Archive for January, 2012

Photography

Monday, January 30th, 2012

This past week I went out and took some photographs for the first time in a long time.  It was great to get back to it and I have decided that I need to take some time each week to do this.  I have not even looked at the pictures yet, but just walking around and looking at the world and framing pictures is such an enjoyable process.

I also picked up with the task of scanning all of the photos from my childhood.  It sure is a task, but it is fun looking at all of the pictures again.  And, when I am finished it will be easy to just click on a folder and look at the pictures.  Plus, I will be able to have a backup copy of them off site, so if something should ever happen to the originals I still have the images.

OBi100

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

I heard about the Obi VoIP adapter a couple of months ago and wondered how it would work.  So, last week I saw that it was a lightning deal on Amazon and thought I would give it a try.  So far I have been completely satisfied with it.  It took a couple of minutes to set up with my Google Voice account and has worked perfectly so far.  Once I have a chance to make and receive more calls with it I will post an update with the results.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LO098O/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details

Update:  So far I have used this to receive a few calls and to make a couple of calls.  The first time I used it, it seemed like there was a rather large delay.  Since then it has seemed almost like a POTS phone.  It seems to be working great!  Best of all, it is free!  Google extended free calling through 2012, hopefully they will continue to extend it.

Reading a Book

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

For the first time in a long time I have actually started and remained interested in reading a book!  I received Steve Jobs’ biography for Christmas.  Since, then I have been reading a little bit here and there, but now I am to the point that I am reading some each day.  I have always enjoyed reading biographies, but have not had the desire to read much beyond what was required for my classes.

With that, I find Jobs’ life very interesting, at least what I have read already.  I always knew he was a unique person, but getting more detail makes you understand more of what was going through his mind when he made certain decisions.  The founding of Apple was really an amazing adventure and there were many opportunities where it could have failed and not developed into the success it is today.

I also read an article about Apple moving much of the manufacturing for Apple products to China.  It really is interesting how the manufacturing process has changed over the years.  According to the article it is not just the cost of employees, but having all of the manufacturing processes so close together and not having to ship pieces longs distances.  Also, I find it very interesting that many of the employees they are looking for have more than a high school education, but less than a 4 year college degree.  It seems that there is so much emphasis on a 4 year degree (and beyond) here in the U.S., but that over qualifies people for many jobs.

SOPA and PIPA

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

If you are reading this now you will be affected by these two bills.  Both are very similar and are presented as a way to protect against piracy and to protect intellectual property.  The way they are written, they go much further than that.  Content producers already have appropriate legal means of protecting their intellectual property.  SOPA and PIPA give them too much power and would essentially create a system like the national firewall in China where certain websites would be blocked nationwide.  Please educate yourself on these bills and take appropriate action if you feel SOPA and PIPA threaten the Internet.

What to do to stop SOPA:

Learn more about SOPA:

Snow and CES!

Monday, January 16th, 2012

We finally have a significant amount of snow on the ground!  I’m not sure what the reason for no snow until this past week, but I sure have missed it.  It doesn’t seem like it should be January when we have gone a large portion of the winter without more than a dusting of snow.  Sure, there are a lot of inconveniences with snow, but everything looks so nice with a good layer of snow!

In the tech world this week was significant because CES took place.  In the past I have always looked forward to this week because there was a lot of news and information about new products.  But, for some reason this year I didn’t get into it like past years.  I watched some coverage, but there wasn’t anything that blew me away.  More TVs, more headphones, more of the same.

Oh, and the Packers lost :(

- Zach

First Week of January

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

I spent the first week of the new year helping take down everything put up for Rotary Lights.  Spending the week focused on one thing and not having the constant distraction of the Internet was a nice change of pace.  I love technology and the Internet, but I often feel like it is taking over our lives.  I used to have a notifier set up that would pop up a message every time that I received a new email.  I turned that off several months ago and boy is email a different experience.  Sometimes I feel the need to constantly check, but more and more I leave it alone for several hours without checking and without thinking about whether I have new emails or not.  I see everyone around with smart phones, and now more than ever I resist the urge to get one.  I don’t want that constant notification of people trying to contact me.  This is the thing I don’t like about phones in general and it would be even worse if it notified me about my email, facebook and Google+.

I started watching a show from PBS on Netflix about this very issue and I find some of the issues that they bring up interesting.  I do wonder how technology is changing our society and whether these changes will be beneficial in the years to come or disastrous.  I really think it is a good idea to at least have some time in our lives where we can completely escape the constant updates from the world around us.  But, those opportunities are getting fewer and fewer.

Well, I have accomplished my New Year’s resolution for one week.  Let’s see how long this will last :)

- Zach