Thursday, December 07, 2006

Google Reader

I've started "sharing" items in google reader. Check out the feed.

Seth's Pilots

I stated out disagreeing with Seth when he says that companies don't need pilots anymore. But in going through the thought exercise, I think he's right.

Our need for Pilots is declining. Instead of hiring several people who can do something consistantly and repeatbly, we hire one person to program a computer to do it. You still need someone with an eye for detail to check up on the computer (QA department). And probably any time you interact with people you need at least a few pilots (support).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Google Reader

I've switch from RSS bandit to google reader. I like it so far. When will reader and blogger get together though?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Microsoft and Dell cooperating to degrade computer use experience

This just in... Dell and Microsoft have forged a new alliance to create an even worse out of the box experience on new windows computers. Unsightly empty space at the bottom of your screen will be replaced with a task manager full of useful replacement programs for everything.

Here's how I understand the strategy to work. Microsoft creates a half-assed implementation of a feature... for example, wireless networking. Then Dell bundles in software that has "more features" and is 200% more confusing to use. Not to mention uglier and less reliable.

It's taking more and more time to "setup" a new dell computer.

usernames are obsolete

I am so tired of "sorry that name is already in use, how about these crappy names?" messages when I'm signing up for a service. Just use my email address... always my email address. It's guaranteed unique, and I can always remember it. All you need to do is build in a service that allows you to change the email address associated with your account if you need to change your email address for some reason.

If you disagree, you can find me on instant messenger as garythegaryowentheowen2062006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

83 yamaha 650 heritage special

Well, the result of the harley rental has left me in a place where I think I"m going to buy a yamaha 650 to tide me over in the meantime. I just don't think I can justify spending as much money on a harley and I would need too to get the one I want.

Mostly I just like to ride, and if it's on an older bike, I wont feel like as much of a poser. ;-)

I think I will arrange to buy it, and maybe Todd will help me do a little work to customize it and fix some of the annoyances. I want to see about adjusting the front brake and clutch to be a little easier to use. I also need to adjust the position of the front break, and possibly adjust how the clutch engages. It's probably due for an oil change as well...

Anyway, if I do end up purchasing it, I will put some pictures up.

movie and moving

Thom Yorke's solo album is pretty sweet. Currently listening to Black Swan.

We just had some folks over to watch labrinyth. Pretty sure I'm spelling that right... could be wrong though... who knows.

Tomorrow we'll probably have lunch with Ken Maiuri, which should be fun. I'm pretty tired now though... bed will be good.

Oh and I bought some long sleeve shirts at road runner sports for fall running. I ran 5.6 miles today (rough estimate) and it took just over 1 hour. It was a very nice jog. I was going slow enough that I could enjoy the run, but it was still tiring.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

itunes album art

I was very excited to hear that itunes finally has good album art integration. Now you can click on an album and just click advanced -> get album art, and itunes will automatically down the album art.

Sounds great right? Except that for some reason you need to be signed into the itunes music store... why in the world would I need to have an account with the iTunes music store to download album art? Windows Media Player has automatically associated album art with albums for years without requiring me to submit my credit card information (step 3 of the itunes sign-up process).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

smoking ban results in less smoking

Technically they said it results in less "pollutants" but I'm pretty sure this article simply says "banning smoking indoors results in less smoking indoors".

Maybe the Seattle PI is scraping content from The Onion...

Friday, September 29, 2006

a bigger bike

I'm currently renting a harley davidson 2006 dyna low rider. I just got back from riding it up to Steve's pass and back. Four hours on the bike and I'm just about ready to hop back on. I might wait until tonight though, now that I'm back in Seattle. I'll wait for the traffic to clear out before I go anywhere else... plus I'm getting hungry.

So anyway... what do I think of the bike?

It certainly isn't the smoothest bike at idle. It tends to rock a fair bit at a stoplight. I'm not sure it's a bad thing though. It reminds me that I'm riding, which in my book is a good thing. The 06 and 07's both have the 6 speed transmision. It's a very nice aspect of the bike. To be cruising at 60 at about 2,900 rpm and then to be able to drop it into sixth and let the rpm's fall to 2,400 is pretty nice. Smooths out the ride a lot. And the bike still has plenty of power to push you onward and upward in sixth. Hitting 80 on the bike is easy... not that I have... errr yeah.

