Tech Tip: Buy Red

My best nerd tech tip is simple, Simon. Buy red.

I used to be a blue or black buyer. My suitcases are blue and black. My planner: Black. The first serious flashlight I ever bought: Black. Until I realized that was not a good strategy.

Red stands out in a room. If you’re looking for your Mag-Lite, you’re more bound to spot a red one more quickly. The case for my 250G Maxtor external drive? RED, baby. When it was time to shop for a new commute bag? Oh, red.

That is my best nerd tech tip ever. And it’s so simple.

Two New Nerd-Tech Discoveries

I have of late been unhappy with the tools available to access Internet radio on the ol’ Treo. Windows Media Player Mobile does not access all file types and requires entering long URIs with a stylus and/or those teeny keybord buttons. Pocket Player (huh-huh, huh) is not too much better for that, neither. I was about ready to give in and buy one of those iThings because radio is about 97 percent what I use my gizmo for.

See, here’s my situation. I’m a webmonkey by trade. Now, when they named me thus at my organization, I tried to negotiate for a better title: Master of Time, Space, and Dimension (MTSD). I figured at least with that title, I’d have a better shot at getting an office with a window. No avail. So there’s no radio waves, satellite or analog, getting into my office. Now, they’ve lifted the restriction of streaming, but I still like to lean on my own unlimited data plan, for one because I don’t think the Web guy should set that kind of example, and for two because if I use my own radio all day, it gets me better versed on what my own hardware can do. So.


If you’re a radio bug with a Treo, Android phone or, iPhone, you’re going to want this thing. It flawlessly tunes in radio stations from all over the place. It can search for specific call letters. It can browse by genre and by individual program. And it tunes in without a furrowed brow or a “god-damnit.”

This thing lets me tune in just about anything I’d like aside from Howard Stern and Radio B.O.N.K., but I have other apps for those. I can get my moonbat radio programs, C-SPAN Radio AND all the SPANs as well, WTOP, WKSU, and just about anything. And it’s not a subscription service. You just plunk down a few bucks for the software. I don’t know how they can afford to do that…I’d pay for a subscription to this thing.

Of course, the standard warning applies: Have an unlimited data plan, or your radio obsession will put you into the poorhouse. But, tell you whut, I’ll be paying for this app. It is simple, it does only one thing and does it well, and it works. Can’t ask for more than that.

Next: FxIF.

This is a Firefox extension that extinguishes a frequent frustration in my professional life.

I often need to know how big an Internet graphic is. But most browsers do not give up this info in the Properties check by default. So, the old-fashioned way to find out this information was to save it to my hard disc, open it in Photoshoppe, then Image-Size; or to screenshot it and paste it into Photoshoppe and then Image-Size.

Which is just a little bit easier.

(I didn’t link to it because I don’t want to pick a bad Web site and lead anyone to a booby-trap. Probably best to get there with a search on “FxIF” from your “Add-Ons” menu.)

No Kneetop.

A word of advice. If you don’t want an Internet customer to get cold feet and cancel the order, fulfill the damned order. I got impatient this morning and canceled the order of my eee. Besides. I’m seeing many other things coming out of Asus that would kick this thing’s ass and may be cheaper. By the time I get the damned thing, it will be past obsolete. Besides(2), I have found my new Winders Mobile phone (radio, I call it my radio because I use it more as a radio than I do as a phone) to be quite good at accessing the Interweb and such, and with the card readers, I can work in any Word document on a regular computer machine and then access it on the radio. I may just pick up a keyboard for the sucker. So, cancel cancel cancel. I’m a little relieved.

In other news, my Uncle John is in town. I dragged him to El Union last night to make him watch me eat a burrito. On that trip, I discovered yet another awesome imaginary band name to add to the list. If you have a band and you are looking for a name, you may indeed use the name

Spanish Spelling Bee

. Thank you.

One more observation. I saw a logo today. This logo:

Can someone get Gail Zappa on the line, please? She needs to be in touch with her lawyers.


Quick WordPress Fix

If your installation of WordPress puts your posts in the wrong order, you’ve got to find and edit wp-includes/classes.php. Do a search in the page for “order” and change “DESC” to “ASC.”

Also: Why do young women insist on talking like Paris Hilton?


Is it worth explaining to my coworkers that asking me to put up a “hotlink” is not the same thing as asking me to put up a “hyperlink,” and that, actually, a “hotlink” is a bad thing?

iPod Mini Fix?

I don’t know if this helps anyone, but I’ll share anyway.

This morning the iPod mini was doing the weirdest thing. I was trying to listen to the Rachel Maddow Show, and it was stuttering. I tried fast forwarding it, but it only kept stuttering. So, I paused play and THEN fast forwarded while it was paused, then unpaused it.

No more stutter. Damn I’m good.