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Archive for October, 2004

Treo 600 – R.I.P. Take 2

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My Treo 600, defective orange blob, and Pat’s cool Audiovox/Orange SmartPhone

I love my Treo 600, but I am on my third unit already. A friend of mine is on his seventh (!).

The first time my Treo died was about a month ago, and like last time, Verizon Wireless replaced my phone with a “new” reconditioned unit within two days, shipping it to New York to meet me here. The problem this time was an orange stuck-pixel blob that kept growing larger every day (the excellent mobile office support guy who I talked to had seen this problem before), which you can see in the photo, above. The best feature of my 2nd Treo was the “answer and hang up at random” feature, which made talking on the phone especially exciting.

Pat has a cool new Audiovox Smartphone, which apparently is a rebadged Orange SPV C500. It’s the first PDA phone I’ve seen that seems to be the right size for a keyboard-less unit. I have extreme gadget-lust for it, but it’s GSM-only. :(

Jackson Heights, Queens | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Oct 31, 2004 23:30:22

Bells Ringing

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Joechang picked me up from JFK this evening, and we ended up at Red Garlic on 8th Ave. in the Upper West for a late dinner. The waitress there was a super-thin Thai woman wearing lots of makeup. And then it dawned on me: super-thin Asian girls wearing lots of makeup freak me out. Actually, just about any woman who wears lots of makeup would probably freak me out, but especially the super-thin Asian ones.

This is:

1) some strange Pavlovian reaction from past experiences, or
2) me being superficial and assuming that lots o’ makeup = high maintenance, or
3) yet another bizarre Eric-ism that limits my prospective dating pool EVEN FURTHER

Jackson Heights, Queens | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Oct 28, 2004 23:56:17

PDA Musician: PocketSynth Pro naming

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Look at these two products: Pocketsynth and PocketSynth Pro. I wrote the original Pocketsynth in 1996, and the folks at PDA Musician wrote another product with the same name many years later, a product for Windows CE. Despite the fact that the program they wrote is probably very useful, it’s unfortunate that they chose the same name. I suppose that I would take action if I were still supporting Pocketsynth, but since I’m not, I guess it’s not worth it.

In a fit of annoyance, I submitted a PalmGear review and sent an e-mail to Wolfgang, the author, who wrote back a message this morning that was both polite and slightly confrontational. Granted, my original e-mail was confrontational as well, so maybe I’m at fault. However, both of us agree that we are not interested in pursuing any sort of ugly war. And my product isn’t supported anymore, anyway.

But what are the “rules” about product naming, anyway? What if someone unknowingly uses a name you have already used? Do you have to have a trademark on the name in order to win a legal battle?

Jackson Heights, Queens | link | trackb | 7 comments » | Oct 28, 2004 23:41:10

RedStart on Gizmodo!

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RedStart Design, Mandy‘s company, is on Gizmodo! Buy some rings, y’all. They’re very cool. You can see a photo of my sister on the product page. I took the photo. :)

More info from their site:

The Subtle Safety™ Defensive Ring (patent pending)

Some 1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United States, and 15 percent to 25 percent of all American women will report a sexual attack or rape at some time in their lives, according to studies conducted by the Justice Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – August 15, 2004 ABC NEWS

The Subtle Safety� line of jewelry is a reminder to make safe choices. The Subtle Safety� ring is a expression of confidence. Orange whistles are garish and weapons can easily be turned against you. Subtle Safety jewelry is worn and available right where you need it.
Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Oct 26, 2004 10:39:50

Vienna Teng @ Villa Montalvo

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vienna @ montalvo

I love performing with Vienna Teng and band. As you all probably know, I’m not really a non-classical cellist, but I learn a lot each time I have the fortune of being up there on stage with her. AND, it’s just so much fun. :)

At the show were the usual suspects: Erik, Michele, and “Klaorman,” who all participate religiously on the forum (see Klaorman’s photos from the show, which look properly white-balanced, which is to say that the photos do not resemble what they did in actuality. digital cameras are tricksy! :). It’s both cool and weird to have a friend who has a discussion forum dedicated to her life (e.g. details of each performance, what she eats, who she is seen with, etc.).

Like the last local performance, we went to Pho Hoa after the show to gorge ourselves on pho and spring rolls. And den, I went home.

Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get these images online. I’ve been running around these past few days with almost no time to myself (where “myself” = me + computer). Before you look at all the photos, you should definitely check out this photo of Jim Batcho — another one of those “best photo ever”moments. :) [see some photos]

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 16 comments » | Oct 26, 2004 01:48:47

The “nice guy,” again

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I actually had a slumber party last night. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sherry had a slumber party at my place, with the following repercussions: 1) I didn’t get much sleep, and 2) I was awoken in the morning by Sherry-and-Jess-the-steamrollers. It’s always great to see those girls because they have a lot of energy and it always illicits involuntary smiles + laughter.

me ‘n the girls at vienna’s show

Unrelated: Vienna called today after performing at the Asian Film Festival in San Diego, where she sat at a dinner table with John Cho and Kelly Hu — and during the conversation I fully expressed my disappointment that she didn’t take like a million photos of Kelly Hu for me. She told me that she thought that I might be her only friend that would appreciate her proximity to the Harold and Kumar people — you know, one of those slightly back-handed compliments that she’s always talking about at her shows. But I’ll take it as a FULL compliment. :)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Oct 24, 2004 03:32:07

Stuck pig

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OK, so I have to admit that I enjoyed the baseball games I’ve been watching for the past few days (even though I didn’t really care who won). It’s hard to avoid watching sports when you’re surrounded by sports people.

caroline sticks me

I spent the last couple of days in Houston hanging out with Andy Biggs, his wife Lesley, Caroline, and James. After spending a few nights working hard on the Wetpixel DEMA update, it was really nice to have some time to just hang out without any responsibilities. I’ve also discovered that I really like retired racing greyhounds: no smell, no hair, and a mellow personality! Andy’s dog, Jax, is great.

After going out to have dinner at Benjy’s (good food!), Caroline gave me another acupunture/acupressure treatment, sticking six needles into me in various locations. I like getting treatments from her, although they might be more effective if I had some kind of chronic problem I wanted fixed; I’m generally a pretty stable guy. The ending massage is definitely my favorite part. At least one of my friends hates massages — an opinion I can’t even begin to imagine. I just spent the last couple of hours on one of Cindy‘s electric massage chair thingies. :) [see some photos]

Santa Clara, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Oct 20, 2004 22:19:24


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I found out lately that someone whose life intersected briefly with mine pretty much lied to me the entire time. If I am to believe what I am being led to believe, I was even used — with fully deceptive & soul-less intent.

She is currently effectively out of my life. Do I… 1) confront to get the other side of the story, or 2) let it go and cut off contact forever?

Luckily, there is one source who cannot lie about things, and I will call her tomorrow to confirm the validity of one prospective lie. I suppose my decision will hinge on what I find out.

Houston, TX | link | trackb | 12 comments » | Oct 18, 2004 22:39:06

Heidi Hau, SF Conservatory Concert

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heidi hau, performing

So, I went to Heidi Hau’s recital at Hellman Hall SF Conservatory on October 9th, and she rocked. The usual suspects were there — people who I’m sure will come over for house concerts when I start having them again. :)

Um. Here are some photos. Also included are photos of Geoff/Livia/Korean feast, and Cindy at my Oakland place.
[see some photos] [see just heidi photos]

Houston, TX | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Oct 18, 2004 17:26:19

Houston Hangin’ + Vienna Teng @ Mucky Duck

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vienna teng @ mucky duck

Last Tuesday I had the great fortune of sitting in with Vienna Teng, Alan Lin, and Marika Hughes at the Mucky Duck in Houston, Texas. It was a lot of fun to see them all again; it is only by pure chance that I get to see Vienna while she’s out on tour. Normally, I have to wait until she returns to the Bay Area. Anyway, the Mucky Duck was packed full of rabid fans that evening. Caroline brought eight people, and I brought a bunch of people in the dive/photo industry who were all in town to attend the DEMA Show (the same reason I am here in Houston now), including Lucien Schmidlin (TopDIVE), James Wiseman and Sarah Bernhardt, Andi Voeltz, Lars Kirchhoff, and Aline Kadach (my Berlin hosts from a few weeks ago), and Leslie Biggs + cousin (who are not in the dive industry). ’twas a lot of fun to get to touch a cello again, even if it wasn’t mine. Marika’s cello is very nice. :) Speaking of Marika, she got a few boos from conservative Texans for announcing her website, to which she replied, “it doesn’t take any courage to voice your opinion where everyone is like you.” Marika rocks. Another exciting moment was when Vienna told me, “close your eyes and open your mouth” — a comment that can easily invoke fear, but perhaps less fear when coming from a woman.

At around 1am we drove out to have Vietnamese food at Mai’s, where the floor has a lovely slippery coating reminiscent of what is on the floor in some men’s restrooms. I was joking around about not being able to stand without my shoes slipping, and received a serious inquiry from someone at the dinner table: “are you familiar with rooting?” Um. I was like, joking and stuff.

Anyway, I spent the past day screwing around with safari photographer Andy Biggs at his new place here in Houston. Tonight, we (Andy, Leslie, Caroline, and Todd) went out to eat downtown at Cabo. I have had many fish tacos today. :)

Ummm… I’m tired. Eyes burning. [see some photos]

Houston, TX | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Oct 18, 2004 00:18:49

Out of Commission

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at DEMA, houston

Temporary message: sorry if I’ve been ignoring correspondence. I’m at an exhibition, and it’s been kicking my ass! Literally no time for anything non-exhibition oriented. Will recover in a few days, I’m sure.

Update: I’m done, sort of. Now I can sleep.

Houston, TX | link | trackb | no comments » | Oct 16, 2004 08:30:57

Catching up, D100-style

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geoff and violin

I’m so behind with posting photos that I don’t even know where to begin. Actually, I’ve had Chester‘s Nikon D100 for the past week or so, and I must say that I’m glad I’m a Canon shooter. But it was nice to get to know the camera a bit. I didn’t realize how much I lean on my 1D Mk II’s clean high-ISO operation combined with big-aperture lenses. I was nearly unable to shoot low-light stuff without flash!

Too tired to write more. The NCUPS meeting went very well tonight, I thought, except that I might have scared a few people into not going digital with all my tech talk. :)

Very Mediocre Photos: visit to San Diego to hang out with photographers Brian Skerry, Mark Conlin, and Steve Drogin; Joechang‘s visit to SF; Livia at a diner; Wendy and Sarah; Philippe Quint, Livia, and Daphne Wang at Luna Park (one of my favorite restaurants); Livia weeding; Stephen Prutsman in his studio, Geoff Nuttall and new violin. [see some photos]

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Oct 9, 2004 01:11:00

Google SMS

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Suddenly, mobile phones are much more useful.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Oct 8, 2004 11:58:33

Interviewed in ScubaCore

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I’m featured in this quarter’s issue of ScubaCore, a quarterly DVD magazine run by Bobby and Anat, who I met in Wakatobi last year. I was a bit nervous about being interviewed IN VIDEO, but they managed to take all my rough edges and make me seem polished and stuff. I was very impressed! Anyway, if you are a diver or enjoy the underwater world, check out their DVD magazine. I like it. :)

Oh yeah, I’m speaking at the NCUPS (Northern California Underwater Photographic Society) meeting tomorrow. It’s at 8pm in Fort Mason. Lots o’ big prints, I will be bringing. You can show up if you want to heckle me.

Also, I have a message from Heidi Hau, who will be performing at the SF Conservatory of Music on Saturday at noon (it’s free!). (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Oct 7, 2004 20:11:32

Weakness, frantically

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I’ve been having a tough time lately. It’s mild, as most of my emotions usually are, but it’s there.

Aside from the craziness of server crashes and unpacking and arranging to sell the old place and buying crap that will probably turn out to be unnecessary (for the new place), I have a presentation to give to the Northern California Underwater Photographic Society on Friday, followed by a few mini-seminars in Houston next week (which also involves being in Houston next week). I haven’t started thinking about any of them, but I probably should.

Thankfully, Livia is around, and I can always rely on her to meet up for a quick meal if I need to get out of the house. Time with her is very easy — I don’t have use up any real energy, and I get to hang out with someone cool. Normally, my sister and Vienna (two more people with non-standard work hours) help me to take my mind off of work as well, but Wendy moved away and Vienna is off on tour again. Vienna still managing to be supportive from wherever-she-is-between-California-and-New-York, though, and I appreciate that a lot. :)

Also nice is that I’ve been patronizing the arts again, with trips to see the SF Symphony play Mahler 9, Phillipe Quint perform in Palo Alto, and hopefully (tonight), a jazz cabaret featuring Stephen Prutsman (who keeps asking me if I have “any babes” when I see him). I even picked up the cello for a bit today, which was long overdue. Music is good.

And now, about girls: I don’t know if it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve had a girlfriend, or if it’s because this is the first time I’ve had a couple of weeks at “home” in ages, of if it’s because I actually have a home again, but I’m starting to get a little lonely! But when I think about dating, I imagine being out of town, I think about the lack of the utter freedom I’ve been indulging in, and I think about the … complications that my travel schedule might inflict upon a relationship. However, I know that the right person will dispel all of my worries, so I’ll just have to continue to cling to a sliver of relationship hope while letting my life unfold as I’ve been doing for the past few years.

I should probably re-read what I’ve written to see if I’m being coherent, but I have to get some images submitted to Pictopia. :)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 11 comments » | Oct 6, 2004 16:02:28

Windows XP SP2 and 3Ware Escalade 8506-8

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I have a server with a 3Ware Escalade 8506-8 S-ATA RAID card in it, running Windows XP Professional. Today I thought, “Well, I might as well upgrade to SP2. It’s been working just fine on my other machines!” Bad idea. Machine no boot now.

Looks like I may have to reinstall. Luckily, the system itself is installed on a standard ATA IDE drive, so it’s not as complicated as it could have been. I only regret not imaging the partition before attempting the service pack patch. Stupid me! Argh.

Update: A fresh install from a SP2-slipstreamed XP Professional CD does not solve the problem. Upon reinstallation and reboot, the system hangs at the XP logo screen.

Update: I’m back up and running (hours later). Solution was to reinstall XP and apply the XP SP1a update (reinstalling all drivers, including the 3Ware Escalade driver).

Stupid computers.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Oct 5, 2004 18:50:12
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