I guess my biggest hangup is going to be that I don't know how this bike compares to the softails. I'm sure the 88B or 96B engine is going to be a bit smoother than the 88, but I'm not sure that the rest of the bike would fit me as well. So far I am liking the mid mounted controls on the low rider, and being able to stretch out to the forward pegs on longer cruises is nice.

In summary... hells yeah.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

damian and cosmas

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
pictures are up from the damian and cosmas party.

Monday, September 25, 2006

europe pictures

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
Finally uploaded the picture from our trip to europe.

my brain is broken

I can't remember anybody's name... and the few names I can remember, I can't remember how to spell.

Friday, September 22, 2006

more on the zune

After 3 plays or 3 days, you can no longer play the song; however, you can still see a listing of the songs with the associated metadata.

I still think this was simply the wrong design from the user's perspective. Sharing music and playlists while people are in range seems much more interesting to me... at least from a social aspect. Perhaps this is an add-on feature they could implement. All the required hardware is there...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I fixed myspace

Using the firefox browser, here is what you can do to fix myspace.

Open Preferences
Content tab
Under Fonts & Colors choose Colors
Uncheck "Allow pages to choose their own colors instead of my selections above"

You'll have to recheck the box to view the internet as normal... I wonder if there is a way to force that selection only for specific domains (


Originally uploaded by garyowen.
I just wanted to open a PDF.

What zune should've done

Microsoft's Zune

The music sharing feature is being touted as a killer feature for the zune. I think they've failed in their implementation though. The current design has them copying the songs over to the other zune, and then allowing the zune to play it three times, or for three days, whichever comes first.

The problem with this design is that it highlights how arbitrarily restrictive the drm technology is. When you go back to play the song for a fourth time and you can't, even though it's still there on your device, you realize that you never really owned a zune... at least not all of it. Something deep inside it still belongs to Microsoft.

A better implementation in my opinion:
Allow music to be streamed to any other zune, so long as they are within wifi range. Exactly how iTunes works today. When the zune is out of range, so is the music.

This emulates digitally, what is already possible in real life. If somebody is close to you, and they have music, you can join in listening to it. They could have made it even more interesting by making it so that you can listen to what other's are listening to. Think of the interesting effect that could have connecting other zune owners...

Ah well, instead, it's crippled drm... and I'm not interested.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

myspace = the internet circa 1998

When or where else did everyone use such horrific design on their personal websites. I'm surprised though that people don't use the old standby <blink></blink>.

Also, why am I so grumpy?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


One of the great values that companies try to derive from bloggers is their "influence". They call bloggers influencers because they have reach into a community of people who value their opinion.

Here's a thought: People who sell themselves, aren't influencers.

In society these days, it is becoming more and more difficult to influence people once they know you were paid to do so...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sunday, September 03, 2006

more myspace gripes

Adding a caption to a photo. First, you can't simply add a caption from your picture page. You have to go into the Add/Edit pictures pages. Then you find your picture and simple enough there is a button there you can use to add a caption. You are now redirected to a page that has an upload box on it. Why? Oh I see, you have to scroll to the bottom of the entire freaking page to update your caption. So they took the piece of the UI that you are most interested in... the one thing you actually wanted to do on this page, and put it at the BOTTOM!.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

critically speaking: bad user interface design

I've been in a very critical mood lately. So far I have avoided criticizing those around me (you know, real people), which is a good thing. I can get pretty passionate about things. I've had three interactions with really bad software design recently. Their layout and navigation is quite frustrating. I'm still not exactly sure what combination of links I have to click on to post a new "blog". Also, why are they the only site in the world that doesn't know that a blog is not a post... it's the whole thing, including every post. Signing up for a passport or live account or whatever they are calling it this week was a horrible experience. First rule of UI design, don't make your widgets move for no reason! In fact, there is no good reason, you're widgets shouldn't move after the page has finished loading.

Visio: The task was simple, addd some callouts to a diagram. The callouts were easy to add, but impossible to resize. Well it turns out that the designer of the callout object knew they were problematic, they went so far as to make the default text (before you replace it with your own) instructions on how to resize them... except the directions weren't helpful because they told you to grab a tab that wasn't there. So we dig through and try to find the property pages. Turns out the easiest way to adjust the width of the callout text box is to change THE HEIGHT! Somebody please explain this to me... or not, I'm not sure I want that kind of logic anywhere near my brain.

