What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:03 pm EST

Lately, my computer has been emitting a rather shrill noise. It bugs me once in a while, but it’s really been bothering Edo, so he took the whole thing apart this past weekend and determined that it’s coming from the power supply. He couldn’t fix it, so that will have to be replaced. Oh well.

Fast forward to last night: I was minding my own business, not hurting anyone, when my ears were suddenly attacked by one of the most obnoxious noises I’ve ever heard.

“What the hell was that?!” I yelled.

“Oh, so you could hear that?” Edo replied.

“Yes, I could hear it! Now what the hell was it?!”

“It’s a high pitched tone ringtone that kids have been using since most adults can’t hear it.”

*Noise starts again*


“Wow, so that really bugs you. Kate, I can barely hear it, especially now that I’ve lowered the volume. I must have lost a little of my hearing range.”

“Edo, that noise is intolerable. I think I would kill anyone who put that on their cell phone.”

Seriously, the noise was like torture, and it even gave me a bit of headache. I can’t believe anyone would willingly listen to that.

The weird thing is that now my computer is bugging me more than ever! It’s actually becoming intolerable. So I wonder, did my computer get worse, or have my ears become temporarily hypersensitive to high frequencies? Or (more likely) is this all just in my head?

Further Reading:
-A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears [NYT]
-I am officially old [The Trouble With Spikol, via Philadelphia Will Do]



Filed under: — Kate @ 9:49 am EST

I’m so excited for Mother’s Day. But not why you might think.

You see, two weeks ago, Edo got himself a brand new, gorgeous, beautiful 20 inch flat panel monitor. And less than 24 hours later, I was rife with jealousy. I couldn’t get over how much real estate he had; all of a sudden, my 17 incher just seemed so small. I started fantasizing about what I would do with a monitor like that… oh the possibilities!

So we ordered another one for me. Dell was having some sort of special deal, and we decided to jump on it while we had the chance. As part of that deal, each monitor actually came with a computer, too, so for those of you keeping track, that will bring the total number of PCs in our apartment to five (not counting the 3 or 4 laptops). But that’s only temporary.

Now what, you ask, does this have to do with Mother’s Day? Well, I needed to have the damn thing sent somewhere, and our management office got pissed off by the size of the first one we ordered. So, I had it sent to my parents, and we’re picking it up when we visit for Mother’s day. Dad has actually threatened to lock us out and keep it for himself, but I don’t think he’ll do that since he relies on Edo for all of his computer advice.

I can’t wait!!


Aggregation Aggravation

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:04 am EST

I’m in the market for a decent blog aggregator. I’ve tried using them in the past, and never found anything I really liked. It’s been a while, and I keep hearing that they have gotten much better. Any recommendations?


Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:14 am EST

Yesterday, one of my students said to me as she was leaving for the day “Oh, by the way, the computer died on me earlier. I tried turning it back on, but it died again.”

Ummmm… WHAT?!

Now this is a very smart girl. One of the brightest students I’ve had. Not at all like my Dumb and Dumber interns from last summer (“Does that go through the network or something?”).

So why she wouldn’t come running into my office the minute it failed is beyond me.

I asked her “Did you check the power connection?”


No?! NO?!! When your computer spontaneously shuts down, isn’t that the FIRST THING YOU CHECK??? I dunno, maybe I’m asking too much here. Maybe I’ve just kicked more power cords and accidentally ripped them out of the wall than the average person. Wait, no… that’s definitely true…

Anyway, I’m actually not sure what happened. All the plugs were, in fact, still connected, but the computer wouldn’t turn on. So I just switched off the surge protector, pressed reset, and turned it back on. Voila, the computer booted up. I must be a fucking genius.

But I digress. I didn’t even start this post with the intention of telling that story, but then I found myself inspired by the title.

So now, the original reason for this edition of my blatherings…

The new Britcom “The IT Crowd” is my favorite new tv show at the moment. It’s about the IT geeks in the basement of a large company.

Do yourself a favor and watch the first episode here.

See Also:
-The IT Crowd [Fansite]
-The IT Crowd [Wikipedia]


Cherry Poppin’

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:27 am EST

You are looking at what is quite possibly my first computer experience ever. Yes, that is a Commodore 64 (and my cousin). Whether or not this was the actual first time, it’s definitely the first computer I ever touched.

UPDATE: Hi Phillyist readers! (Btw, I’m the girl.)


