Vote for Stacee, Part II

Friday, 13 April 2001, 7:48 pm

Uh oh. That evil Maria Bartiromo is catching up with Stacee in Playboy’s Bear Market Babes poll. Even though Stacee thinks it’s silly, I really don’t want her to lose. If nothing else, it would be great for her career. So if you’re over 18 please cast your vote here (this is a direct link to the vote page to minimize the girly pix, but there are still some mildly offensive images. Not to mention the totally insulting copy.)

She’s sitting right next to me and she’s given me permission to mention this again. The vote ends May 1 and you can vote more than once. So do!

More Pictures

Thursday, 12 April 2001, 2:30 pm

And now some more pictures. These are from TechLive. Steve Abrams is anchoring right after my shift. (Click on the thumbnail for a full size image.)

View from the anchor seat

This is the view from behind the main anchor position.

Steve from the side view

A side view. Note the teleprompter and monitor on the camera – that’s what we’re looking at.

Rich screening calls

Rich Statter screening calls for Call for Help.

Simon the job operator fooling around. The jib is a camera on a boom that gives those incredible swooping shots.

Our Dumb Decade

Thursday, 12 April 2001, 12:28 pm

If there’s any doubt that we’ve just lived through a wacky few years read eCompany’s 100 Dumbest Moments in e-Business. Hey, they all seemed like great ideas at the time.

You gotta love dumb moment #95:

“Ziff-Davis chairman Eric Hippeau launches ZDTV, proclaiming that ZDTV is “about a world where geek is chic.” According to Webster’s, geek means “a person, often of an intellectual bent, who is disliked.” Tres chic, Monsieur Hippeau, tres chic.”

A Calling for Help

Thursday, 12 April 2001, 12:06 pm

I’m sometimes slow to figure things out. It often takes me a week or two to really understand what’s going on with me emotionally. It’s taken me that long to figure out why I’m so personally bugged by the recent changes at TechTV, for instance.

I finally realized that for the past three years I’ve been able to do something I’m really good at: Call for Help. I fit that show like a hand in a glove. I didn’t understand at the time how exceptional that was.

Now I’m doing something I’m just OK at. Something that apparently serves the company’s needs better. But I miss that feeling of fitting the job perfectly.

Perhaps some day I’ll feel just as fulfilled by The Screen Savers. But for now, I miss the feeling of vocation. Call for Help was my calling. This feels more like a job. A really good job, true, but still a job.

Hey, I’m not complaining. I’m very happy to be doing what I’m doing. I’d be a jerk not to be insanely grateful for the opportunities I have. Heck, I’m grateful that I had three years of Call for Help. That’s more than I ever expected. But once you’ve had that feeling of answering a calling, it’s hard to accept anything less.

Craig Barrett

Wednesday, 11 April 2001, 6:46 pm

Well I’m on the map now. Craig Barrett, Intel CEO, called me a “middle-aged reporter” implying I was ignorant because I asked him who needs a 2 Ghz chip. Gee, I must have touched a nerve!

Camera colophon

Tuesday, 10 April 2001, 7:16 pm

I used a Nikon Coolpix 880 to shoot those pix. As usual the Nikkor optics are very good. I shot them on Fine, 2048×1024, but at that res I only get 10 shots on the supplied 8 MB compact flash. So the next shots will be Fine/640×480 since I resize them anyway. We’ll see how they look.

The camera itself feels kinda cheesy. And it uses disposable lithium batteries. Ick. Either rechargable NiMH or rechargeable lithium for me. That’s what the Canon I want uses.

I’m pretty sure I’ll buy the Canon Powershot S300 when it’s available. It does a neat in-camera stitch for panoramic photos and can take Quicktime movies, too. Plus it’s very compact so I can carry it around with me. We have one in the products lab. I’ll borrow it when they’re through with the review to make sure it’s what I want.

Gotta run and catch the van to get my car for the big repositioning. When I drive in there’s no parking at the studios, so I park in the garage at Townsend and take the van to the studio. The morning shift leaves after 1p so I take the van back and get my car from the garage and repark it here at the studios for a quick getaway after the Screen Savers. What a waste of time, but parking has always been a big issue in SF. -sigh-

Pictures from tonight’s show

Tuesday, 10 April 2001, 4:22 am

I borrowed a digital camera from the products department to take some pix for the Blog. This is from Screen Savers. I’ll do some from TechLive tomorrow.

The view from homebase

My view from homebase on the set

My Desk

My desk in the back of the set. See the spycam on top of the monitor?


Megan has such a nice smile


Jesse getting her microphone on (that’s Fred helping out)

Click on the thumbnail to see the full image.

A Taxing Day

Monday, 9 April 2001, 4:01 am

Ahhh. A very productive Sunday. Jennifer took the kids while I wrote two columns and finished the taxes. I had done most of the Federal return some weeks ago. Enough to know we’d owe money and roughly how much. That stopped me. I had to do the rest of it this weekend to leave enough time to mail it in case the electronic filing didn’t take.

I used TurboTax this year – I probably should have hired a preparer, but I waited too long. I had to do it myself. The program’s good. I used TaxAct last year, and had tried it this year but it totally barfed on some of the more complicated parts of my return. TurboTax got it right. I think. I’m pretty sure anyway.

I filed electronically this afternoon. It’s even easier this year. Nothing at all to mail. And the Feds and the State can take their pound of flesh directly from my checking account on April 16.

We celebrated by going out for Chinese afterwards. Now Jennifer and I are ready for a stay-at-home date, watching a video of Wonder Boys. I really loved the novel by Michael Chabon, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. Hope I can keep my eyes open.

Can’t we all just get along

Saturday, 7 April 2001, 5:28 pm

I’m making matzoh ball soup this morning for a Passover seder we’re going to tonight while Abby is decorating Easter eggs for next week. We’re a pretty ecumenical household.

Meanwhile I read about Linus Torvalds trashing the Mach kernel in OS X in his new book. It’s perfectly appropriate for Linus to criticize Mach on its technical merits. It’s a shame when the media promotes it as platform bashing. (Maybe that was Linus’s intent, maybe not.)

Whether it’s in religious beliefs or platform preferences, diversity is vital. I believe our differences are what make us interesting. It’s our common experience that makes us human. Whether it’s Christian or Jewish, Mac or Windows (or Linux or Mach), we need each other to survive. Anything else is just an invitation to division, strife, and ultimately, failure.

Sure it’s fun to root for your side, but if the other team doesn’t show up, you can’t play the game.

The All New Adult Screen Savers

Saturday, 7 April 2001, 3:11 pm

Oops. Sorry about the comic, Craig Shoemaker on last night’s Screen Savers. I guess no one told him we were a family show. We’ll make sure to screen our guests a little better in future. We’ve already been taking heat from management on Jessica’s tight sweaters and some other stuff. I promise, we’re not going more adult. Especially not in our new time slot. It’s just a side effect of trying to do so much more.

I do think we’re going in the right direction. More interesting guests, more help, more projects, more appearances from our regulars Martin, Scott, Roger, Jessica, Megan, and, yes, Kate. We’re working on getting her on with a game weekly. I know you all like that.

But I’d love to hear what you think of the “new” Screen Savers now that we’ve got a week of shows under our belts. Cast your vote by clicking on the happy/sad faces. And your comments are welcome, too. I’ll forward them along to Paul.

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