The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

Dinner with the Browns...

Tonight Jenn & I are meeting Mike, Erin & Emma for dinner at the Tai Orchid on Sawmill. I've eaten there a number of times and they have good food. This will be my first time getting to see baby Emma—needless to say I'm looking forward to see Emma (and mommy and daddy.) It's going to be a busy next couple of days, so I decided to take Friday off. I'm looking forward to having a day off. Not sure what I'm going to do yet though.

"United Air Lines" Blows...

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to go to the airport to buy my tickets out to Denver. United Airlines won't let me cash my voucher in on-line. I'm going to try calling them, but I have a feeling I'm going to get screwed on the price either via the phone or if I head down to the airport.

Layin' the smack down!

Ok, I don't know what this dude did, but he out to just give up. The dude must be really drunk. The two funniest parts of this video are when the little girl tries to show her mom something and the mom's like "not now honey" and when the cop car goes by and doesn't stop.


Monday, Monday...

First off, Maddie seems to be feeling back to normal. She's getting pretty ornary—I think she's missing getting her exercise. I really want to wait for at least a week before getting her outside for walks. I don't want to risk her opening up her sutures.

Yesterday the band got together and we all jammed. This session was much, much better than the last, but we're all still a bit rusty. It was a good little get together though. It was a blast as always.

Work was pretty busy today, just lots of little stuff coming up and I finished a few things up. On the way home, I got stuck while the Barnum Bailey circus train cars were going by—even got to see some Elephants and a few other animals in their cars. Anyway, I got home played with the dog a bit and cut the grass again. I'm trying to keep the grass a little shorter this year—I just hope I don't have to cut it every 4 days like I have been. Anyway, that's about it for today.

Microsoft makes strides on new Windows

A more advanced test version of Windows XP's successor has leaked onto the Web, and analysts say it indicates that Microsoft has stepped up work to deliver the new operating system.

The operating system, code-named Longhorn, is expected to debut late next year or early in 2005. But analysts who examined the latest test release, dubbed "Milestone 5," which leaked onto the Web last week, said Microsoft appears to be slightly ahead of schedule.

There's a lot of debate in the media about Longhorn. Many of the new "features" are being highly scrutinized by *nix users. I've also read a lot of misinformation from anti-MS people. Anyway, if you haven't heard anything about the next version of Windows, this touches on most of the new features.

Buy songs online for $1 per tune...

The iTunes Music Store is launching with a library of 200,000 tracks, with participation from all five of the major record labels. In addition, the store will list exclusive tracks from 20 artists, including Bob Dylan and U2.

The songs cost 99 cents each to download, with no subscription fee, and include the most liberal copying rights of any online service to date. Jobs has been an outspoken opponent of so-called digital rights management (DRM) in the past, arguing that limitations on digital music will undermine the market for legitimate content.

Apple released it's much anticipated "iTunes Music Store" today. I've thought for a long time the record companies should be actively trying to sell music online. There's lots of music out there I'm willing to pay for, but I'm not a fan of paying $13-20 for one song on a CD. However, I'm more than willing to pay $1-3 for a song really like (depending on the length of the song.)

While I've yet to had a chance to check out the Music Store (as I don't have a Mac—which is required to run iTunes,) all the reviews have been very postive. It seems like the model is fairly decent and even with the DRM attached to the file, the restrictions on what you can do with the files are fairly loose (3 PCs, unlimited burns, max of 10 burns per playlist.) Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how well this works out. Hopefully the PC version will be coming before December—the projected release date—because the majority of people out there have PCs, so they're limited their target audience at the moment.

Babysat last night...

Well Jenn and I babysat for Nicholas last night—he was a complete angel. We fed him around 6:30, I played with him until about 8:10, then we changed him, fed him and put him down for the evening. It was all smiles and laughs all evening. Todd and Monica seemed to have a good time. They got home a little before 11pm. I'm glad they took some time for themselves.

The guys and I are getting together to jam this afternoon at 1pm. I spent yesterday getting all the equipment set up in the basement. I've definitely got to practice this morning before the guys come over. I'm looking forward to playing today.

First day of Draft is over...

The Steelers traded up to the 16th spot yesterday to get Troy Polamalu (USC)—they gave up a 3rd and 6th round pick to move from the 27th to the 16th spot. He definitely was a player at need, and seems like a real monster. The Steelers have proven that they know how to draft, so I trust them. They also picked up Alonzo Jackson (Florida State) a DE end whom they plan on converting to a outside linebacker. From the scouting reports, he seems a little slow for the outside linebacker position—especially with players like Boss Bailey still out there—but like I said, I trust the Steelers scouting. They've definitely found more than there share of gems in the past, and I don't see the trend ending any time soon.

NFL Draft Day is here!

Here we go Steelers, here we go! Here we go Steelers, here we go! Here we go Steelers, here we go! Here we go Steelers, here we go!

Saturday Morning Maddie Update...

Well last night went was pretty pathetic. Maddie would shake and cry every time she took a breath—it really broke my heart. She really could never get comfortable. Jenn and I watch X-Men and just monitored her during the evening. Finally around 11pm, I put her buster collar back on and put her in the cage. She just sat in the cage for a while and cried. I finally decided I just needed to go upstairs and let her work things out herself. She cried for awhile but seemed to rest peacefully most of the night.

When I came down in the morning I was excited to see that she was jumping around in her cage happy to see me. She's been much energetic this morning. She's still whining a bit, but I think more from having the buster collar on. It's pretty pathetic to watch her walk around, 'cause she bumps in to everything, but she's getting better. She's actually taking a nap at the moment. Anyway, I feel much better this morning about it.

Oh yeah, the other good news is my brother's back from his trip. He got back a little earlier than expected, so everyone was ecstatic to see him.

Going to pickup Maddie...

Well, I'm leaving work to go pick up Maddie. She woke up from surgery around 3:00pm.

Mike Chamber's DRK3 Examples

Mike Chambers has started posting example of the new Flash UI Components Set 5 that comes with Macromedia Developers Resource Kit (Volume 3.) If you're looking for some examples to get you started, then head over to Mike's blog.

DRK 3: Week View Example 1
DRK 3: Accordion Pane / Slider Examples
DRK 3: Tab Component Example 1

Judge: File-swapping tools are legal

"Defendants distribute and support software, the users of which can and do choose to employ it for both lawful and unlawful ends," Wilson wrote in his opinion, released Friday. "Grokster and StreamCast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights."

Boy, I bet the RIAA and MPAA are pretty steamed about this judgment. You can bet this isn't the last time we'll hear about this issue.

Badass Case

alienware.gif I love this case—its one of the coolest factory designs I've seen in a while. It's got a retro/new age feel and it just looks cool. If I buy a new stock system, it may be this one. I'll at least consider buying the case.

They have a number of different colors and features you can add on to the case. You can even change the color of the lights in the air cooling (they lights are in the black groove pieces on the side—this picture doesn't show the lights on.) Check out Alienware's site for more info.

Alienware Case Specs

Maddie at Vets for Spaying...

Ok, I just dropped Maddie off for her spaying and to get her dew claws removed. I decided to pay the extra money to pay for laser surgery—it won't really improve the recovery time, but it should be a more sterile incision. Anyway, I feel better when I get to see her this afternoon. It's amazing how fast pets become part of the family.