Polishing Minneapolis’ Wireless Civic Garden

I’ve done some playing around with the citywide Wi-Fi here in Minneapolis, and I must say that the range of information accessible through the Civic Garden feature (which allows even non-subscribers access to City-related sites) is impressive. However, while I understand that the whitelist of “free” domains is limited to noncommercial properties, there are a few exceptions that should be made. Or at least, some resources should be hosted by the City or proxied for Civic Garden users. Metro Transit’s site Visiting MetroTransit.org when online via the Civic Garden is a little weird. The home page is a lot longer…

Read more

So… That’s Surgery, Doc

Wow, has it really been almost seven months since I last published? Blog fail! 😉 I figured I should get this post, at least, out the door before 2011. It was mostly written in September, so there might be some things that are no longer true. The vast majority of the text, though, is not publish-date-sensitive. Hopefully more to come, filling in my summer at the very least. I now know what it’s like to go through surgery. Thanks to my former appendix for the lesson. My family planned a vacation to coincide with my brother’s college graduation in August.…

Read more

Full Circle: WordPress.com Adopts Windows Live Spaces

Four and a half years ago (give or take a few days), I started blogging on what was then known as MSN Spaces. My first post—just a few sentences about Wi-Fi issues I had with my Pocket PC—went up on March 27, 2006. Since then I’ve gone from writing a few dozen words to writing a few hundred words (and occasionally a few thousand) and transitioned to two different platforms. I because Spaces was far too clunky. Blogger served me well until I between late October 2009 and mid-January 2010. I kept a curious eye on Spaces, observing the transition…

Read more

Hypothetical Google Voice Export Format

Google Voice was released over a year ago, and I’ve been using it as my primary phone number since switching from its predecessor, GrandCentral, which I’d used since 2006 (also as my primary phone number). In the time since making the switch, I’ve seen the interface revised more than a little—the quality rating buttons for transcripts and calls are among my favorite enhancements—but despite all the new features introduced over the last 14 months, one has been distinctly lacking. That one feature: Export. Think about it. Google Docs lets one download all of one’s documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in a…

Read more

Sneaky ATM Fees with US Bank

OK, I’ve about had it with ATMs. It’s bad enough that some of them charge ridiculous $2 and $3 (or more) fees for transactions, but at least when you’re making a withdrawal they tell you about it. Always. So imagine my surprise when I logged into my bank’s website today to find a $2 fee from US Bank for a transfer I made using one of their ATMs. When I made the transfer, no mention was made of a fee. I’m more than a little irritated with this—I think justifiably so. Since when is it acceptable to charge a hidden…

Read more

Goodbye, Albert

The students of Saint Bernard’s School put on a fine production last week. After starting a theatre program eleven years ago, the school is shutting down this year (like Folwell Middle School, where I ) and I think the year’s ending with a decent bang. As , playing Bye Bye Birdie made for an intense week. Even more intense, in fact, since I had fewer rehearsals in which to learn the music. I joined the St. Bernard’s pit at the last minute, following an eleventh-hour decision at Lion’s Gate Christian Academy that cut out most of the pit orchestra for…

Read more

Best Beware My Wrap-Up

So, all that studying of lines and mental review of songs and dances actually came to something. In our intense 80-minute performance, we also conclusively proved that more rehearsal makes for a better show. The three hours we spent before the show working through and fixing stuff was probably the most useful rehearsal of the last month. Best Beware My Sting went off without a— Well, I can’t say “without a hitch” because there were hitches, of two types (mistakes and marriages). Actually, three couples got hitched, and uncountable tiny errors crept into, well, everything. We had some bigger problems,…

Read more

That was fun! Let’s do more!

Three weekends of funny later, the Morris Park Players’ production of Cinderella is over. Set strike for the show was Monday. Next on their agenda is packing up all their equipment; the school they’ve performed at for 25 years—Folwell Middle School—is closing at the end of the year, and so it’s time to move everything to their new home, Edison High School. Aside from having “Ten Minutes Ago” and “In My Own Little Corner” stuck in my head still, I have lots of good memories and a few annoyances. Why did the director (not the music director) want “The Search”…

Read more

Reflection Squared: On Clifford Stoll’s “High Tech Heretic”

The other day, I was browsing the computer shelves at a local Border’s book store. I came across Cliff Stoll’s acclaimed book, The Cuckoo’s Egg. My dad’s recommended the story to me in the past, and the premise was intriguing. After all, who wouldn’t want to read a non-fiction account of cyber espionage that reads like a top fiction mystery? I picked up the book and proceeded to spend the next two hours engrossed, reading right through the soft muttering and louder tapping of the woman in the chair beside me. Of course, the time to depart arrived and I…

Read more

Fraud Much: Follow-Up

Looks like hasn’t had too bad an effect on my life. I received and activated my replacement credit card about two weeks ago. Also, in the interim, I found out that my dad had one of his cards disabled, too. The people who called my dad about his card explained that the latest scam going around is just to generate random card numbers. Looks like my research was right; that was one of the top possibilities I found browsing through discussions around the Internet. Unfortunately, algorithms for creating random, valid card numbers do exist for testing purposes. Since both of…

Read more