replying ” is selected

Step 5. Most importantly, below that, change the drop down so that – Then, “start my reply above the quote” is selected.

Step 6. Click “Ok”.

While we are at it, we are going to fix another pet peeve that Thunderbird does by default which is forwarding messages as attachments instead of inline text – as a default behavior.  To make this change:

Step1. With Thunderbird open select “Tools”

Step 2. Select “Options…”

Step 3. Select “Composition”

Step 4. Change the drop down for Forward messages: to “Inline”.

Step 5. Click “Ok”.

Thunderbird Forward Messages Inline

Thunderbird Forward Messages Inline

I love you mom.

The Fall of 2009

Posted on 13 January 2010 | 2 responses

What I’ve learned, done, and been reminded of professionally in the last three months:

  • I’ve installed and built out 3 WordPress sites and have become quite proficient at the inner workings of WP.
  • I’ve installed and built out 2 bbPress sites and have similarly become quite proficient at the inner workings of bbPress.
  • I’ve integrated 2 bbPress and WordPress sites.
  • I’ve styled 3 WordPress and 2 bbPress sites utilizing CSS, a language I knew NOTHING about three months ago.
  • I’ve learned to leave graphic art up to graphic artists.
  • I’ve learned that Google Chrome needs to develop a tool as useful as Firebug to win over the developer world.
  • I’ve learned how fast Chrome is, and how slow Firefox is becoming.
  • I knew IE6 was shit – nothing new there.
  • I’ve styled (from a comp) a WordPress site and a bbPress site to look like one and the same.
  • I’ve fixed countless WP theme bugs and while I’m not a proficient PHP developer quite yet, I’ve learned to back track to the source of the bug.
  • I’ve learned the only real frustration I have with WordPress is the “open source nature” of plugins and themes and the compatibility issues with upgrades.
  • I’ve learned that the quality code/hours of coding ratio is a factor of 10+X  greater with a team of 2 when compared to a team of 10.
  • I’ve learned that a team of 3, maybe 4 is probably ideal.
  • I’ve been reminded of how much fun it is to build something.
  • I’ve been reminded of how nice it is to not visit an airport every week.
  • I’ve learned that most people aren’t motivated by the end of year bonus, rather a work environment where they are appreciated and can make a difference.
  • I’ve grasped how debilitating chaos, confusion, and lack of leadership can be to a company.  Luckily it’s been from an arms length.
  • I’ve realized how foolish you would be to start a corporate/personal website from scratch – the blogging and CMS tools are evolved – unless you are doing it for job security purposes.
  • I’ve been reminded of how easy it is to come up with great business ideas – and how hard it is to execute.
  • I’ve been reminded that execution wins.

I’ve neglected this site more than I should have over the past few months, partially due to the amount of time I have spent building out other sites.  The good news is that they are approaching public release and I can soon finally start talking about them.  Amidst all of this, my business partner and I have started Praxis, LLC and are working hard on our first application, HouseFly (which will go into private beta in the next 10 days).  More on that later, this post was really just aimed at reminding myself how much I’ve enjoyed the last three months.

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