Upgrades and hard work

I recently migrated nick.pro and other sites from regulus over to a new server named Atlas, it’s much more powerful, but there were some hiccups in the transfer that I’m slowly having to iron out.

I also just upgraded WordPress to the new 2.7, and I must say, I’m not a big fan of the all grey interface, but I’m liking some of the new features, for example the QuickPress block on the Dashboard that let me write this post without having to leave the dashboard at all.

I’ve been working a lot of extra hours as of late in order to put new things live on Justia, and it’s had a few negative side effects. Last Wednesday night I was up all night working on things for Justia and then only got an hour and a half of sleep before having to get up Thursday for another day. Unfortunately that hour and a half was obviously not enough, because I fell asleep in the shower and crumbled to the floor of the bathtub, bashing my knee against the metal soap dish, and then on the floor of the tub hard before jolting myself awake.

The doctor said I mildly dislocated my patella and sprained one of the ligaments that connects the bones down there. All throughout the past weekend up until today I’ve had to walk with a cane to keep the pressure off my knee.

Last night I had another all-niter of work, but fortunately didn’t injure myself again, tonight it’s 2:20 a.m. as I write this and I’m about to go to bed, so there’s a little rest for the weary, but it’s worth it. Tonight I pushed some significant improvements to a Justia site, which I might blog about later.

iPhone 2.1 Software – So far so good

So I upgraded to the 2.1 software this morning on my iPhone. There aren’t any new features, but the array of fixes that Apple promises with the new update are much needed, if it turns out to work.

  • Increased Call Stability
  • Better Battery Life
  • Faster Backups
  • Faster interface

I’m reserving overall judgment, but so far it seems to be working just like Apple said it would.

  • I turned backup back on and the backup part of iTunes sync was done in about 5 seconds, as opposed to the HOUR or more that I’ve experienced before.
  • Since getting everything synced the way I want it, I’ve had it unplugged for several hours with both 3G and Wi-Fi on, as well as periodic checking of email, and my battery gauge still shows full.
  • The opening and closing of applications, particularly the contact list on the Phone app seems much snappier.

I’ll let you know later on if it really has made an impact on the few negatives that were remaining on the iPhone 3G, but in the mean time, how about some news from the other side of the fence. Microsoft has released their second Seinfeld & Bill Gates commercial, and while it’s not going to make me switch back to Windoze, I have to admit, it made me chuckle a little bit.

For the sake of completion, here’s the first video:

GMail Down

GMail Down
In the latest in my ongoing series of Major websites experiencing outages, GMail has been down for at least the last hour. Google’s Mail service is excellent and over all I’ve always been pleased with it. Their servers are redundant, I don’t have problems with lost email messages, and the spam filtering is second to none. I also am a big fan of the search, filtering, and conversation features that make it the best email experience I’ve ever had, but today, it’s down, and I can’t access my email, which again slows down my productivity. But I take it as a bit of comfort, because the next time one of my sites goes down I’ll remember, even Google has server outages sometimes.

It’s important to note that while the web interface (which I primarily use) is down, the IMAP appears to be fully operational, so I’m still getting new emails buzzing on my iPhone constantly, I just much prefer to work on the web based interface with all of the search functionality that makes it easy to find just the right message when I need it. I hope the server comes back up again soon.

Also before some jerk calls me a fool and tells me that I’m screwing up with my urls, it’s not just me, None of my coworkers are able to get on GMail, neither can my wife (who is not here), nor several friends online. A Simple Date Based Google Blog Search shows that many other people are experiencing problems with 502 errors on the GMail interface today

Update: After getting everything operational again, Google Blogged about the outage, apologizing for the inconvenience.

Two new Justia Services, Thanks Google!

The time has come once again for an announcement of something I’ve been working on at Justia. Actually this is a double announcement of not one but two new services that I can finally mention today.

The first is a whole new way to Search Justia’s massive amounts of free legal information, and it’s thanks to a brand new service by Google (which is a commercial version of a service that has been available for free for some time) called Google Custom Search Business Edition. At it’s core, this is the same as the Google Coop: Custom Search Engine that has been available for some months. Some time ago I created hundreds of these custom search engines on Justia to search a variety of legal topics and sites, and you can find these custom search engines scattered around justia.com and it’s various subdomains. From search engines that search all law school web sites in California (or any other state) to search engines that search all of the blogs in Justia BlawgSearch, these cses have been a fantastic way to use the power of Justia’s free Legal information to search the web for legal information.
Continue reading “Two new Justia Services, Thanks Google!”

TiVo making a come back? Watch out Apple TV.

I personally have never owned a TiVo box, primarily because I knew there were a number of DVRs on the market that did not require a monthly subscription and I didn’t see the benefit to paying $12/month for something I thought I could get for a one time fee.

TiVo and Amazon have signed a deal recently that actually made me think twice about this policy however. As most people know, Amazon unveiled their Amazon Unbox program earlier this year to not much applause. After all iTunes has had video downloads for a while now, and it just didn’t seem to make sense to buy movies from Amazon when I already had iTunes. Add to that the fact that Amazon Unbox does not work on a mac as their video drm is PC Only and I didn’t give Amazon a second thought when it came to purchasing single episodes of TV shows or directly downloading movies. Similar to the reasons I previously mentioned why I didn’t give TiVo a second thought, why would I get something that would require it’s own monthly service when I could buy a cable box with DVR built in, or better yet, build a MythTV (though that requires lots of effort and is buggy).

But then TiVo and Amazon signed a deal that I believe is mutually smart for both companies. Amazon Unbox now can be linked with your TiVo account, which means that as you are browsing the web from anywhere, (even away from home) you can purchase a movie or episode on Amazon, or even Rent a movie (something you can’t do on iTunes) and then when you come home (or turn on your TV if you already were home) you’ll find that in your Now Playing List on your TiVo, the episode or movie is already there, ready for you to watch on your TV or (in our case) Projector.

I decided to take the plunge and find out. I purchased a TiVo and linked my TiVo account with my Amazon account, and now I’ve learned what I’ve been missing with Both services.
Continue reading “TiVo making a come back? Watch out Apple TV.”

Plug-in Crazy

As most of you have probably figured out by now, i suck at graphical interfaces, and as part of that, I can’t create a good looking template, I compensate for my lack of creative juices by making my sites and blog do as much as humanly possible. Unlike my friends like JMac and Andy who actually have decent looking sites, mine is ugly but does as much as possible. The latest plug-in I installed? A Plug-in to generate animated maps automatically, like this one, which shows a pan from my
home to mid Tennessee (A Trip I’ve done before that I’m just dying to duplicate as soon as possible). Plug-ins are
fun, I should look into writing a few of my own, rather then just modifying the ones made by others to tweak them the way I want them.