Any idiot can drive fast in a straight line

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I've added a few pictures to my moblogging gallery including one of my odometer in binary. That would be 18 miles total and 6.5 on the trip in decimal.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Cars I would consider buying at this point in my life:

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Pontiac Solstice (unreleased)
Honda S2000
Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata
BMW M Coupe (no longer offered)
Infiniti G35 Coupe

It's a shame that I do not feel terribly strong about any of them.

Speaking of cars, I totally forgot to say that I officially own the Camaro now! I took a few crappy pictures; I will try to get some better ones in the sun soon. So far, I've only driven the car in the parking garage at work and a few blocks around my building. I am still pretty horrible with the manual, but I'm getting better.

Last night, Jeff and I took it out for a little spin. Everything was going fine until I stopped at a stop sign and just couldn't seem to get the car going. I kept stalling and stalling and stalling. It felt very weird to me since I was giving it a ton of gas, it just didn't seem like enough. After about 12 tries I finally got the car going! It still seemed to be acting up because the revs were so low. I stopped at the next stop sign and had the same issue! Finally Jeff hopped in, played with the shifter and turns out, I was in third gear! I'm just surprised that I actually got it to go that one time. Oh well, Jeff said the shifter is fairly narrow and thus it's hard to tell which gear you are in. I just think I am dumb and that is one more thing I will pay attention to when driving stick.

The more I read about the Pontiac Solstice, the more I like it. Take this article from Autoweek. They get to test drive a few engineering mules and were quite impressed. If the car is impressive in 85% complete form and Lutz is driving this home as the most important GM project, the final result is going to be amazing.

UPDATE: The car may only have 170 HP, but it also have 170 lb-ft in comparison to the 142 HP and 125 lb-ft found in a base Miata. Even the new Mazdaspeed version only has 178 hp and 166 lb-ft.

Monday, May 03, 2004

While Jeff and I were at the movies tonight, a lady dropped a large handful of change while at the consession stand. It was at least 50 coins, so I immediately bent down to help her pick it up. She was a bit older, so she let me pick it all up. Her husband must have been at the bathroom, because he showed up just as I finished. They both thanked me and started to walk off. Just then, I got a good look at her husband. Turns out, it was Lenny Wilkins! Quote from about Lenny: "Lenny and his wife Marilyn have three children, Leesha, Randy and Jaime, and two grandchildren, Ashley and Nicole. They make their off-season home in Seattle." Pretty cool.

Sorry everyone, the GMail accounts are gone!

My take on GMail.

Ok, I've only been using it for a short while, but I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. The first issue is that all email is sorted by "conversations", which is basically what everyone but Microsoft and GMail call threads. For those of you that don't know what that means, a thread/conversation is just what it sounds like, a collection of email messages relating to a specific topic. On the most basic level, a conversation is an original message and any replies to that message. Certain mail clients assign a thread ID and thus you can change the message subject and it will still be a part of the original thread/conversation. Either GMail or Yahoo doesn't support thread ID because I changed the subject on a thread and GMail started a new "conversation".

There are a ton of keyboard shortcuts, which is interesting for a webmail client. Seeing as I used pine for my email for 6 years, I'm quite used to navigating my email with a keyboard... in pine! Using it in gmail isn't as easy as I expected. There are keyboard shortcuts for navigating various messages and conversations, but very basic actions, like cancelling the composition of a message, has to be done by mouse. I do love that the keyboard shortcut for reporting spam is the excalamation key... it just goes so well with most spam: "Ge.t a m.a$siv3 mem.b3r! buttercup obtuse bingo cxoiuqweijfd4klhjd7" My natural response is "!".

GMail has a concept of "All mail" and "archive". The main action for all emails is to "archive" it. It doesn't place the message in the trash, it doesn't move it to a specific folder, it just moves the email out of your inbox. The only way to view archived mails is to use the All Mail view. All Mail shows any mail in your inbox, your sent mail "folder" and anything you have archived. It does not show any spam or trash emails.

Instead of supporting folders like most email clients (web or desktop), GMail has introduced the concept of "Labels". Well, I shouldn't say introduced, but this is the first time I've seen it in relation to an email client. Instead of storing a conversation (see above) in various default or unique folders, you can assign one or more labels to the conversation. Let's say that you wanted to save all conversations from a specific person in a specific folder and you wanted to save all conversations about a specific topic in a specific folder, what happens if your specifics collide? Do you try to decide which folder takes presidence? With labels, you can give the conversation labels for both the sender and the topic. Like most folder views, there is a list of labels so you can jump to the list of all conversations with a specific label.

GMail also supports filters which works hand in hand with labels. You can filter on sender, receiver, subject, words in the body and words missing from the body. The actions you can take are skip inbox (meaning it places the mail into the archive (see above)), apply a specific label or move it directly to the trash. You cannot mark anything as spam through the filter. One little feature that I saw in their help files but they did not actually implement related to attachments. Instead of showing the common and generic paper clip icon to denote an attachment, GMail would use an icon to represent the file type of the attachment. If it was a PDF, the common PDF icon would be used, etc. I tested this out, and it's just a paper clip. Shucky darn.

Overall, I'm sure that I will get used to conversation view, labels and archive and be very happy with my free 1000 MB webmail client harnessing Google!

Do you want to try out GMail? Since GMail is still in a test period, acceptance is by invitation only. I received my invitation through Blogger, but now that I am a user I can invite two more people! The first two to contact me get dibs. (Note: If you ask via email, I only check once a day and thus it would be faster to txt/IM/call me. If you email me right away yet I get two phone calls after your email was sent, you ain't getting GMail from me.)