I’ve Officially Crossed Over to the Dark Side

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:37 am EST

Well, I’ve finally gone and done it. I’ve succumbed. Given in. Been beaten. Broken down.

However you want to look at it, there’s no going back.

Yesterday, I bought an iPod.


For years, I swore I would never own any Apple technology. But over the last year or so, I felt that conviction slowly slipping away.

And then last night, it was gone.

Okay, so technically, I still don’t own any Apple technology. Edo does. I bought it for him.

But let’s face it, folks… I’ll be using it on occasion.

I’ve turned us into pod people.

What have I done?!

UPDATE: Heya Phillyist!


Beach Party!

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:36 pm EST

So yesterday, I happened to notice this comment on one of my posts:

5. Beach Party Says:
November 1st, 2005 at 1:41 am

Some Friendly Advice

Not a good idea to put your girlfriend’s picture in the family album, even inadvertently….

So my first thought was “Damn, how did this spam get through?” But upon further examination, I realized that it seemed to be in the form of a trackback. Intrigued, I visited the site from whence it came and found it to be a tool for creating/tracking blog carnivals.

A blog carnival is a collection of links to blog entries about a particular topic. For instance: Carnival of Cats.

A bit of Googling told me that it’s a legitimate site that bloggers use and reccommend. But I was still somewhat befuddled. How did my post about including me in the family pictures end up on a blog carnival called “Beach Party?” It seemed completely random.

But then I reread my post and spotted the word “bikini.”


A little more research and I learned that while most of their carnivals have user submitted entries, there are a few automated ones run by the site…

You may have noticed that we run some of our own blog carnivals. We started Blog Carnival by choosing some topics that we liked and went at it. As time went by, we developed some tools to help us write our carnivals and blogs. …

But if it was automated, then who came up with “Not a good idea to put your girlfriend’s picture in the family album, even inadvertently…?”

Did a human write that? It seems a bit complex for a computer. But then if a human did write it, why is the post miscategorized?

Perhaps I’ll never know.

But best part by far is the picture (here on the right) that they used next to my post. I probably wouldn’t have flipped out if I looked that good!


People Who Piss Me Off By Being Stupid About Technology

Filed under: — Kate @ 5:37 pm EST

People who still have AOL accounts, especially if it’s AOL for Broadband.

People who have their monitor resolution set at 800 x 600.

People who have icons (usually upwards of 40+) scattered all over their desktop with no apparent rhyme or reason.

People who have chronically malware/spyware infected computers.

People who have chronically malware/spyware infected computers and never do anything about it.

People who, after I tell them never to save anything in MS Access, think that they should never save any file in any program. EVER.

People who find it “strange” or “freaky” that someone from the IT department can access our computers remotely.

People who find it “strange” or “freaky” that someone from the IT department can access our computers remotely, and then say “does that go through the network or something?” when I tell them that I can similarly use my laptop to remotely access my home computer. [I actually told this person “No, it uses moonbeams.”]

People who work for an IT department and know less about computers than me (since I don’t work in an IT department).


Security Compromise Boosts Sales

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:09 am EST

Microsoft Desperately Trying to Copy This Business Model

The Paris Hilton hacking has actually increased sales of T-Mobile’s Sidekick II. Well, at least this shows us that some people actually knew it wasn’t a Blackberry. [Gawker, Gizmodo]


I Love Firefox

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:23 pm EST

While I’m on the subject of awesome free computer software….

At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I have to say, if you haven’t checked out Mozilla’s new browser Firefox 1.0, you really should. The tabbed browsing alone was enough to convert me, but there’s a host of other reasons to make the switch. It’s more customizable, better at fighting spyware and other malicious material, has built in pop-up blocking, and all sorts of built in search functions (google, amazon, imdb, dictionary.com, wikipedia, to name a few). It let’s you import your old settings from Internet Explorer, too. I love it.

Picasa 2

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:16 pm EST

Tried out the new Picasa 2 software last night, and let me just say that it kicks ass. If you have a lot of digital pictures, you should check this out. In a matter of minutes, we made a slide show that looked like it could be on the history channel (you know, still pictures + moving camera = simulated action shots). It also provides great organization and easy editing tools. Anyway, it was very, very cool.



Filed under: — Kate @ 1:47 pm EST

I’m home on MLK Day watching Voyager Season 7 and fiddling some more with this thing. Man, getting the aesthetics just the way I want will be challenging. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanksh.