|Saturday, 14 April 2001, 4:45 pm
I know a lot of you run SETI@home on your machines but did you know you can use the same technique to support a wide variety of charitable causes, too?
Distributed computing is currently used by groups like the SETI Institute and the National Foundation for Cancer Research to do massive number crunching that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.
Participants install a small program that runs in the background. The program downloads data from the Internet, crunches the numbers when your machine is idle, then uploads the results when it’s done.
Take a look at these pages and see if there’s a project you want to support. It’s a great and painless way to make a big difference.
|Saturday, 14 April 2001, 2:27 am
TechTV won’t be getting ratings until later this year, so we rely on web traffic for an indication of how we’re doing. Our research shows a strong correlation between web users and viewers.
In the past few days we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the traffic on the Screen Savers site. This week we had over 250,000 impressions per day. In the past we’ve averaged closer to 100,000-150,000.
That means we’ve almost doubled our traffic in our new time wth our new format. That’s really encouraging news. Thanks for your clicks!!
|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!
|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.)
This is the view from behind the main anchor position.
A side view. Note the teleprompter and monitor on the camera – that’s what we’re looking at.
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.
|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.”
|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.
|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!
|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-
|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.
My view from homebase on the set
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.
|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.