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.