Running is as Running does

I ran today. I ran yesterday. Running is hard work, but it's also fun. It makes walking seem much easier.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Maybe the whole thing just doesn't work with firefox...

Microsoft Live Spaces Sucks!

I wanted to post a comment on Kevin's blog.

First I had to create a new live account. The UI for creating a new user is horrible. Every time you move to a new section of the screen it adds some "helpful" information to the page, that not so helpfully moves the current dialog boxes around. So the process consists of: first dialog box, enter value, wait for page to redraw, search for box you just clicked on, verify that input is still valid, enter value, tab to next dialog, next dialog moves, scan page for cursor, try to enter value again, rinse, repeat.

Once I got signed in, I was finally able to post a comment. But when I clicked the add button, nothing happened, so I clicked it again. Still failure.

This was an awful experience. All I wanted to do was post a simple comment about how cool Dirty Jobs is. Very simple. I guess not.

UI Design is very important. Micrsoft missed the mark big time on this one. And, they did it to me the very first time I used their service. I'm not sure I will bother going back. I'm pissed.

Monday, August 28, 2006

myspace sucks again

why can't they move their blog management to a faster cluster? Why must they waste so much of my time.

I hate them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Why text messaging rules: #3

I can do it in a restaurant and nobody gives me the so called evil eye balls stare.

Friday, August 18, 2006

online promotions

dear papa johns,

If you put promotions on your website, please let your franchises know about it so that when we call and ask for the promotion, they know what we're talking about and we don't have to waste 10 minutes trying to "locate" said promotion. It would make our lives a lot easier.


myspace sucks!

myspace sucks!

No witty insight or commentary on how they could improve. They just suck. I'm sick and tired of waiting for their pages to load......

Why text messaging rules: #2

Multi-tasking. I can text and listen to music/watch tv/carry on a conversation (kind off) all while texting.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why text messaging rules: #1

I hate checking my voice mail. I hate it so much. I have two messages on my voice mail right now. I know who they are from, and what they are about. I can't bring myself dial in and erase them. It seems so archaic.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

rock on bishop

rock on bishop
Originally uploaded by garyowen.
Got some pictures up bout phil and lacey's wedding.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Harleys

hmmm, this is interesting. Perhaps my search starts all over again. I'll have to call the dealership and see when they are getting the new models in.


Yeah I gave up on that. I didn't do it early enough in the process and now it would be a pain to backup the macbook pro before doing it (sounds like their is a bit of partition hacking you need to do).

Maybe by the time the release candidates roll around...

MacBook for Jon

Jon got a macbook. That's cool... Maybe we can put ours together and they can fight... see which one heats up faster.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Apple "Marketing"

Now I like the macbook, I like it a lot. But stuff like this really annoys me.

Why does the battery charge seems to run down faster when using Windows XP than when using Mac OS X?

Mac OS X includes power management optimizations that are not available in Windows XP.

The reality is that windows xp has had this type of technology (intel speedstep) for a long time. Really what happened is that apple didn't include the appropriate drivers in the bootcamp beta. Or perhaps the appropriate drivers don't exist yet (although I find that hard to believe since there are windows machines running on core duo now). Maybe they're they're talking about some other kind of optimizations... spinning down the HD... shutting down the monitor... I think the reality is that some Apple marketing person is trying to take an extra, unnecessary jab at Microsoft. Come on Apple marketing person, stand up for what you're good at, making computers "Cool" and stop trying to belittle your competition when anyone with a little experience with technology can see through your spin.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Vista on Macbook

Found some instructions here. I'll try it out tomorrow (or so).

Windows on a Mac Book

Finally got it installed today. Wasn't very difficult once I had the proper CD. For some reason the eject button doesn't work though, which was supposedly included in the driver dvd. It's easy enough to eject through explorer if an external mouse is plugged in though. I hope apple keeps working on bootcamp. It's probably 90% there.

I tried to apply all the latest updates from MS, except I can't proof my copy of windows is "genuine" without activating, and I'm not sure that I want to activate this machine yet. Hopefully by tomorrow vista beta 2 will be finished download and I can try installing that instead... I'll have to do some googling first to see if there are any tips out there.

Layout on Defence

Layout on Defence
Originally uploaded by timblair.
This is why ultimate is fun.

ultimate frisbee

ultimate frisbee is very fun. If anyone hasn't heard of it, check out the wikipedia entry.

