Monthly Archives: January 2008

Fun with Windows

Sort of following up on my last post, I got kinda tired of hauling my iPaq around in my pocket just to listen to music and spoken words, so I dug my 512 MB iPod Shuffle out of the back of my desk drawer. I stuck it back there a long time ago when I got sick of how it would inject really long silent, uh, silences, in between some songs, for no apparent reason. I can’t fast-forward or rewind across the silences; they are played in entirety before resuming normal play. Sometimes, it is silent for up to a couple minutes before playing again.

And yes, I am certain I am not accidentally pressing Pause or something.

Anyway, so I dug out my iPod, and plugged it into my PC. Then I went and re-downloaded and installed iTunes. It found my music library, and charged up, re-synced, and upgraded my iPod.

Except, every time a song changed on the iPod, a Explorer window would open showing me the contents of the iPod. I’d have to close that and return to what I was doing, and then another would pop up when the iPod updated again.

It got really annoying, really quick.

So I busted out my old Windows Annoyances book, but it was geared to Win95 and NT 4.o – way too out of date for XP. So I googled, and went to annoyances.org, the official site for finding fixes for Windows annoyances. If there’s anything you ever wish you knew how to change about Windows, check that site, or buy the current book. It’s FANTASTIC! Plus, you’ll learn all sorts of tricks and become a highly revered WINDOWS POWER USER. You can even make a T-shirt for yourself on Cafepress so all your friends know.

Anyway, long story short, I knew it was Windows’ AutoPlay feature that was re-launching my iPod as a removable drive every time it thought it was being reinserted after iTunes did whatever it does that makes Windows think a USB drive is being reinserted after having a file copied or deleted from it.

The easiest way to stop it was to download Microsoft’s TweakUI from their PowerToys for Windows XP site. In TweakUI, it was just a couple checkboxes to disable AutoPlay for the iPod’s drive letter. Plus, it has lots of other options to enable or disable Windows’ default behavior that may irk you.

I also downloaded their Image Resizer, Virtual Desktop Manager, and Command Window Here apps.

Useful stuff from Microsoft. Who knew?

Wherein I discover the most boring music EVER

It is a little known fact that some ago, I started carrying around an HP iPaq about a year ago. Work bought it for me when there was spare bucks in the budget that had to be spent, and I thought it’d be a handy replacement for a pad of paper and Franklin Planner.

Mostly, I use it for games, the MobiPocket Reader with the entire useful gospel library, and also as an improvised iPod. It has a 2 Gig memory chip, which holds plenty of MP3s. For a few months, I had a whole bunch of songs on there, and would listen to it while driving, since my car doesn’t have a radio. More recently, however, I took off all the songs, and downloaded the Book of Mormon in audio in English, the last General Conference in French, and the entire audio book of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in French, and I listen to that stuff while commuting, either in my car or on BART.

Recently, however, I’ve been jonesing for some more music. Succumbing to a desire for some church-related music, I went to lds.org and downloaded all the songs I could find.

But then I listened to them.

Oh boy how awful! I’ve never heard such boring renditions of the hymns! A typical song will have a violin and piano playing the exact same tune, and a small group of voices singing along in their parts. However, they use the absolutely slowest tempo for that song, sing in somber tones with the words not so much being enunciated than simply being notes carried. Some songs have some sort of brass instrument playing along, but in all the songs, the violin fairly well drowns out the voices, and piano is barely audible, and it all just melds together into a mash of somber sound sung slowly.

So much for that idea.

Are you a blogger, or someone who blogs?

We all know the difference between someone who does something just to do it, and someone who actually lives and breathes the task, right? Well, it turns out, in my heart of hearts, I am actually a blogger, and not just someone who blogs.

How did I come to this conclusion?

Well, a few days back me and my arch-nemesis Bruce were chatting about his new Twitter feed. He tried to push me to use Twitter too, but as I barely update my blog as it is, I don’t know what I’d twitter about.

But anyway, a night or two later, while I was deep in REM sleep, I drempt I was at work, plugging away on my computer with Quintessential playing my MP3 library, as I am wont to do. Periodically, someone would walk by and talk to me, and then head on their way. And then, Danny Elfman stopped by to ask me about something. Turns out, he was working at my company on some musical project. As we were chatting, I realized that my computer was softly playing an Oingo Boingo tune! How great of a coincidence is that!

So finally, Danny went on his way, and I returned to my computer, and immediatly thought about how appropriate that would be for a simple Twitter post: Chatted with Danny Elfman at work while listening to Oingo Boingo. Then I thought about what a great and fascinating blog entry this would make.

Yep, so as you can see, since I dream about having fascinating experiences and then blogging about them, I am a true blogger.

However, I am not One Who Blogs, as you can tell by the paucity of posts in this blog.