We've been playing the first and third thursdays of every month at 41st and Fremont.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Harley Softail Standard or Low-Rider

What do y'all think.

This or this?

I like the lines of the standard with the hidden suspension, but the shocks are kind of cool looking on the low rider. They are pretty close in price. Both have a seat height around 25.5 inches which is probably right for me. One is rigid mounted with a balanced engine, the other is rubber mounted...

Both are nice looking bikes.

Macbook day 2

Well I had a false start with installing Windows XP on the macbook pro tonight. Turns out you need the XP + SP2 install disk and I only have the original XP install disk. Perhaps I can burn a copy from work tomorrow and use my existing install key.

Leadership and Belonging

There are 2 types of people in the world.
1. Those that want to belong to something bigger than themselves.
2. Those that want to create something bigger than themselves.

Number 2s are leaders, Number 1s are essential?

New macbook pro

Purchased a new macbook pro last night.
First order of business: 500 megs of updates from apple. [completed]
Second order of business: Bootcamp and windows xp.
Third order of business: probably also 500 megs of updates from microsoft.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Work is hard

Working hard is hard work.

Josh Ottum

Josh Ottum is the shiz. Gwen say him at the Sunset Tavern on friday (or so) and picked up his "Big Red EP". It's super great and awesome. I don't think it's available in stores, but it should be.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

By the way

Gwen and I went to Europe. It was fun.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by garyowen.
I love this picture.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by garyowen.
Eliacin and I took a picture tour of Fremont today (technically it was saturday). Check out the Photo Set

Friday, February 24, 2006

Canon 50mm F1.4 for real

I finally broke down and bought this lens. I've started tagging my pictures so you can see some of the new ones taken with this cool prime lens. I likes it.

We traced the call

It's coming from outside the house!?!?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pier O

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
Took a few pictures tonight after work.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gwen's Tron Birthday Party

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
New photoset up for Gwen's birthday party tonight.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Canon 50mm F1.4

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
Rented a lens for my camera this weekend. I just posted 33 new photos using it. Pretty good for low light situations (which I find myself in a lot).

Pretty seriously considering getting it. I really want to try out the 35mm lens that is the same aperature, but it's 1,200 to buy, so I'm not sure that I want to get attached to it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

We traced the call

It's coming from inside the house!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

blog'n blog

Not sure what this blog should be about anymore. It started as a place to record some ideas about an "ideal" music distribution system. Seems like I've lost some focus. Not that I need to focus on music distribution. But what should I focus on?

Lately I've been into 2 things. Photography and Business. You can see the photography represented in the flickr links I keep posting. Perhaps I should figure out what our company's blogging policy is...

Does anybody still read this thing anyways?


Originally uploaded by garyowen.
New photoset up from tonight's theology pub.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Phil and Lacey

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
It's a Phil and Lacey photoset.

Jumping cats

Originally uploaded by garyowen.
Jumping cats are the strangest cats of all.

Our cat radio is insane-crazy-nuts about catching that toy.

Friday, January 06, 2006


So far, not impressed with the workflow. Blogthis was a better extension, but for some reason it got all tinted fogged up sparkely and weird.


So yeah, I signed up for myspace.  I feel kind of dirty... and the dirt's not coming off.  I've resisted myspace for a long time, but I thought I should at least use it for a little while before I continue to complain.  Man that site is jammed full of adds.  I've added like four or five different high level domains to adblock and so far it hasn't been enough.  How annoying.  Anyway, if you have myspace you can like, try and make me a friend or something.


Performancing for Firefox |
Performancing for Firefox is a full featured blog editor that sits right within Firefox. Just hit F8 or click the little pencil icon at the bottom right to bring up the blog editor and easily post to your Wordpress, MovableType or Blogger blogs.

Just downloaded performancing for blogging. I wonder how well it will work?

Microsoft closes Metafile hole with early patch

Microsoft closes Metafile hole with early patch: "With computer experts rating the security flaw as 'extremely critical,' there's little doubt MS had teams of software engineers working overtime to get this new hole closed."

Thanks for all the hard work that was put into this patch.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

On kids

Dear parents,

I don't mind so much when your kids make noise in restaurants. It usually brings a little smile to my face because I know you're raising a family and hopefully, in some small way making the world a better place by trying to be good parents.

I do mind when you smack your five year old kid across the face and proceed to tell him "I hit you so you'll know who's in charge".

Gary Owen